Going to War


eileen_icon.gif francois_icon.gif peter_icon.gif walsh_icon.gif

Scene Title Going to War
Synopsis Peter, Francois and Eileen meet to discuss strategy and find their willingness to negotiate rewarded by serendipity.
Date July 27, 2010

Old Dispensary

Small birds heal faster than the big ones. It's one of the first things Eileen learned when she first started paying attention to what other people could not see, hear or feel. And Bran is, unfortunately, a very large bird. It will be months before he's fully recovered, if he recovers at all, but the Englishwoman is either too stubborn or too attached to euthanize him.

Her guests at the great oak table on the Dispensary's ground floor have their choice of tea or coffee to accompany the savory pieces of kidney pie that have been warming on top of the stove for the better part of an hour. Gabriel and Raith can help themselves to what's left whenever they get home, but for now Peter and Francois get first pick of the shallow pot she cooked it in.

She doesn't have much of an appetite herself these days. Silent and somber, she sits at the head of the table where Bran is perched, a knife and a cold plate of raw rabbit in front of her, feeding the raven his supper by hand.

Francois isn't especially hungry either, especially in view of the large, still healing raven swallowing down the raw slivers of rabbit meat, especially in light of why he's even here. And yet, he's eating — it's been a while since he actually sat down and had a meal, this past couple of weeks containing things on the go wrapped in foil and greasy paper, black plastic dishes of microwaved dinners of chicken steak and miscellaneous greens. Diced meat, gravy, flaky pastry make for a change.

It's also awkwardville. At least for him. Since arrival, glances snuck Peter's way have been unaccompanied with words, with subjects unbroached between them and not even the reason they're together under this roof now. For now, Francois is slowly working through stabs of pie, wearing clothes of comfort instead of ones of work, in a loose sweater with the arms rolled up, jeans, an analog watched strapped to one wrist.

The sight of a raven eating raw flesh from Eileen's hand should unnerve Peter, though vestigial slivers of memory make it seem more usual that it really is. Comfortable familiarity, though, resides in this building and Peter seems a bit more at home behind these familiar walls for more than just the fact of a ghost's memories echoing in his own. It's no surprise to him that they hadn't cleaned out the second-floor room he left behind in his short stays here. He has, in one way or another, stayed at this building in many incarnations of both himself and the structure.

When Phoenix took it, that ground floor room by the kitchen was his, it remained his when he returned here after Phoenix's abandonment of the structure, after Moab, when he trained Gillian on the roof garden how to best utilize the ability that Tyler Case had stolen from him. Now, his bedroom has become an infirmary, which if something he had emotional ties to were ever to trade hands, a place of healing seems more appropriate.

There won't ever be unfamiliar things here. From corners of the house he remembers fondly watching the sunrise in, to this very table he bargained with his mother to get, just so that Eileen would have a proper table to eat dinners at. Sometimes the sentimentalities cross between he and Kazimir, sometimes its hard to tell who's idea was who's, but this place will always somehow feel like home.

The meal in front of him is as alien as it is confusing. On the one hand, kidneys have never been something he's had to eat, but the smell of them when prepared right can be appetizing. Bravery, though, in culinary areas has been flagging in recent days, but hunger gives way to caution each and every time.

"You didn't have to cook," isn't just Peter being polite as he cuts himself a slice of that crusted pie, easing it onto his plate warily, as if it would bite him. "I know things aren't easy for you, financially, and every bit of food needs to go a long ways." Which is as good an excuse as any to why he's taking small portions despite his protesting stomach demanding more.

"So there's been some— " how to even explain this seems difficult to Peter, "things happening since Teo's disappearance." Disappearance is a nicer word than kidnapping, easier over dinner. "Rebel has put feelers out, trying to intercept Institute transmissions when they occur. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to find anything that relates to Teo. Some of my people hit an Institute van over the weekend, hoping it was a transport for Teo, but it— turned— out to be Sasha." Surnames aren't really needed, everyone at this table knows who Kozlow is.

