History On Repeat


brynn_icon.gif joe_icon.gif silvia_icon.gif

Scene Title History on Repeat
Synopsis Certain that a repeat is coming, they're going to ground and setting up for it.
Date February 3, 2020

Lanthorn Basement

It's friggin' freezing down here. January and February in New York underground sucks. But they've finally managed to break through the reinforced concrete wall at the back of the 1960s fallout shelter that came with the firehouse. It had been something that they'd all chuckled over and … well, used to stash canned goods. It's "hidden" behind a set of industrial shelves in the basement. It's only been in the past week, though, that anything beyond storage has gone on down here.

Wiping sweat from her forehead with her flannel-covered forearm, Brynn sets the drill she's been using to hook drywall and heavy iron U-shaped anchors to the back of another set of heavy-duty industrial shelves intended to hide the opening into the Underground that Joe is now cutting in the extension that they've been working on for weeks. She pokes her head through the hole in the wall that the shelves exactly fit to find Joe. The light mounted on the old brick is enough to light up the first 8 feet of the 12-foot-deep corridor that sits behind back of the fallout shelter, part of an abandoned double-bricked sewer tunnel that was built in probably the 1890s.

She flashes her flashlight three times in rapid succession in both directions, unsure where her brother is at this moment. But the four anchors are now in place and their emergency exit is set. From the fallout shelter side, the shelves fit flush within the drywall and seem to just be part of the wall, slightly recessed so that a subtle latch can be employed to keep the shelves from being opened from the tunnel side. On the tunnel side, a bar can be put through the four U-anchors to brace across the entire opening and keep the shelving from being pulled away from the wall on the shelter side.

Brian might have trained the kids too well.

A Joe can be found in the bunker itself, having just put down the concrete saw he has going down there that he's using to cut a doorway into one wall, straight into the old sewer tunnel beyond. Cutting through the hardened concrete has been slow going, especially when rebar is hit and has to be cut through as well. The concrete is heavy duty and reinforced. But if it's going to be a proper shelter they're going to need a back way out of here. They'll need bunk space even if it's super tight, but they'll also need space to hide weapons and ammunition in case things go south. When things go south.

Joe is inspecting his work against a diagram that he drew up where he has electrical lines and pips marked out to make sure he doesn't hit anything important as he's carving out chunks of concrete. Then there's a flashlight flashing through the dust in the air and he turns his head a little to look in Brynn's direction before sidling away from the saw and over towards his sibling. There's a tear in his shirt, where he quite obviously lost his grip on the concrete saw and ruined the shirt, though it clearly bounced off of him since he's not looking as if he's in any pain. He lifts a hand and waves at Brynn before signing at her. What's up? I started cutting into the wall but it's slow going. Whoever built this built it right. The concrete is tough with lots of rebar. Which is good. Just means it's slow going.
Silvia's somewhere nearby. It's been a bit since she'd been seen, but she returns carrying some supplies shortly after the two converge, allowing her to see there's some dialogue. The supplies, which she manages well, look like it might be too much for someone of her height and weight, but she seems to manage it just fine. She sets everything down and out of the way so no one will trip before she turns back towards the pair.

She doesn't speak right away, mostly because she's better at reading sign than signing it, so she observes. It's a lot like when she learned English, though that was much harder. Grammar is a terrible, terrible thing. She does, wordlessly, offer a small wave to announce her presence.

Brynn's grimy face has dust on it just as Joe's does, but she waves cheerfully back at Silvia when she catches the other girl in her periphery. Doodlebug has been banished to the upstairs because of the noise of the concrete saw — can't have that damaging the canine's ears! The petite brunette leans against the wall where she's standing and signs toward Joe, in the hole, Silvie's back! Bet she brought snacks for you. Cuz Joe's a human disposal system for foodstuffs. She keeps her signing slow so that Silvia can keep up easily — Cant is a little different than ASL, a shorthand only known to this cohort. Did you find anything good? You know Joe's coming out of that hole starving to death, she teases.

