In Plain Sight


ff_kendall_icon.gif ff_silas_icon.gif

Scene Title In Plain Sight
Synopsis Kendall and Silas brainstorm ways to combine their powers for the good of the convoy
Date July 3, 2021

In the Appalachians

After everyone settled down from the drive and finished their meals, Kendall headed for the edge of the campsite, staring up at the sky, which was not raining for once. Matter of fact, this is probably the driest most of them had seen for a while, given it’s one of the many rainy seasons.

Dropping his gaze abruptly, however, he turns to look back towards the group, but he hesitates with a sigh. Yeah, he’s not unaware that his attitude burned quite a few bridges so far, but going back over most of his interactions, he can’t think of anything he would have done differently, either. Well, except redirecting his annoyance at Quinn over to Elliot, who he had never laid eyes on in his life and just happened to be conveniently the next Traveler he met after his little tiff with her.

Oh well. Still time to apologize for that, but he’s not feeling it right now. With another sigh, he looks back up at the sky.

"Waitin' for another storm?" a voice says tiredly from the shadows to Kendall's right. Silas Mackenzie is still lurking about — more in shadows than in firelight, but he blends in well with the night's dark.

There’s a slight jerk as Kendall’s gaze is once again pulled from the sky. “Well usually the sky is falling by now, I guess it’s just strange for it to not be raining. Might even be able to see the stars tonight if we’re lucky. I used to like looking at the stars.” He tilts his head as he squints at Silas standing in the shadows. “How’re you doing, Barbecue?” he smiles faintly at the nickname, a joke between book nerds.

Silas gives a single chuckle of amusement at the invocation of the old nickname. "Tired. It's been awhile since I drove something with wheels instead of a rudder. Let alone for fourteen hours." His amusement fades quickly. "Let alone through all four seasons in a single day. Weather's been weird since Delphi; I know the Stormfront's been throwin' a tantrum, but this is bizarre."

He looks over to Kendall. "You?"

“Still sounds like you still had a better time than me, it was awkward the whole trip for our car.” Kendall doesn’t elaborate beyond that other than a faint shrug. “I never learned how to drive, myself. The world ended before I got a chance to do so.” a squint skyward again. “Nothing’s really been normal for the last ten years, I can’t say I’m surprised by anything anymore. What’s also weird is standing on the ground.” he kicks at the dirt a little. “Makes me glad I don’t have to worry about sleeping on it, regardless.”

Silas's lips curl into a frown. "Way I see it, normal's whatever you can eke out a living in, day to day. But when it goes from snow, to warm and sunny, to torrential rain in the space of a single day? That ain't good." His gaze drifts off into the distance. "Ain't good at all."

He shakes his head. "Anyway. I wanted to have a word with you about somethin' anyway, and sooner's probably better than later. About your trick."

“Oh, yeah. That. Your trick too for that matter, you’re a little too conspicuous to sneak around yet you do it anyway. Me, I just…” and he vanishes into thin air. This trick, Silas? Kendall reappears behind Silas a couple feet away and smirks. “Pretty useful, but also pretty limited.”

Silas just waits until he hears Kendall's voice again; when he does, he doesn't jump, just turns to regard him flatly. "That's what you'd think, but you'd be surprised. Most of that's just soft-shoeing. How you walk, how you move. My trick's just the ace that makes it an ace-high flush." He considers for a moment, then shrugs. "Maybe the ace and another face card."

Wait. Does he even play poker? Silas wonders briefly, then shakes his head. Nevermind. The metaphor was probably clear enough to get the point by context alone. Hopefully. "Anyway. If you want a demonstration, I'll show you later — fair's fair — but I wanted to ask you to give me the full rundown on what you can do." He grimaces. "Or however much you feel comfortable sharin', anyway; if you don't want to talk about all the cards up your sleeves, well, that's fair. But sometimes you can accomplish more workin' together than as a solo act." He grins, and for a moment there's a sadness on his face. "Take it from someone with a more than passing interest in show business…" Even if it didn't pan out.

“Show business, huh.” Kendall frowns faintly at that. When he found out he could do real magic tricks, an illusionist in Vegas seemed like a real career. “Well. I can do that, I can do this” he flicks his hand and a deck of cards spreads out, then he tosses them to the side and they flutter to the ground. “…and I can do this.” he brings out a sword this time, and swipes at the ground, digging a furrow through the dirt with the suddenly real blade. He lifts it up towards Silas with a faint smirk. “Care for a go?” not that Kendall knows how to even fight with a sword, but considering it didn’t even exist a minute ago… As for keeping cards up his sleeves, he’ll keep the last thing he can do a secret.

