Curiosities And Questions


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Scene Title Curiosities And Questions
Synopsis It's very rock 'n' roll, don't you think?
Date April 30, 2011

Pollepel Island

The meeting ended when the sun was still high in the sky, when Nora Rosenthal — Noa Gitelman — left the castle for a "walk," clearly upset and shaken by the revelations made by Benji. Now, the sun is sinking, a fiery red ball, into the west; the sky is painted pink and gold, as is the Hudson River where the rosy sky is reflected.

She still hasn't returned to the castle's interior, but after a few circuits around the island's perimeter, she's finally come to rest on the edge of the docks. She sits cross legged, eyes closed, hands on her knees in a meditative posture. There are no new tears, though her face is grubby where the dust of the trails has clung to the saltwater on her cheeks. One cheek bears a fresh welt, skin broken on one end of it, likely an injury caused by pushing her way through the woods, some sapling or branch unleashing its fury at her lack of respect for its space.

Consideration was given to following the Daughter of Hana on her walk and trying to speak with her, but she'd opted not to, sensing the younger woman might really need the space and time to collect her thoughts and might, if approached too soon, have every bit the fire and fierceness of her mother. And then some. But hours have passed now. She meanders along the dirt path down the incline on squat bluffs, feet in athletic shoes heralding her arrival on the pier with quiet steps. Cat neither seeks to make nor avoid making noise.

In silence, she takes a seat on the planks and gazes out over the Hudson, leaving the start of conversation of absence of it in the other's hands. Eyes come to settle on boats used by the Ferry, at least one of which was provided by Cat herself.

There is the slightest, almost imperceptible tension that rises in her muscles and posture as Nora hears the footfalls coming down the path and then the dock itself. When Cat settles beside her, the teenager's sable eyes dart to the side to take in the form of her company, and then back out to the water.

It looks like it's silence. For a few moments anyway, Nora doesn't say anything.

But eventually, the impatience of adolescence reigns, and she heaves a sigh. "What?" is bluntly asked.

"Curiosities and questions," Cat replies dryly, eyes not moving to settle on the younger one. "If you would indulge me with them. You didn't answer about meeting with Alia, I think you and she would fit well in some things being worked on, especially given the time your group took to free her. But beyond that is the time you came from, and the looks being exchanged when Hannah spoke."

Silence reclaims its reign over the pier.

Nora swallows at the name Alia, and she shrugs, non-comitally. "Depends on what the project is. I'm not my mother — my power is a lot weaker than you probably think it is," she murmurs, tone a bit dry and flat.

As for the other question, it may seem that it won't be addressed, but then she shakes her head. "I don't know what you're talking about. In case you hadn't noticed, my mind might have been on other things — people make eye contact when people talk, right? That's a normal thing to do." Despite the fact she's staring stonily across the water rather than at Cat's face. "As for the time we come from, it sucks. That's why we're here."

"It's probably a severe understatement, that your home time sucks," Cat replies evenly, "and yes, people do make eye contact when they talk. Seemed more than that, though, regarding my optimism. We've opportunities at hand. Efforts may or may not work, but… I think we have to at least try. We didn't lay it all on the line to stop Kazimir's virus from being released and lose cherished people in the process just to let the same thing happen another way. And I'm certainly not ready to accept the idea HF can't be broken."

She lets a few beats go by, eyes shifting to settle on the teen.

"So do I fail miserably and get myself killed, in the legends of your time?"

"HF isn't the enemy in the future. Everyone is," Nora points out. "The current climate — fear and discrimination — that's not just HF… HF is just the most obvious, but they're a symptom of a much bigger thing. Taking out HF would only be the tip of the iceberg… For every HF member, there are probably a thousand people who feel the same. That's the problem. The people who may not put themselves out there but allow all these things to happen… the discrimination, the segregation. That's why Cal-"

She swallows and looks away. "Well, I wouldn't say you succeed, in that where I come from, most of us are in hiding or in prison camps or being executed."

Nora's thin legs unfold, wiry form rising. "I'm sorry," she says. "That wasn't… nice."

"I get why Calvin let the virus out," Cat opines, "at least I think I do, as much as one can without being Calvin, seeing into his head. I've been fighting for two years and change. The things we feared, predicted would happen, are coming to pass. You've seen just how right we were in raising the alarm, how the lessons of history on how it all gets started showed us where it would all lead. Ghettos like Eltingville Blocks and others around the country. Registration was just the first step. So Calvin," she remarks quietly, "decided to make a move on his own, to level the playing field, maybe even thinking if the virus is out ten years early they won't be able to consolidate so much power. They'll be too busy keeping themselves alive."

Eyes settle back out over the water, she's aware the topic of Calvin and his action had a powerful effect on Hana's daughter, can remember it with the same full clarity as… everything else.

"It's the wrong way to go about it," she asserts quietly, "but the virus is out. It's cold to say so, and you may think I'm the coldest bitch ever to even think of it, but we have an opportunity. We can find ways to make vaccines and get them distributed without restrictions, become known for doing so, and break that cycle of fear. Make it plain this is happening because an organization made a virus to wipe us out, and it came back to bite them all, at the same time we work to help them despite everything, with no strings attached."

Another pause.

"Does that sound so crazy?"

There is a soft huff of a laugh, and Nora shakes her head. "Whatever. It's more important to save lives than to gain the glory for doing so. It's a nice idea that we could use it to our advantage, but, honestly, I don't think it'll work. If we're the ones to come up with the vaccines, then they'll assume we're the ones who put it out there in the first place."

Her eyes close and she turns away. "And they'd be right," she points out — as much as Calvin is part of the 'we' that they speak of.

"Either way, we do the right thing," Cat replies, "do all we can to find scientists and make labs, create and spread vaccine with no strings attached, save lives as much as possible. The rest will take care of itself. We may not be able to pull all that off, just as Hannah says we won't, but… we have to at least try."

Her eyes close, she lets out a long slow breath, face tilted toward the sky.

"I wanted to be a rock star, still do, in my heart. But the law wasn't a complete waste of time, it's been useful. Still, Father," she quietly laments, “you were wrong…"

More silence.

"I should've studied biochemistry, gotten my doctorate in that."

Nora nods, though there's a distant look in her eyes. "We'll do what's right," she agrees, though she doesn't add much more to that. "I should… go check in. Find Benji, see what I need to do, if there's anything I can." Her brow creases at that — there were those who asked who Calvin was closest to, who he'd listen to. She has her doubts that it's her — but if it is…

"I'm sorry this is so … hard," she adds, glancing back at Cat before she begins to move toward the path, dock creaking slightly beneath her light weight.

"Don't be," Cat replies quietly, "I chose to live the life I do. And for what it's worth, being a rebel is very rock 'n' roll, don't you think?" She doesn't otherwise impinge on Nora's exit, leaving the matter of arranging a meet between her and Alia for another time. Gitelman's daughter can be found easily enough.

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