I Don't Understand


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Scene Title I dOn'T UNdErstANd
Synopsis tIbBy is confusing and confused.
Date May 16, 2019

Ruins of Coney Island

It was the end of her shift and Tibby was ready to fucking drink. Wheeling her bike out on the streets of Elmhurst the short woman clad in black shorts and a long sleeved but loose fitting shirt of the same color. Her platinum blonde mop of hair with the sides shaved is a stark contrast.

White scars spider up her legs, her arms and fingers when the shifting of fabric bares light skin.

Taking a moment to fish a pack of cigarettes from her pocket the woman seems a little rattled. There were flashes, every since that new drug she tried at the strip club. Fucking hell. Tibby shakes her head to herself as she lights the cigarette with a shaky hand. Caspian. The name meant nothing to her.

But it meant something, exhaling a cloud of smoke Tibby stops and closes her eyes while rubbing the bridge of her nose.

Well. Isaac got his overtime in today, at least; by his estimation this day has been something of a garbage fire. On the one hand, a busy day means a good paycheck. On the other, it means that the well-polished shell of superficial glibness that is his default mode of interaction with people has nearly been worn all the way through, and he's sweaty, cranky, and tired enough that he doesn't feel like running.

And as he leaves the building, there's Tibby, looking like her mind is approximately a thousand miles away, orbiting somewhere up in the exosphere. He moves over and leans against the bike rack, watching her for a moment… but the longer he looks, the more he starts to think that maybe her agitation isn't just from the shitshow of a day. He frowns, regarding her silently, and it occurs to him that she's got quite a collection of scars. Starveling alley cat indeed. He debates calling out to her, but… no. This is unusual from what he's seen of her, and therefore… interesting. He settles back against the bike rack, studying her.

Burying her face in her hands, it takes a moment for Tibby to gather herself and by the time she looks up she senses that someone is near. Watching her, she would be right when she turns her head a fraction to the left. Eyeing Faulkner out of the corner of her eyes. The stray alley cat twists her body with a grimace and hops onto her bike. Idly pedaling, it's in a wide circle. The pale haired woman comes to a stop right in front of the blonde man.

She doesn't say anything par the course for the woman Faulkner has been working with at the courier service. Tibby smokes the cigarette lazily, smoke wasting away around her.

The next moment she's kicking off again riding down the street away from him, she turns her head though and nods. Coming? Eyebrow arched.

Well. That seems like an invitation if he's ever seen one… and that, again, is interesting. He considers for a moment… then one corner of his mouth curls up into a grin. He'll bite; it's not like he has any pressing plans tonight anyway. He grabs his bike, swings onto the seat, and pedals after her.

On she sails with Issac following after, she doesn't peer behind her often. Maybe just once, before they are pedaling past Park Slope. She has no desire to go there, not right now. Instead she keeps going, weaving in and out of traffic pedestrian or otherwise. A teen can be seen hovering off to the side, his feet graze Tibby's shoulder but she doesn't even look at him. Just scoffs. How rude.

Eventually the ruined streets change to ruined deck floor. Fences and construction, demolishing groups all gathered here at what was once Coney Island.

Slowly the small woman stops, placing her bike upright and kicking the stand. Chaining it to the railing nearby all the while not looking at Faulkner. He could be fooled into believing she had forgotten about him until she turns her head just so, those emerald green eyes peering over her shoulder at the blonde. A stronger breeze kicks up and lifts her hair off her neck, ruffles her too long sleeves having them flap in the wind.

She leads, he follows. He idly wonders now and again about the wisdom of this, especially when he follows her past Park Slope, into still more desolate and ruined areas. He wonders a bit more seriously once Tibby comes to a stop in Coney Island. She doesn't even look at him as she chains her bike up, so he chains his up as well… but he's reaching out to the shadows just a little now, threading his awareness through all the shadows within his reach. He's not bidding them to move just yet… but if anything's lurking in them, he wants to know about it. He's not afraid of abandoned places, but being led to one without a word… well, while it's certainly intriguing, the thing about unknown motives is that they're just that: unknown, for better or worse.

