Slapping For The Greater Good


cat_icon.gif else_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif meredith_icon.gif

Scene Title Slapping For The Greater Good
Synopsis It may or may not have happened (the slap), but Else's life is getting better since her precog-based rescue and she shares this fact.
Date October 8, 2009

Gordon Safehouse

"Three years I've been running this places…" Comess the voice of a matronly woman standing in the open sliver of a red painted door, letting in warm, golden rays of late afternoon sunlight, "and not since the last few months have there been so many girls staying here." Offering a warm and welcoming smile as she steps away from the door, the tired figure of Meredith Gordon looks a little more worn around the edges that Cat last recalls seeing her.

It's been some time since the Gordon safehouse — one of the Ferrymen's longest standing hiding holes — has seen activity. "Your friend's right on in there in the livin' room." She nods her head thorugh a doorway into a comfortably decorated room alight with that same amber colored glow from the windows. In that nod, a coiling tendril of Meredith's blonde hair spills out from behind one ear. "I'll go on and get you two something warm to drink…"

Catherine Chesterfield and Gillian Childs wouldn't normally be here on a thursday afternoon, wouldn't normally be finding their way together into a Ferrymen safehouse maintained by one of the networks longest-standing members. But when a phone call came from one very absent Else Kjelstrom — the prophetic musician who has since disappeared from the public eye since her altercation with Feng Daiyu — sometimes there are things worth taking time out for. Else wanting to communicate with people being one of them.

But there, in the foyer of the Gordon Safehouse, they can see the blonde musician seated on the corner of a couch witha notebook in her lap. Scribbling quietly, her blonde hair is pulled back into a messy bun. No makeup, less pale and having gained five pounds since she disappeared, Else finally looks healthy. And when she looks up to that doorway, seeing Cat and Gillian, the fact that she smiles almost makes it seem like she was replaced with some happier, brighter human being.

"Oh, hey, Cat, she called you too?" Gillian asked as soon as she spotted the musician lawyer. While she'd briefly shown up at Delilah's birthday party, she's been rather scarce at certain things the last few weeks, especially not staying at Phoenix safehouses. Most of the time she's been with her brother at the Lighthouse. Other times she'd been sleeping in other people's apartments. Drifting apart from much of Phoenix, for many reasons.

With the direction given, she nods to the older woman with a small hint of a smile. It's dimpled, but she looks bothered by things. Like— well— Earthquakes. But those are for another time. Instead she goes raises a hand and waves at Else. That's when her smile becomes more genuine. Fighting to save one woman had actually worked, even if not quite how one might expect.

"You look a shitload better, Else," she says, actually walking closer as if tempted, briefly, to hug the woman. She's doesn't quite initiate it, though. "Surprised Eve isn't here," she adds, glancing around. For all she knows the precog could have shown up early, or intends to show up later. She's not always up there.

"Thank you, Meredith," Cat replies in greeting to the hostess and her offer of a warm drink. "It's good to see you again." She's casually clad, jeans, jacket, t-shirt, boots. One shoulder has a backpack, the other a guitar case. There is perhaps some degree of salt spray on her, having so recently made a boat trip back from Staten Island.

Then she turns to Gillian and nods briskly. "She did." Into the room where Else waits Cat goes, looking the woman over briefly. "Yes," she agrees. "You do look so much better."

"Thanks…" Comes the quiet response from Else as she pulls one leg up beneath herself where she sits perched on the arm of the sofa. "I called Eve, but— I got a voicemail. Left her a message, but I don't…" there's a small shake of Else's head, "it's good that I at least got one of you." Up close, Else looks years younger than she did the last time Gillian saw her. She folds back the page she was working on, and lays the composition book down on the table. "Nearly getting killed's sort've put my life into perspective…" she says in a quiet voice. "I got in touch with my agent a while ago, we… talked some things out, and he's been sitting on the fact that I'm taking time off. He says it looks good to the public that I mysteriously disappeared, breeds interest or some shit."

Exhaling a heavy sigh, Else brings a hand up and rakes her fingers thorugh loose bangs, letting dark eyes wander from Gillian to Cat and back. "I ah… I wanted to apologize for how belligerant i was, um, back then. I was really strung out, on— just life and drugs and— Meredith's helped me detox. She's been there for me, everyone here has. I got to talk to this guy Noah, he sort've knew a lot about things… he helped me get my head screwed back on straight."

Rolling her shoulders, Else adjusts one strap of her dark tanktop, then slides off the arm of the couch to settle down on the cushions. "I— I just wanted to say I'm sorry for pushing you all away when you were just trying to help me. It took nearly getting killed to realize that I was living a double life. That the part of me that wanted to write music, was getting killed by the part of me that wanted to run away from everything."

