Does The Butterfly Remember The Caterpillar


gillian_icon.gif helena_icon.gif mcrae3_icon.gif michelle_icon.gif

Scene Title Does The Butterfly Remember The Caterpillar
Synopsis It's atmocon 2.0 and another stab is taken at soothing the savage rogue atmokinetic with considerably better results.
Date April 5, 2010

Brennan Household, Brooklyn

The home of people with children and care for their surroundings. A formal living-room for entertaining, a warm inviting kitchen that's spacious and usually filled with the sounds of the owners or the housekeeper cooking something. Various closets for jackets, linens, bathrooms and doors that lead to bedrooms on the second floor. The basement is a a rec room, toys put away properly and clean as well as a large office for the two doctors to retreat to and work if they need to.

Just because one is without actual electricity, it doesn't mean that a house isn't liveable. Not when there's an atmokinetic who lives there regularly and there's two others and an augementor coming for dinner and some atmospheric hijinks. Dinner is terribly simple, spaghetti and garlic bread. No need to worry about cold drinks, one just has to go to the back porch of the brownstown and grab the drinks and such from there. Frozen stuff in a cooler out in the literal snow to stay frozen. Regardless, Michelle has stated over the meal, that she and the girls will likely head to a shelter since getting to Chicago is out of the question.

Children have been fed, entertained, sent off up to bed after saying goodnight to everyone to be looked after by their older sister in the master bedroom and dishes begin shuffled to the sink to be dealt with later. "Well, now that we all have energy to deal with this…" Michelle glances over towards the three who are in her kitchen. "Do we have a plan now?" A glance to Gillian since she's the new person.

"I think the idea was for you to take the lead this time, Michelle. We know the spot to hit this time, so it'll take less effort to find it; well, if it hasn't moved." Helena would have been happy to help with dinner or entertaining children or putting them to bed and the like. "The idea is the soft touch, the carrot, not the whip." She glances wryly to Mcrae before asking, "Yes?"

The newcomer among the group might not have been able to make it if they had to go further then Brooklyn. Gillian doesn't want to leave her kids that long, even if Brian's more than capable of taking care of them. What parts of Staten Island have power still have power, for the most part, making their home a little safer. Though getting back to it tomorrow will be a treat. She may need to call Magnes for a lift.

"When I augmented McR and Hel before, it pretty much wiped me out. I think I'm stronger now than I was then, or at least I have more control. But most likely even if I'm careful with the amount of energy I give off, I'll only be able to keep it up for a little while. Especially with three of you. But it'll give you guys some more energy. I can wait to come in until you find it, and then give you enough to— I guess do your carrot thing." Which, unfortunately, she'll not get to do much taking part in. She's just the battery pack. She doesn't get to experience what they do.

The whip glances back at Helena, a slight furrow knitted in his silvery brow, but he doesn't take issue with her wryness. McRae is well-aware that he'd been something of a mallet last time they went after the rogue atmokinetic. He looks none the worse for wear after his journey across the seas around Staten. Nose slightly ruddy, perhaps, and a hint of wind-chapping to the sturdy line of his mouth, but other than that— you'd have to do worse to beat up the Shaman with raw weather.

No doubt, he has kept himself and the other cultists well away from this Evolved version of Biblical plague.

Gillian's shoulder gets a brief squeeze from rough hands that smell of uncharacteristically high-quality soap, before his hand falls back to his side. His rough-hewn jeans and jacket are an odd contrast against the kitchen's tidy European sensibilities as well, but he fails to look like he feels out of place, here among such talented kindred. "I think we're set. Thank you for the meal, Michelle; it was delightful."

"The two of you can set your points elsewhere. I.. am at a loss to that, but" But she has to set hers where she is. It's not like just fiddling with the ambient temperature. The french woman clears the last late, leaving cups with their respective contents on the table and eases back down to her seat. "So then, I shall set my point and then then Monsieur McRae, then Helena" She says it without the H in her own way. "When we are set and we have found the child then, we shall give a little push to judge the mood and then.. we gather her in our arms and try to sooth her or him, it could be a him." Surely, the other atmokinetics know how to soothe. "Then, the lovely Gillian here will do what she can to help. Yes?" She unfurls a hand to either atmokinetic expectantly.

