I Spy With My Little Eye


barbara_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif

Scene Title I Spy With My Little Eye
Synopsis Lynette calls in some help in this puzzle business.
Date September 01,2010

Gun Hill

Situated atop the Gun Hill apartment building, five stories above street level, the rooftop of the tenement building overlooks the Bronx's gritty urban landscape. A single stair access leads out onto the smooth concrete rooftop surrounded by a three foot high red brick wall with a masoned top. Ventillation pipes and a chimney that connects to the singular fireplace down in the basement rises up from the concrete rooftop, though the chimney's old brick is crumbling and weathered.

A pair of old sun-bleached folding lawn chairs are situated out on the roof along with a plastic cooler, while white sacks of loam and soil are set next to large lengths of scrap wood, a box of nails and a few carpentry tools; a project in the works.

The call that her presence was requested had come rather suddenly for Barbara Zimmerman - the idea of being needed for something other than fixing something around a commune of diffusing a fight was still rather foreign to her, but she isn't exactly one to pass up the opportunity to help out with something as needed. The fact that the request was coming from a familiar, if only somewhat so, face gave her even big reason not to put off making the trip to Gun Hill.

What she hadn't expected, however, was being led up to the safehouse's roof in order to inspect what appeared to be puzzles pieces that had been rather oddly received in the mail that day. Holding one of them in her hand, close and under the brim of her had, sunglasses slipped down her nose, she grimaces. "So, were they just - there? Or did they come in an envelope anything like that?" Not that it really matters, it's more an idle curiosity than anything else. Bag slung over her arm, she looks for a place to sit. "How… bizarre. Did anyone else in the building get one?"

"I'm not sure yet. We put up some flyers, and I'll make some rounds around the building to ask. The envelop," Lynette says as she draws hers out of her jacket to set with the pieces, "Typed out, but no return address, of course. Toby- my co-super, and I want to collect what we can, see if we can put this thing together. I suppose my worries are… who these are from and is it going to explode if we get it together, you know what I mean?" The reason they're on the roof becomes apparent as Lynette pulls out a pack of cigarettes, drawing one out to light up. "I was hoping you'd be okay with helping out there. Any hint would be… well, more than we've got now."

"An exploding puzzle?" Barbara remarks with a bit of a laugh as she draws her sunglasses off her face, clipping them on the front of her tank top. "That would be interesting to see put together. Well, not put together, but… you know." The redhead snickers at herself as she pulls over one of the pieces of patio furniture, dropping her bag down next to it. "I'm not even sure how you would manage that, outside of a rather odd ability." Holding the puzzle piece up again, Barbara scratches her chin as she turns it in her fingers. "I can't make any promises, Lynette. The clarity of my last vision was… somewhat of a fluke. But I can try."

"You can't say the world hasn't see stranger things than an exploding puzzle," Lynette says with a crooked smile. She may be a little paranoid, but it's only because they're totally after her. >.> One of those pieces reads 'this.' while the other reads 'better', neither word particularly helpful at this point. "I appreciate your willingness to try. Even if it comes to nothing, it's at least an avenue that's been explored. I'm afraid this puzzle is going to become something of an obsession."

Barbara laughs, a brief nod offered to Lynette. "That's fair, I suppose," she remarks as she lowers the piece from her vision and makes her way back to the seat she had pulled up. She sits slowly, attempts to get comfortable and secure, after what happened last time. "Just don't let it get to you if I can get too much," she gives as a sort of warning as she draws her sketchpad and a drawing pencil up and out of her bag, into her lap. "And… if I fall again, do try and catch me, please," she adds with a wry smile, even as her hadn clenches around the puzzle peice, eyes close as she leans back in the seat, and concentrates, a rather scrunched, unappealing look on her face as she focuses on the object, tries to force up a vision.

"I will be very ready to catch you this time," Lynette promises, complete with Girl Scout salute. Her other warnings get a little nod, but she doesn't seem too worried. She is, perhaps, a bit of a pessimist these days. It makes things going right a happy little surprise.

Any sound of the city below begins to slowly fade, first to a dull roar, and then to silence around Barbara, an all encompassing, if brief, sense of quiet. The rooftop begins to schange with quickening pace, one detail after another, until soon an entirely different scene is under her purview…

Unknown Location

Unknown Time

Each piece is roughly the span of a human hand, but as they fit together along the wooden slats, the backs, not the colorful fronts, face the light. There are seven of them that make up the bottom edge and lower right-hand corner. There must be more pieces somewhere, but it is hard to see - the only light comes from an oil lamp that's just visible, resting on the boards to one side.

