After Breakfast Conversation


griffin_icon.gif koshka_icon.gif

Scene Title After Breakfast Conversation
Synopsis Two relative strangers sharing the same space, Koshka gleans some information from Griffin but offers little of her own in return.
Date January 15, 2011

Bannerman's Castle Dining Hall

Today the time between breakfast and lunch stands with being a quiet one in the dining hall. Dishes and scraps have been cleared away and those tasked with kitchen duty are hard at work preparing the next meal. The hall itself is mostly empty, with chairs and benches neatly pushed in, tables wiped down. In all it's peaceful moment in a place that will see chaos again in no time.

Having once again waited until the majority of the crowd has left, Koshka arrived late for breakfast and managed to procure only a roll from last night's supper. More would have been welcomed, but so close to the midday meal, she won't complain. The teenager stands near the hall's entryway, picking at the bready product.

It's a rare moment of quiet for Griffin, these days. Owain is off with the lighthouse kids, and Griffin has decided to take this moment to relax while he can. It's so difficult, these days, to find a moment of peace. He still hasn't really even had the chance to really come to terms with what happened last year, and it's difficult to really find the time to just sit and think.

Looks like today will be more of the same. Using his cane to walk, the man limps into the dining hall after snagging a roll for himself. He notices Koshka, standing in the entryway, and offers her a small nod as he moves to take a seat, resting his cane against the table. "Hello, Koshka."

The new arrival hasn't gone unnoticed, blue eyes flick toward the movement and focus on Griffin while he stakes a claim of roll and table space. Koshka offers a slight smile, still tending toward shy though she remains a touch cautious. "Morning," she answers, turning her gaze toward the kitchens and then back to the hallway.

Turning back to the man, the teenager takes a few steps forward, eventually coming to stand at his elbow. Koshka turns her attention to her roll, dimpling it into a more doughy mass as she approaches. "Everything okay," she asks, her tone implying she asks these things every day, though in truth the girl doesn't often initiate conversations with relative strangers.

Griffin offers a friendly smile as Koshka approaches and greets him, leaning an elbow against the table. "Morning." He dips his head toward Koshka, taking a bite from his roll as he watches the girl with a thoughtful look on his face. Quietly, he chews his roll, the friendly smile turning to a more faint one as she asks if everything is okay.

"As well as everything can be, these days." He runs a hand over his head, smoothing his hair back. He'll have to find someone on Pollepel who can give him a haircut. He really needs one. So does Owain, for that matter.

Koshka tears off a piece of her own roll, squashing it between a forefinger and thumb before sticking it into her mouth. Sidelong, she looks at Griffin, possibly trying to gauge his stance on anything. Likewise she attempts to be surreptitious about it. No need for staring.

A pause lengthens into the silence as Koshka makes another glance for the kitchen. Without asking to join the man, she leans forward to rest her forearms against the table. "I wasn't trying to listen," the teenager says quietly, eyes focused on her roll. "But… I sorta heard some of what you said to Lynette last night."

Griffin really doesn't seem to mind her presence so much as she joins him. He takes another bite of the roll, watching her. As she makes note that she overheard what he was mumbling to Lynette last night, his brows raise faintly. Oh, she heard that. That wasn't really meant for young ears. However, caught in the act, he can't quite deny her information, can he?

After a moment of silent thought, he tilts his head toward the girl. "That's alright." The faint smile disappears, the man quietly rubbing at the beard he has decided to grow out. "I'm sure you wanted more information?" He tilts his head to the side. "I can tell you that my story isn't a happy one."

Since she hasn't been run off, Koshka takes that as a further sign to join at the table. She manuevers into a seat without so much as looking, blue eyes still intent on her roll. "I'm old enough to know what's going on," she points out, still keeping her voice pitched low. "If this were Revolutionary times, I'd be almost old enough to actually fight in the war." Funny thing is, she sees these times as Revolutionary.

Lifting her head, the teenager settles an intense gaze on Griffin. "I want to know what's going on. I can accept not saying things around the little kids. But I think I should know too."

Griffin watches Koshka thoughtfully, popping the last bit of the roll into his mouth and leaning both elbows against the table. Such poor manners, really. "You're still young— but you're right. You are old enough to know what's going on, if you want more information about my situation." He nods quietly, his eyes hooded. He goes quiet for another long moment, gathering his thoughts.

