Help In Many Forms


devon2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif kincaid_icon.gif

Scene Title Help In Many Forms
Synopsis It's so strange to meet them, see who they became.
Date June 22, 2011

A Park

Parks are often the first thing people think of when they need a public place to meet, that can still grant a little piece of privacy. One of the smaller parks in southern Manhattan was where Kincaid Russo (or August, as it were) asked the two of them to meet him. The iron fence, the colorful playground, it looks like most any other park, except that it's fallen into ill-repair. Like many of the parks in the city. Some are better than others.

This one seems to be one of the others.

A bench pressed up against the wall of an outbuilding is where the young man has settled, sitting in a reclined position where he can keep an eye on everything in front of him. The sun's is lower in the sky, but not so low to make people hurry off to make it home before curfew. Not yet at least. The shadows are certainly growing longer.

Elisabeth is walking along with Devon, ripped hip-hugging jeans and a spaghetti-strapped tanktop fitting in with the neighborhood. Her sneakers are also scuffed and worn-looking, her waist-length mass of blonde a riot of waves with a streak of blue and a streak of purple each braided on the left side of her face luring people's eyes away from her face — she's finding it pretty interesting that it works so well. As she enters the park with the teen her blue eyes are wary but … almost hopeful. She's listening intently, watching carefully for exit routes and anything that looks out of the ordinary. But on some level she trusts Kincaid Russo to be sure he's not followed — this is not something any of them need to be caught doing.

"There?" Elisabeth murmurs to the boy as they head toward the side of the park Kincaid's on.

Though his head is tilted to afford a better view of the ground, Devon is equally wary with eyes that spend more time wandering over the location than on where he's going. Dressed in a simple t-shirt and blue jeans, hands stuffed into the pockets at his hips, looking every bit a typical teenager slouching his way through a walk in the park. His attention wavers from its watchfulness when Liz speaks up, slanting toward her and then toward Kincaid.

"Yeah," Devon confirms, head coming up and turning to look over his shoulder. With a shoulder to nudge Elisabeth into following him, he closes the distance to the assistant producer, giving the man a faint nod in greeting.

As they come into sight, Kincaid's dark eyes flicker over to meet theirs. For a moment he looks surprised, but it passes just as quickly as he stands up. Dressed in heavier clothes than should likely be common for this time of year, he looks comfortable. Even if he's wearing leather gloves. At least he hasn't gone as far as to wear a mask over his face, to protect against the virus he keeps putting himself in contact with.

Just like his paranoia about being followed, he's just as paranoid about keeping himself clean whenever he leaves the sick people behind. Even more when he's meeting people he might actually getc lose to.

"It's nice to offically meet you, Ms. Harrison," he says with a tired smile.

She notes the surprise, and Elisabeth is uncertain of the source of it. After all, it's not as if he didn't know who was coming. As she comes to a stop in front of him, blue eyes take in the way he looks…. but more, she takes in how he carries himself. How he stands. Assessing him as she might a soldier, seeking to determine for herself in what she can see whether he's up to this job. After only a few seconds she offers a soft smile and murmurs, "Mr. … August," she chooses. She's pretty sure he's not going by "Russo" right now. "The pleasure is all mine. Elisabeth is fine, if you like."

There's a hesitation, as if she's not entirely sure where to begin. "I … don't know what Devon's really told you at this point," Elisabeth admits. "I'd intended to stay behind the scenes with this, allowing people who have a more …. legal ability to do the job handle it. I'm … not entirely sure that's going to work out. And to be blunt…. I don't know enough about what's already been tried to feel comfortable that this has a snowball's chance in Hell. I'm … hoping you'll be able to talk to me about it, even if we keep it to vagueries." She rocks on her feet a bit, studying him as if unable to take her eyes off him for the moment — perhaps seeking features that she recognizes.

A look passes, shifting from Kincaid to Elisabeth, then Devon shifts backward a step. Subtle and implying no more than to allow the two a chance to speak, where he can be poked for questions if a need arises. He turns enough to stand with his back to the wall, gaze turning to observe the open expanse of the park.

"Please, just Kincaid," he says quietly, leaving out how his chosen name for this timeframe always makes him think he should be on a racy calendar when people use it with Mister attached. But he scratches at the side of his head as she speaks further on the situation, with enough vageries he seems genuinely confused. "I'm afraid I'm not sure what you're talking about— cause I certainly don't have much in the way of legal ability myself. I thought we were meeting about… other things." He looks toward Devon to quietly voice his confusion, before focusing back on the older woman.

Elisabeth smiles. "I'm sorry — my head's …. crowded these days." She shoves her hands into her pockets and she is quiet a long moment. "I guess I thought I ought to steer clear of the other stuff and just talk to you about the here and now," she admits softly. "I understand that … I'm looking out for your mother. Did we know one another where you're from?" she finally asks.

