Stereotypical Candle of Hope

This scene has been retconned - no scene like it ever occurred or will occur, ever. The page is being left up as an example of a stupid scene that nobody should ever emulate in any way. Don't ever run a scene like this or make characters like this or have them say things like this, ever. Thanks for your help.

Starring:

DFNima_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif

Summary:

The top brass of the Alliance try to keep a lid on their international allies after Jack's attack on the White House.

Dark Future Date:

August 16, 2009

Stereotypical Candle of Hope


A lighthouse off the American East Coast

Communication with the "legitimate" outside world has to be very circumspect for the Alliance. Only a very few know of this station, up in a crumbling lighthouse on an island that they row to. Point to point, encrypted transmission, on linked car batteries. It's always Lee's voice, never Nima's, but she's always there to give diplomatic tactical advice and decisions, by written note.

It's not going well. "Mr. Ambassador," Lee is saying. "I can't emphasize enough that we have nothing to do with the kidnapping of the President. We had no prior knowledge of the attack on the White House. As you know, the Alliance has always supported Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, and the human rights courts of the Hague to…" He is interrupted by the person on the other end of the communication - Lee holds the headset tighter against his ear, looking pained…then alarmed. "If you could see your way clear to at least delay the deportations until we could establish…" He writes, to Nima: 'They want to deport the detainees we've smuggled into their country.' looking across to her.

Reading the note, Nima's brow furrows and her mouth takes a turbid twist. Mentally, she runs the logistics, even as she pulls up the agreed upon terms of amnesty on the several years old but well-maintained MacBook Pro resting upon her lap. Tabbing into a program she coded herself, she enters a series of key terms specific to the country in question, and scans for pre-calculated points of leverage. This she updates in real-time, factoring in the details of the conversation, which she has been listening to first-hand thanks to some clever audio patching, as well as up-to-minute reports coming in from around the world. The scenarios process in her mind as quickly as zeros and ones make anything in this universe work. Scenario conceived. Outcome estimated, analyzed and evaluated. New scenario conceived. Outcome estimated, analyzed and evaluated. yet another scenario conceived. Outcome estimated, analyzed and evaluated. Tap-tap-tap. Fingertips are a blur and an answer — the answer — is typed in large, easy to read font. Just like a teleprompter, except with something intelligent to relay.

Lee reads, and says, "…Mr. Ambassador, we appreciate your position. We'll stop all detainees from coming to your nation and…and evacuate the….yes, immediately. As a show of good faith. I want to emphasize that….Yes….yes, immediately, /and/ we will evacuate the detainees currently in our safe houses. It's your country's choice, Mr. Ambassador, we have to respect that or we're no better than the people we are fighting." He looks troubled, then sees what Nima types next. "Don't thank me, Mr. Ambassador, we are quite saddened that we could not continue this very productive relationship. How long can you give us to accomplish our evacuation? …..five weeks?" He looks at Nima, receives a thumbs up. "Quite generous, Mr. Ambassador, I appreciate your assistance. Now what can we do to prove to you we have nothing to do with this fellow in the White House?" A pause. "…I see. Well, can we at least keep this…I see. No, I quite understand. We will make contact through other channels if there is more to discuss. Yes. And to you. Alliance signing off." He pulls off the headset. "He cut the transmission. We're not to call back," he says. But at least they saved the detainees.

"We're also not surprised," Nima quips. "All the same: Mission Accomplished." Because being an optimist doesn't negate being a realist. "Right. We'll give it a few days before we start transferring balances." Because, somehow, moving refugees is a lot like juggling debt via transferring balances from credit card to credit card, paying off what you can when you can, at the most optimal interest rate.

PING! A fancy-shmancy news aggregator window pops to the fore. Ever since the transmission debacle that took over the airwaves, all known key terms pertaining to the Saints had been entered in a heavily encrypted feed routed and rerouted so many times around the globe as to look like it might as well be coming from HomeSec HQ. "Lookie-loo. Let's see what Mr. McFeely just brought us." With a handy-dandy click…

Cut to an image of Jack Derex standing next to the President, who is unconscious and hanging from the ceiling by his wrists. One of the President's fingers has been severed. Like a trophy fish, Jack is holding the digit up for the camera's viewfinder. Cut again, this time to the back of the photo, where 'You have 48 hours' has been scrawled by a rough, unpracticed hand.

