I Need You In Armor


elisabeth_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title I Need You In Armor
Synopsis Elisabeth has a request and Ryans is not allowed to say no.
Date November 6, 2011

Somewhere outside Jade City, British Columbia, Canada

Well… there’s armor, there’s vests. There’s a pregnant woman who is DEFINITELY wearing the highest level armor that can be provided. But there’s an argument to be had, Elisabeth is sure, because distribution of the prototype armor was something they weren’t sure of when they left New York. Liz has been mentally cataloging abilities and personnel since they left, trying to sort out who is going to need it, who it would best serve, and where to manage the crash course in the hydraulics that is going to be required.

Ryans is outside chopping wood again for the second time today. She caught raised voices and quickly muted them inside the building so no one else was privy to whatever was being said in that room — privacy is at a premium. It’s the least she can offer them. But… it’s become very clear to her exactly where one of those armor suits needs to go. And well… he needs something to get his mind off the situation he’s now faced with.

As she joins him out near the wood pile he’s making, the blonde audiokinetic shoves her hands into the pockets of her coat. She doesn’t have to raise her voice to be heard. “So… without prying into your private life here, I’m gathering that… you have a personal stake in the lady and her little one. You do realize that there’s nothing you’re going to say to change her mind on this, though, yeah?” Liz watches him — he doesn’t need to hear it. She can see it in his face. “I’ll make sure she’s covered with the heavy-duty armor. But you and I need to talk about you. Are you going to be able to keep your head in the game with this?”

There’s no judgment in her tone, merely concern for his state of agitation.

Unseen under the white bulk of his winter coat, Ryans muscles work pushing and pulling to swing that axe up and bring it down with enough forces to split the log in front of him. He has already been there for a bit, he is finding it to be rather comforting. It is a rhythm… a sense of routine that grounds him and allows him to think. Though he would not be surprised if Huruma is helping with that feeling, too. Clearly, Nicole has a skill in getting under his skin or maybe it was just the situation.
It is not as easy to be okay with something when it is your own lover that is pregnant and not someone else.

The arrival of Liz is noted with a sharp sideways glance of stormy blue eyes. His work is paused, allowing to handle of the axe to fall through his fingers until the axe head rests on the edge of his hand. Only then does she get the full weight of his attention. There is a small tick of amusement at the corner of his mouth, and he offers in a gentle rumble, “I have been in this game since before you were born, Harrison.” This seems to be all the answer she will need for that question. It is offered as a matter of fact statement. He has probably seen her files as the former Director of a dead Company.

“And yes. I have a stake in Nicole’s well-being.” The axe is dropped down onto the stump, while he speaks. There are no real emotions there, his cool has been restored. He glances up at the windows of the second floor and sighs heavily, the air in front of him turning white. “She’s as stubborn as Lucille’s mother was.” He goes quiet for a moment, eyes turning thoughtful. “I don’t like this.” …situation. That has been painfully obvious since they stepped into that safehouse.

Elisabeth laughs quietly at the retort about how long he’s been at the game. And there is sympathy in her gaze as he comments on the fact that he doesn’t like it. It’s kind of obvious, yes. “Well… you know how the grapevine works around here. So, if you’re getting side-eyes, it’s just because people are dying to know what went on in there.” She shrugs slightly. “I gave you what privacy I could.” Meaning she put a bubble field around the area so that they could yell without the whole room having a front-row seat. “I can’t honestly say that I fault her,” she admits candidly. “If it were my son in there, I’d feel the same way.”

Pulling in a long breath, she lets it out slowly in the cold air. “I have something I want from you and you get the first three minutes to object strenuously before you have to listen to my reasons.” A faint grin plays about her lips. “My intention had been to make sure that one of the vests went to you, but… based on what we’re getting from scouts now, I want you to take one of the full sets of armor.” Her tone is both respectful of his experience and firm in her stance.


Not even thinking about it for even a moment, Ryans gives his answer quick and to the point. “We have plenty of good people” - younger people, more tech savvy people – “that will need it more and be able to use it.” He crouches down to start stacking the wood that he has already cut.

