Hunter's Paradox


s_wendy_icon.gif nightmare_icon.gif

Scene Title Hunter's Paradox
Synopsis Wendy's slumber brings about a few people from her nightmares, friends, past and oblivion at the end thanks to a nocturnal visit.
Date December 9, 2009

Central Park Dreamscape - Skating Rink

Quiet night in after a dinner out with her brothers and parents who made the effort to actually come into the city despite the news that had shuffled through everyone's respective media devices. Nobu the dining place of choice. Back home, left alone to her own devices. Logan didn't show up but then, Logan had a life of his own and she wasn't feeling in the mood to call him up for some company.

SO ti was time to smoke a little marijuana while watching some movies, stare at her art room and get the nerve to go in and do something. Work with clay, sit at the pottery wheel and try to relearn how to throw pottery with her new physical circumstances.

She didn't much have the patience and gave up, washing hands, soaking in the tub before eventually going to bed. Life was strange these days. between Bella, Peyton, her family and the last few months, she was accepting that her life was changing. Agent Denton's words striking a cord. Sure, she was meant for something, but was it something more than being an artist? Into that large bed she slips, legs going beneath the teal and black covers as the light is turned out. The television in her room is on, set to blazing saddles and she eventually falls asleep as some woman in a bad German accent starts to sing about how she's tired.

Slumber pulls her into its grasp, and sleep is sweet for several hours. Somewhere toward morning, however, she is released from the warm embrace of restful sleep and dropped into a much cooler, much harsher world.

Wendy finds herself standing in Central Park, snow glossing the usual green lawns in white almost blinding in the cool December sunlight. The sunshine is not the golden glow of summer but a chilly bright, bluish-white that casts its cold white light over everyone. In front of Wendy is one of the two ice rinks. To her side stands one of the faceless, nameless agents of the Company she has become affiliated with. The woman is not literally faceless — but her features are so non distinct, so generic and bland that she could be anyone. Her voice has a German accent, much like that of the singer on the movie that Wendy had fallen asleep to.

"Vich are ze special ones?" the agent asks, her accent the only thing that makes her unique. Her pragmatic blonde bob, her tall but not-too-tall stature, her wiry frame — all of her characteristics are those that one might affiliate with the special brand of "law enforcement" she represents.

Wendy looks over at the agent then around the park, brows furrowing. How many times has she sat here doing pictures for folks, shaking hands with those that happened to move on by who possessed the gene and figured out what it is that they do. The Brunette closes her eyes, letting herself flow outwards, that special sense that she alone has. "None" None so far, but then again, there's not that many people near her, within her unseen radius. "There's no one" She cna't remember, why she's doing this, though she's got a notebook in her hand, one of the suede covered ones and a pen grasped in her good hand. Even in here, she's missing the tops of some fingers, but her ear isn't fixed yet.

The agent nods, a stoic mask in place of her face. She doesn't seem upset or surprised by the answer, and that is perhaps because the group they are there for has not arrived yet. Soon enough, a bus can be seen through the treeline, pulling up to the perimeter of the park. Bundled up against the chill of winter, fifty children come tromping through their snow. They are the only bright spot in the pale landscape — even those already on the ice are wearing somber hues of grays, blacks, navy blues. The children that approach are in nylon parkas in bright colors of hot pink, royal blue, orange, yellow, lime green. Hats and mittens and scarves and boots come in a rainbow of colors to match, complement or clash, depending on the child's independence in dressing and their parents' aesthetic styles.

"Zis is ze group zat we wanted you to examine," says the German agent, sounding more perhaps now like a Nazi war criminal. As the students get closer, Wendy can already feel their powers — perhaps half of them, 25, are "special." They are still far enough away that their proximity won't cause her to collapse.

Why do they want children. She'd fine with pointing out the adults. They're the ones with known abilities, and need to register their ability. Check registration is what she figured. But a bus load of children. She squints at the little people who come within her range. The limitations that bind her population wise not so here/ "I'm not comfortable with this" Succinctly spoken, jaw set. "Bella never said anything about children"

The voice changes. It's now Bella speaking. A look to the woman will show the blonde bob has become Bella's red hair. "Children become adults, Wendy. And we're not going to hurt them. We want to watch them and study them as they manifest, as they learn their power. We can't do that with adults. Think what good we can do if we can compare those who manifest with ease and grace, and take it to help those who harm people when they first come into their power!" She puts a hand on Wendy's shoulder, nodding to the line of children as they come squealing and laughing down the path. "Besides, think of how many you can document in your journal!" she adds, exuberantly. "Now, which are special?"

"they're just CHildren. I don't.. I don't hunt children" She didn't like touching children, it felt so wrong. They were so innocent, unknowing of what power they could hold in their hands down the road. What kind of people they'd become. "Bella" Her tone is apologetic even as they march past, all heading for the skating pond and she has to hold her breath a moment, two.


