God, What A Mess


kailin_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title God, What A Mess
Synopsis Meg gets her first real look at Staten, and Kailin talks about the good works he wants to do.
Date May 28, 2009

Camp Miller, Staten Island

Staten Island is even worse off than Megan was led to believe. When the convoy of vans left the landing pad, she thought she was prepared. The streets here haven't been bombed, and it doens't look like the desert. But there's an air here that any soldier would recognize — the people are living in occupied territory, and those too poor to get the hell out are just doing the best they can to keep their heads down and live. Shops still open, businesses still run, but people have a wary, watchful eye on everything around them. And when the vans come around, they are at first skeptical and then pathetically grateful for the extra foodstuffs, the small luxuries. Each time the van stopped, Megan got out and offered her not-inconsiderable ER skills to whoever might need medical help that they can't get to. By the time they are harassed and sent back to their secure starting point, the redhead is tired…. and emotionally spent. But almost 3/4ths of their cargo got offloaded, and that alone made her glad to come along. As the drivers all get out of the vans, Megan glances around at their faces and nods to everyone. Then she leans back against one of the vans and covers both her eyes for a long moment. When she uncovers them, it's to see Kailin heading her way back toward the building, and she asks him quietly, "Is this your first run out here?" Just because he's the only one standing here at this moment.

Kailin gives Megan a shake of his head. "No, its not my first time out here, but it is my first time being here for a purpose like this." He rests his hands on his hips, looking around. It was very familiar. More than it should have been. He had seen nearly every type of substandard living settlements. Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East. The United States was -not- supposed to be on that list. "When I got into town about a week ago I went around to some of the clinics to get some support for extending medical supplies to those without medical insurance or unable to seek it out themselves. But wasn't able to get anough people together to make it happen. Comes from being new in town." He shrugs lightly and rubs at his left shoulder lightly, tired from the work of constant and repeated handing out of various objects. "So when I heard about this I was happy to jump on and help." He looks towards Megan and says, "I noticed you did a nice bit of medical work yourself. Where did you pick up that precious skill?"

There's a soft laugh. "It's my day job," she tells him. "I'm an ER nurse at St. Luke's… with 20 years in the Air Force to back it up." She shakes her head. "I've done my fair share of relief work, but this?" She scrubs her face for a long moment. "This breaks my heart. Everyone living on this island is a citizen of the US, and the live in the city limits of the city. And we've just left them here to rot under the bullies and bastards. Pisses me off."

"You're telling me…" Kailin's pleasant demeanor darkens at that and gives a nod. "I was in the Army for a while, fighting to protect my country from terrorists." He motions around him. "And this is what I came back to. A city that's written off an entire section of people… When I first came to the city, I felt like the government betrayed us. While we were fighting out there, they were supposed to take care of home - and they failed. Failed to prevent terrorism, failed to give the people hope." He tilts his head slightly and seems to be uplifted a little bit. "But to hear it from some people that spend a lot of time here - most of the people on this island want to be left alone. They want the government to stay out and let them do what they want to do." He shrugs and says, "I can understand the sentiment though, more and more as I spend more time here on Staten Island."

Megan tilts her head to look at him. "Most of the residents who owned homes here fled. People are squatting or living in the streets. It's a modern-day fucking refugee camp… and yet they want to be left alone? What the fuck for?" she demands.

Kailin replies and says, "As it was told to me by one of the fellows who had initally helped set up, Richard: Basically people who have come here have made their bones with not having a government oversight. They are allowed to do what they want to do when they want to do it and there isn't a government to take taxes or harass them." He shrugs lightly and says, "It seems to me that the lawless like being lawless. And the government is happy to let it stay that way because they have too much to deal with already and don't want to have to worry about this place too. And I'm not saying that it is good or right, but that's what has been relayed to me by several people."

With a shake of her head, Megan looks around and says quietly, "And in the meantime… the lawless are taking advantage of the weak, the poor, and the ones who HAVE nowhere else to go. And that's just bullshit." She looks pissed and there's not a whole lot she can do about it. "There're going to be more of these runs. You're a good arm on the job, if you want to lend your weight to them I'd be glad to have you," she tells him.

"I'd definitely want to come along. Part of my reasoning for staying in New York was to find a way to make this city better. And there's no way that is going to happen with Staten Island being completely written off by the government." Kailin shakes his head to Megan and continues, "I plan on helping that change, but I need to get my feet in first so that I have some solid ground to stand on. In the meantime, I'm looking to find other people with the same 'giving' and 'helping' mindset to team with to get things done. I've already found a source of funding, now I just need to find the right concepts and ideas - and the people to implement them." His smile parts, showing bright white teeth against his darker skin and soft brown eyes. "And what better place to look than people that are already providing the same types of services."

Megan nods slightly and smiles. "You said you approached the medical facilities here on the island? Or were you talking about facilities out there to donate to the island?" she asks. "I might be able to help with some pressure on St. Luke's board — even if St. Luke's itself can't help out a lot, because we're dealing with a lot of the folks from St. John's, the board might be able to put some pressure on other sources upstate. Hospitals are just big businesses — get the right people looking at your pet project, and the wheels get greased."

"Medical facilities I approached were mostly on the mainland. I was warned to stay away from Staten Island, so I did in the beginning." Kailin acknowledges the caution with a shrug. "I had only been in the city a few days and there was no need for me to rush into a situation I wasn't prepared for." He brushes back his jacket lapels and again sets his hands on his hips, resting one foot on the tire of one of the trucks. "Any help would be a big help. Like I said, the money has been taken care of. We just need more manpower, which is often in short supply, but at least the money part has a generous benefactor."

