La Mer, Part II


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Also Featuring

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Scene Title La Mer, Part II
Synopsis Danko and Huruma awaken to a strange future that they cannot explain…
Date December 15, 2009

Deveaux Rooftop, New York City

La mer…

Sunlight filters through thick, heavy clouds the color of a tangerine's insides. The sky burns a soft bluish purple down at the horizon, where glittering waves look like a thousand diamonds strewn across a blue glass plate. The cry of gulls and sea birds echoes far and wide, their winged forms silhouetted against the clear skies as they pass between earth and sun.

Qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs

Sun-baked concrete ripples with warmth as sea surf crashes against the broken pylons of a bridge half sunken into the waters, only the dangling cables that once supported the great span and its tall rocky towers left. In the rippling ocean waves, the bridge looks almost like a grimacing mouth, when twinned against its reflection.

A des reflets d'argent

The warm sunlight is what first stirs the dark-skinned woman laying on her back on a large and dry piece of warm concrete. Her eyes have opened halfway, letting the golden rays of sunlight from the setting sun turn everything a fiery orange in her eyes. Here, atop a large platform of broken stone, twisted pieces of rusted rebar encrusted with barnicles and tangled with seaweed just barely poke out over the top of gently lapping surf.

La mer…

The mossy caps of buildings dot the horizon, little crumbling tops of once glittering skyscrapers of glass and steel, now mostly submerged below the rolling surf. Closer by, a seagull perches on what was once a window frame, pecking at something pinned between its feet; a small silvery fish. This ragged feeling of half-wakedness washes over Emile Danko as warm, bright sunlight and the sound of crashing waves replaces what he remembers up to only a moment ago as a damp jungle floor beside a small fire pit.

Des reflets changeants

Not far from where he awakens, Danko can see Huruma laying on her back on the hot concrete, eyes open, staring up at passing clouds. Beyond her, coming into focus from blurry vision is someone else; out on a set of concrete steps that ascend up to nothing but open sky, someone is singing. Long, stringy blonde hair blows in a warm breeze, dark clothing covering pale skin. With her back to Huruma and Danko, seated on the edge of those crumbling steps to nowhere, her legs swing back and forth, and she keeps singing that sweet song in French.

Sous la pluie

It's only when Danko spots a distant green shape on the horizon, that everything clicks together. It's an arm — an enormous, green metal arm holding a torch, rising up from the water, covered in algae and barnicles, gently crashing surf turning white sea foam against the oxidized copper surface. And the other woman, just keeps singing.

La Mer…

'Good morning, sun.' is really the only thought that runs through Huruma's mind as her eyes shift under her eyelids to the orange seeping through half-waking lashes. Then, she remembers that there was really no sun where she fell asleep. Either the fire caught the camp ablaze, or she has moved out of the jungle where she had fallen asleep after her guard posting. A disgruntled noise passes through her nose, silently asking for a few more minutes to spare in the sleeping state. Unfortunately, she does know that waking up is a necessary evil.

The woman opens her eyes to receive an eyeful of clouds meandering past on a southern rail. For a few moments she absorbs the welcome sight of something that is not rain nor clouds with the texture and color of liverwurst. This absorption only slightly delays the realization she is definitely not where she belongs; a few tired breaths later she also realizes that she is bone dry, lain out on something that feels like pavement, and for once in a long time, warm. The progression leads to her ability quietly reaching around further to test the air before truly stirring, the tickling fuzz in her brain receding with wakefulness.

Pale grey eyes darkened into a hazy squint under the overhang of his brow, sunken face and fine buzz painted in bold swaths of orange and black under the relentless sun, Danko is slower and stiffer to scuff up onto his boots than he might like. Alien lethargy lags at his joints and dulls his senses like a sedative — he has to work to ignore the ache set deep in his spine and across his sloped shoulders.

Getting eight hours on the ground isn't as easy as it was thirty years ago.

The warmth helps. So does the surreal distraction that every aspect of waking up in the here and now entails — he's more focused on straightening himself out to see than he is any underlying worry about who might be watching the way he goes about it.

