An Unwilling Vacation


candy_icon.gif cat_icon.gif

Scene Title An Unwilling Vacation
Synopsis Candy's back from one.
Date May 13, 2009

The Rock Cellar; Village Renaissance Building, safehouse floor.

The Rock Cellar isn't quite open yet, it being just a bit early in the day, but persons passing by on the street outside may see the place isn't empty either. A woman in her mid-twenties, five feet eight inches tall and perhaps 145 pounds with brown hair is in there. There may or may not be other people present.

Cat's taking advantage of the quiet time to make use of the stage here without much attention being drawn to her. Things she's been involved with since mid-December caused abandoning the running gig she once had at the Surly Wench and stage action's been very rare since.

The front door is unlocked, however, since people who work here will soon be arriving to get started. She plugs the red Fender Strat into an amp and begins to test the tuning, makes adjustments, then launches into playing. Smoke On The Water is soon heard.

Candy slips into the open water and out of the rain that is coming down outside. She'd been looking for an open door and this one happened to be it. She looks up at the stage as she hears a riff that is burned into the subconcious of most Americans. Her eyes smiling faintly as her head bobs faintly to the the beat. She doesn't announce her entrance, as she merely moves to find a place to take a seat.

Her hands run through her still dripping hair, feeling the cold droplets going down her skin. She forgoes making herself comfortable as she merely watches the woman up on the stage. Admittedly, it wasn't all coincidence that she arrived to this particular place, the rain did give her a nice reason to duck into here, however.

She's got skills with the instrument, it's clear she's been playing a number of years, and the voice is good too. Strong and powerful, perhaps reminiscent of Ann Wilson, Pat Benatar, or Joan Jett. Cat sings the tune with enjoyment, she closes her eyes and basks in the imagery of having a live audience hearing her and responding when she played at the punk club some months ago with Helena and Dani among them. It makes a smile come to her face, and she soon begins to prowl in an emulation of a panther.

Dark shorts and a tanktop with Metallica across the front is her attire, along with athletic shoes. The eyes reopen only when the song is concluded some minutes later, thus spotting Candy in the seat she chose.

The guitar is set aside and she makes her way over, inwardly cursing herself for not choosing a time when the door is open to let people in as they show up for work. "They're not quite open yet," she informs politely. "I just come around sometimes to get in a few practice licks." True to form, distancing herself from the place as Roger Goodman claims she does.

Candy nods her head as she smiles and points towards the door, "Not here to do much either, just waiting out the storm." She grins, trying to keep her hair from frizzing as it dries naturally. "Don't have my own place, so it was kind of nice to be able to slip in and out of the rain for a moment or two," she says as she sits there. She stands and says, "I can leave, however, if you would rather not have an audience? You're really good though." She smiles, the woman still fussing with her hair.

"Yeah, I get that," she replies with a nod. And Cat's eyes light up some. Being appreciated as a musician scores some points. Eye contact is made briefly, the face looked at while she speaks, and the telltale feature is spotted. Her head tilts to one side, and an assessment of the whole woman follows. Apparent state of health and nutrition, age, etc, the face being compared against the photographs taken from the air in her impeccable memory and not found at Moab either during recon or breakout. But still, there's that mark and there was more than Green.

"Please, sit, relax," she invites, moving to take a spot at that table too and speaking quietly to avoid the attention of anyone who might enter at that moment. "I think you've recently had a vacation, in Utah."

Candy glances sharply towards the woman, as she manages to play her part well enough to have her back stiffen. "What do you know about… Utah?" asks the woman as she looks at Cat. That wasn't really a good way to invite her to relax, according to her script at the least. She offers a terse smile. Her body shows the effects of at least of a month that she can remember of being brought to the edge of dehydration before she was rehydrated. The measures one takes to insure that she didn't use her powers were rather harsh.

The woman's eyes cut to the woman, as she slowly moves to take that seat, her eyes studying Cat as she slowly sinks in, putting her arms on the table. She only even knew it was in Utah from talk among those on green level, not that she was there for long. Her abilities made it problematic from them to reliably keep a tab on her powers, and so she was shoved into a dark hole and never saw the light of day, her skin pasty enough to show that.

