Mourn Later, Act Now


bf_cassandra_icon.gif elisabeth_icon4.gif ff_remi_icon.gif

Scene Title Mourn Later, Act Now
Synopsis Elisabeth needs the acting chops of Remi Davignon to see if headway can be made with a Protector.
Date December 24, 2018

Ark Brig

With Aurora safely ensconced with Kain over the course of the whole afternoon after having literally not slept most of the night for the nightmares she suffered, Elisabeth's been trying to check in on people where she can. She stops off at the quarters that she, Aurora, and Cassandra decided to share — Aura wasn't about to sleep without one of them in the bed with her, for all that she practically didn't sleep at all anyway — and finds that Cass is ready for a bit of an outing too. So… down to the brig they go now, to check on Remi Davignon. It's the least they can do, right?

Apparently the guards have been told that as long as Remi remains quiet and docile she can have visitors. So they let the two women in to see the woman confined there, and Elisabeth moves carefully to squat near the head of the bed where Remi is a miserable mound of unhappiness. "Remi?" she asks quietly.

It’s been nearly impossible for Cassandra to sleep. At least up on the surface she could go for a walk, but down here, with the guards on each corner, watching, it made her feel more secure to sit with her back to the door, watching Aurora and whoever else was in the shared room with her sleep, hopefully giving them a chance to doze, albeit fitfully.

When the chance to actually get out and do something was offered, Cassandra figuratively jumped at the chance, getting into her clothes and grabbing a nub of yellow pencil and a Big Chief notepad she claimed from somewhere - thankfully when they were put into their quarters her stuff was gone over with a fine-toothed comb to remove anything dangerous, but a lot of her stuff was left alone.

Elisabeth has certainly noticed the notebook as Cassandra’s constant companion when they’re out of the room. What can be passed off as her keeping notes has turned into quite a collection of little sketches of corridors and passageways, snippets of codes to get through doors, names of guards and tentative schedules of when they go on and off. Things they’ll need to know if they’re going to get out of here.

While heading down to the next level, Cassandra is looking around and studying - the ruined second level seems to be sealed off behind welded-shut doors that they pass on the way down to level 3 to the cells below where Remi and Magnes live. “They let us come visit.” Cassandra adds quietly.

Thankfully, Remi has been the image of quiet and docile — she’s been laying in her bed, under a pile of blankets, since she woke — a puddle of misery and sadness, for the most part. She’s not really said much to anyone, and by the looks of it, she hasn’t eaten much, either — her food from the morning sits untouched by the door. She’s drank some water, at least.

She doesn’t really respond when the two women enter the cell. It’s not until Liz speaks that the woman stirs, a head poking out of the indistinguishable pile of pillows. She blinked a bit owlishly, squinting as her eyes adjust to the light.

Then, she puts her head back down. “I’m not much good company,” she mumbles softly.

"Who the hell is?" Elisabeth asks, though her tone lacks any sense of derision. It's more self-deprecating than anything, weary and just … lacking, somehow. At least the telepath isn't catatonic, which was the primary thing Liz worried about. "I know you're hurting," she says softly. "But Remi… I need you to use every bit of discipline acting and dancing required of you and get your ass pulled together." There is regret in her blue eyes as she prods the other woman. "Yesterday… was agony. And not just for you. But this? You being in here?" She shakes her head. "That's not going to help you or anyone else either."

If Remi only knew just how often Elisabeth applied 'tough love' to her alternate, she might actually be amused. "I'm so sorry about Jasper…" There is genuine sorrow in her expression. "And I'm sorry that Magnes…" There's a momentary flash of abject rage that flits across her features, schooled in an instant to something more neutral. "I don't know why he lost his shit that way. Maybe it was just too much for him too. But I need you functional. There are too many of us hurting, and none of us is going to survive it without each other. Can you do it? Can you get your head out of your own misery long enough to help with the others who can't pull themselves together? Or am I going to need to add you to my list of the ones who can't manage?"

Cassandra has theories about Magnes and why he decided to challenge an armed dictator in the middle of his stronghold. Illustrations of asses and holes in the ground would be done up with big colorful rainbows to help the man understand exactly why you don't say ‘fuck you’ to the guy who only knows how to fuck people over.

“You need some interaction with people. And the Remi from my world would use this as motivation to pull herself to her feet. Juste pour cracher dans l'oeil du bâtard.” Cassandra adds, looking over her shoulder toward last the door where a bored-looking guard’s shoulder can be seen just on the other side of the bars. “Er Nous pourrions parler français et apporter de la culture à cet endroit, oui?”

The telepath frowns beneath her pile of blankets. Sure, she sees exactly what Liz is saying, and she will inevitably come around to that, but…it’s mostly the horror of it. Of seeing him laying on the ground with blood pooling beneath him, of watching the light leave his eyes.

