An Imp's Web


elliot_icon.gif eve_icon.gif wright_icon.gif

Scene Title An Imp's Web
Synopsis It is only in your coffin that you sleep really well.
Date April 15, 2020

Harriman State Park

The great outdoors known as Harriman State Park only about an hour away from the New York Safe Zone, the afternoon sun was blocked partly by oppressive clouds, spring showers had run afoul recently. The ground and world around evidence of it, this forest was full of life. Despite the destruction and war that had raged around and sometimes in it. Drips mixed with calls of various critters and animals. There are some that say there is magic in the wood but there's no knowing if magic is what Elliot Hitchens or Wright Tracy seeks here.

A cry of a coyote or one of those "coywolves" shrieks into the air like high pitched broken glass and the bushes shake near the tall man and a pair of black rabbits hop out and make for another bush. Safety in hiding when so many predators are about.

Something they both know about from their time with the Ferrymen, the war. Being considered prey. It was with great effort on both of their parts that their family were able to live in peace. Some might also say that peace was meant to be broken.

There's a sound in a bit deeper in the trees but it's not like the animals or the falling drops of left over precipitation on the leaves around the woods.

It's a human voice.

And their singing a song.

April 15, 2020

Harriman State Park

Elliot lowers his spade as Wright quietly sets down her backpack and reaches toward her pistol. Elliot spins, scanning through the bare trees. The dripping of water on packed brown leaves. Creaking of branches in the wind. The voice, singing.

Flood, Elliot signs.

Gasoline, Wright replies, quietly drawing her handgun and disengaging the safety.

Carnival. Elliot sets down his backpack and removes a smaller automatic pistol. He checks the breach before tucking it into his waist, safety engaged. That sounds like Eve, he signs.

Wright blinks three times. Elliot turns back toward the voice and the pair split up, passing through the woods quietly. Elliot draws his pistol and switches to live fire.

Though she is not that near, Eve's raspy tone is unmistakable. Weeks hearing her sing in woods on Pollepel Island not unlike these they stand in now or down the corridors of the Ferrymen's last stand at Bannerman's Castle. Not always a song but maybe a cackle or a shriek. Or maybe the numerous times they had run into her on the road during the war, always turning up in the right place in the most absurd ways. The woman was not known for her silence. Through the trees the mates make their way, birds caw and more of the animals seem to come alive the closer they get to the source of Eve's voice.

Soon there is a shock of blue through the towering white oaks and the semi peeled yellow birch trees. The lake of the park and as they come closer the dark haired siren's voice becomes more clear:

Row row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

As she sings the nursery rhyme the occasional sound of something being dunked into the water can be heard.

Carefully carefully, carefully carefully

Or you'll lose your spleen

There sitting on a dead tree is Eve Mas, raven dark haired messy and spilling down to the middle of her back. She's barefoot and the ends of her dark purple dress brush her toes as she swings them back and forth slightly hunched over.

Row row, row your boat

Avoid the blood and screams

Carelessly carelessly, carelessly carelessly

The pale woman's head rises as she hears branches move and leaves rustled in the wake of Wright and Elliot's passage. Slowly Eve's head turns to look over her shoulder and a devilish smile forms across her lips when she spots them, her blood red glowing eyes full of mischief. A few rocks of various sizes sit next to her on the dead bark, she tosses the big white stone in her hand into the lake without looking and the lands with a splash not too far away causing water to sprinkle up onto her legs.

You're ripping at the seams

Locks of dark hair fall into those eyes but she doesn't adjust for her sight. It had been a while since the three had crossed paths and with what the news had been saying about her on the news for the last two months, it came as a shock to find her here. Or perhaps not.

Deep in the woods was a great place to hide if you were a mass murderer. But she was reported dead for the last month, the tiniest of rumors beginning to spread the last couple weeks.

"Well, hello dearies."

The Murder Imp was alive.

“Eve,” Elliot says, “You’re looking…”

“Alive,” Wright finishes. “You still crazy about doing mass murder?” She holds her pistol high and close, but angled toward the ground at the moment, trigger finger alongside the guard. Her blue eyes stay locked with Eve’s unnatural red glow. Elliot holds his to the side, barrel crossing over his off-hand. His eyes look everywhere but at Eve, scanning along the tree line for anyone else who may lie in wait.

"The Connected, mmmmm." Eve answers, the old nickname for the pair she uses. She doesn't look to the firearm but she did notice it on them walking up. "Mass murder me?" Eve actually laughs and flicks at one of the stones beside her. "What you believe everything you see on live television?" Another laugh, more like a cackle and Eve looks closely at Elliot.

