Umbrella Surveillance System
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Buck Rogers "I heard she was out helping with the relief efforts with TerraSave," mused Buck, curling a lock of Celeste's hair around one large finger. "Bringing food, medicine, attention, to one of those cities hit hard by the civil strife." The enormous stone-cut bath tub around them sinks multiple feet down, deep enough even for the vast bulk of the man to be obscured by the water that pours from brass taps and is swirled by heated jets. "Good on her. That's the sort'a activism y'all should stick to-- help the needy." His hand scoops up a mound of bubbles, covering his flesh like a glove, and flips it over onto her crown, coating her like shampoo. "I sent her a message, sayin' to meet me in Maracaibo, and I'd bring her over here.. tomorrow ish, 'round noon, we'll be back. Have somethin' nice prepared, yeah?"

--

And so the night passed. Come the break of dawn, Buck was up early, before six AM; he trudges his way to the basement, where the thick walls and distance between his gym and bedroom would let Celeste sleep in peace. The world's strongest man can lift an awful lot, and work up an awful sweat-- but it's nothing compared to the beach run after, where he cools off with a nude swim in the waters as the sun rises, setting the sea aflame. Salt-scented, clean, and ever so crisp, he makes his way to one of the ferries between the resort island and the mainland city, and travels.

It's there he ought to meet Isabel, and there he'll exchange pleasantries and meetings, assuring her that 'the island is really nice, you'll love it'.

Eventually, the relatively dull, peaceful trip is mostly done, and Buck's driving Isabel down one of the roads, leading to the home's back entrance, and then indoors, to the room where Celeste, by now, is no doubt up and lurking.
Isabel For her own part, Isabel was happy to agree to meet Buck on the mainland, and come back to the beach house. Only... she was expecting a /house/. Not a /mansion/. Maybe she should have, but she wasn't. "Wow... I guess the acting, writing, and books signing worked out pretty well," she says softly, impressed. She looks the part of an activist, with her worn denims, high-topped hiking boots (South America is famous for snakes), and TerraSave tee under an open work shirt worn against the sun. She did take off her wide-brimmed sun hat for the drive, though: Big hats and vehicle cabins don't mix.
Celeste Celeste nods softly as she talks with Buck in the water as she says "Okies. I can do that hunny." She slept in, being pregnant makes one tired after all. Though she is currently making breakfast. The smell of bacon, pancakes, and scrambled eggs echoing through the air from the kitchen. Her hair is up in pigtails though she is still in her pajamas, a small spaghetti strapped shirt and a pair of shorts with little black cat slippers.
Buck Rogers "I went a little overboard," Buck confesses with a sheepish smile as they rumble down the roads toward the coast, beset by tall cliffs and jungle trees. The large beach house can be seen in the distance looming up. "But I'd always wanted a nice place growin' up-- you ever been to a dead coal town? They ain't pretty, sweetheart. If I had to set roots, I wanted sunshine and streams, not meth labs and abandoned neighborhoods."

Park, disembark, and waltz in through one of the back entrances, making their way through the home-- the aesthetic is one that suits the primitive man, as Isabel passes a winding staircase in the foyer that seems entwined with a tree, branches curling around the bannister, and sees an abundance of plants, and furs, and gentle, natural-looking lights. The decorations are caveman chic; look to one side and see an animal skull beneath a painted tribal mask, turn your head to see an amateur painting spruced up with the tail-feathers of island birds at each corner.

