One Third And Nothing


abby6_icon.gif barbara_icon.gif cat_icon.gif colette_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title One Third and Nothing
Synopsis A fraction of the Ferrymen Council meets with Colette Nichols to discuss intelligence related to Staten Island as well as Colette's own surplus of kidnapped family members.
Date January 8, 2011

Bannerman's Castle

Impromptu meetings are, by definition, done with little or no preparation. Sometimes it shows, sometimes it doesn't. Today's meeting of what amounts to one-third of the Ferrymen Council is much more the former than the latter. While the timing on the meeting comes just an hour before dinner is served, the surroundings of Bannerman Castle's dining hall still have a sense of temporary surroundings to it.

Under the glow of lantern light one of the long galley-style tables has been laid out with city planning maps of Staten Island dated prior to the nuclear explosion in 2006 and the exodus that prompted the abandonment of much of the island. Situated around the maps are print-outs from satellite imagery provided by Google maps, each marked on with wax pencil in red and blue, looking something like the chicken-scratch of a quarterback's football playbook.

Colette Nichols leans over these maps and diagrams, considering them with one hand planted on the table to support her sleight weight. Her other hand is occupied with arrhythmically tapping the blunt end of a red wax pencil on the table in tick-tick-tick-tick fashion. Stacked nearby to where she leans are photographs printed on 8.5x11 printer paper, likely taken from a digital camera. These color photographs display imagery of some sort of military compound surrounded by chain-link fence, searchlights and armed military personnell. Judging from the thickness of the stack, there must be dozens of these pictures.

Given her recent promotion to that of a safehouse operator, a station she neither asked for nor felt worthy of, Colette has done her absolute best to try and retroactively feel worthy of the title, even if her safe house is among the least essential to the network in her mind. The reality of that may be less true given the sheer number of safehouses lost on November 8th.

It's that premise of importance, whether deserved or not, that has brought Colette here to Pollepel Island and Bannerman Castle and given her the confidence to try and call for a meeting of the Ferrymen Council regarding the state of Staten Island and several related (and two un-related) incidents of more personal nature. All she need do now is be patient enough for whomever of the Council will see her to arrive.

Abigail was fetched from outside, chopping wood in one of the sheltered parts of the castle that's within the castle walls but not inside. Would explain the bits of snow still wedged into the creases of her jeans near the ankles, pink of her cheeks and nose and the shed outerwear that's in her arms, taken off when she'd entered.

"Hello" The greeting quietly offered up to Colette with a bob of her head and to any of the the other council members present. She knew there weren't that many on the island, most were off on work, scouting or just personal business. It was what kept the now brunette here. Gloves shoved into pockets, toque into her sleeve with her scarf, she tosses it down onto a bench before sitting down herself to glance at the maps laid out.

The steady rhythm and percussion of Joseph's arrival, footsteps echoing, follows not too long after Abby's initial greeting. In winter clothes, sans jacket, he's been inside himself, up in his room. Reading a book. If it hadn't been the book, and if it hadn't been for vaguely unofficial title by which he is known, some might call this lazy. He's pulled on shoes against the chill of the air that permeates the expansive building, and his palms rub together to banish it with friction too.

He doesn't give a verbal greeting, just offers a thin smile when those who are aware of him do look up — affection for the two ladies he immediately sees, and an open palmed wave.

Barbara's been back on the island since Friday morning, and effort made to check in after the events on Staten Island as well as pass on updates about the condition of those who had been there in person, rather than over radio from Grand Central. In a situation such as this, it seemed that a personal touch was more called for. When she hears that Colette is looking for Council members, though, it's more than just her position that drives her to the meeting - it's hope for further updates, given that their paths had yet to cross even over the course of the last few days.

When she arrives, she's dressed warm with a hat pulled down on her face and arms cross over her chest, bundling her sweatshirt up even warmer. She doesn't really make any comment or such to eharld her arrival. Simply a nod given in the others directions.

Barbara's silent arrival comes with little surprise, that the Canadian transplant would be here to report on her encounter with the military makes good sense. Abigail and Joseph, however, always manage to surprise Colette. It isn't as though she's unaware of their presence in the Ferrymen, but that she forget just how important the two of them are, given where she has placed them both in her own personal network of relationships.