At that look back, he arches an eyebrow at her. "You come here often?" he asks drily. Despite the faintly sardonic tone, though, his voice is pitched low and quiet; he's quite conscious of the fact that she hasn't spoken a word yet, and while he doesn't know the reason for that, he's not going to ignore the possibility that she has a good one.

"Enough." Is the equally dry reply, her voice is tiny, tiny like her but it's anything but soft. It's all she says as she marches towards the fencing around the place, trailing her fingers along until they snag on a rip in it. Peeling it back she slips inside and holds it out for the blonde to follow. Once inside (if Faulkner follows) Tibby pulls out a freshly rolled joint from her cigarette box, sticking the thing in her mouth and lighting it with a cupping of her hands around the flame. Click. Her eyes are squinted, as they usually are. As if there's something in them, blocking her line of view.

Upgrades. They said, why couldn't she fucking turn it off?

Instead of asking that question aloud the woman instead tips her head back and blows the smoke into the air. Taking another puff Tibby walks on in silence. The pair passing by run down game stands, a lone faded blue tiny dragon hangs limply on a hook.

Without a word Tibby passes the joint, it's obviously not laced unless the woman was into that sorta thing. Drugging herself out. Which she was but with pain pills, that makes her remember the ache in her bones. The pain lancing up her back and spidering up her neck and throughout her skull.

Well. She's certainly committed to being taciturn, it seems. Fair enough. He eyes the fence she's holding for him for a brief moment, considering what the best approach would be to vaulting it, if need be… but for now, Tibby's holding the fence for him.

He gives her a quick glance, then steps through; when she starts to move again, he follows. He eyes the joint she's holding for a moment — he's not keen on them — but after a moment he shrugs, taking a tiny puff and passing it back. Still he follows, silent as a shadow; sooner or later, she'll have to speak. He's idly curious how long it will take. In the meantime, he just enjoys how quiet it is here… and keeps a fragment of his attention on the shadows who keep silent vigil in this place.

On they walk, Tibby noting Faulkner's hesitation at smoking and so she keeps it mostly to herself passing it back to the man once or twice before they reach the foot of the Ferris Wheel. Her head cants to the side and she has a flash of memory hit her. She was here once. Tibby. More than once, the cats. Cats. The image of the felines, Oya and Adze trotting down the boardwalk runs across her mind it's almost like an attack on her mind.

The short woman stops and looks down, rubbing her temple with the jointless hand. The thing smoking lightly in her left hand the white smoke wafting up to meet her chin, rolling off and up to the sky it goes. Slowly Tibby tilts her head back and looks up at the top of the Ferris Wheel. The carriages hang lifelessly in various stages of height, one noticeably had fallen. One of the ones at the top, but the metal carcass doesn't grace the ground before them though there is a spot that has cracks in it as if it had once lain there. Someone had taken it.

"…ever forget something? Important to yourself."

Her voice is soft, the childlike quality of it delivered across the slight uptick in the breeze around them. Her hand lifts and she takes another drag of her spliff, a deep and long one. Chest puffing out and back bending slightly as Tibby exhales a thick plum of smoke that is immediately scattered to the winds around them.


Regret. It seems that's what's driving Tibby today, that's what's brought her out here. Through that lens, visiting this place makes a certain sort of sense; the ruins of Coney Island certainly seem conducive to reflecting on loss. Though it's noteworthy that she apparently visits this place often enough that she's got stashes out here… and also noteworthy that she's chosen to invite him along. Lamentation, in Isaac's experience, tends to be a solo activity.

It's unusual to catch her with her defenses down, but the question she's asking — and, more, the way she's asking it — seems to suggest that that's exactly what he's seeing here. He stares at her for a long moment in surprise… then, as he considers her question, he turns to look out into the distance.

Even had the question been merely one of loss, it would have been a hard one for him to answer. There isn't really a whole lot that's irreplaceable in the life of Isaac Faulkner these days; there's not a whole lot he'd truly miss if it were gone. An old song lyric, half-remembered, floats through the back of his mind: everyone I know / goes away in the end. There's truth to that, and it's one Isaac knows well.

