Lighthouse Minor


brian_icon.gif shirley_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Lighthouse Minor
Synopsis Brian comes pick up Shirley from a place that wasn't as safe as Ygraine thought it was.
Date January 15, 2011

Ruins of Midtown

"Not a safe place right now."

Thick boots sound like the loudest thing in the world as they stomp over the remains of what once was a gas station. A piece of rubble is met with a steel toe, sending it skittering and clanking a few feet away. The night has grown rather bitter cold at this point, a thin frost laying over the battered remnants off Midtown.

"Does she break guns?"

It's later in the night now. Getting closer to morning. The only patrols he's seen in Midtown tonight have been his own. And his own look like they're equipped for war. Since the apparation of the Hunterbots, Brian has been roaming the ruins off Midtown nightly. Several different locations and armed heavily. But all that specialized equipment seems a little useless when going to find a girl that breaks equipment.

"I'm asking for adynomine now. Should be able to get to her within the day.. Maybe tomorrow. But I'll get her to one of my own safehouses. See about the HF thing. See if I can teach her a little control."

Shouldering his way through a dark shell of a building, Brian begins to start stripping his more specialized equipment into a little dufflebag under a piece of debris. A more sophisticated camera, night vision goggles. His eyes wander up to Ygraine as he does so a light smile spreading up his lips.

"You look good. I'm sorry I haven't called you.. We need to get moving on operation move Lighthouse.. If you have the time. Maybe then we wouldn't have this kind of problem."

Once he's thouroughly unequipped, Brian goes to stand. Still wearing a black flak jacket and black BDU pants, he nods over at Ygraine, his hand stretching out to hold hers.

"Let's fly."

"She broke the emergency release mechanisms on elevator doors. I think. Given the state that elevator was in a couple of years back, maybe they were already falling apart, but…." Ygraine shrugs ruefully, gloved hands thrust into the side-pockets of her long coat, her own Midtown night-vision gear stashed back in its inaccessible hidey-hole. "The only things I've confirmed as simple enough that she doesn't break them - at least in the time I've watched her for - are a child's swing, and ordinary doors. If it's as simple as a hinge, a pivot, or a latch, it seems to be safe from her. But even my crank-powered tech struggles around her. I've resorted to using glow-sticks for light, 'cause she was wrecking even a wind-up torch."

Withdrawing one hand from its warm refuge, she takes hold of Brian's, guiding him towards the wall of the building, tucked away out of easy view in a side-alley. "Hold onto your stomach", she instructs him, before hopping smoothly up onto the wall, keeping hold as she does so. "Bring up one foot and brace yourself. I'll take a lot of your weight as I shift you. And it can help to close your eyes, then focus on me rather than think about where you are. Now… ready?"

The memories come flooding back as they move, his eyes closing for a moment. "I've done it before." He reminds gently, boots grinding against the wall. His hand slowly goes to let go, eyes opening once again. "This time there's considerably less Vanguard around." Winters gives a light smile, as he peers up the wall. "I'm fine." He assures her, taking a few steps up the wall.

But it's been a long time. Making his way up slowly, he glances down at the woman. "They have robots down here now. Apparently fella named Hector Steel and Warren Ray have got together crafting up these brilliant creatures. They are.. very dangerous. And our little girl up here might be safe from them. But.." He shakes his head. "We don't want to give away our ace in the hole to the US government. If a bot suddenly deactivates.. It won't be long before they tear apart Midtown hunting down this chick." He frowns lightly."We won't be able to get her to the island then without adynomine. No way in fuck am I paddling for three days." He grumps, following Ygraine up the side of the building.

"Sailing boat", Ygraine provides, tone distinctly absent-minded, as she gives Brian a decidedly pensive look. Her feet do, however, carry her up the side of the building, the situation apparently wholly mundane to her. It's well-chosen, as a hiding place - the owners must have had resources to spare, back near the Bomb, because it's sealed up with security shutters to keep out weather and looters alike, ready to be reclaimed whenever the region returns to some semblance of prosperity. "Not that I know how to use one, but I'd rather learn than paddle fifty miles upriver…."