Joseph earns himself a meager smile, more sheepish than anything. It isn't Colette's hesitant smile that he notices, but rather how unhealthy she looks. For a girl of her size, losing and gaining weight shows easily. Colette's easily more stickbare than usual, as willowy and thin as the leafless trees outside of the castle's walls. Dark circles ring her eyes from too many sleepless nights, fatigue evident in her expression. She does not look much like the young woman that he helped get in to the network.

Abigail earns something different than just the hesitant smile, though she too is confronted with a stark representation of a Colette that she recognizes through a mirror, darkly. "Your hair's— " short, brown, different again. All those would apply, but Colette truncates her impending compliment with a downwards cast of her eyes to the maps and paperwork on the table.

"I'm— sorry if you were all busy with stuff here, I know I didn't… really give much forewarning of this when I left Grand Central this morning."

She's here, having some business to conduct of her own, information items to share. That the Jets are playing the Colts is of little consequence, Cat has opted to skip the game. She expects the New York team to lose, and doesn't really need to remember such a thing for all time. Not that she's going to speak such thoughts in the presence of other Ferryites.

Instead, her eyes are set on the maps to look them over and commit them to the Cat Archives along with so much other information, no words are being uttered.

Near Cat, in a folder, are copies of several wanted posters. One of them is her own, and with the exception of Barbara all present are also featured.

Cat and Barbara's arrivals come with little surprise, that the Canadian transplant would be here to report on her encounter with the military makes good sense and Cat is seemingly ubiquitous to the Ferrymen and everything in between, as much a facet of their network as a cell phone is. Abigail and Joseph, however, always manage to surprise Colette. It isn't as though she's unaware of their presence in the Ferrymen, but that she forget just how important the two of them are, given where she has placed them both in her own personal network of relationships.

Joseph earns himself a meager smile, more sheepish than anything. It isn't Colette's hesitant smile that he notices, but rather how unhealthy she looks. For a girl of her size, losing and gaining weight shows easily. Colette's easily more stickbare than usual, as willowy and thin as the leafless trees outside of the castle's walls. Dark circles ring her eyes from too many sleepless nights, fatigue evident in her expression. She does not look much like the young woman that he helped get in to the network.

Abigail earns something different than just the hesitant smile, though she too, along with Cat, are confronted with a stark representation of a Colette that she recognizes through a mirror, darkly. "Your hair's— " short, brown, different again. All those would apply, but Colette truncates her impending compliment with a downwards cast of her eyes to the maps and paperwork on the table.

"I'm— sorry if you were all busy with stuff here, I know I didn't… really give much forewarning of this when I left Grand Central this morning." Dark clothing gives Colette an even slimmer silhouette under these lighting conditions, skinny and dark jeans with rolled up cuffs, a black hooded sweatshirt hanging too loose on her narrow figure. "A lot's happened since the 8th, and— and I think I've been sort've out of the loop on a lot of stuff. Which— I guess is why I wanted t'talk to as many of you as I could…"

Mismatched eyes drift down to the maps, then back up to Abby. Colette's stare lingers there before averting down to her feet. "I don't think any of you had heard, but— my— my father was arrested on November 8th. He— he was taken from his home, from what I could tell without a struggle. He had left his wallet and his jacket behind, there were messages on his answering machine from just prior to the 8th that hadn't been listened to. It— I waited too long to check up on him…"

Dark brows furrowing, Colette looks over towards one of the lanterns lighting the table, reflecting orange in her eyes. "I went to my sister about what happened, we spent the last week— " arguing goes unsaid. "Um, corresponding…" Those mismatched eyes alight again, brows creased together in worry.

"She says that the man responsible for Judah's capture is an Army Colonel named Leon Heller. My sister says that Colonel Heller was responsible for a massacre of people at a parking garage triage center on Staten Island on November 8th." Her jaw sets, eyes wander away from the light. "I guess— first and foremost I wanted to deliver that information, and… and see if anyone else knew anything about him."

"Brown and hideously short." Abigail finishes for Colette, refraining from asking her if she likes it. She doesn't think that she'll ever get used to it. Doesn't want to get used to it is more appropriate. All others get a nod as they enter, the EMT picking up some of the pictures and flipping through them. "Never heard of the name. Not this Heller." Abigail looks aroudn, ending her glance on cat to see if the encyclopedia perhaps knows.

