Miss Communications


brynn_icon.gif cesar_icon.gif

Scene Title Miss Communications
Synopsis In which Cesar rescues a young woman from Regina George and the Plastics, and has a chat with her via the old skool texting format.
Date March 10, 2018

Red Hook Market

She's been haunting the market area recently, though not necessarily the market itself. Brynn has a lot of interest in what goes on in the areas around and within the market, because it's the hub where people are always present. Some faces are beginning to become familiar, such as Eleanor who runs the coffee stand, and the Pakistani lady who manages to trade for bolts of cloth — from God only knows where — and needles and thread. Brynn can usually be found sketching something or another, and she's begun to trade some caricatures and drawings to some of the merchants for the things she wants or needs. Those who are willing to trade for art and all (which isn't quite as many as one might hope). Today, however, she's walking through the market with a small cup of something that might be tea or coffee, perhaps seeking something to draw, and although she's being careful where she walks, she doesn't seem aware of the small group of people behind her, rapidly gaining. Whether they're looking for trouble — like snatching her backpack — or just not paying attention, it's really hard to tell intentions. But she's oblivious to that as she looks curiously at a stall where the person is trading fresh baked goods without approaching.

Not to be deterred by the recent experiences of having SLC-E abilities used near him, or on him for that matter, Cesar has returned to the market. The man today is in a blue gingham shirt and khakis, over it a warm coat to keep out what remains of the winter chill. At present, he's unladen with any items save the pair of earbuds in his ears connected to his iPod in a pocket, so perhaps he's only here to browse idly and make himself one of those familiar faces. Hopefully a friendly face.

The petite brunette teen pauses in her forward motion, as if trying to decide whether to go toward the booth or not, and perhaps decides on something else, because she turns around the other direction without any warning and practically slams face-first into the person in the lead of the small gaggle of people. They seem to be college-aged-ish, kind of scruffy, and noisy. And when the contents of her cup splashes across the front of the girl in the lead, there's a screech of outrage and the entire group sort of stops and rallies as the leader shouts at the hapless younger girl. Brynn looks … well, a little bit nonplussed, and when the lead girl reaches out to shove her shoulder, she sidesteps it as if trying to avoid the confrontation. She doesn't shout back, she simply holds up her hands as if saying 'Sorry!'

Just a couple of stalls down, Cesar reviews the offerings with a hand up and finger crooked over his upper lip in evaluation of those possible ingredients. "So what's your pricing like?" he asks the shopkeep, but balks when said pricing is given. "I'll get back to you," says the man as he straightens up, thoughts already turning. And then, thoughts are interrupted by the screech that comes from the collision down the way. Cesar, like others, looks towards the commotion. He pops out an earbud as he does.

There's a lot of cursing going on, and the leader is the Queen Bee type showing off in front of her Court. She's clearly looking to make the hapless person who slammed into her feel bad, but Brynn continues to back out of range of being shoved. She starts signing something rather frantically, which makes the group of teens causing the hassle snicker behind their hands.

"What the hell's that? Are you fucking kidding me with that? Are you flipping us off?!"

Brynn looks alarmed, though it's becoming clear that she can't hear what's being said, if the sign language is recognized as such by anyone else. The merchant in the stall next to where Cesar stands looks like he's about to come over the counter, shouting, "Hey! Leave her the hell alone! She's deaf, can't you see?!"

Whether that will make it better or worse… well, depends on the teenagers in question. Brynn, for her part, has no idea that anyone else is getting involved and doesn't seem to expect help from any quarter. And so when the Queen Bee makes a grab for her jacket shoulder, the smaller teen whips out a self-defense move that simply deflects the grab. Buuttt……. that could be the start of the fight.

Eyes narrowing as he takes in the situation, Cesar watches a few seconds longer at Brynn throwing up signs. The merchant vendor who pipes up confirms his suspicions, and Cesar waves a quick hand for the man to not move. "Hang on," he tells the other man, and moves towards the brewing fray. When Regina George actually makes the first move that he sees, Cesar calls out too. "Hey! Stop that!" He witnesses the self-defense move, but it doesn't stop his approach. It speeds it up, instead, to a swift jog. He'll be on the Queen's cronies in seconds.

Things are clearly about to get Real. And then there's the adults shouting, and someone moving to actually intercept. The posse backs up just a bit, though the girl in the lead doesn't move anywhere — in part because Brynn still has a firm grip on her wrist in preparation for a couple of different moves if the situation escalates, but also because… well… yeah, she knows that guy. Cop. And while she may be perfectly happy to bully around a younger teen and to mess with the merchants in the Market, maybe she's just a little less stupid than one might think, because she doesn't seem to want to mess with him. Both her hands go up — or at least one does. The other is actually gripped real good. "Hey, nothing goin' on here. Just a little disagreement with a klutz, man."

