Good Morning, Staten Island


jezebel_icon.gif simon_icon.gif

Scene Title Good Morning, Staten Island
Synopsis Jezebel finds Simon on the beach and tells him most of the truth.
Date March 26, 2009

Staten Island - Coast

The coast of Staten Island is as much of a presence as its inland, with rivers that invade right into its heart as well as cutting off the circulation of transport from the rest of New York City. The coastal regions reflect a lot of this borough's rural nature, with rough shores and plant life, broken brick, and general abandonment. The harbors are left to the devices of those that freely come and go, a conspicuous lack of official presence - a number of them notably overrun by the developing crime syndicate, but there are still quite a few, particularly on the coasts nearest to Brooklyn and Manhattan, that are accessible to the lawful public.

The early morning sun is rising above the coastline in the distance, splashing orange and yellow light across the Staten Island. Simon woke up early today among other stranded teens seeking refuge in the Lighthouse. It's a decent place, but Simon doesn't like to admit to himself that he's had to seek refuge there. Not that he looks down on the kids that do, it's just one of those humbling experiences his brain is trying to push away.

Right now, he's on the coast, and he's picked a spot that's a lightly littered and scarred as he could find. An overturn concrete slab is his resting place, and he sits there with his knees pulled up against his chest. The waves roll in and out, and he watches them, hypnotized, while he slowly wakes up.

Jezebel , on the other hand, is quite awake. She's riding her Harley along the coast this morning, going slowly to deal with the broken pavement and drive around all the plants. Simon's wake-up spot is a good scenic spot, so she parks the Harley and begins walking across the sand to it.

Harley's are loud vehicles, so Jezebel isn't exactly sneaking up on Simon. Not that she would want to, necessarily. The kid turns his head away from the sunrise to note the bike nearby, and the woman walking closer and closer to him. It takes him a moment, but eventually he recognizes Jezebel. A grin forms on his face and he raises a hand into the air to flag her down. He definitely doesn't mind seeing a friend around here.

Jezebel waves back, but her expression is turning, well, thorny. "Good morning , Simon! I'm glad to see you're still alive." She falls silent, thinking, and finally adds, "Why on Earth did you come out here?"

Simon figured he would get that response from her, which is why he didn't dial her number when he needed a place to stay last night. "Well, you see - " he begins, pushing himself off his perching slab and walking over to Jezebel, quite aware of the knife and pepper spray he purchased here sitting snug in his jacket pockets. "Haven't you ever been curious about your neighbors?" So it's a crappy excuse, but he's not really awake and he just hopes it will fly with her.

Jezebel chuckles for a moment. "I never risked my life, liberty, sanity and virtue to find out what they were up to. You have no idea how lucky you are to still be in one piece."

Simon lifts his shoulders in a shrug, trying to hide the fact that he's scared to death out here. "Oh, it's not so bad. I mean, I really want to get the hell out of here. Like, today, but -" his voice trails off as he shakes his head. "How do you do it? I mean you live out here and you're always looking great. Nobody ever tries to do anything to you?"

Jezebel smiles. "I rarely leave my house. I don't go to the beach bars after dark. I don't go to the Rookery without a friend and I've only done that once. Most of all, I'm completely harmless. Since I'm not afraid and not a threat, the locals I've met haven't attacked me. But yes, I really shouldn't be out here either."

Simon listens and nods his head very slowly. Maybe she's right. A kid like him shouldn't be out here. He should be at home, doing kid things. At least, that's what normal kids should be doing, and Simon is anything but. "Well, I'm going to get home ASAP, ok? Trust me I don't want to be here. I don't think I'll be coming back."

Jezebel nods, calming down. "I know a captain who might help you out. You'd have to go to Fresh Kills Harbor, go into the Angry Pelican and look for a guy named Jack with the most amazing collection of scars and tattoos. On second thought, do you have any money left?"

Simon smiles as he hears the description of this captain friend. Sounds like every other guy he would probably meet in the bar or whatever the Angry Pelican is. "I have money. I was just going to head to the harbor and wave it in the air. See who bites," Simon explains with a chuckle.

Jezebel shakes her head, smiling. "Hmm. I might have a way to get you back to the mainland. You're definitely in trouble and need to get to a safe place, so that's two out of three qualifications right there. I'm going to have to ask you a very personal question and I need a very honest answer to it."

"What? Money isn't enough. I said I have it remember?" Simon explains, wary of any question that might be too personal. He may talk a lot, but he doesn't really want to expose too much about himself. "What's up?"

Jezebel's shoulders slump as if under a terrible weight. "Very secret stuff. A lot of lives are riding on it staying secret. One of them is mine. Maybe I should just take you to Brian. He's getting groceries somehow and he runs a home for homeless kids."

"The Lighthouse? Yeah, I stayed there last night, actually. I haven't met the mysterious Brian, yet, but I'd like to," Simon tells Jezebel, wondering to himself how one can manage smuggling groceries on the island. The teen the crosses his hands over his chest and says, "You can tell me, Jezebel. If there's one thing I can do, it's keep a secret."

