2007-08-02: Yeah, So, About Your Daughter...

Starring:

Ramon_icon.gif DFJack_icon.gif DFTrina_icon.gif

Summary: Ramon finally learns where Elena is. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Dark Future Date: August 2, 2009

Yeah, So, About Your Daughter…


Dark Future - WCH - Packing Room

Weichsel House is an old-fashioned operation based out of one enormous room separated into sections by thick, opaque plastic curtains. One entire wall is dedicated to walk-in coolers and freezers. There are row after row of meathooks mounted on automated conveyors in the high ceiling, powered saws of all imaginable sizes and descriptions, and steel tables laid out with many hand-sized implements. Much of the equipment is still covered with dried blood. It looks as if the crew dropped what they were doing in the middle of a workday, walked out, and never came back. All that's missing is the meat. A creaky, shallow staircase at one side of the room leads up to a large, enclosed loft with a stout door and heavily shuttered windows.

Click click click. Click click click click. Ramon eyes the Geiger Counter like a /very/ nervous hawk. Few things can make him nervous, but you know…radiation is one of them. He applauds their wisdom. He applauds their balls. But God damn are his friends the Saints fucking crazy.

His obscenely expensive shoes pad across the ruined landscape, spreading puffs of dust. That Weichsel House, he knows, is no more cheerful. He can't help but think, again, that this is no place for Elena to be.

He takes out his little garage door opener thingie, for which he's never found a better name, and aims it in the appropriate spot. He's a rare sight right at headquarters—its a risk to his true use to the group. But occasionally an on site visit is in order, and it's way safer than going over the airwaves.

"GAWD FUCKIN' DAMMIT." The howl is loud, echoing over the packing room. As Ramon started to open those bay doors, you see, Trina's instincts decided to override those instructions issued by the brain.

Instinct: SOMEONE'S COMING IN. GET UP, GET UP, GET UP AND MAKE SURE IT'S OKAY.

Brain: Be careful. Remember you're still under Julia.

And so it is, Trina promptly and loudly bangs her forehead, with the full force of a startled sit-up, on the steel undercarriage, but at least gets a forcefield up in time under her head to save herself banging against the concrete beneath it as she comes back down. At least Jack was out there, handing her tools. He can actually see who's coming in and let her know if it's time to panic… or if she can just lay down on the floor for a second with her legs halfway sticking out from underneath, ripped jeans and boots making her look like the motorhead version of the Wicked Witch of the East.

"Ooooh." Jack winces sympathetically and reaches up to touch his own forehead. "That had to hurt." He leans down and gives his lady an affectionate slap on the leg. "You okay, hon? Don't worry 'bout the company. S'Ramon." He sets down his hefty, rusty tool box and straightens with both hands pressed against his lower back and groaning like a man twice his age. Or roughly Ramon's age, if anyone's keeping track.

""Hey. What's happenin', you sonofa—" The Irishman's eyes narrow briefly. Speaking ill of Ramon's mother is unthinkable. Not because Ramon is standing there, but because Ramon's mother probably has the power to appear from the shadows, belt Jack in the head with a wooden spoon, and give a lengthy lecture before vanishing again.

"How is your mom, anyway? I miss the tough ol' battle ax."

Abuela is a scary scary woman, yes. "Feedin' people. I believe the government stays away out of sheer terror," Ramon grates. He eyes the woman. "Sorry, Trina. Didn't mean to startle you. I didn't have heads under trucks in mind when I opened the door." Which…he closes behind him. Because he wasn't raised in a barn.

Trina mutters darkly, only to finally give a status update. "Yeah, m'alright." Her tone is painted mildly by pain, but mostly by embarrassment. Eventually, she squirms out from underneath and sits up, touching her forehead lightly. There's a small bump already forming there and the unhappy red that might become a bruise, but no blood when she pulls her hand away to look at it. Thank God for small miracles.

For the visitor, there's a small smile, hindered only by the Ow Factor, as the woman pulls her knees up to her chin and then starts to pull herself up to her feet with the assistance of the modified classic just beside her. "S'alright, Ramon. Jus' been a little jumpy lately, s'all. S'good to see you."