They're all evolved. It's written all over her face. "Bella, they're just kids" She's gone whiney now, hand gripping the notebook tighter that the agent who's now Bella had handed over to her. She remembers that.

"You have to do this, Wendy, or they will put you and your friends away. You don't remember that? You signed a contract," the agent-turned-Bella says in a cool voice. "You. Peyton. Your brothers. Logan. Everyone you've ever written down in those notebooks of yours. It's you or the children, Wendy. It's your choice." She gives a fleeting glance to the children, now lined up as if for inspection in front of them. "We're waiting. Go down the line. Shake their hands. Tell me what you know."

Of course, it makes no sense. There's no adults with the group of children. Just a group of kids, babies, really, ages ranging from about four to ten. One, three down the line, looks like it could be Peyton as a child… dark hair in bangs and pigtails, almond-shaped dark eyes, pink pom-pom hat and coat dwarfing her. Another child beside her looks exactly like her brother did when he was seven — missing front teeth, dimpled cheeks.

"You or them, Wendy. You and your friends, or these children. We won't hurt them. They want to come with us," Bella murmurs. The kids nod, like Stepford wives or something from a L'Engle novel — all in time, trusting and naive.

"we're registered" Wendy fires back. "We can't be arrested for being Registered. we've followed the law" Spoken as if it makes total sense, and it is the law. She's getting agitated, tongue feeling thick in her mouth at the little pull she feels to each and every single one of them, a bank of children that just scream evolved to her senses.


She won't do it. Jail or giving away the abilities of each child? She won't write them down in the notebook which is thrown to Bella's feet. "Not children Bella"

There's the cold clicking of steel as a hammer is pulled and a gun is put against the back of her skull where it meets the nape of her neck. Suddenly there's another agent behind her, and this one isn't her friend. "Which ones, lass," says the strangely amiable Irish accent of the Irishman. "Dintcha know I was now working with you, did ya now, lass? Your friend Bella's too soft on ya. I'll tell ya that much, miss. I won't hesitate to shoot you like a dog and put you out of your misery the second you stop being helpful to us. Now do what she says. Shake their hands and tell us who's who and what's what like a good little doll."

It's the voice more than the hammer that makes her stop, makes her tongue stick to the roof of her mouth and her heart suddenly turn to jackhammering. Through the dark so many times she'd heard him and it's no less terrifying now. Maybe Danko'd be more terrifying but the Irishman's still ranking up there pretty high. "You wouldn't" Whiney, fearful, she looks away from him, away from the other agent and to the perfect children in their cuteness awaiting to be discovered.

"I wouldn't, would I? What if I just shoot them, then?" he asks, grabbing the nearest child, a little tiny blonde girl who could have played Cindy Lou Who in a Grinch play at her preschool Christmas program has they staged such a production. He takes the gun from Wendy's head and puts it under the little girl's chin, finger beginning to tense on the trigger. The angle is fatal — it will go up through her brain, splatter on the white snow behind her. "Your call, lass."

Oh god. Wendy moves forward to try and snatch the little girl away from him, from that grinning lined face. She's not quick enough, it's like moving through quicksand of Jello and her hands are held out inches away before they retract. "Fine" Wendy swallows harshly, black strands of hair billowing in the cold winter air, blowing across her face as the silence of the scene sets in and the background noises of birds and wind, tree's and branches fade away.

"Fine" ANother harsh swallow as she reaches out to take the little girls hand. "It'll be okay, okay honey? I just need to touch your hand, that's all I'm going to do okay?" Wendy kneels down, jean clad legs meeting the ground and the snow seeping it's cold through the fabric as she does just that as she keeps looking the little blonde girl in the eyes.

"Earth. She's a terrakinetic. She'll, she'll be a terrakinetic"

Tears spring up when the man puts the gun against her chin, but big gray eyes peer into Wendy's and she actually smiles at Wendy's words, trusting Wendy to protect her from the man.

"Over here." Bella has backed up behind them, and she summons the girl. "Make a line."

With a haphazard, casual wave of the lethal weapon in his beefy fist, the Irishman gestures to the next in line. "Next." It's an assembly line. "Good job. I knew I could ya when the going gets tough, lassie."

"I'm sorry baby" She murmurs to the girl, reaching up to place a palm at the side of her face, a thumb wiping away the tear. "It'll be okay. You'll do great things, I know this" She's lying to herself. She knows that some people grow up to do terrible things with their abilities. Wendy rocks back on her heels, lifting knee's from out of the snow and lowering her eyes to the ground with shame. "Let them go, please, they're just kids"

The Irishman sighs, sounding rather put out. Like it's so much energy to lift the gun and put it square to the forehead of the seven-year-old jack o'lantern that looks like her brother. "Do we have to go through this every single time?" he asks, but his voice has changed. A look to him will show he is no longer the square-jawed Irishman but the diminutive balding Russian. "Maybe just a reminder of what I am willing to do," he adds, and drops the gun suddenly to shoot the little boy in the hand, taking out his tiny fingers. Blood and flesh splatter, and the children begin to scream. Strangely, they do not run or scatter but stand still, as if rooted in the snow, wails shrill and broken. "What can he do, Hunter, or it's his head next. And then hers. And then his. And his. And hers. And his. And hers." He points down the line, aiming and lifting his gun as if he were shooting them one at a time.

