Tracking A Ghost


ling_icon.gif melissa3_icon.gif

Scene Title Tracking A Ghost
Synopsis Ling and Melissa meet to try to figure out how to find a missing mastermind.
Date October 25, 2010

Westview: Melissa's Apartment

making various deals. And today, since she had work earlier, it's no less stressful. But still, she called Ling, asked her to swing by when she had a chance. And when Ling does arrive, Mel's sprawled on the futon, a movie playing. Hocus Pocus. She has to watch something Halloweeny, and it's just cute enough to cheer her up a bit. So what if it's a kid's movie!

Today, Ling has not picked the conventional method of arrival at Melissa's apartment. Smoke filters up and into the room through a crack that Melissa must have whole wholly unaware of, spiralling up into to a familiar shape silently on the other side of the couch. "Hello, Melissa," Ling states simply once she is able to walking around the couch and in to view. A glance is given over tot he TV and Ling's nose wrinkled before she looks back at Melissa. "You wanted to talk?"

There's a jump and an entirely girlish squeal when Ling just appears. "Jesus fuckin' Christ! I adore you people, I really do, but people need to stop popping in and out on me!" she says, giving Ling's shoulder a light shove before reaching for the remote to pause the movie, just in the middle of Bette Midler's song. "But yes, I wanted to talk. I've been busy since last time we did, and I figured I should give you the update. But don't do that!"

Ling looks unamused at Melissa's reaction, even if secretly she is just the slightest bit so. "I had been meaning to see what you planned to do following the meeting the other day." Which, in Ling's opinion, had been a disaster. Little agreed on, and what was, little progress had been made on. "I have a bit of unfortunate news myself, I am afraid. The last few days I have been… unable to get into contact with Kaylee. As such, we may have to either risk compromise, or find new people to help us find Rupert. Time is a factor, and we can't wait for her to resurface and start checking out people again."

"I've found three people who weren't at the meeting who'll help us," Melissa says with a faint smile. "Eileen's not only gonna use her birds to search the city, but she's also getting a hold of some of that drug that boosts an evolved's ability. One dose to help her search, another for me, for the eighth. If the riots do come to pass, then I'm sure there'll be a hell of a lot of people in pain."

"Ability boosting drug?" Ling quirks an eyebrow at Melissa, looking rather suspicious. "I haven't heard of such a thing, that I can recall. I imagine it must be based off the same research that gave us… Refrain." Ling cringes noticeably mention of the drug, shaking her head. "Be careful with such things, Melissa. Still, I am glad to hear that she is willing to aid us. And the others?"

"I will be, but I think it may be necessary," Melissa says with a small smile. "Yesterday I met with Wireless and Gabriel. Wireless had already talked to Richard, so don't know why he didn't say he was going to, but…she'll look for Rupert. Except if she finds him, she's going to kill him. She did give me something to help us out though."

She leans over the arm of the couch to dig in her backpack, and she pulls out a black handkerchief with white skulls on it, wrapped around something. She straightens and unwraps it, to show two darts with red liquid. "Negation darts. We need a sharpshooter. I can shoot, but I'm no sharpshooter."
Ling has partially disconnected.

"Negation darts?" There's a thoughtful tone to Ling's voice as she considers this new development, nodding her head a bit. "Useful indeed. Unfortunately, I am no sharpshooter, and I'm afraid anyone I knew who might have been is either dead, or on the run now." Referring, of course, to the Flying Dragons. She then looks up to Melissa, giving an expectant look. She wants to know who the other help is more than anything.

"Yep. I didn't know they came in projectile form, but I'm sure as hell not gonna turn 'em down," Melissa says, rewrapping them and putting them back in the backpack, where she won't lose them. "We may not need them either. Spoke with Gabriel not long after Wireless left. He's got an ability that can…not negate sound waves, but reduce them. He can also teleport, which makes getting him to the right place at the right time easier."

Ling frowns, arms crossing as she looks down at Melissa. "I am still uncomfortable with involving Gabriel. I think the risks of putting him in the same as Rupert are… more than I would like to think about. Do not hesitate to use one of those negation darts on him, if you must, Melissa." Grimacing, Ling sighs and shakes her head. "As for this Wireless, I know you want to kill Rupert, Melissa. I do as well, more than anything else at the moment. But you may have to except that dead is dead, regardless of at who's hands. His death is more important than anything else, and if Wireless can look through information roads and get to him first, so be it. Just as long as he's dead."

"Don't get me wrong, I want him dead one way or another, but I don't know if I'll feel better unless I see him dead," Melissa explains with a shrug. "And seriously, Gabriel may have a bad rep, but he hasn't done everything he's been accused of." That much she knows for sure. "And he has helped in the past. I think we need him, but I'll keep an eye on him if it'll make you feel better."