"He's… with my people now, I had a lot of injured to tend to in the aftermath, the Institute had doubled their armaments on retrievers. Problem is, we still don't know where their deliveries are bound for. I have a dozen, if not more, people ready and willing just in Messiah to tear down whatever building he's in brick by brick, but I have to know where to aim all that aggression." Relictantly prodding at his pie with his fork, Peter's brows furrow together slowly.

"I thought we might be able to pool our resources on this one. I'm— hoping that either you or the Ferry," there's a distinction there, to Peter, "might know something we don't."

Bran snatches a sinewy piece of muscle from between the tips of Eileen's fingers and greedily pulls it down his gullet with a wet sound. "We have a contact with the Company," she offers, "who provided us with a list of people who were taken and where they were taken from. Teodoro wasn't on it, but other names I recognized were. Raith is supposed to meet with him before the twenty-eighth to discuss how the information was obtained and whether or not there's more where it came from."

She uses the edge of her knife, mindful of her fingers, to cut toward her and shave off another slice of meat. "Gabriel and Teo were working on a project together when he was taken. I can't get into the specifics, but there's a chance Gabriel might be able to track him using one of his abilities. Failing that, we have riskier options still available. How much are you willing to lose?"

There's a gentle clink of metal to porcelain as Francois lays down fork and knife both for the time being, appetite promptly shrivelling like a salted slug once actual words get underway. News of Sasha's liberation in favour of Teo's is bitter tasting, Francois settling chin into palm, elbow braced against table edge, and tells himself he's glad to be here to hear things for himself. "I don't have 'people' who are not already yours," he notes, with a glance that shifts from Peter to Eileen to include them both in this note. "Save for those whose attention we do not wish to attract.

"And I only learned of the Institute in proper light just a few days ago." Fingers curling to scratch fingernails down only somewhat shaven jaw, Francois glances askance at Eileen at what she can't get into specifics about, and if Peter glances his way, it's the first the Frenchman knows of it too. More or less.

"I'll be honest," Peter admits in a hushed toe, "and this stays between the three of us," brown eyes sweep from Eileen to Francois, then back again. "There's people in Messiah that I wouldn't mind losing. We've taken in all kinds, because it's easier for me to know who is doing what without having to worry about them working under someone else's direction. So far Rupert and I have been able to get them in line, but there's some— Lacombe, Riggs, Kuhr— who are dangerous, unstable people."

Breathing in deeply, Peter exhales a slow breath and lifts up one hand to rub at the side of his face. "I feel safer knowing that they listen to me, but I know eventually someone is going to step over the line, and I either have to bring them back in or make an example of them to keep control. I don't want to have to do that, so… it might be easier just to let them vent their aggressions, and if something unfortunate happens…"

Peter looks down to the table, shaking his head. "What I don't get is why take Teo? He's not in a critical leadership position anywhere, he's not even Evolved."

Oh. So— Peter's… a little out of that loop.

Eileen presses her lips into a thin line. Resisting the temptation to flick her gaze in Francois' direction is easier when she can't see, and so her eyes remain focused on some indeterminate point in the distance while Bran's seek the Frenchman's out, studying his reaction with the strip of meat dangling from his beak.

"Teo has an ability," she corrects Peter mildly. "He also has difficulty accessing it. Some astral variation or another, not quite possession. If the Institute has a way of forcing him to overcome the block, it's possible he could be utilized as a tool for remote viewing, in which case we'll have even larger problems on our hands than we do now."

She places the knife down on the table but does not lift her fingers from it, thumb angled against the blade. Snap goes Bran's beak, and with it the piece of rabbit. "There are hundreds of abandoned buildings here on the island," she says. "I can have my people fix one of them up to pass for a safehouse. Assuming you're comfortable with sacrificing one of yours, perhaps someone could tip them off, force their hand. After the raid, we follow the van to see where it goes."