There are crickets somewhere. Somewhere close.

A man sits cross-legged and hunched over, his thin hands clad in thin leather gloves. The angle is from behind, and it quickly zooms in to look over his shoulder. He grips a chisel-tipped permanent marker in his right hand. He begins to write, his strokes determined.

In short, we are better than this.

He goes back over the last five words again, making them darker. Bolder. Emphasized. The marker squeaks with the pressure he puts on it to leave the dark trail on the otherwise pristine paper.

Gun Hill Rooftop

Present Day

When Barbara comes to this time, similarly with a gasp as with the last time that Lynette saw her go through this process, she merely slouched a bit over the side of the chair, as if she lazily fell asleep between its armrests - a welcome difference from falling to the floor as she had before. She blinks, groaning as she comes to, slumping just a bit more in her seat. She temples a bit, a hand coming up to rest on her forehead as she blinks once more in quick succession, eyes readjusting to the world around her…

And then suddenly, if in a lazily done motion, she perks up. Taking hold of the sketchpad and pencil in her lap, the pad is flipped open to the first available clean page and immediately pencil sets to paper, eyes scanning back and forth, up and down as she begins to sketch out the form of a man, sitting hunched and cross-legged, eyes narrowing and widening alternately, tongue hanging out of the corner of her mouth. Some erasing occurs, but largely her pencil strokes are quick and deliberate, as if final. "Quiet. Dark. There was a man… writing…"

Lynette jerks at that gasp, really looking ready to slide in to catch her, but hey, no falling this time. Which is good, because Lynette hadn't put down her cigarette, she just let it dangle between her lips, is all.

She doesn't interrupt as Barbara grabs her sketch pad. She remembers how it goes. She does, however, watch curiously. It's just so damn intriguing. "Brilliant, Barbara," she says, quietly encouraging.

Pencil traces across the thick sketch paper, occasionally striding back and forth to shade a piece of the scene, emphasising the dark lighting in the room she had scene. The man comes into full, completed view, legs crossed as he stares down at a set of the puzzle pieces . His arm is in mid stroke as it passes over a word on one of the blank puzzle pieces, the marker held tight in hand as he works over it. It's a simple piece of art, compared to the one Lynette saw previously, but it gets it's point - and what Barbara saw - across rather quickly. This time, there's no scrawled dialoge, no word bubbles, no additional notes. Just this simple vision of a man hard at work devising… who knows what.

When her pencil is finally laid down, Barbara blinks once more, as if coming out of a trance she was never really in. "I…" She stares for a moment, and then motions down to the drawing, slumping tiredly in her seat. "I think it speaks for itself," she remarks quietly, gaze lifted up to Lynette. "That's… pretty much all I saw. Just the man, some pieces of this puzzle, an oil lamp… It was dark, wherever he was. Too dark to see much more."

Lynette reaches over, touching Barbara's cheek for a moment. "You're fantastic, darling." Her focus seems to be more on the woman than the drawing for the moment. "Do you need anything? Water? Something to eat? …alcohol?"

Looking to the drawing only after she's checked on Barbara, the blonde's head tilts quizzically. "An oil lamp? Now that is interesting… I mean, who uses that sort of thing now a days. Unless you were camping. Or had no electricity."

"Some water would be wonderful," Barbara responds quickly, sitting up a bit in her seat - inducing these visions always leaves her exhausted, and almost feeling a bit dehydrated. Hungover, almost, in some cases. "I'm not sure. A squatter, maybe? It's hard to tell." Barbara's staring at her own drawing with narrowed eyes and a curious expression. "I don't know quite what to make of it, unfortunately. We know this is a deliberate measure. Maybe… maybe with a message? But… that's it."

"It's a hint, anyway. More than we had. If you think on it and anything else comes to mind, let me know." Lynette pats her arm there and moves to stand herself. "Sit tight, I'll get that water." And really, it only takes her a minute or two before she's back to hand Barbara a bottle of water. "I think you've got to be right about the message. He doesn't look like a man out on a lark. Amusing himself and whatnot. He looks too serious for that."

