Plan B


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif felix2_icon.gif

Scene Title Plan B
Synopsis Liz brings Felix as a backup plan to getting Claire out.
Date Oct 1, 2010

Elisabeth's (and Cardinal's) Apartment, Dorchester Towers

The key in the lock heralds the arrival of Elisabeth, and she's not alone. "So I'm standing there in the simulation and all I can hear is this hiss of fucking static through the goddamn new headset in that thing, and I'm yelling at Kershner, 'Goddamn it, I can't hear a fucking thing now! How'm I supposed to manipulation sound waves if I can't hear the fucking things!' with no idea that the bitch is standing right behind me when I rip the goddamn thing off my head and she bitchslaps me right on the back of the head. I come around ready to deck someone, and it's her. And all I could think was Richard saying 'this is why I tell you to wear the goddamn helmet' cuz she says 'Bang. You're dead.'" Elisabeth sounds entirely disgruntled.

Fel is preserving his usual pokerface, though he slants a look at Liz sidelong. He's trying not to laugh, it's very obvious, as he holds the door for her.

There's no laughter from Richard Cardinal, though, who leans back upon the couch and calls over in the direction of the door, "…and that's damn well why you wear the helmet, woman!" He and Kershner are, sometimes, way too much of one mind on things.

"Thou shalt not bitch at thy lover when she's coming home loaded for bear. Didn't anyone teach you anything?" Elisabeth retorts as Felix holds the door for her and she enters. "Good, you are here," she adds. "Cuz I brought Felix home hoping you'd be here so he can hold you down whilst I demand to know when — exactly — you're bringing Claire out. Gilly told me about it yesterday and I didn't see you for that one. And I thought a speedster to go in and smack her over the head with the butt of a pistol and carry her away might come in handy," she says, leaning over the back of the couch to drop a casual kiss on Cardinal's temple.

"I'm not saying anything," says Felix, blandly. "Nothing at all. What is this about Claire? I assume we mean Miss Bennett." He's in his uniform, and it does seem to suit him, playing soldier. Another look sidelong at Liz. "I seriously doubt he'd tolerate a gay man holding him down for any purpose."

The remote control in Richard's hand is lifted, and he clicks the monitor off, tossing the remote to clatter on the table as he leans back a bit to offer a faint smile up to Elisabeth. "That shouldn't be necessary," he says, his voice tired, "I… called her a couple hours ago. It… didn't go well. She's remembering everything that happened to her in Madagascar… and Rupert's fucked with her brain so badly she thinks everything is her fault. The bomb… registration… I think he's put her on one of the assassination details."

He closes his eyes, "Hey, Felix. Good to see you, man."

Liz is already stripping out of the heavy vest that is standard gear. Even with no exoskeleton it's like being kitted out in full riot gear. There's a ton of it. With the vest off, she yanks the overshirt off over her ponytailed head in short order leaving only the black T-shirt beneath. Then she plops down on the end of the couch to start peeling out of her boots while Richard talks. But her hands stop moving and she looks appalled.

"Jesus Christ, Richard. It's that bad? What do you mean it won't be necessary. It sounds more necessary than ever to me! I don't care if your phone call didn't go well. Gillian also said Claire's in a really bad way. I've been telling you since the beginning that with her cover blown it was a bad idea to leave her in there. She sure as shit hasn't gotten us any useful intel from the very start. She needs to be out now." Liz doesn't sound angry or particularly accusatory at Cardinal — she's just stating the same fact that she's been stating for a while now and her voice sounds really worried for Claire. "What're we going to do about this?"

There's a pause and she brings Felix up to speed with, "You know Claire went into Messiah as a mole, and the guy running the whole damn shebang is a fucking persuader power. Claire's the reason Autumn's dead, and the persuader guy is in Mitchell's fucking pocket."

"I did not know this," Fel's voice is as flat as a Kansas highway, but the anger that gleams like ice in the blue eyes isn't directed at anyone present. it's that chill, patient expression. "Mitchell has her heart in his pocket, eh? She's someone's Manchurian Candidate?'

"It's really bad. She's been run into a few times just cutting herself, bleeding everywhere…" Cardinal rocks forward, elbows resting on his knees and both hands lifting up to rub against his face, "…and I know she does. I called Huruma and asked her, as a personal favor, to bring her in."

With her combat boots partially untied, Elisabeth remains leaning on her own knees watching. "When?" she asks softly. "And who do we have on tap to help undo this? Kaylee maybe?"

Felix says, simply, "Me. Even if we have to go off the res to do this one." He looks to Liz, though, as if this might need her approval.

"A telepath can't help." Cardinal shakes his head slowly, "I already talked to Kershner about persuaders… if Kaylee pried into her head, she could get tagged by the same suggestions implanted in Claire's head. The good news…" He glances back to them, "…Claire's ability should manage to overcome the alterations eventually. We just need to keep her from doing anything stupid."

