Little Towns, Little People


abby6_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif huruma3_icon.gif

Scene Title Little Towns, Little People
Synopsis Huruma skips a time of socialization to take time for herself, yet someone comes looking for her anyway.
Date July 14, 2011

Bannerman's Castle

The name Bannerman's Castle is as deceiving as its appearance; built stone by stone more than a century ago, the now crumbling fortress, seemingly derelict, was in its glory days used as a military surplus warehouse and still carries the faded words //Bannerman's Island Arsenal on one of its walls. Time and neglect have since taken a hefty toll on the property, which belongs to the Maxwell Development Corporation in name, but is in reality much more than a prized relic.//

On the outside, ivy creeps up its walls, some stripped down to skeletal supports and others as strong and stalwart as the day they were erected. In the decades that Pollepel Island has been abandoned, nature has reclaimed a large portion of the castle where its roof has caved in, creating courtyards of stone and saplings, thorny bushes and wire fences put up to section the most tangled hollows off. A few have been cleaned up, exposing worn stone floors that serve as gathering places for the people who live inside the ruins, and where the walls are tallest, shielding one open cavern from the mainland's view, there is a metal drum to burn fires in and large chunks of stone arranged around them in a circle.

Inside, Bannerman's Castle has been repurposed by the Ferrymen network as northern stronghold with its own electrical grid powered by basement generators, though most of the castle is lit by gas lanterns and candles to conserve fuel. Tall ceilings reinforced with wooden rafters are a feature in almost every room, including the castle's dining hall and the basement kitchen where food is prepared on outdated stoves and ovens taken from restaurants on Staten Island that were abandoned in the wake of the bomb and later repaired and refinished for installation in the kitchen.

Also in the basement are the fortress' supply rooms, which are kept under lock and key and contain everything from cured meats to additional linens, firearms, ammunition and fuel for the generators that power Bannerman. The living quarters and infirmary are located on the ground floor in the corner of the castle that's most intact, and while the narrow corridors are drafty, a lot of time and effort has gone into insulating the rooms themselves as best they can be insulated with what supplies were available and fit the budged allocated to the network's reconstruction efforts.

Late evening is somewhat of a rush for many people here; dinner, chores, debriefs, tucking in, washing, et cetera, all clumped together. Some are wise enough to know to do some things during the day, but current events dictate that they keep a routine. Even for those that don't fit a mundane mold, like Huruma, find themselves at an impasse, and stuck into slots where they have to do the same.

Today, however, is not one of those days. With other current events likely privy information, those that know will not be surprised that Huruma has taken up with a more rigorous display than usual. She spends twice as much time alone than before, which takes her from loner to almost a state of being a ghost in the grounds. Huruma talks who she needs to talk to, and sees who she needs to see- which is generally persons that do not number more than one hand, perhaps two.

Although, she sometimes does not make a point of hiding herself away. People simply have little reason to go down the halls or into rooms where she finds herself; this evening, while most are doing last chores and putting the weak to beds, Huruma is letting the blood pool in her head. Don't fret- she's just upside down. On her hands, against a wall in one of the less traveled rooms near the stairs to the basement corridors. The door is open, and the floor has old cot mats on it; some people, even in squalor, need to keep themselves capable. While this means for them, it is rusty hand weights and mats, and a bar bolted into the doorway, they find some time, for some things. Health has been a constant issue, viruses or not. Sometimes they have to skip dinner, though, which is why Huruma was notably missing from it earlier, and without telling anyone she was going to not be there. Somebody may concern themselves, if it suits.

The clothes she wears are otherwise already dirty with a layer of- well- dirt from outside. The mixture of heat and sweat with it, though, puts a wet stain down the front and back of at least the tank top, thankfully not the black shorts. Not her best look, no, but everything serves a purpose.

Huruma likely feels the greyish eddy of emotion that is Abigail's mind, long before flip flops ever come into view that graces pale as milk feet, ankles, calves and possibly knee's that are maybe in want of a razor. Stubble :| Such is life in Bannerman when you're back here and it's rationed showers. Though a bucket of water from the river is sometimes a cure for the dreaded forrest legs. Abigail is likely to do such. For now though, Huruma has to contend with Abby's barely stubbled pale white legs coming to a standstill before the woman.

