Searching For Charon


cat_icon.gif colette3_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title Searching For Charon
Synopsis Colette crashes a conversation in order to ask the sybil where she can find Ferrymen.
Date June 26, 2009

Central Park Zoo

The five acres of the Central Park Zoo are divided into three major exhibit themes: the Polar Circle, the Rain Forest, and the Temperate Territory. It features everything from leaf-cutter ants to the ever-popular polar bears; California sea lions to colobus monkeys; the two-toed sloth to the Japanese macaque. The exhibits are always a major draw for tourists, but the zoo offers a variety of classes and programs intended to educate the public in wildlife and wildlife conservation. The associated Tisch Children's Zoo includes a petting zoo and the Wildlife Theater, as well as a variety of exhibits targeted to the younger audience.

It's a busy Friday morning at the Central Park Zoo; summer is in full swing, and while this means the air is humid and it was raining not very long ago, it does look like the clouds might part enough for sunshine to peek through soon. The people who have come to the zoo today did so in spite of the earlier rain; now the sidewalks are damp and the dirt more closely resembles mud, but that seems to have been disregarded entirely by the young woman kneeling outside the new snow leopard enclosure.

She looks to be in her late teens, perhaps; possibly even younger. Her hair is loose and unkempt, faded blue jeans and sunflower-printed green blouse speckled with spots of dirt at the hems. The girl might have been splashing in puddles earlier, or been splashed by someone. She leans against the fencing without any apparent regard for the possible hazard of the felines behind it, and while there are a number of other people in attendance, none of them seem in the least associated with her.

The twenty-something woman heading her way is somewhat cleaner and more put together. Hair is tied back into a ponytail, she has a guitar case and backpack slung over opposite shoulders, her five feet eight inch frame clad in a tank top featuring the members of Pearl Jam and dark shorts with athletic shoes. Eyes wander over the exhibits as she makes her way along, recording the details of each, soon to settle upon the various large felines. Cat has wandered this way to avoid being among the people congregating for the Evolved Rights rally today, her goal to not approach it before the numbers build enough to blend in among them without risk of Homeland or Primatech agents who might take photos of people and target them for testing at some later time. Or worse.

Documents about that illicit agency's operations and founders are swept out of her active thoughts, however, when she reaches the snow leopard enclosure, replaced by memories of having played onstage at the Surly Wench and emulated the movements of such creatures in association with her name as part of the act. It brings a slight smile to her features.

Most of the people around the enclosure pay Cat as much attention as they do any other quiet zoo-goer — which is to say, not much at all. Tamara, however, leans an elbow against the fence and turns her attention towards the older woman, blue gaze fey, the tilt of her head more akin to a bird than a cat. "Do you believe in angels?" she asks the woman curiously, a question utterly incongruous with their surroundings.

Eyes shift to the younger one who just spoke, looking her over calmly, as a reply is framed. "They're possible," Cat opines pensively. "Maybe probable. But I'd be more inclined to question someone who just assumes rather than questioning the world around them, always believing what they're told by authority figures."

"Questions lead to answers, which help us learn," she adds quietly. "But some questions only cause more questions." After speaking, given the topic, memories of conversations with Abigail Beauchamp are drawn to the fore. She wonders if she's just been engaged in a potential debate of the kind she avoids having with the former extrahuman healer turned EMT student.

The girl, however, seems to be content with the woman's answer, inasmuch as her expression is thoughful rather than disagreeing. "Sometimes I wonder what an angel would see," Tamara continues, her gaze flicking to the two felines in their cage. A large and comfortable cage, but cage nonetheless. "There isn't an answer anywhere, but that's why I ask. There's mostly just quiet after."

"Quiet after the question?" Cat asks, her own eyes drawn back to the large predatory beasts. "Some things," she muses, "aren't explained yet, and might not ever be. And one thing, in logic, has to exist. That anything which is was created somehow, brought into being, all the way back to a single exploding mass which became the universe. Even that mass would need creator, and that's where logic fails, the question has no answer. What created the creator, and the creator's creator?"

The girl shakes her head at that line of musing, blonde hair dancing in the sunlight. She wrinkles her nose at Cat. "I don't like those questions," Tamara grouses, albeit in a lighthearted manner. "They make my head hurt." She sticks her fingers through the fencing, wriggles them at the leopard; the cat ignores them. The seeress can't be said to mind. "I like angels better than masses. And explosions."

"Science can be harder to grasp," Cat admits. "I follow the basic principles, but not so much the details unless I have to read about them. Music is much more fun." Would that the world were so pleasant now as to allow for pursuing just that, without the interventions of death, peril, grief, and need for action which have drawn her away. "Other things have become more important," quietly spoken.

"If there are angels, we could use their support. The main thing I see is we have to be our own angels, make things happen for ourselves." War's coming, she's told, and the evidence supports it.

