Lines Drawn In Sand


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joseph_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif peter_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Lines Drawn In Sand
Synopsis A meeting of Ferrymen and their allies is called to discuss the Maxwell Quinn situation.
Date September 3, 2009

The Foxhole

The piece of furniture selected for tonight's roundtable discussion isn't round at all. It's an octagonal piece of tiger oak that sat in a cobweb-infested corner of the Red Hook's Salvation Army for close to nine months before it was purchased, restored and brought to the Foxhole by a part-time carpenter's apprentice named Sven. And while Sven might not be in the room right now to discuss all the labour and love that went into the project, he would undoubtedly be proud of his work if he knew what it was being used for.

Large enough to seat four people on each side and one on either end, the table is already occupied by several individuals, their faces illuminated by the gas lantern at its center, which also causes shadows to flicker across the room's barren concrete walls and dance spider-like on the ceiling.

Eileen Ruskin sits at the table's head, her jacket hanging off the back of her chair, leather shoulder holster and pistol worn overtop her shirt in plain view. The first to arrive, she has said nothing since taking her seat, though her pale eyes studiously move from face to face as she and the others wait for the last stragglers to arrive so the meeting can begin.

She's seated a few chairs down from Eileen, and neutral of expression. Cat examines a section of wall, one hand resting on the guitar case at her left side. She doesn't appear armed, but only she knows what's in the case. There is no jacket, and she's in shorts, finding sixty-eight degrees comfortable. Not at all cold.

Abigail's killing two birds with one stone while they wait for everyone to start. Pen scratches across the papers in front of her, a bottle of seven up just kitty corner to her. LaGuardia Community College, EMT 1 course. Time to get this last hurdle through and done with. There were also papers for Lucy's there, so she could look over the afterward. Green sun dress, white cardigan that had a few smudges from the trip down here and sneakers. her real concession since she didn't think her Flats would take the trip through the ruins and to here. "How far is the ride to Long Island City from Greenwich?"

Though the woman who enters a little late looks enough like Gillian that those who know her didn't need more than a second glance, there's a distinct difference in her hair and make up from normal. A lot more make up than usual, lipstick a deep red, dark eye make up. That may not be too unusual, but it seems thicker and more drastic than she might have normally worn. It's the wig that stands out the most. Her dark hair concealed under it, the wig sports blonde hair, quite light with only the smallest tinges of red for highlight. It hangs to her shoulders, curling inwards where it lays. None of her tattoos are visible, for a change, mangled or otherwise. Sunglasses hang from a front pocket of her jacket, as she moves past Eileen with a glance, a hint of a greeting smile, then settles down on the other side of Cat with a simple, "Hey," in her recognizable raspy voice. A glance is given to everyone seated, all of which she's at least seen before.

Fatigue or some other species of reticence has the Sicilian in something of a sprawl on the edge of the floor, his back propped up against the wall, enough distance between himself and the table that he has a clear view of it but proximity, too, that doesn't push him out entirely detached from the demarcations of the various and sundry personal bubbles aggregated in style now. If urged, doubtless, he'd pick himself up and drag his skinny ass to a chair, but for now he's allowed himself the casual luxury of his hermit-like preference in comfort. There are cigarettes fading from his breath and his eyes are half-mast in the light of the derelict.

At Eileen's left hand, Deckard is a hunched assembly of lamp-edged angles and bleak shadows slumped forward upon a table that is probably worth more than his entire existence. After shaving a couple've weeks back, his stubble collection is lagging behind the buzzed down bristle of his grizzled hair. He's ghastly gaunt, eyes shut hard against warm light and narrow jaw burried in the crossed fold of his arms across clean wood, white dress shirt rumpled under the leather loop and cross of a holster over his shoulders. The gun parked in it is currently invisible courtesy of his dismal posture and the fact that he's been asleep for some ten or fifteen minutes, but he stinks of coffee rather than alcohol and so far as anyone knows he hasn't thrown up anywhere. Yet.

When no one trails in after Gillian and the sound of footsteps echoing in the corridor outside fails to herald another late arrival, Eileen lets out a long, slow breath through her nostrils and leans back in her seat, finalizing her thoughts in the time it takes the faux blonde to get settled and claim an unoccupied chair. It's a good thing Teo is on the floor instead of sitting next to her like Deckard is; were she to smell the lingering hint of tobacco and smoke on his breath, she'd be reaching into her pocket for a cigarette to occupy her hands instead of rotating a folded balisong between her fingers. "I don't know," she tells Abigail. "It depends who's driving."

She places the knife on the table with a gentle click and then swivels it around until the carbon steel handle is pointed in Cat's direction. "Why don't we start with an overview of the situation?"

The knife is eyed without a change in her facial expression; if it were supposed to have meaning beyond use as a pointing tool she doesn't know. And if she believes Eileen meant it so, Cat isn't letting on. Her reply is calmly spoken. "I set out to have a look at the movie set, it was intriguing to me. Made an investment, got my way onto the set, met the actor. Leonard was present, working security. Then a megaphone, which may have been stolen from the director, was used to announce a message from Humanis First."

"Following that message, ammonia-based explosives in trash cans was set off. In the aftermath of the explosions, Maxwell Quinn manifested an Evolved ability. It seems to be an EMP; electronic devices were rendered useless and metallic objects were repelled in a circle around the man."

"His ability also somehow impacts the systems of the human body, causing nausea, headaches, and difficulty moving. It was reminiscent of what DHS agent Jonathan Carmichael has. Leonard and I sought to remove Mr. Quinn from the area to secure his safety; we were met by an ambulance crew staffed by Ferry persons. He was taken to St. Luke's Hospital, dosed with morphine to keep him calm, treated for minor injuries, and protected versus use of the SLC test."

"To guard against him being tested as may be customary for overnight stays and due to publicity around the man, Leonard took him to a place in the Midtown Ruins, one not in use by this organization, where there is no electric power and no people. There he is being assisted with getting control over the ability and has had options explained to him."

Helena remains quiet for the moment, listening to the facts at hand.

"EMP.. well, that it affects the human body isn't too much of a surprise given that we all have some small amount of electromagnetic energy that feeds our system, nervous system" That's murmured more to herself than to anyone else. "If he's not being helped at a Ferryman facility then…" Abby glances towards Eileen.

"This is not a good couple of weeks for Evolved celebrities," Gillian comments raspily, leaning back into her chair. "Or anyone really," she adds on as an afterthought, before she looks over at Cat. "I guess the only question I got is what he thought of his options."

There's a rough breath in and out through Teo's teeth, either a sigh restrained with difficulty in the cage of his jaws, an abortive effort at clearing his throat, or trying to cough up a furball. "If you were using that map of structurally sound derelicts around the ruins, I think those still fall within the demarcation of the Ferry's domain. Technically." He isn't arguing, exactly. Turns his eyes briefly up at the stack of drowsing graverobber at the edge of Eileen's smokey halo, before blinking across the edge of the furniture at Cat. "Deckard looked them over and plotted them out for the use of Evolved refugees."

