edgar_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif francois_icon.gif huruma3_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif rue_icon.gif

Scene Title Gatekeepers
Synopsis A nighttime raid on a military base camp dangerously close to the Ferry's northern stronghold uncovers an unforeseen opportunity that comes at great risk.
Date September 6, 2011

North of New York City

A plume of charcoal-black smoke leaves an ugly smear on the moon's face and would be seen rising into the sky for miles if the sky was not almost as dark. Firelight illuminates trees with branches licked clean by the flames, and the smell of soot blows out over the top of the forest, carrying with it glowing embers that crackle and flicker like little lightning bugs reduced to ash by the rain before they can touch down and spread the destruction further than the ruins of what was, until an hour or so ago, a military encampment.

The smoldering remains of burnt canvas tents flap haphazardly in the wind. Rainwater slants off smooth metal and gleams on the roofs and hoods of the trucks parked on the camp's perimeter, and although many of the vehicles are riddled with bullet holes and their windows blown out by the gunfire, their engines are cold — the attack came without any warning, and happened so fast that the only soldiers who escaped did so on foot, and the Ferrymen picking through the battlefield can probably count them on one hand.

Crows look like shadows coated in grease or ink and feed on the corpses of the dead, separating skin from muscle and muscle from bone, and fight each other with beak and claw for choice pieces of meat and fat. Somewhere in the trees, a horse barks a shrill scream and tosses its head. Heller's men did not stand much of a chance, but a dozen soldiers still alive sit on their knees outside one of the only tents left intact, their hands bound at the wrists behind their backs with thin lengths of knotted rope.

What to do with their prisoners is only one of the decisions that the Ferry has to face tonight. There is also the question of the civilians they could not have accounted for — among the soldiers are two teams of journalists, untied. A woman with dirty blonde hair streaked with blood sits propped against a supply crate, a hand covering a wound on her abdomen that's being seen to by one of the network's volunteer medics while her shell-shocked camera man sits on the ground, flecked with pine needles, his face a gaunt and pale mask. There is patch on his jacket that reads CNN.

Eileen hasn't said anything since giving the order to attack. She doesn't look as though this is likely to change, either — her focus is off somewhere in the distance, and she stands with her back to the grouping at the edge of a bluff with a view of the river lit gold by the fire.

You can't see Pollepel from here. That's good.

Hissing as he tends to his own wounds (wound), Edgar picks a bullet embedded in his bicep. Slowed by the leather of his adopted jacket, the end of the brass projectile sticks out marginally, enough to see but not enough for thick fingers to grab a hold of it. He's placed himself as guard to the string of soldiers, sitting at one end of the line and spitting random insults at the mothers of those closest to him.

Only if they weren't hatched or birthed from hellspawn, which are his current working theories.

"Once I ge' this out, I'm goin'teh 'unt down the rest o' your friends." It's quite obvious that the speedster is just a little bothered by the bullet, especially since the more he fiddles with the wound, the deeper it sinks and the dirtier the site gets. "My wife's goin'teh curse the day I's born fer this… I'll mess up the good sheets— Eff she lets me sleep wi' 'er at all."

"This is your fault," mutters a scruffy young man who is not clean cut enough to be either CNN calibre or a soldier, and no discerning insignia adorns his clothing or his camera equipment. Curly black hair is matted with blood, as his the towel he holds to the wound on his temple. He gives a disdainful nod toward the patch of dirt occupied by CNN. "Trying to keep up with the networks — we're making a documentary. We're film makers. You can't scoop CNN, Irving."

The man he talks to is small in both stature and bone structure, probably approaching 30; there is something ferretish in his his demeanor in the way he watches with dark, darting eyes the Ferry as they move among the soldiers. "Shut up, would you? I wanna talk to these people," Irving hisses under his breath, flicking a muddy strand of long dark hair out of his eyes as he peers at the raiding party.

Lynette is rather dirty. It's a bit surprising how okay with being dirty she's gotten lately. She's always been okay with dirty deeds, as it were, but once upon a time, she could do them in expensive shoes and a flatteringly cut vest and her hair wouldn't so much as get out of place. The times, they are a'changing.

