Make New Friends Keep The Old


geneva_icon.gif isis2_icon.gif weasel_icon.gif

Scene Title Make New Friends, Keep the Old
Synopsis Joanne's still getting the lay of the new land that is NYCSZ. She comes across one new face and one old and recounts some fond memories of an common link between them.
Date February 14, 2019

Park Slope

Park Slope is a narrow stretch of the Safe Zone that has thoroughly resisted attempts to reclaim it. Nearly all of Park Slope is completely overrun by wild and untamed plant life that spread out from Prospect Park in the decade following the Civil War. However, seven years of abandonment does not quite account for the abundant foliage that has spread across the neighborhood, pressing its way between tenement buildings, crawling up factories, and reclaiming entire streets. Safe Zone authorities speculate that there may be unknown SLC-Expressive residents within the neighborhood who are able to manipulate the plantlife, but have yet to uncover any proof of this. Due to massive structural damage and the presence of second-generation escaped zoo wildlife, much of the region has been left as parkland, and plans to form an official border around the wild and overgrown neighborhood are coming together. There is no electricity or public works in Park Slope, but in spite of this some Safe Zone residents have chosen to resettle in the area, bringing personal generators and occupying gorgeous — if somewhat overgrown — townhouses on the edge of this lush wilderness.

Every day somewhere new. Some days further out than others. Today Isis’s curiosity has pulled her into Park Slope like someone left out a trail a of sweets for to follow. It almost makes her homes-sick for Maine, but then… Maine was never supposed to be home, just a temporary thing. …Right? This sickly, lonesome pondering etches itself into a scrunchy and thoughtful expression on the wandering womans visage, seen as it is through a thin veil of garnet locks sticking out in frizzy puffs from beneath her knit, tan cap with the droopy cat ears.

After a while of broad-heeled, black boots crunching over rubble, untamed growth, and leftover drifts of snow, hazel eyes seem to refocus on her surroundings anew and shift gives a tilted smile. “Wonder if this counts as ruins,” she ponders aloud and without much obvious context or direction.

There is a rustling in the bushes nearby, as though two creatures are locked in a battle of some sort. The origin of this becomes clear as a squirrel darts out of the bushes, almost running into Isis’ leg; a pause and a quick dodge later, and the little creature is darting away from her, squeaking loudly as it goes. The rustling leaves don’t stop, however — moments later, a large ferret-like creature bursts out, hot on the squirrel’s trail.

As it turns out, the distraction of the random person in the squirrel’s way ends up being its downfall; the mink gets ahold of the creature’s tail, and then they both turn into a blur of fur, both terrified and angry squeaking sounds coming from both creatures as the squirrel fights for its life and the mink fights for its meal.

Another rustle of leaves, and suddenly a skunk joins Isis, lumbering up next to the woman and…promptly settling down on its rear to watch. It doesn’t appear to be bothered at all by the woman — in fact, the stinky little creature with a graying muzzle promptly peers up at the woman and offers its own squeak of greeting.

“Holy -!”… Isis squeaks and does a girlish skippy move to back out of the way of the mink-on-squirrel battle. She’s silently glad no one is around to see her startle and prance… wait… Isis’s porcelain visage and hazel eyes turn slooooowly down to the skunk at her side. “Wha-?” She looks back up and around her, rubbing at the side of her face. “New York is out to get me - out to literally drive me insane. Come back home, Isis. It’ll be funn, Isis. What the fu-…” Hazel eyes swivel back down to the skunk. “I’m not talking to you. That would be insane. I mean, now I’m talking to you, but…” Deep breathes. The redhead begins to back away very, very carefully from the loaded skunk and the grisly scene of “Wildlife in the Slopes” taking place in front of her.

“To be fair, Pepe Le Pew is a good conversationalist,” comes a young woman’s voice from the direction that the animals came in. Shortly after the remark, the owner of that voice slips out of the brush, leaning down and scooping up the skunk like one would scoop up a pet cat. Instead of freaking out, the little creature squeaks, and promptly climbs into the girl’s hood, where he curls up as if he were in a hammock.

The mink appears to be victorious. The action suddenly stops, with the mink holding the creature by the back of the neck. “Don’t worry, they’re people-friendly. Pepe especially.” She suddenly pulls out a carrot, offering it up to the skunk, who happily takes it in his claws and starts crunching away at it. “Minerva’s new, so she’s a little more skittish.”

