eileen_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif susan_icon.gif tien_icon.gif

Scene Title Liaison
Synopsis Kaylee brings Melissa's concerns to the Ferry.
Date October 1, 2010

Grand Central Terminal

Don't be nervous. She tells herself as she stands at the end of the table, she gave to Grand Central. The old heavy antique dinner table, only has a couple members of the council sitting around it, but that's enough. For now, plus without Mr. Bennet or Scott there, the telepath feels she can relax some. "Um…" Kaylee Thatcher starts, straightening a bit, tips of her fingers resting on the table as she scan the faces there. Glance only lingering for a moment longer on Joseph, who had made this little meeting possible — he gets a small nervous smile of thanks, before she looks at the others.

"I appreciate those of you on the council that could make it today," She catches her upper lip between her teeth briefly before she continues. "Recently, I've had a few people brought to me — or more me brought to them — the first being Magnes Varlane…" She motions to where Eileen resides, "Who's condition I made aware to Eileen and Raith, to get their opinion. His head more tangled as a box of Christmas lights, it's really bad. He's been informed to stay away from Ferry interests til more is learned about his condition…" Trailing off, Kaylee's eyes drop to the wood patterned top.

"Um — More recently, Melissa Pierce came to me asking me to have a look in her head as well, suspicious that she's been mentally tampered with — she had been." Blue eyes lifted to look at the people at the table. "Both her and Magnes have had some sport of trigger — Melissa has three — some sort of trigger, which both feel of the same source, a persuader." Eyes fall on Susan, briefly, but don't linger longer, before moving to another face, taking in their reactions.

"From what I've heard, the Ferrymen have had dealings with one Rupert Carmicheal?" Kaylee asks, brows lifting curiously, but she doesn't wait right away for an answer instead she adds, "It's sounding like he's telling people that he lost his ability, but… that might not be true. Both Melissa and Magnes have been a part of Messiah, but have these triggers. Plus, Melissa believes there are more affected and has asked me to check when she can round some of them up."

I hope I'm not over stepping my bounds by suggesting, that — whatever dealings we have with this guy, should be cut off till further notice and anyone that might have spoken with him checked for triggers."

When the words that she had repeated over and over in her head delivered, Kaylee falls silent, waiting.

Despite this being the main social centre of the sprawling supplies hub, the cavernous concourse is empty save for this representation of the council, and Kaylee standing to deliver her information. Her words bounce mildly off the tiled walls, but it is unlikely that coherent syllables will make it very far to anyone who thinks about lurking near the arc entrances from the platforms, basements, and even the ruins above. Joseph is seated at the table, a little down the length of it if not opposite her, his hands folded on its richly wooden surface and demeanor quiet, and listening.

Don't be nervous had been a refrain on their way down here, and a brief quirk of a smile when her gaze does fall on him is, Joseph hopes, enough to convey this same sentiment without directly thinking at her. He's not smiling, though, by the time she's on her roll, and it's his job to listen.

"Triggers," he repeats, with some uncertainty, as if not entirely sure what that entails.

On her side of the table, Susan sits with her back straight and long fingers interlaced. Her sun-kissed face, spotted with freckles, turns her mouth down around a frown. Blue eyes narrow to slits, but rather than say anything she darts a glance at Tien beside her, whose expression is similarly grave. He touches fingers to his chin, scratches at the silvery bristle at what passes for its point, and makes a low sound through his nostrils. His sentiments echo Joseph's.

Eileen is a dark silhouette on the pastor's side of the table, gray eyes bright and alert even if it's through those belonging to the periwinkle bluebird perched on her shoulder that she watches Kaylee.

"What's a trigger?" Tien asks.

There is a nod to Joseph. "Triggers…" Kaylee's hand makes a little motions has if she's trying to find the right words, before it falls to rest on the table. "How do I explain that…" Taking a deep breath as she trying to think of the best explanation, focusing on Joseph. "They feel to me like 'lumps' in the minds of these people to me." She taps fingers against her temple, "Not easily accessible, I would have to dig to see the contents of that pursuasion, but doing that I could in theory set it off."

