brennan_icon.gif cat_icon.gif liette_icon.gif luke_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif rachel_icon.gif

Scene Title Freak
Synopsis Out in Central Park, Doctor Brennan discovers how much of a leash he'll need to keep on Liette, while Cat is given elucidation about the strange young girl, and Liette learns a terrible word from Luke.
Date March 10, 2010

Central Park

"What's a snowball fight?"

Those four simple words may have elicited the most shocked expression Doctor Harve brennan has ever given in his entire life. Perhaps it may be one of the simplest pleasures in life, but the innocence of youth is something that should be maintained, coupled with it all of the things a child should get the opportunity to do in life. With the sun high overhead — albeit hidden behind thick clouds — Central Park is awash with muted gray light and white snow as far as the eye can see in any direction. Three to four foot snow drifts mean snow forts and snowball fights criss-crossing the entire park, though admittedly Doctor Brennan notices the crowds are thinner than they were just a few weeks ago, probably due to fears of the H5N10 virus and public places.

Situated on a park bench, knees pressed together and charcoal gray stockings hiding matchstick thin legs beneath the lace fringe of her skirt, she's not perfectly dressed for winter, but the waifish young Liette whom inspired this trek out to Central Park is at least better dressed for cold weather than the was two days ago.

"So they just… throw snow at each other?" Lips pursed to the side and one brow raised, the wild-haired blonde kicks her boots on the snow at her feet, looking up from the bench, musing aloud to herself with a thoughtful stare to the children at play. The puffy black winter coat she wears, complete with fur trim, makes her seem a bit more marshmellow inflated than she really is.

"I… think I have a better idea." Liette admits, planting both of her boots down on the shoveled walkway between the tall snowbanks, looking around the park with a mischevious curl of her lips. This may well be the first time she's been let out in a place like this without proper supervision. For as good of a parent as Harve Brennan is… this girl requires special attention.

Rachel is walking through the Park, the teleporter on edge a little after the events of the previous night. Even if she hadn't been there, she saw the news and it does have her a bit on edge. Last thing she needs is for someone to recognize her as Frontline and start a big thing over it, even if she can just teleport away quiet easily enough. Shrugging her shoulders, to whatever internal musings the woman has, she continus her walk. Just a normal person, not a thing to see here.

There are plenty of reasons to go out to the park, and one of them is currently doing his best to drag Melissa around. Lucky for Melissa, Jerry isn't quite grown enough to be able to manage it…easily…so she's still the one doing most of the walking with her growing german shepherd puppy. She's bundled up in her black winter wear, looking as warm and toasty as anyone can be without certain abilities to warm them.

Right now she's letting Jerry choose where they're going, her mind wandering it seems. At least until Jerry's path takes her close enough to hear a familiar girl's voice — which also happens to be when Jerry sees PEOPLE and DEMANDS, with cute puppy barks that haven't yet deepened, that he be allowed to solicit pettings and belly rubs. Melissa complies and smiles at the doc and the girl, trying to keep Jerry from jumping up on them too much. "Hi Liette, Doc."

Once again, Luke finds himself walking through Central Park while there seems to be a snowball fight, and he rolls his eyes. Why does he even bother coming here? Oh right, he randomly decided to follow Melissa and a dog out of sheer boredom and a desire to get outside. Of course, he's following a bit behind the two, on the off-chance that something interesting would happen.

'Well you can build first to hide behind, but that's the general idea" Brennan's been getting a good idea that Liette is indeed special. Not in the way that requires special education classes but in some different way that makes him wonder who exactly she was traveling with, where she was going and when are these people supposed to be finding her. Generally he comes home with other doctors, or someone to schmooze into donating money or large batches of drugs to doctor's without borders. Not 15 year old girls that qualify to be bumping around in a hermetically sealed suit in the exosphere. "scoop up snow and toss it at someone else who is participating in the snowfight"

Wait a minute, she has an idea? The twins are already running off to start gathering snow, barely able to navigate the drifts and Marlena's just rolling her eyes and tugging on Liette's arm to follow her. "Just.. be careful okay?" The doctor says, opting to remain on his bench as Melissa and the dog come on by. "Melissa, there you are. There, Liette, go drag her into your … plan" He doens't see Luke for the people between him and the young man.

