How Would You Like to Learn Kung Fu?


griffin_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif monica_icon.gif child-owain_icon.gif wilhelmina_icon.gif

Scene Title How Would You Like to Learn Kung Fu?
Synopsis Post-breakfast rush at Pollepel Island is a rather morose time, today.
Date December 10, 2010

Bannerman's Castle - Dining Hall

The room converted into Bannerman's dining hall, although long and narrow, can accommodate up to one hundred people, but despite the amount of use that it sees, it isn't hooked up to the castle's electrical grid, which means that after dark it's lit up by gas lanterns strategically positioned on the wooden tables with bench-style seating that occupy the space. A giant hearth set into one of its walls provides the hall with additional light and warmth, as well as a place for the castle's residents to convene when it isn't in use during the hours when breakfast and dinner are being taken.

The walls themselves are bare stone with no decoration except for the four windows opposite the fireplace, and these are covered with heavy pieces of plain canvas cloth at night to prevent the light from leaking outside, where it might be visible from the shore or the air. During the day the canvas is pulled back to brighten the room and make the gas lanterns unneccessary, but on mornings and afternoons when the sky is overcast, there is very little to combat the gloom and so the fuel is burned anyway.

Sometime after the breakfast rush, Monica Dawson can be found alone in the dining hall, most other people skittered off to warmer places around the castle. She herself is laying on one of the tables, her hair dangling off the edge as she tosses a baseball up into the air and catching it, a steady rhythm. It's possible she's thinking, but she may just be wasting time, who can say for sure.

It's a little gloomy this morning, but not enough for the lamps to be lit, leaving the room with gentle ambient light from those large windows. There is a chill in the air that sits on the uncomfortable side, but that's what layers are for!

A certain Mina is in a good mood today, dressed in her link cosplay retrofitted to be an elf suit, complete with an oversized candy cane she uses as an actual cane.

She enters the dining hall cheerfully, humming Christmastime tunes.

Kendall was here earlier for food, but now he's hungry again, so he comes wandering in to see if anything's left. If not, it's fine, but if there is…. well, can't leave anything to go to waste, right? Kendall, the human vacuum cleaner(of food). "Hey…" he greets, nodding at the other two. He's met both before!

Two silent figures make their way into the dining hall. Griffin Mihangle and his ten year old son hid out in the hall, where Abby has been sleeping up until last night. Owain got the cot, while Griffin took the floor. This morning, they both look less exhausted after a long night of much deserved sleep. Griffin only managed because of the sleeping pill that Abby gave him. Even then, his dreams were littered with the horrifying sight he was privy to the night before last.

Owain hasn't spoken since last night. Seems he's identical to his father in his ability to give the silent treatment to the entire world, very good at internalizing his emotions. Perhaps that's just a Mihangle trait. The only one he's spoken to is his father, and that's only been small mumbles of basic needs.

Griffin leads the way into the dining hall, with Griffin looking a bit on the gaunt, pale side, while Owain doesn't look up for anything, holding tight to his father's hand. They both look like they've both been through hell and back, and have only just managed to sleep after their ordeal.

It couldn't be more true.

When other people start trickling in, it takes Monica a moment to notice, but Kendall's greeting manages to get her attention, which is upside down for the moment before she flips herself off the table and back onto her feet. "Hey, how's it going?" There's a glance to Mina, too, who gets a blink because she is very festive. Wow.

When Griffin comes in, though, it's obvious her attention shifts his way and while she brightens at his entrance, the demeanor of the Mihangle boys brings her back down again. "Griff…" It's a semi-uncertain greeting, complete with her biting her bottom lip.

Cheerfully unaware of Griffin's ordeals, Mina breaks out in full Christmas carols, pulling a box of home made cookies out from somewhere and offering Owain one, and if she gets the chance, the remainder of the company as well.

