Story Time


abby5_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title Story Time
Synopsis Paused scene.
Date December 5, 2009

Russia: Spektor Home

It's been long hours since Katarina laid out breakfast and cleaned up again when Francois emerges from his room, makes his descent, and steps into the kitchen. Noon has the sun coming in through windows from somewhere directly overhead, even more obscured by snow flurries and cloud cover, but light enough that he doesn't feel the need to feel around for the light switch before he's moving towards where the kettle of lukewarm water is sat upon the stove.

It's switched on without real thought as to whether he even wants anything, dressed like he's staying in for the day in a woolen green sweater, comfortable pants, and feet protected from the cold by socks fit for walking around the house in. Moving off towards the window, he pushes fingers through hair made damp from a very brief shower to wake him up from both sleep and vodka hangover.

Elisabeth has been up for quite some time, borrowing the laptop that the group brought with them. As she pads into the kitchen, wearing a pair of heavy brown slacks and a cream sweater over a pair of socks, the blonde is carrying a coffee cup. "Hey there," she greets him quietly. The tension that she's been carrying is showing itself in the frown that creases her forehead. "How'd you sleep?" she asks him.

In pads Abigail not long after, beelining for the location of whatever makes coffee in this place. She needs the extra caffeine and energy that it'll provide. "Morning" Mumbled to the two of them, dressed for the day at hand.

"Very well," Francois tells Elisabeth, slow to turn around. But he does, eventually, breaking his attention from the snowy outdoors to reward her with a smile that shows more around his eyes than it does in the curl of his mouth. "But only after some encouragement. Last night was unexpected. Et tu?" As Abby comes ambling in, he tilts a look to her, arms folding tight around his torso. Not that he can talk, but he does feel moved to correct— "It is almost one."

Another glance toward the door and Elisabeth smiles just a little for Abby. "Glad you two got some sleep." She helps herself to some coffee and as she doctors it she's quiet. Only as she leans against the counter and sips it does she ask Francois softly, "Tell me what you know of Dreyfus?" There's no accusation in her tone, merely …. curiosity. "You and Ethan Holden are the only people who have knowledge of the Russian cell, and so far Ethan refuses to talk at all. He'd rather see us all die."

"He's being a pratt" Ethan that is, Abigail supplements at the end of Liz's question and explanation. "AFternoon" correcting herself with a look to her watch with a shamed look. Been a long time since she slept in so late. But then again, one could argue that it's early back home so she's not slept in. "Coffee?" She'll let Francois and Liz jabber, she wants to hear as well.

With a lazy flick, Francois turns off the water he'd been boiling, in favour of the hard stuff, as it were. "Oui, merci, if there is cream in the fridge." Moving towards the table, he scrapes out a chair and levers himself onto it, arms folding on the wooden surface in front of him and letting his chin rest lazily in his hand. If there's more than fatigue to a hangover, he's concealing it well, or took the now-brunette's advice on how to stave one off.

"Carlisle Dreyfus— he was Volken's underling. A bloodhound, for people with abilities, and then Volken's assassin. He took orders and little else, a foot soldier rather than a general. It is why I doubt he has much relevance to the current threat these days, but that does not mean he has severed all ties, or escaped them."

Without seeming to be aware of the hangover situation — or perhaps just because Elisabeth understands the need to ignore things with the occasional bout of drunkenness — the blonde cop doesn't mention. "So…. he has an ability that allowed him to track other Evolveds? Or he was just that good at ferreting out people with abilities?" she asks mildly. "The Vanguard's past may be just as important to this as their present. Volken was just the latest in a line of people who hosted the ability that he had, right? Talk to me about the beginnings of this group. At least half of them *were* Evolved. So have they always been an anti-Evo group? Or were they doing something very specific?" She's clearly going back to the beginnings here. "Dreyfus clearly still has some ties," she comments softly, "and I think we're going to need to move quickly and soon. I have a feeling if they don't know we're here… between Dreyfus and possibly Ethan Holden himself, they will soon enough. But knowing their past may allow us to project where the hell to look and what we're looking FOR. Clearly the nuke is not actually here. That'd be stupid."

"He located— Evolved— " The word still feels strange, on Francois' tongue. "Through mundane means that I could see. Following tales and rumours, news stories, hearsay. I did much the same thing myself in South America, for different reasons. If he has an ability, I do not know it, but I doubt it. I did not pay much attention to him, to be very honest - he was a blunt tool. One that Volken sent after me when I fled back to the United States."

There're a lot of questions, and a lot of information, as much as it's a sea of story with factual pieces adrift in it. Francois closes his eyes as he thinks for a moment, a hand gesturing in a bid for a moment's thought. "I think to understand the Vanguard, you must understand Kazimir Volken, how a man would come to want to wipe out his own kind, recruit those who thought the same way. Oui, Vanguard has always been about destroying the Evolved, as much as a few of them were that themselves.

"And I am sure many, like Volken, regarded themselves as a necessary evil. Volken knew he was a monster, you see. He hated what he was, what his power made him do. I spent a lot of time trying to make him see reason, rather than trying to kill him. I could not."

