I've Seen You Before


magnes_icon.gif squeaks3_icon.gif

Scene Title I've Seen You Before
Synopsis While in the market, Magnes gets the chance to meet the Squeaks of this world.
Date February 13, 2019

Red Hook Market

Red Hook Market. If there's any part of New York that drives home the point that things are different, it's this place. Sure, Magnes sees all the damage, but he's seen worse. Despite the damage, New York looks fundamentally more like New York than a flooded Earth.

But this place, he finds himself exploring it, long coat buttoned up for the cold. He still can't get through a call to Kimiko, and is too afraid to just call Elaine, so all he's left with is to just sort of explore.

He stands out in the crowd, it's hard not to notice his large head of hair and rather dramatic even if dark outfit.

Crouched down, he stares behind a glass of cheeses and cured meats. "I could make pizza." he considers. He can finally make pizza again.

Anyone can find anything in the market if they look hard enough. But Squeaks’ adventure into the market is proving to be the exception to the rule. To be fair, it could be that she’s not actually looking too hard right now, and it doesn’t help that one of the regular vendors has started carrying candies. The good kind, too, like the saltwater taffies and brightly colored pulled sugar sticks.

The young teenager has been standing beside that booth for a good five minutes, completely oblivious to the stern eyeballing she’s gotten. Looking is fine, and that’s all she’s been doing. But, that’s all she’s done with no thought to actually buying anything.

Her head tips up, and eyes follow a second later, everything about her expression says she’s about to start asking questions. Until she sees that look and thinks better of it. Maybe another day. Squeaks huffs a breath and scuttles backward from the stand. She should probably focus more on her reasons for being in the market and less on the extra things.

Magnes tends to have a great deal of awareness of what's going on around him, spending years looking over his shoulder. But today that lack of an ability to properly relax in public actually leads to something interesting. That's definitely Squeaks, he realizes as he turns his head to look over at the rather hard to miss, even if tiny, teen.

He stands up straight and walks over to her just as she's backing up, staring down at her from behind. "You wanted something from there?" he wonders, glancing at the sugary snacks. "Um, Squeaks? Jac? I don't really know what you prefer to be called here. I heard the kids call you Squeaks, but people aren't always the same everywhere." Obviously he never used the name Jac for the previous Squeaks, but he certainly heard the name before. He knows it's one of her's.

She doesn’t recognize the voice right away, even though she’s heard it a few times, and she twists around and shuffles backward when Magnes talks to her. Squeaks’ eyes squint a little with vague suspicion — it’s the same she gives most grown-ups — and she shakes her head to answer the question.

“Everyone calls me Squeaks.” Which is to imply it’s what she’s most likely to answer to usually. “Only my mom calls me Jac. And you’re Magnes.” She darts a look at the vendor and shakes her head again. No candy this time. “My brothers talk about you. How you read comics to them when they were little.”

"Squeaks." Magnes says, as if testing out her name. "Yeah, I used to help take care of the Lighthouse Kids a long time ago. I taught them math and science too, but I'm guessing that wasn't one of the fond memories."

He smiles, offering her a hand to shake. "I hear that if it wasn't for you, I might not even be here." he says, without going into much detail. "You found the tape, and you helped us get back. You're basically a hero at this point."

Looking around, he decides to ask, "Hungry?"

“The tape was in the Underneath, in a place with offices?” Squeaks has to wonder about that, those rooms that made up part of the Con Ed plant weren’t exactly offices. Maybe they were storage rooms. “It was up, up above a tank. Like the kind soldiers use with a big gun and tracks. Some old bone bodies were there too, but they weren’t scary.”

As for being a hero, the young teen shrugs. “I just find things. And I can use sound, but usually to find things and not get lost in the dark. But I used it because the Raytech project needed sound. What they had wasn’t working.” She looks at the hand that’s offered out to her, then up at Magnes again. “I like to eat.”

"We were underground, so that makes sense. Usually where things… go through, is the same place it comes out. But not always. Sometimes things are weird." Magnes is very good at vague talking, then he starts to walk, looking around at all the things in the market still. "Normally I'd make pizza, but I still don't have a place yet. I plan to invite all the Lighthouse Kids for some kind of pizza party, when I have my daughter back. Then you can all meet her. What's a good thing to eat in this place? Can you still get burgers?"

He legitimately sounds like someone from another world, very much clueless about the everyday life of someone who lives here. "Sounds like you can use echolocation, like a bat, or a dolphin."

“Maybe?” Squeaks isn’t sure about who sells foods for eating right then. She turns a circle in place before she starts tagging along after Magnes. “There’s a place near Auncle Raquelle’s salon that has really good dumplings. I bet there’s burger places, too. Somewhere.” The marketplace is pretty huge, and there’s lots of things going on inside it.

“It’s that. Echolocation.” It’s not a word the girl uses normally, she just explains how it works for her. “It’s primal. I’m not sure it helped me find the tape, because that was before I knew I could do it. But now I can’t get lost and I don’t need a flashlight.”

"Primal. I guess the future kids' slang spread to everyone." Magnes says while immediately making himself sound like an old man, then stops and nods a head to her. "You lead the way. Let's get those dumplings. And uh, Raquelle, like… the hairdresser, or a different one?" he wonders, since, well, usually a small world in their circles.

