In The Chilliest Land


daphne_icon.gif russo2_icon.gif

Scene Title In the Chilliest Land
Synopsis Cynicism may reign supreme.
Date November 10, 2011

Eltingville Blocks

It's getting crowded in here.

That's the thought on Daphne's mind as she wheels herself away from the Community Center. They didn't even give her an electric wheelchair, of course. At least she's getting an upper-body workout, for once. Her crutches are strapped to the back of the wheelchair, but really, it's all for show. She may be resigned to rolling around in the chair, but she'll be damned if she's going to take away her ability to run if the shit hits the fan. And she's pretty sure the shit is going to hit the fan soon.

These are the thoughts in her mind until the tire of her wheelchair hits a pothole, sending the whole thing tipping to the side. Instinct is faster than reason, and there's a blur of Daphne's form as she slips out of the seat to right the object once more, before sitting back down as if she'd been there all along.

Only after does she sweep her dark-eyed gaze around to see if anyone noticed.

Temple had given twenty minutes for Russo to get his shit together. It's fortunate that Brad had anticipated getting picked up. It wasn't some surprise out of nowhere; not when he was airing what he was. So the shoulder bag had been pre-packed. He'd bided time at home pretending to pack, when, in actuality, it was already done. All fortunate because everything looked so innocent.

In actuality, sitting outside the community centre, he's pulling apart a very generic, very unimpressive radio. He's not the handiest fellow, but he does know his way around transmitters thanks to a long-term career in communications. Plus the internet helped.
The internet always helps.

But the pieces strewn on a jacket in front of him look like he's having a very bad day or something isn't working.

Of course he takes a break from his efforts at just the right time to catch Daphne blur. His eyebrows lift as he tries to catch her gaze and a small smile tugs at the edges of his lips.

One witness. She turns to appraise him, to determine if he's someone she should worry about or not, and finds someone she actually knows.

Well, she's met him, anyway.

"Shit, not you, too?" the speedster says, rolling his way. She glances around, and, finding no guards or unfamiliar faces, her hands speed a bit on the wheels to get her there sometime before next Wednesday. "Brad, right?" she asks. "I didn't know you were one of us freaks." She's kidding. Probably.

The question merits a vague lift of Russo's eyebrows and a slow spreading smile of slow moving recognition. "I met you," he offers with a smirk. "Blondie," because that's what he'd called her then. It's fortunate he thrives on nicknames. It makes it easy to remember chance encounters.

He glances towards his busted radio and manages another smirk. When innocents are criminal, everyone is subversive.

"Oh you know, we're all freaks here." He manages a smile at that. "I'm told it's normal. Just a part of evolution," there's an ironic smile that remains with each of the words. "Because this," he motions to the world around them, "is normal."

"Shampoo," Daphne says helpfully, because she remembers. Probably because he was a famous person. She might not otherwise, let's face it. "I never did dye my hair, as you can see." It's still blond, but for a streak at her part where her darker roots come in. The dreadlocks are growing out, with some of them cropped off when they got long enough to do so, giving her short bob a jaunty, jagged quality.

"So," she says with a glance back to the pothole. "Anyone asks, you didn't see that. I'm totally a negated freak, as far as you know. Capisce?"

"It's better this way," he offers about her hair with a wrinkle of Brad's nose. He glances down at his work and he offers her a vague smirk. "We're all negated freaks, my friend. Every last one of us in ghetto-paradise. Negated. Compliant. Completely controlled."

There's something behind his eyes that says something entirely different. "But then," he manage a quirk of his lips, "compliance isn't all it's cracked up to be." His chin dips while he pieces his radio together.

"Yep. Just doing my civil duty, keeping the world safe from my reckless use of speed. And, you know, bipedalism." Her own smirk is wry and a little bitter, if we're honest. She watches as he fiddles with the radio, tipping her head as she studies it.

"You were a host on some television thing, right? You doing a reprisal for us Eltingville folks?" she asks, with a jut of her chin toward the device in his hands. "I'm not sure that's allowed. Just so you know. In case you want to be totally compliant. You're probably failing utterly." There's a grin at that, like she approves wholeheartedly of his civil disobedience.

Brad's expression turns grim, "Yeah. Because it makes sense to put you on wheels when you can walk," his eyebrows lift again. There's something telling in his expression.

He smirks at the questions. "I'm completely compliant, Blondie," but the mischief that reflects in his eyes says otherwise. "My radio just… broke conveniently on my jacket. Clearly," his eyebrows draw together lightly. "It's not like a standard radio can do anything," another gleam speaks volumes. "Like you, I'm just a compliant citizen, complying compliantly."
He smirks at the last. The lie too obvious for anyone's good.

