In The Absence Of Truth


colette_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif

Scene Title In The Absense Of Truth
Synopsis Retreating to a place where she can be alone, Colette instead finds herself face to face with an unexpected visitor.
Date November 26, 2009

Hotel California, Ruins of Midtown

This isn't the place most people would expect a teenage girl to run off to after serving food.

Having abandoned her dirtbike under cover of a collapsed parking garage a block away, Colette Nichols made the perilous trek through the ruins of Midtown to one of the few skyscrapers still mostly standing. This looming and crumbling edifice looks like something that belongs in a warzone, not in the middle of a civilized metropolis.

Having arrived long after Colette due to varying means of travel, Kaylee's tresspass into one of the Ferrymen's lesser-known establishments is a harrowing journey past crumbling staircases, across an entire gutted floor of the office building whose exposed north face views out to the freezing cold winds and desolate skyline of the ruins' heart. How anyone can live here is beyond imagination.

By the time Kaylee's halfway up the building, signs of life become evident. Cabling strewn across floors, hanging lights suspended from loose wires and collapsed portions of the ceiling. Some office rooms converted to makeshift sleeping spaces with little more than a mattress thrown on the floor and old blankets. This is like something that would be around after the end of the world.

Approaching the sight of more lights and subtle warmth, Kaylee can hear the sounds of a single girl's voice echoing off of the concrete walls of the slightly crooked building. "…Hey, Dad. It's me. Uh, I— I'm staying at the Lighthouse on Staten Island again tonight. Brian needs me to uh… help out. So— don't wait up for me. I love you, and I'll talk to you tomorrow. Bye."

It's only then Kaylee's in view of the office floor that the Ferrymen use as a hiding place. Here the dust and ash clouded windows view little of the street and plywood has been affixed over damaged windows to cover them from the cold. Pocketing a cell phone, Colette makes her way towards a folding table with a lawn chair set beside it, where a few empty beer cans are strewn about. Setting down one of the styrofoam meal containers from the shipment she was handing out, Colette slouches down into the chair with a protesting creak of the aluminum frame and a tired sigh.

No one is here, no operators, no security, no occupants. Whoever runs this building doesn't keep a steady crew, and whoever resides here — aside from Colette — isn't here right now.

This isn't what Kaylee imagined.

She always thought Joseph had it bad at Grand Central Terminal, but this…. Kaylee can only slowly shake her head as she finally reaches the hidey hole. This made it seem like the Hilton somehow. "I never realized how many of the Ferrymen places are… little more then…. " There is no words for how it all appears to her. Reaching down she picks up a beer can and looks it over, crunchign the sides a bit, before tossing it aside making it clatter loudly across the floor.

Knowing that her appearance might freak this girl out, Kaylee hold up a hand as she pulls her scarf down, "Don't freak out okay?" As if those words ever worked for anyone. "I… just wanted to talk. I feel like we got off on the wrong foot somehow."

Freezing in her seat instead of jumping and startling, Colette's wide-eyed stare affixed on Kaylee is one of immediate panic. But, thankfully, once she at least recognizes who it is, some of that guard eases some. Tense and stiff, the teen hunches her shoulders and closes the foam case of her dinner. "Flint runs this one… it's kind of a last resort." Flint probably wouldn't like it being called that. Colette furrows her brows, watching Kaylee quietly as the young woman makes her way inside.

"It— It's nothing. I'm just dumb." There's a shake of the teen's head as she pushes up from her chair and moves towards one of the nearby cubicles. "Sorry about— earlier. It— " her words cut off in an exasperated hiss, "I didn't mean anything by it." That I wanted you to hear.

She's not good at this telepathy thing.

There's a creak, followed by a clank from inside of the cubicle, and Colette comes out with a pair of silvery cans, one held in each hand. "Thirsty? All Flint's got is beer and porn up here, but— " she rolls her shoulders, moving back to the table and setting a can of cheap beer down on the folding table, popping the tab off of the other as she slouches down in her seat. "The other day I was just freaked out. M'sorry. Between seeing Doc and hearing what he said about you and Eric…" her eyes close, head shaking slowly. "Sorry."

