2007-08-12: DF: The Intricacies Of Hope

Starring:

DFElena_icon.gif DFBenjamin_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif Gene_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif

Summary: Elena's foresight to leave a camera in the ruins of Bat Country yields fruit as a certain someone comes back to the ruins of Bat Country Labs. A small team of Saints mobilize, and a plan to rescue Cass Aldric is formed through the presence of one of the most unlikely to take on the task.

Dark Future Date: August 12, 2009

The Intricacies Of Hope


Bat Country Labs + The Boondock Saints Headquarters

It's never a good idea for one to return to the scene of the crime.. yet .. Benjamin finds himself entering the rubble of Bat Country Labs. He's careful to not disturb things unless it is deemed necessary. He's here on a personal mission. To anyone watching, his motives are not apparent. Mindful of the structural damage, Ben makes his way to the room where he helped take in Cass. In here, he's going through anything left behind. Anything that could remotely give him some clue as to how to contact those he used to call friends. His expression is grim, dark and determined behind his greying beard. The man's not alone however. There is a small capuchin monkey with him. It jumps down from his shoulder to 'help' go through spilled papers, debris.. anything that could be a clue.

The motion sensor goes off once the traitor moves through the door, letting a small camera, roughly the size of a baby's fist, activate in the corner of the room. It gives off no light, merely getting a rough shot of the room. It's not great, but it's a little better than most security cameras.

In a distant building, a couple of floors underground, a PDA goes off. Turning off the wielding torch, the young man takes off the thick gloves and pulls out the device on his belt, standing up and moving away from the hunk of metal. The modifications to the motorcycle can wait. The heavily modded PDA is given a couple of finger taps; first to open the alert and then to go to it. Moving to his desktop computer, Gene brings up the feed on one of the three screens, allowing his jPhone to be used as a radio for his peers. "We have contact I believe it's our man. I had the Monster posted roughly three blocks down. Shall I move him in now or wait until there is back-up?" He doesn't really wait for confirmation, already doing the needed programs to turn on the Monster.

Meanwhile, under a pile of rubble topped with smell garbage that really shouldn't be discussed, a gloved hand emerges.

In the room that served as a contact point for most of their communications from the outside, Elena looks up with a start as her jPhone's radio capability activates. She had just finished transmitting a message to Daphne and Rudyard at the zoo. Contact? Really? SO SOON? She reaches out, grabbing the phone. Far from the cherry red design she had favored before, it was a boring, null-black color now. It was more difficult to see that way. She patches through to Gene. "Copy, Gene. Move in Monster if he looks like he's about to leave. Restrain him in any and all means necessary. I'm grabbing my team right now. Let me know if anything changes."

She grabs her jacket and her harness with her guns in it. She turns around, and starts hurrying out the room. "Papa, Eric. Let's move. Papa and I can take one of the trucks. Eric, you go on ahead without us. It's Winters - set up a crow's nest and keep crosshairs on his head."

She depresses a button, so she can go down a few levels to get to the garage. She needs a vehicle. Between her and her father, he was a better driver. In the meanwhile, she's fitting herself with one of the Saints' bluetooth communicators.

Ramon follows Elena, cracking his knuckles. His lips curve into a sneer as he settles into the driver's seat of the vehicle. He buckles up— safety first when you're on the rampage and everything— and starts the engine once Elena gets inside. "Can you cheat your way past his sleep effect?" Ramon asks in a scratchy voice. "I think its biochemical, not mental-suggestive, which means my power is useless against it."

Eric just nods once towards Elena. "Got it," He murmurs before he picks up a case containing his favorite sniper rifle, and some pistols. Then he smiles and poof. Off he goes to find a nice position to set up in. He'll be all kinds of ready with the hammer of god should something go wrong here.

"I can try. I neutralized his sleep effect before….during the accident on the bus, a long time ago. I'm hoping Monster will subdue him if he tries anything. There's no brain to hit." But they'll have to make sure they bring Monster home. The two years haven't changed Elena's overprotectiveness with Gene's technology. So she tosses the keys to her father, and rides shotgun at the truck, depressing the remote so the garage door can open up to the ramp leading up towards the higher levels. She watches Eric shadow-walk his way out of the room, and she turns her eyes forward. "Let's go." She turns on the GPS on the truck, so her father will know where he's going. Not like he already doesn't…..he was a frequent visitor to Bat Country back in the day.

