2009-10-25: Cover Your Tuchus



Date: October 25th, 2009


Eric and Elena pay Bert a visit. Panic ensues.

"Cover Your Tuchus"

Washington D.C. - Bert's Apartment

It's late at night, almost to the point of early morning. In Bert's apartment a few lights are still on as well as the TV. (Tuned into Discovery!) Passed out and sprawled on the couch is Bert. She's clad in a pair of pink two piece pajamas decorated in sock monkeys. Sitting on her coffee table is an empty pint of Ben and Jerry's, looks like it's been one of those sorts of nights. A colorful, hand knitted blanket is half across her lap and her mouth is open as she snores softly.


There is a rapping, Bert. Rapping at your chamber door… at midnight, or a little bit past.

Is it…a TRAP?

At the knocking of her door, Bert flails awake, tangling herself up in her blanket. "I'm up! I'm up!!," she shouts as she lands on the floor with a THUMP. With bleary eyes and a snort, she works herself free and gets up, only to trip in the folds and fall again, "Oh sh.. shazbot!" A whimper and she kicks herself free of the blanket and pushing it out of tripping range. Now on her feet for good this time, she goes to the door and peeks through the peephole. Who the frick is knocking at this hour!?

When the door opens, it is a young woman, with dark hair, flanked by a much taller, handsome young man. Also with dark hair. They don't appear to be related, however. Elena's eyes fall on Bert when she answers the door in her sock-monkey pajamas, blinking a little bit at the print.

"I think I have the same thing but in blue," she tells her simply, in greeting.

But then she lifts her hand, holding up her cherry-red cellphone. "You called me. About Gene? My name is Elena Gomez. This is Eric Lancaster. We're friends of his, from Evosoft."

Bert reaches for the cricket bat she keeps by the door as she cracks it open. You never know what types are gonna come calling at this hour. Hand on the bat, she blinks as she peeks through the crack. "Uh.. yeah.. Target, pink and blue sets, uhm, who are.. oh.. OH! Oh sh… You can't be here!" She then throws her weight at the door to shut and lock it again!

Elena sticks her foot in, before she could get the door closed all the way. This, of course, slams into her foot and…surprisingly doesn't cause her to scream. She can kill the pain, it's just that it'll hurt like a bastard later. She presses both palms on the door, and pushes in. "Wait! We came all this way… we flew in from New York…. we're really worried about him! So please, if there's anything else you could tell us, just… we need to find him."

"No, no, no! You weren't supposed to come!" Bert says aloud as she tries to shut the door still, before realizing, "OH I'm so sorry!," seems she noticed Elena's foot in the door. "Seriously, you shouldn't have come! I just wanted someone to know.. I shouldn't have even called, in fact, I didn't call! It wasn't from me! I don't know what you're talking about! So uhm, sorry, you came this way for nothing, good night!"

Eric adds his strength to that wedged foot, though even the man has to wince on just what that is going to do to Elena…later at least. "If I have to carry you around cause you got your foot smashed…" He mock grumbles towards the woman before he sighs and tries to hold the door open just slightly. "Look, you called us! We just are worried about our friend is all…" He blinks before looking down towards Elena.

Bert sounds scared. Thats…not always the greatest of signs when someone suddenly sounds scared.

"Look we know it was you who called…come on we just want to talk is all!"

"Please," Elena says, in conjunction with Eric. "We're really worried about him, he's one of our best friends. We've been looking for him for weeks. If you know something, anything at all that would help us out… we'll pretend we were never here if it helps just…we really need to know."

"I don't know what you're talking about! It wasn't me! Go away.. or.. or.. I'll call the cops, I also have a bat and I'm not afraid to use it!" Bert says as all sorts of thoughts race through her head. Namely, some of Nick's warnings.. Is she going to wind up in a ditch? Sitting in an unmarked cell? Finding herself on a train to some secret gulag!? Oh god, what if she's drawn and quartered! What sort of retaliation will be made against her, and she hasn't even done all that much! "I don't know anything! Go away!"

Nick would like it to be known that he didn't threaten draw and quartering.

