brennan_icon.gif cat_icon.gif colette_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif doyle_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif helena_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

kaylee2_icon.gif lorraine_icon.gif megan_icon.gif raith_icon.gif scott_icon.gif susan_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Ultimatum
Synopsis Brennan approaches the network with a grim ultimatum from the man who calls himself Liette's father.
Date April 24, 2010

The Garden: Attic

If the rest of the world were to come to a standstill, the Garden would not notice. Isolated from the rest of the island, as many rural properties are, very few people outside of the Ferry are aware of its existence, which makes it a perfect location for gatherings like the one taking place within the cottage's walls. Downstairs, operations continue as normal; linens are changed, clothes washed, food prepared and dishes scrubbed clean in the kitchen's copper sink, chores rotated and wards kept oblivious to what's going on in the attic even though there's been a steady flow of foot traffic in that direction ever since the sun reached the highest point in the sky and began its descent through the clouds.

By six o'clock, the attic table is full, and so is the sofa and loveseat combination off to one side, its cushions covered in a thin layer of crinkly plastic to protect it from any leaks the roof might be subject to. Kerosene lamps and heaters provide enough light to see by and enough warmth for the operatives in attendance to be comfortable in the clothes they wear under their heavy winter coats, but the presence of at least one atmokinetic in the room doesn't hurt.

They're here because Dr. Harve Brennan has a message for them, and it's Dr. Harve Brennan who has the floor.

He's no stranger to public speaking, and the crowding of the house - while unusual - doesn't phase the doctors as after a gesture for him to start, Brennan eases forward to the focal point of the room, endeavouring to make sure that no one person gets his back. Not because he's afraid that there will be stabbing, but because it's rude. Arms bent at elbows, one palm hammed into a fist and the other sovering it, he offers a nod of his head to the room at large before he launches into talking.

"On the twenty second, I was released by the institute so that I could deliver a message and an ultimatum. From two different people and both with identical demands but different consequences. I hope, that you will hear me out, because I understand that I might not be the most popular guy at the moment, given that i'm here and there's nine other Ferryman who are not here."

Brennan reaches up, scratch at an ear then back down to cover his hand. "I tried to get them released, but wans't successful, and for that I'm sorry. I really am. The man in charge, Doctor Broome, has put forth a demand that Liette be released and peacefully returned to the institute. If his demand is not met, they will forcibly come after her, hunt her wherever the Ferry have tucked her and there will be no rubber bullets or gas cannisters next time. If she is peaceably returned, they will discuss the release of the captured ferryman. Till then, they are to be considered reminders of what happens when you openly defy the government"

One hand comes up to ward off any outrage at the moment. "The second, comes from their father. Doctor Luis. Now, I don't know if he's biologically their father, but with my time spent with Liette and keeping her from out of Rebel's hands, She is for all intent purposes, his daughter. As is her sister Julie. Doctor Luis paid me a visit in captivity. Informed me that he relayed to the government that it wasn't Julie who was manipulating the weather. He confessed that he lied for the sole reason in that he wants his daughter back. We are to comply, return Liette to him or he will sink the east coast and eventually the continental US and more into a literal Ice Age. He will make the movie 'the day after tomorrow' into a literal reality if she is not return with a few days. I have no doubts that he won't. Those of you who have children, know what lengths a person will go to to rescue and save their children"

It's hard not to be a part of the meeting taking place at the Garden, for those that are living there at the moment. Still recouperating from the injuries sustained during the vaccine raid days ago, Colette Nichols has at least had the rame of mind to put on something that doesn't resemble pajamas while company is over. Bundled up in her hooded, gray Aplaca sweater, Colette's narrow frame sits ghostlike on the periphery of the meeting. With her right arm bound up in a sling and posture stiff it's clear that she still has a long road to go before she's back to healthy again.

Nervous green eyes sweep across the table where the Ferry have gathered for the meeting, and curled up on that plastic covered sofa away from the table, it's clear she's intending to being peripheral, due to the unfortunate fact that she has no earthly clue about the topic of the meeting, who Liette is, or why she's so important to the Ferry. This has been, by and large, one of the crisis that the network has faced that she's been out of the loop on outside of confusing bulletins.

Seated in a folding chair at the table, Scott Harkness looks nothing like the picture of confusion that Colette is, but the old soldier of the Ferrymen seems just as awkward as the young teen, for once. Head in his hand, Scott is slouched to one side, elbow propped up on the table and a stack of loose papers laid out in front of him, handwritten notes and minutes for the meeting that he's copied from Eileen. Megan Young knows why he looks so uncomfortable, but for all that their conversation the other day may have contributed to Scott's unease, the unfamiliar blonde woman in the room, unknown to but a handful of the Ferry is the true source of his disquiet.

Only Harve Brennan would understand the significance of Lorraine's name, and only by her surname of Fournier. It's going to be an interesting meeting.

Sitting at Colette's side on the crinkly-plastic-covered couch is a new face to most in the room. Tasha sits quietly, hands in fingerless gloves folded in her lap as she listens to Brennan. She brings a nervous hand up to her lips to nibble on the nails — maybe she wore fingerless gloves today for that reason, since this meeting is much larger than her first with the New York area Ferry. She glances at Colette with wide eyes at the dire news delivered by Dr. Brennan, and then around the crowded room to watch for reactions from those with more of a history in the topic — if not more of a stake, as they all have a stake in finding resolution.