If there's one thing you can count on Joe to do? It's include people in conversation. So when Silvia comes into sight he shifts his stance a little bit to allow her to more easily see his hands as they move, and of course he's always ready to translate as well. He waves at her before signing, slowing his hands down so that she can see them better. Have the LHK been teaching Silvia Cant? It's probably safe to assume they have been. So I see. And oooo food. He sees the look on Brynn's face, there's always judgement from his siblings, and he makes a face right back at her. Joe's metabolism is nuts. He should not still be skinny like he is with the amount of food he goes through. And it's not gluttony either. It's not that he eats a ton all at once, he just snacks and eats constantly throughout the day.

I am not starving to death! Though… I am super hungry. I ran out of peanut butter this morning. Which is going to mean a trip to the market. See if anyone has some to trade. Pretty sure a few of the people there keep some on hand to trade for the stuff I scavenge from beyond the wall. He hauls himself back up and into the bunker itself rather than signing from the entrance and walks over. Silvia gets a thankful hug. Thank you oh bringer of food. He takes a moment though to start cleaning some of the dust off of his face before he pulls the goggles he's wearing up, and the face mask he's wearing down. We're making progress. Going to need some airtight checks soon. You ready for that Pearl?

Silvia did, of course, make lots of extra sandwiches to ensure that Joe would at least slightly fill the bottomless pit of a stomach he has. She gestures towards a large lunch box. Sandwiches and a thermos of chicken noodle soup. I figured that would give everyone enough energy to keep things up. Her signing isn't bad, neither is her progress with the Cant, it's just no faster than learning a new language can be. It's easier to learn, though, being around often enough. She just wants to make sure she's not missing anything. I can do checks whenever you need. It's easy and I should be able to do it fairly quickly. But I'll be sure to double check, I'd rather us get this right on the first try.

Brynn's judgement isn't judgement, it's jealousy. How the heck he packs all that food away and isn't 500 lbs, she will never get — it's not fair! She grins at Joe, though, and backs all the way back into the main bunker so they have room to perch themselves on some of the boxes while they talk. Definitely don't want to be in here with a saw any more than we have to. I'll feel a little better when it's actually here and in place, though. Brynn's been a little skittish lately, less time on drawing and more time on scavving. Especially ammunition. Joe, I put some dogfood for Doodle in that last bag that's going down into the third cache. Don't let me forget it?

As she makes herself comfortable to share sandwiches with her companions, the brunette tips her head. Sylvie, you going back to school this semester? Because the other girl hasn't mentioned classes.

Joe doesn't have a bottomless pit for a stomach. It's just… like a duffel bag. It has it's limits but it is amazing just how much you can fit in there. Oh crap. I hadn't even thought about classes yet. I need to get signed up before it's too late. Might already be too late. Crap crap crap. Joe pulls his phone out of his pocket and scowls at it. No signal. Not that he should have expected there to be signal. Air tight checks are important. Makes it less likely that someone will find the place even if they're looking for it. And the saw isn't that bad. Of course Joe says this as a finger pokes at the hole he cut in his shirt with the saw he mishandled.

This is probably going a lot faster than it otherwise would since I don't really have to be careful with the saw, or rock chips and what not. Just need the goggles and mask and I'm good to go. And light to make sure I'm cutting in the right places. Joe relents as he plows through his first sandwich in very short order and starts on a second one. Thanks for the food Pearl. How's your family doing? He asks it, looking up at the girl, then over to Brynn. Hey Brynny. You left some dogfood for Doodle in the last bag that's going down into the third cache. Don't forget about it.

Your ASL and Cant are coming along pretty quick Pearl. Helps that you’ve already learned an additional language though doesn’t it? I would imagine it would. But yeah, your Cant and ASL are coming along well. You’ll be signing away at my speed before too much longer. Then Brynn won’t be annoyed with just me! Joe grins before taking another big bite out of his sandwich.