"I admit, he is a valuable asset not to be discounted. He makes me… uneasy, however. Keeping an eye on him at the very least would be welcome." Looking off to the side, Ling gives a bit of a shrug. "It has little to do with his bad reputation, Melissa." That's a bit of a lie, actually. "But the idea of anyone in a position to have an ability like Rupert's is dangerous. Gabriel in particular strikes me as someone to… give into temptation." Shaking her head, Ling's hands move to her hips as she looks back at Melissa. "And besides the drugs, is there anything Wireless is doing to aid us directly?"

"Peter could easily have Rupert's ability. And I'm sure there are others. Hell, the Ferry has one," Melissa points out. "And all things considered, persuasion is a lesser evil compared to some of the abilities that Gabriel could, or perhaps does have. But as for Wireless? Nothing. She'll let us know if she kills him, but she's hunting him herself."

"Then it's good thing Peter does not seem willing, smartly considering what Rupert has done to him, to come along." Ling gives a slow nod, peering at Melissa. "It makes me uneasy regardless. It is a shame that we have to resort to such things, without the aid of someone as useful as Wireless, but at least we have a start. Without Kaylee, however, I am unsure of where to go next."

"We know I'm clear. And we still have to find Rupert before we can actually do anything. I'm sure Kaylee'll show up before we go in for the kill," Melissa says, shrugging a little. "I wouldn't be surprised if Peter did come along though out of some feeling of guilt. He's big on guilt," she says, with more than a little bitterness.

"At this point, I would almost prefer he didn't. I know he will, because he wants to kill Rupert himself. But the last thing anyone needs is for Rupert to activate one of his ticking time bombs right in front of us." Ling stares for a moment before she waves a hand dismissively, beginning to pace a bit. "But I suppose it can't be helped. I suspect if he isn't included, we might both face the same suspicion you were given at the meeting. And we need Messiah's help for this."

"I know. And if he shows up before we go after Rupert, I'll point out that very reason for him to show up. As for people suspecting me…" Melissa trails off and shrugs. "So be it. Speaking of, you talked to Griffin?"

Ling looks a bit confused by this inquiry, giving Melissa a questioning look. "Griffin? No. With Kaylee gone and the meeting the other day, I had figured that what was said then would suffice until he could be confirmed clean. Would you rather I approached him anyway? I admit I am unaware of anything not covered in the meeting that would be pertinent for him to know."

"Telekinetics are handy," Melissa says with a shrug. "Regardless of whether we get a sharpshooter or not. Since Rupert might not be alone. And if he has the people with him who weren't at the meeting…A couple telekinetics could come in very handy in dealing with those people while Rupert's dealt with."

"Mm." Ling looks thoughtful for a moment, pacing her way around the couch. "If you wish, I will speak with him, then. But remember, he is someone Rupert may have gotten to. Beyond finding out when he will be free for me to bring to Kaylee when she returns I am unsure what else to tell him. I am somewhat uneasy about these people he is bringing into Messiah, I must admit."

"Alex and Nadira?" Melissa shakes her head. "Don't be. I actually suggested Nadira before the barbeque. She's one of my bartenders, and a hydrokinetic. Decent people. Alex is former ferry and was in Moab with me. He's a friend, and I trust him."

"Nadira was stubborn. I worry she may… slow things down down the line. We shall see, however. Alex, I suppose I will have to trust you on until I see more of him myself." Ling exhales sharply, tapping her foot. "So, with Eileen and Gabriel, and without our telepath or technopath, tell me, Melissa. What do we do next?"

"Mmm. There is that," Melissa muses, considering for a moment before giving Ling a vaguely amused look. "Right now, we keep looking. We need to start checking anywhere he might've gone, anyone he might've gone with. We check his house. Knox's house. The house of all Messiah members who have disappeared with him. His family's house. I'd like to check the VP's place, but I know that's not happening. We search, we locate him, get intel, then we use it to formulate a plan of attack. I may bring Sasha in on that."

"Stay away from Carmichael Manor. DHS still has a strong presence there. Peter, Rise, Cardinal, Griffin and I had to teleport in to avoid being spotted, and even then we chose not to go too far or stay longer than we needed to." Ling shakes her head, still looking thoughtful. "The VP is no longer a part of this. As much as I would like to expose this… web, Rupert is the number one concern. I had hoped for the Technopath's help as I imagine she would have been the easiest way to locate him. Legwork isn't going to cut it. I doubt he's in the city at the moment, and if he is, he is deeply entrenched somewhere." There's a moment of pause, and Ling frowns. "I would still rather find one of his associates, and have Kendall… project an image of Rupert to lure them out. That may be impossible without Rebel, unfortunately."

Melissa shakes her head. "The VP is an associate of his, might even have been brainraped. and really, who would look with the VP for Rupert? That's why I mentioned him," she explains. "And DHS knows I'm looking for Carmichael. At least Parkman does. And no, he's probably not in the city, but it's the best place we have to start with right now. If we can find a place he was though, maybe we can bring Risa in and overhear a conversation to figure out where he's going next. Or maybe Richard will convince Parkman to use the Walker system and make it easy on us. I just hope he's smart enough to bring us in if he finds Carmichael first."

