Worth Fighting For


wf_asi_icon.gif wf_bao-wei_icon.gif wf_bella_icon.gif wf_cesar_icon.gif wf_cooper_icon.gif wf_ella_icon.gif wf_eve_icon.gif

wf_godfrey_icon.gif wf_hahn_icon.gif wf_kay_icon.gif wf_luther_icon.gif wf_maude_icon.gif wf_megan_icon.gif wf_nova_icon.gif wf_silas_icon.gif

Scene Title Worth Fighting For
Synopsis The Resistance sanctuary known as Sterling Hills Haven comes under threat when the Administration plots the construction of a massive robot facility on their doorstep. Plans are made to fight for the stronghold's survival.
Date August 15, 2016

The Sterling Hills Haven

Sterling Hills Mines

Ogdensburg, NJ

People come and go from these mines. To the Resistance scouts who mind the area, that's not at all unusual.

What's unusual are the sheer number passing through the area now.

Deep beneath the surface of the earth, down in the mine the travelers descend into, there is light— wall-hung strings illuminating a widened hall reinforced by terrakinetic-erected stone pillars. Murmur and bustle— of life rarely found in the wastes— flows freely here without fear of being overheard. A bazaar of sorts is carried out in this common space, where traders passing through can exchange their goods both with leaders as well as the common rebel, and Resistance quartermasters can distribute acquired munitions. The smell of food wafts freely from a communal kitchen near the middle of the hall, serving up food prepared by Evolved hands, grown elsewhere in the mine with encouragement from Evolved abilities.

Sterling Hills Haven is the only-known place of its kind. Maybe elsewhere in the country, somewhere far West, another place like this exists. But as far as anyone knows, here is the only place where it's safe to congregate and be who you are without fear of punishment or death just for existing.

So when word began circulating that there had been a precognitive dream of the Haven soon being in danger, people took notice. While some in the Resistance took the whispers of the dream as a sign it was time to move on, the omen drew others closer, those waiting for more specifics to make themselves known. Through a combination of intelligence and scrutinized glimpses into the future, maybe this place could yet be saved.

Because if they didn't fight now to keep their last pieces of civilization together, some argued, what even was the point of the war? There were families here. The underground nursery feeds more than just the people who live here full time. Here, various Resistance cell leaders had a stable place they could safely come to plot their movements.

Even so, even with the desire to see this place protected, a malaise has started to creep into the air. It's focused around the cul-de-sac end of the long hall where various resistance leaders often cross paths. Earth-carved breakout rooms with simple tables stand empty, their doors open.

It's difficult to plan when you still don't know exactly what's coming for you.

“Seven-ten outside, clear skies.” Traffic into Sterling Hills is maintained at a low frequency. Constant comings and goings have a deleterious effect on the mine’s ability to remain secret. This is the seventh time this week that the tall woman coming through the last checkpoint has ventured inside. The guard at her right offers a nod to her confirmation that there’s no airborne drones on the way in, offering her a cigarette from his pack as he does.

“Thanks, kid.” She says, pinching a cigarette between two fingers but not moving to light it, just carries it in her hand. “Can I have Frank, now?” She says with her other hand held out. The guard offers a lopsided smile, then hands her a battered colt .45 revolver with a rail-mounted scope. She holsters it at her hip, then looks around the mine passages with a lopsided smile. “You see Epstein, tell him he’s a prick and I’m looking for him. In precisely that order.”

Diana Hahn is one of several go-betweens in the resistance. A non-evolved freedom fighter who lives a dual life in and out of the wasteland. As she makes her way into Sterling Hills, she must make the mental exertion to behave like she belongs in the resistance, not the way she comports herself in the Outer District. “Mas!” She calls out, “where’s your crazy ass hiding?!

Rumor has it that one of the Resistance's fighters, Luther, was found in a cave atop a hoard of machinery and bones. He seems comfortable in the way he strides through the throngs, at least outwardly. But beneath scratching its way towards the surface and hanging on the edges of his angled browlines is growing wariness. Never too far away from the mess, it's the direction he's headed from his patrolling route. The smell of him wafts by as precursor to his entry, possibly offending the sensitive of appetites.

One of which is another non-evolved rebellion supporter tucked half-way into his dish before the musky, musty odor of an unwashed coat wrinkles Cesar's features into a grimace. "Madre de Dios, man," Diaz sets his spoon down and looks in the direction of the other man's back. Only, to think better of complaining aloud. There's no time or use in it anyway. Also no sense in wasting the tuck. The smuggler scoops the rest of it onto a piece of bread and dumps the spoon with a clatter onto his kit before moving to get back to his stowed, secured goods.

“Come on man, it’s a perfectly good ham radio, ” Thomas Cooper smacks his hands on the top of the machine, causing one of the dials to pop off. “Shit,” the smuggler hisses out as he moves to snag it and try to press it back into place. The man across from him, narrows his eyes in disbelief.

“You expect me to give you perfectly good potatoes for…” the merchant unfolds his arms and points at the radio, “… that?” Brow lifts expectantly at Cooper who looks flustered. The smuggler looks about himself, until he catches a whiff of a familiar stench as it passes nearby. Ah!

Cooper leans closer to the merchant, lowering his voice, “Look, buddy. You gotta help me out here. See that big scary looking dude over there?” Turning he looks over his shoulder and subtly points at the hulking form of Luther. “I promised him these potatoes. He might literally eat me, if I don’t appease him.”

“I don’t know what to tell you, but you ain’t getting my pota….”

The merchant’s rejection speech is interrupted as a small bar of some type of metal is dropped on the table between him and the smuggler. Both men turn to find another, smiling brilliantly at them a cigarette pinched between his fingers. “Sorry. Did I interrupt?” Godfrey Wells asks, lightly.

The merchant picks up the thin bar and studies it, while Cooper watches the exchange hopefully. “The fuck am I going to do with this?” The merchant asks Godfrey, holding it up.

“Why sell it to that fellow, over there.” Godfrey motions to a set up a bit further down the bazaar, the ammo maker. “S’lead,” the man points to it with the hand holding the cigarette. “You and I both know lead’s in high demand for ammo and that bit will make a decent amount.” Godfrey takes another puff of the cancer stick and drops it on the ground. Snuffing it out with a booted toe, he picks up the sack of potatoes and shoves them at Cooper. “Of course, you can keep the….” Fingers flick at the radio. The merchant doesn’t protest at least.

Moving to turn a stunned smuggler away from the table and back into the crowd, Godfrey shoves him in the direction of Luther. “Come now, Thomas, let’s make the smelly cannibal’s night. Maybe he’ll actually crack a smile, though I suggest next time you want to piss him off… don’t promise him potatoes to save your life.” Cooper pales, but lets himself be dragged along.

