Shot And Miserable


gillian_icon.gif hailey_icon.gif joe_icon.gif lance_icon.gif

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Scene Title Shot and Miserable
Synopsis That's what Hailey is. To try and help the kids + Gillian formulate a plan to get back a monkey.
Date February 24, 2018

Gillian's Brownstone House: Elmhurst

Thankfully, traffic has never been too bad in the Safe Zone. Not nearly as many people as had once lived in even a single burough of New York. Her car gets parked on the side of the road, where there's a row of mostly repaired brownstone townhouses. The alarm clicks on behind her. Someone could steal it, but they'd need to disable more than the car alarm to do so. Her car doesn't even use keys. It has a button requiring her keychain to be within a few feet just to start it. Good thing most car factories had moved to other countries even before the war.

With the trio behind her, she leads the way up the stairs, with double railing for helping the handcapped and unlocks the door, deadbolt and knob. "Hailey?" she calls out, hoping the girl hasn't decided to pack up and head to the Bronx. When Chandra doesn't run up to greet her, she imagines otherwise— the cat is probably with the empath. Who can hopefully feel him again, now.

In her room, Hailey doesn't answer right away. She's sulking. First she was told she can't use her arm and then she was told she needed to stay here. While the comfort of Gillian's home and warm baths aren't exactly unwelcome, she's worried about her friends. Chandra, ever the comfort, is winding around Hailey's legs and purring loudly. The old cat hasn't left her side since she came back to the house. He knows her need, she told him all about it. Rather, she let him feel it and they've been cuddling on the bed together ever since. Wiping her nose on the sleeve of the plush robe she was loaned, she finally bothers to peek down the stairs.

There's more people there than just Gillian. One of them she recognizes immediately and she nearly bolts back to her room. All she needs right now is a Lance lecture inside a sound bubble that allows him to yell as loud as he wants. She doesn't greet any of them verbally, she just plunks down the stairs in a silent tantrum.

It does seem that she's in for just such a lecture at first as Lance tosses the duffle bag he's carried in on a handy piece of furniture in the main front room and then stalks up the stairs after Gillian, looking all kinds of determinedly pissed off up. He's probably already started writing that particular lecture in his head on the way over, and has rehearsed and polished it to pitch-perfect brotherly disapproval.

Then he sees her there, wearing that plush robe, looking generally miserable.

In half a second he's by her side, half-tumbling to the step below her on his knees, starting to reach out to hug her before remembering she was shot in the shoulder and just sort of waving his arms around uncertain of where to put them. "Are you alright oh god I was so worried someone shot you this wasn't supposed to happen anymore are you okay?!"

Brynn follows the group in the door, and she's actually more than a little relieved to see Hailey in a snit. Because Hailey in a snit means she's actually not THAT bad off! When the other girl is bad off, there's no snitting, there's a lot of looking … well, rather tragic. Because usually it means she can't get out of the bed, and that's just pathetic. She splits off to the left, leaving Lance to bound up the steps while she looks curiously around Gillian's place. Faaaaaaancy. At least comparatively. And then she signs up the stairs for Hailey, I hope you're gonna let him get it off his chest, cuz otherwise he's going to be heck to live with. And I hate it when he stomps around. I can't sleep with the vibrations! Which is something of a lie, although Lance does have heavy feet when he stomps around in his own version of a snit.

The sight of Lance and his sister reuniting makes Gillian smile as she waits til all the kids are inside to close the door behind them and lock it again. It doesn't take knowing sign language to understand that Brynn wants to lay down, so she gestures Brynn to the downstairs bedroom for the moment, before turning to look at the siblings once again. Her Brownstone has some very nice decorations, sensable furniture and many, many books. Some have brand new bindings on them, as if she took partially destroyed books and put them back together.

There's even a television in the living room, a fridge and a seperate freezer in the kitchen. The soft hum of electronics fill the air, and the building is well heated. She's not hurting for resources, but she's not exactly rich, either.