The living room is no different. One wall is a glass horizon overlooking a yard and cobbled path leading to the white beach beneath green-tangled cliffs; cutting through the room is a long, elaborate glass pane in the floor, beneath which is a cool flowing stream. Each side of it is lined with stones and ferns and assorted greens. It connects to the kitchen and dining room, and shares the wafting smell of bacon, pancakes, and eggs. "Hey, sweetheart," the big man booms, scratching his beard. "We're back."
Celeste Celeste smiles happily as she hears Buck come inside and briefly looks away from then last of the bacon and pancakes she is making. The eggs just finished but how much steam is echoing away from them. "Hey guys, fresh squeeze orange juice is in the fridge and there is also freshly made coffee if either of you want it." She glances to the food, moving the bacon around with a wooden spoon before she slips away to stand on her tiptoes and kiss Buck briefly before she hugs Isabel saying "Hey I missed you. How have you been since our shopping trip?" Then she is back to the stove, because letting bacon burn is a crime, a horrid, horrid being tortured which those that committed treason in Satan's mouth like in Dante's Inferno.
Isabel "Even Mumford sounds better," Isabel replies, following along for the minutes needed to get to the living room. There's just too much to look at for talking along the way.
She sniffs appreciatively once they get there, unable to miss the scents of bacon, flapjacks, and cacklefruit. "Smells like Celeste has been busy..."
Buck Rogers "I had her whip up a late breakfast," Buck explains, turning into the kitchen and lumbering forward. When Celeste scoots up for a kiss he tugs her pigtails with one hand and sinks the other into the meat of her ass, scooping her up for a possessive kiss. "Ain't you lookin' fine," he praises with a playful growl, and without care for prying eyes trails a bite over her lip and down her neck, marking her with an animal impropriety-- at least until the bacon smell subtly shifts, and his nostrils flare, and he sets her down so she can rush back and make sure everything is fine.

He plops down at a stool, between the kitchen and dining room, and it squeaks when he sits. He's in an open Hawaiian shirt and shorts. "You can, uh, eat bacon, right, sweetheart?" He's looking at Isabel when he says this.
Isabel Isabel hugs Celeste gladly and tightly, letting her go easily when the bacon calls. "Missed you too, Cee. You look like beach life agrees with you," she teases lightly. Buck's remark gets a wry smile. "I join TerraSave as a peripheral member, and suddenly I've abandoned dietary sanity? Don't worry, I can eat bacon. I'm from Colorado, remember? Cows aren't the only things raised for eating."
Celeste Celeste blushes deeply as Buck grasps one of her pigtails and grasps upon her bottom and scoops her up into the kiss. Though she sure doesn't fight it, giggling at the playfully growled words as she happily comments "I just felt like staying in on pajamas and slippers. I'll change later if you want me too." She squirms as he playfully marks on her. And of course retuirning to her bacon and taking off the plate just in the perfect timing. As well as the final pancake. Now she is turning off all the burners as she says "I do love the beach life, I think it is very relaxing and good for me. And yay for bacon! And everything should be ready now. And in truth... I have to keep busy some how. I need something to do. I... I am going to leave Terrasave... make my own thing... Like a secret thing. Buck knows about it, I mentioned it to him. And I want you to join Isabel. And also Trixie. Just us four."
Buck Rogers "No, I thought you people couldn't eat.. ah, nevermind," he says, his hand cutting through the air as if to physically dismiss the topic. "Smells great, princess." With his toes, he propels himself across the floor on the wheeled stool, sliding across hard tiles and slow-spinning until he's near the table. "The beach life's good. And since work brings me into Bolivar so often, it's nice having a home right off the coast-- takes barely any time to get into Maracaibo. And the phone'n video reception's swell." He rolls his massive shoulders back, pressing his palm to his chin and shoving, hard, as he turns-- the crack that comes is like gunshot. "Mm.. well, you mentioned that before. Go on."
Isabel "You work in Maracaybo?" Isabel has to ask, not having seen Buck since Paris. What's been going on in his life is a mystery to her.
But Celeste already has some news, something the dark-skinned girl had been wondering about. "This sounds kind of serious, Cee. Leaving TerraSave and doing your own thing... I can sure applaud your nerve, but what sort of thing do you have in mind? And why only the four of us?" she asks, taking a seat at the table.
Celeste Celeste smiles as she says "Because I feel like I know I can trust all of you but others... I don't have that same connection with in truth. And maybe... I dunno something spy like. Think Charlie's Angels but our own thing ya know? I can hack and heal you guys, Buck can like melee slaughter things when needed and not on his other things. You can pick what you do and Trixie can do the same. I want us to have fun but... do something amazing and.. history making. And I am open to suggestions."
Buck Rogers "I work in the whole country," Buck explains, his stool sinking a few inches lower from his weight. "I've been with the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance since early on in Paris-- the B.S.A.A. Most folks think with James Marcus dead, the threat of bio-terrorism's gone; nice thought, but not right. We're kinda workin' with the local US forces and the government here to follow up some reports of.. unpleasant things." He raps a knuckle on the table and smiles. "Long story short, I'm here to kill a whole lot'a everything. Gotta pop my Paladin's cherry."

