By The Hand Of The Prince


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Scene Title By The Hand Of The Prince
Synopsis Cat, Melissa, Liette, Brennan, twins, snow. Two elevens and a sideways eight are brought up as well as a phrase heard from a sick woman.
Date March 29, 2010

The Garden

Situated in a copse several miles away from the nearest stretch of asphalt, the Garden is accessible via an old dirt road that winds snakelike through the woods and dead-ends at the property's perimeter, which is surrounded by stone wall plastered with wicked coils of rusty barbed wire to keep would-be intruders from attempting to scale it. Those with a key can gain entry via the front gate.

The safehouse itself is a three-story brickwork cottage over a century old and covered in moss and ivy. It slants to one side, suggesting that the foundation has been steadily sinking into the wet earth; incidentally, this may be one of the reasons why its prior occupants never returned to the island to reclaim their property when government officials lifted evacuation orders and re-opened the Verrazano-Narrows shortly before its eventual destruction.

Inside, the cottage is decorated in mismatched antique furniture including a couch in the living room and an armchair nestled in the corner closest to the fireplace that go well with the safehouse's hardwood floors and the wood-burning stoves in some of the spare bedrooms. A heavy wooden table designed to seat eight separates the dining area from the rest of the kitchen, which is defined by its aged oak cabinetry and the dried wildflowers hanging above them.

"It's so cold!"

That shrieking exclamation is in response to the snow currently running down the back of a tiny blonde's neck. Shoulders hunched and brows raised, gloved hands pawing at the fur trimmed collar of her winter jacket, the young derelict evolved named Liette is now finally discovering the trials and tribulations of a snowball fight, all courtesy of one very sure-shotted Melissa Pierce.

Waist deep in snow in the drifts out front of a show-decked and frost covered cabin in rural Staten Island, otherwise known as The Garden, the young, tangled-haired blonde is laughing fitfully as she tries to fish that snow out, only to find it collecting at the bottom of her jacket where her thermal shirt is tucked into her jeans.

Despite the tragedy at the Lighthouse several days ago, the mood at the Garden has not soured this early Monday morning. The skies may be cloudy and the wind may be bitterly cold, but that has not even in the slightest deterred Liette from enjoying the lessons of winter's enjoyment, taught by a young woman who — up until just a few short months ago — had thought she'd had no true connection to anything purposeful in the world. Now, like a surrogate mother, Melissa Pierce is teaching Liette how to be a child, even if she's biologically on her way to becoming an adult. She's learning in reverse.

The cold weather has not stopped two other youths from participating in the snowball practice as well, with Doctor Harve Brennan's twins aiding Liette on the powdery battlefield under Melissa's careful and watchful eye. Other remote members of the Ferrymen located on the grounds of the Garden are watching for more than just children, they're watching for signs of animal activity — wolves in the thickets, as it were.

Admittedly, they're not paying as much attention to the cats, as it were.

Nor are the kids paying much attention to Brennan standing from afar like he was with Melissa a few days ago when he asked for the woman to bring his girls here. Marlena had something to do with her mother which was just as good and Brennan's had his fill of lavishing the three year olds with affection and not hiding the tears that were in his eyes. He's man enough to admit it. He misses his girls, gone nearly a month from them if not exactly that and to see them shrieking in the snow, bundled up, he's smiling while holding a cup of coffee. Life isn't perfect, but for a while, he can curb the homesickness a bit. Yes he can.

Melissa cannot help but laugh at Liette's exclamation, and the sound is brighter, lighter than it has been these past weeks. Maybe the promise to have a snowball fight with Liette wasn't just for the younger girl's benefit. Despite her healing head injury and a weekend spent being semi-miserable thanks to the vaccine, she seems in good spirits tonight.

"Of course it's cold, sweetie. It's snow! Just wait until someone is really evil and shoves a handful down your shirt or pants. Then you'll really be jumping around yelling that it's cold," she teases, lobbing two more soft icy missles, one at Liette, and one at one of the twins. She has to share the fun, after all.