A sigh, and she shoots her companion a worried look, before forcing a smile. "And I'm not leaping off any more buildings to catch you, I'm afraid. Or I hope not. That was a crazy stunt that I want never to repeat again. But you're serious about them having hunter-robots? Christ. What're we talking? Flying drones that look for IR signatures, like NATO have been using? Or are we looking at Terminators?"

"Big llama looking fuckers. I hear there's other types. Look like animals. But big. One I scrapped with was ten feet tall. Oh good news. Got my hands on some adynomine. I'll hop on a boat right now and meet us by the end of the day. Not a whole lot of it, but enough hopefully to get this under wraps for a bit." He smirks for a bit. "So we don't have to use a sailboat after all. God that would be a pain in the ass."

He grins a little after her, slowing on his ascent up into the building. Reaching back to give her hand a gentle squeeze. "You'll always jump to catch me, sweetheart." He grins broadly. Releasing her hand he peers up. "This the level?" He asks going to retake her hand so his gravity can be re-oriented. "I'm glad you're here. Climbing this would have been a sonofabitch."

"Llama?" Ygraine sounds openly incredulous. "Christ. Killer robot llamas…." Shaking her head, she chuckles. "That panel there. I can open up a gap at the top, and you can squeeze inside. You're a little big for this, in your Winter kit, but you should be okay. I'll pop a glowstick once we're both in, and a little away from the wall. I want to avoid any glow if I can…."

As she talks, she matches deeds to words, prising up one of the upper corners of the indicated security panel, pushing it away from the wall to provide a fairly slender gap that someone might squeeze through. "I did choose this to be impossible for anyone but me to get into, as best I could", she says with a grin, while reorienting Brian to let him stand on the ceiling insde the room. "But it seems like I'll have to give up on my idea of properly setting up a few of these places. Damn."

Giving a grunt, Winters is able to squeeze in with his Winter kit. "I could have gotten in here if I wanted to." Brian is murmuring as he shifts his way into, this time the reorienting has more of an effect. A hand touches his stomach lightly as his skin pales somewhat temporarily. Going to take a seat on the ceiling he lets out a quiet sigh. "We'll get her on the adynomine.. But I don't even know if I should take her to the castle right away. Adynomine is low.. and she wouldn't be the most popular person if she broke the heat in the castle." He gives a light shrug. Before bringing up two hands to his mouth. "Helloooo?"

"Not quietly or subtly", Ygraine says dryly after Brian's call. She pulls the shutter back in place as best she can, then walks along to the far end of the ceiling, by the door, and pops a glowstick - bathing the empty room in a warm, orange glow… though one that seems to cast deep, black shadows as much as it actually provides light.

Holding out a hand again, she offers a smile. "You can jump for the floor, or I can walk you down the wall to it." Continuing to talk, she hopes to distract Brian from the flips his body is going through - people really do seem to struggle with the sliding around of the brain in particular - and to let any frightened young women in the vicinity hear her voice. "And… the theory is that in the heart of an anonymous building, that shows no sign of break-in and that was formally emptied years ago, and that's sealed up against intrusion, something right in the middle of it isn't going to get noticed from the side, from above, or from below, whatever spectrum you're scanning. And if something were to try to break in, I'd sure as heck hear it, unless - like me - it could wander up and start unscrewing loose security panels a hundred feet above the ground…."

"As for where to take our friend", she says, poking the glowstick through the door before following it - so that her face is illuminated as soon as she comes into view for any watcher - "her range isn't huge. I've not got a definite fix on it yet - most of the tech I was carrying broke before I realised it was happening - but I'd guess it's a few yards at most. She could walk down a street and not leave a string of alarms going off, at least."