"There is another thing," Francois cuts in, on the last few words of Eileen's offer, hands linking together on the table. "It is true also that Teo has ten years worth of memory of a future." The words come out even, but he pauses there, thoughtful as he considers the entity that is the Institute, of its roots and the things he knows of them, of Fort Daedalus, and more obscurely, Nazi Germany. Mourning and loneliness are overrated — it's anxiety that defines him at the moment.

He shrugs, a jerky and stilted movement. "Perhaps something of interest, if not the method itself warranting inspection and study." Of that he doesn't get into without prompting, and tilts Eileen— and the Bran— a glance as if for some form of guidance. How much he trusts either person here is unclear, but he probably has more for the girl at the head of the table.

"Ten years of— " Suddenly the term Ghost doesn't seem like just a pretentious title now for someone trained by Hana Gitelman, suddenly things start to become more grim. "Ten— Ten years of memories of a future run by Pinehearst, a future where the Company was hunted down, a future with the Formula." Slouching forward, one of Peter's hands lift up to rub at the side of his head, his other hand occupied with meting out forking to a piece of the kidney pie. He's hungry enough where even if the bitter kidney meat is unpaletable, he'll still eat it.

"We've… tried following the vans before, limited success. We've noticed patterns of their movement, most of the time they deliver captives to railyards or cargo shipping docks, the containers holding the captives are loaded as freight, then they're shipped off. Rebel managed to follow one as far north as Massachusetts, but lost track of it underground somewhere around Boston. The sea vessels stopped in multiple ports, and we didn't have a way of tracking the individual containers. I've heard rumors about a local facility, but the city's enormous and they cover their tracks well…"

Silent for a moment, Peter shakes his head and looks askance to Francois. "I know I shouldn't have to ask, but times have changed and…" Peter's brows crease together, still no eye-contact made with Eileen. "Do I have your support, if we decide to go in and rescue Teo? We're— it will be all or nothing. Gillian, Teo, whoever else they still have. I'm not going to leave the place standing. I can't."

"If the Institute had a method of extracting memories from its captives, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Between Eve, Gillian and Joseph, they'd have the names and legal identities of the Ferry's top operatives, not to mention our central safehouses and city hub. I'm not saying that they don't want him for what he knows, but I'm confident that there's still time." Eileen holds her arm out for Bran, level with the table, and keeps it steady as he steps down onto her wrist, hooks clawed toes around it and begins combing through her hair with his beak. In reciprocation, she fondly smoothes the feathers around the splint attached to his broken wing.

"I can only assume that you're asking Francois," she adds, her focus divided evenly between the two men and her bird. There are probably more direct ways to ask Peter why he won't look at her, but there's a third person in the room, and he's uncomfortable enough as it is. "There are ways, for the record, to track a shipping container. Carmichael has the money to do it."

Francois' hands twitch in irritable indication that he doesn't mind, much, being wrong, although doubt in dismissing it entirely stops him from nodding along with Eileen's assessment. Missing also: Peter's wandering eye contact, and Eileen's noticing it, Francois focusing his gaze somewhere else for the meantime as he listens. "He knows I will give my support," he mutters, voice comparatively quiet as he flashes a glance from bird and girl, to the man opposite him. "And that Teo is my priority, but I have reasons of my own to see the entire thing gone."

And Peter might recognise that much too, if he even has the faintest recollection of memories that weren't his. But Francois isn't making a point of it, so much as making his intentions clear, for all that he can only offer his presence and support over information and firepower.

"I don't know if Rupert's comfortable with the idea of doing it and getting traced back, he has a lot more to lose than most of us do and he puts himself out there further than he should." Exhaling a sigh through his nose, Peter looks over to Francois, then back to Eileen. "Francois is right," as if that were ever in doubt, "I didn't mean him." There's a monent of uncertain tension, "I meant you, Jensen, whoever else you're— " Peter's words are cut off by that whoever else. Eileen needn't be surprised, this guest isn't entirely unfamiliar here, even if he only comes when business is to be had.