Megan Young stands in the back corner, having arrived near the beginning of the meeting time. Her arms are crossed and she is listening closely to everything going on. Harve Brennan has her attention, but her blue eyes skim the group as she waits to hear responses silently. Quite frankly, no one has bothered to explain to anyone — that the redhead knows anyway — why we're harboring this child who wishes to go home. The back of Harkness's head might get a few holes bored in it or else he might just freeze to his seat if he's not careful, but other than that, Meg ignores the man. For now. Other reactions are more important at the moment.

The old crew cab created deep treks in the soft-soiled cleared space nearby the Garden, modestly parked to allow for whatever vehicles are slowly coming up this way especially for the Ferry meet. Joseph, having driven Gillian on over from the Lighthouse, made sure they were there on punctual o'clock — not just for the good seats, considering Joseph would give up his for whomever asked anyway, but for the sake of using what little daylight would be afforded to them before the meeting begins.

He didn't bring muffins this time, not even especially pyrokinetically crispy-fried ones.

Joseph did, however, make tea again for himself, which he crowds his hands stubbornly around to try and sap up every trace of warmth. Milky, liberally sugared English Breakfast which continues to billow steam even if it's by now only lukewarm. He's seated and quiet, though less the bundle of misery like usually, sparing those he recognises a smile as much as he keeps to himself.

"I never saw that movie," Joseph offers from his corner, "but uh. We got any reason to believe this Doctor Luis ain't lying to you, Harve? They all want that girl back, don't they."

Three girls on the couch, panning leftward. Delilah is sitting on Tasha's other side, bundled up and listening closely. She has been caught up at intervals, so she took it upon herself to be on time for this and sit in on it. Even if she isn't apt right now to offer an opinion, Delilah can say that she knows what is going to happen. We'll see how her quiet goes.

As she listens to Brennan speak, her dark eyes scan the room and the corners, silently picking out those she knows and those she may not know as well. There is one- Lorraine- that gets a few good looks, as Delilah doesn't remember her at all. She must be new, or something like that. Brennan relays the two ultimatums, and already Delilah is uneasy, one arm curling subconsciously around her stomach. The idea of it being like this forever- and Brennan saying how much he'd do for his girl- well, she isn't at that level yet, but it does not take that much to feel the same way about someone.

Apparently, Doyle's been growing a beard. Given that he has a terrible lot of chin, it's quite a lot of beard, despite the fact that he's lost some weight in recent days. He'll never be anything but a fairly large fellow, but he's not quite the girthsome figure he once was. He settles in uneasily, leaning down to rest his arms against his knees, hands clasping together as he listens with a furrowed brow. He doesn't say a word to all of this, just listening, frowning as he tries to make sense of all of this.

"I believe that it's Julie." Helena inputs. "Everything about the way the other atmokinetic feels would match to a teenage girl. I can feel emotions in the nature of the weather patterns, and it fits. And if she views this Dr. Luis as her father, then I also believe that he can manipulate her into bringing forth more harm, and I don't know if the triumvirate can stop her. But at the same time, we may have a new influence to introduce. I'm not certain."

Sitting on the arm of the couch, next to Delilah, Kaylee looks about as confused at Colette, as she's been sick for over a month and missed out on just about everything. Teeth scrape against her lower lip, as she listens to Brennan, brows furrowed with curiosity.

Eyes glance around at familiar faces she hasn't seen for awhile, judging what they might be thinking since her ability is on the fritz. The crowded room, would normally hum loudly in her head, but at the moment, it snaps in and out. In fact, the telepath winces as the humming suddenly starts up again, cuts in and out and drops her again in silence.

"I'm with the preacher on this one," Raith chimes in from his own spot, away from both the table and sofa and near- next to, in fact- the newest blonde woman to grace the Garden, although this fact holds no significance to any but a few of those in attendance. "If he makes good on that threat, the the country's entire economy collapses. And if the economy collapses, that means his little project will be among the first on the chopping block. He'd have to be an idiot not to realize that." Out of the wheelchair, he is once more almost the same imposing figure he used to be, although the cast still on his arm detracts from this still. "As for the other offer, that's an outright lie. Let's just forget they'd be losing potential test subjects. It's too big a security risk to let them go. They'll just set up and then snatch up anyone that tries to do the exchange."

"I think," Cat states, "our goal here should be figuring out how to safely get Liette into the custody of her actual parents. The Institute, and Doctor Luis, have no standing whatsoever. They are mere kidnappers, who perform illegal experiments on unwilling persons. Liette and her sister count among that number, no matter what brainwashing has been used to make them like the man and call him father."

Now Megan pipes up. "Do you know that, Dr. Chesterfield? Do you have any knowledge of this girl, her background, her fmaily circumstances, or any other piece of information that would lead you to believe she and her sister were kidnapped?" Her tone is calm but very much demanding of an answer. "We all need to be exceedingly careful here of simply jumping to wild conclusions, so I would be interested in having that evidence laid out."