"Sorry," the teen offers, shifting a guilty look toward Kincaid. He hadn't known what all the meeting would entail, that Liz had questions and wanted to meet the man from the future. Beyond that? And when Elisabeth mentions Melissa's location, he offers a small shrug. "I told her about that part, too."

"It's fine— you had mentioned something about your connections at Studio K coming up with her," Kincaid admits after a moment, thoughtful, but grateful at the same time that Elisabeth's switching to subjects that are… not easier persay, but that he knows about.

"We did know each other— not well admitedly. But I knew you. I'm glad you're helping my mom out— I wish I could, but…" He grimaces. His excuses are left to fade into the wind, because they'd just be that. "She'll be safer with you for a while, especially since you're… in a similar situation yourself."

"Heh," Elisabeth offers with a rueful quirk of her lips. "I'd say we have a lot in common," she agrees quietly, "with more similarities to possibly come if the lot of you manage to change enough that Joshua is never born." She tilts her head. "I'll look out for her, as best she'll allow," the blonde offers the man before her. "I hope you're looking out for him, too…. as best he'll allow." Again that rueful quirk of a smile. "Though if he's anything like his parents, I doubt he allows much."

"To be honest Josh and I aren't exactly close," Kincaid says, scratching the side of his head again. "He's done certain things I would never agree with, and has a tendancy to get himself and those around him into trouble. Quite the reckless streak on him… But if he ever came to me for help I would do my best to give it to him." But there's that if there that seems pretty strong. Her kid isn't the type to come to him for help.

"Yeah, well… I'm not too thrilled with his choice in friends right now myself," Elisabeth replies dryly. Of all the kids her son told her to trust, he had to go pick the one who is loosing the non-Evo flu on the world. She occasionally wonders if Karma's kicking her ass here. "But then again, I think the entire group of you have a reckless streak a mile wide, coming back here the way you've done. I'd have thought we'd have tried to teach you all the dangers inherent." The blonde shrugs. "Neither here nor there now — you're here. And that's what matters. You'll do the best you can, of that I have faith," she observes quietly. "So… the reason I was hoping to meet you besides my own rampant curiosity — which I admit is massive — is because … I have a play in motion that … hell, I don't know. May do jack shit for helping things. But given the opportunity to ask, I thought perhaps asking you if it had already been tried. If it hasn't…. I would like to ask you to help Devon to be sure it gets to Russo. He's already agreed to air it, but … it's never a bad idea to have a backup plan."

Another look goes to the pair, Devon breaking his observance and acting as lookout however unnecessary it may be to regard the two adults. A passing question in the look, fleeting as quickly as it appears. He shrugs, shoulder lifting just a little as his attention returns to its watchfulness. "If it doesn't get to Russo, we can find other ways of airing it." Less legal, though it's unsaid, but the method of getting the message out doesn't seem a huge concern to the boy.

"Me neither," Kincaid admits, grimacing at the mention of Joshua's buddy. There may not be much of a studio to air what she wants Russo to after what the other boy's buddy has been up to. "Some of us are more reckless than others," he adds, straightening his back as he might have taken a bit of what she said the wrong way.

"We knew the dangers, and most of us were careful. But I think a few had other ideas about how to handle things… Either way a lot of damage had been done to the timeline before we got here." They weren't the first. Though he can't say they've only done what's best— not now.

"Sometimes I wonder if things would have been better if we didn't vote to tell you all. That was reckless. And selfish," he adds, shoving his gloved hands deep into jacket pockets as he looks up at the sky.

Before he can allow himself to get too broody about it, he suddenly switches topics, "What are you wanting Russo to air?"

Elisabeth studies him. She's had a long time to think about it. "It was selfish," she agrees gently. "But it was … understandable. It's a huge temptation to be given the opportunity to go back. Hindsight is supposed to be 20/20, and from where you were you could see so many things that could have been done differently." Her tone is sympathetic. "I can't say it's right or wrong that you came… or that it's right or wrong that you told us who you are, Kincaid. What I can tell you is that I don't regret knowing." Her hand comes out of her pocket and she reaches out to touch his arm instinctively, sincerity clear in her expression. "Knowing what I know of most of you? No one's perfect. And while some are reckless and some are …. let's call it misguided to keep it polite… " She pauses and offers him a genuine smile that lights her blue eyes, easing the lines of her face into those of the youthful woman she still is. "I think it's safe to say that on the whole we're pretty damn proud to see the people our children have become."

When she takes her hand from his arm, not wanting to encroach too far on this man's space, Elisabeth says softly, "We have almost enough intelligence — solid intelligence — to blow the upper echelon of Humanis First in Manhattan right into the stratosphere. Assuming people give a damn enough to pay attention. I had a backer — may still have a backer, I just don't know yet — who can also get it released to news outlets overseas at the same time, so it can't be stopped. But … if it's something we already tried in that future where I was dead right now, I need to know that. To adjust accordingly."