"Well." Beat. "I'm quite certain that's not the kind of thing that can be legally transferred across state lines." A frown, a sigh. All kidding aside, Nima is NOT PLEASED. "This makes what Petrelli's been accused of," for he remains innocent until proven guilty, in America, in theory, "look positively sublime and benign."

Lee says, in an echo of what he used to say about Jack: "That fucking idiot." Only now it sounds sad rather than gleefully smug. "We've got to pull the plug with those guys. We don't need guns that bad. Especially not now. Christ, Neems….what are we gonna do, half our ports are closed and we're coming up on the biggest set of detainee raids of all time, half of them are already in motion."

This is the part of a screen or teleplay where someone would reply, "I'd ask what the hell is he thinking, except it's obvious that he's not." As clichéd as the siblings Jones may be, even they draw a line, thus the statement is never made. "Agreed. If they want to self-style martyr themselves like, I dunno, insert some deluded crackpots <here>, fine. Let them. I'm not about to let the hellfire of their 'righteous anger' burn the rest of us, though. We're stockpiled, well enough, and we have the Blues, when push comes to shove." A pause. Then a very loud, "FRAK! Fucking Dark Side."

Lee replies, "I'd hate to have to stab them in the back publically, but I am not seeing another way of separating us from them sufficiently to keep the detainees moving, or to give them leverage when they organize in the target country - wherever that might end up being, at this point…"

Which is why the Alliance made a point of dealing with the Saints on the downlow. Even among all the charred decay of devastation and despair, Nima could smell the crazy. Sometimes, though, you gotta work with what you have and beggars can't be choosers. Sometimes, you strike deals with a devil to take out a greater threat. It's why The School of the Americas exists. It's how Afghanistan got armed. It's politics and it sucks and it's business as usual. "Well, we always knew we'd eventually have to cut them loose," she notes. "They've been sending people 'round Bat Country, on the sly," according to surveillance, "and Lach's shifting from the laid out course," she can sense these things, "so, I figure they're trying to find Cass. We have the luxury of giving them a few days before we take action."

Lee says, "I almost am grateful Lachlan didn't get out of the country. At this point? Who knows where he and Abby would have ended up." He gets to his feet, crosses to look out the window. All beyond is darkness and fog. "We've got to keep on with the detainee ops." he says, reasoning out loud to a conclusion she reached silently before they even got up here. "Even if we don't know where they're going to end up yet, if we can just….get some extra food for the trip, let them stay in transit until this can get worked out…the government's going to be going crazy and there's never going to be a more vulnerable time."

Well, Abby is currently in Nima's care. Not at this exact moment, obviously, but there is no way she going to let that child come into harm's way. Apart from maybe Lachlan getting himself killed, but there is only so much she can do. "We should be on-target with the food quota. Pretty much all thanks to Stef. We'll have to do something extra-nice for her. Well, for everyone, really." As to the rest, "Agreed. The course remains the same until further notice." And there is always further notice. Plans that are static are plans that fail.

Lee falls silent again. You might as well put "…" over his head. He broods, like an Adrien Brody character might. "Something's wrong with this world," he says quietly.

Nima, herself, is that odd amalgam of hope and sadness that is classic Liv Tyler. "A lot of things are," she admits, setting down the laptop so she can lovingly hug her brother, "but some things I would never change."

Lee hugs her back, tightly. "Okay," he says. "We're almost done." They keep Canada for three weeks. Two corporations are still in - they might as well be, their ships are already at sea with refugees. The money's dried up in Barcelona but is still in the accounts in Hong Kong. They lose Brazil, and lose it big. It's a night of damage control. When they row back, the lantern on the prow of the little rowboat bobs in the pitch darkness like a stereotypical candle of hope. Lee doesn't even complain about how cliché it is. He's too busy pulling on the oar.

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