Safe Place


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Scene Title Safe Place
Synopsis Tania is introduced to representatives of the forces keeping her safe, the Linderman Group and the Ferrymen. Or at least, keeping Logan's assets safe. But no one needs to know that part.
Date August 23, 2010

Staten Island: The Angry Pelican

A stone's throw away from the little makeshift harbor on the foreshore of the Arthur Kill river is this little even more makeshift bar. Little more than a shack, the interior barely fits more than its own stock of alcohol and kitchenware, and the seating spaces are outdoors under a rickety wooden cover decorated with fishing paraphernalia and nets. The chairs and tables are broken down cheap things that look like they've been scavenged from all over the place, mismatched but comfortable with some cushions or blankets thrown over them. The ground is sandy and dirty, as if the beach extends right under your feet, and despite being outdoors, the place is cluttered. Simple alcohol is provided - whiskeys, rums, and beers - without a chance of food, and you'll mostly find yourself in the company of thieves, considering the kinds of boats that dock here.

It's beginning to rain, and so when the sun reaches noonpoint, it's through the vagueness of New York cloud, making the time that Tania has spent here vaguer to count unless she has a wristwatch, or desires to ask— the— bartender? the time. The light sprinkle from the sky is more uncomfortable than it should be, out here, with most of the self-proclaimed bar open to the elements, rough angled tin making makeshift shelter for mismatched picnic chairs and crooked tables. Gaudy decoration in the form of fishnets, plastic crabs, seashells stapled to the foundations of the structure, a TV that may or may not work, and she hasn't been asked if she wants a drink.

In fact, the employee has said as little to her as possible, neither asking if she's okay, nor asking what she's doing here. For the last span of time, there's been a boat approaching the rundown little harbour that's but a stone's throw away from the dubiously defined border of the Angry Pelican. Those that get off are clearly not together — passengers with their own agendas, and only one breaks from the group and heads up the shallow hill for the bar.

Logan knows this spot well enough, used to the way his boots sink into dirty sand, kicking aside an empty, sand-encrusted beer bottle as he goes. His long legs are sheathed in dark denim, fitted and potentially as expensive as the make of his shir, barely seen beneath the length of white linen coat he has over it. He's only vaguely rained on, with the misty quality of the weather, scuffing a hand through dampened blonde curls and looking harrassed for it without actual misery. By the time he's there, scoping out the place and landing his attention on Tania, it's probably the first time since this morning she's been acknowledged with any kind of recognition.

"Right," he says, more to himself than to her, in the tone of someone acknowledging a job completed.

She sticks out. Not just for being young, which she is, but just her whole demeanor. She's nervous. Scared, perhaps. Her muscles are tense, adding to the overall anxiousness about the girl. Tania has two envelops in front of her. One is crisp and neat and likely unopened, while the other is folded and crinkled and torn a bit, and clearly been opened a number of times. A foot taps silently on the sand, and she seems to be watching. Waiting, but patient.

So when Logan spots her, she spots him, too, and for a moment… she looks like she might be thinking about running. Deciding against it, she watches Logan, her head tilting to the side with a sort of helplessness about her. "I hope you are Miss Kelly's friend," she says, her English good, but her accent thick and easily giving away those Russian roots.

There's a glance over his shoulder to see if anyone is likely on their way any time soon, before Logan steps closer, almost a fraction awkward, before more confidently gripping the back of an adjacent chair and screeching it across the ground to tip himself into it. The Staten Island coast is notoriously pungent, but even beneath the scents of ragged ocean, unkempt harbour, dying sealife, there is still the faintest detections of both smoke and cologne when he sits at her table, taking care to drape the tail of his coat around on his thigh instead of risk the white linen on the plastic.

"I am Miss Kelly's employer," isn't exactly a lie, if minutely misleading. "And you're Tania Kozlow." Blimey. Eyes a diluted, pale tone of jade skip a stare over her features as if picking out the similarities there. "I'm better described as a friend of your brother's." Hand pushing into a pocket, he extracts a silver cigarette case.

"I am," the girl says with a shy little nod. "If you are her employer, you should know she was very good. I did not get shot." And gosh, she says that as if there were an actual worry about getting shot. When her brother is mentioned, she sits up a little straighter, her teeth biting her bottom lip for a moment as she glances around. "Is he here?"

"On this island? Maybe." Logan takes a few moments to get his cigarette all figured out, until a thin stream of smoke curls up from its embering tip, and matching lighter and case both are pocketed once more, the entire process taking only a few practiced moments.

Another restless glance cast away from them, before he's hitching one long leg over the other, sitting back leisurely enough, and the floor is dirty enough that it probably doesn't matter that he ashes off his cigarette onto it. "But not here here, no. Once we've got you someplace safe, we can make arrangements." He pauses, thinking for a second, and then casts her a thin half-smile, one that doesn't touch warmth to the chilly regard of his eyes. "He does want to see you."