She'd brought the trio across and gone inside the Garden while Melissa went another direction and entered the snowball fight. Cat had books to deliver, not the first time she's come out here with such things, useful in expanding the contents of memory she bestowed on the girl and also fitting to her purpose of increasing the teen's trust. These aren't children's books by any means. They concern themselves with law, history, geography and the like. But there are also texts on music and musicians in there. The girl needs to have an understanding of rock and its importance to the world, after all.

Emerging from the interior, having not found Liette there, Cat takes up a position near an outer wall and observes play as it happens.

Cheating, terribly, Liette jumps up just a little bit in the snow and swings her arms towards Melissa. The winds immediately change directiona nd come crashing down towards the older blonde, kicking up a storm of swirling ice crystals from the drifts. When Liette's booted feet clomp back down in the snow, she shoves her hands forward and a visibke column of swirling snow pushes forward from where she's standing, a heavy enough gust to lift Melissa right up off of her feet and deposit her just a short distance away on her back in a five foot deep snow drift harmlessly.

Brennan's twins are abject in their silence at the display just as long as it takes for all that windswept snow to start falling back down towards the drifts. Then the laughter and giggling commences, gloved hands swatting at the snow falling back down to earth, and Liette is offering up a lopsided smile with a brush of one gloved hand to her tangled hair, lips crooked into a teasing smile. "I need to find myself a cryokinetic so I can float snowballs," the teen adds with a look over to Brennan. "Do you know any?"

It's only then she notices Cat standing in view, pausing with a flash of blue eyes over to the brunette and a wave of wool-decked fingers in silent greeting.

"I don't think I've ever met one, Liette. Maybe we'll meet one along your journey?" Cat has to pass him on the way out and when she meanders for the wall, he's not long following. Whether it's just because two people alone makes nice targets from whatever is making people paranoid out here that doesn't include the technopaths watching from on high or because he doesn't trust Cat or maybe it's that she's possible adult conversation.

Regardless, he's not long pitching a lean against the wall as well. "You need to be more careful with your ability, Liette." The aerokinetics. "In case there was something under the snow, half that force next time, okay?" Because more than likely, there will be a next time.

Melissa blinks, uselessly, as she's assaulted by wind and snow, then she lets out a little surprised shriek when she goes flying. For a moment after there's no movement from the drift she fell in, then she squirms around until she can stand, and little more than her head is showing over the top of the snow. She's got snow on her face and her black cap is now mostly white. And she looks startled.

Then Melissa starts to laugh and gives her head a shake, sending snow flying. "Now that's cheating!" she calls out lightly, working her way out of the tall snow back to something more manageable. "And yeah, the doc is right. I know you won't mean to hurt anyone, but accidents happen. And I like playing too much to have to stop for an accident!"

Eyes rest briefly on the doctor while he leans, and again when he shifts position. Cat lifts a hand to return Liette's greeting, a slight smile showing, but she doesn't herself move. Not much, anyway. It occurs to her she can perhaps broach one of the things she's hoping to without directly asking or disturbing the flinging of frozen water. Or the flinging of Melissas into a pile of the same. That draws a quiet chuckle.

Meanwhile, Cat uses one foot to trace a pattern in the snow. Maybe Liette will see it and react or comment, maybe she won't. Only one way to find out. It might be binary code for computers with the two zeroes so close together they look like a knocked over eight or infinity symbol, or it might actually be an infinity symbol/knocked over eight. Flanking it at each end is a pair of ones. Then she repeats the tracing, inverted.

"Y— Yes Doctor Brennan, Melissa." Liette ducks her head down, grimacing awkwardly as she reaches up and scratches att he back of her head, blue eyes diverting over to Melissa again with a furrowed brow and a scrutinizing look. When the blonde backs up and lifts up the back of her jacket, shaking out the snow as best as she can by untucking her thermal shirt beneath the sweater on top of it, she trods right thorugh what Cat was tracing in the snow completely obliviously; either she didn't see it, or she didn't recognize it. Looking back up to Brennan, Liette shifts her weight to one foot in the snow, watching him carefully for a moment.

