Meet Me On The Battlefield


elisabeth4_icon.gif eve7_icon.gif

with mike_icon.gif

Scene Title Meet Me on the Battlefield
Synopsis Everything could stay the same or we could change it all….
Date January 17, 2020

Cat's Cradle

Their early morning runs aren't usually this early.

"Maybe your Cardinal never told you…" A darksome smirk curls to Richard's lips, "I don't age when I'm a shadow, babe. Can you think of anything worse than haunting a dead planet from now to eternity? I can't…"

Gritting her teeth, Elisabeth keeps moving through the pre-dawn light of what little has been reclaimed of her home. Mike keeps up with her, despite the grueling pace. She runs daily, but she's pushing herself and even him this time.

Richard Cardinal explodes into a swirling storm of shadows in mid-step— The roiling mass of shadow and energy crumbles and churns like an ink black sea. Even consumed as he is, Kazimir’s entropic force still drains outward. The portal is collapsing as Gillian Childs dies, her arms crumbling away like fire-blackened pieces of wood, bone and flesh turning to windblown ash. Her eyes close, the wind of the growing storm overhead blows layers of dusty flesh from her body. The purple aura around her begins to flicker and fade, and the integrity of that doorway begins to falter.

No! Goddamn it, no. No, no, and no! Please God… don't do that to him.

Tattered blackness rises from the roof of the Deveaux Building like a piece of cloth, and as it solidifies into the form of a person, there is nothing left to do but see the futility in this battle. Richard Cardinal stares back at Mateo and Magnes, brows furrowed and eyes an icy blue. His flesh is charred on one side, veins of scar tissue lace up along his brow and through where hair is missing, as if he had been exposed to an intense heat and light. Just as in Magnes’ home world, Richard’s body had survived a nuclear explosion.

Mike moves with Elisabeth through Red Hook at a steady pace, glancing at his watch briefly. Forty minutes at this pace is pretty damn good. His primary has been in constant motion the past week and a half, hasn't lighted anywhere for long, and he suspects even she isn't sure where they're going. They're just moving. He understands the need to move, to keep ahead of bad memories and fear. Mr. Ray was found, but he's not safe yet. He does wish they weren't running through the Safe Zone in the middle of the goddamn night when it's fucking freezing, but his is not to question why…

January 17, 2020

Cat's Cradle

0400 hrs

The club after hours like this has a strange sort of ambience to it. He'd been surprised to stop here. But Daniel said he had instructions to let her use the piano whenever she wanted. Mike stands just inside the front entrance, hands clasped in front of his body. They aren't friends. He's never had reason to see her like this. And he doesn't think this particular facet of his primary is one many people get to see. She's been picking at the same tune for an hour, tweaking parts of it, but then …

We carry on through the storm
Tired soldiers in this war
Remember what we're fighting for

The keys under Elisabeth's fingers supply a melody line. Her voice is rich, with a depth Mike wouldn't have predicted. Hesitant at first. Quiet but compelling. And then her ability fills the spaces to round out the background missing instruments, giving a subtle complexity to the simple melody. Music fills the Cat's Cradle from the small stage.

Meet me on the battlefield
Even on the darkest night
I will be your sword and shield, your camouflage
And you will be mine*1

Mike's brows shoot up his forehead and he shares an incredulous look with the bartender. Daniel has stopped his work behind the bar, staring at the blonde up there, glad he texted Eve when the unlikely pair showed up.

The door down to the Oracle Room is nudged open and though Eve was not there minutes before she must have arrived somehow in the basement. Maybe slipping through the walls. The woman that peeks her head out at the music is mostly intact, her skin still glowing that red underneath in her veins.

Eve tilts her head, she doesn't know the song. Her toe taps as she moves through the space. Eyes closing as she brushes a chair with her hips and then a table. She could tell when someone was caught up in the creative. The Muse.

Bare feet climb up to a chair and she sits on the top of it with a soft smile, lightning buzzed around her neck and down her left shoulder. Daniel's eyes go to his boss and he gives her a knowing look. Eve waves her finger in some motion that the bartender obviously understands because the lights drop and a spotlight shines on the audiokinetic.

"Sing for me!" A chant in the making.

A discordant jangle of keys is Eve's reply. "Oh, God! Eve!" Elisabeth's head jerks around to look toward the other woman and then she drags both hands down her face, chuckling breathlessly. "You scared the shit out of me." The eyeball at Daniel just says you little shit.

Clearing her throat, she looks nonplussed. Her fingers, though, move to rest on the keys of the piano again, picking out a different tune slowly. A faint smile quirks her lips. "Do you know this one?" she wonders thoughtfully. What Eve may or may not know from crossover between worlds the blonde has no idea how to even guess, but this song won the former precog awards in another place and time.

"Where is your home, vagabond?" Elisabeth sings the lyric while picking out the melody line on the keyboard to see if it rings a bell for Eve. "Where do you go when you don't belong?"

