2007-03-04: Factions


Elena_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif Eliana_icon.gif

Summary: Per Jack's request, Elena calls him after his shift to meet after they realize that they know something strange is going on in the city. Elianna stays with Jack, and promptly gets spooked.

Date It Happened: March 4th, 2007


Back Room, Den of Iniquity

Usually people who stay in bars from the second their doors open work there. Or they're drunks. Eliana is neither, but neither is she in the bar's business area. Rather, the pink-haired writer is tucked away in the back room, scratching away at her moleskin notebook with a pen. She's comfortably dressed in jeans and a pair of t-shirts, one with long sleeves under the more traditional style, and her sneakered feet are held beneath her as she sits in the desk chair, bent over her work. She's lost track of how long it's been since Jack went out to grab some coffee, but as absorbed as she is in writing, it's doubtless that Eliana is that concerned.

As is usually the case whenever Eliana is present, Jack's seemingly ever-present alcoholic beverage is noticeably absent when he steps in from the bar's main room. After enjoying his coffee, the young man got sidetracked by a number of errands he'd been putting off. Most notably, feeding his bearded dragon and his kitten. Well before he received Elena's call, he'd decided that the back room of the Den would be the safest place to meet her, so he gave direct orders to all employees on the way in that any girl matching her description should not be hassled.

When Jack enters the back room, the noise is what pulls Eliana out of her trance. She lifts her head, then almost immediately leans back and stretches her arms out. Writing takes a literal toll on the body. "Hey," she says, stifling a yawn. "Uneventful coffee, I hope?"

"Ahh. Sort of," Jack replies. "Remember that girl I told you about? Elena? She's going to be stopping by soon. She might have some insight as to what's been happening here in town." Jack shrugs out of his overcoat, tugs his suit straight, then walks over to Eliana's side. "How's the writing treating you?" he murmurs, then leans down to give her a quick kiss.

Eliana quickly moves a hand to shut the notebook, then lifts it to stroke Jack's cheek when his lips meet hers for that brief exchange of affection. "Well," she says in reply once it breaks and her eyes open again. "But it's just a first draft. Even once this is done, it will go through revisions. Then editors, God willing." Jack's news is much more interesting though, for a variety of reasons. "She didn't give you a preview?" Eli asks with lifted eyebrows.

Jack shakes his head. "She was working at Starbucks when I got my last cup of coffee. Passed me a note, which is what makes me think she's really on the level." He pulls a chair away from the poker table, turns it around, and straddles it facing Eliana. "She's the same girl who helped me out at Hava Java, too."

Insight might be a little bit of an overstatement. But there's a soft tapping from Jack's…..window?

Whenever the man himself pulls up the blinds, he'll find Elena's palms pressed on the glass, gesturing for him to open it. She isn't aware that Jack has company yet - she wasn't warned. But there is a certain tightness to her eyes that suggests that the rest of her shift stressed her out something fierce. She has her backpack slung on one shoulder. But….why is she tapping on his window? She was all of 18, she didn't even look twenty. If some nosy neighbor saw her step into Jack's bar and started calling the police about how he was contributing to the degeneration of America's youth - well, she'd rather not be the cause of that kind of trouble.

Eliana nods, but when the tapping sounds, she turns her head. It's not Jack who pulls the blinds, but his pink-haired lady-friend. Eliana arches her eyebrows in surprise at Elena's age, but seeing as there's no other person that it could be, she moves to slide the window open so Elena can step through.

The tapping elicits a frown from Jack. An instant later, the Steyr TMP that saved his hide at Hava is in his hands. Then Eliana opens the blinds and renders the imagined issue moot by revealing Elena and letting her ing. "Sonofabitch," he swears. "You could've just come in the front, y'know." Despite his words, Jack's tone is light and humorous. It's true, he has a soft spot for the tough chiquita, partially because she saved his life.

Her own eyes -widen- when she sees Eliana pull up the bamboo blinds….so much that Elena practically scrambles backwards thinking that they managed to get to Jack too, her heart racing in her chest and ready to bail. However, her dark eyes focus, and she sees Jack there, and relief spills out of her in tangible waves. "Ugh! I almost thought you got broken into," she wheezes, clutching at her chest. "Sorry about that," she apologizes to Eliana, before scrambling in and dropping down. "I didn't want to direct much attention to your bar. I was already here once, I know people don't usually pay attention to what's in front of them but I can't take that risk today. She's a little breathless - either she ran here or something's cranking up her adrenaline levels. "So…did you mean it? On your note? That we're in the same page?" she asks Jack. To Eliana, she extends a hand for a handshake. "Elena Gomez."

