Generating Productivity


deckard_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif

Scene Title Generating Productivity
Synopsis Deckard decides to embark on something selfless.
Date May 4, 2009

A Ferrymen Safehouse, somewhere in the New York metropolitan area

Narrow halls and paper thin walls constitute a safehouse that Deckard has spent time in before, although in a different capacity. The floors are bare wood, greyed out planks worn smooth by the passage of many feet. Once upon a time it was an apartment building. In one of the larger rooms off the dark lobby on the ground floor, someone is still awake. Yellow light casts out across the floor through the open door, occasionally disrupted by human movement working within.

Inside, Deckard is alone save for the insecure presence of a very small ginger cat. Said kitten is currently making wobble-legged tracks across a map of Midtown which is in turn spread open across a table that looks about as rickety as the crook stooped over it with a red pen. He's in glasses and a suit that's seen better days, typically unshaven and scruffed when he lifts his head to flick over a few pages in the wire coil of a nearby notebook.

As quiet as the Ferry safehouses are, they exist in a constant state of flux with occupants coming and going at strange hours and no real regard paid to anyone except the gatekeepers responsible for keeping their perimeters secure. The light seeping out of Deckard's makeshift study, however, does more than attract moths — a spindly shadow fills the doorframe, followed a few moments later by the figure whose shape casts it.

Eileen doesn't offer Deckard a formal greeting of any kind as she leans her shoulder into the frame, lingering on the room's threshold in the polite, unassuming way that their mutual acquaintance Teodoro Laudani is usually wont to do. Her eyes move from the man to the map to the kitten stumbling across it before settling on the notebook, her expression mildly curious.

Eileen's shadow isn't the first to have played through the light at the door, but it is the first that lingers, complete with a prickling chill at the back of his neck that generally accompanies the feeling that he's being watched. One last mark made scratchy and red across a narrow lot, he turns enough to squint at her over his shoulder.

A neat line of stitches currently pins a bust together in a jagged line from brow to temple while smaller cuts are marred black across the bridge of his nose and through his lip. Bruising adds deeper shadow to the left side of his face, meanwhile; something busted in the region of his eye colors the corner of his cornea a shade of red that's not too different from the ink in his pen. Somebody's been beating Flint around the head again. "Hey." Just, 'hey.' And more subtly, a flip of his thumb across the cover of his notebook that flops it neatly closed.

She's not so insipid as to suggest Deckard see Abigail about his face. And even if she was, Eileen would be in no position to complain — she's seen better days as well, though the majority of her injuries lie beneath the clothes she wears on her back, which include a pair of denim jeans, snugly-fitting, and a brown leather jacket that for once looks as though someone had it tailored for someone her small size.

"Ivanov?" she tries, not quite a stab in the dark, but at the same time a far cry from an educated guess. There are only so many people that exist in that strange, shadowy place where their social circles overlap, and John Logan knows better.

How did she…? Deckard's brows twitch towards each other as he straightens away from the table, distant suspicion lined in around the chill blue of his eyes for breath or so it takes him to shake it off. As far as him getting his ass kicked goes, Felix is a perpetrator more logical than most. "He snapped," serves as confirmation enough, a rankle of his nose cut off by a clatter and scatter back on the table where the ginger midgit has discovered a spare pen. He turns his head after it, pen tossed back to the center of the map, where it's less likely to entice his kitty to plummet to its retarded death off the side of the table. Or something.

"Tried to kill me back."

"Tried," Eileen agrees, elbowing away from the door as she steps into the room, careful not to put too much weight on the leg Felix clipped the last time they encountered one another. The result is a halting hobble-esque movement not unlike the ginger kitten's, awkward and discomfited. She has a bone to pick with the fed, too, though she suspects that might just be a conversation for another time. Much more interesting is the map and the accompanying notebook, now closed, spread out on the table in front of him.

She crosses the room, meandering toward Deckard in a slow, weaving fashion, hardwood floors creaking beneath her body's weight, made disproportionate by its limp. "You don't particularly strike me as a cat person."

"I filed an appeal with his nether region." 'Nether region.' The words receive a peculiar kind of emphasis in their stand in for various other more colorful alternatives. A prod at the pen to draw his kitten back to the center of the table later, Deckard looks up to track her gimping progress against the floor's protest, long fingers splayed back over the table's edge. "I'm not." A cat person. The fact that this one is still alive is probably a testament to feline resilience. Then: "You too?" His curiosity is mild — almost polite, if one goes so far as to assume he's capable of that kind of thing.

The map is comprised of thin black lines printed carefully over a broad stretch of white paper, lots measured out in tiny-print perimeters in block after no-longer extant block. A few smaller sheets underneath look more like satellite imagery. Google earth or some other cheap equivalent, recent enough to have scraped over the desolation of present-day Midtown and what few streets are still visible there. It's all very interesting in a boring kind of way. Like a documentary on something you already know all about.

Potentially more interesting is the fact that Deckard has gone from polite inquiry to slack-jawed, brow-knit staring, like he isn't sure what he's seeing in her isn't some kind of graphical error.