Pack, jacket and rifle are sloughed off his back as one, with no automatic reach aside made to snap after his knife. Or his sidearm. He looks out on what's left of the world in bleak silence, salty wind touching faint through his close shorn burr and abruptly appropriate castaway stubble collection when he turns his focus fractionally over onto the song's source.

The noise of movement makes singing stop, wind blowing strong for a moment in that silence. Tucking her legs under herself, the blonde puts the heels of black flats down on the concrete and slowly rises to stand, soles scuffing the worn stone. She turns halfway towards Danko's arisen frame, blonde hair caught in the wind and covering her face. It's only when the wind changes direction, that her smile is revealed, something very Mona Lisa about it. "I was wondering if you two were ever going to wake up…" Padding down the concrete steps that lead to nothing, Else Kjelstrom laces her fingers together behind her back, brown eyes looking down to Huruma the way someone might a lazy cat basking in the sun; with mirth and amusement. "Eric found you the other day, washed up over by the arm…"

A nod is made towards that copper arm rising up out of the water. "One of the fishing wharves out there had you tangled up in a net. You're lucky he found you when he did." Not coming down from the last step, Else looks up to Danko, her expression a bit wry. "Are you from up north?" It's a strangely innocent question, as if somehow all of this weren't the strangest thing outside of a Kevin Kostner movie. "You don't look like you're from the Institute."

Even without the fineries of empathy, it is not hard to recognize the leonine sounds of Danko nearby; she has been reminded that each person moves in such a way that one can often guess who is shuffling around in the dark of a campsite. And there is a girl- not because she feels it, but because Huruma has pushed herself upwards with both arms to look around, jaw setting and eyes still. The blonde's voice is taken in, but she does not meet the source with her eyes until they have finished observing the horizon of buildings- of water.

When Huruma looks to Else, her eyes set purposefully on her; Danko, at least, knows that look to be one she tends to have moments before things start flying into walls. Simmering anger, the kind that a creature gets after being drugged and woken up- well- in someplace entirely new and strange. A hiss comes through Huruma's bared teeth, her aura bristling like a threatened porcupine.

Without any color to call their own, Danko's eyes take on the orange cast of the sky and its brackish reflection off waves churning along without hurry. Nowhere important for them to be. The structure underfoot ebbs with their movement anyway, the slightest of redundant sways tangible through concrete and hundreds of feet of unseen girder.

His throat closes up dry when he tries to swallow, brows knit further at Else's address — enough that she might momentarily wonder if he speaks English at all. He's looking at her like she's the one who washed up out've nowhere, and maybe a little like he suspects he hasn't actually woken up yet in the lift of one hand to pass unthinking across his jaw and under his nose to check for blood.

It's as impossible not to see the city of New York reduced to an arm and a few corroded rooftops as it is impossible for them to be there. It's equally impossible not to place the hiss that issues forth from his partner. Is she his partner? A dubious look back over the rest of their eagle's nest fails to detect the presence of anyone else. "Stand down."

Else tenses up when Huruma begins to sound more like an angry wildcat in a sack more so than a person. The thirty-something blonde takes a step up one of the stairs behind her, precariously balanced on the edge of this crumbling edifice of concrete and glass. "It— " Danko's words cut her off, make her reconsider, make her tense. "It's alright you— we're not going to hurt you." We. "Just… please, it— please calm down." Both of her hands are up now, palms out in a placating manner, shoulders hunched. Else's eyes, however are focused towards a dilapidated concrete stairwell that leads down from the roof, one surrounded by wooden planks with terra-cotta flower pots stacked up on them, bearing strawberry bushes. There's footsteps coming up from there, someone on their way up to the roof.

"They're awake." Else calls out to the stairs, as if in some sort of warning. "Eric, your uh— they're awake." That they are also a bit confused and one of them is hissing like an alley-cat goes unsaid.

Huruma has lifted herself to her feet during Else's poor attempts to reassure her. All Huruma knows is that this is not where she should be- and that something is all wrong. Danko seems to bring her back from the brink of jumping at Else, and she cocks her head to look at him. He seems like himself- he isn't putting off that same odd vibe, and visually he is exactly the same as before. The hiss has also turned into a growling noise, which shutters away when Huruma takes Danko's advice. That does not mean she does not look angry.