A glance goes to Eileen, "I haven't touched any of them, as requested — which in hindsight is, of course, the correct course of action — cause I don't know what could happen if I did. But these… triggers — suggestions — what not.." Brows furrow as eyes drop to the table again, thoughtfully. "It could be a word… a phrase, or even an image." There is a huff of frustration as Kaylee tries to explain. "It's…" Brows lift, suddenly and quickly, as she thinks of something and she motions to Tien. "It's like a hypnotist. 'I snap my fingers and you'll wake up'." She snaps her own finger in demonstration, "That snap is a trigger. It triggers you to wake up." A hopeful look is casts at everyone, maybe that was a simple enough explanation.

"These Messiah people have been laden with some trigger, when whatever it is that's been woven into their heads is flipped, it could be a bad thing. Possibly violent." Kaylee glances at everyone at the table, but Joseph, as she supplies a reminder. "November 8th, ring a bell? I know a lot of the Ferry had visions of that day. Riots across the city? Running for our lives. People getting shot?" She was one of those. "I know that's the city, but what if Messiah and anyone that's dealt with Rupert has a trigger implanted to do violence? What if all that violence starts with them?"

Hands spread in a helpless manner, as Kaylee admits, "That last is a theory, but it makes sense. I feel confident, is that — when I look into the heads of these Messiah folks, I'm gonna find more. And the only persuader — that people know of — in their ranks is this Rupert, who's had dealings with the network. Already his own people are suspicious, else they wouldn't have come to me for help and mentioned him."

Joseph glances to the porcelain pale profile of the young woman sitting beside him, a glance down at the bird and then studying more the wooden surface of the dining table, more inwards to his nails as his fingers fidget as he thinks. A glance up to Tien before he offers, "Then I suppose we should probably— I'm not sure if a bulletin is appropriate when it's just a theory at this point, but get the messages out to some safehouse leaders to trickle down, based on need to know, with rounding up people to check.

"Maybe— what if we get one of these— trigger-having types in a room. Safety precautions laid down. Then you go digging and see what happens. Not that I know what is and isn't safe about all this telepathy stuff so someone should probably jump in here— " A glance from Eileen, more meaningfully to Susan, seeking guidance.

Eileen touches the tips of her fingers, gloved in lambskin, to something above her heart in the pocket of her coat. It's the sort of gesture someone makes to check that they still have an object on their person even when they intellectually realize that it hasn't gone anywhere since the last time they made sure. Black lashes eclipse pale irises and her fingers curl in on themselves, forming a tight little fist that she holds against her breast.

"Everyone who's been in contact with Carmichael should be taken to Anastazy Borkowski for confirmation after Kaylee's looked at them," she says, and her voice is very soft. "That includes myself, Catherine and I don't know how many others. We can't risk making him aware of your discovery by severing the Ferry's line of communications with Messiah. What we can do is offer shelter and protection from those still loyal to Carmichael for former operatives who need it."

"If what Kaylee says is true," Susan puts in, "it might not be as simple as locking them in a room, strapping them down and having our telepath work her magic. The deeper she digs, the more she puts herself at risk. Whatever's in their heads might worm their way into hers, or worse. I'm not that good, but Carmichael could be."

"I agree with Susan." Kaylee says softly, glancing at her and giving a nod of her head. "Who knows what would happen. These… are in a sense memories that… are more then just." Her gaze focuses solidly on Susan, arms curls around her stomach as she turns thoughtful. "Maybe you can give me input on an idea. It's a simple one, but sometimes the most simplest of solution ends up the best answer."

One hand lifts to push long length of curled blonde hair out of her face, but the hand lingers at the back of her head. "What if I block it? A memory block. I can't wipe a memory out and I can't risk altering it… but what if I block that memory?" Kaylee's brows lift a little at Susan, the hand slips from the hair to motion to the Ferry's own persuader. "We could test the theory with your help, a willing victim, and Gillian's assistance… might not work, but… it's an idea?"

If there is one thing that Kaylee's been getting a lot of practice with lately, it's the memory blocks. "And if it works, it's the simplest, most straightforward way of stopping it with little danger to everyone involved."

It's probably mention of Gillian, as a saving grace, that doesn't have Joseph objecting to more use of Kaylee's talent for blocking memory than she's already seeing. Distrust for the black fluid has waned, some, since she hasn't been showing the signs of symptoms that Joseph is most used to, but it doesn't remove it completely. At this point, Joseph doesn't offer his input, having none — he's looking to Susan in the same way Kaylee is, eyebrows angled up.

