Blind Faith


colette3_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif

Scene Title Blind Faith
Synopsis Faith, even for the seeing, can be contagious. Two people with more connections than they realize encounter each other at just the right time.
Date July 15, 2009

Village Renaissance Building : Rooftop

Bright and cool.

While the cloudy skies are a lighter shade of gray than they have been the last few days, it has done little to suppress the humidity and heat that has swamped New York since the beginning of the weekend. Amidst those cloudy skies of Greenwich Village, neon is a color not often associated with the drab gray streets and red brick buildings that juxtpose themselves against the verdant greenery of summer foliage. Swirling motes of neon-blue and purple illuminate the rooftop of the Village Renaissance building through the thin and filmy fog that has settled in off of the water.

Dim and cool.

The abstract neon colors flicker and fade away, dissipating into tiny mots of colored light before large structures on the roof — outlets for the ventillation system — vanish entirely in the foggy haze of a heat mirage's distortion. The roof looks bare, shaved free of these metallic eyesores that exhust the air-conditioning systems. After a moment, they seem to just fade back into reality, shimmering away as if beneath the surface of some unstill pond.

Dim and hot.

Popping flashes of white light, like firecrackers, are dull spots of coloration visible from the air. These quick bursts of heat and light snap into being soundlessly, followed by tiny, brighter crackles like fireworks, peeling away from the fog as the motions of a small, thin young woman stirs the dust on the rooftop. Having been unseen while all of these lights had appeared, she too fades in from nothingness like a distorted reflection in the surface of a pond.

Bright and hot.

Two small discs of bright white light swirl into formation around the girl's hands, sweat beads on her bare shoulders, and the dark fabric of her black tanktop clings to a matchstick thin body. Camouflage pants tucked into old and worn boots hang too low on a narrow waist, faded color seeming even more desaturated in the vibrant glow of these radiant surfaces. Flecks of something like starlight swirl around the edges of the disc, before each one unleashes a thin band of blue-green light that traces black patterns across the rooftop, scoring the concrete with thin trails of smoke.

Panting heavily, Colette staggers backwards, bringing one hand to her forehead before wiping the back of her hand beneath her nose, where a thin line of blood has trickled out. She smears it across her upper lip, mixing in with the sweat, then rakes her fingers back through her hair, pulling her bangs away from her face, and begins the cycle all over again.

Bright and cool.

Certain events are easily viewed from the sky. With protection from the effects of altitude, Gillian has been using flight as a secondary means of transportation through the city, though she's yet to have opened it up and tried going much faster than a helicopter could be capable of. A stomach full of energy bars and empty calories, fuel the flight. Anyone asked her, she'd say that everyone should be able to do this. It's so much better than walking.

But rewind. As she approaches the temporary home, the flickering and shifting of lights on the rooftop draw her attention, only really noticable cause she's keeping an eye out, in the fog, for her landing spot. Hovering overhead, with her head tilted to the side, she stops to watch for a few moments, before lowering down. The first fear would be that possibly, Arthur had found them. Wouldn't put it past him to launch an attack, and lasers, though not as colorful, would be among his many abilities. Imagine her relief when feet settle down onto rooftop, ready to switch abilities for a fight, and she sees a small girl.

While Papa Assface can look like anyone, it doesn't strike her as a likely appearance, or situation. It almost looks like… what she's been doing in the ruins of Midtown the last few weeks. Practice.

"Making quite a light show, you know?" she calls out, interupting the practice, and drawing attention to herself. Landing lightly, the raspy voice might be the first indication of her sudden appearance on the edge of the roof. Recognition hasn't come to her just yet.

Halfway through fingerpainting in colored light streaks that follow the motions of her hands, the sudden appearance of a black-haired woman and a familiar voice causes Colette's concentration to break entirely, the light streaks hanging unfinished in mid-air, like air-paint that manages to exist outside of time-lapsed photography.

Sightless eyes stare in Gillian's direction in silence for a few moments, before Colette is able to pull herself together and crack a smile. It's the voice she recognizes, more so than the greasy smudge of colors that represents Gillian's silhouette to her. "You— Holy shit!" A smile begins to creep across Colette's face as she wipes the back of her hand across her sweaty forehead, the neon light of her air-paint crumbling away slowly. "Librarian Neighbor!"