Eileen's journey ends at the side of the table opposite Deckard, one gloved palm planted on its surface for support, arm rigid and fingers spread apart to better distribute the pressure it exerts. She eases herself into an empty seat, grateful for the opportunity to get off her feet regardless of whether or not the scruffy man's eyes are playing tricks on him, and forces a hissing sigh past gritted teeth. "I thought I might try to finish what you started," she says, rolling one shoulder up into a shrug, and leaves it at that.

She directs her attention to the map once more, studying it from beneath the solemn line of her brow — if she notices him staring, and she probably has, she's decided not to acknowledge it, if not for the sake of her pride then to spare herself the trouble of making explanations. "What's all this?"

"I could've shot him again." Deckard's reply is distracted. He's pretty openly discombobulated by the state of her, going so far as to physically shake himself a little once she's taken a seat and he's scrubbed a hand up over his bloodstained eye. The 'could've' insinuates that he didn't actually bother to try. "I think fire might be the only way to end him. Fire or liquid nitrogen." Not that he's done hours and hours of thinking on the subject or anything.

Mr. Kitty is Assuming the Position on top of Midtown, so. Deckard stops his eye rubbing to hoist it up by its middle, leans over, and drops it rather unceremoniously into a catbox under the table. 'Mew,' says the cat, not entirely appreciatively. "It's a plat map from before the bomb. Most of the property space is indistinguishable now, but there are buildings out there still standing and stable enough to sleep in, so." His brows tip up and he looks a little too directly at the top of her head.

"You've identified them?" Buildings still standing and stable enough to sleep in, that is. Eileen leans forward, just so, and traces her gaze along the map's myriad lines, saying nothing as she corroborates what she can see with what Deckard is telling her. She must not be a cat person either, because the kitten's plaintive mewl doesn't have much of an effect on her except for a slight slant at the corner of her mouth that might be a smile but could just as easily be a response to something else.

There are innumerable reasons Deckard might do something like this — picking any one out would be presumptuous on Eileen's part, and if the last few weeks have taught her anything it's not to make unnecessary assumptions when it comes to thought processes belonging to other people. She lifts her eyes to his face. Blinks. "Why?"

"Some of them. Ones I've used before." Potentially for hiding from Eileen and her merry band of murderous friends, if the second-guessing in his gaze is any indication. The partial smile, if it's noted, is glazed over without tremendous effort, but he can't quite keep a faint fall out of the lines of is face at the question of 'why.' Something a lot like self-conscious embarrassment tags hesitation ahead of a direct answer. Maybe she's been at this longer than he has. "If I could mark them with GPS…I dunno. People could use them. There's no running water or electricity but for a night or two at a time…" he trails off, mouth still slightly open, distracted and uneasy. Maybe it's a stupid idea.

Stupid isn't the word Eileen would use to describe it. Her brow knits, creases appearing where there were none, a quiet expression of contemplation settling over her features before it eventually smoothes them back out again. She doesn't straighten in her seat, but there's a visible shift in her posture, shoulders drawn back and chin inclined as she makes subtle adjustments to the way in which she holds herself. Maybe she's been at this longer than he has, or maybe she hasn't — either way, she's still twenty years his junior, and what she probably lacks in experience she makes up for in sincerity and a guarded kind of enthusiasm. "Electricity's nothing that can't be fixed with a portable generator. You might ask Grace about water."

"It's quiet out there and generators can make a lot of noise. Probably better to go without unless you can guarantee yourself sound suppression or don't care if every scavenger with free time and a gun comes calling." Rough voice dropped to a more self-addressing mutter, Deckard has to stoop after his cat again to keep it from tottering off towards the open door. For all that he holds it like a beanbag made of glass, he doesn't seem to have much of an issue with dropping it like one made out of funfoam. It's slung onto the table, needle claws clinging for purchase as he reaches back for his red pen. "I haven't talked to anyone else about it."

"Do," Eileen suggests. "We lost one of the safehouses to a HomeSec raid last month, if you hadn't already heard. The network could use a few more hidey-holes to stick its people down the next time things start getting hot, and Midtown's one place the law won't follow unless it has to." Agent Ivanov excepted. The tip of one bony finger taps somewhat abruptly against an isolated section of map, not to bring anything to Deckard's attention but rather to punctuate her point. "Did you want some help?"

Deckard nods once, chest rising flat over a slow breath while he attempts to quash whatever reservations he has shored up. It would be something to do. Just like this is something to do. He looks older with his glasses, or at least slightly more responsible, which is both sad and somewhat ironic given his instability of late.

Caught off guard again by her offer of assistance, he takes a minute or two to consider it in earnest. Then he nods again — more warily this time, especially once his eyes have skimmed from the damage in her leg back up to the state of her skull. "Okay." Okay. His mouth opens, shuts, opens again. "You should get looked at. I know — I know I'm," hardly one to talk. He doesn't finish, blue eyes sketching quickly through muscle and bone only to skip over onto the sidewall. "Unless you expect me to give you a piggyback ride if we have to run or something, I mean."

