Thank You and Goodnight


francois_icon.gif huruma3_icon.gif liza_icon.gif rue2_icon.gif

Scene Title Thank You and Goodnight
Synopsis A somewhat risky reconnaissance mission yields some high returns.
Date May 4, 2011

Staten Island: Grant City

So close to the edge of the Reclaimed Zone on Staten Island may not be the safest place for anyone known to be associated with the Ferryman to be walking. But risk taking in the name of helping out the Ferry is often the order of the day, and tonight is no different from any other night for most members of the supposed "terrorist" group.

And potential risk is exactly what tonight calls for. The information that Eileen had passed on about activity in the Staten railway wasn't something that could be ignored by any means, and that's what brings Huruma, Rue Lancaster, and Liza Messer out to what once passed for the Grant City station this night. Word seems to be that parties already problematic to the Ferry - one Col. Leon Heller, in particular - are working to get the lines operational again, for any number of possible reasons. None of them spell anything good for the Ferrymen or their allies.

The station has seen far better days - it's not just the rail line damaged. The road, walkways, and even the walls of the station itself are show signs of nature slowly reclaiming the area, moss and overgrowth slowly creeping it's way along as grass peeks through the many cracks. Lights and the loud sound of construction and other work ring out even on approach, making it clear that certainly something is at work here.

In and out, no sticking around longer than they need. Simple enough instructions, find out what they can. All, hopefully, without running into any unforeseen complications. They aren't the only ones out here tonight, and the last thing anyone needs is for things to go south. Situated just north of the border to the Reclaimed Zone, it is a precious spot for many reasons - and one that portents a lot of thing is any of the rumours are, in fact, true.

Rue Lancaster is a creature known for her vanity. And there's a certain vanity in making oneself unassuming. Black hair has been tied into a ponytail at the nape of her neck, laying over the dark navy of a lightweight spring jacket. A black tank top is tucked into black skinny jeans, tucked into black boots for traversing the terrain. It wasn't too far down the line from here that Hana Gitelman was teaching the young girl to defend herself. To be aware of surroundings. And camera hanging from her neck, that's exactly what she's doing.

This would be so much easier if she could just become invisible the way Samara can. "Just remember to let me do the talking if anyone approaches us." A look is given to Liza, "Pretend you're Swedish or something. Swedes are in right now."

Liza gives Rue a blank look, blinking in confusion. She then grins. "How was that? That was my 'I'm Swedish and Don't Understand English' look. Pretty awesome, huh?" The blonde's eyes take a careful look around to make certain that nothing's immediately barring them from their path. Just to be sure they start things off on the right foot. "Hopefully there won't be anyone here. Best case scenario."

Huruma presumes that she will be the one of them that pretends to not speak English. It may not be the most graceful thing on her list of ideas, but frankly, she doesn't pass for a Swede and it is better than nothing at all. For the sake of play, she's also prepared to follow Rue's direction; she could take the wheel, very likely, but the plan that Rue had seems secure enough that Huruma is content to play back-up out of the three. She was also rather content in dressing completely differently- leather jackets and boots around here are not exactly the mark of innocence. Therefore, she took a page from Juwariya's book; brown eyes, a rose pink skirt to her knees, with a matching hooded sweatshirt and flat shoes.

"Eu nao falo Ingles?" Huruma tests, almost half-heartedly, as she follows along behind the younger women, her eyes always pausing to take in a particularly dilapidated house or two.

Whether or not there will be need for Rue's plan is unknown at the time being. What is known, however, is that there almost seems to be a startling lacking coverage over the railways main entrance - but it is not abandoned, a pair of soldiers keeping a vigilant watch as they hold their assault rifles, ready to turn away anyone who might come approaching. What isn't under strict watch, however, is the half fallen wall, marked off with tape and loosely fit chain until it can be repaired, offering a safer, if less convenient, means into the grounds of the station.

Approach reveals more to be at work - the sounds of machinery and construction, and just in view is the connecting bridge running over each end of the rail yard - by farm the worst off of the visible parts of the station. Some unfortunate event in the last few years has left quite an impression on it - only now are repairs going froth to restore the bridge from the almost entirely destroyed state it had sat in for some time with the hopes of restoring it to a full functioning walkway.