"I'm sorry to hear that," Barbara offers sympathetically to Colette upon hearing the news about her father - not someone she knows personally, of course, she's only jsut not learning that teh photokinetic has a sister, but she knows what it's like to lose family through one means or another. Arms still bundled close, ehr eyes move form Cat's file and the pictures within it, and the back to Colette at the mention of the military man. "The name doesn't ring a bell, unfortunately," she replies with a shake of her head.

Parents. The mention of Colette's paternal unit draws a glance to her face, something inscrutable in Cat's eyes. She's familiar with such issues, and a good deal more since she learned both were Company, and Pinehearst, and now both dead. All four dead, in truth. Sympathy may exist, but it goes unexpressed in favor of stoicism. Her mind swiftly turns to Colonel Heller, and the massacre.

"That Colonel's name is new to me," Cat provides, "but not for long. I'll research him as thoroughly as possible, though resources are limited and that might hamper success. I'm fresh out of technopaths, the last one seems to have become mechanically caged. I do, however, still have a Frontline contact."

She pauses there, eyes darkening with something that might be rage. "The massacre, we can't be sure it was the only one, was possibly of some Ferry members along with a man called Knox."

This is the side of Ferry that Joseph isn't exposed to on a regular kind of basis, but does feel it's at least his job to listen to and weigh in. That said, his reaction is slightly more personal — he's met Judah, and concerns rings his focus as he stares across at Colette, worry and sympathy knitting his brows together. Seated by the time she started talking, his hands rest on the edge of the table as he listens, a glance dealt to the two ladies he's listening with as they both offer their words.

"I dunno that name either," he apologises. "And I'm guessin' your dad weren't involved in anythin' outside've— " He nods to Colette. Being related to a terrorist.

That on one has heard of Heller causes Colette's shoulders to slouch, her head to bob into a slow nod. Joseph's question elicits a look, weak and soft, followed by a wordless shake of Colette's head. She turns, then, towards the paperwork on the table. "Since I've been positioned at the Garden and it's so close to Staten Island, I decided to do some reconnaisance of the area. I scouted out Ferrymen locations on the half of the island south of the Greenbelt and took photos when I could…" Leaning over the pictures, Colette begins to fan them out slowly.

"This was the Sweat Lodge," she motions to the image of a distantly viewed brick-faced tenement building. "It's inside of the boundaries of the Reclaimed Zone now, which means military patrols pass by it. I don't know if McRae is holed up there, I didn't want to get too close or risk sneaking in and getting noticed. All of this…" her hand sweeps over to the location viewed through chain-link fence. "This is Miller Airfield, where the Army and National Guard operating in the city are based out of. There's been a lot of activity over the past couple weeks, mostly centered around this aircraft hangar…" Colette taps two fingers on the picture showing a hangar with a large number '3' stenciled on it. There's also images of men in black suits of Horizon armor standing on the airfield.

"I was hoping to like, get a shot of this Heller guy, but I don't even know who the fuck I'm looking for and hardly anyone on that base wears a name tag. Miller Airfield's about four blocks away from the ruins of the Staten Island Hospital, for a point of reference most of us can remember." Colette's mismatched eyes turn up to Barbara, and for the redhead she instead indicates for her on the map of Staten Island where the two lie in relation to one another.

"I'd like this stuff passed down to Special Activities, if you could. I— I know we lost Harkness and other people during the riots. If— if they have Scott or my dad, they might be being kept here somewhere on Miller Airfield." Colette's brows furrow, and it's clear that she's chasing ghosts. Nothing in anything she's brought indicates that much. It's all conjecture.

"All of this stuff here," Colette points to the colored markings on the map of the island. "These are the patrol paterns and the hours I've observed them. I only covered the area closest to the roads that can access the Garden. But I have been noticing military patrols all the way up into the Rookery. They go up the east coast along Father Capodanno boulevard from Miller Field, cross I-278 and take New York Ave into the Rookery proper. Nobody resists them up there, nothing meaningful. In another… few months, I figure they'll push all the way up north to Port Ivory." Colette's finger tracks along the map's border.

"That'll completely surround the Garden. It'll put attention on the old Primatech Paper warehouse we use up there too, and the ports we slip into from the mainland. If we don't do something we're going to lose Staten Island entirely in a year whether we're prepared or not."

