No Pressure


deckard_icon.gif kaylee_icon.gif

Scene Title No Pressure
Synopsis Kaylee asks an old friend to be another set of eyes and ears on Staten Island for her.
Date June 21, 2018

Somewhere, Someplace in the Safe Zone

Outside the meeting, a woman lingers with a pack at her feet. It had taken Kaylee Sumter time to track down this old friend of the immediate family, having lost contact when they had to flee the Canadian government crackdown. Briefly, meeting up again during the trials and losing track again.

She isn’t dressed in a way that would suggest that she runs a corporation with her siblings. She’s dressed much like he’d remember. The blue jeans and that well-worn brown leather jacket. Still she looks older, definitely more mature — mentally is still up for debate.

As much, as she would have rather done this alone, Kaylee isn’t alone — she is stuck with Bob as her bodyguard for the night. Though, she had again managed to get him dress down, at least. Still he looms nearby in his own jeans and zippered hoodie; which conceals his shoulder rig.

“Last time you told me to stay back, some huge fuckin’ guy clocks you upside the head and takes off with you,” Bob has been rather cranky about that. “No.

Kaylee gives him a patient look, “It’ll be fine. Mike is an old friend and we are in the middle of the Safe Zone.” Bob gives her a flat look in return. They both know how truly safe it was. Remi could argue how safe it was.

“Fine,” Bob relents a little. “I will give you a little space, no more, but I don't like it.”

“Your argument is noted.” Picking up the pack in the curl of her fingers, as bodies start trickling out. Kaylee offers her bodyguard a small smile. “Thank you, Bob.” Pack in hand she starts wandering her way closer, watching for a familiar figure.

It’s always the same — the meeting lets out, and Flint cuts away from the herd to push through a side door before anyone can get a hand on or a word in.

This is a rough crowd, pierced and inked and scarred and downtrodden, many of them denizens of the processing purgatory just outside the Safe Zone’s walls. Their clothes are tatty and their faces are lean.

But none are quite so distinct as Deckard’s.

His aversion to the others filtering out would make him easy to spot if the rawboned flank of his long ass face didn’t, scruffy jaw slung open, nose rankled against summer heat sucking away the last vestige of air conditioning clinging to his skin. He’s in a t-shirt and jeans, both sun-faded as the dusty grey of his hair, the denim battered and grass-stained.

Sunglasses complete the picture. Sunglasses and the backpack strapped over his shoulder.

He spots Kaylee as quickly as she spots him, or quicker, spine stiffened upright, his nose rankled at the ghostly outline of the rig under ‘Bob’s’ hoodie. Gears are already turning, gristle winching tight up his sides.

He’s going to run.

Spotting Flint, Kaylee slows up a little and watches him, head turning ever so slightly to address her bodyguard. “Bob… stay.

“What am I a fuckin’ dog now?” Bob complains, but slows to a stop, though he looks none too happy about it. Arms crossed, he watches after the woman that signs his paychecks.

It’s been awhile, but… Kaylee notices the posture of someone ready to run. Leaving the pack hanging over her shoulder, she holds her hands out to her sides, palms out. Though he’d know by looking she might have a knife tucked in her boot, but not much else. “Hello Mike.” She doesn’t know if here — in the Safe Zone — he’d go by his actual name, so she can only hope that he’ll trust his ears. “Been awhile….you know you still have an open invitation. You could visit. Maybe write, at least? Joseph would love to hear from you, we both would.”

Kaylee talks a little like she’s afraid he’ll spook, like the way someone might talk to a beaten dog. Though if he does run, at least she wore sensible shoes. She’d really rather not, it was leg day that morning.

Bolt upright as he is, Flint's rickety and worn as a storm-stranded lawn chair, stray fibers stirred slack in the breeze. His knuckles are stapled bone white around the strap of his backpack, one foot dropped back half a step.

Around them, other patrons filter out into the street without glancing back — preoccupied with their own drama.

"No postmen on Staten Island," he says, when he finally says anything, voice croaky in his throat.

There are scars too fresh for her to recognize fading in over his brow and around the back of his scalp. Others are more familiar — soft lines rubbed into the scruff under his throat, nicks bit into his ear and chipped into the flank of his face.

"You didn't have to bring muscle."

"You look like hell, Flint," With distance from her companion, she has no qualms falling into his actual name. "What happened?" There is worry there — concern for his condition, translates into the furrowing of brows as well as she looks over his scars. There is a moment, she reaches for him, maybe to touch his face, move it to see the rest; but uncertainty stops her and instead she folds her arms, keep herself from doing that again.