There's a clatter of the front door opening, followed by a whistle echoing through the old building. A few scuffing footsteps later, there's a voice following the whistle. "Jensen, you 'round? Don't nobody point a fuckin' shotgun at me or nothin', I ain't terribly well armed." The Irish accent is thick enough that he could've been fresh off of the boat, but seeing an NYPD detective with badge on belt, gun on hip and faded red hair curled atop his head stepping into the dining room isn't exactly what Peter expected.

Brown eyes look warily between Detective Daniel Walsh and Eileen, then over to Francois and back to the redhead again. "Don' everybody jump all over themselves just for little ol'— is that kidney pie?" Danny abruptly asks with a pointed finger towards the table, brows raised and smile toothily hopeful. "An' if that's not kidney pie can you tell me where Jensen is?"

Eileen needn't be surprised, this guest isn't entirely unfamiliar here, even if he only comes when business is to be had. She has, due to her own brand of avian omniscience, more than ample warning he was even coming, even if he didn't have the common courtesy to call ahead.

It's no secret that Eileen's feelings toward Walsh run cold, but this is true of many of her associates, and while she doesn't appreciate him setting foot in her den without an invitation, she hides her dislike behind a vague gesture of her hand, welcoming him to the food. "Out," is her terse response to the detective, Bran's feathers bristling with visible irritation. There is little point in recommending he try his phone.

"This is Detective Walsh," she introduces Francois, but does not extend this same courtesy to the man previously known to her as the Irishman. "He provides our operation with the equipment we require to function." At prices we can afford goes unspoken. "Sit down, Daniel. While you're here, there are a few things I'd like to discuss."

Francois' back stiffens, and the appraising look cast up and down the Irishman is one of dismissal and irritation — until Eileen explains his presence, as well as invites him to the table. He's certainly not about to protest, trusting Eileen's judgment well enough, and manages a slight nod once she's done as he picks up his fork again to distract himself with swiftly cooling savoury pie. "Would this be 'whoever else'?" Francois delicately enquires, in some bid to get back on the same page.

"Out? Nnh," there's as much a guttural noise as any in Danny's response as he ambles on over one one of the chairs, offering a feigned smile to Francois. "Pleasure t'meet you green eyes," comes as he tugs the chair out with a scuffing noise of the wooden legs across the floor. "Good timing on wanting to talk, I picked up some things from a contact I wanted to see if you'd be interested in buying, because it ain't going to do me or any of my, ah, usual contracts any lick've good."

Peter's brief look to Francois and nod seems to be confirmation to the whoever else role. "Walsh," Peter admits in a strained tone of voice, and while it seems like he was going to invite the redheaded man to kindly leave, Eileen's most hospitable nature has given him no room to push the notion.

While the detective is busy stealing a plate from the stack by the casserole dish the kidney pie is baked in, Peter is arranging his thoughts into something more consise. "Whatever we do, we definitely need to do it soon. The longer we wait to rescue anyone the more difficult it is to ensure their safety and you both— " he almost decides to include Walsh but opts not to at the tail end, awkwardly, "you both understand that. Gillian's been gone for over a month, we don't even know if— "

"Childs?" sounds more like Chmunds thanks to Danny having his mouth full of one shoveled forkload of kidney pie. There's a warding hand raised, a moment to swallow and the plate is dragged back across the table towards himself. "She ah," Danny mumbles as he leans down to his side, followed by a clunk of two locks on a small briefcase. "One second, it's…" papers rustle, crinkle, and a photograph is taken out between two fingers and pushed to the middle of the table.

"This pretty little thing, yeah?" It's a photograph of a hospital bed, with a sickly Gillian laid in it, hooked up to a respirator and IV. The timestamp on the bottom of the photograph is June 23rd. Danny offers a hesitant, creeping smile at that, tapping his fingers on the picture. "Yes? No?"

All of a sudden, Eileen resembles a statue with tension carved into the soft curves of her shoulders and throat, which contrast sharply with the more pronounced angles of her face, including a flat mouth and expressive brows set low over frosted green eyes. At the same time, Bran parts his beak around a hoarse croak much louder than the Englishwoman usually raises her voice, but let there be no mistake: she shares the raven's sentiments.