"It's getting to the point where I don't think we have a snowball chance in hell of keeping anything on Staten. At some point, they're going to go into the preserve even at this rate. What once was a lost cause, no mans land and a place that law enforcement turned their gaze away from is become a military stomping ground. They're cleaning it up." Abigail purses her lips tight, a frown as she regards the new lines being drawn, the shrinking safe zone of Staten Island. "Queens is the new Staten Island. We're going to need to get what we can moved off of Staten and start looking elsewhere. It's no longer the safe haven that it was" Or the hell hole. Well it still might be considered that depending on who you talk to.

A hand rubs at Barbara's chin as she considers this, nodding as Colette gives her a better frame of reference on the map. "The patrol we encoutnered was at the bridge just before the turn off to The Garden. They're moving quickly." She wrinkles her nose, letting out a bit of a quiet sigh. "That whole situation could ahve been… handled better, but the fact of the matter they were willing to stop a trio of harmless looking women in a beat up truck carrying food and gasoline to the impovershed outside the Reclaimed Zone. And now, they'll be on hightened alert because much of that blockade is probably dead now. I think… I may have to agree with Abby. Staten Island may be a lost cause."

She looks around the ground for a moment, shivering as she does. She should be used to tehc old, but something about the stone castle around her makes it that much worse. "Not that that means we don't ahve other options. I think we're going to need to seriously consider the hiding in plain sight option that's been spoken of before."

"Well, let's not say promises we can't keep while we don't got everyone here," Joseph says on the tail of Abby's assessment, although his expression is grim enough that he couldn't say he disagrees. Just the principle of the thing. "Government gave up on the place when it got overrun with refugees an' criminals, now it's the other way around — dunno if I feel right about damning it this early, 'specially if Staten Island's only a beginnin'. There's still people there that, at the very least, need a gateway out. But— "

But it's not an issue to be solved in a few minutes of conversation. "Yeah, we'll hand this over to Raith and Ryans — they'll know better about what we can and can't do."

"They didn't have the numbers of people to tackle Staten Island after the battle with Vanguard wrecked the bridge," Cat remarks somberly, "and at the time it wasn't considered enough of an emergency to use Guard troops, or Federalize and bring out the Army. Restoring law and order there is a mixed bag. Neither entirely good nor bad." Her discourse on that topic seems ended, she has little to add and doesn't disagree with the others.

"As for Colonel Heller, hopefully there'll be photos when I check him out. In the meantime, I can maybe offer ideas about his appearance. A man holding the rank of Colonel is probably in his late thirties or early forties. His hair should be short, stopping above the ears and not touching the collar of his shirt. When he moves around and talks to people he might be identifiable by the way soldiers react to his presence, though it could be masked. Troops might be trained not to acknowledge him too overtly in case snipers are around. Field rules are in effect, no saluting officers. But there could still be clues. Soldiers suddenly becoming more alert, moving around to make themselves look busy, and suchlike."

That elements of the Council were well-chosen is only really noticable when they're acting together as a unit. Even with only four members of the Council present at this meeting, each of them reacts to and understands a situation in a different manner, each one sheds their own light and perspective on something. That they're diverse and also coordinated is something Colette hadn't realized so evidently until just now.

Looking down to the maps and photographs, Colette offers a slow and steady nod, followed by a sheepish look up to Joseph, then around to the other council members present. "I guess it— with what happened to Barbara and Lynette the other day, and that they ordered everyone out of my safe house," and she does struggle on the possessive term, trying not to emphasize it too much. "I just— I don't know whether or not after the few weeks are up that I'd asked everyone to stay clear, if— if I should try and re-settle. I know you guys probably can't like— advise me on that, I just— " Colette closes her eyes, teeth pressing down onto her bottom lip.

"What're we planning to do about the Institute?" It comes out of left field, perhaps because Colette has nothing left to focus on other than that. It's asked as if the Ferrymen were even in a position to do anything about that government organization at all. "I know you don't know her, Barbara, but— but the rest of you do. They took Tamara on the day of the riots. She— was hurt, bad. I— I had to— " Colette's throat tightens as she steps away from the table, her hands curling tightly closed and throat working up and down into a swallow. "They took her, and— she knows things. Everything. About us, about— are we doing anything about them?"

There's a nervous energy buzzing through the girl, clear in her tense expression and inability to retain eye-contact for very long, in her inability to stay put. "I've been… I've been so out of the loop, I just— if we're doing something, like what happened in Braintree," which wasn't entirely a Ferrymen operation. "I need to know. Because— I'm— " Colette swallows noisily, looking down to her feet. "I just— do we know where they're doing anything?"