He listens to Celeste afterwards, lips pressed into a line of focus, brow furrowed. When she finishes, he breaks out into uproarious belly laughter, eyes crinkling with cheer. "You're a real sweetie, baby girl. Well, I'd planned on gettin' your computer savvy in line with my missions here.. lord knows I ain't got a clue how it all works. Sure, why not? I'll help you pick out a goal, and then we'll amaze the world."

Come on, he was never gonna tell her no.
Isabel "I've had my suspicions on that. James Marcus, as far as I can tell, was just one part of something very big," Isabel intones, frowning. "All the FBC got was him: No materiel, no base of support, just a lot of dead things and those disgusting leech-monsters. He didn't make all those undead with just a syringe full of virus. Someone was supplying him. That someone's still out there. And the internet's actually reported cannibal attacks in Bolivar within the last six months. Just like Paris, just like Raccoon City."
She looks to Celeste, smiling a little. "Well, if you both can find a goal, I'm in. I've still got commitments to TerraSave, after they helped me drop out of sight after that German hit man tried to kill me. I can't just drop out, not yet."
Celeste Celeste smiles to Isabel as she says "Oh you don't have to leave them, not unless you want to. I am just wanting to do my own thing. That is all. And I will let you know when we have a plan. Oh and there is plenty of food for everybody. Trixie should be on her way shortly I think."
Trixie Outside, a worn and very vintage Toyota Land Cruiser finds a parking spot out of the way of Buck's car. Perhaps five minutes later, Trixie walks into the kitchen, sniffing the air. "Talk about following your nose... looks like I got here just in time," she says, offering her best warm smile to her host, hostess, and fellow guest. "Fashionably late, maybe? I got a little lost on these roads out here and had to backtrack some," she admits, blushing a little as she unshoulders her backpack.
Buck Rogers "Tsk, this is why I'm not a fan'a TerraSave," Buck growls, nostrils flaring. "They get a bit'a publicity, and start thinking they're special agents or a para-military that can play with the big dogs-- and not the pack'a college kids they really are. There's a reason it's governments and militaries that deal with Umbrella or Marcus, and not save the whale activists. Twats are gonna get themselves killed pickin' these fights." He shakes his head, the curls of his short hair tossing. "It ain't a group that publicizes its every move, alienates the F.B.C., and goes out of its way to antagonize every fucker that holds a grudge in a thousand miles that'll keep you safe, beautiful."

