On the Subject of Trust


colette_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif robin_icon.gif

Scene Title On the Subject of Trust
Synopsis Kaylee brings word of Joseph's condition to the occupants of Grand Central Terminal.
Date January 23, 2010

Grand Central Terminal

It had been nearly a month since the telepath had the nightmare that sent her swimming in the bay off of Staten in a dream attempt to kill herself. A month since she had a nightmare at all. Then last night she was dragged back into the nightmares, but this time it was different.


Booted feet scuff loudly as Kaylee hurries out of one of the tunnels, she hadn't bothered to call or anything. This was where Colette has been, this is where Kaylee knows she's find the teen. Her winter coat rustles loudly, gloved hands yank the dark blue scarf off her face. "Colette! Where are you?" People look at her like she's crazy, but she doesn't care, she needs to talk to her partner in crime and it sounds urgent.

The main living area of Grand Central Terminal looks like something out of Edward Ray's bargain basement. A large ping-pong table has been converted into a war room drafting tablem full of atlas pages of New York City, printouts from the public library of google maps satellite images, and a few printed digital photographs of a boarded up warehouse on the edge of Midtown scotch-taped over Joseph's fish mural. The delinquant responsible for this mess currently paces back and forth between the pictures and the table, holding up a digital video recorder in one hand, view screen flipped out, watching something playing on the screen.

Tamara had given this very recorder to Colette months ago, a gift that seemed to have very little significance, until it wound up becoming an accessory to surveillance during Colette and Ygraine's scouting run of the storage facility where Pastor Sumpter has been kept. Reviewing that very footage, Colette paces like a caged tiger, brows lowered and boots stomping across the concrete, her tongue working up and down against a small cut inside of her cheek creating a visible bulge on the side of her face.

All is typically quiet down here at Grand Central Terminal, even if General Nichols is planning Custer's Last Stand all on her own at the moment.

At one of the tables where supplies are being sorted, a small woman dressed in a woolen coat and a dark gray headscarf made of cashmere has been lingering in front of a wooden crate packed with ammunition. There are several battered-looking pistols on display, though none of them are in working condition. Along with the full metal jackets, they were donated by an arms dealer looking to move his inventory — it's the Ferry's responsibility to repair and restore the firearms should the organization desire to utilize them.

Eileen does. As yet unnoticed, she looks over her shoulder when Kaylee makes her entrance, one of the pistols held loosely in the seat of her dominant hand while the other manipulates the broken slide. The blonde isn't crazy. Just loud.

Robin hears someone yelling and comes out of his makeshift office, smoothing his hands over the thighs of his well-worn jeans. He weaves his way through the people to get to Colette's not so little war room, passing Eileen with a curious glance at the weapons, more to see how they're coming along. Once he reaches Kaylee, he taps her shoulder, probably startling her. "Hey there, what's going on?"

A hand grabs the door frame, helping angle her into the living area past the fish mural "Colette…" Kaylee comes to a stop near the photokinetic, leaning over to press hands to her thighs as she works to catch her breath. Watching the teen pace, the telepath takes a moment to relearn how to breath, the small weight that's been in her chest in she near drowning in the river, making it tough.

Finally she manages to gasp out, declaring as if it's rather important,"I had another nightmare." Her friend should remember the last time she had one and is probably the only one who knows that the nightmare is important. She lets out a whoosh of air, a glance around and she drags a chair close so that she can drop into it, legs extended before her.

Pulling her blue knit cap, leaving Kaylee's hair in a bit of a mess, she sighs, "We need to get Joseph out.. As soon as possible." At least her breathing is starting to calm, though she about jumps out of her skin when Robin touches her shoulder. Pressing a hand to her chest, Kaylee gives him a strained smile, "Robin…. god.. you about gave me a heart attack."

Seeing Eileen turn and look up, Colette moves up a hand to pluck earbud headphones from her ears, green eyes wide as she pivots on her heels, looking in the direction of the flailing blonde's approach. "Woah— hey what's up?" Colette asks with a quirk of one dark brow up in the air, slapping the screen of the digital recorder closed. The question of when did Robin get here dances thorugh her mind noisily, though the answer that she is blithely unaware of is that Robin's been here all day, and she is just oblivious.

"Wow you look like you just ran all the way here from Staten, across the water." Colette leans awkwardly to the side, settling down the recorder on the ping-pong table, and then settles back on one foot. "C'mon, deeeep breaths, calm down." Both of Colette's hands come up,s ettled on Kaylee's shoulders with a squeeze, brows furrowed and eyes angled up towards Robin with a concerned expression.