The blonde woman next to Raith remains silent, her jaw tightened at the exchange going on between all of them. She looks at each person who speaks, at Raith the longest, in fact, and then sits up a little. "Actually she does know a bit more about her background now," the blonde woman who isn't known to most speaks up, her voice calm and quiet, despite the personal matter. "Liette is not Doctor Luis' daughter. He's using them the same way that they've been used since shortly after they were born, for the abilities that they share." Lorraine glances over at Raith again for a moment, the blame and anger from their first meeting in fourteen some years gone now, at least. "But you have things right at the end— parents are capable of a lot to try and get their children back. I know, because they were taken from me soon after they were born, and I was led to believe they had died of complications." There's a hint in her eyes, a sensetive topic there as she looks down. "But I found out last year they did not die, only to lose them again, and this time they're somewhere different. I do not know what the Institute is, or what they're doing with them, but I do know that they are my children."

At the talk of children and small revelations, Gillian's eyebrows raise and she looks up from her seat near Joseph, her ride out to the Garden. The eyebrows stay up, as if to indicate she'd not known of this dramatic shift in the meeting. Though luckily for every Evolved in the room— the shock isn't near enough for her ability to unravel.

"If the Institute knew where we were keeping Liette, they'd have taken her back by force already." This from Eileen, a lit cigarette dangling between the fingers of one small hand and the other laid flat on the table. "You can argue that they're attempting to minimize casualties on both sides by negotiating, but the very nature of their research has made it clear that they aren't interested in what's ethical or humane. They've given us no reason to believe that they'll leave the network alone if we hand over the girl.

"Submitting to the Institute's demands sends a very clear message to the people we came together to oppose, and it's that we can be frightened into compliance by threats without any evidence to back them up. That all they have to do is make a little noise and we'll give them anyone." The Englishwoman pauses to tap the ash from the tip of her cigarette into a nearby tray. "Who do you think they're going to ask for next? Gitelman? Maybe Bennet?"

Seated beside Eileen is Susan Ball, a redhead whose brown eyes reflect the warmth that the other woman's lacks. She hasn't said anything yet and does not move to; like Scott and some of the others, she appears content to observe for the time being and seek a better opening.

"They can survive the ice age. With their facilities, they can. With all that the young woman that you are now holding sedated and negated told me, those action - which, by the way, are the standards for her transporation from pick up points - that I saw and their ability to travel unhindered by the snow, I have no doubts that he will carry through and with little to no manipulation on his part to influence Julie to do so. Doctor Luis had to back Julie down off of me when they first came in the room. I don't think they're lying. Not with all that Liette has spoken to me about while she's been with me."

Shoudlers lift then fall beneath the black thick sweater he's wearing and a look not so friendly tossed towards Cat. "If her biological parents could be found Doctor Chesterfield, then this wouldn't be a Ferry issue, but a decision that lays completely in the hands of their parents. If you can produce them, then by all means do so. I will sit and talk with them and discuss further what I was told, instructed and learned. But to the best of my knowledge again, they are either dead or unlocatable and they consider Doctor Luis, and likely the government does too, their guardian."

"The ferry are, to my knowledge, an underground railroad. They don't hold people hostage, they don't do what i've been seeing of late when I came to the Ferry with Liette so that we could hide out. They could have taken her at midtown with real bullets but they didn't. I have no doubt that they will carry through with what they have said. How do you think they found that place in the first place? They haven't made noises about others, they're making, two people are making noises abo-" Brennan pauses, realizing quite quickly that the blonde near Raith has spoken and her words register. Eyebrows pull in towards the center of his face and lines crease his forehead and jaw tightens. The feeling of being made an ass of is quite prominent. "Then this isn't a Ferry matter, but your's Miss… Fournier" He tries out the last name that Julie and Liette both bear, seeing if the woman answers to that.

"She is," Raith says in response to Brennan's question before he returns to one of the doctor's earlier statements. "And I never said they would freeze. I said their assets would freeze. They make the blizzard worse, the economy crashes for good, and they no longer have any funding. That is the worst possible thing that could happen to any research group, and if Luis doesn't realize what an idiot move that is, rest assured, every one of his colleagues will be sure to tell him. Going after us with weather is going to kill whatever programs they have going. They won't do it. They aren't stupid."

As Brennan begins to make his case, Megan too is hit with the information that the girl's biological parent is sitting in the room. At which point, she offers Harkness one of those looks that women the world over offer men when they've turned into complete assholes. "If you knew you had the girls' mother here the whole time, having Brennan lay out the ultimatum in this fashion was pointless. Clearly the woman wants her kids back, and that makes this a whole different kind of meeting." She looks at the group. "One of 'what the fuck are we going to do now?' Because we do not have the resources to fight all-out war against the Institute or if they can mobilize the government to come in after us. We're stretched thin as it is. So are we now talking about a snatch and grab of the other girl, or what?"

"A snatch and grab of an already volatile atmokinetic is not an idea I'd reccomend unless we're prepared to suppress her." Helena interjects. "Her negative emotions are palpable in the influence they have over the weather, and putting her through further traumatic experience - or what she percieves to be one, even for her own good, is going to have consequences she might not even be able to control. And I don't know if they won't go so far as an Ice Age. If they're prepared for it - and they might be, it's not as if contingency plans are unheard of - it's entirely possible."

"You know, even if he tried this thing," Joseph begins, setting his tea aside and bringing his hands up to scrub at his face, hands out, "it ain't our responsibility. They'll want us thinkin' it is so that we can leap on maybe savin' the world from this snow-plague or whatever the heck this is, only so they'll take back this girl they want. Look, if I learned anything while I got held by Humanis First," why yes, he will play this card, "it's that the bad guys try to make it out like you're responsible for what they're doing. Luis may think of himself as this girl's father, but he's gonna bring hell down upon his own head for his own actions," and he offers a slight not to Raith to communicate that he agrees with the other man.