It's been a while.

Librarian— The blind eyes would be what makes her recall a young teen chasing after a run away kitten and slamming into her on the stairs. That apartment had seen so much, and she'd only lived in it a short time, in comparison to how long it's been. Since October.

"Fuck," Gillian rasps out, surprised and startled— but there's more than one glassy white eye staring back at her, and while the memories of the time back then may not be as clear as the last two months, she's pretty damn sure only one of the eyes looked that way. "You're— the kid that lived upstairs."

"I see that you manifested." The unfinished work suspended there gets a long glance. There's a glance around to make sure she's on the right roof. And she is. Memory confirms that. "I guess you know Cat."

Grimacing slightly, Colette wrinkles her nose and nods her head, walking over to where a plastic water bottle sists next to a crumpled blue towel. Snatching the bottle between two knuckles, she looks over her shoulder to Gillian with that grimace still lopsided on her lips. "Yeah I— " she hesitates, for just a moment. "It happened in the fall, after I moved out of Queens. It's— it's been hard, but… you know, I gotta make the most of what I have, right?"

Unscrewing the cap of the bottle, Colette's silence is afforded by the long chugging swallows of water she takes, before finally gasping out a breath and wiping at her mouth with one hand. "So… So you fly?" Both of her dark brows rise up behind the ragged fringe of her bangs, setting the uncapped bottle of water back down in exchange for the towel, which she begins to dry the sweat off of her face with. "That's— I mean— that's pretty awesome. Oh— and, yeah I— I know Cat. I mean, not well, but…" she nods her head towards the stairwell, "Kinda' hanging out here. I— are you uh, a part of…" her nose wrinkles some, "this.. uh," she's a terrible spy, "thing?"

"I know that feeling," Gillian admits, reaching into a pocket in her clothes to pull out the half finished energy bar. The awesome mode of transportation has some downsides, but they're pretty small. A bite later, she wraps it back up and puts it away, moving a little closer. "It's difficult to explain, I don't normally fly— but if I had a choice, I'd pick it over most things." And whether she ever wanted to or not, she's experienced enough things to know which ones she likes…

"Yeah, fuck. I kinda fell into this shit back in January and haven't gotten out yet. Ever since I left Queens I've been bouncing around all over the city trying to just… stay away from things. A lot has happened." Everything from time travel, to bridges falling down.

"So you manipulate light?" There's a trigger of a memory in the back of her head, indistinct and muted, but still a memory. "I know someone who could do something similar, actually. Made these balls of light and stuff— not quite as pretty as what you're doing there, but…" It was better than lasers.

The tone more so than the words seems to make Colette hesitant on continuing the conversation, the frustration evident in Gillian's voice makes her edge away just a few steps as she drapes that blue towel over the back of her neck. "Oh, uh… so— you just sort've… accidentally fly?" There's a crooked smile that follows, "I guess it's kind've like falling with a purpose, then?"

Tastelessly laughing at her own joke, Colette stops awkwardly after a moment and rubs at the back of her neck with one hand, her head slouching down just a touch. "Oh ah, well… so…" She turns her head away, teeth dragging over her lower lip for a moment before blind eyes turn back to Gillian. "You— you did?" One of Colette's dark brows rise in question about the other photokinetic, "Was his name Tavisha?" There's a hopeful sound, a broad smile spreading across her face, "I— he's a friend of mine. He— I gave him my light, so he wouldn't— " she cuts herself off, shaking her head once.

"I— he's the only, um," dark lashes brush against Colette's cheeks as her eyes close and she shakes her head again, stepping out of the way of the stairwell. "You— probably have stuff to do, and I'm— I dunno."

"That was you? You were the one who— yeah, it— he was— that was Tavisha," Gillian says after catching a case of the stutters briefly. Maybe it's part of the ability! There's a moment where she thinks back to that time, trying to remember the exact incident, but finding it foggy in comparison. It'd involved, in a way, her sister, and a murder at the cage matches. And a girl who'd given him light and helped him manage to take an ability without murder.