Else calls to the stairs, and Huruma's gaze reasserts itself; the rest of her tenses, muscles taut in her neck, her spine rigid as the footsteps ascend towards the rooftop and the view of something that is even beginning to put Huruma off-kilter.

The top of a broad-brimmed straw hat comes into view first, the sort of headgear worn to keep the sun off a bald pate, its frayed edge shadowing a rounded face whose jowls and chin are darkened by salt-and-pepper stubble. The rest of Eric Doyle is soon visible as he steps up off the concrete steps and onto the wooden planks; he's lost a few pounds, but he's still a big-boned man, and always will be.

"Oh," he greets, his tone jovial as he sweeps one hand upwards as if to ward off the hissing woman - showing absolutely no wariness of her, smile curving broad across his lips, "Good morning, sunshines. I've got a fresh catch down on the boat, if you're hungry." Both brows leap upwards, looking from Danko to Huruma with a wide-eyed and friendly sort of look - though those eyes are harder than he lets on.

"Calm down?" There's a lilt in the rough of Danko's voice that sounds reassuringly sane for all that it's poisoned by the incredulous cant of his brows. His breathing is slow. Too carefully so. He's having to focus to keep it that way — there's a lot to not be calm about, here.

A lot.

More when Else's person is joined by another. This one larger, male. Wearing a stupid hat. His nerve looks like it might hold for about a second before his right hand falls firmly across the grip of the semiautomatic at his belt, the tension creeping through stringy trapezius muscle and into his neck bit hard across his clamped jaw. He doesn't answer — doesn't seem to hear at all, stained glass glare pitched black again when he looks across to Huruma. "Is there anyone else?"

She can feel more people now, now that she's more awake. There's emotions below, all of them down from here at varying heights, onyl a dozen or so and most of them contented in the way they feel; warm like the sunshine in a way, it's odd. "Oh, your friends are over with Gabriel…" Else notes with a raise of her brows, "There were a couple others who washed up, but he insisted that they be brought to his boat, so I'm not sure how they're doing right now." She misinterprets Danko's question to Huruma to be directed at her. "The uh, the other one who was here with you went downstairs, said he had to see if he could feel the dirt?" There's a smile there, awkward if not somewhat confused. "I guess the concrete didn't suffice."

Looking over to Eric, Else doesn't move from her perch on the stairs, because Huruma is still too close for comfort to sidle up to and slip past. "Have you seen Gabe since these people got brought in?" Else is, somewhat thankfully, obtuse to the truth about the others, about just why Gabriel might insist on talking with a pair of them first. Eric knows who the Gabriel Else speaks of is, and knows just what washed up— just who washed up— and that it's going to be a much different world with two of him.

Somehow this seems all vaguely familiar to Eric; time shenanigans.

"Uh, my— " Else tries to get Huruma and Danko's attention with a meek voice. "My name's Else, this is Eric." She nods her head towards the man in the wonderfully playful hat, "and this is New York City. I take it you've gotta' be from around here though, right? There's no other settlements till you reach the Institute up north, and that's a few days by boat. Were you caught up in the storm the other night?"

"A dozen, somet'ing like that." Huruma murmurs throatily, cantings her head to Danko; both eyes are sticking to observe Doyle with the concurrent fascination of a buzzard circling something on the ground. She bristles further as Else speaks, almost wanting to turn around and just pop her off the side of the building. Instead, she turns her head and snaps. "Will you shut up? For one minute." Or at least stop stumbling with words. Huruma exhales through her nose, eyes going back to Danko and Doyle in turn. Shut up, because she is thinking. Puzzles are easier when people aren't buzzing in your ear.

"Where are they? Th'others? An'Dajan? He is down there somewhere?" Huruma's words feel jerky, and even her gesturing hand feels like a jab towards the floor of the roof where they stand.

Eric's hand upraised in greeting to the pair closes, and then slowly opens again slowly to reveal the calluses that years of fishing have built up - and as he does so, the fingers curled around the familiar grip of the gun at Danko's belt loosen, the muscles that run up across his shoulderblade and neck relaxing as his hand does.

