When The Devil Drives


devon2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title When The Devil Drives
Synopsis Devon brings in another report of his activities and eats the food again, and Elisabeth begins hatching a plan to gain more intel.
Date June 3, 2011

Endgame Safehouse

Word had been sent ahead that Devon was headed to the safehouse. A short text message to let the residents know to expect his arrival. He kept it short, leaving out the teasing quip about not shooting that he felt impulsive about adding, before venturing into a circuitous route, the way picked in efforts to continue expanding his awareness and wariness for unwanted followers. It might have taken a little longer than necessary, but he’d rather keep the habit of safety for those he’s off to visit. Besides, the weather is fine enough for a little longer travel.

The teenager, in a gray long-sleeved tee and blue-gray board shorts, his backpack hanging off a shoulder today, hesitates only long enough to check his tail before making the final steps that would lead him into the house. Once closed inside, he calls out with, “It’s Devon,” before nearing the stairs leading upward. As he mounts the first step, wariness has him keeping his hands up, one gripping the shoulder strap while the other simply stays in plain view.

Elisabeth is waiting for him to arrive. She sitting outside on the stoop wearing a pair of cutoff shorts and a short-sleeved top, a bottle of water in her hands. It's still nice enough out this evening that she doesn't need to change clothes yet. A faint half-smile quirks her lips at his approach. "I'm armed, but it's not out," she assures him. "C'mon up."

A grin cracks over Devon's expression. He's come to expect everyone to be armed to some degree. The hand not holding the strap is pushed into a hip pocket as he climbs up another step. "I'm going to start carrying around a white flag. Give it a wave when I come over so there's no mistaking me for a bad guy."

"Bah," Elisabeth murmurs. "I think it's not a problem. You're a familiar enough face at this point that I think it'll ease off." She jerks her chin toward him, "Have a seat. Tell me what's on your mind this time."

"I hope so." Devon shakes his head, though the grin remains in dark humor. Easier for him to joke about the reactions to his appearances than worry about it at this point. There's bigger things afoot. "Well," he begins, sinking onto the step just below Liz's, "I got a meeting." He glances over his shoulder, eyes flicking past Elisabeth to the house, then back again. "Got some more audio for you to listen to, as well."

Elisabeth grimaces. "All right. Give me the short version and I'll listen tonight," she says quietly. There's a definite sense that she's disliking the fact that he's out doing this, though.

"Price called me to meet her, gave me a paper from Valentin that's got a date, time, and place on it." Devon drapes his arms over his knees. "Most of it's explanatory, she asked why I was going through with it, told me… warned me to not go down this path." His head shakes slightly, eyes slanting toward Liz again. "Like she was worried about me. There's also a spot, I traded some information I knew about her for a name after she said to look higher than Valentin for Humanis First, she wrote the name on her hand."

Tilting her head, Elisabeth quirks a brow questioningly at him. Waiting.

"Georgia Mayes." By his tone, Devon had already suspected the DoEA woman. "She didn't have proof, just word of mouth. And I didn't get pictures of it, felt too risky to ask."

"Fuck," Elisabeth murmurs succinctly. Her blue eyes turn away from him and now she's … in a position where having a telepath on tap may in fact be invaluable. "Where and when are you supposed to meet Valentin?" she asks.

The paper, slightly more wrinkled from its travel between Valentin, Odessa, and Devon himself, is pulled out of his pocket. After unfolding it, he offers it to her to look over. "There's something more to that, Melissa Pierce wants to accompany me."

Elisabeth frowns, her gaze coming back to him. "Why?" Her tone isn't upset, more neutral. Pierce is, if she remembers right, a telepath as well — which …. might work out better. She's not sure.

"She doesn't think I should go alone," Devon replies simply. "I'm not sure I should go alone either, but…" He frowns, worry unrelated to the meeting with Valentin showing briefly. Other concerns with Melissa involving herself are conflicting with the idea of bringing back up.

Shoving her lower lip out, Elisabeth is struggling through the thought process. "What's her ability, do you know?" she asks aloud. "I keep thinking she's a telepath, but that's not right, is it?" She seems to be considering an idea, the way her blue eyes get that sort of cold glint to them.

"Pain manipulation." The teenager rubs the back of his neck, a look flicking toward Liz. "She can turn the pain on or off." A brow arches up slightly over her expression, curious but not commenting.


The lightbulb goes on. And Elisabeth's mind is suddenly racing. She sits up straighter, almost shocked at how hard the idea hits her. Can she pull it off? Would the people who follow her willingly do what she might ask in this case? Would Melissa do it? The sound of her own blood rushing in her ears is loud. Is she willing to do this? To become no better than they are? And the errant thought passes through her brain that she lost the moral high ground months ago, taking sniper shots from a rooftop.

One of these days, lover, you're going to remember when I told you I was *not* a good man.

Does she have the right to ask Remi and Devon and Melissa to lose their innocence in this fashion? Do the people in question have the abilities necessary?

"When is the meeting, Devon?" Elisabeth asks, turning blue eyes to him.

Still curious, though a reserved neutrality casts over his expression like a film. Devon's hand extends to show her the paper again, in Valentin's handwriting the date, time, and location. "What are you thinking," he asks quietly. He can't read thoughts, he's unremarkable and without a talent though by his blood he might one day have one. But he can tell she's thinking something.

"I'm thinking…. someone once told me that while the ends do not always justify the means, sometimes…. you have to get a little blood on your hands to do the right thing," Elisabeth says softly. "But I'm not sure if I have the right to ask any of you to be the ones to get it on you." Her jaw clenches. "But if Remi and Melissa are willing…. it could just work."

