I Am Not Making This Up


abby6_icon.gif barbara_icon.gif eileen5_icon.gif raith_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title I Am Not Making This Up
Synopsis Raith and Gabriel call an emergency meeting with those most immediately concerned regarding the situation with who they guess might be Magnes.
Date April 15, 2011

Bannerman's Castle

The name Bannerman's Castle is as deceiving as its appearance; built stone by stone more than a century ago, the now crumbling fortress, seemingly derelict, was in its glory days used as a military surplus warehouse and still carries the faded words //Bannerman's Island Arsenal on one of its walls. Time and neglect have since taken a hefty toll on the property, which belongs to the Maxwell Development Corporation in name, but is in reality much more than a prized relic.

On the outside, ivy creeps up its walls, some stripped down to skeletal supports and others as strong and stalwart as the day they were erected. In the decades that Pollepel Island has been abandoned, nature has reclaimed a large portion of the castle where its roof has caved in, creating courtyards of stone and saplings, thorny bushes and wire fences put up to section the most tangled hollows off. A few have been cleaned up, exposing worn stone floors that serve as gathering places for the people who live inside the ruins, and where the walls are tallest, shielding one open cavern from the mainland's view, there is a metal drum to burn fires in and large chunks of stone arranged around them in a circle.

Inside, Bannerman's Castle has been repurposed by the Ferrymen network as northern stronghold with its own electrical grid powered by basement generators, though most of the castle is lit by gas lanterns and candles to conserve fuel. Tall ceilings reinforced with wooden rafters are a feature in almost every room, including the castle's dining hall and the basement kitchen where food is prepared on outdated stoves and ovens taken from restaurants on Staten Island that were abandoned in the wake of the bomb and later repaired and refinished for installation in the kitchen.

Also in the basement are the fortress' supply rooms, which are kept under lock and key and contain everything from cured meats to additional linens, firearms, ammunition and fuel for the generators that power Bannerman. The living quarters and infirmary are located on the ground floor in the corner of the castle that's most intact, and while the narrow corridors are drafty, a lot of time and effort has gone into insulating the rooms themselves as best they can be insulated with what supplies were available and fit the budged allocated to the network's reconstruction efforts.

When meetings are called between Ferrymen, Jensen Raith frequently attends them. He'll even call them for one-on-one interactions when he needs to. But it's uncommon for him to call for more than one of his associates to speak with him at a time. Even more uncommon for him to call them not in the courtyard, or dining hall or even in his personal quarters, but in the empty space behind the castle walls is not a good sign of any sort: It means that whatever he has to say, he wants to make absolutely certain no one but those he has in mind are around and able to hear it.

Waiting as the sun begins to set, in the open is not perhaps the best cure for the tinges of paranoia he feels, but it doesn't matter. In the last bit of time before the agenda is called to order, and in turn, that everyone he's called for has arrived, he gives one more glance to his companion, perhaps hoping that Eileen Ruskin has developed some new ability to chill his nerves. Of course, she hasn't. If anything, that glance makes things worse. Best just to get it over with, in that case. C'mon, people!

Out behind the castle, traditionally is actually where Abby tends to come to ignite. Not in this exact spot but not far away will be evidence by way of singed stone and earth. This moment, she's not actually ignited, just parked with the small group of people after Barbara came to take her. Having been resting, about to take a nap when Barbara came, They're the latecomers to this little shindig, having moved as fast as Abby's energy allows, She's leaning against a wall, dressed warm and breathless. The concern about why this interesting group has been culled together is painted across her face as she keeps looking between everyone. Why her gaze lands on Raith. She doesn't like him, odds of her ever liking him? Pretty slim. He ranks higher than Logan at least. That's a comfort!

The Eileen Ruskin that stands in place next to Jensen is everything one would expect of an Eileen — petite, dressed in sedate colours, wools against the chill in the air, and her dark hair left loose around her shoulders, wind tousled and dark. Eyes unseeing, as well, with a finch instead locked to the collar of her coat and sparkling its beady eyes at the sights around it. For once, it's not she that's leading the meeting, even, and so she doesn't say a word when the group forms around her.