In comes Leo, with his thug's swagger currently locked in place. Hoodie, dark jeans, sneakers, truculent set to his jaw. Which doesn't ease when he notes those present. He murmurs his excuses, looks for somewhere to sit.

More people are talking, now — voices mingling in from around the table until Flint unwinds himself enough to scrub a hand over his face. He doesn't actually sit up or get much further than slanting one chilly blue eye open enough to scan over the blurry assembly of faces that gathered while he was passed out, but. He's dragging himself slothfully up into a state of semi-paying attention, brows tipped up at mention of his own name when he resettles the rest of his scruffy chin over his arms.

Eileen's eyes remain on Cat for the duration of her explanation, her expression steely and unreadable for the most part. Abby's input receives a faint tilt of her head in one direction; Gillian's, the other. It isn't until Teo speaks that she lifts her chin, reaches up and rubs the heel of her hand along her jaw. "I just want to take a moment to remind everyone," she says, "that Quinn is a high-profile affluent white male who, in light of the highly-publicized attack on his film set, is likely being sought by the authorities so he can provide them with an official statement. Mostly, I'm wondering why you and Leonard thought it would be a good idea to make him disappear instead of allowing a nurse to prick at his thumb with a needle?"

It isn't a rhetorical question, but she doesn't give Cat the opportunity to answer either. Instead, she lowers her hand and taps the very tip of her left index finger against the table's varnished surface. "He hasn't done anything wrong. The worst that will happen is forcible registration under the second tier. If he's lucky, the police will put him into a witness protection program and move him someplace where Humanis First won't be able to find him. If he's not, then he has more than enough resources at his disposal to do so himself. Maybe one of you can explain to me why we're making a bad situation worse by hiding Quinn from people who are more equipped to help him than the network is?"

She might have answered Gillian's question, but the one posed by Eileen after her statement of opinion draws Cat's attention instead. "The original intent was getting him away from people and danger to tell him the basics and see about helping him gain control. We, however, found ourself with the ambulance crew from the Ferry in our path and went with their cover."

"As to taking him from the hospital and not letting him be tested, that's just common decency any person deserves, isn't it? The thing to remember is tests lead to being reported, and if unprotected leads to DHS getting hands on him. I hope no one has forgotten registration is selective; any bureaucrat can arbitrarily decide someone is dangerous. I would remind all present being famous is no guard against being disappeared without any kind of due process. Vincent King, known as Shard, was found at the Moab prison despite no public word of him ever being charged with a crime."

"Because we acted, Mr. Quinn now has the opportunity to decide for himself whether or not he desires to allow himself be tested and register, knowing the risks that brings. If we had not, it wouldn't be so and any interaction with DHS would have come before he's even had the chance to figure out and manage what suddenly manifested."

"Eileen has a point.. did you let him out of his morphine stupor enough to ask what he wanted to do? Or did you just.. squirrel him away?" It's not meant in a rude or mean fashion, just Abigail asking. "Because.. he is someone famous and while I am very much behind the ferryman helping all those who want it, you have to remember that they have to want it" Cat drags up shard though and Abigail's nose wrinkles.

"The rapper who went on TV and probably had half of the NYPD descend on him. Which makes you wonder what he was doing when they caught him the first time. Cat, you can want to help everyone, but as I've learned, some people, you need to let them choose if they want help"

At the mention of said rapper, Gillian grimaces under her blond wig, pressing her reddened lips tightly together and folding her arms. This conversation probably hits home in more ways than just Maxwell Quinn. They weren't the only one to drag a celebrity off to the Ferry, whether Feng's involvement made her decision any better, she has no idea. "It really does matter what he wants, but also what's… safest for the other people we're helping too, I guess." She shrugs a big, swinging her feet under the table from where she sits next to Cat.

There's a scuff and a shuffle of yet another later comer's footsteps headed for the room with its table and undoubtedly ominous lighting. Most things are, out here. Joseph Sumter is not. He wears a weather jacket the approximate colour of wet sand over a light blue button down shirt, slacks of the same sort of tone as his jacket, brown shoes, and barely makes a shadow when he steps inside. He glances face to face, those he recognises, those he doesn't, and those he is surprised to recognise. Mainly Cat, that last category, a lingering look that twitches away in the next moment. Hearing the echo of talk long before he appeared, he's quiet at first, leaning against the wall beside the door rather than taking a seat.

"We let him out of the drug haze when he was safely away from the hospital. He could've killed nearly anyone in there, considering what he can do, and that it is nowhere near controlled," Leo says, voice studiously mild, even as he glowers up from under dark brows. "Yes, he has opted for our help. Because while if he goes back to his handlers, he will be forcibly registered, as Cat pointed out, but not much instructed. Possibly shipped away because he's dangerous, or merely because his power could be a weapon. Note, he is NOT aware of the Ferry. We have not offered to ship him to Canada. As far as he knows, Cat and I are friends and concerned individuals." There's a bottle of water here, which he summons to his hand, absentmindedly. Thirsty Sith are thirsty.

This place, it's a familiar one to a ghost haunting its halls. Black lines and blue irises all; it's a ghost of a memory of a time that seems longer ago than it really was, but what a difference a year makes. They've painted over the murals, one ironically of an ashen hand grasping up at a sky; the thought of it is afforded a smirk by the guest coming down the corridor. It's the sound of hard soled shoes clicking on concrete that isn't too out of place, the way the echo in the cavernous underground station carries indicates they're drawing closer. The black-clad form that makes his way thorugh the doorway pauses once revealed by the flickering lantern light in clearest view of the young woman seated at the head of the table. Pale blue eyes stare across the gathering to her, an expression of some unspoken kindness that fades as his eyes divert to the man that has taken her side.

Stepping further into the light, the lantern reveals pale skin and a deep scar made to look even more gruesome by the flickering light that casts cadaverous shadows across high cheekbones and the dark shadows of deep set eyes. As he steps out of the doorway, Joseph Sumter comes into view in his periphery, and Peter's eyes shift to view him sidelong. Brows furrow, creasing that scar between them before his pale eyes shift away, and he starts to make a slow counter-clockwise sweep around the table with a slow and inspecting pace.

Gloved hands tense at his sides, sliding into the pockets of his slacks as slow footfalls carry him around the table without words. A look is given towards Abigail Beauchamp, likewise wordless but containing some notion of recognition despite that they have never actually met, likewise with Deckard.

