What I Can Do For You


helena_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title What I Can Do For You
Synopsis Phoenix gains a new recruit.
Date December 23, 2008

Central Park

Though she would normally consider sub-zero temperatures to be distinctly hostile, today seems rather balmy and mild in comparison to recent times. Given the lack of precipitation and the vaguely clandestine nature of her meeting, Ygraine has eschewed the day-glo all-weather gear she's sported for much of the past week, instead restricting herself to undifferentiated black leathers. They're expensive and reinforced, but they and her bike bear no distinctive markings save for the slush-stained plates on the latter.

Central Park is full of little nooks and crannies, one of which is a tunnel like bridge with a walkway across the top and a path that leads through its semi-circular underpath. The inside walls are covered in graffiti, some of which is even Phoenix and old PARIAH slogans. Helena stands just on the outside of one side, giving all the appearance of a random, loitering teen.

Ygraine brings her bike to a rumbling halt nearby, killing the engine before swinging off and flipping up her tinted visor. Swinging off her mount, she opens one of the panniers and draws out a cloth, which she uses to wipe clear the much-spattered shield and lights. Helena is very definitely in her field of view as she does so, but she seems not to want to roll right up to her immediately.

"Yggy," Helena greets, her expression amused. "You uh, kinda suck at the cloak and dagger thing. Stop skulking, would you?" A tilt of her head beckons her over.

Ygraine laughs, the sound merry rather than offended. She finishes wiping down the back lamp, then removes her helmet and stows it and the cloth away. The pannier is locked, the bike's alarm activated with a beep and flash of now-brighter lights, and she saunters over, booted footfalls heavy. "I figured that whatever I did, it'd give you an excuse to laugh at me", she observes. "A 1050cc foreign-made bike's not the most subtle of things…"

Helena offers an amiable smile, and leans against the curving wall of the bridge's under-tunnel. Ygraine may notice that the warmth of the day is comfortable more so, the nearer she gets to Helena. "What can I do for you?"

Ygraine chuckles, then shrugs awkwardly. When she speaks, her voice is soft and serious. "Actually, I'm hoping it's the reverse. Would you by any chance happen to have any use for someone who's studied patterns and systems of conflict, including terrorism, and has a degree of training in how to resolve and avoid them as expeditiously and with as little collateral damage as possible?"

"As it happens, I have a few people on hand who do just that." Helena says frankly. "But I welcome anyone to the cause."
Ygraine lifts her brows, clearly surprised. "You've got access to trained analysts?" She both sounds and looks impressed.
"I do." Helena confirms. Between Elisabeth, Diego, and Edward, not to mention Hana and Cat, Helena's got rather excellent resources. "The last time we spoke you said you were anti-violence, and that you would actively promote a stance against it. What would you do if I told you we are coming to a crossroads where violence can and will be the answer?"

Ygraine runs a hand over her hair. "I'm not going to accept violence blindly, but I'm certainly open to persuasion. Unless I'm wrong, this isn't the sort of organisation that just shouts at people to jump without ever telling them why, so… since you see this coming, I'd assume you're also telling people what's up and why more dramatic measures might be needed. For myself… as I said - I'd like to have the courage to be a true pacifist, but I lack the guts. Truly turning the other cheek takes more bravery and moral certainty than I have, I know. As it is, I've got a couple of hundreds hours of martial arts training, and I trained chiefly to be able to look after myself rather better than I used to. I'm not going to be an assassin, but… I'll willingly enough kick someone into next week to stop them hurting the innocent, if I have to."

Helena doesn't bother to mince words. "There's an anti-Evolved faction out there with intentions and the resources to release a bio-weapon that will, if their plans succeed, destroy ninety percent of the world's population. We're going to do everything in our power to stop it, and they've made it clear as to the sort of tactics they like to use." There's a pause. "I understand you've inquired about the whereabouts of Cat and Dani? If you haven't heard from her by now, I can tell you that she's alright." Physically, anyway. She doesn't speak as to Dani.

