2007-08-16: DF: Strawberry Fields


DFJane_icon.gif DFMcAlister_icon.gif

Summary: Current events, future plans, and a drop location.

Dark Future Date: August 16th, 2009

Strawberry Fields

Greenwich Village, NYC

She's come to the roof of her old recording studio on East 14th Street in Greenwich Village, a building she now has footholds in. Jane treads across the surface and sets down her gear next to an old piece of machinery, then moves to the edge and scans the street below with binoculars. The gun which used to belong to Felix Ivanov is tucked into the back of her jeans. She's cautiously looking for signs of Homeland Security in the area, or other forms of government activity of equal danger. After a few minutes of this she treads back to bring the guitar case over so it's close at hand.

There's quite a bit - Homeland Security. Ever since the press release about the president, the streets /crawl/. Resistance Radio's broadcast anyway - always on the move, from the conversation - but the advice has been the same. Stay in, stay down, stay quiet.

Not that Ali has been. In fact, about a block over, she's shadowing a sedan, moving along a rooftop of a Greenwich short-scraper, nine floors up and heading for the fire escape. One of those makeshift bridges crosses between that building and the studio, one floor down - aging wood creaking ominously as the slight broadcaster makes her way across it, the ironwork banging with her footsteps as she heads up.

Stealth, thy name is /not/ Ali.

It had occurred to her a rooftop would be a good place to find the Broadcaster. She'd remembered the makeshift bridge and decided to come here both to have a look around from the vantage point and possibly get lucky. For La Mariachi, she who now hides rifles in guitar cases, it's a double win. The binoculars briefly track that same sedan, then shift over to the crossing Voice at the sound of her approach. A distant memory surfaces, one of a time Ali led into the playing of Superfreak by Rick James.

Up and across - panting, Ali adds into her mic - "That's nine in an hour, kiddos. Nine. So be down. Be quiet. This might take a bit to blow over." A flick of a switch streams Louis Armstrong talking about Wonderful Worlds into the pipe… and Ali pauses, rooftop-edge, to look down.

It's to herself, but it's loud enough to carry, "Okay. Somebody wasn't thinking."

"Who wasn't?" she answers at the same volume, her head turning toward the Voice. "Good to see you," Jane adds. "Let's hope no one on the run literally drops in on us this time, yeah?" Her head turns, binoculars raised again, back to scoping the streets below.

Ali /startles/. But she grins, when she sorts out who else is up here. "I don't know. But you don't just /take/ a President. I'm probably going to have to shut down for a while, if this keeps up. God help us all if they shoot him - don't get me wrong. It'd be worth doing, but it'd be like kicking a nest of wasps. They'd /have/ to do something afterwords."

The broadcaster shakes her head, turning to cross Jane's way. "Four near misses today - and there's too many out here for me to do any real good anyway."

Her lips quirk a bit when the taken President is mentioned. It's something she finds at least slightly amusing. "It makes the heat go up, to be sure, but I'd like to know who pulled it off and congratulate them for having giant brass balls." Jane lowers the binoculars and faces Ali, her expression serious. "Good to see you weren't both assassinated and turned into a bio-bomb, woman."

"I was. Both. I got better." Ali heads to one of the air conditioning units up here, hopping up to sit on its edge. "Thanks to Cass. And.. somebody else." She lets /that/ part go.

"It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Damn if I ever thought I'd be the one that people wanted to kill, you know? You heard anything about the agent we ran into?"

"How is Cass?" Jane asks quietly, on hearing her name spoken. "And you're the Broadcaster. Of course you're an assassination target." Her eyes study Ali as she sits, carefully measuring the apparent state of her health. "What're your plans for the assassin? Got ideas on trying to rescue her from traitor custody and whatever they're doing to force her compliance? I could tag her sniper style with a tranq rifle."

Still thin - but less tired. Even with a bit more color. "And then what? She's more dangerous than me, Jane - and they're watching her, if she's to be believed. If you tranq her, she still infects you when she wakes up. And if you think SARS is the meanest disease out there.." Ali shakes her head. "Practically speaking, it's better to use a real bullet. As for Cass.. I don't know. HomeSec got her a week or two back. We're trying to find her.. but. No luck, so far. At least that I know of."

She listens, quietly, seeming to form a reply and be ready to give it when her chance comes, but suddenly something Ali says causes Jane's face to freeze. The darkness in her eyes becomes a storm, and the topic of Erin McCarty, Biowar Assassin, is abandoned entirely. "What?!" she spits out. "They got Cass a week or two ago, and this is the first I hear of it, Ali? We. really. have. to. work. on. our. communication!"

"I've been mildly caught up in, oh, I don't know - trying to find her. It didn't work out, but I still am." Ali leans forward then, rubbing at her face. "I figured the Alliance people would have said /something/. But…" Seriously. "We have a plan. I don't know when it's going to go down, but we do have a plan. You wanna help?"

