Daydreams For A Future


adelaide_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title Daydreams For a Future
Synopsis Adelaide comes seeking answers at the Guiding Light, and Joseph distributes visions he doesn't actually mean to, for once. On the flipside, a request for the kind he does mean to is only given on a condition.
Date July 16, 2009

Guiding Light Baptist Church

There is no mistaking this building as anything but a church, with its arching glass windows and concrete cross fixed to the edge of the pointed roof. Curving stone steps lead up from the pavement to a set of black double doors, often kept closed during the colder weather, but unlocked during the allocated hours written on a blue sign fix to the brick wall. In white, formal letting, it reads GUIDING LIGHT BAPTIST CHURCH and lists its hours of worship.

Through the doors, you first step into an open, nondescript foyer, with access to an unobtrusive staircase headed upwards, and a second hallway leading off somewhere less public also. Mainly, this room opens straight out to the much more spacious worship hall, with immovable rows and rows of pews. A small church, it only seats an absolute maximum of around one hundred and fifty people at a time. It has a high ceiling and is warmly lit, simple and reverent in design, colours light and earthy. The stage before the pews is wide open, with seats off to the side for other pastors and guest speakers, and there is a podium placed off center. On the other side, there is a small organ with music sheets kept nearby.

Joseph isn't sure New York can ever get hot, although today, it's certainly trying. Sunlight pours in through the stained glass windows of the Guiding Light, bouncing off the polished wooden pews and the simple, verging on bland decor of the small church - nothing impressive, nothing looming, no medieval greys or the harder edges of metal. A dressed up community center in many ways, contained in the shell of an obvious church of brickwork and colourful windows.

It's Thursday, which means no service for a few days. Rather than holing himself up in his office, however, Joseph Sumter has taken to seating himself on the stairwell that leads up to it, a Bible in hand and glasses on his face as he reads whatever book he's turned to today, a look of meditative contemplation on his face. This position affords him a good view of the foyer should anyone come in, if he's inclined to look up from the tiny print and impossibly thin pages of his King James.

She climbed the short steps to the church. "Why'd I come back?" she whispers. She finds herself looking at the doors, she walks through the doors and into the foyer almost startled by the fact that she stepped into the church again. She closes her eyes. "Oh man, I shouldn't have come back." she mutters, quietly crossing herself- habit clearly as its a swift cross: foreheard, chest, bearly touching right , then left bearly touching her shoudlers.

The soft murmur from the woman is enough to cut through the silence, thick enough that sound travels readily. Joseph instinctively brings a ribbon marker down the crease of the parted pages and folds the leather bound book before he's looking up, just in time to see the woman cross herself. A fleeting smile draws across his features, before he's gripping the railing of the stairs and pulling himself to his feet. Deciding not to draw attention to the words themselves, Joseph instead announces his presence by asking, "Can I help you?"

Adelaide thinks. "Umm I don't know." she says. She looks at him. "You're a priest- erm.. Pastor, sorry, former catholic." she says."I stopped by yesterday and was looking for someone to talk to."

"Pastor," Joseph agrees, by way of correction, heading on down the stairs to stand level with her. He's dressed about as can be expected from a protestant reverend, with grey slacks, pleats in the fabric, and an egg shell blue button down shirt tucked neatly within the waistband. The sleeves are rolled up to his elbows, and a plain watch strapped around the wrist, along with a wedding band on the correct finger. "Pastor Sumter," he adds in introduction, stepping forward to offer a hand. "And I happen to be alright at talkin', Miss…?"

Adelaide smiles. "Xylander. Adelaide Xylander." she says. She eyes the wedding band. "Right… baptist." she says slowly. "Sorry, catholic upbringing." she explains nothing in an almost embaressed manner."Yeah, I was going to ask because I wanted to expand my horizons religiously I mean, what do you think of the evolved sir?" Her eyes, are imploring, honest, genuine true, that's what she wants out him. Like a child searching for answers,Adelaide's eyes are nearlyfilling with tears as if her perhaps she's fighting a battle.

"Practices can vary, but we all believe in the same God and Christ," Joseph says, with a dismissive shake of his head. That much he can dismiss, anyway, for a conversation, as insular as the Baptist convention can be, and his smile turns sympathetic when she asks that question. The earnest gaze is not missed on him, and so his words come gently. "I'm sure you've heard— a lot of negativity. I can promise you that here at Guiding Light, things are a little different."

And even as he speaks, the world melts away a little, for Adelaide. A different church, a different place, and she can see from her vantage the rows and rows of churchgoers. Though Joseph isn't standing at the pulpit, he's seated just towards the side of it, in his Sunday best. A memory enwraps around her for just a moment, long enough for her to see a window. A window that breaks as a brick goes crashing through the glass, much to the alarm of the interior. People stand, turn, Joseph gets to his feet as well.