At Brian's call, Shirley wakes up. Her first reaction is that of panic as she hears a strange voice. Afraid that, somehow, someone has found her in here. Then she notices Ygraine's voice, and she calms down. Slowly starting to unzip the sleeping bag, and then the teen starts to crawl out of it. She, too, snaps a glowstick. "Hello?" She responds to Brian, though her voice is hardly loud. In fact, it's only a soft sound, the glowstick is more likely to draw attention…

"Walk me down." He moans, and once she does, he places a hand lightly to his head for just a moment. Dropping it, his shoulders swing forward and back as if getting used to being back on the ground. Glancing over at Ygraine, "Bet you couldn't control ten bodies at once." He snaps, but a smile is included eventually.

Listening closely, he gives a light nod as a glowstick sparks in the distance. "There she is. Hey there. Ygraine is here. We're coming in." And with that Brian makes his way towards the glow in the distance.

"Only by sticking them to walls", Ygraine mutters dryly. The glow in question is seeping out from beneath one of the doors on the inner side of the corridor, along which she now leads Brian. In most circumstances it would be wholly unremarkable - but the yellow light outlining the door shines like a beacon, until it is met by the orange of the stick carried by Ygraine.

She knocks, twice, upon the door, then swings it open and steps inside, offering a smile towards the corner in which she left Shirley. "This is Brian. He can help." The relief in her voice is evident.
Shirley looks over to the other source of light, putting her boots and jacket back on. "Hey." She offers, and after finishing that minor act of redressing, the teen gets up and heads over to Brian, offering an extended hand. "I'm Shirley, but I'm sure Ygraine already told you that." She offers with a weak smile before glancing over to Ygraine. "Hey, glad to see you're back. What time is it..?" She asks, glancing at the broken thing that was her watch.

Reaching out to take her hand, Brian gives it a light shake before relasing. "Nice to meet you Shirley. I run an organization that helps with people around your age in situations similar to yours. Let me just say, I sympathize for the hardship you're going through right now. I know this sudden change can be really tough."

"It's in the middle of the night. You can call it morning if you want." Winters lets out, going to fold his arms over his chest. He lowers his head for a moment. "If you don't mind.. I'd like to talk to you for a while. But I ffeel like we need to get out of Midtown, ASAP."

"Under, or over?", Ygraine asks - directing her question to Brian. "When I really need stealth and I'm on foot, I often take routes beneath the streets, that others won't find easy to use. Though I've only got one spare breathing mask with me, I'm afraid, and… some of it's 'aromatic', to say the least. For raw speed, overland's faster, of course. But Shirley's had a long day, and a long walk, and I don't want to need to count on out-sprinting a patrol…."
"An.. organization?" Shirley asks, scratching her head idly before looking between Ygraine and Brian. "Okay, so it's really early… and I guess I could talk. But why not here..? Ygraine said it was safe here…" She glances over to Ygraine then, "I'm okay. I've slept, and I feel much better now, really." She has a small smile, "I'm sure I could do a little running if needed…"

"Ygraine was not aware of everything going on right now. Now she is. And I think she'll agree with me that we need to get out of here." Winters glances back to Ygraine. "We'll go overland. I have eyes on Midtown. I'll keep an open route for us. We'll be fine." He smiles gently, grinning down at Shirley. "You don't need to worry about phones. I am a phone. I don't think you'll need to run. Just a brisk walk out of midtown. Just.. do everything I say, and stay close." He smiles lightly. "Sound good?" Brian takes a step back, shoving his hands into his pockets.

"If we can't move now, then this is as safe a place as we could have you", Ygraine says quietly to Shirley. "If you need rest, or you really can't face the cold, then we can wait. But if you're up to it, then we should probably pack up and get going, I'm afraid. I can handle the packing while you grab something to eat and drink, to get a little more energy. And maybe Brian can tell you a little about the organisation he runs. He was one of the people I was wanting to get hold of when I left you here…."

