Looking Forward


abby6_icon.gif barbara_icon.gif cat_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif ryans3_icon.gif

Scene Title Looking Forward
Synopsis The Ferry's leadership discusses broadening its horizons.
Date May 26, 2011

Pollepel Island: Bannerman's Castle

Late spring blows warm breezes across Pollepel Island, creating a susurrus in the leafy trees as a setting sun bleeds through their branches, bathing the forest floor in dappled shade that contrast with the cool shadows of the castle's interior. An overcast sky reduces the temperature of the corridors to something that resembles night even though it will be another hour or two before an absence of natural light demands that gas lanterns be lit. Until then, most of the island's inhabitants are taking advantage of the mild evening and having an early supper in the castle's dining hall — the sound of thin, nimble fingers plunking away on the dulcitone carries through the fortress like birdsong, shrill, sweet and much sharper than the dull murmur of voices coming from a nearby wing.

Heavy oak doors muffle the sensitive words being spoken on the other side, but sometimes their stateliness isn't enough; anyone who might be tempted to eavesdrop on the clandestine council meeting taking place will have to contend with the brooding Ferry operatives standing guard outside as well as the effort of straining to listen.

"Thank you for hearing me," Eileen is saying at the head of the table around which they've assembled, and her voice has a quality like old parchment paper to it that causes it to crackle with reedy tension when she speaks. The dark circles under her eyes have become a permanent fixture on her face — the best indication of how much sleep she has or hasn't been getting is the fact that the emotions beneath her words are clearly audible and, at least behind closed doors, she dedicates minimal amounts of energy into maintaining the careful neutrality of expression that she's usually known for.

"I wanted to speak with you about what we have to look forward to."
Silence is held once people were seated, eyes and ears recording the persons present and sounds from elsewhere in the castle, the dulcitone causing Cat to briefly consider ensuring the guitar she donated among other instruments some time ago remain in good shape, but once Eileen speaks such musings are set aside. Eyes come to settle on the director of avian services, and remain there with interest in what's to be said.

Kasha's getting her pre-bedtime routine on with Huruma while Abby attends to council business before she goes to find some advil and lay down with the baby. If she's still awake when this is over. If she's not, it'll be off to do chores. But for right now, it's Eileen that she's paying attention to, a few glances to others to see who alls managed to attend and lean back in her chair with dark circles that don't quite reach the same degree of Eileen's, but they're there. "Hopefully, some good and not all bad" The female southern baptist speaks out.

Standing to the side, Benjamin Ryans listens quietly. Arms folded over his chest he leans back against the cool bricks of the wall. He doesn't sit with the council, preferring to stick to where he can intervene shuld someone barge in. He's not really been the type to relax ever since the eighth even if they are fairly secure there.

It is after all his job to be wary. Ben's neutral features keeping him from showing the concern for how some of them look, not that he's done a whole lot of sleeping himself.

Barbara looks relaxed in her seat - possible a bit of a surprise, given the worried expression that sits on her face - Barbara has her own things on her mind, but none of it appropriate for right now, not until she could look into things a bit longer. She leans with her elbow against the table, looking up towards Eileen. "I'm hoping that what we have to look forward to is a bit of sunshine, for once." This even though she somehow doubts it is.

One of the Lynettes out there tend to stick to the island at all times. Just in case. And tonight is one of those cases. This whole replication thing is convenient sometimes. Enough that she's almost gotten used to it.

But this Lynette sits near Barbara, lounging a bit, but attentive to the matters at hand. She can't help the crooked smile at Barbara's words, though. "High hopes, darling," she notes, wryly.

"You know…"

This from Joseph, who irritatedly scritches his fingers through his hair, places them back down on table surface, quirks a half-grin beneath weary eyes. "If the pessimism don't improve in these little get togethers, I'll insist on prayer circles for opening and closing." Dark eyes flick around to the circle of faces he's joined today for whatever meeting lies in store for them, not particularly apologetic before he turns his attention to the head of the table. "An' perish the thought. Go on."

"Special Activities is," and the mockingbird on Eileen's shoulder, its toes hooked in the weave of her loosely-knit cardigan in gray wool with threads of lavender woven through it, focuses a pair of polished stone eyes on Ryans, "working with Francois Allegre to determine what the network might be able to do on Staten Island to keep Heller's focus away from Bannerman, but this isn't a long-term solution, and with every day that passes I become more and more convinced that our position here in New York has become untenable."

The corner of her mouth curves into a rueful smile, all misery and mirth, and if she still had her own eyes she would be meeting Joseph's gaze now because this is a little like admitting defeat, and maybe she's anticipating an I told you so. "We've all dreamed the same dreams, tasted the same ash." She pulls in a slow, steadying breath to keep her voice from cracking on the word she knows she's about to have trouble with. It doesn't work. "Our children—

"Our children think they can save us. I want to start looking for a way to save ourselves."
No commentary is made, whether Cat is optimistic or otherwise is anyone's guess. She's just listening.