Elisabeth frowns, nods to Cardinal's explanation, and looks up at Felix in puzzlement. "I'm…. not following," she replies, her brows pulled together. "How can you help fix what that fucker did to her head?" Off the reservation? That she's got no issues with. But Claire and Abby are like the little sisters Liz never had — of all the people in the group besides the men in this room, they are the two that the blonde will go Mama Lion for. There are others, but Abby and Claire just have a special place.

"I mean, if we literally have to go and get her," Fel says, waving a hand. "I can't fix mental problems. God knows I have enough of my own."

"I don't know," Cardinal's hands spread, "Peter recently borrowed her ability, though… and he started breaking through Rupert's conditioning. I guess whatever her does causes — physical damage to some extent. Which means that if her brain's trying to restore what happened in Madagascar, and Rupert's continuing to fuck with her brain…"

Elisabeth blows out a breath and nods slightly. "Well….. shit," she sighs heavily. "So….Huruma's going to bring her out?" she says. And she grins up at Felix. "Sorry, Feeb, I guess you don't to go all bad-ass soldier this time." She's trying to keep her worry at a dull roar.

Felix bites his lip. It sucks. Why can't every problem be fixable by hitting or killing someone? But he doesn't argue this - just nods at them, eyes going dull.

"Don't count him out yet," Cardinal admits, glancing over with a rueful expression, "If Huruma can't pick her up for some reason or another… well, I always like to have a 'Plan B' hanging around just in case things don't work out. Anyway." He shifts a bit, sitting up, "How've you been, Ivanov?"

There's a shake of her head and Elisabeth moves finally to finish slipping her combat boots off, leaving the ridiculously small things (by most standards) on the floor by the chair and padding in her dark socks over to the kitchen. "Anybody else want a glass of wine?" she offers.

"I'm doing great,' And now the light of enthusiasm is back in FElix's face. Which makes him look about twelve, what with the military buzz and the huge grin. "And I'd love a glass."

"Good." Cardinal quirks a faint smile, "It's good to see you out've your apartment and back in the game… besides, us dead people need to stick together." All of them have, after all, been something close to dead, if not actually dead, at some point. "Wine sounds great."

Liz brings the chilled bottle from the fridge in with three glasses, setting them on the table to fill them. Then she leaves the bottle and plops into the chair, propping her feet on the coffee table. "That's not funny," she informs Richard drily. And then snickers. "You remember eating sand that day?" Because it's not a good memory — the day Felix's body wasn't where it was supposed to be — but … it kind of is, too, in that wierd way.

No, it isn't funny. Because Fel's got that look in his eyes. As he accepts his goblet, he doesn't sip from it. Just holds it. "I remember," he says, quietly. And doesn't specify further.

It's a black sort of humor, but that's the sort of humor that Cardinal leans towards of late. A pair of socked feet lift up to rest on the coffee table beside Elisabeth's as he leans back, one arm folding behind his head as he looks up towards the ceiling. His other hand lifts up the wine glass poured for him, and he swirls it around inside the vessel, regarding it for a few moments. "I convinced Ling Chao that Linderman's a sinking ship… she'll be working with Niki to try and get their hands on Linderman's will."

Elisabeth looks at Felix and nods just a little, her smile fading as she leans to pick up her own glass and slouches back again. "Yeah," she murmurs and takes a long swallow. "Good," she comments softly on the Linderman thing. "In the meantime… Felix, there's another time travel bullshit going on, so if I go missing or don't check in or something, you'll need to let Kershner know I got tapped." She grins a bit. "It might or might not go better coming from you rather than him," she jerks her chin toward Cardinal.

"Time travel?" Fel's staring at Liz, eyebrows raised. Prompting.

"Time travel," Cardinal mutters in affirmation against the edge of his glass, "Hiro Nakamura and Samuel Sullivan are having a little spat where one of them keeps trying to send people to change the past and the other one sends people to stop him."

"You know…. when you say it like that, it sounds like two fuckin' kindergarteners pissing in the sandbox," Elisabeth observes wryly. "And now that you say it exactly like that, you gotta wonder how apt that description actually is. I mean… Christ."

Felix shakes his head. "And what exactly are they going to ask you to do about it?"

"I had to go back and help protect Niki's biological family," Cardinal says with a slow shake of his head, "It was… interesting, I'll give it that. Went surprisingly well."

Elisabeth adds after a swallow of her wine, "Jaiden had to go back to 1999 and protect me from getting killed. Apparently." She moves to set the glass on the floor and stands up. "And apparently that made him a target, so now I guess I'm supposed to go back and keep his past self from getting dead. Peyton went somewhere too, if I remember right…." She grins at them. "Be nice to each other. I'm going to catch a quick shower before I finish that glass of wine."

"That's crazy," says Fel. "If I can help, let me know. Too bad you can't go back to some really cool time, like….the old west, or something."

"Now that'd get interesting… evos and indians…" Cardinal lifts his glass in a salute after Elisabeth, "I think we'll manage not to kill each other or anything, we'll both be distracted imagining your naked, sudsy body." A teasing note to his voice, and then he looks to Felix, admitting, "We should catch up anyway. It's been awhile."

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