La Mer, Part IV


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title La Mer, Part IV
Synopsis Just when they thought they had the future figured out, Team Bravo finds themselves facing a rude awakening of the literal kind.
Date December 15, 2009

New York City

Sunlight reflects off of calm waters, lapping noisily against a barnicle encrusted concrete block protruding from the water's surface. Pitted stone serves as a perfect perch for a seagull to stand upon, yellow beak cracking open the soft underside of a crab, one wing held out for balance, orange foot pressed down, toes splayed.

A white-ridged crest of water sloshes past the post, causing the gull to look up with a quirked head, watching a shadow pass over both it and the water, accompanied by the silent procession of a sail-driven boat through the waters, plying the calm currents between two crumbling skyscrapers. In the distance, fishermen standing upon balconies of what were once tenth floor apartments, casting their nets out to the water below.

"I hate the sea… Urrp." Slouched down with his back against a concrete wall, Dajan Dunsimi stares up at the hot, baking sun overhead, his hands folded across his bare stomach, shirt folded at his side and knees bent so that he can press the flats of his feet to the stone under him. "I hate the sea…" Gulls circle the sun like moons circle a planet, their black silhouettes dividing up the rays of sunlight.

Darling it's better down where it's wetter under the sea!" With an entirely different outlook on things, Else Kjelstrom sits on the crumbling window sill of that very concrete wall, her back to Dajan, legs kicking in the air above where water sloshes up against green algae and barnacles. "You'll get used to it eventually, Dajan." She angles her dark eyes down to the terrakinetic, his longing for terra-firma under his feet likely the cause of his malaise. "I mean, you're here for goo— There they are!"

Swinging her legs around to the other side of the window sill, Else plants both of her bare feet down on the concrete floor as she hops over Dajan's legs and rushes towards the floating wharves nearby. "Huruma, Huruma!" The blonde bounds out onto the docks, motioning out towards the black silhouette of a large boat approaching on the water. "Gabriel's here!"

"I fail to see how that's something to be excited about." Making a slow entrance from one of the adjacent skyscrapers on a rowboat, the man known only by his now inappropriate monicker of Aviators rises up from a seated position. Bare feet his the concrete, pant-legs rolled up to mid-calf to reveal pale and hairy legs, shirt unbuttoned in the front and sleeves ripped off. The bandages around his missing eye have taken on a ratty quality around the edges, brownish-red stains indicative of their age. "I was just starting to get used to it here…"

"Wa'she singin' th' Little Mermaid?" Tau asks as he sets down the paddle in the rowboat, watching Aviators depart before following him out onto the concrete near the pier. "An' where is— " Tau's dark eyes settle on Dajan's huddled form, a crooked smile and a shake of his head accompanying the giant of a man's abortive question.

"I shoul'da guessed."

"I am right here, stop that yelling." Huruma had taken shelter from the sun along another corner of the wall, where the shadows fell just enough to allow her to skulk away in the cold of the concrete without too much trouble. She has been finding that observation is really the only thing that does not drive her batty; so Huruma has since settled for only helping where she is needed and then otherwise watching Dajan battle with the spirit of the Atlantic. It is more than obvious she does not belong here either. None of them really do, unless Aviators thinks he'd be better off.

Huruma lifts herself to her feet, her balance while surrounded by water being rather uneasy. Well- it appears uneasy. Less rigid, but not quite unstrung; she carries herself over the stone for a few steps, pausing to cast her shadow over Dajan and his- comparatively- paled presence. It's sad, even Huruma knows that. He needs to just …roll around in some dirt. He'll feel better then. Huruma gives him a few seconds of shadow instead of hot sun, her eyes coasting along after the rowboat parking along the pier.

There are three figures on the approaching boat, and as details come into form, from the grime building upon the boat's hull and collecting along the waterline, through to the many times patched and repaired triangle sails clinging to masts and ropes, their identities can be tagged as well. At the forefront, the jungle appropriate garb marks Gabriel as theirs, his hands gripping onto railing and picking out the faces that come into range as well, attention steering towards the much smaller rowboat already ahead of them. There isn't a lot about him that would present itself as a surprise — if possible, he appears to be moodier than usual, and not completely paying attention to the slighter frame of where Eileen has situated herself on the sailboat.