"Doctor Brennan I'm worried about the dogs." Comes in a thoughtfully arranged sentence, with Liette's brows scrunched up and bottom lip caught between her teeth. A lot of people here at the garden are worried about the dogs, but not quite for the same reasons Liette is. "What if nobody thinks about them, they're probably scared and cold and hungry and— " she huffs out a breath. "Why else would they hurt that girl at the Lighthouse?"

Shifting blue eyes over to Cat, then over her shoulder to Melissa, Liette's silent. Her eyes close partway, and she looks back towards Brennan, teeth toying at her lower lip again. "You— They said the dogs…" she doesn't want to use the word, but her silence implies killed, "Is that why everyone was crying that day?" It's a hard thing to explain.

Brennan reaches out, toying with a lock of hair that's slipped out from Liette's winter hat, tucking it back under. "It's good you're worried about the dogs. You're right, they probably are hungry and yes, that's why they were crying. Because the dogs killed one of the kids. Not as many people on the island and with the snow on the ground, it's harder to get food. But the thing is, Lee…" He has to stop and think, hand dropping from the side of her face to the young girl's shoulder.

"No animal is ever really domesticated. Somewhere inside them is instinct, a small corner where the wild part of them lives. Even we have that in us. And when you're hurt or really hungry Lee and there's others depending on you to survive, you sometimes go back to that. Do things that you wouldn't normally do out of desperation and you can't go back to what you were before." He gives her shoulder a squeeze.

"Dogs, when they've tasted human blood, they're just never the same and they go a little crazy. They go feral. These dogs, they've gone feral, Lee, and they wouldn't hesitate to try to make a run for you if you're alone. Or the girls." There's a gesture to the twins who have taken it to themselves to haul off and throw snow at Melissa. "Or even Mel, or Doctor Chesterfield here especially if there's more than one."

"Honey, you don't have to feel bad or anything. You didn't do anything wrong," Melissa explains with a reassuring smile. Then she looks to Brennan and walks over towards him and Liette, nodding at his explanation. "Everything has an instinct to survive at all costs, honey. People, dogs…any animal, really, just like Doc said. That makes them do what they think they have to. But that doesn't always make it right. Like the dogs and the little girl here."

It's then that she notices that the war has continued, and she glances back at the twins, grinning at them, and more snow is scooped up and flung back at them. "Surviving is a good thing, but you should always try not to hurt or kill anyone unless you have to. Because surviving alone can become very dull and lonely after a while. Like eating nothing but bread and water."

"Dogs probably became what they are," Cat follows up, "because it helped them survive. We're smarter than they are, and are able to get food more easily than they can. Being nice to us meant they got fed regularly. And they're pack animals, their instincts are to recognize and follow a leader of their pack. No better leader than the two legged creature that plants and grows food, doesn't always have to hunt for it. And can also build shelters to stay warm in."

She looks down at the tromped through snow tracing, and thinks for a moment as the snowballing resumes. That same foot moves to restore it, Cat being uncertain whether it was unnoticed or unrecognized. If the latter, it might yet be seen.

"Smart people always lead the way," Liette seems to latch on to the more simplistic logic of Cat's words than either Brennan or Melissa's, which says something about her ability to empathize. Shifting her weight to one foot, Liette rises up in the snow, then ducks down as a snowball whips past her head. Paused there in a crouch she finally sees what Cat's been tracing in the snow with her boot, brows furrowed and lips pursed. She looks up to the brunette, head pitched to the side as she asks.

"Is that an important dat— " whack snowball right in the side of the head. Liette crumples to the side with a muffled squeak and an explosion of white powder from her temple. Shoulder deep in the snow, she pulls herself out with face bright red, grabs a handful of fresh powder and packs it between both gloved hands with blue eyes furiously wide — who threw that!?

Brennan noticed and glances down to the retraced symbols in the snow. "Maybe if you wrote it on paper, she'd see it, Catherine. Either that or she doesn't know or doesn't care about whatever you're trying to show her." Whoops, Liette ducked and that snowball hits Brennan. Perhaps the intention for real since it was flung by Dessandra. Genevieve is giggling into her hands and looking ever so innocently at Liette before ducking down into a hole scooped out in the snow that works as shelter and protection from the inevitable pelting.

