Anything You Can Do


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Scene Title Anything You Can Do
Synopsis Tasha offers help to a refugee in the Ferry's care.
Date September 26, 2010

Gun Hill

Sunday morning dawns warm and sunny, and some hours after the sun rises, Tasha heads to the roof of the Gun Hill apartment building to get some school work done. She spent most of last week helping Colette recover from the emotionally trying time travels rather than spending it on her classwork. So today, as lovely as it would be to spend it curled in the bed with Colette, she has set up an easel and is painting the skyline in a duo-chrome palette of blue and orange.

As much of the paint she’s mixed seems to have managed to get on her as her canvas, paint splatters bedecking her bare legs and the old Smiths shirt she wears; for as messy as the artist is, however, the canvas is tidy, clean lines and modern strokes.

At the moment, Tasha’s attention has wandered, and she’s staring into the distance, chewing on the handle-end of the paintbrush she holds thoughtfully.

The creak of the access door announces the presence of an intrusion to Tasha’s solace long before she actually steps out into the morning light. Dressed in a pair of comfortable sweatpants and an old cable-knit sweater to avoid chill, Delia pulls a folding chair from the stairwell along with a tote bag that’s slung over one shoulder.

Crunching over the gravel, she doesn’t notice the other woman right away. Instead, she takes the time to carefully lay out her spot, unfold her chair and get comfortable under a thin blanket. The bright sun forces her to pull her ball cap low over her eyes and when she’s through, she digs a book from the tote along with a coke bottle recycled for the use of water.

She turns her head just slightly when she places the bottle down at her feet and that’s when she spies the legs of the easel. Her blue eyes drift up the length of it until they finally find the face of the painter. “Oh… uhm… Hi… You didn’t want to be alone, did you?” There’s the jitter of nerves in the redhead’s voice as she speaks. “Oh! You’re Kaylee and Sable’s friend, right? Uhm… I don’t think I ever got your name. I’m Delia.”

The creak of that door didn’t make Tasha turn — she feels safe enough up here that there is no reason to worry about who might be coming up behind her. Possibly a little innocent and naive, especially given the fact that there are time travelers who can just appear wherever in time they seem to want to. It’s only when Delia speaks that Tasha turns, offering a smile to the tall redhead.

“It’d be a silly place to go to be alone, so hopefully you weren’t planning on any solitude yourself. Sable smokes pot up here, Colette gardens, people come up and read or whatever. I mean, that’s what it’s here for, right?” Tasha rambles a little.

“I’m Tasha Oliver,” she offers by way of introduction. She nods to her painting. “Just doing some schoolwork. Gotta do a ‘scape’ of some sort using just two colors.” The painting depicts the silhouettes of the tall buildings in the distance in a murky, shadowy blue while behind is the orange sky — whether it’s supposed to depict sunset or sunrise or something more dire is anyone’s guess.

Delia’s eyes go wide as Tasha gestures to her painting and the redhead gets up from her seat and wanders over to glance at it. “Wait… you— You go to school? Are you… are you registered? Sorry to ask but I sort of had to quit. Everything.” The tone of her voice is a little off, distant, like she’s trying to sound nonchalant about the whole business but she really isn’t succeeding.

“It’s nice,” she adds, giving a jerk of her head upward. “The painting, I mean. Really good. Do you just paint for school or do you sell them too?” Rolling up onto her toes and then back on her heels, Delia sways a little as she tries to make idle chit chat. “I’ve been looking for something to do that doesn’t require ID, registration, social security number… so I can buy groceries and stuff.”

How close she is to her final dollar is anyone’s guess. What can be figured out is how many times she’s asked for help. For the clinic? Quite a number of times, lists have come from the medical center down in the basement for requisitions. For her own needs, there have been none.

There is a slight furrow of Tasha’s brow at the question of registration. “I’m registered, but I’m not evolved,” she says quietly, the words almost like an admission of guilt. “So it’s not really an issue for me.” She sets the paintbrush down and sits down on the edge of a lawn chair.