She breathes a sigh, and slowly lifts to sitting up, the blankets still wrapped around her. “I’ll be fine,” she mumbles quietly, lifting a hand to push her hair out of her eyes. She has at least cleaned herself off since last night. “I’m just…mourning.” The French woman shakes her head. “I couldn’t even exchange any last words with him. He was just…gone.” She lifts her hands out of the blanket, looking at them for a moment.

“Je doute que parler français puisse donner de la culture à ce trou en enfer.” Remi’s French is a bit different from Cassandra’s, as far as dialect and pronunciation go, but it’s still French. “They tell me if I continue to behave myself, I might be able to get out.” She speaks English for Liz’s benefit, unsure if the woman is fluent in her native tongue.

It's clear from her expression that Elisabeth only has, at best, a few French phrases. None of which are represented here. How is it that she missed learning French from both Ygraine and Cassandra when Cass knows for a fact she is fully conversant in Russian?? It's a problem to be rectified another day. "That's good news," she replies softly. "I… doubt Magnes is going to be that lucky. In point of fact, if that fucker doesn't put him out an airlock, I'll be shocked." Her tone is grim… and there is a lack of shock to it that might be shocking in and of itself. She's not kidding when she says she is expecting it. "But he needs us. For now."

Pushing it away, she looks at Remi, sitting down on the floor next to the bed as the other woman moves to sit up. "I know you're mourning. We don't honestly have the luxury of giving you the time to do that, Remi. I need your acting skills." She keeps her voice very low, expecting that even if he's not listening anywhere else in this structure — a thought that she had overnight — Don is probably listening here. But whispers are what they have, and they'll have to do.

"I need you to make nice with every damn person in this place," she whispers to Remi softly. "And I need you to find out everything you possibly can about who is in Don's pocket and who isn't."

Remi's French is more refined. Cassie’s, while understandable, is still tinged with creole and swamp talk that differentiates her from everyone else. That might be an advantage, too, on the off chance that there isn't a French speaker down here. “Sorry, Liz. We make it out of here I'll give you a proper education on how to swear and order wine in French. Really all you need to know, out in the real world.” The one that seems so very far away. What I said was that we should speak french to bring some culture to the place. Remi disagreed.” And she leaves it at that.

She sits quietly, moving to block the view of the guard with her back while Liz and Remi whisper,’on the off-chance that lip reading is a thing. She remains quiet.

The former starlet’s nose wrinkles faintly. “I hope he doesn’t — I owe him a good slap to the face when we get out of all of this.” Probably more than just a slap to the face. She might punch him. A lot. In fact, she has a vision in her mind right now of a possible outcome; they step into the new world, and Remi promptly turns, leaps on Magnes, and punches him bloody. It’s what she wanted to do back in the mess hall, but…well, we’ve seen how that ended.

She listens to Liz’s whispers with a thoughtful look on her face. It’s been a while since she had to really act, but this might be pretty fun. She knows she can do it — she’s done movies where she stayed in character from start of filming to finish. Leaning back, the telepath closes her eyes, taking a breath. “I can do that,” she whispers back.

She closes her eyes for a moment, quietly envisioning her ‘character’. Liz’s pep talk works, and Remi in turn decides that she is actually better off here. No more being cold and wet all the time, no more scrounging for things to trade, no more having to worry about the ocean swallowing you up. The quality of life here is certainly better than it was on the surface, with better food and accommodations, and it’s much better to work in a warm kitchen or plants or laundry or one of the other things they have for them to do.

She takes a deep breath, then opens those blue eyes once again, a faint smile forming on her face. “You know,” she says loud enough for the guard to hear. “If they let me out… maybe it could be better here. I still need time to mourn Jasper… but maybe I’ll be okay down here. It’s better than the alternative,” she gestures up toward the ceiling.

Under her breath, she mutters, “Cela va être terrible.”

There's a faint smirk that crosses Elisabeth features, a wickedly amused smile as she watches Remi pull on her cloak. She murmurs softly, "They're not going to buy your ultra-fast turnaround easily… so play it perhaps a little more subtle. But otherwise, good." The telepath is nothing if not a consummate performer.

Cassandra snorts. If she was drinking something, there might have been a spit take involved there. She sits down on the foot of the bed, her back still to the door, one ear on the guard, one ear on the conversation happening in whispers just in front of her. “I’m sure they can find something for you to work on to keep your hands busy and your mind off of things.”

The telepath lets the mask fall, leaving the quiet, exhausted-looking starlet in her place. “I won’t chew the scene that much.” She smirks faintly, bundling the blanket around herself. “Would one of you mind bringing me my plate?"

