Sharing Salma


cat_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif conrad_icon.gif kinson_icon.gif

Scene Title Sharing Salma
Synopsis While Cat practices with her pistol, she and Conrad strike a deal, and Kinson meets another member of Phoenix.
Date January 26, 2009

Old Dispensary

On the outside, this sprawling multi-level complex has not seen use in many years, its walls covered in greenery and stone exterior and glass windows showing evidence of disrepair. Surrounded by a chain link fence, a drive leads from the street to a large dock, and around the back one can expect to find more sprawling greenery that eventually leads to a concrete drop off into the Atlantic Ocean.

Passing through the chainlink fence and into the dispensary will reveal that the aged and crumbling outside is a facade. The loading dock is kept clear for the most part of everything save vehicles and supplies, though a section has been quartered off and transformed into an open workshop. The dispensary itself has been transformed into something akin to a makeshift dormitory, complete with common areas, a sizable kitchen and eating area, with various rooms converted into bedrooms for the residence. One room has even been set up as a makeshift clinic, amply stocked with supplies.

The back lawn and garden of the dispensary is surprisingly well tended, green and lush during the right months. Vegetables have been planted in accordance to season closer to the building, though someone has indulgently planted a plots of flowers - notably sunflowers - here and there. Further out, the ground drops a little and makes it to a concrete edge from which opens out into deeper water of the Atlantic.

The previous day, she spent time in the basement working on her firearms skill, and was satisfied with her M16 performance, but the pistols with silencers, not so much. Today, a Monday morning, Cat is there again. She has an empty guitar case, used to transport the weapons unseen, resting against a wall, with her backpack next to it. If a table is present, there's a book on biochemistry and viruses resting there. Cat's M16, taken apart, rests there as well along with cleaning supplies.

When Conrad wanders down from upstairs he announces his presence audibly. "Woooo…" and heads right for the M-16. Like it's Christmas. Because it's been years since he's had his hands on one. "Oh c'mere baby." he says, not even paying attention to the Cat nearby. Let him get close to it and he'll have the rifle reassembled in no time.

"Be good to her," Cat advises with a chuckle when she hears him and glances over her shoulder to see what he's got attention on. "I used it earlier and cleaned it, haven't put it back together." Her features are at first solemn, pensively so, but a bit of a grin appears when she sees him assembling it. "Maybe sometime I could race you in taking one apart and restoring it. I'd almost be interested in doing that whole cliched blindfolded thing." Then she trains her attention downrange and hefts the pistol, with silencer attached. Two hands are used, one to squeeze the trigger and one to support her hand. Cat draws in a breath and holds it, then fires.

The range, such at it is, isn't very large. It can't be, secretted in a basement like it is. Basically it's a concrete-walled affair taking advantage of the natural construction of the basement and going down a twenty-five yard firing line that is backed by a wall of triple-stacked sandbags. The bags have already shown plenty of signs of perforation, leaking dirt all over the floor. That's probably never going to be cleaned up and will someday result in an artificial berm of just sand. It does a good job of catching every fired round though and preventing dangerous ricochets. Some hammered-together wooden frames provide stands for targets and can be moved about as needed.

Conrad does them both a favor and mutes the sound of the gunfire while Cat shoots because even silenced the sound is a little loud in the natural echo-chamber that is concrete walls. "What's her name?" he asks, already getting the lower receiver put together and working on the handguards on the upper. As he fits the rifle together and puts the bolt carrier group in, he looks to Cat and says, "With your talent you'll take to it like a natural if you haven't already. Nice thing about what you do is you learn real easily."

"Most of this, being here to fire, is putting into practice what I read," Cat confirms. "It's one thing to read about how a pistol works, and quite another to actually feel it kick in my hands, and to use the sighting methods. I wasn't happy with my pistol mechanic yesterday. I didn't consistently hit seventy-five percent, which I read was a standard military qualifying score using a target that's basically a torso and head. Four positions with the M16: standing open, lying prone, sitting, and behind cover." Then she raises the weapon, one hand supporting the other and both in front of her, draws in a breath, holds it, and squeezes. The round is fired.

When the breath is let out, Cat adds "I haven't named my rifle yet. I might call her the same name I gave my favorite guitar."

"There's kneeling too. For the rifle." See, rifle marksmanship is something Conrad knows. He may be at best disinterested in using pistols, but he's an old hand with the rifle. He gets the rifle assembled properly, does a function check on it. Then is grabbing up a magazine to load it. "What'd you name your guitar?"

"Courtney D," Cat answers, her voice a bit somber. The pistol is aimed again, and a series of three rounds are fired, between each she brings the weapon back on target and sights again, working to be quick in doing so. After firing, she glances at him again, and asks "Have you ever seen Once Upon A Time In Mexico?"