“It’s for school. I just started at Parsons, over in Greenwich?” Not like it’s not known outside of Greenwich, but Tasha has a modest demeanor. “I missed most of last week, though, and so I better get cracking on this. It’s due Tuesday.”

Her dark eyes take in Delia, noting the girl’s worry and she shakes her head. “Look, if you’re here ‘cause you can’t go anywhere else, don’t let money worry you. We’ll look after you, okay? But maybe we can find something that pays under the table. Alley Cat might, or this lady, Cat? She owns the Rock Cellar, and she might be willing to pay you in cash. Also, for coming and going? I can make you a Reg card and driver’s license and social security card and that sort of thing. It’s kinda part of what I do. It won’t be legal of course, so like, if they check up on you and run credit reports or try to turn paperwork in for taxes, that’ll raise red flags. But for just walking around in case someone stops you, it should pass scrutiny.”

“Really? Alley Cat? I— I used to work for them before all of this. I’d like to get something just to pick up a little extra money. I gave away my last dollar last night to this guy.” There’s a crooked smile from the pseudo-nurse as she continues to rock back and forth on her heels and toes. “Maybe I could talk to the manager there or som— Wait, you said Cat? The lady with the brown hair, Catherine Chesterfield? I didn’t know she owned a restaurant, maybe that would be better. I sort of know her. I did a few deliveries for her.”

A flood of relief washes over Delia as she questions and spills some of her guts. It’s a visible change, from weary to a little brighter. “Hey, do you think that it would pass to get to Roosevelt Island? If I could get there, I think I could get one of my old jobs back. The lady there is really nice, she seems to understand stuff. Plus I hid a bunch of boxes in her basement before Dad and I had to come here… so I’d really like to get some of it back.”

Bringing a hand to her mouth, Tasha chews her thumbnail a little thoughtfully before shrugging. “It depends, for the bridge patrol. I mean… it depends. I haven’t gone through myself to know how much effort they’re putting into checking IDs. I think if you look like a normal person and you’re going with legitimate business, it shouldn’t be too tricky. It’s more like past evening and all they’d be pickier, the people going in after business hours, right?”

Tasha tilts her head. “Maybe I can go there tomorrow to see how close they look at the stuff — I could even make myself a fake ID — with my real name and all, so if they put it through the system, I don’t get in trouble — to see if they’re actually looking things up in a database or something.” A mischievous smile curves the lips of the petite teen. “The magnetic strips on a driver’s license? You just tell them they’re demagnetized from being in a wallet with a magnetic clasp, so they have to type it in the long way. Lots of times they’re too lazy, and just pass it back. I can do that, and see how likely it is you could get by with a fake.”

“Wow… really? I never really paid attention to any of that. I guess I should have, I was just too busy with other things that I thought were more important. Silly me, huh?” There’s a short laugh from Delia as she keeps her eye on the painting for a while before giving Tasha a sidelong glance. Tucking the ends of her sleeves into her fists, the redhead stretches the arms of her sweater out until the hem hangs at least three inches from the end of her fingertips.

“Hey, since you’re doing all this kind of stuff… you might know. I’m probably not going to be able to go back to school again, not anytime soon. Uhm… You wouldn’t just happen to know where I could get a real fake social and stuff, would you?” There’s a blush that slowly forms at the tips of her ears and grows in rosy red apples on her cheeks. “I mean, I’m not going to be a doctor now but I know I can pass the boards and get my RN license. At least then I’ll have something to fall on… at least that piece of paper, anyway.”

The younger girl chews her thumbnail for a moment again, and then shakes her head. “I don’t know. I just … I can make the fake papers and all, because I have art skills, but to get one that would actually not flag alarms and such — that takes something more, like getting into the databases and finding a … you know, like someone close to you in age, someone who died, and stealing their identity. I can maybe look into it for you — we have someone that might be able to manage it.” She’ll ask Colette if she should contact Wireless on that, or maybe run it by Lynette.

