Like Playdough


linda2_icon.gif luke_icon.gif

Scene Title Like Playdough
Synopsis Linda adds one more to the ranks. Theoretically.
Date October 2, 2010

Prospect Park

Luke has been getting that paranoid feeling again over the past few days. He hasn't seen anyone following him, but it just gives him a feeling like something's up. He's been irritable, and staying in one place for not very long save to sleep, and now he's ended up in Prospect Park. Most of the homeless he encounters are sneered at, as if he's much better than they are, and he glances around constantly. Someone is always Out To Get Him, or so he thinks. The government? A mugger? Surely not a hot woman wanting him for something.

That probably depends on Luke's definition of hot.

A light rain patters against the pavement, stirring up an earthy smell that thickens in the humidity with no breeze to carry it. The sky is that indigo colour with golden edges where the sun's light still glows on the horizon, but in less than an hour it will be black with charcoal clouds and a pale, waning moon. No stars.

Up ahead, the shadow of a tall, lithe woman is waiting for Luke where an even taller tree forces the path to fork into two. She doesn't look homeless. Her hair is too clean, and so are her clothes: a leather jacket, faded denim jeans and a dark top that hugs slender curves and hints at toned muscles beneath. "Hey, kid," she greets with a smile that's all teeth and no lip. "You got a few minutes?"

Luke halts in place when he sees the woman, and frowns at her. She just called him a kid. "What do you want?" he asks, all surly-like. Yeahhh, gotta work on those social skills, Luke. He shoves his unbroken hand in his pocket, narrowing his eyes. People actively seeking him out is never a good thing. One time that happened, a guy tried to snipe him.

"The name Samson Gray mean anything to you?" the woman asks, arching both her brows. In the fading light of the evening, it's difficult for Luke to determine what colour the eyes beneath them are, but there's no mistaking the absence of warmth in them.

Luke gives a start of surprise, scowling. "Deja vu." he complains. "Let me guess, you're from the government wanting to know where he is? Well forget it, I haven't seen him in months. Go away and tell your damn bosses that can shove it up their asses." so hostile.

Her response is a sharp, grating laugh, followed by a brisk shake of her head that sends ripples shimmering through her dark hair, which she wears long and loose. Luke may catch a shimmer of something metal clasped in one of her hands, but closer inspection tells him that it isn't a gun or even a knife — it's a tin of what appears to be shoe polish and, turning it over once between her fingers, she slips it into her pocket. "I'm not with the government, Luke.

"You might say I'm a friend. Of the old man's anyway, but I could be yours too — if you wanted."

Luke is even more suspicious, if that's possible. "I didn't realize the old man HAD any friends. He seemed to be just a crazy old man who took dead animals and made them look alive again, and occasionally kill living ones. I certainly never saw him with any visitors. What do you want from me?"

The woman takes a step away from the tree, and then another, her boots crunching over dead leaves and twigs. There's nothing sudden about her movements — slow and deliberate, she winds her way closer. "Help," she offers. "You're in a pretty bad way, I can tell. Nowhere to go, no one to rely on, and he was more than just a crazy old man to you. Don't lie." And her smile broadens. "I know when you're lying."
Oh? Luke might even believe her. "What of it?" he responds defensively, watching her as she approaches in case she decides to stick a knife in him or something, even though she's got, uh… shoe polish. "I don't need anyone's help." well, he could, he just doesn't want to admit it. "There's gotta be a catch involved."

She rolls her shoulders into a shrug as she circles Luke, maintaining a safe distance between them, and removes her hand from her pocket. "I never said you did," she says, "but I do." Her eyes lift past the youth, focusing on a point somewhere beyond his shoulder. Seeing nothing except for the vague shapes of other trees, and the light reflecting off water between their branches, she returns her attention to his face and watches for a reaction. "And Samson does. Did he ever tell you about his son?"

"A little." Luke replies guardedly. "He sold him or something. Never met him, but…" well actually Luke did, but he didn't know that man was Samson's son! They had a nice cage match. "Why does the old man need help? He's pretty good at helping himself.""

"Or something," the woman repeats. "Hard to help yourself when you don't know what's good for you. Life's funny that way. Look."

Her boots grind to a halt, and she runs her fingers through her rain-damp hair, pushing it away from her face. "I'm in the business of change. Or my employer is, anyway. What if I told you that things don't have to be the way that they are now? You could have had a father, and not the one that walked out on you and your mom."

"…" just what, exactly, could be said to such a statement? Luke looks confused. "What do you mean, change? It might not occur to you, but that happened almost 20 years ago." who knows what would've happened if Luke did have a dad! "I don't have a good track record with parents."

"Time's relative. Mutable. Playdough, really. Twenty years, two days, two minutes. If I wanted, if my employer wanted, I could make that yesterday, or tomorrow." The woman's smile fades, her patience beginning to thin. There's a reason that Samuel's the one who usually does most of the talking.

"I'll be honest with you. I don't know you, and I don't give a shit what happens to you, but the boss does, and the boss wants Samson. And not like the government does — the only way we're going to get him to cooperate is without all that guilt weighing him down like a pair of cement shoes, and the only way we can break him free of it is to make sure he doesn't sell his son.

"Or have one in the first place."

Luke shrugs. "Eh, whatever. You guys paying?" Luke seems to take it in stride that time travel is apparently possible. "Or get a chance to screw someone over in the past?" Luke would love to get the chance to beat the everloving crap out of, say, Griffin when he's 10 years old, or something.

"Maybe some money," the woman concedes. "But if it's screwing you're into, that can be arranged."

"Fine then. At least at whatever point in time this is, I won't have a fucking probie looking over my shoulder every week." being an official criminal cramps Luke's style.

Incidentally, having her marks tell her no cramps her style. This works out well for both of them. "Glad to hear that you're on board," she says, turning to go. "Don't wander too far, yeah? We'll be seeing each other again soon, but if our mutual friend the government gives you any trouble— you let me know. I'll find you."

"…I'll keep that in mind." this still seems too good to be true to Luke, so he'll keep his healthy dose of suspicious cynicism. "And how do I let you know, anyway? You have a name?"

"Linda," she provides. "Tavara, if you were wondering, which you probably were. And you're Campbell. The son's Gabe. I'll know if you need me — call it woman's intuition."

"Uh-huh." right, the so-called 'woman's intuition' that's basically BS that women spout when they're trying to look smart. Luke rolls his eyes, then nods to Linda. "Later." he'll leave now, unless she's got something else to say to him.

She doesn't.

The edges of Linda's outline flicker once, and then she disappears. Where a woman stood, rainwater cuts through, leaving Luke alone with the distant sound of thunder.

Luke just kinda stares for a minute, then shakes his head and walks off. Well, who knows what people are capable of. Of course, he'd have no way of knowing if she still follows him, but whatev.

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