Cat is given a look of more recognition, a subtle nod of recognition afforded to her alone and none other. Past Helena, Peter walks with eyes downturned, shoulders losing some of their squaring, until he comes to stand slightly behind and to the right of Eileen's position in the chair. He pauses, only one recognizing who the blonde is that isn't Helena or Abby, one brow quirking up in regard of Gillian before continuing his way around the periphery of the room like a stalking animal, an unfamiliar look given towards Leonard, unknowing of the man behind the facade. But then there's Teodoro, a man whom a squint is afforded to; one of fleeting remembrance from a brief encounter in some muddy memory.

Despite his unlikely appearance here at a Ferrymen meeting, he has no explanations offered, he just looms in her periphery; not much more than a black suit and fair eyes to the edges of her perception, a familiar ghost to be haunted by.

"…You guys realize there are probably people wondering where he went, right?" asked coarse and muffled past the rest of his arms, Deckard breathes in slow and out slow, lax as a grey-snouted mutt curled up under the table rather than at it. A bleary glance over his shoulder after the footsteps of stragglers ends in little more than a 'sup' tip at his brow for Joseph. His one open eye is laggard in tracking past Leonard after Peter, but recognition turns over at its own jerky pace. His brows hood; he opens both eyes, and immediately glances sideways — first to Abby, and then to Eileen at his opposite side. He's not the only one here who sees that guy, right?

"You want to discuss risk?" Eileen asks of Catherine. "All right. Let's discuss risk. How many prisoners do you suppose were being interred in Moab? Three hundred? Four hundred?" There's a glance in Joseph's direction as his shape fills the doorframe, followed by a momentary pause. Tension tightens her jaw, though this has more to do with the shadow that follows at his heels than it does the preacher himself. Her gaze tracks Peter as he moves, and to her credit she does not allow herself to be distracted by his unannounced arrival.

"I don't know how many people are on the registry as a whole," she continues, "but I do know the number is significantly greater than that. Thousands. Tens of thousands." Eileen straightens in her seat, shoulders squared. "I won't deny there's a chance Homeland Security might decide to move against him if he registers, but there's also a chance they'll coming looking here if you decide to offer him sanctuary with us. You tell me which is more likely." Which is to say: Flint's right. "And that isn't even factoring Humanis into the equation."

Her calm doesn't shift in the slightest. Cat lets her eyes rest on Peter as he makes his entry, then shifts them around the room at the people seated around this table and standing/sitting elsewhere. There's Joseph. Looks like 'Joan' will need to explain herself soon. There's a trip to church in the near future.

But that's the near future. The immediate present has Cat's eyes coming to rest on Deckard as she speaks a reply to his query without any trace of edge to her voice. "That would be why he was handed a disposable phone so he could call his handlers and tell them to float a cover story, he's taking some time for himself. Which he did."

Focus then moves on to Eileen. "There's always risk, Eileen," Cat begins, her voice keeping that same even tone. "We're in the risk business. Anytime a person is helped it brings the risk of heat coming down on us. We take that risk with our eyes open because we know the consequences of just letting things happen. Because we know the alternative is allowing people to be victimized simply for existing."

She is poised, seated with her back straight and voice clear, loud enough to be heard without shouting. All of Cat's stage experience with holding an audience and training in law school about presenting a clearly compelling argument is brought to bear with eyes coming to settle on each person in turn, seeking to gently stare down disagreement. "DHS may or may not come at us. Humanis First has come at us, and in the future will come at us again. But if we decline to assist even one person without that person earning such denial by act of free will, we let them win."

"And this is never acceptable."

Helena has been silent for a long time, her brow furrowed, elbows on the table and fingers laced together, her lips pressed against them. "When did we decide that it was okay if someone was only registered as a Tier 0, or a Tier 1, or a Tier Anything?" she says at last. Her tone is perhaps oddly soft, a bit uncertain. "I thought Registration was across the board considered to be a violation of someone's civil rights, no matter who that person is." And then, there's Peter's entrance. Helena goes silent, her expression, one of tensed facial muscles and intense thought, only changes in so much as her eyes flick to follow his path to Eileen's side, and then she speaks again. "Obviously this is the choice between ideals and practicality, to state the obvious. But we can argue about whether it's a wise choice, or we can figure out what to do with the situation at hand, and make a decision about what to do in the future if a similar situation arises." She looks around the table, around the room, and only then does Gillian's hair flag itself in her consciousness, as well as the faces belonging to strangers.

"Everyone keeps saying not to do anything about Humanis First." she says, allowing her confusion to show. "But here's what I don't understand. Even if we never so much as raise a finger against them physically, any time we show our faces, any time we spread a message, they're going to view it as an attack that they have to answer. So if we're not supposed to stir them into action or attract their attention, the only way we can do that that I can tell, is to do nothing." She looks around the table. "Can someone explain how it would be otherwise? Because I can't figure it out. If anything we do is going to prompt them into action, shouldn't we make what we choose to do really count for something?" If nothing you do matters, then all that matters is what you do.

No, no Deckard, that person behind Joseph when he enters is very much there and there's a puzzled look offered back to Peter as the religious blonde doesn't know who he is. Scar is taken in, but she diverts her attention away from Peter - it's hard - towards Eileen and Cat. Her lips purse and blonde brows furrow but she's not gonna get into a battle of words with Cat. Not when the woman see's things one way and no other way. Even when Helena starts talking with regards to Humanis first, the defunct healer just sits quietly. It's a sticky situation, period. With someone famous, anonymity and risk increase.

"It's not a violation of the rights if the individual is fine with it. I don't see you saying it's a violation of a sexual offenders rights to have the same thing about them listed up for all to see Cat. Right here, right now, this isn't about a violation of a persons rights in regard to being registered. You know, as do we all here, that if he didn't want to be registered after he had recovered, that the Ferry have ways of helping him to find a new life." Abigail leans forward. "People need help, everyone needs help. We're here to decide whether the ferry as a whole and not just you and phoenix, continue to offer further help than we already have to the individual in question. His status in society has an impact on how much the ferryman can help him. We're not, and I'm sure Eileen is not saying that we will turn a blind eye to him, but that the amount of aide that we can give to him and not have it impact the aide that we can give others, is hampered. They're not looking for him in the press right now, that i've heard of. But i'm sure they're looking, Homeland wise, to find out what happened."

The pastor gets a surprised raise of eyebrows, a parting of reddened lips as she might want to say something to him. Yet another face Gillian knows, and not one she expected to see walking into a Ferry meeting. But any question she might have asked, any words she might have said, get frozen before they ever chance exiting her mouth. Lips remain parted as she breaths in, a near gasp that mirrors that of the woman not too far away.

While some people were able to stay on the target of the conversation, she seems to have lost it all together. Eyes follow him as he moves around, body shifting into a straighter, more upright position. Swinging of her feet stops entirely, and gets replaced by a fidgeting of her hands in her lap. There's a silence from her corner, but she's watching the ghost in the room. Well, the one with a scar across his face.