"Looks like we were inches away from running into each other quite a bit," she laughs faintly, even smiling a little, though the laugh might be more telling than the smile. "I don't— what I do right now is difficult to explain, but flying is temporary, and this one wasn't an accident." She'd pretty much outright asked the woman to land close enough so she could do it. Who wouldn't!? It's the one ability that she really chose to seek out as soon as she saw it.

A shake of her own head spills some hair, before she tilts her head again. Wait a minute. "You're not totally blind, are you? I mean you knew I was flying and you know where the door is and— artwork… Do your eyes just glass over when you use your ability?" It wouldn't be the first time she's seen it. "Or do you see differently than most people?" Another thing she's used to. Metal form has strange eyes.

"I'm blind as a bat." The hidden meaning in there is perhaps a bit too clever to be intentional. "I— uh, I overused my ability, trying to um— to protect some people. I…" Colette seems awkward discussing something she's kept hidden for so long out in the open, perhaps not quite come to realize that it's safe to here, with people like this. "I— I blinded myself. So, uh, I had to— " one hand scratches at the back of her neck again. "I had to learn how to see again?" One dark brow rises slowly, wondering if that makes any sense at all.

The silent rhetoric doesn't last long, and Colette's voice fills the silence again. "I— I can only see out about, uh," she waves with one hand towards Gillian, "about as far as that twirly metal vent thingy. Everything past there's like— it's just not there. My ability doesn't work further than I can see, so— it's kind've screwed me on range. But, like Conrad used'ta say — " she suddenly adopts a gruff voice, "Make the best of what you got, kid!"

Wrinkling her nose, Colette manages a half-hearted and awkward laugh. "So— I'm sort've working on more bang for my buck, than being able to do it over a big space? I've had a lot of, um, teachers? So like— I just want to make them all proud…" Finally remembering that she had a point to that earlier question, Colette's head jerks up as her focus returns to Gillian.

"Oh! Is— is Tavisha around?" A smile starts to creep up on her lips again, "I— I wanted to thank him for teaching me everything he did, and— and I just kind've miss him, y'know? He's such a sweet and dopey guy, I always worry he's gonna' get himself in trouble."

Everyone seems to know that Conrad guy, and the most Gillian's got is a fuzzy memory of a Phoenix meeting where his picture — and so many others — were shoved up on a screen for the whole fucking worldgroup to see. But sounds like the guy's memory lives on in many ways. Whoever the fuck he'd been. "Good thing your ability had ways to bypass it, but there might be a way to fix that, too," Gillian says, knowing that healing has happened on worse things in the past. Nearly lost arms, everything else. The subject of the hour in particular has gotten into quite a few situations that, well, needed it.

"Tavisha isn't— when you met him he had amnesia, did you know about that? Tavisha was really dopey and sweet, I uh— " There's a quiet inhale, almost a sighing sound. "He got his memory back in March, which— Tavisha's still there but he's— he's Gabriel now. And he is always getting himself into trouble. Right now we're…" There's a trail off. Maybe the stutters are part of it, but more likely it's the subject. "I haven't seen him in a while, but I know where he is. And…" There's a hesitation.

"Why are you here? Why do you have access to the roof and everything?"

Colette's expression softens some as Gillian explains, but there's no look of surprise on her face, more so a bittersweet smile that creeps up as she shakes her head once, slowly. There's no answer given to anything on the topic of Gabriel, and she just sidesteps the entire topic and walks head-long into the next.

"I'm here to help Cat," she begins, pulling the towel from around her shoulders, tugging it back and forth in her hands as she takes a few meandering steps across the rooftop. "Well— I guess help more than just Cat." One end of the towel falls away as she reaches down into the back pocket of her camouflage cargo pants, pulling out a folded piece of card-stock. Two fingers flex it open, revealing a crudely drawn blue and green double helix— the Pinehearst logo.

"M'gonna help with them, whoever they are." She narrows one eye slightly, looking from the card to Gillian. "It's what m'supposed t'do, so…" she flips the card over, revealing overly large handwriting that looks like it belongs to a very young child that reads, They need your help. Soon. "Cat thinks she knows what she needs me t'do… so… I'm here, waitin'."