Politeness is paramount. That means parking the van a respectful distance away from the mine, and going on foot for the better part of a day. That means surrendering weapons at the door and relying on muscles and good will as a shield against ire, new and old. Mostly good will, really, of the sort bought with ampoules and dermal patches, IV bags and inhalers. In a world where there are no prescriptions, no medical boards and no scheduling of substances, there is no clearly-marked difference between doctors and drug dealers. In this realm of ambiguity and necessity, Dr. Isabella Sheridan has rebranded herself; the money was always in pill-pushing anyways, and if you want painkillers beyond whiskey or willow bark (both hard to come by as it is) it’s to Madame Psychosis you must turn.

Flanked by four imposing looking women, her petite frame emphasized by contrast, Madame P. winds her way into the belly of Sterling Mine’s center of commerce. She’s dressed, like her cohort, in scavenged fatigues stripped of rank signifiers, but still sporting a black armband emblazoned with the white letters ‘MP’. Her tinted goggles are tipped up onto her head, perched upon the grey-black bandana that keeps her red hair up and back. Her dust-mask, upon which is painted a faded but still-cheerful yellow smiley-face, is pulled down revealing an equally affable, salesperson-like grin. Here comes the fun! Her escort carries color-coded suitcases: blue for medical, green for recreational, purple for mixed use. It would seem, for all appearances, to be a routine visit to trade drugs for food and other supplies, to keep the lifeblood of extra-District life flowing, save for the additional suitcase: a double-locked black one she holds in her own hand.

Cramped quarters make for necessary changes. The mines are cycled air, warm walls and too many bodies; especially so along the main drag of activity. It is something of a reprieve when the chill comes, licking at ankles and elbows, pushing the heat upwards in a steady shift of fronts.

Sheridan's entourage seems to have been followed inside, though not at all out of nefarious deeds. Just timing.

The dull shuffle of feet meets the click-click-click of something on the walls, tapping against periodically exposed stone. Now the ceiling. Curved nails grip into the solidified mine walls, preceded by a short path of ice. More than one person ducks needlessly out of the way. More fear than aversion for some.

Flattened and partially camouflaged against the curves and bumps of the mine ceiling is a mobile body of blackened, ashen ice; its frame cracks and gleams as it crawls along with reptilian expertise, cold drifting in its wake. An indication of sentience shines in the brassy gold of a singular eye, positioned deep in a crocodilian socket. This cold will pass, just as soon as Bao-Wei Cong does.

Sitting hunched over a cup of what's passing for coffee these days, Megan Young is a familiar sight here. Over the years, her copper-red hair has gone almost pure white and she keeps it cropped in a short cut that is the only evidence that someone knows how to use scissors. It'd be cute if it weren't just flat practical. The news filtered in that Sheridan was going to be able to make a drop, and Meg needs what the woman carries. Her surgery is damn low on a few things — not that this is anything new. But getting good drugs is always a bonus for the medic. She doesn't look any different than most people in here. Battered cargo pants shoved into a pair of worn-out combat boots that look like they've been repaired a couple of times, dirty thermal shirt tucked into the waist under a flannel one.

As the entourage arrives, just the sound of that many feet in a group is enough to bring her blue eyes warily toward the tunnel. Even though had it been danger, they would have already had warning in the form of explosions, it's ingrained now to keep her eyes on everything. She pivots on the bench of the metal table to stand up, heading toward Sheridan's 'usual' set-up spot. Moving a little slower than usual, she still has the steady gait that marks her as a former soldier.

In a corner of the mess hall, a red-haired man sits alone. His attire is worn and patched — a scuffed leather jacket, old cargo pants, and a pair of broken down old combat boots with ratty laces. A faint smell of gasoline, gunpowder, and smoke hangs around him — a testament to the kind of work he does. The work that's earned him the nickname Matches.

He observes the passing of events with a detached sense of interest, methodically going after his food with the unhurried pace of someone who aims to pack a lot away without making himself sick. One of the things he's picked up, in his line of work, is that you should always fill up when you can; you never know when you're gonna get a chance to eat next. The rumors about the shadow hanging over the Haven doesn't bother him much; everybody's got to die sometime, and for now, at least, the food's still good.

Another pair of travelers make their way through the dark of the mine with only a blacklight to guide them, shined to reveal the fluorescing rainbow streaks of remnant zinc ore within the walls …

as well as the more unnatural appearance of arrows seemingly spraypainted across the wall, visible only to the type of light being cast ahead of them now.

"ここに連れてありがとう, Nova," Asi murmurs, as though somehow the silence around them merits the extra quiet. Even she wouldn't have known what was here without being shown to it. "Hopefully we will find someone ahead who will hear us out."

For as much as Asi Tetsuyama of the Mugai-Ryu loathes being in the narrow underground, any claustrophobia or discomfort at being separated from the drones that serve as her sixth sense to the world is trumped easily by the message she carries with her— the urgency that comes with it. In the dark, her eyes flare with neon as she reaches out one last time with her ability, and when the sightlessness that accompanies that fades away, she notes light ahead.

She turns to the silhouette of the young woman beside her as they draw nearer to the light. "Lead the way."

“問題ないよ,” the slim young woman says, her Japanese still tinged with the beginner’s — and westerner’s — flatter vowels. She looks like Asi’s shadow at the moment, though she may be the one leading the pair in — dressed as she is in all dark clothing, including a gun-metal-gray motorcycle helmet. They’re the same size, almost to the centimeter, similar slim builds.

“They’ll listen, I think. They’re reasonable people.”

Nova takes a few more steps before amending her words with, “Well, for the most part.” Asi knows her well enough by now to hear the smirk in her words. As they near the checkpoint, Nova pulls off her helmet, revealing a tangled mane of dark hair that hasn’t seen the rough side of a hairbrush in a couple of days.

“Hey, Rafa! Got my Plus One,” the teenager says with a wide, bright smile, with a thumb hiked over her shoulder to Asi. “ところで,” she adds, quietly, “ドラゴンがいる. I shit you not, Asi.”

Once they’re through Rafa’s checkpoint, she leads Asi on through to Sterling Hills proper, giving a nod to those who recognize the teenage scout that’s been acting as a courier between the Resistance and Mugai-Ryu. She’s a familiar face for most here, though she’s been gone a few weeks now.

"I'm always near my sweet," Comes a voice behind Diana. That rasp is familiar to everyone in the room as Eve Mas makes her herself known to the room, dressed in a long leather trenchcoat, leather pants, leather corset, leather boots. Did anyone else get the memo? They never did. It was also hard to find some leather laying around nowadays. Deep brown eyes survey the room and that twinkle of mischief that has always been present is still there with something else lying underneath.

And she wasn't alone. Her escorts were waiting topside but there was someone with her.

