2007-07-31: Best Laid Plans

Starring:

DFTrina_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif DFMcAlister_icon.gif

Summary: Trina gets ready to leave… only to run into a very friendly and welcome pair of faces. Both of whom come bearing GIFTS. PRESENTS, YAY!

Dark Future Date: July 31, 2009

Best Laid Plans


Dark Future - NYC - Weischel Carcass House

When the city was devastated by freakish weather Weichsel was one of only two carcass houses left in the Meatpacking District. Though the building is mostly untouched, much of this portion of the city was rendered uninhabitable. No one is in a hurry to reclaim it.
This area was previously used for loading and unloading Weichsel trucks. The concrete floor is heavily stained with both motor oil and blood in decades-old layers that overlap to form a sickly shade of brown. There are rollaway toolboxes and trays of several sizes snugged against one wall. Two large bay doors lead to the street, and both metal stairs and concrete ramps lead upward into the rest of the establishment.

It's early in the morning, and it was Trina's turn to be forsaken by the gods of sleep. Maybe that's why she's already slipped out of bed, leaving Jack to doze in peace while she gets ready to head back out. Even his two dogs still slumber at the foot of the futon that's been their bed for the better part of a year.

Futons, for the record, suck hairy monkey balls, but it's better than a cold concrete floor.

There's work to be done. She has a list to start filling for him, and it won't fill itself. The hem of the red dress she wears ripples about her knees as she walks the plant, just as her long waves of nearly black hair dance about her face in the breeze generated by her stroll about the premises. From a distance and well within the relative dark of the building's interior, she strains her eyes to see out of the occasional dirty window. Her black patent leather pumps with their pointy toes shine against the dusty floor even in the shadowed rooms, making her appear even more out of place. She really should have left hours ago while it was still dark outside, but its too late for that good sense now. Paranoid? Maybe a little. But is it really paranoid when there really *is* someone out to get you? The old joke plays a little too close to home now to really be cause for anything more than a passing sardonic amusement.

She's not alone.

At least the person that ducks his head to enter one of the side doors looks more out of place than she does. Tailored silk black business suit that screams money, black leather shoes, mirrored shades that must of cost a fortune judging by the designer brand. Those come off and are slid into the pocket of the suit as the man glances around with a partly amused smile on his face. A face that now hold a pair of new scars. One small one over the left eye, and a longer one running down his left jawline. They aren't disfiguring ones, but they are there, standing out pale against his tan skin. Shaking his head slightly he sighs, this is where the Glorious Leader and his main squeeze stay? THIS? Oh, this just won't do at all.

Eric Lancaster won't let this stand.

"Knock, knock," He says softly, letting his voice echo though the dark rooms that aren't so dark to him. He glances around though, not just strolling in like he owns the place. After all this isn't his turf, and he knows just how paranoid half the Saints are these days. He might have been helping them with cash as long as he has, but this is the first time he's been back in the States.

Whipping around with a gasp, there's a puff of dust that kicks up about Trina's feet as a forcefield begins to materialize around her. She doesn't take being startled easily. She's not one of Jack's enormous trained canines and her abilities give her no early detection system. Fortunately for Eric, neither does she favor shooting from the hip.

Katrina hesitates just long enough to allow the voice to process. It's familiar. Unfortunately, familiar doesn't always mean safe. Her darkly lined eyes squint into the dark, unlit room, peering in the direction of that voice. "…Eric? Is… is that you?" Her form of security protocol isn't as tight as what one finds with the Alliance. Thank God. The thought of having to use it with the regularity that they do makes her head hurt. Or the security one would find with Jack. Yeah, let's not tell Jack that she's not askin' after the passphrase, huh?

If it was that tight Eric would already be SHOT IN THE LEG BY CASS. Or something like that. Hopefully it would have been a part of his body that he didn't need. However he is grateful there is no shooting, and the voice is familiar enough that he can place it. The man in the Armani business suit laughs softly as he steps into the building, and into the light. "…got it in one, you did, Trina." He says with a ghost of his old cheerful smile on his face. "…just came by personally to say that I was back in town."

"Oh, my God." There's a visible sigh and tiny slump of relief as near-panic strips itself from her shoulders, Katrina then quickly letting her more formidable defenses dissipate into the air as quickly as they were established. There's then the clatter of heels as the brunette quickly skitters over to the man in Armani with the exuberance of days long gone and tosses her slender, bare arms about his neck to give him a proper greeting, burying her face in his shoulder. It's been too long. Against that fine fabric, she mutters, "You scared the shit out of me, you asshole."

