Meeting the Den Mother


melissa_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Meeting the den mother
Synopsis One of the Ferry's couriers checks out a new safehouse, and meets one of its guardians. A little information is shared.
Date February 18 2010

The Den

"The Den" is a cover name for a Ferrymen safehouse based out of Roosevelt Island. The structure is an expanded basement beneath the Butcher's Fancy located just across the street from the Summer Meadows development on the south side of Roosevelt Island.

Beneath the floorboards of the butcher shop, the Den sprawls out as a surprisingly large underground complex comprising more than just a single building's basement. The basement of an adjacent tenement building under management by the same owner as the butcher shop is compiled into the same structure. The entry point of the Den is a large hall with an eight foot ceiling and industrial spiral staircase descending from the back stock room of the butcher's shop above. This room is decorated with old patched up sofas, a single television and a few old bookshelves stacked with records and an old fashioned turn table. Speakers for the turntable flank the couch, but the left most one is always cutting out.

Adjacent to this hall is a storage room containing non-perishable foods stacked in cans and jars on old wooden shelves as well as a small armory consisting of typically no more than five or six bolt-action rifles and boxes of ammunition and a pair of handguns, necessary in case the safehouse were ever overrun.

Opposite of the storage room is a wide doorway in the concrete that leads into an eight foot long earth and board tunnel lined with hanging construction lamps that connects to the basement of the adjacent tenement building. It's this tenement building that serves as residence for some of the safehouse's tenants. The basement itself contains a boiler, furnace and work-bench with tools, along with stacks of old newspapers and magazines in cardboard boxes. Stairs here lead up to the ground floor of the two-story tenement building, which was condemned by the town in 2008. The front doors are bolted shut and do not provide entrance, which is why the basement access was created to keep outside appearances.

All of the exterior windows of the condemned two-story building are shuddered and covered with weatherproof plastic to keep in heat, while only the ground floor has any working radiators. The tenement building itself looks like it may have been little more than a halfway house before it was condemned. Small rooms consisting of little more than a single mattress on the floor are barely large enough to be considered full bedrooms. The ground floor features the only working bathroom, as well as a communal kitchen and dining room. The second floor is largely vacant, due to the poor stability of the flooring and lack of any furnishings in the remaining rooms.

At night, no lights are allowed in the tenement building, to give it the presence of abandonment.

Though the upstairs is kind of busy, what with it being a business, it's a little slower down here. Melissa has tied a black bandana printed with skulls around her hair, to keep it out of her face as she busies herself with cleaning and arranging, trying to make this safehouse look a little more hospitable.

Boots clomping solidly on the floor, a figure clad entirely in black leather moves through the ground floor to the way down to the Den. Pausing at the head of the stairs to remove its helmet, the figure loses its anonymity as a long braid is shaken out, and Ygraine takes a somewhat nervous breath. She pauses a moment before starting down the stairs, those solid footfalls preceding her.

Melissa stills and straightens, turning slightly so she can look towards the stairs to see who it is. She's new enough to New York to be overly paranoid, it seems. When she sees Ygraine she takes a moment to study her, then she nods slightly. "Hi."

Rather in contrast to the image that might be presented by reinforced, anonymous, all-black leathers the new arrival offers a cheery little finger-wave and a slightly nervous smile. "Hi", she says in response. "Are you Melissa?" The accent is clearly both British, and educated.

Melissa's brows lift slightly, but she nods. "Yeah, that's me. You got a name?" She pauses a beat then grins, "And nice outfit, by the way. Fond of black leather myself."

The Briton glances down at herself, then laughs. "I am, especially when riding my bike", she says, tone a touch dry. Stepping forward, she strips off her glove and offers a hand to shake. "Ygraine FitzRoy. I'm… an international member of the Sailing Club."

Melissa looks amused as she takes the offered hand. "Sailing Club, huh? First time I've heard it called that. But welcome, Ygraine Fitzroy."

Ygraine cracks a swift grin. "And your outfit's not too bad at all, either, by the way", she says with a wink. "I'm not really here on official business, but… I'm meant to be available for use as a courier when required, so it seemed sensible to check out quite where the new set-up was."

Melissa grins. "Thanks. Rather fond of it myself. And hey, always happy to meet co-workers, so to speak. Haven't gotten to do much of that here in the city," she says, finding a flat surface to plop down on. "But a courier huh? Handy."

Ygraine shrugs amiably. "I was a bike courier in the city for some time, so I know my way around better than most. And with a motorcycle, I can cover ground quite quickly."

Melissa nods. "Makes sense. And you can have a seat or whatever, while we talk," Melissa offers. "Can tell me about yourself or the others or whatever."

Ygraine laughs softly, glancing around before moving to take a seat upon one of the sofas, undoing the fastenings to uncover the zip on her jacket, before sliding it down - the heavy garment opening slightly to offer a glimpse of dark blue lycra beneath. "Thanks. And… well. What'd you like to know? I'm afraid that I can't tell you a great deal about the Club members here. I've been in the UK for much of the past year, and only formally got the secret handshake and decoder ring a few weeks ago."

Melissa grins. "Doin' better than me. I've been in town like…two weeks? Maybe? I've met the other op here, and that's it. Was hopin' to have met others by now."