She stands near the camera men and journalist types, a cut across her cheek marked with a dark smear of drying blood while she wraps a cloth around her left hand. She's scraped up with cuts here and there, but there's a wonderful lack of bullet holes through her this time. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail when this all started but now it's hanging haphazardly around her face and down past her shoulders. Ash and dirt mar her clothes and pale skin, but she's mostly focused on stopping herself from bleeding and keeping an eye on the media. She's not quite keen on pictures and video getting leaked out, even if she does accept that they'll have a far more first person account of the situation than most reports, or film makers, get. She is, most assuredly, not volunteering to be one of the people Irving gets a conversation with.

After setting the anthill ablaze and cutting the population down to dregs with the rest of them, Huruma tasked herself with at first tracking down a couple of those soldiers that had run into the woodland proper. For an empath, the task doesn't take long- but she could not hope to find them all, and in short time returned with at least less bullets in her rifle than before. Perhaps she found one, or two, but the surprise of the attack left little to run in the first place. Those who escaped thusfar must count blessings accordingly.

The blood on her is mostly not her own, smears staining her thighs and the thin cotton of her shirt. The jacket she had been wearing was discarded some time ago, when she peeled it away to take care of a graze along the top of her shoulder. It is not enough to prevent her from moving her rifle about as she picks her way through the camp, head swiveling to peer along trampled tents and muddy ground. A vulture, in a lesser sense than the crows here have become.

Huruma stays quiet for the moment, as she returns and all but zones Edgar's protests out of her ears, in favor of giving the bundle of civilians a rather intent stare. There's no question, that they'll need to decide what to do about them. The question lies in what that will be, and why.

Francois is unharmed.

This is a nice change and makes him feel marginally better in the world, but there is something vaguely deja vu that manages to unsettle him. The damp earth beneath his feet squelches near soundlessly as he moves, muddied but uninjured, with a gun kept in his hand and still warm from use and. General body heat. His heart has been going since the first soldier was taken down and the speedster was clipped in returning fire. It would be nice if Teo were here. His fingers are bare of any rings, but any terrorist worth their salt knows to either leave that shit behind or put it somewhere it won't get away from you, and in this case, it's on a chain beneath layers of clothing and kevlar both.

Moving away from the sound of voices and more towards the silence supernova that is Eileen, she can both hear his approach and see it in the fleeting vision of the birds in the area. "We should be leaving," he says, gently. We also need to make a decision.

Rue took it upon herself to pick through one of the trucks parked at the perimeter of the camp for supplies. It doubles as a place to rest out of sight of prisoners and comrades alike. She's not at one hundred percent yet, though she's doing much better now than she was a scant few weeks ago, but she wouldn't miss out on an opportunity to assist the Ferry in this.

She won't admit that watching bodies be picked apart by birds makes her queasy, since she helped create the count of them. Curling her fingers into her unruly red hair, she decides breaktime is over and climbs out of the back of the truck to pace about the camp.

That she's perturbed she keeps on the inside, young Lancaster's expression remains stoic, or maybe a touch numb. That has something to do with the scarf tied around her neck, dark with her own blood where a bullet grazed her near the curve of her shoulder. She approaches the two on the bluff with only some hesitation. When she speaks, it's quietly, but enough to be heard. "We can't let them live."

There isn't a can we tacit or otherwise from Rue. It isn't a question.

It is a small mercy that the soldiers are out of earshot when Rue says what she does. Eileen's breathing is slow, but shallow, and she acknowledges the other woman with a sigh pressed out hard through her nose. "No?"

That is a question, and she invites Francois to answer it as much as she does Rue, turning her face and eyes up when she asks, though her gaze seems to pass through him instead of seeking his out. Not for lack of trying.

It's not so much a leer that Rue receives as Edgar eyes her long legs making their way across the camp, appreciation maybe but the look is fleeting when he resumes concentrating on his task. Gritting his teeth, he pulls a thin knife from a sheath on his calf and plucks at the bullet. He succeeds in making the seeping wound larger but also manages to flick the bit of metal into the face of the soldier nearest where he's sitting.

The hole left behind oozes a slow trickle of thick blood. It's dark in color but seems healthy enough after he washes it with the water from a canteen stripped from one of the corpses. His knees crackle as he stands and makes his way over toward where Lynette stands, cutting the line of sight between her and the newsman as he ambles along at a snail pace.

