Secrets Can Destroy


barbara_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Secrets Can Destroy
Synopsis In a bad future, the Ferry didn't get all the information. In the here and now, Elisabeth tries to prevent at least some of the miscommunications.
Date May 30, 2011

Skinny Brickfront, Endgame Safehouse

It seems that these days, if Barbara Zimmerman isn't on an island, she's spending her days in a safehouse, gathering information, checking in on how people are doing, or just doing whatever she can to help. Usually, though, these are Ferry safehouses. But it seems, even when visiting people she considers friends, it unfortunately means having to visit other safehouses as well. But Barbara was prepared for this, she had been from the moment she had put word into Elisabeth Harrison taht she wanted - sheck in, as it were, see where people stood. Maybe not in an official capacity, but it never hurts to see what the other movers and shakers in the city are up to.

When she arrives, it's with two large bags of minor supplies - some food, water, sundries and other similar things. Pain in teh ass to lug araround, but worth it. Stepping into the safehouse, invited to visit for the time being, she offers a smile around at it's occupants, before setting down the bags. "It's ncie to see you all again."

In this weather, Ygraine is somewhat tempted to wear even less than she already is - but even in a ruin while on the run, some standards need to be maintained. And as a result, she was in a fit state to answer the door when their visitor arrived, sporting denim cut-offs and a sleeveless top that shows off the mess scars on either side of one bicep.

"You're not exactly our usual delivery girl", she says dryly to their visitor. "But anyone bearing supplies is certainly likely to receive a warm welcome!"

Elisabeth herself is also in shorts, though walking the rooftop of the building when she notes the visitor heading toward the building. She comes down the stairs, the text ahead of time more than enough warning, and Elisabeth smiles as she steps into the room with Ygraine and Barbara. A spaghetti-stringed tanktop and a pair of sneakers are her only other garments. "Nice of you to bring supplies, Barbara," she offers quietly. "We appreciate it." Blue eyes skim the Ferrywoman, and she asks worriedly, "What news?" Because it's rare one of the Ferry ventures here — and Liz has her own reasons for avoiding the island.

"Mostly the same as usual," is what Barbara offers on the news of recent times. Which isn't totally true, but she's not just going to lead in with some of the stranger topics and occuracnes. A wave is offered to Ygraine, Barbara smiling at the Briton she hasn't seen in some time. "So this is where you've been?" she asks of her, cracking a smile. "There had been worry after…" A look back to Liz, and a frown forms. "Everything exploded. It's a shame it all came to that." Her eyes close, a bit apologetic even if no one's really to blame save for the government. Still, there's nothing that can be done about it now.

"Has everything been… as okay as it can be, here? We haven't heard terribly much from you or Richard in the last few weeks. I'm not sure about every one else, but it's a bit worrying to me when people drop most of their contact like that." Barbara looks between them with a quircked eyebrow, before setting on pulling things out of the bag - largely stuff that'll keep and doesn't require much effort to cook, like Pop-Tarts.

Ygraine shrugs slowly, cocking her head before darting a glance to Elisabeth. "I've dropped by Grand Central a couple of times, but I didn't think that trying to make the trek up to the Island would be at all sensible. Going into hiding somewhere that they had no reason to look for me, in a network they'd be unlikely to associate with me - that seemed safest for all concerned. And I figured, after hearing nothing at all after passing on what turned out to be bait for a trap, that you guys were taking something of the same view about reducing risks. So I limited myself to visiting the one bit of the network I could reach by taking routes virtually no one else alive can follow."

"Everything's… been as okay as it can get. I've been keeping in touch with Francois and Ryans a bit, at least letting them know anything I can tell them." Elisabeth frowns a little. "Felix is staying at the house. I sent him to keep an eye on Francois… he's under the weather." She leaves it at that, uncertain how ill Francois might be — could just be a cold. But she's worried. "Richard…."