“But roughly 300 pounds or so is my limit. On that note…” he waves the hand not holding up the sword, and a pair of attached leather recliners, complete with cupholders in the middle, spring into being right next to him. The sword disappears and he seats himself with a smirk. “You look light enough, want to pull up a seat?” he gestures to the other one. “I rowed myself around the Pelago in my created boat and could even have a second person with me so it’s safe enough.”

The card tricks are studied impassively; the sword is noted, as is the furrow it leaves… but when Kendall mentions going a round, Silas's gaze shifts to him for a moment, his gaze cool and assessing. Weighing.

"No," he says after a moment. "If you're wantin' to spar with somebody to test yourself… that's good. I can respect that. But I'm probably not the right kind of sparring partner for ya," Silas decides. "I'm not what you'd call a traditional fighter. You'd be better off askin' Monica." He pauses for a moment, considering. "In fact, that might not be a bad idea. I wasn't kiddin' when I said she was a good knife-hand. La Zorra's taught me a thing or two. Or five."

The conjured recliner is met with a raised eyebrow, but he'll give it a go; he settles cautiously back into the offered seat. After a moment, he nods, impressed, then looks over to Kendall. "Alright. Pretty neat. So… you've given your demonstration. How would you describe it?"

Well Kendall was mostly joking about the sword fight thing, his main experience with it is 'something he saw in an anime', which rarely translates well to real life. When Silas sits down, Kendall's eyes flutter a bit and he sets his jaw, but nothing untoward happens.

"How would I…. describe it? I mean, mostly illusions, I can do that all day every day. But this?" He pats the arm of the recliner, then reaches his hand over the side and pulls the lever, bringing his legs up to recline. He stretches out, getting comfortable as he's completely lifted up off the ground and held up by his mind alone. "I guess… constructs? I would have drowned if it didn't develop right at that moment. I guess you could say force fields too, but that sounds too rigid." He pats the arm again. "All five senses, though I imagine this leather might smell better than anything we could get it make now."

"Okay. Illusions with a side of constructs," Silas muses; he does not recline, but he does settle back into the chair, his gaze off somewhere in the distance. "Your constructs seem to do fine against inanimate objects," he says, toeing the line Kendall had scored in the dirt. "What about your illusions? If, say, an attack robot came lurchin' around the corner — would your illusions fool them?" The question seems absurd, but there's no sign it's a joke in Silas's expression.

"Robots?" Kendall stares at Silas, perplexed. "Robots don't exist. But if they did, I… I don't know." Kendall furrows his brow as he thinks it over. "I've never had much chance to test it on robots, for…obvious reasons." He gestures about at the world in general. "We don't exactly have any running around, you know. We don't even have internet anymore. Or even a steady source of electricity. Robots were barely a thing even before the world ended, as far as I know. Why do you ask, that was a very specific question."

"Seen some weird shit," Silas says, eyes distant. "Down by Panama they had, swear to god, robot sharks. Saw 'em eat a speedboat or two. Just… crunch. That's all she wrote." He lets out a slow breath. "Which doesn't mean they have any weird shit like that up here. Odds are they don't. But there's a whole lot we don't know about what's inland, either."

Now he looks back to Kendall. "And I know my tricks don't fool security cameras. So I was wondering if yours was the same."

Silas' words only make Kendall look at him funny. "Panama, isn't that a canal? Or was? So that's probably underwater too. And I can't say without trying it. My illusions might not work, but for this?" He gestures to the chairs. "No idea. They're in the physical realm instead of mental so it could be either."

Silas gives Kendall a bland look. "Yeah," is all he says of Kendall's assessment of Panama. "Used to be a canal. These days it's underwater anyway, so you can sail across — no locks needed. If you can get past the pirates. And robot sharks."

Kendall's answer as to the effectiveness of his power, though, is met with a nod. "Fair enough."

Which is probably enough on that for now; Kendall's been pretty forthcoming on his end. Silas shifts in his seat. "Alright, so. My trick's a little different. I don't talk about this much, so I'd appreciate if you'd keep it to yourself, but my trick is… I can make people not notice things." He shrugs. "That's it. It's not what you'd call one of the big guns, but I can rob ya blind at three card monte. But it might work well with your illusions, if you can cast one big enough."

