It Makes Me Nervous


abby_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title It Makes me Nervous
Synopsis Nervous about recent findings, Abigail and Delilah contact Raith for help, who proceeds to make them more nervous.
Date June 25, 2010

Staten Island Boat Graveyard

Exactly where land gives way to water at this point of the island's edge is uncertain — first because of the saltgrass growing everywhere, both on dry earth and in the shallows, giving the illusion of solidarity; second for the structures visible in the distance, drawing the eye away from the deceptive ground, suggesting its reach extends beyond its grasp. Even if the structures are still recognizable as ships, and nothing that ever belonged on land.

There are a multitude of them, abandoned hulls of salt-stained wood and rust-pitted steel, dying slow and ungraceful deaths as wind and water claim their dues. Some still appear to rest upright, braced upon the debris of older, lost relics below; others list to one side, canted at an odd angle like someone who just struggled to the surface in search of a desperate breath. There are no hands to pull these hulks from the water, no ropes to save them from drowning; each has been surrendered to the sea, left to the ravages of unmerciful time.

At low tide, some of the closer ships can be reached — not without getting soaked, but such is the price of daring. Never mind that the rotting metal and splintered wood are the stuff of nightmares for any germophobe, definite hazards to the unwary. The more distant ships are distant indeed, beyond the reach of all but the most bold — and are all but submerged besides.

Birds chirp, some scurrying across the beach, water lapping at the sand as tide either comes in, or out. From out of the water, ghostly corpses of the ships that have been towed here to meet their final fate rise from the water. The boat graveyard, a favoured meeting place of the individual that Abby and Delilah are here to meet with and a favoured place that most of the Vanguard Remenant tend to choose.

A night spent in Hana's little hidey hole, message sent that she'd be vacating, carry on with plans to give up the location was sent, as well as a thank you for the other thing she left. Today, and tomorrow would be accident free on the evolved front. Faster acting than the pill, that was for sure.

But she picked up Delilah in her blue SUV, drove to staten after an exchange of messages and arrangements of where to meet Raith, Eileen's seeming right hand man, coffee in cups and cardboard covers, sitting on a stump of a tree. A pink box of pastries and donuts beside that too. In her own hand is a styrofoam smoothie cup, it's straw showing green contents and sipped in between coffee tasting. Right on time for them, waiting only a minute or two after having walked here.

Delilah has been all over the pastries rather than any coffee- in fact, she has passed over that completely, instead sitting there with a bottle of water between her knees. She happens to have mowed through a few filled donuts already, unabashed around someone like Abby. For the most part she has been as subdued as she can manage; with the something hanging over them, she and Abby have been rather good in handling it. Hana got tipped off, in part, and now it is the turn of someone that they figure they will be able to trust with sensitive information, which may or may not actually be something serious.

"I am going to have such a headache later, but I can't stop eating these-" Delilah comments just as she finishes the jam filled in her napkin.

Every time, a different place in the graveyard. That's the price Raith pays for using it, in order to keep surprise and local knowledge on his side. In unfamiliar terrain, a little camouflage goes a long way: As soon as Abby and Dellilah arrive, they are both neatly framed in the optical scope mounted atop Raith's carbine, the ex-spy, ex-soldier hidden amongst plants and debris an insignificant 20 yards away. Better safe than sorry, always. But after a full minute, just them. Safe enough.

From around the back of his hiding place, off the the side of the womenfolk's view, Raith emerges. But he's not attempting to play spy games with them, like he was with Colette (and that was plainly her fault). "Good morning!" Raith even supplies a friendly wave while he slings his weapon back over his shoulder. "You girls been waiting long?"

Up she goes. There's a man entering, older man. Proper southern manners rising unbidden by the pink haired young woman. Swamp sludge clasped in hand, lacking a smile that normally is there when greeting one she knows/trust/adores/loves. "Jensen" She dips her head, fingers digging into the styrofoam. There's a glance to see if he's alone as well and satisfied, there's a glance to Delilah to make sure she's okay or someone hasn't pilfered her from where they were sitting.

"I think… I think, there's an issue with the Ferry and we don't know who to go to with the Ferry" So they went to just outside the Ferry. "I think Susan Ball is planning something. We think that is. Or has already put something into motion."

"Not long at all, hon." Delilah doesn't get up- apparently male does not take precedence over baby. Or something. Maybe she just doesn't wanna get up. She sips at her water and offers Raith a wave as he approaches. She allows Abby the first few words in, before she cares to add something solemn of her own. "We don't know if it is actually an issue, per se. We overheard something …sketchy. We have a duty to find out if it was serious and what not."

"Susan Ball, huh?" It's not anything Raith is terribly surprised to hear, really. "Okay, you've got my attention," he adds as he comes to a stop just near Abby, "So let's hear it. What do you suppose Susan Ball might be up to?" Every few seconds, Raith's eyes jump away from Abby, or from Delilah, and focus on that pink box for just a split second. Barely long enough to be noticeable. But it still happens. "If you aren't sure who you can talk to inside the Ferry, it must be pretty serious."