Elisabeth glances at Ygraine here and gestures Barbara to come in and find a seat. "Richard's going to be off the grid for some time," she tells the sister of her best sniper. "Some unexpected things came down the pipe at us." Like pissed-off children from the future. "I try to stay clear of the island — it wouldn't do to get spotted going there and expose you guys," she admits wearily. "After what happened on Beach Street, I just…. I can't ever take that chance again."

The mention of Richard being off gird gets a distinctly sour look from Barbara - particularly since she gets the impression there's more going on there than she's told, but she's not going to press at it. The mention of Francois being ill, though, that gets her attention pretty strongly. TO which she asks. "I don't… mean to be rude," she starts somewhat pensively. "BUt Francois is nonevolved, correct?" There's a much more businesslike tone to her voice yet, her posture straightening a bit as she continues to remove the contents of the bag. "I would be careful who you put around him, until someone can get him to a hospital. If he can get to a hospital."

She lets that linger for a moment, before she looks up between Ygraine and Liz. "The H5N10 virus has mutated. It can now infect non-evolved individuals, and from the sound of it it's even more horrible than it was before." A look sweeps over to Ygraine. "And we need all the help we can get on and off the island. If you can, I'd recommend you stop by sometime and speak with someone from special activities."

Ygraine sighs quietly, eyes closing. "Great. That sounds wonderful. And… are you happy for us to visit the Island? I can't exactly get there by the same kind of methods I can use to reach Grand Central. There'll be a lot more risk of me being noticed, even now that I can get around the city without relying on public transport or a hire car with disabled parking tags…."

"We know about the mutation. I still hear through the grapevine," Elisabeth says quietly, her blue eyes worried. "I'll drop a text to Ryans tonight and let him know that if he needs us, all he has to do is ask. Whatever help we can give you, Barbara, it's yours." She shoves a hand into her hair, pulling out the pins that are holding it up and letting it tumble to her waist so she can scratch her head. "Francois has Teo and Felix both keeping an eye on him — if it turns out to be the flu…." She trails off, her eyes worried. "There's little enough we can do but try to keep him quarantined. But I'll send word when I know one way or the other, okay?"

There's a pause, and Elisabeth ventures, "You've… heard about the strange dreams going around, I assume? I know a bunch of people in the Ferry have had them." She's going somewhere with it, feeling Barbara out.

Babrara actually amusedly laughs a bit at Ygraine, shaking her head. "We have people on federal watch lists - including my sister, so by extention, myself - going back and forth. I don't recommend doing it with high frequency, but are certainly welcome to come and help out, Ygraine. Just be smart, and be careful."

With a turn back to Liz, Barbara nods. "Good. I wasn't sure how well or how far word had travelled. We have a name for a man who is likely responsible for putting the mutated flu out there. But there are… others, trying to feel out a solution for that, before we act." The mrntion of dreams isn't exactly one that catches Babara by surprise in the strictest sense - given that she's had one with Liz in it and heard of others, it's not a surprise. It's just not somethign she expected to come up now.She gives a slow nod, her look becoming a bit more wary. "Dreams, memories, of the future. I am aware." And she knows the source, even, but she's holding on ot that one for the moment.

"Yeah, well. Most of you didn't get used as bait to try to get people killed recently", Ygraine mutters, before clearing her throat. "There've been a lot of those. With some rather mixed impacts…"

Elisabeth glances at Ygraine and smiles slightly. "You're overthinking again," she observes. "Do you mind if I drag Barbara upstairs with me? I'm supposed to be on watch, and I'd like to talk over a few things with her."

Barbara nods at Liz, reaching over and placing a hand on Ygraine's shoulder. "You'll be fine. Trust me," she says, offering a hopefully reassuring smile. "If you're only comfortable with travelling to Grand Central, I'm sure that's fine too. We can use help there too." With that, she turns to face Liz more directly, offering a slow now. "Alright. Nothing too serious, I hope."

