I Promise


jj_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title I Promise
Synopsis In fulfilment of a promise made to Liz, a combat-shocked Ferrywoman provides a drug-addled and wounded policeman with a briefing. It goes more smoothly than might have been expected, though she ends up making another promise to find someone else.
Date February 12 2011

Suresh Center

The lobby of the Suresh Center is an open, very well-lit space; the exterior walls are more window than wall. There's a raised half-level on the right side of the irregularly-shaped room as one walks in, carpeted in pine-green, decked with oak furniture and small table lamps; a comfortable-looking space, with actual living plants at the top of the stairs and scattered here and there elsewise. Continuing to the left brings one to the receptionist's desk, a small vending area located just beyond that.

Passing the receptionist brings a visitor to the core of the building. Here are the Kastin and Chapman auditoria, named for donors who provided the money that built them; rooms designed to seat many people for lectures and presentations, equipped with large projector screens, pervasive sound systems, and video recorders. Four conference rooms fill out the central section, reduced in scale but no less comprehensively outfitted. The wings which branch off to either side contain rows of classrooms: smaller, more private and personal, some with installed technology and some with nothing more elaborate than a whiteboard.

The classrooms, conference rooms, and auditoria are all available for public use; anyone who wants to reserve one may do so for a nominal fee, be it to teach a class, hold a meeting, or present a seminar. There are no restrictions on subject, nor even the credentials of the instructor or lecturer, though the Center waives all liability for courses taught by a third party (which is all of them). These courses and seminars are all by definition open to the public. Donations may be requested, or small fees charged, particularly for courses with a materials cost.

In some ways, the wholly surreal nature of walking upside-down across the underside of a truncated bridge, while bathed in red and gold light and gazing up/down at smouldering fires from which one only recently fled… that actually helps Ygraine at the moment. Indeed, it's only as she brings the Suresh Center back into view that she finds the adrenaline biting at her system one again, her weary body urging her to flee in response to the sight of the devasted front of the building.

Still, she forces herself to keep her stride steady, trudging up to slip around the burned wreckage of the truck embedded in the foyer. The floor beneath her feet crunches with fragments of wet, broken glass, though those lucky souls to have engaged in clean-up have swept as much as they can out of the way. Still, dark stains and holes decorate the foyer, and Ygraine is only spared the unpleasant tang of burning by the fact that she herself carries it with her all the time at present.

The woman in filthy, smoke-reeking leathers would normally be turned away from anywhere respectable - but after last night, few in the Center are in the mood (or a fit state) to complain about her appearance, and when she asks for Officer Jameson and drops the names of Doctors Sheridan and Brennan, it's not too long before she's trudging through the damp halls towards the wounded policeman.

The young man is sleeping, stomach down on the gurney of the exam room he's been stowed in. Shirtless, his back is swathed from waist to shoulder-blades in packing and gauze, some blood seeping through despite the no-doubt multitude of sutures beneath the bandaging. It also explains why he's on his stomach. An IV line snakes into one arm that's hanging off the bedding, fingers curled in a loose fist.

The door opening awakens the sleeping beauty, and green eyes blink blearily for a moment before focusing, head tilting to look up at Ygraine's face. It's hard to tell if he recognizes her or not.

"Hi," he manages, brows knitting for a moment as he looks around his room; the recognition settles back into his face and he winces, moving to sit up, swinging his bare feet off the gurney. "Fuck. What time is it."

"Christ - stay put. Lie down. Lie down!", Ygraine urges and pleads, hurrying closer. Before getting this far, she has removed her gloves and washed her hands and face… but she's still markedly drawn, pale, and tense, with dark semi-circles forming under her eyes and a somewhat fevered intensity to her gaze. That is, however, softening as she moves to the gurney, leathers creaking as she sinks into a crouch by JJ, her face creasing in concern.

The young man is still too pale, freckles standing out against the pallor of his face, and he glares down at the IV line that pulls at his arm when he moves too far from the stand. "I'm okay," he mutters. "I can't stay here like this. I have shit to do. I need to find someone…" He looks around, searching for his clothes.

"Ygraine, right?" he says, giving up on the search for the moment before focusing on her face. His pale green eyes are dilated, thanks to the morphine in his system. "You got my message? I didn't mean for you to come here — it might not be safe. They might come back. You should go find a quiet house away from these big shelters to stow away in for the duration, you and anyone you're with. These groups — it's like inviting shit like that." He winces and shakes his head. "Shoulda known better."

"You're not okay", Ygraine insists quietly, gently reaching for JJ's hand with both of her own in an effort to use touch to focus his attention… and perhaps provide some reassurance. "There was blood on your bandages even before you sat up. You're hurt. I'm here to try to help, because you need it. And to check up on you for your boss. She's - we're - worried about you."

