Missed Understanding


kaylee_icon.gif luther2_icon.gif

Scene Title Missed Understanding
Synopsis Kaylee returns to Raytech after a harrowing experience, meets with Luther, and they talk about past troubles coming back to haunt the company and its people.
Date April 30, 2018

Raytech NYC Safe Zone Branch Office

Kaylee Ray-Sumter has no idea what Barney might have said when he got back to RayTech. Hopefully, he didn’t cause too much of panic, since she reassured the big man, they would be following behind. There was a bit of business to attend to is all she offered. She was glad that she had sent him away after everything that happened on the boat, he was a rather gentle soul.

In hindsight, she probably should have brought someone else. That someone else, she sees him there waiting at the end of the dock. Luther Bellamy. She knows it’s him, but from where she stood it was hard to tell his mood.

“Thank you,” Kaylee offers softly as she is helped off the boat, leaving others to handle the inventory of supplies that had gone back with Barney.

Kaylee steels herself a little, putting a false smile on her lips as she starts down the dock. She is dressed for dealing with boats. Skirts and heels don’t work out there. “Mr. Bellamy,” she calls out in a pleasant tone. “Nice of you to meet us here.”

Whatever the gentle giant may have said, the circumstances apparently warrant only one man to receive them. That man being Head of Physical Security, Luther. Dressed in a now typical “uniform” of dark cool colored suit and similar shirt, he doesn’t appear to be visibly upset as he waits on the dock patiently. Granted, his neutral expressions come across as possibly slightly upset either way.

He steps forward to lend a hand for the COO to disembark. She knows there’s at least a little bit of upset when he doesn’t greet her similarly until they’ve gotten a few feet further on solid ground. A quick check back to the boat, to ensure that it’s handled, then he turns his back to it.

A clean kerchief is pulled from a pocket, offered forth. She can spy on the inside of his jacket, a holster with a pistol. “Are you hurt?” The first volley.

Still, he’s taking her lead for the moment, not rushing her off somewhere or anywhere without her consent.


The answer is a simple one, kerchief waved off, with a small smile. “Nothing aspirin and a good night's sleep won't take care of.” The smile is still there as she leads them towards the main building. “How much did he tell you?” She had told the big man he could give Luther the whole story, except asked him to leave off one little details.

She made a man kill himself with her mind. She had thought she had been much more careful than that, but Barney had noticed.

The rest… she couldn't hide the blood left on her jacket or under her nails by her stabbing Pohl or holding the knife to his throat. Or the fact, that while her hair had been up when she left, it was down now and a little tangled from the ocean breeze.

The worst part she felt no guilt over it, but at least she felt more like herself again.

“Enough,” comes Luther’s short answer as he tucks the kerchief back. The blood splatter pattern already looked at as she disembarked, the tangle that is her hair and the blood dried upon in also taken into account. None of it hers, or anybody in the immediate vicinity. “Sorenson gave me a summary, kind of,” he continues as they walk, “but I want to hear it from you.” The weighty words aren’t exactly pulling rank, but at the same time, he speaks with the feeling of an agitated authority. And trust.

“We’re going to need to background check more carefully. I’ll ask Sera for a list of contacts.” A beat. “And training. A lot more training.” The man frowns as they get to the main building, swiping his ID badge to the door.

It isn’t until they step into the building that she starts offering up the story of what happened. “Problem wasn't the supplier.” The man had been straight with them and there had been no malice or ill intent in his mind. “It was his crew… led by this man Pohl.” Not that any of them would be a problem anymore really.

“But to put it simply, we went to pick up the cargo, the crew killed the captain,” here there is a flinch at the memory, “took over the ship asking some interesting questions, such as where Richard was.” Kaylee goes quiet as they reach one of the busier areas greeting people, but not saying anything else till they are alone again. “When he wasn't there, some mysterious voice over the radio gave the men the order to kill me or really at that point to kill us all.”

The fact that she isn't a mess talking about it, says a lot about the experiences of the RayTech COO. “Alister Black and his pirate friends showed up and saved us. So in turn we saved him — Well, Des did — and they dropped us back off here. The end.” There is a flippant way that she says that last. “or at least for what he knows.”