There's a moment where she seems to debate whether she wants to ask the obvious question. And quite frankly? No. She doens't. Megan nods, though. "Well, if what you need are doctors and nurses, that I can put around the gossip chain. Any number of people are volunteering what little spare time we get out in the city anyway, so you could get lucky." She smirks. "Hell, you got me, didn't you?" Though not through his own efforts, assuredly.

Kailin smiles again and replies, "Yes, well, I guess I did. In a way. I mean, -I- didn't really get you, but I did have the opportunity to meet you, which is fantastic." He nods his head towards the main part of Staten Island. "But I think I'll start focusing a little more on this part of town. I really want to help some of the people that feel like they don't have any options or that they don't have what they'll need to sustain a life in 'society'." He uses that term with an indication of his fingers to signify the distinction of those that have separated themselves from all forms of government. "And this can become a very dangerous area very quickly. There aren't many that would be able to take care of themselves here, so those few need to be where they fit the best. And I happen to be one of those people." Shaking his head he admits, "I never really realized that until today. Until we did this. I need to be here."

Megan nods slowly, looking around. "Yeah," she says quietly. "I know what you mean." Because sometimes, when you're a soldier, things just make more sense when you have a war to fight. Doesn't matter where it is, just matters that people on the ground need you. She smiles up at him. "Wonder how long my day job will last at this rate." She's giving some thought to a radical idea… opening up a clinic over here herself. The speculation on her face may or may not give away that thought to him.

Kailin shrugs and says, "Well, someone with your experience could do well for a lot of people here. You've been in the military, so you're much better prepared than others in the healthcare field would be to actually hold your own here." He motions towards her and says, "And of course, we're just talking here, but there is definitely career potential here. Most social service opportunities suffer from a lack of funding, few resources, and bad facilities. I'm in a position to completely turn that around and put something together that has sustainability." He raises a dark brow and adds, "And I'm not saying you should leave your work there, but I am saying that if you did, there would definitely be a soft place to land over here. Especially if you're part of putting it together."

Now she puts her hands on her hips and asks mildly, "Outta curiosity, does Fedor know you're cruising his volunteers to lure them away?" Megan's tone is light, she doesn't have a problem, so far, with what he's doing. "ER nurses of my caliber can get a damn good job anywhere," she tells him. "But in the interests of conversation, just what is it you're thinking of doing with all this mysterious benefactor's money?"

"Not really." Kailin shakes his head and says, "I haven't really had a chance to talk to very many people about any of this. Like I said, I've only been here about a week, maybe a little more. So I talk to pretty much anyone that will listen. Some are more interesting to talk to than others…" He smiles at Megan and gives her an amused wink. "What are we going to be doing? Medical care. Building housing. Free food." He nods slowly to Megan and says, "Its kind of a big operation. The kind that is probably going to get a lot of attention, not all of it good. There will definitely be some grumbles from some of the criminal types that want to keep people here under their thumb. And that could get problematic, but we'll work it all out as we go along. We'll probably start with somethin small and then build up higher and higher."

There's a thoughtful look on her face. "And who do you work for?" she asks. "Because I might actually consider it, but I want to look into your employer's public records first. In general, when something LOOKS too good to be true, it usually is. And this is looking AWFULLY good."

"Her name is Linda Laettner." Kailin waves a hand dismissively and says, "She's not secret or anything, just new like I am. She started as a lawyer, but has her own very successful company and has turned into a rather free-spirit philanthropist. She's got more money than she knows what to do with it, so I encouraged her to do good things with it. Being independently wealthy has its benefits, but those benefits are so much greater when everyone else gets to benefit too."

Megan purses her lips and nods slightly. "I'll look into her," she says quietly. "And I'll let you know if I'm interested. All right?"

Kailin gives a nod to Megan and says, "Fair enough. And keep an eye out in the papers. I'm sure that some of what we're doing here will pop up there. Though you might have to look past the front pages for it. The pro-evolved/anti-evolved tension seems to be filling the headlines more these days." He shrugs, "But we'll be here and if you decide to pass, that's okay too. We'd still love to have volunteers."

With a grin, Megan replies easily, "I don't think that's going to an activity I'm going to be slacking on much." She gestures to the island, "Those people out there? They deserve far, far better than what they're getting. And while I'm no doctor? I think I can hold my own with a lot of things."

Kailin turns his head, looking further into Staten Island. "Yeah. I'm just wondering what the real reason is as to why they aren't getting it. I'm not sure I buy that they want to be left alone. Not all of them. Not most of them. I think a lot of people have no where else to go and so they are forced to suffer the conditions here. And that just isn't okay." He thinks for a moment and says, "While we're building housing, it might be a good idea to build some housing on the mainland and offer people the opportunity to get off this island with someplace to stay… I certainly don't want to force anyone to leave if they don't want to but for those that do…"

Megan nods, her expression more serious now. "That's a good idea. Cuz …. although the criminal elements are thriving her and I'm sure don't want help…. this place really is a refugee camp. Most of these people just plain don't have anywhere to go, I'm almost sure. And if they could figure out how to get back into real life, they'd probably go in a heartbeat. Not all… but enough."

"Lots of research to be done, but I'm not sure much of it is available." Kailin sighs with a smile, knowing he is in a little over his head. He's always been a tootl, not an architect - but still, he's been doing alright. "Well, I better get on back to getting things wrapped up. I'm due over to meet with someon in a few hours and I want to rest a bit before I do. But it was a pleasure meeting you and I definitely hope to hear from you soon." He takes a card from his wallet and hands it to her. "Here is my information so you can get ahold of me in case you need anything."

Megan reaches to take the card and glances at it before tucking it in the back pocket of her pants. "It was good to work with you, Kevin," she tells him easily.

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