The other him stands at the helm, only offering a raise of one nine-and-a-half fingerd hand when he spies Else coming into being. At this distance, age and such factors don't make him markedly different — only his certainty around the ketch as he goes to bring in sails and allow it to nudge up to the docks, and his clothing being of repeatedly repaired make, water bottle of glass and rope swinging at his belt as he moves. "You probably want these back," he calls out towards Else, with a jerking head tilt towards his younger self before steering his hawkish attention towards Tau, whom he doesn't immediately recognise.

Ten years is a long time. Gabriel whistles once, sharp, for attention, and tosses out a rope to help tie in the boat. As much as Gabriel circa 2009 is sullen in his silence, Else likely hasn't seen Gabriel circa 2019 this pleasant in years. Or ever.

Wind blows through Eileen's hair, six months of growth curling at the nape of her neck like a long brown mane made less inky by the sunlight suffusing the wispier, more flyaway stands with warmth. The dog tags around the chain attached to her throat catch it, too, and wink like the silver rings she used to wear on her fingers before her forcible conscription. The younger Gabriel's dour mood doesn't appear to be contagious — in spite of the pink cast to her exposed skin and the chapped quality of her lips, she seems content and at ease, one small hand angled to shield her eyes from the sun, though her lashes do a fairly good job of that already.

Occasionally, she steals a quick glance at the man standing at the rail. Or, perhaps more accurately: his back. He doesn't have to project a stormcloud hovering above his head for her to realize he's feeling a little less-than-cheery. His posture and body language make that plenty clear, and as tempting as it is to go to him, place a hand between his shoulder blades and mutter into his ear, she hasn't moved. Isn't moving, even as the rope is sailing over the edge of the boat.

Else quirks a look back at Huruma, brows raised and a smile creeping up on her lips. "I was shouting for your very dour friend up on the roof." Danko simply hasn't come down since he got here. "Emile isn't very talkative, and I'm worried he might…" she dithers, squinting slightly, "be… less social?" There's a lack of conviction to her words as she turns back around, hurrying out to where the rope was tossed, grabbing it to tie around the concrete pylon near the pier.

When Else looks up, its from one Gabriel to another, her expression a mixture of expectant and mystified. Surely she had to have seen some of this coming, but the way she looks upon the realization of it speaks towards how infrequently the future ever truly plays out as expected. "Welcome back to the city!" She calls up to the ship.

The city, such as it is.

Kneeling down by Dajan, Tau rests a hand on the scarred man's shoulder. "You a'no looking well, brother." His smile comes with some difficulty. "A'had tha'very expression on m'face when we firs' got here. When a'was tol' what happen'd." There's a look of his dark eyes out to the water from Dajan's side. "God has done as God will, it woul' seem."

"God had nothing to do with this." Aviators spits out the words, crossing his arms over his chest, watching the ship's arrival with a mixture of disappointment and relief; half that he'd hoped Gabriel had drowned to death, half that Eileen hadn't. "Unless your God is a life-sucking two-hundred year old nazi, of course." Walking across the sun-baked concrete away from Dajan and Tau, Aviators keeps his eyes focused up on the boat.

All that Else gets from Huruma at that is a small snort and one hand that lifts to blind the sun from her already whitewashed irises. She casts a look to Tau as he kneels down, lips pursing when he speaks and glances over the seawater. But in the end, her attention fares Aviators a better target for momentary harassment, what with his muttering and sniping and bellyaching. Oh, but he set it up too easily-

"Four-hundred." Her voice comes up behind Aviators, as Huruma has made her way after him down the pier to meet the boat.

The younger of the two Midtown Man twins is first to set foot to floating pier, leaving the older to secure his own damn sailboat. The edge of the heavy wood only dips a little in the surf as his boots come down to meet it once he levers himself over the edge. For a moment, both he and his waterworld counterpart reflect mirrored sentiments at a glance cast towards Aviators, different only in that its fresh resentment that curls the younger's mouth, and something older and full of contempt in the other that's puntuated with a sardonic smile at the sight of the old bandages. Doesn't that just bring back nice memories?

The younger Gabriel doesn't spend a lot of time eyeing Aviators — he sweeps his glance on towards where Dajan and Tau are, before looking over Huruma. "He said Emile washed up too," he states, a question only in implication and the distrust for his counterpart in his voice.