"You bear the mark," Cat calmly tells her, as two fingers tap under the chin to indicate the spot where Candy shows evidence of being injected there. "Only people I've seen that on took such a vacation. The Hotel California type, you can check out any time you like, but you can't never leave." Yes, it's a risk to let on knowing about such things, but Cat believes if the woman is a Fed sent to check her out she already knows there's a connection or she wouldn't be here. And the Feds would probably be smarter than to send someone with that kind of evidence.

Candy nods her head a little as she sits there and says, "I took something of an unwilling vacation there, yes." She watches the young woman as she stands there, before she whispers softly, "Because I could do this." The woman takes her own leap of faith, so to speak, as the water that was in her clothes and hair from the rain starts to rapidly drip off her, ending in a puddle beneath her chair, the woman completely dry now. She shakes her head a little, as she thinks about going into the circumstances of her capture, not wanting to bring up those memories.

"Hydrokinesis," she muses. "Interesting. You should think about getting a healer to do away with that mark under your chin. I know one." Cat doesn't yet say she'll point her in that direction, however. "How'd you get out?"

"I… I don't know," Candy says after a couple of moments considering, she shrugs her shoulders as she looks up. "I never thought I'd get out of that hell hole. I was sitting there, feeling the water get used in my body, then, in the blink of an eye, I am on the corner of Fifth and Broadway," she murmurs as she looks up at Cat. The people she was working for weren't able to give her a solid answer, so she is able to at least sell this point as she looks at Cat. "I didn't think I'd ever get out of that repetition, dehydrated, knocked out, then when I awoke, they had replenished my fluids and the cycle began anew," she says softly, barely above a whisper as she stares at a point at the table, lost in that memory now.

It's a familiar enough experience, she having found herself at Moab one moment and at the joining of three states the next, except it was dark when it had been broad daylight and she'd not lost enough blood from her bullet wound for that much time to have passed. Cat nods slowly when the story is completed, and floats a question. "What's your plan now?" She rises to get the woman a glass of water, holding up one finger to say answer that when she sits again.

Candy nods her head as she waits for the woman to come back with the water, wrapping her hands around it when it is given to her. She seems lost in thought as she looks down at the glass of water in her hand. A couple of moments pass while she thinks, "Well, first thing I suppose is to find a job, then to find a place to stay. After that… I don't know, maybe try to go back to having a regular life," she says as she looks up at the woman.

"I didn't ask for these powers, they've brought me very little but trouble and death," she says softly as she sits there, still looking into the glass of water before she looks into the woman across from her's eyes, "I guess that would be my plan, try and rebuild my life and attempt to carry on like nothing happened."

"It's a tool like any other," Cat replies dryly. "Be glad you have it. That it's only been trouble is the fault of others. How'd they catch you, anyway?" Her eyes rest calmly on the hydrokinetic as she hands over the glass of water to drink. "You look thirsty," she observes.

Candy smiles faintly as she takes the drink and sips at it for now. "Seems like I can never get enough to drink anymore, just the memories," she shivers as she looks back at her drink, "You ever almost died of thirst? It is not fun." She closes her eyes, before she takes a deep breath and says, "About… three or four months ago, I was on my way home from a nightclub. I saw them. They were… they were beating up a small boy. I went to help, one of them came towards me,"

She pauses to look up at Cat, and she says, "He had a gun… I panicked. The next thing I knew, he was on the ground, and his blood.. was coming out of him from everywhere." She closes her eyes, agent or not, just retelling this story does hurt her, she hasn't told anyone since it happened. "The rest of them fled," she continues, despite her closed eyes, "They fled, and… I was scared.. you have to understand how scared I was. I fled too. I left that poor boy there… alive or dead… I don't even know."

