Nowhere Else


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Also featuring:

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Scene Title Nowhere Else
Synopsis A Ferry patrol skirting ruins that do not fall within Midtown's borders votes on the fate of someone the network once considered one of its own.
Date March 11, 2011

New York City (In Dreams)

Rain falls in icy sheets, washing blood over rocks and loose gravel. It glances off large blocks of concrete tumbled from steel supports and shards of glass glittering like diamonds on top of a rubble sea. The reek of fire, pulled up out of the earth where the water strikes against old soot and scorched brick, fills the air with a burning stench even though the sky is dark and the only light the small assembly gathered around the corpses has to see by comes from the electric torches they carry in their hands.

The uniforms of the dead soldiers are saturated with blood and water, but there is no mistaking the men who wear them for anything than what they are, which is the enemy. The woman with the tangle of blonde hair plastered to her face, huddled against a crumbling wall with her arms drawn protectively across her swollen belly is the enemy, too, though her clothes are the clothes of a civilian and the bright blue eyes watching the Ferry patrol are fearful rather than sharp or predatory.

To call Elisabeth Harrison harmless, however, would be a mistake. It's why there's a rifle trained on her and leveled with her head.

At one time, there would have been absolutely no question about whether or not it's right to execute a pregnant woman, but times change.

Horse hooves crackle over the uneven ground beneath the animal's feet. On its saddle, reins gripped in gloved hands, Eileen Ruskin brings her mare in a slow circle around the carnage, stepping over bodies as she searches the soldiers for signs of life rather than focus on the one growing in Elisabeth's belly.

Although she hasn't said anything, she'd probably have it cut short — fortunately for Liz, it's not her decision alone.

Nicole Nichols stares down at her finger tips as she snaps repeatedly, looking for a spark. She produces none. She shivers in the rain, her dark hair matted to her face. She should have brought a heavier jacket.

She didn't. She has something better.

"Lynette." Nicole paces away from where her horse stands, waiting for her. Away from the others. "I need a pick-me-up." She rolls her shoulders and offers a tight, thin smile. It's chilly out here, and her battery is drained. (And soldiers are dead for her efforts.) What can you do?

Dark blue eyes do send a look up to the sky, as though looking for an errant bolt to fill her request before Rowan can. If Nicole's going to stare down Elisabeth Harrison, she'd like very much to have that freaky, glowing eye thing going for her. She's been told it's intimidating.

Hands holding the rifle aimed at Elisabeth's head shake, eyes narrowed. It's possible that she's could be mistaken for her sister, but if anything, the way Barbara Zimmerman holds the rifle gives her away pretty easily. She's never been entirely comfortable carrying a weapon this big, even in these times. And it doesn't help that she's uncomfortable, this same weapon trained on someone she at one time had considered a friend.

Times change, indeed.

But for what it matters, she remains quiet, her undyed hair matted on her face not unlike Liz's. Breathing heavily as she looks down at the woman, she casts an eye over to Eileen and her mare, raising an eyebrow as if to ask the other councilwoman what to do next.

Or if she should just step away. She'd almost prefer that option. This is still rather uncomfortable for her, even as used to ir as she feels she should be by now. But for now, she tries to steady her hand and her footing on the rain and blood soaked ground. For her, these things never get easier.

Rain makes Lynette grumpy. It always has ever since she was a kid. Might have something to do with the fact that too much water means she'll short circuit. So the woman is huddled inside a jacket, attempting to keep most of her as dry as possible up there on her own horse.

Her head whips around when Nicole calls her name and she gives a nod before she swings herself off her horse. Better not to shock the poor thing. She pulls a hand out of a pocket, and it's only moments before a bolt of bright, white electricity shoots from her and toward Nicole. But her gaze, that goes over toward Liz.

Once upon a time, things were different for all of them, but this isn't the time for nostalgia. "What the hell are we suppose to do with her?" Lynette says in a hushed voice, meant for Nicole.