Flashback.

Ramon stares straight ahead as he drives.

("Cass!" He'd roared the words as he'd burst into her sanctum, having had time to get good and worked up on the way over here. He'd stopped. Tried to get composure. And still sounded prepared to bite her head off as he'd growled like a very furious dog, "Why didn't you tell me what that girl's power was?")

His fingers grow tight on the wheel. "There's plenty of chance they know perfectly well I fund you all. There's an excellent chance this is not going to go at all like we expect. If they get the jump on us, this time, I want you to run. You be the one to go get help."

He looks over at his daughter, his eyes hooded. "I'm out last. It makes sense. I may funnel money but I know the least about the day to day operations and plans. I may be in the position to cut deals as an equal even so. Am I making sense, chiquita?"

The Monster makes its way down the streets, soon moving through the site of a brief but savage battle to get to Bat Country. It stands over six feet and seems dressed in a tattered suit and a wrecked trenchcoat. Seems like the Big and Tall store had some bad days in this war too. Over the clothes, a large backpack is slung over, likely a hiking pack from an outfitter store. Bloody bandages cover the right arm and most of the face of the figure, only the upper left side scene, brown hair, pale skin, and a shaded monocle hanging awkwardly out of place over the left eye. It seems like the Mummy met the Mafia as the being moves through hallway. As it gets to the hallway leading to the room where Logan's henchman is, suddenly a red light begins to go off in the corner of the room, where the camera happens to be. The operator of the camera waits until the agent is looking toward the light before moving the Monster in. That is, if he looks toward the camera. If not, it will just wait for Benji to make his way out of the room before walking toward him. Either way, the footsteps are loud and heavy and once visual contact is made, the simple and obviously digitally altered command of 'STOP' is given.

Benjamin might recognize the figure… It's been in attacks before. The arm usually has something in it; it could pair of handguns one day, an assault rifle the next… It seems to change and seems to be attached to the person's arm, making people wonder who or what the Monster really is. Either way, it's known for two things. Being hard to kill and rarely being alone.

If the teams moving in are concerned that Benjamin is trying to leave.. well he's not. Determination is fueling his search in the room. As for the monkey, Mr. Peepers, well, he's just there, not accomplishing much. A frown creases the man's face, so far, he's out of luck in his search. Looks like the place has been cleaned out.. Perhaps there's a way to leave a message. He doesn't dare try to use the old cellphone contact information, or email addresses. They're two years old and possibly out of service.

Unsure of what exactly he was expecting.. The Monster was not one of them. The red light going off gets Benjamin's attention briefly, before he glances towards the direction he came from. Peepers gives a loud screech at the thing before scrambling up onto the man's shoulder. "Looks like we don't have to search any longer." As if the monkey could reply beyond giving another screech of irritation. The Monster gets a cursory glance of apprehension, but makes no move to leave or against the device.

Eric? He's outside, atop a building, with a sniper rifle. The technical term for it would be a 'Anti-Material Rifle', something that shoots through schools. He just sits up there with a good view of the parking lot, all in the darkness and waiting for…well…either good or bad to happen.

"Not without doing all I can to get you out, Papa," Elena says firmly, giving him a determined look. "We all leave together." But she knows if there's no choice she's going to have to abandon him. She knows why he's sacrificing himself first. He was older. He was a father. Elena was second-in-command, she was privy to beyond just day-to-day operations with the Saints, and she planned most of their ops. He wasn't just saying what he was saying out of his paternal duty. It was also a practical standpoint. And she grips the jPhone tightly, waiting for Gene's sitrep if anything has changed. She waits for Ramon to get there. But once they do…

The truck slows. Her eyes fix towards Bat Country Labs. She opens the door and draws out one of her Desert Eagles, looking left, and right. She uses her Ping ability, homing in on neurotransmitters at a given radius. She can detect one life sign in the ruins, some pigeons (probably Daphnes) flying overhead. She can detect a distant one, on top of a nearby roof. Eric. And one near her, Ramon. She can't detect Monster. But she knows it's there thanks to Gene.