"I'm sure you'll see her again. Probably when you least expect it. She's the reason we were able to make it there to help you that night," Gillian says quietly, still smiling a bit as she casts her eyes down. Dark locks fall into her face, and she reaches up to push them behind her ear as she looks back up at the woman who looks so much better than she had before the encounter that could have ended in her death. Is that what nearly dying should do to someone? She's imagining so, now… It certainly seems better than some reactions she's seen.

"And it's fine. Fuck knows I've been a bitch to people trying to help me before, so it's pretty much okay, unless I want to be a hypocrit. Glad you're clean, though. Now you can keep more of the money for yourself." It's said with a bit of a shrug. Drugs are another thing she can't speak out against too much.

"So you're gonna get to go back to a music career?"

"I understand," Cat tells her. "Staring death in the face can be cathartic." She's been there a number of times since the captivity at the hands of Ethan. "And having such a change happen is fearsome." Her eyes lower to the notebook, curiosity being an ever present thing for her. The drive to gather data wherever it exists.

Shaking her head slowly, Else remains quiet to the question Gillian asks, but ultimately her body language gives away the answer. "I… I want to, but… I don't think I can. Not after realizing that there are things going on, all over the place, that's so much more important than my narrow little view of the world." Managing an anxious smile, Else reaches out with a bare foot and pushes the notebook closer towards Cat. On the open page, there's writing:

New York City, sunken by a tidal wave of water. People still live, I've seen boats navigating the expanses of sea between the skyscrapers. Somehow, despite all of the tragedy, life finds a way to live on. It's peaceful there, somehow. People struggle to survive, but somehow it all seems more honest. It's like the great flood from the bible, it washed away all of man's sins.

"Noah's been helping me hone my gift." Gift, not curse, and it's changes of focus like this that seem to make Else seem so much like another person. "He's helping me concentrate more on translating what happens in my catatonic states into like, regular words instead of lyrics." She smiles, a bit reluctantly, "I keep seeing a lot of the same stuff, though. So I'm not sure how helpful that is right now, but i've written a lot about what New York's like. Noah thinks I can only see my own future, because I'm seeing everything from my perspective in it, writing everything like I'm there. I think…" Else's smile grows a little, "if all that does happen, I make it out okay."

Moving in closer to the other woman who's being shown the notebook, Gillian skims it over her shoulder. It won't be memorized, but she can at least read it, as she looks up startled at the name. "Seriously? You're writing about a flood and some dude name Noah is helping you do it? If this were a book, I would laugh at the writer for using crazyass foreshadowing," she says, but then looks back down at the words to reread again. "So the flood thing might actually be… good. In the long run." She says, frowning a bit. "At least for you, since it's from your point of view."

"I'm a good guitarist and singer myself," Cat relates for the Scandinavian's benefit as she scans the page and commits it to memory, "I've only been in New York just over a year. Came here to break into the business with an eye to also being politically active, played regularly at the Surly Wench for a while. Paths crossed with some people, and a tragedy happened. Since last December I've been on stage only a few times, never before a large audience."

"There was needing to lie low, and on top of that more important things to focus on. I've met Noah. He's good at understanding how best to apply things."

"I've thought about your writings, Else. The imagery, it makes me wonder if an eclipse is involved somehow. And whether or not Staten Island sinks."

Wrinkling her nose at the way Cat delivers those bits of personal information, Else shifts awkwardly in her seating and leans forward, resting her elbows on her knees and chin on the heels of her palm. When it becomes clearer that it's an effort to try and sympathize, she just offers a hesitant smile and a nod of her head in response. Her eyes drift to Gillian, smirking at the Noah association. "You know, I hadn't even really considered that…" but her focus shifts slowly back towards Cat. "I— there's an eclipse in a lot of what I've been writing. Never about the water though," she reaches down and picks up the notebook, folding back a few pages of random scribblings and grocery lists to find the right page.

"Here we go. I'm looking up at the night sky, and the moon keeps getting darker. The city is noisy around me, and it's cold on the rooftop. The moon goes dark, and I can hear the sound of cars on the street below me. Some time after that— I can't tell how long— the tidal wave hits and demolishes most of the city, flooding the rest, and flooding everything else as far as I can see in any direction."

Quoting those words from the page, Else lays down the book again. "That was the first real cohesive bit of information I was able to write down after Noah helped me start writing. He says in time, I'll be able to pick out exact moments in my life to look forward to. I— I'm kind've excited about it. It's like… I always just thought the gift I had didn't have a reason for it. That it didn't have a purpose? But— now that I know to focus on myself, everything else is so much clearer. Sometimes I get weird bits of things that don't have anything to do with me, though…" She reaches for the notebook again, searching for something.