The former seer's head tilts to the side as Liz plays and sings the melody, her eyes close and she lifts a finger. Humming along and then finishing the melody line before Liz gets there.

"She sang this to me, once. The Shiny One. The Shiny Me." There's a pleasant grin on Eve's lips and she draws closer to lean against the stage. Her eyes don't leave the blonde the whole time. Pale fingers dart out to pluck at a stray joint in one of the numerous ashtrays in the room. Lighting it on the joint and taking a deep inhale before she lays down across the stage.

"The Notes can bring solace, the Notes bring pain. Is that what brought you? Did the Muse call you here?" There's a twinkle of bemusement in the pale woman's crimson eyes. Lightning crackles around her body and spiders out on the stage just barely missing the keyboard. Eve puffs on the joint in content, "Don't let me stop you, why don't you play it for me? I never got to hear the whole thing."

"She hit platinum with that one, if I remember." That memory amuses her. Tipping her head, Elisabeth pauses and considers the question of what brought her here. "Feeling too many things at once," she admits quietly in answer. Her hands move across the keys in the tune of the Vagabond song that Eve knows at least partially. "Richard was taken a couple weeks ago. Kidnapped." Eve has to know how much that would get to the blonde. "Too many memories." Which leads her back to the music, and she sings for Eve.

"You pass people and faces you don't recognize
Like past feelings and places you once built a life"**2

Elisabeth murmurs, "The Shiny One… she was really kind to me. She didn't have to be. Hell, I don't think she had a clue who her own world's Elisabeth was yet, although I'm not sure of that. She reminded me of home. Can't put down roots cuz it won't last long… everything here will all be gone…." The lyrics are haunting, sung in the wistful tone that she has right now.

"She was a rich rich rich lady, I tried to tell her to send some along with you but you were already on your way," A sheepish smile as Eve blows rings of smoke up into the air. "I'm rich enough, if not in money. In experience, in the gifts given to me by nature- ha or a Dragon." Who gave the gift didn't change its impact or what the gift was.

The bar owner stops and peeks up at Liz through the haze of her own making. "Kidnapped? Huh, I would have thought him too paranoid for that to ever happen." Eve puffs on her joint and searches the audiokinetic's face. "Ahh the memories, reflection is what you want. Wallowing is bad, that's what Gilly says." It's said as an after thought before.

"He must be okay if you're not wherever he is blowing the people to bits mmm?" That one of them would be kidnapped isn't totally a surprise, they are all very very famous. Stalkers in the best least, were to be expected. "Is he near? Far?" He's clearly not wherever Liz is and so Eve doesn't go there.

The blonde pauses a moment and glances at Eve, and there's a sly smile that quirks her lips. Because that Eve sees her so clearly is interesting. "He's okay." Her hands continue on the piano keys, the tune more background than anything right now. "He'll be home soon. Huruma and Epstein went to … escort him home." The undertone of laughter might give away the idea that he's coming home whether he's ready or not. "We'll have to talk about his levels of paranoia when he gets back."

She pauses in playing and looks at Eve. "Gilly's a smart woman." Elisabeth smiles just a little. "The Shiny One…. she's the one who called it Vagabond." She picks up where she left off for Eve. "Searching on and on, always on the run. Searching on and on, always on the run…," she trails off, her voice soft. "But that… doesn't fit how I'm feeling right now. Not sad. Not lost. Not even really surprised."

She looks back, not holding back despite Mike hearing every word she says. "I'm just fucking mad, Eve. I'm so damn mad, I want to… blow them all to hell just to get some peace."

The man has seen at least a piece of what can happen when she goes off fully. He's not sure he ever wants to see more than that. But he remains inscrutable.

"Where did they take him?" A curious edge in her tone, the notion that Druncle and The Huntress would be reining in Richard draws a laugh from Eve, "Hard to argue against someone who can feel what you feel and influence it, push your marbles in the next slots over."

"Anger. Strife. Useful in times like this, you really have to dig in." Eve takes a thoughtful puff of her joint and squints up at the ceiling. "When I first heard of the origins of my former gift, how The Dragon gave it. I was confused. Angry. Lost." It hadn't been that long at all but truly it felt like it for the midnight haired woman.

"I don't feel anger as much, not right now. I don't know what I feel. The voices are loud and then they are quiet. Doesn't matter if they tell the future now or not." The "damage" had been done. "I do want it to end, I do think the world deserves it. But maybe the Fates decided the years after the war were enough.

"We had peace, for a time. It doesn't feel like it now. As soon as I looked at the Dragon, soon as I met Otter Eyes… it wasn't so though." Well maybe there had been no peace, no no, no there was a lull. Eve can remember.

"The Middle East," Elisabeth replies quietly. "Assuming he can get from where he is and keep out of Mazdek's hands to a Malagasy embassy, I'm hoping to hear that they're in the air in the next couple of days." She drags her hands into her hair. She thinks about Eve's perspective. "I don't really care how any of us got these abilities. I care about the idea that this thing now thinks it has the right to … control us. Or destroy us. Or whatever the hell it's doing." She shakes her head. "Fuck the Fates and what they want — we deserve to be left alone by megalomaniacal cosmic assholes." Her tone is a cross between aggravation and disgust. She's tired of this bullshit. All it needs is a good target for her irritation.