"Nobody else to find baby doll, just Eve an alive Eve, the non mass murdering one I'll have you know." As if that answers any real questions. She grins even wider and then finally looks down at the gun, "I'm not into hurting my own kind unless I have to," a beat, "Not anymore. We're better than that." Then Eve is looking again at her hands placing two opposing fingers into each other, "You are connected, by extension out here you are one." She had time to think lately, on what it was she was meant to do and how she was meant to affect the world with what she was given. There had to be a change. "So no need for guns. No need for weapons. It is good to see you both."

Eve turns back fully to the lake and picks up a rock, tossing it into the water and watching the surface bubble and quake. "You should watch the ripples," she calls out, "Always watch the ripples." Is said more softly, a reminder to herself.

Elliot backs toward Wright as Eve speaks, stopping when heel to heel in a wide, defensive stance. Eyes impassive. “Capricorn,” Wright says. There is a long pause.

“Accolade.” Elliot replies, engaging his pistol’s safety and returning it to his waist. He turns toward Eve, sighing. Wright allows a hard three count before returning her’s to safety and holstering it under her arm.

“You’re implying that someone other than you, another version of you, is responsible for that catastrophe?” Wright asks. “Forgive my scepticism, but we have been out of contact for a while.” Elliot turns away from the lake and walks in the direction from which they arrived, where they dropped their possessions. Wright doesn’t watch him go.

"Aquarius! Water looms."' The snap of Eve's fingers are sharp, "Precisely," Her grin is as bright and easy but her brow then furrows and she rubs her temple, "But not exactly." Well which was it? "Bring back something to quench the thirst will you Boyo?" She knows Elliot isn't within earshot now but that doesn't really matter with these two.

"I'm surrounded by pessimists everywhere I turn," she says to the empty air next to her and waves her hands in a dismissive manner and a roll of her eyes. "You speak as if there isn't a otherworldly gift that connects you to another. There are many different gifts in this world," A wink, "And the next," Now she's just being cheeky. That's not new for Eve though, she seems changed but not. Mood rising and falling like a roller coaster, it was her way.

"Well you want the truth of it do you? Are you sure? Mmm?" As if she were offering a bite of an twisted apple. That curl of her black painted lip is dangerous and her gaze matches, hungry for many things but one was to share. It was their right to know anyway. Especially Elliot, knowing where one came from had benefits even if your ancestor was a homicidal maniac. Eve doesn't wait for an answer and continues looking out at the trees on the other side of the lake, she wished to be napping in one right now.

"Okay then, but only after I've had a drink." She was big with the exchange, favors for favors and while the duo didn't know it, Eve was in fact going to be doing them a favor.

"I have water," Wright says, "If you want something harder you're going to have to wait for us to dig it up." She still seems on edge. Casual in a way that brings to mind a large cat, one unpredictable prerequisite away from striking.

Wright walks to the fallen tree and takes a moment to view Eve carefully before turning toward the forest and taking four paces. She scrapes the dirt hard with the heal of her boot. A moment later Elliot appears with their gear in tow and drives a spade into the earth where she'd marked it.

Elliot sets his backpack on the ground and removes a steel bottle. He walks it to the edge of the lake and offers it to Eve while Wright turns the first shovel-full of earth.

The water is taken as Eve turns around when Elliot returns, she watches the two movements closely in a curious way. While Wright is a big cat, Eve gives off more Cheshire Cat vibes. Her mad grin is ever bright, ever demented. Brows move up a tic and she tilts her head back to gulp down some water. Gasping for air when she's done and then she tosses the bottle back when it's screwed back on. "Thanks! Now where was I… oh!" Her grin turns and maybe there's a shine of malice there, for who is unsure. "You wanted to know the truth."

She seems as relaxed as if she's just gossiping with friends, not on edge at the potential confrontation that could take place. Many of the people that Eve knew had a great moral compass.

"The world use to be one solid mass of land, the people lived together. They were all from the same big family. Standard, right? Everyone on this rock has the same common ancestor if you reach back enough. Back to before the spread or dilution of our genes." At this rate, Eve has had many trial and errors at explaining the current situation at hand. She's learned to start with the rational first and then slam them over the head with the surreal. A one two punch.

"What if I said that we Expressives had the same? A common ancestor, A Mother and a Father. A First." Eyes on Elliot, Eve grows slightly more serious, slightly more intense, her fingers curling around her knees with a vice grip. "And what if I told you that It lived, untethered from a body that was destroyed for so long alone, thousands of years older than even Adam the Immortal Plague and is alive today."

