Day 017: Team Deception
Summary: Layla gets an idea and runs with it. Will there be regrets later? Probably.
Date: 29 May 2016
Related: First Unity Day, First Unity Party Part 2, and finally The Trial of Mags Trentin.
Cole Elias Layla Morgan 

Some quiet corner.
Day 017

"The question is, does my desire to want to help the people here survive trump my feeling that I can't fuckin' trust any of them with passing fair judgement?" Cole replies, which has been the major question on things, hasn't it. "Should just keep her alive until the Ark comes. Let the Exodus charter deal with her, that's my opinion on it. We aren't' mature enough to deal with this in a logical manner. We're too emotional about this, too worked up. And we're risking more death by it. Grey said that I'm not thinking right because the majority agreed that she was guilty. Fine, what about the silent minority? The ones who don't say anything? Those are the fuckers that need to be watched. They could be the ones that are going to cause more shit. And then what? People will lose their goddamn fuckin' minds. No one will able to trust each other, people will start to panic and will snowball from there." This is his worry, this is what it comes down to for him. "Mags is guilty, this isn't beyond doubt. I just don't believe we should be the arbitrators to it. And everyone else is just following the mob mentality. So yeah, I want to hide out in the camper until the Ark comes down."

"But I don't know if I should." Cole manages to add.

"People will reap what they sow," she says with a decidedly chill tone. She took his shoulders in both hands, and sought out his eyes, just in case he happened to be looking else where as she continued. "What you want, what you hope for, that's admirable. But humanity's track record is really piss-poor and I…" Layla trailed off, and her gaze grew distant.

"I have an idea," Layla finally uttered, voice low. "But you're not going to like it."

"What can I say? I'm a goddamn idealist even if it doesn't fuckin' seem like it." Cole shrugs, meeting her eyes when he feels them on her. The man just looks broken and beaten, ready to give up on these people he lost his girlfriend over. "I know, but I have to have something to believe in. Have to believe that we're not so goddamn selfish to destroy ourselves like this. Which is really fuckin' ironic, because if that was the case we wouldn't of needed the Ark to begin with. Then he waits for her. "I'm listening."

"Mags needs to die before she can be executed," Layla says simply. "Before that action can change the camp irrevocably. If Mags dies by accident, or, better still, gets sick, then people who are hounding for her execution are silenced. I delays an inevitable, of course, since you can't kill a thought. Anyway," her lower lip juts out into something of a pout. "I won't actually do it. There's not enough time between now and when they want to kill her to stage something plausible, and other medtechs would want to check her out." She pauses again, and exclaims, as if pre-empting any protest on his part, "I just got to thinking, is all."

"You want me to kill Mags? When I was one of the people who said she shouldn't die?" Cole replies, blinking at her owlishly. "I'm not some goddamn hypocrite. I'm not sure I'd exactly get away with it. And I'd probably be killed for my troubles, most likely even if I did manage to pull it off." But he shakes his head. "You won't do it, but you're suggesting to me that I fuckin' do it? Can't or won't?" he then asks, eyeballing her. "Let's say I agree with you on the sentiment, but perhaps not being the one to do the deed himself. No, I get you're thinking and it's an idea, and I'm not saying you're wrong. But delaying the inevitable? I don't know if it'll really be worth it. She'll still be dead. The Ark Rebels will have the reasons they need to start fuckin' with us more. I don't know if it'd delay anything."

"No, no, oh, man, Cole, no," Layla protests. "I would do it, Cole. I'm a chemist, even if I don't have a lab or proper tools to work with." She hadn't meant to imply that she thought HE should do it! "It would, in this hypothetical land, had only been me. You're not a killer, and I don't want to make you into one." Take one life, take several. What made the slope so slippery? It was blood.

"And…sorry, I wasn't thinking about the rebels. I was referring to the precedent that's been set by all of this. Now…" Layla waved it aside. "I wasn't there. But I heard people say that Mags seems kind of, well, dumb. Do you really believe she was telling the truth about these rebels?" She trusted his judgement.

"I'm not a killer yet. One day, that may change. Whether through defense or rage, I don't fuckin' know." Cole remarks grudgingly. "But I get what you're saying. Though maybe I feel a little bit better that you weren't asking me personally to do it. But we can't just kill everyone that we view as a threat. We start that, we might as well just lose the clothes, since we'll be animals by that point." He sighs, leaning back against the bulkhead of the dropship, scrubbing his hands over his face. "I do. She had nothing left to lose. And it makes sense. The communications loss after Jaha said he was stepping down and dissolving the Council. Evie, a pro-Arker was killed and left that kind of message. Mags saying that there were more people who the Guard had spoken to, trying sow discord. You said it yourself, Mags isn't fuckin' smart. She couldn't of made up a story like that herself. Either it's a story that was given to her in collusion with her friends, or she is completely legit. And right, with the information I have, I think she's being the latter."