I've signed up for classes. I plan trying to keep things as normal as possible these days. As normal, at least, as things are supposed to be. Things going wrong kind of feels like it's always been normal for me. For most of us, I'd imagine. So I'm trying out this whole lack-of-chaos lifestyle, at least for Safe Zone standards. It's going alright, I guess. Silvia makes her way over to the lunch box to fetch the sandwiches from it before looking back at the two. My family is doing well, not much to report there. Normal. You should be able to still sign up, if you're quick. Might be closing within a couple of days, I can't remember the deadline. There's a small chuckle as she offers the sandwiches from the lunch box towards them. No one can do anything at your speed, Joe.

Definitely the chaos is 'normal' for all of them. Brynn is just grateful that there's some semblance of peace here. She snickers softly at Sylvia's comment about Joe's speed, and she helps herself to a sandwich, setting it on her leg to sign. Well, I figure at the rate you're destroying the wall, we'll at least have the door installed in a couple of days. She totally ignores his 'reminder' about Doodle's dogfood, merely rolling her eyes as she picks up the sandwich and takes a bite. The down side to signing is you need at least one hand, so she doesn't say anything else just yet.

Yeah. Stuff going sideways is pretty much normal for us. It's times like this when nothing is happening and everything is quiet that things feel weird and out of place. Hence… us being down here expanding this primal bunker that we found. Joe of course loves signing when he eats because he can keep talking -while- he's stuffing his gob full of food. It's a win win for him. Lack of… chaos? He signs at Silvia in confusion before taking another bite from his sandwich, his chewing much slower this time as he watches her, features scrunched up as if to emphasise his confusion. But he keeps eating, munching on sammich.

The second sandwich is gone quickly enough and he looks at the floor then ducks hopeful eyes over towards Silvia. Did she really bring enough to feed a Joe? If she did there'll be a third sandwich in there for him. No one can do anything at my speed? I'm not sure whether to take that as a good thing or a bad thing Pearl. But you'll be chattering away in no time. He offers her a big smile before his head turns and his eyes move to Brynn.

Hey. Hey Brynny. Hey. Hey Brynny. Don't forget Doodlebug's food. Brynny? Have you forgotten Doodlebug's food already? Egads Brynny how could you? He puts a hand to his chest as if wounded by her forgetfulness of her dog that he is still kind of iffy with. Doodle is a good dog. But Doodle is still a dog and despite the fact that she can't hurt Joe he's still… skittish with her. Deep rooted childhood fears and all.

Thankfully, there are more sandwiches. Silvia did know that she was feeding Joe, after all. She offers another one to him before signing in response. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing either! But you tell me when you find someone who can. I'd like to meet them. She takes a moment to look between Brynn and Joe, then settles on Joe. It's more like I've just been living life kind of how I expect most people do it. Fairly normal with classes and the like. I'm sure something's bound to happen and… honestly it's a little boring.

For the love of all that's holy, don't say that out loud, Brynn objects! You know as soon as someone says 'it's too quiet' or whines about being bored, yes, Joe, she's definitely looking at you!, my brother tries to make things interesting!

She narrows her gray eyes at him while he badgers her via sign. You will wake up pink, if you keep it up. And not cool hot pink, either. Like sweet fluffy baby pink. All over. It would not be the first time she's used that tactic to make them back off her when they're messing with her.

As she calmly eats her sandwich between one-handed signs, Brynn considers. You're not wrong, though, she concedes. I feel like an imposter, going around trying to do what people think is normal … even after Lance and I talked about the idea that what used to be normal isn't our normal. People say the war is over, but if you live here, you can pretty clearly see it's not. There's just a lull. Now they're calling themselves Pure Earth, snatching people off the street again, just like they did in the old days. Only there's no Ferry anymore to make sure people have a place to go. She shrugs a little, regret visible in her features.

