Don't You Think She Looks Tired?


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Scene Title Don't You Think She Looks Tired?
Synopsis Barbara finds Rue on what the former hopes and the latter insists is just an off day.
Date May 10, 2011

Pollepel Island: Bannerman's Castle

The name Bannerman's Castle is as deceiving as its appearance; built stone by stone more than a century ago, the now crumbling fortress, seemingly derelict, was in its glory days used as a military surplus warehouse and still carries the faded words Bannerman's Island Arsenal on one of its walls. Time and neglect have since taken a hefty toll on the property, which belongs to the Maxwell Development Corporation in name, but is in reality much more than a prized relic.

On the outside, ivy creeps up its walls, some stripped down to skeletal supports and others as strong and stalwart as the day they were erected. In the decades that Pollepel Island has been abandoned, nature has reclaimed a large portion of the castle where its roof has caved in, creating courtyards of stone and saplings, thorny bushes and wire fences put up to section the most tangled hollows off. A few have been cleaned up, exposing worn stone floors that serve as gathering places for the people who live inside the ruins, and where the walls are tallest, shielding one open cavern from the mainland's view, there is a metal drum to burn fires in and large chunks of stone arranged around them in a circle.

Inside, Bannerman's Castle has been re-purposed by the Ferrymen network as northern stronghold with its own electrical grid powered by basement generators, though most of the castle is lit by gas lanterns and candles to conserve fuel. Tall ceilings reinforced with wooden rafters are a feature in almost every room, including the castle's dining hall and the basement kitchen where food is prepared on outdated stoves and ovens taken from restaurants on Staten Island that were abandoned in the wake of the bomb and later repaired and refinished for installation in the kitchen.

Also in the basement are the fortress' supply rooms, which are kept under lock and key and contain everything from cured meats to additional linens, firearms, ammunition and fuel for the generators that power Bannerman. The living quarters and infirmary are located on the ground floor in the corner of the castle that's most intact, and while the narrow corridors are drafty, a lot of time and effort has gone into insulating the rooms themselves as best they can be insulated with what supplies were available and fit the budged allocated to the network's reconstruction efforts.

The sun is shining over Pollepel Island. Or it will be once it finishes rising in the sky. It encourages people who normally stay cooped up to slip outside to enjoy the springtime. And for those who spend time outside regardless of the season or weather, it's just an added bonus.

Rue Lancaster just arrived back from a trip to the mainland the night before, so it's no surprise that she's out in the courtyard in her dance kit. Grey tank top, black shorts, and pale pink legwarmers, battered silver pointe shoes on her feet. Purple buds in her ears, she's making the most of the charge on her iPod by dancing one of her memorised routines rather than just going through her workout motions.

The sky painted brilliant pink, orange, and red behind her makes for a beautiful backdrop that the dancer might be able to appreciate if she weren't using a brick on the castle wall as a focal point to avoid becoming dizzy as she spins in tight circles in time with the music. The last time she attempted to make it through this piece, there was still ice on the ground, and she fell. Today, she has much more confidence in herself.

Being out enjoying warm weather is not something that Barbara Zimmerman has been able to really partake of in going on a year. SO today, she's out savouring that opportunity with walks around the island and games played with a few of the younger kids. Dressed in shorts and a short sleeve white shirt, Barbara as usual has a hat covering her head, though for once to actually keep light out of her eyes, rather than keep her head warm.

The courtyard is just the most recent stop on her little tour of the castle grounds, and stepping in, she's surprised to see who she see,s an eyebrow raised as she watches Rue for a few moments. "I didn't know you danced," she remarks when a routine reaches a low point, not wanting to interrupt the other woman's dance. "You do it quite well. Have you ever considered putting on a small show for some of the kids? I'm sure it would be appreciated."

Rue's turns begin to slow. She seems to come to the point where she would take a bow for an adoring crowd, but instead she stumbles forward a couple steps, flat-footed. Barbara's words don't seem to register right away, the girl brushing her dark, unbound hair away from where it tacked to lashes and gloss and sweat on her brow. Normally bright blue eyes seem dull as she blinks.

"Oh," she responds finally in a quiet voice, a small smile following. "Thank you. And sure, if the kids wanted, I would love to dance for them. I didn't think kids liked the ballet much these days, though." She fishes her iPod from her pocket to turn it off, winding her headphones around the device slowly. "Warm out here this morning." And she fans her face with both hands as though to demonstrate.

Barbara can't help but laugh as Rue stumbles forth, a grin on her face as she listens to the other woman. "Well… the might not," Barbara says with a bit of a laugh. "But we can't exactly be picky for entertainment out here, can we? I think they might appreciate something to do." She shrugs a bit, arms crossing as she looks past Rue.