"We know that in about ten years, this place is still here, but the Pastor isn't, and his daughter blames Benjamin. I know that in twenty some years, this place is here still, because my d…daughter will loose her husband, during a patrol. Lance will die Joey and… I think paul? Will survive but nearly get caught bringing his body back to her. Robert Caliban will be dead and John Logan will be ruling the roost of Staten Island, to the best of my knowledge, if not more and someone to be reckoned with. Clearly, this island survives and is our bastien" Abby runs a hand through brown hair, blonde coming in at the roots again. "I think that Kasha has done what she came back to fix. But I don't know about the others who has caught glimpses"

There is a modest dip of Ryans head when the birds eyes turn his way, but he doesn't say anything about what's going on. For the most part, at that moment he is silent listening to what Eileen says. Our children. Brows furrow a little as her words sink in.

Slowly, his head nods in understanding. "Each new run in is riskier. Another chance they will find us." He glances at Abby. "And while in that future it's still here, each thing our children do risks changing that. We are looking at an uncertain future."

"I've only heard rumours, for the most part. My own personal dreams have been… few, but interesting in each time." ANd there's a story there, one she intends to tell another time when there aren't other things to iscuss. "From what I've heard, this place is still together for some time, yes. THough I believe Kaylee is the current authority on this, unless I've missed something."

She sits up a bit, looking at Eileen with a smile, her worried expresison ading. "I approve of being proactive about this," within reason, but EIleen and everyone else should know that she leans taht way by now. "What, exactly, did you have in mine?"

"Now, now, Preacher, no need for threats," Lynette says, smile turning to a grin there for a moment. Only a moment because people start talking about the future and our children. And she does an admirable job of not groaning over it all. But there is a slight tensing about the shoulders. It's not one of her favorite topics.

"I have to agree with Ben. We can't rely on how long this place lasted then, and being careless because we're sure it'll last through what's coming would just invite disaster. But that being said… I hope we're not angling toward the suggestion that we run away," Lynette adds, looking toward Eileen there, in her own way echoing Barbara's question.

Talk if the children has Joseph tensing minutely, his hands coming together— much like prayer, actually, fingers locked together, but it's just for him to rest his chin against, elbows set against table edge. There is no particular reaction to the reminder of his possibly iminent demise — it is, after all, only the future. "Our kids," he says, after a moment, "expect us to do some savin' ourselves, I wouldn't doubt." But it's not really an argument, just an opinion, and he doesn't lend his vocal support for the worth of defending Pollepel Island, even if its status as a stronghold has been tested and found reliable.

He listens.

Eileen presses the palms of her hands together, perhaps to still fingers on the verge of trembling, elbows on the edge of the table, knuckles resting on the thin, pale line of her mouth. Joseph's fingers curl in. Hers are rigid and white, stiff as her back and the muscles in her slender neck. "I have contacts in Europe, or did. Most of them I've not spoken to since I was still a part of the Vanguard, but there's a chance we might be able to convince one or two of them to assist with our operation.

"I've exhausted all the resources I had direct access to. If there are more—" She makes a gesture with her left hand, then. Lays it flat on the table. Her right forms a fist that she rests in the hollow of her throat. "I don't know whether or not we'll need to run. We should at the very least be prepared for the possibility."

Has Raith off'd Robert yet? If not, could she… see if he knows of any places? He's James Muldoon after all. "Out of New york for sure, The state, europe though, Raith mentioned vanguard safehouses, ones that hadn't been touched. We know there's the one he's working on, getting access to inside it, but that others have likely been raided, what are the odds of there being other ones around the country, or outside it? Do you think that they would give us the assistance we need?" Abigail's leaning forward now in her seat, elbows on her knees and hands clasped into a fist, resting her chin on it. "If something hasn't happened to Robert, I can see what… he may know or be able to offer" Key word, if something hasn't happened to him. yet.

There is a nod of agreement from Benjamin. He'd rather not have to run, but if it would protect his children… even that stubborn son of his. His head bends down, lost in thought as he thinks of his own resources. "Most of my contacts… well…" he trails off with a sigh. "Most are dead or under ground. Not sure the rest." There is an apology in those words.

"Contacts in Europe?" Barbara quirks an eyebrow a bit at Eileen, leaning back in her seat. "Most of my contacts are here. Or in INstitute hands, still." Barbara frowns a bit at that, sighing quietly. "So… contacts.Have you gotten in contact with them recently? What are you planning to ask of them?"

"If we can't get out of here under the radar, we're really bad at our job," Lynette points out, a bit of dry humor there. Very dry. But a moment later, she gets a serious look about her and her arms fold. "We can't prep for most of the network to be able to run if things go bad, but some of us will have to stay. If things keep going the way they're going, people are going to need the Ferrymen. In our original capacity."