That Ygraine doesn't shy away from the contact is a definite display of trust, though perhaps only Elisabeth is likely to realise that. Indeed, the Briton even quirks an impishly teasing little smile at Liz, then dips into a curtsey. "Your immigrant maid will stay down here and restock the kitchen, ma'am", she responds - before turning a more normal smile on Barbara. "Hope to see you again soon. I can get lunch underway for us all, if you want to stick around for a little after talking."

Elisabeth rolls her blue eyes and sticks her tongue at Ygraine. "Prat," she informs her roommate. She grins at Barbara. "She's always such a smart-ass." Gesturing ahead of her, the blonde ex-FRONTLINEr shows Barbara the way to the rooftop. The view isn't spectacular but .. it's at least something.

"I might stick around, I can't say for sure. I'll see what I can do," Barbara offers back to Ygraine with a smile, before once more turning back to Liz. "Aren't most people?" she offers amusedly, chuckling a bit as she makes her way up to the roof. Once up top, her demeanour takes a markedly more serious turn, arms crossing and expressiona bit more neutral as she looks out over the edge and into the surrounding area. "I'm guessing you want to talk about the dreams?"

There's a long pause. "Actually, I wanted to fill you in on the situation with Cardinal," Elisabeth says finally. "At least, … first. I'm running things on this end indefinitely. I don't know where he is right now." She looks at Barbara. "And I'm assuming that you understand the implications of the dreams. And where they're coming from. I know Ben Ryans does, and so I'm assuming the council's been kept in the loop as to whose children are here by now."

Anotehr grimace, at the fact that Cardinal is up and gone, but Barbara will reserve any thoughts on the matter, since it seems like more information on that front is forthcoming. That, and well, the subject of the children always seems like a bit more pressing of an issue. "The council has spoken with several of the kids, yes - they came to us, in fact. We know that there's…" A pause. "What was it, fourteen of them here? But we don't know who all of the children are, no. Simply the ones that have come to us so far."

Elisabeth looks shocked. "Fourteen?" she demands. "Jesus fucking Christ," she mutters. "They did bring a goddamn time-traveling posse." She heaves a heavy sigh and wonders aloud, "I'm sitting here trying to decide if we're all supposed to keep our mouths shut about who's here or …. what." She shoves a hand through her long hair again. "One of the children who returned is mine. Ours," she tells Barbara, looking at her. There is … hurt in her expression. "Richard's and my son. He is…. beyond pissed off at Richard, but… it's for things that never happened in this timeline. It's very confusing, frankly. And I get why he's mad, but…. he went after Richard, and some of the other kids apparently didn't agree and evacuated him. To where - and to when - I don't know. So… from here in, I guess I'm running the boat on this end."

"Your son?" Barbara probably shouldn't be surprised by this kind of news at this point, and yet, she's caught a little off guard that Richard and Liz's child came back. More so that he apaprently tried to harm his father - that seems far outside the realm of what she'd expected given the rest of the kids she had encountered, at least knowingly, thus far. "Jesus Christ," she echoes, looking off to the side. "I'm… sorry to hear that. My impression has been that these kids taht came back, most of them have noble goals. Most of them want to help." She takes a deep breath, and closes her eyes. "Most of them. The mutated H5N10 that went out… apparently one of them did it. The Ferry's working with them to figure out what can be done, but all indication is that it's not something at all that the rest of them sanctioned."

"His goals are noble," Elisabeth says quietly. "In the old timeline, I was supposed to die in the zombie riots, to be resurrected some years later by Darren Stevens — who works up at the Institute. Under a version of Cardinal who comes from the same time period as all the kids," she tells Barbara. "The aftereffects of Stevens's ability are … ugly, at best. And apparently I ran from Cardinal in that future while I was still carrying my son." She looks at Barbara. "I raised him in the Ferry, and when he came back…. he was trying to spare me an agonizing death." She sighs. "It's a helluva a long story, but I'm telling you that only so you won't think badly of him. Like the others that I've met, he's here to try to stop certain things from happening."