Rue brings the camera up, and snaps a couple photos of Liza and Huruma as they walk. She tips her chin toward the broken wall. "That looks like our best point of entry. What the fuck do you think they're doing in here? Are they going to convert this to a viable supply line?" Her lips purse, a quick shot taken of the soldiers surreptitiously. Then she begins moving toward the collapsing wall. "This way." Leaving the camera to hang around her neck, she makes quick work of climbing over the crumbling remains of the barrier.

Liza does her best to keep her chin up and let Rue get her good side. Might was well have fun with the pictures. Her bright gaze turns towards the ruined wall, climbing skillfully over after Rue. "I guess that makes sense, a supply line. Why now, though? Why leave this place alone long enough that plants are taking back over and then suddenly decide it's worth repairing?"

Huruma takes her time in looking everything over; the chocolate hue of her eyes makes this a far less unsettling thing to be doing, even as they pause on guards with rifles as they pass onward down the road. As peaceful as can be, considering. The only funny thing going on with her is that for some reason, Rue can never get a photo of Huruma where she is actually looking at the camera lens. Whether that's chance or choice isn't clear, but it might be getting a bit too odd all the same.

"Maybe take things into th'blocks. Maybe t'provide a line for something in th'future. Per'aps to even make this island into a paramilitary base." Huruma, while speaking softly enough, doesn't follow Rue over- instead motioning for someone else to go first, double checking where they had come from for any signs of life. "We cannot b'certain of anything unless we have some evidence." Hence, that is exactly why they are here.

They're close enough that call out in any way, shape or form would be a terrible idea, and it's not something François does when he's on his way back to meeting the group, moving on quiet feet and dressed in very unassuming clothing of jeans, a thin sweater, a jacket — and he isn't even armed. This isn't meant to be that kind of mission and so he is dressed out of optimism and the idea that it would be harder to explain away a pistol and his presence than it would be just his presence, should he be caught. But there's probably a knife somewhere. He doesn't want to get arrested at all.

He makes his presence known with a tossed pebble that skitters across the pavement just a few inches from Rue's feet. The source if less clandestine, François moving down a walkway and impatiently climbing up and over steel railing, landing with a soft thud of sturdy soles on cracked pavement. Ow, though, a hand drifting for his ribs as he heads over to the women.

Once close enough, he speaks. "Bonsoir. We won't have much in the way of trouble, up ahead, if we're careful. Have you seen anything yet?"

Just getting up and looking over the crumbling barrier reveals that François appears to be correct - a few soldiers, certainly armed, are more than easy to spot, but more plentiful seems to be a mix of more mundane types walking up and down the partially visible railway carrying materials and tools. Hard hats, men with clipboards - the sounds of construction weren't without reason. It's not just the crosswalk that's getting rebuilt - As more and more of that station comes into view, it becomes clearer that the reconstruction effort here is no small piece of work.

On the immediate other side of the barrier sit large crates, holding various building materials, cleared rubble, dirt, and all other manner of debris. Not too far off in the distance, a pair of soldiers walk up and down the railway.

The urge to emit a low whistle when Rue lands on the other side of the barrier is curbed. But only just. The pebble suddenly near her feet causes the black-haired girl to dance back a step, startled. Wide eyes and alarmed expression soften at the sight of the man approaching. "Bonsoir, Monsieur François," Rue greets softly in return when he's near enough.

"So far just the guards at the gate, and the construction efforts." Which she turns to look at and snap more pictures of. "Beautiful," Rue murmurs under her breath, distractedly, "But… This is way bigger than we thought. At least, way bigger than I thought." More attentively she asks, "All right?" A glance to his midsection.

At least Rue would have some nice souvenirs if they didn't find any real evidence of what was going on. If it weren't for the fact that there were people with guns around, Liza might have even encouraged more of the photography that was supposed to be there for cover. Oh, right, they weren't actually there to take some pictures. The petite blonde offers a wiggle of her fingers as a greeting to François before her sharp eyes scan the area again carefully.