Melissa looks like she's trying really hard not to laugh as Brennan and Liette get smacked by snowballs. "Uh oh. Looks like we may have to take a break for the snowball fight," she says, grinning at the trio of kids. But she does take the time to glance at Cat, murmuring to her, "Need to talk to you soon, when you have a chance."

"Have you seen it before, Liette?" Cat asks. A slight grin appears at the snowballing and results of it, she wonders who'll be next to get it. "Could be," she tells Brennan in quiet acknowledgment. Then on to Melissa, replying with a brief nod. Message received, but not yet inquired about. They've time.

"Every prophet in his house," she muses. So many mysteries to figure out. Russian Nazis to help die. Evil Government agents to defeat.

Liette's head quirks to the side as she looks at Cat, squinting uncertainly before reaching up and scratching at the side of her head. "I— uh, well if you just drew the eight all crooked, then it's november eighth, two-thousand and eleven! Which…" there's a furrow of Liette's brows, her lips pursing as if now all of the sudden this was another one of her logic games. "That'd be the fifth anniverssary of the explosion in Midtown." There's a subtle nod of her head, and Liette lifts one arm up, plucking frozen snow crystals in clumps from her hair. "That's a pretty important date to a lot've people, 'cause of all the stuff that happened a few years ago."

The murmured msuing of that odd phrase elicits no reaction from Liette as she turns, hands folding behind her back as she moves towards where Brennan stands. "How much longer are we gonna' stay out here, Doctor Brennan? I… don't think my pop or anyone lookin' for me will know to look all the way out here. You've got a pln, right Doctor Brennan?"

Plans? What plans?

"I always have a plan, Lee." Coffee cup is put down, brown snow scattered here and there thanks to the snowball and he's soon making his own. "Just sometimes, I haven't thought it out good enough." Getting her to home, now that he knows where it is and likely who she is. "It's the Technopath who's making it hard to get you there. He's already done so much to keep you from getting to where you needed to go, we just need to plan is all Lee. As much as you're missing you pops, and home, I'm missing home too." Only he has the girls here to assuage that some.

His snowball make its short path to Cat and her shoulder.

Melissa's head tilts at Liette, and the snowball fight is forgotten for a moment. "How do you get that from an eight, Liette? I mean, I get the eighth, but November and two thousand eleven?" she asks curiously, sticking her hands in her pockets to warm them. Stupid thin Southern blood making playing in the snow a trial.

Listening, and thinking, delays Cat's notice of the missile aimed at her shoulder. Liette asks of home, Brennan says he has a plan, then speaks of the technopath making it hard. She has to wonder if the man hasn't listened to anything, he would actually seek to hand her back to a man working at a place where they do tests on people and keep them unconscious in tanks, which Liette said was happening? There must be some way to extricate the girl without betraying the Ferry. And soon, before anyone else looking finds her. Decision time comes soon, she knows. Melissa wants to talk to Cat. The desire is very much mutual, not that Miss Pierce expects what may be coming her way. But she soon enough will.

All that is set aside, Cat drawn out of speculative introspection by the impact at her shoulder and the white mark it leaves. Eyes flash, she takes on a quiet grin, and a gloved hand reaches into the snow to take up an amount of it and begin shaping.

"Well it's not just an eight!" Liette notes, pointing to the two hatch marks on either side of it. "Eleven," she moves her hand over the sideways eight, "and eleven! It's like a funny written date. Or," Liette scrunches up her nose, "there's something that looks like a sideways eight but I can never remember what it means. Anyway," Blue eyes dart towards Melissa. "Since I'm going to be here for a while longer, do you think you can teach me how to do makeup?" Obviously she's not going to ask Brennan that, Doctors aren't for doing makeup, unless your name is Hector and really that's just very confusing.

"Pop never lets me mess with makeup because he says I'm too young, but he promises one day that I can. You've got like…" Liette reaches out a finger, pointing towards Melissa's face, "you do it really well, so I was wondering if you'd show me? Sis'll totally be jealous when I get home and I have makeup and she doesn't." There's a firm nod of her head, a flash of a grin, and Liette's just about to smile when—

Whap Right in the face. Winter is awesome.

