Naivete or Ignorance


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Scene Title Naivete or Ignorance
Synopsis According to Huruma, Nora might possess a bit of the former but not the latter when the two reunite in Manhattan.
Date May 30, 2011

Ruins of Midtown

While the sun has already set and the western sky is still ablaze with the reds and golds of sunset and smog, the temperature hasn't gotten any cooler with the loss of sunshine. Past 80 degrees nearing curfew, it's far too warm for the dark hoodie and dark skinny jeans worn by the slim figure who haunts this corner of midtown; the apparel must be more for practicality than comfort, then, as the dark shades make it easier to hide in the dark shadows.

Small feet carry the figure along the perimeter of the ruins, just a few meters away from "civilization," if one can call the surrounding areas such. It's close enough that streetlights lend their glow to the dark scarred street Nora (Noa) walks along. She's cautious in her amblings, taking in her surroundings, though her head tips now and then in that curious cant that those who know her and her ability can identify as a sign she is listening in a way that most human ears cannot.

The way that Nora hears, and the way that her stalker feels, are both things that can attribute themselves to a god given talent. Waves invisible and deaf to most human contact except through pronouncement; that is the way that the two differences are one in the same. While Nora moves along, listening in silence to what may or may not be mental silence, she gains a shadow somewhere along the way. It is not a visible shadow, in the dusky light, but a figurative one. Huruma has it easy, when she spots people who are not able to spot her. Following them is harder, at least, because she must restrain herself and make sure that curiosity does not need to turn into caution.

That said, the dark woman that lived around Nora for months has never truly found her threatening enough to warrant it. Fierce, righteous, and forward, perhaps are more fitting descriptors from the older onto the younger. Whatever manner of personal sojourn Huruma had made into this territory, she is likely finished with it if she can find the time to start a tail. Walking the perimeter, however, comes with its own hazards. It is through no fault of her own choosing that Huruma must decide, eventually, to show herself.

The tall figure slips out from its hidden path to Nora's rear; at first, it appears far too slender, and far too blackened by the sparse light of the sun, flickering into existence like a stretched out ghost, hovering a length behind.

When that shadow stretches out, catching Nora's vision, the girl's hand curls tighter inside her pocket to the object she holds there like a talisman. The martial arts she has been taught since she was a child, along with her genetic disposition perhaps, have made fight the instinct that rears up inside her — rather than flight, more often than not.

Nora whirls around while backing up all at once, a graceful if complex motion of rapid-fire muscle movements of feet and legs; in some other existence, perhaps she could have been a dancer instead of a rebel freedom fighter slash time traveller. Dark eyes seek those of her pursuer, breath caught in her throat before she sees that it's not a stranger, nor someone that she'd normally consider a threat.

More of a friend, except that she hasn't spoken to Huruma since the meeting where Benji, Hannah and she revealed their true identities.

Nora's eyes narrow, and her posture relaxes slightly — she's still alert, still ready to move at a moment's notice, but less aggressive in her defensiveness. "Hey," she says, neutrally.

The shadow's gait is languid, moving along at a browse, at best. No shock that it is Huruma, once the girl is able to get a moment to look. No shock, but possibly still surreal, depending who you talk to. Not who she likely would suspect. Huruma's pace clips into something only an iota quicker, when Nora fixes her with a stare; enough to carry her just that much closer. Unlike Nora, Huruma isn't hiding under her clothes- there is something heavy about to the motorcycle jacket on her, still grimy with a layer of yellowed dust. Under that half open jacket and above the leather breeches, dark brown skin is fair game around the tank-top. There is a distinct angle of dust against her neck and on a well-muscled chest that makes it that much more clearer that Huruma had actually ridden here, at some point. For what? She's not about to say.

"You seem so- tedious." Huruma plucks a word out of the air, mouth slow to form around it as she nears. "And nervous. Of course."

Nora's brow quirks at the first adjective, then her eyes narrow at the second in that defensive manner of those who count themselves among the brave often take when they feel they are accused of fear. The 'of course' earns Huruma a wry huff of a laugh, and the teen jerks her head toward the crater.

"Robots," she says simply, as if that were the only reason to fear their location — not that she let someone sneak up on her. Had Huruma been someone else — the government or someone less "legal" but equally dangerous — she would probably have been attacked by now. Nora's confidence is such that she does not assume she'd be 'dead by now.' Most things that would sneak up on her here — the robots excluded — wouldn't simply shoot to kill. The most dangerous hunters like to play with their prey.

"What're you doing so far south?" she asks, curiously. "Is everything okay? I mean — you know. It's not, it's horrible and not okay, but is there anything new that's not okay?"