The four journalists, CNN and unaffiliated documentary team, share glances; they may not be able to hear the Ferrymen's discussion but there's obviously a decision that needs to be made. "Talk fast, man," the scruffy cameraman says under his breath. The woman doesn't respond with words but a pleading glance; she and the other cameraman are too injured to do much. That they are doing the journalist the favor of tending to her wounds is enough to give the two teams the slightest bit of hope.

With a nod, Irving rises up from where he was sitting, just enough that he can see his jury, so to speak, a bit better and vice versa. "Look — we're not the bad guys here, you know? We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. You can let us go — it might even help your cause," he calls out, seeking sympathy in any pair of eyes his fall on — though his glance does skirt away from the white irises of Huruma's gaze a bit more quickly, falling on Lynette's a little longer. "We can even offer you a medium, an outlet, to get your message out." His hand, brown with mud and/or blood, gestures to the camera equipment on the ground.

There's a nod to Huruma when the woman approaches, and a wry smile for Edgar at his shambling pace, which might give off the vibe that Lynette is the nice one to talk to. Which, all things considered, maybe she is.

When Irving decides to speak up, Lynette lifts an eyebrow, but she listens. She's all for killing soldiers and the like, but she's not quite in the obviously the civilians have to die camp, so it could be argued that she's even sympathetic.

However, in reply, she sweeps her hand to take in the state of the camp and the trucks and the bodies before she notes, "I do believe we have our medium, but you're so sweet to offer." It's a little on the sarcastic side, that tone, and definitely from a woman who doesn't believe in anyone painting their cause in a positive light. Of course, she doesn't plan on letting the cameras and recording devices leave in tact, even if she is more lenient to their human counterparts.

Normally, Huruma would entertain the idea of having these people to play with- there is, however, the matter of her decision not being the only one to consider. She watches Irving as he stands, meeting his gaze, however fleeting it is, with a more flat one of her own. The dark woman bares some of her teeth in a smile at what Lynette says, though she sighs through her nose a moment later.

"Now, now. We live in th'information age." Huruma's voice hovers closer as the empath herself glides nearer to Lynette, a pause coming before she turns her head back to look for Eileen- or Francois- she'll defer to either, in the absence of others. Her words are still for the short blonde woman, at least. "It is an incidental medium. But, not th'only one."

It's the sound of actual exchange between his allies and their prisoners that twists Francois' attention from the crucial question at hand. He doesn't immediately bark something like stop talking to them because really, what's the point? But he does point out, to the Ferry; "We do not have a statement. We have no message." A glance to the journalists, perturbed, before he looks from Eileen to Rue, reluctance clear in the tense set of his shoulders. Reluctance against either answer, really. "They have done nothing wrong, these media people," he says, looking at the redhead. "You would end their lives because you made the mistake of not wearing a mask?"

He sounds annoyed. Because he's considering it too. And knows what he would do, given another decade.

Rue flickers a look between Francois and Eileen. There annoyance on her own part at the notion that she's suggesting this to save only her own skin. Again, she keeps her voice down, even though there's plenty of vitriol to be had. "Oh, sure. I forgot to wear a mask. The argument of they've seen our faces is hardly one to be made when we're all on watch lists as it is." So what if their faces have been seen? "You can't really expect they're going to say anything in favour of our cause anyway, can you?"

But she looks over her shoulder, blue eyes studying both crews. Then again, killing civilians doesn't much aid their cause either, does it? "They weren't supposed to be here," she notes with a hint of dismay, as though by stating it that somehow makes it their fault, and not the Ferry's problem. Rue is at a loss, and trying not to crack. Her nostrils flare as she huffs out a breath and turns her attention back to Francois. "Sorry. I don't mean to snap to you."

"They'll say whatever makes for the best story," sounds like Eileen is condemning the journalists to the same fate as the soldiers covered in carrion birds, but the grim finality in her voice doesn't have her turning around. Instead she says, very gently, "I don't want to dismiss the possibility that we can use this to our advantage, message or no. I wanted Bradley Russo to speak for us, but I don't think that's an option anymore. He's Ryans' son, and if that connection was made public then we'd look worse coming out than we did going in.

"We should discuss this with Lynette before we make any decisions."

A sympathetic glance goes toward the blond with the abdominal wound, then Edgar hardens his features with a clench of his jaw and turns to Huruma and Lynette. "She ain't done nothin' teh us, no' really," it might be just because she's a blond woman. "Lemme take 'er to a 'ospital. I can run'er somewhere far away, maybe a bit'a mercy might give us a bit've redemption in this case."

