Cassandra's Curse


f_abby_icon.gif elle_icon.gif f_tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title Cassandra's Curse
Synopsis Abby takes Elle over to Tamara's so the latter can ask some questions. When all is said and done, there's a lot to think about.
Date April 19, 2019

Dorchester Towers - Tamara and Colette's apartment

The only time it's hard to find Tamara is when she doesn't want to be found — and then, it's impossible. Otherwise, it's as easy as coming to the proper door in Dorchester Towers — the one for apartment she shares with Colette. Late morning is pleasantly warm, a few clouds dotting an otherwise marvelously turquoise-blue sky; it's the kind of weather that banishes winter to a long-ago memory. It encourages the opening of curtains and windows, brilliant golden light and fresh (albeit citified) air spilling into the rooms.

The apartment is larger than might be expected for two people, certainly in as crowded a place as New York City. The living room is neat, but not unto the level of picture-in-a-magazine; it's a lived-in place that someone takes the time to at least keep in order. Sunlight strikes deep reds, greens, and golds from a patterned rug that covers most of the floor. There's two couches, three chairs, and two separate coffee tables — one smaller than the other — arranged in a way that suggests while Colette and Tamara live alone, they also sometimes play host for rather more people.

Early sunday service for Abigail, still dressed in sunday best, since Elle wanted to go see Tamara and the request was within her ability to grant. Their impromptu overnight trip to vegas done with, the two were now just about to reach the pre-cogs door. Tamara has this habit of knowing when your coming, wouldn't you know it, that makes knocking on the door redundant when your going to her place. "No ones said you can't visit her so, there's no harm" Abigail murmurs, keeping her voice down for the benefit of others who live on the floor.

There's truth in that, though as Elle arrives in front of Tamara's apartment door with Abby at her side, she reaches out her hand and knocks once anyway. Habit. She's dressed in something rather more casual than Abby's church finery, being in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, hair neatly tucked into a ponytail. "Can't imagine what harm a few questions will do," she breathes as she waits, briefly glancing sideways at the other woman. "She can give me straight answers if she wants. Otherwise."

"On a good day" Abigail points on. "On a bad day. Well. Who knows what she means by 'The key is blue' on a bad day" Thank the good Lord there's so very few of those and when there are, Abigail's usually there bearing baked goods of some sort and checking to see if she needs to give the pre-cog a dose of healing.

There's a study or office off one side of the main room, and Tamara gets up from the desk, padding towards the front door on bare feet. She leaves the office door half-open in her wake, a glimpse of bookshelves and papers visible through it. Elle knocks on the door about three seconds before the woman opens it; she doesn't stop to peer at her visitors, but waves them in.

Tamara's dressed in an apple-green T-shirt with a solitary yellow butterfly printed on the lower-left side and light blue jeans; she gives Abby a wryly cheerful smile. "I'm better at avoiding those now. Today should be okay, but— " Blue eyes focus on Elle; her smile is a little less wry, remains gently amiable. "— we'll see what you decide to ask. Hello, Elle." A beat of silence. "Have you both eaten?" It is almost lunchtime. It's polite to offer.

Though the precog doesn't bother examining her guests before they're shown inside, Elle offhandedly eyes Tamara as she steps over the threshold, arms staying folded over her chest— a stance that's neutral, rather than hostile, in tone. "Hi. I think we're both fine, yeah." Though Abby had been busy at church all morning, she had made sure that the vagrants in her home had plenty to keep them from starving, and that isn't even taking Trask's zeal for cooking into account.

"I had something at the Church. Good morning Tamara" Abigail pauses long enough to offer up a quick light hug, her avoidance of touching over the years having been bolstered that she follows the social graces between those that are considered friends. Usually. "Natalie and Joseph say hello. I think Natalie is making something scribbled for your fridge with her grandfather. Tamara, meet Elle Bishop. Elle this is Tamara, even though it's my understanding that Tamara brought you all here, your state when she did doesn't make me think you were introduced to each other properly" Once Abigail's fully in the apartment. A mental prayer for Elle to not embarrass the healer in front of a friend and make her regret bringing her.

Tamara takes the time to return Abigail's embrace before she closes the door behind them. "It'll probably wind up there," she agrees on the subject of Natalie's picture. "But she'll have to figure out what to do with the other one."

The somewhat-belated introductions draw another smile from the sybil, this one faintly apologetic. "She's probably right. I forget who I haven't met sometimes," Tamara explains. Then she nods towards the furniture. "Take a seat, then. I need to get a couple things first."

As Tamara and Abigail finish their embrace, Elle's gaze strays elsewhere, wandering over the decor and the sunlight slanting over the floor. It isn't long before her focus is back on the other two, however; the smile she gives at the introduction is acknowledging, if reserved. She had met some version of Tamara before, though technically ten years ago, and not in this present one's memory. It's a connection that's just barely there for Elle, in any case.