"I completely believe you," says Daphne with a smirk. "So. I think you're newish here, yeah? Let me give you a few warnings, in case you decide to try to do something stupid. If you got a super cool ankle monitor, it will negate you. There's a needle in it, and a GPS tracking system." She nods in the direction of the nearest fences. "Robots around the perimeter. Will fuck you up. Just in case you get tired of complying and try to make a break for it. I don't advise it."

She nods to the radio in his hands. "That, I don't know what they'll do. Maybe they'll look the other way. There's a lot of looking the other way, so long as you stay put. You got other clothes? I can probably get my roomie to find you some. He's sort of a magician when it comes to getting shit in here. I'd grab you some, but I don't like to steal from people who are as bad off as I am." Which is pretty much everyone in Eltingville, unfortunately.

"No anklet," Brad winces. "Not yet, anyways. I was pretty compliant coming in," which was, in essence, strategic. "And as far as this is concerned?" he inhales a sharp breath. "Well, I have to. I was given evidence about, well, a lot of shit. And I aired it on national television earlier tonight." His eyebrows lift at that and he manages another smile, this one nearly masochistic. "I told my viewers to resist. So I'm doing the same. I came here without resistance because someone needs to report about all of this. Someone needs to get the news out."

"And I was given twenty minutes to pack." There's a pause as his lips quirk up again and he manages near stupid grin, "I think there just comes a point when, no matter what they think, a person genuinely has nothing else left to lose… except their hope that things could get better." His expression subdues and the grin is gone. "And, Blondie, I'm not prepared to lose that."

"Jesus," says Daphne, very wryly, her lips screwing to one side as she studies his earnest face. So full of optimism. "You're adorable."

It doesn't sound like a compliment.

"Good luck, Dickinson." He's earned himself a new nickname, it seems. "I mean it. I hope things do get better." Her flat tone, however, says she thinks they won't. Clearly, she's one of those people who has already lost that hope. She certainly seems to have lost the impish good nature she had back when they met the first time. She begins to roll away, clumsily maneuvering the wheelchair to turn it to head in the other direction.

"Look, it may be a shot in hell, but there's more damning evidence than Watergate, and there was action then," Russo offers to her efforts to retreat. "And I'd rather die doing something than pretend I'm something I'm not while doing nothing."
Evidently he's serious about what he's doing.

"There's a chance no one will hear it. This thing is as rudimentary as AM transmitters get, but I'm going to broadcast. I'm going to do it loudly as I can and honestly as I have in me." His jaw tightens as he works around the problem, "I'd rather be one of those bodies hanging than a puppet." Which isn't even close to an analogy. "The end isn't going to come with a whisper. If it's going to come, it'll be a bang with hope intact."

Did she know people could travel through time?

This, Daphne actually laughs at. But it's not at him. Of course he doesn't know that.
"I've been to World War II, so yeah, I'm aware," she says wryly. "I've never been to the future though. So as far as I know, it's as screwed up as this or worse."

She sighs, though, a little regretfully. "Sorry, I didn't mean to snipe at you. The world needs people like you. I tried to do my part for a bit, to try to make things better, and every time, I just make things worse. So. You stand up for truth, buddy. I'm all for it. Just because of the robots, the guns, and the negation gas, yeah?"

Brad's eyebrows lift. "I time travelled to Vietnam to save the father I never knew," the reply is even. "And my son came here," his throat clears, "to do much the same." The irony isn't lost on him. "I'd like to believe he succeeded. At least in saving me… there are many fates worse than death." His lips hitch up on one side. "I will stand. I will keep standing. Even when it's hard. Especially when it's hard."

"And the beauty of hitting rock bottom? There's nowhere to go but up." His eyes flit towards the community centre. "You can't make things worse, Blondie. It's not possible."

"Well. That sounds complicated," says Daphne, when he explains his family situation. "No kid from my future's come to save me, which isn't super surprising, either. My guess is because my future's not all that great."

As for if she could make it worse or not, the blond speedster shrugs. "The past doesn't lie. I'm not a good person, Dickinson. I tried to be for a bit and this is where I ended up. I could be in Paris or Machu Picchu or somewhere far from this shithole, but nope. I tried to help, I screwed up, and things are probably worse for my trying. But I'm not you. Maybe you have what it takes to move mountains."

Her tone softens a little, and she adds, "I really hope you do."

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