"She's here" To whom Abby is speaking, who knows. But clearly, She's speaking to someone and Kasha is letting loose high laughter at seeing one of her favourite people upside down, clapping her hands with an "Uma!"

"Am I tipping her or are you tipping her Lynette?" Ahh, that's who she's with.

The second blip on the emotion radar comes just a bit behind Abby, a bit frazzled, perhaps, but it's on a downswing, as the hunt for Huruma provides a getaway from the rush up above. "Oh good, I was just about to give her up for lost," she says in wry amusement. She wasn't worried, as Huruma is a capable person, if nothing else. "I'm not tipping anyone until they bring me a meal and a decent martini," she adds, giving Abby a crooked smile. To Huruma, she gives a slow nod of greeting.

As a favor to herself, Huruma has her field at a minimum; she doesn't feel anybody until they are close enough to see. Legs, anyhow. Huruma's eyes are mostly closed when ankles sail into the open doorway, and remain squinting for a moment before opening under duress of gravity. Her heels are against the wall, far above her, and they quiver as they rebalance a shiver up Huruma's bones to the tune of being uncertain. She does manage to not flop over, at least. The second- third if you count Kasha's thrilled trill- person gets a more uncertain squint than the first, and when she sees Lynette's legs, allows herself a slight purse of her lips to Abigail.

"No." Huruma puffs out, a warning, as her elbows steep slightly against her weight, because she chokes out a laugh next. "I can arrange something, surely."

The thought, however, is a bit much, and Huruma teeters away from the wall a bit too far- she has to grab the mat ahead of her, and eventually falls into a bridge, and then onto the old cot mat with an ungainly grunt and a huff of air. The dark woman decides that lying there with her knees drawn up is a better idea than getting up and dizzying herself over. "That …was much easier when I was skin and bones."

'Not rotund and fat, well fed and living on the luxury of casa del Ferryman. We are the very picture of pampered well fed ru- ru-" She has to search for the word, it's not one that is normally in her vocabulary. "Rubenesque women" She's trying to be chipper, perky, happy for the toddler in her arms who squirms to be let loose, let down, exercise her own chubby baby legs. Which Abby does, settling her down to let her get her balance and steady, take those few steps to Huruma. "But I'm sure we can get you back to skin and bones" This from the woman who the day before had offered to waltz into a military camp and burn everything and everyone down.

Lynette can't help but laugh at Abby's description, and she gives the woman a sidelong glance, "I, for one, take offense at 'Rubenesque'." Because, indeed, Lynette is still quiet thin, although more filled out than she was when they all first got here. Oddly enough. She doesn't quite watch the child toddle along, probably because she's not entirely sure what one does with a child that young.

"I've been just bones, b'fore. Unpleasant. But holding m'self up is another thing, entirely." Being large has its perks, and its drawbacks. Putting the weight on her hands is a mixed bag. "Too many potatoes." Huruma replies with a little laugh, her ceiling vision suddenly full of blue eyes and fluffy baby hair, and fingers on her face, in her mouth. Because at that age, anything is worth touching, even the maw of some great beast like 'Uma'.

She sputters once, virtually allowing Kasha to crawl all over her if she wishes. Lack of energy a part of it. "I could have you both turned machine if I set myself to it." Not actual machines- metaphorical ones. Her words come out half disturbed by Kasha pulling on her chin.

Say ahhh, show me your back teeth. Maybe someday Kasha will be a dentist for all that her fingers try to probe into Huruma's mouth with those pearly white teeth a contrast to the other womans skin. Babues, it seems Lynette, explore and exasperate. "I don't need to oiled and fine tuned. I'm fine enough as it is. Scrapes and all. I can still run and shoot a gun, so that's good enough" Abby points oout. "And when in doubt, turn into fire." She looks over to Lynette. 'or electrocute them till they can't move and lost control of their bladders" Right? Right? Right.

"What do you think of Italy?" She abruptly changes that topic.

"Electrocution is my Plan A, generally speaking. I haven't had the training for much else." She can shoot a gun, but the delicacies of aim are far from mastered. She blinks a bit at the abrupt change of subject, looking over to Huruma with an eyebrow arched questioningly before she turns back to Abby. "Fantastic wine there. Handsome men, wonderful fashion, moving art and I understand the scenery is rather nice, too. What do you think of Italy, Abby?"