A brown skinned woman with wild, dark curly hair trails behind Eve and she looks uncomfortable to say the least. Maude Winn bites her lip and rubs the back of her neck with her right hand. The left is just a stump, she must have lost the hand a long time ago, Eve said it would be okay for her to join this meeting though Maude rarely if ever left Eve's camp. Too precious. Those were the words. The air shifts and makes her gray, loose clothing flutter as she settles in a stand, waiting for whatever it was Eve had seen to be announced. The precog hadn't told her just dragged her along, not many people didn't go along with Eve… she wasn't the type to take no for an answer, not in this war.

"Hello, family." Eve stomps her feet and claps her hands together with a loud smack.

With a belt knife being used to clean under his fingernails, Eli watches the area quietly, paying attention to everyone all at once. It helps that he actually has extra sets of eyes. Cause he’s not the only Eli standing around. There’s another in sunglasses and a t-shirt and jeans off to the right side, and another even further away watching the opposite direction of the others. And that’s only the plainly visible ones. Who knew how many Elis were wandering around right now.

Probably only Eli. Whichever one was the original.

“Quite the ragtag family you got here, cuckoo,” the one cleaning his nails responds to Eve with a half grin.

The familiar chill of Dr. Cong draws a sidelong look from Sheridan. Aside from a slanting of her smile and the possibility of blue eye meeting gold for a passing moment, there’s no formal greeting. She’s all business right now, and doesn’t need to remind anyone of her dubious associations; she doesn’t need someone calling her ‘Isabella’ when she’s in Madame-mode. Maybe they can catch up later. Like old times.

Tick tick, click click, the lock tumblers fall into place and the suitcases snap open, revealing their carefully ordered contents on Sheridan’s appointed table. The distinctions are artificial, always a matter of use. Cannabis has its medical applications, and some people enjoy ketamine for reasons other than its use as a dissociative anaesthetic. But those in the know will know, and the Madame isn’t about to pitch morphine as something you should take for shits and giggles. Good will, remember? After she closes up her cases and takes her potatoes home, what you do with her wares is your business, an invisible forcefield of deniability covering her ass.

A customer can browse if they’d like, looking over the baggies and vials. Little hand-written notes suggest uses to those who’ve never been ‘experienced’. Psilocybin mushrooms, the worn index card informs in neat lettering, are useful for “depression and post-traumatic stress!” as well as “spiritual insight.” Are they a replacement for therapy? God, no. But given the paucity of counseling centers out here, you should be happy with your handful of mind-blowing fungus.

As the medic approaches, Megan receives the full-beam of Dr. Sheridan’s smile. She sets her hands on the table and leans towards the prospective buyer. “Looking for anything in particular?”

Beggars are not choosers… and Megan's been underground too long to be choosy about where she gets the medications she needs for her patients. She's all business as the 'doctor' gets set up. "I need whatever you have for antibiotics this time around. And painkillers — injectable or oral," the redhead says, scanning the contents of the cases thoughtfully. She plucks up a bag of the cannabis as well, showing it to the doctor. "Two of these." One of her patients is someone she can't help — except to help her stay comfortable. The fact that there's a bit of ketamine actually available is good news. "Glad to see you came up with stock on the ketamine," she observes. Last time, it was a little short. Or maybe too many other people bought before Megan got in. It's why she's early this time.

Giving Cooper one more push in the direction of the surly man with the sack of potatoes, Godfrey is quick to get scarce. While he has no qualms with the big guy, Godfrey has no wish to get into his sights either. Especially not on his bad side. The arrival of Eve is fortuitous, it gives him a goal.

As he moves that direction, Godfrey’s journey takes him past Cesar. Oh. With a flare of his long coat, Godfrey turns back to the smuggler and offers him a brilliant smile. The Brit leans down enough to be heard over the din of the cavern, “Just so you know, I just saved your partner from getting punched by tall, dark and smelly.”

The leftover hunk of bread is snapped up from Cesar’s reach. “You’re welcome.” Taking a bite, Godfrey turns away, intent on Eve again and yet again he pauses.

Turning back he points at Cesar, “Since you now owe me a favor, luv. The new ammo shipment is in and they assure me it’s about ready. Be a dear and get it all to the…. Magic Mobile?” He blows a kiss at Cesar, takes another bite of bread, and before the smuggler can even utter a voice of protest… Godfrey continues on his way with a wiggle of fingers over his shoulder in farewell.

Listening to them all from on high is nearly as engaging as actually engaging. One would suppose the icy spot amidst the bumps and shapes of the mine ceilings has the best vantage; it helps that it is distinctly hard to tell where that eye is pointing unless the head swivels with it. Only one gets that.

One Madame Sheridan earns a meet of eyes for her gesture. He knows she's about her business. Another time. He isn't here for her, anyway. Cong remains a gleam above heads, reflecting lamps and fires and the echo of voices. Eve's presence draws him in, however, attention rippling back to life. His cold moves with him as he winds forward, tic-tic-tic against rock until the long shape he keeps casts a coiling shadow between lamplights above Eve.

He waits, ever patient.

A sign hanging over a distillery set up in the far end of the mess reads: DO NOT TOUCH — L.R. & L.B. The L.B. of the initials hunches over the set up as it percolates some painstakingly cared for brew. It's as if he wears the sign himself but in a more odious, surly manner. But the care with which he takes in making minor adjustments to the alcohol lab shows he's capable of delicate detail, too. With everybody else going about their life underground, it's currently his chosen task to check the potency of the clear liquid collected in a repurposed tankard. At Eve's hand clap for attention he turns, a small metal camping cup in hand. Storm grey eyes seek out the seer first - not hard to spot really - but then focus on the approaching Cooper. Luther pins his stare on the smuggler and the man's potato sack. One sharp angled brow tics up expectantly.

Cesar's just barely finished scooping the last of his potential sandwich filling onto the bread when it's unexpectedly scooped right out from under his nose. "Hey!" he snaps at Godfrey in something of a late reaction. Surprise, then annoyance flares, but as words catch up and overtake his indignation Cesar stays his urge to counter the other smug smiling smuggler with a balled fist. Still, he points an accusatory finger at the bread thief, threatening, "Cuidado, cabrón. Te daré de comer al oso apestoso.1" It doesn't go further than that, however, as Eve calls for attention, Cesar turns to head off to the Magic Mobile. The ammo Godfrey mentions won't load itself, after all.

Eve may be calling for attention, but there is a fourteen-year-old girl with far bigger concerns on her mind. “You always do this,” she complains, voice rising in volume from moments ago, where her terse conversation with local mercenary Kaydence Damaris was nothing of note. “Everytime there’s even a hint of a storm cloud, you call it the end of the freaking world and try to ship me off to Grandpa and Grandma!”