A glance goes around the place as Colette mentions the operator of it. "Why am I not surprised that Flint runs this one." Her tone slightly bland and she shakes her head slowly. She sounds a bit irritated at the mention of him.. maybe it's the fact he embarrassed the hell out of her in front of Joseph, when he asked if they were an item. Seriously, he could do much better then her. Just the thought makes Kaylee sigh, "No.. trust me, your reaction is about par for the course when it comes to me. People tend to run screaming when they find out what you are."

Her eyes fall to the beers in Colette's hands, "Ah… thanks, but… I don't drink." She gives the girl a sheepish smile. "Though… I am tempted to take his porn and burn it." Her smile turning a touch mischievous at the idea of burning his porn and leaving the ashes in a nice little pile for him to find. Retaliation is a bitch sometimes.

Giving herself a little shake and focusing on Colette she moves to settle into one of the other chairs, listening to the creak. "Well… I don't blame Dr. Brennan really. He's in mourning and is angry. So he's going to pick a scapegoat."

"I don't either…" Colette comments about the drinking, before immediately taking a sip from the can and setting it down. "Flint's not a bad guy, he just tries real hard to get people not to like him so he doesn't have to worry about losing anybody…" It sounds like someone else might've told her that bit. "Kind've like Eric."

Considering her meal with a bland expression, Colette returns to the can of beer, taking another sip before looking across to Kaylee on the other side of the square table. "Eric said he didn't do what Doctor Brennan said. I… want to believe him. He seems like a good guy, you know? Just… he's got it really bad I guess. Reminds me of Flint."

Sipping at her beer again, Colette sits crooked in her chair. "Did he really do it?" She asks bluntly, looking across the table to Kaylee. "Did you?" At least she's straightforward about it.

"Oh I don't doubt he is… Doyle is when it comes to the kids. He loves to tell them stories." Kaylee sounds slightly amused, "I guess I can't really blame them for that… Not wanting to loose anyone. He gets the same way with me too, but I tend to let things just roll off my back.. same with Flint really." Tho… Flint seems to be able to push her buttons sometimes, for a woman that prides herself in not letting people get to her… it's irritating.

"Start the riot? No." Kaylee states that firmly, leveling Colette with a serious look. "Had I thought about it.. yeah. But then people started fighting, chairs flying.. a knife slicing through the crowd. I saw the footage on the news." She gives a bit of a shiver. "Did we take the vaccines? Not really, and I imagine the evidence will show that too."

She glances at the table, her head bowing a little, before she moves to lean on the card table making it shift a bit. "It sucks what happened to him… and I hate that he seems unable to be budge from thinking me and Doyle did it." Kaylee's lips press into a thin line, "I just plan to steer clear of him.. If he finds out what I can do… I… don't know how he'll react." She looks rather worried about that.

Furrowing her brows, Colette closes her eyes and exhales a slow, tired sigh. "I believe you…" She murmurs, making a dimpling click with the metal of her beer can and her thumb. "Then somebody else caused it. The police reports I saw on TV that day said stuff was flying around out of control. You like— read minds or something, and I dunno what Eric does, but I don't think he did it, so… that sort've rules him out." Tracing one finger over the top of the can, Colette's green eyes follow the movement before drifting up to Kaylee.

"I told him I was going to prove to Brennan he didn't do it. Besides, whoever did cause it is an asshole and they deserve to be caught. M'gonna do it, m'gonna figure this out and clear Eric's name, just to prove to him that the world isn't as shitty of a place as he thinks it is…" Then, considering why she's here, Colette strains "only sometimes…" through her teeth.

"Well.. that's something for him to tell you, but no he doesn't have the ability to throw stuff around like that." Kaylee states with a small smirk as she meets the girls eyes. "And I'm not sure you can convince Eric that the world isn't all that shitty.. cause it really is. Not to mention all the crap he's been through at the hands of the government and other types of groups. I can't blame him for wanting to be left alone." There is a slow shrug of her shoulder, "I've been pushing him out of that damn safehouse though, I can't stand seeing him mope about and hide himself from the world. He's got it in him to do good… he's just… got issues like a lot of us."