"Yeah, I was wondering about some of your songs, Else," Gillian says, even as she looks over the pages, hogging in on Cat's personal space so she can do it. Even if she can always ask Cat to make her a copy later and she knows she'll get one in a perfect version of them. From personal experience, she knows how the ability works. "I— guess everyone has a gift for a reason. I'm glad you found someone to help you out with yours. Even if the whole name thing makes writing about a flood funny. Maybe we should ask him to build us a boat… Cause at this rate we might need it."

Flooding happening after the eclipse. Perhaps right after. Not much warning. Lunar eclipses last a lot longer than some, at least, but not quite long enough to evacuate a city… There's a frown. "When is the next lunar eclipse? Assuming of course this is something natural— with all the crap going on these days it wouldn't surprise me if one happens out of normal sequence. People need to stop breaking physics." Says the person who helps people break physics.

Whatever is shown to her, Cat reads. She listens also as Else and Gillian both speak, musing to herself "I've been advised to look into my emotional past, for a lover that influences me, but I must also keep spiritual and emotional control in the present. Then I will find opportunity for travel far from here, as part of finding the original Munin."

"But I can't be certain that advisor was precognitive, it may just have been cards. Anyway," she offers in turning away from that tangent, "there's a partial lunar eclipse expected on December 31st."

"I dunno. There's no internet out here, for good reason I guess." Else's shoulders rise into a shrug, "I haven't looked up anything about it. I mean, if a big tidal wave is going to come and wash away New York…" her lips creep up into a hesitant smile, "I don't think I'm going to be able to do much about that, you know? Sometimes there's things in your life, and you just gotta let 'em come at you and pick up the pieces afterwards. If I wasn't struggling so hard to try and fight what I am… maybe I wouldn't have had to go thorugh all the stuff I did."

Biting down on her lower lip, Else unfolds her legs and sits up straight as footsteps come into the living room. The bobbing ponytail trailing behind Meredith flicks to the side as she turns, offering out a pair of coffee mugs, setting them down on the table by the sofa where there's already a small metal decanter for cream and a lidded sugarbowl. "Meredith gives Cat an odd look, hearing only the tail end of that conversation. There's a crooked smile on her lips as she asks, "That girl got you chasing the stars?" A side-long look is afforded to Else, who ducks her head down with a smirk and a shrug. "She got Noah all worked up about this flood thing. He talked to me, actually, 'bout what you just mentioned. Said there's gonna be a partial eclipse just like Cat said, won't be able to see too much of it from New York, though."

"Tell Noah we need a bigger boat," Gillian says to the blonde woman who re-entered, finally dropping into a seat now that she doesn't have to hover in Cat's personal space. The mention of cards and a possible precog makes her frown faintly, as do mentions of finding the original Munin. Coffee is taken, with rather large amounts of sugar and a small amount of cream that she sturs up as she considers things over a few times in her head.

"I'm not sure how we'll be able to stop a flood unless we know for sure the cause of it. Which we might… but I have doubts on that one." Like whether Edward wants the flood to happen or not. Especially if the outcome might somehow be better.

"What stuff do you get that don't have anything to do with you, Else?"

Taking one of the mugs, Cat begins to add cream and sugar to it when Meredith returns. "I've been puzzling over this and other things for a while now. The eclipse makes sense, the tidal wave might be connected to Norman White. But it could have other causes. An earthquake out at sea…" She stops speaking and thinks for a time, perhaps about other possible causes.

"The Munin satellite project worries me, it sounds off the wall, but I wonder if a plan exists to shift the lunar orbit. Another thing that could make a tsunami is an undersea explosion which triggers an earthquake."

When she lapses quiet again, a seat is taken with her mug. Then there's a piece of info for Gillian. "I met Miss Ichihara."

Giving a side-long look of what might be parental scrutiny to Gillian, Meredith raises her brows and notes, "You tell him he's got to get biblical. I'm sure not having that conversation with him…" There's a shrug, a soft smile, and meredith moves out of the way from the conversation, realizing that this particular one isn't involving her as much as others here do. She gives a nod of her head to Cat, then takes a few more steps back and turns towards the kitchen where she can politely eavesdrop on everything instead.

Else furrows her brows, still looking thorugh that spiral-bound notebook. Once she finds the right page, she turns it around and lays it out on the table. "This here— " she motions to the writing, "I can't even make heads or tails of it."

It sees. Blue beacons. He devours. Twenty one stairs to the answer. Thirty-six and one in nine.

Grimacing slightly, there's a shrug of her shoulders as she looks from Gillian to Cat and back again. "I don't know what to make of that one at all. It was like my old songs, just random words. But I couldn't even commit them to a beat or anything, really." The handwriting is more erratic too, less neat and clean than the ones pertaining to her. "I dunno if that'll help."

"This isn't just biblical. In this situation it's practical," Gillian says, taking a drink on her coffee as she sits up to invade Cat's personal space to read more lines. Lines that make no sense at all to her. There's not going to be an answer now. "Not sure much of it makes sense to me either," she admits, leaning back to drink on her coffee, before she adds to Else, "But that doesn't mean it won't help later. Probably look back and go 'oh yeah' after a few months. That's how I felt a few times." After the chess dream, and other things. Some things were plain, others she's still not totally sure on.