"It's a hint, anyway. More than we had. If you think on it and anything else comes to mind, let me know." Lynette pats her arm there and moves to stand herself. "Sit tight, I'll get that water." And really, it only takes her a minute or two before she's back to hand Barbara a bottle of water. "I think you've got to be right about the message. He doesn't look like a man out on a lark. Amusing himself and whatnot. He looks too serious for that."

"Well, there are a few places, tucked away. More, if he actually did all this elsewhere and then came into the city to send out the mail. But, the very fact that it's in such a rare setting may just be the best clue. I mean it when I say you've been a big help," Lynette says as she brings her cigarette back to her lips for a little puff. "In fact, Toby and I could use more brains on this. All the brains we can find. If you're interested in helping out. Plus, I'm pretty sure I owe you a dinner now. And there's no better cook that Toby, seriously."

Barbara chuckles, leaning forward and closing her pad back up. "Anything I can do to help, I'll gladly contribute," she remarks simply, grinning up at Lynette. "I'm sure Cat'll be interested, to say the least. Perhaps you should speak with her, soon." Slowly, she rises up to her feet, a little wobbly for a moment. "I would appreciate a nap more than anything else at the moment. But dinner sounds good, I admit. Particularly if Toby is as good as you say." Hands idly brush at her jeans, followed by a long exhale.

"Well, the top two floors both have apartments meant for short term in and out visits, if you'd like one now. Or… whenever. Nap friendly, this building." Lynette nods her head, though, at the mention of Cat. "I'll see if I can catch her, get her in on this as well. I've never been very good at puzzles, so like I said, all the brains I can find." There's a little hitch there… like she just reminded herself of something unpleasant, which she did, because the last time she saw Gregor, he just so happened to have several brains and oh god, gross, disturbing memory ew. But, the hitch passes and she lifts up to her feet as well. "He's better. But I'll give you the same warning I give everyone. It's addictive and fattening, the evil man." She steps over at the wobbliness and puts a hand on Barbara's back. "Seriously, there are like, eight extra beds in here. Plus, it would give me time to get Toby into the kitchen."

"I suppose if there's room to spare, I should take advantage before I head home. I would hate to fall asleep in a cab." Barbara grimaces at that though, pad replaced into bag, the carryall slung back over her shoulder as she hands slip into her pockets. "Puzzles aren't exactly my forte either, I admit. But enough people can figure it out, I'd imagine." The hand at her back is rewarded with a kind smile, Barbara straightening back up as she laughs. "Well, I haven't had an amazing home cooked meal in some time, so I should e careful. I bet I'll be addicted after one bite!"

"In that case, I'm going to have to insist, yes," Lynette says as she guides the way tot he door. "Cabs have got to be in the top five of terrible places to fall asleep. Just under Dark Alley, but above Ex Boyfriend's Apartment." She echoes the woman's laugh, though, and nods, "Oh yeah. You're in /big/ trouble around here. Huge."

When the reach the door, Barbara just shakes her head. "I'll have to make sure and stop by every now and then, if it's such big trouble." Her back is adjusted, hands reinserted into her pockets as she pauses, letting Lynette pass so that she can lead the way. "It's precisely last on my list of places to sleep. I am somewhat grateful I have no experience with either of the other two."

"I had a very demanding career for a while before joining the Ferry. I fell asleep everywhere," Lynette says with a crooked smile that might mean she's exaggerating. A bit. She does move to lead the way, just down to the top level, pulling out a ring of keys to open one of the spare apartments. "Here you are at the Gun Hilton," she says with a sweeping gesture as she opens the door. "I'm in 101, if you need anything. I'm afraid there's not much in there but beds, but."

"I think a bed's all I need, really," Barbara says as she looks into the room, peering around. "Particularly if I'm only going to be here for a little bit. She laughs at the Gun Hilton joke, shaking her head. "101. A dangerous number, you know," she remarks with a quirked eyebrow. 'Though I suppose that's only if you've read 1984." There's a distinctly mirthful quality to Barbara's words as she steps more fully into the apartment. "I think I'll be fine. Just come get me if I'm not up by dinner."

"I appreciate the irony," Lynette says, as far as her apartment number. "And the ominousness. Principals and landlords should all have a little of it." Flashing her a smile and nodding a bit, she lifts a hand for a wave. "Sleep well. I'll be back when there's food. And thanks again, Barbara. For the help."

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