Into The Storm


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Scene Title Into The Storm
Synopsis Strangers meet, and the Sayonara gains a new crew member.
Date December 21, 2018

The Pelago

This day, like so many others here, is one filled with rain. On this floor— once an open-plan office, now converted into a sprawling marketplace— the people of the Pelago are scuttling about, bartering and haggling for goods amidst the myriads of tables set up beneath the high ceiling for this purpose. Most are going about their business oblivious to the precipitation pelting against the enormous casement windows lining the walls, dark, behemoth-like cumulonimbus clouds shrouding the entire half-submerged building in a grayscale tint. Such is life, here in the shadow of the Stormfront’s long reach.

One such customer is a young woman wrapped in a heavy white scarf and worn quilted jacket, bright blonde hair flowing down her back to her waist. There is a calm melancholy to her demeanor that makes her seem much older than she is; a sense of heavy distance behind her blue eyes that can never quite totally escape her expression, no matter what it might be. Geneva pauses on one side of a double-row of tables lined with trays, baskets, and vats of fruit. A few last minute pickups of foodstuffs, then, before she returns to The Cerberus.

No. It’ll be fine. In contrast to her somewhat muted gaze, currently trained on a little box of blueberries, Geneva’s thoughts are a tumult of wildness. A morass of voices, her own and someone else’s, a mess languid and taut with tension all at once.

You don’t understand. If you stay here you are going to die—
Get going. For once in your life don’t fucking question me. Go, I said.

I… went there to save her. But she ended up saving me, and for what, for what, for what—.

It is thus preoccupied with this, perhaps, that the woman does not notice that she has dropped something: a tiny coin purse, faded black silk imprinted with an arabesque pattern. Silently, it clinks off the side of her boot and comes to rest by the leg of the table she is at.

One hears many interesting things when one can listen to the surface thoughts of others. Private conversations, normally reserved for their ears only, can reveal so much about a person — sometimes more than most would want to hear.

But Soleil Davignon has always thrived with her ability, and the knowledge that comes with it has always intrigued her. There are times when she wishes it was easier to dive into a person’s thoughts, but it tends to be noticable when she has to touch a person to ‘see’’ deeper down.

It’s the interesting voices in Geneva’s head that draws Remi in, blue eyes watching the young woman as she pauses at a table near to the one the girl is at; it’s the coin purse that gives her an excuse to speak to the her. A pale hand, weathered by the ship that she is the captain of, reaches down, retrieving the coin purse.

“Excuse me, miss,” she murmurs, her French accent coming through as more vaguely European than anything else. “I think you just dropped this, and it looks like something you wouldn’t want to lose.”

With the intrusion of a stranger’s voice from the waking world— real and harsh in comparison to the haze of unwanted remembrance— Geneva’s inner dialogue abruptly subsides to give priority to analyzing the figure she now sees before her. “I… thank you. I don’t know what to say.” It is with an odd expression that the blonde momentarily pauses as she accepts the coin purse, tucking it back into the pocket of her jacket. In another world, another version of Gene would have happily secreted this way as her own possession now— but now here is someone performing an act of kindness for a total stranger.

And not just anyone.

“Say, aren’t you—?”

Surely Remi will be very familiar with the upcoming question. “—Soleil Davignon? You are, aren’t you? Annie and me… we used to love your movies.” There is admiration in her voice, and a sense of genuine wistfulness for days gone past, but no starstruck quality. There really is no greater equalizer than the apocalypse.

The telepath smiles faintly at the question, the one she’s so familiar with, and has been since long before the flood. “Oui, that would be me,” she replies, her head bobbing in a slow nod to the inquiry.

Before the flood, she would have been patiently exasperated by the recognition, because she got it everywhere. People taking pictures of her as she walked into a donut shop, stopping her and asking for an autograph or a selfie — it was a constant. But now, it’s a pleasant reminder of what once was. “Thank you,” she replies, “it’s nice to meet people who remember.”

Blue eyes turn toward the table she was standing at, quietly looking over what is up for sale. “Fifteen pounds of oranges, please.” She smiles to the man behind the table, before turning her eyes back down. “And ten pounds of apples. Deliver them to the Sayonara, please.” Stocking up on fruits, it seems. She also reaches out, picking out two plump oranges for now.

“How could anyone forget? Solidarity is a goddamn classic. Excuse my language,” is Geneva’s fond-sounding reply. There is a faraway look to her eyes still; here in this age of storms and ships, discussing something as banal as movies that used to be popular is almost a surreal experience in and of itself. The telepath will be able to glean a fleeting memory of a much younger Gene trailing in line with what appears to be an older sister, waiting to buy tickets— discussing amongst themselves if this movie would be worth the wait, and the money for the tickets. Evidently, it had been.