Sitting back in his chair, Joseph steals a glance Brennan's way, brow knit in concern, then to Megan. "Like you said about leaping to conclusions, we don't know how the Institute found out where Liette is. She's been fine and in hidin' up until then, and she's fine and in hidin' now. Something happened, some security breach — we might not have the resources to go to war, but we got the resources to hide a little girl.

"Besides, Eileen's right. It begins with Liette, and where does it end? I don't trust these people not a bit to hold up their end of the bargain."

"So, uh, I just have a question…" Doyle raises one hand, clearing his throat a bit awkwardly, "…does, uh, the government know that this Luis guy plans to deep-freeze the planet? Or, I mean, the Company? I mean, we're not the only ones who want to not freeze to death, you know? Like - uh - Joseph said, he'll bring hell down on his own head for this. I doubt this guy has exactly cleared his 'everybody dies' plan with everyone who matters, most people aren't quite that crazy." He pauses, half-smiling as he looks around hopefully, "…right?"

Tasha pulls one foot up in front of her nervously as she first raises a hand a little as if to ask permission to speak, then drops it again with a smirk. This isn't high school! "Is there a way that … I don't know, someone could be there to get the atmokinetic calm and let her know that her mother's with them — someone with Empathy maybe or something like that? Then it'd be less frightening and maybe she wouldn't be so likely to make us all … you know." She nods over to Doyle. "Extinct."

"Fournier, yes," the blonde woman has stayed silent to allow people who have been making discussing her daughter's life before she knew she was alive again. "I know that it seems awfully convienant that I just appeared in a box one day, but I'm willing to submit to whatever tests you want to give to prove it." She glances at Raith and gives him a questioning look for a moment. All business, but leaving out one important little piece of drama. She waits a moment, until there's a hint of a nod frm Raith, before she looks back and adds, "And he happens to be their father."

The whole thing is kinda overwhelming for the telepath, a foot swings kind of idly, brows lifted as words are thrown around. She nod slowly to certain points. There is a long moment of uncertainty before Kaylee finally speaks up. "I know… I've been gone and all, but no matter what… If she…" Her head nods to Lorraine, a small twitch of a smile to the woman. "…is the mother, then we need to start with what she wants for her daughter, and go from there. So I think let her tell us what she's like. If she'd like us to keep doing what we have."

There is a small shrug, before Kaylee adds. "We'll adapt. We're here to protect those that need it and like the others said… I doubt he's gotten approval for all that." A hand waves at the direction of the outdoors. She glances around at the others, brows lifting a bit.

Though that little revelation about Raith, brings those brows high on Kaylee's head, she gives him a surprised look, "Well, both of you then."

Brennan shifts his weight, glancing from Raith to Lorraine and nods. "Then the choice belongs to the both of you, if you are her parents" Sure, maybe a little convenient that both parents have magically surfaced. "and to you both only. Where Liette goes from here, is not the Ferry's business other than to provide for you, the advice and support that you require as guests in their network" There's a step back taken by the Doctor. "I can make myself available for you both, and for the upper members of the network if they want it but I do have to send a message back, and the sooner, the better before Doctor Luis does go forth with his plan."

This is a helluva lot to take in. Delilah sits with the other row of girls, watching the meeting at rapt attention; there really isn't much that she can offer to anyone speaking that they are not tossing between one another already, though she does her best to try and keep up just in case. What she seems to warm up to the most is Doyle's addition; they can't possibly have got the green light to that degree. So it seems to be all a matter of playing a bigass game of Chicken. And then something else- Raith? Delilah only knows him by ear, but come on.

"Well all this really takes the biscuit." Says the peanut gallery. There is a bit of inner concern at all the drama insofar as parents wanting the twins back; the fact it is coming up now, mostly, adding onto an already awkward plate will be …awkward at some points. Something is bound to slop off the edge. "I'm with Doyle. Seems to me this is just a big game of who's gonna blink first." So who will it be?

"One can only hope, Mr. Doyle," Megan murmurs darkly, and then adds to Joseph. "Ultimately, I don't think it matters much how they traced her. She could be tagged and showing up intermittantly on their tracking systems due to weather interference or what have you; she could just have been spotted in the street; there could have been someone in the network who didn't realize they needed to keep quiet and mentioned her in the wrong place. What we do know is that they aren't actively and consistently able to locate her, or they'd have hit us more than once, you're right about that."

Megan glances at Brennan and tilts her head. "I think Brennan would be able to keep her calm while she was reintroduced to her mother." The redhead nods to Lorraine. "Even if they only knew you as a nurse and this is a big revelation, you're familiar. You're safety. And children, no matter the age, do respond to that. It's my understanding the girl has a number of powers… I don't suppose she could ask her sister to quit this snow thing?" It seems a long shot, but hey… no one's asked that question up to this point that Meg knows of.

"You've told us, Doctor Brennan, that Doctor Luis himself claimed he kept Julie's manipulation of the weather from Institute staff, yes?" Cat inquires calmly. "This supports what others have said, that they don't know what she's doing and what he would permit her to do. I have some questions regarding Doctor Luis and his participation in the Institute's work, myself, as to whether he participates from willingness or coercion, but now isn't the time for that." Her eyes rest on as she presses on.