Griffin pauses, turning to stare at Monica as she greets him. Where normally his expression would lighten to see the woman he shamelessly flirted with in prison, nothing happens. His expression is just as stricken as ever, even as he takes a cookie from Wilhelmina in a bit of a daze and just…holds it. "Monica…" He murmurs, squeezing his son's hand gently.

He turns his green eyes down to the cookie in his hand, frowning at it. It's put on a table in rather short order, the man wiping the crumbs off on his wool coat. Sorry, Mina, but your Holiday Cheer is ineffective on this man. If you'd caught him before December 8th, you may have gotten him singing along. As for now, he only turns a concerned gaze to Owain, steering the boy to a table and helping him sit. He dips down, squeezing his his son's shoulders and giving the boy a kiss to the temple. "You sit here and eat some cookies, okay? Dad's going to go get us some breakfast."

Kendall is also oblivious to any losses, and smirks at Wilhelmina. "You look like you could use a little help." he comments innocently, pulling out a small pad of paper. A quick sketch, and Wilhelmina shrinks a couple feet, turning into an actual elf holding the tray of cookies at the same height… but over her head instead. "There." he grins at the kid too, since kids like elves too, right?

Owain is just staring. Staring downward, not quite at his shoes but close enough. To the offered cookie he stares. Cookies. Baked goods. Nothing could be worse. Still, he likes cookies, right? And Dad said eat some. So he reaches forward, picking the cookie from Mina's hand. He stares down, taking a bite. And it's a good cookie, but it's wrong.

The cookie should taste different. It should taste like his mom's cookies, the kind that were super super soft because she always went overboard on the butter. And why isn't this his mother's cookie? Because his mother's never been here - though she may have liked this place if she'd known about it. No, it's not his mother's cookie because someone swore at his mother and broke her nose and shot her in the head.

The cookie gets angrily thrown across the room. It's not anyone's fault but the cookie's fault, because the cookie is wrong.

Monica watches this little mini-drama unfold, and her face falls into a frown. She may not know what's happened, but she knows loss when she sees it. After all, her little brother was not so far from Owain's age when their mother died. She looks from the boy to Griffin, and steps over to him to put a hand on his arm. "I can get you guys something… why don't you go on and sit down," she says in a gentle whisper to the elder of the two.

She does catch Kendall shrinking them an elf, and she gives him a crooked smile. "Just need a couple reindeer around and we'd practically have the north pole." Never mind that an extra reindeer would probably get… ya know… eaten. Around here.

Griffin watches his son's interaction with the cookies with sad green eyes for a moment, before he turns. One hand is placed on Monica's back, and Griffin gently guides her away from his son while the Illusionist and the Elf try to cheer his son up. Once in the kitchen, Vectors promptly prepare two plates, one for himself and one for Owain.

Once sure Owain is out of earshot, he turns to Monica, frowning. His voice is shaky, cracking with emotion that he's doing his best to conceal. "My sister, Marjorie…she…" He closes his eyes, breathing for a moment, before opening them again to peer at Monica once more. "She was killed on December 8th. I found her when she was…" Frown. "…I probably only missed her murderers by ten minutes." The man shakes his head, closing his eyes. "Do you know anything about Colonel Heller? Or anyone who could tell me where he is?"

By the end of the conversation, he's guiding Monica back out with glowing white eyes, two plates and two glasses of orange juice floating behind him as he makes his way back toward his son. Breakfast is set down in front of Owain, even as the boy's father is making his way back toward the table with Monica.

Kendall is silent with Griffin's revelation, and sighs, shaking his head. He has no idea what to say to such a thing, and is distracted from such by the sight of plates floating into the room. He blinks at them. "That you?" he asks.

Owain has settled into a seat - slumped would be a better word. As food is set in front of him, he makes no motion towards it. None, save for pushing it away and putting his face on his arms, hiding himself from the world atop that table just like he might at school when a teacher declared 'Heads down!' to play a round of 7-up.