"In a few weeks the situation with regards to the Garden will be revisted and we'll have a better idea of what is occurring in the area and the timetable that the military has set to be consuming the island. If you want, and you are confidant enough in your ability, I'd suggest that you could try and get McRae a message. If not, when Eileen returns we can see about her sending a bird about to take a peek"

Abigail puts the pictures that she had down, so Cat or the others can take a look. "But this, all of this needs to be brought to special activites" She agrees on that. "They'll be able to disseminate it better than me or probably half the rest of us here and can provide a better rundown of the situation that just the pictures alone."

Abigail glances to Barbara, a wrinkle of her nose. "They stopped you likely because of the beat up vehicle and the supplies. We lost a great deal in resources, they likely know thanks to Susan, what type of vehicles we favoured before. We need to assume that what we traditionally used before, is now informatin used to profile what we do" Another wrinkle of her nose in disgust.

Colette switches topics like that, jumping to something else and it's the Institute, the kidnapping of Tamara. "Colette, I don't… think we're doing anything yet. We're just trying to get everything in order best that I know. Make sure that the rest of us don't get taken and to start to rebuild. That's probably something that Special Activites is more aware of and has on the back burner" She doesn't say if at all. She doesn't think that there's going to, at the moment, be any runs to save anyone from anywhere.

"Abby's right," Joseph says, lacing his fingers together and leaning his chin on them as he regards the maps until they all became the same mass of squiggles to him. "Last time we went toe t'toe with the Institute, it didn't end well. Not in a way that justified the cause — more people dead than they ever took from us." He pauses, and adds, "And if I can speak for myself a moment, I'd say it was a mistake. Wouldn't be a way I'd vote again, we lost too many people and we're tryna pool our resources towards keeping our people alive and well."

He narrows a look across at Colette, but it's not stern, only searching. "You know as much as anyone what the network's for. Need to keep that purpose in check, especially these days. We lost people to faith as much as— bullets and warrants, for a while there."

She isn't willing to write off going to get Tamara by any means, Cat knows all too well the feeling of having to leave someone behind, of failing to retrieve those closest, but she isn't in a hurry to rush blindly into guns and be cut down with little chance of success. "I've helped to plan operations like you're suggesting, Colette," she gravely intones, "and they're complicated. The acquiring of information takes months, if not longer, along with lining up the resources to pull it off. And as Joseph says, there's always costs. People get killed, and there's backlash. It may well be Colonel Heller conducted that massacre because we assaulted the hospital and soldiers who had no idea what was going on died. He may be after revenge, plain and simple. The hospital operation didn't go as I'd hoped. I don't think any amount of effort was made to inform those soldiers what they were guarding." Her head shakes, speaking of it causes the eyes to harden again.

"Tamara won't be written off, Colette, not while I'm alive. But we have to do this smart. And, knowing Tamara…" Her voice trails off, she flashes something of a fleeting smile. "Do you really think they can hold her for any fraction of time longer than she allows them to? I don't think they'd keep her negated, or in one of those coffins. They'll want to try using her as a tool too badly for that."

In returning to silence, Cat keeps a desire to learn more to herself, for discussion with Colette another time. What happened in Braintree?

Brief shock is visible in Colette's tired features when Joseph himself makes a case for not repeating the incident surrounding the Staten Island Hospital. In hindsight it seems easy to her to claim doing things a different way, and if it were anyone other than Joseph making those claims of selfless sacrifice, she might not have believed them. Instead of calling a bluff she knows doesn't exist, Colette wraps her arms around herself, pressing her teeth gently on her bottom lip as her head bobs up and down slowly in seeming agreement.

"Yeah…" The word comes more like a noise from Colette, a half-hearted agreement to her worst fears come true, that there wasn't anything that the Ferry could do for either of her family that has been taken. But there's no fire in her expression or in her words, the Ferrymen haven't ever asked more of her than she's willing to give, the burden of owed favors lies elsewheres. Mismatched eyes slant away from the few of the council, up to Barbara in her silence and then back down to the tabletop again.

It hurts that they won't help. It hurts more than their reasons for not being able to are perfectly legitimate.