Joseph watches those speak, with only a handful of the information and other inference and Ferry hear-tell to work from. Mostly, he's seeing who stands where, in their ambiguous configuration about the room. Deckard gets a nod in return; Peter gets a curious glance, as most of those the pastor doesn't recognise do, as if an attempt to remember. He sees a lot of faces.

"Hi. I was late," he starts with, when there's pause enough to add his voice to the mix. Apology in his tone. "So I can't say what's on the table - if you're all discussing lettin' him sink entirely instead of climbin' aboard. I'm gonna assume he wants help, and, factoring Humanis in," he adds, with a flick of a glance to Eileen at the head of the table, "that tells me there's more reason to give it to him."

A rueful smile crosses his face, as a hand comes out of a jacket pocket to gently gesticulate. "Pretty sure we got the means. Correct me if I'm wrong there. It's a simple equation - if we can, we should. And we take measures to protect ourselves too, 'cause the Ferry ain't worth one man. But it ain't worth doing nothing, or too little to matter. I don't think— I hope we don't have the luxury of choosing." His eyebrows go up, and it's hard to tell if he's uncomfortable or at ease in this environment. Speaking to groups isn't unusual for him. Speaking to this group is.

New arrivals are watched with the blankly speculative stare of someone waiting in an elevator for a few long seconds, before Teo abruptly blinks. He looked, for awhile, as if he hadn't been listening, but he had been and he pushes his facial features around enough to make it recognizable, after a moment.

"There's also a pretty large probability we'd fuck his situation up further if the Ferry gets overinvolved, 'nstead of helping. Humanis First! dropped bombs a movie set he happened to be working on, caused— a cave-in, or some shit, but they've gone after our people with some pretty fucking personal strategies, before. Maxwell Quinn has money. He could get himself legal representation, keep his statement short, false identification, and he can choose not to pay the maid or electric services at a residence if he so chooses. At this point, far as I can tell: water, bridge, what's done at St. Luke's is done. Here out, the Ferry's as much— if not more of a liability to him than he is to it.

"Unless what he really needs is support and guidance. About" he moves a weary hand through the air, flicking its shadow across the wall like a frayed water reed. His fingers hook over the roof of his skull, comb back against the grain of shorn-short hair. "Using and controlling his ability, how Registration or ducking it, is going to affect… his lifestyle, profession, hiring procedures, choice of physicians, all that shit.

"What is it you believe we can't afford to give him?" The Sicilian is looking at Eileen, again, voice balanced even. There's nothing obviously belligerent about his avoidance of the subject of confronting Humanis First!, but the gap is undoubtedly tangible anyway. That would, probably, seem more his area.

"This sounds very powerfully like hypocrisy, coming from a woman who's wanted by more law enforcement agencies than I can shake a stick at. But here you are, without no fear of being turned in by any one of us," The telekine's voice is very low. "To answer Deckard's question, he's called his people. They know he's okay, and not being held against his will. They've put it about he's recovering from the attack. We haven't put a guard on him, or made threats. Quinn's there because he wants to be, now. Humanis wanted him because he was the star of that movie. The movie which is now defunct. He's no longer a public figure. They accomplished what they wanted, the ceasing of the film. He's never spoken out or worked against them, they've no reason beyond celebrity to note him in particular. And….assuming Humanis -does-? We send him back out, -not- in control of his power, to defend himself? They've taken law enforcement officers with training and experience dealing with terrorists. One wanna-be movie star? A lamb to the slaughter."

He glances around, shoves away from the wall. "Alternately, the thing no one here seems to be considering is….we don't HAVE to bring him in on the Ferry. HE doesn't know, he hasn't been told, and this can remain on the level of Cat and I taking care of it personally, if you all are really convinced that he's going to draw that level of fire. Personally, I don't think so. Now, we've still got contacts in law enforcement. They can put their ears to the ground, see what Home Sec or the Feds or the cops have on him, suss out what their intent might be. And right now….Humanis, to the best of our knowledge, doesn't know where he is or who has him. Are they even really hunting for him, or are we starting at shadows? IF they'd wanted him, personally, they could've sniped him from half a mile. The point was broad terrorism and the end of that film. Not an assassination." He circles the room slowly, a lazy pacing, looking at each of them in turn. "And Cat is right. Where do we start drawing the line? Do we save only the people where we can be sure it's going to be safe? There are people, in this room, alive, free, and sane because others here risked their lives to free them from Moab." Having said his share, he turns to eye Peter, quite openly. "'And should we be discussing any of this with him here?" he wonders, jerking a thumb at Petrelli.

"Who, me? Oh, I'm fine… Just walking down the two-way street of information." Casting a look towards Cat after Leonard's remark, Peter's brows furrow and his eyes eventually track back to Eileen. Watching her closely, he affords her a subtle nod and lets his blue eyes wander back out across the room again, getting some semblance of equilibrium to the conversation. He's not aware who's fate is on the chopping block, and from the disinterested way he half pays attention to the conversation he doesn't entirely care. "Keep him with Cat, right. I'm not sure you're looking at this as objectively as you could, but this one…" he nods towards Leonard, "he came close. You're sitting on an opportunity. This one man, causing so much of a stir?" Peter's voice sounds just a touch drier than it normally does; parched in quality. He stares down at the floor at first while he speaks. "High profile target…" he notes with a tilt of his head, "one Humanis First wants. If you ask me," and clearly nobody was, "you should give him all the help you can." That touch of humanity in Peter's usually steely resolve seems a bit awkwardly placed, unusual against his recent attitude.

But then, Peter reveals everything is regrettably as it should be. "Set him up with a bogus safehouse, make sure he makes an appearance at the Village Renaissance building first, a clear view of him leaving. Go someplace with dense structural content but sparse population; Staten Island or Long Island City work for the purpose. Put him on a hook for Humanis First, and have a team waiting to clip them up as they arrive."

Peter raises his shoulders and lets them fall slowly. "They've been surveiling the safehouse in Cat's building for about a week now from street level, watching who comes and goes. They obviously know something, and it might be how they're picking their targets. If you want to make this refugee situation work for you, make it work for you." His head tilts to the side. "It might be amoral to use him as bait without his consent, or hell— tell him. Maybe he can play up being unaware, maybe his ability'd help catch them. Right now you've got something Humanis First wants, and is willing to go after. Weigh your options," he notes pragmatically. "He dies, your problem is resolved. He gets captured, hopefully you have a way to track where they take him, maybe find Ivanov in the process. Everything goes as planned, you have you own hostages."