The Guiding Light slams back into place just as Joseph is saying, "Would you like to take a seat?"

Adelaide blinks. Her eyes are dazy,another day dream, not something she'd have chosen for subject or material. But she realized it was him, his dream? No. Dreams did not involve such. She noded. "Thank you. She settled, a hand reaching for the nearest pew. She's dazed, almost like a a sleep child. "Hmmhmm." she says sinking down to the nearest pew. "Yes, thanks." she begins. "So tell me, the evolved umm… what's your stance on them? I haven't heard a lot of negativy, but then again maybe its because I'd to think the Goddess-" she pauses, waiting for the momentary freak out- though then again he might just think she's gnostic-sort of, Sohpia, the feminine aspect of God, or, she stops and inhales waiting to see if he notices, if he freaks out if he yells at her. That had always been the worse. The yelling.

Joseph is a quiet man at best, sitting down on the pew just in front of her, twisting around comfortably with an arm on the back of the seat. He was going to ask if she's okay, if the glassy eyed wander was anything he should be concerned about, but she's settled and speaking in the next moment, and so he lets it be.

Then, that word, the sentence break, and the expectantly wary demeanor of the woman all have him blinking a little. That's not particularly Catholic, but— he chooses, first, to address the matter. "I identify 'em as people with gifts. Exceptional ones. There's always been prophets, miracle workers hand picked by God to bring somethin' special to the world. My belief is that we're— " And he seems unshy with identifying himself as one of them. "— all God's children still. That there's a reason we have these gifts."

But to rewind— "Goddess?"

Adelaide chuckles. He'd picked up it intruiged her, he hadn't immediate damned her, laughed at her or tried to convert her. "Goddess, because I have avery hard time, believe the higher power is masculine." she explains simply. "Men 'run' the world, but if it weren't for women, they're be no children, they're be no life. The female flower is beautiful to procreate, the woman is power. Unfortunately the male dominated world has forgotten that a uterus , a heartbeat, a breath, is the most powerful thing, at least one of them- in the world. But that's what I think. I grew up catholic and lets just say, I didn't like have 'religion' crammed down my throat, women being sort of 'pushed to the side'. Admitedly Vactican II in my parents generation changed /alot/ of things, but not enough. Women are forgetten in religious life,the world expects them to be subbordinate to men…" she stops, for her clearly her voice is a bit more feminst in tone. "Sorry, personal feminist rant— my friend says I am trying to strike out at world for 'men ruling 'it. I didn't mean anything bad by it… but I just never liked how girls in fairy tales are 'princesses'-helpless 'typical', or witches- powerful, but 'unloved'." she looks at him. "Goddess, yes, lets just say I took a step back, and went with something that let women take a little more power religiously, nothing against any other religion. Some of them have beautiful philosophies but humans are humans. People are people and 'purity' changes things. "To give ourselves over to the flow is to become an adult, to become dirty, little by little."

If Joseph is anything, he's an educated man. Pastors should be, and he doesn't stop her, just listens as she explains with all the curiousity of someone experiencing something not quite new, but certainly different. At the end of it, he's in thoughtful silence for a few moments, distant in some ways. Then gives her half a smile and states, "You're free to walk the course you choose to walk. That's the essence of free will, so that we can sin, make mistakes, do wrongly, and choose to love our Lord. You're not a Bible follower, I take it?"

A hand lifts up off the pew back. "My opinion's only gonna be worth so much to you, Miss Xylander. My beliefs— including my stance on what the nation calls the Evolved— are all dictated by scripture. By I guess— I will say that all things are good if done with love, don't you agree?"

Adelaide nods. "Certainly the way I look at it. I was, though I guess it seemed more surreal as I got older, I was always dragged to church, forced into it. And then when my family was killed, I just stopped going. Felt like I should walk on my own a little ways, ok… its more like the FootPrints poem, I'll admit. But sometimes you have to stand in the ocean waves, and just feel…" she pauses. "Done with love, yes. But what is love? I mean the word can be a lot of different things," gestures to his wedding ring."You love your wife, I don't have anyone. Its weird… when my family was killed in the Bomb, I suddenly had, no one to turn too. Two women becase my gaurdians, helped me mange my affairs, my life, and helped continue up college. And focus on it." she makes first. "This is going to sound crazy, but to follow something, even divinely inspired- it was written by people, and they do mess up."

