Trying to Help


anne_icon.gif grace_icon.gif

Scene Title Trying to Help
Synopsis Anne goes looking for Grace to see what can be done about helping out.
Date 12/19, 2008

Ferrymen Safehouse

Friday afternoon finds Grace back at home, deliveries completed for the time being. Christmas presents, in a sense; business as usual, in another. She's currently in the first-floor kitchen, arranging a late lunch; chopping up various vegetables for a salad, to the accompaniment of classical music from the speakers of the laptop sitting a short ways down the counter. Scott is out of the house, and Alistair is upstairs, along with the two people the Hangar is currently playing host to.

While Anne could technically just arrive at the Hangar, she's been there enough while her family was getting help to know the basic rules. And when one is going on an errand such as hers, starting off by breaking those rules is probably not really a great idea. So, she called ahead, got the go-ahead and, well. Travel was fairly simple. Anne flickers into view in the kitchen, and raises her hand in greeting. "Hey there, Grace. Do you have a minute?" Possibly, Wireless didn't have the time to let Grace know she was getting company, but the musician didn't quite think /that/ far ahead.

Wireless wouldn't have given approval without Grace's consent; that would've been a profound imposition on the authority of the safehouse operators. Still, Anne's chosen method of arrival is a surprise; she's just lucky the woman doesn't have a gun to hand. Only the knife which was being used to chop vegetables, and that's lowered after a moment's clear glower is directed at the other woman. "Sneaking up on people is a good way to get yourself hurt," Grace points out, the rasp of her voice like wind through reeds. The knife is set down on the counter, which Grace leans back against, folding her arms across her chest. "Shoot."

Anne bows her head a bit. "My apologies." In truth, she'd try to remember it next time. Getting a knife through your gut was not the most wonderful way to say hello. It got you into long term troubles as well, with the bleeding and what not. "I didn't mean to startle you." Clearly. "I did want to talk to you about something, though.. specifically, if there's anything I can do to help out around here?"

"I forgive you," Grace replies, with just a hint of a lopsided, and very amused, smile. "Piece of advice, though? Don't ever do that to Wireless without forewarning in triplicate or so, though. She will shoot first." The young woman waves a hand at the fixings on the counter. "You're welcome to join me for lunch if you like." Then she goes back to cutting up carrots, still paying attention to Anne's words. "Here here, or were you thinking more in general?"

"Noted." Anne says with definite feeling in her voice. "I think I'm prettier without gun holes, myself." She steps on into the kitchen to take a look at what Grace is making, among other things. Even if that isn't the most important thing. "Well, more in general I suppose, but here is what came to mind first. I know what kind of things you do, and I think some of my skills could come in handy. The decision, of course, isn't up to me." Which would be why she came to have a word with Grace here.

"Your skills would be very handy," Grace agrees. "We do a lot of things," she continues, as she collects the sliced vegetables and dumps them into a bowl where the lettuce already waits. "This house, specifically, is pretty well in hand. Scott keeps us all in line," the woman quips with a subtle, wry smile. "We're probably over-staffed, in truth, but we work well together. There's other places that could use an additional operator, if that's what you wanted to do. There's also more… freeform tasks," Grace muses aloud. "Barter and trade. Making and maintaining contacts. Moving supplies. Gathering information. Or there's Phoenix, if you're feeling proactive."

"The place isn't as important as the need, I don't think." Anne says after thinking about it for a while. "If moving boxes is what's needed.." Then move boxes she will. "I can't say I know too much about Phoenix, though. Maybe you could fill me in a bit?" She quirks a bit of a smile to Grace. "Assuming one knows everything around this town tends to get one into trouble, I've noticed." Not that she'd ever been much for assuming, but she'd run into a couple of folks who thought they were ahead just on account of their abilities. They'd been proven wrong. A lot.

Grace chuckles, if the harsh and unlovely sound she voices can truly be named such. "Does it ever. Phoenix… call them our freedom fighters. If we're the support structure, providing supplies, transportation, information — the farmers and tradesmen, if you want to carry the analogy too far," she adds, smiling crookedly. "Then they're the militia." The woman moves to one of the cupboards, pulling out a couple of cans of soup; since they both have pull-tabs, they're easily opened and dumped into a waiting saucepan.

"Let me know if I can help you with that." Anne murmurs, nodding towards the lunch. Then she pulls her fingers through her hair. "Militia, huh? Don't know if I'm all that good with weapons, or. Well. Honestly, I hardly know the sharp end of a knife, aside from cooking, but. It all depends on what the work entails, you know? I know what I /am/ good at," Silent and quick transportation, "but without knowing the work, it's a bit diffiuclt to be sure on where it could best be used." She was fairly sure that'd work itself out in the end, though. "Maybe if I could talk to one of them?"

"It's an option. They're Ferrymen also, so it's not like they can't ask for your help when they need it, if you do choose to join in." Grace isn't assuming Anne's already in just because she's presently expressing interest. "There's a lot more to Phoenix than weapons; I'll let one of them give you the spiel later. But basically, most of us are something of a passive resistance. We have too many principles, or maybe not enough brash self-confidence, to go beyond what could be called 'civil disobedience' and skulking in the shadows. Phoenix has the intent of acting." Hence the previous analogy.