"There's one safehouse in Munich that I offered to Delilah Trafford if she ever needed to leave the country," Eileen says, "where she could raise Walter. The others I knew of have either been raided or destroyed, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Volken didn't trust us with everything." She reaches into her cardigan and flips out a worn piece of paper folded limp between two fingers. "Johannes Kazakova lives in Budapest. His grandfather, Klaus Reissman, was a member of a small group of Nazi scientists researching the Ubermensch project — Volken helped them flee to Russia after the war, and their family has maintained contact with the Vanguard since. Johannes' brother Hans went by the codename Heimdall. As far as I'm aware, he doesn't know that he's dead, but he knows Volken is."

Eileen sets the paper down on the table. "There is a man in Norway also. He runs a shipping business out of Stavanger and performed maintenance on the Invierno and the Verano when they were still in Volken's possession. Roald Ingebrigtsen. He and Kazakova are a good place to start. As for asking: don't. I need someone to go and explain our situation. I don't know about Ingebrigtsen, but Kazakova's family has a debt, and I have a journal of Volken's that's evidence he had hopes for me. He may listen to someone speaking to him on my behalf."

While quiet as Eileen speaks, Cat's mind is active with such things as obtaining books for languages. Hungarian, Norwegian…

"Did you have specific people in mind, to travel there, to so the explaining. Obviously, Special Activities for the most part would be needed here, just in case" Heller makes a run, or worse. Abigail shifts in her seat, chewing on her lower lip. Approaching allies of the Kazimir Volken. "Who here knows either language that would be spoken there, or do we know if they speak enough english?" Short of Cat and Eileen and a handful of others, the variety of languages spoken were limited. "And will we be wanting to send a singular group to one, then the other, or just a small few to each at the same time, to save time?"

"If you are looking for someone to negotiate," Ben rumbles out softly from where he stand, "I believe Nicole Nichols is looking to prove herself to the Ferrymen. Her background might be of use in this." He glances to each of the council curiously. "She's expressed a desire to help out.

"It's a thought to keep in mind anyway." Ryans nods to them. This is their choice after all, he's just provides the name.

'I'd heard the same, about Ms. Nichols," Barbara notes, sitting forward a bit. "As far as languages go, we have a linguist in the Ferry. Elaine Darrow, if I'm not mistaken? Perhaps she could help some people at least learn the basics of whatever is needed for the trip." Barbara shrugs a bit, tapping her fingers on the table. "Though if these people will help, you think… we shouldn't wait much longer before making contact."

"I suppose I'm a third for Nicole. What Ben said, plus, I just like her." Must be an electrokinetic thing. "Elaine is a good suggestion, too. She's a smart girl, on top of her lingual abilities, I get the impression she can think on her feet well enough." Lynette drums her fingers on the table for a moment, though, before she notes, "Are we looking for people who still can travel publicly or will we be sneaking them out and back in?"

Joseph clears his throat a little before speaking up, with an implicit agreement that these are options worth exploring when he says, "I think we'll want to look outside this room some when it comes to selecting some— ambassadors. Which means most've the logistics and the like might not be settled in this room, right away. As for how we plan to get outta the country, well— how're we gonna get anyone out of the country if this goes ahead? Maybe Eileen's friends— " Friends. "— will have a few ideas. For right now, we should do some reading — I don't know a heck of a lot about Registration and the kind outside of the U.S.

"But I'd like to go find out." He scopes a look around the room, in implied enquiry.

Eileen mouths the word Nichols but says nothing to indicate whether she thinks this is a good idea or a bad one. She is quiet again, at least for the time being, with the tips of her fingers at her temple and dark head bowed, listening. She does not answer questions she does not yet have an answer to.
"I'm a quick study with languages," Cat remarks dryly, "it won't take long to read dictionaries for Hungarian and Norwegian, along with making myself familiar with their grammatical structures. Slang terms are more problematic, but still. Elaine Darrow's talents are also very useful in this arena. She's able to learn languages instinctively, contrasted to my method of memorization. And Nicole does have experience with negotiations."

She permits a slight smile to form.

"And after some time spent reading I can have the entire legal codes of whatever nation we need stored in my head, ready to advise of pitfalls that may arise and how to avoid them. Extradition would be our greatest concern, if we're recognized as being wanted in this country. And…" Her eyes shift toward Benjamin.

"Noah Bennet has proven resourceful at arranging clandestine transport across borders and back."

The mention of Noah gets a firm nod from Ryans in agreement. "Noah has proven time and again, he can get us across." He added gruffly, "It's worth cornering him. See if he still has a few favors he can turn in." There is a faint shrug of his shoulders and does say anymore.

"Oh sure, be practical," Lynette says in Joseph's direction, but with a playful smile. At least she's not being actively pessimistic? "A little study wouldn't hurt. Also seeing who's willing to go on something like this."

Joseph's hands turn out in mock apology towards Lynette, mouth twisting in half-smile, before his hands link together again. It's silence from him this round, sinking into thought and speculation he reserves for himself.

A little study, a little speculation, a little practicality — Eileen does not feel as though they can go wrong with any of these. "Thank you," is all she says, then, quiet but heartfelt. Mostly because there is nothing else to say.

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