What We Were, What We Will Be


lynette4_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title What We Were, What We Will Be
Synopsis Ygraine and Lynette discuss connections. And paranoia verses reality.
Date November 12, 2011

Pollepel Island

Even four days after the fall of the Ark, Pollepel Island still seems to be only a few short steps from chaos. Distraught, exhausted people don't make for the best of organisers or workers, and many in the Ferry's safe haven are currently struggling with trauma both physical and mental.

Even after her conversation with Brian, Ygraine is (rather determinedly) counting herself among those at the best end of the scale. Her troglodytic pallor is further enhanced by stress, and there's some reddening around rather bright eyes… but she navigates swiftly up, over, and around the Castle, taking shortcuts and unconventional routes learned on previous visits so that she might bypass bottlenecks and gatherings of people. Still, a few are snared for brief requests for aid, and before long she manages to find her way to the latest point she's been told is likely to hold her chosen quarry.

Lynette isn't hard to find, luckily. She is handling her own trauma by not handling it, and as such, is in the kitchen apparently auditing their supplies. She's got a clipboard. It's very official. Next time one of their runners come, she'll have a list of things they need, so at least she's putting her time to good use.

There's coffee sitting nearby, still steaming, so it's possible she's only just gotten started. Or she's been at it too long. Either way, when Yqraine comes in, she straightens and sets her work down, perhaps ready for the interruption. "There's mugs, if you want some," she says with a gesture toward the pot of coffee on the stove. It's not a hello, but it's close.

Ygraine *had* taken care to return to the floor before entering, not wanting to cause undue surprise… and at least half-way glad to stop using her so-recently 'wild' ability. Thus, the smile she offers Lynette is rather warmer than her general mood might otherwise permit, one hand lifting in greeting before its owner sets about stripping off a glove.

She's clad in the black and midnight-blue custom-tailored leathers she wore as a motorcycle outrider for the convoy on its way to the Ark… but rather than looking glossily, luxuriantly new they are caked in dirt and signs of hard wear. Indeed, as she moves to snare a mug of coffee for herself an observer might notice a neat bullet-hole in the back.

"It's good to see you," the Briton says, voice low, soft, and tired… but quite steady. As her hands busy themselves with sorting a drink, she peeks around at the blonde. "How are you holding up?" A slight jerk of her head indicates the door, and the improvised refugee camp and field hospital beyond.

"You, too. The trip back here wasn't too awful, I hope?" Not like the whole mess at Cambridge, at least. "You're okay? Do you need to see the medics?" Probably that bullet hole has not gone unnoticed, although she doesn't draw attention to it. Maybe because she assumes the good mood means nothing too serious is wrong.

Lynette comes over to pick up her coffee, blowing on it a little before she takes a drink. "Nick brought us some coffee that is actually drinkable, so. Enjoy while you can." It's not going to last long around here. At the question, though, she sighs a little. "Better than some. There's lots to do around here, so that helps. Occupational Therapy. It's not as good a retail therapy, but in a pinch."

Ygraine pauses a moment, then tries to peer over her shoulder at her own back. "Hah. That's… well. This time, I was wearing some real armour, rather than just the leathers. And I was lucky enough to get shot where it covered," she says quietly, before offering a rueful little ghost of a smile. "And if I look ill… well. I've been living pretty much literally underground since the end of March. And… just found out from Brian what… what happened in Alaska."

She closes her eyes for a moment, then finishes preparing her own coffee and turns to face Lynette more fully. "I'm exhausted… but that's partly because I've been in and out of New York. Through the full breadth of the lovely new military perimeter. Checked in at an Endgame safehouse, as well as Grand Central. I'd… honestly, I'd offer to stay and help you guys - grab some of that Occupational Therapy! - but I'm only stopping off here on my way back up to Massachusetts. I've got sick and wounded stashed right on the edge of Boston. We'll be moving out tomorrow morning, I think. Once I've grabbed some sleep up there, we'll head for a fall-back point - spare you one little bit of overpopulation, at least. But while I'm here I can share what I saw, and what Alia and the folks at Grand Central could tell me, if you want a run-down on the city. The summary, though, is that if you want to get people in and out… they'll need to cheat. I can go underground; Alia can find a stretch guarded only by tech and tell it not to see her. Anyone above-ground and visible… is probably in serious trouble while they're still in crack-down mode. And I didn't even try getting near E-ville, I'm afraid."