"Is there any reason the Institute can get authorities to arrest you and defeat custody claims, Mademoiselle Fournier?"

The expression on Eileen's face has settled like a leaf floating on the surface of a small pond, utterly still and somehow brittle. She's a quiet thinker; her hands do not need to be occupied except with her cigarette, and she makes very little noise except for the thin rasp of her breathing, audible to Susan on one side of her and the solemnly silent figure of Yuan Tien on the other who has adopted a similarly quiet demeanor. The operatives in Institute custody are more than just Ferrymen to him — they're his responsibility.

"The Institute doesn't need to have her arrested when they can just make her disappear," Eileen says, and she makes a gesture with her hand to accompany it, trailing smoke. "This isn't a fight that can be won on a public battlefield. Brennan says that Broome's clemency has a time limit — we need to start talking about what we can do to extend it because a few days won't be enough. How do we make him believe we're willing to cooperate until we can come up with a more long-term solution?"

"Never mind they'll have plenty of problems with me," Raith mutters to no one in particular but himself. Not audible enough to be heard over anyone else. "We lie, that's how," the ex-spy concludes as to how they buy extra time, "We tell him a convincing, plausible lie. Obviously, we don't know exactly where Liette is. To avoid leaks, we had some trusted operatives secret her away, had them cut off general communications. She's still with us, it'll just take a bit longer to find her than he might like, after we've had time to think the decision over. He just needs to be patient a little bit longer, and above all, not bury us under more snow, or else we'll never find her." That will be their lie.

"Admittedly, it needs more than a little polish, but it's a place to start." And is maybe not bad for something Raith thoughts up in under five seconds.

"I'm not sure how easy it would be to claim custody with the truth, so he's right, lying may be the only route. Julie and Liette were born in Belgium, and they are legally dead as far as the normal world of facts and figures would be concerned. And he was never put down as their father," Lorraine explains, not that it would have much mattered considering she knew a name that wasn't even his. "And it's likely you stopped them in their attempt at making me disappear when you opened that box I was in."

From her recent experience with her children, she's a bit of a cynic in the chances of using normal means to get them back. "I admit I've never been involved in this kind of organization before. I think Mi— Jensen has more experience with these particular situations than I do, but I would at least like to see Liette, and if possible have them back in my life. Both of them." And it sounds like she's willing to trust Jensen's in-need-of-polishing plan.

"A plausible lie is easy," Cat states with eyes moving between Eileen, Raith, and Lorraine, "we were going to hand Liette over, but someone among our ranks who doesn't agree with giving her back under any circumstance broke protocol and told the technopath Rebel where she's being kept. Rebel then sent emissaries and took the girl from us. Now, when we seek to continue hiding her under these conditions, we need to also look at how they found her location the first time. We need to verify there isn't any kind of tracking method in her body, and enact some measures for security in the future."

Eyes rest on Eileen as she concludes. "I do not concede it being impossible to win this battle in the public eye. Organizations like the Institute require shadows, shining a spotlight makes them run away like roaches. But I do admit it would be very difficult, and likely take more time than we have."

It's all very dull again until Cat goes further one step on the matter of how people seem to be finding the Ferry Ward. Delilah's attention just sort of glances over the planning of a story to stall with, instead focusing on the big blinkers coming off of 'tracking method'.

"The isotopes. Like the Company has." The redhead interjects loud enough to be heard, not sounding quite sure what she's aiming at entirely. Soon. "What if it's not a person or anything like that- what if she's got something like those? Several of us have those, don't we? I know I do- and as far as I know, the ones the Company has just give a general area. What if these Institute people have one that has pinpoint accuracy? Or even has a GPS in her someplace? Has she been examined fully?" Maybe it's just nobody's fault it keeps happening. Maybe they just missed this.

"We tell the Institute that Rebel has her and we burn a bridge we might need later," Eileen says. "I don't think the network can afford to make more enemies than it already has. What we're short on are allies, and Rebel has the potential to be a powerful one."

If she had any intention of fielding Delilah's question, she misses her chance when she takes a drag from her cigarette. Susan lifts both her eyebrows at the younger redhead, but her expression isn't one of incredulity, and when she finally does speak her tone doesn't challenge the point raised. "Do we have the technology for that?" she asks the room.

"At the risk of soundin' like a broken record, I don't think it's like that," Joseph suggests, with a glance to Delilah, to Susan. "This only happened once, and I don't see why it didn't happen earlier and it ain't happenin' now if it's that, or why they're makin' these overtures like they are if they can just smash their way in again. They tried to take her when she was at the Armory, almost had us if we didn't get some informant at our door givin' y'all a heads up if I got my story straight. This girl's been lost from them for a long time, now."

"Flint Deckard." Scott comments seemingly out of the ether, finally speaking up, "X-Ray vision, could scan the girl over just as a precaution, we don't know what the Institute's capable of. I havent heard from him in a while as far as the network is concerned," there's a look ot Joseph at that, silently inquisitive, "but it beats having to take her to a public medical facility and get her x-rayed and risk someone noticing her pop up, even if we used Ferry contacts to have it done quietly."