One look from Luther makes sure that the people who do see the state of the COO don’t followup with questions, at least not verbally. Eyes focused on avoiding sight lines, he manuevers with the knowledge of one closely familiar with the building layout. Maintenance and custodial layouts. She can feel brief hitches in the pattern when she continues and mentions them searching for Richard, at the part of orders doled out to kill her, Alister Black. Like he’s placing puzzle pieces, shuffling them around for a picture.

It doesn’t really clear up.

“Fuck.” The word is muttered under his breath, Luther finally speaking and it being a swear doesn’t bode well. “Wasn’t a set up by Black, sounds like. Or if it is, the man’s crazier than I gave him credit for,” continues the security head as they wind their way through a corridor of exposed pipe and conduit overhead. The security room isn’t far from them and up some stairs. But given that they’re in an enclosed hallway, he stops and turns to Kaylee there, a storm grey stare studying her.

“And what happened to Pohl?” He doesn’t assume, although the question comes with a distinct past tense expectation. Her putting the proverbial pin into the summary gets a twitch of Luther’s brow up on one side. Because even he knows it isn’t really ‘the end’. “What about the ‘why’? Was…” He cuts off the question, realizing it’s all too early to be asking such things. With a shake of his head and a heavy sigh, he takes a moment to juggle the events into the rest of the worries on his mind.

Then, “And you? Anything you need?”

The blue gaze that meets his stormy one is steady, her chin lifting a little against the scrutiny. Defiant still, even though she felt more in control then she had earlier. “No. I think it was a coincidence they were there,” she admits blandly. “I doubt part of his plan was to get shot in the chest three times. He’s lucky Des was there and that I let her fix him up.”

Taking a deep breath, she lets it out in a heavy sigh. “Pohl… Won’t be a problem.” There is weight to those words, though she doesn’t elaborate. Plausible deniability. “This man Etienne — works for Black — he was able to get some information for me, when I couldn’t crack the bastards defenses.” It was a bit of a sore point for her it seems.

Here is where she finally look away from her Security Chief. “I’m not sure you can help me with this, Luther.” Falling into the more familiar first name, rather than the professional. “This is outside of your job description. It feels like more of a personal attack, rather than business.” Brows lower as she considers what she is saying.

I was the target. Not RayTech.”

A noncommital noise rolls from Luther for the part where Alister Black was shot three times in the chest. He might be remembering the times he’d been shot, even one as recent as a couple months ago he’s still healing from. But eventually he nods. “Good. It’ll be one less thing to worry about for a while.”

As she goes on, her look away draws a blink and an arched brow. A long pause fills with the sounds of the water in the piping above them moving. With the hum of electricity, general creaky sounds that occupy a closed space like the one they stand in. Luther adds to it. “Who?” The singular weighted question is heavy. He knows he has a pistol waiting to be shot off. Now it’s really in need of a target.

“To be honest, it’s no one I know,” Kaylee admits blandly. Folding her arms across her, pressing them tight against her stomach, as she turns and starts to walk down the hall again. The pace is slow, as she seems to lose herself in her thoughts. “Whatever I did to make her think I was dangerous, it was when I was Thatcher.” Years ago. “And she knows what I can do with my ability.”

That disturbed her most of all. While it isn’t a secret what she is, what all she can do with it, is another thing. “Des had a useless conversation with man on the radio that she confiscated from this Pohl guy.” It was more then that, but it wasn’t something she could really tell Luther, even if she did trust him.

“I’m sorry,” Kaylee suddenly says. “I made a bad call taking Barney, I should have listened to your suggestion.” She glances at him out of the corner of her eye, as she adds, “This is the first time it’s been a problem, to be honest.” There is a resigned sigh from the woman. “Now he has a bullet in his leg and I’m pretty sure, he’s scared of me.”