"So what are you planning to do if you're not going back to your music career? Going to stick around here and work with Noah somemore?"

She's quiet now. Cat just reads and withholds comment on the words as her coffee is tested for temperature so she won't burn her tongue or the roof of her mouth.

Biting down on her lower lip, Else gives a slow nod of her head. "Noah offered to help teach me a little more about my ability. He says he knew someone who did something similar, but painting… so he— you know, it's gonna' help. I guess he thinks I might be able to help out you guys too." Of that Else assumes everyone in the room is strictly a member of the Ferrymen. "I think once I get a handle on my ability, I'm going to pay back my debt to Noah and everyone else. I know I was starting to get famous, but most everyone just knows my voice, not what I look like. So— as long as I keep a low profile, I think I might be able to get by here in the city."

Taking back her notebook, Else folds it shut and rests it in her lap, hands folded on top of it. "I— I mostly just wanted to thank you guys for doing everything you did for me. I— I would've been dead twice over if you hadn't tried to help. I mean— even if that crazy Triad guy," well not quite what Feng is but close enough, "hadn't been a problem, I still might've OD'd. I can just see the headlines— popular musician overdoses and dies, nobody's surprised."

"And hey, musicians have the awesome thing of being able to come back five to ten years later and the fact they were gone is part of the selling point," Gillian says, with a grin as she puts down her coffee. It might be too hot for her, or something. "Also good to surprise people— especially a large group of them. Stereotypes are boring. Wish it could've happened without the nearly dying part— but it turned out for the best." It seems to be working for so many people.

Maybe all the time she's been spending with Aaron has pushed her in a strange direction, cause this time when she gets up and moves, it's toward Else, and she's bending over and hugging the woman by the shoulders. "Honestly, even the ones who knew what you looked like would harely recognize you. You could probably step out into a night club and dance and people'd just be 'who's that fucking hot girl over there'." It's said genuinely, until she pulls back, not wanting to keep the partial hug going for too long.

Turning a bit red at the unexpected hug, Else is slow to return it, seeming just a bit awkward under the show of affection. "Th— thanks.." She mumbles, looking down to the floor when Gillian disengages. "Um," she doesn't quite look up when she does decide to speak again. "Could… Could you tell Eve thank-you for me?" The question is sheepishly asked of both Cat and Gillian, "I mean— if either of you see'er. I don't know if the number I have is even right or not, but… She took a bullet to save my life, and— I mean, I owe her an apology for how I handled everything that day she tried to talk to me backstage. I was so high on Refrain that night it's a wonder that I even recognized any of you." Swallowing tiredly, Else tips her head down into a nod and offers a weak smile in return.

"Yeah, the whole hugging thing isn't something I'm good at either, but— why the fuck not," Gillian says as she backs off to give the woman her personal space back, listening to the request and nodding. "I definitely can. I'm sure she knows, too. I think it was one of the few dreams she actually had the opportunity to prevent herself, so I know that she's pleased— gave her ability some purpose the same way this gave yours."

For a moment she seems to hesitate as she walks back over to the coffee and retakes her seat. "So you don't really remember much of what happened? In some ways that's probably a good thing."

"You know what they say about trauma and all that…" Else admits with a roll of her shoulders, "I remember some guy trying to stop the Triad, he dressed like a Fed. I— there's a lot of it I really don't remember clearly. Th first thing I really know straight is that you pretty much slapped the sense into me and had me help you drag Eve down to her car." There's a swallow, tight and anxious, "Noah says it'll come back to me in time, but… I'm in no rush to remember. I think right now I'm in one of the best spots i've been in my whole life."

Quirking her head to the side, Else's smile is honest, and most importantly happy. "I just wanted to thank you all, and… if there's ever anything I can do in the future to help you out, I'll be staying here, so you know how to get in touch with me."

"I'll try to stop by a few times. Especially to meet the ark builder," Gillian says, that humor still sticking around, even if she seems both thoughtful and oddly pleased by something. Guy dressed like a Fed. It could have been a lot worse— she could have remembered the life sucking part. "I'll make sure Eve knows that too, in case she doesn't already," she adds, raising the coffee, a poor toasting drink, toward the singer and songwriter. "I'm glad you found a good spot in your life— And for the record I didn't actually slap her," she adds to Cat, before pausing— "Actually I might have. So much happened and I was in a hurry…" And she was a bit out of it. "But hey, if it was slapping for the greater good, at least you don't blame me."

"Slapping for the Greater Good…" Else notes with a quirk of her head to the side, smiling up at Gillian with a playful look, brows going up as she adds, "Sounds like it might make a good song title."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License