Are You That Sparrow Redhouse?


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Scene Title Are You That Sparrow Redhouse?
Synopsis Someone looked for over the past few months is found.
Date October 16, 2009

Ruins Of Midtown

Standing in the ruins of Midtown, it's hard to believe New York is still a living city.

There's life enough around the fringes — the stubborn, who refused to rebuild somewhere else; the hopeful, who believe the radiation is gone, or that they somehow won't be affected. Businesses, apartment complexes, taxis and bicycles and subways going to and fro — life goes on. Perhaps more quietly than in other parts of the city, shadowed by the reminder that even a city can die, but it does go on.

Then there is the waste. The empty core for which the living city is only a distant memory. Though a few major thoroughfares wind through the ruins, arteries linking the surviving halves, and the forms of some truly desperate souls can occasionally be glimpsed skulking in the shadows, the loudest noise here is of the wind whistling through the mangled remnants of buildings. Twisted cords of rebar reach out from shattered concrete; piles of masonry and warped metal huddle on the ground, broken and forlorn. Short stretches of road peek out from under rubble and dust only to disappear again shortly afterwards, dotted with the mangled and contorted forms of rusting cars, their windows long since shattered into glittering dust.

There are no bodies — not even pieces, not anymore. Just the bits and pieces of destroyed lives: ragged streamers fluttering from the handlebar which juts out of a pile of debris; a flowerbox turned on its side, coated by brick dust, dry sticks still clinging to the packed dirt inside; a lawn chair, its aluminum frame twisted but still recognizable, leaning against a flight of stairs climbing to nowhere.

At the center of this broken wasteland lies nothing at all. A hollow scooped out of the earth, just over half a mile across, coated in a thick layer of dust and ash. Nothing lives here. Not a bird; not a plant. Nothing stands here. Not one concrete block atop another. There is only a scar in the earth, cauterized by atomic fire. This is Death's ground.

Friday morning, some days after the taking of Helena Dean's body. Plans are afoot, measures being taken to recover the woman from the clutches of Humanis First and to reverse the switching that was done. Cat is alone at this moment, taking counsel of her own thoughts and traveling the path of memories in a place where she believes no one will see her do so. A particularly desolate spot on the fringes of these ruins which used to be Midtown Manhattan.

She leans against the wall of a building, eyes facing into the distance, as people lost are freshly mourned in silence and crystal clarity. There is also the sense of betrayal she feels that Mother's campaign for Mayor, at first to Cat a strong symbol of hope featuring a bold woman announcing her SLC ability and asserting that has nothing to do with the job, has turned into a symbol of oppression.

"Why did I ever expect you to learn and really be better than this, Mother?" she quietly asks the open air. One single tear courses down her cheek. "I knew better, I think, but… there's still wanting to believe the best."

While steps might be painful this morning, Sparrow has found herself drawn to this place, a need to see what had happened in the city. Quiet is the young woman as she makes her way along the paths that might be found, pausing here and there to place a hand to a building or to the very ground. A sigh escapes her at one point before she rises to continue her explorations. Strange she might be, coming here, but she figures herself to be alone.

Hearing a voice, Sparrow glances around, soon to see where another woman stands near a building, her brows to furrow as she reads the body language to some degree. Briefly, she considers seeing if the woman might need help, but instead, figures that perhaps she is here to pay her respects to someone lost here, and begins to turn away to walk away. But with her feet all cut up, the silent escape comes with a hiss of pain as she steps on a stone in her thinnly-soled sandals.

It's that hiss which ends Cat's mental journey, which tells her she isn't alone. The woman, a brunette of five feet and eight inches height, shifts instantly in her demeanor. She sets her face to show no trace of what she was giving vent to; to project confidence and poise. There was no display of anything which might make her seem weak or wounded.

The source of that pained hiss is looked over some seconds later. "You're hurt," she observes. "Sounded so, at the very least."

When the voice speaks up, Sparrow glances over her shoulder and offers a quiet apology, "I did not mean to disturb your thoughts. I.. was just looking around myself." She ofers, then shrugs, "Broke a glass while I was barefoot." The explanation is given before she might pick her foot off the sharp rock that she'd stepped on. Before she might decide to leave, she does speak up again, "Did you loose someone here?" Curious, and yet hoping to not step on toes.

Her voice carries a mid-western accent, everything about her perhaps saying clearly that she's from out of town. Her gaze slides to the ruins, "Are they going to do anything to clean it up?"