"Can't say I have." replies Conrad, getting a magazine of six rounds and locking it into the rifle. He racks a round and comes up to the firing line. "Mind if I bean your target?" he asks, not wanting to go to the trouble of putting up one of his own. "I'll aim low so I don't get in your shotgroup."

"Go for it," Cat replies, as she stands aside and lets him have the firing line, keeping her pistol pointed at the floor. "It's tied to Desperado, with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. One of the characters, El Mariachi, is a guitarist who also uses the cases to hold firearms. He has two friends working in the same manner, and they all use varieties of modified cases. One of them had his guitar case rigged to be a rocket launcher. I've wondered a time or six what the details would be in rigging one up to house and fire a rifle."

"Mmm. Salma Hayek." Conrad aims low of Cat's shot group and squeezes off three shots on semi-auto. They puff silently with the trigger pull, causing the rifle to jump just a little in the process but otherwise remaining supernaturally silent. He switches the fire-selector to burst and says, "I want Salma Hayek." He takes aim, pulls the trigger, and the last three rounds of the magazine rip out in a series of three shots at one trigger pull. The bolt holds open on the empty mag and he rips it out easily. "I want one of these too. Man. Wish you'd never gotten it. I thought I was recovered from wanting a gun…"

She grins a bit, her eyes resting on Conrad as he fires. "I want Salma too," Cat remarks. "I read commentaries on disconnects between military weapons instructors and people in the field. The teacher sorts say more than three shots at once is a waste, since they can't be aimed accurately and anyone should be able to take down the target in three or less, but the field folks know what the teachers don't account for; that full auto isn't about accuracy, it's about putting enough out there to make opponents stay down so people can move."

"Full auto and burst are for cover fire and mobs of targets. Like if you're being overrun, rock and roll on burst. That's all. Anything else, semi-only because you're wasting ammo otherwise." And that is Conrad's informed opinion. He hefts the weapon and grins, obviously having missed having a rifle. "I was infantry. I loved my rifle. And by the way if we get Salma, let's share. Deal?"

"Deal," Cat replies with a quiet laugh. "Who else do you want?" she inquires. Her pistol remains pointed at the ground, letting him have the fire line still.

"I wouldn't kick you out of bed, but you weren't exactly in my sights in the first place. Aside from that, Paz Vega. I love those latin hotties." Conrad says with a grin. He steps back from the line and goes back to the table to take the rifle back apart again. "You can go ahead and shoot. I'll silence it so long as I'm down here."

"She was the maid in Spanglish with Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni," Cat supplies. "You being into latinas, you probably want Jessica Alba too. And the Roselyn Sanchez from Without A Trace, maybe." Her feet are placed back on the firing line, and the mechanics are followed. Two hands, one supports, one fires, hold breath, squeeze.

"Yeah I want Jessiba Alba hardcore." admits Conrad, taking a moment to daydream about what he would do to and with Jessica Alba. Suppressing the sound of gunfire comes without much effort, so he can do that and daydream at the same time to a point. At this point he's gonna let Cat do all the shooting. It's her practice, after all.

After a few blessedly-welcome days above freezing, Ygraine is once again suffering with sub-zero temperatures. As she clomps along the corridors within the Dispensary, she shivers at the shift in air-temperatures. A couple of minutes of searching confirm that she's apparently alone above-ground, but do provide her with a steaming mug of coffee to clasp in her hands as she opens the door to the stairs and ventures down into the basement.

She remains in her stance, aiming a silenced .40 pistol at a target twenty-five yards away, two-handed. It jerks in her hand a bit after firing, is re-aimed, and she fires again, holding her breath before gently squeezing the trigger each time. "How are my mechanics?" Cat asks, wanting the opinion of someone live and breathing above and beyond what printed material told her.

"You look like you know what you're doing. Aside from that, ask the target. If you're hitting what you aim at, that's the best judge. The rest is just practice." Conrad crosses his arms and leans against the wall behind the firing line, offers a grin at Ygraine as she appears. "Hey, it's the English Cutie. How you doin?"

Ygraine blinks, rather surprised at the greeting, her attention drawn from the unusual sight of Cat with a gun to Conrad. "I… hi", she says somewhat uncertainly. "I'm bloody nervous. Apparently you're my team leader for the honest-it's-not-a-suicide-mission to the power plant?"

"Morning, Debater," Cat replies on hearing the voice without turning. She looses a few more rounds, enough to empty the clip, then strides downrange to check out her target. It's eyed briefly, then brought back to Conrad so he can view his own results too.

"Yeah I heard about that." Con says to Ygraine. "Don't worry, we'll play it smart." Is that bravado or just coolheadedness? One would have to get to know Conrad to tell for sure. He pushes away from the wall to check out the target. "I suck. Rusty. Lookit this grouping. And this isn't even a good range for rifles, being too short." Indeed there's about two inches between some of his shots. The grouping's pretty wide.

