Intelligence and Warm Bodies


elisabeth_icon.gif graeme2_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title Intelligence and Warm Bodies
Synopsis Vital information that might save two of the Disappeared, offers of aid… and a good deal of embarassment for Graeme.
Date March 26 2011

Le Rivage - Ygraine's apartment

When the last of the security is rattled aside and the door swung open, Elisabeth receives a frankly somewhat relieved smile from Ygraine. The smell of freshly-baked bread wafts out into the corridor, accompanied by the unmistakable tones of Enya.

A simple waistcoat - without the embroidery or gleaming brass buttons - is worn over a loose shirt, with her customary sling in place, while the great cascade of her hair has been left to flow unbound down her back. But perhaps more eye-catchingly, in a straight line beyond her in the kitchenette can be seen the equally one-armed figure of Graeme, apparently engaged in domestic servitude.

Elisabeth is, for what really feels like the first time in ages, dressed in 'normal' clothes. A pair of scruffy jeans worn at the knees and clinging to her like a second skin, a heavy hooded sweatshirt, her sneakers. She steps in the door and inhales appreciatively. "Oh…. fresh bread. God…. that smells amazing." Her blonde hair is left loose and she shoves a lock behind her ear as she steps in. "Hey, Graeme," she greets. Ygraine mentioned that he was staying.

Helping about in the kitchen, and pretty much doing as he's told, has been a decently good method of dealing with things, for Graeme. His own arm is carefully in the sling over a not buttoned up all the way button-down shirt that seems to be about as grey as the jeans he's wearing are black. Every so often, he's had to pause, stop, try and ground himself with varying degrees of success, but so far, he's at least avoided majorly breaking down, or snapping at either Ygraine, or himself. When he turns, there's a weary smile on his face, free hand lifted in greeting. "Hey." And he sounds tired.

Closing up the door behind Liz, Ygraine offers her another smile. "I'm not much of a chef, but I have learned to bake pretty well", she says warmly. "Part of the Irish element of my background, I think. I love a good wheaten…."

"So… you're due to be served soup, with some of my bread, and we then get to find out how Graeme's done with a main course. But we can also add joyous updates on recent affairs, should you wish. Or steer the heck clear of all the serious stuff."

With a faint smirk, Elisabeth notes, "Considering how deep the pile of shit is that Graeme's gone and stepped in, I doubt we'll avoid it all together." But she tilts her head, studying the man in the kitchen. Candidly she observes, "You both look like the friggin crip twins."

There's a bit of a sullen scowl on Graeme's face at the mention of how he's doing, and the twitchiness in his expression is visible for a moment, definitively uncharacteristic, before he manages to take a slow, deep breath, free hand now reaching to steady himself on the counter as he does so. "C'n I go back t' sleep?" Of course, it's a question he's asked several times today, and the answer from the Briton the past few times has be no. "I feel like crap, too."

"If you sleep now, you'll be up through the night", Ygraine responds immediately, in the tone of someone who's said exactly the same thing before. "The food will wake you up a bit. You might doze a little afterwards, but the energy release'll bring you back to life."

Looking back to Elisabeth, the Briton musters another smile. "Care for a drink? And… what shit-pile has Graeme stood in?"

"Lots of protein," Elisabeth advises. "It'll help keep you awake." She glances at Ygraine and says, "Whatever you have is fine. Coffee? Water or soda? Whatever. I'm not hard to please." She shoves her hands into her pocket and smiles just a little. "Oh… let's just say that Graeme is working real hard on dropping down into Wonderland and he's learning to see the strands of insanity that surround us all lately."

"Right now," Graeme corrects Elisabeth, "I'm just trying to deal with things hurting like fucking hell, and I'll think about anything else after I've dealt with this." There's a pause. "Which sucks by the way." There's another deep breath, and he straightens a little.

Ygraine looks from one to the other and then back again. "I confess that I prefer to think of you in an Alice dress", she dryly informs Elisabeth, before padding over to lift a glass jug of apple juice from inside the fridge, setting that on the kitchenette counter to be carried over to the table, then setting about serving out bowls of Scotch broth.