Helena points out with a faint smile, "Last time, you felt certain it was a her. But either way…I'm game to follow you, Michelle." She pats her belly; full of food. Helena's in a rather good mood, despite much of the current lemons life is handing everyone of late. She slips one hand into the french woman's, the other is offered to McRae.
ORDER: It is now your pose.

"I'm your battery pack. If your kids are Evolved, though, it would probably be a good idea for them to be as far away as possible," Gillian says quietly, looking at the older woman, the real mother. The one who will be starting this whole thing out. "I'm going to have to use my power as a blanket once all three of you are there, so if they're too close, they could get caught in it. Even if they're not manifested, in my experience the energy still tries to go— I we don't expect to happen happen if we can avoid it."

Grave possibilities, where children are concerned. Maybe he would have felt less of a pang if Carolina were still alive. McRae had never asked Michelle whether or not her children were Evolved, though he has no doubt they've been tested.

He glances at the Frenchwoman, fleeting curiosity, before adding his own salient note: "Your range may expand under the influence of Gillian's ability. I remember that the effects were variable— energy can go to any aspect of our gifts and be channeled by force of will." He leans forward, tips his center of balance away from the kitchen counter to stand fully on his own power. Waiting on Michelle's response regarding her children, even as his own pale eyes trail through the wall, wondering.

There's something Michelle never thought about. Unmanifested children. "My range likely. My center? Likely not I would think, one moment… please. I must deal with the children then" Which means that one or more of them are evolved and they have been tested. But that was only recently out of necessity. Michelle pulls away. "Please, help yourself to anything more to drink, put water on for coffee, I will be but a moment!" And away from the kitchen and upstairs she goes.

Helena is mostly quiet while the children are discussed. "You know, the youngest Evolved I think I've ever heard of was Molly…and Niki's kid, though I don't remember his name." Helena admits. "But then there are the kids at the Lighthouse, aren't there? Huh. I wonder what the youngest manifestation is, ever." With that though, she quiets down while Michelle sees to her children.

"I don't know," Gillian admits quietly, as she watches the woman move away. "I think Lily was only seven when she manifested, but I'm not entirely sure. She sounded like she'd had the ability for a while. Most of them are over the age of ten, though. Hailey didn't develop her ability til last year." There's a smile given to McRae for explaining the range thing. "You and Hel have experience with my ability, so since she's going first I'll make sure she gets it gradually. But once you two join I can probably just— let it happen. Hopefully I won't pass out too quickly."

McRae nods his domed head once, thoughtfully, takes his eyes off the door to the stairs. He can hear the good Doctor's wife ascending, and refrains from taking Helena's hand in the interim. That would be socially awkward, in a way that is not— what he'd call necessary. "I manifested less than twenty years ago, and didn't really meet any other Evolved until I wound up in the Fed Pen.

"That being said, I didn't hear about a lot of childhood manifestations while I was in there." His expression darkens fractionally, but he bends his jaw around a smile that isn't altogether insincere. Some things are hard to remember. His tone turns wry. "There were quite a few eruption events that put people there in their adulthood."

Whatever was spoken upstairs, it's quickly done and Michelle is breezing back in, dusting off her hands. "There, they will stay on the other side of the house until I say otherwise" Her hands move with sign language for the first few words till she remembers that they're not deaf. "Sorry for the interruption, let us get to it then" And down she eases again, pushing up sleeves and putting her hands back into McRae's and Helena. It's two ticks of a clock later and the warmth in the house doesn't change but there's that telltale shift in pressure as she focuses on the weather above them and forces her power out. Anchor point one established. Not trying anything fancy yet.

Since she knows where she's headed, so to speak, once the trio have settled in, Helena closes her eyes and focuses on the weather. She reaches out with weather sense, pushing as far as she can until she gets to her point in the triangle, and then inverts that very same sense, holding it at the ready like a beacon. "I'm there." she murmurs softly.