Ygraine chuckles sadly, quirking a lop-sided smile. "Before coming here, I left a message for a cop I slightly know - the guy who came 'round asking questions about Alley Cat employees, including both of us, some months back - to stop trying to find out if they were in a private hospital somewhere for me…. I… Cat and I have spoken. I know about Dani, though… I don't know the details, just the outline."

Helena simply nods to that. She seems suprised at the lack of reaction to what Helena said right before that. "So I'm going to be upfront, Ygraine. I think you're an okay person. I know you like to argue, and there's times when the leadership involved can afford to listen to everyone's opinions, and the point at which a decision needs to be made. Are you cool with that, even if things aren't panning out the way you'd like to see them? I'm not talking about dumb shit. Sometimes there's time, and sometimes there just isn't, and things need to be done."

Ygraine quirks another sad, wry smile. "I've frankly expected someone to try a "permanent solution to the problem", though… I'd got no data on time-scale. I know that it needs stopped, and for that you need people working as a cohesive team rather than a rabble. I'm not going to condone torture or the like, but I fully accept that the world rarely conforms to how I'd like it to be, and that I've almost never managed to be quick at making decisions except when on two wheels. So long as you're who I think you are, and you stay on the right side of a few moral lines, I'll do my best not to challenge the leadership's line any time it wouldn't be appropriate or helpful. And yes, that includes when we're "in the field", unless I think you really haven't seen something relevant and decision-changing. I talk too much - but I've been a serious competitor, in and out of teams, and I should still have some of that discipline to use when required…."

"Alright." Helena says, shoving her hands in her pockets. "I'm sure Jennifer will be thrilled. Do you have that cell I gave to you on you at the moment?"

After a moment's rummaging in a zipped pocket, Ygraine produces the item in question. It's turned off, but she offers it to Helena, her expression curious.

Helena tabs a code into it and hits send. "This connects you to our network, so you can get any updates. If you need a new disposable because you've had to abandon or destroy this one, let us know and we'll see to getting you a new one. You should already have a text waiting with this weeks passwords. Right now the only safehouse you're elligible to know about is our main one - the New York Public Library. The first time you show up, they'll frisk you and remove any weapons you're carrying. Jennifer can also continue to be a contact. Welcome aboard." She hands the phone back to Ygraine.

Ygraine offers Helena a sad little smile, then nods and tucks away the phone. "I hoped that it'd never come to this, but…." She shrugs broadly. "I didn't think that things'd work out well without people having to fight for it. But… ninety percent? Are they serious, or is that just their own propaganda? Ninety?"

Helena nods quietly. "Ninety. Listen - you can get to the main branch in Manhattan on your bike, but go alone, and once you get past the edge of the declared rad zone, walk your bike in. Take one of the side entrances, and someone will ask you for your passcode. You'll have access to our database and you can bone up on who we know and what they're doing - generally I wouldn't give you that access so soon, but you've got enough connections in the group for me to be okay with letting you in on everything. Understand something - everyone in this group depends on each other for their safety. And you will be depending on them. So at the risk of sounding rude, don't put anyone's life at risk because you think you know better. Honestly," Helena notes ruefully, "I should start saying this to everyone."

Ygraine chuckles softly. "I'll try not to, believe me. I'm signing up to try to protect people, not get them killed. I'm a crazy foreign idealist who arguably has no business meddling in things here - but idealism does tend to mean that I'll try to avoid harm, even if I'm a pain about it."

Helena cocks her head. "No business meddling? You're Evolved. You know how that story goes, 'and when they came for me, there was no one left to say anything'. You have every right to meddle." She sighs. "No rest for the wicked. I need to get back. Feel free to tell Jennifer the good news, but do it from your Phoenix cell or face to face, okay?"

Ygraine offers a hint of a bow. "Of course. I'll… try to catch up on things as quick as I can. And good luck."

December 23rd: A Brief Encounter of the Telephonic Kind
December 23rd: Redcrosse in the Cave of Despair
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