Elisabeth listens quietly, some level of understanding in her for that hatred. "Considering what he could do," she says softly, "I can see why he might believe that. For those of us who have more… let's call them 'benign' gifts, it's easier to be able to see the benefits. For some, though, the bright side is far harder to find." She sighs heavily, crossing her arms with her coffee cup held close. "So he took this to the next logical step and decided that … those with abilities needed to be wiped out?" she asks, as if verifying. "How strong were the ties that bound the original members to one another?"

Through manipulations of buttons and the like, Coffee is poured into cups for everyone by the former waitress. One cup of the black liquid is slid in front of Francois, a topping up is offered up for Liz to take if she wants before Abigail returns for one for her own self. "I can imagine that those who abhored what they were would join to the cause. Just somehow I don't think that the plan had been at the start to eliminate everyone yes? Just those who were evolved"

"Unbreakable, for some," Francois says, on the subject of ties that bind. He smiles a thanks up to Abby for the coffee, before doesn't immediately drink from it, just winds long fingers among the handle. "As you can see, Anya is likely as devout now as she was back then. She was a great believer in what Volken had to preach. You do not take up a mission statement like Volken's lightly. Especially if you were an Evolved, I imagine - you would become a quick target, would you not?"

Considering for a moment, he straightens his back, continues with, "Volken spent long years trying to understand what he was. Some of that time was spent trying to understand what I was," is added with a note of distaste. "But oui. His ability deteriorated him. Made him age, made him kill others to sustain himself. He could not even commit suicide without unleashing his spirit onto someone else. So his belief in his own evil was more powerful than anything I could say, so much so that he believed everything like him was a kind of evil."

He turns green eyes to Abby, his brow crinkling with confusion, now. "Ah, non, just the Evolved, as far as I knew. Bon dieu, he wanted to kill everyone?"

Accepting the top-up, Elisabeth continues to lean on the counter as she listens. She adds quietly, "The virus they got their hands on would have wiped out 90 percent of the world's entire population last year. I have the sense from what you're saying that perhaps his power had driven him mad by then. But maybe that's just optimism or something," she adds dryly. With a sigh, she considers. "Dreyfus might have been able to tell us who the most trusted lieutenants were — they would, in theory, be the ones with their hands on the nuclear weapons." She hesitates and says softly, "Richard was reasonably sure the weapons themselves wouldn't be in the places we were going — just perhaps leads on where to FIND them."

"95 percent of the worlds population. A virus, one that was meant to at first, affect and kill only those with abilities but, in the end it was more" Abigail looks over to Liz then back to Francois. "A few of us were given a vaccine, the antidote pretty much to it in case we failed so that we could have a second chance to take him down." Sugar is spooned into her cup and stirred. "But he did give us names, at the table last night. That we can look in on. See if the Company knows about them, check with Richard if you can get a hodl of him and pass on the intel. See if it matches what Edward left for him"

For a moment, Francois looks only silent and sickened at this news, and eventually, almost disappointed. A hand goes up to rub at his brow as he sighs out an awfully familiar, "Kazimir," before he lifts his coffee to take a long sip. To Liz, he shrugs his shoulders, and says, "I was witness to his sanity pouring away like sand through an hourglass. Make no mistake that he was once a man, just— not a strong one. One I despised, and then pitied. If you would like my guess, I think it is from all the terrible things he has witnessed, at his own hand and the hand at others. Perhaps he stopped caring, about Evolved and non. Perhaps this was his way of saving the world."

Bitter, bitter. "And he has seemed to leave quite an impression. Last I knew, Cat had some theories about where to find the nuclear weapon. I know no plans of that, from my recollections. The past decade and a half went by very fast, it seems, while I was away."

Elisabeth nods slightly at Abby. "Sorry, I wasn't exactly clear — the names he gave us last night will help, but I was also thinking about current lieutenants. Perhaps people easier to get to than the high muckity-mucks. I would also be interested to know who Volken's enemies were — perhaps we can recruit some allies from that pool. There had to be others before us who stood against him." She sips from her coffee and says to Abby, "I haven't been able to contact Richard since that first call. There's something wrong with the network — Cat says Wireless is completely offline or something, and the network's been compromised. It's also possible that neither Claire nor Richard have a signal where they are or that they've lost their phones in a scuffle somewhere. But I can tell you that the intel Edward gave him didn't have these names in it. Not this kind of stuff, anyway." She glances down at her cup, keeping her worry to herself and her tone calm and all about business. "We need to get inside that foundry."

"A lot changes in fifteen years. I can imagine that living beyond a normal lifespan and seeing, going through what he, and you have gone through can be trying and sanity killing" Not the Francois was crazy by any means. The news that Claire and Cardinal haven't been in touch and that Wireless is incommunicado is worrying from the downward plunge of her brow. "Maybe Teo can piggyback Anya if we get near her again?" Wishful thinking.

To be continued.

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