They may go far away in atmo land, and Gillian's still back in the house, watching them carefully, though she takes a chair and pulls it closer, so she can be sitting if she starts to slump. The opening of the knot to begin pouring out energy is gradual, but it spreads through the area, a trickle rather than a flood. To let them adjust to the sensation, get their minds in place. She doesn't get to go along for the ride, but she'll get to fuel it. "One of you'll have to speak up when you're ready for more," she says quietly, as her eyes start to glow. A violet color, shining through her irises.

The third point of the triangle is an old man with a broken heart. McRae looks different this time to how he did back in the car. Quieter, this time, like Helena is. His dignity manifest in careful restraint and self-enforced calm instead of the glowing embers of anger just waiting to be stoked. Yes, the state is ice-locked and wind-battered a dozen times worse than it had been last time just outside of Ipswitch, and the situation is as dire as ever, but he remembers how it had gone.

The last time they tried to take that child to heel, he had felt it in his head, pressure mounting, stones forced into his ears and seething psychic potency crawling gooseflesh on his skin, like they were on the verge of causing a fucking ice age in that conflict.

It isn't just lipservice when he follows Michelle's lead, this time. The secondhand glow from Gillian's power lights him up like a candlewick. The augmentor doubtlessly feels the subtle differences in the three pulls at her nimbus. McRae's the heavyweight.

It's there, just like it was before, but even here a few hundred miles from near where the epicenter of the storm seems to be, it feels just as prolific as it did the last time. In the air, on the wind, in the clouds and the falling snow the sensation of what was at one time loneliness and loss has been replaced with a firm sense of worry and dread, an impending sensation of looming disappointment or suffering; pessimistic and sorrowful.

There's something to be said for the sensation of force behind the storm, the emotions are clearer here than they were almost on top of the source last time. Perhaps its because the weather is surging the way it is, the blizzard at its height emphasizing everything, but the emotional content that the atmokinetics can feel in the storm itself is much more crisp and in focus — high definition angst.

Having found their anchor points in the weather, Helena, McRae and Michelle feel much like seaside rocks battered upon by crashing tides. Even as they just steady their perception of weather's minutiae down to the tingling feel of the cold in their spines and the push of barometric pressure behind their eyes, it is like whatever is out there and causing the storm is pushing them away without even listening.

"Pauvre petite" Michelle murmurs, looking over to Gillian at the introduction of the other woman's power with the answering surge in her own. Tighter control on her own, she's never experienced this before. Its strange and disconcerting to the older female in the room. "She is so…" Many things. She stars to try to gently sink her fingers into the the storm, not at it's epicenter but the snow. "Pick a facet, go gently at it. Let us stop the snow, take over the snow from her. I don't know how to put emotion into what we do like the child does, but… let us take the snow hmm? Take the snow and taper, show her how to do it gentler. Let her do it, and guide her blanket the world gently instead of raging"

"I do, though." Helena interjects softly. "I mean…well. I can feel it, and my mood can effect it, so if you help me, guide me a little? I might be able to be our mouthpiece." There's a concert - McRae, the power, Michelle, the guide, Helena, the voice. And Gillian - the battery! She maneuvers her power as per Michelle's instruction, gently working at the storm front from her end with what might be a surprising delicacy.

The battery begins to glow, more and more, the light around her eyes spreading to cover her skin, and begin to pour out to each of them as well. Some more than others. The hammer that the bald atmo wields means there's just more energy getting pulled, she can't hold it all in as much as she may want.

"Man, I wish I could see what you guys are seeing," she mutters quietly, recalling her brief stint with Helena's atmokinesis. It hadn't been her most wonderful memory, but she does remember how it felt, and how it responded to her emotions.

"I'm not sure you do," McRae answers the augmenter, gravely. In confirmation, however, his eyes are disfocused, his pupils hanging as motionless in pale irises as coalesced ink in water, some medium distance or a spectacle that transcends distance entirely.