As the teenager watches Remi place her order, her attention shifts to a word that had particularly stood out. The Sayonara. Where had that name been heard before? Now new thoughts whirl through her head; thoughts of a dire choice given to the crew of her ship. Thoughts of mysterious Travelers— and of reaching the shores of a new world. What she says aloud is: “You’re a ship captain, aren’t you? My captain. He’s mentioned you.”

The mention of Solidarity prompts a warm smile from the actress-turned-ship captain. “That was one of my favorite movies to act in, as it happens.” It was also the movie that won her the most awards without the use of her ability — she really got to flex her acting chops in that one. It also happened to be the movie that brought her first mate Jasper into her life for the first time.

But that’s all in the past. That was a different life, a better one, when movies actually mattered, and so did having money.

“I am the captain of the Sayonara, yes.” She smiles. “Fastest and quietest ship in the Pelago,” is the ship’s claim to fame out here — she frequently is hired out for trips up and down the coastline. “And her first mate just so happens to be my co star from that classic movie you mentioned.” The deaf actor who was her love interest in the film, it seems, managed to tag along with her.

Geneva allows a surprised smile to tinge her lips in return, pausing only to briefly step out of the way so that another pair of shoppers can access the vat of fruits right behind her. For the moment, the heaviness behind her expression that Remi had originally seen diffuses into conversational pleasure, and it’s as truly though she has the opportunity to be a gossipping teen again— nothing more and nothing less. “What? Jasper Barnes is your first mate? No, way.”

The girl then appears to be considering something, fingers playing with one frayed end of her scarf as she does so, and Remi will be able to tell that it is the same coil of Traveler-related thinking that had begun to unravel itself earlier. “Listen. I know we only just met. But Captain Ryans told us all something earlier. Something that would’ve made me come and look for one of you.” …Right after this jaunt to top up on rations for her old ship, in fact. And that someone might as well be the star of the Solidarity: a name that Gene is at least passingly familiar with, in mind if not in kinship.

“I know you’ll be going a journey, soon. And this is going to sound odd, but I want to come.”

The astonishment at who exactly her first mate is prompts an amused smile to form on the former actress’ face. “Way,” she replies with a soft chuckle. “He’s just as tall as you think he is, too.” Before the floods, there were rumors that she was involved with him romantically; it may be at least partially true.

The change of subject, and the request to join her on her ship, puts a briefly surprised look on the telepath’s face. “You are with Captain Ryans,” she confirms. Extra crew is always a boon, especially considering the journey that stands before the Sayonara and the others that have agreed to escort the Travelers to the Ark.

One of the two oranges is tossed to the girl. “I can use the extra hands for the Stormfront,” she remarks. “The more crew I have, the better control we will have over the Sayonara — and the faster we can move.” After a moment’s thought, the woman nods. “Assuming Captain Ryans is okay with this, you are welcome aboard my ship.” She pauses. “Though I should probably ask your name before I fully agree.” She chuckles softly.

That is fucking adorable is the unvoiced comment that forms in Geneva’s mind in response to Remi’s description of Jasper (as well as, yes, Remi’s past rumored relationship with her ~tall and handsome~ comrade). The telepath, though, will be able to read this all as clear as day.

Reflexively and easily, she reaches out a hand to catch the orange which had been tossed to her. “Don’t worry, Ryans knows. He… he gave us all a choice. To stay and fight, or to go.” A strain of the older female’s voice (now matching the face of the sister who had taken little-Gene to the movies) fades back into the upper surface of Geneva’s mind, against her will. It’s hard to keep it down, and it’s not really for lack of trying. “Let’s just say, I’m not interested in dying here in a hopeless battle.

The dead have given up too much for that already.

The other woman’s chuckle lightens Gene’s own expression a little, away from this morbid skein. “Geneva Stevenson. I’m good around a ship, too, so don’t worry. And I cook a mean crab linguine.”

Remi thoughtfully watches the younger woman, brows knitting together briefly in concern. To those who don’t know what she can do, she simply seems to be extremely empathic. “It sounds like it is a matter that is close to your heart.” She dips her head in a nod. “The Sayonara will be more than happy to have you. We need all the hands we can get to navigate this storm.”

She smiles, then, dipping her head. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Geneva. I will be sure to get the ingredients for crab linguine before we go.” She slips her own orange into her pocket. “She’s much different from the Cerberus, but we can certainly brush you up on real sailing.” The woman chuckles.

This is a gesture that does not go unnoticed by Geneva, who does assume this is an unexpected display of sympathy from a woman she has just met. Regardless of what Remi’s reasons may be, however, it seems that the younger woman has sufficiently warmed to the elder. She tosses her long sheet of blonde hair back behind a shoulder, revealing an unexpectedly sunny smile as she does so.

Real sailing, eh? I look forward to learning the ropes, skipper.”

Out of a larger boat, into one smaller.

Out of the frying pan, into the storm.

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