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Scene Title Wonderful
Synopsis Sudden Ceiling Woman and Agent "Tiger" Ryans show up to help Jailer Doyle have a thoroughly wonderful time as the world across the river burns. A discussion of Humanis First, kidnapping, firebombings, hard liquor, and severed hands.
Date February 11 2011

Brick House

This spacious two-story building rises up off of the coast of Long Island City. Surrounded by a high chain-link and razorwire fence, it looks like it has been abanded for decades. Windows are bricked up, doors are boarded shut, and the grounds are unkempt and overgrown. Access to the building seem impossible, unless one was to pry off the boarding or simply smash through one of the walls. However, to the Ferrymen this structure is simply an extremely secure safehouse.

True access to the safehouse called the Brick House is made via an abandoned lot on the edge of the East River beyond the actual building. Here, an overgrown cellar hole from a factory that was demolished decades ago gives way to a concrete stairwell and a heavy iron door. This entrance is staffed by a Ferryman operative at all times, and accesses an underground tunnel leading to the basement that once connected the factory to the building that has become the Brick House.

The basement levels are cold and damp concrete shelters with freeze-dried food storages and a small armory of illegal firearms used in the defense of the safehouse. The upstairs floors are poorly furnished rooms with peeling wallpaper and paint, old dusty wood floorboards and seem to be in a constant stare of repair and renovation.

With only two windows on the second floor — facing the river — not bricked up, the building has a somewhat stale smell to it, and is lit only by artificial lighting of lamps and on occasion candles and lanterns.

Fires still burn across the water, the backwash of light providing an eerily reflected spread of illumination as it rebounds from the layers of snow and pollution atop and within the Dome. Over here, however, things are rather more a matter of inkily deep shadows and strange, half-seen shapes, with the backdrop of the glimmering and eerily still Hudson spread across the night.

Black and dirt-dark amidst the night, a lone figure slips towards the Brick House from the direction of the shattered Queensboro Bridge, booted feet landing in soft, rapid succession.

The Brick House rises from the urban wasteland of Long Island City; it's clearly been condemned, or at least closed down, with all the windows and doors either boarded or bricked up until there's literally no way in or out.

At least no way that's visible.

The overgrown lot out in the back that used to be a factory is the way in; all crumbling foundation remnants and weeds that obscure the old cellar-hole that leads into the passage from there and into the safehouse. As an extra layer of security, someone's strung some taut, thin wire around in the undergrowth about the entrance, presumably connected to some sort of primitive alarm.

Okay, so it's not exactly good security.

Fortunately, any attention that might otherwise have come her way is tonight quite thoroughly occupied with events on Roosevelt Island, and Ygraine is able to reach her goal without incident. After a last - somewhat twitchy - survey of her surroundings, the hatch granting access to the Brick House's entrance tunnel is flipped open, and the Ferrywoman slips inside.

Eschewing anything so slow as a conventional route, Ygraine simply pulls the hatch carefully shut behind her as she heads down one wall, before flowing onto the ceiling of the tunnel beyond. Eyes closed, she trusts to her memory of the passage as being sturdy, and sets up a steady, constant rhythm, scuttling forward at speed - and doing her best not to think. Not yet. Just focus on pushing, keeping the pace up so that the blood pumps and the adrenaline isn't allowed to die away…

It's a sturdy passage, if black as midnight; there isn't so much as a dangling lightbulb to illuminate the tunnel.

It's not long before she encounters the stairs at the end of the tunnel and the door at its top. And she's in, the faint light from the few windows that aren't completely bricked up illuminating the place, as well as a scattering of glowsticks spread around the safehouse. Eric Doyle is in the 'kitchen' area stacking cans on a shelf, muttering under his breath as he does so, "I swear to god, when that stupid ass kid shows himself again I'm going to make him cut his own goddamn tongue out. He has no brain in that little head of his…"

The small pack slung on Ygraine's back contains - among a few less edible things - a small selection of 'salvaged' tins of canned food. As a result it might make sense for her to head straight for Doyle's present location… but very unusually she's not coming down to the ground now that she's somewhere she expects (even hopes) to find other people. Instead, the all-black (save for where the dirt provides different shades) figure scuttles rapidly across the ceilings and walls as she moves towards the man. With the cans in her pack muffled in a 'requisitioned' towel, she moves with a good deal of stealth… and only makes her presence definitively known when she asks, "What kid?", before looming out of the dark as a helmeted, leather-bulked shape attached to the ceiling outside the 'kitchen'.