She starts moving forward, frowning. Nothing's patching through her communicator. Did the perp actually stay put? Monster was pretty intimidating to look at. But if her father's going to be a sacrificial lamb if things go wrong, -she- will take point. Her boots crunch onto the ground, and soon, she emerges from the outside, stepping into the building and her eyes falling on Benji.

Letting Elena take point is not easy on Ramon's nature, but he's already placed himself. He grips his own weapon, the same gun he kills people with in his office. He can use his height advantage to shoot at enemies from behind her anyway. She can't do the same for him. Practical, practical, practical. His lips curve into a sneer.

"And God has you two in range," Eric murmurs to the pair over the com. "…anything comes in or out that we don't want and I can drop the thunder to cover you guys."

The Monster remains unmoving, even as the slightly muffled voice from the bandages around the mouth area. "I expect you to let me know if there are others of your team present. If there are and they appear unannounced, I will not kill you." There is a short pause. "You may lose the use of your legs or your monkey however."

Gene's conversation with the Monster is put on hold as he gives a brief update. "Got target in sight… Currently holing him up. No other hostiles noted. He claims to have been searching for something."

Benjamin keeps his hands in sight. Not that he's any sort of threat with a gun. (He could be, but his ability is handier than bullets.) The nearing footsteps crunching on the ground are heard, and he looks past The Monster, his eyes settling on the room's entrance. His shoulders slump in what could be a mixture of defeat and relief. "I was wondering who else would be with that," he calls out. His head cants slightly in the direction of The Monster. He makes no move to approach the incoming. He stays put, trying to appear as non-threatening as possible. To the Monster, he says, "I'm on my own. /HE/ doesn't know that I'm here." Three guesses as to who 'he' is. First two don't count.

"Copy, Shaft," Elena patches through her communicator, the Desert Eagle swinging to point at Benji. When she watches his posture, her eyes narrow warily. It was fortuitous she decided to bring her father along. She looks over at him - Ramon might not be able to neutralize Benjamin with his mental powers, but he can use them to determine whether he's telling the truth. "Sweep picked up nothing, but you could be wired. Are you wired, Winters?" she asks, keeping the gun trained on him and sliding away so her father can have line of sight. With Monster, her, and her father around, and Eric on sniper duty, Benjamin wasn't going to go far. Unless he uses his ability. But he could've used it already. He didn't. Still, she errs in the side of caution. "What are you doing back here?"

Ramon's face remains impassive as he opens his mind. And this time? He's not as polite as when he did this two years ago. This time the Sarge delves right into the man's subconscious, in search of two things. Why the Hell is he working for Punktrelli, and why the Hell is he back here now? His lips curl up into another sneer as he rasps. "Hello old /friend/."

The Monster is silent until the other Saints have said their comments. "I will let you two discuss old times with Monkey Magic Man. I'll take the hall." The creation turns away and moves toward the doorway. "Do not put my friends to sleep. I will shoot you in the legs if you do until they awaken." With that, the Monster walks out and waits, doing scan up and down the hallway. After all, with all the powers out there, there's no telling if Benjamin is being trailed, tracked, or spied on without his knowing.

"No. I'm not wired." And it's the honest truth. Ramon can pick that up easily off of Benjamin. "Looking for you," is the simple response. A glance is cast towards The Monster as it leaves, and for the parting warning. Noted. "I've no intention of using my ability against anyone." Another screech is made from Mr. Peepers. Teeth bared, the monkey clearly doesn't care for The Monster. Ben raises a hand to try and calm the monkey down. "I want to help get Cass out of prison." Again.. Ramon should easily note that he's honest with that. "To Hell with the consequences I face."

