To Save Rickham, Part Two


cat_icon.gif helena_icon.gif trask_icon.gif conrad_icon.gif alexander_icon.gif owen_icon.gif

Scene Title To Save Rickham, Part Two
Synopsis People come together and assignments are made.
Date December 19, 2008

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

In conversation with Sergei, and having floated the question to him along with Grace and Jezebel as a hypothetical matter, it was concluded that the Kazimir Volken Group likely intends to make a move soon. Cat and Sergei began to mull it over, and were prepared to send word out for others to join them so teams could be formed and decisions made by leadership. At about that same time, Teo visited the dead drop established between him and Eileen Ruskin. He then sent out the word by text message: We have information from Eileen, saying simply Allen Rickham — Friday, December 19, 2008.

Seeing this come in, Cat reads the message and remarks to Sergei. "That'll save us the trouble of contacting people, they'll probably come to us. I… I guess she can be trusted at least to some degree."
Helena is one of the first people there. The speculations were regarded cautiously, but the dead drop confirmation makes her willing to put forth a call to action. "What do we know about Rickham's appearance?" she asks. "I don't think this is going to be as simple as alerting HomeSec or the Secret Service. What can we do to stop this?"

Conrad, already set up in a chair which he's leaning back in, feet propped on a table, goes, "I think probably the best we can do is hang back, watch, and swoop in for damage control when and if something goes south. They'd take the threat seriously if we told them, the Secret Service. But they're likely to try to pin it on us instead of watching the right people."

Trask sets up the "war room" with the info he has on Homeland, Scout, and Vanguard, as well as Pariah, since there is some chance they may make a move too.

Helena considers a few moments, nodding to Conrad. "I think for the most part you're right, but we may have some means of being proactive. He's touring the ruins, right? Owen could try to take in possible points where a bullet might come from. And might be able to get to Rickham in time if a shot is taken. I can impair visibility from the sky. But given the ability of Kazimir himself, I don't know if that would be enough. We might want to call Abby too, in case they succeed."

"We've been thinking about possibilities, Stormy," Cat replies when the leader arrives. "Wireless has been contacted, she says she can track the President-elect's movements through their electronic communications. We can contact her again when or if we have a plan and teams assembled. There are a lot of variables in play, potential methods of carrying out a goal like that. If we come to the attention of Federal agents, Conrad is correct, we do run a risk. Sadly, we don't have photos to match the names of people we have. Like you said," she agrees, "our best bet is to watch and see if we can augment the Federal presence in whatever way we can. I thought, for example, a sudden fog bank might be useful."

"Um," Owen chimes in fitfully, raising a hand. He's been quiet but present-mostly. Now he makes his presence known, enough to remind, "I'm not actually faster than bullets. So…um, just saying, really." He settles back down, having offered that bit of trivia. Now he'll go back to absorbing information.

"Don't worry, kid." Con says to Owen. "I think she's talking about you just getting from A to B faster than the rest of us can. Not stopping bullets." He shifts a little in his leaned-back chair and asks, "What do our bogies look like, anyway? And do we have numbers?"

Trask shakes his head, "We Don't have hard numbers, but we do have describtions of several of them."

In slouches Al, in his usual faux-homeless garb, though he's pulled off his watch ca and is in the middle of stuffing it into a parka pocket. He looks more like a junkyard dog than ever, scars on his face pale against the flushed brought on by the cold outside. He nods respectfully to the leaders, but seems mostly content to listen and lurk, for the moment.

"At the very least, you can take in the route and the potential sweet spots." Helena says gently. She nods to Cat - she'd already said that, and looks to Con, Trask, and Cat - this wasn't quite touched in Hana's training yet. "What else can we do with who we have available? And should I call Abby?"

Her eyes drift over toward Alexander as Helena speaks and the man makes his way in, an idea coming to her. "Telekinetic shield around the President-elect, potentially," Cat suggests. "As to their personnel, they've got one teleporter, a man who uses shadows or intangibility in some way, they have Ethan and the blonde who helped grab me. Either of them could have time manipulation powers. There's Sylar and his false faces, also. That's the rundown of the biggest threats I can see. Of course, any or all them could have expertise with rifles and or bombs. Calling Abby is probably a very good idea, too."

Owen quickly nods, offering a smile in exchange for the reassurances he's given. "I was just saying," he explains. "If someone shoots..Anyway, I can scout the place out. No problem."

"You can run with body armor on, right?" Helena asks. "Just in case." She frowns. "I don't know if Alex will be permitted close enough to be able to do that. Sergei…will you be anywhere close? That would at least cancel out any power attempts they might make."