He leans back, and looks toward the kitchen again. "Baby girl, how's the food? I got a hunger buildin' - get me a plate." He rumbles at the mention of Trixie, scratching his beard-- just in time for her to make her way through the spacious property and arrive with a flourish, settling her pack down. "Well hey there, doll, take a seat; Celeste here's gettin' food for folks."
Isabel "Maybe not, but what happened to the FBC was the BBC's fault, not TerraSave's. Emma trusted those two-faced tea guzzlers too much," Isabel says flatly. "If you've seen my latest video, you know what she /really/ sent them, and how badly they altered it. But I do agree with you: An activist organization isn't going to beat Umbrella and whatever else is out there supporting them. They didn't in Paris, they definitely didn't in Raccoon City, and they won't here. The best they can do is help the innocent and stay out of the way of the people who'll have to do the real fighting."
She nods to Celeste, trying not to pass the frown she had for Buck on to the mistress of hospitality. "I'll make sure you can reach me, promise. I want in on this, too."
Trixie's entrance brings Isabel's smile back. "Hello again, Sergeant. Hope you brought your appetite."
Celeste Celeste smiles to Trixie as she says "I think so. I just finished so help yourself. I was just explaining to Buck and Isabel I wanna make my own org and stuff. And I wanna call it the Gothic Lolita Brigade. I mean as a secret thing no one needs to know the name but us and all." She giggles a bit and then says "But I was going to do the healing and hacking them. Buck is doing his thing and then Isabel says once we have a more concrete goal she will join to. It would only be us four. What do you think Trixie?" Then she is looking at Buck and says "It is all done hunny and I just wanna do my own thing since I am all pregnant and such. Rather be sure I can be safe ya know?" Her hands setting the piles of food upon the table, then bringing the large jug of orange juice. The table was already set nicely and then all the condiments are brought to the table before she sits down at it. A bright smile curling her lips as she says to Isabel "I am very glad to hear this. Soon everything shall be in play and we will be amazing. Maybe even take over the world, or at least part of it. I mean... it isn't a horrid goal right?"
Trixie Trixie nods, just barely, at Buck's and Isabel's thoughts on TerraSave. "Emma should have known better. I was working with them on a humanitarian aid project in-country for two days... rented my own wheels and spent half a month's pay on a cargo of bottled water for use at the aid stations. That Republic of Bolivar is a real piece of work... as in the kind of piece of work that gets shut up in a rubber room forever. I didn't know that kind of horribleness still existed on this Earth." She shivers. "I heard later that people started fighting over the food being given out, and it just barely got shut down. I suddenly know why aid stations from the U.N. have large groups of armed soldiers around 'em... to keep trouble like that from ever happening. It could've turned into a riot. On top of all that, some local scalpers were stealing medical supplies. Probably for the black market. Frankly, I'm with you. TerraSave can do aid projects, but I can't see them ever beating Umbrella or its ilk."

She pauses to hug Buck and Isabel in turn, and to kiss Celeste's cheek. Mustn't disturb the cook near the stove more than slightly, after all. "Count me in, cautiously. It sounds interesting, but what would we do? We'd be even smaller than TerraSave. And I've been looking for potential ways out of the F.B.C. that won't land me in prison, but the list is damned short, and reminds me a lot of tap-dancing across a minefield."
Buck Rogers "That's like blamin' the wind when you shoot the wrong person," Buck says, staring Isabel down. "I was there; I saw everything that happened. There's no good to come from its release. Y'all wanted to hurt people with it, and you did, but it sure wasn't anyone who had it coming. Not everything that's hidden is a nefarious coverup; sometimes, people don't get shown shit for a damn good reason."

He snorts, scratches at his chest, the thick, shaggy dark hairs poking out from the opened Hawaiian shirt. It's a nice tie-die color. "But hey, I was photogenic. I looked damn good killin' a bunch of screaming, crying people." He darkens for a moment at the black humor, then snorts, breaking eye contact as Celeste brings in the bacon, the eggs, the juice, and the coffee-- he takes his black, in a mug that's chipped and old and not at all like the fine cups they have. Probably an old thing he's always had.