For a long time, Kincaid stares up at the sky, squinting at the light with forehead wrinkled in thought. Her words might have garnered a hint of relief, that she's at least glad to know— but as for the rest, he's got quite a lot to worry about. "I'm not entirely sure. You didn't— and no one attempted to as long as I was with the Ferry. It was too late at that point. I was just a little younger then Devon at the time. I can't really give you a heads up on whether or not it will work now, or how it may have gone before…"

He hadn't been alive to witness these upcoming years, and those he was, he was too young to pay close attention, even if he was raised by two of those who worked closely with the local government for many years.

"I'm not sure how much help Russo can give you now, though. Studio K was hit hard by the virus. We haven't been airing anything live right now. My dad may have enough connections to air it outside the Studio, but right now…"

His father. Elisabeth hadn't asked about his ties to Russo deliberately — it was his to tell if he even had any. After all, many of the time-displaced kids haven't worked closely with their parent(s). She displays no surprise, though, simply assimilating the information into the growing file in the back of her head. "Right now, he's about the only hope we have, Kincaid," she says quietly. "It's the last-ditch effort on my part to try to take them down — it's still early enough that maybe we can make enough noise. I know the studio's been hit hard, but … I don't know what else to try anymore." She pauses. "If push comes to shove, I have a technopath and I have a communications array that should remain unstoppable for at least a little time — if he can't help us with his own contacts, would you be willing to run the studio equipment, perhaps with the help of Quinn, to get the signal on the air so that the technopath can boost it?" She shrugs a little. "I'd like to go legitimate routes, and your father has a good name right now. We're running out of time to make the broadcast if only because the longer we dawdle the more chance of it becoming less of an impact. But if all other legitimate routes fail, I'm asking you to help me hijack the signal for the attempt."

Leaning against the wall, Devon looks toward Liz and Kincaid. "We could probably figure out a way to remotely run it, keep eyes off the studio for the initial attempt. It'll keep people there safe and out of scrutiny for a while at least." Or he can assume, if the above ground names can be kept off whatever lists there might be.

Hand scratching at the back of his neck, Kincaid can feel the scars there under his hairline that remind him of his own dislike for the way things turned out. "I know better than most what Humanis First is capable of," he says with a moments pause, before he lowers his eyes back down to her. "But I can't promise to do this for you. I'll show them what buttons to push, but I can't be the one to push them. My future's already gone— this one's yours."

Elisabeth smiles slightly. "I can live with that," she tells him quietly. "I'm hoping it doesn't come to that anyway — that your father will be in position to do what needs doing." She shrugs a little. "But thank you. Making sure the people who need to know," like perhaps Devon and Graeme, "can run the equipment is plenty." There's a long pause, and Elisabeth seems to struggle with something. Then she says quietly, "I don't know what's fracturing your group — aside from the obvious with Calvin." She still has no idea whose child that is. "But I gathered from both Joshua and some of the others that … either the plan you came here with fell apart because of what we'd already done to change things, or else it fell apart because of the stresses that came with coming back. But in the end, if you know that something needs to happen…. come to me," she tells him softly. "I'll do my damndest to do what needs doing, Kincaid. I… don't know what your goal was when you got here, really. Whether it was an entirely personal one or if there was a bigger goal. But I'll help any way I can." It's all she really has to offer the man.

"You're already doing the one thing I could ask of you right now— taking care of my mother," Kincaid says with a grateful smile. Though there was obviously a grimace while she talked of the fracture, and especially Calvin. "And I'll go to you if there's anything else upcoming, but right now— my main concerns are trying to minimize the damage that… that has happened. Though I know who to go to if I need more help."

There's a slight nod and Elisabeth puts a hand on his arm one more time. "I'm sorry… about Junie," she says softly. She didn't know the child, but she regrets that yet another innocent has fallen in this fight. There are so many things she wishes were different. "I'll take care of Melissa, I promise."

Dropping his gaze, and brows drawing together, Devon looks away from the pair. He still feels responsible for the death of the child, still blames himself. Though when he looks up again, a second later and staring away to a distant point of the park, it's with an expression that shows little. There's an impression, however, a faint light of commitment that he'll continue watching Melissa as well, uphold his promise to keep her safe.

The mention of the baby Junko has a visible effect on his face, but Kincaid controls his emotions enough to keep his response to a gracious nod and a "Thank you." Anything more than that and he'd probably embarass himself with tears. Or choked words. "You'll both do fine," he adds a small assurance. Very small for Devon considering his self blame, before he makes an odd salute, one finger against his forehead and pointed toward the older woman. His last words as he starts to move away, toward the inevitable car he's parked a good distance away, "Be safe."

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