"That is lucky. I was foolish and went in without any sort of armor, but somehow managed to come out unscathed. My clothes were ruined, though," Lynette adds with a crooked smile, if a forced one. She looks over at the note about Alaska, shaking her head a little. "I haven't had the heart to ask for an update. Maybe when the others make it back here." Whenever that might be. She'll give them more time before she really starts to worry, though.

"Overpopulation is an issue, so I appreciate that. We're practically cot-to-cot as it is." She nods to the summary, though, because she certainly has been out of touch with the mainland. "I understand. I'm not sure if we're going to be moving anyone, but I'd like to try if we get the chance. We were worried about eyes on us before, and that hasn't gotten any better." Worse, really. At the note about Eltingville, she nods, "It's probably better to keep clear of there, in any case. Brian is there, we can get intel through him."

"That's… that's good, that he's able to keep an eye on it for you. Poor sod, though. Present for every disaster, nowadays…." Ygraine sighs, closing her eyes once more as she takes a sip of her coffee. "If you want the basic run-down on Alaska, I can give you one," she offers quietly. "Eye-witness accounts would have to come from Brian… or others. But I can give you the intelligence outline. On which note… one of the people I'm worried about in Massachussetts is Tamara Brooks." She cracks her eyes open again, at least approximately aware of just how many groups are interested in the seer. "I carried her out after she collapsed. Over-use of her ability, I think. Which is… saying something, given how much she *lives* in it…. But I'll be trying to borrow Megan, if I can, for a two-minute chat about coma care. I'm pretty sure it boils down to "hydration, nutrition, and avoiding bed sores" but…. Yay. The lives we lead."

"Yes, he is. It's not easy on him. The Eighth was not…" Lynette's thoughts on Brian's sacrifices stop there and she presses her lips together. She looks down at her coffee, watching the steam rise for a moment or two. "Yes," she says, eventually, "A debriefing would be helpful. If it went anything like ours did, I imagine the people coming back won't be too thrilled to chat about it." She looks up, lifting an eyebrow at the mention of a specific patient, but she nods. "I'm sure Megan will have some insights. Even if they're just to confirm your instincts. Your fallback location can handle it? Medical care?"

"Well enough, I hope. And it's… several States away. So if worst comes to the worst, we can be tourists seeking the help of a small-town doctor, who'll have no particular reason to be anything but helpful. I hope." Ygraine sighs, taking another welcome (if perilously hot) sip of coffee, before nodding. "I had to leave, as soon as Graeme could… hold down food again. And see, for that matter. He… well. Superhuman endurance apparently lets him recover from acute radiation poisoning. So once he could manage crazy things like standing and eating, I left him to help up there, so I could go travelling and hunt for survivors and news. I'm hoping they're still okay up there: I'll find out tonight…."

If you're… short of cash, as an aside, I could make a donation. One of the things I was able to collect from the safehouse was Graeme's - rather impressive - emergency stash. But I admit I don't expect money to be too much use to you right now…. Ahh, sorry. Rambling. Fatigue and being a coward about that debriefing."

A wan little smile accompanies a determined squaring of her shoulders. "The… the basic summary of Alaska is that - not counting a heck of a lot of Brians, I suspect - almost everyone on our side got out. Some of them did so in one piece." Lynette receives a quite frankly apologetic look. "Lashirah's apparently shot to shit, but somehow still going. Huruma" - she knows the name, if not the woman - "is hurt but mobile. Jaiden's got severe electrical burns and might have blown out his ability for a while, but he had a direct hand in shorting out the device, so… he probably thinks it's a good trade. They rescued Elle Bishop and Collette Nicols, both in really bad shape. Ryans… Ryans lost a hand. Monica lost an arm. Something… something I'm not sure I understood happened to someone called Howard. Cardinal got so beaten up his damn powered armour fell apart, but he survived… but had his ability torn out in the process…. Mary-Anne, the teleporter who was meant to be their way in and out: she died right at the start, poor thing."

As the grim toll of bad leavened with little bursts of good continues, Ygraine sighs. "He's… Richard's somewhere out there now. He left the other survivors. Don't know where he's gone yet. Hopefully Alia can find him. He… Liz - Elisabeth. She's gone." The Briton's voice catches markedly, but she forces herself to continue. "Not even a body to bury. Magnes, too - though Ro-, err, Quinn doesn't know yet. I don't think she could cope. But apparently Liz died stopping him, after Ezekiel somehow triggered his power into going rogue. The survivors are talking about a black hole forming… which Liz stopped. But she didn't survive doing so."