"Thanks, Shaft." Elena scrutinizes Benjamin carefully, but she glances at her father. She will wait for him to confirm his words are truth. And then, she continues. "You were there. We know you were there. You know where she's being held, but this is sensitive. This is Cass, and I know how the Saints are when they breach. We go in hot. People die. I can't risk that with Cass, she's too important - and she can tell us what the hell Commander Cocksucker is up to." Trina's nicknames are infectious. "That he needs to grab her too." She looks at Benji carefully. "What's your effective range?" she asks. "I pegged it between 10 and 75 feet max."

Ramon looks at Elena and says, "He's telling the truth." He lowers the gun, his face shutting down. "It was all because of his daughter." But he quiets, letting Elena ask her questions. Its his job to report, not his job to make decisions or convince. But the rabid edge has left his tone.

"You're not wrong. Sometimes I can maintain up to 100 feet." Benjamin glances between father and daughter, a fixed expression on his face. Dead.. that's the best word to describe it. "I don't know what he's up to. That information has been classified. I just know he's been collecting geneticists, scientists, doctors. The top in their fields. Regardless of having an ability or not." He doesn't react outwardly when Ramon mentions Rose. Inside however.. he's a mess. Very little is left to care about personally, but he's tired of the position he's in. What's been asked of him has done well to break much of the man's personality.

"Rose?" Elena says, startled. She looks over at Benjamin. What happened to Rose? But she doesn't say that out loud. She knew the young woman. They talked a few times. But that would explain…. it's a personal question so she keeps her trap shut on her. But the question is right on her face. But since Benjamin doesn't offer anything about what happened to her, she nods. 100 feet was actually her first estimate, but reduced it because he seems to have only been aware of his ability for two years. She hesitates, but….she stows the pistol away, leaving her hands to her sides. Like Benjamin, she doesn't really need her guns. It was just that her powers had a limit, and it was disastrous if she didn't adhere to them. And when he mentions what he says, her eyes narrow. What. "Cass dropped out of medical school. She's not in the top of any field. What sets her apart from the rest is that she's studied and trained a wide variety of Evol— " She pauses. Could that be it? The connection? Did it have something to do with…

She nods. "A 100 feet range is enough to take down a compound." She looks at Benjamin. "You can probably walk her out of there, but if you do that, you're going to be a target. Once you do this, there's no going back. They'll kill you on sight after this, Benji." She strips away from calling him Winters. Even now, the man's good heart, somehow, remained intact. "We'll set a time and a date. Walk her out, and we'll pick you up. And then we'll figure out the best way to protect you. We have options."

Ramon remains silent, his arms folded, his single eye glittering in the darkness. His mind takes a leap. Flatly, he says, "He can control the humans, but he can't control Evolved who oppose him. He needs soldiers. Super-soldiers, that are better even than the Evolved. He needs an edge. He needs a way to win. Right now he has a stalemate, and everyone knows it."

Daughter? A quirked brow is given at the computer screen, but Gene doesn't really change much save his visual scan. Just because he's on the watch doesn't mean that he he can't listen into the conversation at hand. The talk of super soldiers concern him. After all, if he could get an unstoppable army actually working, then he could do what he likely wanted to do all along… Attack the world at large. But this is just idle musings, since there is no way to see how far his people have gotten. At least, not at the present time.

"That's what I want to try to do. Get her out. Arrange a meeting point for her safety.. and I just want to get the Hell out of here. I don't give a damn if I'm a target. Petrelli can roast with Satan for all I care." Goddamn that feels good to say that aloud. If Benjamin can walk out a few others too in the process.. well.. the more the merrier.. Maybe he's feeling a little suicidal about this mission in a way. "Unless they've moved her, I know exactly where Cass is." Now that he's in the Saints' hands.. say the word. They have the advantage over him.. but.. "I just want one thing done.." He raises a hand again to scratch the monkey's neck. "Mr. Peepers. I want him to go somewhere safe. I promised my former partner I'd look after him."