Conrad kind of winces at the mention of Abby. "Don't drag her into this. She's got enough on her plate. Let's go to her after we got some dings and dents for her to patch up, not before." That seems less motivated by any lack of confidence in Abby and more about just not getting her involved. "If we do anything to Rickham, even if it's a good anything, Secret Service is gonna be all over us. Put a force field around him and we're gonna have two fights on our hands, not just one. Who does force fields anyway?"

Trask says, "I might be able to position myself near the President, not as close as Secret Service of course."

Helena looks over at Trask. "Close enough to cancel out an ability assaults on him?"

"Con's right," Al confirms, in a tired rasp. "I'd also have to be right up Rickman's nose to even try that. I've never tried constant, sustained motion in that way before, and it'd not be reliable. Now, I can deflect anything human resources can dish out…."

Helena adds to Conrad, "I'm talking about having Abby around in the event the President is shot. It would be her choice, and I wouldn't push her if she said no."

Trask says, "Depends, if the Secret Service and Homeland think its a serious possibility, then yes."

There's a shrug from Con and he points out, "Just so long as you're prepared to associate her with a suspected terrorist organization. I kinda like Abby. I don't want her life fucked up because we're trying to do a job nobody asked us or her to do."

After giving it a bit of thinking-over, bobbing his head as he considers, makes up his mind, second-guesses, experimentally hefts an imaginary weight about his person and then finally arrives at a conclusion, Owen finally replies, "Yeah, sure. I can run in body armor. I could even…Oh! Okay, yeah." Wherever he's taken that thought, he seems content with it. The rest, he's just soaking up.

"There are three locations involved with this," Cat states. "The Washington-Irving School in Chelsea, the midtown crater, and the ruins of CitySoft. Two of them, the school and the crater, are close to each other. We can probably send people to one place and have them move to the other as the President-elect does. The other group would need to be near CitySoft. This is where Hana telling us where he's going and when comes in. He will probably not have his exact route set until the very last moment for security reasons. But there would be radio traffic she can pick up and advise us of." Her eyes travel toward Conrad, and his concerns are replied to. "It may seem beyond our area, Conrad, but if Rickham falls our task is that much harder."

Alexander nods, mutely, but offers no commentary, not yet. "I'm not sure what else I can do," he mutters, eyes downcast for a moment. "I can put paid to any immediate threat if we see 'em, but…"

Conrad looks to Cat and says, "I didn't say we aren't doing the right thing, Sweetheart. I'm just saying we need to realize it's a pretty stupid thing to do. And those that didn't sign up for it don't need to come along for the ride. Me? I know it's stupid and here I still am."

Helena considers. "Do what you can to get close to him with the resources you have." she tells Trask. Translation: go for the on-duty persona, which might get him closer than otherwise. She flashes a smile at Owen. "Good. Thank you, Owen." She looks back at Conrad, considers a moment. "I think Abby's aware of the risks. But if we opted out of every situation where our presence might make a difference - god, we may as well just march off to the camps right now, or let Kazimir's group kill us all. We can have Hana keep our wireless comms running, but it might be best to have people stationed along the route while others move with it. I can keep it nice and foggy to impair higher visibility in the event of snipers. Owen will run the route and keep monitoring for potential members of Kazimir's faction."

Sergei will get in as close as he can to the president. Everyone else can likely be placed at different points along the route. Does this work for you guys?"

Trask nods and turns to go, "See you in the field, boss."

"Wow. And I'm the one who's deaf…" Conrad says, reaming his ears as he kicks his seat upright, ready to go.

Helena looks exasperated. "Don't confuse not listening to you with not agreeing with you, Conrad."

"Nah, I'm just saying you're acting like I said something completely different, Hel." points out Con with a grin. "C'mon, let's go try to save the world or something."

"I was stupid enough to vote for the other guy," Owen says, "I'm definitely stupid enough to do this." Then, belatedly, "Although in my defense I was really stoned…and he kinda looked like a muppet.."

"Just truth, justice, and the American fuckin' way," comments Al, with the ghost of a smile. "Ain't that enough?"

"Where do you want me to be, Stormy?" Cat asks quietly as she reaches for her coat and slips into it. Eye contact is made, potentially, as she adds "I got sent a message earlier. When time allows, I'll tell you more." Her features seem less haunted than they have been lately, the degree of guilt seems reduced.

Helena says, "You can take up one of the relay along the tour route." to Cat, but seems intent to move. She can call Abby on the way.

December 19th: To Save Rickham, Part One

Previously in this storyline…
To Save Rickham, Part One

Next in this storyline…
Disaster Within Disaster, Part I

December 19th: Free Information
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