"I'll be okay. It's mostly superficial, some muscle, nothing that won't heal. I musta passed out before I could call her — sorry. Tell her I'm sorry," JJ says, swallowing and squeezing Ygraine's hands on his. "Sitting around isn't gonna get things done."

He reaches with one hand for the Tupperware cup of water on the nightstand, bringing it to his lips to swallow the few ounces it holds.

"I'm gonna see if any of those idiots' things can help me figure out where the people are who did this — who they are, where they're based," the young man says, eyes narrowing and voice low with anger. "Tell Liz I'm all right. And that I didn't lose my gun on accident this time."

It's an attempt at humor. He did lose his gun — but to Claire and deliberately.

Ygraine musters a worried smile, peering up at the man from where she crouches by his makeshift bed. "I can give you a run-down of events, if you want. I'm afraid that this wasn't the only place hit, and… Humanis might not be our only problem. As for moving…? I've been told that there might be some more security personnel who can be rounded up as guards, if we can give them somewhere suitable to guard. And this might be our best bet in that line - unless you know of anywhere else with generators and medical supplies."

"I don't think there is. I haven't seen any, unless there's something on Queens side," he manages. "So we got Humanis, we got dome boy, who else is doing shit? I saw the fires before our shit went down — I was just about to head out and go investigate."

JJ's left hand moves to the right to pull at the IV, fingers curling around the tubing and preparing to yank. Medical officer, he clearly is not.

"Nonononono!", Ygraine yelps, reaching to stop him. "Christ, leave it in long enough to let me get a nurse, at least. Even if it's just so that I don't get blamed for wrecking anything you break." Maybe a plea to keep her out of trouble and protect the precious gear will buy a few more seconds without him harming himself. In any case, she attempts to snare both his hands as she talks.

"I… I was up North. It's… bad. Humanis blew up the Chapel. And bombed Eastview. There was a sweeper team. I might be wrong, but I have the impression that there's a core - a training cadre, perhaps, or a formal terrorist cell - that was in here when the Dome appeared. They've been using their time recruiting. And arming. Some of the people were definitely more comfortable with herding people with guns than others. And I'm not sure that the pretence of legality - they were separating out 'humans', and seemed to be looking for the person responsible for the Dome - I'm not sure that that was wholly to try to keep their victims calm. After all… to the scared and stupid, finding the guy responsible and getting him to stop'll only sound sensible, won't it? But while that was going on, the real Humanis guys were planting bombs. And they've got a gifted bomber, from what I've seen."

Sighing, she shakes her head. "But that's not the only problem. They seem to've specifically targetted the Stillwater personnel still on this side of the water. But… they got taken out. Not by Stillwater. But someone… slaughtered the Humanis guys. Mostly bullets. But… I found a hand lying in the road outside Eastview, when I… when I couldn't get anyone else out. Someone cut someone's hand off. And all the guns were gone. There were enough guns - or other things - to kill the Humanis guys there, and then whoever did it took their weapons too."

"Shit." He relents at least on the IV, but he scowls down at it as if it tethers him to this place like a chain. "I gotta friend — I think he might have gotten caught up with some of that bullshit. I need to help find him, get him out. I think it's HF, though."

A grimace of pain makes his eyes tighten and his jaw clench for a moment, though he manages not to swear. His eyes narrow a little and he studies her face. "You know a guy named Ryans at all? I might need his help."

Ygraine looks startled, then narrows her eyes at the cop, thinking for a few moments before growling at him. "If you try to charge off, I will stick you to the bloody ceiling. Understand me?", the Briton warns him. "But… yes. Ryans is investigating a kidnapping. During all the mess here, Humanis were staging at least one 'initiation' over in Queens. I've told him about Valentin. He thought it might be useful. And he said something about knowing that someone had been taken by HF. That's what he's working on."

That someone else knows about Kincaid brings relief to JJ's face and he nods, relaxing a little against his perch on the bed. He looks less likely to run out the door at any moment. "Okay. Good. If you… if you see him, tell him I can help."

His eyes narrow as if she will interrupt, and JJ continues. "I can help. I'll be fine. This'll be better soon. It's more the drugs in me, making me woozy and shit, but I will be all right. I've had worse. Been through worse." Nothing on his public record suggests he's been through worse — Army Reserver who never went overseas and all.

"Can you… look in that little closet thing there and see if my clothes are there? My cell phone should be in my pockets or something I think?" he asks, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath.

Ygraine keeps hold of JJ for a couple of moments longer, either having forgotten her contact or wary of him making a break for it if released. But then she nods slowly, rising somewhat stiffly to her feet and letting go, turning to move over and peer behind the indicated door. "Your boss has been trying it", she warns him gently. "And I gave it a go before coming over here. But… Ryans said that he wanted to get a man back from Humanis 'before they realise the value of what they have', or something of the sort. Would that fit your friend?"