"Jesus!" A stack of cans goes clattering to the floor as Doyle stumbles back from the shelf that he's stocking, whirling to stare up at the leather-clad form that's attached to the ceiling, his hand snapping up— and Ygraine's body stiffening as his ability locks her muscles tight. His eyes wide, fingers curling in and pushing up to make her stand straight, arms dropping to her sides, "Who the fuck are you and what're you doing here? A-and why are you on my ceiling!"

"Glurk!", is Ygraine's initial comment, as a power - the existence of which she wasn't even aware of - grabs hold of her. "Christ", is what follows through gritted teeth. "I'm Ygraine, you dozy berk!"

It hasn't been the easiest trip.

Benjamin Ryans has had to lug a heavy body to the Brick House. He may be in good shape, but it's still a hike, with him over his shoulder. His arrival is about when the hatch shuts. Blue eyes narrow at it.

It'll takes some doing, the prisoner may have some bumps and bruises from being dropped through the hatch. It jostles the young man awake, getting a muffled protest, mouth covered with duct tape and a sack over his head. No need him seeing where he's going.

The leg of the journey into the building will be a chore, with his prisoner awake there is a lot of muffled curse words and flailing… or what he can do with hands and feet secured. "Doyle?" He calls out, not overly loud. There is a touch of caution to his voice. They may be on the same team now, but not in the past.

He's suddenly there a figure in the hall, his view of the kitchen obscured by the body his holds. But the fedora and brow dister are noticable. Finally, Ben twists and spots both. There is some relief, but it doesn't really show. "There you…" He trails off as he inches his way into the kitchen, eyes going up. "Am I intruding?" He asks, giving a small heave and sending his burden to the floor. The man hit the floor with a small cry and followed by more muffled cursing, and a failed kick with both duct tape secured feet.


Eric hesitates for a long moment, and then his hand slowly drops as he carefully releases her from the bondage of his power — luckily for her, because he was just about to turn off her ability. Which would probably have hurt, since she would've landed on her head. "Ygraine? What are you— why are you on the ceiling?" It's still a question he'd like answered, thanks!

Then a guy wrapped up in duct tape is tossed in, along with a certain former Agent that draws a frown towards the doorway. "Ryans," he greets in flat tones, "What're you doing here? I see you brought a girlfriend."

"That trick's scary", Ygraine informs Doyle, squirming a bit as she regains control of her muscles. "I…." Then all notion of providing an explanation is put on hold as a couple of new arrivals are registered… and the Briton's thoughts skip rapidly on through several stages.

Sinking into a crouch once more, Ygraine flips down her visor - once again providing her with blank anonymity - then touches hands to the ceiling and flips into what might be considered a hand-stand depending on what way is presently 'up' for her. Fortunately, before she does any further warping of her viewers' perceptions, she drops to the floor, cushioning her landing with a deep knee-flex.

"I've got some intel", she says somewhat gruffly, voice part-muffled by the helmet. "Probably shouldn't be discussed in front of him."

The comment is ignored — noted — but ignored. Easier that way. Plus he doesn't really blame him.

"I'm stuck just like you are." His tone equally flat and rather calm. A glance goes to Ygraine, before Ryans looks down at man at his feet. A booted foot nudges the man still unseen due to the sack over his head. "I brought a Humanis First fledgling, I need a place to hold."

Did the man on the floor just growl?

"I'm trying to track down their hold out, but this guy has — unsurprisingly — little information." Ryans eyes Ygraine again curiously, even as he continues to speak to Eric. "They have someone. I need to find him, before they realize what they have."

"Oh, look. I'm a jailer. It's like Moab all over again," Doyle mutters under his breath as he turns around, crouching down a bit to scoop up the fallen cans that'd scattered to the floor earlier, "Well, cut his feet free at least, I can't exactly walk him anywhere like that. I'll put him with the others."

Others? This conversation is not exactly going well, from Ygraine's perspective. A moment's hesitation, then she stalks over to help Doyle with the task of gathering up the cans… a process made a good deal easier when merely touching one has it stick to the hand or arm that came into contact with it. Transferring several at a time should help the tidying to go faster… and keeps her mind at least partly off the situation.