"Arrangements?" Tania tips her head, her expression a little deflated at that. Her fingers curl around the envelop with her brother's letter in it and she sits back a little slowly, letting out a sigh. Oh, but then those last words, they pull a delicate smile from the girl. "He… is not angry?" Which is apparently good news! "I would very much like to see him as soon as we can… make arrangements," she says, her temperament, apparently, very even. "Ah, please- Your name, what is it?"

Footfalls reverberate heavily against crooked, half-petrified floorboards, and an accompanying gust of wind swizzes through the nets, flares throught he panels of his rain-splattered coat. The man is old. Not the reedy and withered kind, though. No, he's dense at the shoulders, squared-off at the jaw, and his eyes show underneath the brim of his hat like some kind of metaphor that just means rather pale and attentive but otherwise difficult to interpret. David McRae is here to pick up a package.

Two had come with him. A middle-aged woman of African descent, and then a dusky-skinned, preposterously tall youth loitering around still outside, having peeled off of their matched stride a few minutes ago. The boy in particular seems uncomfortable in the rain, but determined to tough it out— maybe just so he'll have something to complain about. He's the one who spots Logan and the little girl first, or at least, notices them apart from the handful of patrons clinging to the shadows this day. Enough to level them both a tangible stare, before shifting his attention away without particular subtlety.

The old man's eyes finish their circuit through, and end up on the two of them anyway. Doesn't interrupt, however, when the girl pitches her question. Instead, he fixes Logan with a similar stare, all expectation, like he's waiting for the polite moment to stick out a handshake.

Eyes go hawkish in intent and narrow in study at the cut of her smile, obviously not quite expecting it, the fondness that curves it. A bite to cigarette filter, a liesured inhale of smoke, sent streaming out his nostrils after it's had a few seconds to appropriately rot his lungs, before that smoke is being dispersed by the blow of wind that doesn't have Logan doing much more than hold onto his cigarette a little tighter, ash breaking from the end to join with dust.

Her question is ignored in favour of glancing at the newcomers, that avid study switched to them, now, assessing their demeanor to figure out their purpose, but Logan isn't getting to his feet to greet and summon them over. It's the oldest of the trio that gets consideration, before he responds to the girl, switching his gaze back to her a little late. "John Logan. I work for a philanthropist.

"Your brother works for a government that wants to use you like leverage, which is why we don't 'ave him disappearing to go see you as soon as you're out of Russia." And a more direct look to McRae and his crew that has Logan's hand offered out in invitation, in a way, palm upturned to the quasi-ceiling, cigarette at his knuckles angled downwards.

"This government, yes? I am being… hidden in plain sight? Ah, under the nose." Tania seems to comprehend, though, and she gives him a nod, "Because they will watch him now. I understand. Does that mean I will have a very long wait to see him, Mister Logan?" Her arms fold on the table and she looks… halfway disappointed at the thought, but trying to be adult about it. She doesn't seem to notice the others until Logan is invites the older one over to their table. Then she sits up straight again. She's wary, but at the moment, at least, trusting.

McRae takes off his hat, which is— embarrassingly old-fashioned of him. But Tania is, to all appearances, a lady, albeit one measured on a slightly smaller scale than most who know to lay claim to that title. "Miss Tania, it's a pleasure to meet you," he says, with a grin that makes him look kind of like Santa Claus. If Santa Claus had his head shaven like an ex-convict. Or was an ex-convict, who finds her prairie-dog alertness more charming than a Bambi-eyed swarm toward the promise of gifts.

He puts himself in the chair alotted to him by her friend Englishman, heavy enough to make it creak. Offers the man a handshake. It can't be comfortable, his cold coat wadded up in its pounds of fabric between his body and the seat, but he doesn't seem interested in peeling the garment off. Instead, it goes drip-drip-drip onto the floor below. "My name is David McRae. I work for a philanthropist, too."

The handshake is taken, delivered with the grace of a businessman — which is not as refined as a politician, let it be noted, and Logan is swift to retract, exchanging cigarette hand to hand. "Nice of you to make it," he says, without particular implication that McRae is late, for all that those words are good vessels for impatience. His voice is reserved, as cool as his gaze. "Not any longer than you two have already been separated," he says, to her now — a little sharper than before. "It's been several years, right?

"You can hold off a little longer. He doesn't even think you'd want to speak to him, you know." A little rude, that Logan pokes and pries at this point, neglecting to introduce anyone for them — and he'd been doing so well.