"Cash gets supplies. We'll take any donation you can spare," Lynette says, plainly. "But I'm glad your people have a place to go. And people to look after them. Several states away is probably a lot safer than the heart of New York City."

At the idea of bring a coward, Lynette gives her a more sympathetic look. She understands that, being something of one herself when it comes to this sort of thing. When the information begins, she lowers herself into a chair. Perhaps feeling she'll need the support for this. She's quiet for the majority of it, although there is a lift of her eyebrows as things get a little more… wild. When she gets to the news about Liz and Magnes, Lynette's face falls and she shakes her head. "We knew that not everyone could walk away. I suspect she knew, too. Still. I'm sorry to hear we lost her."

A hand runs down her face and she drops it heavily into her lap. "Yes. Quinn can find out about that… later. She's not been having a great time of it. Our side of Cambridge was… dicey." That's how she's going to put that. "Sort of takes the thrill out of winning, doesn't it? This kind of news."

"I'm… I'm quite literally carrying a whole batch of last words from Liz," Ygraine says hoarsely. "Recordings she made, in case she didn't come back. I salvaged them from the safehouse, since… me and Alia are virtually the only people who could even try getting there right now. So I'm going to spend days - maybe weeks - making deliveries…." She lowers her lashes over inicipient tears, drawing in a shudderingly slow breath, before mustering a smile and refocusing upon Lynette. "Which is an honour. And every one should provide at least some comfort. But I can't say I'm looking forward to it. Or to breaking the news. I…."

She pauses again, hiding behind her coffee for a moment. "Brian is only telling people who *ask*, specifically, for the information he has. He's not just had to live through this… he's right now seeing everyone else suffer. And he doesn't want to add to it. So… he's keeping quiet. Unless you choose to try to learn more. But I'm going to have to tell the rest of Endgame about this. And I'm running away from telling anyone who liked Magnes about his death, I freely admit. I… I saw her, saw Quinn, before I spoke to Brian. I'm glad I got it that way around. She was fragile enough as it was, without me having to hide how I'm feeling now. I… thank you for caring. And… for whatever you went through. Most of my own trip through the Ark was amazingly quiet. Though I think we had Tamara to thank for that, in large part. She was guiding us as quickly as possible to where we needed to be… and when. Before she collapsed from the strain."

A low groan, and she shakes her head, before conjuring up another half smile. "So. Yeah. Go us. Isn't saving the world fun? But I can definitely give you some cash before I go. I doubt Graeme'd mind, and I trust you to make good use of it." Unzipping her jacket - revealing a futuristic-looking armoured vest beneath - she reaches around to the small of her back, beneath the ridged spine protection built into her outfit. A little fiddling, and she comes up with a rumpled and well-filled parcel envelope, which she crosses the room to deliver to Lynette. "Twelve thousand, if I counted right."

"That's a difficult place to be in. Adjacent to everyone's grief. An honor, yes, but a hard one." Lynette lets out a sigh. She doesn't envy that position. "I hope you have a chance to grieve yourself. I suppose you're in a good position to understand why Brian is being quiet about the news." Something she can understand.

Lynette reaches over to put a hand on her arm, a gesture of sympathy and support. "Endgame is lucky to have you. And I'm glad that your trip was quiet. That's a blessing." She smiles at the thanks, but seems content to skip over it. "Tamara will get better. Rest. All of us need it. We'll come out the other side. Maybe one day we'll be able to see the difference we made."

When the envelope comes out, Lynette blinks, like maybe she hadn't expected it to be right here, right now. But she reaches out to take it. "That's quite the donation, Ygraine. Thank you, truly. And tell Graeme, too. It'll save lives here."

"I, ahh, stashed most of it near my bike, on the mainland," Ygraine explains a little sheepishly. "But I thought I might as well be prepared in case I got the chance. The fewer trips to and fro, and all that…" She ventures a swift, bashful smile, before returning the arm-touch. "He's not actually given me permission to spend it," she admits, managing to find some impish humour to put into her tone. "But he signed up to help people, too. Even if I don't think he was ever Ferry. Me…."