Somewhat gingerly, she sorts out JJ's attire - much of it clearly rather the worse for wear. "Oh - one other major thing. Or two. Your boss initially wanted us to get everyone we could here, and protect them. Set up a central base and guard it heavily. But it looks, from what I could see from the Bridge, as if a lot of people went through the Subway last night. There might be more down there now. I'm not sure. So, as well as Humanis, armed Humanis-hunting vigilantes, the kidnapping you and Ryans are working on, and everything else, we've also got a new dislocated population. Ah. Here you go."

The young man nods at the mention of value. "Yeah. I'm pretty sure it's the same guy. If you have a contact for Ryans, I'd appreciate it, but I know not everyone trusts me… you can pass on my number to him, though."

He peers down at the iPhone, managing to see a promised flash of several missed calls and messages before it dies out completely, battery drained. "Shit. I only have the car charger, and it's in my car."

He tosses the phone behind him on the bed and returns his pale gaze to Ygraine. "Yeah. I don't know. Part of me thinks it's safer to disperse — guns and the like aren't gonna do much against a truck bomb like the other day, you know?" His eyes close again, and he swings his feet back up onto his gurney. Despite his repeated claims of being all right, he looks ready to take a nap. "Tell Liz I'll check in when I can charge my phone, but that I'll be okay. And tell-" he frowns and cuts off his words, shaking his head. "I should be outta here by tomorrow. If you know where Ryans is or can pass him my number…"

"Him, I'd need to find in person", Ygraine says, stepping around JJ to reach for his phone. Propping her rump on a wall, she rests the phone casually on one forearm… where it stays in defiance of all conventional physics as she rummages around in the inner pockets of her heavy jacket, pulling out a slender black box, then attaching a cable to it, then hooking that to the phone, and finally setting the ensemble down beside JJ… a little power light on the box confirming that it has electrical charge.

"Crank-powered tech. Invested in it after the last Winter. Wish to high Heaven more people had." A shake of the head, and she musters a genuine smile… though it fades as her thoughts get back on track. "They've got a good bomber. Eastview was hit by two - one blast, in the lift-shaft, I think, and one firebomb that… pretty much instantly took out the top two floors. I was one floor down from it. The Chapel went up in one explosion."

He watches curiously through tired eyes, brows lifting in appreciation. "I have my car charger but … hell I don't know, my car might be exploded for all I know," he says wryly, powering up the phone and sifting through the messages. His face contorts just a little at one, and he tries to type — cut-up fingers making him backspace more than usual.

"Jesus. How many people were still staying in the chapel?" he says, hurt looking eyes glancing up again. He'd spent time with those people. "Dono if I should be happy I happened to come this way last night or not."

"I… don't know, exactly. But I know bunks had been set up there", Ygraine says hoarsely, looking away. "I couldn't bear to go there. And… when I saw what had happened to this place, I couldn't come in here last night, either. I…."

Closing her eyes, she shakes her head. "If it's solid, I can walk on it. And I can let other people do so, too. Bit more than my Registered 'Object Adhesion'. But… that's what I was using to get people out of Eastview, once it was bombed and burning. I kept going in and out as long as I could breathe. I… I think I got everyone who wasn't on the top floors. And was still alive. I hope. But… especially when I came out and looked in the street, and it was just bodies. And that hand cut off, just lying there. And the guy who'd been driven over…."

The one message is sent, and then on to another — the typing is slow and tedious, and probably ridden with errors. "There, Liz knows I'm alive, so that's one less thing you need to run around and do," he says gently, given her obvious distress.

He reaches to squeeze her hand. "Thanks for helping them. I'm sorry you had to see all that," he says quietly. "You should rest. You won't be any good to anyone if you don't, any more than I will, much as I hate to admit it."

His hand squeezes hers lightly. "At least a few hours for you." His eyes close again with another wave of pain. "I think I need a nap," he adds, suddenly lying back down, cheek to pillow.

"I had a few hours earlier. I need to wear myself out more if I'm not simply going to see it all again", Ygraine says quietly. "And if you want anything got to Ryans, I need to hand-deliver a message to where I can hope he'll get it. But you definitely stay here for the moment. And I'll try to find Jaiden. Right now, he and I might be the best bets we have for sane transport across the river. It's us, any small boats people can find, the Subway… or Valentin. So… if you want people or information physically moved, try getting hold of me, or Jaiden if you know him. And I'll see if I can let Ryans know that he's got your backing for finding that guy."

JJ's eyes are closing as he nods to her words. He's not going anywhere for the moment, it seems. "I'll be on my feet, tomorrow, I promise. Give Ryans my number." The short sentiments come with effort, his voice low and sleepy, "Tell Jaiden thank you, too," he murmurs. "Keep in touch, Ygraine. And stay safe."

Stepping over once more, Ygraine gives JJ's hand a gentle squeeze, frowning worriedly down at him. "I will. I'll leave your phone charging a little longer, to make sure you can get some use out of it, she murmurs. Now sleep. We'll take care of things until you wake up. I promise."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License