Chewed Nails


devon_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Chewed Nails
Synopsis A rather useful encounter leaves Ygraine with 400 suspects, and Devon with a renewed ability to communicate outside the Dome
Date February 9 2011

Summer Meadows

The low brickwork walls flanking the entrance to this subdivision pronounce it to be 'S MMER ME DOWS', black metal letters pitted by age and each tilted slightly askew by decades of weather and neglect. The rest of the subdivision echoes this theme — pavement cracked, its lines worn and faded nearly into obscurity; small lawns littered with autumn leaves and dying grass, shrubbery poorly pruned or not trimmed back at all, such flowers as there are in most cases long since grown wild.

The buildings in Summer Meadows are a mix of townhouses, duplexes, and quartered apartments, most of them with paint peeling at the edges, a few boarded over and sporting jagged holes where the windows weren't quite protected enough. This isn't a neighborhood where people are seen lounging on their porches as the sun sinks low in the sky; to stay out as darkness gathers is to risk unwanted attention, and the consequences thereof.

A modest sized portion of Summer Meadows' most urban region surrounding the brickwork apartment buildings near its entrance are in the best condition, with recent renovations of repainted siding, repaired roofs and sealant used on the cracks in the pavement. However there's still signs of that urban grit, from the yellow tint of its streetlights to the way that Summer Meadows' worst problems seem to have only been pushed back to its shadowed edges, not cleaned away entirely.

A full week and some days have passed since the dome came into existence. A full week before any progress was made on getting out, and even that theory is hypothetical rather than practical. It's a heavy weight, a heavy burden, that some 1200 people have been bearing, but they're doing their best to survive cut off from a world seen through a hazy film and unyielding barrier.

It's a serious means for survival. There's food and water, but how long it will last is uncertain. Devon Clendaniel, though feeling the futility of the situation, trapped between desperation and apathy on escaping the dome, has been pouring himself into trying to survive. He'd told his employer, possibly friend, he'd try. Not presently helping anyone else, the teenager is helping himself by slowly vacating his aunts apartment, taking small loads of food and other necessary supplies to hide. He's contributed in other ways, the food and first aid from his house is his.

Devon, exhausted and torn with news of his aunt's passing, steps out of the Westview Apartments building, a backpack slung over a shoulder. The grief is almost physical, the wound renewed every time he goes into the apartment he'd lived in with his aunt. His feet carry him from the main entrance, onto the stoop and toward the road. He doesn't look back, head dipping downward while one hand scrubs through his hair. He still has to go back for more things, he'll see it again then.

For her part, Ygraine is doing somewhat better in many ways. Though there are serious disadvantages to knowing no one resident here and to having no ties to those who have homes within the Dome, she has at least been spared the loss of anyone she knew or the destruction of anything to which she was personally connected. As a result, though her leathers are grimy and she looks a little careworn herself, her stride is comparatively jaunty as she heads through the quiet streets towards a location that retains good cell reception.

The sight of a miserable-looking individual plodding along is by no means unknown within the Dome… but this particular one gets a second and then a third look, the Briton cocking her head. Is that…? Yes, it might be. Momentarily considering breaking into a jog to catch up, she instead opts to conserve her energy - and lets out a long, low whistle to try to catch the kid's attention.

Head turning toward the sound of the whistle, Devon continues until the pathway meets the sidewalk. Russo's words to be careful echo in his head, however any distrust he might be feeling is not shown. Hitching the shoulder strap of the pack higher onto his shoulder, the teenager stands patiently, watching Ygraine approach.

The woman isn't entirely unknown. Devon had seen her a time or two, she'd given him a ride to the river the night the dome came up when survivors were being brought over. The hand that had raked its way through his hair is lowered to his side, eyes going to the opposite direction briefly, then returning to Ygraine.

Raising a hand in greeting, the Briton offers the young man a somewhat weary smile. "Hi there. My name's Ygraine? We… met when it first came up." Indeed, some of the grime on her leathers is almost certainly the blood of the military contractor she carried out of the wreckage of his van, before Devon helped her get him into the chapel to receive assistance.

"The guy we helped? He seems to be doing okay, thankfully. And he's now getting much better care than we could give", she offers, apparently eager to share some kind of good news.

Working his freed arm through the other strap of his pack, the boy offers a small nod. "Devon," he offers. He's weary as well, they all are, clothes are a few days worn, dirty and rumpled. Grief stands out most, kept back but staring around the corners of his mind.

"I remember him," the teenager continues. "Good that… he's going to be okay. — Everyone seems to be doing okay."

Offering the youngster a distinctly worried look, the biker nods pensively. "My name's Ygraine. And… yes. Things seem to have stabilised now. Largely. Though… it can be almost impossible to find out what's actually going on. So few people and so little organisation over such a large area…."

A shrug is offered, coupled with Devon looking past Ygraine for a moment. "Found the center yesterday. No one's there." His eyes come back to Ygraine. "They got some other ideas of what's going on. Melissa and the Frontline… JJ… they're making plans." He's helping, he neglects to say. "We'll get out of this."