"Definitely bigger on the inside," she agrees. "We should be careful."

"I feel so European." Huruma mutters to herself, mulling on her not-so-great Portuguese and watching as François makes himself visible outside of that blip on her radar. She puts herself over the wall in the moment following Liza, taking stock of the others before patting the back of her hand over invisible dust at her thigh. Huruma moves along the broken part of the wall, putting at least most of herself behind a pile of materials.

"They do seem t'need this place for something, considering th'amount of work being done. They mus'want it done soon. Obviously whatever th'reason, I don'think they should be allowed t'succeed."

"But we also keep our goal in mind," François adds, hand dropping from midsection to wave Rue's concern away. He's fine. Sore from past injury as opposed to anything inflicted on him recently and thus, not important enough for him to lend importance to. Or to mention. "The war we wage on this island is mostly theatre, the illusion of seeming bigger than we are, the island more hostile than it is." He repeats mostly for the benefit of Liza and Rue — Huruma and himself graced with a recent go over and reminder of the meeting from before.

His smile grows a little crooked. "Of course, I am curious also, and the more information we have, the more readily the Council will agree, oui? Let us take a closer look."

Bigger is certainly an apt word. Scanning the area creates a scene that is growing ever more serious as more and more of it is revealed – technicians, workers, and numerous armed guards mingled about as they work – making up for only the few seen on patrol on the immediate area in spades, and those are the ones not set up in the makeshift trailer office partially visible, or the military transport vehicle seated across the way. They seem, for the moment, largely focused on guarding the actual construction effort and those involved in it, rather than the surrounding area.

More of the station's disrepair becomes evident – much of the station itself collapsed, the rails bent, broken, or even missing in some spots from several years of damage and neglect. There is much work to be done here, but the men that are certainly seem equipped to handle the massive effort – and this is just the night crew.

Rue smiles brightly in return to François' quirk of lips. "Oui," she muses enthusiastically. (It sounds more like whee if we're honest – with a hard W. The girl is from Chicago, so don't ask too much of her in terms of sounding French.)

The rational part of her brain knows that playing spy is exceptionally dangerous. And, really, no one should ever really want to play at being a spy. But the part of her that is in love with the romantic notion of being a spy gives her the encouragement and the excitement to volunteer for probably ill-advised excursions to Staten Island. Bravery tempered with (some, alleged) prudence.

As such, Rue's the first to venture forth, closer to the action, as it were. (Bravery.) She checks over her shoulder to make sure François is right behind her – or better yet, beside her. (Prudence.)

Liza herself usually doesn't look nervous, but there's a visible pressing of her lips together in something of a frown as she cautiously observes their surroundings. She stays close, following just barely behind as she makes sure not to get separated from the group. That would likely be a bad thing. There are too many soldiers for her liking, and so the frown remains instead of the blonde's usual perfectly upbeat attitude. She's serious and focused which is likely strange for anyone who doesn't take her seriously.

"There's a bit too much security for my liking," she murmurs, low. "It seems like they're almost expecting someone to try and attack."

"Too many soldiers and too many workers. They want t'finish this as soon as possible." Which does make sense, considering where they are. "Maybe they expect it, yes, if it is important. They mus'figure someone will find out." Huruma hums, her own lips closing on the sound.

"They do, however, only seem concerned with this rail. For now. This much concern could mean they do intend to use it for purely transport. Of what, I have no idea." Because when there is only one line, you've got to protect it, no matter what is on it. That may be why Huruma is making some mental shorthand on the geography for possible future excursions.

"Today we do not attack, fortunately. And anything else will be speculation," François agrees with a minor note of resigned irritation, having moved at the same pace as Rue and pausing by the crates. There will be a point at which they'll be close enough for two things — being seen, and being unable to explain away their presence. Leaning against the iron side of the storage container, he digs a hand into a jacket pocket, producing the two radio transceivers. "We should get closer, and also spread out a little. Huruma, do you want to take Liza there," he tilts his head, "and see if you cannot pick up on something more? Rue and I will do the same. Perhaps there is important conversation we are missing out on."