"C'mon, spooky boogeyman thing ain't gonna' get you here." Teeth toying with her lower lip, Colette's still not quite sure what to make of the whole Nightmare Man thing. "We're gonna get Joe out. Don't you worry, I got all sorts've info here, and some friends who're gonna help us. Didn't you get my voicemails, I called you like five times last night and left you messages." Furrowing her brows, Colette starts walking towards Kaylee, pushing her back and towards the ratty old sofa up against the concrete wall by the aquarium mural. "Sit."

Eileen slips the pistol inside her coat's silk-lined interior and maneuvers her thumb and forefinger around the topmost button to close it. The terminal's acoustics allow her to hear their voices from where she's standing without much difficulty, but that does not stop her from venturing closer once she's tucked an additional case of ammunition into her left pocket. The high heels she's wearing on her stockinged feet crack against the pavement, echoing in the high ceilings where there are subterranean pigeons roosting, the rustle of silver feathers soft in comparison to the distant squeal of wind whistling through the subway's derelict bowels.

"Sorry about that, Kaylee." Robin looks sincerely apologetic as he follows them to the couch. "She's right, you should sit." He runs a hand through his dark hair, managing to make it even messier, and gives Colette a confused glance before looking at Kaylee once more. "What's this about a nightmare? Spooky boogeyman?"

"No no…." Kaylee turns back to Colette, as the teen starts to push her back toward the couch. Her knees lock stopping them both. The telepath grabs her friend's wrists and pulls them off her shoulders, but doesn't let go of them. "This time it was different." She insists, fingers tightening around those wrists some, but not too tight to hurt.

"I — I was in Joseph's nightmare. I'm sure of it."

Blue eyes widen slight as she continues, "I… don't know how I got there, but it was his. I talked to him, Colette.." Her expression crumples then, into worry and fear. "They are giving him drugs… they are testing on him! Making him remember details of old memories." Her hands shift to grip Colette's arms tightly, "He was worried, almost panicked when he couldn't a dogs name."

Glancing away from Colette, to Robin and she blinks at him for a moment. Then it dawns on her not everyone knows. "There is an evolved out there screwing with people's brains… after last night I think somehow people are getting into other nightmares." She is sadly in the dark about a lot of things in the instance of the Nightmare Man.

Then a familiar figure is spotted beyond Robin. "Eileen?" Kaylee sounds surprised to see the woman.

Nodding slowly and exhaling a deep breath, Colette swallows noisily and turns away from Kaylee. The teen rubs a hand down her face and over her mouth, glancing up at Eileen, then over to Robin and Kaylee, then back to the table. "Al— alright. Well… well then let's get focused on what we can do to get him out." Furrowing her brows, Colette considers Eileen for a moment, hesitant in the remembrance of the last time her name came up in the company of Felix Ivanov and the words cop killer was used, but then Felix also thinks Gabriel's a serial killer and that is preposterous. "Eileen, actually, do you think you could take a look at this too? We could actually use your help…"

Unzipping the front of her black hooded sweatshirt, Colette slides it off of her shoulders and reveals the bright red t-shirt worn beneath, showing just a black silkscreened fist raised defiantly. The hooded sweatshirt is tied around her waist, and she flicks a look over to Robin, waving him over to the ping-pong table.

"I dunno how much you heard, Eileen, but Pastor Sumpter went missing a about two months ago. We've been tryin' to figure out what happened to him, but it'd been one dead end after another, until I ran into a girl from the Lighthouse on Staten Island, named Matilda. She's got this, projection ability that lets her find people. She pinned Joseph's location down to this place." Colette picks up an atlas page, sliding it across the table for everyone to see, one city block circled in green crayon. "It's a warehouse, before the bomb it used to belong to Big City Distributors. It's on 227 East 56th Street. It's been abandoned since the bomb, but far enough outside of the blast area that it's not behind the concrete barricades around the ruins."

Picking up the digital recorder, she flips open the side view-finder and presses play, offering the recorder out to Robin. "That's recordings from long-range surveillance that my friend Ygraine and I did at night last week. We haven't gotten close to the building, 'cause we don't know who's in it, or what."

On the screen, a nightvision depiction of a large multi-story warehouse with plastic and plywood boarded doors and windows is seen, somewhat shakily. The camera is viewing the warehouse from an adjacent rooftop across the street, and judging from the lack of illumination, there's no road traffic around the area.

