The Enemy of My Enemy


lucille4_icon.gif yi-min_icon.gif

Scene Title The Enemy of My Enemy
Synopsis Makes for a great drinking buddy.
Date April 20, 2019

Staten Island

Following the events of What Are Best Friends For.

"And then he turned into full on magma. I almost said they don't pay me enough for this shit." Lucille slams a glass of tequila down on the bar and looks over to her companion. Whose ass she was just trying to kick a couple of hours ago but now a few more rounds of drinks later and they had talked and the Wolfhound Operative was wanting to know the other woman.

Especially if they were going to be investigating the conduits together.

"What do you do," Taking a sip from her glass again and swallowing down the liquor with a smile and glint to her blue eyes, "For work that is."

Listening to her new partner-in-crime regale her with tales of fights in the ring, Yi-Min has been sipping at her own glass of gin, a resumption of the state of things from before as though that experimental scuffle outside— powers unleashed and all— had never even happened. Assuming the offer for free drinks is still on the table, it is not one she is going to pass up now that the situation had rewound back towards some sense of normalcy. "Ji bai xiao, I'd gladly have paid to see that," she states bluntly, an authentic laugh accompanying it a moment after. "It’s hard to imagine doing this so regularly. Is this a full-time job for you?

The question about her own work makes her thoughtful over the rim of her drink, at least for a passing frame of a second. "I make sure people in Providence have access to medicine. So a pharmacist of sorts, I suppose." Pharmacist, plus a few made-up functions that do not normally exist in a self-sustaining place blessed with ample resources. Providence is not yet one of those places.

Yi-Min must be mistaken and Lucille grins with a shrug of her shoulder, "Not exactly. Bounty hunting keeps me in practice and on my toes though." A rogue grin as she takes another sip of her drink. "Ahh ha. All do no harm hm?" A raise of her eyebrows, Yi-Min's ability definitely did harm.

"So if I ever need any pills I'll come to you." It's a tease because Lucille already had a guy, for special purposes, occasions… not often. Yea.

Blue eyes assess the woman and she tips her drink back again, draining it while signaling for another. "How's it out there? Roughing it." Berlin had filled her in a little about the place but not a whole lot.

Lucille is a highly interesting individual, a truth which only seems to be increasing by degrees as the conversation draws on. "Bounty hunting? As in government work?"

With her brow still lightly quirked from this question, Yi-Min displays some entertainment at Lucille’s response to what it is she does. "It is the idea. I do try and help my customers rather than accidentally poison them. I would do the same for you, if came to see me." This promise, also a bantering one, is made just before she grants herself another sip. Lucille might be surprised at the number of beneficial uses her ability has, in addition to the more deleterious ones.

"On most days, Providence is beautiful, especially once you get used to 'roughing it.' It has its share of… problems, but I suppose any community does." Some of these particular problems may be rather unique, but the general fact of the statement stands.

"Private." Is Lucille's quick response. While the current administration doesn't want her and people like her to hang she's not keen on being seen as an employee of the government. "The government needed help, there were a lot of bad guys still loose after the war." And Wolfhound had caught them… or killed in some cases. "They asked for help." And Lucille and the others were happy to oblige and also that paycheck doe.

Laughing softly she nods her head, "I'll keep that in mind. Thanks in advance for not poisoning me." Lucille's hand signals for another one. She'll crash somewhere nearby, she's slept in way worse conditions.

"I'll have to see it someday." Providence, Lucille liked nature. Low key on her off hours, not at all the party girl she use to be even though she's slamming drinks back now. "Every community does, some worse than others."

Ah, so that kind of bounty hunting. Something about the clarification of Lucille's occupation causes a shift in Yi-Min's gaze, though it is very subtle. An increase in respect, perhaps, if one is looking at the right angle. Her brow resets to normal. "A 'lot of bad guys being loose after the war' is one way to put it, from the tidings I heard," she agrees as she leans more comfortably onto the forearm of hers that is resting on the counter, slender fingers curling around her chin. "I don't envy you that task."