“Well you’re not going to the dome,” Kay responds evenly, her attention divided between her daughter, the sale she’s trying to make, and the nearly undeniable presence of Eve Mas. “We’ve been over this.” And for that reason, she doesn’t feel the need to elaborate.

‘Ella Damaris balls her fists at her sides. It’s easy to see that her simmer is about to turn into a boil. Sure enough, when she sees her mother’s already turned her attention elsewhere, the proverbial lid blows. “You know what?” she snaps back, mouth pursed so very small as she seems to actually consider her words for a moment - a rarity in a girl her age.

Ultimately, she still decides to step over the line.

“I hate you!”

Kay’s eyes grow wide as she abruptly wheels back on her daughter, pressing a fingerless-gloved hand to her chest as though she might actually need to push her heart back into place after her daughter has so succinctly torn it from the protective cage of her ribs.

“You’re a coward,” ‘Ella further asserts. “You can run to Grampa if you want to. I’m staying.” In a more general sense, it would seem, judging by the way she turns on her heel and storms away from the table where her mother is currently peddling seeds. (Unsuccessfully. Kay keeps giving them away.)

“‘Ella!” Kay starts to follow after her daughter, but finds the space between them suddenly blocked off by Cesar and Godfrey. In the interests of saving a little face, as a good Southern girl is always wont to do, she lets her child slip away to throw her tantrum. She knows better than to leave, and certainly not without her. She’ll probably find her learning how to shoot a gun or load a rocket launcher. Brown eyes squint shut tight for a moment to banish the thought of her daughter stepping one foot into the trenches. She lifts her gaze again to Eve. At least this should make for a worthy distraction.

“It’s a tricky thing to synthesize,” Sheridan says to Megan, tapping a baggy of little glass bottles with hand-printed labels. It’s clear they’ve been sterilized and reused; gone are the days of disposable medical gear. It’s a matter of trust now, a matter of technique. “If you can find me a supply of anhydrous methylamine, I might be able to increase yields. Can’t just roll into the Home Depot any more.” Trading product for raw materials is always a viable option, business breeding business. With all the necessary markups, of course.

She extracts two baggies of the cannabis, mostly a loose mess of green, the fascination with ‘nuggets’ having given way to a need for certainty of consistency. She also takes out a bottle half-full of lozenge shaped pills, with the tell-tale designation ‘OXY’ marked upon the side. She sets them on the table between herself and Megan. “I’m glad you’re the first in line. I’d always rather a medic than just about anyone else.” Not that she discriminates in this most unregulated of markets. “I think we can discuss a discount but…” she clicks her tongue, her face a study in performative rue, “I’ve got to ask what you’ve brought to trade today. And if you’ve got vials or syringes left over from last purchase.”

Not much really gets Silas's attention these days unless it involves work, booze, or the grudging business of keeping his own shit together to fight another day… the sound of Ella and Kay's quarrel, though, is enough to do the trick. For one, raised voices are an automatic attention grabber, as many years as he's lived in the shadows. For another…

…for another, that whole scene echoes far too well a certain scene from his own past. One that haunts him to this day, and will continue to do so until the day he finally shuffles off this mortal coil.

He stares after the kid as she rushes off, hesitating for a moment… then, seeing that her mother's otherwise occupied, he sighs. The food wasn't that good anyway, and he's finished all but the very last of it. With a sigh, he pulls himself to his feet, finishing off the last of his dish and dropping it at the dish return.

There are a few familiar faces around that he wants to chat with, but they'll still be here in a bit, hopefully. For now, he pads off after Ella. Maybe a few tales of explosions'll cheer the kid up.

Disentangling herself from a conversation with a Resistance scout, Hahn makes her way over to Eve, now that the seer has made her presence known. “Hey, ducky,” she says with a kick of her chin up to Eve, “when’s your birthday?” One brow rises. “Actually, whatever, today’s your birthday.” Hahn takes a knee and swings off her backpack, setting it down on the ground with a hard smack.

“You’re not going to believe what I found when I was passing through what’s left of Woodbridge Township,” Hahn adds, unfastening the straps on the top of her pack, “you remember the Craft Barn?” She wags her brows and cracks a smile, then pulls out a bundle of six long plastic cases about a foot long each. She holds them out to Eve, smile growing. “For your reports. Happy birthday or something.”

What Hahn offers to Eve isn’t some kind of tactical resource in a military sense. To anyone else they’d be a frivolity. But six packs of unopened watercolor paint kits is a weapon in the hands of Eve Mas. “I got some paper, too. Hit up the old Star-Ledger printing press.”

Ella's outburst has Eve turning her head and Maude frowning over at the mother daughter duo, families in strife made Maude miss her own family. The darker skinned woman gives Kay a nod, "I will see to her," She would rather not be here anywhere, too many people clocking her face. Shoving her stump in the loose front pocket of her jacket she steps up and looks Godfrey and Luther up and down before passing between them. "Excuse me boys,"

The seer descends on the paints like it could very well be her last meal. "Ho ho ho, you spoil me rotten truly!" Eve cackles and claps her hands around them as she nudges her body into Hahn's. She had run out a while ago and the compulsion to paint or draw what she sees hasn't been acted upon. Except for the times she's woken up with paintings using her own blood on the walls around her. She's grateful. Her whole body shakes with anticipation.

Gathering herself, Eve turns and looks around at everyone, "We gather! Not often, for the fear of the Enemy wiping us out all at once but tonight there is a message. One that could not be trusted to our faithful couriers or runners. One that I would not allow to slip into the wrong hands," All matter of light and sweetness has left Eve's eyes and she begins to pace back and forth. "We have suffered unimaginable losses, the night only seems to grow longer, stronger but I say it like I had when this first began, we will prevail. Evolution is what most of us here are and that is something that cannot be stopped." Hissing through clenched teeth she stomps her foot.

"We are family. We are One Tribe or you are a friend of this One Tribe." She doesn't add the choose. Everyone here already had, they all worked together whether with Eve's cell or another. "I've had a vision,"

Is really how all the fucked up shit around Eve starts, with those words.

The dream had started so peacefully. A pair of glowing blue butterflies had descended through the tunnels of Sterling Hill Haven. One and around another they had flit until they ended up in the very hall she stands now. When they were finally close enough to Eve she could reach out and touch them, she realized they weren't creatures of nature.

They were machines.

One of them spiraled off into the darkness of a tunnel leading deeper into the mines, where manmade dens housed families. Its light was the only thing to pierce the dark—

Until it wasn't. Blasts of white and red flickered distantly down the hall, the silent visualization of gunfire spitting from so many guns with such frequency that she could almost see easily enough to walk by. It was at least enough that the black spot that remained in the center of the tunnel stood out as odd, even as blood splattered the walls surrounding it in specks and streaks.

