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Scene Title Empathy
Synopsis Ryans and Huruma are finally able to catch up to each other after the raid on the Company.
Date September 04, 2010

Gun Hill: Rooftop

Situated atop the Gun Hill apartment building, five stories above street level, the rooftop of the tenement building overlooks the Bronx's gritty urban landscape. A single stair access leads out onto the smooth concrete rooftop surrounded by a three foot high red brick wall with a masoned top. Ventillation pipes and a chimney that connects to the singular fireplace down in the basement rises up from the concrete rooftop, though the chimney's old brick is crumbling and weathered.

A pair of old sun-bleached folding lawn chairs are situated out on the roof along with a plastic cooler, while white sacks of loam and soil are set next to large lengths of scrap wood, a box of nails and a few carpentry tools; a project in the works.

He stands quietly on the roof, blue eyes scanning over the other buildings around him, expression unreadable as he's lost in his thoughts. Gone is the long brown duster, shirts and slacks, more importantly the ever present fedora. His brown hair moves in the gentle breeze that eases the growing heat of the day, brushing against his forehead.

A dark red flannel is worn over a white t-shirt, his jeans seem worn and his work boots scuffed. Donations more then likely, given to him by the people that were hiding him. The suit he had been wearing was soaked in the blood and possibly tainted from traveling through the bowels of Fort Hero.

He's quiet, stoic and unreadable on the exterior. Underneath it's is a much more complicated and twisted collection of emotions shot through with a deadly chill. Ryans is a man who isn't content just to sit around, but he also knows that sometimes the wait is most important.

There are a few minutes wherein Huruma stays silent, still, just behind the door to the roof. It looks as though she is listening to the outside world, her head leant inches forward, chin tucked and ear cocked to the door. It is so much more than audio reconnaissance for her. Emotional reconnaissance is so much harder to pull off than its variants; Huruma's ability lends her the capability of doing it with much less difficulty. But in the end, navigating individual storms can be as worrisome as if she had not had help in the first place.

When she finally lifts her fingers to push down the knob and open the door, she is still hoping that her moment of silence was enough. Royal purple is quite a change from her usually vamp colors- the one sleeve top puts her, in that color, at immediate odds with her background. Huruma doesn't wait to be addressed before stepping across the concrete; her single, draped sleeve flutters its hem at her elbow, the movement reminiscent of a landing bird.

She sighs, quite loudly.

"…Can you get any more predictable?"

Head turning ever so slightly, Ryans glances to the tall woman as she approached. There is an upward tick of his brows. "What do you mean?" He asks with one side of his mouth twitching a bit to one side. "Standing on a rooftop?"

There is a soft sigh as he turns his attention back to the city listening to the high pitched whine of the sirens. He finally says, "Only six of us." A little twist of remorse over takes the storm for a moment, "Mostly non-evolved." His head shakes slowly. "They threw it all at us. DHS and Institute. Lost a lot of very good people." He murmurs softly. "Crowley… Grant… Rossling." Another long sigh escapes him.

"I know there is rejoicing from most, but… I don't think they understand what just happened." Lips press into a thin line. "I just hope Sabra got everything destroyed."

"While at first, I felt th'same- as all of you now realize how it mus'feel-" To be hunted. "I also know all too well th'manner of things that were being protected from people like that." Huruma comes alongside him, exchanging her gaze from out over the Bronx, and back to the man near her. Six agents of the New York offices. Of how many? Too many, if you ask her. "Have you'eard anything from th'other offices?" She is doubtful, but, it is a question that still hovers.

"Were they all taken in, here?" Huruma's next question is far less businesslike, and purely for her interests. Her volume dips enough for the change to be heard.

"I haven't asked Rebel what he might have heard since, but that night he said they hit all of it." Everything. Ryans gaze falls to the wall in front of him, before glancing at Huruma. "I don't regret the people I've hunter, Huruma. Just like with you." Things maybe different now, but it's something he doesn't apologize for. "You know how dangerous you were then… are now.

"I regret the things the Company did that put us in such a bad light." The words spoken firmly. "Eldridge once accused me of kidnapping children. Not what I did, unless they were dangerous, like the young girl who burned her parents alive when they had an argument."

The flick of a bird catches his attention and he watches it soar into the sky. "And yes, we are here… for now." He rumbles softly. "I have no idea what they have planned for us, but at this point we are at their mercy."

"You would'ave come after me when I was a girl, too." Huruma proffers some of her dry humor, lips ticking up for the length of a breath. They form back to neutral a moment later. "Regrets are fickle things. They often'ave people at their mercy, too. Or sometimes, not." The tall woman shifts, sidles to her left, and perches there on the masonry of the wall. A precarious sort of place- but he knows her balance is just as strong as the rest. That is, as long as he doesn't suddenly decide to push her off.

