2007-08-10: DF: Sanctuary, Sanctuary


Lee_icon.gif Nima.gif Felix.gif

Summary: Felix seeks out some of the Alliance to plan for his inevitable defection.

Dark Future Date: August 10th, 2009

Sanctuary, Sanctuary

// Abandoned packing plant, NYC //

Once upon a time, the West Side Line ran as an elevated freight railroad, spanning part of the West Village all the way up to 34th Street. As of spring 2007, most of the old rail tracks had been removed, making way for the park that drew supporters ranging from local residents to David Bowie. Since that time, the Friends of the High Line have had far more pressing and worrisome things to occupy their time and attention than a park so many years in the making.

Before the troubles that plagued the City, even before Mayor Bloomberg presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of a dream aborted, this area was heavily patrolled by the NYPD, which was all too keen to bust trespassers. This has not much changed, even if the reasons behind the restricted access have. Homeland Security does not wander this way, having been convinced there is nothing here that the boys in blue can't handle. And since they have enough on their plates, there is little point to get into a territorial pissing match over something as trivial as drunken college kids looking for a kick.

With the drop-off locations in a different, larger, far more famous park having been compromised, a meeting had been arranged at one of the remnants of the Line's former life: an abandoned meat packing factory located in the southern terminus.

There is no mistaking the police presence in the area. They have patrols and a perimeter. Felix had been been warned of such but advised to simply go about his business and remain calm should he get accosted.

Police? Police are, happily, low on the list of Felix's current threats. He was NYPD for nearly ten years - chances are damn good they might be someone he knew. And if not, well, he has a 'Do whatever I want and get away with it' badge, as the man so eloquently put it. Not that roast-beefing a cop will play well, if it ever gets back to the Bureau, but the time when that will matter is fast running out. He's in that worn army parka, jeans, chucks, and contacts, rather than glasses. He's waiting patiently in the main loading room - the chains that once took carcasses up from the intake clink softly in the breeze that wanders in from the broken windows. Very atmospheric, very Ridley Scott. And the sort of environment there it's hard to have all your exits watched. So Felix is nervous. He's got an unlit cigarette dangling from his lip, and is idly and silently toying with a battered Zippo.

The factory looks as though it has not been used in decades, which is actually true. Unlike many of its relatives in the Meatpacking District of what is better known as Chelsea, this has never been converted into the kind of space that caters sausages stuffed in leather casing.

Lee approaches, wearing instead of his usual athletic gear, something a bit more 'thrift store chic', a rumpled old black suit with an open-collared dress shirt. He seats himself, offers Felix a cigarette that he himself doesn't smoke. Nima is with him. "The brass sent two of us this time. What's the story?" he asks cheerily.

Felix takes it, and lights it, having vanished whatever Russian monstrosity he smokes into a surprisingly elegant pewter case, though it's engraved with a stylized nail and coffin. Some giftgiver has a dark sense of humor. He gets it drawing well, before he replies. "Luck is running out," he says, simply, giving Nima a nod. Not one he's met before, but Lee's apparently enough to vouch for her. "Some little girl with 'satiable curiosity fucked up Central Park. She doesn't know how close she came to having me drop her body in the reservoir," he says, irritably. "And there was a batch foul up with the suppressant pills, when it came to an Evolved we took in. The terrakine. Didn't actually make a difference, but that and her escape brought the Eye of Sauron over in my direction." He spreads his hands, leaving an arabesque of smoke in the air after the gesture. "So, sanctuary, sanctuary. I need to make escape and contact plans concrete, now. It's just a matter of time. I also want to know - what're the absolute priorities for info, because it's possible I'll be able to do a smash and grab on the network when I run."

Normally, when 'The Brass' sends more than one, the other one is the one who is primarily known as the Arab. A leggy woman clad in form-fitting camo fatigues, matching jacket, and shoes typical of a track athlete doesn't really fit the bill of one of America's Most Wanted. Neatly tucked under the cap she wears is what may be dark honey blond hair. With the dim lighting and suitably cautious distance, exact coloring is difficult to determine. Were it brighter, maybe some semblance of family resemblance could even be determined between her and Lee. For the time being, though, Nima simply returns the nod, offers a small but not unwelcoming smile, and lets her brother do the talking. For now.