"And, the muscle isn't for you." Kaylee responds, half-glancing back at Bob, who stand back with arms crossed trying to look very displeased at being banished. "He's to protect me. Seems being a telepath is a killable offense to some." She offers as explanation for the bodyguard, with a tight humorless smile. "Already killed a telepath working for me." For her company. "Everyone gets jumpy if I leave him behind."

"Pirate got me."

He doesn't pull back any further than he already has, trained into a certain tolerance for touch. Still. Relief softens at the furrows around his mouth when she catches herself short of her reach; he checks a look back at the building behind him and can rest assured that there's nobody back in there watching them either.

Just Bob.

"Couldn't think of any happy thoughts." Deckard has shifted back to eyeing over Bob, hackles prickled against a barely-there stir at the bigger man's folded arms. "Couldn't you just get a dog."

There is a barely contained sound of amusement from the telepath, something close to a chuckle. "Dog would be nicer, less prone to tattle on you to daddy… so to speak." There is a slight scrunching of her nose at that, though she is quick to add, "Don't worry. All they know is I went to see an old friend Mike." When and if her security chief investigates him… well… not much to know really.


"So pirates huh? Seems to be a thing. Had a shipment attacked by some, saved by another." There is a slight shrug. "Welcome to the new world order, especially outside the walls." Kaylee grouses slightly, swinging the pack off her shoulder. "Which is why I am here, as much as I wish this was just a case of me batting your ears and telling you to visit. Which you really should." She reminds him for Joseph's sake.

"Supplies. Some first aid, some non-perishables, and some perishables from the Raytech gardens," there is a small twist at the corner of her mouth. "Don't see it as charity, though you know we'd help you. I can pay some, too." Kaylee watched him, as she continues, "I need another set of eyes and ears on the island. Nothing invasive, just listening for things coming down the grapevine and letting me know."

Daddy? Suspicion sketched in around Flint's sunglasses hardens into outright dislike; he turns his scruffy head the rest of the way to Bob at his post. Making it obvious he's the current subject of conversation.

And people wonder how he keeps accumulating scars.

The one crossed down through his right brow is well on its way to healing — a pale split pulled rougher and wider than it would've been under a doctor's care. But that's Staten.

He takes the pack on offer with a fleeting, hawkish check through the canvas. No trackers.

"What kinds of things?"

To be honest, Bob is not helping the situation by staring down the other man. A lift in chin and brow as if asking the thinner man if he wanted a piece of him. Seems he'd be glad, too.

The telepath is trying very hard to ignore the pair, as they posture like two ragged, old alley cats. Focusing on her mission.

"Joseph showed me a vision. Big jumbles mess of images, but everything in it had one thing in common. Staten," Kaylee starts trying to keep Deckard focused on her and not Bob. "Adam — " As always, there is a hitch as her stomach twists painfully, a triggered response. With a grimace she continues, "Adam Monroe is coming back and crazier than ever" — was he ever not? — " I know the group known as the Horsemen have been operating out there as well, a group filled with dead people." Before he asks she holds up a hand and counts off names on her fingers, he may or may not know all of them. "Emile Danko, Joshua Lang, Iago Ramirez, and…" She almost seems hesitant to add this one -


Her look says, yes that one. "All dead… and honestly, not the ones we know — knew, but there is a long very painful explanation for that one. Pretty sure Richard could explain it to you - might even have a PowerPoint. Either way, just trust me, they are alive again."

That almost seems like all of it, when Kaylee adds, "And I'm looking for a girl named Sibyl Black. I was helping her, getting ready to take her in and protect her, when something happened. I haven't been able to find her." This one seemed like a priority to her.

Emile Danko, Joshua Lang, Iago Ramirez, and 'Eileen.' Deckard's focus shutters back to Kaylee as if she's smashed a vase over his skull, attention zeroed in direct as it is absent. Elsewhere. Kaylee's pack hangs idle from his hand.

The furrow over his brow has taken on a labrador wrinkle, confusion bleeding over into worry, and back again. His sunglasses are too dark for her to see the cut of his eyes behind them.

He coils his left arm, roping the care package in against his side. Like he knows he's in danger of forgetting he's holding onto something with value. This got weird quick. It still is weird, tension twisted up twine taut at the back of his jaw.

Bob knows the look. It's the look of a shithead getting ready to lie.


All the humor's gone out of his voice, dusty dry with disuse as it is. What's left is scratchy and drawn, scrubgrass and splinters in his craw.

"Sibyl was with Alister."

Was” Kaylee puts emphasis on the word. “Something happened she came to me looking for protection, but before I could get her, something happened, and we were separated.” Hands spread a bit, with her feeling of helplessness.

