faulkner_icon.gif isis_icon.gif

Scene Title Embers
Synopsis In the aftermath of the Ohio River fire, two former flames take a moment to sift the embers.
Date June 29, 2021

Raytech Industries Corporate Campus
Jackson Heights
NYC Safe Zone

June 29th
10:04 pm

Isaac Faulkner is not having a good day. He would, in fact, say that he is having the opposite of a good day. The headache that rattles around his skull more often than not is in rare form today, howling like a banshee. His vision's a little touchy too; probably he's had too much excitement today, what with dodging killer robots and.


And everything that had come before.

There are other problems, but the migraine is the one he'd rather focus on. The… episode from earlier seems to have passed, at least — no more time lapses at the moment. No more memories.

He can't do anything about any of them, but the migraine is at least immediate. The migraine, at least, he can try to mitigate, to control. Which is what he's doing. He's found a room that's not currently full of burned or wounded victims, and is focusing on his breathing, trying to relax. Trying to get a grip. Trying to, at the very least, stay out of the way, so the people who can theoretically do something don't have to worry about tripping over him.

True - the room is, in fact, not currently full of victims. Because it’s a storage room. Not the good ol’ janitorial kind. Nah. Surely Raytech has robots or something do to the remedial cleaning tasks. That explains why the storage room is full of a weird array of objects - little circular replacement broom attachments, led bulbs, a dismebodied SPOT-bot leg, and an old Magic 8 Ball, to name a few amidst the boxes of barcoded, but otherwise unlabeled, materials.

The cacophony of the wounded crescendos briefly, the only sign that the well-maintained door is opened before- “You have got to be fucking kidding me!”

The pitch of the statement is one of excitement, despite its choice phrasing. The redhead slams the door shut behind her… or she might have if it didn’t have one of those whisper-close arms above that makes the door rebound ever so slightly before impact and gently easing back into its frame.

Isis gives the door a double-take, attention jostling between Isaac and the inanimate object that dare spoil her entrance.

Isaac looks up, and for a moment says nothing at all. He's not even sure what to say, for a moment.

"Glad you're alive," is what finally comes out.

“You…” Isis cuts her chin towards one shoulder, considering Isaac from the corner of her eye. “..too?” Yeaaaah. The initial excitement has been downgraded to an uncertain warriness about the Isaac before her. The way her gaze darts unabashedly from one detail to the next across his form suggests a certain level of concern or confusion… or something between the two. She draws one arm across herself to tug her brown leather bomber jacket more tightly to her.

“I’m supposed to be- uh… Flashlights, or something…” She gestures hither-thither with a pointed finger, but seems incapable of looking for the tasked items. “In case, I dunno…”

And just as quickly as if someone had snapped their fingers, her brows furrow deeply and a sharp step draws her quickly closer. “Did you come in with all the craziness? Are you okay?”

"Still just me. Not the real one," he offers off-handedly.

"Yeah. Got chased in by some kinda robot terror dog. Like that thing from Ghostbusters — the first one. But with a machine gun," he says, with an exhalation that's too faint to really be a chuckle. "Some people died."

He hesitates for a moment before answering the second one. "Had another… episode out there. Seizure or something. Was on the way here to catch up with Dr. Stoltz; she's the one handling all of this. But it's mostly abated and she's dealing with people bleeding out and the like, and I can't be trusted with anything important right now because there's a very real chance I'll freeze up and stand around staring into space while someone's bleeding out," he says, his anger and frustration seeping into his voice at the end.

Isaac takes a deep breath. "Just… trying to. You know. Deal with all of the…" he gestures dismissively. "All of the everything, I guess. And stay out of the way."

His lips tighten into what's more of a grimace than a smile. "You?" he asks.

“Not the real…” squint.
“Oh yeah, right…” Isis glances runs her restless hand through her hair, tangling the mess there further. “Fuck…” she mutters quietly, hand still in her hair as she stares and listens, and… well, stares some more.

“Fuck,” she repeats. “That's a lot. I’m… sorry.” The way she lets the word hang at least suggests she apologizing for more than the shit-show that Faulkner 2.0 has experienced just recently. But, she doesn’t expand on it any further than that.

“Me? I came in with some burns.” The fingers tighten where they hold closed the wornout leather jacket. “Offered to stay and help out, but- Well, I’m pretty sure there’s no fucking flashlights in here, or at the very least no need for them at present, if that gives any indication on how well my helping is going around here.”

At her visible discomfiture at the reminder of his status, Isaac snorts. "Hi, yes. It me," he says dryly, lifting a hand in a casual wave.

The momentary good humor doesn't last long, though; at her apology he seems to deflate a bit. "Not your fault," he says.

When she mentions burns, though, his expression grows more attentive, concerned. The fact that she's walking around instead of stuck in a bed suggests that they weren't too bad, at least. But when the topic shifts to help, he nods glumly. "Yeah," he says. "So I guess neither one of us can do much right now."

Again, he falls silent for a moment. "Glad your burns weren't too bad," he offers. "I, uh. I heard them say the river caught fire."