The voice that comes from deeper in the plant is certainly not /unfriendly/, the distinctive alto pointing out, "I didn't know you had a thing for suits."

Ali moves on, idly walking toward the pair -not a weapon in evidence, but a messenger bag slung over his shoulder… and her focus on Eric. Intent. "Why don't you just back right the hell off, suit-boy. And just stand there a minute while us girls talk, kay?" Oh, and that comes with a sudden, sunny smile.

This time Eric does laugh. "Well I didn't mean too," He protests as he gets hugged, and returns it with that ghost of a grin becoming just a bit more warm. Of course when she hugs him she would feel the outline of paired shoulder rig holsters and a pair of pistols that can be felt if not seen under the jacket. Armani makes a whole /line/ of suits for mobsters that are tailored for that kind of thing, and if you have money you might as well hire the best. "I just came by with an offer for you and Jack…"

His voice trails off then when he is interrupted by a second figure strolling out of the darkness. Sunny smile. Pretty voice, evil look, hostile disposition. "…and you must be Midnight, hrmmm?" He asks with an amused look coming to his face. Then he blinks and starts to frown slightly before…well…quickly letting go of Trina and walking several paces away.

"You know," The young man replies with a wry smile towards the pair of women. "…you could have just asked the normal way."

"Gawd, you look great, Eric," Trina gushes, momentarily lost in the glorious reunion. "And you're a hell of a sight. Why in fuck's name did you come back to this shithole?" When he starts to answer her but finds himself interrupted, Trina turns her head and regains her senses as McAlister quickly splits the pair of them apart with that golden whip that is her command. Hands run over the soft red knit of her dress, making sure that everything is back to looking proper. Even if it is just Ali, there are appearances to maintain. Trina takes a few steps towards the Voice, purposefully standing directly between her and her target. "It's alright, darlin'. This is the man who's been findin' ways to get us cash when we've really needed it. He's alright."

Katrina turns her attention then back to Eric, trying to give him a reassuring smile. "It's made a real difference, you know. I'd get Jack, but he's still sleepin'." Hopefully. He needs it, and it would take a hell of a crisis for her to take that away from him. Once more, her attention goes back to Alyssa. "S'everythin' alright?"

"… Are you sure?" Ali asks that, softly - "S' rumors going around about Homeland and using some sort of doppelganger." The DJ gives Eric an almost apologetic smile. "Sorry. You understand - I won't let you hurt 'Trina, and I don't know you. Call me protective." Back to the mechanic -

"Yeah. Mostly. Rough week - I found you and Jack a couple of beers, though. Check the fridge - if they're still good, anyway. You guys deserve a treat every once in a while." Ali reaches out to touch the other woman's shoulder. "You vouch for him, I'm cool. I just - " She lets the rest go. "Sorry."

"Thanks…and why do you think? Its where all my friends are," Eric replies with a wink towards Trina, hands still in his pockets. "I've gotten tired of just sending nothing but money to everyone. I'm sure there's something I can do to help you…" A smile then, though it doesn't quite brighten up his eyes. He stays where he is standing, waiting until Trina calms Ali down before introducing himself.

"…I doubt they would use a doppelganger of me…I'm supposed to be dead. He looks just fine for being dead though. "For what…a year and a half of so now." He shrugs slightly before glancing towards the pair of women. "…and don't worry about getting Jack up, knowing him he needs it. He'll hear about all this soon enough." He adds before taking his hands out of his pockets and strolling closer towards the pair.

One hand is extended towards Ali and the smile flashes back to his face, and honest smile it seems. "Eric Lancaster. Your a friend of theirs, so you get the real name." He introduces himself before glancing towards Trina. "…you and Jack are staying here?" He asks curiously, though there is a slightly amused light in his eyes.

He has a surprise~~ at least thats what the slight twitch of a smile that follows his words hint at.

Doppelganger? There's a doppelganger? Why did no one tell her there's another gawd damned doppelganger around sooner? But Eric's right. There would be many more effective gangers to doppel, so Trina keeps her own council on that one, instead turning an appreciative — albeit weary — smile back to Ali. The gesture of beer and protection is so sweet that it's nearly enough to melt the cleaned up grease monkey where she stands. "Aw, babe. You didn't need to do that. We're alright. Y'sure you don't want it? It'd be a hell of somethin' to open, you and a boytoy." Turning to Eric, she smiles. "McAlister here's been a Godsend in her own right."

