Spies on the Inside


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Scene Title Spies on the Inside
Synopsis The oppressive US government didn't account for a spy in the CIA communicating with the rebels through dreams, but maybe they should have.
Date September 20, 2013

In Dreams

Nick’s dreamscapes have never been colorful. They’ve varied from bleak to hellish to dark, depending on the mood the young British man is in when he falls to sleep. Delia knows too well that his sleep is often too short and there are too many hours between. And there are stretches he doesn’t sleep nearly enough — at least not that rich REM sleep where she can visit him.

Tonight she finds him on a quiet beach. The sand, illuminated by a full moon, gleams a cool white, a stark contrast for the dark, almost black water that laps against the shore. Glints of light reflect off the water, revealing slow waves. If it weren’t for the ribbon of moonlight, it would be impossible to separate the sky from the sea at the horizon.

He sits, dark clad, knees bent with arms loosely resting on them. His skin, like the sand, gleams, and his blue eyes seem almost silver in the moonlight. Like the sea, his hair is black, blacker than the sable hue in real life.

As serene as the scene seems, a look to the hillsides behind Nick hint at the turmoil of the world without and also within him. Fires burn in the distance; a scent of acrid smoke fills the air. The cry of seabirds now and then pierce the silence.

When she materializes in his periphery, she’s not in the sundress she always wears. Instead, she’s taken on a bit of their daughter’s flair and is flaunting more colors than a welsummer rooster. Bits of her bright hair whip out around her head despite the lack of breeze, almost as if she’s drowning but she’s not. They’re not. At least, she doesn’t think so.

“This is different,” their surroundings are somewhere she’s never been before. The rocky cliffs that Eileen’s always brought her to never had sand, at least not in the places they stood and chatted. “Are you east or west coast now?”

At the moment, she doesn’t even know where she is but she could find him anywhere. Like a pigeon coming home to roost, even at its bleakest it feels like home. Right now, it’s not at its worst, it’s not even worse than what is waiting for them when they wake up.

He turns when he catches sight of her in the corner of his eye. He unfold and goes to her, reaching to touch one of those wisps of red hair.

“East. Nova Scotia. It’s pretty here. Clear. You’d like it,” he says, voice soft.

He touches the fabric of the colorful garb she wears.”This is different, too. Feeling festive?” he asks, leaning to kiss her, then leaning his forehead against hers as he wraps his arms around her. It is and isn’t real. It feels real enough, until he wakes, anyway.

Nova Scotia is only a dream, at least for Delia, and likely to stay that way. She knew a lot of people who had escaped over the border but her family and, more importantly, her daughter were still on the south side of the border fighting for their lives. She wouldn't leave, not until the war was over or the last of her family was gone.

Besides, there was Pippa now and Delia had made a promise to help bring her home.

She closes her eyes and leans into the kiss and the hug, a small smile touching her lips as she relaxes just a bit. "So what takes you all the way to Canada? Getting me some moose and maple syrup? I heard it's their national dish or something."

There’s the lonely, eerie cry of a loon somewhere behind him, and Nick turns, eyes scanning the dark sky for the winged thing, but failing to find it, turns back to Delia. Perhaps one day the sound of a bird won’t startle him.

Or remind him of his grief.

“Don’t forget the side of poutine,” he says with a smile. “The moose is gamey, though. And you can get good syrup in Vermont, no matter what these Canucks tell you.” He leans his forehead against hers, his dark lashes dipping as he takes her hands in both of these to bring to his lips. The real reason Nick is in Nova Scotia is set aside, for the moment anyway. There’s no rush to get to business — not on his end, tonight.

“How’s Benji?” Their daughter doesn’t check on him, that he knows of, but he always asks after her, anyway.

“I imagine she’s fine… fighting,” Delia’s voice takes on a slightly quieter tone. Together with the knitted brow and stern set to her jaw, it might be that the subject of their daughter from another time is something the redhead doesn’t want to talk about at the moment. Then she smiles, just a quirk on the side of her lips.

“Side of poutine…” she muses, closing her eyes for a moment as she thinks. Visions of cheeseburgers dancing in her head. “Have some McDonalds for me while you’re there? You can dream about it so I can remember what it was like.” Canada must be so nice.

“Tell her to be careful. If you see her.” That she’s fighting the war she had hoped they could avoid isn’t something Nick is happy about, nor who she’s likely with. He draws his fingertips over her forehead and temple, as if to smooth the furrowed lines, then strokes back a lock of her hair, tucking it behind one ear.

“Do I have to?” he says with a chuckle. It’s not his favorite.

In the distance, there’s the sound of explosions, and he looks that way, frowning. It isn’t from the present. There are no explosions where he sleeps in Nova Scotia, but his memories are fraught with them. The sky, in the distance, looks the same shade as the sky over Pollepel Island the night he fled it so long ago.

The night his sister died.

The night her sister almost bled out in his hands.

Nick takes a breath and looks back to her, his own brows drawing together. “Are you angry I’m not?” he asks, though a few moments — hours? Time works strangely in dreams — have gone by for the precursor to that question. “Fighting, I mean. I can do more good — we can do more good, doing what we’re doing.”

Gunfire peppers the silence in the hills behind them. “I have some intel,” he adds.

“Yeah.” Yes, Nick does need to eat all the cheeseburgers and dream about them like children about candy at Christmas. He knows full well that's what she'll be dreaming of until he gives in. She drops her arms from his shoulders and laces her fingers, keeping him close with a loose hold. "When you do, just think about how much it means to me. I haven't seen a McDonald's open for… I can't remember how long." Because time in dreams is silly, even when you control them.

