Escaped From The Mental Ward


sydney_icon.gif victoria_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Escaped From the Mental Ward
Synopsis Sydney and Ygraine encounter someone who was just in the news, then discuss sanity and employment…
Date December 4 2008

A coffee shop on 70th and 5th

Sydney nods her head listening carefully. "Well the German thing didn't work so good for the Jews. The sex offender thing doesn't apply really. I mean they already committed a crime and proved they're not trust worthy to be forced to register." The two women are in a booth, under the building's heat vent talking over coffee. Sydney is all bundled up and still looking cold as can be as she talks. "I think I saw one once."

Victoria smiles, "A German?" she lets her little joke breathe for a moment before continuing, "What did you see?"

Hands pushed into the pockets of her long leather coat, shoulders hunched against the Wintry chill, Ygraine slows in her progress along the sidewalk outside… before apparently giving in to temptation and changing course, moving to push through the door and slip into the coffee shop and advance to the counter, gaze focused upon the price-list of offerings.

Sydney laughs softly at the joke. "Well yeah. I've seen a lot of people that aren't Americans. Bet you have too in a city like this in public office." She shakes her head though. "I was with friend on his boat. Was his uncles or something. Anyway we'd taken it out and were out in open water. Going to do some diving. SO we're down there playing around and having fun. When this guy comes swimming up. Just a mask and fins. No snorkel or SCUBA. He swims around waves and stuff then takes off. "Only thing is he never surfaced once and we had open water for at least two miles in all directions."

Victoria nods, "Powers are wide and varied, some scary, some are even amusing. There is a performer you can find in central park sometimes who's power is creating bubbles.."

Sydney laughs at that some. "Hey I guess that is better then some. I mean would you really wanna be able to read people's minds? Yuck!" She shakes her head. A hand goes up, might look like she's waving at ygraine, but she's really ordering more hot drink.

Having just ordered herself a hot chocolate, Ygraine had part-turned to glance around the coffee shop - and catches that wave. She blinks, brows rising, and cocks her head to shoot Sydney a rather quizzical look.

Victoria nods, and plays with a little cup of creamer on the table, rolling it around and oddly it always stops with the logo right side up. "Some people are not healthy enough to control their powers… it is a shame really. Almost anything could be put to good use to help people, but there are those would use their abilities to hurt others."

Sydney makes a face as her waitress doesn't notice the order. She is freezing to death over here! Not really but she is still cold. So she waves more as if doing that alone will get the waitress's attention. This may all further confuse what her real intention is with Ygraine. "Come on!" Her voice exasperated. "Not sure what I really think about all that. I mean that guy we saw. If he can swim without breathing then how deep? What can he find that is lost under the water? Lot of treasure and stuff on the ocean floor that by law is free for whoever pulls it up."

Ygraine darts a glance to the attendant behind the counter - who is presently busy with her own order - then looks back to Sydney. After a moment's hesitation, she moves across to come within conversational range. "Is something wrong…?"

Victoria nods, "True, but it could also lead to historical discoveries that would otherwise be lost to us…" She looks up at Ygraine puzzled, "No.. can we help you?"

Sydney shakes her head at Ygraine. "Just freezing to death and needing more hot beverage is all. You don't sound local, or at least not home grown." Though she's hardly unfamiliar with a British accent. Adding a darker note to the other conversation. "Or he could scuttle rich yachts out in open water to take their money for himself and leave them to the sea."

Ygraine looks even more confused. "I… ahhh. No, no. I'm not local", she admits. "And sorry… you seemed to be waving at me, I thought…."

Victoria smirks, "Well that would be piracy which is done without the help of powers already." Glancing up to Ygraine again Victoria says, "Well you have all but staked your claim on the last seat at the table so you may as well sit down." She gestures to the seat between herself and Sydney, "I am Ms. Grey and this is…" She looks at Sydney for a moment looking confused as she realizes through all this conversation she never got a name.

Sydney waves off the apology, "No worries. I was after the waitress behind you. No harm done. Well unless I don't get more in my cup because that may lead to hypothermia. I know you don't work here but since you're up and clearly not shivering think you can help a girl out?" Smiling at Ygraine with the smile that looks like it worked on hundreds of boys in the past. Glancing at Victoria, "Sydney."

The Briton dithers, though she does lift one brow at the formality of Victoria's introduction. "Ygraine. I'll go and fetch my drink - are you wanting me to pick up one for you as well, Sydney?"