"That sounds like something I could never forget," Cat replies in a sympathetic voice. Not saying, of course, that she doesn't forget any experience. "DHS was beating up a small boy, and you aided him? Or was it gang types, thugs?" No, that can't be it. Her eyes show the recognition of this a moment later, she adds "Someone recognized you, they tracked you down. No trial, nothing. Just the one way ticket to secret prison."

Candy shakes her head as she murmers, "No, wasn't them." She looks up, looking far off, before she starts talking again, "I was… hiding, and then the bulletins began to pop up, someone put the pieces together. I fled, I tried to go to Staten Island, was about half way there before they showed up. Three boats to get me." She lets out a chuckle, more out of irony,

"I sunk one of them, didn't take much, pop a few rivets, water pressure will do the rest." She loooks at Cat, "Thats how the Titanic sunk. Five holes, no wider then my fingers." She shrugs her shoulders before she says, "They finally got me… knocked me out… didn't get back up till I was in that place."

"I know what it is to have images in the mind that just won't go away," Cat tells her quietly. "Things that happen, things that are necessary, but one isn't proud of." She chooses not to elaborate, but it's clear the story rings a chord of understanding.

"Staten Island's a good place to hide, but very dangerous. I don't recommend much going there. A contact got kidnapped and taken there a few months back, got put to work for her ability against her will. I don't know if she was raped or not. It's just lucky she wasn't forced into prostitution."

Candy's face is studied for several long moments, an assessment being made, before the voice resumes. "We can do better for you. Shelter, maybe a job under the table. It's likely not safe to use anything that can be traced to your name, they're probably looking for you."

"After what I did in that… place. I am fairly confidant of my abilities to keep me safe," she murmers softly as she shakes her head and looks back up at her. "I killed the guard. He was just bringing me my food, probably had a family, and I killed him. Just, killed him, every blood vessel in that man's brain ruptured at the same time. I /did/ that," she says softly as she sits there, her eyes looking at that water, and she whispers to it, "I'm nothing but a monster."
She slowly nods her head as she hears talk of her getting shelter and a job, and she looks up, a couple of tears on her cheeks as she says, "You'd do that? For me?"

"Yes," Cat replies. "Do things happen with your ability when you don't want them to?" It's a question she has as to whether or not the woman lacks control. There's not so much sympathy for the guard Candy speaks of killing. His family, if he had one, was his responsibility and he should've thought of the consequences before he went to work in a secret unconstitutional prison.

Candy shakes her head as she says softly, "Not since the alley, no. A lot of my time, after they took me from the general population, but before they stuck me in that hellhole… I played with the water in the pipes, like I used to do when I was a teenager." She offers a faint smile, before she says softly, "Things don't happen unless I mean them to."

"So the thing with the thugs, that was when it manifested," Cat speculates. Her head nods toward the water. "Drink up," she instructs. "We're going to take a short trip. Get you a place to sleep, figure out other things later. I'm going to trust you won't tell anyone about where we go, what you see, and don't draw attention to yourself. Leading heat back to the place will be very bad."

"You'll be able to come and go, though I recommend staying put until we can see about ensuring you don't get recognized. What's your name?"

Candy shakes her head a little as she sits there, finishing up her water. "No, it manifested when I was in High School… I don't know what happened in that alley. It was like… part of me broke, and I just lashed out at the man," she murmurs as she sits there. Looking up as Cat talks about taking her somewhere she stands up as well.

"I'm Candy," Candace says, before she asks, "What's your name?"

"Shelter," Cat replies. The truth of it will perhaps come later. "I need a bit more than Candy, the whole name you're probably being looked for under, so some checking can be done and false trails created. If the trail isn't removed entirely." Moving out to the street she seems about to lock the door, but one of the servers is there and heads inside making that unneeded.

Candy doesn't catch the almost locking, or if she does, she doesn't say anything about it. Looking at the woman she nods her head a little, and then says softly, "Candace Mary Allard." She looks around as she stands there, before she looks back at Cat, and bites her lip. She offers a faint smile before she says softly, "Alright."