The repetitive pop of gunfire echoing over the water causes Delia to jump. Then she calms, it’s not real, not this time. “I’m not angry,” she says, her tone a bit far away. “I’m worried. Everyone else is fighting, Dad and Nicole are even fighting… I just feel like I should be too. I guess I just feel useless, you know?" It's her usual lament, sitting off on the sidelines while everyone she knows and loves is off risking their lives. She doesn’t mention what she thinks Nick should or shouldn’t be doing because it’s not her place.

"Show me." Not tell, because words can get lost.

“You got it,” Nick says quietly, resting his forehead against hers for a moment. When she jumps, he murmurs a soft ‘sorry.’

At her words of uselessness, he shakes his head. “You’re not. You are helping,” he says, pulling her a little away from the directions of the guns and to a rock that juts out along the shore, climbing up to sit down and pulling her up to sit beside him. The tidewater curls and foams around the base of the rock and the air tastes saltier here than further up the beach.

“I’ll try,” he says, closing his eyes, as if to block out the noise of the waves and the images of sand and sea, as he takes her hand to hold in his lap.

It isn’t so much that the landscape slides away, but instead the four taupe walls of a tiny office surround them, as if someone placed a set around them on the beach. Nick sits at a desk with a computer, typing into a computer, looking lost in his own world. An act, of course, for he’s listening to the man who shares the office with him.

On the other side of the office sits a drab man, nondescript as the best spies are. He speaks into the phone, his accent, the thickest of Bronx.

“The cell’s based at the factory in Greenville,” the man says. Brett Hayes, according to the information on his screen as he logs into his email. “They’re moving supplies in three days toward the front. Couldn’t quite get the details but sounds like they’ve repurposed the factory for munitions.”

There’s a pause. Nick continues to type, filling the silence. The email he’s pretending to construct includes a list of names — the names of the cell Brett is referring to. Some of the names she recognizes as Ferry contacts. For one, there’s a phone number.

The Nick standing at Delia’s side like some Ghost of Christmas Past, taps the screen of the computer. Once she looks, the Nick of the past backspaces over it, knowing she’ll have committed it to memory.

“Don’t move before tomorrow on it. I’m outta here tonight. Don’t wanna get burned,” Brett finishes, before hanging up.

He looks Nick’s way, right through the two spectators. “You wanna get a beer before I catch my flight, York?”

Past Nick really, really doesn’t. “Sure. I gotta finish this report first. Gimme ten?”

When Nick of the past back over the numbers, they manifest solid and peel from the screen, floating like leaves toward Delia. Once they near her, they sear themselves to her arm in the exact order they had been typed. She winces, then looks down at her now branded limb. Something like this had happened before, not to the dreamwalker but because of her. Old memories of better and worse times.

But, at least, this way she will remember.

“Is he going to stop the supplies?” She asks, not worried that either man will hear them. They were in Nick’s mind, not the other one. “Do you want him .. I don’t know… spared?” Will he be useful again in the future, is a better question but it’s not the one asked.

The Nick of Dream looks down at Delia’s arm, frowning and gently touching it. “Will that hurt you in waking?” he asks, as the office dissolves around them, the Nick of Past and his officemate fading from sight along with it. They stand on the beach again. The sky is reddish from smoke and fire, reflected in the water. The guns sound nearer.

“He’s just intelligence, like me. He’s not the one acting,” Nick says with a shake of his head. He needs people like Brent alive so he can counter their actions with his. Delia makes it possible to do so.

“Greenville’s Ohio,” he adds. “So sometime between tomorrow and three days — probably two now — they’re gonna strike against that factory. When you wake up, you gotta ring ’em and let them know they need to move by morning, or prepare for a fight.”

His hand reaches up to push a lock of her red hair behind one ear. “This is you, fighting. Information is as dangerous as a gun.” Pressing his lips against her temple, he breathes in her scent as he envelopes her in his arms. “More so, in the right hands, yeah? Because of you, those supplies will get where they need to and lives will be saved.”

“It’ll be fine,” Delia assures Nick without much of a glance to her arm. Already in the waking world, her watchers are trying to figure out what the deep scratches she’s giving herself on her arm mean. It’ll be awhile before anyone can, the distance between the dreamwalker and her beau has her tether worn extremely thin.

But she will know.

“If I get the message there in time, without anyone knowing.” Her worry about the logistics of it all is needless, but it’s still there. “What if the phones are all bugged or tapped or whatever? What if I can’t get through?” Problems for someone else a little higher up the Ferry food chain than she is, but again, her stress is still very real. She leans into the hug and wraps her arms around Nick in return. “I still wish I had a gun and was fighting for real, like Lucille or dad. You and I know what I’m doing when I’m asleep but … it doesn’t look good when everyone else is actually doing something people can see.”

Nick wraps his arms around her tighter yet. Behind him there’s a flicker of light in the sky and another lonely, night-piercing cry of another bird.

“Don’t give details. Just tell them they’re compromised and need to evacuate, code Sam. I can follow up on it in the morning, but it’s safer for you than me. Try this way first,” he murmurs against her hair, tapping her temple, “but call as soon as you wake up.”

Pressing a kiss against her forehead, he shakes his head. “What people see is not as important as what people do. You’re making a difference. We’re going to win this thing, and you are a part of that, Del. Guns aren’t the only weapon, and yours is one the other side doesn’t have.”

Stepping away, he looks at her like he might be trying to memorize her, like the sight of her needs to last him like a rationed meal. “I miss your smile,” he says, lifting a hand to brush his thumb against her lower lip. She has smiled but it’s not the bright one he first knew, and the smiles are few and far between.

“You should go, pass on that information… wake up and do the same in the real world.”

The song that serves as his alarm seeps into the dreamscape, the series of piano chords Leading into the first verse of “Let It Be.” By the time Paul’s voice breaks in, Nick is already gone, leaving her to do the work.

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