Well this was unexpected. At first, Hailey freezes and then she presses her lips together tightly as they turn down at the corners. Her chin begins to quiver and she shakes her head, her blonde hair flying to each side with the force of it. "No," she croaks. Not because of her shoulder though.

"Lance, I need to go home," again with the pleading to leave. She flits her glance to Gillian and then back to her brother as she speaks. "Jim is lost, I left Dayton wandering, and the reindeer…" She stops there and lowers her head, bringing her hand up to cover her face as the tears sprout. Again.

A hand drifts left, drifts right, and Lance makes a frustrated sound before asking, "Which shoulder is hurt so I don't hurt you more." He wants to hug her but he can't!

"Look, we can— we can go find Jim and Dayton soon, alright? Just not alone. We can go there and bring them back." A glance back over his shoulder to Gillian, then back, "…maybe not the reindeer."

Oh Lance, sweet boy. Gillian gives him a sad look as he tries to talk his sister into bringing her animals back— sure they could possibly get an allowance for the monkey, if it could handle wearing a diaper, but the rest? She doesn't have the room for a horse. She doesn't know anywhere safe she could relocate them, either.

She does help the boy out by saying out loud which shoulder, though. "Your arm is supposed to be in a sling, Hailey," she reminds… "Your risking further injury and longer recovery time not wearing it."

Then she looks at Lance and says, "She doesn't want to leave the Zoo, so I was planning to see if I could increase the security there— maybe a small generator, some water purification. Those sorts of things. It won't make coming and going safe, but…" It's better than nothing.

"No Lance," Hailey cuts in on Gillian, the urgency is stressed in her tone and Chandra growls lightly from between her legs. He isn't normally an ill tempered cat around her but right now he's puffed as large as can be. "Jim doesn't know how to take care of himself properly," because Hailey does… as Julie pointed out she's a bit malnourished and did have fleas. "I've had him since he was a baby and he needs someone. Monkeys can't survive alone."

She's never been separated from him for this long, not being able to feel him close is having an effect on her as much as it might the monkey. She glances at Gillian and then back to Lance, "Please if we can just go out there to find him… I'll stay here as long as I need to… but I have to make sure everyone is okay."

Hey, Lance doesn't care about all the details of how things work. He just wants them to work. He shifts over, dropping himself down to sit on the step on Hailey's good side, nudging her with his shoulder. "Alright, soon, but— you aren't going alone. We're going with you, and— " A glance to Gillian. He pauses, brow furrowing, and then his eyes open wider with a sudden idea, "Yeah! That guy, there's a guy— like, an adult? But he's pretty primal, Brynn and him were making art together. He can do force fields."

"Someone who can do forcefields would certainly be helpful, in case those who hurt you showed up do again," Gillian responds quietly, but she's looking at Hailey as if she were a skittish animal, all the while Chandra bounds down the stairs to try and nudge his way onto her lap. She might have her brother now, but he still wants attention, as well as to help out with her worry.

"We'll go out in a group. I might even be able to get a truck to take us halfway there until the roads are bad." The Cooperative does send out help packages to those outside. Not often, but they do. She's a member of the Cooperative.

"We can leave tomorrow, okay? Do you know how to contact your friend with the forcefields?"

Joe returns from scoping out Gillians house. He wanted to give everyone time to talk to Hailey, especially Lance. He didn't know if Lance was going to yell, or hug, or both. But he wanted to give him a moment. But now that he's not hearing any yelling or shouting, and he's thoroughly explored the house, coming back with a small smile on his face. He walks down the stairs, and will stop to give Hailey a careful hug, mindful of her shoulder, but she's getting a hug regardless, and a ruffling of her hair. "Caspian? He can do forcefields huh? I met him yesterday. I think it was yesterday? With Brynn. We went walking. Had a nice time. Got her some sketching paper. But uhhh… yeah. I heard something about going to fetch a monkey? That sounds fun, can I come? I'd like to come." Joe being Joe. He will try to ruffle Hailey's hair again before stepping back with a grin. "Glad to see you're okay Hails."