Lee says, "Sure. I always bring it with me whenever we speak, Felix. You've done yeoman's work and I'm not going to complain or argue. You went out on the edge for the Easy Earth Girl and even though she's not exactly /ours/, we're grateful and you did the right thing." He has a small folded piece of notepaper. Date, time, location. "Memorize it and destroy it. Be there with everything you want, you'll be picked up. Now as for what you can grab….what do you have access to? We're working on something, it's true…"

Namir's an old buddy. Which makes his absence a faint disappointment, even if he's a rather grim figure, these days. He takes the paper, runs his eyes over it a few times, and then pulls Zippo and old tin out of his pocket, burning the scrap of paper and catching the ashes, reluctant to leave even that much of a trace. "Camp shipment timetables, for road and rail, Prisoners and gear. Schedules and intended targets for raids. Suspects they're watching. I don't yet have the names of moles they have in insurgent organizations. Not my department. Supply depot passcodes." He lifts a finger, letting smoke leak from a corner of his mouth. "I also want, if possible, passage for one more person. The scientist you all took and interrogated, the one working on that project. She's a friend."

For whatever reason, Namir is not here. Or perhaps he is. In the shadows, somewhere, ready to silently fire off a shot should something go amiss? What is for certain is that Lee's second for this outing is the still silent woman. So many years of LARPs and New York Jedi have helped hone the woman's acting chops, funny enough. Even though the award-winning costume maker has opted for little more than a quality wig and dark brown contact lenses, Nima Jones is in-character, and her expression remains true to the creation's personality and background. She knows all The Alliance knows about Aileen.

Casting a sidelong glance at Lee, she then explains to Felix in a clipped Welsh tone stripped of her voice's usual dulcet quality, "That is a matter that will need to be decided by High Command, I'm afraid. We are only here to negotiate on your behalf. Should she be willing to meet with us, we will be in a better position to assist her. Failing that, if there is anything you can say on her behalf and to her benefit, now is the time." As pause. A question. "Is her departure of her own volition? Will extraction be necessary?" Not necessarily deal breaking points but nonetheless important factors that need to be taken into account.

Lee adds to what Nima says: "I sort of like her where she is, honestly, since the more secrets people are keeping from each other in the feds, the more they will turn on each other. But I'm listening…"

Felix exhales smoke slowly, considering this. "She's been making dubious noises about her current position. Her heart's not in it, and she's afraid El Presidente is going to turn this into the Final Solution, will she, nil she. Petrelli's got his hands all over it, now. She's not going to be able to meet with you before she runs - she's living with Dawson, one of the President's little gray eminences. I can creep around doing spooky stuff, it's expected of me, and I can wave my badge at people to a great extent. She can't. She doesn't know I'm affiliated with any group. I told her I could get her out, but i made it clear it would be me spending the last coin I had in terms of authority. I can likely get her to bolt with me, which would make actual extraction necessary. I don't want her sweetie pulling out the stops to have her found. I won't bring her against her will. If she won't come, I run on my own. As a bargaining chip, well, you know what she's working on. She claims to be working on an antidote, as well. Apparently others in government are dubious about the possibility of forcing Evolution. It's too risky a process. Too much likelihood of death or madness as things stand, and she doesn't fancy becoming Petrelli's Mengele."

Lee says, "Why would she leave if the man she loves won't? I'm skeptical, Felix. You'll be putting your own escape at risk. I really don't know. What do you think?" he asks Nima. "I mean, I know it's /possible/ we could get her too if she wanted to come - heck, we got her once before when she /didn't./"

Felix explains, pinching out the cigarette and vanishing it into that same tin, "She doesn't love him. She's unEvolved and afraid. The SS officer's Jewish wife may come through the war okay, right?" he says, with a bitter grin.

"What changed?" It is a simple question absent of accusation or even suspicion. "According to her statements, she initiated the program of her own volition, supposedly without der Fuhrer's awareness." Yeah, like that really happens in a genocidally fascist regime. "And does she intend to continue her research?" Nima's tone is impassive, matching her expression. Then, being a woman, she asks a woman's question: "How do you know that she does not love him?" More to the point, does Felix display even the subtlest signs that the highly astute of the XX persuasion can ping about a man who feels more than friendly things for a friend?

"She was hopeful of it as an option. Not as something the regime is going to force down people's throats. Or use as a reward for loyalty. Typical scientist's naivete." He snorts, beginning to toy with the lighter again, hands busy. "I don't believe she does, other than research on the antidote. How do I know? She's more or less said as much. I've known her for a while, I'm her confidant. She'd come with me if I said the word," he says, with a shrug.

Lee says, "If you're wrong, you'll put the whole pipeline at risk. But I think you've bought some credibility with us. You've gone a lot further than a lot of other HomeSec guys for us. I think you've earned a little slack? Bring word to the drop if she is good to go or not. We'll contact her with instructions if she's cleared."

