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Scene Title Right?
Synopsis On Elisabeth's request, Colette prepares to bring Rue Lancaster in for questioning.
Date August 5, 2019

“Are you out of your fucking mind?

Not hello, not hey it’s been six months how are you, not any sort of expected greeting. That’s how Rue Lancaster is rudely woken up from a nap in her small bunk at the Bastion, accompanied by the slam of the door against the wall. It isn’t Avi, or even Dearing, that came bursting through the door. No, it’s suddenly 2017 again.

Because it’s Colette.

The Bastion

Phoenix Heights, NYC Safe Zone

August 5th

3:12 pm

Drugs with the fucking Triad?

Colette isn’t so much yelling as she is whispering very loudly and angrily. She slams the door to the small bunk shut with the heel of her boot, so that she can continue to gesture wildly to Rue with both hands. “Rumor, what the fuck?

Rue is upright in an instant, her hand wrapped around an extendable club pulled from beneath her pillow. It's still the war when something startles her awake like that. It takes only a scant few seconds to recognize that Colette is not a foe.

Colette is Colette.

And now what she's said is starting to register, but not fully. "Cole, what the fuck?" Perplexed, blue eyes finally focus as the baton is lowered, tucked back under her pillow. "Drugs with the Triad? What are you—"

The realization dawns.

"Oh, fuck."

Yeah, oh fuck,” Colette grits through her teeth, storming over to the cot. “I got out of a fucking debriefing with SESA where your name came up. I had to file this with Epstein and Allegre that— ” Realizing she’s ahead of herself with the frustrated whisper-screaming, Colette eases back and rakes both of her hands through her hair.

“SESA had a guy at the club you were at that night. An undercover officer. Rue,” Colette spreads her hands, “this is a fucking federal investigation. Harrison let me come talk to you in person, but— I’ve gotta— literally bring you down-fucking-town.” She squints one eye closed. “This isn’t about the drugs, it’s about the Triad and what they’re doing with them. Bigger picture shit, but fuck— what the fuck were you thinking?” Rapidly, Colette pivots between a professional and someone who once called Rue a friend. Someone who is now very concerned.

"Avi and Francois know?" Rue is officially scared. And glancing past Colette to the doorway, expecting Avi to come kick it down any moment. Hell, he could probably shout it down with how pissed she expects he'll be. The reaction anticipated from Francois is equally upsetting, but for different reasons.

"My life is over." Falling back into the cot, Rue pulls the covers over her face and lets out a sound between distraught and frustrated. For a moment, she's just a lump under the covers, expanding and contracting in time with her slow breathing.

She doesn't stay hidden there for long. Even if she weren't braver than that, there's no way Colette's going to let her have this conversation peeling out from beneath a blanket like a scolded seven-year-old.

Sitting up again, this time Rue climbs to her feet, still keeping her voice low. "It's not what it—" Her voice dies in her throat, and suddenly fear is replaced by sadness. "I can't even talk to you about it."

“Well you’re going to have to, because I didn’t come here just as a fucking concerned friend,” Colette sputters, “I’m literally here as an NYPD officer. They want you to give a statement, down at the precinct. Headquarters. Whatever.” Brows furrowed and unable to stay still, Colette paces back and forth across the small room.

“Avi and Francois got a call before I arrived, probably from Harrison, if she didn’t tell them herself beforehand. She wanted me to be the one t’talk to you and bring you in, because…” Colette shakes her head, then just motions around the room as if to describe all of this. “I didn’t see either of them when I came in. I just left some paperwork on Avi’s desk. Rue, this is like… there’s a whole lot of alphabets involved in this. Whatever the fuck you got involved in,” she looks down to the floor then back up, “it’s big.”

"I know." It's a bit ambiguous what exactly she's acknowledging. Fingers take through red curls and leave them bushier for the trouble. "Look, I… I just probably should have this conversation…" Rue waves her hand through the air in front of her nebulously. "With my lawyer present?"

Fuck. Rue covers her face with her hand and sucks in a breath between her teeth. Guilt and shame cause her to feel queasy. "I don't want to put you in a position where you— It should be all on the record. Properly."

