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Scene Title Misbehaving
Synopsis Delia and Eve travel to Saint Margaret's School for Girls in search of answers after walking through a door that was better left closed.
Date February 28, 2018

Saint Margaret's School for Girls

Sister Antonella’s office at Saint Margaret’s School for Girls looks exactly the way Delia and Eve expect it to, which is identical to the one in their shared dream— or memory, such as the case may be. Sister Antonella, too, is the splitting image of the woman who stood at the desk, her back steel-rod rigid and fingers knit tight around a leather switch, with the addition of a few gray hairs.

The instrument in question hangs directly the below the crucifix behind her desk from an unremarkable little nail as a warning for wayward students who have the misfortune of sitting where Delia and Eve do now. Rain beats against the stained glass window, its colours muted by the absence of sunlight and a bruised February sky outside. Both women are still damp from the journey to the orphanage, which sits inside the Safe Zone’s limits, but their dripping clothes and the hair plastered to their faces isn’t the cause for the concerned expression the nun wears.

Delia has been unable to shake the feeling that she’s being watched. It follows her like her shadow does, never more than a few paces behind her regardless of where she goes or who she’s with. With great effort and concentration, the dreamwalker is able to compartmentalize this creeping sensation of dead, but only for a few hours, or when she’s asleep.

The one place it does not pursue her is through her own dreams.

“You look unwell, Miss Ryans,” Sister Antonella observes as she boils water for tea using an old electric kettle that makes the office smell faintly of burning plastic after it’s been on for a few minutes. She takes down two teacups and saucers from a shelf inside the office closet — Eve remembers it well — and a wooden box filled with satchels of fragrant black leaves. “I hope I can be of some assistance? The message you left us wasn’t particularly— thorough.”

The journey out of the Safe Zone to the school was a wet one. Eve is bundled up in a dark coat that falls to the floor. Her dark hair plastered to her scalp and face it hangs in a heavy mess on her head. She wrung a bit of it out in the bathroom sink but currently she didn't mind a little drip drop on the floor.

Her light gray eyes take in the closet and then the nun and her head tilts more water landing on the floor. Eve glances at Delia out of the corner of her eyes before offering, “Do you know a Sibyl? Wee thing, smart mouth.” She holds her hand up to about ‘here’ at her chin.

She doesn't say much else but she does turn to look at Delia more closely. Delia doesn’t in fact look good. The oracle has been worried, an induced vision earlier that morning showed her only Delia shrouded in shadow. The tendrils waving around covering her face and body.


Delia hasn’t been able to stop looking over her shoulder and jumping at shadows since the night she and Eve jumped into the teen’s dream. Sleeping hasn’t been easy because even though whatever it is that is shadowing her has left her dreams alone, the dreamwalker is still experiencing nightmares of her own. The same nightmare that she pulled Eve and Sibyl into. Every night, all night.

“Huh?” She flicks her head quickly toward Eve, just hearing her for the first time. The she turns to study the nun, the one that was so frightening in Sibyl’s dream. “Uhm.. Yes, Sibyl, do you know her? What can you tell us about her?” This is a place that the girl had nightmares about and growing up in the faith, Delia can understand why.

Sister Antonella’s teacups clink and rattle. A tremor wobbles through her hand, and she pauses to steady herself, disguising her surprise as clumsiness. To her credit, she’s quick to recompose, and crosses back to her desk. Steam billows from the electric kettle’s mouth.

One teacup and saucer for Eve. One teacup and saucer for Delia. The nun cants her head towards the window and the sound of children splashing outside in the rain. Faint chants of met-a-phor, met-a-phor, met-a-phor can be heard coming from the courtyard downstairs, interspersed with shrill peals of laughter and raucous screams.

Despite the switch dangling ominously on the office wall, the girls all seem bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked and as well cared for as the orphanage’s budget — which isn’t much — allows. Like the clothes Eve wore in the dream, every student dresses in shades of gray, their clothes dreary, mismatched assemblages pulled from a monochrome pile of donations in the basement.