Dark brows lift up, blue eyes scanning the room. "I can't have been the only person to have consider that angle…"

"So — which coverup did you guys go with, exactly? The one where his great grandma's sick or the one where he got food poisoning in the middle of a terrorist attack on his movie set and doesn't want to see anyone?" Deckard's lazy return volley doesn't issue forth until he's finally conceded to sit himself up, hands stretched and splayed after the drag of his torso up off the table. There's no real corrosion behind it. No acid or spit or shows of teeth, but the fact that he's eyeing Peter sidelong like a naked hallucination of Bao-Wei might be dulling the fork in his tongue.

As if recalling where he's at ahead of the rest of him, his fingers drum once, deliberate rhythm passing lazy from one set of bony digits to the next while he listens to each in turn, clear eyes canted after Abigail with a retarded sort've predictability that doesn't last. He's back to eyeing Peter again in the space of a sinus-filtered sigh, with space enough for a frown slanted in Joseph's direction along the way. "I'm sure if we do take him in, all the people we're sheltering who die in the next attack we provoke in the process will feel really noble about it."

"You're talking about putting the Ferry at risk for the sake of principle." Eileen flexes the fingers on her left hand, one at a time, each knuckle pronounced beneath skin and sinewy cords of tendon and muscle. "If you don't think Humanis First doesn't have moles in the network, you are wrong. If you think Homeland Security doesn't have moles in the network, you are wrong. If you think the authorities are going to let Quinn take some personal time in the middle of a fucking police investigation, you are wrong. If you think we're in a position to fend off Emile Danko and Bill Dean the next time they come pounding on our door, you are wrong."

Unlike Cat, she doesn't aim to implore or convince as she moves her eyes from person to person, scrutinizing facial expressions and dissecting body language. "You want to make headway this thing? You need to learn that sometimes acting on principle is the wrong decision, that there isn't anything shameful about compromising your personal beliefs if it helps the greater good. I would sacrifice ten Maxwell Quinns for one Obie Sanchez. I would sacrifice ten Maxwell Quinns for one Margaret Simpson. I would sacrifice ten Maxwell Quinns for any one person in this room."

Eventually, her gaze comes to settle on Leonard and her lips curl into something wolfish that resembles a smile but isn't. It isn't very attractive on her face. "That's true," she concedes. "I am wanted, and in case anyone here has forgotten, it's because I used to work for an organization just like Humanis. You don't have any idea how they think, what their modus operandi might be. I do."

"Then the Ferry doesn't deal with him. I do. And Cat helps me, if she chooses," Leo says, simply. "And there, Eileen, you're wrong. Principle is all we are. It's all we do. And it's all we have. I know you never have, so maybe that's a little bit beyond you." He lifts a finger, like a teacher admonishing a student. "Watch and learn. The Ferry's a metaphor, considering. And if we start jettisoning passengers, well, what is it then? Now, if you'll excuse me." He doesn't wait for dismissals, or replies, but saunters out, hands in pockets. Presumably to Maxwell.

Her calm demeanor still hasn't been pierced. Cat has listened in silence as each person around the table and the room spoke. Her brown eyes settled on each in turn, showing they had her attention. But now the floor has come back to her, and she makes use of it. Abby is addressed first. "Sex offenders are only registered after they've been taken into open court, had access to legal representation, and been convicted of their crimes under due process of law. They've earned that stigma by those acts. We, however, face a stigma simply by existing. The Registry is in itself a symbol of being suspect, which one is placed on simply for being alive. This, Abby, is why I don't claim registering sex offenders is a violation of their rights. And I have said already here today it will be Mr. Quinn's choice to register or not." She pauses there, watching Abby's face to see if she seems to get the difference, but still without showing any trace of anger.

From Abby she moves on to Helena. "What's meant when it's suggested we don't engage with HF is we don't hunt them. We don't seek them out and enter direct confrontation. If they attack us, we defend, escape, and regroup. The way we resist them is by not letting them scare us away from being who we are. We don't let them have the satisfaction of stopping our activities."

To Joseph, she nods. "Amen, Pastor."

Leonard is glanced at as he leaves, then she shifts attention toward Peter. Cat doesn't appear to have any reservations about his presence. "We may not agree about the specific nature and degree of disinformation, but disinformation's a valid strategy. However, it's best if any trap is sprung the people there to round them up shouldn't be us. That would be hunting, a direct engagement, and a bad idea."

Next she faces Deckard. "No one has suggested taking him in."

And on to Eileen. "I've said before, and Leonard has confirmed, we didn't put any Ferry asset at risk in moving him. He was taken to a place where no one is, both because of his ability's effect and the chance he's being looked for. We've not acted without caution, and we won't. I would, however, remind that as you said he's a man not without resources. Resources are a thing we need, and will continue to need. After he has made his decisions as to which course to take, among them possibly being a sympathetic figure in the public eye who only wanted to make a movie and was attacked for it, he may be able to assist us without even knowing he's doing so. All he needs is to be told he's giving support as he was given support when he had the need. That's a measure of simple fairness."

"But," she concedes, "It would be ill-advised to embark on a strategy of disinformation without consulting someone with relevant experience in the way such people operate."

"Not while the Linderman Act is on the books, Abby. Registration is presently required, and as such, it is in fact, a violation of civil rights. If it were a choice rather than a requirement, well, personally, I wouldn't object to that. And I'm going to pretend like I did not hear you just compared the entire Evolved population to sex offenders. The only "crime" that the majority of Evolved commit is having more complex DNA than the rest of the population. That's a far cry from rapists and child molesters." Helena bites her lip at that.

Peter's suggestion, so chillingly tactical, make her feel a little sick inside. It doesn't help her quavering doubt of not being the right person for this, the fact that she finds the whole idea deeply abhorrent. She looks at Cat though, keeping the rising concern of the idea that HF - that her father - is watching kept carefully out of her expression. "Everyone's telling us to stay out of violent, dangerous exchanges, and now one is being suggested." People need to make up their minds. "Nevermind that we'd be putting an innocent person in danger." But there's a question she has, as she looks at Peter, one he and others may or may not be able to read. If Humanis First is watching the Verb, why hasn't Bill put a bullet between Helena's eyes yet?

"I want you to show me where you've detected the Humanis First agents around the building." Helena addresses Peter solemnly. "I can't - I won't take things like that at face value anymore. I've been used too many times - Phoenix has been used too many times." And she doesn't care if she sounds stupid for it. She looks around. "Seriously though. We have this guy, is there any point in going back and forth about whether it was a stupid or smart thing to do? Has this guy even made it clear what he wants from us, or was it just 'help me get away from the bad bad nutjobs'? If there's anything we can do that doesn't compromise our safety, that should be considered. If we can't protect him, we should tell him so, and at least try to buy him time to be able to protect himself." Then quietly, "As to bait, I think someone else may have already had that idea. Of luring Humanis First out for a potential lucrative target." Oh? This may be news to folks.