"Only man I know that could literally keep him from running away." Taking a knee near the guy, Ryans pulls a folded knie out of his pocket. "He's ex-military. Very much hated evolved." The knife works at the tape at the mans feet, splitting it with a jerk of his hands. "All I don't want is him dead and unable to talk if I need it." He looks up at Doyle as he folds the knife, pushing himself up to stand.

In other words, Eric Doyle have fun with you new toy, but don't break it to pieces.

"Any word from Eileen or Raith?" It curiously asked as Ryans pockets the knife. "Or even the rest of the network. Last thing I heard was that you were in here and holed up here."

And finally, Ryans looks to Ygraine, his expression unreadable. "Benjamin Ryans, Co-director of Ferry's Special Activities. You are?" His tone is gruff, but then the way she's acting has him slightly on edge.

"I haven't heard a word from the leadership. Bishop and Jaiden are here somewhere, maybe upstairs…" Doyle's fingers jerk upwards, and even as the Humanis thug begins to kick at the man cutting the duct tape from his legs— his muscles tighten up, tendons dragging his knees beneath him and spine lifting to straighten. The puppeteer finishes putting the last can on the shelf with his other hand, then steps over to 'help' the thug back to his feet. "I'm in contact with Brian on the outside, but that's about it."

He walks along to the next room, finger-walking the thug after him. The man's eyes bulge, panicked little sounds against duct tape. "Be right back."

"Someone who prefers not to talk in front of a captive, just in case", Ygraine responds somewhat sharply, pausing in her can-retrieval to turn a blank-visored look upon Ryans when Doyle removes the unfortunate thug from the room. Setting down the last of her loose burdens, she swings her pack off her shoulders and delves into it to produce a few more units of food - mostly tinned fruit, in this case.

"I'm your senior courier still bloody well alive and active in the area, and was tasked to do surveillance for the Ferry before ever I so much as heard your name or laid eyes on your face. I disabled the fucking tank that blew up one of our evacuation ships on the Eighth, I fought the Vanguard and their sodding tank alongside the Ferry the year before that, and I am having a really shit-eatingly dreadful night."

Having set down the last of her small hoard of salvaged food, Ygraine carefully removes her helmet, then stows it neatly in her pack - her gloved hands shaking slightly as she does so. Her naturally pale face is a deathly white, her expression tensely drawn, and though incipient dark rings are forming, the eyes they shadow are bright with tautly restrained emotion.

"I was crouched on a window-sill one storey down from the bomb they used on Eastview. I spent the time after that diving in and out of a burning building trying to find the living amidst the dead, while a fucking gun battle went on outside. From the look of at least one of the bodies I found in the road, at least one guy was driven over, too. But, like I said, I have some intel."

"Thanks, Eric." Ryans offers at the puppeteer takes off with the captive. This allows him to focus on Ygraine. He's quiet as the woman rants, brows lifting a little on his head.

Once she's done, Ben calls out. "Hey, Doyle. Got any hard liquor?" The old man, moves to find a chair, to drag over and drops near Ygraine. "Sit." It's an order, spoken calmly.

"I'll spare you my credentials, since until just before the 8th, were not Ferry involved." A tight smile is given to Ygraine, where Benjamin is still holding the back of the chair. " But I do have forty years of combat under my belt, trust an old man, sit… If there is some heavy liquor, drink a glass, it'll help right now." He doesn't say exactly why.

"No," Eric calls back, "Liquor isn't exactly survival supplies."

Then there's a solid thump and the bang of a door, before the portly puppeteer returns to the room with a slow shake of his head, "I was wondering what the fireworks show across the river was all about. Humanis, I'm guessing? Since— I mean— " He waves a hand vaguely behind him, "Agent Ryans says that's who laughing boy back there is."

Ygraine takes the chair from Ryans, but initially seems more tempted to perch atop it than sit. She does, however, opt at least temporarily for a resumption of conformity to conventional positioning.

"The bit I can't vouch for personally", she says softly, "and that has no details: Valentin is Aitch-Eff. Unless my memory's playing tricks, he's the nice, friendly guy who runs the one remaining noteworthy boat inside the Dome? Yeah."

Looking to Doyle, she nods wearily. "Explosive incendiaries hit the Chapel, and the Eastview apartment building. There was a sweeper team working through the latter area. Mixed levels of competence. All armed, one clear leader. Some looked as if they knew how to handle a gun, but not much more. Some were quite confident. The guy in charge was so sure of himself he didn't look like it'd occurred to him that confidence might be an issue."

