Lucidity

Participants:

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Scene Title Lucidity
Synopsis Kazimir catches Tamara in a rare moment of clarity, when fatigue has robbed him of his.
Date October 16, 2008

Eagle Electric

The most notable business collapse in Queens was that of Eagle Electric, a major manufacturer based out of Long Island City for decades, comprised of acres of warehouses and manufacturing plants designed to produce electronic components to suit all sorts of needs. The western warehouse of the Eagle Electric lot is an enormous and foreboding red-painted building made entirely from sheets of ridged steel. Amidst the grass growing up through the cracks in the pavement and the burned out cars in the parking lot, it seems just as uninhabited as the rest of the area. A large and ruined sign at the top of the office and manufacturing building prominently reads, "Eagle Electric—Perfection Is Not An Accident."


Silence reigns over the warehouse on the outskirts of the Eagle Electric facility, a heavy and weighted silence that bodes ill of the place. Normally the rustling of wings or the distant squawks of birds serve as a subtle background noise for this spacious and empty feeling structure. Tonight, though, that is most certainly not the case. Pale shafts of light shine through the high and narrow windows up near the warehouse ceiling, creating long and dark shadows from the cloth-covered crates stacked up within the cargo floor. By the entrance, the dingy yellow artificial lights of flood-lamps outside of the warehouse contrast with the moonlight, creating sharp contrasts of warm and cool lights and shadow.

The birds are gone tonight — all of them, leaving the warehouse more abandoned feeling than usual. It has remained this way long into the evening, with only the molted feathers on the concrete ground and unsettled dust to indicate that someone has just recently come through. But this unexpected guest is soon not alone, as the sound of tired footsteps echo down by the freight entrance of the warehouse, and a single long and dark shadow casts out across the concrete floor. Kazimir moves slower than usual tonight, the slow and labored steps he takes coupled with the clink of his steel-tipped cane on the ground. The old man does not realize he isn't alone in the warehouse, and that his long and dark shadow is not the only one here tonight.

She comes and goes as she pleases, following the dictates of possibilities no one else perceives. She brings a bit of cryptic advice, a suggestion, a warning — or just comes to be enchanted by Munin's birds. Restless movement is one of her hallmarks; fidgeting fingers, pacing feet, the activity an outlet for the stress upon her mind.

It's not Tamara's wont to sit and brood, for brooding is practically by definition the act of reflecting upon a choice already made. Upon the past.

And yet she stands before one of the warehouse's lower windows, gazing upon the interplay of light and shadow. Her back is turned to Kazimir, yet slight frame, however unusually still, is immediately recognizable upon sight — especially factoring in the tangled blond hair, the combination of green sweater and crimson scarf that are her usual garb at present.

The sight of unpredictability given form herself causes Kazimir to straighten, to push away that sense of fatigue and exhaustion that has plagued him on the long walk back from Greenwich Village. Tired feet carry him with a slow and ponderous pace across the warehouse floor, giving him time to consider the situation and the strange young girl he now finds himself confronted with again. The echoing report of his shoes hitting the flor, interspersed with the tap of his cane is the only sound on his approach, like the off-rythm ticking of a clock. Eventually, when he's close enough to not need strain his voice to ensure Tamara can hear hm, he speaks, but the tone of his voice belies his exhaustion and thin patience.

"To what ill wind do I owe this undoubtedly vexing pleasure?" At a time when he needs most to sit and recouperate from a long and taxing evening, Kazimir has little patience to deal with the koan-like nature of of conversation with Tamara. "It is an hour of the night unfit for long conversation, if that is what you've come here for." He continues his slow approach, eyex fixing on her muddy reflection in the glass of the window.

As Kazimir chooses his words, Tamara's lips curve in a tiny, very rueful smile. "Do I truly blow no good to you, Kazimir?" she asks — she who never uses names. The timbre of her voice is also wrong, compared to the usual — there is nothing of youth in it. None of her own habitual confusion, and never mind the confusion she bequeathes unto others. "Perhaps so. Past and future do not easily coexist — and such we are." She sets a hand to the windowpane, the motion deliberate, precise, perfectly fluid — as if it had been practiced a thousand times, there being no question and no uncertainty about any position from beginning to end. But what she sees is something far distant, and not the emptiness before the warehouse. "Converse or not as you please. I am not here for you." Not really — and yet she is here, when she has her choice of an entire city in which to stand vigil.

"No good, yet," Kazimir is quick to reply, his tone clearly full of expectance on her behalf. Slowly the gray-haired old man comes to stand by the girl's side, blue eyes downcast towards the hand resting on the windowpane. "I can only hope in time you'll come to fulfill your end of the bargain. Keeping mine has become remarkably difficult. The one you care so much for is remarkably persistant." His eyes move to peer out through the window to the empty lot beyond, the dead grass wilted where it had sprung up through the cracked pavement, burned out shells of old cars. "But you did not answer my question," His tone grows quiet, "Why are you here?"

"Yes," Tamara says softly. "He has been." Has been. And while she mixes up tenses under normal circumstances… the clarity of her voice now is almost as painful in its own way. Insight, without madness.

Standing beside her now, Kazimir might see the floodlighting glint from the track of a fallen tear, despite the fact that she never turns away from the window.

"To watch. To witness." Her lips curve again, describing a smile saddened by too much knowledge. "Yes. I could do that from anywhere. And with… far less risk. But you say 'yet', Kazimir," the girl states, finally turning to face him directly. The trail of a tear remains — but the eyes above it don't show her grief. Her normal insight is eerie in its clouded way, the depth and breadth of Tamara's knowledge masked by the madness that protects her from it. Here and now, the madness is relieved. Only that piercing, razor-edged insight remains.

"And I ask, 'what'?"

"I can't even begin to profess understanding of your wants and whims," Kazimir's tired eyes wander the yard outside of the warehouse, a fleeting look of concern on his face after having scanned it for long enough to be assured that something is missing. He turns to look back to the girl now, those tired blue eyes showing a softness that is not felt in his voice. "Nor can I profess to understand how you do what it is you do, but a bargain was made, and as a man of my word I expect it to be honored." He lifts his cane, tucking it under one arm, his other hand moving to settle in the pocket of his slacks as he finally turns to face the young girl.

"Your very existance causes you so much pain, so much conflict. It is not your fault you were cursed to this life, even if you choose to live it. Again, I cannot profess to know or understand your plight, but I can offer to take the pain away from you. To make whatever has broken a young girl into such a shamble I see jagged and torn in front of me." His head cants to the side, considering her more carefully. "But if you'll not have that, then I would ask of you to use your curse to help me take the pain away from others. You know what it is I want, but you are a tool to which I have no instruction on how to best employ. So, I leave to your fractured judgement that end. If you're here to hold to your end of the bargain, I entrust you to

"And yet you're impatient? If you would trust my sight, then trust it." Her eyes return to the window, hands resting at her sides. Tamara remains quiet for a time, watching an invisible tableau play itself out. "I made my choice," she says quietly. "There is too much left for me to do. Broken is the price for what I see, for averting the worst of it, and so I am. So I shall be."

She steps away from the window, looks over to Kazimir. "You will have a reprieve. And I will be back when it is necessary." Another smile, but a melancholy one. "If, perhaps, not quite like this." And she walks away, passing out the door, vanishing into the shadows beyond the floodlights. To where there are no witnesses for the fractured failure of her coherent state, and no hazards to complicate its aftermath.


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October 16th: Not so Special Delivery
Previously in this storyline…
The Way to Dusty Death

Next in this storyline…
Then Pharaoh Called

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October 16th: Then Pharaoh Called
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