Old-fashioned it may be, but the gesture makes Tania smile a bit, a small measure of comfort found there, perhaps. "It is nice to meet you, too, Mister McRae," the girl says in practiced politeness. "Is it… the same philanthropist?" The girl looks between them, like there's a bit of a puzzle there to figure out, perhaps. But she winds up sitting back in her chair again, as if Logan's words propelled her that way. But, she doesn't seem surprised by them. "Well. He is mistaken," she notes quietly.

McRae tips his head in greeting to the tiny Russian girl, looking at her with the kind of criticality that older people show the younger when they are not sure the younger know what they're quite doing with themselves, in terms of clothing, food, so on and so forth. Ultimately, his assessment marks enough boxes under the 'Okay' column, and he huffs to himself, lightly, wrings at his hat, pretends not to scrutinize Logan in an altogether different fashion.

"A different philanthropist, I'm sure. You might get to meet her in a little while, although she— like Mr. Logan's friend, are very busy people. Businesspeople, I s'pose." There's a twang of an accent there, something that prison and conscious restructuring in New York has almost bled entirely out of his gravelly vocal register, but not entirely. Not yet. He levels his regard on Logan and, without implications of his own, inquires, "Is her brother a fellow employee?"

"Not directly," is delivered succinct and guardedly, that false thin smile now shining McRae's way before it's vagued up with another cloud of smoke, even if Logan is polite enough to direct the exhaled stream away. "But he's under my employ. More or less. I work for Daniel Linderman," he clarifies for the girl, unabashedly. Yes, that Linderman. Linderman Act Linderman. They have news in Russia, of this, Logan is pretty sure.

He flicks more dying ash off his cigarette. "Thank you for coming," is now spoken to McRae, directly, eyes blinking in a way that replaces a nod. "David is a friend of a friend, it seems, and he's here to help you get— settled in. And hidden." There's a beat, before he looks towards the older man and notes, "If there's a fee involved, Colette didn't mention it." Just saying.

They do, indeed, have news in Russia, as evidenced by Tania's eyebrows lifting in surprise at hearing that name. And then she whistles, one long, sharp sound. She'll just sit back and try to process that for a moment while she looks between the two men. One thing is for sure, the girl isn't offering up any tidbits about her brother, even when questions are being asked.

"Settled in is good. You have my thanks, Mister McRae." She pauses a moment before she picks up the unopened envelop with her identification in it, looking at it for a moment before she looks over at Logan. "I was not sure… if this was a good place for opening. This is part of settling in, yes?"

No fee, according to the sardonic lift of McRae's eyebrow at that implication, then a downward quirk of something like consternation. He studies Logan for a moment, but doesn't ask where he could have gotten that idea. Little girls like Tania need places to stay. Assuming they are that, little girls and nothing less, David McRae is not the kind of man to charge for such assistance, not even to such an unsavory character as a Lindergoon. And don't think he doesn't have his own perspective on the clout behind that name, too.

He wouldn't have gone to jail if it hadn't been for Linderman. But you know, that's not the business at hand, and it's not the business of anybody here. He won't hold that against Logan, and certainly not against Tania. "You're very welcome, Tania.

"Felicity's the lady of the house I operate, and Jericho there—" he nods his head out the door, at the rain. Felicity has one hand starfished out, palm-up, to catch raindrops, is talking to Jericho who seems mostly preoccupied with looking intriguingly mutinous in the half-light. "Is another one of my residents. He runs a Bible study class every Sunday, too, should you be interested in that sort of thing as well as Felicity's baking. I hope you don't mind the company of children."

This isn't the part that Logan is involved in. This part, with the baking and the— children. He does listen, though, his eyes half-hooded in the way a cat's get when it's stretched in the sun, though there isn't a lot of that going around. Stirs to life enough to draw in another lungful of smoke, pushing himself to sit straight with a rustle of white linen. "Yeah, keep it close," he says with a nod to the envelope. "Have a look when you get back. I put my number in there, in case you need to get in touch for any reason."

He shuts his mouth against an unnecessary don't misplace it. Whatever nervousness Logan has, he doesn't desire it to bleed out where people can see. "I don't suppose there's anythink either of you need from me," he says, harshness of a South London accent putting an edge on select consonants when refine pronunciation, as ever, slides.

"Children?" Tania blinks there, glancing over at Logan, and then back to McRae. "To be honest, I do not actually know if I mind. But I suspect not. Is there-" she pauses on the question, but picks it up a moment later, if choppily, "I had to leave behind- I play. Instruments." The question is in there somewhere. Hidden.

She looks back at Logan and nods her head. "Thank you. I will keep it in a safe place," she notes, which for now means clutched right in her long, skinny fingers. "Will it be you, Mister Logan? Who comes to tell me when I can see Aleksandr?"

