Hope Towers Cleanup


brynn_icon.gif caspian_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif

Scene Title Hope Towers Cleanup
Synopsis An apartment building is being cleaned up by the Safe Zone Collective. Caspian does electric, Brynn does cleanup, Raquelle takes notes.
Date March 2, 2018

Hope Towers

Hope Towers Apartment Complex, Safe Zone, New York City

Friday Morning in New York City, before the war, was a maelstrom of traffic, people, and noise that drove people to fury and drinking before noon. After the war, Rush Hour consists of the two carts - horse drawn, mind you - and the few vehicles in town slowly moving through the crowds leading to their destinations. While the destinations are myriad, one building, newly cleared, is in the process of being set up for new people to move in.

Signs proclaim it to be Hope Towers, a reclaimed five story building with apartments on top and a a day care on the bottom floor. A place for the children of the safe zone to get a good start on life, a warm meal, and a safe place to stay. Hard things to come by after the war.

Caspian and his van are pulled up outside, the man already hard at work on the lights at the front of the building, standing on his ladder and working to get a fixture installed outside the doorway so, at night, it can be seen easier for people moving in. Other people work in the day care, while even more work upstairs, getting the apartments - four to a floor - ready for their new occupants.

The Village people are not missing a construction worker, okay? Raquelle is however, here to work. He wears a dark blue on his head, a long sleeved dark blue t-shirt and fitted black jeans, a tool belt around his waist with a hammer, a hair brush, a bottle of hair oil, a comb, and a pair of scissors in it. Black docs on his feet, he busy carrying a blue and white cooler out of the entry to set down near the entry way, balanced on it is a battery operated CD player because of course Raq still has an amazingly extensive CD collection.

/Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bills? Do you pay my automo' bills?/

The music is playing back before queen B was a queen, and the hairdresser sways slightly to the music, even while pulling out a water bottle and wolf whistling at Caspian as he offers it with a flash of an easy going grin, sunglasses hiding his baby blues.

"Hey now." From up on the ladder, arms up as he screws in the fixture to one of the arms over the entrance. "Inappropriate for a workplace environment, Raquelle. Do that again and I'll have to complain to my supervisor and my union representative." He's teasing, of course. Unions and supervisors aren't a thing in New York anymore, and he takes it just as it's meant to be taken - as a joke.

Tucking his tools into the leather tool belt he keeps around his waist, Caspian comes down and reaches around to flick the switch on the inside of the doorway, the fixture coming to life with several bright LED lights. "There we go…" He sounds proud. "Low power and last practically forever. Can't beat that." He turns to Raquelle, taking the offered bottle of water with a nod of thanks. "The commission planned this little thing out?"

"You stand up there on a ladder lookin' like the missing extra from a really racy music video, I am morally obligated to pay my respects and appreciation for the inspirational job you are doing." Raquelle drawls softly before placing a hand on his hip to look up at how the work is going, a small nod and grunt of appreciation. "Yes, been doing what we can to bring attention to real needs like shelter and the ability to feel like you are really making a good new start."

"Nah, not nearly foggy enough, I'm not sweaty enough, and this shirt?" Caspian plucks at his work shirt, a neatly lettered 'Caspian' patch over the right breast pocket. "It'd have to be ripped open to show the undershirt, and those fixtures would have to be sparking to add an element of danger to the mix." He opens the bottle of water as it is offered and takes a drink, turning to look up at the building. Small knots of activity moving in and out of various rooms as things are made ready. "But thank you. Nice to be appreciated, even on a purely physical level." he takes another drink, wiping his mouth with the back of his sleeve. "I just hope it helps a little bit."

"What kinda videos are you watching?" Raquelle asks with a quirk of an eyebrow before folding his arms over his chest and he nods slowly. "And with the work you are doing, you are helping on more than just a physical level. THe eye candy doesn't hurt but its your actions that shine with goodness."

"80's hair metal videos - the ones they used to show on M:TV, back when it was a thing. Bunch of shirtless, sweaty guys rocking out in a warehouse that manufactures sparks. A little before my time, but my dad liked watching the videos at home while he was doing his thing at the winery."

A bit of a look into Caspian's past.

Caspian nods as Raquelle speaks, hooking his thumbs into his beltloops as he listens, looking up at the building. "I've kind of decided to stick around here for a while." he says after a moment. "And it's not me to just sit and watch from the sidelines. I can't just sit back and watch things not get done that could help people so…this." He gestures at the building.

"Thanks for inviting me." Caspian adds.

"Its all of us working together to build a world that the next generation will have to trust to not continue screwing this up." Raquelle bites his bottom lip and shrugs a shoulder. "Are you from New York?" He asks after a moment of staring at another worker with a tilt of his head.
Brynn's been working inside on just helping set up things like furniture that's been 'donated' or otherwise found, putting things like dishes away where she can, just randomly helping clean up. Occasionally she can be found paused in what she's doing as if something has caught her attention, but it's nothing obvious usually.