Abgiail notices the look, can't miss the look and the pink box is taken away from Delilah's perch, top flipped and offered up to him. "She ate all the jelly filleds already. Don't touch the Cruller please, it's mine. I already licked it to make sure"

Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. "Something that they don't want a telepath like Kaylee, a post-cog or a psychometer to find them out. We were over at one of the safehouses and overheard her and two operators, Clark Kilpatrick and Damon Wentworth talking in the alley. They don't know, I don't believe they do. They talked about hwo they couldn't wait any longer, that McRae hadn't been nominated yet, they were going to get my name nominated, then that myself and Pastor Sumters about being a good combination."

The box is held onto for something to do with her hands."That Central Park was a good place for 'it' and individuals names Guiterrez and Weaver woudl tag along to watch from afar. Susan said she'd take care of clean up." She shares a glance with Delilah then back to Raith.

"Pretty sure that Susan's a persuasionist or something of the sort. They made a comment in the hall when they came inside about no trading a human's heart for a deers heart that it wouldn't do"

"That even if they didn't want to do whatever deed she wanted- they said she'd make them do it." Delilah eyes the box woefully, but lets it pass. Help yourself, Jensen. "I dunno about you guys, but when I hear Gutierrez I think of that character on Freakazoid. But then I realize he'd be dangerous if he were real, so maybe it is fitting." Nothing to do with anything, thanks.

"The one guy that was in Moab was telling her that he wasn't some type of guy- I'm guessing Susan assumes prison means deadly criminal. So it may be as serious as it sounded, or it might not. As it is we just don't know. I suppose that's where you come in. You've got decidedly more experience with tentative things like this."

"A human's heart for a deer's?" Raith asks once Delilah finishes adding details. The pause in speech, head canted just so, is a fairly clear indicator that he is thinking about the implications of that statement. Finally, he's got a conclusion: "There's a lot that could mean." Helpful.

"In the story of Snow White, the Huntsman can't bring himself to kill the girl, so he brings the Queen a deer's heart to deceive her about what has been done. And despite how straightforward that sounds, it could mean a lot, since the underlying meaning is to do one thing while disguising it to appear as though it's something else. Maybe they're dealing drugs on the side and want to make sure their product isn't getting cut by their distributors? Here, we'll try this the old-fashioned way. You tell me what you think could be up, and I'll tell you what I think, and then we'll work out what makes the most sense. So, what do you suppose they're up to?"

"Hana told me about the snow white reference" The donut box passed over to Preggo so she can get her craving on, Abby takes up her stump again to sit. What did she think they were up to? Could literally be anything, just like Raith had said. "There's someone from the institute in the Ferry. So I've been told by someone in Messiah. That there's a mole. Could be all manner of things. She passed something wrapped in white to Clark too, he didn't want to take it but ended up doing it." What could it be?

"Institute. Could be Susan using her ability to get people she wants on the council. But for what purpose. Could be… " Blue eyes are cast to the ground, Abigail trying to think. This was why she was asked to join the council, wasn't she. "Someone who wants to see the Ferry fail. Institute, Humanis First. Could be that Damon when he made his comment, meant that he was in Moab but not Evolved. Jensen, we don't know, we didn't hear the whole of the conversation and we're not the kind of people who know what all this would mean"

"Was probably a gun that she handed over." Delilah watches them a few moments. "We really aren't." Abby in her pink hair, Delilah in her pink dress. Not totally the right image for espionage. "Maybe it is best that we don't actually know- guesses are all well, but maybe better people can actually find out what might be going down." She has tried this whole deal before- Dee knows that she can hold her own, but when it comes to the whole ballpark, things get fainter.

"Let's run with that. Someone who wants the Ferry to fail. Maybe Susan wants it to fail. Maybe she knows who does, and she's trying to make sure it succeeds, despite there being a mole. Maybe those are unrelated, maybe not." Again, Raith falls silent in thought, spending a few moments mulling everything over in his head.

"Hana told you the relationship to Snow White," the ex-spy says, resuming the conversation, "So I assume you told her about all this, and she's going to look into it. SIGINT only goes so far, though. Usually not far enough by itself. So, here's my next guess. You wanted to get my thoughts, and if I thought there was something worth investigating, you were going to ask me to look into it also. Pretty close?"

"Hana is going to keep an eye on the phones of the people given she's a technopath, and look into it from that aspect. But beyond her, I didn't know who, we didn't know who to go to. Hana's pretty uncorruptable. She's… Hana. She explained what the human and deer thing referenced, like you just said. But.. "

There's a sigh. "Yes Jensen, and if you need to be paid, I can squeeze some money out to give to hire you if it's necessary. If you have the time that is, if not.. we'll figure something else out. I just though, you know, you got hired to kill me at some point and didn't that you were available for hire."

Delilah lets out a snort, glancing from Abby to Jensen. "Someone hired you to kill Abby?" Jeez. The redhead watches the older man with a small squint. "What she said. And if it turns out that those two are more willing to be safe than sorry- who's to say we can't somehow weed out the truth? If push comes to shove. I don't care if you want paid or not- my duty was to help pass this on. We're based on the idea of gossip."