Said counterpart is taking the opportunity to offer his sound hand to Eileen to help her down onto the docks, as much as he doesn't seem prepared to come down himself. Crows feet stamps lines at the corners of his eyes, and above them, seabirds wheel around as if in the hopes of fish to snare up straight from the nets. A shimmer of mutual awareness, foggy as ever, is a constant and familiar addition between himself and the bird whisperer.

Gabriel has partially disconnected.

Eileen's small hand clasps around Gabriel's much larger one, her gratitude reflected in the smile that she offers him and whatever exists in the space between them. Her feet touch down on the pier, toes first, followed by the remainder of her soles rolled all the way back to the heel in one smooth rocking motion. She doesn't let go — not immediately. Instead, she gives that same hand a firm squeeze, thumb digging gently into the softest spot of his palm, then releases him in the lingering moments that follow.

A look angled over her shoulder confirms the presence of Huruma, Dajan and the others save Danko, noticeably absent. It's not often that she agrees with Aviators, but his rejection of the idea that a higher power is responsible for the situation they've all found themselves in overnight receives an

"I'll be fine…" Dajan murmurs, moving a hand to rest on Tau's shoulder, then using that as a little leverage to help push himself up. On shaky legs, Dajan looks out over the water, then offers something of a wry smile to the larger man before making his way past towards Huruma. His eyes narrow slightly at his mother, not quite understanding her correction of Aviators numbers. There's a look over to the one-eyed CIA operative, posture straightening when he's by his mothers side, either out of some misplaced sense of obligation to look strong when near her, or perhaps some sort of posturing when around Aviators and Gabriel.

"So, I figure it's time you all start thinking about some more permanent arrangements for your staying here." There's a mild smile from the blonde, a few steps taken towards where Eileen comes down to stand. "I know a few buildings south of here have space in them, but I don't know if you all want to be in the same space or…" her dark brows furrow, brown eyes settling on Gabriel, then up to his other self. "Well, I— maybe some of you might be staying on this boat?" There's one brow raised as she looks to Eileen, her smile thoughtful.

"We're— we're not staying here!" Aviators shouts, pushing past Dajan with a determined pace towards Else. "We're not just sitting down and— and fucking accepting this! Take a goddamned look around at this!" One of his hands waves out towards the water. "This— can't be fucking happening. I laid down to sleep after taking watch, I was a-fucking-sleep! We didn't get washed away by some— some fucking tide, this is all some sort of screwed up— some— fuck if I know!"

"It feels real." Tau comments plainly as he steps behind Aviators, putting one very firm hand on his shoulder. "Th' air stings m'nostrils, th' sun warms m'cheeks. How else d'you d'fine real'ty?"
"He did no'lie. Emile is unsurprisingly antisocial f'this particular instance." Huruma answers the younger of the two, hand going back to her side, palm finding a perch along the curve of her hip. Her head turns to regard Dajan when he stops beside her, taking that same moment to quietly allow herself to watch Aviators storm up a fuss for her.

"If we've been temporally displaced, w'cannot stay here. N'matter how courteous our hosts may be." Huruma amends this all once Tau speaks, before there is really a chance for more raising of voices. Her own is measuredly high in volume, and perhaps she is straining under something to keep it so.

The Gabriel of this time moves along the railing of his boat, shifting to perch steadily with his legs slung over dockside, his hands resting upon his knees as he listens. Dark eyes flick their gaze towards Else, her thoughtful smile not even remotely mirrored — in fact, it almost has the effect of dashed cold water, his shoulders stiffening beneath water damaged brown leather and glances down at his asymmetrical hands. When he speaks up, his voice is quiet. "They won't stay. Can't stay." His heels connect lazily against the hull of his boat, before stilling.

Gabriel— the other one— narrows a look towards Aviators, showing teeth between words as he states; "You should be so lucky we'll take you with us when we leave."

Eileen is spared any awkwardness by the virtue of willful ignorance. She pointedly shies away from Else's gaze, showing the other woman her back as she crosses the docks to where an albatross is perched, snow white feathers a contrast against the jet black of its massive wingspan. She crooks a finger and strokes her knuckle along the curve of the bird's neck, then follows the shape of its back as far as both of them are comfortable. Human toll aside, one of the saddest things about this future — at least through the Briton's eyes — is the apparent loss of biodiversity. There are no pigeons here. Bejeweled grackles, periwinkle bluebirds, rumpled garden sparrows with eyes like smart little buttons of salted licorice — all gone.