Ygraine lifts her brows, but rather cautiously moves closer, somewhat warily eyeing the rifle. "We could do with spending some time in training", she says quietly. "I've done some work with Brian already, though I could do with more with him. He's not acclimating too well to being under the effects of what I do."

Her own aren't so far apart, there's maybe eighty percent of them in the torso area. "Qualifying is seventy-five percent still, right?" Cat asks calmly. And she glances back at the British one, her eyes darkening a bit with the mention of Brian.

Conrad's eyes go first to Cat in a glance as if checking her for some reason, and then he looks up toward Ygraine. "What kind of training did you have in mind?" In answer to Cat he says, "Depends on who's judging, really. I'm gonna tell you straight: If you hit the target, you win. So just try to be more accurate than you already are, that's all. You any good at sculpting or drawing, Cat?"

Ygraine offers Cat a worriedly quizzical look, attention caught by the change in the lawyer's expression at the mention of Brian. She nods somewhat uncertainly to Conrad. "At the very least, we should learn what each other can do", she says. "Especially if - as seems to be the case - I'm intended to get you past security measures."

Her reply to Conrad's statement is a silent one, just a nod, before she turns toward she who crossed the pond. "Conrad and I are also plotting to seduce and share Salma Hayek. Jessica Alba too. Want in?" She pulls the clip out of her pistol and lays the weapon facing downrange with the safety on, as she gets out ammo and refills it.

Aside to Cat, Conrad supposes, "I'm not sure she can handle it." That's on the seduction topic. But he follows it up with, "You know that facility my group is supposed to raid? Can you draw or make some kind of miniature mockup of it so we can use it for a planning aid?" He grins at Ygraine and says, "That a good start? I'll show you what I can do sometime. Not this second, but I got some useful tricks."

Ygraine offers a wry chuckle to Cat, lifting one brow. "Mmmm. So long as Jen doesn't mind, sure. I'd certainly happily play with either of those…. But on the training, Conrad - we really don't have a lot of time. And even if we're only talking about getting people used to the effects of what I do… I don't want to have either of you guys barfing when we're in the middle of the excursion. A planning aid sounds great - and might give us something to start working with for coming up for the cover for the "vital" part of our group that's now missing."

Kinson is wandering again. This time, by himself rather than being shown around by Brian. He's also talking softly to himself, reciting some bit of spoken word that he's trying to nail the flow and inflection on. That's when he heads down into the cellar and hears the steady *popPOP* of gunfire. "ohhhhh." the young man says, softly, "someone has my tickets for..the gun show." he grins as he speaks to no one in particular.

"We'd share with Jen, of course, that should help," Cat deadpans. She's otherwise quiet while placing rounds in the clip, until Kinson arrives. She turns his way and nods once. "Morning." Focus and calm are on her features, she doesn't show lingering disquiet from the day before.

"Weird enough, I don't usually get motion sickness. Probably because I'm deaf. My ears…they're…strange." Conrad explains this along with vague hand motions on the side of his head. When Kinson shows up he looks a little confused for a moment and then asks, "Cat, who's this one? I missed the memo."

Ygraine raises a hand in greeting to Kinson, but flashes a swift smile at Cat before replying to Conrad. "Balance is chiefly a function of canals that are separate to hearing. Internal gyroscope, of sorts. But a lot of the nausea comes from feeling everything withing your body that's not held firmly in place - including your bain - suddenly being tugged in a new direction. It's nost just a conflict between your inner ear and your eyes, which is what a lot of motion sickness is - it's a physical shift. Then there's the weirdness of trying to adjust to the world being screwy all around you. That's a different sort of messing with your head…"

Kinson returns Cat's nod and waves to Ygraine. When Conrad asks about who he is, he steps forward. "Kinson Sayers, sir." he says, meaning the respect he put into the word 'sir'. "I'm still pretty new yet. I'm the A-V guy." he says, not sure if he has to state what he does, given his unassuming look.

"Yeah okay, Mister Wizard." replies Con easily to Ygraine. "I get it. You paid attention in school." There's no overt sarcasm in his tone, but obviously he's being facetious. "The point is I don't have a lot of problems with dizziness or whatever. I don't know why that is, I just know my ears don't work normally." Oh look, the new guy's all polite and respectful and stuff. And…holy shit! A-V! Conrad shakes his hand and says, "A-V. Man I got some work for you."

"Helena, Al, and I met him at the docks Saturday," Cat offers. "He's in from like minded people in the heartland." She looks between him and Conrad briefly.