Victoria just can't stand it anymore and cracks a rare smile and begins to giggle at the absurdity of the situation, "Oh lord please." She stands and offers her seat to Ygraine, "Please let me get both of your drinks before you cause an international incident."

Sydney nods her head. "Just tell her I need a refill please?! Or better yet just bring the whole boiling pot. By the by that's an interesting name. Never heard it before." She doesn't care who gets her drink. Long as it is fast coming. "Sorry about that."

Though she still looks a touch bewildered, Ygraine stands aside to let Victoria move to the counter, slipping into her place within the booth. "It's very old, and of unknown derivation", she admits. "The earliest legends about King Arthur say that his mother was called Ygraine, but no one seems to know what it might mean."

Victoria stalks off to the counter and slaps her hands down loudly drawing the attention of the poor kid making the coffee. With an academy award winning look she says, "I need the drink for the british woman and the freezing woman before they decide to have a riot and rip this place apart." Her stare is completely deadpan and the kid behind the counter suddenly kicks into gear and hastily assembles drinks.

"Still sounds nice." With the only formal education being for her from an American high school she'd have no way of knowing that. Sydney covers her mouth to hide the grin when she notices what Victoria is doing for their drinks. "That's direct and efficient. Hats off to her."

Ygraine winces somewhat self-consciously. "I suppose it works. And don't worry about it - precious few people know what their own names mean, let alone the history of anyone else's…"

Walking with confidence back towards the booth, Victoria smiles at girls who are waiting for their drinks. With a flourish she sets them down and gestures for Sydney to slide over some, "I seem to have lost some patience and gained a flair for the dramatic since I escaped from the mental ward last night." She offers a disarming smile but there is no joke about her statement.

Sydney won't argue the point the Brit makes. "I think I'm just named for the city in Australia or something." Shrugging at that a little. She scoots over fine and takes her drink to wrap her hands around and hold near her face. The words though leave her blinking and looking at Ms Grey. "Is that a New Yorker trait?"

Ygraine cocks her head, accepting her drink and taking a sip before she offers her own reply to Victoria. "I could certainly see you fitting into the staff of the pysch wards I've seen myself."

Victoria shakes her head, "No I was a patient." leaning over from the booth she picks up a penny from the ground and sets it spinning on the table, "I really did escape from the mental ward last night. From Lexington Hills Hospital. I never said I belonged there but I was." The penny begins to slow its spinning but does not lean one way or another, "It is sort of a long story, but to make it breif I was in a coma, then I ran from the hospital, then I saw someone I thought put me in a coma, then I was taken to the mental ward." As the penny stops spinning she smiles down at it, "Now what are the odds of that…"

Sydney points out to Ygraine, "staff don't escape. They can leave. It is the patients that escape." Only to have Victoria confirm what she was thinking. Great a crazy and a guy who gets shot helping people. "Some story. You seem pretty level headed so far." She looks at the standing penny. "One in three?" She guesses and clearly has no idea.

"A great deal less than that", says Ygraine absent-mindedly, with a glance to the coin. "But cracks about escaping tended to be routine among the psych staff I met. Are… there was a newspaper report, about someone who worked for the mayor", she says to Victoria.

Victoria smiles, "Actually its a very small fraction of a percent, since the odds are in favor of the weight of the prints on either side of the penny drwing it off access so it lands on its side." Looking up at Ygraine she nods, "That would be me. Missing for a week then escaped from the hospital then into the nut house." She lets out a sigh and looks back at the penny and spins it again, "I was actually released, but it seems much more exciting to say I escaped."

Sydney is just going to watch them both and listen for a bit as she sips her hot drink. Trying to figure out what to comment about this. Eyes on the penny as it spins. If that thing ends up on its side again…

Ygraine nods cautiously, studying Victoria quite intently. "Good. Breaking out'd generally be a bad idea, however tempting it might have been. But being released can certainly feel like escaping, being given your freedom…."

Victoria nods absentmindedly at the two women, then leans forward as the penny begins to slow down and gently blows on it, sending it moving in a small arc around the table until it finally slows enough and lands heads up. "Enough about myself." she looks at Sydney, "I'm not crazy no matter what people or the papers may think after my unfortunate incident. Just a lot of bad luck…" she smiles turns to Ygraine, "What is you do Ygraine? Are you here on a work Vesa?"