Brynn risks the look over her shoulder, looks a little worried, and then releases Regina's arm to step back still further out of reach. She waits warily to see what's going to happen, unsure if she needs to bolt. She yanks a small notebook from her scuffed jeans' pocket and jots something down, but holds it.

Once Cesar's right in the fray, he maneuvers around the other groupies to come right up to Brynn and thus-named Regina. "Ladies, this is not how you handle some spilled coffee," the man says with a sharp look at the queen bee. Like is Regina new around here? Then he looks from Brynn's hand to Brynn's face. The man doesn't exactly know sign language though, so he points to her hold and makes a hand-wavey gesture, accompanied with the spoken, "Let her go."

Clearly Brynn understands enough — she was already in the process of releasing the older girl when he said it. She steps back, sort of behind him, and leaves him to handle the problem.

Regina, for her part, offers an ultra-sweet smile. "Sorry… totally lost my temper. It won't happen again, right? Just a brand new shirt!" She tries to make it look like she's totally apologetic — not exactly succeeding but also not doing anything that she can be called on. "It'll wash." She pivots on a heel and sort of herds her little cadre off in another direction. Though her eyes do narrow slightly on Brynn, behind Cesar.

Brynn waits until they're gone, and then she tugs on his arm just a bit to get his eyes. She shows him a note that says simply, Thank you. It's accompanied by the sign for the word as well.

Poor coffee though, that's just never going to get recovered. And resources are at a shortage overall. Cesar keeps a straight face despite the ultra-sweet (and totally plastic) smile. The man obviously doesn't buy the sincerity of her words, but accepts them for face value. "Hope it wasn't totally brand new," he adds with her excuse, "since you really should wash the clothes you buy before you put them on. Never know what kind of chemicals or dirt are in the fabrics." PSA over, he waits for the group of older girls to meander off to a nearby restroom, watching them. After they're a fair distance away, he turns at the tug on his arm and looks down to the notepad. That's when he cracks an easier smile and nods once in understanding. "You're OK right? Yeah you are. And you're welcome," he replies, a hand lifting to cross his chest and a slight bow of his upper half, the way a knight or prince might. Then he straightens, looking around Brynn for a moment for he motions to the notepad and holds a hand out for the writing utensils.

She scribbles down, left-handed, something and then hands it to him with a smile. I can read lips. Brynn is a little nervous, though. I'm fine. I need to be more careful, I guess. I'm not used to crowds.

"Oh hey, you can read lips," Cesar remarks as he's skimmed the written note on the pad, and then turns his gaze back on to her, a brow lifting. "Are you cool with being here… alone?" He keeps a hold on the pad, though, just in case he's confusing somehow. "I don't want those girls to come back if I were to go. You know?"

Quirking an eyebrow at him, Brynn is kind of amused. And she's also just a little uncertain of him. Okay… so who are you? Yesterday, you were all about jumping on a girl who teleported when she got startled. Today, you're jumping in to help a deaf girl. Are you … some kind of do-gooder? Social worker? Something else? She glances toward where the girls took off, and when her gray eyes come back, she hazards, Or is it just that you're freakin' tall that scares them all off? Cuz… I would have been okay. My foster father taught me how to make sure I could get away.

Cesar angles his head to watch the words forming, waiting until most of them have made their way onto the page before he answers. "I'm Cesar," he says, then after a second, reaches back to pull out his wallet. Opening the billfold, he lets her see the SESA agency identification, and his name. Cesar William Diaz, field agent. "But promise, I'm not here to go after you or the girl from yesterday." He pauses to tuck in the earbuds hanging off him into a pocket. "Was she your friend? The girl from yesterday?" He makes sure to enunciate, thinking maybe that would make it easier to 'read' his words.

She looks at his wallet with its badge, and though she perhaps retains a sense of wariness, it's the same kind of wariness that a great many people feel about law enforcement even now, years after the hell that rained down on the city. Brynn had to have been just a small child when the world tried to tear itself apart — she can't be more than 17 to 20 years old. She nods slowly to his information and then writes for him, apparently her instinct immediately to defend, She's my friend, yes. She's visiting the Zone. And she's in control of her ability … except when she's startled, and then she basically just gets out of the way. She's not a threat to anyone.

Putting his badge away, Cesar tries retaining the friendly neighborhood SESA Agent vibe with the obviously wary girl. Not the investigative vibe, which can get a little intense. So, he maintains some distance, not trying to lean over too much but trying to read along as she writes. It's when he reads the last part that he has to chuckle a little. "Like I said, I was just trying to make sure she was alright too. Like you, today. So you know who I am, what's your name?"

