Man The Battlements


elisabeth_icon4.gif ff_silas_icon.gif

Scene Title Man the Battlements
Synopsis An accidental meeting leads to more boots on the ground.
Date December 30, 2018

Ark Kitchens

The food stashes and other supplies the rebels had store led in various places are now verboten … and it means that other stashes and stores must be gathered. In the five days since Mateo, Liz, and Lynette were 'killed,' things have been brutally strained among the travelers. Understandably so. The survivors are pretty hyper-alert these days. And so when very small discrepancies start happening among Silas's kitchen ingredients or how many bowls of something remain after a meal, it's not an obvious thing — it's just a minor brow-wrinkle. Perhaps someone's getting hungry after hours. When he starts actively counting and it happens three meals in a row, one might forgive his curiosity.

Somewhere near 2am, when there's just the midnight guard shift, a grate is disengaged in a dark corner of the galley. A shadowed form climbs out and heads toward where particular packaged leftovers were put… and the shadow goes very still when the sound of a person approaching comes to her enhanced hearing. She's not immediately in sight by the time he walks into the kitchen with his candle, but she also can't escape without being seen if she moves. So she goes very still and watches him for a long moment to see what he's up to. It is, after all, 2am.

Silas is in a foul mood right now.

So far he's been able to keep the discrepancies buried deeply enough that he can maintain plausible deniability; shuffle things around a bit, maybe resize a portion or add a little more water to the soup, claim a minor cooking experiment here or there. So far, at least.


Something is fishy here, and it's the bad kind of fishy—like someone adding anchovies to his barbecue or something vile like that. He's not sure if someone is pranking him, or if they're trying to set him up to catch a bullet, but either way he damn well means to get to the bottom of it. If that means chugging the brown Ghost-of-Coffee-Past stuff that they pass off as a drink here by the gallon and staying up 48 hours straight, so be it.

He shambles towards the leftovers, candle in one hand and half empty cup of brown in the other, meaning to count them. Again. For the somethingth time tonight.

And there's just fucking nowhere to go. As he approaches her small patch of darkness, Elisabeth's options shrink. Slamming a silence field around both of them, she waits until he's almost upon her and then steps out, uses one hand to catch hold of the candle and the other to shove him just right that she can whip her arm around his neck — if she's caught him by surprise, she should have him pretty well tethered against her smaller form with her forearm around his neck. If not… this might just turn into the nastiest free-for-all she's had in a while.

"Don't fight!" she hisses in his ear. The only hope she has is that she's recognized him as a traveler with them and not a local. But she doesn't remember his name right now.

Oh shit.

She's got the hand with the candle by the wrist, and her other arm is around his neck. She doesn't have the coffee hand, though; her bad luck. Go dead to put her off-balance, then throw the coffee at her; it's hot enough it should give her a distraction. Try and twist while she's distracted, you'll have more options and she won't be able to choke you out if you get your windpipe away from her arm… And once he's got some leverage, there are lots of fun things in here. Knives, forks, burners. Too bad, but he wasn't the one who started this—

Then she speaks. A feeling of shock overtakes him; he's heard that voice before, but… shouldn't she be dead?

"Glrgh?" he gurgles, confused. He doesn't fight, though.

When he goes a little less tense in her hands, Elisabeth too relaxes slightly. "I'm going to let you go," she tells him. When she feels the acknowledgement, she slowly releases him and puts both hands up to show she's not a threat to him anymore. "Sorry about that," she adds, not exactly apologetic but at least apologizing for the shock she gave him.

Blue eyes slant toward the hallway and she seems to be listening for something and then her eyes come back to him. "You'll have to forgive me, your name is lost in my brain at this moment. Are you okay?"

Silas turns around as soon as he feels her step away, regarding Elisabeth blankly for a moment. "Yeah, I… sure. Just a little startled. Uh. You're… yeah," he says. "And it's Silas," he adds a moment later. Of course she doesn't remember his name; he doesn't think they'd ever spoken to each other, face to face, before… well. Before Kenner had reported her dead over breakfast.

Then his brain catches up. The surveillance!

"They could be listening," he mouths silently to her.