"That's your choice," Tamara agrees. "If you don't try, you'll never touch the river's course, and all that would be left is wonder." She glances down the way, towards some of the people idly strolling from exhibit to exhibit; the girl hooks one hand on the fencing and pulls herself up, peering down at the mud sticking to the knees of her jeans. It's too damp to be brushed off, so Tamara leaves it be.

Tamara expects the distant voice calling out an unintelligible name, voice drowned out over the low din of others at the zoo. The scraping sound of claws on the sidewalk and eventually closer towards the enclosures, the jingling tink-clink of light metal bouncing around, and the sudden brush of tan and black fur coming just past her legs also comes as no surprise, which is likely why she shifts her footing the way she does, to just allow the large dog to come running past, dragging a leash behind it with a clattering noise.

The dog is old, graying fur on his snout and chin, dark eyes looking up at Cat as he trots past her, bushy tail swaying back and forth as if he was waving a flag of victory back and forth behind him. "Jupiteeeeer!" The whining voice comes from around the winding concrete path between the cages, followed by clomp-stomping bootfalls and panting breathing clearly labored and exhausted, "Stop— running away every time— " Leaning with a clunk up against a plastic garbage can, Colette Nichols slouches her shoulders forward, hunching over to rest her hands on her knees, trying to catch her breath as dark sunglasses threaten to slide entirely off of her face at that angle.

"S— stupid — " she gives a panting breath, straightening up with two fingers nudging her sunglasses up her nose, ink-black hair toussled by the wind. "Jupiter you get back here right— " Cat. Tamara. Jupiter. " — now?" Her words lose all of their frustration the moment she sees that black and brown tail swaying from side to side over by Cat, and then focuses on Tamara as lips once pressed into a scowl immediately begin turning up into a gigantic smile. "Tamara!"

Rushing over to the blonde's side, Colette seems to entirely forget about her chase of Jupiter, coming to a stop somewhat in collision with the older girl, arms wrapping around her shoulders as Colette pivots in a half-circle with Tamara in her arms, face flushed and smile broad. Jupiter, however, lets out a single, sharp bark which draws Colette's focus over to where Cat stands. The dark-haired girl's sunglasses have dipped down past her nose, revealing the chalk white color of her eyes as she makes that eye contact with Cat.

"Hey it's— Doc." Dark brows crease together, thin and pale arms unwind from Tamara's shoulders sheepishly as Colette's teeth come tugging at her lower lip, a smile turning somewhat embarassed. "What're— " she pushes her sunglasses back up her nose, "you two doing out here?" At the zoo she fails to add to the end there, it's too early for incredulous questioning.

Her eyes settle on the younger one more intently now, Tamara's words intriguing her somewhat. The river's course, that's a thing she's heard said before. "It's a difficult thing to alt…" Jupiter's arrival, along with Colette trailing after, causes a halt to her words. Cat's gaze travels from one to the other, then the dog, and back again. "Good to see you again, Colette," she offers with a grin. "We were watching the cats and talking about redirecting rivers."

"You'd think more people would learn to swim," Tamara remarks cheerfully to the younger girl. She drapes an arm nonchalantly over Colette's shoulders, fingers of her other hand beckoning Jupiter over. Come here so I can ruffle your ears. "I like the zoo," she remarks, to what Colette didn't say. "Did you see the pretty feathers?" Obviously not on a snow leopard.

"Oh uh— that's…" Colette's dark brows crease as she tries to puzzle out Cat's words, of all people, "Cool?" A grimace is afforded, hands brushing off anxiously on her carnation red t-shirt, muted sunlight reflects dully in the black lenses of her sunglasses. Then, her focus shifts over to Tamara, a goofy and nervous smile creeping up over her lips as the older girl drapes an arm around her shoulders, face not quite losing that red touch to it. "Yeah it— I think I kinda' ran by the birds. I uh— I didn't mean to come to the zoo though, that was— " when she looks down, Jupiter is obediently heeling at Tamara's other side, and Colette's brows crease together in a look of oh that's how it is? "It's like… the first sunny day in forever or something, so I thought I'd— you know— go see Dad and take Jupiter out for a walk." It all comes so easy to say now, Dad.

"Actually, I uh," one by one Colette picks up her booted feet from the ground, checking the treads for signs of anything other than mud, "wanted to ask you something, I guess, since you're here n'all." Once she's satisfied that Jupiter didn't leave anything in the trail for her to run into, Colette's crooked smile straightens out and she rakes pale fingers through black hair.

"I was over at someone's house a while back, Abby?" Her brows raise as she offers the name up to Tamara, "I— we talked about her before." She seems to pointedly give Tamara some time to work out the name and tie it with a mental ribbon to a ripple in the river. "I've got some stuff of hers— an umbrella and— you know— stuff," her hand sweeps over the top of her head, now scratching at the back of her neck as one bony shoulder jerks up into a half-shrug, "and she told me to like— drop it off with some people called the Ferrymen?"

