Gambling On Trust


ling_icon.gif melissa3_icon.gif

Scene Title Gambling on Trust
Synopsis Melissa relays the results of her meeting with Parkman to Ling, and both find themselves suffering from a lack of trust in others.
Date October 19, 2010

Westview: Melissa's Apartment

After meeting with Matt Parkman the day before, Melissa sent a message to Ling, asking her to drop by. More news, important news, it seems. She was also told to just come on in and not bother knocking. Not much point, after being roommates on Staten Island. The apartment looks vastly different from the last time Ling was here. It's no longer empty. The TV and movies have been brought over from the Little Green House, as has her orchid and a few other things, though most occupy the bedroom.

Right now Melissa is sprawled on the couch, TV on, movie playing. She hadn't had a movie to watch in weeks, and she was starting to fiend. Some people crave drugs, Melissa craves DVDs.

Despite instructions otherwise, Ling still knows before entering, letting a second pass to make sure she hasn't ended up entering anything, that there's no shouts of protest. Pushing the door open, Ling peers in before pushing it open fully. Today, she'd dressed… a little more casually than usual., wearing simply a button up shirt and slacks, as opposed to the entire business ensemble she normally sports.

"Hello Melissa," she says as she enters, giving an acknowledging nod to the other woman. "I can as soon as I got your message." A pause as she looks around, grinning. "I saw that you got things form teh house. I apologise for not being around to help, but I have… be splitting my time there and other places. So, what news do you have?"

"Hey Ling. And yeah, I had to have a few things, and with everyone moving out, it seemed smart," Melissa says, shrugging. "And yeah, got news. Met with Parkman yesterday. It…went pretty well. I think. In the sense that I'm pretty sure he knows I'm Messiah but he didn't lock me up, and he wants me badly enough to let us off without any charges or jail time. Though it sounds like you were safe anyway. You don't have any charges against you, do you? Other than the whole Mayes thing?"

Ling peers at Melissa with a cautious expression. "And you're sure he isn't just leading you into some trap? Or doing his work for him?" Ling wrinkles her nose, shutting the door and stepping further into the room. "I'm sure you can understand why I may not be so trusting of DHS, Melissa. They are not exactly our friends." The question about the assassination has Ling looking off to the side with a frown on her face. "You forget, Melissa. I have been taken by the Institute once. I doubt they would forget about me so easily, after everything I've heard and seen."

"Oh, believe me, hon, I don't trust DHS. Not even my uncle. But I do believe that if he wanted, that Parkman could've locked me up, poked around in my mind, and gotten everything I know about Messiah and its members," Melissa says with a wry smile. "But fair enough, on the Institute thing. If it was just the Mayes thing, I think you would've been alright, but no sense giving the Institute another chance to snag you."

"As for the rest…I believe him. He wants Rupert. Bad. If I…we…can deliver him, then it's still a success in his book. Of course, he wants Rupert alive to question, but I flat out said that if it was Rupert or me, I was choosing me." She falls silent for a moment then her volume lowers some. "I didn't give him your name. I just said that if I delivered Rupert, I wanted Edgar, the smoke evolved, and myself cleared of all related charges. And that I couldn't be brought up on murder charges if I did have to take out Rupert. He was agreeable. But just to be safe…I'll deliver Rupert solo. So no one else can possibly get snatched up."

Ling frowns a bit at that, sighing at Melissa. "If he is truly agreeable, that is all the more reason to not to put off finding and confronting Rupert. We must get moving on this, using whatever assets we can." Pacing a bit, Ling nods. "I would rather you have not put yourself at risk of Institute investigation, they know my ability. But still…" Nodding again, Ling turns back to Melissa. "As soon as we finish here, I will leave a message for Griffin and contact Kaylee. Messiah is no longer using the Rebel phones. If you wish to reach Peter, Griffin, or anyone else, there's a message board at Howland hook."

"I already left Peter a message. He'll get back to me or he won't," Melissa says, shrugging. "But yeah, get in touch with Kaylee and Griffin. I'm going to talk to Eileen and Gabriel. I know you don't like the idea of using him, but he could be a lot of help, and we can't guarantee that Rupert will be alone. I'd rather go in prepared than have any or all of us killed or brainwashed."

"I agree though, that it need to be quick. Soon as we get everyone's agreement, I want to set up a quick meeting. Go over the plan — after we track him down. That's why I'm gonna talk with Eileen. Her ability involves birds, and there are pigeons all over this city. Same with Wireless, only, you know, without the birds."

"Eileen?" The name is unfamiliar to Ling, not someone she's met through the Triads, Linderman, Messiah, or her few interactions with the Ferry. "As for Gabriel… I was thinking about it, and while I do not know how he acquires the abilities he does, perhaps we can find some way to instil negation in him. There would be few better ways to handle Rupert, or any who happens to be working with him."

"She's Ferry," Melissa explains. "And yeah, that would be good. I know a negator he could possibly get it from too, so long as Brennan doesn't feel the need to negate Gabriel. But just in case, I'm going to see if Eileen can get her hands on some negation drugs too."

"The drugs are a risky proposition, remember. Some form of negator would be preferable." Giving a bit of a nod, Ling ceases her pacing, looking back at Melissa. "I will make sure to let Kaylee know, just in case she can get a hold of Eileen before you can. Have we thought about how,e xactly, we're going to find Rupert yet? Besides birds and information highways. I doubt it will be so easy."