And no problem about the poison. Yi-Min is happy to serve.

A slight change of topic, asked mildly but curiously as she watches Lucille beckoning for her umpteenth drunk: “By the way, who is your friend? The one you are concerned about. I don't think you mentioned, beyond what was mentioned vaguely while we were outside." It seems a fair enough question to ask, given that Lucille knows exactly who hers is. "Is she actually your sister?"

"The money was worth it." Fuck the state of the world, Lucille doesn't really believe that but truly her salary helped to keep her in the line of work she was in. "There were rough days but," as she said, totally worth it. So was fighting in the Crucible, that bit kept her sane. All training did.

When the topic of discussion shifts to Lucille's person the Wolfhound operative stiffens slightly even through the haze of the liquor, Berlin guarded her secretly fiercely. Lucille would never want to betray that but if she was going to be working with Yi-Min…. and she was right it was fair. "She's as much my sister as anyone can be except for blood." Going to lift draw a finger down her neck, "I use to be scarred, old injury. My ability was out of my control. She healed me. My father of cancer…" it's a miracle but the price of that miracle for Berlin? Was that worth it? Always teetering on the edge of maybe losing herself.

"It's a heavy burden." The conduits. "I've known her since she was a teen." How time flies, "Didn't know this whole time." Until the healing, until people started to sniff around because Lucille was sniffing around, because Berlin broke her promise to herself for the Ryans family and that was something they would never forget.

The knowing glint of a smile creeps into Yi-Min's eyes at the startling familiarity that comes with Lucille's description of Berlin: a little sister in everything but blood. "Yes, I hear that. I've known Eileen since she was a teen, too," she says with a reminiscent laugh, watching Lucille with her chin resting easily in the curve of her fingertips and considering what has been said to her.

She elevates her glass to her lips with her free hand in a fleeting motion to take a swig out of it, her features allowed to grow a few shades warmer and more reflective after she lowers it to the bar again. "She was just a scrawny thing then. It has been so long, and she has changed so much since then."

And so has she, for that matter. But there are also certain things that have remained constant, and shall remain so for as long as Yi-Min has a say in it.

"I am sorry for the burden your friend has carried. Your meimei. What is her name?"

What name? God. Lucille looks up to the ceiling and tilts her head, "Nathalie." The name that's harder to find Berlin by, there's a chuckle. "She was a teen, barely not now but when you have something that old, arcanic running through you how do you even get to have a life of a kid?" You don't quite simply.

"If you knew Eileen… did you ever meet Kazimir?" She says the name in a whisper, eyes flicking to the door and then back to Yi-Min. The man was like a boogeyman even to this day, sucking the life from you. Lucille didn't have the same aversion to Berlin as she did the thought of this Kazimir Volken. He seemed twisted, sounded prone to megalomania. Not Berlin.

"I guess I'm asking if you've seen it in action." Lucille had only witnessed the healing aspects of the White Conduit.

Yi-Min's reaction to hearing the name of Kazimir is faint, but it is there. Her hand lingers on the surface of her glass for longer than it needs to.

"His is a figure that is hard to forget," she says with a considering look at the bartop, rather than at Lucille. "The Moroi of legend. I saw what he was capable of, yes— it is years ago, now, but my memories of it remain as sharp as though it was recent. I suppose seeing human bodies withered to dust is something that tends to stay with you." This is said with a sliver of wryness, even though there is nothing remotely humorous about the topic.

"Eileen tries not to use hers. For good reason, I imagine."

"I saw those sorts of bodies before." Geopoint, "Left by Eileen I guess.." she still didn't totally understand it but. The proof was in the pudding. Or whatever the fuck. Lucille swallows back more of her drink. "I've never seen Nat use it… like that." Probably for the best, "She thinks we're afraid but.."