A wary glance is given to the others, he picks up on their body language more than the movement of their lips or the muted sounds that don't quite make it to him. Hostile posture, gestures, and looks the newspeople receive have the speedster a little on edge. "They ain't a part've this figh'. S'no' like any've us're walkin' the streets free men anyways, righ'? The soldiers, they've earned their bi' bu' I ain't killin' some'un that don't need killin'."

Irving's narrow features furrow into a frown at Lynette's sarcasm, and he shakes his head, lank hair falling back into his eyes. "If all they find here are bodies, I guarantee you the government'll fill in the gaps, and the networks will accept those answers as true," he says quickly, throwing a somewhat apologetic glance over his shoulder to his competition.

Dark eyes turn back to Lynette and then Huruma and he nods to his camera man. "We're not just taking whatever the government feeds us as true — if we did, we'd have better equipment and not that piece of shit van that's finally been put out of its misery." There's a slight attempt at a smile. "We can doctor voices, we can pixelate your faces — but just letting this violence speak for itself isn't going to work — it hasn't yet, has it? If they even think that it'll gain you sympathy, they will cover it up. We can get the film out in the public. At least give a chance to tell your side of the story — whatever it is."

When his partner stops talking, the camera man speaks up. "Or just let us go. You can keep our equipment and all the footage — do whatever you want with it. We won't turn you in. I got a kid, ya know? I'll do whatever you need." He looks over to the CNN team and gestures to them. "We all will."

"Well said, darling," Lynette says in Edgar's general direction, casting her vote in a more vocal way. "Not lowering ourselves to the enemy's level, all that. We may not be free men, as you say," and that gets a wry glance his way, "but that doesn't mean we we've lost all sense of class or sensibility."

And while this is all said almost as if she's forgotten the subjects are sitting right there, she does turn back to look at the pair of spokesmen, her brow furrowed. Something in the little speeches has her downright disturbed. Unhappy. So there's a brief moment before she notes, "Oh, we're definitely going to need the cameras. All of them. Voice recorders. Cell phones. Whatever you've got on you. Come now." Her gaze does turn back toward Eileen, and eyebrow lifted. "You'll make sure they don't sneak anything, won't you?" That's to Edgar. Or possibly Huruma. Or both, but the councilwoman herself is stepping away, off toward Eileen.

"There is a fine line between film and propaganda." Huruma states, flatly, looking dubious at Lynette's insistence that they destroy all avenues of recording equipment. It seems that she is of a different mind, if her slightly taut expression tells anything. "Though sometimes one cannot see that line until it is over with. I have seen both." They may regret doing it- or they may regret not. Hindsight is more powerful in this situation, undoubtedly.

"It is not my decision, but I will say that I would not find offense in it." Huruma turns her head to say this to Eileen in particular, if just so that it is known.

Francois accepts Rue's apology mutely, too far away and tense to particularly cater to the other generation as he spies Lynette's moving closer. She'll be able to pick up some of the gentle argument he makes; "Posturing will not do us favours. Others have tried and failed and the more we feed the newspapers, the more they have to use against us. That they are here is our mistake and I do not wish to use or punish them for it. I would just let them go." This is all spoken out of range of the little media team, of course — if the decision to not let them go is made, then rays of hope is cruelty.

Especially seeing as the Frenchman will help with the trigger pulling as necessary. He distances himself from the huddle a little, rounding back, still within earshot but conceding territory to councilmembers.

Rue pulls tighter the wrap of the scarf around her neck with a quiet hiss. There's a delicate balance between discouraging the flow of blood and choking. Since her return to the Ferry fold, she's changed in obvious ways. Not necessarily for the better. She's become more zealous, though she feels as if she's simply stepped up, and proven her devotion. There's some need to pre-emptively strike at anyone who could strike them down. She speaks out of turn, and forgets her place at times when stating her case to the council and trying to make her opinions heard. Like she fancies herself leadership material, or at least that her words should carry more weight than some others.

But she has no better rebuttal to Francois, because he's- Well, he's not wrong. And when Lynette approaches, Rue begins to feel more distinctly outnumbered. To her credit, she doesn't shrink back. There's no hunching down to cede height, stature, or status. "Is that the wisest course of action, Councilwomen?" she asks of both Eileen and Lynette. "Just let them go? What about the other soldiers then?" Suddenly she's worried about the spin, and negating goodwill.

