Plans on Top of Plans


graeme2_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title Plans on Top of Plans
Synopsis The discussion of contingency plans continues.
Date March 30, 2011

Le Rivage: Ygraine's Apartment

A comparatively large and well-maintained apartment occupying one corner of its floor. Windows dominate two sides of the living room, illuminating it brightly throughout most days. A kitchenette occupies one corner of the lounge, while several doors offer exits.

Luxurious but slightly worn brown leather furniture is arranged around the television in the main room, with a small dining table and high-backed chairs diagonally opposite the kitchenette. Wall-mounted shelves and stand-alone cases take up a lot of space along the walls, almost wholly filled with books. A collection of full-size geographic, political, and historical atlases have been given pride of place - though academic texts on history, international relations, conflict theory and linguistics are also prominent, alongside a fair collection of DVDs. The one sizable decoration is a blown-up photograph of mist-shrouded Edinburgh castle at sunset, a black silhouette rising out of white and luminous gold.

Of the exits, one (with an extra lock, deadbolt, and a sturdy chain) leads out of the apartment; another to the bathroom; and the next to a small room that has been converted into a rather cramped home gym. A computer desk, filing cabinet, and a single bed take up most of the space in the next room, while the last is the master bedroom - dominated by a double bed (upon which sits a two foot tall cuddly penguin) and more bookshelves (these holding a jumble of magazines, art books, Neil Gaiman graphic novels, and a collection of science fiction and historical novels), with a clearly well-traveled laptop resting on the bed-side cabinet. Here, high-quality art-prints of dragons decorate the walls, while a small cabinet holds a collection of cycling trophies.

Scattered throughout are a variety of ornately-framed photographs of a striking, curvaceous brunette, the shots ranging in style from the candid to the artfully glamorous

With a new door in place, it's immediately clear from the outside that some sort of change has taken place in Ygraine's home - but it's only when the portal is opened by the householder that the full extent of the upgrades becomes apparent. And those are restored once the guest is inside, the paranoiac Briton clearly pleased by the additions to her already-high level of security.

Past a new, heavy curtain across the short hallway, the main body of the apartment is as it was before, with corner lighting providing a warm glow in counterpoint to the gloom outside.

Arriving at Ygraine's house, following behind a workman carrying something long and metal up the stairs. If he had a few minutes to study it, he'd recognize it for what it was, but as he hits the landing and heads toward Ygraine's apartment, it looks like the work's going on there. He peers around the doorframe and knocks, letting himself in behind one of the workmen. "hey Ygraine…" Jaiden says with a look around the apartment. "Doing a little remodeling?"

"A little attempt to restore the feeling of this as a safe haven", Ygraine informs her visitor, offering a brief smile. "Should be just about done now. I'm resisting the temptation to put anything extra on the windows, though… if I had the money one-way glass might be nice. And I've read that you can get double-glazing filled with gass that scrambles sound-waves to avoid eavesdropping."

A wink suggests that she might be at least partly in jest.

Graeme looks up towards the two, from where's settled on the couch, with his tablet in his lap and perhaps had been working on something. Reading, though that's been a slower endeavour than usual. His free hand pulls the earbuds out, then setting the tablet on the coffee table, next to a crystal vase of roses that currently sit there. "Hey Jaiden." The words still carry a tinge of sleepiness, though Graeme's been up for well over an hour and it's nearing ten in the morning.

She might be, but this being Paranoid Ygraine, she might not be. Still, Jaiden came to visit quite early in the morning - when his shop should be open but with him here, it's not. "Do you two have a moment to talk? I wouldn't just normally show up out of the blue without calling, but this is kind of important…." He glances around for one of Ygraine's little white-noise generators, hoping to find one handy.

With other people in and out of her home, Ygraine has her Spy Shop kit ready to hand. A little delving and she finds the white noise generator in this pocket rather than the bug detector in that one, and pulls it out to bring the little green LED into life.

"Fancy a coffee, or something? And what's up?" The Aussie gets a rather intently curious look, the Briton acutely aware of her conversation with Liz the evening before.

Graeme's giving both Jaiden and Ygraine an inquisitive, curious look, and moving slowly to clear the space on the couch that he'd been taking up most of until Jaiden arrived. "Alright, yeah." There's a pause, and a nod, followed by a wave to get them both to come over to the couch.