"If you're asking me what the safest thing to do is," Susan says, "it's use Kaylee's ability to determine who has triggers implanted in them and then send them away until the eighth has come and gone, but if you want to try blocking the memory of the trigger being implanted, just be sure that accessing that memory doesn't just duplicate it and slip it into your subconscious because the Ferry only has one telepath, and this isn't a breast exam.

"You can't check yourself for lumps, can you?"

"No I can't." Kaylee admits with a small shake of her head, unable not to smile at Susan's wording. "And having another telepath trying to look results in them getting a head full of painful squelching feedback. I know that from first hand experience." That said bluntly, with a glance to Joseph, the smile slipping away. "I wanted to see if dropping a mental road block would simply stop the trigger from being accessed.

"If I unravel these lumps to view what is in them… then yeah, I risk being effected… if it works by proxy." Kaylee states with a nod. "I'm simply proposing blocking the pathway to that memory. If they can't remember it, even subconsciously access it, then it stands to reason it wouldn't happen." It makes sense in her head.

The telepath sighs softly, "If I could just test what happens…" Head tilts forward and her fingers rub at her forehead. "… where do you purpose to send these people? We don't even know what the trigger is. It could be simply a date and time of day… the result could be a murderous rampage… I'm trying not to risk the vicitm's lives as well as the networks."

"Perhaps 'away' ain't the most humane idea, but I figure— these people can think of themselves, still," Joseph says, with a glance to Eileen, as someone who has at least been exposed to Rupe Carmichael. "If they want to get out of town, we can probably set them up somewhere, and it'll help the riots in the city, but it won't be fixin' the problem. Otherwise— maybe we could bring some down here, if they're Ferry, or some other safehouse. If we move fast enough, maybe we could get those negation medications that— "

That Abby uses. He manages not to say this part out loud. "That might help out anyone with volatile abilities. It's an option, if they want it. If this thing works as a trigger, and we dunno what it is, if we can control the circumstances they're in, and they get supervision— " And his ideas run out there, mouth going into a pensive, thoughtful line.

"Not that we won't have enough to worry about. On the 8th."

"Negation drugs are better than nothing." Susan unlaces her fingers and rests her chin in her palm. Her other hand raps nails against the table's heavy wooden surface. "If Kaylee thinks that attempting to block the memory of the trigger being implanted by hammering in a mental wedge is worth a shot, then she has my support, provided that she does it in a controlled environment."

"And mine." This from Tien. "But how are we going to have people checked without letting the network know some of our operatives might've been compromised in some way? If Magnes was both Ferry and Messiah at the same time, there may be others. Informants."

"Honestly…." Kaylee starts, glancing to Joseph, giving him an apologetic look, "I think if the Messiah people come up with these lumps — and I feel bad saying this — maybe it's best to keep them away from the network, period. Messiah is known to be pretty violent with violent abilities. Maybe do like we are with those Company people and keeping them separated from the rest?"

Glancing to each council member in in turn there, before Kaylee's cheek darken and she shakes her head. "Sorry… not my place. Um — Anyhow, I am willing to give anything a shot to protect the people within the network. Anything thing I do is a risk and dangerous cause it's all experimentation at this point, but yes right now it's the best idea I've got at this point. I'm also open to other ideas nd suggestions."

Kaylee falls silent then, thinking. "Maybe — I can try the blocking with Varlane? He's got a few telepathic implants — not my own — that I can mess with, one being to drop everything go back to Messiah." She always feels the need to stress it's not her mentally messing with the gravity manipulator. "If that works, then I can test it on these triggers."

"If I was a better telepath, I'd say when it comes to checking people, to do it by stealth, but this sort of searching isn't just listening to someone thinking in the here and now. I have to go searching and people will notice that." There is a slow shake of Kaylee's head. "Maybe start by looking at the known suspected people… and go from there."

