You Want Me To Play Bait?


cat_icon.gif shannon_icon.gif

Scene Title You Want Me To Play Bait?
Synopsis Yes.
Date December 8, 2010

Pollepel Island: Bannerman Castle – Dining Hall

The room converted into Bannerman's dining hall, although long and narrow, can accommodate up to one hundred people, but despite the amount of use that it sees, it isn't hooked up to the castle's electrical grid, which means that after dark it's lit up by gas lanterns strategically positioned on the wooden tables with bench-style seating that occupy the space. A giant hearth set into one of its walls provides the hall with additional light and warmth, as well as a place for the castle's residents to convene when it isn't in use during the hours when breakfast and dinner are being taken.

The walls themselves are bare stone with no decoration except for the four windows opposite the fireplace, and these are covered with heavy pieces of plain canvas cloth at night to prevent the light from leaking outside, where it might be visible from the shore or the air. During the day the canvas is pulled back to brighten the room and make the gas lanterns unnecessary, but on mornings and afternoons when the sky is overcast, there is very little to combat the gloom and so the fuel is burned anyway.

Out in the hallway, with the door to the Ryans quarters closed after her departure, the next item on this Wednesday morning agenda is focused upon. Asked which room Shannon MacPherson occupies, Ben and Lynette had told her she's most often in the kitchen, so this is where she goes. In due course she darkens the dining hall doorway with her five feet eight inch frame, a figure which at present doesn't look so womanly as it normally would thanks to the presence of Antarctic gear upon it, though the parka's hood is down and her face is visible.

The interior is scanned by alert eyes; memory relied upon to match images of the sought-after alleged illusionist with those captured on security cameras at the Verb.

The kitchen was a safe answer, since Shannon doesn't seem to have a room. At least none that anyone can ever remember seeing her go into or out of. But she is in the kitchen, making herself a snack. Which, with limited resources, means a sandwich. She's dressed in a tee-shirt and jeans, but since she's been outed as an illusionist, who's to say that it's what she's really wearing? As she turns to grab something she catches a glimpse of Cat. "Yeah?"

"Shannon McPherson," she greets while crossing toward the table and settling into a chair, "it's good to find you here. I'm Cat," she provides with eyes resting on the woman, or what at least seems to be her. "I've a thing I need some assistance with, you might find it enjoyable, or worth your while in other ways, should you choose to provide."

Her demeanor is calm; while she bears herself with poise and seems confident the chef will take her up on it, or at least seek full details, there's no trace of arrogance or demand about her.

Shannon rolls her eyes and resumes making her sandwich. "You don't know anything about me, so how do you know what I may or may not find enjoyable?" she asks. A moment later, after cutting her sandwich in half, she glances over her shoulder. "What's the assistance? Need a five course meal cooked? Because I would enjoy that."

Her lips quirk in a shadow of a smile, fleeting in quality, precedent to words spoken as reply in a dry tone. "I did say you might enjoy, Miss MacPherson, not state that you definitely would. It's not the preparation of a five course meal, though I do believe your talents in that arena are superb." Gloved hands lay flat upon the table, silence existing for some moments.

"Some say you're an illusionist, and I've a need for someone to impersonate me. While the building where I make my home hasn't been raided, and indications are I might not be on Federal radar and there's no sign of surveillance happening, that doesn't mean none exists. It could simply mean watchers are present and they're good enough to not be spotted." More silence is spawned, Cat providing time for Shannon to perhaps anticipate what she's about to ask.

"So I intend to have it seem I've returned there and be visible in doing so, without actually being present, to flush out any potential troubles that might exist, get hostile agencies to tip their hands."

"Those are good questions, Shannon," Cat replies with a nod, "and the answers depend on the scope of your ability, your skill in wielding it. Ideally, to pull this off, you'd be able to present illusions which touch on all five senses and to project them at a distance. To make me seem to be present without danger to yourself, because you remain unseen while doing so. This would give you the ability to slip away unnoticed if attempts are made to seize what they believe is me."

Brown eyes rest on the sandwich eater's face, making a judgment as to whether or not she seems to follow along, and her demeanor on hearing the pitch.