Jaiden settles down on the couch, a blue sparkly plastic bag that may not have been noticed placed on the floor between his knees and, once the little generator is whirring away, he feels a little more comfortable speaking. "Okay…" He glances to Graeme and Ygraine. "I think that Elisabeth is about to get picked up. At least, she thinks so. And I think that with her being targeted, we all may be under the microscope."

Ygraine folds herself into an armchair, curling up a little. "It's almost certainly my fault", she says quietly. "If you want out of this and into safety, Graeme, then you should probably be looking at getting out and away from us. If you want a middle route, then I have a job for you that'll get you out of the apartment while we're talking. Or… you can stick around and hear more."

Graeme makes absolutely no indications of getting up, instead settling down a little more. "Not going anywhere," he murmurs, tone edging towards that slightly defiant insistence that he has.

Jaiden pauses to let Graeme leave but, when he doesn't? The australian lets out a breath and nods. "The sailing club is planning an excursion, and the information they got could only have come from Lizzie. So….she thinks that Saturday, sometime, things are going to end up happening on the negative side for her freedom. So…" Jaiden reaches into his pocket for a couple of small cards, offering one to each of them. "If you have some things that you'd like to be sure to keep out of the hands of anyone….send it to this address. These people hold things for me…or rather, for a nice gentleman named Jacob Marley who's credit card bill I pay, and there's no links to me or anything….other than when I come and pick up what I send to them."

Ygraine chuckles softly, leaning forward to accept the card. "Actually, the first part of the information for the trap they baited - that came from me. I relayed it to Liz before ever she got told about it by HomeSec. It's near-certain that I'm under direct suspicion from HomeSec, and that as soon as the Ferry rescue the Disappeared victims, it'll be confirmed that I've fed information to them. Liz is… well. She's doing more."

"Graeme", she gestures with her card. "Is likely to have been largely safe until now. And still can be if he avoids finding out more about this. Heck, turning us in might even make him properly safe." The man in question is offered a swift, rueful grin.

The card is taken, and Graeme raises his eyebrows quietly. He's silent for a moment, and then speaks, fairly deliberately. "No, Ygraine. In this particular matter, maybe yes, but the DHS is well aware that I'm friends with Liz. They were particularly interested in that, in how I knew her." He pauses. "And in other matters, I'm not safe to begin with. My sister, for one. Which means I may as well make myself useful where I can." The card in his hand is glanced at, tucked into his pocket. "Thankfully, I have very little by way of possessions, still."

The card holds an address and a name of a man in northern New York - a fairly nondescript name and a fairly nondescript storage shed. Chances are this is one of Jaiden's fall-back plans for when 'things go bad,' which, he had hoped he'd never have to do. He sighs and looks from one to the other. "If things get bad, if someone shows up, get to my garage. I have a way out of there that will delay just about anyone…long enough for us to get to safety."

"I'm bailing out before then. But I'd been going to make use of Graeme to buy some burn phones before I went", Ygraine says softly. "To summarise, Graeme, if you're sure you want to hear this…? Okay - while I was in for my interview, Agent Hanson let me catch a glimpse of a memo about the transfer of two prisoners. One is a neighbour from this building, a former NYPD cop and the adoptive father of a young woman I used to know well. She's sat exactly where you are now, in fact. The other was one of the leaders of the Sailing Club - the man who had me brought in. They're both unEvolved, to the best of my knowledge, but were 'disappeared' some time ago. I felt that I had to pass on the news of when they were being moved, and where to. Because they don't deserve to be left to rot."

"Unfortunately, it was almost certainly a trap. At the time, I refused to believe it was, because I was scared that was just my paranoia talking. But… it seems too convenient. And a further element was then fed to Liz when a change was made to the specific arrangements. If she passes it on, they've got her as well as me. If she doesn't, then I'm the sole leak. Either way, I'm screwed. Because the Ferry will choose to rescue either of the two useful people over a half-mad half-cripple. And I can't blame them. But it means that unless we're wrong, we're only safe until the day of the move. They probably won't swoop before then, since they won't want to tip off their other targets. But Liz and myself are both very probably royally fucked."

Graeme nods. "I've bought phones for students before, on a regular enough basis if I needed to," he says. "And my own phone is on a prepaid plan, I can very, very easily buy those things, including the cards to be redeemed for each number, though I'd suggest one redeem those all at once." There's a pause as he collects his words. "I can space the purchases out over today and tomorrow," he says. "Along with any— anything else that's remotely legal for me to purchase, that you might need," he continues.