"You didn't," Cat replies simply. Even though it seems clear now she was observed this brunette in the jacket, jeans, and boots won't let on she was doing so. "Many were lost here. Cleaning has happened, to some degree, yet it's believed radiation remains in a good segment of this area. Reconstruction happens, of course, but the pace is slow."

Finally, eyes lower to the other woman's feet. "Have you had the injury attended to, Miss?"

"Good." There's no hint that Sparrow overheard anything that Cat might have said, seen the expression on her face. She's good at pretending that way. Looking back to the ruins, the young woman nods quietly, "So much destruction.." And then, she sighs, soon to turn away to pad closer so that the pair do not have to shout at each other.

When asked, she wrinkles her nose, soon to shake her head, "Not really. I picked the pieces out and just cleaned it with some alcohol and all in the bathroom. Just sore still. Probably shouldn't be walking on them, but.." She shrugs, laughing, "I felt too cooped up in the hotel room, needed to get out."

"I'm not a doctor," Cat replies easily, "but I'm decent enough at sewing if it's needed. Show me?" she invites. "Name's Michelle. Welcome to New York." Or Nuked York, she thinks while looking out across the ruins again.

"I don't think any of them needed sewing.." But, since the woman has asked, and seems concerned, Sparrow moves towards a piece of concrete to sit on so she might take off her sandals. She's got some bandages on the bottom of her feet, but such things just can't be really bandaged well. Various cuts and such litter the bottom of her foot far more than what might be expected. A few are deep, but nothing too badly. "Nice to meetcha, Michelle. Name's Sparrow, from New Mexico."

"Sparrow," she repeats on hearing the name. Eyes study the feet shown to her. "You don't seem to need stitches." A silence follows, broken by Cat speaking in a musing tone. "Some friends were looking for a woman called Sparrow a few months ago," she remarks. "Sparrow Redhouse."

"I like the name."

"Yes, Sparrow." The young woman offers, laughing softly, "My mother.. had a sense of humor, I guess. And she loved the bird." With her Native roots, it fits as well. Sandals are put back on as the other falls silent, and when she finishes slipping her shoes on, she glances towards Cat. When mention of friends are made, there comes a slight furrow of her brows, and by the time her full name is mentioned, the young woman slides off the concrete and steps to the side, a wariness to show upon her face. It might be noted that even as she steps back, one foot has been slipped out of the sandal, the sole pressed against the broken concrete and dirt that she stands on. "Who are you?" She asks quietly.

The response is observed in calm curiosity, the woman's actions too. The placement of bare foot against the ground. "Those friends, called Monk and R.Ajas, said Sparrow Redhouse was among people they sought to gather for things to come. A war of sorts, people they believed would do the right thing. I don't know exactly what they planned for her directly, but I have some idea. I believe it has connection to a man called Norman White."

Sparrow's face is studied for reaction to that name as she elaborates "He's an earthmover, one some believe may try to sink Staten Island. That Sparrow Redhouse is, they told me, a woman who moves the earth."

"Are you that Sparrow Redhouse?"

Wary, conscious of the other woman, Sparrow but listens, not moving otherwise. Some names do seem familiar to her, others she does not recognize. But, when asked, she finally sepaks up, "And if I am?" She wonders, a brow to lift upwards before she asks, "You want her to go head to head against this man who thinks to sink the island? Why?" Why her, why would this man want to do that?

"Your choices are your own, whether or not you're that Sparrow Redhouse," Cat replies. "I think you are, because you've not denied it. And because when the name was mentioned, you placed your bare foot on the ground. It suggests you need… wanted contact with bare ground."

"I would hope," she goes on to say, "if you're that Sparrow you'd seek to counter anything he tries. The man is insane, and driven by vengeance. He would perform acts that will only inspire others to join Humanis First and seek to exterminate the Evolved. They've already got enough enemies, such a minority doesn't need people giving them reasons."

"I'll be sending word to Monk soon that the Sparrow he looked for might be in the city now. If you're her, it's up to you whether or not you admit it." Cat doesn't press.

There is silence from Sparrow, her gaze to linger upon the other woman. Before long, she asks, "Are you with this group? With this Monk? Is your name really Michelle?" A tilt of her head is made as she studies the woman with an art's eye, gaze to linger before she finally places her foot back into her sandal. "I don't enjoy being played with, and that's what it feels like has happened. First this strange message from someone I didn't know. Then men who I didn't know, show up to 'talk' to me? Forgive me if I'm a little wary of things, and people who know my name."