Their accusation is implicit. What comes next isn't. "You have exactly two minutes to give me a satisfactory explanation."

It would be nice if someone else could confirm yes or no. If Francois has ever met Gillian before, a fleeting face on the ship to Antarctica, maybe, then it's still difficult for him to identify the gaunt young woman lying wan on the pale bed sheets — but Eileen's reaction is plenty, too, for all that it's understated and chilly. Francois happens to speak that language. Aforementioned green eyes dart up from image to Walsh, something resembling energy sparking behind his previous mask of neutral apathy, tense in his seat.

He has a question, that much is obvious. A drawn inhale enough for words to come, but they don't — Eileen's question is as satisfactory as the explanation she demands. For now, anyway.

"Easy…" Danny emphasizes as he hears Bran's croak and sees Peter's eyes going wide and face going pale. "Easy," both of his hands come up, fork still clutched in one. "I know a lady, scientist at the Suresh Center, specializes in genetics or somethin' of that sort, yeah? She happened to get an invitation from the Suresh I figure that place is named after," and he figures wrong, "to work at some fancy clinic here on the island."

Swallowing tensely, Danny keep shis hands lifted to remind everyone that he's friends to both man and bird alike, for the time being anyway. "I had her doin' some lookin' round when it came t'mind that this place promised she could do research on a cure for the Evolved, y'know? So," Danny's head bobs into a nod, "a few months go by, and she delivers. Paperwork, photographs, lists, couple of drugs I ain't heard of before that— was why I came here, because I figured Jensen knew more people in the market for designed Evolved drugs than I do."

When Eileen lets out the breath she'd been holding, the only audible sound she makes is the brittle rustle of Bran's feathers as she gently eases him back onto the table. He hops over the plate of rabbit and lands with two talonfuls of glossy photo paper pinched between his claws, one good wing mantling protectively over the picture, the other stiff at his side. A low hiss rattles up from the back of his throat.

"How much for everything?" she asks.

"I don't think you've got the money for that, darlin'," Danny notes with a crack of his lips into a smile. "I know what your wallet looks like an' I konw what kind've deals I cut for you. This is the sort've thing that if sold to the right biotech companies could net me a check with a lotta' zeroes on it." The mercenary nature of Danny Walsh brings a scowl across Peter's lips as he slouches back in his chair, arms crossing over his chest and brown eyes diverting to Eileen.

"The Amphodynamine alone," which is more than a mouthful to say, "ain't never heard of it before. Paperwork that my contact sent me says that it also goes by the name amp, that's the shorthand. If it does what it says it does, I could make enough money t'retire to Fiji or some place where they'd put umbrellas in me drink. Or, you know, get that Apache attack helicopter for Christmas what I've always wanted."

"I don't think you understood Eileen," Peter states flatly, brows furrowed, "you're going to come up with a number— for everything— that is within her walet size, and you're going to tell us everything you know about your contact, this hospital and what they do there."

Danny's blue eyes steel as he looks at Peter, half a forkful of kidney pie raised to his lips before he looks to Eileen with one brow raised, as if to query is this kid fucking serious but the incredulous look on his face.

"I'm not interested in your Amphodynamine," Eileen clarifies, which is a lie, but in the context of this conversation she may as well be telling the truth, "or any of the other drugs that you have paperwork on, unless one of them happens to be an antidote to the negation gas that the government is using.

"Enjoy Fiji. But you will tell us what Peter just asked you to, or I'm going to give Gabriel permission to finish what we started." She lifts her chin, and Bran cocks his head, eyes abruptly fixed on the briefcase at Walsh's side. He hasn't yet closed his beak. "Three thousand."

Francois' attention lifts off the photograph that Bran is guarding as thoughtfully as he is, and drags back towards Walsh, offering a nod as he says, "They have someone like her that I am interested in locating."