"Eliana Pasternack, thief extraordinare," the writer says with a smirk as she shakes Elena's hand, closing the window behind the girl. There's a firmness in that handshake that serves to express the gratitude Eliana has for Jack's life, seeing how saying anything at the moment, when there are other things to be discussed, would be impolite.

Jack smiles warmly at the interaction between his new friend and his trusted ladyfriend. "Oh, I meant it. We've both seen some pretty strange happenings, Scrappy," his smiles turns into a grin at his own use of the nickname. "It seemed only sensible that we should compare notes. But first, how's your friend? Ok?"

Her handshake is warm, and Elena's smile, while warm, is a little tight on the edges. But it's not because of Eliana - there's some sort of stress weighing down on her. She looks at Jack and she shakes her head. "I don't know. He's my next stop but I can't go there right now in case they did get him." She digs out her phone, and pulls out the cherry red phone with the cartoon ninja on the LCD display. She flips it up, and accesses her text messages before showing it to both Eliana and Jack.

The most recent message from the caller ID named 'Drake' reads: 'Will u b my grrlfriend? i love u'

"Someone else was using his phone," Elena says. "After he just texted me about how these….these people found him at work which was why he didn't come in today. His last message told me someone was knocking at this door, and then after a lag, I got that in the middle of my shift. I'm hoping he dropped his phone and bailed."

After a pause, she continues. "He doesn't send messages like that. He doesn't shortcut. He always types out his words. It's how I knew someone else was using his phone."

Eliana arches an eyebrow as she studies the text message, listening carefully to Elena. Still, this is Jack's business more than hers, so Eli backs away and takes up her seat at the desk once more, but she still faces the other too, all of her attention on them.

Jack peers down at the message as well. "You know the guy better than I do. What do you think? Do we make like the cavalry, or wait this one out?" The tightness around his mouth and the tension lines in his forehead are signs that Jack might prefer the former to the latter. Even though Hiro's little X-Men group is finally back in contact with him, Jack's reluctant to let the city's new, strange occurances affect anyone else.

"I won't lie. I'm anxious to get to him. They already got him once," Elena says grimly. "I don't know if he's still at his house - knowing him, he bailed. But I have to make sure." She looks over at Jack, and then at Eliana. "…..how did you guys get involved with this?" she asks. "I …don't mean to pry but I'm hoping there's something, some reason. It's odd but what I know all just fell in my lap within the last week or so. Are you…do you guys know about…." She pauses and she groans. "Oh god if you guys don't know I'm going to sound like a complete -idiot-. But…the special ones. Do you both know about them?"

Eliana 's eyes narrow a little, but she doesn't say what she's thinking. Jack trust Elena. Elena saved Jack's life. But with Eliana's own recent experiences, she's uneasy about extending her trust to the girl not much younger than herself. "Do you want to go first, hon?" she asks, looking sidelong to Jack. Sometime's it's better to show than to tell.

Jack nods and smiles wryly. "I suppose I'm a little more.. benign," he teases. Reaching out, he points one long finger toward one of the bottles behind the short bar, then turns his hand over and makes a brief 'come hither' gesture. An instant later, the cut-glass bottle of fine bourbon appears in his hamds. He sets the bottle down on the table, then relocates three glasses in quick succession. Only then does Jack meet Elena's eyes. "Uhh.. Yeah, we know about them," he admits, over-casual.

She takes a step back, dark eyes wide as she stares at Jack, and Eliana, and back to Jack. After a pause….Elena grins a little uneasily. "….aha. The plot thickens," she jests weakly, before she looks between the two and she nods. "I'd…" She pauses. "I'd give a demonstration but I can't. I shouldn't. I don't know how it works - at least not yet, but it can seriously hurt someone." She glances to the window. "There are three parties I know of," she begins. "Who are approaching people like us. The Company, the Foundation, and a man named Gabriel 'Sylar' Gray. From what I can gather about the Company….at least that's what my source told me is called….they kidnap people like us. The term is 'bag and tag.' Someone I know who was returned with his memories intact confirmed it for me that they mark the ones they take, usually on the neck. It's used to track them. But I've gotten the hint that that's not all they do - but my source hasn't named specifics."