"Posturing isn't quite what I had in mind." Eileen reaches up and peels a piece of hair from her cheek, then tucks it behind her ear with the rest, which she wears pulled back into a severe knot at the nape of her neck. She touches the tips of her fingers to her opposite shoulder in response to an older injury crying softly out in protest. "If we gave them access to our safehouses back in New York— the ones Heller already knows about— and allow them to put it on film, it exposes what's happening without us having to champion the point. Let them talk to those of us who are already on the government watch list in a controlled, supervised setting. Gillian and Eric must have pictures of Mala. Lucy.

"No, Homeland Security won't like it. Yes, we'll get some bad press, but look around you: that's inevitable. We might as well try to drum up some sympathy if we have the chance, which we do."

She doesn't know what to tell Rue about the soldiers.

She hasn't decided yet.

"An' women," Edgar corrects himself as Lynette heads toward the other group. The most vocal of the newspeople finds himself at the receiving end of a suspicious glance and a slight wrinkle of the nose, as if the carnie just smelled something awful, something comparable to manure.

"Lissen," he clarifies to an audience that mainly consists of Huruma and the the film makers, "I don' 'ave much faith tha' you can get anythin' out. They go' ways'a makin' people jus'— " the fingers on one hand flick and spread in the air in imitation of a firework. "— Poof. An' there ain' goin'teh be no one teh save yer arses."

The cameraman heaves a sigh and pulls out a cell phone, tossing it on top of the case holding the camera equipment, and Irving follows suit. He seems out of ideas and thus words, narrow face pinched as he watches the impromptu summit deciding his fate, looking for any tells on the distant faces of those in discussion.

The CNN reporter stares at Edgar, and suddenly finds a voice. "We'll pay you!" she suddenly cries out, reaching out in desperation with both the bribe and a hand toward Huruma and Edgar.

"We can look the other way — whatever you want, just don't kill us! How much do you want? I can get it for you — just don't kill us… I have kids. Jed and Louis here," she gives a nod to the two cameramen, indie and CNN each, "they have kids. Please don't kill us…" The plea breaks off into sobs.

Lynette takes a moment to look between the trio, taking in the conversation as it stands when she gets within earshot. "I'm with Eileen on that one. We're neck deep in bad press already, it hardly matters if they add another dollop. We need to let the media people go. Maybe they report what happened here in a bad light, but was anyone expecting anything else? If we let them leave alive, there is a chance they might have something positive to say. I'm having them hand over their cameras, though. In case we want to take the memory cards and film and so forth."

Her gaze flicks toward Rue, an eyebrow lifting. "I know we're out here getting dirty deeds done dirt cheap and all, but killing innocent people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time isn't really on the menu." At least as far as she's concerned. At the moment. When she looks back to Eileen, she adds, "And I think we should let them go before we handle the soldiers." Them, she's less against just killing right off, that much is obvious. But, killing in a fight is one thing, killing execution style is bound to color the journalists' perception of the evening.

Huruma casts Edgar a lidded look as he explains the fineries of vanishing acts to their wards. The moment is seemingly ruined afterwards by that particularly notable flare of the newswoman's voice. For the empath, such keening comes double-time. Gestures aimed at her aside, Huruma fixes her gaze on the woman and all but wrinkles her nose for it. Deciding between avenues of shutting her up, apparently; the dark woman steps forward, gliding over the short distance towards the reporter.

Even for those that know her, sudden movement is not always a good sign.

Perhaps it is someone's lucky day after all. The gun stays hitched under one of Huruma's arms, while the other lifts out to take the reporter by her chin. The gesture itself is somewhat forceful, but so is the pressing of a chilled relief into the frayed state of her emotions, like ice on a sore bruise. Huruma's lips are thinned, only opening to respond to the attempt at bribery- the attempt at gaining their own sympathy from the Ferrymen there.

"So do I. So do they." Her voice stays low, and it comes off as only mildly scornful. "Be quiet."

Francois listens, even if he seems reluctant to be doing so. He'd rather just leave this behind, nervous about standing unmoving at the site of all this death and injury, and what he has already assumed must happen to the soldiers.