But loss is not what she's asking about; she's asking something harder still. Something not merely lost, but forgotten. Loss leaves memory behind, at least, whereas something forgotten leaves only… a hole. An absence.

"My parents, I suppose," he offers after a moment; his speech seems slower, as though the words are reluctant to come out, as though they're having to shoulder their way past some rusty, half-closed door in his mind. "They died when I was… very young. Sometimes… I wonder what they were like." His tone is nonchalant, but his fingers curl and uncurl as he speaks; when he's done speaking he extends a hand out to Tibby for that joint. He's not normally a fan of smoking — bad for the lungs, bad for running — but talking about this sort of thing calls for an exception.

The joint meets Faulkner's fingers and his brush against the subdermal anchor embedded in her dominant hand. Loss wasn't the word she used but it's the world she feels in her heart. She's loss so much, nay that's not you. You aren't her. You're better than. Better than she could ever be. The pale haired woman looks out towards the ferris wheel again. "Sorry for your loss." She doesn't reach over to console him or inquire how they died. "I…" There's a confused expression on her face and Tibby looks to the ground, corner of her mouth twitching. "My… I… Parents…"

She flinches and steps back. "Parents… I…Da-?" She's cut off short and she falls to the ground. Clutching her head while she rocks back and forth. The pain is intense, her mind is reeling. Littered with images.

Ombi-in isaiba amar sutiya!

Tibby’s hands tremble, the voices shouting in her head are deep and throaty; droning.

Ombi-in isaiba amar sutiya!” Tibby can hear them all shouting together. From her position up on the balcony, they look like living shadows standing in a circle in the courtyard below. Hooded, robed, hands raised into the air. The ivy encrusted columns of the stone railing partly shield her from their view, were they to even bother looking up.

“Ombi-in isaiba amar sutiya!” But it’s her father that has her the most concerned. He’s //there with them, she can see him clearly from the angle she’s at. He’s just… chanting with the others. He’s just—


The tiny woman grimaces as she feels the memory. Cloaks and chanting in…what language was that? The rumours she heard… of what her father had been getting up too. She had thought the death of her mother made him different but what.. What if he was different with them/, his family. Tibby cries softly into her hands and shakes her head. "No, pa..?" Those emerald green eyes lift and lock onto the details of Issac's face.

In a storm of wild chaotic memory does she find him but her eyes unfocus and she goes back to staring at the ground. Confused and scared by what she saw, her previous attitude of not giving a fuck completely washed away.

Isaac's eyes widen in shock as Tibby undergoes what he can only characterize as a complete meltdown; he's at a loss as she flinches back and crumples to the ground. His eyes flicker to the joint he's still holding. And this is why we don't smoke strange things! he thinks to himself, a spike of intense annoyance flaring.


But that doesn't seem quite right, does it? Tibby had seemed confused when she went down. Confused? No… more like distraught. Either way, the reaction isn't quite right for taking bad drugs… and the timing's off, too. That thought is confirmed when she murmurs something about… her father?

This is beyond interesting; something outright weird is going on here. Isaac frowns, his eyes narrowing as his gaze moves back to Tibby, his eyes meeting hers for just a moment before she looks away; the expression on his face is a mix of intense scrutiny, tinged with unease… and, yes, just a bit of concern somewhere in there. "Tibby…?" he asks, his voice wary, puzzled.

"Ek verstaan ​​nie." Her usual small, childlike voice is deepened by emotion, emotions she isn't sure why she's feeling. No… she knows. Inside her mind's eye the woman slowly turns her head to look behind her, sensing that presence. That life. Tibby shakes her head, here in the real world. "Ek verstaan ​​nie!" Today won't be the day she revists that time, a time buried beneath hidden or erased memories, trauma and dissociation.