Fingers tap lightly on the table and Kaylee lets her gaze drift over to the sooty windows. "And yeah, I read minds. I've been trying not to read them.. It's not like a hobby." Her head stays facing the window, but her eyes flick over to Colette as she gives her an amused look, "When someone's thought scream at me, I can't exactly shut them out." A hand lift to point at her, "Like you… so I'm sorry if I catch anything accidentally."

What was once gruff deference turns into awkward embarrassment as Colette reaches up to scratch at the back of her neck with one hand, and hide her face behind the can of her beer as she takes another sip. "I… I'm sorry 'bout that. I'm not used to having to— uh— censor myself. I— didn't mean to creep you out." Green eyes divert away from Kaylee, mouth still hidden behind the can, even if she isn't drinking anymore. It gives her voice a distant, metallic sound.

"Do you have any idea who might have wanted to do that?" Colette finally looks back to Kaylee. "I'm going to ask around in the ferry, see if anyone knows. There's a lot of people in the network, people I know I can trust. If even one of them knows something, or someone, I can find them." She seems pretty confident about that.

Pursing her lips, Colette looks down to her can, then up to Kaylee. "Oh I— Uh. My name's Colette, by the way. S— sorry."

Watching her with amusement, Kaylee can't help but chuckle at Colette's embarrassment. "Lucky you, I'm not the type to take offense to much. You wouldn't believe that stuff that people think about loudly… I learned long ago not to even think twice about it. Like I said, singing a song it much more pleasant then shrieking. But no Abba… God please."

"Sounds like you've got a good plan in place at least. I hadn't even thought about trying to figure it out, but then I've been more concerned about what the Ferry must think of me after all that." Her head dips a bit. "Anyhow… Name's Kaylee.. if no one told you yet. Still kind of new to this whole thing." She glances at Colette and leans back in the chair ignoring it's high pitched groan, hands sliding off the table to fold in her lap. "So I'm still finding my place in the scheme of it all." Her head tilts a little as she regards the young woman across from her. "Keep me informed of what you find? And let me know if you need any help. If it'll clear our names in Dr. Brennan's book… Though I still don't see it being easy."

"No easier way to make good on your name, than by trying to fix something bad that happened, right?" Colette's head quirks to the side. "If I get any names to go on, I might ask you to poke around in their heads and see what you can see." There's a wrinkle of the teen's nose, and Colette pushes up from her seat, sloshing the half empties can around as she does.

"Probably not safe to go out from here before morning. Humanis First might not be in the area like they used to, but there's enough jackasses who live out here." There's a flick of green eyes out to Kaylee and a warm smile. "This place is pretty run down, but at least it's quiet, right?"

"I can't argue that." Kaylee admits watching Colette, "It is quiet and it's a definitely run down. If I hadn't already given pretty much all my furniture to Joseph for Grand Centeral, I would have offered it.. though there is no way to get my table up into this building." She trails off and asks simply. "I take it you spend a lot of time here? Hiding from your dad? Or just life in general?" A blond brow lifts slightly as she asks that, but then she glances at the window again. "I can probably still make it out alright. Reading minds isn't the only thing I do. I come and go from Staten at all hours without too many problem." She smiles a bit impishly.

"Jos— " The name brings a look of somber discontent to Colette's face, eyes cast to the side, but what Kaylee offers afterwards causes her to stiffen up straight and fire back that green-eyed look to the older girl. "I— " She tenses up more, fingers depressing into the thin tin of the beer can. "I just— don't want to go home…" There's an awkward swallow, eyes cast to the side again as she asks. "You… you really know Pastor Sumpter?"

Neck muscles tensing, Colette looks back up to Kaylee. This time, she looks like she's on the verge of tears. "Is… is he doing okay?" Teeth press down into her lower lip, tugging it gently. "He— is he alright? Is he— is his dog okay? I— " Colette's eyes fall shut and she turns her back on Kaylee, mostly so the blonde won't see her wiping at her eyes with her sleeve.