With a much steadier hand, Sister Antonella pours the boiling water into each teacup. Her eye is precise; she spills not one drop, and plunks one tea bag each noiselessly into their drinks. “I suppose my answers depends upon why you ask,” she says.

Delia receives a comforting pat on her shoulder from the oracle and Eve leans forward to slide her tea closer to her, dipping her head in thanks. She really wants to ask about the switch and what it feels like but this a serious time and so serious questions only. Sibyl’s life.. And Delia’s may depend on it. She doesn’t sip at the tea yet letting it cool, she does bend down to smell it with a close of her eyes. Then she hears the kids outside and her eyebrows raise, damn it they saw her. She ponders putting frogs in their beds before she leaves.

“Well she’s in danger.” Eve says it simply as she dunks her tea bag in and out of the cup while looking at the nun closely. She is still imposing in person but she n’t as scary as the switch swingin to the face version of her was in the dream/memory. But then again it was a memory. So.. Eve looks at the switch and then to the Sister again with eyes squinted.

“You know she's special. Her sight gets her in trouble, as does mine.” But not the same as trouble as Eve no, “All those whispers and echoes ponding on your brain wall.” She taps on her forehead with a pale index finger to emphasize.

Her tea is taken gratefully, it’s been a while since Delia has had an actual cup of real tea that wasn’t brewed from a collection of sour leaves. “Thank you,” she utters quietly, though her ears are on the chant outside and not the Seer’s conversation inside. Why would children be chanting metaphor? Is that a new game she hasn’t heard of?

“There’s a thing” Delia fills in for Eve, even though she can’t explain it fully. It’s just a feeling, a presence, something that’s always there. “Did something happen to her when she was here? Or was she jumpy or … “ She doesn’t know the word, or something. “Did she come here a bit different than all the girls?”

“Sibyl was SLC-Expressive,” Sister Antonella says. “As you know, there are numerous organizations across the country who specialize in fostering Evolved— I’m sorry, fostering special children. Saint Margaret’s isn’t one of them.”

She sinks into the chair on her side of the desk and folds her hands in her lap. “We take in SLC-Expressive girls if there isn’t room anywhere else, of course, and only if they’re unmanifested. I was never able to determine the scope of Miss Black’s ability, only that it was active… and unsettling my staff.”

There’s a prickle of defensiveness in her tone, but she smooths it over with a tight-lipped smile. “I put in a call with the military police after a specific incident,” she admits. “They sent someone from SESA out to run a variety of non-invasive tests so we could better place her with someone else— unfortunately, she disappeared before their representative was able to draw any definitive conclusions.”

“How did she come to be here?” Eve scratches the back of her head at the details that Sister Antonella gives them on her Sister Seer. She does a test sip of her tea and grins at both the woman next to her. “Yum.” Light gray eyes look out the window as she thinks. The whispers in the back of her head as loud as ever. “What.. were the indefinite conclusions?”

The seer is working hard to keep it together. Her mind is overactive, gaze going from the sister to the switch, to the closet and then to the window with rain splattering against it.

She gives Delia another look as she sinks in her chair sipping more tea. She mutters to herself, “Misbehaving, misbehaving.” Eve closes her eyes and sighs softly. SESA.. her mind immediately flashes to Red.. Quinn.

When Sister Antonella mentions that others felt unsettled, Delia’s teacup rattles on its saucer as a tremble shudders through her system. Her eyes immediately flit to the darker corners of the office, searching for something hidden before she focuses back on the Sister.

“Sorry for interrupting but did you experience the unsettling feeling yourself or is there someone still on your staff that we can ask about it? I mean, if you’re alright with it.” The dreamwalker seems a bit sheepish when she asks and almost overly polite, it could be respect and/or fear of the uniform itself. Delia’s mother, Mary, did a wonderful job of placing the fear of God into her youngest daughter, to try to veer off her trouble making. Whatever the SESA people found out, she knows the sisters might not have been told about. Especially if Sibyl was a minor at the time, but Eve has a way of seeing and finding things that Delia just doesn’t have the sense to discover.