Wendy's scream joins theirs, scrabbling forward in the snow to clasp her hand around the boy's severed digit, bullet buried somewhere below. "what the fuck are you doing!" Lines deepen in her face, enraged as to what he just did, actually shooting the little boy. Her own fingers work to put pressure on the digit, cut off the leak of blood. Flight. Just that touch again and she gathers the little boy close, intending to scoop him up and run away with him. "Bella!"

Danko puts the gun to the screaming boy's forehead. "Don't test me, Hunter. I'll shoot them all. And then I'll shoot you. And then I'll go find your friends and I'll shoot them," he says. "This little guy — he looks a little like your brother, doesn't he?" He nods to the clothing.

Suddenly the brightly colored clothing doesn't look so modern. None of the children look like they came out of 2009. The clothing is new and bright, but not in fashion. "What if," he says, as if the idea had just occurred to him, "what if I went back in time and picked up your brother? Did you know we have temporal manipulators working with us at the Company? I've actually come to respect some of the powers. Not that I wouldn't shoot the bastard if he wasn't so very useful to me."

Further down the line, a child that Wendy hadn't noticed before steps out. Dark brown hair, absurdly big and round eyes, gangly in limb and too tall for her age.

"Who does that look like?" Danko repeats.

Bella? She's nowhere to be found.

She almost piss's her pants as Danko takes the place of the Irishman and there's a gun pointed at the head of her brother. Pulled almost from her memory of how they dressed those years ago in the pictures in her parents study out in the Hamptons. "Flight" She lets what the boy can do, slip from her lips. "Flight" Even as her eyes are landing on herself, her younger self. Down to the skirt, the heels and slouched socks that run up to her knee's. The hair in pigtials and the fishbowl eyes that her brothers teased her about all the time. She lets go of the injured boy that's identical to her family, to John specifically before she's lunging for Danko to put her hands around his neck.

"Good," Danko says, but then Wendy flies at him. What happens next is a blur — time speeds and slows at once, a surreal blur of action that seems like it's being replayed in slow motion. His gun arm raises in order to shoot her, but instead, her hands reaching for his neck knocks the gun-arm back. There is the loud crack and the smell of gunpowder in the air, but Wendy still stands, the two shocked adults turning to see what has happened.

The little girl, the Wendy of the past, is staring down at a hole in her chest, blood seeping through the coat, bubbling at her lips. She opens her mouth as she lifts her head, large goldfish eyes staring into the identical pair in Wendy's own face.

Suddenly, Wendy can't breathe — there is a hole in her own chest. A blossom of red blooms on her chest, an then everything is fading. The snowy landscape begins whiter and whiter, until there is just snow and white, cold December sky, and soon the division between land and sky fades as well. There is only white, as if someone has blotted out her vision with cold, lonely light.

She's killed herself. Hands that reach out for the little miniature version of herself end up feeling an identical wetness on her own chest and Wendy looks down. Crimson spreads at an alarming rate, pumping out of her chest to cover the front of her shirt, jacket, scarf, everything taking that sickly crimson color that no one ever hopes to see coming out of someone, much less themselves. The pain is fast on it's heels making her scream out as brown eyes lift to Danko and the still smoking gun. thick red courses out of the corner or her mouth then froths, bubbling as even the yell is cut off and numbness in it's place. Time traveling. He killed her, he killed little her and it's obliterated her. Because she wouldn't tell them what the children could so.

Backwards the power detector falls, not that she can feel the ground, it's too numb, everything is white, painfully white. The prickling sensation is fast coming as well as sheer cold as she feels her eyelids leaden and start to close. So this is what it feels like to die?

Till there's a dog licking her face and someones calling her name. Wendy jerks where she's sitting, huddled on the side of the street as Mr. Jacobson from the floor above bends over to look at her. "Wendy? Ms Hunter? Are you okay? Lands sakes you young things, your lips are blue! What are you doing out here in your night clothes" The old man's grousing, and Wendy's just blinking up at him. Outside? She looks around, shaking awake and shaking, the prickles in the dream the very same afflicting her fingers and bare toes. "I don't.. I don't know Mr. Jacobson"

The painful prickling of the bitter cold biting into her bare feet and through her pajamas may be a welcome ache — after all, it assures her she is alive, unless hell, heaven or purgatory come in the form of a New York City sidewalk, with Mr. Jacobsen and his dog acting as St. Peter or perhaps Beelzebub to welcome her home. She exists. It was just a dream. Only, how did she end up outside? Wendy's subconscious gets a chance to rest, leaving her conscious mind to to wrestle with the demons that the dream forced upon her and wonder why the whole of her aches and hurts.

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