"That sounds like a rather intricate balance, to me." Anne says softly, eyes growing distant for a moment. "On the one hand, I can see how remaining at civil disobedience might be frustrating and maybe even not too effective." Or right. "But.. when you take action, there are a lot of consequences to consider as well. Depends on what kind of action you're taking, I guess. But by the sound of what you're saying, it doesn't quite sound like they're in the buissness of randomly blowing people to bits." Despite the use of the word militia earlier.

Grace raises a brow. "Whatever gave you the idea they were?" She reflects over her own prior explanations. "I suppose 'freedom fighters', these days, aren't what they used to be. But that's why I switched to the 'militia' analogy. Consider the American Revolution, and times prior — the militia was roused from the men of a town for their own self-defense. If they fought in war, it was not as conquerors, but the safety and security of their people. The National Guard is the closest analogue in modern America, and even that's not quite the same thing."

Anne nods a little to this. "'s what I meant. When you switched it around a bit, it doesn't sound quite like something different, but. Freedom fighters can mean many things in this day and age, and there /has/ been less friendly things going on in the name of equality." Though the responsible ones there hadn't been Phoenix, last time she heard. "I truly mean no offense, just. If one helps out, one agrees with what is done, you know? Maybe I think too much."

"Maybe you don't think enough," Grace counters, as she judges the soup sufficiently heated and turns the stove off. She brings it over to the counter, setting the pot down on a trisket beside the salad. "If you don't act, then you also agree with what's being done in the name of 'law'." Her lips curve in a small, thin smile. "Me… I believe in the Constitution. I believe in the system of government America uses; I believe in the rule of law. But I also believe the people have rights and responsibilities, as laid out in the Constitution, and that our government is overreaching its proper bounds." She brings out plates, bowls, utensils, glasses — more than just for Anne and Grace themselves. "I have no desire for a revolution, as that PARIAH kid preached. But it's our responsibility to act to protect our own civil liberties, and that I will do."

"Inaction is also agreeing." Anne nods along with this. "The trick becomes figuring out just what leads where, I suppose.. but doing nothing, that I just can't live with. Passive resistance, sure, and.. yeah. Anyway." She doesn't want to ramble just now. Things enough had been said, and there'd be talk with one of these Phoenix people. One thing at a time. "How many people do you have around here at the moment?" It seemed they were expecting company, but one couldn't be quite sure.

"We have a couple of guests upstairs," Grace replies, "and Alistair's around. They'll show up whenever they're hungry," she concludes dismissively. The woman dishes up a bowl of soup and a plate of salad for herself, taking it over to the table. "Like I said, you're welcome to join me."

"And I'd love to." Anne replies, though she doesn't seem to be in an awful hurry. But maybe she's got a lot on her mind as well. Either way, she heads on over to get some food for herself before settling down on one of the chairs, absently brushing her thumb over her knife. "Thanks for the help, anyway. In getting some options, I mean. I really appriciate it."

Grace looks across the table at Anne, as though surprised by the statement of gratitude. "Not a problem," she replies, shaking her head a little. "I suppose some people would say I'm being terribly free with information, but you're just one step over from us anyway."

"Yeah." Anne chuckles softly. "And if nothing else, if you really wanted to twist my arm.. well. You'd be in a better position to do so than near anyone else." After all, they were the ones that got her little daughter her new identity. That means they're pretty much the only ones who know where she is, now. If they were so inclined to be evil.

Tilting her head to one side, Grace gives Anne a very lengthy regard from across the table. "That," she says, ruined voice very quiet but also very intent, "would defeat the purpose of everything we do."

"Yes, I know." Anne speaks very quietly now. "If that weren't so, I couldn't have trusted their lives to you. Even if it was difficult, we would've had to go somewhere else." She closes her eyes and puts the fork down, breathing slowly for a while. It might've been months since they left, but the loss still hits her clear and razor sharp when she thinks about it too much. "That.. was not the point I was trying to make."

Grace returns to eating, but remains very intent upon Anne in the process. "Then maybe you should clarify what you meant," she prompts. She switches from the salad to pick up her glass of water, but doesn't drink from it right away.

"Only that while you put some trust in me by telling me these things, I have already done the same with you and your people. In fact, trusting you to hook me up with a member of the Phoenix organisation could also mean trouble for me, if I didn't trust you were sincere." So, it kind of goes both ways tehre.

Grace blinks across the table at Anne, and shakes her head a bit. "If you look at it that way, I guess." She takes a drink of her water, sets the glass down again. "On the other hand, you knew names, faces, addresses even before today. We can go around and around all day on who trusted whom more. Except that it's entirely pointless. Either you're willing to take the plunge — or you aren't. Nothing wrong with that," Grace adds as she takes a bite of the soup.

"Exactly." Anne agrees, now that Grace seems to be on the same page as far as her intentions go. It doesn't matter. "And I already know I'm willing to take the dive. The only thing i'm not as sure of is just how I'll be doing it." And overall, that really felt more like a detail than it did a main issue.

Grace chuckles again, such as it is. "Take all the time you need. We'll be around." From there, the two women finish their respective meals, agree to arrange a later meeting, and call it a day. The groundwork has been laid.

December 20th: After The Ball Was Over
December 20th: Licking The Wound
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