"Griffin… I'm so sorry," Monica says, very real sympathy in her voice as she reaches a hand to rest on his shoulder. "Heller? I don't know of him myself, but I've got some people I can ask. I'll find out what I can."

And she lets Griffin guide her back again, but she moves to come sit down by the boy. She doesn't touch him or try to offer comforting words, but rather, is just there as a presence for the moment. But after that moment, she rests her elbows on the table and her chin in her hands as she looks down at his hidden face. "How would you feel about learning kung fu?" She says to him, just before she looks up at his dad for belated permission.

Griffin settles into a seat beside Owain, gently wrapping an arm around the boy. Distractedly, a nod is cast toward Kendall— yes, it's him who is causing the plate of his own food to float down to the table. Then, he turns to Owain. "Hey, buddy. Just eat a little bit of food for me, okay? You gotta keep up your strength." He rubs the boy's back, frowning.

Then, he turns toward Monica, blinking. After a moment, he nods slowly toward Owain. If he's interested, then you're more than welcome to. Anything to get the boy's spirits up.

Owain lifts his head. His eyes are dry for the moment. He looks at Monica, once, briefly, but she doesn't really register. He's never done anything more vicious than basket ball, and..he may not have really heard her properly. Instead he pulls his plate close. It seems like he's going to just sit there and play with his food for awhile, but finally he does take a bite of the vegetable. He knows if he eats this, that's less he has to eat at all. Because vegetables are healthy.

Kendall frowns at the kid. Huh… let's see, what can he do to help raise the kid's spirits? He glances down at his small sketchpad, thinking. Puppies! Kids love puppies, right? He sketches, and a small puppy appears out of nowhere, wagging its tail and whining up at the kid. Not to distract him from eating, of course, but it's a puppy!

"Well, we'll see later," Monica says, her hand touching the back of his head softly, but briefly. She looks over at Griffin, spreading her hands for a moment. "But if he gets interested… I'm around. Also, there's some other kids around the castle, too. Brian and Eric's kids. I'll be working with them some, too." That bleeding heart of hers just can't have enough causes, frankly.

Griffin frowns, rubbing Owain's back slowly. "Hey, why don't we let Monica teach you something? Anything you've ever wanted to learn, you name it, and I bet you a hundred bucks that Monica can teach you how to do it. Doesn't have to be right now…but whenever you're ready, okay?" Griffin speaks in gentle, measured tones, despite the fact that he's feeling about as good as Owain.

A glance is cast down to the puppy, then toward Kendall. He nods a slow thank you to the teenager, before leaning close to Owain and kissing atop the boy's head, his eyes closing. While he's got his face out of Owain's sights, his expression falls into one of exhaustion and anguish.

Griff is having trouble forcing himself to eat, too. It takes him a moment, before he starts to slowly eat his own food, just as reluctantly as his son is eating.

Owain stops after two bites. There's a puppy to consider, after all! He takes the paper from Kendall and stretches it out on the table, before reaching for the pencil. If Kendall will allow, he'll start drawing fangs and claws on the puppy, making it much more of a vicious dog, with hardly any artistic skill to speak of.

Kendall blinks at the kid. Well, it's kinda rude, but it's OK, the kid's in distress. The puppy doesn't gain claws and fangs from that, because Kendall didn't draw it, so he reaches for the pencil right back and draws his own. There, fierce puppy is fierce.

"Yeah, you should see me play baseball," Monica says, her tone teasing, rather then truly proud. But as Owain's attention turns to Kendall and the dog, she looks over at Griffin, her voice dropping to a whisper, as if not wanting to disturb the kid and his very… fangy dog. "Is there anything I can do? I make runs to the mainland… is there anything I can get for you? Or him?"

A frown is cast in Kendall's direction, and Griffin waves his hand and shakes his head. That's a bit too…negative, especially right now. But then, it is Owain's way of acting out. Griffin then glances over to Monica, tilting his head to one side. Then, he whispers to her in response, "Come see me tonight after I've got him in bed." A slow nod, then Griffin is looking at his son once more, gently squeezing the boy's shoulders.