Brows furrowed, Scott slouches back into his chair, fingers steepled. "As far as the radio tracking isotopes go, it could be, especially if she were in Company hands for any measure of time. The markers aren't exact science, and I don't know the Company's relationship with the Institute itself but I'm willing to wager close enough to be dangerous. Last year a satellite went into operation under the name Munin by a european astrophysics company, Hana informed me that it's a Company shell, and that the Munin microsatellite program expanded the Company's radio-isotope program and narrowed down accuracy, but— "

There's an incline of Scott's head, "It still requires electronic readings and still is something Hana can help foil, for the time being. At the moment, I don't think that's how they figured it out, and I agree with Pastor Sumter that something else was likely responsible. However, I do think that to be safe if we're going to keep her in our custody we're going to need to know as much about her as we can, including all of the abilities she has."

There's a furrow of Scott's brows, one hand rubbing at his forehead. "For all we know, by the way those sisters share abilities, one wrong move on our part could lead them right to us by exposing her to the wrong combination of abilities."

At all the talk about the isotopes, Doyle hunkers down a bit, tugging at the collar of his shirt a little nervously.

"She had a chemical tracker in her blood"

Brennan offers it up, having taken a seat elsewhere in the room. "I was given the necessary chemical to neutralize it, when she first came into my care. If we need to get her x-ray'd, I have the facilities in the medical building. We can cart a bunch of the ferry kids in, as if they were coming for checkup's and I can sneak her in that way" Brennan offers, though really, he's under the impression that it won't be taken up.

"She also has hash marks, on the back of her neck, the same that I've seen on Melissa, Doyle here and a few others while I've been taking care of them. Really, if you want to know more about her, might be prudent to come speak to me, because for all that you have had her, she's been talking to me. You'd be amazed what that girl knows. But you have three days, or less, at the most. You've seen the weather reports, you see what's coming. Broome knows what Luis plans, and he's not shown any inclination to stop it. And even if he did, I've seen Miss Fournier's other daughter and she will go ahead with the plan regardless. She wants her sister back"

Now, only now does Brennan finally draw, and hold Raith's attention. Not exactly a good thing. "A chemical tracker," he says, almost with a choking half-laugh. Once more, he begins that slow walk forward that he does on occasion. "I'm sorry, did I hear that right? She had a chemical tracker in her blood? And she has hash marks that might possibly indicate Company influence, possibly a tracking program? And you didn't think this might have been important to mention to anyone earlier? Like, before the Midtown incident? Or before she was put in any of the safehouses?" Throughout, Raith is carefully, or just happens to exclude himself from Ferrymen operations: Not an inaccurate thing to do, really. "Because something like that is usually really, really important for operational security, whether or not you gave her a chemical neutralizer, that, by the way, may or may not have worked at all."

Delilah tries to help where she can, even if it means that it ends up simply getting all the facts into the open, such as now. She winces a bit at Raith's digging his claws in, muttering and then finally speaking. "Fuck me sideways- this is gonna be bad no matter what happens, isn't it? Too bad we don't have someone that could just- I'unno- pretend they're Liette. The no extra powers would be a dead giveaway, I guess." The girl responds with this, lolling her neck back and balling fists into the cushion she is sitting on. There's nothing they can do, is there?

When Scott speaks up, Cat's eyes quickly shift to him. They remain there for some seconds, something akin to surprise and displeasure in them. She'd triggered on those satellites when the name Munin was mentioned in precognitive song, asked both Rebel and Hana to look into them. Neither told her there was anything which tied them to the Company and a tracking system. She exhales a slow breath and shakes her head.

Doctor Brennan is addressed, with focus settling on him. "It would be very good, sir, if you'd simply share all you've learned with us. Even better had you done so already. Those hash marks… that is the Company tracking marker. Who gave you the chemical to neutralize it? Can you be certain it was what they claimed it to be, and not the tracking method itself?"

Attention shifts to Joseph with a nod. "It's not likely she's trackable, since they haven't come at us to get her as you say. But isn't it wise to seek verification on all angles? It can't be ruled out." And back to Brennan, her head tilting.

"Tell me you weren't already in contact with the Institute before they came for her."

Joseph nods to Cat, conceding her— and Scott— that point — though he hasn't conceded to the idea that the tracker is why they were outed, it doesn't hurt to double check. Of course, he's kind of mute right now, owlish staring of black eyes over at Brennan. There is some degree of betrayal that he's not afraid of veiling, at this stage, some reassessment going on as he roams a study over the good doctor with his mouth folded into a thin and very tense line. He hasn't taken a sip of tea in a while, and it remains stagnant and cold in the mug set aside, hands in knuckled knots together.

"When she came into my care, Father of Liette, I didn't bring her to the ferry for that exact Reason." Brennan snaps at him. "I surfaced in the terminal. We were yards away from the Ferry the whole time in the little underground Lair of a psychopathic biker gang that's parked their collective asses beside the terminal. We were going to stay there but there was a message stating that I needed to bring her to the Ferry, so before you start lecturing me about the who's and what's of proper care for such a thing, I brought her to the Ferry because I was told to, because no one thought I could keep her safe."

Brennan shifts where he sits, resettling his feet. "You want me to know about her, about where she's been, about her ability, then maybe instead of milling around and sending in chesterfield" His arm flung in Cat's general direction. "to draw symbols in the snow and try to pry words out of a teenager that doesn't trust her, much less the lot of you, you should have approached me. Then you'd know a great deal more than you do now, and you wouldn't need to sedate her and negate her." Brennan shifts his gaze to Cat.

