Gray Hairs


devon2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif

Scene Title Gray Hairs
Synopsis With the mission successful, Devon and Jaiden return to the safehouse with news of their findings.
Date July 31, 2011

Skinny Brickfront : Endgame Safehouse

For most people, the night passed uneventful, mundane enough to not even warrant a memory of the goings on. Dinner, some social time, maybe a chapter read in a book before finally sleep. And so came the next day, the present day, in the same stretch of normalcy comes breakfast and whatever tasks need handling. Laundry perhaps. Grocery shopping. Reading the Sunday funnies in the paper. But for two men, the night was anything but normal.

Devon had little idea of where Jaiden went to. It was better that way, should he be caught there's no way to lead back to the older man. As for himself, it was traveling on foot through the city at night. Dodging patrols hadn't been the easiest thing, nearly as gut wrenching in itself as the encounter with the robots. But long after the klaxons echoing through Midtown had escaped his hearing, long after escaping Manhattan and pressing into the boroughs riddled more with housing than commerce, the teenager had gone to ground, the prize of a small-ish robot still with him.

The day came after a sleepless night for the boy, even after finding a suitable hiding place for himself. He'd taken pains, once he was sure the hour was safe to be seen in, to hide the backpack that carried the robot before setting out for the safehouse in earnest. It's late in the afternoon when Devon finally arrives, still covered in the much from the sewers, burned of hands and face, but calling out his arrival once he's passed through the door.

The fact that Jaiden and Devon didn't return to the house that night? Freaked Elisabeth the hell out. Because who is there to tell her if they got dead out in the streets. By the time the teen finally rolls in, the blonde is stressed to the max. There's that vibration of anxiety humming all around her — not just at skin level but audible in the normal hearing range. She's had lots of coffee today too. Hearing Devon's voice, she races for the stairs that lead below, relief making her weak in the knees. "For fuck's sake, don't you men know what a text is???" she demands in a shaky voice, waiting only until Devon clears the top step before sweeping the boy into a tight hug. "Where the hell have you been?? And where's Jaiden??"

Graeme's done what he could, but his own worry only makes him prone to snap and lose the usual control he has over his emotions. Anything that makes his ability over-compensate, and that's one of them, since he'd been running on less than perfect amounts of sleep to begin with when he got to the safehouse to find Devon and Jaiden gone and apparently not coming back that night. And so from the corner of the room, there is a relieved sigh from the teacher when the teenager gets back, before it's his turn to go over there and hug the teenager, reserved and silent, a hand on Liz's shoulder as well.

The night was spent alone in a small flop house paid for in cash, the door locked, with a chair pressed up against it. He wasn't followed as far as he knew, but there was no way that he was going straight back to the safe house after getting in and out relatively unharmed, and with a prize of unimaginable value. There's no way he knows where Devon is, and no way that Devon knows where he is - compartmentalization. It's only after getting the paper and seeing nothing regarding anything of note in the zone that Jaiden dares to make his way back to the safe house. Ready to face the music from a blonde that, more than likely, will punch him square in the face when she sees him, and then do unspeakably sexy things when she finds out what they've done and gotten.

"Ollie ollie oxen free.." Jaiden calls as he mounts the stairs, the voices from upstairs letting him know how many people are upstairs and, specifically, who it is. Elisabeth, worried out of her mind more than likely, is up there, along with Graeme and Devon. Perfect.

"Sorry." The apology for not texting, let alone calling, comes as Devon climbs the stairs. It's repeated as he pulls an arm around Elisabeth's shoulder and returns the hug. "I thought… I know, I should've." He claps Graeme on the shoulder before sort of half guiding the two adults away from the top of the stairs. Not far, just a few steps into the common room area. "Things got a little harry, we had to split up," he explains with a small shake of his head. "I had to find a place to hide… Jaiden's…" His tone changes from troubled to relieved when the Australian's voice answers the question. "Right there."

Oh thank God. Elisabeth can suddenly breathe again, as if a huge weight is lifted off her shoulders. Blowing out that breath, she smiles faintly. "You two are going to give me grey hairs!" she calls down to Jaiden. "C'mon up. Let's get some food into you. Tell me what happened."

"And me," Graeme remarks wryly, though he slips his hand into Liz's for a moment as he moves towards the kitchen in order to squeeze it tightly. But there's a brightening at the mention of food, even if for other people. It's an important thing, after all. "You could have texted that you were safe," he admonishes the teenager, gently overall and not truly annoyed. "At least."

With the amount of color in Elisabeth's hair, the chances of any gray being noticed before being obliterated by purple or pink or some other youthful color are slim to none. He mounts the stairs and, after a bit of fiddling, sighs and opens the door, his laptop in tow. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. "Sorry for being so scarce and not contacting, Lizzie….I had a way to get in contact if I was caught, but since I wasn't, I didn't want any kind of trace to here or anyone. Being paranoid saved our asses last night…" He sighs and sets the laptop down, reaching into his pocket for a lead-lined envelope, opening it to reveal a 4gb SD card. "We hit the motherlode, Lizzie.." Jaiden slides the card into the slot on the side and pictures start to import….