Owain takes the drawing and looks at it, then slides it back toward Kendall, as though giving it back to him now that it is proper, finished and approved of. He goes back to poking at his food. No doubt, in his head, scenes are playing out. Not so much sights but sounds, and even smells. Ones that shouldn't be there, not for a kid. Not for anyone, really.

OK, he distracted the kid, at least. Shrugging, Kendall takes it back and tucks it back into the large pocket of his cargo pants, then turns to look at Monica. "So you can teach anyone anything, huh? Are you one of those teaching people how to ride a horse?" no wait, that was Ryans or Huruma, whoever they are.

"Can do," Monica says to Griffin, and she reaches over to squeeze his arm a little. It's affectionate, but comforting more so. Kendall's question brings her back around, brows lifted. "Hmm? Oh. I'm not an official Ferrymen instructor on the equestrian, no. But I could teach someone to ride a horse. Probably." She's done less studying of horse riding than she has on martial arts. But she could maybe wing it.

Griffin watches his son, a frown of concern written across his features. One hand raises, gently ruffling the boy's hair, as if that will make everything okay. He knows it won't. The boy just heard everything as his mother was killed, something horrible not even Griffin would be able to stand.

Then, he's offering an extremely weak, half-hearted smile to Monica, mouthing a silent 'thank you' to her. Then, he looks down to Owain. "Maybe in a little while, if you finish half of your plate, we can go learn how you can defend yourself, okay?"

Better to try and get his mind off of things, in any case.

"Ah, it's OK. I'll let the people who are supposed to teach me do that. You've got enough to do around here, I bet." Kendall nods at Monica, then eyes the kitchens from where he is. Hmm, wonder if there's any more food… guys his age need lots of it, after all.

"Everybody's got a lot to do around here," Monica says with a chuckle. "They putting you on scouting duty or something? The horses…" She glances down to the boy, it's heartbreaking, really, seeing someone so young in so much pain. But she tries to give him an encouraging smile before she looks to Griffin again. And then she seems to notice where she's looking, and shifts that gaze off elsewhere.

Griffin falls silent along with his son for a long moment, watching the boy with a heartbroken expression. He blames himself for all of this, really. If it weren't for him, Cindy would still be alive. If it weren't for him, Marjorie would still be alive. Shaking his head, Griffin raises his hand, rubbing at his face as if tired. He manages to finish about half of his plate, before his own appetite goes, and he pushes it away.

Griffin sighs faintly at Owain, and presses a kiss to the top of the boy's head. "Try to eat at least half a plate, okay? You need to keep your strength up, okay?" He sighs softly, and raises from the table, picking up his own plate and slowly making his way toward the kitchen, moving as if in a daze.

"Yeah, I'm on patrol. I can also do a lot of other things, since my schtick is illusions. I can make anything appear out of thin air." the puppy just being one of Kendall's many many examples. "They're not real though, except for that one time but that was special and put me in a coma for five days."

"Oh yeah? That's rough. But I bet it was awesome." Monica shifts to stand up, giving the others a smile. "Speaking of being busy around here, I gotta get going. I promised the kids some PE time this morning." Stepping away from the table, she puts a hand on Griffin's shoulder for a moment. "I'll come find you later." And there's just a moment of lingering before she slips out of the dining room.

Griffin turns to peer quietly at Monica's hand on his shoulder, before offering her a weak smile that barely tugs the corners of his lips up, nodding slowly. "Thanks." The quiet note of appreciation is offered, before Griffin slips back into the kitchen, cleaning his plate off and putting it off to the side to dry— all while keeping a watchful eye on his son.

Well that's kind of a downer. Everyone's leaving. Oh well, Kendall follows him into the kitchen, but all he can do is pause awkwardly since he doesn't have a clue what to say, so he just gets food and comes out again. Jeez, he's like a hobbit, eating a second breakfast!