She could sense that there's a bit of ….Elena stares at Benjamin as he says what he does. The look in his eyes and the determined set of his jaw that sharply contrasts with the defeated slump in his shoulders. She didn't need for her father to tell her that no matter what he said, she just got the impression that Benjamin didn't expect to live through the year. One last ride. One chance to stick a middle finger to someone he seems to hate. And the Saints were all about sticking the middle finger out to Nathan Petrelli. After a pause, glancing at her father, she nods. "We have a few channels, to ferry people out of the border. It's in no set rotation, and we do it on random. It's how they haven't shut down our ferrying operations yet. Papa would know more, he's one of our gates." She pauses…the option of recruitment is also there, but…. she doesn't know if Benji has the mindset. Maybe Ramon can offer him a beer and get it out of him. "Do you know how many else are being held where she is?" she asks. And when he gestures to the monkey, she glances at it. "I know someone who'll take him," she says. "She runs one of the most secure locations in the city."

"Fuck that suicide shit. I'm going to get you to Mexico and find you that latino woman yet," Ramon rasps. He sort of shakes his head at Elena. No. Just no. He'll explain his reasons later if he gets the chance, but he's got his opinion /now/.

"…if you all keep this up I'm not gonna be able to shoot in a straight line from chuckling you realize," Eric mutters.

"Alright." This.. being why Ben even bothered bringing the monkey along today. On the off chance of contact. "Thank you… and.. I can find out. A lot of people being held.. they went out in body bags. A lot of brilliant minds, because they pissed off Petrelli. I don't bother to linger down there." He can't stand it. When Ramon speaks up.. a ghost of a smile forms on his face. He hasn't forgotten that threat. In fact.. he's pretty sure Ramon was responsible for sending a few curvy Hispanic women to his door from time to time. ".. I just don't want to see Cass go out that way.. and I want to make up for what I've done."

"If you could get the information to me, I can arrange secure transport," Elena says with a determined jaw. "The monkey ought to stay with you for now, I don't want any of the more observant types noticing that the monkey's gone for some reason. We'll pick him up once we meet up. Just let us know when you intend to do this at least 48 hours before your attempt. We'll get you and the others out." She looks at Ramon when he shakes his head at her, and then to Benjamin. "Is there anything else you want us to do for you?" she asks, her businesslike tone softening to something more familiar. She glances at her father again, knowing he can read her mind. Was there any way he can plant protection in Benji's mind in case Nathan has someone snooping around there?

Ramon considers that thought and answers Elena mind-to-mind. *Maybe. But if I do, and a skilled telepath goes looking, he or she might find what I did and then the game will be up. My protection might even draw attention to it. It's a crap shoot. There's the chance I'll protect him and it will work because they have no real cause to be suspicious. There's a chance I'll do it and it'll blow his cover immediately. Better if they never think to do that in the first place. Better if they think he was out of their sight performing their will. Better if they have something else to focus on.*

"As soon as it can possibly be arranged. The sooner this is taken care of the better.. I'm not sure how impatient Petrelli will be with Cass." Ben's attention drifts between both Elena and Ramon as he remains where he's been. "What method do you want me to use for contacting you?" As for Elena's question, he shakes his head, "No. That's it." He's in no position to ask for favors. In fact, he's surprised he's not being thrown to the ground at gunpoint and hauled off.

If it makes him feel better, he /is/ at gunpoint! The gun is just a block away. ^_^

~Understood, Papa,~ Elena patches to Ramon mentally, smiling just a bit at Eric's comment on the communicator winking its blue light on her ear. After a pause, she speaks up. "There's a phone booth," she says. "On 9th Avenue and Main Street. Just put the date on it and the time, military, in a single string, year first but only the last two numbers. Slip it under the phone box." So for example, if he intends to do this on August 19, 2009, at 10:00 in the evening, the string will be 0908192200. "You don't need to let us know where she's held. Just figure out how many people you intend to break out, fake a car accident, and use that as an excuse to rent a vehicle big enough for the people you intend to take away with you. And then drive to the rally point. You can meet us at Highway 495, just before you hit Riverhead."

Benjamin files the instructions away. Another thing he's gotten good at. Memorizing detailed mission instructions. He recites back a brief summarization to make sure they know he's got it straight. While things seem more or less finished now.. he makes no move to leave until that's been granted to him. He essentially came here to offer himself up.