Abby lips purse again forefinger up to rub at the bottom of her nose before she grabs her little pile of papers, tucking them back into their folder. The look from Deckard is caught which only makes her cheeks flush, little more than the dressing down from Helena and cat that she just got. There's no need to look to see if Abby got the difference. Abby got something. "Someone just tell me what the end result of this meeting ends up being. I got.. stuff to do and a bar to go look in on" and to not feel like someone who just stepped into the ocean with the sharks. "You all know where to find me"

And with backpack slung over shoulder, the blonde starts to head around the table and towards the exit with another confused look to Peter along the way.

"Said that better than I could've," Gillian says quietly, finally pulling her eyes away from the scarred ghost, to glance at others at the table. Specifically Joseph, and then Leo. Oddly how, even after being with Phoenix as long as she has, she feels she knows the one who isn't a member better. The few meetings they had together had been pretty memorable and significant. Peter's plan ties a knot in her stomach, but she doesn't seem surprised to hear about eyes on the building. "I heard from someone else about people watching the building. Half why I'm wearing a god damn wig right now. That and other reasons."

There's a quiet moment before she looks back at Eileen, then to Deckard, trying to figure out exactly how to approach their topics. She's not Ferry leadership, she didn't stretch her neck out to help that one, but… "See you later, Abs," she says to the blonde when she makes her way out, still looking toward the exit as she adds on, "I do think he was right." A nod toward the exit indicates she must mean the man who just exited before Abby. "Principles are pretty much what make us different. Maybe Phoenix resources can be risked more than Ferry, I dunno, maybe it'll come down to personal protection more than group, but if he wants protection…" There's a trail off. "I just think people should have a choice. And everything we do is a risk… Everything." The fake blonde strands fall into her eyes as she shifts to glance around the room again, to someone not sitting down, then back to Teo. Teo understands risks better than most, she's sure.

"I didn't know we were making plans for setting up a decoy trap," she adds outloud, looking back at Helena. "Something under our terms is still a risk, and I'm certainly not much of a fighter." Those eyes move back to the scarred man in the room, "But it— it's not a bad plan. Maybe if he agrees. Sitting and waiting, watching, until someone takes a bait you know they're going after. Course things won't always turn out as expected."

Who are these people! Or this person. Joseph squints his dark eyes at Peter, and says, quite simply, in a flat and disturbed tone of voice; "That ain't on the table. Not tonight." A glance towards Gillian, then back to Peter. "And not usin' someone lookin' for help."

But it's Deckard that gets a glance of disappointment from Joseph. It is also grim, and guilty for things outside of his control, but mainly disappointed. And then he states; "Some've the better decisions I made in this city was harborin' people who coulda been a danger to me. Like I said, we take measures to make sure attacks like Beach Street don't happen. No one who wants to help this guy wants a repeat of that."

Incredulousness and offense leaks into his voice in those last few words, even more so than with what he'd addressed Peter with, and his gaze settles on Eileen, his back coming off the wall to pace forward a step. "It ain't up to you, or me, or the Ferry as a whole, to decide what Maxwell Quinn is worth. If you're uncomfortable takin' risks for principle, then take it for faith. If you don't have faith that the Ferry can withstand some actor with a little attention on his back— "

He eases out a sigh, whatever Eileen had said that prodded at his own fundamental morals not quite enough for him to ramble, and others have argued it enough for him. Joseph shrugs, uncomfortably. "Maybe we should discuss our philosophy at a later date. Teo's got the right idea, so does she— " A head tilt to Helena. "If we can't, at all, support him, then I guess we can't, but I don't see why we can't give what we can provide." And as Abby passes by his station near the door, he adds, quieter, "God bless, Abby."

"Buona notte, Leonard. Abby." There's one salutation that goes out in Italian, pursuing the two littlest Baptists out of the room. Taking their sundry parting shots and last-minute requests in stride, Teo waves, once. Finds himself nudged with the weight of somebody else's gaze afterward, turns his eyes in their pits without moving his head and finds himself meeting Gillian's gaze. His mouth flattens slightly, and he lowers his head a fraction of an inch, acknowledging that much, even if— you know, his latest throws of the dice haven't exactly come up…


This would not be the moment to look at Peter Petrelli, so Teo doesn't. Glances down at the raggedly callused edge of his hand, instead, folding his fingers in against his palm in an absentminded fidget or a flex, finds himself trying to remember how many corpses he and Elisabeth had left on the dock the other week. You'd need about forty before he could really bring himself to say that it was worth it.

"Looks like some of us are determined to help," he offers, finally. He pulls himself up off the floor, finally, whacking dust off the seat of his pants. Nods at Joseph, once, before crooking a rueful half a grin at Eileen and Deckard. "Might be good to come up with a contingency plan that involves hacking off the limb if it gets infected. Little bit like what the VRB's looking like it's going to have to do. There's a reason the Ferry's decentralized, after all. Would've sunk a long fucking time ago if it wasn't."

"Sinking ships…" Peter notes with a tilt of his head towards Teo, a faint smirk crossing his lips. "I'm not sure why I didn't think of the analogy before." As he talks, he's watching Abby leave. There's a narrowing of his eyes and an uncertainty on his face the way someone might be around a large, unfamiliar dog — not a small, blonde Baptist. "If Cat did like I told her to," he demures from the current topic, blue eyes alighting to Helena briefly as he assuages her concernes and levers himself for a conversational angle closer to what he was discussing earlier, "she should have video records of the surveillance. I can't be entirely certain it's Humanis First, but I don't see why the feds would just hang out around your building when they could legally come barging in and knock down a door; suspected terrorists and all. They don't strike me as feds either, not the swagger, not the workings. If I had to hedge my bets on it, I'd say it's them, how many enemies can one group of people have that'd be willing to stake them out?" One dark brow rises slowly, and Peter shifts his weight to one foot, approaching the table.

"I never implied this group or Phoenix needed to be the ones to engage Humanis First, in fact you shouldn't. But that doesn't mean you can't help organize behind the scenes. Gillian's right, she's not a fighter and the other half of you shouldn't be. But, you've got a representative of a group with years of military experience and urban combat sitting right next to me." There's an incline of Peter's head towards Eileen. "They can just as easily pose as someone else, play up an act, be someone else. Gabriel— "

Peter's voice hesitates just a touch on saying that name in this company, "he can be anyone. Didn't we have protocols and passwords to protect against him once? He could easily pose for— " he hesitates to recall the name, "Quinn? Quinn. He could pose as him, if you don't want to risk him. You're fretting over a group that's obviously not going to let you go, you said so for yourself. While I don't think you should go hunting for every single member of Humanis First out there, if they're targeting one of your own, there's no reason not to tap a friendly asset that is proven in the field. The remnants know this city, they've fought in it, they mapped it out for their original work."