Once switched on, one walkie talkie is tossed to Liza, the other held out for Rue to take, although he doesn't immediately break off and take charge without Huruma's agreement, or pending objections from Liza and Rue.

Splitting up presents a few avenues of sneaking closer. Some safer than others, some more open than others. Soldiers patrol up and down the actual rail line a bit further up; it's one of the more dodgy ways, though more crates and dormant construction equipment provide places to hide once across, and with the lights turned inward for night construction there is little spilling this far down the track. With the teams designated thusly, Rue and François start off in this direction - the actual walk across the darkened tracks ending just as a soldier on patrol sweeps a flashlight down their way.

The other side of the tracks is more spacious, but presents little in the way of variation from the other side - empty crates instead of full ones, and a large crane currently not in service lay in wait, offering them a place to hide once they reach the other side. One stark difference, however, is the sound of distant - but approaching - foot steps just audible over the noise, easy enough for those with some training to recognise as two separate people making their way in the direction of the crates.

Pointed down a path along the wall on the side of the rail they currently stand on, Liza and Huruma find that the crates continue on for several more meters before coming to an abrupt stop. A truck, mundane looking as opposed to the military make that can be spotted elsewhere along the construction area, waits a bit further down, offering some cover a bit closer to some tables, presently abandoned.

The lack of light coming towards this part of the construction area make it somewhat hard to see - the table looks empty, not even a chair setting around it. Not too much further down the line sits a trailer of sorts, a light on inside, though no window facing in the direction of the intruders. A single man - not a soldier, but a technician - stands at the entrance, smoking a cigarette.

Rue accepts the proffered radio with a quick nod of her head, making sure the volume's down low before she heads off alongside François She does let him take point now, being as how she's the rookie and he's the one that'll keep them from getting killed. Hopefully. So long as these men are in a ask questions first mood. If they get spotted at all.

She's hoping they don't. Clipping the radio to the waistband of her pants, where it will be hidden by her jacket, Rue keeps her head up, sweeping her peripheral as they advance. She notices the soldier before his flashlight shines their way and stops in her tracks, reaching out instinctively to grab at François' arm. Not that he wouldn't come to the same conclusion on his own. (Don't move toward the light!)

Liza catches the radio tossed to her with pretty quick reflexes. Good thing, too. It wouldn't do to drop it. Moving over towards Huruma, she's got her bright smile back. She's not sure things are great, but as long as they aren't seen, they should be juuuuuust fine. Plus there's Huruma, and Huruma can certainly take care of things! She doesn't speak, but her eyes look towards the taller woman, waiting for her to move.

Huruma is quick to nod along with François It's no problem to split up, as long as nobody gets left behind in any instance of panic. She watches the pair criss-cross away from herself and Liza, and only then does she check herself and slink forward along the wall, tipping her head for Liza to follow. She'll go this way until they reach the end of the main bundles of crates. Huruma inspects a few sides of them for labels or printing, steadying herself on one of the last, briefly inspecting it as well.

Huruma can only spot the figures beyond the truck with the help of distance; she can't tell who is standing outside the trailer, but she can at least know there isn't a window in this direction. While they're at it, they may as well go for it- Huruma creeps forward a bit further, to use the out of place truck as cover. If it weren't dark, she'd have tested the lock- but as it is, she'll save that for if they're running out of time.

Huruma can only spot the figures beyond the truck with the help of distance; she can't tell who is standing outside the trailer, but she can at least know there isn't a window in this direction. While they're at it, they may as well go for it- Huruma creeps forward a bit further, to use the out of place truck as cover. If it weren't dark, she'd have tested the lock- but as it is, she'll save that for if they're running out of time.