"I'm just afraid for her. Less about me. Or anyone else." Killing in the Pine Barrens has shaken Berlin to the core, Lucille was use to killing. She would do it without hesitation if necessary, Berlin is like a sister to her even if she's Wolfhound… she doesn't want her to get use to that. Having blood on her hands.

"Those two inherited so much blood just by… existing." How nice.

"Oh, I know. It is not something that either of them should have to go through. Live with, much less.” No human should ever have to, the press of her tone implies, and the fact that it is these two makes it so much worse. Similar words Yi-Min had spoken aloud before, and would likely keep saying before this is all over: like Lucille, her concern stems less from the danger to other people (though this is of course still a relevant factor— how could it not be?) than to the impacts to the users directly. There is the small curve of a grimace from her, reminiscent of a frown.

"If there is a way to remove such blood from their hands, we owe it to ourselves to find a way to do so, no?"

After all, what are friends for?

"So, with all that you know, you are aware that Kazimir is the reason that Eileen is… the way that she is. What is the source of Nathalie's condition? Was it something that she was born with?"

"We do." Of this Lucille can agree, she didn't want to scare Berlin. This wasn't an attack on her, this was a showing of options. Ones Burr hadn't gotten to have before.

There's a silence when Eileen's upbringing is brought up, "I couldn't imagine being raised by such a thing." Not man because that's not what Kazimir Volken was. "Nat is… very much in control. Most times. She's had them as long as she can remember. If the Institute's experimentations gave her an advantage," There's a grimace because really? Yuck. "There's no clear evidence to suggest it."

"Eileen banished Kazimir though, on her own?" Lucille hasn't known Berlin to be capable of that but maybe… "Maybe her understanding of him helped her in that endeavor."

"He was a man cursed, as she was," is what Yi-Min offers simply in terms of her opinion on Kazimir, not missing the distaste evident in the other woman's moment of quiet at the mention. By contrast, no rancor seems to be a part of her own expression. She dips her chin in a nod of silent understanding when the Institute is brought up— it certainly does make a lot of sense, in terms of why Nathalie would be the way that she is. "The decisions he made based on this fact were another matter entirely, but I daresay it is what it is. Complicated."

As these things often are.

"I don't really know that all of him is gone," she comments, too, giving her glass a critical glance even though it is clear that she is more looking straight through it. From here, she watches Lucille's face via the obscured reflection in the glass.

That particular issue seems to be complicated, as well.

"Does she hear him?" A more sudden question than her last, but a curious one.

There's apprehension in her shoulders, tension rather at how casual Kazimir is spoken of but then again Lucille isn't sure what to expect when Yi-Min has the past she does with the old man. For Lucille her expression stays froth with emotion but there's a steelness to her gaze as she looks ahead at the wall behind the bar.

"It's pretty hard for old white men in power to really give it up or just… disappear." There's another swallow of her drink and Lucille's gaze rounds onto the woman. What a strange night this has become. Musing on conduits with an almost stranger but they are kindred spirits of this Lucille is certain now. Both just want to help their friend.

"…sometimes but she has lived with them for so long. I don't believe his voice is as powerful as it once was. Eileen was helping her with that."

Not knowing what to expect is a reaction that Yi-Min is accustomed to seeing from others by now, and the tension that appears in Lucille's upper frame is barely acknowledged with a second sideways glance. Clearly, she is unbothered by not only the direction this conversation has meandered into, but any part she has played in steering it that way.

Yi-Min also knows, after all, that the aftermaths of such reactions typically resolve quite well once she takes the pains of making sure her intentions are crystal-clear. Luckily for the opposing party, in this case Lucille, there is relatively little she is interested in hiding from this woman whom she has also recognized as a kindred spirit.

For the time being, anyway. In this journey. This endeavor.

Kindred spirits that have much to discuss about— not only tonight over drinks, but in the long days ahead.

"Another round, please." This, directed to the bartender as the very shortest of requests.

May as well get started now.

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