"I've got some news to pass on to you, Liz, if you want to hear it. I'm not sure if it's something you'd prefer not knowing about, admittedly. And I'm not sure if it's part of the wonderment to which Graeme has been exposed or not…."

"What kind of negation drugs do they have you on?" Elisabeth asks quietly. She seems wary and perhaps… worried. And then she looks at Ygraine, "Fire at will. He's decided he's all in. I'm trying not to overwhelm him, but…. " She shrugs.

Graeme steps to where he's going to be less in the way of Ygraine. "Th' new one," he says. "It's … the main problem is that it's negation drugs in the first place." The words are spoken a little overquickly, especially compared to the man's usual quiet.

"According to data", Ygraine says carefully, opting to ignore the topic of negation drugs while finishing ladling out the last bowl of soup, "that I don't think is a trap, Demsky and Harkness are due to be transferred to the Delaware Correctional Facility on the second of April".

Carrying a tray one-handed is fortunately a simple matter for the Briton when she cheats with her ability, and she starts back towards the table without apparent concern about covering her guests in hot liquid. "Further details, I don't really have, but I thought that might well be enough to be going on with. Somewhat worryingly, it seems that the woman hunting the Midtown Man is patched in on the movements of Demsky and Harkness. Has a few implications for how… seriously their detention is taken."

Elisabeth's head comes up. "What??" she asks. ""Where did you hear that? And have you informed Raith and Ryans?" It may or may not surprise Ygraine that Elisabeth still knows that much about the Ferry. If the answer is no, she'll be texting that out to both in a heartbeat. "Audrey Hanson is in with the movement of Demsky and Harkness?" That could be…. good or bad. Hrm.

At the moment, Graeme's simply listening, after he moves over to the table. There's enough of his concentration spent on keeping himself steady, that for now, he's doing little else. Still, his gaze darts about the apartment rather frequently, overall.

The soup is carefully laid out before each person, as Ygraine shakes her head. "I requested an urgent meeting with the couple of people I have direct details for, but… I wasn't sure I should trust it to a telecoms line. If you can get it to them faster, then go for it. And it was a memo. On her desk. She stepped out to deal with some problem, and I was able to sneak a quick glance at it. I can't swear it wasn't a trap, but… I tried to be careful."

Whipping out her phone, Elisabeth texts both the last number she had for Raith and the last one she had for Ryans. "I hope to God one of them is out and about in the city." She looks up. "If not, I need you to go out there and personally tell…. uhm…. " Elisabeth has to stop and think. "Tell Francois or Barbara. They're the only ones I can think of. I don't know who the leadership is right now." She pauses, her blue eyes positively glacial. "And you tell them if they need warm bodies, I will get them fucking warm bodies."

Graeme's gaze settles on both Liz and Ygraine for longer than it settles on anything else in the room, and he shifts in his seat. Sitting still is difficult, at the moment, and it takes a moment, before Graeme picks up the soup spoon, lifting some of the warm liquid to his mouth. None of it spills, and so for now, he's still silent, focusing on the soup in front of him.

"So far as I can tell, they're all up at the Island right now", Ygraine says, clearly frustrated. "And neither I nor the cripple-wagon are the most subtle of things at the moment. But if I have to, I should be able to get up there. Was hoping they could get back to me and tell me someone I could talk to down here. Pootling around town with Liberty posters, I've been doing a lot of, so I can turn up just about anywhere without it seeming unusual. A trip out there… I'm just not strong enough to take the bike, so it'd be the brightly-coloured little Japanese box with the NYC disabled parking tags. I've some ideas for where to park it if I have to, but… I'm worried it's too noticeable."