Fingers go up to gently strokes the infinitely fine feathers of the little bird, which twitches to duck under her hand to observe Abby.

Luckily, he got the message off the island. Now Benjamin Ryans is standing across from Raith and Eileen with arms crossed, head tipped down just a little. The fedora and duster are gone, he stands in a simple dark knit sweater and jeans. Blue eyes are narrowed with interested as to what the other Co-head has to say. The hair on his head moves more then he does, as he waits for something that must be pretty bad.

Ben glances at the others there, maybe trying to figure out the reason of this odd gathering ahead of time.

Barbara, for her part, seems rather well for the moment. Maybe a litle tired as she escorts the other councilwoman to the meeting, but awake if nothing else. She's dressed lighter than some others, but still in long sleeves and thicker pant, a nuetral expression on her face as she approches.

Her eyes move from person to person before the settle on Eileen, rather than Raith. She holds something in hand, an envelop it looks like, thumb covering the wax seal imprint as she looks over the group. "Hello, everyone."

"Well, I'm glad you all could make it to the bearing of bad news," is the way that Raith elects to begin the impending dialogue. Right to the chase, if nothing else. "Two days ago, I met with Magnes Varlane. Or, at least, someone who looked like and claimed to be Magnes Varlane, but after the conversation concluded, I'm not so sure about that. If it's not someone else, then the kid's moved out to the country and started a funny farm."

Under observation Abigail looks like someone who's recovering from deaths door. Give her another week, she won't look so tired and you won't hear her wheezing if you pay attention. "Shapeshifters aren't an uncommon thing. I've ran into a few" She quietly offers up, concern still painted across her face as she shifts and opts to work down the wall till she's sitting on the ground. 'Have you talked with any of his friends mainland? Seen if they noticed a change or know anything?"

"Name them."

This from Eileen, to Abigail, on the topic of shapeshifters, and it's not completely rhetorical either — but it's not only where her attention lies, the finch's eye sight erratic in the attempt to see the group fanned out around them. It darts up to sit on her shoulder for a better vantage point, and in a scraggly tree half-bowed on the uneven rural terrain, there's the caw of a bigger bird that scopes a wider look at the setting.

Brows lift a little at the news, a little bit of surprised. "He… wasn't already there?" It's a simple question and sounds rather innocent from the former Company agent. He's met the kid on a few occasions, as heard some stories.

Even with the question, Ryans adds on to what Abby says. "Those with possessing abilities can work just as well as a Shapeshifter. Not that I can think of any off the top of my head" He misses the Company's database. There is a sigh from the old man and he pinches fingers against the bridge of his nose briefly. "That being said… I'm headed back to the mainland," He's only there for the meeting really, "I can check in with… friends of his."

Barbara's brow knitts together as her eyes move swiftly from Eileen to Raith. "I…" she starts, before wrinkling her nose and starting over. "He's had one of my prepaid numbers for sometime now, before his ban. He called me the other day as well, to meet him in Chinatown." She holds up the note she has in hand, looking between the others. "He said it's for Eileen's eyes only, and I've made no effort to open it myself…" The letting, on that note, is held out in Eileen's direction. "He wasn't as… energetic as the few times I've seen him before, or what I've heard of him. But he didn't seem to be acting unnatural."

"Believe me, he's behaving as unnaturally as he possibly can be. For starters, a not insignificant portion of our discussion was conducted at gunpoint." That's the first clue from Raith as to exactly how wrong things with Magnes appear to be. "Second, there was his insistence, his command that, since Abigail killed Kazimir Volken, I'd better stop dragging my feet and start killing off all her loved ones so that an appropriate level of revenge can be exacted. And while I'm at it, I'd better find some way to kill Gabriel Gray as well, and then track down Eileen so that Magnes can reclaim his 'property,' and round up the disaffected masses under the Ferry's care so that he can rebuild the Vanguard and reshape the world for a better future.

"I will iterate, just once, that I am not making this up." Sometimes, it can be difficult to know when Raith is serious or joking. But if he's joking now, he sure is being awful serious about it.