"Please mam," Eric says at Bert's words. "We arn't here to hurt you, we arn't here to get you in touble. We just want to help our friend…I mean we are all he has out here and we don't even know whats happened to him. You are our only lead. /Please/ we won't mention you to anyone. We /just/ want to help Gene thats all…we can't leave him wherever he is…we don't even know what kind of trouble he's in. We just know he needs help." Really most of that is true, and off of that in sincere. He really wants to help Gene, and he's even trying to go about it nicely.

"I don't know anything, Gene who!? Please go away!" Bert doesn't seem willing to cave just yet. "Please move your foot so I can shut my door," she says pleadingly to Elena. Yes, it's weird that Elena isn't showing any sign of pain at her foot being hit up in the door. "Besides, it's got to be hurting, so uhm, just.. go away now. Thanks." Yes she's scared. She's signed her life away to the US Government for the time that she works for them. Bert crossed a line she shouldn't have and she's afraid of getting in some serious trouble now.

Eric's fingers curl around the edge of the door, fighting with the woman as she works to close it on them. "Please! We are begging here, we want to /help/…" He adds as fustration creeps into the corners of his voice and the shadows in Berts room flicker or roil for just a moment. Clamping down on his own fustration the young man stops that…it was likely just a trick of the light wasn't it. "…I mean I'm sure you have questions too, we know you two used to work together. That he's your friend. Are you just going to leave him to whatever trouble he's into?"

Bert isn't that strong, so she can't really push against Elena and Eric together. Keeping the bat in hand she finally steps back from the door without warning. Ha! "And I'm begging you both, just /go away/. I can't help you! No! I'm not! I'm … I /really/ can't do anything, so please!"

Now normally Eric is a picture of grace! Poise! Martial Arts Mastery! This is not normal times of course as he stumbles forwards slightly and catches his foot on the edge of Elena's and goes stumbling down forwards to land nearly flast on his face in the middle of the floor.


He slowly pushes himself up before he he shakes his head. "…great. Look what are you so scared of? We can't be /that/ threatening can we?" He asks as he starts to try to stand.

"I.. oh goodness, are you okay!?" Wait, what is she going on about! They were interrupting HER. Bert wields the bat like a pro, making sure there's a distance between herself, Eric and Elena. "I.. maybe, not really." Not as much as she's worried about punishment for poking about where she shouldn't. "Look, this is incredibly complicated okay?" She looks at the two, then to the door. "Shut the door and come in," she says, caving. Bert knows her house isn't bugged. She's checked that thoroughly!


As Eric tries to shove into the door further, Elena is squashed against him and the door. "….Eric! Wait! It's…" And they drop, sprawling on the ground with a bigger man on top of her. If this entire situation wasn't so bizarre, her current position right now would be egregiously compromising.

And something on her companion's person was poking at her…

"…Eric. That better be your cellphone."

There is several different shades of red that Eric's face turns at Elena's words. Blushing brightly enough that it can be seen rather easily in the room as he starts to scramble to his feet and mutter something compleately illtelligble. "I…er…yes. Was my cellphone!" He adds as he takes a long step away from her and coughs once as he turns and shuts the door behind himself and trying to look everywhere but at Elena.

Bert stares at Eric and Elena in bewilderment, somewhat torn between horror and wanting to laugh. "Look, I'm honestly sorry about this. I only figured that /someone/ should know what was going on. I kinda figured his family wasn't told and he wasn't given his phonecall. I /honestly/ don't know anything."

"He doesn't have a lot of family left," Elena says, giving Eric a glance before standing up slowly from the ground, brushing off her jeans. She looks up at Bert, her expression serious. "All he has in terms of blood relation is Congressman Kensington, his grandfather. And if he had been told, there'd be a holy row thrown about it by now. Gene and his grandfather are close. Are you sure you can't tell us anything more?"

Shaking his head Eric calms down quickly as the task at hand impresses itself on him again. "Anything at all could be helpful. Any little thing." He adds quietly. "I've known Gene since we both were kids, and I know he isn't a bad guy at all. A bit geeky and odd, but he's the very best of people. You would know that too if you knew him." He adds with a sigh. "We didn't want to go to his Grandfather with this cause we didn't want him to worry about it."