"Don't worry about Eileen. I can get a hold of her. Ask Kaylee though if she thinks she can probe Rupert's mind without danger," Melissa says, frowning a bit. "And I'm completely open to suggestions on other ways to find Rupert. Check his associates houses, maybe. Or check places from his past. Messiah members…"

"Do not forget my suggestion about Kendall, and Rebel if he is about." Ling wrinkles her nose, sighing. "Unfortunately, beyond this I am short on ideas at the moment. This is why I think it best to speak to as many people as we can trust as possible." A pause. "Speaking of which, I will make sure Kaylee starts meeting with folks tomorrow, so we can know who has been… touched."

"I'm actually going to involve Kendall," Melissa admits. "I don't like it, but he can be of use, and maybe seeing this sort of thing from a relatively safe standpoint will help. But what I'm thinking, after we get Rupert? We need a location to take him to, safe, where we can question him. Staten Island is probably the best bet, and Kendall can help us get there without anyone realizing it's us."

"Staten Island still crawls with trouble these days. We must be careful. I do agree, however. There is little else choice we have for places to go, unfortunately." Ling looks for a seat, finding her way over to the couch and gingerly sitting down. "What, exactly, do you have in mind for Kendall, then?"

"He can change the appearance of the car. The appearance of us. Make it so we can pass the checkpoint without being us," Melissa says with a sigh. "I don't like it, but barring a better suggestion…"

"It is better than throwing him headlong into the operations of Messiah like he originally wanted," Ling points out, arms crossing. "He is eager to help. It is the best solution to satiate him as well as provide us with a valuable resource."

"I know," Melissa reluctantly agrees. "But it doesn't mean I have to like it. But it means we have a well-rounded team. I'd like to keep him and Kaylee away from Rupert though, just to be safe. Especially Kaylee, since she's the only telepath we can really trust."

"As would I. And Gabriel, should he choose to aid us. He worries me as it is. Should Rupert get his ear, it could be an absolute disaster." Ling falls silent for a moment, before letting her fingers drum idly. "It seems we have much preparation to be getting to, Melissa. Who are you planning on speaking with first, so we can coordinate?"

"One of the reasons why I want a planning meeting so Kaylee can scan everyone," Melissa says, nodding. "Mention that to her, I suppose. And I have no idea if I'll get a hold of Eileen, Gabriel or Wireless first, unfortunately."

"Unfortunate. I do ask that you keep me informed, please." A standard request from Ling, the Chinese woman leaning back a bit. "Hopefully, Peter and the others will be willing to help us in this endeavor. The more people we have actively looking for Rupert, the better our chances of discovering his whereabouts. Hopefully, they can prevent themselves from being seen while doing it."

"Of course. And…I'm reluctant to involve Peter, but if they can find him, then let us know, I'm fine with it. It's the last part I doubt will happen," Melissa says with a grimace. "Kendall can go invisible, but I don't wanna risk him. You've got your smoke, but I don't wanna risk you either. Eileen's birds are good since they're everywhere. I don't know who else would be a good spy."

"Peter will be reluctant to involve himself. But he at least could put us into contact with other willing to help who may not immediately come forward," Ling replies with a bit of a nod. "It is a calculated risk. The more involved, the better chance of finding Rupert. But a greater chance of him getting to one of us as well."

There's silence for a moment, then Melissa nods slowly. "I'll talk to Peter. Get him to get Messiah looking, without mentioning our little endeavor, just in case. Give 'em orders to just report his location or bring him in alive. Hopefully he'll listen, and hopefully they will." Though she very clearly doubts it.

"Hopefully. We shall see in short order, I imagine." Ling rises back to her feet, grimacing. "Though I do imagine refraining from telling Peter exactly of our plan is the wisest idea. He is by far the most tampered of us all. It is impossible to know what Rupert has commanded him to do."

"Yeah, he has to be. There's no other way that he'd go from how he was to leader of Messiah," Melissa says, shaking her head and looking ticked about something. "I'm definitely leaving DHS out of it. No need to risk that getting out there."

"A wise choice, there," Ling snickers - to her that seemed obvious enough, but she has no desire to be too rude to Melissa. A look towards teh door, and Ling sighs. "Is there any pressing plans we should begin on, outside of gathering? I can try and get in contact with Kaylee as soon as I leave here."

"Yes. I've got an idea brewing. If it goes through…I'm going to need a business manager, and I can't think of anyone better than you," Melissa says with a smile.

This catches Ling's attention rather strongly, the businesswoman peering at Melissa carefully. "Oh? And what might this venture be, if you don't mind me asking? I had thought you already intended to have me do managing for you at your club."

"You can choose which you'd prefer. The club is good, because, well, I need to make a living. But this other idea…It's important," Melissa says, smiling and shrugging slightly. "I…I've gotta get away from it all, Ling. The violence and explosions and everything. It's not good for me, and it is so not helping evolved anywhere unless their names happen to be Rupert Carmichael. And I wanna help. I want people to know what's going on. To under the evolved so they don't fear us. To put it simply…I wanna go legal. Start a non-profit group that operates solely to help the evolved and educate people about us."

"I will be glad to help however I can, Melissa, but I do not believe I can provide any on the record assistance so long as I am on the Institute radar, nor as long as I am unregistered." Ling looks at Melissa a moment before she sighs. "I will think about it, certainly. But do not be upset if I prefer to handle club business, out of the public eye for the time being."

"I won't be. It's why I said you could choose," Melissa says, shaking her head. "I don't want you to be in any danger, anymore than I'd want to see Kendall in danger."

"As I said, I will think about it," Ling replies with a slow nod. "If there is nothing else, I will be on my way. There is much to get in order, and I want to waste as little time as possible. I don't mean to be curt, but…"

"Hey, no. It's fine. Go get down with your plotty self," Melissa says, smiling. "Let me know what you find out."

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