"Would you say this was impossible? Too big of a concept to be true, nutso Eve, hm?"

“It certainly has a ring of nonsense to it,” Elliot says, stowing the water bottle and picking up the second shovel. “But then, the only reason Wright and I have blue eyes is because of some mutant on the Black Sea ten thousand years ago.”

“Well,” Wright interjects, leaning on her shovel, “Blue-appearing.”

“True, thank you,” Elliot says, tossing a shovelful of earth to the side. “Nobody actually has blue eyes. Blue-wavelength scatter and what-not. But, to answer your question,” turning to look at Eve, “Any genetic information is by nature inherited from the mutant who first developed it. Memes and such.” Signs, The discourse is a metaphor.

Wright chokes on a laugh.

“I have to assume that this conversation is meandering in the direction of Project Zero.” Elliot states. Throws another heap of earth on the pile.

"Just like people like us were considered to be myths and fairytales, comics." A roll of her eyes, not for the disdain of comics but for the belittling nature of those costumes her people were placed in. The Greeks and Romans were kinder. "It's all nonsense until it's not." Eve is use to being laughed at so she doesn't mind the outburst or investigate but that's because she's laughing herself.

"Hahaha ohhhh memes. Yes, we have a winner ding ding ding! Chicken dinner!"

Clapping her hands she stands and stretches before hopping over closer to the lake. "Started having visions about it when I was a young one, didn't understand at first no no. That was my first, or so I thought then." Her toes drag over a large stone, "Then we met, one wild time travel trip into the past in Japan on a battlefield with my cousin! She was a time fairy for a time, very precious gift. Face to face with Adam and The Entity!" Clapping her hands together sharply with a bubble of laughter, "He chopped my head off but It put it right back on and sent us home, covered in gore and last week's salmon."

Crouching down and letting her fingers sink beneath the shallow waters, "I became obsessed with those gold eyes. They haunted me equally," Is said softly and Eve bows her head, "I needed to stop it. I knew whatever it wanted was bad for us, for the world and tangled up in Adam. Two obsessions, united as one. My brainpan was sizzling hot hot hot." Digging her nails into the dirt in the water she lifts her hand and allows it deep out the sides of her palm. "It was trapped, because it doesn't behave. It doesn't like the rules we know. Trapped for years, centuries even in the In Between untilllll. The dear old Company had an oops on their hands. A total disaster. It weakened the veil between the worlds, the walls of It's prison." Wrapping dirty hands around herself she rocks back and forth, the time she's had would have driven anyone to ending it all.

"Eventually last year a group of friends and I had a duty to help lost friends get back from a cuckoo journey and the end result, well Mother and Father came here and boy did it have plans. I chased it as I chased Adam and I found them both, or It found us." Shrugging her shoulders, it didn't matter really. Eve was lost in a daze recalling the last two years of her life. It sounded beyond insane but she says all this with an utter seriousness that they have seen once before.

"It took me. Its herald, out in the sea on a boat. Not before unraveling the snakey Adam right before my eyes."

There's a pause.

"And then I woke up in a morgue in Detroit!" Another pause, "Very cold." Added thoughtfully.

“Huh,” Wright says. “That took a turn.” Strikes her shovel, scrapes dirt to the side. “There’s mark 1,” she says.

“I would not have guessed any of that for sure,” Elliot replies, reaching into the earth to pick up and discard a few feet of orange nylon rope. “I’m assuming that at some point you became disEntitied? Interdimensional nightmare harbinger would definitely take the wind out of this war cache retrieval. I’d hate to be unravelled. I was really looking forward to reading that book again.”

“I mean,“ Wright says, “At least if things got shooty we’d already have this hole.”

Elliot hums in agreement.

"Death to the Host seems to scatter it to the winds, so," Eve shrugs and throws her arms out and does a slow spin, "But if you are a Host you are left with a gift." Though her predicament had been and was still dire the wild woman erupts into laughter and throws her head back after the prospect of things getting shooty. "I've dipped my piggies into the inky black waters of death four times," As Eve speaks her eyes shine a bit brighter and a fine red mist begins to emit from her body.

The next second she simply poofs leaving in her place a mass of crimson smoke that curls in upon itself and blooms upwards into the air, a sigh of elation escapes from her lips just before her head vanishes and it echoes out from Eve. She hangs there perceiving the lights within Elliot and Wright, energy and Eve was oh so hungry when she was like this. A terrible, gut wrenching case of the munchies. Restraint was always a concept that Eve wrestled with and now is no different, forcing herself to drift over towards a tree and she drapes herself over the thick branches like a blood shroud.