The hug is returned but the ruffle of the hair? Heck no, it was just washed… with flea dip and other chemicals but her head is clean and she doesn't want Joe's greasy mitts in it.

Hailey's look of concern shoots between Gillian, Lance, and now Joe. "How many people are going?" she asks, her voice tending toward the quieter side. She doesn't like her home to be visited by many people, not all at once, all of them know it. Bending down, she scoops up Chandra with her free arm and holds him close, allowing him to lay across her arm. That same hand is used to scratch under his chin.

"Yeah, that's the guy— and yeah, I've got his business card," Lance says to Joe, and to Gillian, and then he's shooting a look to his sister. "Enough people that if these assholes are waiting there we can kick their ass. You got shot, Hailey!"

"We won't let anything happen to you. And if you want to bring Jim back with us, we'll find a way to get him into the Safe Zone." The others— well— she's not sure about. But the monkey would be acceptable. People had pet monkeys before the war! And if it gets the girl to stay put for a little while until she heals, Gillian would deal with a monkey in her house. "Give him a call. See if he's available. The five of us would probably be okay— " She looks toward the room Brynn left into.

"Maybe six." Part of her wants to call on extra help, and she hopes the kids aren't seeing her flexing her fingers in a kind of nervousness, but six should be enough.

Joe opens his own mouth to say something… almost exactly along the lines of what Lance says, so he then closes his mouth again and just gives a firm nod, jerking his thumb in Lance's direction. What he said. He looks over to Gillian at her nervousness. Of course they're seeing it. Especially Joe and Lance. Brian's training was thorough. He steps over near her and lifts a hand, setting it on her shoulder this time in support. "It's okay Aunt Gillian. We'll get in there, and get out. Shouldn't be any problems. Especially with us? We've got this." His smile turns into a wide grin and he pats his aunt on the shoulder lightly before letting his hand drop back down. "Toolman seemed pretty cool. Between force fields and me as a body shield? We should be fine. Plus Lance is a ninja, and Brynn can totally chameleon us. We'll be all but invisible."

Hailey does notice the finger flex, but she assumes it's nervousness for the same reason she is. So many people and one of them is a stranger. The young woman furrows her eyebrows a little but she remains silent. "Fine," she grouses, obviously unhappy with the situation. "I know a place I can slip through the fence and I'll meet you in the truck…" Because she doesn't want to pass through the security checkpoint.

Chandra is purring loudly now, the rattle in his breathing creating a soothing noise. It makes her look down, "I want to go first thing. First thing." She stresses that point with a pointed look at Lance. "Jim's been alone for days now and we're going to have to drive all over for me to find him."

Lance does not like the monkey, has never liked the monkey, and likes the monkey even less now that the need to find him is putting his sister in danger. He will never, ever say any of that because he knows how much the monkey means to her. Still, there's a brief and frustrated grimace that crosses his expression before he shakes his head, "Alright. First thing tomorrow. We'll do it your way… so long as you actually meet us on the other side." A firm nudge of his shoulder to her good one, "Butthead."

"First thing after breakfast," Gillian agrees with a nod, reaching over to touch Hailey's knee in an offer of comfort. They are putting everyone at risk, but.. "You can go through your way, we'll set up a rendevous on the other side." It will be fine. Or so she'll keep saying to herself. She needs to make sure that her kids are fine. And she doesn't think the animal empath will rest til she finds Jim and sees her animals again. "We should check where he's used to seeing you first. If he's anything like most creatures, he'll find comfort in the familiar." Even if he misses his person.