I think all our grownups really want to have made things better. They fought a long time… I think they fought really hard for all of us, hard enough to get themselves some power and start making changes but they got tired. They want to believe it's done. So now… its our turn to make a safe space again.

Brynn doesn't usually string that many words together at one time. Apparently this has been on her mind.

Joe hmmms softly at that question. Everyone told me Finch was going to be able to keep up with me. But she didn't. She was nice though. But yeah definitely couldn't keep up with me. Now that you mention it? I can't think of anyone that's kept up with me. Except Mala b… Joe pauses and looks down, pulling in a slow breath that he holds and then lets out in a long exhale. But even then it was mostly just her entertaining my eccentricities. The loss of friends and family, even so long ago still hits him hard. Joe does not suffer loss very well at all.

He takes in a shakey breath, then takes a bit from his sandwich, only to look up as he sees Brynn giving him grief. You enjoy shenanigans and adventures as much as the rest of it and you know it. Joe does indeed stick his tongue out when he signs that just to emphasize his point. If I wake up pink you might wake up with a new haircut. Though that would be a good excuse to go see Aunt Raquelle. Joe admits this with a dip of his head and a bite of his sandwich. And you act like going out in public bright pink would be anything new for me. Remember that time we were going into town back at the cabin? And we left spiders in your shoes? I was bright pink, Lance was bright blue and Paul was… green? Joe looks at Brynn inquiringly.

Brian made her change us back before we could go into town because he didn't want anyone to take special notice of us. But the moment we were back in the truck on the way back to the cabin she changed us all back. This to Silvia along with a roll of his eyes.

Sure there is Brynn. Us. We can help. We have somewhere for people to stay. And we know of at least one place we can get people to safety at. The cabin. Brian is still there with the rest of the kids. He wouldn't turn away people in need. We can keep people safe here, and then get them out of the city through the sewers and tunnels then up to Canada. We've had this talk before. We're the Ferry now. He smiles and winks at her before looking back over to Silvia. What do you say Pearl? Want to help other people in need? And probably scare the crap out of your parents? Joe gets up and steps over to Brynn, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and giving them a squeeze. Maybe we can start circulating word around that if people think they're being tracked or followed they can come to us?

Silvia isn't used to Brynn being so verbose in her signs. She follows it, at least, her brow furrows a little. I've tried to see about living a more 'normal' life and it's just a matter of expecting the next shoe to drop. I want to protect my family the way they protected me. I just… I suppose we can't expect to have something big or as impactful as the Ferry immediately, but we already have our start. Grassroots, like they say.

She takes a long look between the two of them. I don't see any reason why we don't start our own network. We're set up for it and we have passionate people. Also no one should mention this to my parents because they would be both proud and extremely scared.

Brynn leans her head on Joe's shoulder, and then she smiles at Sylvia. When I look around and still see people scared, it eats at me. And now, with Squeaks being where she is? She said something was coming. Me and Joe figured it was time to get serious. Her eyes roll a little and she adds on a silent laugh, No one's gonna tell the adults — Aunt Lynette might seriously lose her crap. But we should let Brian know what we're doing so he can be ready when the trickle starts. At least she hopes it's only a trickle. Her expression says she's not so sure.

Joe dips his head in a slow nod in Silvia's direction. The Ferry started small with only a few people. Just like the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse started with Brian. Brian found me. And then he found others. And other people got involved. Friends, Ferry and they brought more kids. The Ferry started with a few people wanting to make a difference. You know what though? We're already much better off than they were. They didn't know what they were up against. We do. We know how deep the corruption goes. We know how thick the botswarf gets. We're ready. Heck a lot of us are already combat trained. The Ferry? Most of them were normal folks that learned to fight by necessity. We already have a network of friends, allies and resources. We have a building with access to the sewers and escape routes. We are starting out well in advance of where the Ferry started in the beginning. We'll be Charon. Only we don't usher people to the land of the dead. So I guess not Charon.