The blackness continued to grow larger, gradually taking shape. A mechanical hand grabbed the blue butterfly, crushing it in its grasp. Red became the color of the tunnels surrounding the hulking figure of the Centurion Iron Man, the scheme of black and red broken only by a streak of color as a child ran through the Centurion's legs and straight for Eve. In the silence of the dream, an earthen silence spoken by crypts and tombs, he had sprinted for his life, sprinted to find safety in her arms.

The little boy had never made it to her, the blinking red lights of spheres thrown from the Centurion's body faster than he was… and the fiery explosion berthed from them even faster than that.

"Machines, stronger than ever. They come for us, that is not anything new is it?" Eve beckons to the ground, "Gather yourselves," Maybe it wasn't so great to bring Maude but she had an idea that the other woman was thinking what she was thinking.

When Eve's voice calls out to herald what she's seen, her voice carries plainly throughout the bazaar thanks to the curve of the ceiling and thanks to where she stands. The tension in the air is broken by her words, heads turning and a hush falling.

Among the crowd, Asi and Nova continue forward. They step around the storming child and the man who follows after, though Asi glances back at them as they go. At her guide's comment, the technopath's eyes lift for just a moment to the being clinging to the ceiling as they pass closer to him, a note of acknowledgement leaving her at spotting the so-called dragon, and then she like the rest shifts to pay attention to the beginning of the message. Her hair stands on the back of her neck at the timing of Eve's call to order coinciding with their arrival, but she knows stranger things have happened in this war and will happen yet. She lays a hand on Nova's shoulder before stepping apart from her, lifting her own voice to match Eve's.

"My name is Asi Tetsuyama of the Mugai-Ryu," she announces herself, pushing back the sleeves of her worn-out black leather jacket. Compared to some others, she's short of stature, but she carries with her a tall presence— one of the famed Mugai-Ryu members involved in the assassination of former President Mitchell. "I have come here to bring word about an intercepted transmission from the Department of Evolved Affairs. I believe there's a threat to this site, one that will soon render it unsafe to inhabit."

She turns back to look into the crowd once she's an arm's length from Eve, hoping to catch sight of fighting faces aside from the seer's own.

It takes quite the reflex to keep from being bumped into by the pouting child, watching her going with a how rude look. Unlike others, Godfrey has no desire or want to chase after a hormonal child. Another reason that he’s pleased he has never procreated, what a dreadful life.

Eve’s voice carries easily, drawing Godfrey forward, the hunk of bread in his hand forgotten for the moment. All of his attention is on her, he doesn’t notice the child he’s almost bumped into. At least until there is a tug on his coat sleeve, which angles his attention down. Big blue eyes peer up from the mostly unwashed masses… if she had a proper bath he imagines it would be a head full of curls. There is a glance around for the parent, but everyone is focused on the seer. Godfrey would be too if not for the little urchin.

A look at the bread in his hand, he gets an idea of how to get the child to leave him alone…. he offers the hunk to her. Godfrey tries to look horrified as the ploy doesn’t goes as he had hoped. The bread is taken and he suddenly finds himself trapped in a hug. To make matters worse she doesn’t leave, forcing him to lift both arms out of the way as she grips his coat tie in one hand and nibbles on the offering; he is finally resigned to his fate with a sigh. Instead of peeling her off, he turns his attention fully to the conversation. The arrival of Asi gets a lift of brows, things were getting rather interesting.

Bouncing on her heels a little to see over those gathered as Eve begins to talk, Nova grins, big blue eyes gleaming. As much as she tries to seem cool, she’s just a kid herself, and, well, a fangirl at times.

“She always talks like she’s in a movie,” she murmurs to Asi. “Like Independence Day or something.” As they move forward, she glances at the other teen, a look of commiseration of sorts. Nova’s an urchin herself, raised by the Resistance until recently, but remembers fights with her parents, almost nostalgically now.

“Kids,” she asides, the corner of her mouth lifting in a twitch of an ironic smile. She knows she is one.

When Asi steps forward to introduce herself, Nova moves out of the way, finding a place over near Cesar recently sat making his sandwich. She reaches into the pouch slung from her belt and comes up with a single mustard packet that she tosses lightly to the departing man. Presents.

She turns her wide-eyed gaze back to the two women at the front, smiling as she crosses her arms to listen.

Silas's steps slow as Asi speaks; 'Ella is… not forgotten, definitely, but he's pretty sure she'll keep out of any serious trouble. Or, being Kay's kid, she'll probably at least not need a whole lot of help hiding the evidence, he admits. Either way, though — this is business.

So — for the moment at least — he opts to pause and lean against the wall, to watch and to listen. Seems Nova's brought them a bona fide celebrity; even he knows the name Asi Tetsuyama. Shame she and her Mugai-Ryu pals hadn't killed Mitchell earlier, before the cancer took root… but hindsight's 20/20.

More importantly, though… sounds like maybe the doom and gloom that's been lurking about lately is finally about to get nailed down in one place. That is a good thing; the only doom and gloom that should be lurking around is him. The sooner this phantom menace gets nailed to the wall, the better. "Let's hear it, then," he calls, striking a match on his thumbnail and lighting a poorly rolled cigarette. "Sooner we know what we're up against, sooner we can get it taken care of," he says, giving a bright and toothy grin around his cigarette.

Luther hears the row between mother and daughter, and with a heavy snort tosses down the rest of what's in his camping cup. Instant regret burns down the man's throat, not because of the taste or the alcohol, but because he should have poured a bit more into his cup, no doubt. With someone going after the unruly teenager, he sticks to his spot in semi-patience waiting for Eve to continue. Maude gets an eyeing right back from the Resistance's beastly man, but he side steps a half pace to let her past him. Then it's back to Eve, and the leader's tale of her vision.

And an unsettling one it is. The disturbance felt in the Force, supported by the arrival of Mugai-Ryu operatives, puts Luther's inner boiler on. "How long ago was the message? Were you followed?" he snaps out in a growl-bark demand. He's abandoned the cup back to the distillery, and shoulders his way past Cooper who gets barely acknowledged and on towards the new arrivals. "Who let you through and what entrance?" Paranoia alongside Eve's foresight had kept them all safe thus far. That didn't mean Luther hasn't been tempted to put bullets through bodies in the name of secrecy and survival. It did at least mean someone on watch was going to get chewed out.

Cesar has paused from his departure towards the Magic Mobile since Eve speaks up. The seer's vision coupled with Asi's confirmation gets a frown of worry out of the non-evolved man. The thoughts of what is being implied, or foreseen, are not good as he joins the general reaction of the gathered. That is, until Nova tosses a small plastic packet to him. He palms the packet of mustard and glances at it briefly. Amused by the novelty, touched by the gesture, he turns to quirk a crooked smile at Nova for the gift. "'Ey chica if you find any more of these," he says lightly, gesturing between them in nonverbal invitation to make arrangements of supply and demand.

