Schooling, Thievery, and Ballet


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Scene Title Schooling, Thievery, and Ballet
Synopsis The Ferry receives an unexpected visitor looking for Eileen.
Date November 27, 2010

Pollepel Island - Bannerman Castle Courtyard

If there were to be only one problem with Pollepel Island, it would be that it is not a very large island, and if there is a problem with Pollepel island, it's exactly that: It's not very big, and the size of Bannerman Castle is smaller still. Ultimately, it's impossible to get completely away from anything. And when Bannerman's courtyard is concerned, this fact is only amplified by the fact that it is, for nearly everyone, the place to be.

As the late afternoon sun begins to settle down over the horizon, telling everyone that it's time to consider retreating from the outdoors for safety, it marks a turning point in the relationship between Eric Doyle and Barbara Zimmerman. Specifically, it marks the point where civil discussion begins to turn to speaking under heightened tension, due solely to things not progressing in an amicable fashion as they'd perhaps been hoping. They aren't the only ones around when they emerge from the depths of the castle and into the courtyard. Other people are there having their own discussions, or exercising, or finishing up their daily chores, or even just trying to relax for a bit. Some of the younger children are still outside playing, fortunately as far from Doyle and Barbara as they can be when things start heating up, and that's just as well.

On an island as small as Pollepel, one person's problem has the potential to become every person's problem, even if they just want a problem that they can work towards solving.

Good times.

"…Magnes Varlane is a dangerous psychopath. And trust me, lady, I know dangerous psychopaths." Eric Doyle isn't only the chairmen of the men's club for psychopathy, but he's also a client. The big man is still limping a little from an injury of a few weeks previous, favoring one side, but otherwise seems hale enough. Dressed in suspender pants and a cream-colored shirt buttoned up to his shaggy-bearded neck, he's gesturing dramatically as he walks along beside Barbara, "He already put the children in danger once with his idiotic little superhero fantasies, I'll be damned if I'm letting him put more of his ideas in their heads! I'll— I'll make him gravity his own stupid ass into orbit!"

Perhaps entirely unexpected, near a small knot of adolescent boys racing to see who can do the most push-ups in an allotted time is a young woman doing her own exercises. Now, someon exercising isn't in and of itself unusual, or unexpected in that area. But this young woman's exercises consist of fluid and elaborate ballet movements. Her gaze is fixed on a point off in the distance as she pirouettes expertly. Her tight black leggings, paired with hot pink leg warmers, matching fingerless gloves, and a lavender pullover layered over a black thermal tee aren't truly warm enough for the weather, but after she's worked up a sweat, Rue Lancaster doesn't mind the chill.

Her ginger curls strew about her face, unkempt. Her hairband snapped about an hour ago when she went to retie her hair for the umpteenth time. A stray lock sticks to her lipgloss gone tacky, but she doesn't let it bother her. When it seems like she truly must be dizzy, Rue seems to abruptly stop and stretch almost languidly so her arms and upper torso are parallel with the ground, and one leg is stretched out long and lean behind her. It would be more impressive with her toe shoes, but she makes due with black Converse.

"Look, I've heard the stories about Magnes," Barbara replies, her voice low and her arms crossed as she walks alongside Doyle. Her hat shields her head from the cold, while a hooded sweatshirt and a thick looking pair of pants do the same for the rest of her. "I understand he's one of the… bigger loose cannons in the Ferry. But he's booksmart. You should have heard him last night, trying to get people to stop fighting with math and science. We don't have a lot of options right now, and he'd be great for teaching the children their lessons!" One hand reaches up, rubbing at her forehead. "And think about it. If someone can get him to actually stay on the island and teach the kids, that's less time he has to be out being dangerous."

Maybe Shannon's been here the whole time. Maybe she just appeared out of no where. Either option is entirely possible. But it's when she hears the others arguing that she decides to wander over towards them, her head tilting. She's only wearing a jacket, but doesn't seem to be feeling the chill in the air. But then, this island is full of freaks of nature. "You want someone who's dangerous to teach kids? Really? And you don't think that'll be dangerous in itself?" she asks Barbara, her tone dry.

