Tightrope Walking


elisabeth_icon.gif jane2_icon.gif

Scene Title Tightrope Walking
Synopsis It's a tricky business.
Date July 28, 2011

Biddy Flannigan's Irish Pub

Jane's alcohol intake has gone up in the past few months. Not that it was ever a slim amount to begin with. But she does like the crowd of a bar to lose oneself in, or ones… terrorist contacts. She's only on her second beer, a dark, frothy thing that even smells bitter. She's sitting in a booth in the back, no where near such things as windows, but close enough to a back door for quick escape purposes, should they be needed.

It's late enough that there's a group of men singing some bawdy drinking song, but not yet late enough for people to be worried about getting home before curfew. A blessed moment of worry-free drinking, without last call looming near by. But for all that the room around her is jolly enough, Jane isn't. For once.

Elisabeth can't remember the last time she sat in a bar. For this, she cannot look like a college coed — they'll card her. So when she comes into the bar wearing a pair of tidy jeans, a deep violet T-shirt, and a black and gold scarf around her hair that hides the streaks. It a fashion statement.

She stops near the bar, procures a beer in a bottle, and heads through the throng toward the back to casually slide into the booth across from Jane. Elisabeth's blue eyes are cautious but she forces a small smile. "Hey," she greets softly.

"Hey, you made it," Jane says, lifting her glass in a little gesture of welcome, "I was worried you wouldn't and I'd end up drinking alone. And I'm too young for that." Badge and gun are still present, which means she must have come straight from work, but neither are being flashed about, so that's a comfort. "How's it hangin'?" It's a mild greeting for this kind of get together, but she likes to keep her clandestine meetings relaxed.

"Well, it's not the simplest thing, but …." Elisabeth smiles slightly. "People see what they want to see in a city this size." She sips from the bottle of beer, glancing at the crowd. "Nice joint," she comments idly. "It's…. hanging," she says. "Nothing significant going on, just… surviving." There's a shrug. What else is there right now?

"No news is good news," Jane says wryly, her smile crooked. "Well, while you've been surviving, I've been wandering around Wonderland. Met our smoky Cheshire Cat. Not as fun without the creepy smile, but, he'll do." Vincent, of course. "And someone I think works well as the Knave," she says, her hand dropping to the bench beside her to pick up a yellow envelope which she shakes a little before she sets it on the table.

"You're not gonna like what you find in there. I didn't like it either. But, it links the… Duchess, I guess? I've run out of Wonderland allegories. Anyway, it's some paperwork and robot footage. Shouldn't let anyone with a delicate stomach watch." She doesn't seem to think Liz is one such delicate soul, however. "I need you guys to give me some time before you do… whatever it is you're going to do with this. I need to sow some seeds before this pops up into the light."

Elisabeth's brows quirk upward. "Smoky Cheshire Cat?" she asks curiously. She has no idea of Lazzaro's involvement in any of this.

Reaching out to take the envelope, Elisabeth is forced to smile at the Wonderland references. She tucks it away into her lap for now. "The robot footage will be helpful for certain," she says quietly. "I have operatives heading into Midtown to see if they can get photographs. She sips from her beer and asks, "What kind of seeds are you sowing?"

"Mmhmm. There's been some characters on this side of the mirror, let me tell you." Jane doesn't really explain, in the interest of not outing anyone who doesn't want to be outed, instead, letting the results of collective labor be the focus.

"Tell them to be careful. The bots are playing to win," she says with a nod to the envelope. "I kept copies, just in case anything goes wrong. I know in the future they're supposed to find at least one of my hiding places, so I tried to be cleverer than usual," she gives a shrug there, because who knows if she was cleverer than usual in the future as well. Time will tell. "Seeds of distrust. Shining a little light on the subject from a different angle. Hopefully, when this gets out, instead of being brushed off as a fake and buried deep, something'll be done about it."