"Stop it," she says then, reprimand directed squarely at her Gabriel. Her physical orientation, however, remains constant. "We aren't leaving anyone behind. Not here, not in our time."

It may have been hard to see, at least at first, the small single-sail boat gliding up towards the pier. On its way towards the docks, the presence of the vessel is a slim and very handmade profile, with the sewn sheets for sails and piecemeal hull for the boat. A man in a floppy fisherman's hat brings the boat up to the pier, clunking to the side somewhere behind Gabriel's larger vessel.

"Can't stay?" Else looks at Gabriel awkwardly, "I— Everyone's welcome here, Gabriel. There isn't a way home for you, either…" Toying with her lower lip, Else looks back towards Eileen where she'd slipped by.

"If something happened, something that sent you here, there simply isn't anyone to send you back. Not that I've ever heard of… there's just— time travel, it just isn't possible."

Dajan seems just a touch disheartened by Else's insistance on the matter, closing his eyes and furrowing his brows. Then, pointedly, he looks up to Gabriel — the older Gabriel — and asks, "How did this come to be? Why are you here, and none of the rest of us?" If anyone could have survived the end of the world, he would have imagined his mother would have. "How did it… how did this happen?"

Aviators seems pointedly interested in that very question, watching Dajan before following the scarred Terrakinetic's line of sight to Gabriel. But it's Else who, admittedly in her own way, answers Dajan. "Mankind let this happen…" she opines in a manner wholly unhelpful to what Dajan wants to know. "It happened because it's what I saw happening. It was… destiny?"

She and Gabriel never see eye to eye on that.
For the entire time, Huruma has never really leveled out with Else. It's no mystery that Huruma is not incredibly fond of the girl; things like this do not help, and only bring an expression of a deeper irritation to Huruma's face. The woman lifts her arms, crossing them heavily in front of her chest and glowering across the short span of pier towards the blonde.

"Nobody here. You cannot speak f'th'rest of th'world, whatever state it is in." That, and Huruma knows very well that those types of abilities are rare- but they are always somewhere. "And that was not a question for you." It seems as if she wants to hear the real answer too.

It's refreshing, for someone else to argue with Else when Gabriel has more or less long since given it up, preferring life as a recluse than getting tangled into these arguments. Which might be why that ripple of uneasiness in him is experienced by both Eileen and more keenly Huruma. "You all died," Gabriel states, bluntly, as if this were an obvious point that he finds irritation in having to voice, brow furrowing before neutrality smooths it. "Tidal wave swallowed you all whole. I survived, because…" He exchanges a glance towards the profile of himself, who's heard this story as Eileen has, already. "It's kind of what I do.

"As for how this came to be…" His back straightens, raising an eyebrow. "The mission failed. Whatever the Vanguard did with the warhead, it flooded everything. On the plus side, they're all dead too."

Eileen exhales, the sound inaudible, unable to compete with the waves lapping the pier and against the side of the boat. She pauses to adjust one of the albatross' glossy primary feathers and receives an affectionate nip on the very tip of her finger for efforts. Her hand in the splint hangs loose at her side — like Aviators, she has bandages that are dirty and in desperate need of changing, though this is something she can address later. Right now, she divides her attention between the bird and conversation occurring in her periphery, silent but not inattentive.

Tau doesn't seem to understand this. Squinting his eyes, he looks at Gabriel confusedly. "Is this no'their plan? The… Vanguard?" The large man eyes Dajan for a moment, then looks back to Gabriel. "Why woul'their own plan kill them off? Even if th' whole worl' flooded, Antananarivo is high above th' ocean. These buildings," he waves his hand out to the skyscrapers, "they rise 'bove th' water. Th' General an'is men 'ad to 'ave survived. Tha'does no make sense…"

Agreeing with the sentiment, Dajan nods his head and looks suspiciously at Gabriel. He does not bother to voice his concern, but Aviators is certainly willing to try and punch holes in the notion. "So some big fucking tidal wave just came and washed this all away, out of fucking nowhere? Weren't we looking for a goddamned nuclear warhead? How the fuck does that make any sense? How does any of this add the fuck up at all? Am I the only one here having a hard time believing that we just fucking laid down and all of the sudden were in— " one of his hands flips back and forth in the air, "fucking Narnia?"