Devon's expression grows cold, hard over mention of Remi, his jaw tightening, lips pressing into a thin line. It takes less than a full minute before he's swept it away. "You don't have to ask me, there's already blood on my hands. And I promised myself a long time ago that I'd do it, so that others wouldn't have to. As for Melissa…" He can likely guess her answer. "I want you two to meet."

Elisabeth smiles faintly, not really amused. "I'm not sure, but Melissa and I may have met once. I was under the care of the Ferry for a while after I was shot by Emil Danko." Her tone is quiet. "If Valentin knows for a fact that Georgia Mayes is one of the bosses, he may have other intelligence in his head that is worth having," she says to the boy. "If that's the case…. between Melissa's ability and Remi's…." She trails off. "I'm usually not one to advocate for telepathy in use, but… needs must when the devil drives, kiddo," she says quietly. "Let me think on it a little." She takes the paper with the meeting date and time, nodding slightly. There's a little time.

"I'll do what I have to," Devon answers evenly. "But I'll get you in to see Melissa. She trusts me, but I think she needs to hear the plan from you." Or the skeleton of a plan. "As for telepaths… Remi?" Despite whatever suggestions the absent telepath had planted, the skepticism is able to be shown while she's not around.

The blonde says quietly, "I have two choices. Aric and Remi. And right now, Aric and Graeme are still above board and legal. They are the only sources of outside income that any of us have, really, and they are the only people who are keeping tabs on the 'normal' world's pulse. They have to live in it." Elisabeth looks at him. "Forgive me for saying so, but … you're a teenager. There are things that the adults in the business world will see that you will miss just by sheer virtue of not knowing what you're looking at. I know you've been through a lot. And you've had to grow up too damn fast, Devon. But… I need them to stay off the radar. And if we mean to let this man go — which is my intention — then I need a telepath who's already on their shit list."

"Yes, ma'am." Devon's response comes quietly, though his dislike for Remi remains evident. "I understand the choice, and I understand that I lack experience." He presses the palms of his hands together, forefingers pressing against his lips briefly. "—Sorry. I don't like her, but I won't question it."

"Why don't you like her?" Elisabeth asks, not in a tone of defense but in a tone of straight curiosity. She wants to know what sparked the reaction.

Devon's head shakes, eyes slanting off to the side. "She… butted in where she wasn't welcome. She saw me and Graeme disagreeing and… It was right after the Dome came down. She heard something then told me," he pauses, pointing toward his head, "that I could trust her. And she's a friend. And sure, whatever. Fine, I can trust her. But she needs to stay out of and let me decide what memories I share and when."

Elisabeth immediately nods slightly. "Telepaths… at least the ones I know, and I think I know three. Maybe four at this point. They all seem to have that problem. In part, it's because their ability is inherently …. 'on'. You know?" She shrugs a little. "Think of it like being in a room where everyone is talking constantly. And as you walk by a conversation, it could be mundane or private but every one of them is shouting at the top of their lungs. I gather that most telepaths honestly can't really help themselves without a lot of work." She pauses and admits, "I don't know how they don't go insane when they first manifest, if you want the truth. Of all the abilities out there that a person could get? I think telepathy has to be one of the suckiest."

Elisabeth grins at him a bit. "So…. stick that in the back of your head and try to cut her a tiny bit of slack? I'm not saying she was right to say anything about what she'd accidently overheard, but …. some people never really learn the tact thing. I'm working on kicking her over it."

"It's not just that." Devon reigns his tone away from whining. "It's… Like… This feeling that I should be trusting her. I don't even know her, for all she could be one of the bad guys, stealing information from our brains and feeding it to someone else. But even as I think that it seems contradictory to what she told me." He glances toward Liz, wondering if that makes any sense.

The blonde goes taut and eyes him narrowly. "Really." Elisabeth does not sound amused. "I'll tell you what. I trust her enough to tell you that you'll be okay. And if somehow she gave you a mental nudge on that front? I'll kick her ass personally. I do know that her ability is growing and she's not entirely sure of it. Most of us go through an adjustment period as our abilities grow or shift — mine get a little off-kilter when I'm upset. It starts feeling like you're standing in front of bass speakers at a concert. Things rumble." She smiles a bit. "So if she did do something to you? I'm willing to offer the benefit of the doubt that it may have been accidental and she'll fix it as soon as she knows. If it was on purpose, I will kick her ass out of here so fast her fucking head will spin. Deal?"

"Least someone trusts her," Devon returns, a frown meeting Liz's expression. He relents with a nod, keeping his own reaction to the experience shelved, the threat he'd made still plausible in his mind though it conflicts with the suggestion the telepath had put into his head. "Sounds like I have a lot of fun to look forward to when my ability surfaces," he adds with some half humored smirk. A glance toward her follows and he nods again, accepting her handling of the matter.

Elisabeth reaches out and ruffles his hair. "C'mon, lemme feed you before you go back. You've been traipsing back and forth here so much, you've gotta be missing meals or something." Besides… it makes her feel better to do a little something for him. It's not much. Not what she could have done in her apartment. But they're one of the best-fed groups of homeless people around for sure.

His grin returns, half way as his hair is tousled then fully at the offer for food. “Sounds awesome,” the teen replies, a hand offered to pull Liz to her feet once he’s standing again. He follows behind her, into the safehouse proper, to partake of a meal and lighter conversation. Before he leaves again, the disc burned with the audio file from his last conversation with Odessa is left with the audiokinetic.

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