"I mean. If it's just avoiding notice, do you need more? Sounds like a cool enough power all its own. And I don't care much to share mine either but I figured we might need to share information to survive the trip." When Silas questions how big Kendall can make it though, Kendall raises his eyebrows at him. "Oh, you wanna see what I can do?" Challenge accepted.

With a faint smirk, he waves his hand about, and the entire landscape changes. Grass sprouts on all the surrounding land, flowers pop up in waves of color, birds start chirping in the nearby trees, and in the east, the sun rises, sending rays of light over what looks like paradise. His illusions can't cast light, however, so shadows are a little iffy. And Kendall is only doing this for the two of them, so no one in camp would notice a thing. "I can make the whole world go away if I wanted. But…" he smiles bitterly. "Illusions are not reality."

Silas nods, looking impressed. "Primal," he says. "I'm assumin' this show's just for us, since I'm not hearin' anyone throwin' fits about sunrise already."

He muses for a bit, studying the scene; the shadows aren't quite right, but it's a good approximation of what it's supposed to be. A damn good approximation, come to that. "When it comes to tricks… it's like some people get bigass swords. Some people get rifles. Some people get field artillery. Me? I got a boot knife. But a boot knife's a pretty useful thing in a pinch."

"So basically what I'm thinkin' about is… kinda usin' your ability as a bluescreen to project mine on, I guess. If you can make a whole bunch of things look like one big simple thing… maybe I can make people not notice that thing, is what I'm thinking."

“Huh. So like, a herd of buffalo? Do they still have herds of buffalo? This sounds doable, for sure. And yeah, this show is just for the two of us. The more people, the harder it gets, and the more my head hurts. But unless we meet a huge crowd of people, I don’t think I’ll have that problem. There shouldn’t be, right?” Kendall looks about, as if he forgot the illusion was still active, and it pops like a bubble, revealing the depressing landscape shrouded in darkness once more.

“I think it might be a good idea to try it first on something smaller, though.” he adds. “Oh, and another thing, I have to be touching something to make it solid.” a faint smirk. “If I stood up right now you’d probably not enjoy it.” Despite the teasing he makes no move to get up. It’s comfortable, after all.

"Not even that complicated. Just… I dunno. If you can make it look like there's… a big ass rock or something, that'll work. Doesn't have to be a small thing, just a thing," Silas says.

The point about multiple people is met with a grimace. "Fair enough," he says, nodding. "Well, I figured it was worth lookin' into, at the very least. Honestly we might be better off just using our tricks to ambush and skirmish, rather than gettin' fancy, and let the people more suited to it play defense. But knowin' more of what people can do's always a good thing. We're all in this together, after all; if we can't count on each other…"

Silas trails off for a moment, his eyes slipping off into the distance, his expression heavy. "…then we'll be dead long before we reach Alaska."

“Oh, and here I thought you meant try to hide the whole caravan while we’re moving.” Kendall looks relieved when it sounds like that isn’t what Silas intends; that might’ve been a bit much to attempt for the both of them in hindsight. “But I’m definitely game to try it if you are. Something smaller.” he adds. “Well. If we need to hide from people I’ll do my best. We know it wasn’t going to be safe going across the mainland, but there’s no point in turning back now. We’re committed, the only thing we can do is try our best to make it.”

"Ha," Silas chuckles. "Nah. That'd be a little too ambitious. I'm just trying to feel out our options."

The rest of Kendall's commentary draws a sober nod. "Yeah. There's no turning back," he agrees softly, something almost haunted steeling across Silas's expression.

He shakes it off after a moment, looking back to Kendall. "I'm pretty tired, truth be told, but my old bones are very much appreciatin' this chair right now, so if you can handle keepin' this thing around… we can give this gimmick a couple test shots right now. And my trick's also got a selective setting, so we can be the performers and the audience, if you're game. Or at least see if there's gonna be a show at all — it sounds like it'd work, but the proof's in the pudding."

"Probably the most comfortable sleep we could manage, here. So long as we don't move around, I can keep this up all night." What Kendall doesn't share is how tired it'll make him, but he's not going to risk a sign of weakness in front of someone who is actually acknowledging him. "All right then, so I have a few ideas, if you'd like to experiment with a few things…"

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