Aviators snaps a one-eyed gaze around the pier, squinting as best as his cyclopean stare allows him. "Does anyone see an armoire I can climb in? Maybe a little fucking guy with goat legs?" His one-eyed stare flicks from one Gabriel to the next as waves of irritation and anxiety in turn come ebbing from him in rhythm with the tides. "Little fucking goat legs."

The news of this does bring more questions than it answers, Tau and Aviators voicing just some of them. And Aviators does surely more than voice skepticism, and soon enough he is tilting just too much off of his rocker. Being that he is ahead of her, Huruma barely skips a beat while she fixes her eyes on the back of his head to insert her own tidal wave- though it is made of emotional serenity rather than water.

"There is no water under th'surface of th'earth, s'tha'makes two places it could'ave come from…" She reads books too, you know. And she can recognize a globe! Amazing. "Higher oceans obviously do more than a warhead could." Maybe they just changed their mind. Or something. Well- whatever the case- Huruma does not seem too keen on the explanation itself. Not in the case of Bravo failing, moreso. "So w'must get back an'make sure this doesn't happen. Simple enough." But, the first step is always the hardest. Got to get back first.

"It wouldn't be the first time Kazimir has engineered a plot to destroy the entirety of the human race, with Vanguard under him to help follow through with it," Gabriel of this time points out, swinging his legs back over the edge of his boat and coming to stand on its deck, showing them his back. A seam, restitched over the course of years, makes a rivet in the material up his back, pulling with the motions of him pacing across it. "It makes perfect sense to me. But it doesn't mean it's the way things should be," a glance back to Else on that note, before looking back to Huruma, and crooking a half smile, "and it also doesn't mean you'll have a choice in the matter."

"Can't you just tell us what went wrong?" is a long-suffered question from the Gabriel of 2009, steering his attention towards the boat, shoulders squaring. "How we failed the mission, who did it?"

The other pauses, and then shrugs, loosely. "I was in lock up for what I did to Claire Bennet. How should I know," is growled out, a narrowed look as if it was somehow his younger counterpart's fault, as opposed to his own shared history. "It wouldn't make a difference. You can't change the past. But you can blunder around blindly and set things into motion — that's all I can hope for."

"Traveling forward in time isn't a problem; you travel from A to B." The voice comes from down the pier, down where that small boat docked, down where Aviators stumbles with one hand held against his head, a soft and childishly giddy laughter bubbling up from his lips. The calm smile on his face remains, even as the mysterious voice continues to speak on approach from around the side of Gabriel's boat. "Typically this presents you with a view into what will become an unrealized reality."

That voice.

"Travel from A to B, now attempt to travel back. Without the proper frame of reference or guidance, you could arrive at point A before you left, or a year earlier, or a year later, or ten, or ten thousand, or millions of permutations…" Stepping on sandaled feet from behind Gabriel's boat and off of his, a sun-tanned fisherman removes his large, floppy hat adorned with lures, a bucket held in his other hand. Overly large blue eyes stare up at the crowd, beneath a sun battered brow marked with tiny scars from old injuries. Two tiny scars at his temples look like they were from some sort of surgical clamps, like people with spinal injuries are put into. "Hello Gabriel," the mousy-brown haired man states as he walks up across the pier, knobby knees brown with grime from kneeling in his boat. "I… heard you might be out this way, you know, through the grapevine." Dajan and Tau stare confusedly at the small man, seemingly so harmless looking, despite his familiar greeting to Gabriel. Aviators is off in his own, very wonderful world right now, plopping down on the edge of the pier holding the side of his head, smiling a contented smile.

"I don't think the rest of us have been introduced properly," he explains, tucking his floppy hat under one arm, offering out a hand to the crowd in the hopes someone will take it.

"My name's Edward Ray. And you all don't look like you're from around here."

While she observes both versions of Gabriel and keeps Aviators within her sight, Huruma simply makes sure that he is properly settled down, and quite away from the manic stage he was reaching. Almost as effective as some good old Nitrous Oxide, isn't it?

