The Court Of Opinion


hana_icon.gif lance_icon.gif

Scene Title The Court of Opinion
Synopsis A contact in a mysterious burner phone connects Lance to Hana, and they discuss a dead woman with a stained reputation.
Date July 24, 2018

A USB cable leads to a different cable, spliced into a charger cable that finally plugs into the wall of the library; it’s all plugged into a burner phone in Lance’s hand, settled into one of the back desks in the Doyle Memorial Library. The signal’s checked a few times — even here it’s not always reliable — and then he draws in a breath. “Worth a try,” he declares, tapping in a text message to the first contact on the list.

Hana, it says.

Hello! Sorry for bothering you. I found this phone and you’re in the contact list and I’m trying to figure out who owned it.

There's nothing quite so distracting as receiving an unexpected message, except perhaps waiting for an expected one. This isn't.

On the order of three hundred miles away, Hana looks up from a very late lunch, frowning at the unassuming wall whose only offense is to be in the direct line of her gaze.

Who is this?

Shit. Lance looks at the phone for a moment, considering how to identify himself. It may not be the Hana he suspects it might be, after all — it could be someone dangerous. After a moment’s internal debate, he comes to a decision and taps out another message.

I’m with the Lighthouse.

That, he thinks, should be enough to verify something at least.

I see, appears on the disposable phone in short order, and hints at recognition of the organization so named. A brief pause follows as Hana considers her options — and just how interested she is in whatever it is the Lighthouse has found.

I don't recognize the number, is sent at last, with the distinction of Wireless now being substituted as the associated name.

But a lot of people have my contact. Where did you find it?

She can check for herself who else is in its address book.

As that alias appears, Lance breathes out a relieved sigh. “Thank God,” he chuckles to himself, tapping out a new response.

Old observation tower on Staten. All the texts are encrypted. That was the weird part.

A moment passes, and he adds, We found a journal Eileen wrote in there too. Maybe it was hers?.

The address book proves to have numbers Hana recognizes — a plethora of them. The encryption on the texts she copies out takes more effort to work through.

It hasn't been used since 2011, she sends in the meantime, and given the contacts… likely.

The phone lies quiet for several moments as the technopath continues her analysis, and then as she peruses the data revealed to her consideration.

Yes, Hana confirms at last, it was Eileen's.

Keep it within the family, if you would. Or destroy the data before you dispose of it.

Lance waits— a bit anxiously— as the phone’s quiet, as the technopath goes through it. Then he’s scratching at the side of his neck for a moment before tapping out a message back.

We found out who the traitor was. The real traitor. We were hoping maybe something we found could exonerate her, is the message back, We can’t read anything in the phone, though, since it’s all encrypted.

Whatever differences some people had with Eileen, the Lighthouse Kids were just that at the time. Kids. All they knew was that Eileen was heading up the Ferry at the time — and that means she deserves justice.

I can take another look with that in mind, Hana sends, but I do not expect it. Eileen was only ever convicted in a court of opinion.

Proving a negative is difficult to start with; overturning perception and suspicion? Most often, it is simply redirected onto someone else.

Whether surprising or not to Lance's perspective, Hana fails to comment on the real traitor, identity thereof.

Some texts contain candidate sites, she elaborates a few moments later, returning to prior subject. From before the war, but they may still have value now.

At least in the eyes of those who believe in holding contingencies — and backup data — in reserve.

The court of opinion matters. Have you seen that River Styx show?? The truth is important to have out there, argues Lance, thumb tapping quickly over the phone’s keyboard, Even that aside, it’d give his son closure. It’s fucking killing him that everyone thinks his father is a -hero- when he’s the complete opposite.

This is just the only real evidence we have, this and the journal, he finishes, leaning back and frowning at the phone. Stupid world and its shades of grey.

Of course she's seen the show. Wireless cannot miss it.

Point is, opinions are difficult to sway, Hana sends back. Anything you find of Eileen's is apt to be a character reference at best. If opinion were willing to believe in those, all her time with the Ferry would have weighted the scale.

You know who the traitor was. Proving it, on the far side of chaos and war, with so many parties dead and so much misinformation already free… that will take something exceptional. Even financial records would only be the beginning of the case.

Lance’s brow furrows slightly as he reads the response, and then he taps out an answer. There’s an old saying about things worth doing not being easy, I think. There’s a journal, too, that has a lot of information in it. Maybe it’ll take time and work, but nothing’s impossible.

They generally aren't, Hana agrees.

There's a period of silence after, and then a further message:

I can try to trace finances if your friend has a place to start.

There’s some stuff in the journal about that. Volken, and Trafford. I’ll dig through it, Lance replies, See if there’s anything we can use.

There’s a long pause, and then:

//Thank you, Wireless./

Half a state away, Hana reflects on the latest messages she's received, and briefly shakes her head.

She doesn't continue on the subject, but the flick of thought that deletes that specific message chain from the phone's memory can be considered acknowledgment, in distinctly Wireless fashion.

You know how to reach me, is the only one left behind.

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