"She is very unhappy." Understatement of the year, but oddly enough, not only is there ominous aversion tinging the old man's gravelly voice, this time, but also a reluctant touch of sympathy. In high definition, it's difficult to find an optimistic spin to put this in, and the raw, roiling power behind his ability brings with it a certain conversational fluency. Storms have called when McRae was angry. He can only imagine the sheer depth and height of this strange child's misery and isolation. There's a beat. His eyes almost slide into focus, glancing at the female atmokinetics.

It means good luck. "I'm not sure how to speak her language."

It is a language of turbulent emotions, not entirely unlike that of an emotional teenager facing the hormonal ups and down of puberty put onto a canvas of meteorological significance. Despite all of the seemingly apocalyptic weather, there is one emotion in this language of storms that all three of the atmokinetics can feel absent in their senses; regret. There is no sympathy for the difficulty this weather is causing, no regret, no unfortunate feeling of tragedy. There is just that selfish sense of loneliness and longing and perhaps an obliviousness to how it is effecting others.

Even as they debate how to best interact with the weather, it's clear that for as much as McRae, Michelle and Helena feel the storm, the storm feels them back, and the eddies and currents of emotional deluge that drive the sub-zero temperatures lower and lower press down against the intruders in awkwardly shouldered burden.

"She is very lonely too" Michelle nods, letting Helena take the lead since it seems, she can impress her emotions into the weather like this rogue can. "We want to be gentle. maybe try some sympathy at first and then lead into happiness. I will work on the snow with Gillian's help, try to ease it around the city some. If we don not think we can get him or her to stop, we can at least see about getting her to lessen it see where she retracts back to" And Michelle does that, working with her own augmented section to ease the snow, letting her ability tickle the storm with her own evolved ability and aid Helena in making the tempest calm a little .

Helena's gentle efforts are probably minor in the face of the greater storm, and Helena closes her eyes against the feelings that really aren't that far away from her own experience. As she works, something like a memory comes to her: relaxing with the other women of Phoenix at Cat's one day, laying on the couch while Dee sat near her, and Delilah and Helena braided each others hair. It's a familiar, comforting ritual, often shared by young women, a connection between friends.

The interlacings of Helena's manipulations begin to take on a sort of similar quality - companionship, intermixing - the offer of camaraderie as she nudges closer to the strange atmokinetic's influence. There can be braids, and of more than just hair.

Leaning back in her chair, Gillian feels her own little strange world deep inside. Three pulses of energy pulling on her power source, dragging her in. Even with her eyes closed, the glowing doesn't stop, and in fact begins to brighten in color as she opens the knot more and more, to supply their efforts with more power and light. But unfortunately, the sweat has already started to form on her forehead. Three people using their ability as much as these three need to— is draining her, just as she thought it might.

In the meantime, McRae keeps himself— from breathing too loud, both physically and psychically. He keeps himself in the background while all the braiding and soothing goes on in the fore, tries not to lurk so much as he's merely waiting, platforming the other two but remaining otherwise still, stable, hopefully more a reassuringly boring element in the background than an ominous threat awaiting misstep.

He has no doubt that the girl does or will recognize him for the same battering ram she'd struck away weeks before. He's as much trying to disguise himself otherwise as he is showing a change of ways. Outwardly, he blinks a pale eye at Gillian, but says nothing.

There doesn't feel to be recognition in the weather's reaction to Helena and Michelle's delicate touch, or even McRae's more subtle weaving of air currents and temperature shifts that seem innocuous on the surface but lay a foundation and groundwork for greater changes to come. The weather patterns make a noticeable visible shift outside the windows of Brennan's apartment as the turbulent winds calm and the snow seems to ease up very gradually.

This violent weather pattern doesn't stop, and while the negative emotions don't abate they are joined by something that was not there a moment ago, something represented in unpredicted eddies of warm air running criss-cross through the upper atmosphere over the house; bewilderment and confusion. Whoever, whatever is causing this doesn't seem to understand why it's suddenly the focus of this attention.

But it does make a notable point— they have the source's attention now.

"The carrot now?" Michelle inquires, glancing over to the other atmokinetics then smiles to Gillian. "Remind me to get you something for helping like this. I've never felt this before" She murmurs, hands tightening on the other two. "Do we want to press for stopping the snow, or shall we go for more? Gillian has sweat on her forehead" She'll take the lead off Helena though, still working on easing the snow even further, hoping to reduce it to gentle drifting flurries or nothing.