His phrasing stilted in its caution, but not reserved, exactly. There's an edge, there, some mix of determination and bridled desperation. "That this clinic has also. If you do not believe that Eileen can pay, then know that I can help her do so. I'm a surgeon at St. Luke's — to keep doctors in this city, they compensate them well." Though not entirely dressed the part, there's a certain cleancut professionalism about him that doesn't deny what he claims to be true.

"Three th— " Danny drops his fork on his plate with a noisy clatter, "are you out of yer' fuckin' mind girl? Three thousand doesn't even cover the cost of the fuckin' ink used t'print those documents out I'd wager. We had an arrangement made, I work for you an' get you the guns and ammunition you need on the cheap while not hurtin' nobody on me own, an' you look the other fuckin' way with the rest've my legitimate business. While Peppy 'ere might be able t'help this ain't the deal we had."

Looking to Francois, Peter nods his head in appreciation before turning his attention back to Danny. "Eileen has altered the arrangement, you probably should hope she doesn't alter it further." Dark brows going up, Peter angles his head to the side and considers Danny thoughtfully, then looks over to Eileen with an inspecting stare.

"I'll pitch in too, fifty grand." That money certainly won't be coming out of just Peter's pocket, but Eileen did say Rupert is a man of money, and it's about time Peter starts taking advantage of that fact. "Now if between Eileen, Francois and I, that isn't enough to get your interest, you can take it that we don't want exclusivity rights either. We just want to take a look at what you have, and then you can sell the rest to whoever you want."

Danny's blue eyes track between the three and he exhales a sigh, reaching down beside his chair to pull up a black briefcase, rolling over some numbers on the locks with his thumbs to open it again, then flips it open and spins it around on the table, mindful of the pie. The briefcase is slid over as Danny slouches back in his chair.

"That's everything, it's mostly scientific research. Information about projects performed on patients, the kinds of things you could sell to companies that deal in corporate espionage. Most of the research centers around those photocopied papers," there's a wave of one of Danny's hands to some poorly xeroxed documents in high contrast. "It's all in German, my contact says it was research diaries of an Otto Brum, Kazimir Volken, and Heinrich Wagner. Human experimentations on… people like yourselves," because he can only assume Francois is one, "back in the fuckin' Forties. Some more current research work too, viruses and the like…"

There was a time when Eileen would have given all the money she had for the opportunity to read Kazimir's words. Right now, even thinking about what he put down on paper during his time with Wagner and Brum forms a tight knot in her belly and leaves her skin feeling clammy, cold. It is fortunate that she doesn't speak German.

She probably doesn't have to remind either of her companions that Catherine will probably want her own copy for perusal. "Francois, would you be able to translate this for us?"

"Yes." Not oui (or ja) and English where he usually Frenchifies always sounds a little severe, from Francois. He hasn't moved, from his seat, for all that tension indicated he was about to leap to his feet at any moment in exasperation of negotiating, his look towards Walsh gaining more and more disdain with each refusal or reason to not, you know. Save lives. But it's done, suddenly, and now he is getting to his feet, to better reach for the offering in the middle of the table.

A glance from Peter to Eileen as he adds, "I have before. Maybe these will be familiar." Little joke that isn't really a joke, lines at his eyes a little shadowed in their depth at the attempt of a smile that dims away.

"The place your contact works at, where is it?" Peter rises up from his chair just after Francois, brown eyes focused on Danny. The redheaded arms dealer furrows his brows and starts cutting a corner of his kidney pie with his fork. After a few protracted moments of silence and fleeting exchanged of looks, Danny's head dips down into a nod.

"Staten Island Hospital, inside the Reclaimed Zone. You need special identification just to get inside the border right now. She's been working there since before the storm hit, all her research's in that briefcase, what she could get anyway. There's names of two other doctors that work with her as well," Danny notes with a crease of his brows, hands folding together.

"Bao-Wei Cong and Bella Sheridan. One's a Triad chop-shop doctor, wrote a few papers on the— " the word comes out stilted, "Evolved, got 'imself on Larry King once. The other's just a psychiatrist, far as I know. They were doing human experimentation and…" Danny motions to a folder inside the briefcase, tugs it out with two fingers and tosses it towards Eileen.