Okay… that Kaylee didn't expect. She blinks at the girls reaction to Joseph's name. "You sound like me… I haven't wanted to go home since coming to New York.. and then I ran from my second home here… now…" She spreads her hands a bit, "Here I am.. and I feel more content then I use to about my life…. well… except for Dr. Brennan."She frowns a bit.

Blue eyes study Colette's turns back curiously, her words slow and calm, "Yes, I know the Pastor and seems you know him, too. He seems like he's doing okay from what I can tell. I just saw him the other day." She rubs the palms of her hands on her jeans as she tries to decide what to say, "I… try to see him when I can.. bring him dinner now and then. He's a good guy. So hard to find now a days."

She's quiet for a moment before Kaylee adds a touch embarrassed to admit, "I've spent so much time around bad people, he's been kind of a breath of fresh air."

When Colette turns, her expression is surprisingly a smile instead of a frown. Rubbing at her nose with the back of her hand, she offers an awkward and embarrassed laugh as she shakes her head. "Joseph's a good friend of mine, I just… When he got kidnapped by Humanis First, I couldn't do anything to save him. Then they— they hung him outside of his church." There's a dry swallow, and Colette covers her eyes with one hand. "M'sorry m'retarded— ah— anyway…" She sucks in a sniffling breath and exhales an exasperated sigh, wiping under her eyes with her thumb as she takes another sip of her beer.

"I haven't seen him since then, I just— I can't… I fucked up. I could've done something but I just— " Colette's head shakes again. "A— Anyway. I— M'sorry about that, I thought I'd gotten that all out a while ago." Swallowing awkwardly, Colette's green stare darts from Kaylee to the floor.

"A lot of good people in the Ferry…" Colette admits quietly. "Maybe when I see him again, I'll introduce you to my friend Gabriel. He's like, a miracle man. I taught him how to use my ability, and now he can do it. It's… he's really cool." There's an awkward smile with that, and Colette comes to stand by Kaylee's side, empty beer can cradled between the fingers of one hand around the rim.

"You seem like a good person." There's a hint of a smile there, despite herself. "I promise… m'gonna make things right between you and Doc. I know you didn't do it," the smile grows a little. "Now I just gotta make him believe."

Wait. What?! Kaylee being new blood to the group and having not really asked Joseph about what happened. "They…. hung him?" The words are almost choked out. Her thoughts reeling around the thought that he still voted to spare Danko…. "Burned his church…" That she at least knew. "Shit."

something Colette says drags Kaylee out of her thoughts and her head tilts enough that she can look up at Colette. "Joseph thinks so too… but like I told him, I'm not a good person, but I try to be."

Placing hands on the table, she pushes up to her feet. "If you can clear us, I'll owe you a lot Colette." Kaylee offers the girl a warm smile. "So far I haven't regretted my choice to throw myself in with the Ferrymen. Your right, there are a lot of good people."

A hand lifts and is offered to Colette for a shake, "I'll get out of your hair and let you enjoy your peace and quiet. I just… couldn't let you continue to freak when your around me, I'm glad I decided to track you down."

Looking at the offered hand, Colette seems a bit anxious. She reaches out, uncertainly, taking it in a gentle squeeze. "I…" There's a hint of a smile, a bit more shy than she was a moment ago. "T— Thanks. It's nothing," she deflects, looking away as she lets her hand move from the shake to rest on her hip. "A— and… you don't need to get out of my hair. I…" There's a weak, hesitant smile. "I could use some company, it's too lonely up here some times."

At least, in the hope of company, Colette finds something to be thankful for today.

Hands part and Kaylee seems to watch Colette, her eyes searching her face, but then a small smile touches her lip. "Well…" Turning a bit, to look back to the way out, her noses gives a little twitch. "Alright. Not like I got much else to do but watch Doyle mope."

Reaching up, Kaylee starts unwinding the scarf from her neck. "And if it gets cold… We'll burn Deckard's porn to keep warm. I'm sure he'll understand." Of course, she has a hard time saying that with a straight face.

Not exactly the kind of Thankgiving she thought she'd be having, but Kaylee's not complaining… She's just thankful to be alive to see it.

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