She signs her name for him automatically, but then writes, Brynn Ferguson. Her gray eyes flicker up to him curiously. Are you always looking to be sure people are OK? she asks him, searching his face as he answers — as if that can somehow tell her if he's to be trusted. Is that what a SESA agent does?

Cesar laughs at the next words, truly amused. "Ay, Dios, am I that obvious? That's what my sister says. She's about your age, I'm guessing," the man says with a lean back to take in the young woman. "We," he says with a generalized inclusion of SESA, "are here to make sure that people with abilities get a fair shake. Amongst other things." He first gestures with a 'may I?' motion to borrow her notepad, and upon it he writes a phone number down on the side. "If you or your friends get in trouble," he says. "Not that I expect you to— you know what, I'll check with Ops and see what they got in place for people who don't got a phone."

Brynn laughs silently, letting him take the small notepad and write on it. But then she writes down, I don't know about obvious. Just… Then she shrugs. Yeah, a lot of us don't have phones. And … some of us didn't exactly grow up with people working in the law actually looking out for us.

"That's a shame," Cesar says with quiet acknowledgment, "But I can tell you that most of us… we're all just trying to make sure everyone's OK. That everybody gets a fair shake. Everybody plays nice." He glances up and around at the market, then back to the girl and offers a smile. "Well I got an idea. Let's get you a replacement drink for that one you dropped, and I'd still like to make sure you're going to make it home without those girls jumping you, alright?"

There's a moment where she stares at him, not a little bit startled. Shaking herself a little bit, Brynn scratches out, Wait… you think they'd come back? For something like that?? She cranes her neck to look toward where the girls went. CLEARLY this girl's upbringing was a bit more protected in some ways than he might expect. Why? She demands in writing.

She does let him draw her toward Eleanor's stand, which is a pretty popular place, but Brynn is constantly writing out questions as they move now. Do people act like that here? Why would they make it such a big thing? Those girls don't have a clue how to fight, you could tell by the way she tried to hit me — I could have broken her wrist with just a flick. Is it just girls that do that? My brothers don't do that.

When she makes her demand to know, Cesar shakes his head. "Everyone's got reasons why they do what they do. And these days, what sets people off. Could be anything. Could be she's hungry." And as they wait for their turn, Cesar eyes the young woman with that next note. "Yeah… your brothers teach you that move?"

Of course, Brynn writes immediately. They taught me how to rack a guy who's getting too touchy, too, she writes, her expression matter-of-fact. And we grew up in the country, so my foster dad taught me how to shoot a rifle and stuff too. We had to eat. Why? The teenager doesn't seem to think that's even the least little bit strange. Then she pauses and writes, I grew up with people who were Ferry… they were adamant that we knew how to be safe.

"Hm," Cesar makes a speculative noise as he reads her explanation of her upbringing. With the Ferry. "I see," he says with a short nod. "It's not like everybody who went through the war learned the same things, but. Everybody learned something — to survive." The man turns somber for a brief moment, but it passes as soon as the line moves. "Oh look we're gettin' closer. You know what you want?" he asks, back to a more jovial subject. "I know the government doesn't pay much even now, but I got enough on me to make it a double."

The teenager blushes and shakes her head. Oh no! That would be taking advantage! Just a tea. Brynn doesn't want to make him splurge just for her. Really, it's okay. You don't have to replace the drink. I promise. I can just go from here to Aunt Eve's, and it'll be fine. She runs the Cat's Cradle and she'll make sure I get home. She seems to genuinely want to reassure him.

Just a tea? Cesar's brow arches, but he nods to acquiesce to the note. It's after he's turned to order their drinks - a tea and a coffee - that he realizes and looks off for a moment in his own headspace. Then he turns back to Brynn, blinking at the young girl. "Eve Mas?" The name is spoken with both humor and a little bit of that 'oh no' feel, but nothing too serious. "Chiquita, all I can tell you then…" He laughs as he trails off there, and with an accepting of their drinks, hands Brynn her tea. "You tell your aunt to keep her nose clean, and no tubas in the house. Ok? Pass that on for me will ya?"

Brynn blinks at him. Then she signs, Tuba? Then she writes the word too, just to be sure she understood. Then she takes the drink and nods, looking bemused by the warning she's supposed to give. But she promises to do it! As he walks her to a point where she can make it to the Cat's Cradle without potentially being jumped or otherwise bothered, she seems thoughtful. Maybe things aren't as bad as all that around here, despite crazy people shooting at her foster sister.

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