The freezing rain means numb fingers. Elaine's pale, numb fingers grip the electric torch in her hand tightly. Her red hair gives her no problems, tied back in a tight ponytail leaving no hair in her face to hide behind. Her gaze flickers across the bodies, though she seems unafraid that the corpses will rise up and attack them. Her other hand pats her horse's neck, warming the hands on the animal's body.

She turns to face Elisabeth with her lips pressed into a thin line. She doesn't ask the question on her mind, she has no need to. Hand removes itself from the horse and finds its way to Elaine's pocket, her other one holding the light up a little higher to shine directly onto the blonde more fully. She doesn't speak at first, but her eyes narrow and she doesn't really look at the woman, but more at her rounded belly. She lets out a breath, watching it fog in front of her.

"We can't possibly just let her go." Elaine's voice comes out softer than she'd have liked.

Being a proud creature by nature, Elisabeth is having as much trouble reconciling her current situation as much as the one that came just before it. She also can't quite keep herself from not being afraid. She's spent some time being afraid. "Y— " The beginnings of a stammer clamp thick in her mouth, fill it with marbles, but she isn't going to do that. Not here. Eyes squinch shut and when they open, she hopes she can level a braver stare on the people she's found herself thrown in with. "You don't have to," she says. Let her go, she means. Her blue-eyed stare dances from the face of each woman, and settles on the one holding a rifle.

A hand lifts off her enlarged belly. She doesn't want to beg. Might even refuse to beg. But she doesn't want to die either and so the spread of her hand could be considered to be the beginnings of an attack, but more likely presents surrender. Lowers a little. Easy, says her stare. Jaw trembles.

The thunder of hooves cracks attention through the wet evening, the shape of another horse and rider. Francois Allegre wears rain well, or at least suffers it well, and the sight of another— another friend has Elisabeth's attention, snagged breath in. But the look he gives her is the kind to squash any hope that had the beginnings of starting — one of surprise and then chilly callousness, and then dismissal. He doesn't get off his horse as he pulls it to slow near the group. A shake of his head.

No, they aren't being pursued. "She was with them?" he asks, instead of dealing that question to the lady in question.

Eileen continues to reserve judgement and frees one of her hands, wrist held aloft for the falcon that comes slivering out of the gloom with wings that gleam silver. Claws latch onto the leather of her glove and the bird snaps off two shrill shrieks in quick succession — they aren't being followed, and, at least from the sky, there's no sign of any other soldiers in the area.

Rainwater tracks down her face, following the curve of chin and jaw, the Englishwoman's mouth tight and taciturn. The falcon flicks droplets from the tips of its wings and tailfeathers, then gives a brisk shake to spray itself off, showering the already soaked saddle and blanket and metal tinkles and the mare gives a low snort. What looks like steam billows thick from its flared nostrils.

Nicole's back arches and she traps the beginnings of what may have matured into a pleasured mewling sound behind her teeth when Lynette's electricity courses into her and replenishes her stores. She only lifts her hand to signal for an end to the infusion once there's a faint hint of steam rising from her exposed skin. It signifies the difference between her core body temperature and the cold rain pattering on her clothes, hair, and flesh.

"You're the councilwoman," Nicole murmurs back to Lynette, perhaps a touch of something sardonic in her tone. Elaine's comment prompts an impatient snap, "And what do you expect us to do? Take her in as a guest until she pops?" A colloquial for gives birth. "And then what do we do with her?"

An accusing look is shot Elisabeth's way, appropriately electric blue and bright despite the stormy overcast dimness around them. She should perhaps be thankful that Nicole's ability doesn't allow for her to send bolts of electricity from her eyes and into the audiokinetic's prone form. There's enough venom there to possibly be enough to cause her to flinch. The old saying of if looks could kill may be especially apt.

"Do we keep her baby and raise it as our own?" is suggested with needless sarcasm dripping off the knife edges of Nicole's words. Her lip curls in a sneer that only lasts as long as it takes her to turn her attention to Francois, levelling out to lingering irritation instead. "No. They were trying to kill her." She may wish they'd been too late to save Harrison. It would mean they wouldn't be having this argument. — Excuse me, debate.

