A Long Ways Down


rue_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title A Long Ways Down
Synopsis Strangers meet on the castle parapet and have a conversation perhaps less casual than either prefers.
Date December 6, 2011

Pollepel IslandBannerman's Castle

Ivy drapes exterior stone walls like living banners, spills through crenelations and out across the rooftop, green growth reaching ever upward in search of the sun. Strong afternoon light casts the battlements in vivid relief, highlighting the contrast between weathered stone and verdant growth. It also limns the blonde hair, dark green shirt, light blue scarf of the woman who stands at the battlements, arms braced against ivy-wreathed parapet.

The vista before her is serene only if one ignores the shimmer of a forcefield, the implicit bustle of military activity — inactivity, really, as all anyone is doing amounts to marking time — on the distant shore. The birds of the surrounding woods are quiet, breeze whispering softly past skeletal trees, river lapping at mud and stone. For her own part, Tamara's posture says nothing of tension or concern or worry as she looks out, nor as she tips her head back, eyes closed, taking in the warmth of the sun.

As she so often does, Rue climbs the stairs to the battlements. She likes the view, such as it is. If you look high enough, all you can see is the horizon and not the soldiers gathered. It’s usually quieter up here than it is in any of the rooms or halls below. Fewer hard surfaces for the sound to echo back from. It isn’t surprising to find someone else here, but there are times when she’s lucky enough to find herself alone. As it happens, the company doesn’t bother her.

February Lancaster is a social creature. “Good afternoon,” she greets with a cheerful smile. Somehow, in spite of everything, she’s managed to keep her sunny disposition in the face of impending invasion. It’s the least she can do for the people around her, stuck in this situation.

The blonde looks over her shoulder at the sound of approaching footsteps, tenders the new arrival an amiable smile. "Hello," Tamara greets, straightening from her lean, posture angling slightly in Rue's direction. She gestures an invitation for Rue to join her at the parapet. "Don't worry, I didn't bite." It's said lightly and with a grin, because of course there is no such worry.

"It's a long ways down from here," she remarks, peering with idle curiosity past the battlement. That statement might provoke worry, or just a double-take, but at least it's delivered in perfectly neutral, conversational tone. An observation, nothing more.

“It really is,” Rue agrees as she approaches, unruffled by the statement, or the odd phrasing. Maybe it’s her first time all the way up here, after all. “It’s quieter up here than in the halls. It’s a nice change of pace.” Long fingers drag lightly over the stone as she approaches, before her palm settles against it so she can lean slightly, posture relaxed.

She does glance down over the edge. The height doesn’t bother her. “Are you afraid of heights?” seems a reasonable question to follow up the observation. “I haven’t seen anybody go over the edge yet,” she grins broadly. “Well, except one person, but they could walk on walls, so that doesn’t count.”

Settling back into her place at the battlements, Tamara smiles broadly, shakes her head. "No, not afraid," she assures Rue. "There wasn't anything here to be afraid of, today. Certainly not walls." Her gaze lifts from the straight walls below to the curve of the dome above, hazing the vivid blue of the sky.

"Couldn't walk on walls," Tamara remarks, attention abruptly returning to her companion. She boosts herself up to sit on the parapet, legs hanging down on the rooftop side. "Could have climbed it," is added pensively. "Stairs were less work, though."

She reminds her a little of a character in Alice in Wonderland. Rue giggles at the comment about stairs being less work than scaling the walls. “I suppose that’s true!” She considers for a moment boosting herself up to sit as well, but instead just leans her arms against the wall, looking out.

“Once, I was doing this photo shoot in this ridiculously tiny string bikini,” Rue rolls her eyes at the memory and continues, “and I got talked into climbing this water tower. Stupid dangerous. No equipment, nothin’. Just me standing on top of this tower in my tiny swimsuit and a beach ball. I don’t even think the pictures ever printed. But nothing’s nearly as scary as that was, so heights don’t bug me anymore.”

Tamara draws up one of her feet to tuck under the knee; swings the remaining one in idle circles. She tilts her head as Rue speaks, listening to the story with both curiosity and a faint air of bemusement. "Nothing is?" she echoes. "I suppose. I don't think I was on any water towers." The seer hesitates, purses her lips thoughtfully, but in the end shakes her head. "Probably not."

Her foot stops moving; she idly traces a fingertip across the surface of the parapet, drawing loops and swirls in the space between her and Rue's nearer arm. "Better to take beach balls to the actual beach."

“Well, nothing like looking down from a castle wall, anyway. I’ve definitely done scarier things since then.” Like get shot at or pray that she isn’t about to step on a landmine. Rue’s done things she’s even less proud of, too.

The ginger woman grins. “Kind of wish I were on a beach somewhere right now.” Then she frowns, more thoughtful. “No, that’s not true. Not if everybody else was still here. The only place I want to be right now is with my people.” The Ferry. “But I wish we were all on a beach somewhere a lot less dreary than this.”

Tamara's hand pauses on the stone, and she looks over at Rue. "At least it's quiet," she says. That probably isn't meant literally, unless it's right here right now. "Always enjoy the quiet when you have it," she continues, hopping down off the wall. "It went away too soon."

The blonde, however, doesn't show any immediate inclination of going away herself. She walks around to Rue's other side for no readily apparent reason. Maybe just the slight change in perspective. "It'd have to be a long ways away," Tamara muses, "if it's not dreary. Tropical?" If nothing else, that'll do for conversation. "What's on a tropical beach?" she prompts Rue.

“Palm trees and cocktails.” At least, that’s what Rue thinks of when she imagines a tropical beach. “No snow. No soldiers. No…” Graves.

Well, that got melancholy fast, didn’t it? She quickly banishes the traces of it with a bright smile, “But! We’re here and this is the only reality we get, right? We’re safe right now and I know the council is going to figure something out and we’re all gonna be fine.” That’s what she’s been saying and it’s what she’ll keep saying until it either proves true or it doesn’t.

"Hm." That perhaps wasn't quite the mood the seer was hoping for, either. Tamara tips her head, regarding Rue for a moment, then echoes her smile in a softer mode. Taking a step back from the parapet, she sets a hand on the redhead's shoulder. "We'll be fine," she echoes, agrees, putting distinct confidence to the statement.

Confidence enough, perhaps, to gloss over the absence of one key word as Tamara now moves to take her leave.

If she noticed the lack of that key word, Rue makes no show of it. She smiles brighter at the hand on her shoulder, pleased that her optimism is apparently catching. At least, that’s what she thinks that’s about. One might think she’d be concerned if she understood the nature of Tamara’s ability, but she’d be just as likely to be heartened by it and assume her assertions about overcoming this trial are correct.

As the seeress begins to withdraw, Rue lifts her hand in a small wave. “Take care! I’ll see you around, yeah?”

It isn’t until Tamara’s left that Rue’s gaze toward the horizon becomes distant, and she swallows down the dread that takes up residence in her throat.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License