benji_icon.gif calvin_icon.gif

Scene Title Was
Synopsis Benji and Calvin set aside their differences to work together!!!
Date 19 December, 2011

Pollepel Island, Bannerman's Castle

It started with wind, and moments later, sleet and hail, slamming into the sides of the old castle; sounds and sensations that Calvin hasn't heard for the past two weeks in the month he's been here, ever since a protective forcefield was erected around the little Ferry stronghold of Pollepel Island.

Then, war. Calvin knows the sound. Explosions that have debris and dust crumbling off the walls, the faint whiff of fire, and, perhaps more unusually, the screaming and shrieking of bird-life thick in the air outside. There's a battle happening, but the defenses have fallen. This is made all the more obvious when, first, the sound of running water evolves into a thin layer of rippling water pooling down the corridor, sliding like silk through iron bars. Rippling, and thickening, and with deceptive speed, the river-thick, ice-cold water has risen as high as his knees.

So this is fine.

Down the hall, Calvin can hear the muted sounds of Rue's thin cries for help.

Roused from a dark and dreamless sleep, just awake enough to wonder about the time, Calvin'd sat for a moment in a potato-shaped bundle of blankets and thought about where he was. And why. Is it worth getting up to piss? Should he lie back down? Does any of this matter if it's all just a simulation within a simulation?

He'd hooded the blankets over his head, self-imposed nunnery muffling out the crack and whip of ice on stone. Sitting. Hunched. Jut-jawed and sullen.

Then, slowly, he'd looked up.

However many minutes later, he's flipped the cot and torn the frame apart, both arms twisted snake-belly white through the bars of his door while he leans to work the lock. His t-shirt's bunched against the steel, brow pushed down to see what he can, with a spare staple clenched in his teeth. Probably for the best that his sing-songy, "You're making it very hard to concentrate," for Rue is muffled quiet accordingly.

Company sloshes its way unceremoniously into the dark, dark corridor, and Benji is immediately recognisable in the shadows if only from familiarity, the slightly clumsy slamming of her shoulder into wall as she rounds the corner, the exhale leaving her lungs as she steadies herself and tries to catch her breath. Dramatic woolen cloaks and heavy boots are not made for wading through icy river water, and she's otherwise soaked to the bone from the outside deluge.

She stops, looks up, seeing Calvin at the bars.

With great effort, she makes her way over, water splashing, and determination seems to be borne of anger, perhaps from wherever she came from, or what she's doing now. A betting man might hedge between either. Other details, strikingly out of place enough to be noticed quickly despite things like the river pouring into the subterranean prison, is the sliver of silver of in the form of a long, skinny sword. The wolfhead hilt is clasped and obscured in one rigidly closed hand, huddled awkwardly inwards.

It's been a while, again. Almost a month! She is too out of breath to think of something clever and ominous to say.

With black water eddying ever higher at his knees, Calvin stops fast, bony knuckles contorted around either half of his makeshift lockpick. He's already well on his way to freezing to death, probably, eyes chill as the river feels. Starved wolves have the same look in winter, prickled wet and poised over a scrap of meat — ready to kill over the twinge of give he can feel in the mechanism.

How, exactly, with him in here and her out there — he hasn’t gotten that far.

But there's a trace of warning light about his eyes that ghosts blue against the gloom of his cell, blankets blobbing lazy in the current behind him. He doesn't have anything clever to say either, in the moment.

Homicidal panic is like that.

Her gaze meets his, and then falls to his hands, understanding what he's doing, bleary resignation. If Calvin is demonstrating this much will to get the fuck out, he'd have used tools of greater heft than a lockpick. Benji takes time they don't really have to collect herself, and this close, it's obvious that more than just the cold and the threat of the castle coming down around their ears and the rising water and their last conversation has rattled her.

She recognises that dangerous glint, too, and ignores it, and says, "Come with me?"

And hates the way that sounds in her throat. Perhaps she should have added if you want to live. But she would very much like to live too. It seems disingenuous, now, to play at being a hero.

The breath he'd held in fogs when he lets it out between them, shivery tension twitched down into a numb-fingered lever and torque against a lock he can't see. He looks older, a month away from liquor and kohl and a razor. Less fanciful, in a cage with cold water creeping up his pant legs.

The lock pops and he drops the pieces of his pick, plip and plop, to nudge the door open against the current. He's a little slow to comply — a little slow to actually push through the gate. She might recognize it as the hesitation of a man who suspects he might still be asleep.

"There's someone else down here."

He’s hedging, guarded, one arm still crooked through the bars.