There is a certain degree of advantage in being removed enough from conversations to avoid being accidentally dragged into them, and that is avoiding being accidentally dragged into them. While Shannon has not had any such luck, Rue is fortunate in this respect. All the more fortunate, because if she had been drawn into the conversation that Shannon has been, odds are pretty good that she wouldn't be hearing the light applause from a single set of hands that she presently is. Simple exercise routine or not, she's earned herself a small measure of recognition from one of the island's other occupants, a generally unremarkable man with brown eyes, and short, well-combed hair just a few shades lighter. Unremarkable except for his wearing a charcoal grey business suit that looks to be recently pressed and, perhaps stranger still, recently dry cleaned to highlight the fact that he seems, on all accounts, absolutely unfamiliar to her or, really, to anybody. "Bravo," he says to her.

"I don't care how book-smart he supposedly is," Eric states rather fiercely in response to that, his lips screwing up in a grimace as he glares back at Barbara, "The fact remains that he— that that idiot very nearly brought the government right down on top of the safehouse where the kids were, and it wasn't something he was doing accidentally. And I don't think it was any coincidence that after he was helping out with the kids, one of them went running off in a blizzard and nearly got herself killed trying to be a hero. He's a bad influence, and I will not have him influencing my kids!"

His kids, as if he'd personally adopted the entire Lighthouse bunch. Of course, there's more kids than just those on the island too. Apparently they aren't his problem, though. At the comment from the girl nearby, he looks over and nods curtly, "Exactly." Absorbed in the conversation, he doesn't hear the applause yet. Or at least doesn't connect it to his conversation.

"If he stays on the island, and someone watches him while he teaches?" Barbara replies, turning er attention to Shannon with narrowed eyes. "I think it'll be fine." Now she looks back to Doyle, sighing loudly. "We don't have many options here, Doyle. You can stand there and watch him yourself to make sure he only teaches what he should, but he's here on the island, and the fact is I have yet to speak to anyone more qualified for it." She rubs her face again, shaking her head. "It's a moot point until I can find Eileen and speak to her anyway, but I wish you would at least consider it. He even says he used to teach the children as it is, so it's clearly not that far fetched." While she doesn't hear the clapping, she does hear the bravo, something which has her looking with a curious expression.

Slowly, and carefully, Rue pulls out of her stretch and turns to smile at her approving audience. She drops in to a grand-pliƩ, her curtsey for him. "So glad you enjoyed it." Usually where a man is involved, it means he enjoyed watching her arse, but she doesn't complain.

Rue's tongue darts out between her lips, pushing hair away from her lips as she drags it away with her fingers until it's finally free and no longer attempting to invade her mouth. She straightens up to her full height of nearly six feet and tips her head from one shoulder to the other before bending down to retrieve a bottle of water. "I'm Rue," she offers cheerfully. "I'm afraid I haven't got all the names down yet. You are…?"

The applauding has Shannon glancing towards the man, then looking back and shaking her head. "I'm sure there are serial killers who used to be teachers too. Doesn't mean that they should have been or should be given the job again just because they didn't kill the kids first time around. So consider me on your side, tall, white and bald. Kids deserve better than a dangerous guy who nearly gets them killed."

"Eli," is the simple response to Rue's question, "And don't worry about my name escaping you. I've, got a couple that I tend to cycle between, depending on how I feel and who I owe money to. Which is nobody right now so-" Briefly, Rue's newest acquaintance lifts both his in a half-shrug hands as if to say- "Lucky, just like my neck tie." Lucky and a little peculiar too. So far, a lot of things about Eli seem peculiar. "You find much time for ballet in recent days, Rue? I wouldn't guess you would. I can barely find time to go jogging in the morning."

The argument just seems to frustrate Doyle all the more. Life, it seems, was so much easier when he could just make people listen to him. He brings one hand up to rub against his forehead, "It isn't that I don't think he can teach the kids, it's that I think having him around them would end up with him convincing them that it's okay to go running around pretending to be a superhero. I mean— I mean c'mon, there isn't anyone else on this island that can teach them basic book knowledge?"

His hands spread, and he looks around— pointing at Shannon, "What about you? Or— uh— that guy in the suit over there? Or the yoga chick?"

"Lucky Eli," Rue sing-songs, a bright smile just before she brings the bottle to her lips and squeezes the plastic container to dispense water into her mouth. "I only need enough space to stretch out, really. I'm not a ballerina, actually. I just keep in shape this way. I'm a model." Or, she would be, if she could find steady work. But he doesn't need to know this.

