I'm In...


cardinal3_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title I'm In…
Synopsis Claire returns to the Library the next morning, she debriefs Cardinal and Elisabeth. She also receives Rebel's verdict, she's in.
Date March 29, 2010

New York Public Library

It is a good thing that Claire wasn't an atmokinetic like her old friend Helena, because as the young woman steps into the Library, she would probably bring with her a storm. A gray janitorial jumpsuit is unzipped, but more importantly it is covered in large black patches of black blood, an obvious hole from a bullet, about mid chest. Over that is a black sports jacket, it hangs large and loose over her smaller frame, having taken it from Lemay's place to cover up the blood.

After dropping off the files, Claire had to take her time getting back, no doubt it was all over the news by now. The look on her face, is dark and brooding, splattered with blood as well, hair a bit of a wild mess. The little blonde regenerator isn't happy, not at all.

It storm blows through the library, past the cameras ignoring them as the focus on her. As soon as she's down in the tunnels out of the open, a keening sound starts in her throat until she gives a furious scream, and Claire slams a fist into the wall, ignoring the flash of pain and snap and pop of a few bones in her hand.

It doesn't matter, as they will be healed by time Claire's done turning and sliding down to sit on the floor. Dirt and blood smudged hands, lift and she buries her face in them, hair falling around her.

"This is insane, Richard. Why the hell would the entire Vanguard faction follow Dreyfus from Russia just to come after me? That doesn't make any sense. I know I killed the man's son, but …. revenge is not usually a whole-group action, you know? Nor is it generally requiring of targeting not just family of the people involved but students and random friends too. Something else has to be up." Elisabeth is sitting, gingerly in deference to her bruised ribs, in one of the plush chairs that was rescued from an office upstairs in the library. She's slouched back, trying to ease the pressure on her chest, and shoves a hand through her hair. "I have some amount of clearance to get FRONTLINE involved, though — which is helpful. I just have to not get my ass concussed yet again."

Claire's entrance into the library's lower levels doesn't go unnoticed. Liz shoves herself out of the chair painfully, her brows yanking down at the sound of Claire's scream. "She's back. And she sounds….. either pissed or hurt." Black boots are already moving toward the hallway.

"What…?" A hollow whisper from the shadows that Liz was talking to, and Cardinal slips after her towards the disturbance.

Having not expected actual, people Claire's head comes up in surprised, tears streak pink down her bloody splatter cheeks. Those are wiped at quickly as the sound of steps end up being Elisabeth. Of course, it only smears the blood across her cheeks that much more. "Hey Liz," The regenerator chokes out, using the edge of the jacket to wipe at her cheeks more. There is no guilt on her face, just embarrassment being caught crying.

"Where is Richard?" She asks roughly, eyes dropping to the shadow following the woman.

"He was there." She blurts out to the tattered remains of Cardinal, hands plucking at the bloodied gray uniform. "Fucking Rebel.. how could he not fucking know he was there in the building." The young woman is livid, tears threatening, words bit off with venom, almost shouted.

Well, now that the tinyblonde is back in the building, both leaders of their little band of vigilantes have some questions for her. It's what drew Liz here this early to start with — Claire's little escapades made the 6am news and Liz showed up VERY shortly thereafter to demand of Richard what kind of run she was doing. And since he didn't have good answers either… well, there you have it.

Rounding the corner of the hall, Liz sees the shape Claire's in and moves to squat next to the younger woman knowing that her shadow, literally, will answer for himself. "What happened?" 'Rebel' is an answer in and of itself, really, but the details will be important.

"Of course Rebel knew he was there…" There… A hissing whisper from the shadow as it sweeps up in a tattered shroud over the wall, fluttering and rustling in agitation as Richard keeps himself together as best he can, "…what happened, exactly?"

A sharp glance goes to Elisabeth, but it smooths out some. "I don't know how much, Richard told you." She glances down and away, shoulders still tense with the stress, "I'm trying to get in with Rebel's group. Be his eyes and ears there… but they wanted to test my loyalty." That last stated bitterly, before she glances at Richard.

"I went in. Easy. Rebel did as he said. All the electronic locks were open, the cameras looking else where all of it." Easy short version, it seems is on tap, the anger rising in her voice again. "Got in. Found the files…" She pauses there, lips pressed together, fishing out a blood smeared digital camera and holds it up to the Shadow. "…their Company files." She states simply. "Of evolved men."