After giving Eve a quick glance, Delia leans forward a little and straightens her posture as she addresses Antonella again, “If it makes you feel better, you can be in the room when we talk to them.”

Sister Antonella leans forward and makes a clucking sound against the back of her teeth. “So many questions,” she chides Delia and Eve, but gently — like it’s a joke. She tugs open one of the desk’s drawers. “The SLC-Expressive Services Agency gave us a copy for our records,” she says, picking through a dense accordion of olive green folders. “I’m not sure where to begin. Perhaps with the Zener cards? Aha— here she is.”

She selects a file labeled BLACK, SIBYL from the drawer and lays it out on the desk. “In the thirties, perceptual psychologist Karl Zener developed an experiment to test for extrasensory perception in his patients.” She holds up a blocky white card with a red cross on it. “Each pack contained five designs, like this one. The experimenter would draw a card at random, observe the symbol, and record it in his notebook. If the patient could accurately and consistently predict the symbol on the card— well. I’m sure you understand what that might indicate.”

She passes the card across the desk so Eve can have a closer look. “SESA still uses Zener cards on occasion, as a starting point in their investigations. Sibyl was not particularly adept at guessing the cards until she realized what we were attempting to do, at which point she became very good at it.”

Her attention drifts back to the file, which she shields protectively under her hands. “We don’t have much of a history on where she came from,” she says. “Her parents were both killed during the Eltingville Uprising at the onset of the war. She was very quiet. Kept to herself. The— situation was initially brought to my attention when two of our girls went missing. It’s a grisly business out there, ladies. The human trafficking on Staten Island. God knows what else is happening on the other side of the fence. We expected the worst, of course, and not one of us was surprised when our search party recovered their remains in the Bronx a few weeks later. What was unsettling, Miss Ryans, is that Sibyl pointed us to them.”

She almost says Epstein but for one of the few times in her life Eve stays silent as the nun lays the file in the desk Eve peers at it. “They tested her. She is a quick study.” Smart ass indeed. The raven haired woman takes a sip of her tea bouncing her foot up and down as the nun talks.

“She knows without dreams..?” Just like a few other of her Sister Seers, they all seemed to “see” differently. “That must of scared you.” But not as much as the sister must have scared Sibyl and probably the other girls of the school. A fact that Eve wasn't really forgetting.

The whole room is giving her nerves, she keeps seeing the dream/memory. The moths.. she shakes her head as she tries to stay present. Slamming the door in her mind that leads to the whispers and her memories of visions she has had. The whispers cease and the older woman closes her eyes with a light smile. Quiet.

The door as always opens just a nudge a echo of two spilling out and the woman sighs as she pinches the bridge of her nose. “They don't like to shut up.” She says out of nowhere.

Not the answer Delia was hoping for. A violent tremor shudders up and then down her spine as she listens to the fate of the two girls that went missing, the ones Sibyl found. “When she left here, it was with SESA? Or was she placed somewhere else in the system?” The dreamwalker doesn’t think the dusty room with the piano was a part of an orphanage, but Delia’s never actually been to an orphanage before this one.

Picking up her cup again, she swirls the tea around, studying the leaves at the bottom of the cup. The pattern of their swirls mean nothing but pretty dancing leaves in water to her, maybe to Eve. She is a fortune teller after all. A glance up to the seer as she poses the questions causes Delia’s silence to remain. Instead of asking more of her own, she takes a little sip of her tea.

“No,” Sister Antonella says, opening the file. “While we were still attempting to identify her ability using the Zener cards, she started talking about the girls again. Told the military’s SESA liaison that one of their people was responsible for the murders. Lieutenant Graves was less appreciative than he should have been.”