Joe's shoulders lift in a slight shrugging motion. There is heinous stuff on the way if what you guys said Squeaks said is correct. Not that we ever figured there wasn't. But having confirmation is good. Gives us purpose and drive. We need to start tracking Pure Earth's movements in the city. See what they're up to. Disrupt them if we can. And save people from them.

Joe grins at Silvia, one of those big wide Joe grins that have been less present in the recent past. You hit that nail on the head. They would be incredibly proud. And also terrified. They'll be maaaaad when they find out after the fact, but that's okay. They'll forgive you because they love you. Me? Lady Zeus miiiiight try to fry me. But that's okay. I can take it. He winks at her before turning his head to look at Brynn.

I think you should let Dad know actually. Cuz uhhh… from me he'll just assume I'm trying to play hero. From you? He'll believe that there's something that needs to be done here. Joe nudges Brynn with his elbow, but leaves his arm around his sister. Hey Brynny? Did you remember Doodlebug's food? And with that he tries to dodge away before Brynn can change him funny colors. Probably not quick enough.

So we only tell those who can help or who won't be excessively mad or upset in some way. Otherwise, we just keep it quiet. We'd need a name that works though, right? Silvia is certainly doing her best to think of a name appropriately lofty for a secret organization helping people in dark times, and her face kind of scrunches up a bit as she thinks. Maybe something with light… Yep, now she's distracted.

The grin that Brynn shoots Silvia has a lot of silent laughter. They all have gone out of their way to not really let those who were once their guardians know exactly what they're up to — everyone wanted so much for all of them to have a 'good life.' Or a 'normal' one. Normal just has a whole other definition for us. Well, we're in good shape with keeping Aunt Gilly out of it all — she's the one most likely to try and get us out of it, and she's out with Mouse. And Aunt Lynette and Mister Mateo… well, they're giving you plenty of room. She shrugs a little. I named the Lanthorn — you get to try to come up with something to call the organization. No one likes 'Lanthorn' anyway. If you think of something better, we'll rename it.

She pauses and hesitantly adds, The Lighthouse at Alexandria was called Pharos. I read it in a book about Egypt. Pharos came to be the root of a lot of words that mean light, but especially lighthouse.

Joe dips his head up and down a few times rapidly, nodding along and agreeing with what Silvia says about who they tell and don't tell. Hmmm we probably don't want to tell Aunt Eve. Even though I'm pretty sure she'd be on our side? She's kind of bonkers, like more than usual lately, and I'm not sure she wouldn't slip and tell the others. Anyone else you guys think would snitch? And anyone specifically you guys think we should tell and think they would help? Joe's head turns to look between Brynn and Silvia as he munches on more sandwich, putting away his third before patting his stomach in indication that he's now full. You know for all of a half an hour. He'll be hungry again sometime soon.

Joe sees the look from Brynn to Silvia, and he smirks as well. Brynny is right on all of those. But she's not right… Joe's head turns so he can stare at her. About the name Lanthorn. It was just that none of us knew what it meant. And it sounds weird. But it's not that we dislike it. Stop being hard on yourself. That's my job. To be hard on myself. Not to be hard on you. I'm the one who does the self flagellating. Joe tips his chin up and to the side in a haughty sort of dismissive gesture, though the tremble of his shoulders as he tries to hold in his laughter betrays him.

Ooooo. Pharos. I like that. But I'll leave naming things to you and Silvia. I'll just weigh in on your ideas and let you two do all the work. He winks at them both with a wide grin in place. I'll just be down here expanding the bunker and building escapes and what not. You two can do the mental lifting. Joe sighs and pushes up and to his feet, stretching out a little bit before he sidles away from Brynn and smirks in her direction. Doodlebug. Food. Ha! and then he's scooting back towards his worksite.