Barbara glances back at Doyle and Shannon, wrinkling her nose. "Then you'd better speak to him. He's here, apparently helping Abby with something." Shannon isn't afforded a response, the argument has gotten Barbara too flustered to respond properly - she, too, is more used to being able to say something and have it not really be questioned. "I'll ask around, see who I can find. But if there isn't anyone else - well, we'll talk about it if it comes up again." She seems determined to let it stand at that, not even wanting to give them a chance to respond before she turns back to the new arrival.

"I don't believe we've met," she replies, eyeing the man for a moment. "Barbara. Eli, you say?" If there's something inherently distrustful in her voice, it's on purpose - given recent discoveries and events, even on the island she's a little on edge about unfamiliar faces. Which includes Rue too, a look afforded in her direction, and a nod. "Hello, miss. I don't believe we've met either."

"Me? Book knowledge?" Shannon shakes her head. "If it's not two plus two or how to cook a fabulous seven course meal, then I'm no good. Already taught some of them some cooking basics though. And wait, this Magnes guy, he pretends to be a superhero? Any particular one, or does he make up his own?" she asks, grimacing.

She arches a brow as she looks back at Barbara. "You'd rather them learn book smarts and be taught things that go against common sense? Just for the book smarts? They kids aren't gonna be here forever." And with that said, she looks towards Eli, head tilting, gaze considering.

Eli doesn't offer Barbara an immediate reply, but when he does, he completely ignores whatever Rue's own reply might be, for the moment. "Are you sure we haven't met before?" he asks, looking suitably perplexed, "You look horribly familiar. In fact, no, we've met before. Or you have a twin sister out there in the wide world." Barbara, with a twin sister? Imagine that. "Anyway, seems like we're all getting to know each other here. Lucky us."

"Yeah, yeah," Doyle grumbles as the matter's shelved for the moment, looking distinctly displeased about the entire matter as he turns along with Barbara in the direction of the others. He hasn't been on the island for very long, so he doesn't expect to recognize everyone by sight just yet. Shannon's question gets a grimace and a muttered, "You don't even want to know."

"I'm lucky. You're lucky. He's lucky. We're all lucky," Rue murmurs quietly, amusement quirking her lips upward in tandem with a sparkle to her eyes, a bit of call and response to Eli's set-up.

Barbara's voice cutting into their conversation does eventually cause Rue's head to turn, of course. Polite curiosity is replaced by recognition. She's been told who to watch for and make sure she listens to very carefully, and Barbara Zimmerman is one of those people. Rue almost bows for how low she dips her head in greeting. "Rue Lancaster," she offers. "Brian brought me here during the riots. I'm the only one who can see Sami the Friendly Not-Ghost." Because that totally makes sense. Honest.

Barbara can't help but groan. "Some day, I'm going to find the ten people who haven't met one of my sisters first, and throw a party. You must have met Niki. Or Tracy? I haven't had the pleasure myself." Of meeting Eli or Tracy, but she makes no verbal distinction. And then there's the polite introduction from Rue, which has Barbara grinning - the frustrations of the previous conversation seemingly washed away for now. "A pleasure to meet you, Rue. I… believe Brian mentioned something about that the other week. We'll have to speak later, if you don't mind?" Being a guest of the Ferry, and all.

"Consider it unasked. I'll just avoid him if I run into him," Shannon says with a nod to Doyle. "Seems safest. And least likely to result in me shoving his head underwater to save the human population from the horror of him reproducing." She pauses, then asks, "Can I do it anyway? Sounds like a smart idea."

Her gaze slides over to Rue, head cocking. "Wouldn't a non-ghost be a person? In which case wouldn't…everyone…be able to see her?" Beat. "Should we all start doing the Time Warp now? Or just expect for a guy in drag to walk in and freak us all out?"

But then her attention shifts to Eli. "So who are you? And I don't mean your name. Names are unimportant since they can change so easily. How'd you get here? Or, alternately, why are you here? Because it'd really suck if you turned out to be one of the people we're hiding from, wouldn't it?" she asks in a sugary sweet tone.

"Well, that would suck pretty hard," Eli admits, although he doesn't seem terribly concerned about being found out, if in fact, he is someone they're hiding from, "But never fear, for whether Rue, Barbara, Eric or, unknown, you aren't hiding from me. Probably. No, I just dropped by to tell Eileen 'hi,' give her a little care package, since I haven't been making time to see her." Another half-serious half-shrug, although for everyone but Rue and Barbara, it's the first one they've seen. "Hasn't been going the way I was hoping, can't find her anywhere, so sad for me." And then, the man in the suit attempts to (clumsily and obviously) turn things around on Shannon: "Why are you here?"