She pauses, though, and closes her eyes. "You've got to be fucking kidding me," Elisabeth murmurs. "All that we've struggled with, all that they've all seen out there, and one of them thought mutating the fucking virus would….. what, even the playing field???" The audiokinetic's agitation manifests in a low bass hum. "Christ!"

"We're still working out what to do about it - there may not be much we can do about it, now that it's out in the public, unfortunately," Barbara says quietly, and solemnly. "But no one's making an effort to hunt down and kill him - with the exception of some understandable disagreement, the decision's been to at least get him into custody and find out why. But it seems he's put himself at odds even with his friends." So Benji seemed to indicate, sadly. "I'm sure we'll be figuring out our next step soon, assuming someone doesn't take matters into their own hands. But the fact remains, Elisabeth, that if you run into a Calvin Rosen, be very careful - he's now proven himself extremely dangerous."

There's a pause on Barbara's end, and she looks off to the side a bit. "I know you did. I've had… a few dreams myself. One of them was why I came here to talk to you. Well… two, I guess, unrelated." Her eyes clsoe for a second, and she takes a deep breath. "I had a dream, of a group of Ferrymen on patrol. We had come across you, beset by soldiers. But even with them clear, it took a vote to decide to bring you back with us, or just…" shoot you on the spot goes left unsaid, Barbra instead shaking her head. "Everything about this future of theirs, it was an unfortunate time for everyone."

It's the name that throws her. "What??" Elisabeth struggles with the shock value of Calvin's name. He's the only one Joshua thought he could trust. Oh God. Is her son helping with this? She pales visibly. And the agitated roll of bass rumbles across the rooftop again, this time rattling the gravel and keeping it bouncing a long time. She swallows hard, her jaw firming. She alters topic to the dreams without another word.

"Francois… told me some of it. From what I can gather of that future… Richard believed that he had the answers. And he went on to either … found the Institute or went to work for it. And he brought me back to life," she says softly. "I … don't honestly know what I did in that timeline, but I know that in the here and now, the Ferry has nothing to fear from me. It never did. I keep my distance because of Beach Street, Barbara, and that's it. I think the island is well and truly compromised — that you're all in danger out there. And I think that in spite of the fact that Pollepel was a bastion of safety in that future, too many people may know about it now. But that's just my opinion and I'm not on your council." She grimaces. "And since I have nothing constructive to offer as an alternative, it's not worth much either."

Barbara looks surprised by Elisabeth's reaction, though she has no idea which part of this new information she objects to. Presumably, considering teh followup, her treatment at the hands of the Ferry. Either way, that rumble and rattling has Barbara instinctively bracing ehrself. Just in case.

But when it seems like that's passed, she smiles and nods, aiming her gaze back towards Elisabeth. "ELisabeth, I don't believe anyone here, now, in this time, at least anyone with any sense, thinks that badly of you." She rolls her shoulders in a bit of a shrug, hands slipping doen into her pockets. "I have no idea what you did in their time. I also don't particularly care. I mean, there's a whole bloated philisophcal conunfrum about holding people responsible for things they haven't done yet, but I, at least, don't buy into that. But as far as I'm aware, no one has any reason toa ssume tehw orst of you in teh ehre and now."

The subject of the island gets her toe xhale a bit sharply, looking back off into the distance. "Ever since we found out about the Richard that's in charge of The Institute, I think we've all, at least on council, acknowledged taht the Island might be compromised, and some patrols ahve come dangerously close. They actually captured some of our scouts and planted their bodies with teh evo flu a few months back. But it's the best we've got at the moment, unfortunately, so we'll stick with it, for now."