"Kaylee," says Eileen, "you're our liaison between the Ferry and those with Messiah who no longer have faith in Carmichael's leadership. The best way to determine who he's affected and why is to go directly to the source." She reaches up and coaxes the bluebird from her shoulder onto her knuckles, where it hooks its claws into the worn leather of her gloves and fluffs its feathers. "If his own people are willing to turn on him and we can convince them to give Kaylee access after he's been negated, with time she should be able to pull the answers we're seeking right out of his head rather than putting her energy toward checking the others one by one.

"We've worked with Messiah before. Some of them are trustworthy, as are Cardinal's people. This affects us all."

"I can do that… and if you want, I can go to Cardinal as well and brief him on the situation, I've had dealings with him, because of —" Kaylee bites off the words, brows furrowing a bit, hesitant for a moment. But why? "Because he knows my father and has done work with him in the past. So we talk now and then."

She gives Eileen a bit of a humorless smile, avoiding again looking at Joseph as Kaylee discusses a more unsavory side of her own ability. "You know I'm willing to help you out with Carmichael, once you have him where you want him. I can probably have him speaking the information we want out loud as well."

"Richard Cardinal?" Not that anyone at the table knows any other Cardinals. Joseph's hands turn out a little in a shrug. "I think most of us here have talked to him before, so we can figure if we need to do that after we talk to the other members. Not to mention we should at least turn theory into fact so we have somethin' of a plan instead of a crash test — the 8th is still a month and change away, if you're worried about his…"

And the pastor pauses with uncertainty, as if unsure exactly what it is Cardinal does, what his group involves, and settling on; "…people. And if Eileen says we need his help, of course." Passing the buck a little. This is sounding somewhat special activitiesish to Joseph.

"The fewer people who know about what you're doing, the less likely Carmichael will catch wind of our intentions before Melissa and the others are ready to move," Eileen agrees, and neither Susan nor Tien must have any objections to the plan or Joseph's suggestion, because they're silent on the matter. Tien's jaw sets. Susan exhales through her nose, slim body fractionally deflating as she lifts her chin from her hand, sweeps back several strands of flame red hair and slips them behind her ear.

"If Messiah needs help," the Englishwoman continues, "if Messiah consents to help, then we can provide, and if they want him involved so be it."

Hand tuck into her jean pockets, thumbs left to hook over the outside of it as she thinks on what is said. Kaylee purses her lips for a moment, before stating, "The reason I mentioned Cardinal, is he tends to know things. Man is connected and has resources out the wahzoo." Yes, she did just use that word. Hands slip out of her pockets, to forestall anything, before she has a chance to say, "But I'll hold off like you said, til we know more of Messiah's situation." Giving them a reassuring smile.

"I — Ah — have one last question?" Kaylee asks holding up a finger. "Should any of Messiah want to defect. Where should we put them temporarily?" The question asked innocently enough, not wanting to toss them in the wrong spot after all.

"I figure we got two options there. I'm happy to lend the Brick House on over to any strays, if there aren't a lot of 'em. We don't have any refugees currently hiding out and I'm sure Mer' would be okay with it," Joseph says, ticking this option off on his finger, and then going for the next when he says, "Or go with Gun Hill again. Place is already condemned and I value consistency. I guess it'll depend on the types of names we get.

"Unless you guys got any ideas — we can reconvene and cross that bridge when it comes anyways. Kaylee can probably liase if we already got Melissa approaching her, maybe with one of us or a given safehouse operator."

"The Brick House and Gun Hill are the only two properties I can think of that are suitable," Susan says with a shake of her head, "though I'm not sure how members of Messiah might react if they find out they're living only a few doors down from the Company agents we have staying there. I'd go with the Brick House, personally. It's safer, and in a less densely populated area. If you're right about the triggers, that's going to become important later."

Nodding slowly, Kaylee looks in agreement. "Brick House it is." It's stated with some finality, hands coming together in a single clap of her hands, the young woman seeming to relax some. "Okay!" Hands rest on the back of one of the chairs, gripping it lightly. A nod goes to each of the council seated there. "Again, thank you all for coming down here to hear me out. I feel better with the council knowing and having some sort of plan in place. I'll see if I can corner Melissa again and talk to her."

Glancing at Joseph, she looks relieved, as if she just survived some big ordeal. "Thanks for arranging this, Joseph," she adds. Of course, it's another thing added to a rather busy plate for the telepath, but… she seems to revel in it.

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