As the pace picks up again, slow as it is, Luther keeps alongside her. His eyes stay ahead, hands slipped into pockets. Silence on his part as he listens, letting her unfold, process. He does the same with what he has learned so far, keeping as parallel a track as possible even if their lines haven’t crossed yet.

They do when she apologizes about Barney, and Luther turns to look at her sidelong, a brow lifting. “He’ll live. He survived this long, after all.” The comment comes across vaguely on purpose, as if he were referring to himself than the ginger-bearded man. “And if he can’t hack it, he’ll leave.” Still vague. They reach the stairs going up, and he reaches for the door handle, but doesn’t open it yet.

“You still haven’t said what happened.” What really happened, as his tone suggests. He looks down at her, eyes meeting hers expectantly and holding a steady stare.

When the door doesn't open and he pushes her for more, there is almost a darkness that passes behind those blue eyes when Kaylee turns his way. “What do you want me to tell you, Luther?” She almost hisses out the words.

She motions the way they came, Kaylee’s voice is quiet even in its irritation “That I probably proved that this person is correct that I am too dangerous to live? How nitty gritty do you want the details?” There is the threat of tears now, but none fall. Her voice lowers ever further as she spits out, “That I made a man kill himself today and I would have done it to more if Black and his people hadn't shown up,” she does break eye contact as she says it. “I haven't done that since the war.”

Almost as if she realizes what she is doing, Kaylee’s eyes shut with brows furrowed. Hands cover her face briefly as she takes a deep breath and sighs it out.

“Look,” she starts when her hands fall away again. Composure regained, if just barely. “Someone tried to have me killed today, because They consider me to be too powerful of a telepath.” Her tone suggests she doesn't feel the same about it. “But only gave the order after asking about Richard and Des,” Aka Odessa.

“This guy, Pohl, was trained and I couldn't get much from him.” Which was amazing to her. Normally, she could find a flaw and exploit it. “All I got was that it was a woman, had a wedding band on, and whatever her ability? It’s nasty. Got to experience it.” Kaylee finally allows herself to look at her Security Chief again. “Oh and how fuckable she was,” those words come out flat and filled with annoyance. She gives a small shake of her head. “Anyhow, Etienne, Black’s Guy, got more out of him with a knife in the guy’s ear.” It was pretty impressive, but she leaves that off.

“Her name is Natalie Gray. And the orders were to kill Thatcher” her maiden name “because my ability is too dangerous.” Her brows tip up and head tilts, as she asks him with an expression if he is satisfied with that answer.

Luther doesn’t wind up answering the barrage of frustration and anger; the emotional energy of the taxed telepath crashes against him like turbulent ocean waves against battered, rocky cliffs. Though she looks away and back, he doesn’t move, doesn’t say much of anything as she goes on. But he listens.

And once he’s seen the askance in her expression, he responds with a slight lift of his brow. “Are you done?” he asks, more rhetorically than in a manner meant to be facetious. He turns to open the door. With his back to her, though, he pauses as he holds the door open.

“During the war,” he says quietly, “I was with a group. The leader, his name was Slag. Big guy. He could heat up anything ‘til it melted right off or set it on fire in seconds. Taught me that trick with mine.” Luther’s eyes finally dip from their upward angle, then he turns aside to let her through. “Our powers are dangerous, it’s true. Bunch of us had to experience some pretty terrible things - like how we fought a whole war just to get here. And for some of us… for some of us that war ain’t over. And apparently it woke up a few ghosts.”

The man gestures with an angle of his head to the stairs up to the security room. “But,” he notes as his expression shifts from some disturbing memories to that of present attention, “don’t ever think that. That your ability is… too dangerous.” He glances at her, then down in thought.

“You needed to get that out of you. Before going upstairs. I had Bob keep an eye on the security room while I went out on the dock.” And apparently he hadn’t wanted Bob to see Kaylee the way she was right now. With that, though, he repeats the gesture earlier, nodding her through. “C’mon… I’ll make you a cup of coffee. And get you something to change into.”

For a long moment, Kaylee doesn’t move, only stares at this man with a mix of emotions. Finally, though she sighs and offers him a small smile. “Am I that easy to read?” she sounds almost amused at that thought, moving finally to head up the stairs. No matter how much she tries, her emotions are always right there.