"I can't get lost either." He points up at the sky. "I can feel the sun and the moon. It's subtle but I always feel them pulling on me, so I know where they are. Though it's a little tricky, not as useful as echolocation if you don't have many wilderness survival skills. But if I pay attention I can find my way around."

He considers something, probably a Joe-esque thing to say, and asks, "You ever try to talk to dolphins or bats?"

“Yes. Auncle Raquelle does hair. Also nails and keeps your feet from getting janky.” Squeaks looks up at she talks, up to the sky when it’s pointed at. “I know how to survive. I did it for a long time by myself when I lived in the Underneath, before I found my brothers and sisters and got adopted.”

Tilting her head, the girl angles that wondering look to Magnes next. “No. But I had a dream thing one time and saw myself underwater finding things.” Which is kind of like how dolphins and bats work, right? “We don’t have dolphins close, and bats are hibernating or migrated or something. It’s winter.”

"A dream, huh?" Magnes asks, as if there's something more behind what he's wondering, but he doesn't ask any more than that. "I knew Raquelle. It's nice to know even more familiar faces are still around. I didn't know what to expect, coming back here."

"There's something nice about the fact that some people, like you, aren't that different. You're a good kid." He doesn't say what she's not that different from, but the implication is certainly there. "There anything you want to grow up to be? When I was your age I think I just wanted to be a pro skater. The inline skates kind."

But then there's another question that pops into his head. "Wait a minute, you said only your mom calls you Jac. Is your mom… Gillian?"

“Yes.” At least Squeaks believes it to be a dream, even though she doesn’t remember falling asleep. It just sort of happened while she was talking. “It was weird. I watched myself in this dark old building go into the water that filled it and found… something. That’s it. But I used my powers to find it, like dolphins do. The sound echoed back different, but it worked.” She shrugs, her shoulders bouncing up and down one time.

The young teen is quiet for a minute or two, wondering about the first question. What she wants to be when she grows up isn’t something she ever thought about. “Gillian is my mom. It’s for reals and forever now. And I don’t know about growing up. I worked at Raytech for a while, and then I got a letter to do interning at SESA. So I’m going to start that next.”

"Gillian is my childhood friend, we talked online a lot, back before the war ruined the internet a bit." Magnes still isn't quite sure how much, but surely the internet wasn't unscathed. "She's one of my very best friends, in the entire world. We once flew a giant robot crab together." He smiles fondly at the memory, the relief, one of the first time he escaped something horrible with his life and people he cared about.

"I think you'll do great things. And Gillian is a great woman. I'd say it's hard to imagine her as a mother, but it's not really. She always loved the kids, she even made me love kids. She's why I started being a tutor at the Lighthouse, reading stories, being kind of a parent, things like that." He looks around, since he's largely following her. He occasionally seems a bit confused or surprised when there's recognition on his face. Taking in a city that he both knows and doesn't know at the same time.

“A giant robot crab?” The girl sounds amazed by the idea of it, but she looks a little skeptical. “She told me about talking to you in rooms on the computer before the Lighthouse. But she never said anything about flying giant robot crabs. I think she’s the best mom. She wanted to adopt me.” Which is a pretty important thing. “She even asked me if she could.”

She seems to know where to go without really paying attention. She does eventually point toward a place, even though it’s probably hard to see between shoulders and heads and bodies, but she points anyway. “There’s dumplings. They’re really good and the lady who runs the shop is super nice.” Squeaks looks up at Magnes to make sure he’s following what she’s saying. “My brothers and sisters and I go there a lot.”

"I'm looking forward to it. I haven't had restaurant food in almost two years." Magnes walks ahead, though occasionally looks back to make sure she's still there. Then he reaches out to hold the door for her. "Me and Gillian have had a lot of crazy adventures. If you could have any mother, she's definitely one of the very best you could have."

"Do you like comic books? What do you do for fun? I'm not really sure what's still possible to do here, everything is so different." He sounds some mixture of curious, concerned, and just generally has a somewhat Joe-like rambliness.

The questions are probably a little off putting, but not because of what’s being asked. Just all the asking. Squeaks side-eyes Magnes, probably a look similar to ones she’s given Joe with all his questions. “I like to read,” is an honest answer, completely contrasting the look she’s tossing. “That’s usually what I do. I watched television when we were in Missouri though, but usually I read books. All kinds of them, like stories and science and histories. Also I do things with my brothers and sisters sometimes.”

"My comic collection apparently survived the war, since a lot of my stuff got put into storage by lawyers after everyone thought I died. You could read them some time if you want, they're at Delilah's house." Magnes looks around the restaurant when they enter, taking in the various smells of cooking food. "Well, you can order. I'll try whatever you like the most."

“For reals?” Thats going to be something for Squeaks to tell her brothers, that Magnes said she could read them. “That's primal. I know Delilah. She gave me money once, before I had somewhere to live. And Walter, too. We're going exploring on the beach when it's not winter. If my mom says it's okay.” She hasn't asked yet, but there's lots of time still.

The young teen leads the way up to the counter — even tugging Magnes along by the sleeve so he can see what there is for next time — and starts rattling off an order. It's definitely a place she's familiar with, and the woman seems to already expect what's going to be asked for. Once the order is placed, she shows Magnes to a table where they can wait for the food to be brought out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License