The tug at his arm is obeyed in that François backpedals from the source of the sweeping light, ducking down behind the empty crates and making sure Rue mimics him with the clasp of his hand over hers. A small gesture is meant to indicate silence until he can determine that they can risk speaking, and he says, "Radio in, tell them we're close to personnel, will report back if we hear anything. Stand by for a radio silence if we get too close. Then see what they say. I will see if the coast is clear — follow me when they're done." And he moves, then, using the bulky shape of the idle crane to try and get closer, his feet scuffing quiet on gritty ground, sticking to where the shadows are denser.

The soldiers approaching Rue and François stop short of the crane, flashlights sweeping out the rails - thankfully, in the opposite direction of François One kicks idly at a large rock or some sort of debris, sending it skittering out and into tracks, clinking against broken rails. "Christ," one of them finally says, shaking his head as his hand moves back through sweaty hair. "I think those fuckin' techs have been out here too long. There's nothin' out here. Probably saw a cat."

The other one lets out a long sigh, a barely visible glare offered over to his partner. "Really? A cat? You're an idiot. If we don't at least look like we're looking around at here, someone'll have our ass, and I don't know about you, but I don't feel like getting on Heller's bad side before we get this place up and running. Unless you want to get stuck working the night shift guarding the transports once the work finishes."

A glare back at him, and the first solider sighs. "Fine. Come on, help me down, we'll take a look…" And with that, he moves to hop down on to the tracks, an expectant look offered back to his partner.

On crates on the other side of the tracks sport the names of local contracting and construction companies, nothing of particular note. Liza and Huruma can see the smoking man turn to the door of the trailer behind him, opening the door long enough to pull out a hard hat and a clip board, the smoke flicked away - and then he starts towards the truck, silently. He grumbles to himself, before pausing to pull out and light another cigarette At the table he stops, pulling out a small penflashlight so that he can examine the clipboard. Back at the trailer, another man steps out, looking in the direction of the cigarette smoking man.

""'Ey! Bob! Foreman's got a question for y'! Get your ass back here!" Bob, it would seem, is less than pleased with this, letting out an exasperated sigh as he tosses down the clipboard and starts back towards the trailer.

Rue ducks down behind the crates and nods swiftly to François several times to let him know she understood. It isn't until he's moved away from her that she reaches for her radio and holds down the button. "We've got soldiers close by. Listening in. Stand by." One hand braced against the crate, she stares at it as though she could look through it to the men she's trying to overhear.

What she does hear prompts her to look across the way to the Frenchman and mouth exaggeratedly enough to be (hopefully) understood a cat? Like she thinks he might be the cat they're looking for, since he arrived before they did. Rue holds down the button so she can speak quietly into the radio again. "They're looking for something. I think it's probably us. What's going on down there?" She keeps the radio pressed to her ear so she can keep the volume low, poised to spring up and scurry after François just as soon as she hears back.

Listening into the radio quietly, Liza's gaze flickers back to Huruma before her eyes fix on the clipboard. "Had a worker over here, but he's gone… there's a clipboard, though, I'm going to see if I can get in close and take a close look at it." There are perks to being short and petite. For one, Liza's agile and quick. And she's smaller and harder to notice. She quickly hands the radio to Huruma and her eyes move along the direct path between her and the clipboard.

The route to the clipboard is clear, no light shining in that direction, and she should be fine as far as cover goes. She gives Huruma a quick look and a nod before the blonde makes a quick run to the truck. Using it for cover, she takes a second to look around and make sure no one's looking her way before she darts forward, snatching up the clipboard and penlight as she crouches low.

Her eyes scan the pages, taking in information quickly. Too risky taking it with her. She lets her eyes flicker up once to check that no one's coming, takes another few seconds to scan the information before she relinquishes the paper and light and dashes back to safety behind the truck.

Huruma watches the smoking man with a curiosity more befitting if she were watching a movie, not so much actually being there. He nears the truck, and for a moment it is a bit close- but anything Huruma would have done is not happening when 'Bob' is called back. Of course his name is Bob, right? Quintessential. Huruma's neck cranes slightly to peer across the truck, watching as the man tosses down the paper and starts back inside again. She doesn't need to instruct Liza- the girl appears to know what Huruma is going to ask before the thought forms, and so she is left to survey the immediate area while Liza is around the table.