“I need Richard home with his connections.” Kaylee works on unbuttoning the suit jacket she wore with her jeans, in an attempt to keep some sort of professional look. It leaves her only in the magenta sleeveless blouse she wore under it. At least, it is clear of any blood, unlike the jacket she folds over her arm. “See what he can dig up on this woman.”

“Until, we figure this out, I want Bob and a small team going out for the shipments.” Kaylee doesn’t look very happy about that, adding, “The customers will just have to deal with it.”

There is a moment or two, before she sighs out, “What the hell am I going to tell my husband?” He will no doubt notice the change of clothing. “This isn’t the first time I’ve been targeted for what I am. I have plenty of scars to show for that.” Some visible with her jacket off, which might explain why she often wears long sleeves and jackets. “The last time, they just about succeeded. My husband is one of the ones that found me.“ Kaylee sighs softly, “Not sure how he’d take the news, that it is happening again.”

The response to her question is a vague smile from the security head. Luther doesn’t exactly think she’s an easy read at all; it might just be something he’s decent at, watching and reading people. “He’ll be back soon enough,” he adds as they head up the stairs. “And we could check with local authorities to see if there’s any databases we can use to find out.”

There’s nothing needing to be said for Bob and a receiving team, given Luther agrees. As it should have been done. Although he does remark, “I’ll take care of it.”

He’s noticed the scars, but hasn’t spoken about it either. But he frowns slightly with Kaylee’s sigh, her worries about what to tell her husband are a concern for him too. “Maybe hold off on it, this time. We need intel. But we can set up a lookout in the meantime, make sure Joseph and the kids are safe.” Even if that lookout might be Luther part of the time.

But her mention that it’s happening again makes him lift a brow, and as they reach the security room he opens the door for her and motions for Bob to head out. “Thanks Bob,” he adds as the other guard packs up and leaves with a short good night to both. Waiting until they’re alone in the security room, Luther moves to start a coffee pot, pulling out a couple of mugs. “What did you do back then? You think it might be someone from a previous… problem? Loose thread?” He turns back to her as he waits for the brew.

“Bob,” Kaylee calls after the guard. “Tell Sera to contact my husband and let him know I’m running late?” She doesn't do it that way often, preferring to call him herself, He could always read her though, so occasionally she lets someone else tell him.

“I was a part of the Ferrymen,” Kaylee supplies freely after a moment. It is public knowledge. Her blood splattered jacket is draped on the chair, though she doesn't sit. “I was mixed up in so much stuff then. Before that it was Adam Monroe’s gang.” There is a grimace as she mention the name. That was not public knowledge. “So… who knows?”

At this point, she’s pacing with worry etched on her features, fingers play with the wedding band on her finger. A nervous habit. “We need to avoid alerting the local authorities to this.” Even though it is her life on the line. “There is…” a pause as she reconsider her words. “I don’t want them poking into everything.” Especially, with them hiding someone like Odessa in their ranks.

Luther inclines his head as he waits on the coffee, listening as she goes on. A lack of reaction, perhaps, indicates he doesn’t recognize the name drop. Once the coffee’s poured, he turns with both mugs, holding the one out to Kaylee and taking up his own. When she speaks about keeping things a secret, though, the man frowns slightly as he weighs the possibilities, the pros and the cons.

“Some of our good friends are the ‘local authorities’,” he remarks with a short sip of the coffee. And a turn to add some creamer. “As are some of our good clients.” The man stirs away, meditative in the moment with the movement. “But I got it. We’ll keep it under wraps.” A beat skips and he looks over to the woman. “What about Richard? Val?”

And another beat. “You want me to talk to anybody?” He’s already gotten a rundown from Barney, but there’s still Des. And whoever else he could, for more info.

“I know they are,” Kaylee snaps out in irritation, but not at him. It is obvious that she regrets it as soon as she says it. Reaching out, she takes the mug, expression apologetic. “Sorry.” She cradles the mug in both hands, eyes on the contents. “But, Des was there, too.” There is a heavy implication to that statement.