"Last month, my sister…was rather brutally murdered by a man named Colonel Leon Heller. He was looking for me." The man frowns. "My son, Owain— you played Candyland with him last night. He heard everything, from the beginning to the gunshot that ended her life, and everything afterward." That frown only deepens, setting wrinkles deeper into his face.

“The man is the leader of the FRONTLINE-OS unit on Staten Island. They're after me." He shakes his head slowly, letting it droop toward the table slightly.

Koshka finishes off her roll while listening to Griffin's summarization, politely looking away to give the man peace with his grief and save him his dignity. She feels she's pressing enough, learning his tale. Once the roll has been dealt with, her crumbs are swept aside and forearms again come to rest again the table.

"Sorry about your sister," Koshka says quietly, after allowing for another pause. She turns her head and looks up at Griffin, sympathetic to his loss. "—Why's Frontline and this Colonel guy looking for you?"

Griffin frowns, taking the polite glance away at face value; one hand reaches up to rub at his face. It's still difficult to talk about all of this. Not without wanting to scream, swim out to the mainland, find Heller, and rip his head off. All the same, he's here, and he's talking about it with this strange litle girl who one time tried to pickpocket him.

"They're looking for me because I'm a terrorist." His answer is simple, blunt even, at first. Then, he elaborates. "I'm— I'm not really a good person, like I want to be." His eyes turn to the table. "Ten years ago, my ability, telekinesis, manifested while I was having a fight with my wife. When it manifested…she was caught in it." A frown.

"They put me in Moab. I escaped with everyone else. I came here, became a member of Messiah while it was still under the control of Rupert Carmichael. I've killed many people, mostly cops and even a member of FRONTLINE. So I am a very wanted man these days. I'm sure if they ever get their hands on me, it won't be pretty at all. I'm just sorry that my son had to be involved with it all." He closes his eyes.

"I try to justify it all as doing the right thing. When I killed the police officers and the FRONTLINE fellow— they were shooting at women in children."He rubs at his forehead, and then his mouth, not quite looking at Koshka. "Sometimes, I wonder if I do the right things at all."

Koshka is likely too young to understand the weight that one bears from killing another, she lacks the life experiences that would cause one to want to validate their motives, yet she's guilty of doing the same without realizing. How many times had she used her own ability when pickpocketing just to get out of a bad situation, and of those how many were hurt by it? Or worse, when she manifested herself and lashed out at her own father. But the teenager nods, feigning a deeper understanding than she really owns.

"I think you're doing alright being here," Koshka says to the table. It's meant for Griffin, but in speaking again the girl has turned her gaze back to the workspace. "Owain seems like he's doing okay, too. Maybe… still healing. But he's safe with everyone here." It's meant to be encouraging, though the teenager never looks toward Griffin. She's her own deeply seeded doubts about safety anywhere anymore. The Garden turned out to be in danger, is anywhere any better?

Griffin tilts her head to one side, his eyes raising up to watch Koshka quietly. "We— we're trying, Owain and I. It's not easy…it's only been a month since they took her from us." He smoothes his hair back, frowning faintly. "He didn't talk for the first month, after everything happened." Griffin tilts his head to the side, before his gaze turns back to the table.

It's only brief, though, and green eyes sweep back up to Koshka. "So, Koshka. Tell me a bit about yourself, yes?" He smiles faintly, in part for Koshka, in part because he relishes the idea of changing the subject. It's still difficult to think about it, let alone talk about it. "You know my entire history for the past ten years, but I don't know anything about you."

It's now the teenager's turn for discomfort, the girl casting a sidelong glance toward Griffin. Her past has been a closely guarded secret amongst most people, time required before Koshka's been comfortable enough to go into greater detail than what could easily be guessed of her. Still, it's fair enough to offer up some advice, allowing just enough for a change of subject.

Koshka lets out a breath and lowers her chin to rest in the crook of her arms. "Ran away from home," she explains. That much is easy enough to guess, there's few other reasons why someone her age would be here. "I was staying with Brian and some others. Brian decided it was better if I came here." Probably not what Griff was looking for, nor is it entirely accurate. The teenager slants another sidelong glance toward Griffin, brows raised slightly.