Her nose wrinkles at the name, a slow sigh drawn out as she crouches down just enough to pick up Jupiter's leash and brush mud off of the end. Her eyes peer over the top of her sunglasses, as if seeing without seeing. A blind girl with a seeing eye dog, of course, but she's hardly handling herself like someone who cannot see. At least — no more than she did when she had one working eye. "I uh, you— sort've know like, everything," a smile comes to that, "so I thought, you know… Can I have a fortune cookie?" There's a much more playful smile at that as she winds Jupiter's leash around her bare forearm as she straightens back up, never really quite leaving the contact of that arm around her shoulders. "I dunno who t'bring her stuff back to, so— you know. I feel weird going back to her apartment… we're not— friends? You know?"

Curiouser and curiouser, Cat thinks, as Colette speaks to Tamara and mentions an Abby. The name itself doesn't cause her to perk up mentally by itself, Abigail and Abby are common enough, but when the Ferrymen are mentioned in connection with her, well, that rather narrows it down. Her poker face goes into play, she doesn't let on knowing anything about them and nonchalantly turns to check out the caged felines again to give the appearance of not listening. But she is listening.

Tamara rubs her fingers through Jupiter's fur, the tags on his collar jingling faintly. She looks, if anything, perplexed at the mention of Abby — did they really? But that doesn't stop her from knowing what Colette it asking. It doesn't stop the sybil from fishing a plastic-wrapped fortune cookie out of a pocket and handing it over at Colette's request, either. Tamara doesn't smile, quite, but her eyes dance with mischief.

The seeress looks at Cat for a long moment, her expression becoming something inscrutable. "Don't pretend," she chides the woman. "It's not very nice." If the girl cared that Cat listened, after all, she and Colette wouldn't be having this conversation here and now. Tamara glances away, dark gaze looking into the distance, as though the air held something markedly more captivating than nothing at all. "There's a place. It has a sign like the feathers, all blue and white, but not as shiny. The windows are prettier, though. I can show you!" the sybil declares, turning to face Colette even as she steps backward, her hand sliding down to tug at the younger girl's. "Then they found her. But you had to be quiet. It wasn't a place for talking."

Somehow, even when she thinks she knows everything she can about Tamara, simple things like an actual fortune-cookie still throw her off. There's a wide-eyed look of bewilderment preceeding a snort and a giggle from Colette as her fingers wrap around the fortune cookie, holding it in one hand with a shake of her head and a broad smile. The young girl looks up over the frames of her sunglasses, as if searching Tamara's eyes for something indicative of a hint that words don't quite give. She doesn't entirely find it.

"O— Okay I— " Awkwardly starting to walk at the tug to her hand, Colette's fingers lace between Tamara's, another nervous laugh coming as she glances over her shoulder to Cat, watching her with this silent but puzzled expression, followed by a kick of one dark brow up as if asking her a wordless question before following along with Tamara.

"Okay, okay but— how far is it?" She asks with a wary tone of voice, trying to match her pace to the blonde's far more energetic one. "I— only have enough bus fare to— " her light eyes narrow playfully, "you have bus fare in your pocket, don't you?" There's a crooked quirk of her lips into a knowing smile, all the while Jupiter follows along at their heels, pausing exactly when Colette does to look up at Cat, and then over to the snow panthers. Perhaps he sees the resemblance Colette doesn't.

Abandoning the pretense at the words spoken from behind her, Cat sweeps eyes over the pair again, and the dog which looks at her along with Colette. Her head tilts. That Colette had heard of the Ferry isn't a surprise, she knows Teo and was taught by Conrad, had been taught by herself to a degree too. But that Tamara might also, she hadn't asked about the Ferrymen after all, and even knows one of their locations? That's worthy of her continued attention as they walk away.

"I have a car," she offers with her voice raising in volume a bit to cross the distance which grows. She can always try to slip back in and avoid DHS photographers at the rally later when the crowds are thicker.

Looking over at Cat, the sybil shakes her head. "Jupiter should go home. And Judah will want to say hello, don't you think?" He's used to Tamara turning up with mud on her jeans, at least. "Plus you have to get her stuff in the first place," Tamara continues. "And eat your cookie. But not the paper!"

One black ear tips down when Tamara says the word home, but Jupiter's silence at least is not a whine of complaint. Colette hesitates for a moment, casting her eyes side-long in Cat's direction, watching her for a moment in silence before turning her focus to Tamara with equally quiet regard. There's a pursing of lips, thoughtful and still, and then she just manages a lopsided grin, as if to pantomime sorry in some awkward manner.

Squeezing Tamara's hand firmly, Colette gives a nod of her head to the sybil's sensibilities, and continues following on her heels. "He's… going to be really happy to see you again, I— I know it." For all her worth, Colette can't quite imagine anything more unexpected than a family reunion, of sorts.

She really should walk Jupiter more often.

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