As she listens, Jaiden's words make the blonde smile. She moves to reach up and hug the Australian tightly. "You are a complete ass for not texting, but I'll forgive you," she tells him. "What've you got?" She's dying of curiosity.

"Jaiden got pictures like you wouldn't believe," Devon says over his shoulder, heading into the kitchen as well. He's not looking for food, instead claiming a towel to dab at the grime on his forearms and hands. "And I got a robot," he continues, casual as he returns to the kitchen doorway.

"Steve." Jaiden apparently has christened the robot already, and this is added as pictures finish importing. He fires up preview and starts to scroll through pictures, stopping and highlighting 'Evo Hunting Robots, Beware' graffiti for a moment before continuing, and then….there it is. An image taken in the shadows from down the street. Standing there, above something, is a horse-looking robot with glowing green eyes.

Graeme hovers at a distance to see the pictures, crouching down to get a better angle of view on the laptop. "Damn," he says. "Holy mother of …" the drawling words trail off and the teacher just stares at the screen, before backing off with a faint shudder, standing up and turning his head. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph," he continues, and then the swear words eventually stop.

Elisabeth watches the show and looks…. stunned. "Oh…. Oh my God," she says quietly. "Between that and the footage that my government contact got us. We might just have enough."

Having seen it already, he was there after all, Devon watches the reactions between Elisabeth and Graeme. "They have this ugly yellow gas, too," he explains quietly. "The one we caught shot out flame before Jaiden's water whatever doused it. The other had a turret and started trying to get at us by stomping around to get into the sewers."

The pictures keep coming and Jaiden, the storyteller that he is, lets his pictures do the talking, not his words. Images of the horse-looking thing standing over a body in the street - a homeless man, more than likely - all taken with a telephoto lens, and then, a vantage change - from below, probably beneath the streets in the sewer, a close-up of the thing, it's eyes glowing red. More pictures, One of a spider-looking bot hanging from the ceiling - Steve in it's natural environment, it seems, and then a few more of the horse-shaped bot on it's side where the sewer 'just happened' to collapse beneath it, allowing the pair to escape. "So…." Jaiden's screen hovers on that last image, of the horse-sized creature on it's side. "Pictures like this….and Steve the Spider…." He grins for a moment, reaching over to squeeze Lizzie tightly. "Negation gas." Jaiden adds to Devon's words. "And high-caliber bullets….they aren't playing around there."
"Steve took our picture in the sewers." A bit of bad news. "I hope we snuffed him before they could be uploaded anywhere, but if we didn't…"

Elisabeth looks entirely at a loss. "Wait…. wait. Steve? A robot?" She looks between the guys.
"You got one?" Jesus! Shoving her hand through her hair, the blonde is at a complete loss. She needs time to think, to simply listen. So she heads for the kitchen.

Graeme just winces, nodding and squeezing Liz's hand briefly before she disappears off into the kitchen. "Remind me not to go anywhere near there," he says. "I'm useless if there's negation gas around." The tone of voice indicating exactly how much he likes that statement. At the end of the pictures, then, he walks off towards the opposite wall a moment, palms flat against the wall, before he turns around. "So, you really, really did get one?" A pause. "Please, please tell me you did not bring it here. Because unless you're sure that the water totally, totally friend it, one hundred thousand percent certain…"

"It's not here," Devon says. His eyes follow Elisabeth as she moves into the kitchen, a cross between concern and apology making its way into his expression. He steps away from the entryway to give the audiokinetic her space, joining the two older men. "But yeah, we got one. I stabbed it, Jaiden shorted it. It's hidden, though, and not nearby." The teen sinks onto a stool near the Australian's workspace, looking between the other two.

Jaiden nods. "Basically that. It's no-where near here…hell, I don't even know where it is, so that little secret is locked in Devon's head there. Once we're sure it's not bugged and I've thrown it into a faraday cage to keep any transmissions from getting out, we'll take it somewhere and examine it."

Graeme nods slowly. "Alright, good," he says. "Have to admit I've got a bit of morbid curiosity to see one of the things, really. At least, well, as long as it's safely dead."

The teen shrugs slightly, carefully drags a hand through his hair. "I've seen more of them than I wanted to," he admits, glancing toward Jaiden. He sighs and leans forward slowly, resting his elbows on his knees. "What happens if all this doesn't work? If people still doubt…"

"Then we try again." Jaiden says softly. "We go in again, get a horse, and drag it down the main street in the city so no-one can't help but see. May be drastic, but I think, with the pictures, Steve, and what info Elisabeth has, we'll be just fine.”

Silence from all parties seems to grasp hold with that mandate, a contemplative weight that settles over the room. It's really all any of them can do at the moment but hope they've done enough so facing —no, capturing another of those robots, a larger and easily more deadly robot, is unnecessary. The quietness stretches, lengthening until a slight creak of a stool indicates Devon rising and turning for his and Graeme's room, motioning for the teacher to follow. Leaving Jaiden to work with the photographs, and Elisabeth to return to the room she shares with Ygraine to continue mulling over the outcome of the event.

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