Kinson smiles, "That'll work. I got a list of the stuff they got here, and Helena told me if I needed anything else just to ask her so I will. No reason to use a laptop of she can wrangle a workstation." he nods to Cat, "I haven't forgotten about our conversation, either. I'm looking forward to getting my brain picked." (someone hasn't heard about Sylar so still makes those kinda puns).

Ygraine shoots Kinson a momentary curious look, before offering Conrad a longer-lasting one. She remains silent, however, her concerns apparently brushed off once more.

"I'll give you a list, pal." Con says to Kinson, then: "When's good for you?" he then asks, turning his attention back to Ygraine. Apparently she's not so brushed off as she believes. "I mean, I think I get what you can do because you kinda showed me. Unless there's a lot more to it."

Nodding to Kinson's words, Cat replies "It's not just that. I've found a recording studio you could have access to for projects, I think you'll like the equipment." Then she turns toward Ygraine and flashes back a few days, to recall part of their conversation.

"Care's been taken to cover me, on the paper trail front," Cat confirms, as she moves from one studio area to another. "The organization can also use these facilities to make video productions for our goals. Helena knows about it all, I still need to bring her here for the full tour."

Ygraine eyes the equipment with more interest than understanding, but clearly continues to be rather impressed. "Have you confirmed that none of the devices have identifiable signatures? I know it's somewhat higher-tech than identifying a photocopier or printer from its products, but…"

"He says not having machinery leave traceable indicators on things it produces is no problem, Debater."

Ygraine chuckles, flashing a grin to Kinson before nodding to Cat. To Conrad, she shrugs and sighs. "Pretty much whenever - we need the training if we're to stand a chance. After all, we need to come up with a plan. And we can't do that if we don't know what others can do - though we _could_ assume that all implications are obvious and we don't need to find out, Mr Ventriloquist."

Kinson looks between Cat and Conrad, "That works. The studio will be helpful for recording clean podcasts, and I can get Anne in there to do some music for the video stuff." to Conrad, he says "You and me both. This stuff is useful, but it's a bit..clunky..for doing graphic and Audio. We're gonna need some mac workstations for starters." he smiles to Ygraine again. He's starting to fit in, but only just.

"Ventriloquist? Oh I get it." Con surmises, at first seeming a tad confused at Ygraine's joke. It crosses his mind that he COULD show off just now, just to try to prove points. But just as soon as the thought pops up, he decides against it. Deciding against it in the past has saved him a lot of trouble. "You need me for anything?" he asks Cat. "I think I oughta go have a heart to heart with our girl here."

Conrad is replied to first, Cat also recalling an earlier question she hasn't answered. "I'll see if I can make the drawings you're after, get you what you asked for, but no promises. It's not my usual area of art." she explains. Then a slight grin is cast toward the Briton, and attention shifts to Kinson. "I know an excellent guitarist and vocalist who could do some work with you on that front as well as Anne. My contact also plays piano and cello."

Ygraine laughs softly at Cat's comment to Kinson, then nods to Conrad as she starts towards the stairs, sipping from her coffee as she goes. "Is there a sparring room here? I'd like to test out a few things. Preferably with dummies, at least some of the time, but a live partner'd be good. If there's plenty of padding."

Kinson nods, then smiles. "That'd be helpful. I can write copy, but I'm far from a musician, so that's going to wind up someone's misuided child at some point." he says, running a hand through his longish hair.

"All righty. Gimme a shout if you need anything, kids." Conrad says to Cat and Kinson, following Yggy up the stairs. He says to the brit's back, "Don't really have a sparring room just yet but I was hoping we could get something like that set up. There's some open space in the docks that Elvis is using for a garage. It's got some room."

Ygraine nods thoughtfully, waiting for Conrad to fall in beside her once out in the corridor once more. "I definitely won't risk it, then. Far too much chance of maiming you", she says ruefully. "I'm wary enough of doing it in a proper training room, let alone…." She shrugs. "So - what else can you do other than talk with pins in your mouth?"

She starts to pack up her weapons and ammo, taking care to make sure they're free of chambered rounds and stores them away. Cat, having more than one set now, leaves the ones she was using here. "I should get back to Manhattan. Got a number I can reach you with, Kinson?"

"Well for one thing I could shut you up if I wanted to." Conrad says with a roguish grin, talking to Ygraine as they depart. "The rest of it, I'll just show you." And he's out of the basement at that point.

Kinson shakes his head, "Not yet. I'm staying here for the time being, so just contact here. I should be around." he glances down at this watch, "Oh crap. I gotta jam." he hitches up his backpack. "Catch you guys later?"

She continues her packing up, soon reaching for the backpack, as Kinson makes his reply. "I'll do that. See you, Voice." Cat will be on her own way back to Manhattan soon.

January 26th: Undeserving
January 26th: You Go Zig, We Go Zag
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