Or maybe he just wants to be home, suddenly, his hand crept up to fidget nails against the silver chain just hidden by his collar. "If anything," he says, after a moment, "if it is allowed to get out, people who are looking for the Ferry's help will have better chances at finding it if they know it does exist in this way." The tip to his head communicates concession — it's their call, not his, and it's because he was told something in a dream that he isn't being any more opinionated than that, and maybe because also he is young enough (shh) to listen to it.

Rue opens her mouth to speak, rebuttal or agreement is difficult to discern because she's stopped short by the wailing reporter. She goes positively rigid when Huruma stalks forward to silence her. It's then that she realises she would have much more difficulty sleeping at night if the journalists are killed.

"I-" Her mouth starts to form around the V in vote but she doesn't get farther than the teeth on her lower lip, which Rue then bites down on to reconsider less presumptuous wording. "Okay… Yes, okay. It really can't hurt us worse to let them go." She tries to sound definitive in her determination, rather than as if it's a resignation. And she takes care not to say that someone else is right where she was not.

Eileen's mouth tightens around what might be, in happier circumstances, a smile. She forces it back into a thin, grim line. "Those who need our help should not be afraid to seek it," she agrees. "I want to let them go.

"All of them." Presumably that includes the soldiers as well, and this does not sit as well with her as her words suggest. There's tension in her voice, in her jaw, and in the set of her narrow shoulders. "And I want to let the journalists film. Lynette?"

"'Ey! She's 'urt," Edgar growls as Huruma places her hand on the chin of the CNN reporter. "She's 'urt an' afraid. Jus' leave 'er be." He doesn't mention that the woman is probably going to die if she doesn't seek medical attention, though he's not above a trip to Mexico to harvest a couple of kidneys if she does.

Irving's gaze holds steady on the those having the discussion he can't hear, not noticing the drama unfolding closer to him. But the other two men watch Huruma chastise the crying woman, jaws setting in anger at their own helplessness. The Ferrymen hold the cards — and the guns — so neither man jumps to the woman's defense. The woman jerks her chin away, huddling back onto the ground with her arms around her injured body. She stares at the earth in front of her, sniffling and shivering, but she does not look up.

"You kill us for just for being here, you're no better than they are," says Louis, speaking for the first time, patting the blond woman's arm a bit awkwardly, trying to console his colleague.

"That's a decent enough point," Lynette says, looking over at Francois. She really must think it's a good point because she doesn't even elaborate on the topic, but rather lets her attention drift to the two other women. She doesn't seem bothered by the display back with their… guests, although her hands do move to her hips.

"All of them?" The blonde is careful not to look back toward those soldiers as she mulls that possibility over. In the end, she shrugs a bit and adds, "I'm game." After all, she personally has nothing much to lose at this point. "No risk, no reward and all that."

"I've done worse. But from th'sound of it, I think you will be fine. All things considered. Don't agitate your wound." Huruma's eyes follow the woman as she puts out that last warning- making sure that she has settled down enough to satisfy. They move up to Louis, taking him in next. It does not last too long, as she shifts a half-step back from the two. She does keep her attention on them, none specifically. "Make no mistake, we all want t'go home in one piece."

Huruma crosses her arms over her rifle, turning away to stand sentinel at the edge of the area where the group is being kept, giving in to watching the smoke pass over the woodland.

It isn't professional, to allow your personal moral dillemmas interfere with a fast decision.

Francois can meditate over the implications of letting some soldiers go while slaughtering others maybe later, over wine and with good company, domestic or otherwise. It also isn't professional, of course, to murder a bunch of young men for the name of consistency. He shakes his head, briskly, as if moral obligation could be rid as easily as water. "Let us hope this works for us," is all he says by way of vote, if he had one to count.

His glance to Rue to sympathetic and fleeting. Sympathy in the grand tradition of empathic understanding over compassion, but that too.

"All of them?" Rue asks as if she hadn't heard it right the first time. But then she nods. She worries that soldiers can arguably do more with what they've witnessed here than the reporters can, but she also realises that this will take some goverment pressure off those reporters as well. By not being the sole eye witnesses.

But her brows knit, "You sure you want to let them — I remember seeing that Phoenix stuff on YouTube… It didn't really impress anybody." Shaking her head, Rue ruffles her fingers through her curls as though it would stimulate her brain as well. "What can we lose?"

All sides have lost much already.

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