After blinking once, she moves to take a seat as directed, settling down in one of the chairs right next to the couches. Mmph.

"No problem Tamara" other one. That means that her daughters coming home with more than one. Elisabeth might get a decoration too as well. The blonde healer easily settles down into her customary spot on the couch, legs crossed at the ankles and purse now down at her feet. 'How's Colette" called out. "I don't need to stop and visit her?"

As her guests pick out their seats, Tamara ducks back into the study. She isn't out of sight long; just long enough to fetch a shoulderbag. "You should always stop and visit," she informs Abby on her way through the main room on her way to the kitchen. "But she's well." The sound of a running tap is unmistakable; no surprise when the sybil returns with a glass of water in hand.

She claims a corner of the opposite couch, curling her legs up on the cushion and leaning against the side; the shoulderbag goes on the next cushion over, the glass on the table. Blue eyes rest on Abby for a moment, then move to regard Elle.

Elle's darker-blue eyes meet Tamara's in an even stare, barely flicking to one side to register the glass of water placed on the tabletop. Her lip curls slightly, in wryness. Well, they do have to start sometime. "So," she exhales, still sizing the brunette up; whose side is she on? Will she answer truthfully and completely if asked, without worse yet, purposely answering to lead astray? She wouldn't put it past Phoenix to try planting something funny. "If you're as good as everyone says, you probably already know what I'm going to ask."

Abigail's not watching Tamara. The woman knows how to take care herself. But the healer doesn't move at all, at least not for now. "Tamara's not Phoenix by the by Elle. She's like me. We're people outside the group who's gifts are useful and are called upon" not that she can mindread the woman, but it's probably something good to point out.

Tamara picks up the glass, takes a sip of the water; she holds it in her mouth for a moment before actually swallowing, because after she swallows she has to answer. She's explained this a few thousand times, but it's never really familiar. "What I know isn't certain," she explains to the electrokinetic, folding her hands comfortably around the sides of the glass.

"Yes, I 'see' the future. But it's… everything that can be. I can hear what you might ask. It doesn't become what you ask until you make that decision." Her eyes flick to one side, focusing somewhere just beyond Elle; her pupils stretch contrary to the bright light in the room, swallowing the blued irises. The cant of her head is that of someone listening to a quiet sound.

"Time," the sybil says softly. "Time doesn't speak to me. I can tell you that sometimes, sometimes your shadow, your future, leaves my sight; sometimes you are not. Just as you were not before Utah — suddenly there. Out of nothing, something. And from something, nothing."

As her mind tries to work this out into a summary of plainer English, Elle's eyes squint. "So, sometimes you can't see my future at all. Does that mean I'll find a way back to my own time?" she guesses, shifting somewhat restlessly. If the precog couldn't see her future before her arrival, and can't see it after she leaves… well then.

There are in fact many questions she wants to ask, that are on the tip of her tongue, and Tamara will likely perceive them all in a bewildering haze as they run through her mind and through the realm of vocal possibility.

It's confusing, this Abby knows. Which is why she tended not to ask the woman about the future. Live in the now. And right now? Right now Abby actually is looking down at her phone as it rings in her purse. "I'll go take this in the hall" So that she doesn't disturb the others. Her father it seems.

Most people's could-be conversations are a bewildering haze to the sybil. She tunes Elle's out, and focuses instead on what was asked. "If I can't see where you go when you disappear," Tamara points out gently, "then I can't really answer that, either." Gone is gone, and that's all there is to it. Elle becomes a blank spot in her awareness. Unlike Abby and Abby's phone; Tamara nods once as the healer takes her leave, but never looks away from her petitioner; waiting. She does, however, take another drink as she waits.

Let's try something else. Frowning for a moment, Elle next says: "That isn't helpful. What can you see? Can you see the moment that I go poof, or anything leading up to it?" Her fingers interlock over her knee as she crosses her legs, settling back against the back of her chair to await a reply. Abby gets a brief lingering glance as she heads out, but otherwise, Tamara has her complete attention. And curiosity.

Tamara laughs softly at Elle's query; the sound is amused and not unkind. "There are several 'moments'," the sybil replies. "Many possibilities. I can describe them to you," she allows; she is always truthful. Only some times misleading. This isn't one of them. "But when I do, they stop being possible; and that's where the best roads are. I won't," Tamara states, gently but firmly.

"There's a lot in between," the seeress continues, picking up the other question. "There's still weeks before the first one gets here. And you— " She shakes her head slowly. There's a touch of disapproval in the gesture, in the resigned fashion of someone who isn't really going to put forth a rebuke. "— You're so busy studying everyone's back. You miss that not everyone else is looking at yours. Not even you can always get ahead alone, and if you leave nothing but a broken trail behind you, you'll stay alone."