A single nod is Nima's reply to what is relayed about Aileen. And since she says nothing to contradict Lee, either she is in agreement or possesses enough sense to not contradict him in front of Felix.

Felix's lip curls in a grin that's closer to a sneer. "I didn't crawl through barbed wire to get here because I wanted to be an oprichnik for Mr. Petrelli," he says, in a tone that should be able to etch glass. "But I will let you know. It'll be within a couple of weeks, no more. My nerves can't take much more of this," He bows a little. "Now, I think I've taken up sufficient of your time."

"Actually… before you go, there is a little more time to be spent," Nima says, still in that clipped, Welsh-tinged tone. "The girl. The drop-off breach. What can you tell us about her?"

Lee is interested in that, and he adds, "I'll leave one last drop for you - a flash drive with the files we'll need. We don't need you to steal anything, we want you to /replace/ some files in the system, though."

"Her name is Portia Maddox," Felix rattles off her address, as well. "She quite literally ran into me in the park. I was leaving a message at the drop by the Turtle Pond in Central. The actual drop is under a bridge, but the signal point was the statue of King Jagiello. I'd left a mark to note that there was something in the drop…..it's the middle of the goddamn night, full moon, and right behind me someone's cellphone goes off. I bolt for the trees, trying to see who's there. Nothing. I wait, I listen, nothing. We start playing cat and mouse - she can see or hear me, I can't see her, but she's willing to talk back to me. Somehow she tries to sneak past me in the dark, runs into me instead, and I grab her and start demanding answers. That's what I get. She's obviously not a pro, though HomeSec is grabbing 'em young these days. Says she was out there just out of curiosity. I know I'm too soft-hearted, but I can't bring myself to just kill her there. So I get her name and address, and tell her I'll come after her if I feel like anything funny has come of it."

Felix grins at Lee. "I figured you'd say something like that. A last little present for my old employers?"

Lee says, "Nothing funny on our end. Portia Maddox. That's a name I haven't heard in a lifetime." A little smile plays around his lips. "She writes a mean essay." he explains to the woman with him. "As for the files? Nothing serious. Just a few timetable shifts. A few reinforcement requests. Some trucks going here, some other trucks going there." Tactical things. The brass is good at tactical things.

Attentively, the woman listens to Felix's tale. When it is concluded, her response is, "If you have issues with the girl, let us know. If a take-down is absolutely necessary, use non-lethal force." Politely enough stated, but clearly not a point of contention. Perhaps she's one of theirs. Or under surveillance. To the rest, nothing more is added.

Felix brightens at those comments, glancing between the siblings. "Oh, you know her? Or of her? Someone you can vouch for?" Clearly, it removes a burden of worrry. He did do the right thing. He nods at Lee.

Lee says, "Can't vouch for her. Like I said. It was a lifetime ago. If she listened to what I told her, she is fine. But I can't guarantee that she did." with a sort of nostalgic grace.

Likewise, Nima does not vouch for the girl. Not really. "/She/ is no more a threat to you than she is to herself." Which may not be saying much. "Those around her, however, will not hesitate to strike fast and strike fatally, if given reason." Lee knows that of which she speaks… and that dates back to before the Gomez clan was utterly insane. "Truly, harm her and you are signing your own death warrant." It is not a threat coming on her end. It is a cautionary and factual statement about what to expect from the girl's guardians.

Lee looks surprised - he didn't know /that/ about Portia's situation, apparently.

"It's a bit late for that," he says, wryly. "She left my hands a little bruised, shall we say. Coherent, but shaken."

Lee says amiably, "Perhaps I should speak with her then. Maybe she remembers me fondly." Isn't she a little, well, ridiculously young for Lee?

"Then I suggest that is how you leave her and hope she cannot identify you. We'll see about keeping you out of the crosshairs." This is followed with a small smirk towards her brother. "Perhaps. Nick Fury and his ilk are the point of concern, though."

Felix grimaces. "Well, then, please. So I don't get sent to sleep with the fishes."

Lee says, "I don't even know who the hell you're talking about." in a giant lie to his sister, then grins to Felix. "We'll handle it one way or another. Good luck, Felix."

Another nod. "Just steer clear and it should be fine." With that grim bit of business out of the way, Nima then genuinely smiles. Even among the shadows, it is a lambent sight. "Thank you, Felix, for all you've done to help and for all that you may still do. May the Force be with you." Because there is /no way/ she was ever going to not get-off /that/ parting line.

Felix manages not to roll his eyes, but bows again. No verbal farewell.

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