“Mother of-” Isis’s half-sneaky motions of retreat are jolted with another hop-skip as a disembodied voice calls out from the brush. She turns to take in the girl with a hand over her chest, as if that small gloved palm would keep her racing heart from beating out of ribcage and flopping around on the ground between them. She takes another deep breath, getting her bearings as she repeats, “Pepe Le-…” A chuckle warms her wind-bitten, rosey cheeks. “Well, that’s just friggin’ adorable,” the redhead admits with a tone of almost defeat. How could she stay on high alert when the creatures have names?

Isis glance to the mink. “Minerva. Pepe. So is this like your… possum posse?”

If Isis had been startled by the appearance of Clara and her troupe, she is about to be in for a double surprise. The voice of a second teenager cuts in from a similar direction as Geneva makes her presence known with little warning. "You okay up there, Weasel? Who's that?" As these last words leave her mouth, she rounds a corner into the space where the odd-looking group is gathered, still wreathed very faintly by cigarette smoke— apparently what had caused her holdup, as she had not wished to smoke directly in front of the animals.

She slows mid-saunter as she sees Isis standing there— and then really sees her on a second glance, squinting suspiciously to take in the details of the redhead's face. When this is done, her eyes widen in an assault of recognition. "Oh shit, Jo. Is that you?"

The girl scoffs, shaking her head. “Possums are little tick eaters. Nothing against them, but they’re nowhere close to Musties.” She grins at Isis — as usual, she’s taken this as an opportunity to educate someone about her animals. “They’re the stinky animals, basically. Skunks, weasels, otters, wolverines. Raccoons, too.”

As Geneva joins them, Weasel turns back, raising a hand toward her sibling. “Yeah, all good, Genie.” She grins over her shoulder at Geneva. The recognition prompts the girl’s eyebrows to raise, and she turns back to peer at the other woman. “I take it you two know each other.”

She grins, turning and crouching down as the mink proudly carries the now-dead squirrel over, depositing it in Weasel’s hand. A small ziplock bag is produced, and the girl promptly deposits what appears to be some kind of organ meat in front of the creature, who happily tucks in as Weasel promptly ties the little creature to a bit of string, which she then ties to her belt.

Isis's spine kinks as she bends about, looking towards the magic Narnia shrubs and the sound of the newest, but vaguely familiar, voice emanating from behind them. "Oh hell! Look what the cat dragged in - trouble!" Isis straightens, arms outstretched in a casually welcoming gesture. The redhead's teasing accompanies a smile all pursed by her efforts to feign seriousness, but her eyes are wide and alight with mischief and merriment. Isis straightens, arms outstretched in a casually welcoming gesture. "Genie, eh?" She bobs her brows once and then, oh… look, she's getting a natural science lesson.

"Huh," she replies, summing up some mild interest in the young girl's explanation on the species in question. "Raccoons are cool," she adds, a tilted smile still suck fast to her pale lips and paler features. "Yeah, we know each other. This one here? This spit-fire girl is like my spirit animal." She makes a subtle motion of bobbing her shoulders in a fighty way and chuckles before lifting a leather gloved hand to brush a few errant coils of frizzy red away from her face. "I'm Jo. I used spend some time at the Lighthouse and then did some work for them up in Maine," she elaborates. "Nice to meet you…" Uh, did she hear that right? She glances to Geneva and back to the animal whisperer. "Weasel, was it?"

Striding forwards, Geneva clasps Isis in a brief but genuine embrace before taking a step backwards once more, reestablishing her position at the fringe. "Yeah, we know each other. She used to— yeah, what she said. Jo was one of the few people who really got me way back when I'd decided I hated everything. It was nice." The girl cracks a hint of a smirk, reaching up to brush aside a long, wispy strand of blonde hair from her face. "But fuck, that was years ago. What are you doing back here, Jo? I didn't think I'd see you again."