"I wasn't in contact with the institute before they came for her and I'm not going to sit here and answer your Chesterfield while you make that accusation. If I was, I could have easily taken her when she was dumped in my hands by Rebel. My hands, not yours, not the Ferry's. You just sat here and made me look like an ass with regards to her parents. I had her for well over a month, almost two and none of you came and approached me. Not a single one. I'll talk with her parents, and the people who are at the top of the Ferry. Right now, this has become a three ring circus of epic proportions"

Tasha sits back on the sofa between Delilah and Colette, another leg bending to join the first and her arms wrapped around both. She rests a chin on top of her knees as she listens quietly to the others, whispering a question now and then to one of the other two teens on the sofa — who's this, what's that — so that she can follow the debate. Her eyes widen at the anger and tension in the rooms, and it looks like she might consider going home to Boston any moment. With a glance at Eileen and her cigarette, she pulls out her own — apparently it's all right to to smoke in here. At least that's good news. She lights the cigarette and then glances at Delilah, winces slightly, and gets up to head closer to Eileen in the smoking section.

"…did you know anything about a chemical neutralizer for the Company isotope?" A hushed hiss of a whisper from Doyle to Kaylee as he leans over from where he's seated towards her, his brow furrowing in deep lines - uncertain whether to be relieved something like that exists, or pissed off nobody told him something like that exists.

For the first time in the night, Gillian finally looks like she might be about to say something, but then she shakes her head and sits back, watching Brennan quietly. Her voice is kept down, to the point where only Joseph might be able to hear her over all the tension in the air. "Communication's really an issue with everyone, isn't it?" Cause there's a lot being said she's never heard, at all…

The question from Doyle, gets Kaylee's attention. Her head turns towards him tho her eyes still roam speaker to speaker. Gripping the couch arm she's sitting on her leans towards him, finally turning eye to him with a surprised. "No." She murmurs softly, in return, tho there is a look that says she might know who to ask that question. She's not certain she wants to do that, but the answer seems an important one. For once there might be a good reason for her knowing Petrelli's.

"Brennan, if you think she might ever want to talk to a girl closer to her age, or anyone thinks it might work a little smoother, I can volunteer- not that I'm saying she'll need to, just that I know sometimes it's harder to talk openly with adults, and I'm still relatively in her age range. So if something like that is ever necessary because she's clammed up, or something of that nature, I'll be happy to try and help." Delilah offers this much in near final addendum to the doctor, trying to be as neutral as she can. A For The Record sort of deal. She shifts as Tasha moves away and looking towards the other girls near her, then Doyle as he whispers to Kaylee. Come to think of it, he's right about the three ring circus.

"Who do you think you're talking to now, Brennan?" Eileen asks, smothering her cigarette in the bottom of the ashtray. "Everyone in this room, without exception, has put their lives on the line for this network. There isn't a single operative in attendance who hasn't made the Ferry's mission statement their top priority. We might not all be here, but this is as close to the top as you're going to come."

She rubs the tips of her fingers together, yellow and tobacco stained, but does not yet rise from her seat at the table. Probably because the height difference between herself and the man she's addressing would make the gesture futile. "Here's what you're going to do. You're going to go back to Broome and tell him that the majority of our network has voted to return Liette to the Institute, but that the hold-outs require a show of good faith before we do. Release three of our operatives by Wednesday evening and we'll be in touch Thursday morning with further instructions."

Of this plan of Eileen's, Raith apparently approves. He doesn't have anything to say on the matter, not immediately: His only reply is the crackle of flame from a wooden match he's struck and lifted to the tip of the half-finished cigar held between his lips. Smoking: All the cool kids are doing it. It's only after he's taken a drag, rolls the smoke over his tongue and breathes it out again… that he still has nothing to say. Eileen's running the show.

Lorraine realizes something rather quickly as she looks between the International Man of Mystery she met when she was young, but not as young as many of the people in this room, and then over at Eileen. The tiny woman seems to be in charge. There's an impressed nod, with a hint of a smile, and it seems she agrees with the plan, even if the source seems to surprise her. Next time, it likely will not.

She just looks at the doctor and shakes her head, exhaling a slow breath. Eileen's plan sounds good, Cat doesn't offer objection to or commentary upon it. But the doctor… "You're being consulted now, Doctor Brennan, about what Liette knows, and asked where you got whatever you injected her with. I accept at the time you may still have believed such things were merely conspiracy theory, seen no reason to distrust such sources. I hope that's no longer the case. I didn't ask you directly for information, because I didn't believe at the time you were ready to hear the truth, that Federal agencies often have very dark agendas. You might see that now, you might not. You'll share, or you won't." It seems she's done trying to get through to him.

While speaking she's remained entirely poised. No wildness to her eyes, no pointing or flinging of arms, she hasn't even raised her voice over conversational volume.

Cat is flat out ignored by Brennan. He hears, he ignores. There's a nod for Eileen with regards to her suggestion/instruction. "I can try that. I can initiate the procedure that I was to do, if I got given Liette to bring back. Delay might work once, once only. I'd like to see her still. I can calm her down, I can help introduce her to her parents' A gesture to Lorraine and Raith. "And I can get her to behave, like a rational person and not need to be negated or sedated. You can search me for trackers, but I don't think they went so far as to do that. She trusts me, and I can get her to trust the ferry, and keep her calm without the need to drug her. It's not good for a girl her age to be in such a state"

Gillian gets a glance from the quietly seething pastor, agreement being something she will have to infer. His shoulders are rounded and tense, and his hands come up to scrub up his face again as if to relieve himself of tension. It's the talk of plans, rational exchanges between Brennan and Eileen that has Joseph biting his tongue against whatever litany he was ready to unleash.