To Eric's question, Trina shrugs. "Jack is. I am when I can. Things got worse since you left." So there's more than a fair share of nights that she just can't come home. "My baby's got a hell of a setup in the office. Gene birthed a baby miracle in there, got our communications runnin' again. Ain't nobody watchin' an abandoned plant and all." And then she notices that smile. "Why?"

"Me, have a boy? right. I wish." Ali rolls her eyes- and shakes Eric's hand. "Alyssa McAlister. Ali." When she takes a step back, she just murmers - "Hey. Don't worry - I can always snag more, right? I'm out more than you two are anyway." Without a gun, too, to the infinite annoyance of Jack.

But beyond that? She simply listens. Curiosity is a powerful force for keeping her mouth shut, seems like.

Eric sighs and nods slightly, the smile faltering slightly. "…I know," He adds after a moment. "I wanted to come back earlier…but I spent nearly eight months in the hospital after that explosion took out my apartment. After that…it seemed until I was back in good shape, it would be more effective to just stay away and pipe in what I could." He explains before he shakes his head. "I'm back now though," He adds with a nod. "…back with a bit of a vengeance."

To Ali though he smiles and shakes the hand, his grip firm. "Pleasure to meet you Ali," He murmurs towards her with a slight, almost gentlemanly, nod of his head. Seems that all the explosions in the world can't change some things. He looks towards the pair of them a moment before he smiles. "…well I do have a bit of a suprise to share though, consider it a coming home gift. My company bought a building full of penthouse style apartments that was falling down on the edge of the nicer part of town. They have been remodeled now, and we were just about to open for business." He smirks slightly. "…I've done a bit more than remodeling. I added several underground levels that don't show up on plans. So…I'm offering those levels to the Saints as a place to stay…" A grin at Trina. "…and yes. A garage too." He glances towards Ali then and smiles. "I was just going to make the offer to Jack and have him break it to everyone else, but it does include you."

Then a grin is flashed towards Ali. "…and no hard feelings at the…" He waves his hand. "…forced request from my end. Hell. If our positions were reversed I'd have myself held and gunpoint while doing a background check and a search. Or I'd have just shot first and asked questions later."

And the information that Ali is both cute, and has no boytoy is filed away for later processing.

Garage? Did he just say garage? Were it earlier in their lives, Trina would have jumped on that little bad boy faster than a flea on a fat basset. But it's not. And she doesn't. Instead, her lips purse. "Other people livin' there, huh? How secure we talkin'?" Her arms cross under her breasts and her head shakes emphatically as she continues. "Cuz I ain't even askin' Jack to move somewhere that ain't safe for him. Chief Fuckingbitch isn't gonna get his hands on Derex without a fight. And I don't know how keen Jack's gonna be on potentially puttin' other people at risk. We ain't exactly the sort that's popular with the neighborhood watch, you know?"

McAlister murmurs, softly - "I'd probably just have made you go kiss a security hummer." the Dj seems.. mildly embarrassed by that, for some reason. Anyway.. she listens to Trina, then points out - "You still need a better place to work. And having somewhere other than here to do interrogations is a plus, right?"

But - she shrugs, slightly, and concedes the whole thing: "There's a reason Jack does logistics. I'm useless at it."

"…just what I thought you were going to say about it," Eric replies with a grin. He reaches into the inside pocket of his jacket slowly, obviously not going for the gun concealed there, and pulls out a bit of folded paper. Unfolding the thing it seems to be a set of plans and maps. He looks around, finding the remains of a desk to spread them out on. Clearing a space he lies the map on the table. "…here…" He says looking up from the map to the both of them. "I figured that he would have some objections like that…that why I brought these."

The map shows the area surrounding the building, with a few specific places marked. "…the area is on the edge of the nice part of town. One of the reasons it went under. It abutts an old and mostly abandoned set of factory complexes. I'm going to have entrences to the underground part of the building here and here, well away from the main ways so you can come and go as you please. There is a garage entrace from the factories, from the actual parking garage, and a bolt hole as well. As for the people living there…well I'll be there. I believe Ramon will have a penthouse there as well, and the rest is up in the air." He smirks. "The place is very new you see. Has yet to fill up with buyers."

"The place will have enough room for most of us, and the way I have it set up only someone who knows exactly what to look for will find anything wrong with it." He finishes it as he glances up towards the pair of them. "I expect you to run it all by Jack first, but I think he should like the setup. It shouldn't put anyone at too much risk, and is a bit more comfortable than what you all have now."