"It's a nice change of pace, to be entirely honest," she remarks with a laugh. "Unlike what people think, it wasn't always cold back up in Thompson. But it didn't often get this hot. And with everything that's happened since then…" A sad look, if for just a second, "There hasn't been much chance to enjoy it when it was warm. It's nice, being able to walk around without my sweatshirt or anything like that."

Rue looks tired when she smiles again. Which may have something to do with the fact that it's dawn, and most people her age tend not to rise for another hour or two. Or that she's rumoured to suffer from nightmares and can be found wandering the halls at night when she can't sleep. Despite all those things, they rarely keep her from looking chipper. She looks decidedly uncheerful as she rolls her shoulders back slowly and stretches her arms up over her head. "Anything I can do to help out," she responds, eyes lidding heavily for a moment.

"I suppose," Rue concedes after a moment, "that the heat isn't all bad." Though even compared to Thompson, it isn't hot outside right now. The dark-haired girl looks like she feels it's 80 degrees instead of 64, though, for all that she tugs at the front of her shirt to create a bit of a breeze.

Her eyes turn toward the ground for a moment, searching for something. An aluminum water bottle several feet away, apparently. She seems to trudge in that direction. The stoop to retrieve it isn't the fluid, graceful movement Barbara might expect from a dancer. Rue moves like her limbs are made of lead.

Watching Rue carefully for a moment, Barbara's eyes narrow a bi. She purses her lips, a finger tapping on it's opposite arm. "Rue," Barbara says once the other woman is upright. "Are you alright?" There's a bit of a worried look on her face - the sweat, the slower, less graceful movements, the unhappy and tired look - it paints a picture that, in the initial few moments, says some very bad things to Barbara. People who are getting sick look like that. "You're not feeling unwell, are you?"

Rue makes a startled mm sound around a mouthful of water at the question. Once she's swallowed it down, she's quick to shake her head. "I'm fine. It's just allergy season." She takes another drink of water, and then starts coughing.

A hand is held up quick to placate Barbara. "I just swallowed wrong," Rue wheezes. "And… And besides. I got vaccinated."

"You're sure?" Barbara doesn't sound entirely believing, all things considered. "This new strain, that… that friend of your friend," Calvin, "set out, we're not sure if the vaccinations will have any effect on it. I think you should go see Megan, or since you can, maybe to a doctor on the mainland, if you don't feel better, Rue." A small smile, and a laugh. "Just to be safe, you know? I certainly hope it's not the case. The last thing anyone wants is more people to get sick, and you've been doing an awful lot around here lately. If no one's thanked you for all of that - thank you. The network appreciates it."

Rue waves off either the thanks for the concern or the advice. Hard to say. "I'm Expressive," she half-jokes with the term, a quirk to her lips. "The strain they're talking about on the news only effects the normals. And I got my vaccine," she reiterates. She shakes her head, attempting to sound reassuring despite dark circles under her eyes that only look more pronounced against her pale skin. "At worst it's a cold," she insists with a shake of her head. "At worst."

Barbara watches Rue for a few moments more, quirking her lips a bit. "I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't ask you to be careful. To get see a doctor just in case," she says with a widening smile. "Even if it's not the 5-10, we need to be careful not to get others sick out here. I'm sure you're fine, though, Rue." She hopes, at least. It would be a shame if yet another one of the Ferrymen was coming down with the flu, Evo-Flu or not. "Just use caution, all the usual stuff. Maybe see if Megan has any medicine for your allergies, at least."

"I'll start wearing those masks that Delia recommended again. That should help you feel better." As if Rue isn't the one that obviously needs to be feeling better. "I'll take it easy and if I start feeling worse, I'll see Ms Young." Quietly, she sighs and stares down at her midsection, giving it a poke. "Man," she draws out in a whine, "I don't want to get fat, but this might be all the workout I get for today. Maybe I'll skip breakfast. I'm not very hungry anyway."

Barbara snorts a bit at that. "I don't think anyone's going to get fat being out here, being what meals are. I wouldn't worry about that too much." The note that she's not too hungry is filed away, Barbara giving a bit of a nod. "I hope you feel better, Rue. And yes, see Ms. Young if you feel any worse. She'll want to know, even if it's nothing serious."

"I'll consider that council orders," Rue quips, bringing two fingers to her forehead to salute. "I'm going to head inside and get some coffee or tea or something. Get some caffeine. Wake me up a bit." Sweeping her hair over one shoulder, she slowly heads for the steps, "I'll be right as rain again, as my mother says, in no time. See you around, Barbara."

Barbara gives a nod, finally letting her arms fall back to her side, a finger aimed at Rue as she gives her farewell. "Be well, Rue. Again, I hope you feel better." A small nod, and Barbara stands, watching the other woman make her retreat. There's a worried look on her face, even as she tries to make sure Rue can't see it. She's going to have to get someone to keep an eye on her. Just in case. Right?

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