As Calvin frees himself, relief seems to flutter through her expression. Beyond fear, at this point. There's a sidearm hidden in the depths of her coat pocket, and presently, she holds a long skinny blade that's certainly done its share of damage in its unusual lifespan, but there's no defensiveness in her posture. The hilt of the sword is held against her torso, blade angled down, more held like something in need of protection than something to protect herself with.

"They're coming for her. Rue," she says, a little voiceless. "They thought she was responsible. A traitor."

Her expression is one of weary, hard-gained knowledge, that this has turned out to be not so accurate. Rue's crying out has since stopped. In between Benji's words, and the screaming of birds outside, Calvin can faintly detect other voices. Cavalry. "The dome is down," she continues, shaky, the struggle to hold herself together very real, the cracks beginning to form as she continues, "and we need to be ready. To leave. When we can."

Brow hooded down low with simian distrust (for the sound of war, for the water, for Benji) Calvin draws himself the rest of the way through the gap. A crab out of his shell, he listens at a distracted distance, hearing without really understanding. 'They' are coming, the dome is down, 'they' thought the voice down the hall was a traitor. ‘We’ have to leave.

Mostly, he stands there and is wet and cold and deeply existentially uncomfortable.

After an uneasy span wherein he could ask any number of shitty questions and doesn't, he summons enough human fortitude to lock in eye contact instead. Onboard, left hand curled down in the very early stages of a reassuring reach.

"Have you — always had a creepy sword?"

Benji's silence in that interim is less uneasy and more— resigned. Bracing, her own eye contact level and expectant and empty. Calvin could forge ahead in his own faction and she wouldn't stop him, could say any number of things that are sharp edged or impossible to answer, could simply be taking his time in comprehending the matter at hand, and she waits for the moment to pass so that she can deal with the next one. Dealing with the current state of affairs in the smallest of units, one after the other.

Which is why his question has her nearly laugh, and she shakes her head. A full bodied shiver from the cold does something to loosen her muscles a little after, lowering the grip on said sword.

"It was Eileen's," she says.

Aah. Was.

Calvin does laugh, inasmuch as a shuddery breath forced through his eye teeth counts. Wonderful. Great.

"Fuck," he says. And also, "sorry."

This would be awkward, if Sheridan had any common sense of decency, but he doesn't, so it isn't. The sorry is genuine, also, in its way. Maybe that helps. They are definitely going to die together in a crummy castle cellar.

"We should help Rue."

Benji nods.

To acknowledgment, and apology, and helping Rue. Raw grief is altogether too much to manifest into anything but a sort of shell-shocked countenance, a dim roar in the back of her mind, with moment to moment danger taking up her capacity for much else. Except, perhaps, a little gratitude, resembling relief.

She dips a hand into her pocket and takes out a ready loaded syringe. In the struggling light, it might ordinarily be difficult to make out what fluid its charged with, if not for the fact that its inky black. Amphodynamine, better known in their circles as Amp, the overzealous counter to the Adynomine III that Calvin has been enjoying.

She offers it out between them. "If you need it," she says. "You might need it."

It could be a surprise, but then, one of their more fraught encounters involved the failed attempt to spike needle into neck. With powers like hers, where sleep is required, and rousing is required, and range is required, a slapdash proficiency in pharmaceuticals is a necessity.

Benji nods. Calvin nods back.

Yes, good. Working together. On the same page! Just like old times.

Then the syringe comes out, and Calvin's backsliding into disassociation, his mechanical reach to take it up into his fingertips constipated by doubt. The amphodynamine inside is very dark. It has a diabolical viscosity to it, in the cold; he studies its cling to the to the barrel at an awkward distance. The Sheridan legacy!

Strapped for commentary in the shadow of what sounds like a farm fresh death in the family, he tucks it down into his far pocket, nods again, like thanks for not just shoving it into m'neck and turns to lead the way. One wading step at a time, deeper into the dark, cold water churning at his shins. There's a blocky shape tucked into his waistband, one corner poking gun-like at the back of his t-shirt.

It's probably fine.

“This'll make for a fun story to tell our children when they come back from the future to shout at us," he supposes. “That one time you gave me drugs so we could fight over a castle.”

"Escape a castle."

Correction. Too wearied with herself to sound melancholy.

Calvin will know Benji is following by the sound of river water sloshing around the knees, the drag of her coat and the clumsiness of limbs made stiff from the cold. Up ahead, he will see a soft blue light emanating around the corner, the sounds of voices growing — mostly women, but one gruffly masculine.

Benji reaches out and places her hand on Calvin's arm, having launched herself a noisy, splashy step forward to catch up and do so. "Let me go first," she says, more direction than request, forcing fatigue aside to move on ahead.

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