Griffin finishes washing his dishes, and slowly makes his way back into the dining room, where Owain is still poking at his breakfast, occasionally taking a bite and chewing slowly. The child's mind is obviously some place else, and it doesn't seem like he's going to be talking. Griffin frowns to the boy, but opts to let Owain have his quiet time.

With a faint sigh, Griffin turns back toward Kendall, his head tilted to one side. "So you're an illusionist, then." The attempt may be horribly halfhearted, but at least he can try to seem normal, if only for his son.

"Yeah… anything I can imagine, I can make. I can even become invisible if I wanted, although technically it's not true invisibility. My power affects peoples' minds directly, interrupts their senses and stuff like that. It's kinda technical, but I think that's how it works." Kendall explains.

Griffin tilts his head. A glance is cast to his quiet son, who is still in his own little world. Then, he's looking back to Kendall. "Sounds like a useful ability." He's fairly quiet about it. "I'm a telekinetic. I'm able to move things with my mind. It's kind of like…hands, made out of the power of my mind. When I use my ability, my eyes become white."

He gestures to Owain. "Owain here is Evolved, but we don't know what his ability is going to be yet."

"That sounds like a useful ability too." Kendall replies dryly. "More useful than something that isn't real. Try as I might, I can't copy that ability."

Griffin offers another one of those faint smiles to Kendall. "I wouldn't say that. I may be able to move things with my mind, but your ability is limitless, just like the imagination." Another glance is cast to his son. "And who knows. You're still fairly young yet. You have a lot of time ahead of you. I'm sure you could make that real thing happen again, one day."

"Not if it puts me in a coma for five days again. I was lucky someone tripped over me, because I was invisible at the time and no one would've noticed. They might've left me on the docks when the 8th happened." Kendall shakes his head, then looks over at Owain curiously. "Well we're not likely to find out what he can do until he hits puberty, that's what happened with me." ahh, puberty. The thing that makes girls suddenly interesting and worth lusting after.

Griffin tilts his head to one side, not-quite-smiling. "Well, that's why you need to practice. To work up to the point where you can do that without hurting yourself." He rubs at the bridge of his nose. "I don't know how you practice your ability…but I practice every day, just to make sure I'm in complete control."

"Right now I'm trying to make it so it doesn't activate on its own." Kendall wrinkles his nose. "It just… happens sometimes, and I'm not sure how to get it to stop doing that. I'm not very good at control, and it likes to happen at the slightest excuse."

Griffin tilts his head to one side. "A good way is to close your eyes, breathe, and clear your mind. Think of something…calm. I used to have the same thing happen— my ability would activate without me telling it to." This is said with a bit of a melancholy note to his tone. "I learned how to clear my mind, and it's helped me many times to keep myself from losing control over my ability."

Then, he frowns. "I still have trouble with it when I get extremely upset." Seems he's not going to go into that.

"I think it's different for me. I can't activate my power without using some sort of talisman, or drawing it first. The way it gets out of control is when I accidentally trigger a talisman and it pops out. It doesn't matter what state of mind I'm in, it only happens in specific ways." Kendall shrugs his shoulders. "Kind of a… complicated trick to it. But when I do use it, it always happens no matter what."

Griffin offers the faintest of smiles, which doesn't quite touch his eyes. "That sounds like a fairly interesting ability. My suggestion? If there's a negator, work with them. They can stop things if they get too out of control." A slow nod comes from Griffin.

Then, his attention is pulled away by his son, tugging at his sleeve. The man dips his head down, making it easy for Owain to whisper something into his ear. Green eyes look to Owain's plate, which is half finished, then back to his son, offering a small nod.

He turns back to Kendall, dipping his head toward the teen. "I need to take Owain back to his cot, now. I'm certain you'll see me around here…I don't think I'm leaving any time soon." He reaches down taking Owain's hand and helping the child off of the bench.

Quietly, Griffin leads Owain off, toward the secluded section of the castle that Abby has them posted in.

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