Ygraine nods worriedly. "The centre? Is it a building, or something? I'm glad that I was able to confirm it was a sphere…." Shaking her head, she offers Devon an apologetic look. "I'm sorry. I'm pumping you for information."

"It's on the Queens side," Devon answers, readily though despondent. Questions about the status of everything else are fine, he can handle those. They keep unwanted thoughts at bay, force his mind to consider other things. "Under the bridge in the weeds."

Frowning, Ygraine purses her lips. "Odd. And… was there anything visible there? Anything to explain what it was, or how it came into being? Or why? Or did everything just look… normal?"

"Looked normal." Devon sighs and shifts the pack on his shoulders. There's a moment when he looks almost suspicious, a slight change in his expression from aching loss to something a little darker, his brow furrowing. "Didn't find anyone there. Some trash, a needle. JJ said it had Amp in it."

Ygraine looks startled, then sighs. "Great. So… this might be the result of someone shooting up - or being shot up with - a booster, then… doing this while…? Great. But… for it to be as long-lasting as this…." She starts to reach up to run a hand over her hair, then thinks better of it, instead shaking her head.

"I don't suppose anyone's admitting to having any idea of who might be behind this, are they?"

Devon shakes his head. He's aware of how much was found out, JJ having used his ability to discover the how of things and get an idea of the who. "We're looking for a man. — American. With chewed nails." Which could be anyone at this point. "Just… find names and make a list. Then… we'll figure out the next step." Probably questioning, finding who might have track marks on his arms. It's not foolproof, but it is the best they have to go on.

Ygraine looks first startled, and then distinctly impressed. "Wow. That's… a great deal more than I'd expected. And should probably only leave us with about four hundred-odd potential candidates in here… which is just about managable, I suppose. Anything… else? Age, or the like?"

"Kids and women are ruled out." Devon drops his gaze to the ground, shoulders lifting upward slightly. "Just.. an adult male, white guy, with chewed nails." In theory it does sound easy and it was his idea to start there, but the teenager still has some doubt. "It's all we got right now."

Ygraine nods pensively. Perhaps rather under four hundred suspects, then. Simple. "So long as the poor sod wasn't tossed in the river afterwards, we should be able to find him", she muses aloud. "Though whether we can then find out what's going on is another question. It's not as if there are many obvious reasons for someone to choose to do this themselves…."

Remaining quiet, Devon watches Ygraine while she muses. He has his own reasons for wanting to find whoever created the dome. Whatever their pain, they could have found a different way of dealing with it than creating pain for others. His aunt would still be alive, if not for whoever decided to shoot up.

Bringing her thoughts and focus back to the here and now, Ygraine musters another smile for Devon. "How are you doing? I seem to recall you mentioning that you had a place to stay inside the field of effect. Is it in one piece?"

Devon casts a sidelong look toward the Westview Apartments, without actually turning toward it. "Yeah, it's in one piece," he says. He's done more to tear things up inside his home than the dome has. "It's still safe."

Biting her lower lip, Ygraine mutely studies Devon for a few moments, before letting out a somewhat apprehensive sigh. "Is there anything I can do to help?", she asks uncertainly, clearly not at all sure if she's venturing onto dangerous ground.

"No," Devon states quietly, the word catching briefly. He clears his throat, returns his gaze to the ground. "Thanks but… I'm fine. I've just …got things to take care of."

Ygraine shifts from one foot to the other, offering Devon a distinctly worried look. "If… you're sure. I'm happy to help out with carrying things, if you want. You helped me after all…."

The shake of Devon's head is a little more definitive. "Really it's… I have to do it. Thanks but… There's others who'd need it, more than me."

Ygraine shrugs gently, leathers creaking softly. "I don't see anyone else here at the moment", she points out mildly. "But if you're sure. Just… bear in mind that I'll help out if you want me. Actually… would you like my cell number?"

Devon reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone. Again, there's hesitation before he turns the power on. "With the powering being out… I don't keep my phone on," he explains, his voice catching once. The battery won't hold out forever, but he's still got about half a full charge left. He fumbles until the phonebook is opened, then offers the phone to Ygraine to enter her number.

Ygraine flips out hers - which does seem to be on - and quickly makes the exchange of numbers. "Would you like me to recharge that for you? If you're willing to leave it with me for a while, I can top it up for you…."

A moment passes before Devon nods. He's a little reluctant to leave it, but having a fully charged phone would make things a fraction easier. If his boss called, he should update Russo all the same. "I'd like that. — Thank you."

Ygraine offers a reassuring smile. "It's all right. I'll take good care of it, I promise. Shall I meet you back here in a little bit? Or would somewhere else be better for you? I'm going to make a call now, but after that I've got nowhere in particular I need to be…."

"Here's fine." Devon will make sure he's back and outside, having no want to bring anyone into his apartment or into his world. "Thanks," the teenager says again, giving a small nod. He then turns, and sets off from the apartments, hands stuffing into his pockets and shoulders hunching slightly.

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