"D'you know wha'you are going t'do? You could run …or, as creatures backed into corners do, you could fight." Delia and Lucille are markers that could divide him doing one over the other.

"Fight." Ryans says after a moment, though he does fear for his daughters. "To… sit back and let it all happen again -" There is a slow shake of his head. "I can't do that, Huruma.

"I owe it to all those men and women that were killed or captured." He sighs softly. "I knew it was coming. From the day they promoted me to Assistant-Director and Crowley confronted me about it… I knew. Couldn't speak a word of it to anyone, lest it got to Harper. Only a handful of us knew. That's why they won't get their hands on the New York archives." There is satisfaction in his tone at that.

Silence reigns for a beat or two of his heart, before Ryans adds, "Not long before this, Harper put out a bulletin that all agents were to be tagged with the isotope." There is a ghosting hint of a smile. "If that didn't speak volumes, I don't know what would. They were anticipating this very scenario. Sabra, bless her heart, stopped it from happeing. I do hope she's okay."

"If she is as tough a bird as y'make her sound, then I am certain she'ad some sort of plan, no matter what'appened." Huruma mutters, just loud enough to be heard by him. "Tha'tracking device is a burden, more than a help. Humans do no'successfully keep track of animals, either." Her spidery hands fold into one another, settling on the bottom of her ribcage. "Tell you what… if I eve'meet this Harper, I will do all of th'world a favor an'tear him apart."

"He certainly is not th'last man t'get on numerous nerves, as of late. His people, though, I expect we shall see more of then than is healthy." Huruma breathes out through her nose, nostrils flaring and lips pursed. "Kuruka majivu, tena ndani ya uso ya yule kuitupilia." She looks back to Ryans, from a glance out to the neighborhood.

"Ash will fly back into th'face of those who cast it. They will get what is coming." Not now, per se, but soon enough.

"I know. It's not done, it won't be til the rest of us are gone.. or the Institute is rubble beneath our feet." There is almost a growl to those words coming from the old man, his boot crunch against the roof top as he shifts his weight a bit, "I have no illusions. It won't be simple capture for me." There is that small hint of a smile again. "No, Eldridge made that perfectly clear that day at the top of that building. They want me dead. I just hope I can take the bastard with me, if I go."

His blue eyes study the tell dark woman, for a moment, as if trying to figure something out about her. "Thank you, by the way." He glances over his shoulder at the door down, giving a small nod in that direction. "For watching out for her, especially when I couldn't. I've asked it a lot of you lately, but there are few I could think of I could… trust with the life of girls."

"Rebel knows t'contact me, when it comes t'you and th'girls." For once, Huruma deliberately looks away when he looks at her. Though not an odd gesture in itself, there is some considerable symbolism when it happens now. What symbolism that it could be, is left to interpretation. "Cat was there, too. But I like t'think that I made things …much easier. I am still no'sure if Delia knows what I can do. She knows there is something."

"How is sh'doing?" Huruma finally finds him again, apparently now at ease to meet his gaze. "When I left her yesterday she was …making a collage." He knows the one.

In truth, Ryans doesn't really doesn't really know how to read his girls. Sometimes it's easy, other times… "Coping." Comes the brief and flat response. "I think she tries to put on a stronger face then she needs, cause of who I am… of who I was." That last corrected after a moment of contemplation. He was the Assistant-Director of the New York Company. Now… he was just another person running from the government.

"I need to get through the next few weeks, but… I think it's time she starts learning…" Ryans voice trails off, brows furrowing in irritation. "Learn the skills that will help her survive." It's a hard thing that Ben is trying to say. "It's time she learns to fight, cause… you and I will not always be there."

"She has th'potential t'learn." And the bloodline for it, really. Huruma's hands unhook and perch to either side, palms on the masonry. "You know that I can help, but I will not b'handing her a pistol unless you are championing it. We'ave different ideas of survival, but I will teach her something if it is what you are imagining."

"Speaking of-" Dark features tilt, and lips split into a rough smile. "I know tha'these people can …possibly supply things, if they wanted to. T'preempt any rejection of th'sort, would you an'th'others b'interested in weapons?" Implying that she can very well supply them.

That catches his interest, Ryans studies her, brows dropping a little. "Your able to get them?" He asks softly. He seems rather hesitant to take her up on the offer just yet, however, "I didn't toss the gun the Company issued me, but… seems like a flimsy defense if the government finds out where we are."

Another glance goes over his shoulder to the way they came up there. Ryans' brows furrow as he says, "I'll talk to Lashirah, see what she'd like. I… worry the Ferrymen won't take it well, however, I don't want to be caught without a way to protect myself."

"I am able t'get a lot of things. M'resources are not boundless, but I have m'ways." Huruma smiles a little wider, ankles crossing. "If it helps your worry, you can ask someone in charge if you an'your fellows can at least'ave personal weapons. In th'end, if you want them, I can provide them. One way or another. You know I am able."