He'll show Liette the magazine later, the one with her pops in it and let her read it. Maybe it'll help. "She can teach you about make-up" Brennan concedes. "Remember, this is your journey. Go from child to young woman. I'm sure Doctor Chesterfield would agree" He's shaping another ball even as dark haired girls duck again to make more snowballs. "We'll figure some plan out Liette and get help"

Still shaping a few snowballs of his own, he tosses out "Why are you quoting from a canceled television series Doctor Chesterfield?"

Melissa smiles and nods to Liette. "I'd love to. Next time I come to visit I'll bring all my makeup with me, and some magazines, and we'll make it a thing. It'll be fun."

She won't comment on the issue of makeup, her attention held by other things, including people in tanks and evil scientist fathers who keep them there. "An infinity symbol, Liette? It could also be binary code, the type used in computers. Maybe that isn't an infinity symbol, but instead two zeroes so close together they look like something else." Hands which made a large snowball now seek a target. But she doesn't wish to advertise it once chosen.

"What canceled series is that? A sick friend mentioned it not long ago, it just popped into my head." The next time Brennan's back is to her, the round ball of crystallized flaky water is raised and readied to make airborne. And should he start to turn back her way, it flies free toward the center of his chest. Give a girl to a mad scientist, indeed.

"One, one, zero, zero, one, one is three in binary." Liette notes with an astute raise of her brows. With the way she did that in her head, maybe Mortimer was right and she is a robot. Or, more likely, Mortimer is pants on head crazy. "That's not very specific," she notes with a purse of her lips, angling a look towards Melissa with a crooked smile, reaching out to take the blonde's hand by the wrist with tiny, gloved fingers.

"You heard Brennan, c'mon." Apparently Liette means now. Or, with slightly less admission of weakness on her part, she's just freezing out here, and has decided it's time to warm up inside. The pursiot of selfish gains makes it seems all the more innocent to her, in a way. So with that demanding tug on Melissa's wrist, Liette wrinkles her nose and smiles, offering a look over to Brennan with raised brows at the snow on his chest.

"She got you good," Liette comments with a chirping tone of voice, hell bent on dragging Melissa with her. Discussions of coincidental terminology seen in the feverish writings of a seer aside, it's not just every prophet that belongs in their house right now. Every Liette needs to go inside too — so she can feel her toes.

"Carnivale, HBO series that was on years ago. Popped up everywhere in the show. Usually dealt with a teenager who could heal and a priest, well, he did something too. Revealed sins." Brennan straightens but doesn't turn quiet yet. "By the hand of the Prince, the Prophet dies. Upon his death, the Prince shall rise." Remembering another phrase from the show, possibly related.

He turns then and there's shuddered surprise as Cat's snowball hits true, dropping the ones he was picking up. "Okay, you got me. Mercy." Hands up. "Let's go inside and warm up. So we can all come out again and enjoy the snow."

Melissa looks amused as she gets dragged towards the house, and she doesn't put up any kind of a fight. After all, she's cold too! "Okay, we can do some now. Though I don't have much makeup with me now. But I can definitely teach you a few things tonight."

A quiet chuckle comes out as Brennan is struck and surrenders, Cat turning moments later to go inside along with the group. "I might have to buy the DVD sets for that show," she muses. "If there are any. Who was the prophet, and who was the Prince? Sounds like they had ties to the central story that would've stretched across all the episodes. Or was it one of those kind that never paid off on all the setup?"

"Some stories don't," Liette opines from the doorway of the garden, glancing back to Cat with Melissa having opened the door. The tiny blonde hangs there, watching the pair for a moment, smiling faintly. "Sometimes stories just end, and leave you wonderin'… sometimes tryin' to figure out whatever was supposed to happen's the funner part, like a book that doesn't ever get finished. It means it never has to end." There's a hint of something unusually wistful in Liette's eyes as she says that, offers a smile to Brennan, and just turns around to head into the Garden quietly, stories and prophets be damned.

"That, Doctor Chesterfield, would spoil the story for you. But know this. The prince and the prophet? They're both the same individuals." No more, no less will Brennan give the panmnesiac. "Now, inside! Doctor's orders!"

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