Adopting a squatting position, she tucks a hand into the worn-out pockets of her leather jacket, bringing forth a small number of some kind of meat-based treat. "Here, Pepe," she calls out coaxingly, jiggling the objects in her hand to entice the skunk to come forth. To Isis, though without looking: "Yeah, it's Weasel. Her name's Clara, but nobody really calls her that. The nickname's funner anyway.”
For a moment, Weasel watches Geneva and Isis hug. She promptly lets Pepe down from her hood as he squirms about, apparently quite thrilled to get to Geneva. A few little squeaks escape the stinky little creature as he lumbers over to the heat manipulator, gleefully taking the treats — he seems quite friendly for a stinky little creature.

With a nod, she gestures to Geneva. “What she said. Nobody really calls me Clara.” Usually that name only comes out when someone’s trying to get her angry. “For obvious reasons,” she adds, before turning her eyes up toward the trees. “Racoons are greedy jerks. I love them,” she murmurs.

Suddenly, there’s a chitter, and one of the creatures in question suddenly lumbers out of a hole in one of the trees, yawning widely. The raccoon peers down at those gathered, and promptly begins a slow, lazy descent down the tree. Meanwhile, Weasel pushes a bag filled with what looks like kibble into Isis’ hands.

Looks like someone gets to feed a raccoon today.

“There’s nothing quite like two angry bitches feeding off one another. We coulda burned the world… like literally.” She grins brightly at Geneva, embracing the younger girl with more ease than she might have previously - not only is her ability better under control, but her previous aversion to common touch and affection have subsided significantly. Look at her being almost normal! Anyway, the blond has earned a special place in the redhead’s previously black heart, so there’s that.

“Weasel it is, then.” She can’t judge - she’s on name number three. “So, what’re you two doin’ out-…” Hazel eyes grow wide. There’s a giant friggin’ raccoon coming out of the woodwork. Those prismatic irises turn to Weasel gawking. “So, clearly this isn’t just some fondness and bonding thing you have going on. Do you have… like an army of these things following you around?” Her gloved hands hold fast to the little bag of kibble, tentatively opening the pouch as her gaze turns back to the waddling raccoon.

The sentiment is returned, and Geneva gives Isis a flippant grin in kind; an expression that the older woman knows well from their past days together. "Probably a good thing we didn't try," she responds drily to the comment about burning the world, at the same time observing with some pleasure as the skunk retrieves the treats from her hand. "You remember when I manifested? The toaster I blew up? It's probably a good thing there still is a Lighthouse."

The girl stays crouched for a moment longer, pausing to give Pepe an affectionate squeeze, before straightening back up and waving a hand dismissively at Weasel's handiwork as she hears Isis' query. "That's just like, the thing she does as an animal telepath or whatever. You get used to it, eventually… by the way, you didn't answer my question. Whatcha doing back here?" It is not a hostile question, merely a curious one.

Again, Weasel gestures toward Geneva. “What she said — I’m an animal telepath, but I can only talk to smelly animals. Or old jerks like this guy,” she murmurs, gesturing to the fat raccoon who has just finished climbing down the tree he was snoozing in. “Normally it’s just Pepe and Minerva, and Ron’s sleeping in my pocket and being antisocial,” she murmurs, pointing to one of the pockets of her jacket. “But I noticed this guy — I’m going to call him Fat Bob — up in the tree, and asked him if he was hungry.”

Fat Bob pauses at the bottom of the tree, reaching back and scratching his rump with one paw, before lazily making his way over to Isis. The laziness suddenly disappears, and the fat little raccoon sits up on his hind legs, giving Isis a wide-eyed stare as if to beg her to pass the food to him, his paws lifted up toward her. “He won’t bite,” the girl adds, grinning.

The redhead glances to Gene with what starts out as a nostalgically sly smirk - it almost makes her look the ten years younger she’s starting to feel around Geneva. There’s a bob of her shoulders to go along with a short chuckle. “Yeah, I remember - I remember trying to air out the kitchen before Brian could accuse me of burning yet another meal.” Jo has never been any good at cooking. Isis had to help replace a couple of appliances between herself and Gene.

She turns her attention down to the adorable little hand-paws that Fat Bob is making with the grabby at her. She can’t help but smile and crouches down the same way Geneva had with Pepe. She picks out a few pieces of kibble and holds them in an open, gloved palm as she addresses the girls again. She starts with Gene: “Right sorry, me - the big New York. Actually, for a moment there I hoped you knew what the hell I’m doing back. I got a letter through the channels, telling me to “come home”…” She glances up from underneath the shadow of her lashes to consider any reaction Gene has to that. Then she addresses Weasel in a friendly way still, “These guys are pretty awesome. Kinda cool that you can make friends wherever you go.”