"No…" The syllable is drawn out in a long 'O' as Doyle speaks, his chin dipping slightly, both brows raising as he smiles wider to the pair, "…they're from quite a but further than that, Else. Gabriel isn't back yet, but I'm sure that they'll be glad to wait around until he gets here."

The former head of the NYC Humanis cell is released once his hand's off the gun, and Eric's own hand drops down to his side as he offers that bright smile to the pair once more, "Your friends are downstairs. But welcome, my good people…" A sweep of his arms to either side in a sudden, dramatic fashion, voice carrying over the rooftops in a booming call, "…to the future!"

He's always wanted to do that.

"I've got bass and bluefish," he jerks a thumb over his shoulder, tone more conversational again, smile cheery, "Your choice."

Danko's doing a lot of thinking of his own. Still subdued despite the tension creeping tell-tale into the way he holds his shoulders and crosses right foot carefully over left to step over a dust of broken glass and crushed gravel. The 'carefully' is necessary when you're on top of a skyscraper and trying to keep one eye on a pair of lunatics you don't know and one you. He's moving towards the edge, and on his way to leaning just so to gauge how far the ocean's foaming white below —

— When the grip he has on his gun falls away. A beat of does not compute comes and goes blanky across the skullish cast of his face when he tries to reassert himself…and nothing happens.

Paranoid accusation rings electricity into his yellowish eyes when they snap back up between Else and Doyle. For the minute or so he spends standing perfectly still and stares at them from the roof's edge, he looks the bad kind of unhinged. The kind you'd rather see in prison than in a ~home~ if you have to see them at all.

"Ah…" Else's words hitch in the back of her throat, brown eyes drifting between Huruma and Danko, lingering on the latter more when she sees that look come over his face. A furrowed-brow stare is fired at Doyle, one of those expressions that conveys thew word what with a period more so than a question-mark. "EEric." One of her hands comes to smooth over her face, and Else finally takes that last step down off of the stairs and onto the rooftop.

"Please don't mind him he's just being himself." Or at least that's what Else can hope. "I ah, Dajan? Right, that's what he said his name was…" Biting down on her lower lip, Else eyes Danko again, then looks to the stairs. "Dajan's down at the pier a few floors below us, I think he said he was waiting for you to wake up. He didn't really take this too well…" and maybe there's some semblance of similarity between Dajan's expression and the one Danko is now offering.

"Ah," brown eyes angle back to Huruma as she comes to stand at the woman's side, emotions a tangled snarl of confusion and uncertainty. "The others will be back once Gabriel's boat's on its way back. Please, I… um…" chewing on her lower lip again, she seems to be at a loss for how else to smooth this over.

Huruma's expression flattens in on itself, lips pursing and eyelids lowering over the tops of her eyes. After a while she seems to follow suit with Danko in the hinges department- could use a hammer and some WD-40 about now. There's a knot in her, but suddenly it is totally different from any other one she has had. She doesn't look like she wants to say much to either of these virtual strangers anymore.

"Emile. Get away from there b'fore you fall off. Come on-" Huruma addresses him abruptly, waving a hand to beckon Danko along with her as she makes a beeline for the stairwell.

As the predatory empath steps along towards the stairs, Doyle takes a prudent step to one side to leave her a clear path down, his arms falling back to his sides, broad shoulders slumping in disappointment. One hand comes up, scratching above one eyebrow as he turns his head towards Else.

"I guess they don't like fish, huh," he observes, with a half-smile and a half-chuckle in his tone, turning to look back towards Danko with one brow arched and a smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes, "So. Can we keep this civil, buddy?"

The tin man creaking and groaning around Danko's internal stability is near tangible. The wind continues to tease playfully at colorless fuzz and ruffles at the wrinkles and tatters worn into the black of his shirt. He still hasn't moved.

"I'll stay up here," is what he finally says when a gear somewhere catches enough to form speech. "Keep an eye out." Unspoken challenge stoops his head and lifts at invisible hackles, daring any of them to try dragging him against his will.