Megan is in the process of bringing out the vials and syringes plus her trade goods to trade with the Doc for the drugs and medicines she needs to stock up on when Eve's voice rings out through the cavern. The redhead turns, wary blue eyes watching. Fuck. She needs to get word out to the others — the kids need to be moved again. "How long do we have to evac?" is all the redhead asks over the din, echoing Luther even as he demands the same answer. She's good at getting straight to the point. Dragging a hand through her silver-streaked red hair, she just glances at the doc. "Pack it up as fast as you can — I gotta get on the road." She needs to warn others.

Eve sees Nova and the way she's looking at the older woman and she winks and does a fingergun but pressing matters are afoot. "They may soon be here," Everyone knows how not direct Eve's visions could be but she did have a knack for arriving on time or right about on time.

There's a small satchel hanging around her neck, the only real non leather piece of clothing. Pale hands go to grasp at it and she looks around the room. "Scouts, I saw… blue butterflies that were not really our friends. Gather your belongings!" Looking over Asi with a nod. "Protect the children, guard the entrances with our best men!"

Eve isn't acting like the group of people should be moving outside. "Steal away into the night we will my lovelies! They will not have us."

Not all of them anyway, that wasn't the best way to motivate everyone to fight for their lives.

Outside, Maude having given Ella a reassuring rub on the shoulder. Hustles up and over a hill, putting as much distance between her and the encampment a wild looking school bus with barb wire and some sort of makeshift gun station on the roof sits a bit further, all we need is a little bit of distance, nothing to make you hurt precious Maude. No more than Eve Mas had already hurt the darker skinned woman. "Bitch," She sighs as she jogs, looking down briefly at her stump of a right hand.

Asi looks back at Eve when she starts off again, brown eyes flitting to the satchel Eve carries and then back up to her again. Between her erratic behavior and Luther's questioning, the technopath's brow begins to knit sternly.

"There's time, yet, before it's too late," she calls out. "This message was intercepted the day before yesterday; a confirmation sought on how much forest should be cleared roughly thirty kilometers northwest of here. The reply stated almost two square miles of land should be cleared and leveled, in preparation for construction of a facility. The rebel activity in this area is seeing an answer in the form of its placement."

Lifting her voice higher, the stranger stresses, "They still do not know you are here. I did not know you were here, until I was shown the way because of the urgency of this message." Gesturing plainly by her side, Asi directs to Eve as much as to the crowd, "You have a difficult decision ahead no matter what you choose. But with this advance notice of their intent, with the unique position you are in, I believe there is a chance to crush the DoEA's efforts before they reach fruition. This Haven does not have to fall if there are those brave enough to strike this new factory just before its completion— to lay it to waste and ruin the efforts of the Administration."

War was costly. It was a struggle the Resistance knew well, but rarely did they have a chance to act in a way that put significant financial pressure back on their enemies.

"You have done it before in Nevada, against a facility already producing, and you can do it again."

That was three years ago. Three years ago, international forces like the Mugai-Ryu were more present alongside their Resistance allies. Three years ago, the fight hadn't yet devolved to guerilla skirmishes. Three years ago, the impenetrable Dome had not yet shrouded the Outer District.

But three years ago, Andrew Mitchell was still alive. Three years ago, most of the world had not yet seen the US government for the rotten thing it had become, not yet declared war against the twisted regime. Now, they had— and maybe signs of a victory on the DoEA's home turf would be all that was needed to rally forces both here and around the world against their tyranny.

"There is a second wind yet to come in this war, and I am convinced it starts here." Asi declares passionately, a hint of fire in her otherwise cool, calculating survey of the situation. "Here, the Resistance can declare the DoEA will not claim one foot further in this war. Here, you can take a stand and push back."

Seeking Luther out in particular in the crowd, she speaks to him as much as any who might share his skepticism and suspicion. "I will not disappear off into the night and let these words run hollow. I will stay, I will plan with you, I will fight with you and with anyone else we can rally to this attack."

"Will you join me?"

Silas would find Eve's little speech alarming… if he hadn't heard the like before. Eve's saved their asses many a time, but there's still an art to picking things up out of her speeches, like finding bits of metal scattered amongst ash. For instance, in this particular case, she's telling them to pack, but not to run — not yet, at least — so they're probably safe for the immediate future. Hopefully.

Silas shifts a bit, taking a drag off his cigarette, considering; he's a bit more wary now. A bit more alert… and maybe, just maybe, a bit more in a hurry to get done here and go check on 'Ella, though he's pretty sure that that's just old trauma talking.

Tetsuyama's words, though…

She makes a mean pitch, he'll give her that. Maybe she'll even live up to those rousing words; it'd be great if that turns out to be the case. If it doesn't play out that way… well, so be it. What catches Silas's ear isn't her talk of second winds — he's long past things like hope at this point — but her talk of pushing back against the DoEA.

Yeah. He can get behind that.

He waits, just a moment… then he raises his voice. "Why not?" he asks, giving a tiger's grin. "Whatever it is they're plannin' to put up out there, it'll burn… with the right encouragement. I'll be happy to help you light it up." He takes a long drag of his cigarette, the ash on the end glowing cherry red as he grins.

The speech by Asi manages to hold Godfrey’s attention, brows ticking up with interest. He pushes forward through the crowd watching her with interest. He gives a respectful nod to Eve before turning to the messenger. “Did somebody say ‘light it up’?” An amused look is angled at Silas, followed by a wink. Only those that know him will get it, sorry Asi.

He nudges Luther with an elbow, ignoring the stench - and surliness - of the man, giving him a wicked grin. “Come now, Bellamy, sounds like a right grand time. Let’s have some fun, yeah?” The smelly one can feel the energy spilling off Godfrey at the idea of wrecking some robots. The Brit turns his attention to Asi. “I’d love a chance to light the lot of them up, luv,” he offers, adding a suggestive lift of his brows.

The air has cooled some here in the mines, despite the output of energy from bodies. Cong doesn't mind playing at air-conditioning, watching Eve slide into view and begin her not so unusual way of greeting. By way of a tale told in that other way of hers.

The ice catches Tetsuyama's eye as she glances his way; he returns it with an unblinking examination before traveling down the side of the wall, briefly sitting in the shadow of the next corridor to listen. Watch the rest of them. How they react will make or break what Asi has had to say, and what comes next after she and Eve call them to arms. It is a more or less situation, all things considered.

Reaction from the crowd, as it is, is not surprising in the least.

"Thirty odd miles of flooded mine tunnels and a water table at river level says that you can't build on a swamp." Ice crackles now across the floor rather than walls; the spill carries a shape with it, which lurches into a spray of movement, and the approximation of a person. It's features are grotesque, like a hurried gargoyle granted animation, mouth unhinging around a voice coming from somewhere inside black ice.