Geneva closes her eyes briefly as the aforementioned memories return to her, and she smiles. Between Jo's comically awful culinary skills and her own uncontrolled ability, she still finds it rather impressive that nothing (and nobody) in the Lighthouse had sustained permanent damage. "Fuck, Jo. I still don't know how they dealt with either of us."

Her eyes open again on the rather endearing sight of Fat Bob pawing at the redhead. Speaking of making friends. The other thing Isis had referenced has grabbed most of her attention, though. "A letter, huh? What else did it say? And it didn't say from who? " It is clear from her reaction that she knows nothing about this, though the mention of it has certainly piqued her curiosity.

“How Brian survived with any of us without losing his fucking mind is beyond me.” Clara grins. “We can’t forget when I first manifested, and Brian and I came home after he met Pepe and got sprayed in the face. Before we figured out how to actually remove skunk smell, too. I thought he was going to strangle me.” She laughs softly, shaking her head.

Fat Bob sniffs briefly at Isis’ hand, turns to peer quizzically at Weasel briefly — and then, he reaches out with soft little paws, gathering the offered kibble and shoving it into his mouth. Then he’s reaching for the bag itself, very impatient for the free meal he was promised. The little skunk, twined around Geneva’s feet, watches quietly.

“Brian’s a smart guy - he knew we had him outnumbered.”We clearly being the troublesome trouble-makers, of which Isis has included herself therein. A smile seems to soft porcelain features at recollection of their mutual friend and confidante. “As for the letter, I figured it had to be Lighthouse related considering my work up in Maine, but I haven’t seen Brian and no one’s owned up to sending it.” The redhead takes a moment to quickly and carefully adjust the bag, splaying open the top and holding it out so the mischievous, stripped critter can take his fill. While Fat Bob is busy with the bag, she reaches out tentatively gaze dancing between Weasel and Fat Bob in silent query - can I pet him?

“You know how I met Brian? I was ‘bout to be arrested.” She chortles. “Cuffs were on and his girl, I dunno if you remember her - Well, she was talking to the officer and was going to help “bring me in” or some crazy stuff… And there’s Brian, giving me the wink and head nod in the background…” Her grin is as bright as the glossy quality to her eyes - replaying the adrenaline filled scene, Fat Bob’s nibbling merely a opaque backdrop. “We’re running through the kitchen, Vee shouting… Next thing I know there’s a fresh faced Brian in front of me, telling me to get into a car and saying he broke his girly’s arm.” She shakes her head, frizzy curls bobbing before she looks up to the other girls.

“Brian’s just as much trouble as the rest of us. Just with better intentions and on a bigger scale.”

"Bigger scale, you can say that again. I remember I'd make bets with Paul about how many clones Brian actually had. Think we got up to something fucking stupid, like seven hundred." All the while Geneva is smirking with interest at the mental image of the story Isis had told, only vaguely aware of Pepe curling contendly about her ankles like a black, fuzzy boa. "I don't think you ever told me that. I miss that dude sometimes; wonder what shit he’s getting up to nowadays." As was the case for so many of her adopted siblings, Brian had stepped up to fill the role of father in her life as no one else had, and so it was difficult not to wonder at times.

Absently, she fingers the half-finished pack of cigarettes still resting in the deep crevices of her coat pocket. "That's really weird about the letter, though. Have you asked the rest of the gang about it?" 'The gang' here is an undisguised reference to the other Lighthouse kids present in the Safe Zone: Lance, Hailey, and all the others.

While Geneva has had time to get used to it, Isis may find the obvious moment that Weasel is using her ability to be interesting — she turns her dark brown eyes down to Fat Bob, who turns to look at her with perked ears. It’s pretty obvious there’s some kind of communication going on between the two for a moment, before Weasel lifts her gaze back up to Isis’ face and Fat Bob promptly grabs a greedy handful of kibble and shoves it into his mouth.

“You can pet him, he won’t bite you. Just keep the kibble coming.” Clara laughs softly, turning to pick up the rather large mink that just killed the squirrel and scooping her up; she promptly drapes herself over the back of the young woman’s neck.