"If we can end this - if Gillian can hold out, we should." Helena murmurs. She presses her advantage, a little, and gradually more. Her efforts increase, but take on a sense of tentativeness, as if trying to understand what it is the mystery person wants. I want to work with you. I want to help you. How can I help you?

"I'm good, keep going," Gillian says, despite some strain to her voice. Her voice always was raspy, but it's a bit more so now. "Just haven't used this much power in a while. Not as bad as— not that bad yet." Not as bad as Antarctica, she almost said. At least here she can hold in some small piece for herself, hold it in reserve. If they need an extra push at the end, she'll still have enough. As it is, it doesn't seem like she's weakening, at least in output. "Just keep going."

For all her voice, Helena is met with not quite resistance, but more reluctance. There is at least an abatement of the storm's violent winds and driving snow at the height of the blizzard, but it isn't by any measure of force that the three atmokinetics have quelled this storm, not here, so far away from its source. It is very likely that Gillian's presence, her prolific power of amplification that has them capable of interacting and manipulating the weather the way they do.

The storm doesn't cease though, it merely quiets enough to hear the unusual. There is a very clear — clearer than the last time these weather witches had gathered together — sense of uncertainty in the weather patterns, everything shifting and in flux now, representing a state of confusion and disconcertment that borders on anxiety.

There's an old proverb; "does the butterfly remember the caterpillar." In a way it applies here, but does the storm remember the calm? It doesn't seem so.

"There we go, good job Helena, Monsieur McRae, Gillian. One more time, she will hopefully pull her hands back and go back to just petulant and lonely and give the city a rest from the snow. Show her how to calm it. She does not have finesse I would think that we have. Show her" Michelle murmurs, even as she squeezes the hands of the others.

A memory you may have forgotten, let me show it to you: Helena blankets the area of front that's under her control. "McRae, could you…?" she wants him to help her smooth over a wider area of front. "This is what it's like," she murmurs, "See?" Like a widespread hand, the turbulence of the areas she has under management rests, cracks of moonlight breaking through cloud.

And the old man obliges gladly, swiftly, though not before his face betrays a token surprise that that actually worked. Well, what do you know? Conjuring vast, piledriver columns of hurricane-funneled seawater, incinerating fire-winds and the thunder of gods gone bowling is actually unnecessary, at times, when it comes to negotiating with the weather. Of course, as a generalized pacifist, he probably should have known this, but even the most staid of souls have their particular pride.

And he hadn't liked how the petty creature was dealing with his weather. His mood improves considerably now that she's stepped back a fraction. He moves in, gradually, laying claim to the atmospheric strata from its bottommost and their center and then outward, teasing smooth the rough creases, puckered threads and rended texture of storm-weather. The wick of him glows brighter as he does it, a needle-toothed draft drunk from Gillian's soul.

Of all of them, McRae keeps pulling on her attempts to hold energy in. Gillian actually flares brighter at one point, the glow expanding out around her, before she reins it back in. Now would not be the time to test things out, and she doesn't want to take things away when this might be able to help. Fuck knows she'd like to be able to go home without wading through snow, or shoving what should be a public street… Slow breaths keep her going, as her eyes stay closed. Her shoulders are slouching, and that bead of sweat on her forehead has become a full gleen over her whole face. Though it's hard to see over the fact she's glowing.

What might go unnoticed to the four people in this room is the sheer miraculous nature of their convergence. Three people capable of communicating with and manipulating the very weather itself are linked by a young woman who's radiant body only makes them stronger in the combating of some ethereal and unknown force of nature itself; like some small myth pulled out of obscure pages and painted across a contemporary canvas.

The snow halts entirely, precipitation that had been burying the city since Sunday coming to a close just like that. Amidst the calming of the storm, Helena and the others can feel the easement of calmed nerves and soothed fears, but that undercurrent of cold air — fear — still remains. All the platitudes and comforts in the world won't matter for too long unless the source of what's driving an atmokinetic this powerful to reckless lack of control is found.