"Experimentin' with the Evo-Flu. Seein' what it did t'people, testin' it out on 'em, seein' how different powers reacted." The same tests that Kazimir performed with tuberculosis, cholera and other communicable diseases at concentration camps across Germany.

The name Bella Sheridan comes as no surprise to Eileen. Neither does Bao-Wei Cong, but the revelation that Gillian has been only a few miles from the Dispensary the entire time she's been in Institute captivity warrants a deepening frown. She reaches across the table, picks up the folder and creases it open to examine its contents.

With Bran posturing a few feet away rather than perched on her shoulder like the songbirds she's habitually begun keeping around her, this is more difficult than it looks. "Did she happen to mention what security's like inside the hospital itself?"

It's the photocopied documents that Francois lifts, gently setting as his used plate of pie to spread them out a little. His focus should be on the present— and it is, a glance up at Eileen's question, exchanged to Walsh for his answer— but he's someone who appreciates his history too. Savory pie might go well with red wine, and he has a feeling that reading the words of Kazimir Volken and his contemporaries on the 40s and beyond could go with most alcohol beverages.

"Wasn't on my priority list," Danny notes with a shake of his head, "I'm set to talk to her again in about a month, if you want I can ask her some more pointed questions then, but— " there's a pause and a look to Peter, Francois and then Eileen. "Hey, for old-time friends, let's call that one on the house."

At least that seems to temper Peter's frustrated expression as he's closing distance on Francois. Confusedly, Peter looks over the Frenchman's shoulder to one of the xeroxed documents, then just shakes his head. He can't read German anymore. "Do you have anything on the layout? Numbers of people inside and out? Anything of the sort?"

Danny's head shakes slowly, blue eyes down on the briefcase being picked apart by the field inteligence analogue to carrion birds. "Na, nothin' like that. Look, you all obviously've got some sorta' personal stake in this, an' I un'nerstand that. How's about this, you look over the documents an' give it back t'me when yer done. I keep the drugs and we call it fair. I figure yer' gonna' need yer'self some bullets what for shootin' people pretty soon, what with all them serious faces. I can make my money that way."

Eileen's fingers curl around the edge of the folder as she uses her thumb to smooth it closed again. "Thank you," she tells Walsh, placing it back down on the table, and it's the rueful note in her voice that finally has Bran backing off and clicking his beak with a shuddery tok-tok-tok that sounds like the raven's version of grumbling.

Or scolding. It's difficult to tell. "Don't come here again without calling ahead."

"Merci," sounds sincere, too, from Francois' corner, but tightly spoken. German isn't one of those he has in his back pocket, unlike French, English, Spanish. Italian and Russian on good days. For all that he's a strifle better at reading what he percieves to be an ugly language than he is at talking about it, and Kazimir's scrawl is not one that is unfamiliar to him.

Either way, the time to read is appreciated. "And I suppose it would be too much to ask to know the name of your contact. But you said she works at the Suresh Centre, oui?" More or less a rhetorical question — that tidbit was definitely mentioned. It works both to confirm and dismiss, as Francois doesn't take his eyes off his task of reading.

"I'd prefer to keep her safe, all things considered. I like you all as much as I can," which isn't much, "but let's just say I'm coverin' me own ass there." That Danny's contact won't survive to see the morning sunrise isn't even a thought in the back of his mind, that Amber Mitchell's meeting in Central Park will be the last time he sees her doesn't even seem possible. Looking down at the briefcase, Danny's brows furrow and his lips downturn into a frown. "I'll be back for that tomorrow, drugs stay with me…"

Peter shakes his head slowly as he steps away from Francois to come over to Eileen's side, briefly stealing a glimpse at her glassy eyes before closing his own and looking down to the table. Danny simply rises from the table and makes his way for the front door he'd come through, hesitating just long enough in the doorway to say the most appropriate farewell he can muster.