A look is offered over to Nicole and Lynette, briefly, as Barbara purses her lips. She doesn't take her eyes off Liz for too long - while she doesn't exactly expect a sudden outburst, she knows better than to leave someone you have a gun aimed at with less than most of your available attention. "Your're not helping," she offers back to Nicole, though without anger or annoyance.

Hands shake a again, and this time her eyes drift over to Eileen and Francois. "That's how it looked when we came up upon it, anyway," she notes, nose wrinkling as she eyes the falcon. "Whatever we're going to do, we can't stand here in the rain all day. The last thing anyone needs is a cold."

Or for more soldiers to show up. That would just be tops.

"Hunny," Lynette says to Nicole as she slides her hand back into her pocket, "try not to awaken the mother bear instincts for the sake of sarcasm. Elaine's right. We can't let her go. And while we could shoot her while she's huddled against a wall, soaked, scared and having had one close call already and walk away feeling so very big, I don't really see much fun in that." Lynette looks over at Eileen, then over to Liz. "Plus, it doesn't much look like she had many friends among them, does it?"

She strides back over to her horse, to grab her rifle up as well before she comes over to stand with Barbara. She doesn't lift her gun, but she's ready to. "We could take her with us." And my god it sounds like she's serious there, too. "Sometimes the enemy of your enemy is your friend."

"Guest is an awfully kind term," Elaine notes at Nicole's sarcastic suggestion. "I don't think we're about to forget what side we're all on here. I think we can rule out outright shooting her or just letting her roam free, so what are our other options here?" Her eyes flicker to Lynette. "You might have a point. I wouldn't go so far as to say friend, though. That whole saying about your enemy's enemy? Just means your enemy has a lot of foes. That'd make us common foes. Maybe."

Elisabeth has her eyes shut again as they speak, all of it becoming a dull echo in her eyes as rain saturates her and everyone else in relentness downwards tides. Lifts her face to the rain and lets the cool of it numb some of the sting of recent blows, and allows them to talk around her. She feels sick, tired, and wants to go home. Wherever that may be tonight.

The stallion the Frenchman rides stands still and patient in the onslaught of rain and plotting female voices, before he offers his own solution: "Shoot her." If he sees the way Elisabeth's eyes snap open and wide, then it goes unacknowledged, directing his attention to Barbara. "We do not have the resources for valuable prisoners, even for a few weeks. It is too much risk. We know nothing and we are not safe here to discuss— "

"I'm surrendering," Elisabeth hisses, sudden fury piercing through her fear. "For God's sake, I was looking for you people. I have no where else— "

A second gun is pointing at her now, a simple pistol from within Francois' jacket. Matte black, dull as his clothing, with a wedding ring being the only shiny thing on his person, and the only touch of sentiment too, because it's definitely not in his expression.

"You have a hole in the earth," Eileen tells Elisabeth, "if Richard is generous enough to dig you one." Her mare joins Francois' stallion, and she draws the arm with the falcon perched on it into her chest to shelter it from the brunt of the rain and wind. She stands with her friend both figuratively and not.

Her chin lifts. "We should end this here and now," is her recommendation to the others. "Bringing her with us endangers whoever is foolish enough to offer her asylum, but if it needs to be put to vote — so be it." She winds the reins around her fingers with a creak of soft, well-worn leather. "Those in favour of presenting her to the Council?"

Oh, and Barbara is so helpful with her shaky hands and wavering rifle. Not that Nicole would dare voice this, but it shows enough in her expression. That flicker of resentment. She's unused to not being the authority figure.

That said… Lynette is right, and so Nicole stands down, a murmured apology mostly lost to the sound of the rain coming down upon their heads. She knows mother bear instincts well. Every drop of blood she's spilt has been a testament to how far those instincts take her. How dark that path has been. She finds some of her sympathy, along with some sense.