"Religion, in all its organisation, is full of humans, and so it's full of human error," Joseph agrees. "But we try, and— my beliefs tell me that the Book is the word of God. It has things to teach us, and I believe that it has things to say about the Evolved, too. I think it teaches us that power can be used for evil, as can any power, but if wielded it with God in mind— or perhaps, with love in mind— then it can be good. The man who destroyed the city, in comparison to— a woman who can heal with a touch, who does it selflessly as Jesus Christ might have done himself."

He waves a hand, vaguely. "I don't think it's inherently good or evil, these gifts, just like— hands aren't inherently evil or good. But you can do evil and good things with them. Does that make sense?"

Adelaide nosd. "And considering how appropriete that statement is, considering I am going to be doctor… yes." she says speaks quietly. "So how'd you get involved in it, I mean, the evolved registration stuff, it smacks of descrimination doesn't it? I mean its like the people of color winning the right to vote all over again."

Joseph gives a breath of laughter, although its not mirthful. Apologetic, in many respects. "Well, I'm one of 'em, myself. The day I found out, I— I simply abided by the law and went to Register. I think a lot of people like us were simply too scared not to, too scared to really think it through, what they were askin'. You stand in shock and awe about what happened to New York City and you feel like you have a live gun in your hands, suddenly, no matter what shape it might be. But you're right, it's discrimination. And somethin' I wouldn't encourage anyone to do, not until the world comes to terms with where the real evil lies."

As she listens, the world shifts again, fleeting in many respects, superficial memory. She'll see the cupped hands of a girl, and a butterfly of light, some magic trick that is, dancing between her palms. The young woman has sunglasses over her eyes, thick blackness, and a red jacket pulled over her clothing. The setting, fleeting as it might be, is recognisable as the church steps.

It suddenly changes to nighttime, and Adelaide remains where she is, but Joseph has disappeared. He's crouched, instead, in the aisle, holding the hand of a man lying prone in the middle of the floor. There's armor, a kevlar vest, stripped away and lying discarded, and blood spatters the pale face of the young man. He's dying, and Joseph is praying for him not to.

The memory comes to an abrupt halt as Joseph glances away, down to his hand on the pew, the wedding ring gold and glinting in the light.

Adelaide looks shaken. That wasn't comfortable. Death, was not something she was comfortable with. IF anything she looked more terrified as she tried to shake the images from her mind with a head shake-no such luck, they lingered sort of. "A-nother." she breathed, it was the sound of a soft gasp. "She, your wife… umm.. ahh.." she opened her mouth, what does one say when they've seen something ike that. "Ahh.."

Joseph's conversational teacherly demeanor is traded easily for something more concerned, that hand lifting up for a moment as if he might reach to touch her shoulder, but doesn't quite make it. "You okay, honey?" he asks the young woman, completely clueless to the fact she just lived out the two moments his mind had skipped two; the young girl and her butterfly, the dying young man. "You're not looking so good— my wife?" His concerned expression turns quizzical, but it's only an undercurrent of curiousity.

Adelaide blinks, tears forming her left eye, she brushes them away. "I mean.. ummm… I get viosions, sometime. Daydreams I can't explain, like I am watching a video, but sometimes apart of it.." her breath is hurried. "Well you were looking at your ring, so I could only imagine you were thinking about the important person in your life."

At the misty sight of tears, that hand does come to settle on Adelaide's shoulder as she explains, Joseph nodding along in understanding— then gives a flicker of a rueful smile. "I got to thinking about— what you said, actually, about having someone— just trying to clear my thoughts of…" And he trails off, not an uncommon thing for him to do as he studies her, now, dark eyes narrowed in both thought and vague suspicion. "I get— I have some experience with visions myself, actually. You… what sorta visions? What did you see?"

Adelaide thinks. "Someone dying, young male." she thinks trying to put the peices which had shaken her to her core together. "A butterfly of light…" she speaks aloud as if trying to remember a shopping list, clear but a little detached. "A woman, sunglasses, you, a red coat, or jacket, the church, just outside the front, on the steps."

All of which has Joseph's hand moving away again, and he blinks rapidly, vague alarm crossing his features at the mention of dying, young male and then faint recognition at the description of— "Colette," he murmurs. "I'll be." He offers Adelaide an uncertain smile, quiet for a moment. "You can— you can read minds like that? I'm sorry if they frightened you, I— if it was anything I did, I didn't mean to."

Adelaide blinks. "What…" she seems more dazed than before trying to make sense of it all. "I guess, I don'tknow if its 'read minds so much as… plucking things, things that are like the shadows of fish underwater. The water bends the light so I can 'see' them, but they aren't actually there…" she struggles it seems. "Horrible Anology."

"Well— so you know, the young man's fine, now," Joseph says, in a tone of voice that suggests he's trying to shove something aside, some nervousness evident as he glances towards the spot where Adelaide's memory had led her. His voice comes less stilted when he adds, with a mildly crooked smile, "And the girl, she's— well, one such person who thinks the same way you do. About the Registry, and discrimination. I wasn't aware that you— that you had a gift too."

