Do It In Reverse


cat_icon.gif jennifer_icon.gif claude_icon.gif

Scene Title Do It In Reverse
Synopsis Cat, Jennifer, and Claude discuss the Rains method of training.
Date January 3, 2009

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

A few hours have passed since she left Old Lucy's and came to the Headquarters which used to be a remarkable library, and which still holds a great deal of books. On arrival, Cat went to the room she keeps for personal use. Her guitar case and backpack are against the wall near the door, and she's changed clothing slightly. The turtleneck was set aside, she's currently in sports bra and sweats.

Her bow is in hand. She applies an arrow to the string and pulls it back until her fingers touch the corner of her mouth, then draws in a breath and holds it.

Her target, at the room's opposite end with cushions behind it, has a photo on it. One made from the success of her experiment, and it already has several bolts in it. One of them is through his left eye.

The image is of Ethan.

Jennifer is arriving at the library herself. It's still early on Saturday, which means no classes for the collegiate. It's Winter Break anyway. She enters, and looks about, and as-is her wont, the girl calls out in a loud voice "Lunch delivery! Anyone who's hungry, come and get it!"

Claude has been wandering through the library for most of the day— fortunately visible for most of it, like he is now. He's still getting the hang of things over here, but he's starting to get a pretty good feel for where he thinks he might be needed. Like at lunch, right this moment. Jennifer is greeted with a big grin, and he immediately starts to make his way over. "Excellent! I don't even know you yet and you're already offering food. Good start."

She hears the voice calling out and looses her arrow. It flies at the target and embeds itself in the left side of Ethan's face. Cat studies it and mutters under her breath. "Damn. I was aiming for the tip of his nose." The bow is lowered but kept in hand, she grabs the turtleneck with the other and steps out into the library proper. "That you, Jen?" she calls out in a loud voice. The library floor area isn't small, but in its current state sound can sometimes carry well.

Jennifer looks over, and looks surprised. She hasn't seen Claude before, but Helena did send out word there'd be a new person here. But he's older than she expects; older than most of the rest of Phoenix. "I've got an assortment of soups and sandwiches, and some pizza. What can I get for you, sir?" Yep. That's the "younger person to older person" voice. And then she looks up. "It's me, Cat! I've got food. Come get!"

How endearing. It's been a long while since Claude has been addressed with 'sir', and he feels awkward and amused all at the same time. "'Sir'?" He laughs, "'Claude' will do, thanks. I'll have a sandwich."

She walks across toward Jen, and stops a few feet away, spotting Claude there with her. "This will be interesting," Cat murmurs. Still carrying the bow, and with the turtleneck in her hand, she makes greetings. "Good to see you, Jen." She turns. "You too, Claude." Her features show a focus left over from the activity she was pursuing, perhaps a bit fierce at the moment.

Jen takes out one of the roast beef sandwiches from her backpack. He looks like a roast beef kind of guy. Holds it in one hand, and then in her other, assembling itself from center-molecules-outward, a duplicate sandwich appears over her palm. She offers the wrapped twin sandwich to Claude. "Here you are." And then she looks back to Cat, seeming impressed by the archery-look. "Pizza or sammich, Cat?"

Claude's eyebrows lift and the sight of Cat. He chuckles and nods at her greeting, but is then distracted by… the duplicating of sandwhiches. "Seems I've left the most interesting people for last!" He notes with a happy smirk, tilting his head at Jennifer. "What's your name, then? You usually do this kind of thing for the group?"

She chuckles, watching Jen and hearing Claude. "Could I get both?" Cat seems not so intent on choosing between them. A place is found to lay her bow, and she slips the turtleneck on. Her head and arms are hidden inside it for a moment, perhaps an odd look.

Jennifer nods. "Our Lady of the Immaculate Supply Line, that's me." She looks to Cat, and duplicates her another roast beef sandwich, then a foil-wrapped package that must be pizza slice. She passes both over. "Ask and ye shall receive. And it's Jennifer, Claude. Helena says you're the invisible man?"

Claude seems appropriately impressed, already considering situations where Jennifer's ability could be applied. Hmm. "Jennifer, ah." He turns down to his sandwhich to unwrap half of it, then momentarily blinks out of sight, only to return to visibility a second later, a content grin on his face. "That is what they tell me." Cat gets an amused glance, before he starts on his lunch. Omf.

Once her head and hands have emerged from the garment and the collar is dealt with, she takes both of the food items and places one next to her bow, then begins to eat the other. Pizza first, it seems, for Cat. She chews carefully, not talking while food is in her mouth, but once it's clear she states "Stormy said you had a rather classic training method, Claude."