“Once Richard is back, I’m going to let him know. He should hear that from me.” Kaylee takes a careful sip of her coffee and sighs. “Beyond that, right now. Let’s just keep it close to the chest.” It is something she hates saying, but too much was at stake.

Her snap comes as another crash against the cliffs. But it doesn’t mean it’s not made an impact. Luther starts to relent, until the mention of Des brings a renewed tense line from his brow to his shoulder. The one that throbs with a recent bullet wound. In turn, he drinks his coffee to weigh a response, but then it comes in the form of him moving back to the desk he usually sits at and reaching into the drawer. A folded New York Times from Sunday - yesterday - is laid down on the desktop with the headline splashed across the front.

“I don’t know where Richard’s at, but you’ve seen this,” he says rather evenly. “He told me about her. At least, the part he wanted me to hear.” Luther sets his coffee down beside the paper, leaning on the desk, palms flat on either side. “But what he didn’t tell me is this,” he nods to the Times, “that we’re sitting on a pretty fat time bomb.” His frown deepens. “Did you know?”

There is a moment of hesitation before Kaylee steps over the desk, curious about what he was trying to show her. She had been so busy that she hadn’t seen the paper lately. Letting go of the mug, she draws the paper closer. In the quiet of the room, he can hear her breath catch. The mug is set on the desktop and the paper picked up.

“I know she’s a war criminal,” Kaylee turns away with a furrowed brow, reading the accusations, as she paces across the room. “What I didn’t know is about Humanis First.” There is a look of confusion as she re-reads it again. Fought in the Humanis First branch of Mitchell’s military.

“She willingly neg — “ Kaylee sighs unable to make herself finish that sentence. “Dammit Dessa.”

While Kaylee reads the article, Luther waits, watching her turn and pace and… “Yeah, what the fuck, right?” The rhetorical question is practically growled out. “She was on the other side. The side I fought against.” Pushing up off the desktop, it’s clear that he’s angry on a deep level. But more towards the surface is the sheer disbelief.

“And if Richard knows about all this,” he continues, jaw working like it’s hard to swallow the thought, “We’d have to do it.” Hands clench into fists at his sides, then unclench as he forces himself to breathe out. “So yeah. We need to get a message out to Richard, and tell him it’s urgent.”

“Before something else happens.”

“Nothing is going to happen, at least, not by her. If she was going to, she would have by now. She was serious about wanting to be a good person,” Kaylee sounds confident about this even if her expression is one of someone who feels betrayed; dropping the paper on the desk and stepping away from it, like it is something unclean. Arms folding across her, she rubs a hand along her arm. “Besides, we can’t get a message to Richard. He’s on the west coast, chasing down all these rumors about the Vanguard being resurrected. People that should be and were dead.”

Arms go out in frustration, “So I am not even sure when we will get ahold of him, but we are not moving on this until he is back. If we put a message out, a technopath might run into it.” Paranoid much, Kaylee?

Feeling the need to defend her brother, Kaylee adds, “Richard knew, just like me, she was a war criminal, but not the Humanis First stuff. She neglected to tell us about it.” Clearly, for obvious reasons. This would be a conversation that will need to happen.

“Christ, are you serious?” Luther’s words come out hotly, “Why is he out there chasing dead people?” The man closes his eyes briefly, but when he opens them again he stares at the newspaper with a baleful gaze. “Nevermind… it’s not like we weren’t doing just that last month,” huffs the man as he grabs the paper up again, gaze sliding through those accusations and then up to Kaylee.

He knows his anger is misdirected, and it’s with that realization that he blows out a rough exhale and drops the paper back on to the desk. Grey eyes flick up to the telepath. “I want to be there,” he says flatly like he’s walling up for an argument. “You’re going to talk to her, aren’t you? I want to be there. We can set it up along with a debrief of all this.” The mutiny, the pirates, the bloodshed.