First order of action is to look like her appetite has returned. She still doesn’t want to eat, but she’ll force herself to take in at least some nutrients. “I’ll be fine. If nothing else, everyone else needs me to not fall apart, oui?”

In a quieter tone, she mutters, “En réalité, je déteste tout cela et je veux poignarder plusieurs personnes avec qui nous partageons l'espace.”

The laughter, hard as it is to admit, is a welcome respite from the unrelenting strain that seems to have weighed Elisabeth down for months now. "I need… more than that," Elisabeth admits in a whisper, "but I really do hate asking other people to potentially pimp themselves out for things I need." She shrugs just a little and her voice still a whisper, she says, "I need you not to fall apart. And I need you to… lean on Norton Trask. If he's anything like the man I once knew, a lovely blonde who is heartbroken and broken in other ways is exactly what he'll fall for. He'll want to help you in any way he can. And I need you to … need that help, Remi. He is the negator that's taken everyone's powers."

Now that is something important to know, at least in Cassandra’s case. If that guy can turn off his power, or slip the leash that Don apparently has him under, there will be a far greater than zero chance of success. “I would suggest wearing something sheer, but you might end up poking his eyes out if you did that from freezing. Like that little black dress you wore in ‘Supercondriaque.’” Apparently Cassandra at least knows one of Remi’s movies.

For one moment, Remi forgets her grief, chortling slightly at Cassandra’s remark about her dress. That’s a memory she’d forgotten about almost entirely. “I hated that dress. It felt like everything was one wrong move away from popping out.” She shakes her head, a faint smile on her face.

Then, she turns toward Liz, taking in her words, and nodding. “Honestly? You and I are on the same wavelength there,” she replies, adding in a small smile. “He’s the first person I was thinking of.” She pushes some of the blankets off of her, slowly coming out of her cocoon as it were.

Liz elbows Cassandra gently. "Wow, talk about pimping." Elisabeth's amusement fades quickly, though — gallows humor only goes so far. She bites her lip… she knows this man's weaknesses, and she knows how to exploit them. "Sex won't work. It's the helpless and hopeless that will draw him in." Her voice is still a whisper. "You'll need to be cautious. He's former NYPD, and he is suspicious as hell…. Although usually a woman who is utterly lost and alone and sad, he will jump on the chance to help in any way he can. The man I knew was a protector — if you're playing it up that you're making nice because you're terrified that Don will turn on you next, if he's the same man under it all… he's going to pay attention and try to make sure you feel safe."

She shrugs a little. "He's not stupid, though. He's also the only one of those security fuckers who wasn't shooting at unarmed people at a dinner table." Her tone is grim. "So … it's maybe our one shot at nudging the security contingent. If you can figure out how he's negating only some of us and not all of the ones who live here, that would help. In my world, his negation ability had a 10-foot radius and was always on."

Cassandra giggles at the elbow to the ribs, scooting away a little. “We’ll have to get you a wide-brimmed fur hat.” Then, she goes back to serious whisper mode. “You’re not a traveller, like Liz, me, and the rest of us are, so you’ve got that going for you. You’re an outsider, but you’re not outside the outside, like we are. Just…talk to him. Put on the damsel in distress and see if he bites. And…I can’t believe I’m having to underline this…don’t sleep with him.” Cassandra glances to Liz again before continuing. “I knew a guy that fit Liz’s description back home - chivalry, he called it. More interested in the pursuit than the goal, so to speak. If you end up sleeping with him, he might mark you as a famous conquest, call you a whore, and move on to the next unattainable goal. Or just dream of pokemon or pies or whatever he dreams of down here.”

“Or he might be the one good man left alive down here from the time Michelle was here.”

A slow nod bobs the telepath’s head up and down, the woman straightening a bit and pulling a bit more out of her cocoon of blankets. “Damsel in distress I can definitely do.” It’s a trope she’s done more than once. “Shouldn’t be too difficult to pull off, in any case, with a good amount of it based on reality.”

She’s all alone, now, she’s terrified, she doesn’t really know any of these people, she just followed them down here because they dazzled her with tales of a better life than the one she was living, and she lost everything, including her lover, in the process. She doesn’t actually blame the travelers for what happened, but the people of the Ark don’t need to know that.

“It’s been a while, but I’ll be sure to put on another award winning performance.” She flashes a brief smile to the women. She’d love to curl back up in her blanket cocoon, but now is not the time.

Elisabeth nods her head decisively. That's it, then. Remi is on board. "Whenever they let you out," she whispers, "that's your job from now until we can leave this hellhole… one way or another. If you can't get to me, Cassandra is the person you go to, okay?" She moves to stand up so they can leave. The guard will be getting nosy soon, she expects.

"I'm sorry, Remi. It should never have happened," she tells the other woman in a normal voice. "I hope they let you out soon."

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