Daidō Shōi, Part IV


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Scene Title Daidō Shōi, Part IV
Synopsis Hiro delivers a message in a bottle.
Date March 20, 2010


There's something to be said for snow globes. Tiny little spheres of glass containing a microcosm of the world trapped in an eternal winter. They're an idealized caricature that hangs a single moment of time on a figurative nail so it can always be seen. Clara Francis does't know who invented the snow globe, but she often wonders if he would have designed it differently if he'd been able to see the world as she does.

Seated atop a parking garage in clear view of the Brooklyn bridge, Clara sees and feels the world around her like an ever frozen snapshot trapped in time. Snowflakes hang frozen in the air, perpetual winter like a photograph of a storm from long ago. Here, between th present and the future Clara can't feel the cold as well as she should, can't hear the sounds of the city sitting stationary around her, she can only feel the satisfying crunch of sauerkraut between her teeth and feel the dribble of horseradish sauce on her lip.

Yes, it's just a hot Pastrami on marble rye, but after having lived at the Amundsen-Scott Antarctic research facility for as long as she did, Clara takes life's simple pleasures wherever they come. Cheeks puffed with food and a contented sound at the back of her throat, she's been watching and contemplating on the way the lights of the Brooklyn Bridge seem to shine against the snow., the way tail lights of speeding cars seem to still be a blur even when time is stopped. It's not how the physics of light works, but then again she shouldn't be able to be here, now, like Schroedinger's Cat either. To each break of physics their own.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" Is as startling as the sound of a dog barking noisily behind Clara and equally as jarring. Nearly choking on her sandwich, Clara drops the rest into the snow with a puff of the drifting white powder. She slides down off the hood of the car she was seated on, boots clomping into knee deep snow and blonde eyes staring out at a darkly dressed man at the opposite side of the parked car from her.

"Who— " Clara's abortive sentence is answered by a gloved hand lifted, and her darkly attired guest simply dips his pony-tailed head down, brows furrowed in an expression on consolation.

"Nakamura, Hiro." Dark eyes lift up to assess the blonde, watching the confused look on her face not change one bit. To her credit, Clara doesn't reach for the borrowed .45 tucked away in her jacket, she's not even sure it would do any good here. "I'm like you," Hiro admits after a further moment, lowering his warding hand to his side.

Clara's response is a solemn and silent one, blonde brows furrowed, throat working up and down as she swallows that mouthful of Reuben while eyeing the snow-bound remains of the sandwich wantingly. When her equally brown eyes meet Hiro's, all he is afforded is an expression of demand; for an answer, and tangentially another sandwich.

"I'm not here to hurt you, but I know who you're here with." Hiro glances out towards the building down below that she was watching, then back to Clara. "I want to help you, but you have to be able to trust me. I know you understand the peculiarity of your abilities, what sort of responsibility is needed in handling the flow of time. Yours is less prone to abuse than mine, but still equally dangerous in the right… creative mind."

Running a tongue over her lips, Clara begins to stalk like a cornered animal around the front of the car, her orange arctic survival coat shining bright in the dark. "That sounds like a threat," she admits with a nonplussed expression. "If this is about Ga— "

"It's not." Hiro flatly interrupts her with a shake of his head, "It's about you. Think of it more a warning than a threat. Someone other than myself has their eye on you, Clara." He knows her name and that much has Clara's eyes popping wide, a nervous swallow now where once was one of necessity.

The blonde takes on a more frustrated expression, eyes tracking left and right of Hiro, then over her shoulder towards the building edge. "Don't," Hiro warns clearly, "trust me." It's said with all the certainty of a man who's been there and done that and came back in time to revise bad decisions on his part. "There's a man, looking for you— dangerous— and desperate. He wants your ability, and with it he would hurt a great number of people, including someone very close to me."

Clara's brows furrow slowly together, and there's a dawning look of both revelation and disgust on her face. "I— I thought you said this wasn't about G— " Hiro shakes his head, and she stops herself short, lips pressed together in a disapproving line of downturned creases. The sigh Clara gives isn't a relaxed one, and when she looks back up to Hiro from her feet, her expression demands answers again.

"All I ask is that you do one thing for me, and it will make absolutely certain he doesn't find you." Hiro's brows furrow together, brown eyes drift towards the snowflakes hanging in the air, then back to Clara. "Watch out for ducks." It's an absurdly puzzling sentiment, but when laid out so clearly in Hiro's tone of voice still manages to seem foreboding.

"Who— the hell are you? What does— what does ducks mean!?" Clara's voice is sharp and clear, echoing in the stillness of temporal stasis. Hiro's shoulders rise and fall slowly, dark eyes dropping down to his feet as he rests his hands on his hips and offers an askance look towards the blonde woman again.

"That would be telling." He adds in quiet resignation, before there is a sharp roar of air around him and the snow starts falling again. Clara feels the cold hit her cheeks like a gentle slap, stinging after arrival. Her breath hitches in her throat, brown eyes go wide and she looks down towards a rolled up paper bag situated on the hood of the car where there was not one before. Written in the snow on the hood, she spies:

I owe you more.

A fresh Reuben is a good start at least.

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