"It is," Elisabeth retorts. She shoves a hand through her hair. "You shouldn't talk about the island. At all. I've never told Richard where they are, even though Jaiden slipped and told me. I don't want anyone else to know. Especially considering that …." She glances at Graeme and grimaces. "Well, pardon, Graeme, but… your roommate's a telepath. And I don't want her to know anything about the Ferry right now." She looks back at Ygraine. "I think Jaiden said he could go there. I'll send him a text to see if he can take the message personally that I need to see either Jensen or Ryans. This is a very short deadline. They're going to need eyes on the ground." She ponders. "I'm wondering if Alia might be able to …. I don't know. Find her way to a satellite to get us some movement intel. Keep a realtime watch out for them."

Graeme pauses from his soup, to look up at Elisabeth. "I can't blame you, really, really with how subtle Remi can be at times about things and so." The sentence is run on, with few pauses, shorter words, and then he simply nods.

"If Jaiden doesn't know how to get there, I can give him more than one route. And, heck, he can do the last leg underwater, for subtlety far beyond most of the rest of us", Ygraine affirms. "If you can bring in Alia, that'd be fantastic. I know she's eager to help. And… yeah. Remi knows the outline of the Ferry - underground railroad for the Evolved, not the terrorists claimed by the administration - but none of the details. I didn't want a telepath freaking out if she picked up a stray thought from any of the array of people she knew who she might catch thinking about it favourably."

"For myself… by the second, I should be out of the sling - but it'll be weeks at the least before the bicep'll be able to take heavy lifting. But it'll mean that I can dress more anonymously - without the sling - and can help with things like surveillance if needed. Not that I can compete with Alia."

Elisabeth simply nods a little. She tilts her head at Graeme, noting the differences in him. "Graeme…. what are the negation drugs doing to you?" she finally asks, moving to sit down in front of a bowl of soup and dig in. Hot lunch on a cold day is wonderful. "And why are you being negated, if you don't mind me asking."

"I er," Graeme says, "pulled the stitches in my shoulder." He looks down at his food, a bit sheepish. "Because I didn't and kind of couldn't realise, overdid it a little, went to reach for something when I was at the apartment and suddenly it all hurt more, so." He pays attention to his soup for a bit longer.

"To provide a fuller explanation - his ability dulls pain and fatigue. But doesn't make his musculature or flesh any more resistant", Ygraine says dryly, though the look she shoots Graeme is at least somewhat sympathetic. "He demonstrated that he wasn't learning to take it easy in spite of feeling fine, so… the doctor negated his ability so that he'd actually heal rather than ripping his shoulder to pieces. But that's put him back to getting tired, to needing more than a couple of hours of sleep a night, to having a normally-sized appetite, to losing much of his prior ability to concentrate… and, of course, to needing drugs to manage the pain, and to still being in pain much of the time as doses wear off or kick in."

"In short, for the first time since he got his ability, he's having to cope with actually being a patient."

There's a sigh. "So…. like almost every other male I know, you thought it didn't matter that you were hurt," Elisabeth says drily. "Good to know." She winks at Ygraine. "You'll be okay, Graeme."

Graeme gives the same rather sullen look he'd had on his face earlier, almost a pout. "I really hate this," he says quietly. "As… as necessary as I know it might be, it's really horrid overall. Which is why I'm here rather than just at the apartment by myself, which would… could have been less than good, I'm not sure. Plus, it didn't hurt, really, not anything like this." He makes a terrible patient.

"He turned up here last night, to invite himself to stay… and yes, I agreed", Ygraine says softly - shooting a look to Elisabeth that, she hopes, conveys that the step of was a rather serious one for both of them. It's not as if the paranoic Briton has a steady flow of house-guests. "Though I still think he must be desperate for me to be his best bet…."

Elisabeth simply shakes her head, eating her soup. "I'm so not touching that. Not with a ten-foot pole," she admits easily. She glances at Graeme and smirks. "Now you sound like a normal guy. 'waaaah! It hurts! Make it stop!' Talk to me when you've been shot up a few times. We'll compare notes." She winks.