Jezebel sighs. "I might just go back there with you and drag Brian out of bed. You've had your first warning. Here's your second: if I tell you what is going on, you're going to be an accessory to Federal felonies. Please think very, very carefully before asking me what's going on."

Simon rolls his eyes and offers Jezebel a smirk. "From what I hear, the government is looking to abduct kids my age and experiment on them. The news is showing us that cops are killing kids younger than I am. If things keep up I'm probably going to be an accessory to Federal felonies regardless of what you do or do not tell. So, spit it out!" Simon offers an excitable grin, like a puppy who's eager to get a bone thrown to him.

Jezebel takes a deep breath. "On second thought, let me show you something. Pick a plant, any plant."

Simon narrows his eyes at Jezebel, entirely suspicious of some kind of trick, but he doesn't say this. Instead, he starts to look around for a good candidate. Among the rubble, pickings are slim. Still, there is a nice little clump of weeds growing between some rocks nearby. Weeds with yellow flowers. "How about those, " he says, pointing them out. "So I need to go pick them for you or something? Are you trying to force me to be romantic?"

Jezebel laughs as she follows him. "No. I need you to tell me your favorite color, then be quiet for a bit."

"Cobalt blue," Simon tells Jezebel. He has a very specific favorite color, and for a very specific reason. Another one of the secrets he carries around with him. After telling her the color, he shuts up and lets her do whatever it is she's going to do.

Jezebel takes a deep breath and concentrates. Slowly, the color of the wildflowers changes from yellow to cobalt blue. When the transformation is finished, Jezebel shakes her head, as if trying to shake sleep from her eyes.

Simon watches Jezebel perform her magic, eyes widening as the color of the plant changes. While the plant is small, the feat performed is huge. At least to Simon. "Wha - what? Are you serious?" He takes a few steps towards the plant and past Jezebel, then bends over to run his fingertips over the weeds. "That's. That's amazing," he says, turning to look back and up at Jezebel.

Jezebel beams at Simon. "Thank you, Simon. That's actually an easy alteration for me, but it does get the point across."

Simon stands slowly and nods. "Yeah, it sure does. So you're Evolved, too, then," Simon tells her, blinking in surprise at how easy it was to admit to her his own Evolved status, though in a sort of backwards way. "I'm a little relieved."

Jezebel nods, smiling. "Congratulations. You now qualify for help. I, with grocery deliveries and the occasional bit of help, run a safehouse out here for Evolved who are in big trouble. Usually the trouble is Homeland Security and the people helped are going to Canada, but I think I can stretch a point. Of course, now you're going to have to forget I ever told you this."

This news slaps him in the face a little, but it makes sense. Why else would a girl like Jezebel be out here so much? "Wait a minute. Forget? I'm not going to forget about this," Simon tells her, stepping in closer so he can lower his voice and still be heard. "I want to know more. So it's true that Homeland Security is abducting the Evolved? Even kids?" Simon looks Jezebel in the eyes as he asks this, prying for the truth that everyone seems to be dancing around but never commenting on these days.

Jezebel solemnly, silently nods.

"Shit," Simon says, looking away for a moment to think something over. "Ok, well that really sucks. So you're getting people to Canada? How can I help?" Simon is definitely seeming eager about this, maybe a little too eager. Still, he's been looking for a reason to stick around the city. A reason to help, and it's been eluding him so far.

Jezebel thinks about that. "You didn't know it, but you already are. We have connections to the cathedral. That's why I told you to go there for help. Beyond that… hmm. I know of a place in Morningside Heights that's always going to need more help. I hope you like chores."

Seems like everywhere in the city has a secret these days. Even soup kitchens. Simon nods to Jezebel and smirks, "Chores? Seriously? It beats working at McDonalds, I guess." Simon sighs and closes his eyes for a moment. "Ok, so what is this exactly? Like some kind of underground railroad leading to Canada?"

Jezebel nods again. "That's exactly what it is. Although we take people to other places too. If those thirty-six kids had come to us, we would have done our best to get them to safety, with or without the rest of their family."

"Well, I'm sure if those kids did a lot of things, they would be alive and safe today. I'm staring to realize most people my age don't know how to take care of themselves," Simon tells Jezebel with a shrug of his shoulders. "Let me know who to talk to over on Manhattan. I can mop floors real well."

Jezebel smiles. "With your permission, I'm going to hand your phone number to someone who knows more about that than I do. Have you eaten breakfast yet?"

Simon nods and says, "Sure, go ahead and do that. I'll make sure I keep my cell on me at all times. Unless someone here steals it. No! That won't happen either," Simon will make sure of it. "I haven't actually. Let's go grab something." He's feeling much more awake now, which means his stomach is growling.

Jezebel begins to walk back to the Harley. "Lucky you, I keep a second helmet in the carriers at all times. Come on, I'll fix you breakfast and me more breakfast."

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