The idea that this nice man could be someone their hiding from never once occurred to Rue. To her credit, she doesn't take a step away from Eli or anything. Instead she gives a quick nod to Barbara and a murmured response of, "Sure. We can definitely talk later." Then, quietly she admits, "I thought he was with us." Because she was perhaps naive to think that everyone on the island was with them.

Barbara looks back at Shannon and shakes a finger at her, grimacing. "There's no need to be rude, Shannon," she says quietly, another shake or two before she withdraws her finger. Rue's comment, barely heard by Barbara, is only responded to with a reassuring hand placed on the young woman's shoulder, before she finally turns back to Eli. "Eileen has been busy, from what I hear. She's been gone for a bit now, and I'm looking to meet with her as well. If you'd like, we can find her together. If you're simply looking for a Councilmember, however, I may be able to help." She still isn't shaken of her suspicions, but for the moment Eli has the benefit of the doubt.

A brow lifts and Shannon seems unconcerned about Eli's attempt to turn the tables. "I was invited." So hah! "But if you've got something for Eileen, you can easily give it to one of us and we'll make sure she gets it. Or you can listen to Barbara." She looks over to Babs then and shrugs. "I like being rude. It's fun. And he just showed up, so I don't trust him. Knowing Eileen's name doesn't clear him, not by a long shot."

"Indeed it doesn't, but that's neither here nor there. And in any case, I'm only looking for Eileen, not someone who sits on whatever council is in charge here. I'm just a thief." If nothing else, Eli is bluntly honest about what it is that he does. Or what he claims to do, at any rate. "And since there's nothing here I'm interested in stealing, I'd like to keep my distant association with the group here as a whole as distant as possible, no offense to any of you. Although the ballet is definitely worth the trip, just my opinion." Bluntly honest and maybe just a little bit of a creeper, too.

A blush creeps into Rue's cheeks that has only a little to do with the chill in the air that she's suddenly feeling. "It's cold." You see? She even tells them all so. "I'm.. going to go inside." A look is cast to Barbara. "I'll be around, whenever you'd like to talk to me, ma'am. Promise." A very tentative smile is cast to Eli before she assures, "Nice to meet you," and is hurrying off toward the castle, bottle of water in tow.

"I will find you before too long, I promise." There's a bit of a grimace as Rue starts off, Barbara once more peering back at Shannon with a very unhappy expression on her face. "Rude or not, I would prefer you not be rude to guests without good reason. A lot of us are suspicious of each other around here. We're on edge. No need to be rude over it." Said very much in a tone befitting of a mom, though this time she doesn't add in another finger wag. That would just be overkill.

Turning back to Eli, Barbara's hands slide into her pocket and she nods. "I will keep an eye out for EIleen, then, and inform her you're looking for her. But it is as I said, Eli. We're all a bit suspicious of new faces around here. I would recommend you do your best to act accordingly, regardless of how attached to us you wish to be." And then she smirks a bit, posture relaxing. "Besides, that ship sailed the moment you got here."

Shannon's lips twitch. "Oh, well, that's okay then, since you're just a thief." She shakes her head then and lets her gaze settle on Barbara, and she shrugs. "You can prefer whatever you like." But it's clear from her tone that she doesn't really care what Barbara wants. Then she smiles. "I'm going inside too. The kitchen calls me." And she turns on her heel to start in that direction.

A quick and not terribly loud, "You too," is spoken when Rue takes her leave. Eli apparently isn't so sure he should say anything else to Shannon, however, since she seems to be such a fan of his. "Ships sailing sounds like pretty good advice right now, Barbara. If everyone's this edgy, I get the feeling that it just might be better if I don't spend too much time here. Give everyone a break from my presence, you know." Since that makes perfect sense, except that it doesn't really make any sense. "I'll be back in a week. If you see her before then, just tell her that, however many days in the future it ends up being, Loki will drop by for herring with Munin. She'll know what that means. You know, unless she forgot, in which case you get to enjoy the confused look on her face. Somebody wins either way." Is that that? Apparently, yes.

Eli straightens his jacket briefly. "Barbara-" A nod- "Eric-" Another nod, even though Doyle has elected to quietly observe for most of this interaction- "It was nice meeting both of you, but please make sure your friend knows there's no hard feelings. Ta!" With a prissy wave, Eli does the unexpected and disappears right before their eyes. Maybe there's something to all this talk about ghosts (and non-ghosts) after all.


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