Graeme lets his spoon rest in the soup bowl for a moment, and there's that sullen look for Liz, still. "Everything feels really, entirely wrong," he says. "I'd sooner crawl out of my own skin, but … god damn it, I have to be able to do this, I mean…" He's used to be able to deal with anything, almost everything.

"I can understand hating the wrongness", Ygraine murmurs, now sounding genuinely sympathetic. "For me, it's often the worst part about being injured - pain, I'm used to, but when it feels like your body is just wrong…."

She offers one of those carefully lop-sided shrugs, then musters a smile. "For me, it's just a delightful test of my ability to cope with having to be around people for more than an hour or two a day. Though I'm thinking of setting him to work as a domestic servant. A form of physical therapy for him…."

"mmmm," Elisabeth murmurs. "Well, Ygraine…. if you need the name of a good shrink, I know a couple these days. For PTSD," she says quietly. "I have to see one occasionally myself. I'm still… mildly agoraphobic and we're not sure the other reactions will ever fade. The dark gives me full out panic attacks."

Graeme picks up his soup spoon, again, carefully continuing to eat. "Things I can do," he says, mainly quiet but words still more rushed than easily said, "I will. It kinda helps, doing things. I just… really didn't want to be by myself, at least while I adjust." Which he clearly hasn't managed to do, yet. Really, so far, he's rather mutely followed what tasks Ygraine has set him to, with the occasional query of wanting to go back to sleep.

"I've been seeing one monthly, since I first came back here in oh-eight", Ygraine admits rather sheepishly, flashing a nervous little smile at Liz. "I was… I spent eight months in an institution in the UK, after the Bomb. I came back here to fight my demons. Take control of my life. Recent… recent events conjured up a good few demons I thought - hoped - I'd vanquished. I'm forcing myself to make rather more frequent visits for those 'quiet chats about life', at the moment."

"Yeah… I can relate," Elisabeth admits. She glances to Graeme. "How long will you be negated for healing purposes?" she asks.

"Five days, six or seven if I can handle it," Graeme says, a tone of resignation in his voice. "If it's too bad I can pause and take a break from it and then but I think that'd make it worse, really."

"Not if youkeep the damn arm completely immobilized. I mean… it sounds like the doctor negated you so that you'd learn to read the signs your body's telling you to slow the fuck down," Elisabeth retorts. "So…. maybe immobilize your arm entirely and use a little self control not negated, then take the drug in five days and check to see how you actually feel?" Not that she's a doctor or anything.

"Stick it out, if you possibly can", Ygraine confirms. "It'll be good for your willpower and better for your body. As soon as you come off the negation drugs, you're likely to feel wonderful in comparison and do yourself damage. You asked for a week here, and you'll get a week unless I snap. This is a… test of rehabilitation for me, too."

Graeme nods. "Without the negation, even completely immobilised I went to try and move it by accident," he says, a grimace on his face. There is the entire thing of how he managed to pull the stitches in the first place, and he flushes slightly red. "I was taking it really easy, but."

"Uh-huh," Elisabeth murmurs with a smile. "Well… guess that Y chromosome's at it again."

Ygraine shoots Elisabeth a slightly startled (albeit amused) look, then cracks a smile at Graeme. "Don't worry. As soon as you're better, I'll take you to Desperado and introduce you to Breakback. Give you a proper work-out."

Graeme looks between the both of them, and turns an even more startling shade of red at what Ygraine says, before almost pointedly picking up his spoon and returning his attention to his soup.

Elisabeth …. clearly has no idea what's going on. She glances between the two and frowns slightly but resumes eating without comment.

Ygraine hadn't expected that shade of red as a response, both her brows lifting. Ah. Hrmm. "Heh. Well. Desperado is a bar you're unlikely ever to have reason to visit, Liz, though Wednesday is ladies' night, should you ever want a cheap drink without being hit on by the guys…. But perhaps we should get back to safer topics. Is there anything more that we should be telling each other? Or Graeme?"