Abby's about to bring up the handful of incidents that she knows about the involved shapeshifters and possessors. Really she is. Until Raith is filling them in one why he thinks that Magnes has gone right off the deep end and into the funny farm. "Too bad he didn't tell you two weeks ago Raith, you could have done it when I was in a coma. Made him happier" Snarky, uncalled for. Mean.

But she's still a little shocked - good thing she's sitting - and color has drained from her dace. "Kazimir died, on the bridge, and his ability perished out in Mexico. I saw it. So it's not Kazimir parked in him, can't be Kazimir parked in him" She saw it go up, along with her old ability in the desert. "There was this possessor.. he came to the bar, he liked to play with people. He took me over. Killed people for fun but…" But what became of him.

The finch flies up from Eileen's shoulder and lands as light as its own feathers upon Barbara's outstretched hand, peering at the item before Eileen finally moves. Her steps cautious without being tentatively, she meets Barbara halfway and takes the envelope, without sparing a needless glance to Raith as she does it. "It doesn't sound like Sylar's style," she says, and her accent is— abruptly American, somehow, shedding all of that east London affect that she's carried across the pond.

And the letter for Eileen's eyes only is tucked into a pocket, her mouth quirking a little in a half smile as, quite abruptly, pale green eyes meet Barbara's in unfailing vision. Then Abby's, then Ryans'. "But these days, I couldn't actually pin it down anymore. He transforms into Avi Epstein, Helena Dean, Feng Daiyu. I guess Magnes Varlane isn't a stretch.

"But it's a little over the top. Even for me. Don't you think?"

"You've got to be kidding me…" But not in the sense that Benjamin doesn't believe Raith. He trusts the other man's judgment. Still it's mutter blandly and Ben looks less then amused. Last thing they needed right now. One more threat to their people.

Abby's snarky comment get's a sharp glance, but he stops himself from saying something. Only to hear the shift in Eileen's voice. His whole body goes still as Ryans focuses on… well obviously it's not her. Especially when she doesn't seem blind anymore.

Even more so when their eyes meet and Ryans eyes narrow, jaw tightening. His eyes cut over to Raith then, voice flat and emotionless, "So what's the plan of action at this point?"

Barbara is stunned by this succession of revelation, lips forming into a thin line as she watches "Eileen" very closely, eyes shifting back over to Raith briefly. It is somewhat uncomfortable, this situation. But the fact that Varlane, or someone looking like him, held a gun to Jensen Raith's head alleviates a lot of hesitation she had on this matter. "He spoke to me of believing that Gabriel, or someone he's working with, is intending to stage a coup of somesort for the Ferry. He claimed he was approached by Colette Nichols not to long ago for joining some sort of…" she waves a hand, not able to remember the words Magnes had used, "thing. Something unsavoury, that it might be related, and might be why she seems to have vanished now. I'm not so sure about that, given what I've heard of young Miss Nichols, but the fact remains that he believes these things."

Although Raith's attention does flit for a moment to Eileen when her accent lapses, it moves quickly back to Barbara. "If Magnes was having some sort of psychotic break, I somehow doubt his delusions would be that disparate," he says, noting the differences between what he'd said to the council woman and what he'd said to the ex-spy. "Or, that coherent. He's lying to one of us, and I have enough intel already to know that he lied to you. I don't know if he's crazy, but it seems less likely than his personality somehow being subverted, just given what we know."

"Bad news is that means we don't have a plan of action," is directed to Ryans, "But I don't doubt that he meant everything he said to me, and was ready to shoot me right there if I didn't play along. I can't say how much of a threat he can reasonably pose to Gabriel, but he's definitely dangerous to Abigail and Eileen."

"Did he give you a list of my loved ones?" Abigail inquires, looking at Eileen. Gabriel's playing her again. Was munin stuck down a well again? "or Just expected that you would know them?"

"If this is something someone did to Magnes," Eileen says, in Gabriel's accent though not his voice, "then maybe we should be worried about who's standing behind the curtain. Someone who doesn't like Abby. Or me," is a sharp reminder, delivered to the wan ex-healer, that she isn't exactly the only one. Gabreen also hasn't opened the letter, nor talked to Magnes himself, so he just raises an eyebrow at her query and doesn't respond with actual words.