"We're in the third world now, beautiful," he remarks to Trixie. "Well, parts of it. That's how dictatorships and civil wars go, y'know-- you got bustlin' shiny streets paved like El Dorada, and a hundred miles away you got skeletons fightin' over scraps."
Isabel "Whatever you find to do with this group of yours, I'm sure it'll be amazing," Isabel says to Celeste with a smile. "Especially with these two here in it, if Trixie's in."
She hugs Trixie back. "It was pretty bad," she agrees. "On top of that, some of the medical supplies we brought were stolen, and a little of the food. Good intentions, bad security. I didn't see the fight, but I heard about it later."
"'Y'all'? Excuse me, /I/ didn't send the video to the BBC," Isabel retorts, meeting Buck's gaze without blinking. "Emma came to me to get the real footage out there, not just the character assassination the BBC blared all over the world. Maybe there was no good in that footage, but by the time I got involved, the coverup had been uncovered already. So point your blame-finger the right way," she adds, setting down her fork and putting her hands on the table edge, as if she's seriously thinking about leaving right here and now.
Celeste Celeste smiles happily as she gets the kiss on the cheek, returning it to Trixie as she says "I doubt we would do a bunch of illegal things. But we can all talk about what to do honestly. I mean... I am careful with my hacking and my laptop is bad ass. I love it to pieces." Then she looks to Buck as he comments about being photogenic, making her giggle and blush softly before she says "But I think we can all do very well on something together I mean... why not try and control a country in war. Help bring peace... in our own little way." Then she looks to Isabel as she says "I believe you about the footage Isabel. I promise. Otherwise I wouldn't offer this to you. And I think that we can accomplish many a wonderfully great things."
Trixie "Yeah... I was there, too. I had to run interference when the press showed up. Never thought being a natural ham would come in handy," Trixie admits, stifling a sheepish giggle. "I can't believe the U.S. government is supporting a government like /that/, though. And 'cause the F.B.C. is stuck there, we're basically having to support that same crooked government, whether we want to or not. It's not a good position to be in."

She looks between Buck and Isabel for a long few moments. "I don't blame Emma for wanting to do the right thing, but I sure as heck can say she should have thought that thing through before she released that video to the BBC... she knew they were almost pro-Umbrella, the way they reported on Raccoon City and our work in Paris before that raid. Speaking as one of the people who suffered indirectly for her efforts... I wouldn't even be anywhere near this mosquito farm if she'd thought before she leaped. I might be over with the rest of the unit doing /real/ work, or safely transferred out. Now it's like I'm a prisoner of her mistake!" She rises to hug Isabel from behind, around her chair. "But I don't blame you, sweetie... never. You had nothing to do with it. Besides, wouldn't it be an awful long walk home from here?"

She looks to Buck sympathetically. "And in your place, I would've done the same thing. Might've been in a rubber room after, but I'd've done it. No one has the right to judge you or my unitmates for doing something horrible that still absolutely had to be done."
Buck Rogers "I'm not sayin' it's your fault," Buck says, raising a hand and patting down at the air placatingly. "Sit down, sit down. C'mon, Isabel-- I've done a lot for you. Bled for ya. Gimme some credit. I know it's on Emma's head." The hand's last pat continues on down, until he claps the table's edge and rattles the silverware nearest him. "And I know there was good intentions. But she needs more discretion. It's gonna be the F.B.C. she needs to work with here for aid and protection, after all."

The B.S.A.A., sadly, has.. him and Archene. They're in Bolivar to start recruitment drives.

He grasps a piece of crispy bacon and pops it between his teeth, mashing it to itty bitty shreds and swallowing. "There's more going on than any of us know. You want to start making a difference, princess, start puttin' out feelers. See what local news sources you can track down and translate, rumors, people. Start tracking down facilities, funds, troop movements. Hunt people who know people who know an indiscretion. Information. Hell, see if you can find what foreign interests are fundin' those fucking rebels."

He draws his shoulders back, the veins and tendons along his neck stretching with the striations of the muscle. Tightens them, and cracks the top of his spine. "Look, the three'a you in this room are the only people in the world I give a damn about. And fact is, this lil corner'a the world's way more dangerous than Paris ever was. If nothin' else, team up with Celeste so I can keep an eye on you."
Trixie Trixie gives Isabel an extra squeeze, then lets her go. "Excuse me please, I... I'm not feeling well..." she says softly, running out of the room.
Celeste Celeste smiles at Buck's words about how he cares about her friends. Then to Trixie as she says "The bathroom is down the hall!" A worried look upon her face as Trixie runs off. She then says to Buck "We can talk about this when everyone is feeling good again. You guys enjoy breakfast. I'll eat after I check on Trixie."