If. Joseph Sumter can ever do anything that earns the word unleash, anyway. "Kaylee should go with 'im." His words are tense, tone of voice tight, and he sends an apologetic glance at the telepath, even projecting a vague kind of sorry at her, for talking for her. "Even if she stays out of sight, either way, I ain't super comfy with Dr. Brennan," no more ~Harve~, "goin' in alone, but providin' back-up like a psychic instead o' muscle might be what we need."

There is something unsaid, there, in the way he's looking to the wider room instead of Brennan, a thinly vieled distrust but Joseph, at least, remains civil. He's just talking to the Ferry, and addresses Kaylee directly when he adds, "What do you think?"

The telepath looks like a deer caught in the headlights for a moment, Kaylee can't help but cut a glance to the quiet Scott, before turning back to Joseph. "I… would happily do that." She starts slowly. "… but — my ability is still recovering from the flu." The young woman grimaces and gives Joseph an apologetic look.

"It's getting better, but it's still cutting out… like a bad cell phone signal." Teeth catch her lower lip briefly, in thought. "I can still go with and try." Kaylee gestures to Joseph and gives him a small smile, "You know I'm more then willing." Her eyes drift around the room, glancing at others, "Dr. Brennan said we have three days? If we can push it back a little more, it'll give me more time. Who knows what two more days will do. I mean. I've got more a lot more buzzing going on today then I did yesterday. I don't know if it's being around so many people or what."

Kaylee hands lift in a helpless gesture. "That's all I can offer you all, that I am willing stick my neck out there and try."

Helena is quiet for a few moments, and then somewhat paraphrases a repetition, "There's a certain empathic connection shared in the influence of the weather. I don't know if that's helpful, or could be of use to Kaylee, at least where Liette's sister is concerned." She leaves it at that, as if she's not entirely sure it would be applicable anyway.

"Meeting with Liette isn't something that can be put off three days" Brennan interjects. "I can understand wanting to send Kaylee with me. Her brand of ability being you're only way to make sure that I'm not just going to walk off with her. You as well as the others know that I can render her deaf as a doornail mentally with just a thought. Besides, I highly doubt her father is just going to let me run off with her. That's not my intentions. Time is of the essence, and this way, when I attempt to make contact, I can truthfully say that I've seen her and she's fine." Brennan leans forward, elbows on his knees.

"This is not a picnic for anyone, Her, the folks in this room, myself. No one. We are between a rock and a hard place. I'm sure no one here has ever imagined that when she came into our lives, that our life would be like this, but it is. I'll go with Kaylee, and whomever else you send to babysitt me. I will do so willingly, and without complaint other than to ask that you don't wait three days before I get to see her."

Tension makes a clenched fist of Eileen's jaw. Sharp green eyes move between Joseph, Kaylee and Brennan before skipping across to where Helena is seated. When they close, it's only for the short amount of time it takes to clear her head. "Thatcher will accompany Brennan to the Institute to speak with Broome," she agrees. "In the meantime, if he wants to speak with the girl it's going to be under the supervision of Harkness, her parents or Dean, who's going to talk to her about whether or not there's anything that can be done remotely about the weather. Worst case scenario, we go to Petrelli for help and ask him to mimic Dean's ability to see if throwing a fourth atmokinetic into the mix makes a difference. There's a possibility that I might be able to lend a fifth, but nothing we should count on."

There is a bit of uncertainty at the mention of Peter helping, but Kaylee nods a touch. Brows drop a bit at the thought of going close to where her father is thought to be kept. Lips press together and her eyes drop to the floor, turning thoughtful. "Yeah… I can do that. Just let me know when."

There is a pause and she suddenly looks at Delilah out of the corner of her eye, seems the telepath heard something. An amused look crosses her features and she turns her attention back to the meeting. "With hope maybe my cell service will be better by then."

There's a mutter of something under Gillian's breath, though what she's muttering about can't even be made out by Joseph, and she keeps it to herself.

But there's someone else with something to say, as Lorraine sits up from where she's seated next to Raith. "If it wouldn't be too much trouble, I would like to see my daughter as soon as possible. I think that she deserves to know that she's not without family here. It may help her settle down… and…" After all this time she'd managed not to look like she was about to cry, but at these words, the tears finally start to form, and she bites her lower lip for a moment. "I want to finally see her again." After years of thinking they were dead, then months of knowing they weren't, then followed by more months of thinking they'd died again… It's a reunion that's long in the waiting.

"I think that's a more than reasonable request," Raith says in a sort of unnecessary concurrence. Who can fathom the reasons he does anything that he does? "I think we done here." At this point, everything that can happen depends on Brennan doing something: Impossible to plan for the future without his actions. All anyone can assume at this point is that, 'as soon as possible,' Liette Fournier will have two new faces in her life. Two: There is no way Raith is standing on the sidelines for this one, even if all he's able to really see in the situation is the amount of leverage he stands to gain from it. And really, for the Ferrymen and the Institute, much like Jensen Raith, that's what this entire standoff boils down down:


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