He blinks slightly though towards Ali's murmur, then grins towards her. "…and I never kiss on the first date." He adds towards her. "Unless told to make an exception." A pause before he looks back towards Trina and he nods. "…and I know you all are the entirely wrong kind of popular. I know how that feels, so hopefully this will make things just a little bit easier on you all."

Trina's lips are drawn into a tight line as she silently follows Eric to the worm-eaten desk and starts looking over the floor plans. It's a painful process for her, trying to make sense of the lines that define walls and passageways and rooms. These are Jack's forte, just as he often leaves the engine schematics to her. She doesn't say anything at all as she slowly goes through the pages, carefully flipping the pages as though they belonged to a holy tome. They could have a real bed. An honest to goodness bed. And electricity that isn't stolen. And real showers. And with the less open entrance, she might be able to actually come home more often. It's so easy to forget the things you miss until they're all piled in front of you like a pile of treasures, all within an easy reach. Deep in the corners of her eyes, weak tears threaten to form, only to be willed back again with a sniff. Stupid dust. Yeah, that's it. Dust.

She tries to counter-weigh the advantages with a sense of practicality. There is no use getting one's hopes up if they stand a fairly reasonable chance of being dashed. Jack has final say, and he might decide to stay. She doesn't need to speak the words aloud, Eric says as much for her. Unable to tear her eyes away from the plans, her thin hand with its short but fairly well-manicured nails stretches out to pat Eric's. When her voice speaks, it's level and steady. "I'll ask Jack." It's a good plan. And moving isn't a bad thing. If anyone started to suspect them here, there would be only a trail gone cold.

And moving Elena back towards Ramon is something that Katrina sees as beneficial for both father and daughter… to say nothing of Manuel, about whom she's heard nothing in months. These are dark times. Family should be together.

Ali - well. She follows, as step behind, standing across the table from the pair, watching the plans upside-down (at least from her perspective), keeping that messenger bag pulled across and in front of her like some sort of protective talisman. A security blanket, of a sort.

She watches as rooms and wiring are shown; she watches as the pages turn to reveal a Secret Headquarters worthy of the best superhero group… and believe me, with that wry smile? She's likely thinking it. But Eric's comment causes a faint flush, a clearing of her throat, and not a single comment.

"No jet launching pad or superweapon, or training room…but I thought you guys might want to keep things a little bit more subtle than that," Eric says with a smile just touching his lips. In the old days he would have plotted out a full Avengers Base. Now though, now he has to be a bit more practical than that. The stakes are so much bigger, even if he himself dosn't have anything left to loose. He still has his friends, and that's enough to keep him thoughtful.

"I'll leave the plans and things here with you, but after you show Jack I'd recomend that you guys destroy them…oh, and if you see Gene before I do tell him I saved him a corner for his lab if he wants it. There is also a full recording booth, or the bare bones of one. You can fix it how you like it if Jack gives the go ahead." He's tried to think of everything, and he's had a very long time to think. He pauses a moment before he sighs. "…I'm going to need to get going though…no rest for the wicked." He says with a rueful sigh. "Keep the plans, and if you and Jack and the rest agree I can show you all there. You can contact me through either Ramon or Daphne, or give a call to this number." And he holds out a business card. "…and ignore the name." Which happens to be Sven Marrikson on the card. Give him the break. He needed a new name.

He smiles though towards Trina, politely ignoring the threat of tears in her eyes before nodding towards Ali. "…I'll see you two around, hopefully." He murmurs before taking a step back from the table.

Turning to face Eric again, Trina bounces once on her heels once before deciding to throw her arms back open for a parting hug and a tentative smile. The amount of thought and preparation evident in the plans is downright touching. This is what comes with being friends during what could very well be the friggin' Tribulation. "Hopefully," she agrees quietly.

Ali takes the card, deftly - letting Eric claim his hug, flashing a smile - but. Yeah. She lets that go as it goes, right now.

A laugh escapes from Eric before he shakes his head and leans forwards to give Trina a hug again. "…Jack isn't going to kill me for that is he?" He teases her as he lets her go, hands on her shoulders a moment before he winks. "Tell him hello for me." He adds after a moment, then he smiles once more towards her and steps back. Turning his gaze towards Ali he grins her a grin in response to her smile. "…and hopefully I'll see you around too." He adds before sliding his hands into his pockets.

"…the one good thing about being bedridden for nearly a year."He suddenly comments. "…is that I got a lot of time to practice." He adds with a wink before turning on his heel and strolling into a patch of shadow in one of the tumble down areas of the building, and dissipearing entirely.