It's along her path, coming back from Columbia University in Morningside Heights where she's been indulging her recent interest in biochemistry and virology. As such, Cat is making her way through the park at a calm pace, indulging her thoughts. They soon turn to and are occupied by the issue of Russian Nazis at large and the potential government effort to wipe out her kind by viral means, as they often do when she's alone with time on her hands. Grief over losses suffered joins in. Alertness is also present, she taking in faces and things near her lest she be followed by Vanguardites and other dangers. Not to mention a woman who passed close by and kept going not long before she discovered her pocket had been picked.

Attention briefly settles on Doctor Brennan, Melissa, and the dog. Cat doesn't seem about to approach them, perhaps choosing to avoid contact so it won't be seen there's a connection. One never knows what the press might decide to publicize about the offspring of a murdered candidate, and she's very recognizable these days.

"Super!" Liette comments with a quirked smile, spotting Melissa with a raised brow. "Melissa, Doctor Brennan's brought me out here to have a snowball fight, but that's not nearly as exciting as what I thought it was. You wanna see something super cool?" The teen's brows raise as she sidles up towards the blonde, unaware of her companion shadowing her, right up until Liette notices that Melissa's bringing a dog with her. "Woah!"

Blue eyes wide, Liette scrambles down onto her knees and offers out a hand towards the puppy carefully. From her demeanor, it seems like she's been around animals before. "Pop has a bunch of dogs at the lab," she comments with a tilt of her head to the side, one brow raised. "I get to play with them sometimes, but he won't let me name them 'cause they don't ever stick around too long…" Wrinkling her nose where she's crouches, Liette offers a thoughtful look to the puppy, then back up to Melissa.

"I used to be able to talk to dogs, it was cool." There's a faint smile there on the young girl's lips, brows furrowed together in a helpless expression, and slowly she turns her focus back down to Melissa's companion.

Rachel looks over at Melissa and her dog for a moment, before her eyes go to Luke, and they narrow slightly. She remembers his scrawny and not-really-all-that-pleasing rear from a certain snowball fight incident, and its sorta plan that is not quite forgotten.

Melissa smiles at Liette's reaction, and Jerry is perfectly happy to accomodate the girl. He sniffs at Liette's hand, tail wagging so hard his back end shakes, and then he presses closer in an attempt to lick madly at the girl's face. "Oh, snowball fights are fun, believe me. I've been in a few of 'em myself. So's he," she says, jerking a thumb back towards Luke. Apparently she wasn't completely unaware that she had a tail. She just doesn't seem to mind.

Crouching down so she's level with girl and puppy, she smiles, ruffling Jerry's fur. "And this one does have a name. His name is Jerry. It's from a movie. And I'll bet it was cool. I'm sorry you can't anymore," she says, the smile turning more sympathetic. "But you can do other cool stuff, right? And look, Jerry likes you!" Of course, he likes anyone who pays him attention right now. Or who has food. Or who MIGHT have food. Or something to chew on…

Luke halts in place when Melissa jerks her thumb at him, and he scowls. "Snowball fights are for children, and for adults pretending they're still young, which is pretty sad." Rachel? is ignored. He comes closer since he's been spotted and everything, and shoves his hands in his pockets.

Being perhaps not spotted, in the absence of being approached or spoken to as well, Cat continues her journey through this segment of the park. Her snowmobile is kept somewhere beyond the limits of this place, and is her destination prior to returning to Greenwich Village.

Just passing by where Liette crouches on the path, Cat feels a familiar vibration in her jacket pocket, cell phone giving a pulse to alert that she's recieved a text message. When the phone's taken out an checked, a simple and admittedly terse anonymous message is printed across the touch screen.

There is a girl that may be in central park. Photograph attached. She has valuable information. Ferry operator Harve Brennan is safeguarding her. She is being sought after by government agents. Doctor Brennan's safety may be compromised. File attached.

Attached to the text message is a short video from traffic camera footage from the bus accident two days ago in Little Italy. It shows a darkly dressed man being struck by an oncoming bus after pushing a young girl out of the way. With a memory like Catherine Chesterfield's recalling that she just passed the girl comes back quickly. The footage continues, showing two young woman — one of which resembles Melissa Pierce — escorting her away from the street. According to the news, a massive electrical failure in the area resulted in traffic cameras and street lights malfunctioning… there wasn't footage of the accident available to law enforcement.