Elisabeth smirks faintly. "No. They really can't, not right now." She looks tired. And worried. And stressed the hell out. But she gestures around them. "Their surveillance is audio only… and I'm an audiokinetic," she tells him quietly. "You're basically ensconced in a silent bubble that extends about 4 feet behind out and three feet to either side. Nothing we say within the bubble can travel anywhere but here." She pauses, once more giving the impression of listening for something, and then she nods slightly. "There's still no one anywhere near the hallway out there. If someone comes, I'll hear them."

She shoves a hand through her hair and then holds it at the base of her neck while studying him. "I'm not ready for most of the people here — even my own — to know I'm alive. That we're alive. Can you keep it quiet?"

Silas regards Elisabeth for a long moment… then, slowly, he seems to sag, a long-held tension draining out of him. "Oh thank god," he breathes raggedly. At her question; he smiles. "Oh, I can keep a secret. Mum's the word," he chuckles. "God. I've been keeping secrets since I got here; being able to actually say what's on my mind without havin' to worry about getting a wakeup call from some asshole with a gun… that means a lot. It's like finally getting out of the world's worst itchy Christmas sweater," he chuckles. He shakes his head. Focus.

He takes a drink from his mug, forcing himself to try and get his thoughts lined up. "Okay. I don't know what actually happened on Christmas, but… glad that you're alive. And you've apparently gotten your trick back; good for you." He exhales. "Does that mean you've figured out how they're negating us? And how they're surveilling us?" He manages to stop himself from asking the other million or so questions that leap to mind with an effort; now that he's able to speak freely it's difficult for him to keep from exercising that ability for all it's worth.

Elisabeth's gaze on him is intent. But she nods slowly at him, taking it at face value that he can keep his mouth shut — what other choice has she got? "We know how they're negating everyone, yes. One of his people is actually a negator. Surveillance is your basic listening devices and spies. Avoidable if you keep doing what you're doing."

Letting her breath out slowly, she leans her hips back against one of the countertops and crosses her arms. "I can't stay long — the fact that you caught me here is bad enough." She grins a bit. "But having someone who is working in the kitchen in the know will make our lives simpler — Odessa knows we're alive and she's been stashing foodstuffs and getting them to us, but it's hard to slip in and out of the kitchen when that's not really her chore." She smiles faintly. "I think it's safe to assume we can count on your help with it?"

Silas nods slowly. "Yeah," he says, eyes distant. Then he looks back to Elisabeth and nods again, this time more firmly. "Yeah. I'll help ya; 'course I will. About the only thing any of us has got down here is each other, right?" he says with a wry smile. "But…"

Here he pauses, considering. "I know a thing of two about keepin' secrets, I really do. I know it ain't good to get too many mouths knowin' everything if you want your secrets to stay secrets, but… keep me looped in, alright? I'll be happy to be partners in crime with you and yours, but I'd like to have some idea of what's goin' on," he says. He holds Elisabeth's gaze with his own for a moment. "That way if the shit hits the fan, I'll have an idea of which way to jump." Maybe then I won't have to see any more awful shit like that banquet, he thinks.

Her blue eyes on him are serious… and give a weary sense that this is not the first of these situations she's lived. "Keep in touch with Odessa, she's the one rounding up a fucking rebellion to take down Don and his assholes. The man has gone around the bend and needs to be stopped." Elisabeth looks away for a long moment. "I would… be much obliged if you might keep a special eye on the girls." Her daughter and Mateo and Lynette's daughter. "I'm sure everyone's circling the wagons with them, but…"

She clears her throat and then looks back at him. "The thing we came here to do is still possible. But the timing may be tight. The main thing is that we want to make sure all of you who are not going to make this transport with us are not being left in the lurch with a crazy man on the loose."

Silas nods agreement at several points. "Alright. Keep in touch with Odessa, got it. And… I'll keep an eye on 'em, as best I can. Aurora and Evie, right?" She's right about the circling the wagons thing; Silas has delivered a couple of bags of ricethings already. Still, there's no harm in continuing to keep an eye out for them… and knowing that someone's keeping an eye out for them might help Elisabeth a bit, in and of itself.

Nodding, the lines in the audiokinetic's face don't ease much but there is relief there. One more person helping. "Okay. Uhm… while I have you here in the bubble, then… The short short version is what I already said. We're going to be instituting our own coup. I'll let Odessa know you're in the loop. But don't assume anyone else is. And you know the first rule of Fight Club?" She's not sure that movie was ever made here.