Stepping a bit closer, Kaylee searching his eyes for something to give her hope that he is going to be good on his word. Maybe she suspects, but he can take comfort in the fact he knows her well enough that she isn’t going to go looking.

But obviously there is a switch in tactics.

Her voice pitches a bit lower, softer. “Look, Flint. I know I am asking a lot; but, there is a lot of really bad shit coming down the line and I’m trying to find all the help I can… that includes you.”

A folded photograph is pulled from a small feminine wallet. It is unfolded and held up where he can see it. It’s a picture of Joseph with the kids. “Because of this… My family and your friend.” Eyes narrow slightly and her own chin lift challenging him to deny it. “They are in the cross hairs of everything coming and I need to try and keep ahead of it. Especially, Adam Monroe.”

“All I am asking is you help me keep informed about what all is going on out there. I’m not asking you to get involved beyond that.” Kaylee’s head tilts towards the bag, the picture is folded and tucked into one of pockets of the care package. “Consider it a business arrangement if you want.”

Supplies and money for information.

Flint lifts his chin away from her step in — a balk against the unseen pull at his bridle it entails, stretching at the claw marks Francois left under his jaw. He can feel her searching his face without seeing her eyes, empty sockets working him over like pedipalps probing for the truth. The Sumter way.

A rectangle of creased paper finds its way up into his view; he frowns at it. Impossible to know if he really looks.


Not impossible for Kaylee.

Quickly enough, she’s stuffing the photo into his pack and he’s turning his attention back to the street around them, gauging the interest of a couple on a bench too far away to overhear. A panhandler’s setting up with a guitar on the corner. As conspicuous as this feels, nobody but Bob is paying them any obvious attention. Nobody outside, anyway.

“I haven’t heard anything about Monroe.”

Sweat has started to creep through the ring of his collar, sticky against the heat. He’s back to looking hard at Bob and his gun.

“How am I supposed to ‘keep you informed’ about the rest?” Are there peppers in this bag? Flint’s snaked a hand in to pull some kind of vegetable out with some zap to it, an overlarge bite crunched back behind his molars without so much as a murmur from the zipper. “Staten’s short on phone booths.”

Ronch ronch ronch.

“Or am I supposed to crawl back over here and deliver updates personally.”

While he can’t see the slightly amused look, he can hear it in her voice. “I wouldn’t dare to make you come back over here more often then you need too. However, I would hope if something important comes your way, that I can tempt you over with a home cooked meal and the guest bedroom.” Might be a trap to get him over for a visit. Might not be.

Probably is…

Definitely is.

Finally, a step is taken back, giving him back some of his personal space. “Otherwise, I tend to have business on the island, I’ll stop by and drop off supplies.” Her head ticks over to the side some. “Any requests?”

An indistinct grumble in the pit of Deckard’s throat is the best he can manage for the threat of being trapped in a guest bedroom. There are reasons he’s out on Staten, away from everyone and everything. Probably. Presumably.

He continues to chew.

It sounds delicious. Same way dogs make treats sound great when they grind them up in their choppers.

“No.” No specific requests. “I’ll find a drop point and get a message to you.” The rest of the pepper goes — into his pocket, shoved down next to his knife so he can thumb the bag shut. “No offense, but I don’t need you and ‘Bob’ stomping around my hovel like an oldschool episode of Law and Order.”

He’s leaving, if that’s all — that half step back he’d taken at first sight finally followed through.

“Tell Joseph I’m glad you’re…” Whatever. Happy.

“I’m fine with a drop point,” Kaylee accepts with an added nod of her head, taking another step back. Arms unfolding and hands tuck into the thin hoodie. “Thank you.”

There is a fondness as she watches him finish that pepper, he might be surprised to know even she misses his cranky ass. “Got something on your chin,” she offers quietly, brushing at the spot on her own chin, as she turns to leave him be.

There is a pause in that turn, gaze on the sidewalk for a moment before looking at him. “And for what it is worth, I’m glad you’re…” Not good… well?… healthy? “Alive, ”is finally decided upon. She finally finishes that turn and starts back towards Bob. “Try to keep it that way, huh? Lost too many friends already.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Flint scuffs his chin to his shoulder, followed close by the heel of his hand — like a fleck of pepper seed is like to make or break the battered plank of his mug. His sunglasses are the only scrap of him without a scratch.

He waits to watch her leave first — one pack under his arm and another on his back. Still standing there when she turns back.

An aimless nod is all the answer he has to give.

Yeah, ok. No pressure.

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