"A couple days ago, I talked to some of my sister's co-workers. This guy named Robert Caliban, and a kinda' foofy English buddy of his he called John." Glancing over to Kaylee on the sofa next to the table, Colette furrows her brows and seems lost in thought for a moment. "John thinks he knows who's running whatever operation is going on in the building, but he thought it was a pharmecutical company, not… whatever the heck's going on in there. He said if we bring him some intel, he'll back us up if we go in after Joseph." Biting down on her lower lip, Colette casts her eyes towards Kaylee.

"I'm— After the talk with Mister Caliban and John, m'really thinkin' that Joseph got caught up in something really bad related to Refrain." Green eyes divert to Eileen, then look back to Kaylee. "We gotta make sure Joseph's safe, especially if that— if— that Humanis First bastard got away from the cops. We just— we gotta figure this out sooner, rather'n later."

Eileen occupies the doorway leading into the living area and is going through the practiced motions of procuring a cigarette from its paper packaging by the time Kaylee addresses her. Lacquered nails peel back gold foil, select a single stick from the set and tug it free with a deft flick of her wrist. If she has any overt feelings about the conversation, she hides them behind a pale mask of indifference as she purses her lips around the cigarette to hold it in place until she can locate a match with which to light it.

Colette's invitation brings her into the room proper. Small children, the injured and the infirm, requests for help — weak spots, all. Her eyes move to the print outs, and as she scrutinizes the information that Colette and the others have collected, she finds herself wishing she'd brought along her reading glasses. "Have they given you any reason to trust them?"

Robin frowns at Kaylee's news of an Evolved messing with people's nightmares, tying it in to what happened to Buck the other night, but setting that aside for now to focus on the more important topics. He takes the recorder from Colette and watches the video once, then rewinds it and watches it again in slow motion. To him it looks like one of a hundred run down closed up buildings, but if that's where Joseph is… well. That makes it something quite different, doesn't it. "I have the same question; who exactly are these two and why should we trust them."

He turns back to Kaylee and rubs a hand over his chin before asking, "What did Jo say in your… his dream. Whichever. Anything that could help us figure out what we're dealing with?"

"Refrain?" Kaylee turns thoughtful, eyes dropping the the ground searching the tilted floor, like it holds an answer to some unspoken question, "Refrain testing maybe? It would explain the memory." Her voice falls to a murmurs, fingers of one hand play across her lips as tapping them lightly, before she gets up to follow after the teenager, she can't sit still "Whoever is heading it.. I think it's a woman. He kept mentioning 'she'."

Leaning on the table, she glances at Eileen eyes narrowing slightly at the woman. It's not hard for th telepath to notice something is off about her. "Caliban.. I met him once." Kaylee turns her attention back to the table itself. "But only the once when I helped Peter with his mom." Nails tap lightly on papers. "He's one of Linderman's guys if I remember right." Uncertainty, seems to stop her from mentioning trust or not.

"Danko… I heard the rumor out at McRae's." The telepath murmurs with disgust. "I saw in his head.. it was like some cold killer. He won't hesitate to go after Joseph.. so yes.. more the reason to find him." Fingers comb through her mussed up hair, tugging it straighter.

"Beyond that little bit about being drugged, tests, and it being a woman he's dealing with….." Kaylee's head slowly shakes, "I didn't have time to really talk to him. Once he snapped out of his nightmare… it started to fade."

A hand slaps the table, "I need to talk to him, but there is no guarantee I'll get thrown into his nightmare again." The stress Kaylee's feeling over it showing on her features. "If I can use my ability again, I can get a face at least… he didn't know her name."

"Their boss healed my vision when I was blinded by my ability." Colette explains in a somewhat sheepish tone of voice. "My sister's good friends with both of them, and she's unregistered, and they've never done anything to force her to do stuff otherwise. It rust my Sis' judgment on stuff like this, so— they've always been real good to us, I mean, I dunno why they've been so good. They're like, the company they work for is where Registration started, but I think there's some good apples in there, despite everything." Furrowing her brows, Colette considers Robin's question and bites down a little bit more on her lower lip, pensively.

"They— " Colette grimaces to Kaylee, "Yeah they work for the Linderman Group." The teen offers with an awkward noise in the back of her throat as she clears it. "But— but Nicole trust them, she really does. Mister Caliban even knew about the Ferry, um, sort've? He's been trying to find someone from us for a long time, wants to meet with one of us and… I dunno, discuss business? I remember one of the Linderman guys came and made a big donation to the Lighthouse too when it opened. The same guy who made that ridiculously huge charitable donation to Summer Meadows— the dorky southern one with the silly accent." Colette smiles a bit hopefully at the comment.