She is tired. It's cold all over the station but definitely cold in the areas they're using. "If you can smuggle any of those Sterno things for warming into the next batch of food we grab, that would be primal." She accidentally uses Aurora's — or rather, the Kids' — phrase for it, not even realizing it. "What questions do you need answers to from me?" Liz asks him, running her hands through her hair again as she listens down the hall. "I'm going to need to go soon."

Silas has never seen the movie, but it was famous enough that he knows of it regardless. "'Don't talk about Fight Club'," he half-groans, half-laughs. He really hadn't been expecting that. There was this guy he used to know who would not shut up about that movie—

"Wait, they have that where you come from too?" he asks, surprised; only a moment later, though, he shakes his head. "Nevermind." There are a lot more important things than that.

That choice of phrase, though: 'primal'. The last time he's heard that one was… god, that kid who'd chipped in on the barbecue scheme. How'd she manage to eat that many squirrels? he briefly wonders, feeling a faint surge of nostalgia for better times. His hand starts to rise towards his chest, where the pendant still hangs beneath his shirt; he arrests the move, changing it to a hand covering his mouth as he yawns instead.

"Right, then. No promises on the Sterno, but I'll see what I can do; might be able to save a little bit for you," he nods. He pauses a bit as she asks what questions he has for her; he hadn't been planning to keep her much longer, but if she's volunteering…

"Alright, then. First, what the hell happened? Don showed up for breakfast and said you were dead, but now you pop up in the kitchen snagging leftovers. And with your power back, to boot!" Silas is more than a little frustrated at his own continuing loss of his trick; having it would make things so much easier.


Here he hesitates for a moment; the question that comes to mind isn't really one that's critical to their immediate survival, maybe… but it's one that he has a powerful curiosity about, nevertheless. "Mad Eve told me a bit about the… place you came from. Another 'might-have-been', or something like that?" he asks, squinting. He isn't entirely sure how good his grasp on this is; Mad Eve can be maddeningly elliptical at times, and this had definitely been one of those occasions. "Anyway This place you came from… I want to ask how you came to leave it, all that… but that's one for another time, I'm thinking. Maybe I can hit up some of the others sometime. But… tell me, if you can. What's it like? That you're willing to go to such lengths to get back to it?"

If there is one thing Elisabeth has learned, you have to take those moments of levity where you can find them. Most especially when it all seems lost. So his chuckle over the movie tease… is a good thing. She smiles just a little herself.

The first question is simple. "What happened: Don tried to kill us," she states flatly. "The woman we needed to find is still alive, contrary to Don's story. And the machine she created that we'd been looking for is here. He fired it up on us while we were meeting with the rebels… but he doesn't know how to use it properly. He got just enough data from that attempt that he decided he didn't need us anymore and opened an airlock." Her tone is grim as she answers, and her blue eyes are glacial.

As to the other question… A pang of despair rips through her chest, the emotion visible for just a moment in her expression. They'd been so goddamn close in that room. She swallows hard against the lump that appears in her throat out of nowhere and bottles it all back up, firmly locked behind walls she's spent years building. "It's home," Elisabeth replies simply. She has no other answer for him, but the loss in that brief answer is palpable.

Silas is silent for a moment, considering that… then he inclines his head. "Enough said," he says, offering a tight smile.

"Okay then. I'll be seeing Odessa tomor — er, later today, I guess," he nods. "I'll let you be on your way. Grab what you need, I'll cover for it." Silas pauses. "Unless you've got any questions, anyway. Fair's fair," he says with a shrug. He can't imagine that she'll actually have any questions for him, but after that last one he'd thrown at her, it's only fair that he gives her a chance to ask.

She smiles faintly, clearly a forced one. "No," Elisabeth tells him in a soft voice. "The fact that you'll stand up when the time comes is the only question that matters… and you've answered it." It's that simple — he's earned her gratitude.

Shoving off the countertop, she uncrosses her arms and makes her way to the back cabinet to pull the small bag of food that Odessa put in there. "Let her know she doesn't have to do this part, if you don't mind. It'll be one less thing she worries about." And then she's shoving the bag into the vent out of which she climbed originally and getting ready to slide in herself.

"Just remember they're listening to everything and be cautious of eyes anywhere." One would think she's lived in a Die Hard movie before, the way she slides out of sight in the air vents and pulls it closed behind her.

The only thing that says she's gone is that suddenly in the night's silence, he can hear the subtle creaks and groans of the structure that he hadn't realized were missing until now.

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