Spiny teeth crunch with the clack of jaw, eye partly on the personal vicinity of his which people have vacated. "Blow it. Burn it. Flood it."

The first few times, Hahn was outright terrified of Bao-Wei Cong, but by now her reaction to the frozen corpse of a man trapped in a shell of ice is more reserved. Somehow in this world turned upside down, the fantastical had become old hat. She hadn’t spoken up when Asi asked for support, but when Cong suggests an explosion, she acknowledges the Mugai-Ryu officer with a motion of her chin.

“Frank,” Hahn says with a tap to her sidearm, “and I are in this all the way. But I’d listen to the Good Doctor,” she says with a nod toward Bao-Wei, swaggering steps taking her in the dragon’s general direction, but not close enough to lose fingers and toes to the cold. “He’s got a big brain under all that permafrost.”

Nova’s pale cheeks grow a little rosy with Cesar’s appreciation, but she gives him a thumbs up. “You know where to find me when you need a stash,” she says, the very picture of teenage nonchalance, but for the rosy cheeks. She turns to listen to Eve, grinning at the fingerguns in her direction from one of her heroes, but the expression turns more somber as the more serious talk unfolds.

“She also talks like she’s in Independence Day,” she says of Asi’s speech, blue gaze sliding across those assembled as they chime in with their desire to set things aflame or a-flood. “Or maybe Lord of the Rings.” Her lips tick up into a smirk again, possibly casting each as halfling, dwarf, or human. No Boromirs, though, she hopes.

Sheridan’s lips purse as the tone of the space changes, an emotional chill that, like some qualities of cold, has a certain heat to it, the heat of fusion still held in the fine crystal structure of unsolved, unreleased panic. “Please see that our medic gets what she needs,” she instructs her lieutenant, a well-scarred woman with an icy demeanor with none of Sheridan’s salesperson’s suavity; but right now there isn’t much time for gladhanding and upselling. “Standard prices. No crisis gouging.” Which suggests both compassion and its alternative. There’s a contingency for gouging?

“How did I know it was going to be one of those days?” Sheridan murmurs to herself as she takes the black briefcase in hand. Only it’s not just *one* of those days. It sounds like it’s *the* day. Which means her instincts have done her a little dirty. She was supposed to be in and out before something like this happened: console the trapped, not be trapped herself.

She weaves her way towards the epicenter of decision, the point of declaration, light touches and gentle words serving someone of her stature better than jostling. Her entourage is left to watch the rest of the product, to make the last minute deals. She’s got a more focused pitch in mind. Smile tugged on as securely as the mask that dangles around her neck, Dr. Sheridan approaches Asi and Eve, and lifts her hand in hopes of snaring attention.

“A moment of your time,” she says, weirdly polite and personable in the current atmosphere, “I’m not much of a fighter, but I think I can help with the fight.”

At the notion of needing to pack up camp and flee, Kay scowls. Not because she agrees or disagrees with that plan of action. Salting the earth or standing their ground doesn’t make much difference to her. But the fact that they might be discovered at all is what rattles her cage. “I knew this was a bad idea,” she mutters under her breath, starting to pack her table up even as she’s listening to the rousing speeches, the calls to arms.

Kaydence is a mercenary. Unless they’re offering her money, she has no intention of putting herself — of putting her daughter — into harm’s way. Regardless of what’s decided here today, her first move is going to be to get ‘Ella out of here.

Away from the commotion, ‘Ella exchanges a look with Maude. “I don’t get her,” she laments. “She was a police officer, like my dad. She was a hero. She wasn’t scared of anything.” She shakes her head, her dark hair catching on one button of her jacket. Slim fingers reach up to detangle it. “Now she just wants to run away from everything. I hate her. So much. She could at least let me fight. I want to.”

While the good doctor packs up the things Megan traded for, the redhead is watching Eve and the situation as it unfolds. Her arms cross and she's thoughtful as Sheridan makes her offer, still listening. There's time, according to Eve. But she's uncertain what her own stance on going into this fight is. "Are there actually enough of us to make this fight one we can win?" she wonders aloud, seeking out Bellamy's eyes. Though they are not well acquainted, his words will carry weight with her — he's made his name in this ragtag little group as a smart combatant who makes strategic strikes and doesn't risk his people for nothing. Asi's words are being weighed carefully.

"We fight! But not without backup plans my lovelies," Eve wiggles her fingers and waves them in a circular motion, "If the fight gets too tough here, if we lose too many of our beloved comrades, family, there is an out. One I've held close to my heart for a long time now." But the time for holding the aces up your sleeve was quickly running out. "They've thought they've crushed us many a time my dears, we will not be undone."

As Bella makes her way over to them she raises and eyebrow and looks at the doctor, "Why helloooooo Doc. Hm? What are you selling us?" Eve makes a mistake in thinking that this is just for profit for the "good" Doctor and there's a mad twinkle in her eye as she stares her up and down.

Outside, Maude turns her head to slowly stare steadily at the teen. "Ella, you listen to me." Maude is not known for her soft or caring nature and this tone she takes is one of sternness, "That woman, is your mother. She brought you into this world, the last thing she wants to see is you, on the ground bleeding out." There's a flash of memory for Maude, a time she feels was so long ago. Her own daughter, her own flesh and blood. Gone.

"It's a mother's job to protect her children. Please try to understand she just wants you safe. Hmm?" Reaching over to lift Ella's head from her chin with one finger. "Come I have some bread on the bus," As the two women finally arrive at the WarBus and Maude knocks the door open with her elbow, waiting for Eve's signal. She didn't mind if Ella finally saw what she was.

A low swearing escapes Luther and while he glares at Asi rather accusingly like he's liable to hurt the messenger, there's other things to tend to. Like the news of a new facility too close to what many think of as home. "They're goin' to know that we already know," he adds in skeptically, arms folded over his chest. The cynical glare and upticked brow turns to Godfrey when the other man nudges him. "They'll expect some kind of force." Not that he minds that whole resisting part of the Resistance. His what are we going to do about it? hangs unasked in the tense air in front of him like an invisible radiating ball of energy.

Cesar chuckles faintly enough with Nova's comparison on inspiring speeches, but doesn't hide the short "Ah fuck" that rolls from him the more serious the message delivered by the harbinger suggests. A hand lifts, runs over his head, and he looks back towards where the munitions supplies to be loaded up are waiting. He turns away from the proselytizing precog and company, moving off to get back on his work.

That so many reply in the affirmative when called should probably make Asi happy, but if anything, it makes her look more solemn. What was ahead wasn't going to be easy, by any means. Her eyes go to each person that replies, endeavoring to commit their faces to memory as she nods to each of them.