"Thanks for the pie."

As soon as Walsh has gone and Eileen's sentries perched in the trees outside the Dispensary confirm that his path is steering him back in the direction of his vehicle, Bran loses interest in the doorway the Irishman had been previously been occupying and turns his head to pick at his splint, but a stern look from Eileen has him shying away from that as well in the moments that follow.

Peter and Francois aren't acceptable targets to take his aggression out on, he knows, though the younger of the two men receives a hoarse croak of warning when he notices him at Eileen's side. Then it's back to the plate of rabbit as though they hadn't been interrupted at all.

"How long until Messiah is ready to move?" is the next question.

Francois' chair scuffs the ground a little as he's sitting back down, upon Walsh's departure. Whatever amount of composure shaken by confirmations and relevations alike is slightly more visible by the time it's back to only three (and bird) in the kitchen, pale skin slightly more bloodless than before. "There will be others to coordinate with," he mutters, the slight rasp his voice always has a little more pronounced. Prepared to talk strategy, as opposed to content of the pages littering the table. "But the sooner the better. Leaks are useful but detectable by the other side, and they will be readier than we want them to be."

"I'll need at least a week's notice to get security in order. More the better, but a week's the absolute minimum, we have something happening on Thursday that needs to be taken care of before hand, and I can't risk pulling people from it. Give me a week and I can get everyone I have ready to fight. I'll pull in people we have out of state, there'll be enough boots on the ground to take care of whatever you need. If you want everyone, you have everyone. If I can get Jensen and Rupert in a room together I figure the two of them and whoever else you have in mind could come up with a decent strategy for how to handle the facility."

Rubbing at one ear, Peter looks down to the table, then exhales a sigh. "I can't believe they've been sitting here under our noses all this time. We knew some of the trucks were headed to the Staten Island Hospital, we just— it seemed too small, too undefended. It's right out in the open. Hiding in plain sight."

"A week may not be enough time to convince the Ferry's organizational council that this is a fight our network wants to participate in," Eileen cautions, "but you both have my support. I don't doubt that Catherine and at least one or two of the others will give you theirs as well. At the very least, we can set up a field hospital on the edge of the Greenbelt for everyone the team successfully extracts."

Presumably, that includes Teodoro and Gillian as well. "I know that the alliance between the Messiah and the Ferry is tentative at best. If any of your people have misgivings about working with mine, I trust you'll have dealt with it before the first shot is fired."

Gathering together sheaths of papers for later reading, Francois waves them minutely in query of can I take these? or maybe more of a statement. He reads German. The others do not. "I will be in touch with Elisabeth Harrison soon also," he adds, sitting back in his chair and rolling his shoulders if to loosen tension, though it doesn't disappear from his brow, the line of his jaw, or his tone of voice. "How much I tell her will depend on you," he says this to Eileen, "and what she has to offer, what she wants to give — but she loves Teo very much also, and offered help. In intelligence and I suspect firepower.

"Thank you, by the way," is now leveled towards Peter, with a lot more commitment than he gave the Irishman. "For helping. Even if it was your fight before."

There's just an affirmative nod to Eileen from Peter at her question, there's no doubt in his mind that these two groups can try and find a commonality in this enemy, a comon ground that they can use to try and bridge the divide that rumors and leaks have put between them, when their goals are — ultimately — the same. Francois gets a look of surprise, not that he did thank Peter, but that it was done honestly. Looking down to the table, to the notes, Peter feels some small pang of awkwardness at receiving thanks from Francois, feelign and recalling what he did once.

"I owe you," is more symbolic a thing for Peter to say. He doesn't truly have a debt to Francois, not one that he didn't repay in scars on healing his wounds. But it's a karmic one, a spiritual one, and one that can't ever truly be repaid in full. "You can thank me when Teo gets brought home safe," isn't left up for debate, he'll come home safe.

"I guess," Peter says in a quiet, thoughtful voice, "this means we're going to war."

Right on schedule.

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