Else looks just a bit nervous, biting down on her lower lip as she wraps her arms around herself and takes a wandering step around Danko, sort've in the way someone might assess a curious statue at the museum. She swallows, tensely, and looks from one side of the rooftop to the other, past the strawberry garden and then back to where Danko is standing. Finally making her way back to the stairs, Else settles down on the bottom step, biting down on her lower lip as she watches him. "You— you can makes ure she finds that guy okay…" the blonde musician notes distractedly. "I— I think I'll keep this guy company for a little bit."

Shifting her weight forward, Else pulls up her legs and wraps her arms around them, chin settling on the backs of her knees, brows furrowed as she scrutinized Danko. Her gaze only briefly flits towards where Huruma made a start for the stairs, waiting to see if she's going to continue ahead without him.

Huruma pauses, and is indeed tempted to drag him along, if just because they have no idea where- er, when- they are. She instead makes a short grunt of noise before rolling her shoulders in a shrug. "You'll know where t'find me. Don'get comfortable." Down. She turns in the stairwell doorway to continue her self-compelled mission, feeling outward as she moves into the building, and taking in everything that she can- voices, presences, noises- whatever she can get at this point.

The smile fades, Eric's head dipping a bit and brows going up in the same motion as he regards the musical prophetess with a disbelieving expression. A look to Danko, then back, uncertainly moving his attention back and forth between them for a few moments before just shaking his head - a subtle difference in the movement of his head, but only a subtle one.

"It's yo-our funeral," he sing-songs under his breath, before taking a step back towards the stairs. A pause, and he turns from where he's standing to look back to Danko. "Lay one finger on her," he states with a bright smile, "And I'll make you eat yourself alive. One bite— " A lift of his hand as if it were a mouth, snapping twice as his smile never wavers, "— at a time."

A tilt of his head, a raise of both brows as he gives Danko a significant look, and then down the stairs he goes after Huruma, asking her cheerfully, "So, seriously, bass or bluefish? They're better fresh, you know!"

Lower jaw slung into a pitbullish jut and deeply interred hatred laid open to the bone in the bare cleave of his glare, Danko watches Doyle's warning and ensuing retreat without flinching. Without doing much of anything else, either.

He doesn't move again at all until the larger man is good and gone, right hand passed back over the butt of his pistol without fumbling for actual purchase. Just needs to feel it's still there. Still within easy reach while his brow hoods down even further, pooling shadow into generic displeasure where his prior glances Elsewards have been easier to read.

But he doesn't argue. As long as she's quiet, he's as content as he's going to get in turning his back on her to stare out across the rolling stretch of seawater that used to be New York City.

A long time ago, this might have been an office building. The stairwell here is sea-eroded concrete, smooth and rounded, pitted in texture and bristling with moss on its western face. The interior of the building is breezy, gutted in the way a fire-damaged vuilding would be. But where metal and sheet rock would have once divided up the skyscraper's interior, there is now salvaged wooden flooring, water-damaged furniture and bedsheets for curtains. Tables made from driftwood and old car doors are cobbled together, where young children sit in quiet relaxation in the unseasonably warm breeze that blows thorugh open windows. They see Huruma, puzzled by her haste, but offer little more than smiles and waves to her, unable to do anything but greet her cheerily, and then sass Doyle with a bit of raspberry noises as he passes by. The children really do like him, even if they give him a great deal of trouble most of the time.

Down four more flights of stairs, and it's much the same; residences carved out of what was once office buildings, now open to the elements. It feels tropical, the humidity in the air and the warmth of the breeze, reminding Huruma more of where she was than where she is now. Coming down nearly six floors in her very pointed search, however, she finds the object of her current obsession.

Seated on the edge of a gutted portion of the skyscraper, clearly something destroyed in the bomb that ravaged midtown, Dajan Dunsimi dangles his feet into lapping ocean waves on a makeshift wooden pier extending from the open side of the building. Two old man sit further down the pier from him, fishing poles angled out towards the water, lines tossed. Another, younger, man is at the pier's end, casting a net off into the rolling surf.