Still weeks, which at least sets out a vague timeframe for hope; far better than if she had said months, or even years. Weeks should still be enough time to take care of what Elle plans to.

The blonde is already thinking about this plan, therefore, when Tamara's message drives home. She doesn't visibly show the discomfort it causes inside her, though her lips do thin into a slightly tighter line. "That's… it's one possibility, fine. You see all of them, you said so yourself. What else can happen to me, if I don't leave a — broken trail?" The way the phrase is said, it sounds ugly. Sullen. But also defensive, as if some part of her isn't proud of admitting that particular course of action.

There's a beat, then, "And why would those things stop being possible if you described them to me?"

A smile stretches Tamara's lips, lopsided at first, tugging into a full curve. "Because to know is to change," she replies. "You'll try to avoid the things you don't like and make the ones you do become certain — or happen faster. And sometimes that's the surest way to lose them," she explains.

Oh, Elle. The seeress looks towards her for a long moment, her eyes dark and seeming unfocused, yet her attention sharp and cutting. "It's not— what happens," Tamara replies, trying to frame her intuition in a manner Elle can follow. "It's… the sweep of the river, the color of the forest. There are… trends, patterns, just as much as there are single threads. The wrong pattern can trap you." Literally or figuratively? Tamara doesn't explain, and the sybil-speak could go either way. She blinks, seems to focus on Elle, her smile rueful. "There's a chance you'll listen. That's more than I can say for some."

Sweep of the river? Color of the forest? How Pocahontas-y. The agent's expression gradually becomes more critical all thoughout what Tamara tells her, but the first portion of that logic, at least, does seem to make some sense. She chooses that moment to lean forward a little, chest rising in a tiny sigh as she tries to figure out what to say next.

"So what do you want me to do?" she replies finally, eyes narrowed but trained firmly on Tamara's. "You're so vague. You talk about patterns and trends and I don't know what else — but there's nothing I can do about that besides changing my whole life. I don't even know what the wrong pattern is." Some note of amusement does settle into her upon Tamara's observation that she, alone out of others, may listen, but it's swallowed up by her baffled concentration.

Tamara leans forward as well, the glass remaining held safely in her lap, one hand releasing it in order to tap a single finger against the bone of Elle's chin. "I'm telling you," the seer explains with a faint grin, "to think about your plans. To be sure you are really doing what you want to do. Not to get caught in the trap of I have to, because there are always choices. You might just have to look a little harder to see them."

The woman leans back, settling into her seat once more. "You asked for prophecy. The future is vague, Elle. It is everything that hasn't happened yet. The present and the past are concrete. The future is whatever you make it into." And though Tamara doesn't know it, can't know it, those few statements may be the ones Elle finds most important out of this entire interlude.

The brush of contact is unexpected enough to make Elle start, as busy as she is trying to read in between the lines of what Tamara's saying. She blinks hard when tapped, though she otherwise doesn't move at first, tense gaze still lingering on the seer's. Her mouth falls into a quirk— there's a slight snort— and finally she does settle back.

"There's something else," she says matter-of-factly, making no mention of whether she will indeed follow Tamara's advice to think about what she's doing. Time will tell, and all that. "You've talked about my future. My choices. But how are other people going to factor into that equation? Is anyone going to — try anything on me before you get that big blank spot in your vision?" Either to heal or to hurt. Most likely, she means the latter.

The sybil doesn't ask if she will. It's out of her hands. "'Anyone' is a lot of people." True, she knows how Elle might explain, and could use that to narrow the field. But there is no 'good' end — just different ones. "They all have crossroads just the same. Maybe; maybe not." Tamara smiles wryly. "Not everyone, Elle." It's what she said before. "I did not say no one." And apparently the listener is supposed to parse those subtle distinctions. After that, the woman closes her eyes, leaning her cheek against the arm of the couch.

Elle is looking kind of grumpy now. One of her eyebrows tilts down a fraction as she breathes out through her nose, mouth thinning further yet. "You're being technical." Honestly she does not give a rat's poo what the difference is between everyone and anyone and no one. Tamara knows what she wants to hear, what she in fact wants very impatiently to hear, and she's dangling a string. "So— that does mean someone's going to try something? What do you mean by 'they have crossroads'?" In a beat, she narrows it further yet: "Oh, never mind; can you just give me a straight answer and tell me if anyone's planning on hurting me over the next couple of weeks?"

There's a knock on the door to give appropriate warning that the blonde is coming back in. Because who knows what they might be talking about in there. The phone turned off, whatever small emergency is dealt with. Back through the apartment and to her former seat Abigail makes her way to ease down and look between the two other women. Things going well? No one trying to kill the other? Questions answered?