Elisabeth's blue eyes skim the skyline as she struggles to get her agitation under control. Noting Barbara's movement, she grimaces. "I'm sorry — I still have problems controlling it when I get upset. I don't know if it's getting stronger as I get older or if it's just going to remain a permanent anxiety effect since they pulled me out of the river." She sighs, working on calming down some. "I'm glad to know that none of you are worried about all of that," she admits. "I haven't met Calvin Rosen, but I do know that my son …. was worried that the group as a whole was fracturing. He wasn't sure any of them were on the same page and Calvin seemed to be one that he was close to. Maybe if they're as good of friends as he thinks they are he can talk to Calvin." That's assuming he hasn't already done so. "I was sorry to hear the flu hit the island so hard. I heard about it after the fact," she admits softly.

Nibbling her lip, Elisabeth says, "Barbara…. I think I have enough contacts and enough tangible proof to start taking Humanis First down. I wanted you guys to know about it … because it means that I cannot focus resources right now on the Institute. I don't know what you guys have planned, but obviously I'll help anywhere I can."

Barbara gives a sympathetic look to Elisabeth, closing her eyes. "I wish your son luck. I spoke to one of them, who had hoped to talk to him. Someone who I guess was close friends, but sadly it sounded like they didn't part on the best of terms. If your son is closer, than I truly hope he can talk some sense into Calvin where it sounds like others have failed. If not…" Again, a shrug. "I don't know where things will go soon. But I don't think it's going to end well for anyone if some sort of definitive action isn't taken soon, be it bringing him in or otherwise."

The mention of bringing down Humanis First gets a look of surprise from Barbara, tilting her head a bit at Elisabeth. "That would be… amazing. I was talking to one of our associates the other day, from the future. She was telling me that she thinks she can call in a favour with someone else, to get some… proof, on what's going on." Standing straight up, Barbara walks her way overr closer to Liz. "I had a dream the other day, where I learned an Agent Pak in teh DoEA had gathered evidence as far basck as last before, before she was- killed, and a lot of it lost. She knew someone working cloes to Pak, who could maybe get some of that evidence, I believe."

God, that doesn't sound good at all. "If Calvin Rosen is involved… " Elisabeth bites her lip. "I know two Institute doctors who are, supposedly, working a vaccine. One of my operatives sort of fell into the situation, and they've sicced Dr. Harve Brennan on those doctors. I don't know what that will do, but… better you know about it. Because I'm pretty sure that whatever those doctors are up to, a vaccine will either be held hostage by the Institute…. or it's not a vaccine at all." She grimaces.

Liz's head comes around sharply. "Jane Pak is killed? When? How?" There's a sudden worry in her expression. "Jane is the agent who was put in charge of investigating me," she explains. "But she …. seemed to understand why I did what I did. I told her where to look for the evidence she needed." She's alarmed by that idea. "When was she supposed to die in that timeline?" And can it be headed off? Dear God.

"If they're working on a cure, I don't exactly expect them to be offering it up on a silver platter to the rest of us," Barbara remarks a bit glumly, "and we took a lot of risks with the past vaccine snatch and grabs. They might be better prepared for them if they're the ones making the vaccine this time. Do you know who the doctors are?"

"Several years from now, at the very least," Barbara continues with a shake of her head. "I'd guess a good fifteen or more years. Assassinated, according to what I was told in my dream, and her research and evidence destroyed." A look down at the floor, and there's anotehr quiet exhale. "I was told that Georgia Mayes was the one in charge of the Department in their future. Preager… I don't know what happened to him. I know his wife died the same time sa my dream, it was mentioned. But it's believed that whatever evidence Agent Pak has could sway him, or at least start building towards it. So, they're getting it. Or at least setting thigns in motion to get it."