Layla hummed thoughtfully, the pad of one finger tapping her lips. There would be no further talk of killing Mags in order to stop a public execution. His comment on killing those viewed as threats was something that she didn't fully agree with on, but Layla hadn't the desire to debate it. Why? Because he was her friend, and because it wasn't that important in the scheme of things. Truth be told, Layla didn't want to step into the shoes of heartless killer again.

"Do they not see how this could be used to their advantage? If Mags has all the cleverness of a box of rocks, just get some of us together, deceive the bitch, and let her think she's being sprung - just like those Grounders. We get her thinking we want in, and from there, we learn what's really going on upstairs."

"I don't think she has anything left to fuckin' tell us." Cole remarks darkly. "The seemed to be just the hatchetmen. She was given orders, but likely not given any real details. I mean, seriously, if you planning a fuckin' coup on the Ark, would you tell a fuckin' kid what you were up to? No, you'd just give details, not give your own name, and then given them orders if they were so interested. At least, that's how I'd fuckin' do it if that was my plan." A shrug. "I'd say if she had something else to say, maybe we should do that, but I don't really think she does."

"But she might be willing to clue us into who the other kids in camp are, and if anything we can then put a stop to whatever else might be brewing." Her brows had furrowed, and before too long, Layla was shaking her head. "It's an idea, anyway. I'm not even sure that, if we could swing it past people like Grey and the others, the camp wouldn't just flip its shit all the same." Cole, you awful influence. She curses so much more around you.

Cole considers that. "Maybe. Dunno." He'll at least afford her the point in that respect. "It's just getting her to talk about anything else that might be hard. Hard enough to get that information out of her to begin with, I don't think she'd have anything else to offer since she knows she's going to die for what she did." And then he thinks more. "Maybe if we posed as people on her side, trying to 'get information out to others' that're in the camp might work. But we'd probably have to some information about what they were all told. And I don't know about you, but I'm not a good liar."

"That's what I'm thinking, too," Layla says. "We just need to convince the others that what we want to do has merit, but also that it can't get spread around camp." You know, like some kind of cheap whore. "I wouldn't need you to lie, you'd just be my…what's the word for it. You know, the dude that helps other dudes score. Anyway, you've got merit in her eyes, because you were someone who was speaking out against just murdering her. If she gets lippy all I have to do is say I convinced you to join with me."

"I would say talk to some that got her to talk in the first place. Maybe it would help if they hadn't voted. I can't remember if Morgan or Elias did, but they certainly seemed to not want to kill her right off the fuckin' bat. Dunno how far that'll go." Cole replies, but he sounds unsure on the entire thing. "You could, I didn't say anything toward her guilt. But I also didn't say thing about her innocence either. It's risky, and we could be blamed just as easily as her. And then our heads might be next."

"But that's why I want to alert the others before we try to see her. I'm sure she's being held under guard, and I'm not willing to put them to the test." Even if she could count one amongst their number as a friend. "We do this as open as possible, with the understanding that the entire camp just /can't/ know, because we don't know who else is involved. But people like Fiona, Cameron, or Grey? They need to be clued in. From there we pick our little Team Deception and get the job done. It staves off a murder for at least a little while, and potentially saves other lives. If we try to do this and not alert anyone? Then…yeah, I wouldn't doubt for a second that we wouldn't have our heads on the chopping block next to Mags."

"I don't know if I'd want any of them to know. They're on Team Kill so hard they may not bother to listen." Cole remarks slowly. "Except maybe Fiona. But she only sees the repercussions with the Grounders, so maybe that's just as fuckin' bad. She'd rather risk civil war than all out slaughter. And I get that. To a point, just don't know if we should be picking the lesser of two fuckin' evils." Maybe he's just slightly hesitant. Out of mistrust for almost anyone else, or perhaps the fact that he doesn't think Mags knows anything else. It's left unclear. "But telling them would save us from the chopping block. I'm just loathe to talk to Cameron about. Sanctimonious shit. He can't go one sentence before talking about his opinion on said fuckin' sentence."

"Who's the one person you think we could trust telling it to, and then letting them deal with the others while we get busy?" She had started out with just trying to distract Cole from what had been bringing him so low, but the more Layla talked, the more she felt like this was feasible. Doable. And wouldn't that be the best remedy of all for someone who felt helpless? "If we don't learn anything from her, then what have we really lost?"