He moves to stand, then, a hand resting against the back of the pew. "I try to make sure that— those that come here… gifted folk like yourself, no matter their beliefs, know that they always have a safe place at the Guiding Light. If you ever have any trouble with your ability, or people givin' you grief, you should feel free to stop on by. I can offer more'n just a conversation."

Adelaide thinks. "I think, its the first time I actually confront that fact. In any form, sir." she admits with a stare towards the steps. "I don't think I ever 'knew' or was able to say I could do it. It to me… always felt like a daydream, and it'd happen when I was tired, so I guess I just brushed it off like a sleepy day dream. I have an active imaginationi n general so…" she shrugs. "What about your gifts?"

Joseph awards her with a kind smile. "Well, when y'start daydreamin' of things that happened to the person you're talkin' to— you gotta wonder, especially in this day and age, that there's more to it. And then I'd advise you to start explorin', getting— acquainted with your power. As for mine…" Rounded shoulders lift up beneath the cotton of his shirt, drop back down again in a lazy shrug. "If I touch people, and will it to be so, I can make them see their own personal future," he explains. "Nothin' set in stone, just an idea 'bout what God has planned for them, so they can make their own choices, or— brace themselves for inevitabilities. I wouldn't wonder if they might not seem as similar to people as your own sorts've visions."

Adelaide grins. "That sounds a bit… dangerous… I mean, you can influence someone by saying you see this or that in there potential future." She extends her hand. "Can I see?"

Joseph's hands raise up, and he gives a soft laugh. "I don't got nothin' to do with it," he says. "I can't even see what others see. Of course— I guess you would have to trust that I'm being honest about the nature of my gift, now wouldn't you?" He glances down at her hand, and starts to lift his— but hesitates. "First, tell me— you got a reason you want to see the future?"

Adelaide thinks. "I am tired of going around and around in circles. " she says in an exasperated tone. "My life is a routine, to the point of tedium, get up go to classes, do the work, come home, make dinner, practice my music, write a little, do otherthings, go to sleep. Rinse and repeate. I feel like there is /something/ just out on the edge of my vision, of my exist that I should strive to.. I mean the Evolved registration is now looming over my, but all they can do is 'test' for a Gene, and I have it , they put me down on the registry- and I get hate mail…" she rolls her eyes. "I wantto make a difference. Becoming a doctor will ensure that in a way, but not completely- the doctor-patient time crunch is immense, ideally youy should spend an hour with the patient, but no a doctor is limited to about fifteen minutes.." she sighs.

And the notion of hate mail, of all consequences, Joseph slants a glance away, towards the doors of the church for a moment, then back to the young woman, quietly thoughtful. "This might seem— unethical, in some ways, but I mean— if you want some advice, maybe… just take your time gettin' to know what your power is before you feel like you gotta go Register," Joseph states. He's not directly advising her to break the law! Not in so many words, anyway. There's a hint of don't make my mistake in his tone.

And as for a vision— "Tell you what," Joseph says, lifting his chin a little. "We got two sessions of Sunday service, in the morning and at noon, and if those don't work out for you, there's one on Wednesday evening, too. Why don't you come along and listen a little to what the sermons here have to say on the Evolved and everythin' else— then I'll give you a prophecy."

Well. At least he's not yelling, about the 'Goddess' mention. Wryness is a mild reaction, all things considered.

Adelaide nods. "Sure. IT'd be nice to acctually be i na group of people who look, like they cared. That was the problem with chuch for me, the catholic faith seemed to be full of only 'old' people, even after Vatican II… there never any people my age growing up…" she nods. "It'll be nice to at least see people who don't try and drain the life out of you for signing up you up for things all willy-nilly because they don't have enough people.

"Well we certainly have a motley collection here," Joseph says, with a smile. "Not everyone's Baptist, either, just— people wantin' to hear something different. Lots've young people, too. I hope it might be what you're looking for." He extends a hand, although this time, it's to shake in something like a parting gesture, rather than to share visions, either of memory or of the future. "See you Sunday?"

Adelaide nods. "Certainly." She says getting to her feet feeling oddly refreshed about the world. "Thank so much. IT'd been a while since I could open up to anyone about anything."

The clasp is brief, before his hand retract to give a slight wave with one. "Then I'm glad I could do that much," Joseph states. "It was nice to meet you, Adelaide - take care've yourself."

Adelaide nods. "Yes, sir. " she smiles, the voice oddly enough is almost as if she's answering in the miltary sort of. But as she stands up and begins to walk, its clear as if a weight has been lifted from her.

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