"We could get someone to talk to his friends, but I'm not sure how much help that would actually be," Barbara responds with a shake of her head. "I told him upfront there was a good chance that letter would not be staying to Eileen herself, depending on what was in it. He didn't seem terribly bothered by this fact." SHaking her head, she sighs, looking between Abby and Gabriel. "I can't imagine he wouldn't expect us to talk either. He knows how to find us here, ban or not. He's already broken it once," she notes, thinking back to Abby's party.

"Knowledge is dangerous enough, but if it is him, or if he has the same ability, there's no telling the kind of damage he could cause if the mood struck him." Already, Raith is moving past the information stage and into the control stage. "Keeping him in the dark as much as possible is best. He doesn't seem like he knows where Abby and Eileen are, and I want to keep it that way. He didn't seem to remember anything about Argentina, or any of Operation Apollo, so we can hope there are memories missing. That'd be another advantage to us." Momentarily, the ex-spy casts his glance around the group. "Doesn't help much with a plan, though. That's what we need most, besides more information. He seems to think I'm trustworthy, so I might be able to work more out of him."

"I need to warn Robert. If magnes at some point finds out that you're not going to go and start doing what's asked of him Raith, he'll either take it upon himself or he'll get someone else to do it. The people at Oh So Sweet need to be warned, Robert… my parents" She's worried now. Magnes has gone crazy from the sounds of it for sure, or someone has messed with him. The latter more likley, since he knows how to contact her. "Has Eileen been told?" You know, not the one standing there in front of them. "Is that why you're looking like Eileen? Are you going to visit him like her?"

"She knows," Gabriel says coolly, and now does he allow the illusion to drop, Eileen's form fading out as his own fades in — he hasn't used shapeshifting, but illusions, made stronger by the fact that everyone here is well acquainted with what Eileen looks like. His coat does have a pocket, however, for the letter he took on her behalf. "She told me what Jensen is telling you now. And no. I haven't counted on it. I just find meetings run smoother when I'm not being myself."

The corner of his mouth lifts, a little wry, before he glances sidelong at Raith. "Playing along is good for the short term. If he needs proof, I can make it realistic." A glance to Abby, a brief analysis, before he pulls a memory from her head.

And becomes Robert Caliban, down to the grey in the blonde, the cut of his suit. "You know what I can do," he fills in, before further demonstration is called for.

Keeping silent for a long time, watching Eileen occasionally… though it's hard to know what's going on in that man's head. Gabriel's demonstartion gets a disapproving narrowing of his eyes, but… A few thoughtful moments more, he turns his gaze back to Raith, arms unfolding. "I think you are in the best position for the moment. Keeping you in his good graces, could be the difference. You or him," he won't say that name, "posing as you."

A hand runs along his short scruff of hair, nails scratching his jaw. "Might keep us one step ahead of him and keep damage to a minimal." Ben shakes his head slowly, glancing at the others around him. "I say keep at it, Jensen. Feed us what you can, we'll act on this as it goes. At least til we can come up with a solid plan." Even if it means ending the poor kids life to protect people. It wouldn't be the first time.

"He seemed understanding of my requests for proof in his accusations," Barbara remarks, her arms crossing. "If he provides me with something, maybe it'll give us some sort of… insight into what is going on." She eyes Gabriel for a moment, if only because she's never been this close to the often named Midtown Man. "Playing along is dangerous, but I think it's the bset we can do at the moment, unless he does something stupid like demanding results for what he wants." A bit of a shrug, her eyes moving to look up at the sky. "Hopefully, he hasn't already hurt anyone. If it is Magnes, I would hate to have to… do something because someonne's taken hold of him." And if they haven't, well…

"I spent ten years in the CIA," Raith remarks, "Playing along is dangerous, but it's also something I'm pretty good at. Gabriel too." At least they have their information gathering taken care of, it would seem. But then…. "There is one other thing. He seems to think he's not from this planet. That he's from some other earth. That's why I could gather from his rambling, but make of it what you will. I'm pretty sure we always thought he was from Mars."