Shaking her head this time, she sighs again. "Weaponry ranged from pistols to rifles and grenades, that I saw. And to make it even more fun, there was a coordinated hit on the Suresh Centre. Someone blew a Stillwater truck through the front of it. Bullet holes all over the place. But there were survivors doing triage there when I went past. I… I couldn't face going in. So I came here. To warn you." That last is definitely directed to Eric, though she soon looks back to Ryans.

"My guess? An Aitch-Eff cadre supplied and recruited local goons. Supposedly, they were looking specifically for the individual responsible for the Dome effect - but once they'd separated out people who could 'prove' they were 'human', the bombs went off. Sounds to me like they pulled in manpower for one limited job that'd win a fair bit of support, then used the idiots as cover for a larger effort."

"Something with sugar would help take the edge off." Ryans sighs softly, with a frown to the girl. Worried? Or just knows enough to show concern.

"It is. I caught him, during his initiation. He was after a young girl." Ryans doesn't hide the disgust. " They took a… friend of mine instead. Mistaken identity. I have an idea of where to look, but not an exact place." Which frustrates him to no end.

"It's former agent. The Company is dead." Traitors all of them.

Arms slowly fold across his chest as he listens to Ygraine, brows tipping down, clearly not happy at what he's hearing. "Valentin." The name is murmured, as if to commit it to memory. "So this is larger then just a small cell of these racists. Wonderful." Of course, he doesn't sound like it's 'wonderful' at all. That single word full of sarcasm.

"The fact these men run the boats, explains the waterfront meetings." Fingers scratch at long stubble at Ryans jaw. "Confirms where I'm going to start looking first." He takes a step back, "I need to get armed." A hand gun alone won't do it. "Doyle… is there spare room for one more here?" Mainly, him.

"A tiger never loses its stripes," Eric observes grimly, leaning himself back against the wall and folding both arms across his broad chest as he looks between the pair, "Great. Guess I picked the right choice when I decided not to hop onto that guy's boat, then. And they call me fuckin' paranoid…"

He gestures a bit with one hand to Ryans, "There's room. For both've you, if you need it. There's safety in numbers, after all, and I— well, as far as I know, this's the only safehouse we've got under the Dome."

"As ever, if you're willing to have it somewhere you can only get in or out of with me, I can give you others. I've got my bike stashed a few stories up. Security gets a lot worse in most places, once you're well above ground level", Ygraine offers and explains, before closing her eyes.

"Someone was cutting off hands", she says quietly. "At least, I found one. Lying in the street. There were people fleeing for the Subway, too. If they go down there too far they'll reach the water. I think the tunnel might be slowly giving way. Or at least flooding. And the water'll be infected. There're bodies down there."

Shaking her head, she sighs, and turns her gaze to the canned food. "For sugar, the juice from tinned fruit could be good", she provides, answering a question not even directed at her. "But these guys seem to've specifically targetted Stillwater. At least on the island. They bombed a Stillwater truck, and there was a guy in a Stillwater vest lying in the road with his throat blown out, outside Eastview. I think they wanted to take over, at least long enough for their massacre. Raise Hell here, wipe out the remnants left there when most of the contractors moved over to Queens to calm things down. Then control the only boat left, after blowing up Stillwater's own."

Ryans gives a short nod of his head, hands working to close his coat better, seems he's going to leave again. "My thanks, Doyle. I'll be back." He points at Ygraine. "You need rest before you go out again. I suggest you take him up on the room and get some sleep." If you can. He leaves that off.

A hand shift the fedora on his head, making sure it seated well on his head. "I'll be down at the waterfront… Towards Astoria. I'll be there if either of you need me." He's hoping to find movement that will give way to where they are keeping recruits. Maybe he'll get lucky. "Be safe." Is the farewell offered.

"You…" Eric points one finger at Ygraine, taking on the rather imperious tones of one that's used to taking care of an entire Lighthouse full of children who aren't likely to listen if he talks to them casually, "…you aren't going anywhere. You're about two snapped twigs short of curling up in a corner and rocking back and forth. I'll get a room ready, you need some sleep where you're not looking over your shoulder."

"If you want me to feed your prisoner, bring back some gooddamn food, too, Ryans! I'm sure as hell not giving him mine."

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