Her whole body shakes, in a way that seems like an earthquake is moving through her. The flashes of red in her vision are disorienting, alerting her to a wildly elevated heart rate. And ERROR *ERROR. Big Red Letters. She needed to breath. Roughly she sits on the ground and cradles her head, shaking it as the flash fades. Faulkner's voice cuts through the spell of her freak out and the pale haired woman stops and twists her neck to look up towards him. Eyes red and puffy, a look of accusation on her face. Was he doing this somehow? Some kind of quasi telepath or memory wizard? Fuk. It didn't seem likely, but she didn't know this man. Not that it bothered her enough to not lead him out here, not that she knew why she drew him out here but she did know it wasn't for this.

"I'm fine." Is an outright lie but there's not much else for Tibby to do but to allow her shoulders to sag and lift her head up to the sky, blinking at the rapid approaching summer night. "Do you ev-" she's asked that question and her lips close again instead of repeating:

Ever forget something important to yourself?

"My memories," struggling to find a simple way to explain. "Aren't all there… stuff happened." That's a good way, "Just saw something. It…" Tibby blinks repeatedly.

Fine. Right. If she's 'fine', then Isaac is the President of the United States… which, while an interesting idea for future consideration, is definitely not the case at the moment. She cuts herself off before she can re-ask the same question again, at least. Good. It's a good sign that she's recovering from whatever blast from the past she got hit with, at least; a sign that she's headed back towards fine even if she's not actually there yet.

Now. How do you talk to someone in a situation like this? Isaac thinks for a moment, then takes a seat on the ground beside her, passing the joint back; she could almost certainly use calming more than he could. "Good or bad?" he asks. He doesn't elaborate further than that, doesn't specify which question he's asking. Right now, he just wants to get her talking, because it has occurred to Isaac in the last little bit of their expedition through the ghost of Coney Island that being quiet and having nothing to say are not the same thing at all, and that this might be particularly applicable in Tibby's case.

"I think.. That… I think I saw my Pa."

Tibby's admission comes with even more deflation of her body. "Something ain't right. Something ain't fitting. Do ya understand?" There's a scoff right after from the small women. Of course Issac doesn't. She isn't making sense.

Maybe it's because she doesn't make sense, the story of her, her situation.
Maybe the truth… they say it sets you free.

"I use to be someone else… a while ago. Someone that looked like me, she wasn't." Tibby is earnest in this, she is not that woman. No, not anymore. Never again. That part of her life is over. But the reappearance of her blood first in the flesh in cousin and now in the mind from her father? It was becoming too much to bear. Smoking lightly from the joint, her head tips back and those emerald green eyes study the sky. "I think it was bad, because I don't wanna know about her. I don't… wanna… be in her shoes. I want my own." Rubbing her hand on her thigh and sighing to herself.

"My luck ran out, I was in a cell. I was given a second chance. It… came with conditions. Changes." Alterations. "I'm not the same as her, I'm not." She tries again to sound earnest. "I don't want to see her father. I don't want to know him!"

As Tibby speaks, a profound stillness seems to settle over Isaac, the normal fidgets and twitches of everyday life seem to fall away, leaving the blond still as a stone. He watches her intently, devoting his full attention to listening as Tibby makes her… confession.

Confession. It's not a word Isaac really likes; it's laden with meanings and freighted with connotations, making it easy fodder for pretentious jackasses and drama fiends to overuse and abuse… but for this, there's really no other way to put it. It's a confession — the revelation of a secret shame that Tibby's been holding under lock and key for… probably a long time.

Isaac remains silent for a long moment after she finishes speaking, waiting to see if there's anything else; when it becomes apparent that Tibby's done, he lets out a slow breath. This is definitely interesting. Fascinating, even. 'Someone she used to be', who 'looked like her but wasn't'; the words themselves could be those of anyone who had decided to make a break with an old lifestyle, but the adamancy with which she espouses them makes it sound like in her case it's literal. Like… a split personality or something like that? That might make sense of her lack of memories — and her sudden recollection — but… do things like that actually happen?

Well. Seems Tibby thinks they do.

There's a lot to unpack; it takes Isaac a moment to parse it all. The someone that has Tibby so rattled seems like a subject that'd be better to come back to later, once Tibby's started regaining her composure; Tibby would probably deny it if he ever asked directly, but Isaac's getting a strong feeling that she's secretly terrified of that 'other someone' waking up and just… devouring her whole.

