Like Moses


risa_icon.gif white_icon.gif

Scene Title Like Moses
Synopsis Norman White wanders the desolate streets of Staten Island, searching for wayward souls.
Date August 10, 2009

Staten Island

"Do you want me to… get you some shoes?" A quiet, gently feminine voice calls out from the shadows of an alley, the glowing ember on the end of a cigarette illuminating soft features and dark eyes. The offer is spoken aloud to a man leaning up against the rough brick wall in the jaundiced yellow glow of the street lights. His tangled, blonde hair hangs down in front of his face, eyes focused on a pair of ratty old slippers worn on his dirty feet.

Looking up through the tangle of his hair, he regards the woman with some level of sedate curiosity. "Risa…" There's a tone of weak comfort in his voice, eyes turning back to the slippers on his feet, toes wiggling inside of the dirty fabric. "No, I don't think shoes suit me. I'm not much of a sandals man either," he slides one off, then another, placing his bare feet down on cracked pavement, where grass grows up between the dark tar fissures.

Stepping into the light, the woman he called Risa withdraws the cigarette from her lips, offering the filter end out towards him. "Norman," her brows furrow together, "maybe we should call it a night? It's been a long day, and you don't look so good." There's a wince at Risa's words, one Norman only gives in her confidence. Rolling his shoulder, he clenches his jaw and straightens up, flexing fingers open and closed. "Is…" her eyes flit from his hands to his face, "is it getting worse?"

"I'll be fine." His hand waves dismissively to her, and Norman White leans off of the brick wall. Notably, the brick smooths out from a depression shaped like his broad-shouldered frame from where he was leaning, returning to its more natural shape. Risa's watches the stone change its shape, lips pursing together as she returns the cigarette to her mouth, taking a long drag off of it as the young woman makes her way to follow in the slow footfalls of the considerably taller man.

"I think I need to talk to Vincent again," White rumbles, looking over his shoulder towards Risa. "He's been quiet, lately. I have half a mind to wonder if he's truly a believer or not." The choice of wording seems to make Risa a touch uncomfortable, but it passes quickly as she moves around to stand in front of Norman, watching him and also serving as a tiny-boned roadblock against his massive bulk.

Their stare meets, and Norman's head dips down. "We have to be active. You know, just looking at this place," one hand is waved towards the glow of the Rookery in the distance, "that this city's a den of sin. People need to wake up, stop… stop feelin' sorry for themselves n'take a stand." Norman looks away from the Rookery's neon glow, back to Risa as his hands tuck into the pockets o fhis bathrobe. "C'mon, you know everything's gonna be bad before it gets better. That's how change comes."

Shooting twin jets of smoke out her nose, Risa nods slowly and brings up a hand to her forehead, rubbing at her temple with two fingers as her brows tense. "Yeah, I know… You're right, too. Nobody's gonna' change until we make'em change. The government, society, the whole damn world." There's a wince, one of notable pain as Risa doubles over and holds her head in one hand, letting out a stacatto groan of pain.

Not surprised by the look, but more startled, Norman's eyes widen as he sees this reaction. Darting a stare to the darkened corners of the alley, he can only hear his voice calling out for Risa as an echo in the back of his mind. "How bad is it? It it coming? Tell— "

"Mortimer," a hand motions up, two fingers raised, and Mortimer can feel some unseen hand gently trying to urge his down, away from his face, "calm down now, son. You've got too much potential to be wasting away like this…"

"I don't want this ability anymore, it's dangerous, it makes me dangerous, it changes me." Mortimer, lowering his hand, dropping the glass, he just hunches down and holds his head. "I'm not my mother, I'm not some NASA engineer, I just wanna be me, I don't need it! When I find a way to get my arm back, and rip these eyes out of my head…"

One black brow slowly rises as Arthur takes a few more steps forward, "Mortimer, Mortimer." His eyes narrow slightly, "I can help you learn to control it, help you get yourself on your feet again, learn to master it. Could you imagine the things you could do, the things you could create?" His blue eyes drift up and down the troubled young man, eventully coming to a stop just within arm's reach.

"I can offer you peace of mind, Mortimer. Don't… don't run away from the ability you have. With the funding I can give to you, and the doctors we have on hand… the people I work for?" A smile creeps up on his weathered lips, "You could build miracles with just one hand." His eyes downturn to the prosthetic arm laying on the ground, watching it twitch and convulse all of its own accord. Arthur reaches up, laying a hand on Mortimer's shoulder cautiously.

"Come with me," his voice is soothing, eyes focused on Mortimer's silver ones, "come with me and I can make the pain go away. I owe you that much, Mortimer. Think of the marvelous things you could do."

Wincing, Norman staggers away from Risa, his hands clutching the sides of his head as his eyes wrench shut and teeth gnash together. The enormous man's fingers wind into his hair, and he sways in uneven stance, falling down to both knees with a dull groan of pain. The sound is animalistic, back arching as he leans over and digs his fingernails lightly into his skin, then doubles over and presses his forehead to the concrete.