As if remembering the coffee last, he picks up the mug to sip. The contents are cooled down, and he looks to the mug as if to consider it a moment. In the next, the coffee is lightly steaming again. “Kaylee,” he says, quieter now, “I’m worried.” He doesn’t look back up from the coffee, eyes averted to the liquid. “So far, I’m doin’ a pretty shit job.”

The reaction to the news has Kaylee looking at Luther with wide-eyed surprise. Jaw clenching against a surge of her own irritation. A deep breath is taken to calm her nerves a little and even though he said nevermind, he’s getting an answer… “These were people he went up against to stop the world from being flooded. He saw at least one of them die and turn to dust… yet they are alive and breathing again.”

“And, I do plan to talk to her. But, I’m gonna do it alone or with Ray whichever comes first. I owe it to her to listen to what she has to say,” Kaylee tells him quietly. Stepping closer to her Security Chief, arms folded, he can see that she does not plan to lose this argument. “I need your discretion on this matter, Mr. Bellamy. You’re doing fine, already the security around this place is better and everyone feels safer.”

This close she is able to really study those stormy eyes, with her blue ones, “What none of us could have predicted was the amount of shit that would start hitting the proverbial fan as soon as my brother left.”

“I know!” Luther snaps, eyes sliding a turbulent, stormy gaze under heavy furrowed brow at the telepath, then looking down again. “I know,” he echoes after, quieter again, then knocking the last gulp of coffee down before setting the mug on the desk top. Her use of the more professional name effectively reminds him to keep his cool, but he continues, “Which is why I should be there when you talk to her.” It sounds more like a ‘I should have been there’, in the deeper undertone. Guilt for his job not done. Confusion for a job yet to be done.

And temptation to open up the lower drawer of the desk that contains a bottle of whiskey. He resists, for now. “I know,” he says a third time, “that this is all stuff that can’t be controlled. But we’re never going to get ahead of this shitstorm unless we get some answers. All this is snowballing on top of itself and we’re getting caught up. Sooner or later, going to roll right off the mountain.” It’s a lot to process, after all. And when that happens, Luther goes back to basics.

He finally looks back at Kaylee, a few hard blinks holding the emotional side back. “I’ll see what can be dug up about the names you gave me earlier. And maybe there’s a way we can get in contact with Richard. He went with others, right? They’ve got to know, or someone who knows them knows.” After another beat, he adds, “You want a drink?” His head tilts towards the lower drawer of the desk.

“I wish,” is Kaylee’s answer to the drink. “Alcohol, recreational drugs, and even some prescription drugs… they make me lose control of my ability and could put me in a coma until it wears off.” It’s blunt, but there it is. “However, be my guest.”

She moves to scoop up her jacket, making it apparent she means to leave. “Everything was so much easier when we were able to operate under the radar. Now we have to work with the government breathing down our necks waiting for us to fuck up.”

The telepath sighs and turns back to Luther, looking completely exhausted and like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders suddenly. “Look,” Kaylee starts softly, “No matter how everything shakes out, I will put the people of this company first.” Not the business. The people. “Even though I owe her my life and she is my friend, Odessa made her bed long ago and I can’t put my people in jeopardy if it comes down to it.” Draping the jacket over her arm, she adds, “For now… just… Play it close to the chest. Shit hasn’t started rolling downhill, yet.”

Luther’s brow ticks up at her refusal and explanation. Then it turns sympathetic with a tint of pity, because damn. “Yeah, let’s not do that,” he says, dismissing the notion of a drink with a short shake of his head.

Once she moves to leave, he also starts to clean up, gathering the coffee mugs. Her words make him look back at her, and draw a heavy sigh. “Yeah, but, it’s the government we fought for. Isn’t it? At least some of us.” The pointed remark is just that, as grey eyes linger on the woman when she continues. He takes in a steadying breath, chin lifting with what she says then, brow knitting together at the point she makes in turn.

The man sets the coffee mugs near the machine to clean up later, and turns back to the telepath on those last words. “Sure thing,” he nods once, and twitches a crooked uptick of his mouth to add, “Ma’am.” In other words, no hard feelings. “Have a good night.”

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