Cat's notion of Tamara's willingness to stay doesn't garner a response, just a distantly focused look down to the floor, then out towards one of the closed doors into the dining hall. Her next question for the council winds up being one that she didn't want to have to ask, but in light of everything else her options are narrowing down.

"Do we know if anyone in Messiah survived the riots?" Colette's jaw tenses, her half-blind stare flicking from one council member to the next.

Anyone who knows Tamara knows that everything the teenager does is never without purpose. When you can see multiple possibilities and the consequences of the actions, you can almost be sure that what you do is purposeful. Abigails had a few interactions with the sybil but she still didn't know the teenager very well.

"You can bring it up to Raith and Benjamin, get their thoughts on it and to see what they think" She offers to colette, hoping that it might appease the young woman. "peter, Melissa and Griffin, as best I know. There's likely more but I don't know." She's got the feeling that the Colette's now going for option B with regards to rescuing Tamara.

Joseph has the same feeling, that much is clear, glancing to Abby with a rueful tilt to his head, before looking back towards Colette with a sort of— not exactly sadness. Certainly not pity. He's tired, soul-deep, too, and he knows the girl's nature well enough. "Like I said, we'll be passing this along. Raith and Eileen and that— they got friends." Joseph doesn't know who these friends are, necessarily. He just knows they make explosions happen.

He'd rather not know much more than that. "Last I saw Tamara," he says, and he hooks out his chain and pendants, twisting it around so that the one of glass and silver shines its attention, "she gave me this. Cut from the windows of the Guiding Light. It was just a coupla days before I got taken by the Institute myself, which she had t'see comin', and had all those premonitions happen, and had Gillian Childs trapped for as long as she was 'til we moved against 'em.

"Friends and God both work in mysterious ways. I'll be prayin' for her and your dad both."

It's perhaps a unanimous though unspoken conclusion the Council members hold, that Colette intends to seek other paths to invade the Institute and try retrieving Tamara. Inwardly she wishes the woman would take her counsel more seriously, that she meant her claim the sybil won't be written off. There will be time for addressing such lack of faith more directly, this is not the occasion. Cat's words are directed to other topics, but the look she gives Colette is intended to say 'Patience, grasshopper' and ask 'what did I just tell you?'.

"Pass it along to other councilors," she requests of Abby, Joseph, and Barbara, "that my inside source doesn't know much yet, but will make an attempt. Also, it was mentioned that a man called Amid Halebi may be around. He was described as extremely dangerous, but I was given nothing beyond that and him being tied to Mazdak, the organization Feds are trying to link Hana with. I'm certain the Israelis don't really want to extradite Hana, it's a smokescreen they're using to further justify hunting her."

Chewing on her bottom lip, Colette's brows furrow on the realization that Melissa Pierce was a member of Messiah. It's like finding out that your neighbor is an honest-to-God terrorist. Messiah's about as close as Colette will come to ever using the T-Word, and Melissa just never seemed the type.

Mention of Hana has one of Colette's brows rising, wordlessly, before she offers a thoughtful nod to Abigail. The look from Cat has her falling quiet again, chin tipped down towards her chest and eyes averted. Between that look and Joseph's ability to let his disappointment become a palpable aura, Colette has a good idea where any further pursual of that line of thought will go.

"I… appreciate you meetin' with me," Colette offers in a murmured voice, her lips downturned into a frown. "The Garden's all I really got left, and… and I know you all went out on a limb trusting that t'me an' Sable. So— so I just want t'make sure I do right by it, and the people that stay— stayed," she had to correct, "there."

Looking down to the maps and paperwork one last time, Colette closes her eyes and swallows audibly. "There's a girl in Sable's care right now, named Koshka. She's pretty young… ain't got nobody, no family or anythin'. With the Garden out of comission, at least for now, Sable's really not sure where t'take her. I— was hoping I might be able to get permission t'bring her here. There's other kids her age here, better care."

Turning the focus to the care of a wayward youth is a better way to wrap up her meeting, rather than on the sour note of mentioning the red-scarves of Messiah.

"Mazdak? Why on earth does they want to link Hana to the stock exchange and why on earth would the Osraeli's even care about that?" Abigail looks confused, a moment of her self professed blondeness rising to the fore of her mouse dye'd locks.

Did they want the woman for screwing with stocks or thinking she screwed with them to benefit a terrorist group?"