As the mousy little man makes himself known, Huruma watches; she has no outward reason to jump out of her skin at his presence, though someone else here might. To her, he is simply a curious little person that brings up some rather good points about the fineries to do with hop-skipping through time. This is evident by the thoughtful expression she's grown before he actually introduces himself. She does not react much to this either, eyes settling on him to take more detailed notes of his features. So where do they get such reference? Such point of contact? Getting back is indeed looking like an uphill battle.

Proving themselves to be both the same men in appearance, most history, and spirit, both Gabriels snap to attention like twin hawks seeing movement in the grass. It doesn't take introduction for such notice, or even the summoning of the Midtown Man's name, only the man's voice — not only its sound, but the words themselves. Such choreography breaks a moment later, the younger blazing an accusing glare at the older who only shakes his head once in denial.

No, he didn't know. He moves back up to the railing of the boat, leaning down to study Edward some, the tilt of his head predatory in some respects. "A magician's only as good as his tools, and I never did get my rematch with Hiro Nakamura. What brings you back from the dead, Ray? What do you want from us?"

For the first time since he's been encountered here, sparking anger seems to alight in the older Gabriel's demeanor, threatening to kindle and flare up as much as visible restraint sets in his shoulders. Both Huruma and Eileen can feel it, the slow surge of anger that grows even brighter than the younger's duller distrust and resentment— and also a vein of hope, almost an impurity, as much as he might deny it.

A hand on Aviators' shoulder steadies him and ensures that he does not accidentally succumb, tilt into the water and drown while everyone — including Eileen — is preoccupied with the latest arrival. The albatross bridges the short gap between the pier and Gabriel's boat with a few powerful beats of its wings, eventually coming to settle on the railing — a better vantage point from which to observe the scene unfolding on the docks mere feet away. It turns its head to regard Edward with one glassy eye, its texture like the carapace of a wet crab, prehistoric and hungry.

Wandering seabirds rely heavily on their sense of smell, and this one is no different. Sweat, fish, salt — all the smells infused with Gabriel's hair and weather-beaten clothes represent sources of food. Maybe if it sticks around long enough, he'll be in a good mood again and willing to part with table scraps the next time he guts something on the deck.

Eileen herself is busy scrutinizing his reaction the same way someone might try to see past a foggy pane of glass, though her nose isn't right up against the imaginary window. Edward Ray is a name that, while familiar, doesn't inspire much more than quiet bewilderment reflected fuzzily back at Gabriel through the intuitive link they presently share.

"I don't particularly want anything." That can't entirely be true, of course. "Well… nothing aside from the obvious." There's an arch of Edward's brows as he walks past Eileen and Aviators, affording them both a big-eyed look, then turning his attention up towards Huruma, then over to the Gabriel's. "I just… wanted to make my presence known, I guess?" There's a nonchallant calm on Edward's face as he makes his way down the pier, towards a puzzled looking Dajan and Tau.

"Who're you?" Dajan asks with a furrow his his scarred brows, hands coming to rest on his hips. But Edward's response is just a coy smile, his head tilting to the side to regard the tall and scarred man with scrutiny at near chest height. Closer now to Gabriel as well, surgical scars cover one side of his head and neck, a cranial scar in his hairline indicaative of what had to have been brain surgery done long ago.

"I just wanted to make sure that I got my name out here, now." Blue eyes drift from Gabriel to Dajan. "As I introduced, I'm Edward Ray." He doesn't offer his hand, not this time. "And for once, I'm not your roadmap home. For once," his blue eyes look towards Eileen intently, "it looks like you're masters of your own journey."

Then, with more whimsy, "Or at least more in charge than usual."

That last, almost whimsical comment seems to stretch on for long moments as the waters of the sea seem to withdraw towards the horizon like a receding tide… but revealing not the drowned bones of Old New York but dry, cracked earth and sparse shrubs beneath. There, standing beside the pier, Usutu's smiling, bearded face looks up at the gathered, a hint of laughter sparkling in his dark eyes.

"You have seen enough, I think," he comments casually, "It is time to— "

"— wake up. Wake up! The sun has risen, and time waits for no man," Usutu calls across the roadside campsite, a small bowl of water spilt into the bowl that sits above the fire, quenching the spice-scented smoke that rose like serpentine tendrils from whatever brew or incense that he'd been burning. The morning's sun has begun to claw its way up above the horizon, light spilt like paint over the landscape in a thousand shades of dawn. The staff is used to lever himself up to his feet, and he walks towards the truck, adding cheerfully, "It is not so good to dream for so long, my sleepy friends. Up, up with you all!"