"Roma is a tourist trap." Huruma finally lifts her hands to pick up Kasha, scooting herself up to a sit, legs crooked in front of her. She puts the girl down on one thigh, trying to make sure not to dirty her any more than normal. Kasha's fault for being incessant when Huruma is damp and needing a hose-off. "Th'Mediterranean is a lovely place.

"Tunisia is only a ferry ride from Sicily. I spent some time between countries. Minimally." As you can see, Huruma probably stuck out. "Malta was lovely. All those retirees." Her own examinations of places are more geographical than material; though Lynette gets a knowing little smile for confirmation that other things can count for it too.

"I think that… once we get everyone settled across the sea, when everything is done, it's a good place to open a bakery in some little town and raise a little girl" That's what Abby thinks. "That and I already know how to speak the language. Or maybe somewhere on the coast, with a boat. A bakery and a boat. Find out where someone has my friend, try and save her and then… and then live there. Would that sound good? To either of you?" Lynette because ever since being stuck in the infirmary, she's bonded to the woman, and Huruma, she's loathe to seperate the two given the affection and yearning she sense in the grown version when speaking of the nubian woman. "Lots of men"

"But watch out for the falcons." Malta. Falcons. Lynette must find herself a bit clever, given that smirk creeping onto her face. It's shared with Huruma for a moment, but there's no elaborating on those other things just now. And plus, when Abby explains, her expression turns more thoughtful, less amused and most of all… understanding.

"I think that sounds… extremely blissful," she says, and she's even sincere in that opinion. "Aiming to settle down and have a less exciting life, hmm? I can't say I blame you there." Of course, settling down isn't in Lynette's personal life plan, but it's hardly the moment to bring that up.

Because that is apparently important. Huruma watches Abby speak, her silence partially concerning, as she seems to absorb what the girl says. For a moment Huruma feels her arm coiling around Kasha's torso, though the gesture is unnecessary. Abby has included the older woman in her words. Dreams, maybe?

"Th'theory is sound." Huruma murmurs, smoothing a shirt-dried palm over the little girl's hair. "Lots of islands. Lots of little towns, of little people." Though she cannot help but think of her own family as well, whom she has not quite left behind again. Huruma fixes Lynette with a distracted sort of look, putting the baby on the mat and pushing herself to her feet- before standing up, she does hoist Kasha, feet dangling, along with her.

"I don'think I could live without some excitement.. what do you think?" Her smooth voice asks this of the little girl rather than the other women.

Kasha, finds excitement in everything. Like following a dying cockroach as it tries to get away from where it was whacked with a shoe and wasn't fast enough to get away. Much to whomever was taking care of her at the times joy. "Falcon?" Was it a soccer team? She'd have to ask Teo. But she understands HUruma's words, can read between the lines of Lynette's, a glance to either woman, folding her arms across her chest. "There'd always be a door open, and a bed, place at a table, for either of you. It's not like you have to say yes." but yes. Lots of Island, lots of islands that won't question a woman who speaks accented english and a baby on her hip who has the same coloring.

Lynette meets that look of Huruma's, in agreement about the lack of excitement, but that gaze travels over to Abby. "You have a daughter to raise. I understand that shifts priorities some. Giving her a safe place to grow up, away from all this, that's the best thing a parent can do for their child, in my opinion. But I think my priority will always be making sure you can pull that off. You and all the others. Plus, I can't bake to save my life. But don't think that means I'd never take you up on that offer."

Huruma supposes that Abby can play runaway well enough. Italians might even find her quaint. She plants a small kiss to Kasha's chubby cheek, and moves to pass her back to her de facto mother. The gesture is obvious- Huruma knows that she is sticky, et cetera. "I know, Abigail." Huruma tips her head, almost out of reverence.

It breaks a little, with a smile down to Lynette, and a new gesture for the women to part from the entrance of the room so that they can all go together. "I tried, once. Confirm and deny everything…" It was a terrible day in cooking. "I would rather fish. Or make wine." If they are talking Italy, anyway. Other places have other things.