“Huruma is a good candidate,” he offers in a thoughtful ton as he adds pieces to the pile, one after the other neatly stacked. Sign of an organized man. “The Brians as well. Nicole too,” He tilts his head to look at the other woman, one eye closed against the dying days sunlight. “—if she’ll fit into one, that is.”

Yeeeahhhhhh. Elisabeth knew he was going to be a baby about this. She’s got his number, at least in this regard. So she stands there with her hands still in her pockets, politely listening to every single excuse he throws out there, even nodding at some of them. She seems very attentive to his words, and she looks like she’s even agreeing.

And then she’s not.

“Huruma and Brian are each going in one. I have my Horizon armor. Nicole will get one of the vests, if you like. I think it’s a very good idea to have a little extra protection on her, given her condition,” she agrees easily. “You are taking the third suit.”

When he starts to object again, Elisabeth holds up her hand. “Stop. And listen to me. How many years of experience do you have in the field, Ben?” She holds his gaze steadily. “How many years do you have in the Ferry? How much do these people trust you to make a call in the field? And how many of them are going to listen to me when I give an order if they don’t have you to look to?”

Shaking her head at him, the blonde says quietly, “I need you in armor at the front of this. The team needs to know that you and I are on the same page and that if, God forbid, something should happen to you, they can trust me to give your orders. Which means I need you to show them your trust by using the armor out there. Besides which, it means that our best general is covered.”

The woman may not be one to work out the long-term strategy — but she’s a hell of a tactician.

There is an attempt at a protest. Ryans looks ready to argue with her about it, rising to his feet again; but, he manages to hold back. Lips pressed into a thoughtful line, eyes fully focused on what she is saying. Finally, looks away towards the trees around them, mulling over her words.

Finally, he gives a huff of amusement, glancing her way. “You make a good point.” Corners of his eyes crease a little more with amusement, as Ben seems to truly consider her for the first time. “Different times, you would have made a good agent within the Company.” His version of the Company, not what it had become. He reaches up and pulls the grey beanie off his head, leaving a wild mop behind.

“Fine.” Ryans takes a deep breath and straightens his frame. “I’ll do this, but only as a show of unity on the battlefield. I will also make sure they know that you are in charge when I am — unable.” He still doesn’t like the idea, but… lately… he is realizing it is worthless to argue with some women.

There’s a soft smile at that comment. “You know… Kat Marks and Len Denton each said something like that once,” Elisabeth admits. “I take it as a huge compliment, coming from them… and from you.” Because of the kind of people they are, not because of what the Company became.

When he agrees, she seems to relax a little, and then those blue eyes study him thoughtfully. “What can I do for you?” Liz asks quietly. “Because it’s pretty clear that you need somewhere to put all that venting you’re bottling up. If you’d like an ear, I can just mute us out here, you can bellow about it to your heart’s content, and I’ll never tell a soul just how well you can cuss,” she offers, a quirk of a smile to one side of her mouth.

“Thank you, but no.” Ryans head shakes slowly. “I appreciate the offer.” He tucks the beanie in a pocket, before couches down to start stacking wood into his arms. “I have nearly sixty years of dealing with –” He waves it away as an afterthought, before continuing at his tasks. “I was simply – caught off guard.” Simply might not be the right word, but it is trying to play it down a little.

Once he has arms loaded, the tall man stands again. Not as easy with the extra weight. “What you can do for me, Harrison, is help me keep my people safe.” His eyes flit briefly in the direction of the house. “More so now.” He is, after all, worried about how much a distraction it will be to have his pregnant fiancé there. Even if he doesn’t say it.

That is a given,” Elisabeth replies quietly, her tone very serious as her eyes cut back toward the house. She pulls her hands out of her pockets to help carry some of the firewood that he’s split. Her load isn’t quite as large as his, but then again she has nothing to prove either.

That they’re going to lose people, both of them already know. She says simply, “The offer’s on the table.” But she doesn’t push him. It’s not her business, after all. And she’s rather got her own mental things in the middle of all this. “I’ll see you for armor training in the morning. It’s not hard, but it’ll take a little practice to make sure that you’re comfortable before we go in.” Her boots crunch on the snow as they head for the house.

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