Ygraine laughs again, shaking her head. "I think that people have been… a bit distracted. At least two members of the Club were in… rather deep trouble. They've been recovered, but… that probably had people rather pre-occupied."

"Damn. Sounds like I got here at a bad time then. Can't be helped though," Melissa says, nodding, expression thoughtful. "I'll meet 'em all in time, I guess."

Ygraine nods. "Most likely. D'you want to take a seat, too? I feel guilty perched here while you're still on your feet."

Ygraine nods. "Most likely. I've certainly still got a lot of people to meet. But… well. Is there anything I can do? Not just with relation to the Club - if you're this new in town has anyone taken you anywhere? Shown you where to avoid? Introduced you to a half-way decent bar or club?"

"I've been to Old Lucy's a couple times, and met a few people, evolved and non, so I'm starting to settle in. Sorta slowly, but eh," melissa says, shrugging. "But I got this place, got a place to stay, got a place to drink, so I'll survive."

Ygraine quirks a wry smile. "I've been to Old Lucy's once or twice, myself - though not remotely recently, I admit. And… if it's not rude to ask, are you Evolved yourself?"

Melissa grins impishly. "Are you?"

Laughing, Ygraine leans back, eyeing Melissa for a moment. "Officially, no - not at all. Unofficially… well, I gave up on my hopes of getting back into serious competition when the International Olympic Committee announced that mandatory Evolved-testing procedures were being implemented."

"So you are, just unregistered. Lucky you. I got bagged and tagged myself," Melissa says with a mild grimace.

Ygraine winces sympathetically. "Thanks to… an individual of questionable judgement, I'm known to the Feds. At least some of them. Stupid bastard decided it was a great idea to put up everyone's photos on a big screen and use real names at a meeting we'd been told to attend incognito, because there'd be some Federal agents there…. I don't think they know exactly what I can do, but… I suspect that I might have avoided being picked up because of my nationality. Not worth the hassle that'd be caused, especially when it's somewhat legally dubious as to whether I can be required to register here as a non-citizen."

Melissa stares for a moment. "Who's the idiot bastard who decided to do that? The real names and all that crap?"

Ygraine shrugs ruefully. "Edward Ray, I believe his name was. Meant to be some sort of genius who provided plans to save the world. Things worked out, but… the team I was part of were literally told "this man was vital to my plan. He's not available. Make something up." As it turned out, we were the only team not to have anyone picked up by the Feds after completing our part… instead, I wound up concussed for a few days, after listening to one of our number die to complete what we set out to do. The world got saved, everyone was wonderfully heroic, and perhaps it really was all the optimal outcome and the deaths and identity-revelations were for some reason necessary… but I admit I'm not convinced."

Melissa considers, then she shrugs. "Name doesn't ring a bell. Glad the world was saved though. I'm rather happy with having a world to live in. Death would suck."

"I can't claim to know all the details, but…. we were stopping a virus from being released. We managed it. Well, in our team, it was mostly Conrad - the guy who died. Literally brought down a building on himself to stop it being released."

After a moment, Ygraine forces her face and hunched shoulders to relax, and musters a wan smile. "Sorry. I didn't come here to dump bad memories on you. But… that operation gave me a lot of respect for the senior branch of the Club. I'd met a few members before then, but that was the first time I saw a couple in action. Responsible, competent, calm…. Not bad for people meant to chiefly be concerned with quiet under-the-radar activity."

Melissa smiles wryly. "Or for people who are generally considered to be dangerous and people who should be locked up and kept away from 'normal' people?"

Ygraine cocks her head, then quirks another wry smile. "There's the possibility that I can kill anyone I touch", she says gently. "I've never experimented. There's one person I've met who might be able to save themselves if the… trick worked. Precisely one. Otherwise, for the things I've actually demonstrated, I might be as high as a Tier One in official parlance."

Melissa shrugs. "I'm considered a tier three. That's why I ended up in Moab. But to some, it doesn't matter what tier you are, or what you can do. If you're evolved, you're dangerous."

Ygraine nods gently. "Oh, I know", she says ruefully. "That's part of the reason why I spent a good bit of time in the UK. IDed and apparently watched by the Feds - I had a Federal agent wander up to me in the street and ask how people on the mission were doing! - I figured that it was time to move to a country where registration wasn't on the books, and where civil liberties were still rather better-protected. Waited there to see if there was any fall-out… and came back once it seemed likely that I wouldn't be in trouble just for being here."

Melissa looks mildly disgusted and shakes her head. "The gall of those people…But I guess it's not the first time. Different is always hated at first. The indians, blacks, foreigners…" She rises to her feet. "Anyway, it was nice meeting you, but I should get back to work."

Ygraine rises to her feet. "Want a hand? I might as well make myself useful while I'm here…."

Melissa smiles. "Sure. Right now I'm just cleaning up so…pick a room and have at it. Cleaning supplies over there," she says, motioning to said supplies.

With a laugh, Ygraine shrugs out of her jacket. "Cross the Atlantic to save the world, and wind up playing housemaid", she grumbles amiably, winking at her hostess.

Melissa grins. "Hey, I'm the boss of this place and I'm playing maid. But it's gotta be done." And on she goes…to clean! Yick!

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