"As if I'd let either of you bake. You'd be guinea pigs" Abby leans over, bracing for the weight that is Kasha to be transferred back into her arms. It's not that Kasha minds being stick, or Abby minds Kasha being sticky. Babies will get dirty, that's the plain of it, and even more so out here. "I had to offer. I think… I think that if Raith hasn't done what I asked of him to do that maybe… I might seek out Robert, See if…" See if perhaps she can forgive him infidelity and deception. See if he would think, about running off to do what she talked about in a hospital room so long ago, almost a lifetime ago it seemed. If he could pry himself from whatever flipskirt was in his arms.

"Italy's the best place for wine. You can grow a proper grape anywhere over there." Lynette grins at the notice of being a guinea pig, because in the case of Abby's food, she'd be all too willing. Other things, far less so. But the grin fades at her plan. It isn't that Lynette disapproves, exactly, but she worries. Her hand moves to Abby's cheek, the gesture almost motherly itself, "Just be careful." There are a number of reasons for it. For her person, her freedom, her heart… but Lynette knows better than to tell someone in love to give it up.

It just makes her feel very lonely, as Huruma can tell. Her expression turns up a supportive smile and her hand drops back to her side before she adds, "If you need someone to come with you, you have the two of us."

Huruma tries not to scoff. She really does. It mostly works, and air comes out of her nose with a curt noise. Lynette does what the dark woman probably could not bring herself to do, and that is to warn with a kinder voice, and kinder intention. Huruma makes no secret of her disapproval, though, by the look on her face. She tries to study them, instead of address it; Lynette's pang of emotion brings a somewhat sombered look to her now, instead of an amused one.

"It is probably best that I did not." Huruma forces out. "Unless as a last resort."
"No, if I go, it'll be with…" With someone else, not these two. By herself likely, but not Huruma who Abby is sure would sooner rip his throat from his neck than let Abby go ahead with her plan. The heart wants, what the heart wants, and it wants to give one try, if he's still alive. "ANyways" Kasha clings to Abby's leg, looking up at some serious conversation as Abby pats Lynette's hadn on her cheek then brushes it gently away. "Anyways. There should be food soon, and I'll have to head into the city for some things, see if I can't find Cash."

"Alright. Just take some advice and do not go alone." Lynette takes in a breath there, glancing over to Huruma and bringing a smile back to her face. "I suppose you do stand out from a crowd," she remarks, as if that were the only reason she could think of to not bring the woman along. And it might really be, at that. "I'm afraid I'm craving a cigarette more than I am food," which might be a bad sign, but she says it lightly enough, leaving plenty of room for others to take it as a joke. "But there's a crowd of people upstairs that'll be glad to hear it."

"I need to wash b'fore I go anywhere else." Huruma purses her lips at their backs, peering down at Kasha after, and back up. "It won't hurt to wash th'faint feeling of dread from my skin, either." Which could count for any number of things, the most current of which being the most recently problematic scouting trip. It will be a bit cold to wash that off, certainly, and not totally because of the water having not warmed.

"I am not feeling much like socializing, today." In other words, Huruma shares Lynette's mote of disassociation, but only as an aside. "But I will if I must." Just as well, right?

'There's no must. Go" Abby goes up on toes - Kasha wobbles and weebles - a brush of a kiss to Huruma's SWEATY cheek before she stoops to pick up Kasha, bury her face in the blonde hair that's gone s haggy and a hint of curl. No hint of the brown yet that it will be. "Go smoke and shower, both of you" She calls oout, secure in her grip. She and kasha will walk soon enough, practice steps. "I'll let you know how it goes."

"You're a saint, Abby," Lynette says with a chuckle as she dismisses the both of them. There's a look between the two women, but she says her goodbyes with a nod and a smile rather than any kissing or other affectionate exchanges. When she turns to head off on her own, the other two can see her already pulling a cigarette out of her crumpled and folded little pack, but only one of them would be able to feel that disassociation deepening, if she bothered to check.

Bothering to check and willingly checking are different, and Huruma as of months has often turned to the latter. She watches Lynette moving away with a measure of curiosity, after trying her best to not-quite-ignore Abby's kiss to her face. It's hard enough to get up there, but she does it. "You had better.

"I will see you later. And you." Huruma starts at the mother, and ends at the daughter, her brows raising, and her lips smiling just a tad more before she slips away down the hall, to branch off soon enough.

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