Sydney takes a long drink and sighs into the cup. Finally it seems like things are warming up for her. Least a bit. "I better remember to get some to go when we leave. "Better yet do you know any low cost housing available?"

Ygraine blinks, then nods. "Yes, to both queries. I'm here on a work visa - I'm employed as a cycle courier, currently, though I'm taking a little time off work to recover from an operation. And there's an apartment block in Chinatown that's got a decent reputation, if you want to take the recommendation of a stranger."

Nodding her head in agreement Victoria says, "If you don't mind living down wind of midtown China Town is certainly an option." raising an eyebrow she asks, "Bicycle couriers must be very popular now with the breakdown in transportation between uptown and downtown."

Ygraine nods once more. "The company I'm with - Alley Cat - is one of the few to accept commissions for routes through Midtown. And even with them, there's no requirement for individual couriers to take those jobs. But… it's part of the work of rebuilding. If the city can't communicate with itself, it's not really one city any more…"

Sydney chuckles. "The other guy I met was a delivery person as well. What are the odds of that." Pretty amused at that so far. She starts to gather up her map. "Is midtown that bad? I mean are people there or is it just debris?"

Victoria glances at the map as Syndey gathers it up, "There are people there, but they shouldn't be. Unfortunately there are a lot of places to hide and seek shelter for those who can't afford it." She address Ygraine next, "Do you have a card for your company? I will certainly bring it up in the office since we are trying to support anyone willing to take a risk to help the city."

Ygraine delves inside her coat, producing a simple business card for 'Alley Cat Couriers'. "There you go. We do charge for our services, but we're trying to make sure that we do what we can to help the city. Things like serving as a mail-drop for people in the bits of Queens that the post's not reliably delivered to yet. As for Midtown - anyone right in the ruins is hiding out, I'd guess. There're places enough further out, such as in Queens. Not that all of everwhere down there's wrecked - some bits got hit worse than others, and there're some real pockets of "normality" back up and running. But go a block, and you'll probably see derelict houses and squatters."

Sydney motions to the cards. "You got two of those things? If you do what others don't must be good money right?" That and you get to see others's homes and case them out. Not bad. Something to keep note of. "Were you both living in the city when the bomb happened. What's ti called… the Sylar bomb?"

Victoria shakes her head, "I was a professor at MIT when the bomb went off. My parents were killed in midtown when it went off so I came back, never managed to leave afterwards."

Ygraine winces at Victoria's words, part-way through producing another card. She finishes that action, then nods sympathetically. "I was on Broadway when it happened. Fortunately, heading North, with my back to the blast. And on a motorcycle - so in leathers, helmet, et cetera. Came round two days later in a hospital bed."

Sydney frowns at that some, "I'm sorry about that." She may not know the crazy woman well but most people care when their family dies suddenly. "I can't imagine what that was like. You seemed to have come out of it alright though Ygraine. We need a new topic."

Victoria smiles and shakes her head, "No it is all right. What happened can't be taken back and I do my best to make things better for others." With a sigh she pulls back her coat sleeve and looks at her watch, "I really should be going, they will be wondering where I am at the office."

"One of the perks of being off-work is being able to take whatever time I want over things. Though I should be back on the bike before too long. Nice meeting you, Miss Grey. I hope that things go well for you." Ygraine raises her drink in a slight toast.

"Tell them you're doing PR work then. You never did ask Ygraine the question you asked everyone else. Seems if anyone has their eyes and ears on the pulse of this city it be someone like her." Sydney reads over the card she has and makes a note on the back as to who gave it to her then pockets it. "Travel safe. Was nice to meet you."

Ygraine watches Victoria depart, then looks back to Sydney. "As for paying well - not too bad. It's not as if the city's economy's bursting at the seams, but… if you're up to cycling eight hours a day, and don't mind the weather, the drivers who seem to want to kill you, and pedestrians who seem to want to use you to commit suicide, then it's pretty good."

Sydney can't help but laugh as she pulls out a little cash to set for the bill and tip. "You make it sound so appealing. I don't mind working really. The cycling I can do, and it will help me keep in shape." Not that she looks remotely out of shape. "I don't know the city yet and not a fan of biking in the snow. I'll freeze. I'm not used to this at all yet."