Oh? …. Oh! Enlightenment slaps her in the back of the head and Elisabeth grins suddenly. She manages, barely, to keep her tongue behind her teeth and makes no. comment on this matter. "Not that I can think of for the moment," the blonde replies. "Unless he has questions he wants answers to."

Graeme's shade of scarlet remains, for a moment. "Honestly, there were, but it will have to wait until next week, I think," he says. "Or at least another day, I'd still have to ask you the same questions over again later anyway, right now, might as well not have that happen." He sounds frustrated with things, and there's a wince as he moves his free arm wrong, tugging on something in his shoulder. "And yes, safer topics please lest I mention something I shouldn't, like how…" Oh wait, not saying that. Graeme picks up his spoon once more.

A definite pause… then Ygraine manages to get her own thoughts back on track and away from speculation about what Graeme might almost have revealed just now. "In that case… is there anything we can do for you, Elisabeth? I'm available to meet people to pass on the news if you're caught up with work whenever they become available. But is there anything else?"

"No," Elisabeth says quietly. "Not right now. I've got some things to work out." She pauses. And then forces a smile. "About half of them personal." She shrugs.

A concerned look, then Ygraine ventures a smile of her own. "We've got to resume the Potter marathon", she informs Elisabeth. "And… you do know I'll gladly make time for you, without the excuse of ice cream and a movie, don't you? Just… give me a call, if you ever want me. For anything."

Graeme offers both Ygraine and Liz a weak smile of his own, peering back to his soup. The concentration is difficult, doesn't come easily, and the struggle shows on his face for a brief moment. "FckIhatethis." But it's not actually directed at either of them.

"Thanks, Ygraine." Elisabeth's amusement is genuine. "I'm afraid you've actually done enough this week to toggle my equilibrium." There's no malice in her tone; she's just… off balance about a certain person. "Perhaps if things stay slow this weekend I'll be able to join you in a couple nights."

It's Ygraine's turn to blush, and she coughs sheepishly. "I, ahhh, yeah. Well." A guilty little half-shrug. "'I warned you' isn't exactly a complete excuse, is it . But… yeah. It'd be great to see you."

"No, 'I warned you' does not begin to cover that bombshell, thanks," Elisabeth retorts. "It was … a good surprise. But… there are… issues. That need resolving." She bites her lip. "Have you seen him again?" she asks, stirring her soup.

After paying attention to his soup for a bit, Graeme looks over at Liz and Ygraine both. "Thanks," he says, with purposeful effort to slow his words down some. "For not accept— letting my argument of not feeling up to it dis— dissuade you." The company helps, too. He'd be doing a lot worse at dealing with the negation if it weren't for the present company.

Ygraine looks a little worried at Elisabeth's comment, but finds a smile for Graeme. "It's all right. And you're welcome. We can just send you to your room to sleep whenever we want some quiet", she gently teases - before looking back to Liz.

"Not since then, no", she says quietly. "And… I'm sorry for the complexity. I… figured here might be about as safe and neutral an environment as I could get, for you to find out in. I… know I'm bad at… well. Pretty much everything social. So I apologise if I mishandled it at all. And if there's anything I can do… then I can repeat myself some more. Sorry."

"I'm not sure there was a way to handle it that wouldn't have been … shocking. The man hasn't called me in a year and a half. And there are…. things in our past and possibly in our future that are… sort of at stake, that's all. His reappearance now …. could be a little .. problematic. But it'll work itself out, I'm sure," Elisabeth replies. Then she looks at Graeme. "Dealing with the negation stuff is… complicated, I'm sure. If I can help, Graeme, let me know.

There's another weak smile managed, and a nod. "Thanks, Liz." There's a bit of a pause and Graeme then closes his mouth, unable to think of what quite to say. "I will."

"Right. Now that we've formed a mutual aid circle, shall I serve the main course?", Ygraine asks with a smile, pushing her chair back and rising to her feet. "Let's find out how Graeme is as a chef. If he's good, he might be stuck here for longer than a week…."

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