The answer comes without hesitation. "Of course I do." Jane stalks over to where Ali sits and rests against the machine. "Tell me when and where to be, with what. I'll pack more heat than just my voice, be ready to reach out and touch someone long distance." There's a cold fury to her words, interrupted by a brief silence, broken with stating "I hunted for you too, when you went missing." Hands pull up the backpack, she reaches inside it and pulls out a dress box. "Tried to give you this at the zoo, you weren't there, and the broadcast was a recording."

Ali.. hops down, and just moves over to give the woman a rather fierce hug. "Thanks. Things have gotten strange lately - " The box isn't touched, yet. The hug, after all, is more important.

"I just want you to be ready - I don't know if it's going to be a distraction, or if it's going to be something more serious - but I'm taking out insurance, on this one." She leans back. "And I need a different favor. I need a homeland agent - somebody higher up. IF you can get one without getting caught." LIke buying apples. Easy, right?

Her arms encircle the broadcaster and squeeze, some fierceness in the gesture on Jane's part as well. It's loaded with the scars of her experiences and the knowledge of having nearly lost another person in all of this. It's so very much an 'I'm really glad you're not dead' embrace. "I'm always ready," Jane replies. "I've been ready since before we met. The world is hell, and worst of all Sylar is still out there. He's why I learned to be a sniper. Best way is luring him out with a small army and spilling his brain from far away where he can't see the shooter." Something she once told Nathan before he became the enemy. "And you want to capture a hostage for possible trade."

"No." Ali shakes her head, once - "I want to talk to him, for a bit. I think if we found someone with a bit of clearance, they'd be willing to help out, just a bit." A faint smile. "I can be convincing." A pause… "Honestly, I'm less worried about Sylar than I am everything else. Deadly or not? It's getting worse - if Homeland shoots us first, Sylar doesn't much matter."

"Homeland you can see coming," Jane replies seriously. "Gabriel Gray we can't. And we're all targets just by walking and breathing. Like a lion stalking zebra on the plains of Africa, and now that most humans are segregated?" She attempts eye contact to see if Ali gets it. "Your target from the Gestapo, then, you'd wan to catch alone. I'm hoping to meet with the Teacher, maybe he can get Ivanov to give us some names and addresses for stormtrooper commanders of the type you're after and how they can best be approached for private conversation."

McAlister nods. "Just find out what you can. Get me one if you can - I'll go with you, but - I don't have time to look by myself. Which is lame, I know - but true." The woman moves back to sit on that air conditioner again. "I wish I could care about Sylar. But, you know? There have been killers before. Some escape, some get caught - and Peter's after him. Either I have faith, or I don't. Either I lock myself away, or I keep going, and trying to do what I can." Wryly.. "The Alliance is getting me a gun. He won't take what I can do - beyond that? I'm going to keep living."

She's solemn and serious on that turn of topic. "If you find yourself facing him, you have to shoot yourself in the head, Ali. He was once close to getting an ability like yours. But she denied him satisfaction. Shot herself. I don't recommend cowering in terror, but in perspective, he's enemy one. More dangerous than any of them." And she's spoken her mind on that, now moving along. "I'd like to see Mr. Clemens. I'm interested in acquiring something for Portia."

"I'll see what I can do. Can I ask what you're after? I might be able to come up with it before he can, depending." Ali flashes a smile. "And I like the kid - she /really/ needs to get those CDs to me."

You say, "I'm after clothes which block infrared emissions," Jane answers, "things she can wear to defeat heat seekers. Invisibility has a loophole, and given what she's into a defense is needed to close it." Her voice trails off, she's taking a short time to collect her thoughts. "I told her she should come clean with Senor Gomez and Elena about what she's been doing. She's making a woman's decisions, and she should defend those decisions to them like a grown woman."

"Yeah, she should. Mr. Gomez and Elena will likely be unhappy, but they'll respect it. They'll respect her choices, after the yelling." Ali pauses. "Geez. It's like coming out of the closet. 'Hey dad, sis - you may want to sit down. I'm a resistance fighter.'"

"I won't keep this secret from them," Jane states quietly. "She's got some time to clue them in, but if she doesn't I will. It's a tricky road to walk, respecting Portia and them at the same time. So I first insist she treats them with respect. But the very fact she can't be the girl I met two years ago anymore makes me want to scream down a building whenever I think about it."

"people change. Worlds change people." Ali - ever the philosopher. "Sometimes good, sometimes bad - it's just paths. Directions. She grew up fast - it means that she missed some stuff, but is standing up for others." She spreads her hands. "I know how empty it sounds. But at least she cares enough to /stand up/. We could get her out of town, but she wouldn't go."