It's obvious she wants to say more. To unburden her soul and tell her friend what really happened and why it's come to this. "I appreciate that it's you…" Scrubbing her hand over her face, Rue grabs her leather jacket from where it hangs off the side of the mattress. "I'd love to talk to you off the record, but I won't put you in a position where you might feel like you have to betray confidence. But I won't lie to you, Cole. I promise you that much."

“You’ve got my attention right now,” is Colette’s easy response. “Between me you and what I’m gonna guess is probably black mold,” she points at one corner of the ceiling, “this is off the record. We leave this room, you get your lawyer, that’ll be what SESA gets.” Brows up, Colette takes a step forward toward Rue and puts a hand on her shoulder.

“But you’ve gotta tell me what the fuck,” is how Colette frames it, “just— what the fuck.” It isn’t even phrased as a question, so much as an assertion. What the fuck.

Blue eyes follow the pointing finger, shoulders come up in a shrug. Yeah, probably black mold. And Colette is making an offer that Rue doesn’t think she should, but she’s going to take her up on anyway. If this comes back to bite her in the ass, then she’ll cross another name off the list of people she can trust. That’s already a short list.

Rue tips her head toward the cot to invite her friend to have a seat as she does exactly that. “What I told myself I was doing was researching this new bullshit. Wanted to see how legit it was, what was up with it… Make some connections, you know? I live and die by my shadier connections.” That’s where the good information comes from.

There’s a heavy sigh that serves as the unspoken but in this explanation. “What I really was doing was looking for some kind of escape. We finished our contract. The big fish were fished out of the pond. You left.” Which comes out slightly more accusatory than it was meant to be. “I was feeling aimless. I wanted to just go out and forget about shit for a night.” Rue shakes her head slowly. “It was shit.” So the answer to the question of was it worth it? is a resounding fuck no.

There's a moment where Colette’s expression is entirely :[ but she manages to not latch on to that brief verbal jab. Instead, she focuses on what's in front of her. “What was it?” It's clear then that neither she nor the agencies she's representing here actually know any better.

“Refrain’s not supposed to work on people like you,” Colette says with a motion to Rue, “so it raises a bunch of questions that— need to wait until we get down to the Watchtower. But I want to know, here, me to you, what happened in there? I saw the video, but that… that didn't look like a Refrain trip. It was short.”

"Just long enough to get my ass in trouble," Rue mutters. "I saw other people's memories. Felt their emotions. It was kind of like what Cassandra Baumann could do." She shakes her head and frowns. "I always heard Refrain was supposed to be a good time. The memory I relived was awful." It could have been worse. Maybe something from the war. It still wasn't fun.

Ashamed, Rue can't bring herself to look at her friend. "I fucked up. I fucked up so bad. I thought it was just going to be a harmless thing. One and done… Shit."

Cupping a hand over her face, Colette breathes in and then exhales a sigh into her palm. “Okay,” she says with a shakier tone of voice, “alright, that’s— fucked up. Christ, I don’t know what’s gonna happen here. You’re gonna need bail money, because I’m willing to bet they’ll pull you in on narcotics unless you manage to make a deal… maybe— I’ll try and ask around and see what I can do.”

For as angry as Colette is, she hasn’t forgotten that at the end of the day Rue is her friend. That social collateral goes a long way, though it seems to be pulling the former Hound in two very different directions. “Rue, that shit’s dangerous. You remember all the people who killed themselves before the war while they were high on Refrain? That’s… that shit’ll mess you up.” Glancing down to the floor, Colette takes a step closer and lays a hand on Rue’s shoulder. “We’ll figure this out. Okay?”

“You need to stop saying okay,” Rue breathes out shakily. Because they both know nothing about this situation is okay. “I’m sorry, Cole. I’m just… I can’t defend what I did. I’m not going to try. It was stupid and I was weak. I just… I hope it’s not going to fuck things up for the rest of the squad.”

She squeezes her eyes shut and wipes away a tear. “You know, they probably won’t actually arrest me.” Which sounds ludicrous, because of course they’re going to. “Avi will kill me first.”

Smiling awkwardly, Colette hooks an arm around Rue’s shoulders. “Yeah,” she says with a slow drawl and a bob of her head in a series of sarcastically agreeable nods. “Yeah, you know, that’s one way to look at it.” Colette angles her head to the side, one brow raised. “That’s sort of like a silver lining…”


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