"Morgan." Cole remarks. "The dude an I agree on pretty much fuckin' nothing. Beyond the fact that we don't think Mags should die. That she should be tried by the Exodus Charter, not our own brand of justice. And he's Cameron's boyfriend, he'd have sway with him, try get him to stop the bloodthirsty aspect of things. Maybe Fiona, but I doubt Grey. Dude hates me, but that's not goddamn shocker there."

"Then we go find Morgan, pull him aside and tell him the plan. Then go from there," Layla offered Cole a smile, then. As if to say: see, not so hard! "Now…" She retrieves something from a pocket, then holds it out to Cole. It's a sad few berries, which she dusts lint from. "Have you eaten anything?"

"If that's what you really want to do." Cole finally says, some semblance of agreement between the two. "Like I said, I'm not the best fuckin' talker when it comes to this kinda thing and you seem pretty goddamn adamant about it, so in this, I'll trust you on it." What else does she have to lose? Beyond earning more ire? Not like he doesn't have plenty as it is. The berries are looked at, then taken. "Do you really have to ask that fuckin' question at this point?"

Layla gives Cole's shoulder a shove. "Next time I'll just be pushy about it, then." Strong women and all that. "Anyway, eat your berries, I'll go find Morgan and see if I can't convince him to join us up here. Where it won't seem shady at all." With that, Layla departs, in order to hunt for said Morgan and then lead up back to the passenger hold where crouched mister Cole.

Cole eats in relative silence. "You are way too excited about this shit that could easily blow up in our fuckin' faces." he grouches at Layla. "Just…do it before I fuckin' change my mind about this fuckin shit, alright? I still don't know if this is a great idea or not. But…I can't deny it may yield something…positive. If anything at all." A nod and he goes back to eating, waiting for Layla to return.

Morgan was just outside the dropship enjoying the rain. In just his pants (and be glad he's got those on) he's soaking wet. But he did take the time to squeeze the water out of his hair and plane some water off before coming up to the hold. "Hey. So what's up?"

Layla was tempted to linger in order to luxuriate in the rain, too, but alas, responsibility is a demanding bitch of a mistress. So, after convincing Morgan to follow her back to Cole, Layla takes a breath, and dives in. "We want to delay the execution. More, I think it's important that we try to learn the identities of those others that Mags intimated were part of this plot. Just hear me out," she said with a spread of her hands. "Not only could we potentially stall her murder, but we might also prevent any other disasters like the one just passed from happening. But we can't do it on our own, someone has to know, so that when it all goes down, the others don't want to kill us, too." And yes, Morgan, my boy, that someone is apparently YOU.

"Basically, in a nutshell, we think Mags might know the other people in camp that joined the same cause that she did." Cole replies, sitting in a corner of the small area. He looks only a little skeptical about the entire thing. "The idea is to pose as people who're actually on her side, maybe even to the point that we're Ark Rebels. Convince her to tell us who the other ones are. Imply maybe we can help them or suggest that we're moles or some shady shit like that. I doubt we can stop the execution, everyone is so gun-fuckin-ho on it, but if there's anything else she hasn't said that she'd be willing to tell 'friends' and then we can put a stop to that before this camp starts falling apart at the seams more than it already is, all the better. And the best people to do is people who didn't vote her to death. So you. Me. Layla. Anyone else who didn't vote for execution. I didn't vote at all but I'm not very fuckin' good at convincing people of anything. And you talked to her."

Morgan looks from Layla to Cole. He doesn't immediately leave so that's something. "It's going to be this evening. Which means you have what, six hours to get her to talk? So just how do you intend to stall things? If you're going to point to Grey, Fiona and the Grounders as an example, don't. Really bad idea."

"The general plan was: tell you, so you can take it to the others so they're in the know as well, while we go to talk to Mags," says Layla. "That way, they aren't rushing to stop us from committing a fake treason but we aren't standing around for five of those six hours debating it. The best I could come up with on the fly."

"No, I don't think we'll be able to delay the execution. Short the camp coming under attack from Grounders." Cole remarks, before quickly adding, "And I'm not suggesting that. I don't want her to die. I think her fate should be decided by the Exodus Charter, but whatever, they believe this is justice, fine. I think it's a bad idea that's going to lead to a lot of other bad shit to happen in this camp. We know there's other in Mags' lot, ones that share her sentiment. We need those names. She may not have them, in which case we lose nothing, but if we fuckin' gain something out of it, we could prevent more death from happening at all. Grey is blinded by fuckin' emotion at Evie's death. Fiona can't see anything but making nice with Grounders in every possible way. But, you're on better terms with them either of us are fuckin' are. Certainly me, that's for fuckin' sure. And you don't think we should be killing her either, but I don't think we can stop that. But if something good, at all, comes out of this, it's finding the other Ark Rebels that she might know. If we can convince her that we're on her side, then it could be worth something."