I like the Lanthorn. It has meaning. Pharos is very good as well. They mean something but they are also something memorable. Silvia glances towards the two of them, offering a small smile. I suppose that we should simply see how things go. Perhaps a name will come to us as we work. I feel like good names come that way. Like when naming a pup, the name has to fit. Doodlebug food. She gives a bit of a teasing grin.

Well, Brynn demurs thoughtfully, I just figured it's also easier to spell. She grins at both of them. Yes, yes, I have it. Doodle's food! She rolls her eyes at both of them, chuckling in that almost silent way of hers. SHe helps herself to another sandwich — they've been working hard today! And then as Joe pokes back into that hole and can't see, she asks, So…. Was that a little bit of flirting with my totally oblivious brother I saw there when you brought those sandwiches in here for us?

Joe is not gone long. He steps back in a few moments later and grabs an extension cord and drags it out of the room with him. Then he's back a few moments later because well… he forgot to plug it in. He'd unplugged it when it was lunch time. Forgot to plug it in. He signs with a grin before doing just that. Then he goes back out into the hall. And then comes right back in. Hey Brynny. Have you heard from Caspian any time recently? We might need some electrical work done to finalize all this and while I can make an attempt at it? I'd rather have someone who really knows what they're doing messing with it. We're also going to need a plumber. We're going to have to move some pipes. And then he's back out of the room. For like… thirty seconds anyway, then he comes tromping back in and moves over to a head lamp that he put down earlier and picks it up before walking back out again.

Silvia looks flabbergasted for a moment. Flirting? She mouths the word at Brynn to make sure she didn't misread the sign and spells it out with her fingers to make sure. Did I do something that looked like that? I was just trying to be nice. Besides, that isn't the brother I would— She stops her signing as Joe returns, offering him a wave. He's a useful distraction. You'll likely want to see that anyone who helps with the electrical and plumbing down here is someone we can trust. The more people who help, the more people who know about it.

Ah-ha! Brynn simply grins at Silvia. She does wait until Joe is in and back out and in and back out again before signing gleefully, So it's Lance you're hoping will look? Oooooooh. The playfulness is a side of the deaf teen that Silvia maybe hasn't seen as much — although she does occasionally team up with Joe to tease Lance a little about Kasha. Because it's all weird and silly and worth giggling over.

Joe looks up from fiddling with the headlamp, his attention swinging from it over to the girls. His eyes narrow slowly. He grew up around a crowd of little girls. He knows what their whispering looks like even if it's being done in sign. Maybe especially when it's being done in sign. It will need to be someone trusted, yes. Like Caspian. If Brynn were paying enough attention to that to acknowledge what I said and less attention to whatever you two are whispering about. Joe points his head lamp at the two girls accusingly, but he can't really help the smile that tugs at his lips. He walks by and ruffles Brynn's hair before he darts away, hopefully before she can grab him and turn him colors. But then he's out in the tunnel working, leaving the two girls to their scheming.

Silvia's a bit red, but she's waving it off with a smile. Her attention turns briefly towards Joe. My fault, I'm apparently being really distracting with a topic that has absolutely no truth to it and I'll deny it entirely. The last bit of it is signed with Brynn in mind. She'll deny it all to her grave, even if she is a little colored in the face from it. I'm sure it'll be fine, Joe. We'll get someone trusted. She watches Joe leave with a small chuckle.

Oh-ho! I can check with Caspian later in the week, she signs you Joe before he pops back out of sight. Brynn's wicked imp of humor is showing in the side-eye she gives Sylvia. But girls gotta stick together, so she doesn't do anything more than wrinkle her nose and grin at the other girl. This will definitely get revisited. It's gonna be Girl Talk!!

As she catches Brynn's look, Silvia glances in Joe's direction, hoping in vain he'd come back and save her from embarrassment. Then, on second thought, she's fairly certain Brynn would tease her even if Joe was there and that'd probably be worse. She slowly turns back to Brynn, grinning sheepishly. Well, somehow I guess I'm not getting out of this. What do you want to know? Looks like Girl Talk is on the menu after all.

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