"Yeah that sounds nice and all but I want to do something different." Liette notes as she gets up to her feet, brushing snow off of her knees before turning a blue eyes look around the park. "Like, watch…" furrowing her brows, Liette nods over towards where Rachel is walking, before a tightly wound cylinder of air springs to life in front of the woman, carrying snowflakes aloft like some sort of tiny, wintry tornado. It swirls and churns and teeters around like a wild top spinning out of control before it splits into two swirling tornados of snow about four feet high and start moving off towards the kids playing with snow forts.

Grinning mischeviously, Liette furrowed her brows and wrinkles her nose. "See?" She notes with a bright smile, "Doctor Brennan told me I can throw snow at the kids who are playing!" So she's going to throw two micro-tornados of snow at them…

Rachel blinks as she looks over and sees two… snow tornados? The movement having caught her eye. An eyebrow goes up, and the marine begins walking in that direction. She could be there instantously, but really, why draw attention to yourself when all you want to be is normal.

Melissa winces and rises, moving over to Liette, resting a hand on her shoulder, her voice dropping. "Liette…honey…That's very impressive, really, but you should probably stop and throw snow the old fashioned way. You don't want to draw too much attention to yourself." The hand on the girl's shoulder slides around her shoulders to give her a quick hug if Liette lets her. "You are special, but some people don't understand special people," she says, sounding sad at having to spoil the girl's fun. Luke's comment about adults and snowball fights goes ignored. Meanie!

Luke shifts in place uneasily when the girl starts using her powers right there in front of everyone. His gaze scans the crowd, narrowing in on Cat who is on her cell phone. Is she calling the cops? In his paranoia, he goes right over to her. "Don't call the cops if you know what's good for you. The last thing anyone needs is a scene." glance at the cell phone.

Her steps halt when the message is received and read. Cat's eyes remain on it, brows furrowing. The photo is quickly matched with the girl, she doesn't even need to look in her direction. "Curious," she murmurs. "Who the hell are you?" is asked under her breath. It doesn't look like Rebel, does it? Certainly didn't claim to be them. Another technopath? She begins to type onto the screen, composing a reply.

Will endeavor to hear as much as possible from her. Will take steps to ensure safety also. Should girl be evacuated from this public place?

Just as she presses send, Luke is upon her. She at first seeks to shield the phone from his eyes, knowing at first only that someone is close by. Her head lifts to look at the man, and on so doing recognition is achieved. He may well remember her also, from the previous night, being near Helena and Melissa. "Relax, man," she mutters. "Don't call attention to us." And, once her eyes spot that scar under his chin, she quietly gives him other instructions. "Be careful being seen around or near me in a public place like this. I'm kind of a press magnet."

"Liette.. drop the snow tornado's. Please. This isn't the place to do that, you might hurt someone" Brennan's quick to rise from the bench at the amassing people around the young woman. "You might hurt Genevieve or Dessandra Liette, could you stick to the snowballs the good old fashioned way please?" Brennan offers the multi-powered girl his best smile, and he really is worried she might accidentally hurt someone. Luke is recognized, followed by Cat and both draw his brows down. One still a stranger and the other just someone whom he's not had good dealings with. "Dr. Chesterfield" There's a curt nod for her. "Mel, why don't you show her how to make a snowball huh?"

There's no response on Cat's cell phone. Whatever it is she's going to do, the mysterious figures involved want no part in the parituclars, or like some impassive Greek deity feel no further need to intercede. Unfortunately for whatever breed of disembodied technopath has settled itself into Catherine's phone, the thick cloudcover means no satellites are able to view the park to pinpoint locations, and no security cameras, no active cell phone cameras pointed in this direction, all means blindness.

"Huh?" Both of Liette's brows go up when Melissa makes the notion to stop and it's completely reinforced by Brennan's request. By the time Luke's flying off the handle and offers a threat out to Cat, Liette takes a tiny step away from Luke's direction towards Melissa, and when blue eyes settle on the snow tornados approaching the children again, they break apart in a flurry to dissipate entirely.