So he pulls at another thread instead. "Changes? Conditions?" Isaac prompts, studying Tibby with a look of intent interest.

Turning her back slightly to the blonde man while the joint hangs in her half open mouth, Tibby begins to fiddle with something in her backpack, some kind of tool but with her position it's hard to see.

There are NDAs prohibiting her from really explaining but those were signed on Tibby Naidu's signature, what if she didn't feel like her? It might not matter much. Twisting of her fingers, there's a sharp intake of breath as the woman is still getting over that shock. Finally she sits back after a few minutes, she times herself usually but in this moment that was forgotten. Tibby wasn't in danger, she didn't think from Issac.

Her hand comes up, the dominant one and there's a sharp looking metal spike or claw that's affixed to her hand. The tech faceted onto her finger. "Changed." She repeats, "Made better." Tibby flexes her hand and slowly looks over to Faulkner with a pointed stare. Is he nervous? Will he run away? The tip of the metal claw goes and she taps the side of her head. All vital signs were back to normal in her display. Faulkner's face unobscured now.

Why was she even doing this?

That question had been asked often.

The ill feeling that churns in her gut, her mind still whirling from that image. That chanting. Her father? Her father. Pa. It's uncomfortable to think about.

In the space of a few seconds, Isaac's expression shows surprise, incredulity, wary appraisal, and finally intrigue as he takes in that metallic claw that's suddenly extended from her finger. Nervous? Not to an unreasonable extent.

In fact… there's a tiny smile playing over his lips now. "So they made you the Six Million Dollar Woman," he murmurs to himself, that tiny smile fading to a thoughtful frown as he considers that. As he considers Tibby, in light of what she's divulged. He suspects the Six Million Dollar Woman might not be too far off the mark, either, judging by Tibby's scars — physical and mental.

"I suppose I probably should ask to what end they've done all this… because somehow I doubt that an extensible fingerblade is the limit of how they've… upgraded you, is it?" Faulkner asks, then shrugs. "What all they've done, where you've been, what brings you here, all that… I'm sure that the answers to those questions would prove interesting indeed," he observes idly. "But… nevermind all that for now," Faulkner says. "If you want to talk about it, fine; if you don't, also fine. The question that I really want to ask is: what do you plan to do?"

Those emerald green eyes study the array of emotions displayed on her coworkers face, that slow smile causes her stomach to slowly uncurl from the knots it had been twisting itself into while awaiting Faulkner's reaction. There's a hint of a grin on the corner of her lips and she looks down at her claw through the filtered vision that she was also blessed with. "Maybe several hundred million," the retrot comes fast, slithering out from Tibby's lowered defenses. "I..see things differently. Dat-" Tibby blinks her eyes dramatically to emphasize those tiny white scars on the edges of her eyes, more telling now with some sort of explanation. Halfway. It's the best she can do.

The effects of the cannabis ingested begin to wear more heavily on her and she reaches into her pocket, picking out not one, two but three white pills. Painkillers of some kind surely. Dry swallowing them one at a time, Tibby closes her eyes and tilts her head back. His last question settling over her, the dull ache of the pain she feels would fade soon. She should have snorted them. The other questions are too direct, giving names, whys and goals that really weren't any of her business to spread to begin with. But maybe soon.. More pieces… chances to open up. Her own augmentations.. Whether it's on paper owned by someone else or not, Tibby feels as if they are her own. They live within her now. That gives her the right, right? His last question though, that one causes her most visceral reaction. But from the amount of drugs that were now slowly pumping through her system and the loss of energy after that spike of adrenaline with the flashback? It all amounted to a soft raise of her fine, white blonde eyebrows and slight twist of her head. Some flyaway strands of hair of an equal shade of those brows cling to her eyelashes.

What was her plan?

She should have one.

There had been a multitude of loose stray ideas about her future, how much ownership of it she even had anymore.

In the end she decides to be as honest as she's been this entire time with Issac, a soft shrug of her shoulders and a sigh of white smoke as she passes over the joint lamely. "I don't know."

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