She loosens several photographs from the file’s upper lefthand corner and turns the paperclip between her fingers in an idle fidget. “I think she must have sensed the outcome would not have been favorable for her if she’d stayed. She disappeared about three years ago. No proclamations of any kind, just gone.”

There’s a pause, and something that sounds a little like guilt creeps into the older woman’s tone as she reviews the photographs, only one of which is of Sibyl. The others Delia and Eve catch only glimpses of: mottled bruising, small fingers bent in rigamortis, ligature marks measured against a ruler on a smooth, too-pale neck. “I requested copies of everything,” she says, and that apparently includes pictures of the crime scene. “Just in case. I suppose I always just assumed Graves took her, but perhaps she got away.”

A cover up.

Her eyes close as she tilts her head, “She sniffed them out. That's why she's on the run.” She says softly more to herself than anyone. Eve drags herself forward while drinking down more of the cooled down tea. There's a look given to Delia and the older woman reaches out a hand to grasp her knee in comfort. They will talk later but she knows the redhead is having a terrible time. “There must be a name.. of the someone Sibyl pointed out.”

If she doesn't know then perhaps Graves’ brain will.

Her eyes are wide as she peers down now at the photos, seeing the glimpses of the bodies. She blinks, she's use to seeing things like this in her dreams.. during the war.. but it is always heartbreaking to see innocent life loss. “Dreamy, should we look at the file?” The oracle feels as if the breadcrumbs have ran out here, maybe not though..

“You can, but…” Delia already caught a glimpse of bruises measured with rulers and can’t stomach to see anything more than that. She turns her head away from the file so she won’t see any more. It makes her sick to her stomach. “I can’t. That poor little girl, do you think she actually saw these things or she just knew they were there?” She hopes the latter because the former would be enough to damage anyone at a young age.

The redhead has dubious thoughts about whether or not the name of the person Sibyl pointed out would be in the file at all. If Graves wasn’t gracious about being told in the first place, it’s quite possible he just buried it. “We might have to dig on our own for a name, Eve,” she almost whispers, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark on the quiet scale. For now, they have two more people they can try to find and question.

Sister Antonella feels like she’s interrupting. “To his credit,” she says, lowering her voice so as to be a part of the whispered conversation happening across the desk, “Lieutenant Graves eventually tried and convicted the soldier responsible. He was hanged in the courtyard you passed on your way inside, but only after they collected additional evidence against him.”

She pins the photographs back to the file and closes it. “A very difficult thing for a commanding officer to do. As I said, we never discovered the nature of her ability, but she was registered before she disappeared. Class-A, Mental. Unknown. I’m afraid I can’t tell you much more than that.”

Nodding her head Eve abruptly stands up and drinks the rest of her tea. “Thanks Sista.” Nudging Delia with her elbow gently she dips in a courtesy to the older woman, “You've been so helpful!” Eve grins and then her face flicks to the switch on the wall and tilts her head.

“No more switching in the faces.” She waves a hand in front of her face to emphasize, “I've been here I can see here more clearly heh,” that devilish grin widens and she leans in, “If you switch the faces.. I’ll come bite yours.”

“Toodles! Thanks for all the tea you spilled!”

There is much tea to discuss.

Her own teacup is drained and then placed back on the desk with its saucer underneath it. “Yes, thank you for the tea,” Delia stands and zips up the old coat she’s wearing and pulls the knit gloves from her pockets. They’re still wet and will be uncomfortable, but they’ll at least be better than the gloom and rain.

Something moves in the shadow in the corner.

When Delia turns to look, there’s nothing there but she can still feel it. She stares into the corner for a little while, unable to shake that nervous feeling she’s had lately. “I’ll come by in a few days with a thank you, to pay you back for all of this.” The girls look healthy enough but she knows how expensive things are at the market and it’s possible food donations would be welcome.

Then she steps out of the room behind Eve before she takes a few long strides to walk beside her. “I could use some more tea if you’re buying.”

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