This did not go unnoticed by concerned parents, unable to discern the source of the snowy dust-devils, they rush out onto the snow to check on their children, two men and a woman, carefully leading their children back through the most shallow areas of the snow and away from the dangerous display of Evolved power.

Watching the families pull the children apart and end the games, Liette's brows furrow and she looks puzzled. A glance is offered up to Melissa, then over to Luke and then around at everyone moving around her, both passers by and to the brunette figure of Rachel Mills approaching from the other side of the walkway.

"Wh— Why did the parents stop their kids from playing?" Liette asks helplessly, a teenager with the simplistic innocence of a child many years younger and more naive. "I— I don't understand… What'd I do wrong?" There's an askance look up to Cat, nose wrinkled.

Rachel is quite content walking, not letting her presence known just yet. Her eyes scanning the park for a couple of moments, on the look out for anyone who is taking more than a casual interest in the going ons.

Melissa gives Liette what she hopes is a comforting hug, and looks sad at having to spoil the girl's innocent fun. "Oh honey, you didn't do anything wrong really. It's just…people who aren't like us, who aren't special, they don't understand us. And a lot of the time, what people don't understand, they're afraid of. I know you just wanted to play and didn't want to hurt anyone, that you didn't hurt anyone," she murmurs, looking at some of the parents with a not-quite-friendly look. It's clear that she could cheerfully hurt them for hurting Liette's feelings.

Cat and Luke are glanced at, the former a bit more warily than the latter, since she only knows Cat as "Helena's favorite cat". Brennan gets a look too, more of a "How do I make this right" look than anything else. "You know what though? You and me sometime, we can play. Special kind of play. When it's just us and maybe Jerry. Then you don't have to worry about people not understanding what it is you can do. How's that sound?" she asks, working up a warm smile for the girl.

"It's because you're a freak and people tend to be afraid of freaks, that's why." Luke tells Liette, tone practically dripping with sarcasm, accompanied by an annoyed roll of the eyes. "People never liked those who were different from them, especially when they felt threatened by them. Look up racism in a dictionary." like Cat suggested, he widens the gap between him and her, moving over back towards Melissa and Liette. He scowls at some of the parents looking their way.

Eyes move around, Cat's now listening to nearby conversations too, but hopefully without seeming to be overly interested. "Dr. Brennan," she offers with a nod in answer to his greeting. And without looking, she hopes, too long in Rachel's direction the panmnesiac quietly mentions a pair of words. "Frontliner nearby." She won't elaborate, believing that simple pronouncement sufficient for those present. A few steps are taken, increasing the distance between herself and the others, as if she'd paused to watch children play with snow and is now about to be on her way again. Curiosity about the girl and her importance can be satisfied in other, more secure, surroundings.

Christ, this was a bad idea. Very bad idea. he should have stuck closer to home instead of Central Park. Should have taken her into the backyard and the small park shared by the neighbourhood there instead of deciding to show her the splendor - what remained of it post 2006 - of Central Park. Brennan frowns at Luke, waving his hands to his daughters who were watching the group of people. Fingers move to where Marlena can see and erupts in a flurry of ESL. Come back, we're going home to the older of the trio who promptly starts to gather up her sisters and herd them back towards their father and Liette. "Sorry, we're heading home, we didn't properly dress for central park." offered up the the group. "Mel, good to see you again" There's a glance luke then a nod, same for Cat. Whatever she meant by frontliner has no bearing on Brennan or recognition. "How about we see about getting some hot chocolate and bringing back a coffe for Mom hmm?" Asked of the quartet of young females.

Freak is a powerful word, and when lobbed at Liette by Luke Campbell, the tiny blonde actually looks struck to the core by it. For as much as the old addafe of stick and stones will break my bones but words can never hurt me might well be true for some people, Liette has absolutely no capacity for withstanding that sort of directionless emotional discharge. Her brows furrow, lips part in a wordless expression of half-formed sentences, and she's completely lost focus on anything else except what Luke said to her.

Only coming back into a semblance of focus when Brennan is signing to his daughters and looking to wrangle up the whole posse to go home, Liette somehow automatically assumes it's her fault. "I— I didn't mean— " her chin waggles up and down, blue eyes glassy from an emotional response to Luke's cutting words. Luke Campbell just made a girl cry, and the sudden cancelling of plans seems to shock Liette even more so.