Jennifer looks to the both, before grabbing a pizza slice on her own. "I'll note here, STILL waiting for training, if people are offering. Just as a by the way." Since she has two of them here.

Claude smirks at Jennifer. "My first volunteer! I'll keep you to that, you know. Might be dragged out of bed in the middle of the night for this sometime." Then, to Cat, he shrugs halfheartedly. "I take the gentle approach, the one where you start really carefully and then take it up a notch at a time." He pauses a beat, then explains, "Only I turn it around a bit and do it in reverse."

She chuckles a bit as Claude explains his method. "It's rather like the sink and swim way of doing things." She continues to eat her food, Cat soon being done with her pizza and moving on to the roast beef.

Jen laughs. "Well, right now that beats the "stand around and hope someone will remember that they're supposed to be training you" method. But right now, I'd better finish playing delivery girl and making the rounds. Hungry people and all."

"No drown victims yet. Must be doing my job well." Claude chuckles at Cat, and then bows his head in Jen's direction. "Good to meet you. Hope to help you hold your head above water soon."

"Take care, Jen, thanks for the food!" And with Jennifer going on her way, and her food nearly finished, Cat eyes Claude in a speculative silence. "If I understand this right, you attack and the trainee has to figure out how to stop you. It promotes thinking on one's feet and grace under pressure, creativity, all of that. Trainee defends successfully, or gets thrashed, just like in a real fight."

Claude, stuffing the last of his sandwhich into his mouth, blinks at Cat. Once his mouth's clear again, he says, "… Not that I'm used to hearing it in so many words, but yeah." He squares back his shoulders and folds his arms over his chest. "Even if they all they achieve to do is get smacked over the head, their hatred for me— and ultimately their loss— will drive them to improve. It's simple once you think about it."

"Do you tailor this to specific abilities, or do you just generally act and leave all that to the defender?" Cat's already thinking about how she can use memory in her defense here. It's an intriguing conundrum, for one lacking physical abilities. Most likely she'll have to use her own hands and feet, but there may be an advantage yet. She consumes the last of her food and slips the turtleneck back over her head, to lay it with the bow.

There's a bemused laugh from Claude. "I have to, if I want to stay alive. Can't take the same risks with a telepath as you can with a firestarter, unless you want to lose an eyebrow or two. 'Course, sometimes you have to take a few risks." He pauses for a moment, glancing toward the bow. "Why the curiosity?"

"Got abducted less than a month ago. I got out. My lover didn't." Her voice shows the pain and loss, her face and eyes also, though she forces herself to be mostly stoic. "So not being a victim again is a good thing to work for. I doubt you have anything for timestoppers and injected drugs, but still…" She pauses, watching him. Her own ability, if she has one, isn't stated, but… "I'm neither telepathic or pyrokinetic, Claude."

At this, Claude simply smiles. A silly smile, especially since little more than a stubble is covering it up, but a genuine one. "I know. Heard of people like you before. Never met one, though." But he's been trained plenty to recognize these things. "It's interesting. God forbid you start studying my behavioral patterns if I ever throw you in the ring." Heh.

"My goal," she admits, "would be to not get hit until I can see enough of your patterns to know what's coming next. Like poker players study each other across the table, looking for clues to what the opponent has. To figure out the little things that telegraph your next move. Anyone can do it, but," Cat grins, "for me it's much quicker. And congratulations, you figured me out."

"'One of us, one of them'." Claude quotes, fully expecting Cat to have heard and stored it up before. "It's up to us to know what to expect from both sides, especially after you learn that it's never 'one of us, one of them'. It's 'one of you'. Period. And if I hadn't figured out how to recognize these things, I'd probably be one of nothing by now."

"It cuts in two directions, to have panmnesia," Cat states somberly. "Can't forget anything. Bad movies, crappy books…" Lover having her thumb cut off. She flashes a thin and false smile to hide the recollection's effect on her. "An ability is a tool, like any other, it's all in how it's used.

"Very true. Just because you know something doesn't mean you know how to apply it in any useful way." The not-so-invisible man takes a step back at that point, looking around. "We'll have to test how well you've got that under control some time soon. For now, though, I've got something I have to take care of." Funny how he's already acting like her superior after not even three days of staying here and not even officially having been recruited.

"I can read about karate in a book, and try it, but that doesn't mean the physical movements will be effective without practice, very true," Cat replies. "Or that I have the strength and coodination for it, and battle is swift. Taking time to study the opponent is time he has to end me. That's part of my taste for equalizers. Distance weapons." She picks up the bow. "See you, Claude." And with that, she heads back to resume shooting at Ethan's image.

January 3rd: Devious Little Duckling
January 3rd: Between the Stacks
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