Taking a deep, shuttering breath she continues, this is where it is nothing like the news story, "I was taking the pictures of the files and next thing I know I'm on the ground with a hole in my lung. The guy was in the building doing his laundry." Her body is trembling with her anger, as she says those words. Clearly, Rebel set her up. Or at least in her mind. "Once I could breath, I shot him in the leg so I could get out. Dropped the files off, laid low."

There's a nod. Liz knew that much at least. What she didn't know was what the hell Claire was doing on the news. As the story unfolds, Elisabeth closes her eyes and drops her head. She looks back toward the shadow on the wall and asks quietly, "Is Rebel stupid enough to burn her in a public forum just for loyalty's purposes? If he is, he's gone around the bend — having the full force of the fucking COMPANY chasing her basically complicates any goddamn move any of us need to make. Both PARIAH and us."

"I don't know exactly how crazy he is… he burnt my cover to Catherine, just because I wouldn't hand you all over to him as his followers…" His followers… The shadow's tendrilling shape pulls itself along the wall to look at the digital camera, Cardinal musing, "…let's see what you got. Are we sure this guy was Company? I mean, we have some of their files too…" //Too…"

There is a buzzing at her leg and Claire, glances down, looking confused for a moment, her head is not completely on at this point. There is a blink and she's fishing out her cellphone, fingers fumbles at it and she drops it on the floor next to her, a good sign that she's still flustered from the whole experience. Swallowing, she takes a moment to gather herself and pick up the phone.

A glance to the screen, Claire offers it over her shoulder so the shadow can see. "MESSIAH." She says to Liz, with a snall sniffle. "And I'm in…" The screen of the phone holds a message.

Job well done, Bennet. You have given valuable information that will save two important lives. Welcome to MESSIAH. Here are your next orders:

A 15 year old girl with a power similar to that of Peter Petrelli is currently being safeguarded by the Ferrymen at an unknown location, last known destination Midtown ruins. She is a high-value target to a government testing facility similar to what you suffered in Madagascar at the hands of the Vanguard. We require you to be my eyes and ears and find her for me. Do not move on the girl's location, simply inform me of where she is and we will send others to extract her. She is the key to saving countless lives. This phone is now secure, we will prevent networked cameras and electronic devices from transmitting your image or location as best as we are able.

End of message.

The camera is retrieved from where she dropped it in her lap, turning it over she scrapes at the blood spots on the screen and she turns it on.

Elisabeth looks over the message and gets more grim if that's even possible. And she wraps an arm around Claire's bloodied outfit to draw the girl in for a hug. Squatting there, she rests her cheek on the younger woman's head and looks toward Richard Cardinal's shadow with a protective expression. "I don't trust Rebel to keep her location off anyone's radar. This is bullshit, Richard. Rebel is not the person who knows what's going on — the entity is part fucking BAD GUY. There is no way in hell we're allowing Claire to inform on Liette's location." Richard's told Liz what's happening there, and the girl is a child. No fucking way. Rebel has hit and blasted right on through her line in the sand. "If she's with the Ferry, she's safe. And if Rebel doesn't know that, then Rebel is not on our side of anything." For the first time in ages, Elisabeth has hit the flashpoint of losing control. Rage, subverted over and over, now has a viable target in Rebel's idiotic ass, and the inaudible hum of below-bass sound rumbles through Claire's body, ruffling her hair a bit.

"MESSIAH? Oh, well, that speaks well for Rebel's comparative level of insanity… wait, you know who it is, Liz?" Who Rebel is…? A bemused, confused twist of his voice there, as Cardinal pauses in his conversation, "…Claire. The phone; power it down." Turn it off…

The blonde leans into the audiokinetic, even as shaking fingers work at the camera, clearly shaken somewhat by the experience. The image of the photo of a man with round classes shows up. Of course, at the order from her boss, the camera is dropped into her lap again, to grab frantically at the phone. She is silent as she holds the off button down, then flips it over to work the battery cover off and pop it out.