Little does the girl know, she'd not side stepped it at all. In fact, the next moments would be completely relevent to the previous conversation. Gillian knows that symbol all too well, and breaths in deeply as she looks at it, eyes sliding back up to look at the blind girl. Very little in the way of information— sounds like Phoenix is being withholdy again. Security reasons, likely, but that still makes her press her lips together a bit.

"I think you'll be helping me, too. And Gabriel— Tavisha. Part of the trouble he's in is— that." She nods at the flipped over card, even if the symbol isn't there to indicate anymore. For a brief moment she dreads the first thought that passes through her mind. This girl better not be the White Queen from her dream. Things didn't end up good for the White Queen…

Doesn't know how she could help, but even in the first few moments, she has thoughts. Light. Lasers. "You manipulate light— so I'm wondering if Tavisha… did he show you some of his other abilities? There was one in particular, lasers, it's kinda like what you do, I guess. Do you know if you can… stop it if someone shot a laser at you?"

She goes quiet again, and Colette's brows furrow together as she turns her head away, chewing on the inside of her cheek as she scratches along one bare forearm with too short nails. Again there's no real response when it's explained that Gabriel is at Pinehearst. Instead, her blind eyes flick back up to Gillian, and the dour expression she wore a moment ago instead turns to a smirk. "He showed me how to make my own lasers, yeah. S'why I'm blind." That's possibly not the most confidence boosting statement.

No explanation is given, however. "M'not worry about someone else with them. Yeah, I mean— Conrad helped me figure out exactly how my ability works, and he made me do homework on light and how light works. I've got like, a whole bookshelf full of these science books, and a subscription to this monthly magazine about photonics and illumination!" Easily excited when discussing the particulars of her ability, Colette slings the towel around the back of her neck again.

"Since I can manipulate all visible-spectrum light, lasers are pretty much nothing but little shiny doo-dads to me. As long as I could see 'em coming, I can bend 'em, or twist 'em around like pretzels! I can amplify them too by adding ambient light. See— lasers work normally thanks to somethin' called a gain medium which is used to amplify the light," she wiggles her fingers around, creating tiny little sparks, beginning to ramble now. "The gain medium works with the power supply and amplifies the power of the laser light. So the better the gain medium, the better the laser. My ability works differently, but I need light to make light/ If I was in total darkness, I can't do crap. So the brighter it is, the better. I can condense light down to smaller spectrums and all sorts of awesome stuff, so like— I could turn Tavisha's normal lasers into these purple light— " she realizes she's rambling now, and cuts off her words sharply.

"S— sorry."

"Whoever wrote that note was fucking right," Gillian says, watching the girl quietly. One of the many things she'd been at a loss to do anything about, would be those fucking lasers. There'd been no time to think before that laser severed her head from her shoulders, and nothing that she could think of would stop him from just doing the same again. "Shit, you're practically a lifesaver wrapped up in a blind fucking package. No offense on the blind thing."

A glance up at the sky makes her glad for that, if nothing else. "Do you think you know enough you could teach someone?" she asks, before blinking. Oh wait, she didn't actually explain why flying was temporary or anything like that.

"I— fuck, since you know about Tavisha this is probably right up your alley. I have an ability kind of like what he had, without the whole… bad. I get people's abilities just by meeting them, though I don't seem to pick all of them up very well. But seriously if you could teach me how to turn lasers into little purple lights, I would kiss you. Not that you probably won't be doing that yourself— if you're going to be helping us, but two people who can fuck up an asshole's lasers is better than one."

Flushing a red color, Colette awkwardly looks away and bites down on her lower lip, raking pale fingers through her hair as she takes several meandering footsteps around the rooftop. "I— Man that's cheating," she notes to Gillian with a wrinkle of her nose, "bein' able to have more than one." Pursing her lips playfully, the young girl folds her arm and huffs out a feigned sigh of effort. "I guess I could give you a few pointers. I got a bunch of books back at my sister's apartment, if that fancy invisible jet you came in her on's a two-seater I could totally loan you some too, I mean, if you're a quick-read."

If she's a quick read. Oh, Colette.

"I gotta tell ya, though, m'just going to do the same things Conrad did to train me, so it's not going to be easy or— you know— safe." her nose wrinkles at that, even if she is smiling broadly at the same time.