Jack grins, showing white, even teeth to Ramon as he gestures the older man inside. "Don't you worry 'bout Trina. She's a tough one, believe you me." He glances over at her and winks. Belatedly, Gere and Freke come galloping in to sit at his heels and tailwag. He reaches down to scratch his gloved fingers behind Freke's ear. She responds by thumping one doggy foot happily in time with the scritches. "Lazy bastards," he mutters at them affectionately. As always, his own voice is rougher and raspier than three lifetimes of emphysema.

"So, what brings you and your very fine shoes to my modest establishment?" Despite the snarky wording, the jibe is a friendly one.

Hey, his shoes help him do his job. Imagine him showing up to a board meeting in stompy combat boots! But Ramon doesn't acknowledge that he even got the jibe. Instead he says, "I want you to give me a shopping list of things you need that you can't get already. I don't care if they're illegal. I believe now I can get them for you. I want you to tell me where they need to be dropped off so you can safely get to them, with the caveat that getting them might not be entirely safe as per the usual. I have a new source, and we may as well make use of it."

When Jack winks, it seems to go right to the source of the pain and Katrina offers a small smile back at him with a fleeting softness in her gaze. At Ramon's request, however, the black haired woman is right back into her more guarded natural state. New source? Absently tugging at her black camisole to make sure that it's laying right, she narrows her eyes for a moment to look at Ramon, and then curiously at the Shepherd before finally walking over to him and taking a place right by his side. She's got things she hasn't been able to get yet, but change is always dangerous.

With a snap of his fingers, Jack relocates a legal pad and pen from his desk. He's nodding thoughtfully, already mentally compiling a list. The first item is easy. "20 millimeter… g-r-e-d-a…shit…g-r-e-n-d…fuck…g-r-e-n-a-d-e." There is much erasing and scratching-out as Jack spells the list item aloud. "Waitasec. What do you mean by 'not entirely safe'?" He jerks his head up to fix Ramon with an open stare. "There ain't nothin' we need bad enough that's worth gettin' killed over."

"There's always the possibility of leaks. I think I can throw enough money at the problem to prevent it, given these people, but I don't think anything is safe. Going to take a sh—for a nice walk in the woods isn't even safe," Ramon says evenly. "Someone might decide that the information that I'm buying high grade military equipment is for sale so… better safe than sorry."

Trina frowns at that. "Ramon, Jack's right. We ain't hurtin' that bad. We can get what we need." She glances to Jack. Right? Right! Back her up. When she turns back to Elena's father, there's her very best attempt an encouraging smile prominently displayed on her lips. "It'll be fine."

Ramon's words aren't exactly painting a promising picture. Jack halts his list-making and lets his hands drop to his sides. He shakes his head and leans a little closer to Trina, instinctively taking comfort in her presence. Deep breath. She even smells pretty while liberally coated with oil. "She's right. How can I ask Trina or Prime or Elena to risk their lives for a shipment we don't actually need?" The Shepherd doesn't bat an eyelash when he refers to sending Ramon's daughter and his own surrogate niece into the fray. "Thanks, but no thanks."

Ramon's mouth twists. "Where is Elena anyway? I haven't heard from her in days." There's nothing accusatory—he starts looking around for her. And he adds, "Damn it, I want to do more. We can figure out how to make it safe. I can't be on the god damn ground. I'm doing this wheeling and dealing shit, I ought to be able to do more." He crosses his arms.

Elena. Crap. Um. The smile instantly falls from Trina's face, a mild look of panic there. She should stay by Jack's side. Stand by him and his decision.
"I— I'm gonna get back to work on Julia." Reaching up, she quickly pecks at Jack's cheek. "Lemme know if you need me." Because this? Is a discussion she wants to get far away from. She doesn't even wait. She's already taking long strides towards the automobile with every intention of hiding under it.

Jack curls one arm around Trina's waist and pulls her against his side for a quick hug, cuddling her in and sighing at the same time. When she's ready to go, he can hardly blame her. He crosses his arms over his chest and turns back to Ramon. There's a brisk, no nonsense quality to his gravelly voice. "We got a transmission from 'Lena yesterday. She's fine, but she needs extraction in two days' time. If you want to help, that will be your chance. We're waiting on more details now. I'll keep you informed."

Ramon's eye starts twitching madly. "I'll be there. Who's with her? What's the situation?" he wants to know, trying to stay calm. The crags in his face deepen. The color in his face? It just goes. His fists clench. He can't help it. He's a father. He is never going to love his daughter's presence in this kind of work.