Ygraine chuckles. "It's pretty hard work, but at least New York doesn't have many slopes to worry about. It's a lot more fun in warmer weather, but… if you get yourself some decent gear, it's not too bad. Goggles and a breathing mask are a must, if you're to cope with traffic and bad weather."

Sydney can't help but think that it is like diving. Only less pay, more danger, pollution, and bad smells. Don't forget the weather and you can't work on your tan between runs. See a lot alike. Fingernails strum on the cheap counter top as she thinks all this through. Showing with a slight deepening of the line between her brow. "I may look into it. If it wasn't winter I'd be more interested. I'll need a job soonish and something that won't chain me to a clock. This could work out. Easier to get an apartment if I got a job too."

Ygraine nods quickly. "Yes, definitely. On both counts. Alley Cat are good about helping you out. You won't have total flexibility about when you work - show up at totally random hours and they probably won't be too happy - but part-time work and flexible shifts are quite normal. Otherwise… I'm not sure what I could suggest. I've only ever really been a student, a cyclist, or a translator."

Sydney's brows go up a little. "Translator? How many and what languages do you speak?" She orders one last refill for the road and motions out. "Were you on your way to work and do they give you the bikes or do you buy your own?"

Ygraine laughs softly. "I'm off work at the moment, as I said. And I think you can rent bikes, but I've got my own. I used to race. As for languages - French, fully fluently. My Latin's not too bad."

Sydney grins at the answer. "Cool. Latin always just sounded so occult to me. Not that I have heard much. Just in horror movies." Which is why she would think that. "If you own a bike then you know where a good shop is?"

Ygraine nods again. "Oh, I can certainly give you a few recommendations, if you like. For engineers, particularly. You'll need repairs done sooner rather than later, if you spend much time in the saddle. Pass me back that business card, and I can jot down a couple of names for you."

Sydney was already reaching for it. She hands it over. "Seems like a bike may not be a bad way to get around town either. Cabs cost a limb. I learned that already."

"Especially for covering longer distances, I feel safer on a motorcycle, personally. But if you're only going a few miles, especially on the island, pedalling's at least as fast as any other option", confirms Ygraine, bending her head over the card as she provides the promised names.

Sydney casually watches details as Ygraine writes. Taking in the handwriting, the facial expressions and posture. Her fingers continue to tap on the counter in thought. "You normally this helpful and informative to strangers that confuse you by waving you over accidentally?"

Ygraine glances up, chuckling. "That doesn't happen as a matter of routine", she says dryly. "But you seem nice enough. And… I'm back here in the city to try to help. And face down a few demons of my own. This is a pretty simple way of offering a helping hand to someone."

Sydney leans forward some. "What do you mean by demons? Like drinking or an ex-boyfriend?" She looks at the card again not going to reach for it til your done. "I appreciate all this by the by."

Ygraine finishes writing and slips the card back over, before replying. "Like I said, I got caught in the blast. I've got some… nightmares of the next two days, before I woke up in a refugee camp hospital. I got shipped out, back home, on a government flight. And spent a few months in an institution trying to put my head back together."

Sydney takes the card back and whistles low. "So in New York my first breakfast in the city I end up at the table with two birds from the cuckoo's nest? I wonder what the odds are of that." She turns to read the card's back and what you wrote there.

Ygraine laughs softly. "Well, it sounds like Ms Grey might have had a nervous breakdown of sorts, and been released as soon as she'd regained her stability. I… spent months there. Getting nuked can be detrimental for more than your physical health, I'm afraid. As for the odds - against, but… a lot of people have had psychiatric treatment. Especially in the US's big cities, where it's so painfully fashionable for the socialites to have "issues", and for the educational experts to convert every troubled child into a mental patient they can "refer" out of their hands."

Sydney wrinkles her nose. "Hope I don't join that group. No offence but I'm pretty happy being me and have a fair enough life. No real nightmares unless it is just icecream late at night ones. No major horrors like you went through. So tell me about where you work? What's it like who do you work with?"

Ygraine chuckles, shrugging slowly. "I like it. It's… laid-back and a bit weird. There's been a fairly identifiable culture among the couriers in the city for years, long before I showed up. You'll find an odd mix of people who think cycling's easy, total fitness freaks, long-haired dudes with dreads who occasionally remember what a shower's for…. It's chaos, and a bad company'd be horrible to work for, I'd guess - but Alley Cat's a good employer, and the office staff know what they're doing."