"But on the chance you do want reimbursed for your trouble, I suppose I can pitch in." Personally, she is banking on Raith not being the type of guy to just ignore it. Even if they didn't pay him- what is to say he would not go off on his own?

"Available for hire by third parties," Raith says, clearly meaning to clarify what 'for hire' entails. "I'm Remnant, but I'm Ferry, too. Knowing what's going on is sort of my job, all around." Another pause for thought, although this time, the ex-soldier's expression is less one of contemplation, and more one of realization. "Ball's a fed, isn't she?" he asks.

Is she a fed? "She's a … secretary, I mean, administrative assistant, last I knew. She helps keep tabs on stuff for the Ferry and give heads up" Abigail looks at Delilah before back to Raith. "You think, maybe… she's tattling on the feds? Working for them not as a secretary?"

Delilah watches either of them for a blink each. "I didn't know she was even a fed. She doesn't seem much like an assistant, if she is. Like hell she'd take bunk from being in a position like that." While Dee's skills at this sort of thing, she does, however, make astute, and possibly relevant observations.

After she makes such a helpful note of Susan being a bitch, Delilah seems to get a little green around the gills. "Ah, um. I am gonna-" She abruptly stands, swaying on her flats. "Gonna take a bit of a walk. Maybe toss up donuts off the edge of the docks? I'll meet you at the car. Think of something, a'right?" The redhead gives Raith a rather hazy smile before tottering away to contain her ups and downs.

"She's also been with us for two years," Raith points out oh so 'helpfully,' pausing when Delilah excuses herself, presumably to go throw up. "That means there are two things to consider. One of those-" One finger raised. Apparently, we are keeping count- "Is the fact that, since she joined, the number of suicides among local agents has gone way, way up. I've done my homework, and if you ask me, every one of those suicides was someone who was getting just a little bit too close to nailing us. People that were doing well in their personal and professional lives, had stable financial situations, and not a single diagnosis or, with two exceptions, family history of instability. And believe me, those people are very much dead, not just hiding. Curious coincidence considering, don't you think?

"Two-" A second finger up- "We were fucked during the winter. On the ropes. Between just the weather and the Institute, we came so close to going under. If she wanted us to fail, that would have been the time to make her move. The whole network would have collapsed overnight. We're still here."

Suddenly, a third finger. "Third, you, Sumter and McRae are excellent choices for the council that could only help us in the long run, not drive us into the dirt." A beat. "Three things. Past history, actions over winter, council choices, and a fanatical devotion to the Pope. Four-" One more finger still- "Four things. Can I try again?" And now for something completely different.

"She's been killing people?" It's hissed out, quietly, so that Delilah's retreating form doesn't hear it. She doens't want to upset the pregnant woman. Thank you Hana for the injection or there might have been a considerable rise in the ambient temperature directly around herself. Small tics and indications on her face can't hide that she doesn't hold the same belief in Raith or Eileen that she's a good choice. Her own personal council is still out on that.

It occurs to her that maybe this was possibly a mistake. What if Raith was in on it?

"Probably." Another helpful answer from Raith. "She's a persuader. It's impossible to trace without a fortune teller-" Perhaps his 'catch-all' for precogs, postcogs, psychometers, and the like- "So I extrapolate from facts. The suicide rates didn't go up until after she joined the Ferry. They were all federal investigators. They were all in New York. And, like I said, none of them had any reason to shuffle off. She's either a freakishly exacting serial killer, or killing people to protect the rest of us. I've looked into both, and the odds of the former are extremely remote. Point is this. If she's working to bring us down from within, then she's either a double agent actually working in our interests, or she's completely incompetent and doesn't pose a threat anyway.

"Of course," the ex-spy, or maybe just spy adds, "That doesn't change the fact that she is apparently doing something and not telling the rest of us what it is. Coupled with her ability, and you can't imagine how nervous that makes me. It's probably nothing sinister, but I'm going to investigate anyway. I don't like surprises, and I know you don't either."

"Pretty sure that anyone in the Ferry is adverse to anything that is a surprise unless it is a birthday and involves cake" Pointedly spoken. She's not quite buying it, and doesn't like that the woman has been probably offing others to protect the Ferry in such a fashion. The pink haired medic sits quietly, reflecting inwardly about what he's laid out for her. It makes sense but usually, things are fifty times complicated, twisted and eighty more times clandestine as she's come to know.

Sometimes it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, smells like a duck, but is in fact, a zebra.

Illusionists for the win.

"I'm just a medic, you're the mercenary" Deferring it to him. "And a great deal smarter than I am. Do with it, what you need to. I'm not going near central park and if I wake up with either of those men with a gun to my head…"

"I've been told I have a real problem with authority," Raith says with a sly, sinister grin, "Of course, that's a lie. I have a real problem with illegitimate authority, political bullshit, and people who think I won't figure out what they're up to. If Ball's working against us, that means she's dabbling with all three. And if that's the case…" Turning around abruptly, he begins making his exit from the scene. "Even God can't protect her from me."

Which leaves Abigail, sitting on a stump with cooling coffee, donuts and a lot of boats who creak and groan, the sounds eerie even in daylight. She doesn't know what to believe.

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