She knows what he can do. He went on television like her before. The only flaw to that had been his lack of a necklace, the one thing she hasn't been seen with since November. Just the wedding band that was on the wrong hand. WHen Gabriel changes into her husband, the fire mimic startles, not having expected that Gabriel would do that. What everyone else says comes off more like the teachers in peanuts, waw waw waw as she stare at him. Starts to move forward before checking herself, reminding herself that it's not him. Which hurts on so many levels and she has to look away, afraid that the prickling behind her eyes will transform into full blown crying.

There's a hesitation, before the illusion pulls back, and Gabriel is back to his thickly eyebrowed, big nosed self again and looking a little perturbed by Abby's silent reaction. As he tends to do, when he isn't deliberately trying to freak anyone out.

"I'm going to take whatever his message is back to Eileen," is both explanation and excuse — if he was needed for anything more specific, thank it would have come up by now, and besides. Raith knows where to find him. It's likely they'll even be following the same path by the time the older man has properly adjourned the meeting, but far be it from Gabriel to follow all social protocols. He passes one more look over Barbara and Ryans both— these are the colleagues that his girlfriend donates so much of her heart and soul to, after all— before he's turning to break from the group in mundage strides.

Probably, he'll turn into something else before he gets to the castle. No one wants to cause a panic.

"Would not be surprising." Ryans can't help but say in support of the Mars idea. "It would explain a lot." A heck of a lot about the boy in the older man's mind. "I also don't doubt your ability in this."

The sight of the Midtown Man has his back straightening, even if Benjamin pretty much had a clue as to who it is. Seeing and knowing can be two different things. It's the agent in him that has him tensing up and on guard, but of course he doesn't act. That's not his job anymore… and… to a point it's better to have him working on their side, then against. No matter if Ben feels uneasy about it.

"Oh, Lord," Barbara intones, a roll of her eyes accompanying that though. "If that's the case, I think I would be best to ask someone to keep an eye on him. Maybe sure he's not endangering other people as well." She looks nonplussed, shaking her head. "I'll yeild to you and.." The Midtown Man in the flesh gets a bit of a look, and she sighs. "And Gabriel on this. You know him far better than I do."

"Unfortunately, I do." Raith regards Gabriel as he starts leaving, but doesn't make any more to stop him. "It might be safest for Abby to stay here, since the boy genius apparently doesn't know how to find her, or at least isn't going to try. I can carry any messages that need to be sent, and keep all of you updated with what we find." Apparently, this is the total extent of what the ex-spy has to say regarding that tidbit. "If there's nothing else, we'll need to get going before patrols get too heavy."

"I'm going to go next week, get Kasha. Warn Robert, then I'll be back and stay here, till something is done regarding Magnes gone off his rocker" Abigail states, not about to be derailed from her plans to fetch her daughter. "If he finds out about kasha, I don't want him going after her, she'll be safe here" Raith and she will be at an impasse it seems, regarding that. "I won't linger. I can let Katya know I'm better or have a message sent. I'll bring Barbara with me" Bring someone with her.

Shaking his head slowly, Ryans doesn't have anything else. At least with what's being discussed anyhow. There are other things on the old man's mind. He's relaxing with the departure of Gabriel. Not completely, but some. There is also no surprise at Abby still planning to go off the island. "Shouldn't be too hard to get a hold of me if you need me for anything."

A look over at Abby, a moment of thought lapsing before she nods. "I'll go, make sure she's okay. If not me, someone else. I'm… not exactly a good shot or anything, and I have no idea if Magnes is keeping ties on me, since he knew I was off the island enough to call me to meet him." Not to mention her ability isn't terribly good for defending her or someone. Particularly if a vision hits and she's rendered largely useless.

"Maybe he knew you were off the island enough to call you," Raith replies to Barbara, "Or maybe you were just a number in his cell phone. Either one seems likely. I'll find out what I can regardless." The ex-spy gives a nod of finality. "I'll find some new mailboxes on the mainland, give you a place to check for updates. I'll stay in contact as best I can." And with that, he is turning and following the same path Gabriel took. In the city that never sleeps, it looks like he won't be, either.

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