There's a sigh from Peter, hesitant. "That's all I have to say on it. If you want to circle around each other going over the interpretation of law and justice the rest of the night, have at it. I came here because I heard this is where Eileen was. This?" He motions around the room with a gloved hand, "Your sandbox. Your rules. I'm just offering an alternative."

"You only get to play the 'principles' card when it's you're own lives you're risking. I think," Deckard sketches loosely at nothing with his right hand, gesture too vague to mean much of anything as he pushes to his feet, "…you guys might be getting it mixed up with the one that says 'we're a bunch of assholes.'"

The conversation has turned to strategy, and Peter is looking at Abigail and Flint is looking at Peter, worn-down muscle hatched terse into the hollow of his jaw when he stiffs his empty chair back in under the table. Eileen gets an uneasy glance when Peter references her directly, but there's a bristle in the set of his shoulders that wasn't there before, tension filtering in like iron fillings rising to a magnet's influence when he steps back to cross the span between Petrelli and the door. Where Joseph waits and Teo is smiling ruefully not too far away. Deckard gives them both a flat look, not quite direct enough to have much weight to it. He's too annoyed and too tired and too distracted, voice kept low enough to relegate what he says next between the three of them in passing.

"If I'd had more to drink or been someone more inclined to pull the trigger, you wouldn't be here to have this conversation with me. And I didn't join up with the Ferrymen to wipe the asses of pretty boy movie stars at the expense of lives who can't afford to have 'people' they can call to make up shit about the swine flu or a raging case of the clap to cover for them. Humanis First isn't going to know that guy isn't here. Or at the Garden. Or in your fucking office." His breath is rank with the stink of stale coffee, but he's rolling on to shoulder past them with the kind of pushy irritation that promises to spare them of it soon.

As the conversation turns toward the Village Renaissance Building, Eileen finally goes fishing in her jacket pocket for a cigarette and a book of matches with which to light it, saying nothing. She makes eye contact with Joseph while he addresses her, without mirth, without remorse, a sort of detachedness guiding her actions. Her hands go through the familiar motions of picking out a single match from the book, twisting it loose and then striking it against the designated strip along its edge. "Faith," she says in the end, for lack of anything less offensive, "isn't always enough."

Peter earns a reproachful look shot sideways, veiled by dark lashes and the strange shadows cast by the lantern's glow. "Stop coddling her, Petrelli. If Phoenix wants to engage Humanis First on neutral territory away from Ferry dens, that's their right. They shouldn't have to rely on what's left of the Vanguard to do what they've already proven they can. Twice." One small hand cups around her cigarette, orange light seeping through her fingers, and a moment later she's puffing away, smoke pouring from the corners of her mouth as she shakes out the match and watches Deckard's retreating back with a knit brow. She'll thank him for his support, but later. "If Helena wants our help against Danko and his people, then all she has to do is ask, but let's not insult her by suggesting she needs it."

Helena shakes her head firmly. "I didn't say it was us." She looks down the table toward Gillian. "But apparently we're not the only ones with the problem of the right hand not always knowing what the left hand is doing. There are other groups - more militant ones I'm pretty sure you're familiar with, who are looking to get into Humanis First's face, so to speak."

Her attention then turns to Teo. "No one's actually put down on the table what it is we can do for him without compromising ourselves. We don't even know what he wants or needs yet. I'm not saying we have to automatically act the part of Mother Theresa, I'm just saying we find out what he wants to do, assess our capability to do it, and do what we can to the point that we can without compromising ourselves." Maybe they can't do anything, but they can cross that bridge when they come to it. Right now, the bottom line is: Humanis First is winning.

"From what I understand, there may be news of a significant capture by the Feds sometime soon." Helena says. "It'll be a target membership within Humanis First wants to get their hands on." A nod toward Eileen. "I can put you in touch with the person who so advised me, but I'm not sure how clandestine it all is, which is why I'm being vague here at the table. But even if we did consider an actual decoy - and Gabriel was willing to do it…" she trails off, unwilling to complete her thought outloud for the moment. She changes tracks. "It's not Phoenix - and our problem still remains."

She acknowledges Peter with a nod of her head. "Anything we do is going to be taken as a challenge to Humanis First, even if there's no actual attack of any kind. I'm not sure how to address that problem. For every action we take that's benign, they'll make one that's brutal."

Something brought up makes Helena look vaguely nauseous. Peter had told her to get over it, and somehow she can't, the person Bill is now can't reconcile with who she grew up with him as, the differences are a serrated edge against her skin. Her head bows, and she takes a few shallow breaths. She lifts her gaze to Deckard, gradually shifting it to Peter, then Eileen again. "Maxwell Quinn isn't the only person certain members of Humanis First want to get their hands on bad enough to risk exposing themselves. And he's not the only person Gabriel can shapeshift into, if he was inclined to do it."

She's silent now, having apparently said all she has to say. The calm exterior remains, not a hint is given of what she might be thinking. Cat's eyes make one more circuit of the table and room before she turns to Eileen and makes a terse statement. "I was expecting your call, Eileen. Is it still to come?"

"Oh you gotta be fucking kidding me," Gillian speaks up, looking forward the flickering lights playing off the ceiling. Talk of Gabriel aside, which brings up pains all on their own, she's giving Helena a look and shaking her head. Almost in disagreement, but not quite. "If you want to do this, Hel, then you better have a damn good plan, cause…" Yeah, she's not dumb. She can read between the lines that got laid out. She even sits up a bit, pushing her chair back to allow it.

"I'm sure we'll figure this out on our own, thanks for the suggestions, Peter." The gruff in her voice has mimiced a bit of pain, frustration, but the look on her eyes settles when she glances at Eileen, perhaps thanking for the vote of confidence. "But you're right. Our sandbox. Or hers, actually." There's a gruff sound to her raspy voice, before she runs her hands over her jacket, as if making sure she has everything.

"And as the preacher tried to say, setting up a trap and striking against Humanis isn't even the topic of discussion. We got a man who wants help and we need to decide if we're going to offer it, right? Fuck I know how it felt when my world fell apart— if he chooses to get help, I vote we help him however we can, in the same ways we keep try to keep the majority of the people in our care safe. I don't think we should shove him out to HomeSec if he's asking for help."