Regret shadows the old weather warlock's face. He murmurs: "I don't think we have— anything of the kind, but we can check," doubtfully, but optimism because she's young. And also for the fact that the Ferry has a great many resources, and while he's forebore to use them for a good many unnecessary comforts and surface furnishings, he supposes occasional exceptions might be made. If they're occasional. And exceptions. The brother has a name now, though, and he's listening to that with interest and wariness, glancing over at Logan.

"We'd be happy to help you set up a meeting with him, whenever you like. But I'd prefer the address of our house remain on a strictly need-to-know basis, even with your sibling. I don't want either of you to have more of an excuse than you need." He apparently has no compunctions whatsoever about making this privacy statement in front of Logan. He flips his hat free in his other hand, loosing off a few flecks of chilly rainwater.

"I'm sure there's somewhere in this city that's of neutral ground. I don't want to know where you are, and it's very important that Sasha— " Slight slip up there, he reflects, a fraction of unease transpiring when he hesitates before labouring on. "— not know either." There's a moment where Logan looks like he might expand on that point, but stops himself — need to know is a beautiful thing. "But yes. I'll come to tell you." He stands, then, kicking back the chair out of his way to make for a clear path out. The day is still young, and at least half of Staten Island is still crooked.

May as well make the most of his outing. "'ppreciated," is to McRae, gruffly, man to man, and such, before Logan is considering his business here closed, and with a flap of white linen, starts for out. McRae's two people are glanced up and down, dismissed accordingly.

"And is there… a doctor?" Tania asks of McRae with a sudden frown. "I will not see my brother very soon, and we left so… suddenly, I wasn't able to-" She stands up, too, looking over at Logan with a gentle smile, "Thank you, Mister Logan. And Mister McRae, your house will be safe." It's a childlike moment, as she lifts a hand to mime zipping her lip, and yet not as all one, as the girl certainly understands the gravity of the situation. Just look at the Mariinsky Theatre.

McRae smiles, suddenly, and it's like sun raking through a cloud that's kept it out with the dreary blue of its bulk too long. He nods, glances up, sidelong, to find that Logan has already stood himself up and gotten kind of chokey and is stalking out like an unsettled panther. Kids, these days. "We have no doctor at the house, but there is one or two that we trust to visit, or can bring you to," he tells her, in a voice that he used to reassure another young woman or two with. Recollections that he doesn't examine too closely. "I think our friend Mr. Logan has the right idea. We should be going.

"Jerry and Felicity and I—" coincidentally returning Logan's gauging stare, and dismissing him in return just as readily, "actually brought a car for this auspicious event. Care to make a go of it?" He stands, his feet meeting the floorboards with the same low percussion that had heralded his arrival, and he ducks his shaven pate over at the world beyond the plastic crabs and rickety doorframe.

For the record! Logan's demeanor: not entirely abrupt, the ease with which he carries himself out of the bar relaxed and patient. Careless, yes, drop the girl off and go, his part done, and attempts to level with McRae in some guise of sincerity not withstanding. Her 'thank you' doesn't get shrugged, either, flashing her a smile over his shoulder and what he would like to consider to be a charming wink, before he's stepping from uneven boarded ground, to vague beachland, taking the path that travels inwards of the island.

Tania nods at that, her lanky figure relaxing some. "Thank you, that would be most helpful." She doesn't share right away why she needs doctors and medicine, but his tone does seem to reassure.

Glancing to the others as they're mention, the young girl seems curious. And then the smile at wink from Logan seems to perk the docile girl up. Just a little. But her gaze returns to McRae and she answers him in a staccatoed succession of nods. She's ready. Her fingers still curl around her pair of envelops as she goes. They are, after all, literally all she has to her name. Or whatever name is on the identification inside. >.>

David will want to look at that later. 'Tania's a nice name, but if she has another, they'll necessarily trade it in. He's been practicing Jerry with his for months, but the cantankerous boy inevitably bores of having to answer to anything less than his proper birth name. For now, though, he trusts the girl to the possession of the envelope that contains her new life, and merely makes a gallant gesture out of direction by extending an arm out the door. He hitches his hat back onto the dome of his head, and calls out to the two other Ferrymen outside.

Jericho yawns like a cat, calls her 'squirt,' first thing. Felicity exclaims about Deeear Looo'd, getting some proper food in her, she's so thin, and whatever Europeans might say about their food, she knows how to maneuver around cheese. It's cold outside, but none of Tania's new companions are, and warmth is promised inside the glass and dusty navy enclosure of the old Saturn that Jericho points out with a bony forefinger.

And it's pretty clear those greetings are completely foreign to the girl, and not just in language, but in spirit. Like most teenagers, she grimaces at the petname, but with an underlying humor in the expression. Felicity is the one that gets a more genuine smile, although it is still an understated feature on her face. She doesn't seem to have replies for them right off, but when she climbs into the Saturn, she does so willingly, readily and perhaps without as much worry as she's been carrying.

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