"Th'company guns are good weapons, though I can see them becoming trouble if under continuous use." As far as Huruma knows, the Company issued special firearms; it may make things more effective, but it also makes the ammo and use easier to track.

"I will let you know. Having more then the one, would be preferable." Ryans states matter of factly. Normally the old agent carried at least three different guns on his person at one time. He gave up two in the flight away from Fort Hero. "Thank you."

And he means it. "It's something, at least. Now… it's just the wait." Ryans grouses, begin a man of action , he doesn't do well sitting on his thumbs.

"I know you don't like t'sit around wit'your thumb up your arse, Benjamin, but you will'ave to for a bit." Huruma, ever so astute, offers him such sage words. "Take Delia and ask if there is anything tha'you two can do while you are holed here. Repaying favors is one way t'get into good graces, and between th'two of you, there are some useful skills." She lifts a hand to rub at the bridge of her nose, legs uncoiling and bringing her to stand again. The dark woman wanders a mote closer, looking him over quite like a surveyor. Of what? Who knows.

"Per'aps this is a sign you need t'level with her again. I'ave th'feeling tha'she may wish she were not so …disconnected from you." Huruma, offering advice on kids, is something interesting; it has to come from somewhere, either from an experience with Delia, or several small things, to make a larger, or else Huruma would not bother saying something. "There is no job between you now, t'force your keeping of things from her. you an'I both know now is th'time she needs you most, not when she is being chased an'needs a knight."

"Maybe." The flatness of his tone makes no promises, the old man not really good at that whole… getting close thing. Ryans personally thinks he's done pretty well. He doesn't look at Huruma, doesn't take a step back, much like any alpha personality he sees that as giving way to her. "We'll see how things go." He adds after a moment.

"This will take some getting use too." Blue eyes dropping to the building across from them, but there is a touch of amusement. "No need for secrets, well… as many." Ryans amends with a small smile.
What Ben says might have reminded her of something, or just maybe, she was ready to say it and needed a nudge. A sign, if she ever heard one. Now that she's at least within 'private conversation' space, Huruma looks once to the door, as a last check, before taking a moment to speak up. Truthfully, she seems… flustered enough to have it sneak into her features.

"I met her." Another pause. "Mary. In Delia's dream."

There is a stillness that settles in, even his emotions, that isn't always a good thing. His head turns to look at her, his gaze meeting hers. "When?" Then it occurs to him, "Delia." That one name speaks volumes of what he believes happened.

"Seeing her there is not the same as the real thing." Brows twitch down, but someone would have to be watching his face to see it. "It's only a ghost." Ryans voice is gruff, a touch cold. "I've seen Mary in my own, thanks to her. She invoked the memory of the last time I talked to my wife, learned to truth." He had been horrible to Mary that day, Huruma can feel his guilt, raw and painful.

"I know it is not th'same. But it is as close as I will ever come." Which is to say, that Huruma ever could have met her when she was alive. She stops to watch him for another moment, during the inflaming of guilt down below. "Delia's shade of her, told me tha'Delia needed me, that- 'I can't help her anymore'." Huruma mimics the words she remembers, the ones that came from the horse's mouth. In this case, the matriarch's. "Knowing how those abilities work- th'dreams- I know tha'somewhere in there, she may actually need me. I haven't figured it out, quite yet."

"Regardless, I felt you should know. There were other things in th'dream, along th'same lines, but them I shall keep private." Dreams are effectively a sanctuary, to Huruma. She only told him about this because it was his spouse, however much a ghost.

There is pain at those words, it's almost as fresh as the day he got that phone call from his daughter or when the coroner said they had a positive ID. Benjamin's brows drop, lips pulling down in his sorrow. He doesn't say anything, only a small shifting up and down of his head.

Suddenly, he steps away from the tall dark woman, "Thank you, Huruma… but… I think I need to be alone." Ryans words are softly spoken, but still holds some of that personal misery. There is just something about Mary that has a hold of this man, but then it's not uncommon with people his age and even thought he doesn't look it, Ben is nearly sixty.

That many years with a woman like that, it leaves an impression.

Huruma's ability is categorized as Empathy; disregarding her ability to manipulate emotions all the same, empathy itself is billowingly defined.

'The intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.'

Not Webster's, but defined nonetheless. Before he gets too far from her, Huruma's hand finds the front curve of his shoulder, palm warm and fingers light. For all of her monstrous qualities, Huruma can also be exceedingly gentle; as lionesses to be machines when on the prowl, and yet, in private, tend to family with the utmost care. The faint weight and heat stays there for as long as Huruma can feel that it needs to be. In actuality, it is just some heavy, passing seconds before it slips down and away again, over the top of his chest.

She allows him to keep moving away, after that, turning her attention back to the roof and beyond.

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