All Dajan can do is stare at the distant watery horizon, and the stubble of buildings rising up from it.

"Good choice," Doyle banters cheerfully despite Huruma's evident brusqueness and lack of regard for manners - or other people at all, it seems. "I've always been a fan of the bluefish myself," he continues, trotting along after her with surprising speed on his thick legs, more due to his familiarity with where all the debris and little bits of scattered belongings on the steps are than anything.

The kids get an amused, tolerant - and fond - look, a hand gesturing vaguely as he passes to make one of them ruffle the other's hair. A small, playful scuffle breaks out between them as they walk past. Once Huruma heads for the pier, and Dajan, he trots along over to a net-tangled boat tied off on the pier, "You two talk, I'll, ah, be right out."

The voices are what stirrs Dajan from his gargoyle-like perch ont he pier. Dark eyes turn to look up to Huruma, a faint smile, a warm expression of uncertainty on his face. "I didn't think you'd ever wake up…" It's a phrase that implies an uncertain span of time. Dajan pulls his feet out of the water, climbing up with one hand bracing himself against a concrete pylon. The sound of gulls fills the air here, birds cawing and crying out from building to building. "I…" he's at as much of a loss for words as she is.

"I don' know what's going on." That much is admitted more quietly, and when Dajan's hand pulls away from the concrete pillar, he leaves a hand-print in the stone as if it were clay. "These people say it's like this everywhere, water as far as the eye can see…" His focus breaks away from Huruma, looking back out to the makeshift and scrap-heap boats plying the waters, some of them little more than junk rafts with bedhseet sails. "I… feel like it's a dream."

From the start- she can tell that the lack of solid ground is making him uneasy. That's without even trying to read him closely. A glance is given to the print in the concrete, then back up to his face; her own is solemn and highstrung. "Eric- Tha'one-" Huruma finally gestures to Doyle down the pier. "He told us tha'it was th'future. I've never experienced …temporal activity, so I cannot say if he was right- but-" But, she has a feeling that is a truth.

"This isn't right." Huruma says this not to Dajan, but to the water lapping at the pier, complete with a look that echoes the initial unhinging upstairs.

"That is the only thing that makes sense, it— seems impossible, but then I think about the things that I can do, and wonder…" Dajan's dark eyes follow his mother's out to the water, "if there are people who can bend time the way I bend earth?" One tired hand rubs at the side of Dajan's neck at his scars. He doesn't ask where Danko is, there's not many places to run here. "I tried askin' people… askin them why things were the way they are here, and all they could say is that a flood happened." Dajan turns, giving Huruma a look at that. "A flood like the kind in that Bible Tau reads." His words come off uneasy, anxious as if his footing is never usre here, away from the ground.

"They say it happened overnight, a great flood that washed away the world. No gods, no kings, just man." There's a twitch of Dajan's brows, tension as he walks back out onto the pier.

"But they say it is peaceful. There are no wars, no fighting over more than the necessities to survive. There is no war of national boundaries or idologies. It— " he seems conflicted by this. "So many people must have died…"

In a way, Huruma does not seem offput by the fact a flood came- and now everything is fine. What seems to trouble her more is that Dajan is as sturdy here as a three legged horse. It makes her feel what innocence he has left- and to her his tones sound childlike. He can probably feel her shifting closer, though he does move away from her first. "There are.

"Those who control time. I've met at least one. The jury is out on him." Ah, good old Hiro. She sounds certain that he did not do this, however. It does not smell like Nakamura to her. Not currently. "I know tha'you are torn-" So is she, a little. Not as badly, due to her year knowing Adam compounded with all the other years of hating the state of the world. "-but we will not remain here. I refuse t'remain here." Because this is not Huruma's world. Perhaps she is alive in this one, somewhere- likely alone, with her madness keeping her company and wishing for conflict.

Dajan's eyes are nervous when he looks up to back to Huruma. "Why?" It sounds almost like an accusation, until he explains himself. "Why're we here? What— " a hand motions out to the water again, eyes skimming from boat to boat, building to building, to the gulls high in the sky and the way the sun reflects off of the water. Dajan's brows knit together, and he pauses, something dawning on him as he stops in the middle of the pier. "We're here."