The Musteloid Telepath lets out a scoffing laugh. “Wouldn’t surprise me at all if you were right about the number.” She shakes her head. In reference to the letter, her brows raise a bit. “Yeah, maybe they’d know something. I haven’t heard them mention you, for what it’s worth, and I’ve been here since October.”

The grin that graces Isis’s face is very much like one might see a on a kid at a petting zoo! So innocent happiness is universal, no matter how blown up shit is around you. Isis holds the carefully open bag in one gloved hand and uses the other to scritch affectionately between Fat Bob’s little ear. “The effort not to girl screech right now - it’s real. So real.” She seems to vibrate with excitement but tries to keep her cool, mostly so as not to startle Fat Bob, of course.

So as not to push her luck, the redhead ultimately stops with the petting and deposits an extra large fistful of kibble on the ground in front of Fat Bob by way of showing her appreciation. She pushes back up with a little groan and hunkers up her shoulders against the cold. “I haven’t asked anyone, actually. I was sure who all had come back, you know? And, I went to Staten to see the Lighthouse from afar, but…” But I was haunted by a crazy spirit I can’t tell you girls about. She clears her throat. “It was tough. Gotta admit, nostalgia has me wondering if there’s any way we could reopen the old place - but what a mess out there…” She shakes her head.

The sheer elation present in the interaction between Isis and Fat Bob is an old, familiar feeling to Geneva, and her smirk from earlier in the conversation smooths into a more laid-back smile. Her friend’s response to the cold also does not go unnoticed. "You guys want to come over to our place for dinner? It's not far from here, and I'm cooking tonight." She jerks her thumb in the direction from which she came, presumably indicating that her residence is back that way as well. "We can get you in contact with the rest of the Lighthouse crew, too, while you're here. See if we can't solve this mystery."

Stuff like this is one of the things that Weasel loves about her ability. Fat Bob normally would have ignored them and slept the day away in his tree, and nobody would be the wiser. Instead, Fat Bob is getting a free meal, and Isis gets to pet a fluffy, fat little raccoon. The little creature, chewing his food, tolerates the scritching quite well, and may in fact enjoy it just a little — ears and heads are always harder to reach when you’re still working off the winter fat stores. To show his gratitude, he offers a chittering sound up to Isis as she stands — then, he promptly scoops up the last of the kibble and toddles (rather comically) on two legs over to the base of his tree, settling down to enjoy the last of his meal.

“Staten is…not quite the place to be. It’s overrun by criminals, and there’s human traffickers out there too.” Clara raise her arms in a stretch above her head, watching Isis. “Be careful out there, they almost got Hailey.” She then turns her gaze toward Geneva, grinning at the invitation. “Ooh, yeah! We’ve got rabbit for dinner, courtesy of Ron Weasely. You’ll meet him soon enough.”

“Dinner somewhere other than alone on my couch sounds so nice,” The redhead admits playfully. “And any chance to figure out this letter business - all the better. I hate a good mystery.” Anyone that knows Isis knows the curiosity of it is likely eating her from the inside and keeping her awake all night. Hazel eyes turn to consider Weasel a moment, then there’s a glimmer of relief - so they aren’t eating the squirrel, very good!

The crimson curled woman answering currently to Joanne smiles brightly. “Wait…” She pieces the sleeping Ron in a pocket to this latest statement. She’s got the look of someone about to geek out. After twenty-six, you really stop caring about your hardass reputation and just embrace you. She tips her head to the side and drags out her words in a playful tease, “You have a weasel named Ron Weasley, don’t you, Weasel?” Yes, it was very much her intention to see how many times she could use weasel in that sentence. She turns her smile on Geneva. “Okay. If just for that, now I’m glad I came home…”

"Are you that surprised, after Pepe Le Pew?" Geneva points out dryly to Isis, throwing Weasel a knowing sideways look before returning to contemplating Fat Bob. "Weasel has a point though, Staten is a shitshow these days. Not the place to be wandering out by yourself, 'good old days' or not. Better to hang out with us."

Crooking her arms above her head, she stretches, announcing her attention to leave by half-turning away a moment after. "Let's go. No point in standing around here in the cold, unless you want to." It doesn't bother her so much, considering her talents are specifically anti-cold, but it might the other two.

Hot food awaits, after all.

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