We fight, Eve declares, and that seems to stoke her fire some, hearing the buy-in from the recognizable leader. Asi turns to her with a grateful glance. "We'll fight, then," she airs her agreement. "And we'll win."

With the chance for every last man and woman to get their licks in against the Administration, if all went well.

Words said, Asi slides a step to the side— all the better for physically distancing herself from the soapbox she'd metaphorically climbed up onto. It would seem she's not interested in being center stage for a moment longer than she has to, ready to fall in line behind the shadows of local leaders instead unless approached directly.

Such as the 'good doctor' does. Unfamiliar as she is with Sheridan, Asi takes her cue from how Eve engages with her… but openly leans more into a hopeful view seeing as everyone here should be an ally. "What do you have to offer?" she asks amicably.

The golem sitting inside his own circle of space hasn't moved since he spoke, the only indication of attention in the roving of eye and the shifts of cracks in ice. Said attention remains for a time on Hahn, passively watching her distance from him. She knows where to stop, though sometimes people get- - comfortable. Bao-Wei visibly squints at the woman's assessment of him. She's right, but her delivery is suspect.

Eye passing from Hahn to other faces, and eventually Sheridan, it takes only that long for him to decide he's been heard; while Bella divides eyes and ears, the ice cracks in on itself, as if crushed by an outside force, jagged and asymmetrical. It retains a series of spines as it moves to scale back up onto the wall, furrowing into a divot in the stone where he can wait out the rest of…Eve being Eve. Wait for people to disperse more before he feels he can safely roam.

Most of all, listening to what Doctor Sheridan has to say; she's one mind on this razed landscape that Cong still respects.

Dr. Sheridan weathers the irony cast her way with good grace. Far better to be viewed with arch humor than, you know, outright hatred. She stands, straight backed, eyes moving between Asi and Eve like she’s doing stage work. Her expression is just a little abashed, like ‘all this attention, for little old me?’, but the performance is transparent. She isn’t shrinking, she’s basking.

“You must understand, this is a very limited reserve,” Sheridan says, “a rainy day kind of thing. Very, very difficult to reproduce.” A hard sell, here. And, contrary to usual practice, she doesn’t crack open the suitcase and show the goods. Instead she lets the enigma linger as she enjoys her leverage. “So- I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask a lot. In good grace and favors, of course. Down the line.” Which, to be fair, are only worth a damn if they don’t all go down in blood, steel and smoke. Something of a show of confidence, then.

“Are you familiar with amphodynamine?”

Having witnessed the loss of bread to little urchin, perhaps because it wasn’t so long ago she was a little urchin (she’s very grown up now, thank you), it’s Godfrey who earns the next benevolent present from the scout and ambassador. Nova reaches into her pouch to pull out a pack of Pocky — in limited chocolate banana flavor. The best-by date is well past. She offers it to him, before casting a glance at Bella as she hams it up in front of the two women Nova most admires.

She’s sixteen. She hasn’t learned to mask the eyeroll to the mine’s ceiling at the good doctor’s airs. Still, Nova’s eyebrows lift with piqued curiosity at the mention of amphodynamine, and she looks to Asi almost like a kid in a candy store asking their parent for a few dollars to spend on sour watermelon and blue raspberry Warheads.

The teen gets a surprised look when she holds up a gift to Godfrey. When he takes it gingerly, brows furrow in confusion. It wasn't something he expected really. Unlike the child, at least teens were less annoying. “Thank you,” he offers quietly with a small smile, even as she stares up towards the front.

“You know, luv, this hero worship is adorable and all, but,” her own knife comes into her view and offered back to her hilt first. “S’gonna get you killed.” Godfrey offers in a teasing manner. “She is rather lovely though, that one,” he says of Asi.

He would say more, but the mention of Amp pulls Godfrey’s attention. What now?

Silas rolls his eyes just a bit at Godfrey's eyebrow waggle, letting out a huff of air through his nose that, in other circumstances, might have been a snicker. You're welcome, Wells, he thinks, faintly amused at how fast Godfrey had jumped on that setup line. Still… these days, support you can count on is worth its weight not in gold, but in lead — far more valuable. Frosty the Killer Snowman's weigh-in is also a promising sign… but it's Madame P's actions that catch his attention most. If she's actually seeking Eve out in the midst of this call to action, something interesting must be afoot.

Sure enough. Amp, he thinks to himself, savoring the word… but not for too long, because the mention of it's already started sending the fishes flopping to the surface, like a stick of dynamite going off at the bottom of a pond. He sidles his way through the crowd, slipping closer; he wants to hear this.

"You may have what you want."

Eve isn't stupid enough to deny amp and she lifts a radio to her lips and presses the side red button, "I'm ready dear," The seer clasps onto the tiny bag hanging from her neck.

Outside Maude looks down at the radio and then smiles over at Ella before she closes her eyes and tilts her head, forehead wrinkling in concentration. A low droning sound begins to emit from a spot not too far in front of Maude and the bus, a burst of white and blue light springs into creation and the light expands into a circular shape. A portal.

Where Eve stands the portal opens behind her and she wiggles fingers at everyone. "Toodles." The pale woman with bright red hair steps through, the bus and Maude with Ella are clear on the other side. This must be the ace up her sleeve. As soon as Eve walks through the portal shuts and she walks fast onto the bus, clasping Maude's shoulder. "Thanks Sweet Pea."

Eve unexpectedly vanishing into thin air after slipping back into a disc of light leaves Asi alone to answer Bella's question. Few things rattle the Mugai-Ryu operative, but surprise reflects momentarily in her gaze. She adjusts quickly, head turning back to the woman proffering the one edge that would exclusively benefit those on their side. Her eyes harden, head tipping subtly in a gesture presumably in the direction of the amphodynamine.

"Enough to know that it is worth its weight in gold— even diamond, or californium. Enough to know it could tip this fight in our favor." Her gaze shifts past Madame P to find Nova looking at her the way she is, the way several others are watching the conversation with unveiled interest.

Asi's expression settles, going deadpan an in an instant. "Let's finish this discussion in private," she suggests to Bella, nodding her head off in the direction of one of the side rooms. Whoever follows them is free to follow— she's not familiar enough with the ground she stands on to be a gatekeeper to any truly determined to follow after. The conversation will almost certainly expand beyond the topic of amp, even if only to plan how to best use it inside the rest of the operation. The technopath sets off without delay to lean into the first of many meetings on that topic of discussion.

And just like that, the tension in the air is broken in the depths of the mine. Energy is spread back out through the crowd, electric and unstable. There's lack of consensus on the fact that the Haven remains safe for now, but the promise of a fight ahead is enough to stir action, if nothing else. Quiet is abandoned in favor of conversation, commentary and planning both aplomb in the air.

If there's one thing that's certain among all those here, it's that this is a place worth fighting for.

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