Teenagers though, ahh more teenagers and Colette is requesting permission to drag one here who had been at the Garden. "If Brian's okay with it, I'd assume that she'll be shunted in under the auspices of the Lighthouse children. If she could be kept below decks or at least a little ignorant of where the boat is going to as it's coming to us, I don't see an issue." They have let people come to the island with less of a connection.

"How long has she been with the Garden and what is Sable's take on her? Yours? Has anyone sat and talked with her, gotten the story of how she came to be in ferry care?"

In kind, Cat mostly just gets a puzzled 'bwuh?' squint from Joseph, but possibly not for the same reasons Abby is. Or. Similar reasons. He'll let her fill in her own explanation in the same way he lets Abby field the relevant questions to Koshka's move to the island, slipping his twin crucifixes back beneath the collar of his sweater now that show'n'tell is over with, hands linking back together. He does flash what he hopes is support smile the photokinetic's way. He is, on the whole, somewhat proud of her, in the way Judah has more of a right to be.

"Stocks?" Cat asks of Abby, seeming momentarily puzzled. She pulls Hana's wanted poster out of the folder and hands it over, explaining "Mazdak's a fairly new player on these shores. They generally operate overseas, have made a lot of trouble for the forces in Iraq. Allegedly pro-SLC, anti-American, composed of people who claim to be Islamic. Suicide bombers out to meet their seventy-two virgins in paradise. It seems they might be starting to operate here, I doubt Halebi's name would've been mentioned unless he's really nasty."

Finally speaking back up, Barbara leans back up from the tabletop. "We'll find something for you, Colette, if that's what you'd like," she comments, trying to sound reassuring. "I'm sorry about the Garden, but it seemed like the best plan at the time." In retrospect, maybe not quite as much, but Barbara will stand by it regardless. "But I'm glad we got people out now, instead of waiting until it was already compromised.'

Looking over towards Abby, Barbara taps a finger against her arm. "I met her, briedly. Koshka, that is, when I went to pass our warning on to Sable. She was quiet, but she seemed nice. Unassuming. I think she was brought there by Brian, so I doubt he'll have a problem. Until I hear something to change my mind, she has my okay to come to the island. If not, maybe one of teh Ferrymen on the mainland can take her in for a bit?"

The talk of Messiah and the like mostly just gets an unhappy look from Barbara. She wants, very much, to comment on things like that, as well as the Institute - oh, does she ever. In truth,s he shares part of Colette's sentiment, of wanting to storm the gates and take back everyone form Thompson she could, this Tamara, all the people that are missing. But she knows it's just not feasible, sor ather than add more to that, she just lets it pass, gritting teeth as she does.

"I had a file taht was given to me by Eric Doyle," she notes. "I meant to bring it with me, but Iw as caught doing something else and it would have taken too long. I meant to bring it to council sooner, when I could get some of us together, but we've all been so busy - someone he knows, that he wouldn't name, passed on information to us abuot Amid as well. Warnings of how dangerous is, to be careful and handle with caution if we encounter him. It's eblieved that one violent outburst could end in another Bomb." And she pauses, letting the weight of those words sink in. "I'd hate to say it, but it may be something to have SA look into. Even if it means doing the government's work for them."

And finally she looks to Cat, sighing. "Also, Cat… can you get your contact to see me, Lynette, or Rue Lancaster have been added to any watchlists? It was the three of us present when we were stopped." A pause, and she looks back at teh group. "Reynard as well. He showed up out of nowhere and made sure we escaped. Probably the only time I'll ever see a sword get actual use."

Despite herself, Colette does manage something of a smirk when Cat corrects Abby. She herself hadn't a clue what Mazdak was, but in not speaking up on it she side-stepped the necessity to look ill-informed, as Abby had. It also puts Colette in the position where she can get a good laugh in, even if it's a restrained one.

With the mood lightened, Colette turns her attention up to Joseph. Things between the two of them never were the same after what happened at the Guiding Light Church the day it burned down, not after Joseph was hurt so bad. Even after his captivity at the Institute's monster-hospital on Staten Island were they able to get righted again. There's some indescribable wedge between them, one that's kept Colette at arm's length from the pastor, even if inside — and in her expression as it is now — there's something more familial.