The shadow of a woman's arm can be seen in the fog and Eve's pale fingers materialize on top of the branch, "And I don't expect to take a fifth dive anytime soon silly," Her face and that ever present grin push through the smoke, crimson eyes glittering as the rest of her comes into focus and the red fog cycles backwards finding homes in her ears and her nostrils, the witchy woman drops open her mouth and the last wisps surge in and she makes like she swallows and then shows her tongue to the pair.

"So! What's new with you?"

Death to the Host. Elliot and Wright tense as Eve disintegrates. Track her with obvious alarm as she floats past them, prepared to drop their shovels and cut their losses. Their concern lessens as she begins to coalesce. “What’s new,” Wright states, trying to parse this fresh horror.

“We’re super into never getting a Host-gift from the Entity,” Elliot says, “That’s a pretty recent development.”

“Where would we even put it?” Wright asks. She spares a few more seconds to assure herself of Eve’s solidity before returning to her trench work. “Anyway,” she continues, “Ames will be five this year, and she’ll be starting kindergarten at Winslow Crawford around the same time. Marthe and I are moving with her into Phoenix Heights in a month or so, we want to be closer to the school.”

“Mark 2,” Elliot says. They plant their shovels to the side and Elliot crouches down. He sweeps dirt away with his hands, eventually pulling up a faded Stop sign, casting it to the side atop the rope.

There is a pause and Eve looks at Wright more intently before smiling and splashing more in the water. "You could surely make use of a gift all your own." Tantalizing as an empty offer that Eve herself can not uphold.

The talk of their child has Eve tilting her head, "Mmm the next generation. Peypey does a great job with them, her boy is a real delight. Maybe they will do what we didn't and live peacefully." She muses before laying completely in the shallow waters allowing her hair to get wet while staring up at the clouds. "Is she, Expressive?"

The question is poised casually and Eve plays with a plant rooted beneath the lake's surface.

“Yeah,” Wright calls, repositioning herself so she can keep an eye on Eve while scooping dirt from the hole with her hands. “She’s really good with colored pencils, though she’s started with markers recently and frankly her grasp of color theory is ohhhh, Expressive, right, right. Yeah, she’s got the meme. I’m hoping for an ability that makes her have less boogers.” Elliot snorts out a laugh.

“Any amount less would be good,” he chuckles, knocking on a hard plastic case. He fishes his hands around the sides and exposes handholds. Wright reaches in with him, and together they lift a yellow clamshell case from the earth. The box is about four square feet, lined around its opening with protective tape.

“Honestly even just one fewer booger would be amazing,” Wright says as she brushes wet earth from the case’s rim and picks at the tape. “With my luck though it’ll be a Mucinex aura or something. Do you feel cold, Eve? That water has to be fucking freezing.”

"That would be a lovely gift," Either not catching the sarcasm or just being delighted at the aspect of another child that would be gifted.

"Ha! I feel everything." Cryptically speaking before she crawls out of the shallow waters and grins at the pair. "I really would love to stay and chat but there's a chicken I must say farewell too. Bawkbawk! Do take care of that precious little one, hm? Maybe we can all have a tea date!" Her eyes blaze brightly as her body begins to fade and red mist curls behind her. "Do remember dearies," Eve's grin is crazed, "You've got to stay out of those coffins."

As the fog known as Eve rises up until its high in the trees and drifts off in the direction of the Safe Zone, the last words of the woman ring loudly in their heads without aid of any ability. She's said that before to them. A memory.

"I thought your face looked familiar, you can't forget those eyes." A crack of laughter ripples through the air as Eve stands before the pair with a wild grin on her face. Draped in black with a hood that barely conceals that raven's nest of hair.

Behind Eve sits something covered with a dirty paint splattered sheet. The ends of the cover lay tangled on the stone floor of Bannerman Castle. Her bare toes catch on the ends and it's almost like she planned it because she bows and the sheet falls with her head. "You know, you really,"

It's a small unframed oil canvas painting. The edges of the canvas are frayed and unraveling and it looks at least a decade old or more, kept in poor condition. The painting itself is a bleak one, primarily shades of black and blue depicting an ACTS containment unit at a slightly overhead angle. A glass window on the top of the containment unit is lit with blue light, revealing Elliot's face. But there are seven other ACTS arranged in a circle, like demarcations on a clock, with Elliot at the 6-o-clock point. All the other windows are dark. Standing in the middle of the ring of containment units is a short, wiry old man in a lab coat who is lit only by the light coming from Elliot's ACTS. He may not recognize the man in the painting, but Eve does.

It's Elijah Carpenter.

"Should stay out of those coffins"

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