The hand raised into the air is snapping and popping with little bolts of blue electricity leaping between splayed fingers. It's a bit of a needless display. — It's posturing, if we're honest. Though whether it's meant to carry weight with Harrison, her fellows is up for debate. "But I'd be curious to know what dear old Liz here thinks she's got to run from." A heavy sigh escapes Nicole's lips. "She's pregnant. If it weren't for the baby…"

If it weren't for the baby, Nicole would be voting to put a bullet into Elisabeth Harrison's head. "I'll offer her asylum, if that's what it takes to get you all to consider putting this to a proper Council vote."

A long sigh escapes Barbara's lips. She doesn't catch Nicole's look, nor would she really care at the moment if she had. But ultimatly, she agrees with the other woman. Ultimately, the sympathetic side wins out, the rifle bearing woman unwilling to kill her because of the baby. "…I wouldn't normally bother bringing something like this to council. But there has to be some place we can take her that won't work against us, even if it's sticking her under a pier at the harbor," she offers with a grimace.

She takes a step back, her rifle still at the ready, but not trained directly on Liz's head. Not with Francois there and his pistol drawn, seemingly more confident in doing the deed if need be than she would be. "While I'm not in favour of shooting a pregnant woman, I'm also not in favour of putting her anywhere that would jeopardise us. If such a thing can be worked out, I say put it before Council. If not, well… we're equipped to handle it here and now."

"Semantics, darling," is Lynette's reply to Elaine. It comes with a dismissive wave of her hand. But as the situation starts to unfold, Lynette looks a little more agitated by the moment. Her own internal debate on the issue. There was a time that there would have been no debate. She would have just gotten the woman a haven and that would have been that. When she signed up, she signed up to help people. It was a very long time ago.

But the fact stands, when you've lost everything else, all you have left to stand on are your principles. Not that she ever considered herself a particularly principled individual. Pragmatic, maybe. "She needs help, and might be willing to pay for it in information. I vote we take her along. And I'll even play guard with Nicole for this one. We'll make an electric fence, if you'd like." Now she's just being smart alecky.

"She might prove useful, and if it turns out there's some kind of trap or betrayal tied up in this… it's easy enough to take care of." Elaine reaches to pat her horse again. "I say we take her to the council. If she's desperate enough to seek help from us now… I'm sure she'll be willing to part with some valuable information." If not, well, there's always a bullet to the brain. Sorry little baby, but mama dug her own hole for this one.

Francois almost shoots her anyway.

It may only take Eileen to notice it, someone who knows him well, or the women here who have been in the Ferry for long enough, fingers rigid around trigger, amongst trigger guard and the precious metal of ceremonial jewelry. Which is why Elisabeth sees it too. But ultimately unwilling to break trust, not over her, the Frenchman takes his aim off her and pushes pistol back into holster. "Ah, oui, I vote we take her to the Council too," is almost sarcastic, and implicit request. He would appreciate it if this was the official story, when they relay it back to the Ferry. Appreciate it, and doesn't expect it, which is why he goes to break ahead of the group, steering horse away from Eileen's mare's side.

His advice comes in the form of taking something out of his pocket, and tossing it to the nearest set of hands — Elaine, in this case. A capped syringe of adynomine. And then, Francois is taking off at a canter, spearheading the retreat to clear the way. And distance himself as well, shake off unease as easily as rainwater.

Elisabeth lets out a sigh, feeling the vibrations of horse hooves through the ground. "I have information," she agrees, pushing herself away from the wall, hands on her stomach. Whatever is inside, boy or girl, maybe she'll tell saved her life one evening, rather than ruining it. "And I want to share it. If you line me up against the wall afterwards and put a bullet in my brain— " It wouldn't be the first time, says a weary, sickened curve of a half smile. "Then that'll be your call. Just— "

Her breath hitches, age and tiredness and anxiety putting lines at her eyes. Fingers hooking a little. "Look after it. If it comes to that. Please."