"I'll be okay. I can move." Shirley responds, looking back towards the door and putting her hands in her pocket. "So, Brian… what's this organization you run, then?" She asks, considering she had been curious since he first mentioned it. "But, why isn't it safe here…? Who would come here but someone who can walk on walls.. or fly. And even if they could…. how would they know where to look?"

"There's a lot I am not going to be able to tell you immediately." Brian says quickly. "I hope you can understand. I am responsible for a lot of lives. And connected with many others. Due to… Connections." He glances over to Ygraine. "We're going to need to talk before I can give you a lot of the answers you're going to want. Suffice it to stay, I am a part of a network and my branch of the network takes care of people like you."

Moving towards the door, he pauses while waiting for the two women. "Midtown… Is not safe for anyone right now. Whether you're in the sky or underground. There's a new threat facing us right now…" That she might be able to help with. "And it looks like a llama. The government seems to be producing robots who can hunt evolved persons." Winters pauses near the window.

"Any idea if they come close, or use ranged devices?", Ygraine asks quietly, now crouched down and setting about the far-from-easy task of furling up an Arctic-grade sleeping bag into a tight bundle. "If they need to get up close and personal, then… I might be able to dispose of them. But you two'd want to be standing well back. The… side-effects, I haven't been able to work out. If it even works. If it does, then… no more robot."

"Robots?" Shirley asks, "Llama robots?" Her voice is a mixture of disbelief and surprise, whether one emotion is stronger than the other is hard to tell. "And they hunt the Evolved?" She shakes her head a little, "… anyway, people like me? As in how… in possession of hugely annoying abilities or what?" She too moves towards the door, "But let's go, yeah… the sooner I can get any decent explanation of that organization of yours… the better."

"The one I saw came up close.. But.. I don't think we should tempt them. There's more than one variety. But I'm telling you. If you stay close to me, we can dodge them completely. So.. Let's just go?" Brian smiles lightly at the younger woman. "Some have described their abilities as hugely annoying. But no I mean.. Kids. People your age." Winters brings up one hand to pat her shoulder. His lips twist to the side lightly, leaning against the wall he waits quietly for Ygraine to ffinish up. "Y'need help Ygraine? I just don't know where to put anything."

Ygraine grunts, putting her weight into further compressing the bag, before hastily tying it off - moving as if worried that it'll spring free again. "No, no. Well, maybe. Roll up the groundmat, and by the time you've done that, I should have this stowed away. Then it's just a matter of gathering up the sticks and food, and securing things in place. About two minutes at most, and we should be ready to go."

Lifting her head, Ygraine flashes a grin at Shirley. "I'm serious, by the way - grab a bite to eat and a drink. You probably won't want either once you're out in the cold again. This'll be your last chance for a little while. Ah. Finally." Amidst rustling, she bends over the pack, and sets about forcing the bag down into it, starting to fit smaller items in around it.

"Fine." Shirley responds to Ygraine, grabbing that bottle of coke and something to eat, quickly drinking down and eating up, she then glances over to Brian. "I'm not a kid anymore. Minor, sure. But no kid." Ahh… teenagers. She walks back to the door, glancing over as Ygraine packs stuff into the pack, "Let's head out soon then? Lest those Llama robots find us…"

"In my experience, Shirley." Brian stats, following her to look over the stuff to eat. Finding nothing really appetizing he gives a pass. "Until you don't make a fuss about being called a 'kid'. You're a kid. But if you like the term better. Minors." Winters concedes. When they're finally ready, the three get re-oriented. A process that Brian manages a little better this time. The passage of time while they walk on walls seems to go on endlessly long. The glow sticks are hidden while they trapese their way down to the ground.

But finally they are back on solid ground, reorienting to God made gravity. Touching his forehead he gives a little nod. "This way." And with that he begins to lead. "I'll have to leave my stuff here.. So. Shirley. I know this might be a sensitive topic. But if you could, I would like you to tell me about your dad. In soft voices, please."