Joe puffs out a cheek at Hailey's … dodginess? Yeah dodginess. Lance is gonna get questioned about that later. Joe looks to Hailey, then to Lance, then back to Hailey. "Well… I mean some of us can come with you, and some can go with Aunt Gillian. That way we can be sure your'e safe. And that you're not going to run off and do something dumb." He eyes her for a few moments, then a few moments more. Then… a few moments more before he finally breaks his gaze away to glance to Lance and Gillian. "Lance and I can go with Hailey and Brynn and Caspian can come with you Aunt Gillian. Brynn has her notebook so she can communicate that way if she needs to. Then we can get the monkey, bring it back here and… I dunno." Joe doesn't get the monkey thing either but hey. "I have some urban camo and grease paint that I brought with from Canada that we can use when we're slipping through the fence. We can put some changes of clothes in Aunt Gillian's trunk." He huffs out a sigh, then shakes his head, lifting a hand to run fingers through his hair slowly. "I'm stressed. Can I cook something? Is everyone hungry? I'll cook something. Aunt Gillian can I cook something?"

"We don't need urban camo, Joe," Hailey's mood lightens a bit now that she knows for sure they're going to find Jim and make sure the rest of her friends are alright. "I slip through the fence all the time, it's barely patrolled in a lot of places." Being a member of the council, that isn't going to make Gillian feel much better about the security of the Safe Zone but it is what it is.

"The zoo isn't that far by truck," she insists, especially now that there's barely any traffic on the roads. "It only takes me an hour to get there on Dayton and most of that time he's walking." It's taken Lance and Joe three hours by foot when they've visited her before but horses are much faster than two teenage boys. To the offer of food, Hailey just shakes her head, she's too excited to eat. She'd likely be too excited to sleep as well but the pain pills keep her drowsy when she takes them. "I'm going to go to bed," she lifts her bad arm a little, to show the excuse for sneaking back up to her room with the cat. Tomorrow it will be with a cat and a monkey.

Lance's lips purse a bit, but he doesn't call his sister on her plan to go hide away with the cat. He just shakes his head, grabbing the bannister and pulling himself to his feet, reaching out to help Hailey up as well. "Alright. We'll go get in touch with Cas," he says, "Make sure he's willing to come help… I mean, nothing against any of us here— " He looks over the three, a wry smile tugging up at the corner of his lips, "But aside from Joe, we're all pretty squishy if someone starts shooting at us."

Gillian knows about the holes in the wall and fencing, most everyone does, but those who sneak in do so knowing that in the inhabited areas of the Safe Zone there is a military presense, and where there isn't, there's Citizens Watches. They don't stop all crimes, but they do keep certain things from happening. It wouldn't be easy for those who attacked Hailey to act within the Safe Zone without being caught.

"Of course you can cook, Joe. I'll help," she offers with a small smile, so that he's not doing it alone, before she nods at Lance. "Please do. Thankfully the cellphone service tos good here." The best in the whole safe zone. "I'll definitely feel better with someone who can do forcefields on hand." She can pour energy into Lance and Hailey— and even Joe and Brynn if needed, but someone with forcefields?

Much more comforting to have around. Especially since she doesn't have body armor and isn't sure she could shoot a gun anymore if she tried. Her hand still shakes when she touches the one she does keep.

"Well maybe I /want/ to get dressed up in urban camo and sneak through a fence all mission impossible Hailey." Joe sticks his tongue out at the girl that he thinks of as a sister. They all grew up together after all. "Hey. Hailey? We're gonna save your monkey. So sleep well, get your rest, and we'll go get him in the morning." Joe doesn't understand the monkey, but damnit he matters to Hailey so… it's Operation Monkey Rescue time. "Hey I'm squishy too! It just… takes like… a tank shell or something. Actually I have no idea what it would take to squish me. I'd also sooo rather not find out. But if we get attacked I'll be the Han Solo and run at them hooting and hollering. Scare them off. Or just amuse them. And then you ambush them from behind." Joe hops around as he acts out said ambushing, even adding sound effects like thwack and smash. "I may or may not have some fire arms at my shoebox. So… we could go pick them up. I know you don't like guns Aunt Gillian but I would rather have them and not need them than… need them and not have them. Yah know?" He beams at her. "Okay, we're gonna go cook then. Lance you wanna go tuck Hailey in? Or do you wanna help cook?"

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