“So,” Tasha asks, a little nervously, “are you part of that group that came in from the government or are you in trouble for something else? I mean… aside from just being Evolved. Most people with powers should still be able to go to school and stuff. It’s not that bad yet, I don’t think. There’s a kid in Parsons with me who can cut with his fingers. No need to change his X-acto knife blades, I’m super jealous.”

“Yeah, my dad’s one of the ones the Institute is after. As a bonus… I got arrested the night before, I didn’t follow through with my registration for obvious reasons.” There’s a little bit of bitterness in the redhead’s voice as she talks about the facts that led her family to this point. “I have a warrant out for my arrest, so I’m a little antsy about getting caught. Dad thinks they’ll use me to get to him.”

Delia’s eyebrows raise with interest as Tasha talks about her schoolmate and after stuffing her hands back into the pockets of her sweat pants she looks over at her. “Really? He can cut things with his fingers? Is it like all the time like Edward Scissorhands? Or can he pop little knives out when he wants?”

Tasha’s brows furrow — they’re afraid they’ll use her to get to her Dad? This girl and she have lots in common, it would seem. Only her father is still in an agency that has the blessing of the US Government, where hers is not. “I’m sorry,” she murmurs. “I kinda get that.” She is giving her condolences, not apologizing, yet if she knew just who Delia got in trouble with the night before, she’d apologize on his behalf as well.

“No, no, he’s not like… he doesn’t have to pop blades out, he just kinda… I can’t explain it. I guess it’s a kind of telekinesis. It’s sort of creepy, really, but it’s cool to watch,” Tasha says, swapping subjects. “I’ll have to call him Edward Scissorhands tomorrow though. And suggest that maybe he go into the fashion design program instead of art.”

“Haha!” Delia’s laugh barks out into the quiet morning and she ends it by stifling it with a cough. “Wow, okay, that was pretty funny. So, you really know people who could help me get a life back together? Like.. a real one?” Not that the one she has isn’t real, it’s more like a temporary pit stop in her plans. For who knows how long.

“So are you a part of the yacht club too?” The redhead uses a small finger quotes gesture from inside of her pockets when she names the organization, not sure whether the other girl is a participant or not. Finger quotes make her feel less like she’s lying. “How did you come to live here? On the run too?”

“Yacht club. That’s cute,” Tasha says, reaching to push her bangs out of her eyes. “Yeah. No, I’m not on the run. I’m actually here to help, if you can believe it. I mean… I know, what the hell can I do, right? But it’s something I believe in. I’m not evolved, like I said, but I care about people who are, and I don’t want people to be treated unfairly just for something that makes them different.” Her tone is earnest and determined as she speaks of this cause she took on.

“It’s kinda a long story, how I joined up, but I’ll do what I can to help you. It’s why I’m here. Let me see if I can talk to this one person who has … like, access to computers and stuff? Maybe she can get you real digits and the like. If she can’t help, I’ll try to find someone who can, okay?” Tasha smiles up at the redhead. “I’m 404, me and Colette and Tamara, so stop by if you need anything ever, okay?”

“Will do,” Delia smiles, looking down at the gravel at the rooftop as she kicks a pebble across to ricochet against the ledge. “I’m in 501, if you guys ever… Need anyone to dig a bullet out… or put on a bandaid.”

Walking back to her chair, she glances up at the rising sun and gives a small sigh. “Speaking of which, I should get down to the clinic… Someone might need something.” After picking her chair and blanket up and then folding them under her arm, she hefts to totebag to her shoulder and turns back toward Tasha. “You probably mean a lot more to the people you help than you realize. My dad isn’t evolved… but he’s a lot more useful than I am.”

Delia’s words make Tasha smile as she reaches to pick up her paintbrush again. “Thanks. I just try to help because if I were evolved, I certainly would want the supposed majority to give a shit about me. It’s hypocritical otherwise, right? I can’t do much, but I can do something, and that’s what I intend to do. Even if it’s just try to cross a bridge and see if my fake papers will get me by, so that you can do it the next day.” Which is now what Tasha plans to do.

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