"Now you're insulting me. Of course I can affect all five senses, though I don't see why a sense of taste is important here," Shannon says dryly. "And you're missing one very important fact here, Cat. Negation gas. The federal agents have it, and aren't afraid to use it. So maybe you better start at the beginning and be very, very specific about what you want me to do. No generalizations, because that'll just get you a very rude no. I might even throw my sandwich at you." She takes another bite. "Though it is a very good sandwich. I'd hate to waste it."

"If you made the sandwich, then it must be better than really good," Cat remarks. "And you're right. The thing I'm asking for would need to be well planned. Where you'd stand, how you can get away if things go south, and a number of other things. Those details would be in your hands, you know what you're capable of. How far away or close you'd need to be when performing the effect. The area, ideally, is outside the Verb in Greenwich Village. But some other place could be picked, you'd be free to do this wherever you feel safest. I only need to be seen in the area long enough to be noticed by anyone looking for me. And as for negation gas, I'll be asking Helena Dean to be right next to you."

"What can Helena Dean do that will keep me from being negated? Because I'd shove my own mother into the line of fire to avoid being negated," Shannon says without hesitation. But who knows, her mother may not be living. Or they may hate each other. Anything is possible. "But you left a lot of details out. Like am I supposed to run around pretending to be you until someone makes a move? Do you want like a hologram, not actually me looking like you, but a separate vision of you? What?"

An eyebrow lifts, Cat seeming perhaps surprised someone in these circles doesn't know what Helena's capable of, but she moves past it within moments. "Helena manipulates weather," she provides, "for our purposes, wind when and if needed to simply blow the gas away before it reaches you. Now, as to the illusion itself, what do you think would be the best way to go about it? It certainly seems to me a hologram is the way to go, since it can be projected, not have you at risk of being grabbed if a move is made on what seems to be me. I doubt the illusion would have to be kept up for longer than a few minutes at a time, just enough to be seen by anyone watching. Perhaps coming and going from the Verb a few times over the course of a day."

Making eye contact, she lapses to quiet for a stretch of seconds.

"I'd actually thought you might scout out the area around the Verb and decide how best to go about it, since you're the expert at providing illusions here, and you know what you'd need to make this safe as possible."

Shannon shrugs. "A few minutes is nothing. Hell, the hologram is nothing. I could keep that up all damn day if I had to. And yeah, I'm an expert at illusions, but not an expert at playing bait, which is what this is. And you said you'll be asking Helena to help, but you don't know if she will? Sounds like you've got a lot of ducks to line up there. But what the hell. If you can keep me from being negated, and don't care if they know you've got an illusionist helping, I'm in."

"It's understood if you don't have someone there to keep the gas away, the whole thing is a no-go, of course, Shannon." Cat doesn't hesitate in specifying her understanding of that aspect. "And thank you. I'll be heading back to the mainland this evening, and will map out some areas to do the illusion in." She leans back in her chair a bit before continuing.

"How much should I pay you?"

The answer Cat receives to that question probably isn't the one that she wanted to hear. But Shannon's lips curve into a smirk and she leans back against the counter before she asks, simply "How much can you pay?"

"I'll offer you five hundred dollars per illusory performance," Cat provides without missing a beat. Really, she's surprised Shannon didn't demand pay earlier, knowing she's got lotsa money and owns the building where she lives.

"How many performances are you wanting?" Shannon asks as she resumes munching on her sandwich. "Should I stipulate a four performance minimum? Two grand seems like a nice round number."

She can afford it. "Deal. I'll shell out for a minimum of four performances, and if I decide more are needed to be sure it's safe to go back home, I'll pay out for another block of four," Cat agrees.

"Sounds good," Shannon says, nodding. "If I'm not here, and I probably won't be, I'll be at my place. Which just so happens to be in your building. How about that, huh?"

"I haven't been staying there lately, for obvious reasons, I have other places to go, but I do have my contacts inside to keep me informed, and ways to get word to you. I've got some other bits of business to handle here today, possibly including a talk with Eileen about what needs I can see to from the mainland in terms of supplies and such, also funds to acquire them in part, but I expect to be on the boats back downriver this evening."

Aside from her hope to speak with Elisabeth when Barbara goes to Redbird, Cat has somewhere else to be this evening.

If at all possible, she needs to make a pass by Strawberry Fields before curfew.

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