Morgan nods at what Layla says then listens to Cole. That though gets a shake of his head. "I think it's justice too." he points out. "I just disagree with killing her while she knows things we need to know. If she were willing to talk, I'd be willing to turn her over to Jaha once they get here." He idly scratches around the scar on his chest. Healing is itchy. "It can't hurt to try to get her to talk though, even if you need to blatantly lie to her. She killed someone because someone else told her to. That's about as low as you can get."

"That's all we're hoping to achieve. If we gain nothing, then at least we tried to do something." Layla wasn't going to pin any hopes on anything more than that. The act of trying, of doing. "I'm fine with doing the talking, Cole's already said as much that he isn't all that great in that department. I don't want to waste too much time looking for others to join us if it can't be helped, but I'll cede it to anybody if they feel they're more persuasive."

"I'm not saying she shouldn't die, Morgan." Cole clarifies. "I'm just saying that we shouldn't be the ones deciding it, but it's moot point, because she's gonna die anyways regardless. Especially if she may known more that keeps this camp from running red with blood. At the end, for right now, we're all we fuckin' got, and my trust in any of the people here is at all-time fuckin' low. Especially after that last group meeting. Anyways, I'm out to keep people alive, and I can't risk a civil war if it can be avoided. And killing her, in public, making it a spectacle…I don't know if that's a good idea. Like we fuckin'…doesn't matter." he shakes his head, not finishing that thought. "What Layla said. I'm not good at convincing people of shit. I would say Elias. Dude fuckin' tried."

Cole's not good with people? Shocker. "We need to learn how to be… civilized community, I guess you could call it. We won't do that by sending our problems to Jaha or whoever ends up on the Council. And that includes laws and punishments. But we can argue that another day. You might want to try Elias. He seemed to get through to her before. Cam is helping guard her and I think he'll let you try. After you left, he agreed locking her up was probably the wiser move." Course it had already been decided.

Layla shoots Cole a look when Morgan shares the tidbit about Cam. It's almost as if it's apologetic, except it's also mixed with a little but of wry humor. The petite lass must be some sort of sadist, but all things considered, that can't really be all that surprising. "Then we go to nab Elias," she says. "Thanks for hearing us out, Morgan. Thanks for even coming up here with me in the first place." And it surely seemed to be heartfelt. "I know it kind of puts you on the spot, being the one to wrangle the others, but…" She shrugs helplessly. Cole wasn't good with people, or at least he couldn't make words gud. Layla just didn't want to be bothered, nor could she be assed to put forth the requisite effort for anybody to even note she was in the proverbial room.

"We're not learning very well, but I'm not going to fuckin' sit here and tell you why I think that. No offense, but I've wasted enough air on that topic already…I'm tired of arguing. No…fuck that, I'm just tired and if I had somewhere to go, I would've fuckin' left this place to burn, let everyone fuckin' kill each other. Gave too many goddamn fucks as it is." Is Cole bitter? No, not at all. "Then we'll try to find Elias, try to make something good out of this fuckin' dumpster fire of a situation." He chews on his lip another moment. "Thanks for listening."

Morgan gives Layla a shrug. "It's necessary. Part of that civilized community thing is doing what's best for the group, right? Even if you can't stand half the idiots in it." Yay unity. It sucks. "Cole, it's been two weeks. I'm surprised more people haven't killed each other. But I hear you, I'm tired of it too. Stupid mob calling for blood and not thinking. How most of them got boxed in the first place no doubt."

So they had cinched Morgan's agreement in their little plot. All that was left to do…for now, was to find Elias, and see if the guy wouldn't also throw his lot in with their own. Again, Layla left Cole to remain alone in the passenger hold in order to go and find the other youth. Once she does, however, Layla would do her level best to convince him that he needed to return with her there in order to talk. Preferably on his lonesome, because loose lips sink ships and all that, but if Layla didn't get her way, it wouldn't be the first time.

Elias isn't a hard one to find. Sure he's been enjoying the rain, but he ultimately makes his way back into the dropship to get out of it. The tent he sleeps in has been broken down and taken in already to spare the precious canvas it's made of, so his only method of egress from the soaking rain is inside. Throwing his jacket on over his wet clothes, he gives a nod to Layla when she comes to summon him to the Dropship. "What's up?" he asks quietly, looking from one person to the other with a wide-eyed, inquisitive look on his face.