"I think there's some good people in there, or— maybe they were forced to help the government or— I— I dunno." Colette's green eyes angle towards Eileen a bit anxiously. "I was gonna go to your friend, Raith, for help, Eileen. But— you guys were all like, gone, when I tried to get in touch with you through the network. Nobody knew where you or anyone else was, and Gabriel's still not answering his phone. So I— I just didn't know who else to turn to. Scott, Alistair and everyone at the Hangar are willing to help too. Mister Caliban's friend John's already been really helpful, and I think— Kaylee— that you're right. John mentioned a woman when we were at the meeting. I think he knows more…"

Grinning tiredly, Colette seems proud of something. "Which is why, when I agree to have a meeting between some Ferrymen people an' Mister Caliban, I want you to come along, Kaylee. See what you can get out of his head and John's, see if they're on the up and up. We can pretend and say you're a safehouse operator for some fake safehouse, just to be on the safe side, in case… I dunno, in case m'wrong." Because it could happen, maybe. Not that Colette would admit it.

Eileen discards her match as soon as the cigarette has been lit and the flame snuffed out. "And if you're right, you risk damaging your working relationship with them," she says. "People don't like being tested." Her tone is too gentle for her words to be a real attempt to dissuade Colette from her current course of action — they're a mild warning, and that is all. On the subject of Raith, her mouth moves around a contritely curving smile that neither reaches her eyes nor lasts much longer than the time it takes for her to pull her first drag from the cigarette. The lipstick she wears leaves a ring of rose pink around the filter.

"Jensen doesn't work for free," she supplies, "but he may be willing to negotiate on a price if you don't have anything to put up front." Gabriel is a harder topic to broach, and apart from the darkness that seems to enter her eyes at the mention of his name, she says nothing except, "Gray would help if he could."

Oh god… "Kain." Kaylee can't keep the dislike for the southern man out of her voice. "He thinks we're all below him cause we are not independently wealthy… money speaks to that one, that's for sure." Having seen in his head she can say all that with certainty.

"And Colette… you know how I feel about just invading someone's head." There is a hint of caution in her voice. "Especially the ones that trust…. I mean." She gives a flick of her hand, "I'll go, but I keep my 'ear' out for any stray thoughts, but it's a huge risk digging around." The tone that Kaylee's voice takes says she won't be easily budge, even as she nods in agreement with Eileen. "You know I'm always on shaky ground, Colette. One slip up…." That threat doesn't get finishes as she glances at Eileen and Robin.

Her head turns a bit to watch Eileen out of the corner of her eye. "If we need some more help, I can pay. If we need it." Kaylee focuses on the photokinetic, watching her as she asks. "Can you cover two people with your ability?" Glancing down at the lay out of the building, she leans over the table and traces her finger along the outer edge of the building. "If I can get up to the building I might be able to looking into some of the heads in there…. Depending on what I find, might give us an idea…. and…" Giving a pained expression, "…maybe we can get an idea of the condition Joseph is in."

Seemingly distracted by Eileen, Colette seems to be struggling with the notion of not digging around in someone's head. Making a noise of discontent, the young girl casts a side-long look to Kaylee, and seems to concede the point somewhat when Kaylee too is hesitant about the utilization of her ability. "Alright fine we— we can just see what they want, I guess." Pursing her lips in thought, Colette reaches out and takes the digital recorder from Robin, turning it over in her hands and quietly shutting it off before closing the viewfinder screen.

"I um— I can make a while bunch of people invisible, but— like I was telling Scott and Ygraine once, they can't see anything when I do. Not unless we use like, those heat-vision goggle things. Otherwise it's just dark." Wrinkling her nose, Colette casts her attention back towards Eileen.

"I— I dunno much about your ability, 'cept that people've said you can control birds. Could— could you get one inside the warehouse, or even just perch around it and do some lookin'?" One of Colette's brows lower at the thought, the other one raised in query. "I dunno if you could even get a bird inside, bu tit'd be handy to see if we could find out what the inside looks like, and where Joseph is. 'Cause then me an' Kaylee could try and… I dunno, talk to him."

Glancing back to Kaylee, Colette offers a hesitant smile. "I'd rather see if Eileen can help, than try and get you inside anybody's head there. Especially after what you said about being careful with your ability… I— I gotta' stop just assuming you don't have a problem with prying in people's heads."