"Sorry, Richard." She murmurs sounding completely embarrassed at her rather noob-like mistake, letting it all drop on her lap in a clatter of plastic. She rubs both hands over her face in exhaustion, before reaching down to pick up the camera again. "There were two evolved. One there is no name shown the other, some guy named Ashley.. something or another, both Moabites." She's seen the files so she offers the camera to Liz to flip through.

Holding Claire tightly, giving what support she can, Elisabeth has that expression that pops when certain people she considers 'hers' are threatened. Hard blue eyes are looking at the shadow that flutters around them both. "I know that one of the entities that makes up Rebel is Niki's son, Micah Sanders. I can't remember who the original other was — he was the one who told Niki where to find Micah. The two of them merged or something. And they went off with Wireless to fight some rogue technopath and some kind of complicated something or another happened." She bites her lip. "I need to get more details from Cat, but I've been slammed. She told me to be cautious of requests that Rebel might send our way."

"Oh, Jesus." Jesus… A whispered prayer or oath from Cardinal, who's silent for a long moment, "…wait, a guy named Ashley, from Moab? He was one of Monroe's people… I heard that he was breaking away from them, but when I tried to make contact, he hung up on me. I haven't heard anything about him since…" Since…

"Either way…" Claire says softly, "We need someone in there, to make sure they or us don't all get royally screwed over." She straightens some, to look at Liz. "Allen Rickham is in that group as well, I saw him the night I tried to tell them we'd be willing to help." Something she hasn't told anyone, only reason Cardinal would know is cause he was there. "Knox, West, all of them. This whole thing proves they could be in danger." Old alliances aside they were her friends once. "I'm the best person we have to get in good with the group." Her mouth hooks up on one side in a bit of a smile.

"My pardon is forfeit anyhow. I'm back to being on the run. Back to how it was." There is a small shrug of her shoulder like it's not really that big of a deal to her, though in a small way it is, something for her to think upon later. She flicks through the photo's until she finds the picture of the guy's photo and offers it to Liz to show the shadow over the older blonde's shoulder. "That him?"

Elisabeth takes a look at the pictures Claire offers, and she frowns visibly. "Rickham? That's….. unexpected. Wasn't he working with your mother?" She sighs and looks at Claire, her worry evident in her expression and in the low hum of not-sound that still plays around her, disupting the air molecules nearest her. "It pisses me off that they decided to make you prove your loyalty by blowing the pardon. They set you up. Which means they're not to be trusted in the slightest. It's not the pardon that matters… it's the fact that you had something they didn't like you having and they made every effort to fuck you over." She sighs heavily. "I don't disagree we need someone in there, but goddamn it."

"She knew the risks when she agreed to infiltrate the organization, Elisabeth… besides, when this is all said and done, I'm sure we can arrange something," Cardinal says in a quiet, hissing whisper of voice as he slithers off the wall and climbs up the audiokinetic, 'peeking' over her shoulder, "Wait, wait— stop. Go back a few… those are Commonwealth Institute files." The Institute…

"Shit. Shit. That's a timeline, it's— what day is it?" What day?

"Like Richard said, I figured that eventually, it would be null and void once I got in there." Claires fingers tug through her mess of blond hair, "But I had hoped to at least be able to get a place to stay before the shit hit the fan… Now… I have no idea where I am going to stay." She gripes a bit, before glancing at the hissing shadow.

A glance goes to the pictures as Liz flips through them. She photographed enough of the table to get some of the other documents. "It that what that logo is? Reminded me of Pinehearst." A hand rubs across her nose as she asks, "Though, I wonder where Site 17 is."

"You saw Rebel's broadcast, Claire…" Cardinal whispers, "…it's probably Summer Meadows." Summer Meadows…

"So.. what? They are gonna sweep through Summer Meadow in…" It actually takes Claire a moment to think. "Three — four days?" Brows lower into a frown, as she eyes the camera thoughtfully. "So much for planning ahead," Claire states blandly with a shake of her head, "Cause it mentioned establishing a check point with National Guard and Stillwater." Brows lift slightly, at a thought, her back straightening some. "They start doing something today. But in a few days start the sweep."

Then Claire's shoulders roll forward a bit, "Not that we can do anything about it, especially with me wanted."

Elisabeth has been silent while she reads, and she looks up at the shadow. "If they're using Stillwater Securities, we may actually be able to find out a bunch of shit. Stillwater is Diego's company. So far as I know." And Diego's on her FRONTLINE squad.