Can she read quick? "Librarian— ex yeah, but I haven't been out of the library that long," Gillian says a reminder, even smiling a little at the nostalgia. There's not been a lot to smile about lately, though she's tried her best to find a place where she could at least manage to be content. It saves stress and lets her be her. Even if sometimes she's not sure who her even is. Switching abilities and being in multiple places at once isn't helping. Not to mention… other things.

"Whatever you gotta do to teach me, do it. You should see what I've been doing to myself in Midtown every day." There's a story there, and it's long, and may be told another day. "So as long as you promise not to laser my head right off, I'll take whatever you throw at me. I don't expect to figure out all of it, though, I just want to stop that laser plus neck thing." She says it like it's happened before. Because it has.

"I know it's cheating— the whole multi-power shit. Originally I did almost the exact fucking opposite." A few months ago this would've needed to be pried out of her. "I just made people stronger at their ability, and now I'm a walking library of abilities."

"Everything happens for a reason," Colette says with a marked level of assurance, slinging the towel off of her shoulders again to toss at the ground, walking over to Gillian, "everything that's happened has happened because it's what's got to go down." Teeth gently tug at her lower lip, and Colette offers out one hand towards Gillian with a crooked smile. Not a shred of doubt of a scrap of concern on her face as she keeps the hand held out.

"Come on, take me to the upper west side so I can get you some books." Her head tilts to the side, dark bangs sliding down to hide one blinded eye. "Then… it's funny you should mention Midtown. We're gonna go play in the subway." Both of Colette's brows rise, and a broad smile crosses her lips. "'Cause that's how it started for me."

There's a quiet nod at the girl's assurances, watching her for a long moment. In a way, it's a lot like what she started to believe. If only she didn't know things could go differently. But maybe she needed to know what could have been for some reason too? Gillian doesn't know for sure, but just hearing certain things changed how she looked at things. And maybe that's exactly what it was supposed to do.

"For the record, I've never flown with anyone before, but I'm supposed to be able to— we'll hover a few feet above the rooftop until I know for sure. If you're gonna be our fucking lifesaver, I'm not going to get killed for dropping you." The hand isn't taken right away, though, instead reaching into her pocket to grab that energy bar. This time she finishes it off. Upper West Side then Midtown might need some extra energy, plus another person. Cargo.

Shoving the wrapper into her pocket, she takes the hand and says, "All right, you're gonna have to hold on. I won't be going too— fuck, it's a shame you won't be able to see." That actually makes her disappointed. "I'll go a little faster so you can at least get the feel. Like a rollercoaster. Except without the crazy twists and turns." Not quite the same as seeing, but…

Taking a step close to Gillian, Colette moves to set one hand on her side, biting down on her lower lip awkwardly when she does, turning her head to the side. She really didn't think this through entirely, but — it could be worse! "I don't fall," she notes with a smirk, "so don't worry about that. Go as fast as you want." Tilting her head to the side, a calm assurance comes over Colette, squeezing the hand holding hers.

"Just go," she urges with a smile, "there'll be plenty of time for sightseeing later, when there's time to relax." She seems optimistic that there will be time to relax after all is said and done. "I think everything's going to turn out just fine."

The optimism is a nice difference from the constant 'we're screwed' attitude some people can have. Sometimes even her own clones look at her and say that, mostly cause she can't help but think it. Gillian nods, moving in just a bit to an arm around the girl before she says, "Once this is over, we should set you up with a healer, then we can do this again." With the sight seeing. Optimism could be slightly contagious, and it's at least nice to dream.

"Here we go." Without much more wait, none of the hovering she said she'd do, they shoot up into the mist and fog. She'd already been damp from flying through the humidity, now Colette will get some of the same as she changes directions and takes them toward the West Side.

The good thing about her multitude of abilites, the map's in her brain. And soon, hopefully, she'll have a way to keep her brain attached to her spine.

In flight, Colette should be terrified, and truthfully, part of her is. But in the back of her mind, as she'd holding on for dear life to Gillian as she speeds through the atmosphere, Colette can't help but remember one constant — she has a guardian angel watching over her, aand she wouldn't ever let anything bad happen to her.

And in that blind faith, there's a safety net beneath her as the world continues to hang on to that ever-thinning thread of hope.

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