"Yeah, and if his grandfather hasn't been able to secure a release or any information… I really shouldn't have called you Miss Gomez, I just.." Bert had a crisis of conscience, and is still having one. How can you do the right thing and cover your own tuchus? She chews at her lower lip, casting a look past the pair and to the door. "I .. I got called to upstate New York to check out some items that were found on a 'terrorist' who was suspected of breaking into a government facility.. and.. it was Gene, and I /knew/ there had to be a mistake. It looks bad for him, it really does."

"It…" Elena sighs. "And you don't know where they took him? If we could find the location we could get him a lawyer if it really does look bad, or something. Just holding him under suspicion without telling his kin anything and especially when he demands it…" And it's doubtful that Gene hasn't already. He was a genius. He knows his rights. "Is illegal. He might be a suspected terrorist but he's still an American citizen, he has rights. If the people who took him haven't formally charged him, they can't hold him indefinitely and it's been days."

Nodding towards Elena's words, the youngest of the Lancaster clan just frowns slightly. All the most important points were just called up so there isn't all that much to add at the moment. "…well I don't know if there is a mistake or anything, but we can't find him. He's gone missing and this is the closest we've come to finding out whats happened to him.

"He was held upstate, but after that, I don't know where he was taken. I've been trying to talk to my leads, but, I can't get through to anyone." Bert worries at her lower lip, torn with anxiety. "A lawyer won't help. I don't think anything short of the government giving him a pardon or release will work." She finally sets the bat against her couch, letting go of it. A heavy sigh is exhaled, and she admits, "Not if they've processed him as they have others. Then it's not illegal and it's well within the boundaries of these new measures."

"But Gene's not a terrorist!" Elena blurts out. "He isn't! He's not like that. He's not out to…I don't know. Kill people or blow up buildings, or steal candy from ba— " She pauses. Didn't Gene steal a lollipop from a kid before? "Okay, I'm not so sure about the last one, but the actual terrorist stuff he doesn't do. You know he isn't, otherwise you wouldn't have called me. So what possible reason would they have of holding him? What sort of proof do they have?"

"I'm sure if he /did/ candy there was a good reason behind it," Eric says with all seriousness his voice though his lips twitch into a smile just at the image. He reaches over and lies a hand easily on Elena's shoulder for a moment before looking back towards Bert. "If you were looking into it yourself then you have to have some questions about it. You know he isn't a terrorist either." He says with a nod towards Bert, though he doesn't move closer to the woman in the PJs. Then a frown and a shake of his head. "…new measures…you mean they don't need proof or reason anymore?"

"I /know/ that it's unlikely, but the circumstances and what we found on him.. it /looks/ bad. I'm having a hard time understanding all this myself." It's hard to put all the pieces together when kept in the dark. Maybe Gene is guilty of terrorism, and maybe Bert just didn't know him that well. He just looks so.. harmless. "I /can't/ tell you anymore, and I don't have anymore information. All the warrants, the affidavits, I don't have access to. My access is severely limited.. and I could probably go to prison for calling you, Miss Gomez."

"We won't say anything. Just…" Elena pauses. "Just tell me he's alright," she finally finishes. "At least tell me how he looked when you saw him. Did they rough him up? Is he well?" What she really wanted to ask was whether they cut him open and started probing him, but she can't say that without giving everything away.

"And if you do find out anything, anything you think we do need to know just call or email or something," Eric adds before he nods once. "Really, we'll make sure that no one knows we came here to talk to you. We won't breathe a word of it to anyone." Just a couple of collage kids looking out for a good friend. Thats all this is…

"He looked okay when I saw him.. and no.. I won't call or email. It's too dangerous." Bert's insistent on this. "If I contact you again, I could disappear down a hole, so could the pair of you. At least, I think that could happen. I've already broken past my security clearances.. and.. I think you should leave now. Please." Her gaze darts towards the phone, as if debating on how fast she can run to grab it.

"Thank you for your time," Elena replies, quelling down her frustrations. But Gene is alive, and relatively unharmed. With a nod to Eric, she looks over at Bert again - but she says nothing else. She turns, at that, and heads for the door. Her hands slide into her pockets, biting her lip at another dead end.

"Thanks," Eric says, and he means it. With that he just nods. "Take care of yourself." He murmurs before turning to follow Elena, again lying a hand on her shoulder and leaning forwards to whisper something into her ear. "…lets go see a man about a gift then." He murmurs to the woman before they start to make they way out the building…


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