"Mmmm," to Richard's location. Eve strokes her chin and looks up to the ceiling, "Safe travels Richie Boy." She whispers before looking back at Liz with a wide grin.

"We do deserve peace. We don't deserve to be controlled, we never did." On that Eve totally agreed but she also knows that the Fates will have their way one way or another you just never knew what way that would be. Not until it was too late.

"Maybe this is the last time we fight, maybe we all live on an island after this hmm?" She reaches forward to pat Liz's back, "We must not falter, one more fight. One more cosmic asshole, one more destiny my girl. Together we see this through, I know it." There will be losses but neither of them need to voice that, it's already a sad, known fact.

Elisabeth's voice is thoughtful and she looks at Eve. "Meet me on the battlefield," she sings under her breath. "Help me write it? It needs both of us." Much like Vagabond had in another place and time, this one… it isn't just hers. The words trying to find a voice don't belong to just her, they come from a deeper place that all in her orbit have felt. And right now, all of the things are driving her to once more put words to music.

There's a moment where Eve considers this and then she tips her head back, lips apart she licks her lips.

"No time for rest…no pillow for my head… nowhere to run from this… no way to forget…" Her hands lift as eyes close, body slowly spinning in a slow circle. Midnight hair sways and crackles with that red light. "Around the shadows creep….Like friends, they cover me. Just wanna lay me down and finally… try to get some sleep."

Eve's rasp echoes out as she comes to stand in front of the mic standing in the middle of the stage, hands twist in an intricate pattern as her foot kicks out, hair flies into the air as she throws her head in one direction while giving Liz a look. Slowly they fall in sync.

Eve feels it all in that moment, her struggle, her pain, the loss, the gains. Fists tightening as the chords envelope her and she sways more calmly to the music that Liz plays.

With a chorus already in her mind, Elisabeth's fingers follow Eve's voice, twining a tune through her words… and there is a swelling sensation in her chest. So much that they've all fought for. And the former seeress's words trigger another stanza for it… she sings softly, "Meet me on the battlefield…" Playing through the intended chorus without words, she pulls other words into line in her head. "We commit the sins again… and our sons and daughters pay."

She stops playing, goes back, realigning the music twice more before she actually plays Eve's lyrics all the way through with a tune that fits. When they've sung Eve's lyrics twice and reprised the refrain Elisabeth was working on when Eve first came in, the blond adds another. "We're standing face to face… with our own race…." Not enough beats. "With our own human race. We commit the sins again, and our sons and daughters pay." It's a haunting piece. "Our tainted history…"

Her fingers go back and play again, teasing out the melody. "Something about tainted history repeating itself… but we can change it all. We have to change it, Eve." The dream of New Year's is driving her, but so is the rage that this is all still happening.

"Is playing on repeat…But we could change it if we stand up strong and take the lead."

Eve listens and helps along the way as they craft the song from the ground up. Melody lines and the chords intertwined and Eve feels herself give more to the emotion, taking the mic from the stand so that she can come and sit on the stage near Liz's feet, swaying to and fro and her eyes are misty, tears begin to fall.

"We will Liz, we have no choice." Of this Eve is certain and though the road may seem impossibly fractured, there was a way. A way to make it through. "If we don't we will lose it all, just like that." She snaps and hiccups away a sob, "Everyone is so tired but if we push through, one last time…"

Her voice lifts in song again: "Meet me on the battlefield… Even on the darkest Night…I will be your sword and shield…" Voice trembling with emotion but powering through with strength. Absently Eve lays her hand on Liz's knee and squeezes.

There are tears on Elisabeth's cheeks as she and Eve manage to find the words. Her hands continue to play softly, though she stops singing. The notes from the piano have a muted quality that she manipulates with her ability to give it just the right sense of haunted.

Words are wrenched from Elisabeth at the end of the refrain. "Echoes of the shots ring out. We may be the first to fall. Everything could stay the same or we could change it all… Meet me on the battlefield…" Is she pleading? Challenging? Cajoling? Mike Gordon thinks the invitation is all those things… and it gives him an uncomfortable sense that things are coming that he doesn't know about yet.

"Meet me on the battlefield… Carry on through the storm" Eve's voice dips and she buries her face into her hands, she rarely breaks down so hard but the reality of their situation, of being pulled every which direction takes its toll.

"Oh we have to win Liz, we have to succeed. Remember what we're fighting for…" Eve's fists tighten in on themselves and she blinks open crimson eyes to regard the blonde next to her, "We will succeed, we-" Eve breaks off and smiles as she looks at the windows allowing the light inside Cat's Cradle.

It's more than a challenge to the universe, to impossible odds.

It's a promise.

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