"My name is Cat," she admits, "and like you I have reasons not to share it immediately at times." Sparrow is eyed in silence for a stretch of moments before the brunette goes on. "I'm a member of a group, in time you might be told more. It's too soon now. As to the men who came to visit you, I believe one of them was called Allen and another is called Knox? They said they tried to visit you, you were gone, and they had to scramble to avoid a DHS raid aimed at you."

"The message from the strange man… did he call himself T.Monk or R.Ajas, a message which suddenly appeared on an electronic device?"

Sparrow snorts lightly, "Actually, I made sure they left my house." Shaking her head, she rolls her eyes, "I'm guessing they didn't want it to get out that they were beat up by a girl throwing rocks at them." That said, it would seem she's relaxing, nodding at mention of not saying too much more than Cat has already. To the last, she nods, and answers, "R.Ajas. Told me to leave my house.. heard later ti had been hit by a raid. Strange though, I was never bothered by anyone until all that."

"Technopaths," Cat explains to the Native woman. "R.Ajas and T.Monk are technopaths. Most likely they were tuned into the electronic communications of the DHS team coming for you and sent that warning to run. What got you on DHS radar I don't know."

"If you've got a cellphone, they'll likely contact you after I've told them you're here. Or, if you want to contact them, it's easy. Send a text message, or an IM from a computer with an internet connection, to T.Monk, R.Ajas, or Rebel."

"Hmm. " Sparrow murmurs, nodding after a moment, "I see." She finally says before she takes another deep breath. "And so you wish me.. to help you? To help all of these? I.. " She shakes her head, hand lifted to push through her hair as she turns about to look, then finally glances back to the woman, "I have a cellphone. They can contact me. I.." Brows furrow a little, "I have already gotten involved in things the other day. This city has lost it's mind.. and I don't think I could just walk away, even if it's not my home. "

"These are the times that try people's souls," Cat simply remarks. "Whether one wishes to take part in events often doesn't matter. Those who desire to sit out often find the conflict comes to them anyway. I'm not one to force choices on you. In time, if you're willing to hear it, I may offer information and make requests. But right now is too soon. You need time to weight what you've seen and been told, Miss Redhouse. And to converse with the technopaths. May I ask what hotel you're at?"

"Then tell them to contact me." Sparrow speaks after a moment's thought. "I'm staying at.." Since the player hasn't found one of the hotels yet, figure one that's decently nice, but not overly expensive in the midst of town. "I'll be there for at least another week or two. Unless I change my mind upon such things and decide to stick around alittle longer."

Nodding, Cat offers "If you want to contact me on your own, send a text, IM, or email to Wireless. Say you're Sparrow Redhouse, and ask to be connected with Cat." A few steps are taken, the woman explaining "I've someone to meet, business to conduct. Take care, Sparrow, keep your head down."

"And if I'd like to talk to you further now? Without the wait?" Sparrow wonders after a moment before she hears the woman state she needs to head off to meet someone. "Sorry.. and yeah.. as long as I don't end up going to another restaurant to eat, and end up in the middle of a shoot out between the cops and some gang.."

Her iPhone is pulled out of a pocket and held up as Cat taps some spots on the screen, facing Sparrow. She looks at it for some seconds, then taps a few more times. Fingers begin to compose a text message while she replies to the terrakinetic with a raised eyebrow. "You were in the middle of a battle?" she asks.

A short few seconds later the text is finished and she presses send. Therefore transmitted is this:

To: Rebel

From: Cat

Sparrow Redhouse found. With me now.

A quiet laugh falls freely from Sparrow, "Hear the news about the shoot-out between the cops and Triad that happened down in Chinatown the other day?" It's been all over the news. "I happened to decide to go find some authentic dumplings, and ended up at a restaurant right around the corner from where it went down.. " Watching as she types out a message, she bids her time.

Having sent that message, Cat looks up from the screen to Sparrow's face as she speaks. "I did," Cat replies. "You were in that. What did you do?" she asks curiously.

And while Cat waits to hear the terrakinetic's answer, she glances back down at the screen on her phone. A touch of surprise registers on her features, she hasn't heard from these technopaths in months. But here it is. The response message had immediately appeared on her phone's screen from the same address her message was sent to.