"She wouldn't go, any more than I would. I was ready to tear down half of Manhattan looking for you. It'd be the same if Elena were missing. Manuel, Senor Gomez, Jack… any of them. That's what friendship and sticking together is all about." A few steps are taken, Jane settles at a different spot against the AC unit. "She got slapped around recently by the guy we rescued. He was making a drop, she was watching, and her phone went off. Had a gun put to her head. For all he knew she was a threat." A deep breath is taken, before she continues.

"I came out and got her to safety after that, contact with the Teacher was made and he apologized. I'm still tempted to punish Ivanov, but, really, it was all Portia's fault and I had to make sure she understood that." Her face is saddened and angered at the same time, saying so; it shames the woman to have to be so callous about things.

"It was. She's learning - she's a rookie. So treat her like a rookie. She needs a gun, and practice. She needs someone to show here where the threats are, and to make sure she's not out there alone." Ali pauses - "Give her to Lee. You go with her - if you're associated on that side, they'll keep her out of trouble until she's ready for it."

"She was ranting about how it's never justified to hold a gun to a sixteen year old girl's head, and it isn't. I agreed with her, but still made it clear getting caught means she gets dead. Part of me wants to thrash Mr. Ivanov for slapping her around, but I understand he taught her an important lesson. I think she got the message about being cautious and not getting caught by something in her control. Like having her phone on. Now I want to eliminate the variable of infrared spotters."

"HomeSec won't care how old she is." Ali objects, quietly - "But.. I'll talk to him. I'll try to arrange a meeting - but at the very least, I'll talk to him." She frowns. "I'd do worse to a sixteen-year-old if I had to. You would too - that line falls flat."

"I've got the word out I want to see the Teacher, too. The man called Lee. Portia knows him. He was her junior high school civics teacher." Jane's expression, already so dark and stormy, becomes more so. "People used to talk about our US soldiers killing children during firefights in faraway places, about how barbaric it is to send them out as fighters. But now, here we are, understanding it firsthand. The fight is there, and they won't stay away. Can't keep them away."

And still somehow Jane forces it all back out of mind and changes tacks. "You look like you've been eating well, thankfully, Ali."

"It's either that or a fillipino chef stabs me. I choose to eat." The woman smiles, a bit tiredly. "It wasn't intentional. There's just a lot to do - and I never think about stopping. A stint being homeless and you get to where you don't worry too much about meals - and I just forget, when I'm busy. You know?" A shrug - "Shepherd put down the law, and the chef keeps an eye on me - I'll be fat at the end of the year. You watch. You got any word who nabbed Petrelli? I've been asking, but so far nobody's claiming credit."

"Good for them. Means I don't have to tie you down and force you to eat myself. But no, I've not heard. If you do, pass the word. I want to give them a standing O for having such a huge steel pair. It's richly deserved."

"And I've been thinking, Ali, about your broadcasts. Making some music for them, original stuff of a suitable nature, and Portia had an idea for a sort of Schoolhouse Rock series."

"So put it together, and I'll put it out there." Ali pauses, then frowns. "Steel pair, sure. But let me ask you - if you steal a president, what do you do next? Kill him? alright - but then he's a martyr even if he /was/ unpopular. So without killing… " She rubs at her face. "I know what I'd do. Failing /me/, what. Make him vanish? That'd be interesting. Probably the only thing /worth/ doing."

"I'd have found an illusionist I trusted, first, and replaced him. No one would ever know he was gone. Then I get telepaths to rake through his mind, and you to make him spill everything he knows, so we can start putting things right. Right now, if he's dead, the Vice President probably takes over, and that's no guarantee of anything being improved at all. There's no guarantee the 25th amendment will be followed anyway."

"Nothing's simple. I just keep hoping there was, you know, a /plan/." Ali shakes her head, and stands. "I'll talk to him - Eric. Listen to the airwaves and I"ll keep you posted as to when we can meet. And talk to Lee - see if he can use you. Tell him I sent you if you have to - he'll sort it out from there."

"Say hello to Elena for me," Jane asks as she moves to collect her gear and place it over shoulders. "I'll be waiting for word about meeting with Mr. Clemens and on the Cass Operation. How and where do I find you these days, Ali?" The dress box is offered toward her again. "If the other one wasn't quite the right size, I think this will be."

"There's a drop at the.." Ali takes that box, blinking, flushing a bit. "I'll try it on. I.. thanks." It's quiet, but it's what she's got. "There's.. a drop in strawberry fields, near the Imagine mural. I check it quite a bit - just look, you'll find it. Failing that, I'll check up here, when I'm out. It isn't hard - it's not too far to Kitty's from here." He steals one more firm hug. "Smile for me. Just once in a while."

"I'll try," Jane replies to the request she smile, a fleeting one appearing. She returns the hug, then steps back. Her voice takes on a soft singing tone. "…strawberry fields, nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about. Strawberry fields forever." And she's on the move, headed inside the building they're on the roof of.

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