She casts a glance around, both wistful and perhaps a little wary, before looking back to Lynette. "My first contact with the 'Sailing Club' was back in oh-eight," she says softly. "I was impressed with them from the start. But… well. By the start of this year, it seemed like it was hard to find much of that any more. Probably just the paranoia talking, but… you, and Barbara, and a few others… you seemed to be the last I could call on, for the things I'd really seen in the Ferry back then. Heck, you guys were even crazy enough to return my calls! But… yeah. The donation's in your hands, rather than those of the first Ferryman I met, for a reason. I trust you to use it as it should be."

"That is true, the fewer trips, the safe you are. The safer we all are." Lynette taps the envelope on the table, a gentle rhythm. "Hopefully he doesn't mind us putting it to use. As I said, it will save people here. Families. Wounded." She has a running tally in her head, who needs what.

She looks over at Ygraine, her wariness noted. And, perhaps, understood as it isn't judgment in her expression, but understanding. "Things have changed, you're right. I hope to get us back to what we were. Crisis after crisis seems to have thrown us off our purpose. But. Not forever. Not if I have any say in it." And she does, by her tone. Or she'll make it so. She blinks as Ygraine continues and seems a touch flabbergasted. "Well. Then it's a responsibily I'll gladly take on. And if you ever need us, I'll be here." That must seem overly serious to her, because a crooked smile reappears. "I love some decent girl talk."

Ygraine blinks, then laughs, creaking into a crouch in front of the seated Lynette - looking up at her, rather than down. "Thank you. And… the same applies. I never resigned the Ferry. Just…." She casts a glance back over her shoulder again, before looking back to the blonde. "Seemed to be cast adrift," she says dryly. "After Liz and I gave our separate bits of intel, for that faked-up non-rescue of Scott and Judah… I never heard anything. I actually asked for help in figuring out what to do now that I seemed totally compromised, and…." She shrugs. "It was Endgame who took me in. Gave me a safehouse. Gave me a role. I've still been doing what I can for the Ferry, on Manhattan" - and has indeed been one of the few people able to reliably get to and from Grand Central in recent times - "but Endgame seemed to know what they were, and what they wanted me to do to help. If you can get the Ferry back in touch with its soul, then… I'll back you all the way, and do my best to make sure Endgame does as well. And more immediately… I might be one of your best current bets for getting anything from Endgame. I can give you a burner that Alia has the number for, and tell her you have it, so you can reach her. She can then relay messages to others beyond me, once we've got the network up and running again - she can't reach people in the middle of the wilderness. But right now, it sounds like I - and soon, I hope, Graeme - will be your best bet for an Endgamer able to travel around and do things in person. We'll soon be far away… but Graeme, once he's back on his feet, is quite capable of driving a thousand miles in a day and still have time and energy to spare. Especially in combination, the two of us can come back and try to help you with something if you need us. Remember that. I don't think we have a power-armoured assault team to call on any more… but we're not completely done, yet."

"I'm sorry we let you slip through the cracks, Ygraine. But glad you found a place there. I have a few people here of a similar mind, so I'm sure we'll be able to put our house in order. Organization, that's something I can do. Battle tactics… less so." Lynette chuckles there and runs a hand through her hair. "We have Noa here, that might be a quick way to communicate with this place. Radio is her speciality. I wouldn't mind a phone, if she can keep it masked. Don't need anyone noticing a blip out here. But we all know we can't stay here forever. We've been working on it. Got the kids from the lighthouse out, at least." Something of a victory, that. She seems to think so. "We'll need help then, to evacuate this place. I'll let you all know when it happens."

"Keep the battery and card out, and you should be fine with the phone, no matter what they throw at it," Ygraine says encouragingly. "And a digital connection, Alia can protect - both ends of, not just her own. Noa… I've heard of, but don't think I ever dealt with. I can relay relevant radio information to you once I have it. I've got some old short-range radio gear from the Ferry itself, as it happens - nearly three years back, now. But nothing long-range. We can pick that up, though, and I'll forward details through Alia so you have that option as well. And… yeah. I gather there was some 'excitement' with getting the kids out: congratulations on managing it. I'm really pleased you did."

"Oh, is that all it takes? Well. In that case." Lynette can use the tech, but the ins and outs of digital security is someone else's forte. "Perfect. I'll see if we can find how far she can reach, I'm not sure of the exactly details of her capabilities. But send the info, we'll make use of it." This Ferryman, at least, is happy to use any advantage at her disposal. She sips at her coffee again, since it's cooled to comfortable, and sighs into the mug. "A bit of excitement. Nothing too bad, though my scale might be a little skewed these days. Brian's the one who deserves the congrats, really. His plan, I was just along for the ride."