Leave me out with the waste

This is not what I do

The redhead winces as the man before her waves away his own dry statement of self. “I didn’t mean it like that,” she backpedals. Then her eyes nearly roll up up into her skull as she groans. “I forgot.” Her faces scrunches up tight as she rubs a fist into her forehead, like she can massage her brain matter into some semblance of order through the flesh and bone barrier. “I fucking forgot. Not the whole time, or anything. But, sometimes I forget what I’m looking for. Who I’m fucking looking for.”

She opens her eyes, only one bright hazel orb visible from the way she still holds her fist to her head, to look at him. “Gods, you’re the perfect fucking replica, huh?” she inquires in equal measures pain and awe.

It's the wrong kind of place

To be thinking of you

"I am the only me I've ever known," Isaac says flatly, and the only hint of the anger he feels at the knifesharp pain of perfect replica is the sharpness of his gaze as he looks at her. Then he sighs. "And as much as I'd like to, I can't help you find him, either," he says, pain showing on his face.

Faulkner shakes his head. "Look, he'll probably be glad as hell to know you're looking for him," he says. "But he's not here, and flashlights aren't here, and if… if…"

He'd been doing so well up until now, but at this point his voice finally cracks, and that's all it takes. His face twists into a pained grimace, one hand coming up to his face, his thumb and forefinger surreptitiously wiping his eyes clean of treacherous tears before coming in to pinch at the bridge of his nose.

"Dammit," he mutters, cursing his weakness.

One broad boot heel comes up, her weight leaning back, her face half turning away behind a curtain of tussled coppery locks - as if she can dodge, or at least hide from, the daggers in his gaze.

The next blow is gutteral: …I can’t help you find him… What is that sickened feeling? Something weak, certainly, for the way her body quickly converts it into something knowable; something useful - sharp, hot anger.

But, she doesn’t get a chance to bath in that securely familiar, fiery phase. The catch in his voice snaps her back to the shame and the hopelessness instead. The tilt of her body overcorrects, taking her forward in a way that has her crashing into him. She presses her forehead against his cheek and wraps her arms tight around his shoulders - tight enough to comfort, maybe. Or, at least tight enough to silently ask not to be pushed away.

It's the wrong time

For somebody new

“They’re not here,” she agrees in a strained whisper. “But, you are. And, I am-…” She clears her throat in the hollow little space under his chin. “And, I am an asshole,” she elaborates. “I’m sorry.”

Leave me out with the waste

This is not what I do

Isaac freezes as Isis falls into him. He should try to push her away. He should. He knows this — if her power tries to swap with him again, they'll both be in trouble. And yet… something about the oh-so-familiar warmth of her seems to rob the strength from his arms, to take away the capacity for even words. All he can do is exhale, one of his own arms coming up to ever so gently wrap around her shoulders. He closes his eyes, his head leaning slightly against hers for a moment, more treacherous tears slipping from his tightly closed eyes as he just… lets himself be held. Lets himself feel, for a moment, that he's not alone.

Her small shoulder hitch once, then twice, under his arm before dissolving into a silent tremble while her face remains tucked into him and his tears disappear into her red mane. She sniffles and buries down the scratching, lurching urge of her ability to the pit where the rest of her pain resides - letting them co-exist somewhere in the distant periphery of this moment. Neither forgotten, but…

She’s not giving up. She should tell him.
She’s going to find The Original. - She should say as much.

Instead she says,

“I miss you.”

It's the wrong kind of place

To be cheating on you

"I missed you too," Isaac says quietly, feeling some of the emotions he's been choking on slowly start to seep out. He didn't miss the tense in her words — I miss you — and he knows what lies behind that, too, but… a moment is alright. Surely a moment is alright.

It's the wrong time

But she's pulling me through

He holds on for awhile longer — holding her, being held — until he feels like he can breathe again. Until he feels her trembling start to calm. Then, only then, does he let his arm fall away from her shoulders. "We… should probably, uh…" he says quietly, trailing off at the end.

And so they allow themselves this moment. A little slice of what was and what could be and everything in between as the world turns and burns around them.

As his arm falls away, she turns her face into her own sleeve briefly before taking the cue - stepping back and meeting his gaze. A subtle redness rings her eyes, but the way the corners of her peachy-pale lips turn up is more secure. “Yeah, we should probably find some way to help or something…” She spares the barcoded boxes one last glance and snorts. “Some other way.”

The cacophony returns as she opens the door and holds it ajar. “Shall we?”

It's a small crime

And I've got no excuse

Isaac lets out a single weary chuckle. He still feels like a hot mess, but… he does feel a little better now. And getting out and doing something is… probably better than lurking in a forgotten storage closet until he grows mold or whatever, even if that's what he really feels like doing at the moment.

Maybe especially if that's what he really feels like doing at the moment.

"Yeah," he says, nodding and tiredly pushing off the wall he's leaning on, stepping out the open door before looking back and giving her a weary grin. "Yeah. Let's."

It's a small crime

And I've got no excuse

Is that alright? Is that alright?

Is that alright with you?

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License