Nearby, Risa is no better, curled up in the fetal position on the ground, eyes a milky white color and lie cigarette burning on the pavement. Her legs twitch, arms spasm and a seizure wracks her body. Foam begins building up in her mouth as she rolls onto her back, muscles tightening and eyes growing wider as her back arches and heels of her boots scrape across the pavement.

"I know what I can do, I know what I've done. This ability is a weapon, it made me insane, it's stained with blood. I want to cure it, I don't want to master it, or build miracles, I want it gone." Mortimer stares up at the man with defeated eyes, just shaking his head. "I don't know what I've done for you, but if you have all these doctors, then just, get rid of it. I'll do anything, I'll work for you, I don't care. I can still fight, I was the top of my class, I'm not stupid. I'll do whatever, just, find a cure…"

Arthur's lips downturn into a frown, disappointed. To Mortimer, his appearance awkwardly and violently warps and distorts, seeming to make the man tower too many feet taller than he really is, eyes blackening and the shadows on his face casting deeper than normal, as the machinist's hallucinations drive deep and hard into his mind.

"I don't need a fighter, Mortimer." Arthur's tone of voice changes, less gentle, more chastising, "I need an engineer like yourself." There's a pause, and Arthur's eyes drift up and down Mortimer with a resigned sigh that escapes him shortly thereafter. "You're absolutely certain, that you won't consider utilizing this ability of yours? You're sure you want… something done about it?" There's a distaste there, in Arthur's voice.

"I've been killing people and destroying god knows how many families for I don't know how many years, all because of this ability. It's selfish, but I don't care who it could help, I just don't want it." Mortimer stares at Arthur's changing appearance, then holds and shakes his head. "I want it to stop! If you want an engineer so badly, talk to my mother, she has the same ability!"

There, in that note, does Arthur's dark brow rise up just a touch higher. His eyes narrow, lips pressing into a thin line as he considers the implications of a mother and son with matching abilities. "Then," he states with a tilt of his head, "allow me to relieve you of your burden of competence." One wrinkled hand lifts up, grasping to the side of Mortimer's head, palm pressed to his cheek. In that instant, a painful prickling sensation builds up in Mortimer's extremities, followed by a sudden fish-hook sensation in the center of his chest.

Immediately following the onset of pain, a surge of white light rips forth from Mortimer's body, a ghostly and ethereal silhouette of his own form, drawn out from his body in an excruciating fashion, the flickering, ghostly after-image of himself soon siphoned towards Arthur's form, super-imposing over his own body for a moment before fading away into wisps of light. Arthur keeps one hand gripped on the side of Mortimer's face, then pushes to the side and tosses the troubled young man to the ground.

Silvery, metallic eyes stare down at the former machinist, dark brows lowering as Mortimer sees his own expression mirrored in the chromatic hues of Arthur's eyes. "It's all… so clear now," he states as if in some dreamlike state.

Risa lets out a pained whimper the moment the visions end, curling up into the fetal position again as she rolls onto her side, fingers wound into her hair and eyes forced shut, whimpering and sobbing into her arms as she tries to hide her head. Norman struggles to get up, choking back discomfort as he pushes himself up with one hand, arms trembling, eyes scanning the alleys for the signs of human-vultures ready to swoop in on the injured pair. "Risa," his deep voice booms out, "come on…"

His hand meets her shoulder, shaking her gently as he tries to pull himself up to his feet. "Come on, it's over…" Wide, chocolate-brown eyes stare up at Norman disbelievingly through the dark black of her hair, sweat slicked against her brow, lips parted and shoulders heaving from frantic breaths. "Come here, come on…" there's a tug to her arm, trying to urge her up to sit.

The slim young woman rolls into a seated position, drawing her knees to her chest as her forehead presses down to their backs. Norman climbs up to one knee, resting a hand on her shoulder. "What did you see?" She whispers to him, voice choked back with lingering echoes of pain. Norman looks down to the street, then over to the nearby alley.

"Someone was here… stole a man's ability…" Reaching up, he rakes his fingers through Risa's hair, brushing the dark locks from her face. "You've done a great service, Risa." His hand lightly pats the top of her head, as if she were a pet or a young child, not a woman in emotional distress. Swallowing raggedly, Risa looks up to Norman, eyes halfway closed.

"Why?" She breathes out the question, then starts looking down along the ground for the remnants of her cigarette. Finding it smoldering between a crack of worn pavement, her fingers pinch the filter and pull it up from the dirt. Norman's eyes track to it, reaching out to take the cigarette from her, bringing it to his lips as he breathes in a lungful of smoke. The cigarette is lowered away, and Norman's eyes turn to the glow of the Rookery Again.

"Because," White states vaguely, holding the cigarette back out to her, "now I know I need to find this Mortimer guy. He's one of us."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License