Keep Her Safe.

She will be needed.

You will be told when.


She walks back to the earth manipulator and shows her that.

"I happened by.. " Sparrow frowns at the memories, "I couldn't let the cops be killed.. I.." She shivers, closing her eyes as she brushes her hand through her hair, "I tried to help some of them who were pinned down. Gave them cover.. kept the roof of a building from collapsing on two." The words are spoken quietly before she looks up to see the phone as it's shown to her. The message is read, and she tilts her head, glancing to Cat, "What /is/ Rebel. Or shall I message them and ask?" she gestures to the phone.

"Nice work," Cat replies in response to Sparrow's description of what she did in the Battle Of Chinatown. "Police, I confess, are often not my favorite people, but they aren't all bad. It mostly depends on whether or not they're acting within the Constitution. Sometimes they don't, whether they've taken time to think about that or not. But when it comes to the Triads, the actions taken last night, that's what they're supposed to do."

Then she addresses the question of Rebel. "A week or so ago, Glenn Beck interviewed a police officer called Magnes Varlane. Numerous things were discussed. Registration, the Moab Penitentiary among them. The program ended when Rebel took over the broadcast and said their piece. I recognized the voice used, and the speech patterns, the accents. That speaking voice also said 'we are Rebel.' From that, I believe…"

"Rebel is T.Monk and R.Ajas combined."

Then her fingers are moving again, addressing the issue of whether to message them or not. Text is composed and sent.

Rebel, is it Sparrow's task to counter Norman White and prevent the sinking of Staten Island?

"They were doing their job, and were greatly out powered." Sparrow states quietly, "There were Evolved with the Triads who… some of the cops never had a chance." There's a low murmur of words, a prayer given for those who lost their lives in her native tongue. As he continues to listen, she hmms, nodding for a moment. "I see… but who is.. T.Monk?" A pause, and she points out, "I'm not from here, and I admit, I haven't really been keeping up totally with the news back home. I lived in a small town, kept to myself."

"He's a technopath," Cat begins, "an older one, given his speech patterns and references. The name he uses is a tribute to a jazz musician called Thelonious Monk. He is a mentor to R.Ajas, and a person trusted by another technopath I work closely with. I don't know his physical identity, or if he even still has one. For all I know, he may have found his body was close to death and abandoned it, sending his mind into the nearest machine and living since then as a digital entity. I do know he's quite practiced at his arts. No machine capable of sending and receiving transmissions is closed to him."

Moments later, Cat checks the screen again. Rebel has sent another reply, which she shows to Sparrow.

Norman White is not our concern.

To this, Cat transmits again.

Some believe you are supporting and encouraging Mr. White in his actions, that you aren't opposed to the sinking of Staten Island. I am not among them.

Sparrow listens as Cat gives the information to her about this T.Monk person. Nodding quietly, she soon states, "I am not used to working with the Technopaths.." She shakes her head, "Not used to working with many others." But, the return message is glanced towards should she be given a chance, and she frowns, "How could he not be their concern? If he seeks to sink the island? And if it isn't his concern, then why would I wish to join them.. " She's trying to wrap her mind around this all.

She doesn't use words to give her reply, instead Cat is watching the screen of her iPhone. When more communication from Rebel appears, she shows it to Sparrow.

Every man is the master of his own destiny. Every voice deserves to be heard. You are correct.

Reading the messages that come to Cat's iphone, Sparrow shakes her head, soon to murmur, "He is right. Everyone is the master of their own destiny.. but.." she bites her bottom lip, "How can he not wish to stop this White fellow from sinking an island, and possible killing… thousands." She questions, glancing to Cat, "And if that's the case, why does he need me then? Why does he wish me to stay here? He says I'm needed, but not why. "

"He's saying, Sparrow, he isn't supporting or encouraging Norman White," Cat opines. "He's simply saying Norman will seek to do whatever he seeks to do, and those opposing him will act accordingly. Perhaps he also believes those who oppose Mr. White will be successful, and don't need his assistance."

After a spell of silence, Cat grins. "Perhaps he also knows me well enough to get that since he neither confirmed nor denied a role for you in opposing Norman, I will likely ask you to take one. He may also believe you won't need to be told, you'd hear of his actions and oppose him anyway."