Sydney taps the cards in her fingers turning it over and over as she thinks. "I may check them out. Will being new to the city make me a no-go on hiring or the fact I can read a map and learn 'bullets are bad' enough?"

Ygraine laughs softly. "I'd recommend spending a while studying a map, so that you can at least learn where the districts are. But it's not as if most people who grew up in the city know more than the general layout. Not very many people cycle everywhere they go. You'll probably be paired with a more experienced courier for a day or two, to see if you're able to stand the pace - and to show you the ropes."

Sydney nods her head at that. "Thanks a lot." Tucking the card away. "I may see about getting a bike and doing just that. If you're on bike I probably can't tag along now to stop by the shop and check it out. So I'll just have to do it another time. How much danger do you really get into?"

Ygraine shrugs pensively. "Depends on how fast you're willing to go, the routes you take, and the times you travel, in part. But you'll run into dreadful drivers wherever you go. Just as one example… back home, to become a licensed taxi cab driver in London or Edinburgh you need to study, and take a formal examination out on the road to prove you know the city well, and can drive safely. Here… they're very strict about you being able to breathe, and find the accelerator. When even the "professional" drivers can be clueless, semi-permanently lost, and not know any of the rules of the road, being on two wheels can be an interesting experience. There're a few specific things to watch out for, and bad habits some couriers get into - but on the whole, the main dangers'll be stupid pedestrians walking out without looking, and crazy drivers who pretend you don't exist." She pauses to polish off her own drink. "As for hitching a lift - I'm motorised today. If you don't mind sitting pillion, I've got a spare helmet, and I could drop you off. Wouldn't mind dropping in to say hi to the engineers and let them know I'm still alive."

"I heard something about that once. About the cabbies in England." Sydney caught a show on TV. She smiles at the offer for a ride. "Sure why not? Long as we stay warm. I need to get a better coat. This one is just not good enough for this far north."

Ygraine chuckles. "I do miss the genuinely temperate climate of most of Britain. We're farther North than this, but our Winters are nowhere near as harsh as the ones on this side of the Pond…."

Now this she knows about. "Yeah those southern waters on that current carry a lot of that nice warm weather up to you all. Keeps you from freezing." To those that know what to look for there is a bit of 'island girl' to the way Syd talks about the water ways. "I'm more used to winter meaning 'oh it's cold and down to sixty better wear a pull over.'"

Ygraine cracks a grin. "I remember hearing a British journalist in LA describing how he went over there from Autumnal Britain, and was pleased by how warm and gentle it was. So he was wandering around the sights wearing shorts and a t-shirt, while the locals were wrapped up in long coats and scarves complaining about how _frigid_ it was, now that the temperature had fallen to 17 Centigrade."

Sydney joins in that smile. "It is all in what you're used to. Those same people that complain about the cold often can take those hot 90 to 100 days without breaking stride. Though I normally just stayed in the shade or went for a swim."

"I've only once been in temperatures above body-heat, out of the sun. That was… impressive, for me." Ygraine shakes her head.

Sydney laughs at that. Taking her warm cup and standing. Starting to button up her tops tight. "Got to the tropics at the hight of summer. Or I hear out to the deserts of Vegas in August. You'll cook there. Days getting up to 100 plus"

Ygraine chuckles. "Anything close to body temperature is too hot for my liking. I like a wind to feel _cool_." She rises as well. "If you want that lift now, I can take you to the bike and on to the shop now. 'Fraid that'll have to be the end of the free transport, however - got a few errands to run."

Sydney nods her head. "I got a metro card and money for a cab if needed. I wouldn't have gotten as lost as I did before cept I was in the park. No nice grid and streets to follow."

Ygraine laughs. "Well, you generally won't have to worry about riding there, at least. Though there're some useful short-cuts. One thing to figure out'll be whether you want to get taken through Midtown. You don't have to sign up blind for trips through the rubble, but they'll want to know whether you want to see it and be shown a route through, at least."

Sydney nods her head taking this all in as she looks to get herself organized to hold her cup and be able to ride with Ygraine. Sadly she isn't likely to get the skin contact she wants to really be able to help herself out. But that can wait. "Glad to have bumped into Ygraine. Now show me this shop of yours. Maybe if I get a bike you can get some free tires or something from them."

Ygraine cracks another grin, then waves grandly towards the door. "This way, oh ticket to free gifts…"

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