Eileen shifts her falcon from her wrist to the horn of her saddle, transition made smooth by the buffeting of the predator bird's wings as it reestablishes its footing while the others are deciding Elisabeth's immediate fate. Hand freed, she reaches into her coat and fishes out her pocket watch, attached to her waterlogged clothes by a long silver chain that twinkles in the dark and hangs between her fingers. She clicks it open, angled in such a way that the falcon can turn its eye toward the rumpled photograph cut to fit snug on the inside of the watch's brassy cover.

Droplets of water roll off the picture's shimmering finish and the glass face of the watch itself, which she claps shut again in her palm, clutching it tight enough for fingers to strain against the material of her gloves. She's slipping it back into her pocket by the time the sound of hoofbeats have joined the battering rain again. Reins steer the mare in the direction Francois' shadow is moving toward, but she does not dignify Elisabeth's request with a response other than a curt, "It's decided.

"She comes with us."

Electric— Oh. Nicole bites her lip, quelling a grin. Electrokinetic humour. Her shoulders shake once with a silent chuckle. Hers is a nervous laugh. A look is spared Lynette's way, a tip of her head meant to indicate that the crack has relieved some of the tension between them. At least on Nicole's end.

Elisabeth's Harrison's plea for the life of her child renews it for entirely different reasons. The traces of electricity crawling across her form dissipate finally. Anxiety of a different breed coiling in the pit of Nicole's stomach. "She rides with me," doesn't carry the hints of that worry. The assertion is made if only because she's the best equipped to incapacitate Harrison with a touch, next to Lynette.

And let's face it, Lynette's life is more valuable than Nicole's in this scenario. She'll take the risk that comes with sharing a horse with their prisoner. "Let's make this quick," she directs, tilting her chin to indicate her mare.

Barbara grits her teeth as she eyes Francois for a moment, before finally lowering rifle about half way. "Alright then," is said quietly, the postcog stepping forward and taking Liz by the shoulder. She hoists her back to her feet - not roughly, but she's not exactly gentle. Steady, but quick, more out of consideration for the fact that she's pregnant than who she is. Barbara's hands, while not the strongest of the ground, tighten considerably around Liz's arm as she pulls her towards Elaine for her "shot".

"Come on," she says with a bit of effort as she ushers Liz. "I know it doesn't have to be said, but it would be best if you made no sudden movements, and kept quiet." It's kind of like reading someone their rights, only instead of forfeiting their silence, she forfeits her life. "We need to get moving again."

Lynette looks over at Nicole, her smile slight, but crooked. On both ends, it seems. That expression is exchanged with a stonier one as she looks back to Liz. She doesn't seem to really be listening or she's just disinterested, six of one. She only really reacts to that last bit. With a roll of her eyes. "I don't really like children," she says in a tone that gives away that Lynette is not one of the ones sparing her because she's pregnant. There's a look to Francois, a brief lift of an eyebrow, then she turns back to her horse. And once she's back in the saddle again, she seems even grumpier than before. She's ready to go.

The syringe is neatly caught by Elaine who looks at it for only a brief moment before she uncaps it neatly, approaching Elisabeth as Barbara tugs her over. She doesn't hesitate, reaching to inject the syringe as soon as the pregnant woman is in range. Her eyes shift to Elisabeth's face. "Looks like you're in luck. I actually do like kids." She pauses. "Especially orphans."

That's just darkly witty enough for a thin smile to cut across Elisabeth's face as she regards Elaine, her eyelashes thick with rain water. She'd put up no fight nor resistence to Barbara's help, and is now opting to take the woman's advice — by keeping her mouth shut. She stands still for her injection, only a minor flinch visible around her eyes when the needle bites in, shoots negation into muscle, putting a chokehold on audiokinetic might. "Thanks for not using the Negoxan," is the only thing she adds, somewhat wry, knowing, a hand rubbing the needle mark before moving again.

Headed for Nicole's horse, eyeing the beast with the wariness befitting of a heavily pregnant woman, but her jaw is set. A rough ride is a better alternative to a shallow grave and a lack of euology.

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