"If the VP had been hustled by Carmichael, then I do not believe he would have allowed the last few weeks to occur as they have. No, if I were Rupert and I had control of Mitchell, I would have already disavowed my involvement with messiah and used my ability to make it stick, and just bide my time until the transmission was ready to broadcast." Ling wrinkles her nose, looking out a window. "I do not see what he has to gain from turning himself into a pariah. There is far too much anti-evolved sentiment from the powers in charge for any such thing to stick. As for DHS, knowing you're looking for Carmichael doesn't mean they're going to give you free range, clear slate or not, Melissa. I would suggest speaking with Parkman before you go by his place."

"Oh, I know they're not gonna just let me go doing what I want. Never did. I was meaning more, if they catch me there, it won't be too bad. At least not as bad as if they'd found, say, Peter or Edgar, or even you," Melissa explains. "I'm wary though, about telling Parkman too much, since he has whatever it was that Carmichael put in my head. Still. We'll find the bastard, and we'll kill him, and hopefully it'll be before the eighth."

"Stopping him before the eighth may be only part of the problem, if Richard is to be believed. But it is a better place for us to start." Ling eyes Melissa for a moment, pleased to hear that she is still wary of Matt Parkman, if not nearly as much as Ling is. "How on the record is your agreement with Parkman, Melissa? Indulge me on this, please." Because she has to be sure.

"What do you mean? About Richard and the eighth?" Melissa asks, brow furrowing as she thinks back to the last meeting. "And it's not strictly on the record, but since no one will let me hand Rupert over to DHS, it's moot. Which means I gotta find another way to clear you and Edgar."

"Mm. A good point, I suppose. And I recall Richard was speaking of jammers and other precautions. I imagine there is a chance of a recorded transmission. Conjecture, however. It will be better, though, to be safe than sorry in assuming that finding and killing Rupert puts an end to all of this." Ling sneers a bit, turning back to face Melissa. "Rupert is a smart man. I am sure he has some sort of contingency plan."

"I can't argue there," Melissa admits, albeit reluctantly. "Only a smart man could've done so much damage. Just wish I'd followed my first instincts with him. I never trusted the bastard. But, stupid me, I believed him when he said he'd lost his ability, and trusted Peter when he said he trusted Rupert." And she's clearly kicking herself for it now.

"I suspect that had I met Rupert soon, and had I been told he was a persuader who had previously "lost" his ability instead of waiting for Richard to tell me, I would have had reservations long before now." Ling frowns, pacing towards the couch. "He has made fools of us all, and there is little we can do about it now. But we need to start seriously looking for leads, combing what we can. Every minute that passes that we aren't seriously looking for him, the bigger fools we are."

Though Melissa squirms a little, she nods. "Agreed. I'm going to call Sasha, see if he has ideas on where to look." She pauses, considering. "I wonder if I could get in to talk to the chick he had in his house…Maybe she knows something. No, if she did, DHS would."

"The chick he had in his house?" Ling peers at Melissa. "Who are you talking about, Melissa? Anyone who Rupert has associated with is worth looking into, regardless of how minor it may seem."

"You didn't see the news? When they raided Rupert's house they took his servant or assistant or whatever into custody. Christa-something," Melissa says, sounding surprised. "She was a chick that, if his story is to be believed, he was in love with but who didn't love him. So he used his ability on her until he basically broke her mind. She definitely did seem not all there to me. Like she was on autopilot or something."

This was something Ling had entirely forgotten about. "I had forgotten about this. I find it curious that not even Matt Parkman has gone poking about in her head. Tangled as it may be, I sure there would be something to gleam from it." She considers this for a moment, and then sighs. "I suppose that would be a dead end, though. Even if it were possible for us to get to her."

"We don't know that he hasn't taken a peek into her mind though. I mean, he went into mine, and for less cause," Melissa points out. "It's entirely likely that there just wasn't anything useful there. I may try to get another meeting with him though, and ask."

"It certainly couldn't hurt," Ling replies in agreement,arms crossing over her chest. "If you provide me with addresses, particularly for Knox's home, perhaps I can start looking about for anyone who might know where he is. I know little else for where to start, I'm afraid."

"I don't have any addresses right now, but maybe some of them stayed at Howland Hook and left something behind," Melissa says. "It can't hurt to check there, anyway." Her backpack is delved into again, a pill popped, swallowed with a swig of water from a bottle. "I like people, I really do, but damn if all these meetings aren't exhausting. And headache inducing."

For Ling, on the other hand, meetings are comforting. Things to wish for even. They give one direction, something she feels is largely lacking lately. "I will check by Howland Hook then. Perhaps even Peter will be willing to help with this. For now, I will leave you with your headache, and to help plan our next step." Smoke begins to drift of Ling's body, until finally her entire body gives away into thing cloud of smoke streaming away from Melissa. "I will be in contact. Hopefully soon, I will have some good news."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License