Now, as she steps back outside just to take a small break, she glances around for the faces she knows. Once people inside realized she was deaf, they were kind when they communicated, but they were all busy so she really hasn't talked to many people except to write down queries about what they needed her to do. Raquelle…. do you think it would be okay if I stopped for a little while? I'm getting a bit hungry. She glances around — no one has it good and the people they're fixing things for are even worse off than the Lighthouse teens, so she doesn't often volunteer that kind of information. Still…. peanut butter gets really old after a while.

And then she realizes that Raquelle is eyeing Caspian. Again. Like he's dessert. And she flushes a little. Oops.

"Originally, no." Caspian removes his took belt and, after a bit of fumbling around with the lock, gets the back of his truck open to hang it on its little hook near the back, sitting on the floor of the van and watching people pass by. "I was born in California, moved to Dodge City during the war, and then came out here whenever the opportunity presented itself." He ducks back in to drag a cooler forward, popping it open to grab a bit of lunch himself, giving Brynn a wave and a quick Hello in ASL, even if he doesn't recognize the rest.

Raquelle gasps softly as if surprised by Brynn and he reaches out with an arm if allowed to pull her into a one armed hug. Then he's signing as he speaks. "I have some onigiri and some juice boxes in the cooler. Help yourself. Its just like a rice ball with something yummy in the middle." He winks and then looks back to Caspian, nodding slowly as he listens, gesturing towards the blue and white cooler he had pulled out of the house. "And how are you liking it so far?"

Brynn waves back at Cas with a grin, and then is tugged into that hug. Her smile is brilliant at the stylist, and she is almost bouncy as she heads for the cooler that Raquelle points out. Helping herself to a couple of the packages of rice balls she finds in there, she perches on top of the cooler to watch them talk.

Caspian nods to Raquelle for the translation, pulling out a sandwich of his own. "Thank yuo, but I brought my own. Might get one later. Save yours for someone who needs it." Meat is kind of hard to come by in any way other than out of a can, so Caspian's is a tuna salad sandwich on bread he baked himself earlier that day. "It's different. I mean….it's not anything like I read it being before the war. I mean, what a letdown." He chuckles softly, a little gallows humor Is anything still the same after the war? "I think i'm going to hang out here a while, though. Lots of good people and I think I can do some good here, if I find the right people."

"Rice, is always a commodity that can be stretched further than sandwich bread. With the right management and portions you can make it stretch for months." Raquelle speaks from experience there, nodding slowly. "When I first came to New York, was the same day the first bomb went off." He signs as he speaks. "Well no bomb, but you know…and then I stayed, and made a life for me and my babies. I was gonna be a staaaar daling." He winks and strikes a pose before sighing softly. "Then I found a different calling."

Caspian is really lucky in that regard. While hunger has been a thing - it's been a thing for everyone, really - the fact that he has a source of income from a business and a marketable skill helps a lot in situations where hunger might be a thing. "When you can get it, I guess. When the war hit, we got rice about once a month, if we were lucky, when a convoy from Canada or up from Texas managed to make it through whatever blockades. Bowl of rice cost a day of work. A bag of the stuff?" Caspian takes a bite of his sandwich, shaking his head. "Might as well have asked for a car, a plane, a full tank of gas, or a backrub from a swimsuit model." He looks at his sandwich with a soft sigh. "I remember we'd save up. We'd use a little of the sugar we traded from Mr. McMasters down the road, some cinnamon, and some milk from the cows and make rice pudding. Just sit on the porch and eat it and, for a second, we could forget how screwed up things were."

Caspian goes quiet for a moment, taking a sip of his water. "You'd do good, I think. You project your voice, you have a commanding presence, and your fashion sense is second to none. We should see about getting a play or something put on. Get a little culture in this place."

"Hoarding is a thing, sure. We've all got our little stores, here and there, of the stuff we need. You and me, though, we're not like a lot of people. I mean, I see you out there, giving stuff away. Feeding people. I do what I can, too. I've got enough for me. I don't look at my neighbor to see if they have more." he takes another bite. "I look to see if they have enough."

Giving Raquelle a grin, Cas lifts his bottle in a silent toast. "If there's anything I can do to help, let me know. It gets my name out in the community, which helps me, and i get to do good for people who might not have much good to be given."

"You do lights and such? You could make sure you stop by the homes of people who have kids and such or people they are taking care of…keep a roster of people you check on. I can help you get that list." Raquelle is thinking this over, thoughtful as he folds his arms over his chest and idly rubs a hand over a bicep.

"If it makes electricity, I can do it. I came out here to install solar panels and battery banks to keep places turned on in the middle of brownouts, but until I land one of those big fish, I'm doing work on whatever needs to work with electricity." Caspian takes another bite of his sandwich, chewing thoughtfully. "Just make sure that things are working and safe, stuff like that? Make sure everything's okay?" Caspian nods. "Sure, I could do that."

Reaching over, Caspian taps the list. "Make sure you put painting on there too. I don't just do graffiti, you know." He leans over to look into the day care, just now getting set up. "I'll come by tonight and put some art on the walls in there. Princesses, knights, dragons and stuff. Lots of kid stuff so it's not just white walls."

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