Who's with her? The Saints' mechanic practically knocks the toolbox over as she kicks out in her desperate effort to scurry out of sight. Oh, hey. Look at this kick ass ratchet. Trina pulls her legs up under her as she hides under Julia IV, doing her very best turtle impression.

"The situation is… fluid." Jack steps closer, his calm, wary grey eyes searching out Ramon's remaining one. "Relax, man. She's alone, but she's a good operative. Better than good. She's gathering intel for us right now. She'll call again to let us know when she's ready for pickup." Trust that he doesn't like it either. Not one bit. But he's the boss, so he has to pretend that all of his ideas are good ones.

The grinding sound Ramon's teeth makes is obvious, and he starts muttering in Spanish. There's a moment where his eyes just go out of focus, and then he whirls on the ball of his foot and punches a wall. He remains there for a moment, knuckles throbbing and bleeding, as he struggles to get his considerable temper completely under control.

Trina… doesn't make any sounds of movement where she is currently hiding. Instead, she just squeezes her eyes tightly shut and remains keenly aware that every muscle in her body is stretched taut as she remains very still. In her head, a single sentence repeats itself. Please, don't kill my boyfriend. Please, don't kill my boyfriend. Please, don't kill my boyfriend…

With his information delivered, Jack steps clear of the path of Ramon's swing. Rather than try to stop the man, he stands there with his arms still crossed impassively. Best to let Ramon burn this one off. Because yeah. Dying isn't awesome. The Saints have things to do tomorrow.

A breath hisses out between Ramon's teeth. Long and low. When he pushes off the wall he says, "Just tell me where to be." Maybe he can buy a few grenades at least, and find someone to retrieve the damn things. "I'll wear my cheap shoes." His single eye narrows briefly at Jack. The Sarge in him clashing with the father for a moment go. But it's clear he's talked himself out of challenging the decision.

When it becomes a little more clear that no one will be dying today, Trina's blue eyes can be seen peering out from underneath the car. Eventually, she starts tentatively slipping back out from underneath the car. "It'll be good to have you with us," she finally ventures, hoping that the words will soothe instead of irritate.

"As always, my lady is right. I'll feel much safer havin' you in my back pocket on this run." Lord knows, you don't get firepower much more potent than Ramon. It's an honest and welcoming statement. Jack even lifts a hand to salute lazily. As much as he wants to go clap Ramon on the back and reassure him that everything's going to be just fine, he doesn't know that it will. Either way, he has to stand firmly by his decision.

Ramon grunts, but after a moment he goes over to give Jack a manly hug, clapping him on the back twice. "Ma'am," he growls respectfully at Trina. The fact that he's about to go get really drunk and smash some things where nobody can see is immaterial. Right? Right. He says, "You think about those supplies if things get short. You can't fight without stuff. You think about it." Growling, suddenly, he takes out his wallet and just puts the rest of what he brought out to the Syndicate on the table. He'd brought $50,000 to try to get them to find his wife, and it only cost him $16,000, so the rest is now sitting on a work bench. Then he pulls out his Geiger counter and strides out.

Watching Ramon go, a small smile curls Trina's lips and her fingers wiggle a little bit of a farewell. Then she looks to Jack, and there's another smile for him. Kinda a 'well, that went just *awesome*' sort of smile, complete with sarcasm. She just looks at him for a moment, allowing that smile to soften and become a little more encouraging, and then starts heading back towards Julia. "She'll be ready by tonight, sugar. If you can get Candy on the box, tell her that if can get the Jeep in here, I got a little extra time. Can't have her not able to hit high speeds right."

Jack's jaw clenches and unclenches several times, but he doesn't refuse the money. Times are hard and he has a family to provide for. Still, he glances at the cash, then to Trina and her hiding place under the car, and finally Ramon's retreating back. He sighs and his shoulders slump. Trina's words and tired smile earn her a tired grin from Jack. "I will. Thanks." He heads for the stairs, but pauses halfway up to the office. "And baby? Love you."

"Love you, too, sugar." And with that, back under the car Trina goes to finish her handiwork, scrabbling backwards until she's back in place and the light she has stashed underneath flares back to life. Busy minds, after all, don't have time to worry.

Much.

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