"Technical is important." One blue eye cracks open to peer at Elle. "Are you planning to 'try something' in the next couple of weeks?" she asks the woman. Rhetorically, because the sybil proceeds to answer her own question. "Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on what happens. Your circumstances, your choices. They, their actions, also depend on circumstance and choice. What you do, what they do, what other people do — it all factors in.

"You — and all who came with you — are the force that drives the storm. It is a tangled, tangled web, and it shifts every day; the details are ever in flux. You want specifics. Today's specifics will not be the same tomorrow. Probability changes." The seer rubs at her face with her free hand, the glass wobbling slightly in the other. "I can describe the keystones — I knew where and when you would all arrive, if you arrived at all, but not exactly who would come. There are very few opportunities for you to leave; because they are few and special they stand out. But the winding roads between them change." Tamara draws in a deep breath. "Listen to what I said before. Remember it. Don't dismiss it. And you'll find what you need when you need it."

No one's tried to kill anyone — the water hasn't even gotten anywhere near Elle. 'Well' is not perhaps the best description, given that Elle is frustrated and Tamara has begun to show definite signs of fatigue, but once her lengthy response is completed she offers the returned healer a brief smile.

Oh, look. Abby is back. It's a good thing Elle's buildup of agitation is interrupted, because she might well have started sparking at Tamara out of pure irritation in a minute or two, water or no. Besides, it's a relatively teeny amount. "I—" she starts when the first question is asked of her, then closes her lips primly when Tamara keeps speaking and answers for her.

"You should stick to writing for fortune cookies," she remarks petulantly when Tamara is done and she's had a chance to fix her with a 'You are utterly unhelpful' sort of expression. "Yeah, yeah. I get it. Don't beat me over the head." Whatever she had been expecting out of her experience of visiting a precog… it definitely wasn't what she just did. But Tamara couldn't be clearer if she had written it in gigantic letters on a chalkboard; it just isn't at all what Elle wants to hear.

Whatever Tamara has to say is usually never what others want to hear. 'We should go Elle. Tamara needs to rest" because abilities are exhausting, Elle should know that and Abigail sure knows that. "We can stop somewhere else if you want, or we can head back to the house and I can see about Brunch if Norton hasn't already set about to making some. Tamara, do you need some healing?" A discreet offer of her hand to the other woman. "Anything else you need to ask her?"

That's the thing about wishes — what you get isn't what you thought you were asking for. That's the thing about seers — what they know, what they're willing to relate, isn't what you want to hear. Cassandra's curse. Elle's complaints are met with nothing more than a nod of acknowledgment; Abby's concern with a small smile and a shaken head. "No. Doesn't work that way." There's nothing wrong to heal. Blue eyes flick back to Elle, and the seer waits.

In timely response to Abby's urging that they leave, Elle rises to her feet. Yes, she knows perfectly well how tiring ability use, or overuse, can be. As one hand of hers reaches up to scratch at her forehead, she does appear to fade into a more resigned mood, eyes still dour as they rest on Tamara's face. "No. There won't be anything else." She closes her eyes briefly as she releases a breath, apparently digesting everything she had been told— or collecting her remaining composure, one of the two— before opening them again. "I… thanks." It's grudging, but it is an actual thank you.

"I know it doesn't Tamara. It was still an offer" Because she doesn't get around often. But the blonde doesn't push. Just rises from the couch, gathering her own purse up, a glance to Elle. The utter of gratitude is met with Abigails smile. Thank you for your manners. "If you need anything Tamara, you know the number"

That wasn't probable. Tamara looks up at the electrokinetic, and smiles softly. "You're welcome," she replies sincerely. For whatever it is worth. Her gaze flicks to Abby. If she needed it, she would ask — but the seer generally manages to avoid circumstances that would result in the need of a healer. Tamara nods; she does know the number, when it's necessary.

Heh. Well. Without any more words, Elle walks a few steps to set herself a conservative distance apart while she waits for Tamara and Abby to finish up the last of their farewells. Impatience shows in her demeanor again, but of a far different and much less lethal sort than what she had displayed before. Just impatience to get going again; she lets her gaze linger on the nearest wall, flickering downwards as well as at towards the other two once in a while, while she waits.

"Take care then!" Perky, cheerful. Since Elles waiting, she doesn't waste time, just heading towards the door. "Another day Tamara, thank you for your time" The blonde offers with a wave of her hand. "Where do you want to go now Elle?"

It's clear, though, that Elle doesn't really care— she's already vanished out the door. Abby'll have to hurry to catch up and ask her question later. Her most immediate aim for today has been accomplished.

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