Eileen's sentiment, on faith, only gets a sad— perhaps pitying???— smile from the preacher, but nothing more. This isn't a place to convert, or to preach for that matter. And then, Joseph's back is rigid and straight as Deckard speaks to him on the way out, only breaking off eye contact as the older man is headed out. The pastor lets out a sigh, almost visibly restraining himself not to follow and argue, but shaking Joseph's own brand of sense into Flint isn't what he came here to do. In fact, whatever it is they all came here to do—

He spares Teo a grateful glance, his arms coming to fold over his torso in unconscious defense. There are things being said that he doesn't understand and isn't about to begin to try, discomfort finally setting in. As he listens to Gillian, particularly when she mentions him, he shifts his weight from foot to foot in subtle, fidgeting motions, but smiles at her all the same. "I should get goin'. My dog needs kibble. For the record, I'm all for strikin' out at Humanis First in whatever way the Ferry— and friends see fit. My prayers are with you, so…" In an age of cynicism, this doesn't come out as sarcastic, but deeply earnest. "But I came here to decide whether or not we're gonna help Quinn, so— a vote sounds like a good idea to me, and my vote is that we do that for all the reasons I've said, and I'm offerin' to help too. And I'm not sayin' that thinkin' that he and whoever's after him's gonna damage somethin' that's important to me. Being smart doesn't mean you gotta be cowardly too. We can do this, and do it—

"Uh. Smartly." Taking a breath, he casts a smile around the room and shrugs his shoulders. "If you can get a message 'bout what's decided through Colette, she'll make sure I know. Some've you," a round about glance that ticks over Gillian, Teo, and Cat, "know how to find me otherwise. Y'all have a good night." With a last glance to Cat in particular, the pastor makes for the door, and leaves the strategists to their strategy.

Surgically removing himself from the scenario seemed like a good idea about five minutes ago, but then, that's always maneuver number one on Teodoro Laudani's game controller whenever the subject of Humanis First! comes up in tandem to Phoenix. He was starting to move toward the exit but something stops him, some mysterious force of upset equilibrium or Helena's runoff anxiety trickling staticky into the air. "I don't know why you didn't think of the analogy before, Petrelli," Teo says, finally. "It's pretty fucking obvious.

"So is the idea of baiting a trap and coming in in a pincer with Evolved abilities and superior tactics, then slaughtering a shitload of Humanis First! operatives. It's been done. It cost them— maybe two dozen, us fewer. Emile fucking Danko and Dean's old man aren't afraid to let their own people die in an experiment with a fucking minefield, and maybe that principle divides us, too." It's supposed to. Teo wheels around that word, 'supposed,' like a vulture around a carcass. "If Gabriel wants to go vigilante on some sociopathic bigots, I'm fucking delighted to sign the invitation, but he doesn't need our support on that. Nor's 'the Remnant.'

"And like Eileen says." Oh, it is like pulling teeth; he's practically bleeding out the mouth to the beat of these syllables, but he grinds them out anyway. "Phoenix will go back to war whenever it sees fit. As for Quinn" he nods at Joe, half by salutation and partially by way of confirmation. "For the love of God: The Ferry isn't a democracy, it's a fucking network. Decentralized leadership, voluntary membership eighty percent of the time, we don't work together within that framework. I'm going to find out what, if anything, the fucking cops want out of him, and talk to him. On my resources and aliases. I'll figure out whether I'm good with dying for him a little later."

Peter's dark brows rise as he looks down to Eileen and the cigarette, then furrow into a disapproving look. "You know I don't like it when you sm— " a wince, the words come quick and are swallowed back quicker. "Ss— ay things I don't mean." He tenses, just for a moment, "I'm not coddling her. If she and her organization," the word is used with irony, "aren't capable of doing something without it being a collateral disaster, they're not capable of doing something without it being a collateral disaster; it's as simple as that."

With a shake of his head, Peter finally circles behind Eileen's chair as he regards Teo with narrowed suspicion, his shoes clicking on the concrete behind her as he walks. "This isn't my conversation," he adds with his eyes falling shut. "I just came here to tell you that I want to talk to you about something. You've already played the trap card, fine. As for Gabriel…" Blue eyes lift up to Gillian, eyeing the wig uncertainly — is that a joke, did Helena put her up to it? They soon flit back distractedly to Teo. "He works bets when someone has him on a leash, whether he realizes it or not. If not the Remnant, than it'll be someone else." Then, squintingly, he looks back to Eileen. "I'll be outside when you're done." Gloved hands tuck into his slacks' pockets, and Peter circles around so many empty seats to start making his way out of the meeting room.

Eileen bites down on the filter of her cigarette, tasting sweet tobacco on her tongue and lips, its flavour tempered by acrid smoke. A slight narrowing of her eyes is the closest thing he receives to acknowledgement, an implicit promise. When he's gone, her attention shifts back to Cat at long last, her end of the conversation finally having come full circle. "I've been busy," is what she has to say on the subject. Then, "Soon."

Helena's brows go up to her hairline. "I think you missed what I'm getting at." she tells Gillian plainly. "I'm not putting myself or Phoenix anywhere near Humanis First offensively. I've had it well drilled into my head that it's suicide. I'm suggesting that if Gabriel were to consider actually playing decoy, there might be greater success if the shapeshift he used was me, with regard to the group that I know is considering assaulting them. I - " Her eyes narrow at Peter, but she says nothing, but the static in the room can almost be tasted on the tongue. Calmly, she says, "The organization considering an assault is not Phoenix. As I've said. I did just suggest a modification of their plan based on Peter's suggestion," eyes flick to Peter, then to Eileen, "And I can give the details to Eileen in case others might want to touch base." She rises, tired, and apparently ready to leave things as laid out.

There's nothing more to say. Cat rises from her seat, picks up the guitar case which may or may not hold weapons, and makes her way out. Even now the calm expression remains. But when she gets home, things will be different. There's a punching bag and other things to indulge in Krav Maga routines against. She may well need to replace some of them the next day. "Thank you," she offers Eileen in parting. Helena is just looked at, she may seek to discuss that plan and all of this with her in private.

Moments later she's gone.

"If you want to go that way, you're the one asking him, not me," Gillian says, eyes following Peter with a narrowed look before she stands up. They have to go outside too. Not a vote, Teo will do it anyway. Good good. They're done here. With the chair pushed back, she gets to her feet and walks toward the door, she moves in an attempt to catch up to Peter, at least enough that she can whisper loud enough for him, "Eve should be okay, in case you were wondering." She doesn't wait for a response, before she continues on.

Fascism's terribly Italian, too. Teo is roughing his hands over his face like a sleepy tot, and the texture of his hands leaves his eyes pink where calluses and minutely notched scars meet skin. The large clandestine meeting appears to be on the verge of breaking down into smaller pairs, each one bright with individualized anticipations and hopes and dreams and why had he thought there would be cookies? "I'll let you know if Quinn says anything interesting, but I wouldn't hold my breath." He's being an ungracious host, or something. He doesn't know. Elisabeth's words are lurking around in the back of his head, half battlecry and half melancholy soliloquy.

Bigots, refugees, friends, old— lovers— abducted and undergoing horrifying torture methodologies of who knows what nature. He straightens his jacket, puts his head down, tries to guess which direction Deckard had taken off in: there is the one area, physical and in terms of real estate, in which the Ferry does have say over Maxwell's relevant future, after all.

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