"Koshka," Colette tries to steer the conversation back to something less embarrassing for Abby, "seems like a good kid. Really polite, according to Sable." All in agreement with Barbara's assessment. "She speaks pretty highly of her, but I haven't really gotten the chance to talk to her myself. Apparently Brian knows her, so he might be a better judge of her character than I would…"

Offering a look down to her feet, Colette tucks her hands into the pockets of her jeans, rises her shoulders and legs them sag down before finally exhaling a sigh. She missed the comment about a sword entirely.

"I think… I've said everything I can on this. I— appreciate you all doing your best to help. I'd recommend Koshka get brought here rather than anywhere else on the mainland, there just— isn't anywhere safe there right now. Not outside of Grand Central, but I won't bring her there, it's too important."

That red in Abby's cheeks is not from a loss of control with regards to her ability but more embarrassment that the Mazdak isn't what she thought that it was. "Any information on this Mazdak group can likely be sent straight to special activities and to the rest of us in our respective places since it's harder now to get us all into one place at one time, and dangerous. If there's any other information that comes up and it can't wait for the next big meeting, send it around. Saves times and this way we're not all playing catch up"

Abigail wrinkles her nose again, clapping her hand on her thighs, rising up from the table. "Bring her to the island. I'll take the blame and responsibility. We can get to know her better here. Thank you Colette for bringing this all to us, letting us know the status of the garden, I'm sorry, that it's likely been or will be compromised, I liked it there" She always did like it there. "Is there anything else pressing? Because they're gonna start serving dinner soon which means we need to get these maps and pictures put up and away"

"Oh hush, Abby. You don't need more blame and responsibility," is— a little mean, from Joseph, but not quite sharp, more or less good natured as it's accompanied with a half smile… but no less pointed and honest. He shifts his gaze back to Colette. "I think bringin' her here is okay too, we got good people vouching for her, so. And thank you for comin' to us with all this, we'll be sure to pass it all along."

As Abby rises, Joseph goes to do the same, stepping over the bench after pressing himself up, hands to table. And pauses, looking back to Cat, "Where'd you get those, anyhow?" A gesture towards her folder that produced the wanted poster.

"I had them collected from various places," Cat answers Joseph, "around the city. Post offices and places like that. These are just the publicly spread information. I'm told the Institute wants me alive, I'm not to be harmed." She pulls her own poster out and eyes it briefly, despite not needing to for recollection of the image. "Really," the panmnesiac deadpans, "they should use color photography. This is the twenty-first century, after all."

With a nod, attention settles on Barbara. "Will do."

"Let this one be mine, Abby," Barbara replies amicably, before giving a nod over to Cat, and finally settling on Colette. Her arms cross, and she lets out a sigh. "If you want to talk about the Garden, or anything else, I'm free. I don't have much else to do for the moment, not until I go back to the mainland." And she has to, she at least has to check on Niki after the events on Staten Island. Make sure no one comes looking for her.

"I'll make sure these papers get to Jensen, somebody told me that Ryans isn't even on the island right now…" Colette leans over to start to collect the maps, intelligence and other paperwork up into a manageable pile. From there she's leaning over and picking up a drafting blueprint tube from the floor beside the table, rolling up the maps and the photographs and sliding them inside.

As the cap is tightened on, Colette stands up properly and offers a look across the council members, then down to the wanted posters. Brows furrow, lips downturn to a frown and Colette looks away and to the floor. Those printed reminders of just how close they all are to being arrested and — in a best-case scenario — locked up for the remainder of their lives.

"I… I need to go check in on Tasha," is Colette's polite way of deferring from sharing any more of the evening with Abby. While their relationship has cooled from one of resentment and distrust, there is still that underlying bitterness that stems from their initial confrontation. Perhaps not wholly unsurprising given that today culminated with what amounted to Abby telling Colette that she couldn't help her father, again. Not entirely a fair blame to lay, but one that Colette's mind subconsciously files away never the less.

"Thanks for all your time… and…" mismatched eyes go to Joseph, along with the only real smile she could give today. "Thanks for listening." If there's one thing Joseph excels at, it's that. Advice too, when people deign to actually follow through with it.

As she turns away from the members of the council, Colette's good-natured mood and humility masks something that boils beneath the surface. Disappointment, resentment, and anger. It's a volatile combination, but exactly the right thing to carry with herself considering who she has to see once she leaves the island.

Messiah's practically fueled by those emotions, after all.

Maybe she'll fit right in.

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