Griffin watches Koshka, his head tilted to one side. He's quiet for a long moment, before he leans back on the bench. "Might I ask why you ran away from home?" He watches Koshka thoughtfully, unable to help but put himself in her parent's shoes as a father himself. "If Owain ran away from me, I would be heartbroken." Just an idle remark, really.

As he awaits an answer, his eyes change from green to a bluish-white color, giving off a faint glow. Only a few moments later, two more rolls float in from the kitchen, as well as two glasses of water. The water sets itself on the table; one of the rolls floats into Griffin's hand, the other hovers quietly in front of Koshka, waiting for her to take it.

"Everything's fine." Koshka's tone is set with undeniable finality. And though the reply might seem a little off from the conversation, it doesn't look as though the girl is likely to change it. "I ran away, and I'm here now, and that's all that matters." This line comes more evenly spoken, the teenager glancing toward Griffin briefly.

The roll is stared at, long enough that one might think Koshka will outright deny it. But instead she takes it without comment and stuffs it into the pouch pocket of her hoodie. She'll eat it later. "Look, I just… it's… I don't really want to talk about anything like that. It's…just stuff that's in the past and… yeah."

Eyebrows raise at the sudden snappiness of Koshka's tone. As she takes the roll, Griffin's eyes fade back to their normal green, watching the girl with a studious look. Then, he shakes his head. "A simple 'no' would have sufficed. There is no need for snappiness toward an inquisitive mind." His tone is quiet and calm, but it's rather obvious that this is a mild reprimand on Griffin's part.

Then, he tips his head toward Koshka. "I can understand reluctance to speak on such subjects, so I'm going to instead ask you a favor." He dips his head down, so he's on eye level with Koshka. "I'm going to be going back to the mainland here in a couple of days…not sure when." He offers a faint smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes.

"Could you look after Owain for me? He seemed to like you while you were playing Candyland with him, and he could use a friend, you know?" And so could you, but he doesn't say that much. "In exchange, I'll get you something while I'm gone." Assuming he manages to come back.

Mouth tightening at the slight reprimand, Koshka turns a steady blue-eyed gaze to Griffin. She's not looking for any kind of confrontation, only trying to make understood that in time and when she chooses is when she'll share her own tale in finer detail. Now, right now, it's too soon.

The request is met with a small shrug. "I'm not really a babysitter. There's others who are better, like Brian and Abby. They know kids more'n I do." She's barely beyond being a kid herself, and still has to live through adolescence.

A faint smile remains on Griffin's lips. That's all it was— a slight reprimand. Don't take that tone with me, please. The moment is gone, now. He takes a bite of his own roll, chewing thoughtfully, before he washes it down with his water. "I wasn't asking you to be a babysitter. Brian and Abby already take care of Owain when I can't be around."

Another bite is taken from the roll, another sip from the water. "I was asking you to try to be his friend. No obligations— just make an effort to include him?" He frowns. "He needs friends…"

It's like being told to play with your little brother. Koshka may have been an only child, but her reaction is the same. But there's kids his own age, I'm five years older and have more important things to do. Another shrug comes forth to solidify her answer. "If I see him and it's something he can help with." While it isn't a promise, it's at least an answer.

Koshka stands and departs from the table, hands finding homes in pants pockets. "I got chores to do, so I should go find someone who needs an extra set of hands," the teenager explains, not lacking in enthusiasm. Some tasks are actually pretty fun. "Good luck on the mainland."

Griffin nods slowly, not quite ready to get up along with Koshka. He'll get some of that blessed quiet time before he goes back to helping out around the island. When you pretty much have eight hands, it's difficult to avoid helping out whenever you're needed— especially when six of those hands don't require much more than a mental effort.

"See you around, Koshka." He tips his head after the girl, polishing off the last of that roll. "I'll see you around, Koshka— I might even see you before I leave." He shrugs, turning to lean against the table.

With a wave, Koshka turns to leave the dining hall and give Griffin his sought after quiet. She crosses the room quickly but unrushed, withdrawing that roll from her pocket. By the time the teenager is drawing herself beyond the doorway and into the hall proper, she's tearing into the bready product, a snack to tide her over while she engages in work with other castle residents.

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