At best, Michelle, Helena and McRae have discovered a stop-gap, a temporary measure by which the terrible storm can at least be stalled. Perhaps in that, they can have the time to find a more permanent solution.

So all they have to do is keep meeting up whenever the weather starts to take a turn and do this all again. Until… that permanent solution happens. "And now, we give her a pat on the back, let her know that she has done well and then we pull back slowly to see if she will keep it up with the nicer" Compared to how it's been. "Weather" Michelle murmurs.

Helena nods to Michelle, letting her gaze unfocus as she lets the clouds thin even more for brief glimpses of beautiful, starry sky. There. Isn't that so much better? She tries to expand that clarity, that serenity, quelling her own doubts in her effort to ease the troubles of the one pushing so hard to cause the cold.

"I'm not sure how to make this hold." When McRae finally speaks, his voice emerges darker and faintly cracked. Not quite tired, not entirely burnt out, or not as much as the coalescing perspiration on Gillian's skin indicates she's getting, but there's a different kind of strain showing. Of restraint, partly, concentration. Finesse is difficult to manage in circumstances like these, the temptation to work faster here, to cut corners with more brutal efficiency there, all this power at his beck and call. "She feels better now, but we've fixed nothing but the weather."

Almost as soon as they say that they've fixed nothing but the weather, the glow dies out from Gillian's skin and she slumps forward, resting her sweat soaked face in her hands. At least she's still conscious, but it definitely doesn't look like she's going home tonight. Even without the snow piled up outside. "So it worked? At least somewhat?" she asks, unaware of most of the struggle that they've faced, because she had her own struggle to deal with.

"It's worked. Somewhat. But like Monsieur explains… it cannot hold and will not hold. It is a duct tape over a hole in a bucket. The tape will come off, sooner or later" Michelle's chair pushes out and a hand goes gently to Gillian's wrist, working her fingers in to check the womans pulse. "You are all welcome to stay, there is more than enough room and I can keep the place warm easily. There is food and I can dig up evening clothes for all of you" Even McRae.

"I think we need to find her." Helena says. "We need to find her, physically. I think if we're actually there for her," she looks around at the others, "We might be able to end this."

A beat's hesitation, then one burly arm comes to rest around Gillian's shoulders, giving a brief squeeze: a wolfish kind of comraderie. McRae giving her a sidelong squeeze, a wry smile canted down from his superior height— even seated, before he looks up at Michelle with a nod. "I think our augmentor's about tanked for tonight.

"I concur with Helena." He begins to rise, setting an ushering palm on the brunette girl's slight shoulder. It's a tacit query, and an unspoken offer, but something about Shaman and little girls these days: he doesn't want to push it any further than that. "I don't know how you'd go about finding her, especially if she doesn't want to be found, but… if she decides she wants help, I have no doubt we could."

"Yeah, tank'd's a good fucking word, but at least I'm not passed out on the floor," Gillian says, well aware that it could have been a lot worse. As it is— "I should be able to at least make it to whatever bed or couch you got available, but I'm definitely not going anywhere else tonight." There will be a lot of sleeping, and then she'll brave it tomorrow.

"Hopefully it'll be easier to get home tomorrow, though." After they put the duct tape on.

Michelle extracts her tendrils from the weather as clear as it is, one by one till all that's left is just her taking back up the control of the temperature in the house, it adjusting to just comfortable for everyone. Not that the people here wouldn't have trouble setting their own little atmosphere's around themselves.

"Monsieur, help her up, Second room on the left. She can stay in the twins room, Helena, if you need, can stay there as well. McRae if you do not wish to chance the snow on the ground, Marlena's can be used. Might I remind that i have young children and three year olds are sponges. Language is asked to be observed. Please, no swearing" Back from the table she moves, to clear glasses and heat some water.

"Helena? Would you check on the girls? Let us see if anything has happened to them? Let us hope" A glance to Gillian. "That I will not have to send you all with a message for Brennan about a first" Not that it would be the end of the world.

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