"We need to get this intel to Cat," Cardinal whispers, "The Ferrymen need to be warned…" Warned…

"Actually — and bear with me here." Claire starts timidly, shifting away from Liz and holding up her hands, "It would probably be better if Rebel warns them, or I do after I tell Rebel I need to get this stuff to my dad." She glances to both of them. "That way if he decides to be an ass and not tell them and the information gets to them anyhow, it will mean he looks at me."

The regenerator's eyes go to the shadow, even if she can't see his fact to judge the reaction. "Since it's my dad's group, if it leaks it's cause it is — well — my dad and it doesn't ruin the cover." They are now playing a dangerous game after all.

"Alright. Just… get it to her quickly," replies Cardinal in a terse whisper, "Today's the first day on that timeline, if I… have the date right, anyway…" The date…

There's a long pause while Elisabeth considers the situation…. and nods very slowly. "You're right. It needs to come from you." She doesn't like it. She more than doesn't like it. But it's not as if they have the luxury of playing it safe anymore. Liz can't play it safe either — her own actions are skirting the edge of her agreement with the Feds for her pardon too. She was supposed to stop subversive behavior, after all. In her case, she's risking mostly jail. And perhaps mindrape by Kershner or a pet telepath. But still…. it's not a simple game. Hasn't been in a long time.

Elisabeth sighs heavily. "I was going to tell you to get cleaned up, but it'll be more convincing if you show up bloody," she tells the regenerator quietly. Tipping Claire's chin around to meet her eyes, Liz says softly, "If you need anything, you send word. All you have to do is call my cell, or call Abby." Code word, need a code word. "Tell her… Christ…" Her brain draws a blank. "Carina."
Liz adds softly, "Just the one word. I'll know it came from you. It was my mother's name."

"Or me, too. Or… Wireless," Cardinal says in a quiet whisper, "She's always out there somewhere, now that she's back online… call for Apila if you need to get word out…" Word out…

Elisabeth shakes her head at Richard, contradicting him. "If she's using digital and she uses Apila…. they could try to block her."

"Cat has been texting me like crazy since last night, trying to get me to talk to her." Claire explains to the shadow. "I think she'll listen and hopefully get stuff to my dad…" there is a grimace. "I should call him myself.

Then blue eyes shift over to the audio kinetic, a small smile touches her lips for her. "Yes, ma'am." there is a small firm nod against the hand on her chin, before she pulls it away, hands gathering up her pieced out cell phone, she pushes to her feet with her other hand.

"I should get packing, as of today, to Rebel at least, I am not longer EndGame." The words are a touched strained, as they pass Claire's lips. "I'll see if I can get a hold of my dad, once I'm at Cat's and find a safe house to hide in for awhile." Her face falls some, "If — if he'll talk to me." She starts to fumble with the cellphone now. "And as far as anyone outside us three know… we…" She glances at woman and shadow alike. "…had a falling out over what happened and I stormed out."

"We know the truth. Make me proud, Claire," Cardinal says simply, quietly.

Her blue eyes hold worry as well as understanding for what Claire's doing. Liz rests her forehead against Claire's and kisses the girl's forehead. "Be safe," she whispers. And then she releases the regenerator and stands up, turning to look down the hall so the younger woman can't see the shimmer of tears.

The good of the many has to outweigh our own desires…. but Elisabeth would really like to know what we did that the Fates decided this was our penance — to be the unsung heroes of a world that really could give a shit and probably can't be saved anyway. Or maybe that's just her bitterness talking.

"You know I'll do my best, boss." Claires says softly, a sad glance going to the shadow. "I'll find a way to let you know where I am staying, so you can reach me if need be." With that the backing of the cellphone is clicked into placed, followed shortly by the chime of the phone coming online.

Holding it aloft, she salutes both, "I'm out of here." And she hurries away to her room, to pack and get out of there, tears will come later. Especially, when she takes a glance back at the Library, duffel bag over her shoulder. It almost feels like she's leaving it for good, the way there is a twist in her chest, and the tears prickle at her eyes.

So she'll have to reminded herself that she's not really leaving, only going under cover and deep down under the surface…

"I'm still EndGame."

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