"Thanks," Cat offers, as she climbs the stairs and turns toward the glass front of the building above the Rock Cellar. In she goes, expecting Candy to follow, and makes for the elevator on the left side of the security desk in the lobby.

Candy follows as she nods her head a little, watching where she is going. "How long do you think that I should stay here until things have been… taken care of?" she asks as she follows along. Her eyes looking left and right as she follows after the woman. Her hands are wrapped around her as she hurries, giving the appearance of not feeling completely secure.

"I can't really say, Candy," Cat answers. She stops at the elevator and pushes the button to go up, entering a string of seconds later when the doors open. She accesses the control panel with a keycard and key, pushing the button marked 4, and waits to be joined.

The trip up is fairly quick, when doors open Cat steps out onto a hallway with several numbered doors. One of them has the place Candy will stay behind it.

Candy nods her head as she steps into the elevator and rides it up with the woman. She looks at the hallway she is brought to, her eyes going from door to door as she stands there. Her hands go to clasp behind her back, as she qoes quiet, waiting to be led to where ever she is going to be staying for the moment.

"It's over here," Cat states with a nod as she walks over to the door marked 402. "One bedroom, it has food and facilities, not too small. From time to time you may see a young woman working here, she stocks and cleans for me. She won't ask questions, and isn't likely to answer them very much either. All she knows is I like my privacy." Then she pulls out a keycard and opens the door.

Silent again, she makes a mental note to speak with Teo about drawing Miss Trafford further into the loop.

Candy nods her head as she moves towards the now open door. She says faintly, "I will eventually get some kind of answers as to what is going on right? I'm happy for all this, but… still don't know what is even going on." She offers a faint smile as she looks around, "This all happened so fast," she says while walking and basically talking to Cat's back.

"What answers would you like, Candy?" Cat inquires. "This floor is a safehouse, you need shelter, a place to lie low and not be found by DHS, right?" It seems fairly simple to her what's going on here.

Candy nods her head a little as she says, "I get that, but, I don't even know your name… or anything about this place." She tries to smile faintly as she stands there, and she gestures, "It seems like a bad idea to look a gift horse in the mouth, but, I just wish I knew more of what was happening. I was just thrown into a cell with no trial by my peers." She shakes her head a little as she says, "I just wish someone would explain to me the whole picture instead of just what I see myself."

"I know," Cat answers quietly. "I'm with people who take issue with locking people up like you were, Candy, and help them out when we can. I spotted you as needing that assistance because you've got the injection mark under your chin, a mark of the Moab prison in Utah. We also oppose the Linderman Act which requires registration of people with abilities. We aren't by any means terrorists, though we've been accused of it before."

"Alright," Candy says as she stands there watching Cat. "Can I at least get a better name for you than, Shelter," she asks as she smiles faintly while still standing there.

"Panther," Cat replies simply. It's not a lie, completely. Panthers are Cats, after all, and she was emulating one onstage. "It's a tricky thing, what we do, Candy. We have to take risks and shelter people, but we also have to be cautious we don't get sold out to DHS in the effort. It may not fill you with confidence or comfort knowing so little, but it works two ways. You know what I look like and where the place is, after all."

"I do, but it seems awfully foolish to bite that hand that feeds, Panther," Candy says simply as she stands there. She offers her an outstretched hand as she runs her other hand through her hair. "Thanks," she says with a sincere smile as she looks at Cat.

Her own right hand takes the offered one and shakes once before releasing. The perceptive may notice Cat's skin is warm, smooth, and soft except for calluses near fingertips which are probably from guitar playing. "You're very welcome, Candy. The unit has the basics; stove, refrigerator, microwave, furniture, washer, dryer, central air and heat. Carpet too. And a stock of food."

"I need to handle some things," she states afterward, "we'll talk about work soon. For now, rest, relax, drink up. You look a little low on fluids."

Candy smiles faintly as she nods her head and says, "I'll be sure to do so, I haven't had anything like real sleep since I left. Surprisingly, the sidewalk isn't as comfortable as one would think." She offers a lopsided grin as she says, "Take care of yourself then, Panther."

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