Only because of the first instance of the man moving for the truck, when Liza swings back around, Huruma is all but yanking her back along the wall to get behind the crates again. This would be a lot easier with less people, probably- but that is the sacrifice made for more eyes and ears.

Hearing Rue settle beside him, François holds himself still and thus quiet with a hand gripping night cooled steel of the dormant crane, listening to the banter and tilting his head at the key name being fluttered so easily between them. It's not a surprise, but it is confirmation.

He glances back at Rue, before crouching right down to peer through the treads of the crane to watch the silhouettes of legs headed down the rails, the long shadows cast by floodlights. It's at a hushed level that he says, "We'll move when they pass. Tell the others we'll pull back and meet again at the wall, then impose radio silence." It'll be up to Huruma and Liza to decide when they want to move, and so he doesn't attempt to tell them so through Rue.

Until then it's a matter of lingering to catch whatever else might be heard as well as waiting for an opening to leave without being heard.

"You're god damn right we'll take a look," the second solider comments as he hops down after the other, shaking his helmeted head (a contrast to the other soldier's close cut, visible hair. It's clear who's the more responsible of the two. "We're lucky they don't have any of those FRONTLINE freaks out here as it is. We wanna keep it that way? We gotta keep an eye out. With any luck, we won't need them anymore once the line's done and they can integrate the rest of the island into the Reclaimed Zone, focus on flushing out anyone hiding on the island. You hear about what happened at the harbor Monday? That's the kinda shit I'll be glad to deal without."

His partner scoffs audibly, grumbling a curse at his partner as they continue on the tracks, up to and past the point where François and Rue wait without seeming to notice anything out of the ordinary.

The smoking man on the other hand disappears back inside the trailer, and after a few moments, the sound of shouting can be heard from with in, even as the one who had summoned him back to the trailer waits on the step outside, shaking his head as he listens in. It seems, for the moment, they present no risk of catching Liza and Huruma.

"Pull out. Meet us by the wall," Rue hisses urgently into the radio, eyes fixed on looming figures edging closer. "Going silent." And she turns the thing down so far that it may as well be off, since it'll do no more than show a red light if there's a response. And the girl tucks the radio away so that it won't flicker and give away her and François' location.

Rue sucks in a deep breath and holds it without realising while she waits for the soldiers to pass. When they do, and don't seem to have seen them, her shoulders sag with relief. A worried look is given to her partner in response to what they've overheard, and in anticipation of their daring escape to come. She puts one hand on his arm again and braces like a runner at the starting gate, waiting for the starting pistol. As soon as it's clear, she's ready to take off like a shot.

Or a frightened rabbit. That's almost the same thing.

The other thing about being small is that you're easily jerked around. Which, in any case, is also a good thing as Liza is tugged to safety. Her voice stays low as she looks back to Huruma. "They're repairing the line straight up to St. James' Station… there was a map showing the route. They're trying to get a direct line all the way down the entire length of Staten. ASAP, Heller's orders. Didn't say what they plan on transporting, though." She checks behind her carefully before looking back to Huruma. "Do we head out?"

"Unless w'feel like going t'ask what it is." Huruma doesn't expect her to want to do that. It cements only one thing for certain though, and that is Heller is trying to reclaim the whole of Staten Island, quite possibly through use of its rail system. Huruma's seen them used too many times to move weapons, and frankly, it wouldn't surprise her. It's a natural place, where her thoughts roam. Liza is relinquished, trusted to follow as her companion moves back along the wall towards where they had come in.

"Merci et bonne nuit," is muttered, and François glances sidelong at the woman prepared to flee. "Go swift, keep quiet. I'll be behind you." Rue will feel a hand touch her back in silent urge for her to run, and François lingers once he's clear, going over the words he's heard so that he can repeat them later. Waits, then, for the sound of thudding boots of soldiers returning to the sound of someone's flight away from the crane. Not that he's totally positive what he'd do if this were the case, but François waits.

It never happens, not through the few seconds of watching the rails over the bulk of the machine. With that, he pushes away, following the path Rue takes in quiet, long strides.

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