There's a pause, and Graeme is musing. "I can easily give those to you, tomorrow night at the show?" More thinking slightly aloud follows. "Which means that I had best let myself get back to normal by tomorrow night so that I'm more fully aware by the weekend and not off-balanced by the changes. After the show, I'll go spend a few nights at Aric's, or maybe at home, that I'm out of the way and at the very least, not here."

"Just making you aware of a potential problem….we have to act as normal as we can leading up to the show." This is directed to Ygraine, Jaiden shifting on the seat he's chosen, feeling like he's in a bizarre sitcom. Screw Up Everyone's Life, LIVE! "That's a good idea, Graeme. Just be sure to pay cash, and any old phone you have, don't carry it. Leave it here so they can't trace it by towers. I'm not carrying mine right now, in fact."

"Ygraine…Just…if something happens odd. Anything. You get to my place and hide out. You know how to get in. You too, Graeme. If you have any changes of clothes, load them up in a bag and get them to me ASAP."

"Call forwarding's a very simple method of screwing up many basic forms of tracking", Ygraine says. "But using multiple phones is a great advantage. I've got some old burn phones I've kept as reserves. And I've had a grab-bag for a long time."

"I'm also due to see a lawyer today, and get this place signed over to my father's possession. Repayment of his financial support for me through the years, and also a recognition of my uncertain employment situation. I still can't ride, and I can't even contact my new employer. So formally surrendering ownership to him should seem legally sensible enough. And might protect this place from harm, to at least some extent. My bike's already up at the in-laws - I had it shipped out when I realised it'd be months before I could ride him again. But… a second grab-bag, I can certainly put together to have stowed at your place."

A sigh, and Ygraine closes her eyes. "I think I've explained what I've been told of how the negation gas works, haven't I? At least to you, Jaiden: in summary, it can be absorbed through your skin, but it works a lot faster when inhaled. So layers, a breathing mask, a bike helmet - anything that gives you extra time might be useful. Because they will almost certainly use gas when coming for any Evolved."

There's a wince at the mention of negation gas, a noticeable. It's about up there as far as things that Graeme dislikes, right along with negators, and negation pills. "I knew Liz was onto something when she suggested I brush up my firearms skills, and I never did get the chance…Right, and do we know how long it lasts for?" There's a pause, and he looks over at Jaiden. "I'll leave my phone in my apartment, charging. A perfectly sensi— perfectly good place for it to be, once I've gotten the new ones." There's another pause. "I brought back an overnight bag for here, Jaiden. It's in the guest room right now, take it with you when you leave, it's got stuff for me in it, and it has the spare cash I'd stored in Remi's safe, too. I didn't want to leave those there while I wasn't staying with her, and this way I'm not giving you too much when I see you tomorrow night."

"It may not mean anything. It may come to nothing at all, but I like to be prepared for every emergency, even if it might never happen. But this one might so…." Jaiden shrugs, nudging the bag with his toe. "Always be prepared. Hey, as a bit of a diversion….here, Ygraine." he offers her the blue bag.

Looking mildly wary, she again leans over to accept it - but delays investigating for a moment, instead setting it carefully in her lap. "For subtlety… if you want a bit of protection, I can point you to a biker shop or three. Unobtrusive armour's come on leaps and bounds, to the extent that there are ladies'-cut skinny-fit jeans now… that are designed to take sliding along tarmac at high speed. There're a host of styles, from day-glo patterned camo pants to fashion wear to something you might see a stereotypical farmer in. Similarly, you can get reinforced jackets, armoured inserts, and so on. Won't stop someone shooting you with a forty-five, but it'll make you a lot more resistant to lesser attacks. Similarly, if you're worried about personal security of a different sort, Spy Shop have a branch here in Manhattan."

Graeme nods, quietly, and grins. The bag is peered at. "I might well go pick myself up a good jacket while I'm out," he says. "I don't happen to own terribly many of the things to start with. Never needed them so much, in New Mexico and I can deal with the cold here that I hadn't yet bothered."

"Ygraine, you and I are going shopping for leathers and like. ASAP." Jaiden leans back in his seat, waiting for her to open the bag. When she does, inside is a small blue and white striped hat with a white puffball on top and two long ear covers to, guess what, cover ears. "And if you're wondering what that is…it's a worry hat. It's made of a special fabric that repels vagrant anxiety. If you wear it, worries can't get inside your brain."