She raises both her dark brows at Deckard as if imploring him to finish that thought. When he doesn't, she places both her hands flat on the table and relaxes her arms. It's easy for her to feel prickly toward his suggestion, but this defensiveness doesn't make an overt translation to her body language or her tone, both of which are surprisingly subdued for a supposed terrorist. "I've already seen Filatov," she says following a short pause. "There isn't a lot he can do. Abigail—"

God, how does she even broach the subject with him? Divert, divert. "Better you hear it from Teodoro than me, but you should know there's someone out there taking abilities, swapping them around. Details are still fuzzy."

Abigail. Even without overt discomfort or irritation, mention of the thing he wasn't mentioning is enough to have Deckard backing off the suggestion without much more than some increased tension in the bruised hollow of his jaw. "Maybe we can get a wheelbarrow. Or a shiny wagon." A red one. He reaches for his kitten despite the fact that it wasn't actually doing anything wrong, bony knuckles careful around downy fluff. Divert, divert.

"We've had other things to talk about." Mostly the big choppity chop chop and how he probably shouldn't be alone with the easily overcome. The next look he gives her is a little weird for half a second, lifeless and en absentia. Sharkish. "For fun?"

"And profit, potentially. Like I said: fuzzy." Eileen returns Deckard's look in kind, though it doesn't have quite the same effect on her face as it does his. She appears dubious at best, disoriented and a little dumb at worst. "He knew who I was. Sylar. Others. It's possible he knows who you are, too."

His comment about the wheelbarrow and wagon earns a brief glance that's two parts reproach, one part amusement, a peculiar blend of consternation and good humour tugging at her lips. "While we're on the subject of people to avoid," she adds, "you'll want to be on the lookout for a man named Jensen Raith as well. He's Vanguard like Holden, de Luca, only I'm not sure if he's aware of what went down between you and the others. If he is, you'll need to watch your back more'n usual."

"Great." Except. Not. Voice flat, expression even more so, Deckard continues to eye her, kitten in hand against his side. It chews at his finger, paws kneading after something it wants that most definitely isn't there. A pause and a blink later, the haze seems to have cleared. He straightens out of the beginnings of a familiar slouch muffles a yawn through his sinuses and glances to his watch. You're fucked o'clock. That's always what time it is these days.

"I haven't seen or heard anything." A minute or so of awkward silence later it occurs to him that he should say thanks, so. He says, "Thanks." A few seconds after that it seems like there should probably some kind of fair exchange of information here, so he adds: "I've got a blonde guy putting in orders for sniper rifles and body armor on Staten."

That, too, is cause for concern. "Great," Eileen echoes, filing this piece away in the part of her brain that stores thing should it become relevant — given her erstwhile place of employment and what went down a few weeks ago in the wake of Abigail's kidnapping, it very well might. It's time she paid another visit to the island and some of its choice inhabitants, anyway.

As she rises from her seat, the chair's joints aren't the only things that are groaning. "Does he have a name, or is that sort of information confidential?"

"He's the best client I've had in months." He has a name, just. Deckard's not telling. He has the good grace to look slightly apologetic, but if she has any inkling of what else he's been doing for money to support his various vices, well. The kitten nibbles just a little too insistently, and into his pocket it goes. A pair of spent casings clank dully together in protest of the invasion.

"I was serious about the wagon, you know. We could paint your name on the side."

The chair squeaks across the floorboards, bumps against the table with an audible thump, metal clunking heavily against wood. Eileen doubts very much that Deckard is serious about the wagon, but that doesn't stop her from coughing up a muffled snort of laughter as she pushes the chair in and steps away, showing the man her back on her way out the door.

"Careful," she warns him, and it's doubtful she isn't joking either, "I'll hold you to it."

Deckard watches her stand up again with a reserved kind of tension. Like maybe he should try to help her, but maybe that would be weird, and he might — touch the wrong thing and break her. The end result is him standing so still that he's awkward even in that. The vaguely kitten-shaped lump at his side has no such reservations. It wriggles fitfully, as cats in pockets do.

She's already past him by the time he finally does something, and then it's only to turn his head enough to watch her back end out. Her ass seems to be intact, at least. He contemplates it accordingly, only to be caught out of that thought process by her promising to hold him to something. Crap. "I should be getting another phone, soon. I'll leave the number with someone here."

She'll hold him to that, too. Eileen pauses once more in the doorway, resting her hip against the frame for support as she tips her head back over her shoulder. The glance she gives Deckard is haphazard, tired, and does not linger more than the few obligatory seconds it takes to make eye contact. "Safer to keep communication written," she says, "but numbers are good to have, too."

She isn't as punctual as Deckard is with thanks, which is probably saying something, and yet the manner in which she regards him, eyes apologetic and mouth upturned, implicitly suggests her appreciation. Then she's shoving away, strong leg leading the weak, footsteps gradually fading to nothing.

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