When Eric makes his commentary, Trina bats at his arm playfully. "Get out of here already." Soon enough, he's made his dramatic departure, and it leaves the dark haired woman to regain her more sober expression and turn her attention back towards the plans he left behind. She begins looking through the plans again, a page at a time, backwards in order now, as she allows the large pages to fall back into their previous flat position. "It would be nice," she allows after a long silence to the DJ who presumably remains.

Ali does, presumably, remain. In fact, she drifts to the edge of the desk again, where it sits under that single lamp - "It would." Brightly. "And you could seriously use a shower." And.. that grin is pure mischief, for once. "You smell like one of Daph's gorillas."

"Aw, shut up. You don't exactly smell like Chanel No. 5 yourself." The joke is teasing in kind, Trina allows her hands to delicately trace the page once more before furiously beginning to roll the collection of sketches together. Eric's right. No one else should see these, save Jack himself. Once her task is done and the pages are safely tucked under her arm, the dolled up mechanic furrows her brow and tilts her head as she looks at McAlister. "So you wanna tell me about what's goin' on out there?" Jack's list can wait just a little longer.

Ali settles on the edge of the desk - carefully. Small she may be, but that desk ain't exactly the /sturdiest/ thing in creation.

"They're cracking down. Sort of expected - but you plan for it and then you /see/ it, and those are just completely different things. Just… general /stuff/ is getting scarce. Things people need.." A faint shake of her head. "The Zoo's still pretty damn secure. The Labs are still up - and probably as paranoid as we should be. Just…" She bites her lip. "You know Petrelli, right?"

At the question, there's an arch of an eyebrow, a frown, and then a curious tilt of Trina's head and a narrowing of her eyes. "More than one. Was there one in particular you were meanin'?"

"… I only know the one. And - he shaved and looked like he'd bothered to go to a stylist or something. And .. he didn't know about.. well. You. Or Jack." The woman frowns. "Lachlan trusted him - I wasn't gonna say anything in their own house, but… there's somethin' really strange going on. And I don't know what."

"You mean Peter, then." Trina clucks her tongue against the top of her mouth as she thinks. That's weird. Ali's absolutely right about that. A hand wipes across the lower part of her face, fingers deftly avoiding her careful application of red lipstick. When that fails to feel sufficient, she wipes that hand across her forehead as well… as if to banish the fine creases forming there. "You tell Jack about this yet?"

"no. I.. " Ali .. well. Sighs. "He's gonna be pissed again /anyway/, so I kinda been dodging him a little." Yes. He /does/ get annoyed about the sneaking-off thing. Or, rather, the sneaking off without a gun thing. "But he needs to know - Lachlan said something about it not being the Peter from now, but from .. some other when. Honestly? I have no idea - but he wasn't the Peter I know. And the more I listened to him, the less I felt like believing him, you know?" The woman frowns - "I feel like half the time I'm out of my depth anyway. Deliver twinkies, meet some guy who was kind of like Peter, and isn't. That Lachlan /hugged/."

"I'll talk to him. I'll run these plans to him, and then I gotta run a couple errands. But I promise, I'll talk to him." So long as she doesn't get trapped away from home again while running said errands. Then there's unspoken bit of the matter, which Trina addresses next. "He just worries, you know."

"Yeah. I know." Ali pauses, then, says, softly - "I'll bite the bullet tonight. If he's got time." She runs a hand through her hair - visibly uncomfortable, but.. it's odd. Something about it has very little to do with the pending conversation with Jack. She goes to say something, stops - starts one more time, and stops.

Third time's the charm, though. "You know if it's anything I can do … you guys deserve some time." A faint smile, and she stands. "I'm going to go check on the transmitters."

She turns to go, then, heading back into the plant. But, for a moment, there, she walks backwards, calling, "Be safe, Trina? You got somebody to come home to." Just.. a gentle reminder.

There's a dismissive wave at McAlister's offer, Trina shaking her head. "Saints are family. We all got somebody to come home to." Besides, they're scoring major afterlife points here, right? That means someday her and Jack will have all the time in the world. "Anyway, this list's got my name all over it, so I got this one handled. You just got in. Get the transmitters checked, and then get some rest. You look like you could use it, sugar." Then a small, genuine smile and two hands lift to reassure. "I'll be careful, and home soon as I can. We'll catch up tonight."

That all said, Trina then turns and makes her way back to the office with a quick march to drop off the plans before heading out. Daylight's burning.

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