"I'll do what I can," Eileen says, leaking smoke from her nose and mouth as she speaks. Cigarette dangling from between bent knuckles, she lowers her hand and folds one arm across her middle and continues to survey the map from where she stands. "If you don't have any objections," she adds, "I'd like to look into this John of yours as well. Arranging a meeting shouldn't be necessary — I'll finagle that on my own provided you have an address where I can find him. He doesn't have to know that we're associated."

"Depends on the people really." Her voice is a touch flat, as she lets her gaze wander over the plans. The things she'd like to do to those people in that building run through her head, good thing Colette can't read her own mind. "But a bird would be safer." She agree, glancing at the photokinetic and then Eileen. A bit relieved not to have to use her ability yet, she really doesn't know what she'd want to do to the bed guys. That time will come.

While they discuss this 'John' person, Kaylee moves to retrieve a mug of coffee from the kitchen feeling the need for something to warm her up. While adding all the sugar and creamer, she continues to listen.

"I got his card." Colette notes as she pulls a piece of card stock from her jacket pocket. "For both of them, actually." When she holds the white sheets out the Eileen, the top one is rather straightforward; Robert Caliban, Public Relations, Linderman Group. An address and phone number, likely for his office. When she slides her fingers and slips the bottom card out though, it— isn't for a Linderman Group building or office at all.

It's a card for a strip club, and the name written on the bottom of the card reads, John Logan.

"He's the one who knew about the warehouse, knew about the woman, he was pretty obviously holding what he knew to himself." Colette admits with a wrinkle of her nose. "You spend enough time holding your hand out for scraps on the street, and you start to figure out when people're holding out on you. Didn't take bein' a runaway for too long to pick up on that. He seems nice though, kind've a Queen, but nice. I think he's just worried about having done something stupid, and is trying to cover his ass. I just— I dunno what he did."

Burlesque. Eileen's mouth forms the word without voice or sound. Amusement crinkles around the corners of her eyes in the form of premature crow's feet. Both business cards are tucked into her jacket and nestled safely away in one of the interior pockets along with her matchbook and what little cash she carries on her person. "Thank you," she says, repositioning her cigarette between her lips so she's free to slip both her gloved hands into her pockets.

"I'll see about speaking with Jensen on your behalf as well. He can be a difficult man to get ahold of, but I should be able to put the two of you in touch." Her heels tick across the cement as she circles the table on her way out, her coattails like the tail feathers of a sleek black bird spread out in a fan behind her. "Be careful."

Returning with the mug gripped tightly between two hand, Kaylee takes careful sips, sighing softly as she seems to ease her cold seared throat. "Hopefully, when we talk to them they will be willing to open up." Another sip is taken before she makes a suggestion, Colette might not like. "Have you thought about asking Grace to go to this meeting too?" A blonde brows lift curiously. She hates having to take the adult road on this, but…. "I think the senior members might not take us pretending I am a safe house operator very well."

Watching Eileen thoughtfully, Kaylee calls out after her, "Thank you. You be careful as well. I doubt Danko will forget who captured him."

Watching Eileen depart, Colette's attention seems focused on a brow-furrowed view of her back. Tilting her head ever so slightly to the side, she has to wonder what the Briton's hiding behind her words, where she'd been the last few months. The question goes unasked, and ultimately Eileen's words of warning to be careful are taken in silent consideration, until the teen finally turns back towards the sound of Kaylee's voice. There's a subtlety to the expression on her face, the way faint lines of disapproval crease at the corners of her mouth as lips downturn ever so slightly.

"I don't want to risk bringing anyone like that into a meeting with them yet. I— for all my sister trusts them, I've gotta' try and protect the Ferrymen too. If they're cool at the meeting, then they can get to meet the people in charge. Right now I just— I don't want to make any big mistakes, and lose anyone else. I trust Mister Caliban, I just— I want to be sure. I want to do this on my own."

Therein, lies the Nichols stubbornness. In a way, too, the Demsky stubbornness, even if it isn't genetic. So many bulls in her mental china shop.

"C'mon…" Colette offers quietly to Kaylee, turning her back on the table as she moves towards the doorway between the main living space and the makeshift kitchen. "Let's wait and see what Eileen brings back for us, and— worry a little less. Why don't you come on, sit down and— we can just talk about— I dunno. Just," Colette offers a look towards all of the maps, and papers, and worried made manifest in them.

"Not this, for once."

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