"He's a computer programmer." Shirley starts, "And well… he hates the Evolved, blames them for the death of me Ma." She shrugs a little as she follows Brian along on the path, "She died in the bomb. He never got over it…" Her voice is as soft as she can manage to without being impossible to understand. "So he got himself setup with Humanis First… I don't know what kind of shit he's pulled, as he doesn't want to share. But I know he must've done some nasty things…"

Ygraine seems to have set herself on overwatch duty, lagging three or four strides behind the other two so that she can keep both in her vision while also peering around into the night. Rather acutely aware of her unaccustomed lack of night vision gear, she's frowning pensively - while keeping an ear on the conversation ahead of her.

"How do you feel about that?" Brian asks quietly, hugging himself as he walks alongside next to her. He's not too worried about their surroundings. He does have nightvision equipment. Not on this body but, close enough.

"A lot of people blamed Evolved as a whole for what has happened. The bomb, the eighth. It's really understandable and not uncommon." Brian tries in a soothing voice. He moves his chin over to watch her quietly, tilting his head.

"I loathe that part of him… but he's my dad, and I sorta understood it even if I loathed it." Shirley answers as she walks along, glancing around worriedly. "I'm afraid of him, though… I think he'll try to kill me if he finds out…" The teen sighs to herself, "I don't want to die. But I don't know what to do either… I never thought this would happen…"

"Pure evil is simply incomprehensible. It's inhuman, unknowable", Ygraine quietly puts in. "Broken people lashing out from fear and grief, however - that's all too comprehensible. And it's a tragedy. I hope you're wrong about him in that regard, Shirley - but we're not here to make you find out. We're here to help, as best we can."

"Since your father is Humanis First." Brian lets out quietly, tipping his head down. "If you come with us. We'll have to suspend your contact with him totally and indefinitely. If you want to keep talking to him, or seeing him. I'm afraid we can't help you." He admits quietly. "I can understand how hard that it is. But I hope you understand it's a necessity." Winters brings up a hand for them to pause. His eyes twitching around for a moment. And then he shakes his head lightly. Motioning for them to keep moving.

"My organization is called the Lighthouse. We were an orphanage of sorts for minors on Staten Island. Evolved minors. We've since had to relocate. And I work closely with a broader network of people who look out for Evolved individuals. A network that the government demonizes as terrorist." He glances over to her to see if any recognition flares up.

"I.. understand." Shirley responds to the clear notice about her father. "And .. I suppose it's for the best, anyway…" She sighs and looks down at the ground as she continues walking. "Aha…" The teen responds to the clearer explanation of Brian's organization. Then "terrorist?" She asks, a bit of surprise in her voice apparent, "They're not really terrorist, right… I don't want to have anything do with terrorists…"

"I run an orphanage, Shirley. If you find something that sounds like terrorism in that, you let me know." He smirks a little bit. "If you want to join me, you can. Become a 'Lighthouse kid'. There are several other your age. Two other girls your age. One a little older, one a bit younger. One manipulates smell, and the other can manipulate dust." Brian gives a light smile as they make their way more into the outskirts of midtown. "Or I can introduce you to the network. You can be vetted by the council and cleared to stay at our safehouse."

"Point." Shirley responds to Brian's answer, "And I guess that's a better idea than anything I can come up with…" She says softly to Brian's question about whether she wants to become a 'Lighthouse kid', "So I guess I'll go along with that." She stretches and continues on walking, looking up to the sky… "My life is changing so rapidly, and… I feel a little lost…" She doesn't seem to be talking to Brian, strangely enough, "Father, please guide me…"

Brian's eyes lid somewhat as his memories drift back to how he used to be. How he was before he came to this city. How the first thing he did in this city was stand on a soapbox and preach the love of God. He wets his lips lightly. Glancing to the path ahead of them. "I'm a replicator. I make more than one me. We're going to meet another me.. And I'm going to give you a pill. It's going to turn off your power long enough for us to get you to the safehouse. By the end of the night.. Your life will be very different.".

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