"We already knew that," Elisabeth replied, content to leave the explanation for now. But she nods approvingly when Jane talks of being more clever than usual. A faint smile plays about her lips. "The situation that happened to you in the future has likely changed simply by virtue of knowing about it — it's one of the vaguaries of time," the blonde says quietly. "I just hope we haven't somehow caused it to move forward," she admits with a faint smile.

Toying with the bottle of beer on the table, Elisabeth is quiet for a time. And then she looks up and asks Jane candidly, "How're things going for you besides this?" The other woman is, after all, walking a line that Liz herself walked for two years. Not always successfully.

"I guess we'll see. It could end bloody. But maybe with the right finesse, it won't be a total disaster. Someday, we're all going to answer for what we did in this stretch, for better or worse. But we didn't sit idly by, and I think that counts for something. I just really had my fill of war already in this life." Unfortunately, Jane doesn't believe it'll be a clean break, even in the best case scenario. But instead of voicing that exact thought, she takes a long drink from her pint.

"Oh, pretty well. Dancing a dance around secrets isn't something I'm unfamiliar with. Almost my whole run in the service was a big dance. This, though, this is like Hide and Go Seek. Like having a beer with someone on my best friend's top ten most wanted list. I'll be glad when it's all over and the chips have fallen and we can all move on."

"It's already bloody," Elisabeth says softly, thinking of the damn virus loosed many years before it was supposed to be. Blowing out a breath she lifts the bottle of beer to her lips and winks at Jane. "Wow, I made the top ten?" she asks in amusement. "I can't decide whether I'm flattered or appalled." Maybe a little of both. She slants a look at Jane and smirks. "Once upon a time, I was you — boggled out of my mind that I was having coffee with wanted people."

"Let's hope it doesn't get any bloodier, then." Jane shakes her head a bit, there, perhaps envisioning a much worse scenario for their city. But she's a military mind, the idea of acceptable loss, while distasteful, is not unfamiliar. "You'll only feel flattered until she's hounding your every step. I'm not saying you're up shit creek without a paddle, but she is a very determined agent. Very." Very very. "And it's not that you're wanted that's strange. When I was in the Army, I sort of became the underground railroad for people who were… in a tough spot, we'll say. It's that back then, I wasn't hiding them from people I like. I've been walking a road in the grey area of the law for a good chunk of my adult life. I like it here. I'll choose a hard and fast side when I'm sure one or the other is actually right."

Which is to say, she's not at the moment, with both sides doing things she can't exactly get one hundred percent behind.

"Then you'll likely never quite choose a side," Elisabeth retorts mildly, their conversation entirely private. Audiokinetics for the win. The music from the bar is muted as they drink and she tilts her head. "I'm not even sure we're right — I take the actions I take based on the best information I can get and my own moral compass. I don't think the system itself is wrong," she tells Jane quietly. "And I do my best to keep innocent people the hell out of it. I just think that certain people, maybe even with noble intentions, got high enough in the food chain that the power corrupted their goals. It became more about preserving their own positions and solidifying their own power bases than it was about the good of everyone. And of course… the trend toward legislating their own morality and their bigotry onto other people isn't exactly new," she points out with a disgusted snort.

"That's okay. I'll just be on my own side. Unfortunately, extremism on either side makes the extremists on the other all the more… extreme. Until everything goes up in smoke. No one's arguing that there isn't corruption, I just wish everyone would be a bit more sensible. It'd be nice." Jane sets down an empty glass there, giving Liz a crooked smile. "I'm not sure there is a right way to go about all this. But we do our best, no one can argue that, either. Just keep your head about you." She pulls out her wallet to drop some bills on the table, a tip for whoever's been bringing her drinks so far tonight, and she starts to scoot out of the booth.

"I'll contact you if I find anything else useful. And to let you know when I've done my sowing over here." She seems to think this serves as a farewell, as in the interest of keeping their meetings short and less likely to be seen she throws Liz a salute and heads for the front door.

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