"I'm sorry, I didn't— I didn't mean to…" For the barest of moments it looks like she's going to run, or God knows what with her abilities, but the presence of Melissa nearby seems to tether the tiny young woman into place, and she swallows back that faint whimper noise at the back of her throat, breathes in deeply and back up towards Brennan's side, fumbling as she tries to reach out for his hand.

//Your me— // Liette's brows furrow as she projects her voice into Luke's head telepathically, but the bitter words are cut off by a high-pitched shriek in her ears, and she recoils in a manner that looks as though she just tripped over her own two feet. Blue eyes bat and blink, and she offers a confused look back to Luke, distractedly.

Luke could've sworn he heard something, but no shriek, no feedback. Only Liette knows that secret.

Rachel continues to watch, not really getting much closer. Though, she does nod to Cat in a fairly amicable fashion as she looks around. Her arms crossing over herstomach as she strolls casually towards there direction. Really, she's close enough to be talked to, but she doesn't seem to be initiating any conversation, its just a swing by.

Melissa gives Luke a look filled with such disdain and anger that if looks could kill, he'd be dead on his feet. She looks at Liette, brushing a hand over the girl's hair. "Liette…You're not a freak. Don't listen to him. He's just bitter. And a jerk. But still. I promise that you and me will get together and we'll play however you want to, okay? No jerks, no confused people. Just us having some fun," she says, trying to sooth and comfort the girl. "But if you want to talk, or need me for anything, like girl talk, you call me, okay? I'll be there for you anytime of the day or night," she says, pressing a card with her number into Liette's hand.

"Oh, her? the bitch with the mediocre chest?" hey, two can play at that game, and Luke doesn't seem to care that there's kids nearby. How bad of him. Suddenly his head jerks, just the slightest, and a frown creases his forehead in puzzlement. He eye Liette for a long moment, then over towards Rachel. He tenses when she starts to approach, hands coming out of his pockets. Is she one of them?

She was on the carrier, one of the special civilians involved with the mission, who also became known to quite a few Naval and Marine personnel onboard with the musical performances she and Elisabeth held a few days after Christmas. If Cat recalls Rachel being there, she doesn't let on. It was classified, after all. Not a thing to acknowledge in public ever happened. Nonchalance is the order of the moment, Cat continuing on her outward pace. She can only hope the two Moabites take her hint at face value and seek to calmly depart.

And that Frontliners weren't given information on people who escaped from the Prison That Never Existed.

The emotions crossing Liette's face are caught by the physician and he nods to Melissa. "What Melissa said, Freak is just a word. Can't hurt you. Mel can come over for dinner. Bet you can beat her at monopoly" Brennan offers. "Besides, the best part of being out in the park is the hot chocolate run afterwards. Come on Liette." His hand squeezes Liette's, a glance to the brace and sling that capture and hold the young space cadet's fractured arm to her side. "Besides, we'll build a fort in the yard and you can snow devil it all up back there. Come on girls"

Brennan starts herding, a dip of his head for Rachel. "Lovely day isn't it?" Though it's not meant to start a dialogue but more a questions tossed out instead of a hello. The twins start to skip ahead hand in hand and giggling, calling back for Liette to join them in a way that only precocious 3 year olds can muster.

Rachel nods her head to Cat and Brennan as she passes, "Pretty well, yes," is her answer to Brennan. She doesn't stop during her trek, and just keeps walking once she's sure there isn't anything bad headed there way.

Hot chocolate? Monopoly? Liette's brows furrow at the notions, head tipped down into a puzzled silence as she looks back to Melissa and the older woman's small dog. There's the faintest glimpse of a smile there, but for all her worth Liette can't manage much more of one. Living fifteen years without having been directly exposed to the cruelty of others is something she's beginning to understand the hard way. "Alright, Doctor Brennan…" the blonde teen offers with a furrow of her brows, looking back towards Rachel, Cat, Luke, the other familiar faces before obediently following at the doctor's heels.

This may have been a bad idea, in the short term, but for the long run exposing Liette to the world now, before it's too late may have been a saving grace that she might not have ever been afforded otherwise. Her unintentional caretaker isn't aware of it now, but it may have also saved his life and the lives of others.

Words can be very powerful things.

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