The young inventor would likely have a more advanced code if things were done his way, but as usual, he bends to the authority of those put into power. "Checking the perimeter now," the Monster points out before starting to make its rounds. Yeah, seems like Gene isn't too trusting of Ben's 'I'm just here to backstab Nate'. After all, if everyone wanted to backstab Nate like Ben, the US would already be free by now, right?

~In other words, make it look like Benji was your victim and not your collaborator,~ Elena thinks at Ramon, picking up to what her father is saying. Her lips are set in a hard line. She didn't like the thought of her father blowing his cover. But it would be more authentic. At the same time, Lancaster Electronics was their legitimate front. It was responsible for putting in the back doors of every electronic grid they rebuild, as well as access blueprints that wouldn't be available to the public elsewhere. To take Ramon down would be to take down one of their most reliable sources of intel and access to buildings across the state. She looks at her father, and nods. She'll play the card. When Benji summarizes the instructions out loud, she nods. "Copy, Shaft," she murmurs to her communicator. She looks at Benji. "We'd like to put added protection in your head in case the President's got a scanner that you don't know about. Essentially Papa's going to make it like he's tampered with your head. It would expose him, but not you. Do you want it?" She'll leave the ball in Benji's court.

Benjamin can appreciate that he's not trusted. He wouldn't blame anyone if they shot him right now, or used their abilities on him. Standing there, just watching the Gomez's, he's sure they're talking together, while he has a monkey basically hugging his head from behind. When Elena makes her suggestion, his expression and tone are emphatic. "No. I don't want Ramon endangered further. If things turn sour, I'll just work faster on getting Cass out, and hiding until we can get to you. Besides.. I have some basic training in blocking telepaths. I keep to myself anyway. They shouldn't suspect me. I have a good cooperation record."

Ramon relaxes. His honor has been met in making the offer and in asking. But he didn't really want to do it. What he doesn't say is the game is blown if they get in his head /without/ protection, but he is not the Haitian, to erase memories. He merely nods his head.

She can't help but feel the softer side of her whisper somewhere in the back of her head. If there was only -some way- to keep Benjamin monitored from a distance that wouldn't put all of them at risk. That way if they needed a contingency plan, they can go in hot. But at the same time….she's willing to trust Benji. Ramon's verified he's telling the truth, and if Benji had training blocking Telepaths, he didn't bother to block Ramon despite knowing he was one. And he had a history with Cass. It made him the perfect double agent…or he was genuine. But she trusts Ramon's powers. She's willing to go out on a limb to trust Benjamin. This was also the reason why she's keeping the Saints out of the op until pick-up, in case this was a trap. In an open highway, at least, they'll be fighting on even turf if it comes to that. "Alright. I'll check the phone booth regularly." She searches his face, and she extends her hand towards him. "Good luck, Benji. Bring her back to us."

Benjamin eyes Elena's hand, and he's hesitant before taking it. ".. Thank you.. I'll get her out." Even if he has to die trying.. which would kind of defeat the purpose. We'll try to avoid the dying part for now. "I'll get a better grasp on her situation, then post the date and time. Expect it as soon as possible." Time isn't on Cass's side right now. "Thanks.. again.. for trusting me enough to do this."

The young woman's hand squeezes him securely. This isn't a goodbye. The determined set of her jaw is enough to convey that. Elena lets go of his hand after a few moments, and she looks over her father. She'll let the two (former? still?) friends say their goodbyes for now. So she steps aside to make room for them. Meanwhile, she gets back on the communicator, patching to Gene and Eric that they're ready to move out in a few minutes.

If Ramon's emotions seemed locked up two years ago, now…

He stares at Benji for a long moment.

Gives one half of a nod.

And turns away, unable to express one damn thing.

She knows the signs. She winces. Elena hopes R2-D2 is up to snuff cleaning up the mess her father's going to leave behind after this. Nobody can see it, but she knows her father, and she knows he's pissed to high heaven and he will be breaking things once he's back in his safe haven. "Keep in touch," she tells Benjamin, and then she turns. "Let's move, Saints," she patches through the comm. And then she'll start moving for the truck.

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