"Good," Elisabeth says quietly. "If you can tell me who needs to talk to her, I'll at least give her a heads up. Christ…. with the powers they may have at their disposal, they may be able to help immensely and keep her from getting killed down the line. Or not." She bites her lip. "About now, I have to admit that I almost wish my son had inherited his father's ability instead of a version of mine. But it's neither here nor there." She smiles a little. "Uhm…. I have already put into motion the release of the intelligence that we can get our hands on, so pass along to the kids…. that I have an uninterruptible network of broadcasting dishes in place — it's what we used to block at least part of Carmichael's broadcast. We'll use it this time to make sure the information goes worldwide and hopefully viral. If they can get me better intel than what I have, more power to them. Georgia Mayes, Sam Irons, Mayor Lockhart, and Gregory Armond — the acting Secretary of Homeland Security. They are the head of the New York Humanis First cells." She looks at Barbara. "Praeger has always been a question mark. I don't know enough about him to be able to discern whether he's involved. But …. it sounds like perhaps his wife was killed to shut him up and get him out of the picture? Which may make him someone we consider trusting."

"I don't know much od Preager myself, unfortunately," Barbara admits with a shake of her head. "All I have on him and the potential to sway him comes directly from the one I spoke to." It doesn't feel right, being so vauge with names. But with the verying senses of trust and expectation - and a lacking desire to out someone else's child, it's an unfortunate requirement. She seems visiably staggered when the list of those involved with Humanis First is explained.

"I- W-wow. That would explain… so much." A grimace is painted across her face, arms crossing. "Fuck, that explains so much." Barbara closes her eyes, to try and calm herself, keep herself from seething. "I trust you, Elisabeth, but I'm not- sure if they would appreciate me giving their operative away ahead of time. Pak knowing in advance, as well… If something goes south, I'd hate for people to be compromised." Thumbs slipping into her belt loops, Barbara rolls ehr shoulders. "The person I talked to's aunt apparently has cover within the Department itself."

The expression on Elisabeth's face says that she understands. "I know from the children who've come to see me that all of the kids are speaking to their own parents or what have you." She pauses and says, "And keeping secrets, to my mind, is what got Richard Cardinal in trouble with the Ferry to begin with." She clenches her jaw. "I've spoken personally to three of them, one of them who was watching my back while I was in FRONTLINE and I didn't even know it," she says softly. "Some of the Ryans spawn are involved." She grins a little. "Kids and grandkids, from what I gather. Amusing," she offers. "My son's name is Joshua — I don't know what he's using for a last name, he didn't tell me. And he didn't leave me a way to contact him. Jane Pak is risking everything to get information that I told her where to find — if the kids are planning on helping her, ask one of them to please contact me? A text will be fine. I just…. I don't want a bunch of people approaching her. It looks bad for all of us to start with — too many people and the right hand not knowing what the left is up to. I want her to know she's helping all of us, if someone's approaching her besides me."

Barbara nods once, before looking up skywards for a moment. "It'll just be the one person, as far as I know." A pause. "Ingrid Ryans, though I'd ask you refrain frmom passing that on, until I can speak with them again. I agree without about keeping too many secrets behind us. But I do think that some things have to wait if we're to keep risks to a minimum. I think, for the most part, they're smarter than that, though. To have more than a person approach her at once, particularly if she already ahs the risk of eyes on her. But I will absolutely be sure to make sure that you're kept informed."

Elisabeth nods. "I won't say anything about identities at all. Ask her to talk to me herself, that's fine. And I'm fine with some things waiting and there being some secrets. Just…." She pauses and says softly, "that's all I'm asking. If Ingrid has reason and ability to approach her more readily without putting her at risk, I'm happy to let her handle being the face that Jane works with." She smiles a little. "I did warn Jane that Wonderland was not that wonderful a place, so… she knows for certain because of the way things came down that I'm working with the Ferry anyway." She shrugs a little. "I'm sorry that the people who were supposed to be moved weren't even there. I thought they'd at least use live bait."

She grimaces and sighs, looking out over the city. "And if Jane contacts me, I'll let you know too. That way you can pass it on." There's a long moment of silence as she smiles just a bit. "I don't know if this will work… but if Jane can get additional intelligence, and if the people I've got working on the broadcast can word it well enough and make it work well enough…. it might crack their control before it solidifies. And it would be helpful to know if Praeger's someone who would lean toward our side given enough information to work with."

The communications lines are opening.

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