He turns around, looking at his mother confusedly. "We're here— people like us. There was a boy I saw, a young man who was walking on the water." Dajan looks back out to where he'd seen the young man earlier. "There's our kind, we survived the— " something doesn't make sense about all of this, but he can't quite put his finger on it. "Why're we seeing this… what is the point?"

Huruma shakes her head once, taking her eyes away from Dajan and over the water, the birds, the boats, into the clouds. "I do not know. Nor does it make sense t'me. It will, in time." This sounds familiar in a totally different context; one to do with boys wondering where their mothers have gone. It applies on all levels.

"Time is a river," Usuntu observes from where he crouches on the pier just behind the pair, where they'd turned away from, the end of his wandering stick being used to stir through the waters as he gazes down at the city drowned beneath, "You may not see the rapids before you hit them… but when you survive, and turn? Then, they become clear. Moreso, if you look together."

He draws the staff free of the waters and pushes his lanky frame up, the edge of his scarf swaying behind him as he turns to offer a white-toothed smile to the pair, only to turn and walk along the pier back towards the building again.

Too familiar a voice Dajan has not heard since his mother found him. Jerking around to look at Usutu in his sudden appearance, Dajan cannothelp but feel that somehow he should have expected this. "You— " he moves towards the stick-bearing prophet, feet clunking on the boardwalk. "What is going on?" It's impatiently demanded of the seer, too quick to snap for answers and not patient enough to realize them on his own. "Why are we— where are we?"

One of the fishermen on the pier looks up at Dajan, brows furrowed. "New York City… or— what's left of it." Dajan's puzzled by the other man's response, looking to the fisherman with an awkward smile. A hand comes up, as if to try and dismiss the comment, but the fisherman quickly adds, "You were talkin' t'me right?" He scratches at his bears with one hand.

"Oh ah— no I… I was talking to Usutu." He motions to where the seer is, standing with a lean on his staff. The fisherman looks, furrows his brows, and eyes Dajan uncertainly. "Are you alright?"

Huruma knows sooner than Dajan does, that something is not right. She cannot feel Usutu's presence; his emotions. It's like he's not even there.
Huruma straightens when she hears Usutu's voice, the distrustful look going to him a bit too quickly; in fact for a moment someone could think that she was about to tense up and shove him into the sea. The reason for her dislike of this seer is clearer when the man further down the dock turns to answer. This is why she treads like a nervous cat around them. Her hand finds Dajan's forearm from just hind, fingers curling around his wrist- her voice is floating in his ear.

"He is not there. Not for them." Huruma doubts that Usutu is actually dead enough to be a technical ghost in the biological/temporal machine- he had the tendency to be able to avoid bad things, right? "He is a spirit, speaking in riddle."

A soft chuckle sounds from Usutu's lips, the stick twirled up to rest over his shoulders, arms draped over it as he walks. He slants a look back over his shoulder, observing, "If you are here to see something, Dajan, my good friend - perhaps you should see it."

Then a few children go scampering down the dock, briefly obscuring him as they wave toy flags made from tie-dye and old sheets, and when they're past he's gone, and they're leaping onto Doyle's boat, giggling and laughing as they go. "— hey, hey, careful, don't touch that!"

"We need to find Tau and the others…" Dajan murmurs in a confused tone of voice, looking to where Usutu was standing a moment ago. "I was worried that he did not survive Mandritsara, but now…" Confidence replaces confusion, and Dajan offers Huruma a mild smile tempered byt he awkward unevenness he feels here on this watery land. "Now I think this is his doing, putting us out here for…" there's a shake of Dajan's head. "If this is something we must see, then we should see it. Never in my life has his advice led me astray, provided I could figure out what advice he was trying to give…"

Dajan turns to look towards the horizon, and the silhouette of a large boat in the distance. "There is a man named Eric here, he has a boat…" dark eyes find their way back to Huruma. "We can take it out to where the others are, to Gabriel." The name rings uncomfortably familiar in his mind. Then, after an awkward silence he considers the water all around him, and the ground so far below.

"I feel sick."

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