Being quite knowledgeable on personal feelings- Huruma is able to pick up on those grains of hope now distilling in at least one Gabriel. It is not entirely taken into consideration paired with this little man that is now wandering very dully around in their midst- but seeing as he hasn't really done anything, Huruma just tries to keep one eye on him as he moves to scrutinize what seems to be all of the ones he does not recognize.

She would have much more time to scrutinize him for herself were it not for the sudden warping of what she and the others have come to see as reality- the water recedes, but the skeleton of New York is nowhere to be seen. The world warps and shifts again, and Huruma has time to turn her head to fix it onto the Seer just before she is aware that everything is horizontal. Well, no, that is just the fact she is lying on the ground. Among the calm and cheerful intones of Usutu's voice in her ears, Huruma's own breath does a sharp intake. The woman doesn't move for a few moments, eyes adjusting.

She hates shamans. She really does. Despite how useful they are, or how kind they may be to her, she never really could connect the way that Dajan does. The world tilts when she claws her way up onto her feet, a dizzying sort of frustration carrying Huruma after Usutu, seething all the while, still in a sleepy haze. At some point during that, she even managed to grab one of the bowls. Nearly akin to rousing some manner of grumpy beast from its sleep- though in her case Huruma has much more complex reasons.

Blink, and as opposed to the stink of dead sealife drifting through gutted building, the fresh smells of salt water coming off the ocean, it's raining and stinging incense that replaces it, thinner scents as opposed to the oppressive aroma of the flooded, rotted landscape. Gabriel snorts once, expelling air as if to clear his sinuses of it, and cracks open his eyes enough to see Huruma's imposing form lever itself up off the ground and hurdle towards the lankier figure of Usutu.

There is likely an opportunity to kick out a leg and bring Huruma crashing down, but instead, Gabriel rolls over and rests his forehead against the crook of his elbow instead, giving a low groan. His hand stretches, and he lifts his gaze as if to check he still has all his fingers, as much as the man in their dreaming had been a far separate entity.

The vangas are awake in the trees, arboreal forest birds that sit upright with wicked little feet and come in all shapes, sizes and configurations. A flash of blue scissors through between two branches, startling a smaller, duller cousin into flight, and alights on a twig with buds that blossom pink and glisten at the edges of each petal where morning dew reflects the sunlight in silver droplets. Eileen's hair is damp, smells faintly of sap, and when she opens her eyes she finds that her lashes are also wet, skin made slick by falling rain.

It's not an unpleasant sensation. As she inhales, her back arches off her bedroll beneath the blanket and she raises one arm above her head, the tips of her splint-fingers curling in on themselves. She languishes in the stretch, does not turn her head to look until she hears Huruma fumbling, and even then all she does is fix the other woman with a bleary look before deciding to seek Gabriel out with her eyes.

Just as he's checking his fingers, checking to make sure that the people who matter most to Eileen are here is a little silly when it appears that none of them actually went anywhere to begin with. She's doing it anyway.

Wet footfalls of Huruma chasing the wiseman of Madagascar across the wet plains are the sound Dajan awakens to. His dark eyes stare up at the rain, he feels the earth beneath his back, and as he sits up, one of his palms presses down into the soil, fingers curling to take a handful of mud. Africa is beneath him again, and perhaps it was not so much the lack of solid earth under his feet that made him sick at all, but being so far away from home and so far removed from his family's roots, from the country that needs him.

Tau sees the calmness and serenity falling on Dajan from where the enormous man lays. His dark eyes scan the younger and scarred man as he sits up under the rain, turning to look at one of Huruma's footprints in the middy grass. He may need to ease a bruise away from the side of Usutu's head on the way south from here, but that is a small matter. They are home and they have only spent a night's sleep for two days worth of knowledge and wisdom of what the future could hold. Tau is not entirely surprised by this, though he supposes the reality of this may take some time to settle in on the others; what boon they have gained.

Aviators can only stare up at the rainy sky from where he lays next to where Emile fell asleep on watch. He turns his head, looking away and towards the horizon, and somehow the forests and mountains and muddy roads look no better than a world flooded away.

No mystical wardrobes or satyr, however.

"I feel sick…" Aviators mumbles. It's the most sensible thing he's said in two days.

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