She pauses. "My source is peripherally connected to the other party. The Foundation. According to her, they approach them when they're young, children mostly. I'm familiar with it in passing because I applied for scholarships from them before, I just….didn't know about the other side until now. Their methods are supposedly different from the Company's, according to my source they don't bag and tag, but I suspect there's an agenda. The Foundation was recently compromised. My source was wiped. She doesn't remember the Foundation or anything else that she told me. And just today in the papers when I read it this morning, the Foundation building was set on fire."

Elena's information is impressive, to say the least. Jack's eyes widen and he leans back a bit as he takes it all in. Then, to preoccupy his hands while he speaks, he pulls the cork from the bottle of bourbon and pours a bit into each glass. Yes, even the one for Elena, wether his motivation is charity or oversight. "We know about the Company," he finally replies. "And Sylar, the bastard. But I don't think we've ever heard of this Foundation," Jack shoots a look in Eliana's direction for confirmation. Yes, she's the brains of the pair.

Eliana seems impressed, to say the least, but her expression carries a note of concern. Elena is young. Could she be too trusting? Could she be the perfect bait? All Eliana does in response to Jack is grunt softly, and then she pulls her legs up to rest the heels of her Converses on the edge of the chair, wrapping her arms around her thighs and calves.

"I was skeptical at first. My source seems taken in with them….when she remembered them anyway," Elena remarks, rubbing the back of her neck. "I wasn't so easily persuaded that they were benign. These people….they have infrastructures in place. The woman who runs this Foundation supposedly knows the Company's operations. Considering they have a -structure- for this…what's going on, chances are they've known about all of this for years, decades maybe. I sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist, but they all have an agenda. I'm not bound to trust either organization." She sighs. "And I believe her. My source anyway. She was fine, until she talked to me. Now she doesn't remember anything and the people she talked about got hit by a fire. It's too close to be a coincidence. As for this Sylar— wait, you know about Sylar? Breaks people's heads open, 'studies' their brains? Can any of you tell me if this guy's alive or dead because the person I know who was taken swears he heard he was dead, when my Foundation source said the guy might still be alive because of a series of paintings…" She pauses, and she laughs. But not a lighthearted laugh, rather a laugh that indicates that she can't even believe what she was saying. "…by some guy who can somehow paint the future."

The fact that Elena doesn't know much about Isaac Mendez and yet so much else, when the artist was the springboard that sent Eliana and Jack diving into this sea of trouble is a red flag for Eliana. She immediately regrets telling the girl her name, or even being here when she met with Jack. This might compromise the apartment, which would be Not Good. And if she goes immediately to Sydney's? Double Not Good. Eliana smiles weakly and slowly lowers her legs and stands, resting a hand on the back of her chair before she lets it close on the coat she's draped there. "I'm afraid we don't know, Miss Gomez. I'm also afraid that Jack and I have an appointment. If you'd be so kind as to go out the front?" Who knows what back-up is waiting in the alley for this little lure's return.

Jack shoots a wide-eyed, slightly confused glance up at Eliana. But he's a well-bred Irish boy, and he knows better than to argue with a woman. "Err.. Righty-right. Sorry, Scrappy," he murmurs. Reaching out, he scoops up one of the bourbon glasses and empties it in a single gulp.

"It's okay," Elena says with a smile to Jack, and a nod to Eliana. She doesn't question it. But through the front? Why? She looks at Eliana quizzically. But they have to go, and so does she. She has to find out what happened to Drake. She reaches out to grab her backpack and looks over at them. "Be careful. There are more." She turns around, her fingers clenching a bit to the side. "One of their operatives threatened to visit my father. They aready wiped me once. So I figured - the more people know, the less they can suppress this. There's only so many people they can track to wipe if word spreads fast enough."

If these people just used her for information that was alright. They were like her, they needed to know. And if they worked for the Company? The Company was already after her father. They already know about her. But if they -weren't-, hopefully these adults would get the information to the right people. And then she heads for the door, pulling her hood up since she's going through the front.

Eliana stands aside as she shrugs on her jacket, simply watching Elena go. "You as well," she mutters in a farewell, her expression stony. The less emotion she can portray right now, the better.

Still a trifle confused, Jack wearily picks up a second bourbon glass and chugs it back. Then he stands as well. "Take care, Scrappy." His brow is furrowed, but his grey eyes are blank as he scoops up his woolen overcoat and shrugs into it.

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