"Beyond that," Cat adds, "Monk is a cryptic sort. I trust his advice, the evidence I've seen of what's happening around the world bears him out. There is a war brewing, a very nasty one, which may have already begun. He has a plan. But he doesn't share the details with me."

Sparrow mutters after a moment. "Sometimes, I wish people would just say what they mean. He sounds like some of the elders in the tribe, speaking in riddles, waiting to see if you get what they are talking about or not." Shaking her head, she chuckles lightly, showing a certain fondness for those sometimes frustrating elders! Looking from iphone to Cat, her gaze studies her for a moment, "And you wish me to join with you against this man, to hopefully stop what he is planning. What.. why are you in Rebel? What exactly is Rebel's agenda overall?" The questions come quietly once more.

A chuckle escapes as Cat takes in Sparrow's questions and her musings on tribal elders. "I'm not in Rebel, Rebel isn't an organization. Rebel is just what I said, a name taken by two or more technopaths to use in joint communications. Two of them, and possibly the only two, are T.Monk and R.Ajas. They are allies. Some months ago they contacted me, at the same time a man called Knox and Allen Rickham were brought to me. At that time, I was given advice on things they see approaching. I was asked to gather people for a time when they'd be needed, people they believed would do the right thing. You're one of those people, mentioned by name."

"There is one other mentioned by name I need to approach, he's in the city and I know where to look. As to my reasons, they're simple. I oppose the turn this country has taken toward fascism. Registration, secret prisons, denial of due process. I am in two organizations. One I will not yet speak of until after I've conferred with others about having met you. But the other…"

"Their purpose is sheltering those who need it. You won't need to spend money on hotels anymore, Sparrow, if you don't want to. I can take you to a place near here where you'll be comfortable and safe. After you've settled, and after I've had the meetings I need to have, it's likely I come to see you about a few things. Including a potential action against Humanis First."

"Oh." Sparrow soon answers, cheeks to flush with a hint of color. "I see. Sorry.. I think my brain is a little slow today after all the excitement yesterday." The young woman answers as the misconception is cleared up as to Rebel. She shifts her feet, adjusting her stance, giving one foot a rest while putting her weight more upon the other for a short time. Listening, however, she seems to consider such things. "Speak to me when you can, but for now, I think I will stay in the hotel until I make my final decision. I would not wish to be beholden to your group, should I not choose to join it. I would feel guilty about taking money away from where it could be used."

A pause, and she takes a deep breath, a glance back towards the ruins, "I was once told that I would come to a point in my life where my path would take me away from that which I knew.. I have to wonder if this is it." She glances back to the other woman, "Two years ago, I was told this, by someone I believe saw something of the future to come."

She nods once. "That's your choice, Sparrow. I won't be about trying to force you into things against your will. The place I mentioned is one where I believe the request to keep you safe can best be pulled off. I don't, however, know of any specific threat you need to hide from, other than the fact DHS tried to grab you once and might try again if your name surfaced. Staying there would also not carry any obligation, or infer membership in any way."

"You don't feel in danger, so be it. I'll be in contact soon. As to your path, this may well be it. Coming to New York certainly altered mine," Cat states. With that, she's moving away, headed to her meeting.

"What was the name of that cop you mentioned before.. Magnes?" Sparrow question before nodding, "I know you wouldn't force me into anything, and for that I thank you." The young woman offers before taking a deep breath for a moment. "I'd like to talk to others. If I could? At some point. I.. I got to know a little more.. to be sure?"

Stopping, she turns back partway to answer. "Magnes Varlane," Cat supplies. "As to meeting others, that may well happen. I'll be speaking with them about you. You've got a leg up, as it were, in having been named by T.Monk."

"Him. What's your thoughts on him?" Sparrow wonders, then states, "He was there last night. He saw me.. tried to save me from having a helicopter land on me. I protected his partner." But for the last, she nods and states, "I'll have to talk to the Technopaths some more. I'm curious about them now."

"Magnes is a decent guy," Cat informs her. "He's got a good heart, but can be at times unsubtle. If the situation calls for unsubtlety, he's a good one to have around. He seems in some ways like he's still a teen, and could be called a geek. He has a taste for comic books, and sometimes I think he sees himself as like a character in one of them. But he also listens, and can learn."

Inwardly, she resolves anew to get him to see her as something other than a geeky face. Because Cat is not a geek!

At the low down about the cop, Sparrow raises a brow upwards, "Sounds like you know him fairly well.." Is that a slight tease in her voice?

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