"We're going to try something," says Layla as she gestures to Cole. "Neither of us expect much, but we don't want to just sit on our hands and watch things burn, either. Now, I wasn't there, but I heard you were able to speak to Mags, at least a little bit." Her voice is pitched low, for obvious reasons. "We don't have much time, but I think that, between the three of us, we just might have a chance at getting Mags to talk a little more. Drop a few names. If we can just learn that, we might stop further deaths."

"What she said." Cole utters, but it's clear that he's not very talkative right now. Maybe he's talked enough. Maybe he's just tired. Or maybe he's just given up.

Elias does eventually stand up to his full height and look from Layla to Cole and back again. There is a slow incline of his head to the diminutive girl as she speaks and his eyes lock on to her with a light squint. "You want me to reason with a girl that we collectively condemned to die," he speaks quietly and with an edge of bitterness in his tone. Taking a breath then, he gives a subtle nod of his head to her. "It's worth a shot. I'll do what I can. Do you have an angle or…?" Once a criminal, always a criminal.

"We're going to pose as one of her own, or rather, those who've turned sides." Criminals indeed. After all, Layla's first idea was to just kill Mags before anyone else could, and she considered this a great mercy. Layla of the Great and Magnanimous Heart. "If you're blessed with a silver tongue, then I'll let you lead off, otherwise I figured I'd do the talking."

"I'm not a people person." Cole remarks. "But the idea is to try and get her divulge others that have joined her cause. The silent minority who will cause more problems, strife, and death if they roam free. If we get names, we can try to prevent more death from happening. And stop this civil war that every one of us knows is going to happen if we make a spectacle of her death in front of everyone. The Ark Rebels will everything they need to justify that their cause is just and they will act. Because extremists always act, and they only listen to their sense of reason. If we can stop that, something, however small, will of come out of this whole situation."

"I don't know if I'd say blessed with a silver tongue," Elias protests gently, canting his head to one side. "I did get her to talk to me a little before, yeah. I could give it another shot and maybe elude to the practices of the Ark being reprehensible…without even lying that much." There's a tight smirk on his lips at that, but he gives a shake of his head. "I'm in, though. And I'll do my best, like I said." There's a look back to Cole then as he speaks up and he studies him quietly for a moment. "Yeah. Shit's going pretty far off course right now. So we try to get some names, maybe figure out a bit more about what's going on, and then…?" There's an inquisitive look to both of them.

Without warning, Layla, while still looking up at Elias (damn all you tall bastards!), reaches over to press the back of her hand to Cole's forehead. There's a thoughtful, "Huhn," then she lets the hand fall. No explanation for this action is given. "Then we reconvene with Morgan, who will have spoken with the others by then." Because Layla was all about CYA these days, must have something to do with that second chance at life or something. "We tell them what we've learned. I can't say what will happen beyond that, and I'm not going to bother speculating, either. A bridge to cross or burn upon arrival."

"Then hand over the names to the 'justice' department." Cole shrugs. "They're the ones with the guns, let them handle it. But then again, as everything stands right now, I don't trust a single person with a firearm." He pauses when Layla touches his forehead, giving her a tired look, but saying nothing of it. "But if it stops more innocent people from dying, people that just want to see their family again, I'll consider a good deed done."

Taking a deep breath in, Elias considers the words from both of them and then exhales a slightly tired sigh. For a moment, he closes his eyes before opening them again and looking to Layla. "Fair enough. It seems like the only way to get anything good out of this situation. This is a truly shit situation." He pushes his hand up through his hair and looks once more to Cole. "Noted. I'm all for anything that saves innocent lives. I'll do my part and talk to Mags again. She might give me something more. I didn't really do more than ask nicely, though, while everybody else was screaming at each other." There's a roll of one shoulder then. "Figured it was worth a shot."

"Then it's agreed," Layla replies, clapping her hands together. "Morgan is going to talk to Cameron for us, to give him the head's up, at least. I'm pretty sure there's always an Ex-C on duty as well, but I won't count on lucking out with the one I know being there." Not that…it would likely matter in the end, but hey, that's what comes from thinking aloud. "So…we might mitigate being hassled at least a little bit, but I guess that'll make it look more real to Mags." Who, if she was as dim as everyone said, likely wouldn't appreciate such a fine point. "I say we just wait for Morgan's go-ahead once he's done alerting Cameron."

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