Ygraine stares at it. Then Jaiden. Then the hat again. "You are quite mad", she informs him - albeit with a smile. "But… hrmm. I could take you off today, after the lawyer - though I'm not sure how long that'll take. And I could see about getting a few extra things myself. There are some really serious outfits if you want to go the whole hog. The grade of stuff that the pros wear for coming off bikes at well over a hundred miles an hour. Some of it is quite scarily high-tech…"

Graeme just chuckles very quietly. "I should start on errands soon, and on memorising phone numbers," he murmurs, shaking his head to try and shake himself into being more awake than he is. "Though I still find myself having to wonder why Alice Shaw want— wanted me to know about the Sailing Club in the first place, especially come the turn of events."

"Yeah, well….It's what I do. Come on, then…let's get a bag of clothes together for you, or at least one of those go-bags, Ygraine." Jaiden takes the hat from Ygraine and plonks it on her head playfully, even with protest. It may look silly, but it will help.

"Because they're not omnisicent, but they do try to form useful connections", Ygraine quietly informs Graeme, attempting to maintain some measure of dignity while wearing the floppy blue… garment. "They seem sincere in supporting 'my idealism', and they appear to be very keen to ensure that they themselves survive. Which does not appear likely under the agenda of the powers directing the present administration. I very much doubt that they saw this coming. But you're far more likely than me to be able to stick around and help Liberty. And even if Liberty goes down, the trust fund is separate and based overseas. The whole point of it is that it's out of reach of the US government. So you can keep founding new organisations, if need be. That's a point…. I'd best give you contact info for the musicians who've expressed interest, and those I'm targeting…."

Rising to her feet, she starts to head for the bedroom. "And I might as well give you, Jaiden, the grab-bag I have ready."

There's a nod from Graeme. "Yes, you probably should, and those at least can be written down somewhere," he responds, not getting up to follow her. "Since there're only so many numbers I can keep in my head, and my own, your guyses, anyone else's that I should have should things go too far wrong are more important at the moment. Ones that shouldn't be written down."

"Okay, that sounds good." To the bag being available for him to take. The sight of Ygraine in the Worry Hat, silly as it looks, does make him feel a little better. At least she's putting up with it, and that means a lot to him. "Have you spoken to any musicians yet?"

"Other than Adelaide?" Ygraine cracks a grin. "The things we've been discussing have rather put this from my mind, but…. Well. Some of the people I'd most hoped would come through thus far haven't. But one I'd got few hopes for has already written one song, and promises more on the way. And… on Monday, I met with and got a promise of support from a chap by the name of Nathan Roberts. Brother of Harmony Roberts, whom he's said he'll talk into volunteering as well. They're the children of Steven and Lilly. Of Authentic fame."

There's a low whistle. "That's impressive," Graeme murmurs, considering. "We'll see where that goes, I guess."

"Other than Adelaide, yeah…" Jaiden, being the social butterfly that he is, knows about Authentic or, at least, has heard of them. "They're going to help us out, huh? That's going to be neat." He grins and waits for Ygraine's bag.

There's a brief furrow of a frown on Graeme's face. "That will be neat, yeah." His words don't match the concern he has for staying in touch with and keeping track of his friends once they have to go underground, though, and he gets up. "I should go grab my bag for you as well, make sure the stuff is all in it."

Ygraine shoots Graeme a somewhat concerned look, before ducking into the bedroom. Within moments, she's returned - her grab bag apparently quite literally ready to be snatched up and taken. She does, however, pause briefly, then set it down. Removing her hat, it is slipped into a side pocket, and a wry smile is offered to Jaiden. "For safe keeping."

Safe keeping - sure…Jaiden gives a playful smirk and nods, picking up the bag and slinging it over his shoulder. "Come on, Graeme…after this, we're going out and buying leathers.

Graeme disappears into the guest room after getting up, coming back out with a simple small black duffel, zipping it closed to hand it to Jaiden. "I have two days worth of clothes in there and some other stuff." There's a pause. "Get the cash that's in there to Liz, could you? I can withdraw more without raising suspicion, pretty easy." There's five hundred in cash in the bag, as Jaiden will find later. "And yeah, buying leathers. We should get that done. Hopefully, I'll find something I can put on by myself."

"If you want to grab some of my energy bars to top up the food reserves, feel free", Ygraine suggests. "And I'll see about meeting up with you guys after the lawyer, to shop for leathers and reinforced denims, if you like. For now - shoo. I need to get ready to sign away my home. Oh, the joys of being an idealist, eh?"

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