Ygraine nods again, pushing herself back to her feet before moving to take a seat herself, appreciatively cradling her mug in both hands before taking a sip. "I… remember my first few meetings with him," she muses fondly, gaze unfocusing. "He was… sweet. Naive. Clueless. Bashful. But wanted to help even then. Now…." She shakes her head, chuckling, looking back to Lynette. "I dread to think what'd happen without him, to help get the 'little' people out of the way and the heavy-hitters into place to do their thing."

"That is difficult to picture," Lynette says with a laugh, "I wouldn't call him bashful these days. Still wants to help, though." So some things don't change. "Without him? I'm not sure. We'd do our best, but our best is better because he's willing to stretch himself thin. I wish we were a little more focused on helping the little people. I didn't really sign up to take down things like the Institute. Or Frontline. But here we are." A regretful look passes over her face, but it's gone in a blink before she looks back over to Ygraine. "I used to just travel around, setting up safehouses, reinforcing boarding crossings, that sort of thing."

"He tried hitting on me," Ygraine says with a wry smile. "I think. It was… yeah. Not exactly suave." A quick grin, then she nods sadly. "Taking down the big problems was… always important. I was with Scott - and Brian - at ConEd, way back when we were stopping the Vanguard." There's a slight twitch of her head, another glance towards the door. "But Scott and company… they, well. Sometimes, since he… disappeared, I've felt that the Ferry's original role is seen as a distraction. That people running safehouses and trying to help people right here and right now are just… something close to cover. That the 'real' work is done by other people, behind closed doors. And everyone else is just… window-dressing." She shrugs. "'Course, I was once certified as a paranoid danger to myself and others, so… I'm sure there's nothing to it. Eh?"

"Adorable," Lynette says of Brian's early attempts. Indulgent. "He seems to have gotten better at it." Hitting on woman, she means. Her expression grows more severe as Ygraine goes on. When she manages a smile, it's a bittersweet one. "I've felt like that for a bit now. Like window dressing. But apparently decent window dressing," she says with a gesture to the envelope. "Lately I figure that I'll make use of my title all the same. Even if I'm just meant to make things look like they're running smoothly."

"Precisely," Ygraine says, nodding firmly. "There's power in perception. And in communication. I was… my post-grad degree was basically in the analysis of systems and structures of communication, and particularly how they go wrong. On an international level, but… it applies pretty well to smaller societies. By giving you the facade of power, they have given you some genuine power - until and unless they want to tell everyone out there that, actually, it's all a lie and no one should listen to you. Which… is the sort of announcement that would probably be a pretty good way of getting many people to listen to you all the more. If we're right, and you are part of an attempt to maintain the appearance of adhering to the old ideals and norms of the Ferry; those norms, those values and behaviours and habits and goals… they have power over the people who make up the Ferry. If those ideals and perceptions didn't matter to the membership and the people passing through the underground, then there'd be no need for obfuscation and pretence. Whatever secrets are hidden behind the facade your presence helps them maintain, the very fact that you're a big part of most Ferrymen's perceived reality means that you're likely to be believed and listened to more often than not. Only by admitting that they've been lying - to and about you - could any… behind-the-scenes group tell people that they don't actually want you to have any meaningful power."

Lynette wraps her fingers around her mug, although it isn't as good a hand warmer now as it was. It's a different sort of comfort she's after anyway. "And admitting that would make the whole facade crumble. So they won't. So I have some bit of power for now. I have to admit, it's something of a jump for an ex-smuggler." Smuggler, drug addict, PTSD sufferer. Any number of descriptors. "But I can try. If people have faith in me, it's the least I can do. I can kick up a fuss like a pro." She smirks there, amused. If dimly.

"I used to make my living by riding round and round and round a wooden track, while wearing nothing but lycra and a cycling helmet," Ygraine says dryly. "My biggest concerns used to be my diet and whether I could find any more hundredths of a second to shave off my times. This…." She manages a chuckle, glancing around. "Well. We're in it together, if you want to be. And I reckon I can bring you quite a bit of support from Endgame, too. Not that I'll know for a few more days quite what state the others are in, really, but… at the very least you've got me. If I can help, tell me. But… I fear I should polish off this coffee then get on my way. I need to make it back to Massachussetts tonight. So" - she raises her mug in salute, and finds another smile. "Thank you. And good luck."

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