"I would be more worried if you weren't…" Huruma drawls, lips curling up at the edges, to reveal a sliver of white teeth. She comes up alongside Nora, angling around the girl in a short arc before pivoting her head back around. Her voice has a rasp to it that is not normally there- at least, not in island company. Off of the shores, away from things like chores and babies, Huruma is more than free to not watch her feline swagger- nor her tone- as closely as she might otherwise. It is not a stark difference- just something that lets her carry on with a familiar nonchalance.

The tall woman flashes her teeth again when Nora asks the first question, knowing the correction is coming even before it comes out. "Getting things out- th'last of what I remember stashing. Nothing of concern." Huruma wets her lips, grateful of the heat to keep her limber. That could be another reason she has been less rigid as of late, and is less so now. It is more clear off of the island than on. "Nothing that I know of, anyway." Hmph.

The smile does its work to assuage some of the tension in Nora's posture, and she actually smiles in return; a tentative thing but one that is sincere, borne of respect and fondness for the older woman.

"It's not a safe place," she says, with another nod to the center of the desolate place. "But I was trying to find something and keeping an ear on things." She shrugs her thin shoulders, moving a hand up to tuck a strand of dark hair behind an ear.

"Do you need any help? Finding your stashed stuff or carrying it?" Nora asks in a softer and less confident voice. "I mean… if you trust me. Another set of hands might be useful." There's a plaintive tone to the word trust — she knows that what Calvin has done has eroded quite a bit of what they'd tried to build in the network.

"There are worse places than here, my dear." Huruma sounds so absolutely sure of this, that for a second Nora might actually believe her. Maybe she's right, or maybe Nora's right. No way to know. "It is no'much to carry, but…" She pauses, glancing once past Nora's shoulder, and back again. "I may need an extra pair of eyes.. I know that I would find it faster."

"If you please to, you may. I was curious about what you were doing out here.. I suppose, you might only tell me if you believe in tat-for-tat." Huruma knows that not everyone does. Shifting her weight, the African woman tips her chin inward, and regards Nora with silent question before forming a smooth, low-volume response.

"I have no reason t'mistrust you." Calvin isn't Nora, and Nora isn't Calvin. Apparently.

"Eyes, I can lend you," Nora says, lips curving upward again into a smile at the irony — since not so very long ago, she didn't have vision enough to keep herself safe. "Lead the way," she adds.

Waiting for Huruma to take the lead in their joint venture, Nora shrugs again. "To be honest? Looking for him." She doesn't feel the need to speak the name, trusting Huruma will know who she means. "Not to help him," she adds, hurriedly, eyes darting back up to Huruma's, earnest and honest and angry in their flashing. "But… to find out where he is, and maybe see… if I could make a difference." Her cheeks color a little. "Stupid and naive, probably, that what I'd say'd matter. Other than that, just checking on the robot patterns."

Huruma can appreciate the irony as well, judging by the mimicked smile. She shifts again, starting forward a half-pace at a time so that Nora knows to follow.

'Him' recieves a curt nod, and the meeting of eyes results in Huruma's narrowing only slightly down to Nora, the silvery color belying virtually nothing except that she can feel the anger, like always. Nora has a very specific flavor of it, tempered by things outside of her control into something that ends up with a bitter aftertaste.

"It is not stupid. Naive, yes." What, did you think she'd comfort all of that? No sir. "If you did not try t'seek him out, I think that would be more foolish. You know him better than any of us…" A sharp intake fills lungs. "Yet being naive is still not as hopeless as being ignorant. The difference is that ignorance possesses no hope."

This time it is Nora who follows Huruma, a fairer and shorter shadow that follows more at the side than behind. Her cheeks color a bit more. She knows Calvin the most intimately, perhaps, but apparently when it came to what mattered, she didn't know the man at all. She avoids Huruma's face by watching the rooftops and the shadows, eyes scanning their surroundings as she takes her duty seriously.

"I'm not the most optimistic of those of us who came back, even if I am the youngest," she says, solemnly. "But if I thought trying to change things was hopeless, I wouldn't be here at all. We've made mistakes. I'll try to do my part to fix them."

A few more steps are taken before Nora glances back at Huruma. "Thanks for not … you know. Considering me guilty by association or something."

She can feel that too- the distant flutter of something warm and quite unmistakable. More makes sense, when she catches it. Huruma peers back, only to get a view of Nora's profile because of her trying to looks anywhere else. "And that is what you need to remember, naive or not." Firm shoulders shrug once on Huruma's torso, a jerky movement inside of her riding jacket. "If I thought you guilty at all, I would not'ave let you see me. I would'ave followed you until something else got between us."

"Poetic, isn't it?" She smiles again, glancing up at smoggy twilight. "Come back all this way, t'fix things, and somehow more mistakes happen. I think that is what people get, when they fiddle as you all have. Not that I am ungrateful. On th'contrary."

"Not much for poetry," Nora says a bit gruffly, her cheeks coloring a little with chagrin at the mistakes "They" have made. "But we're human, and we make mistakes. I guess only time can tell — or maybe time travel — if the good we do will make up for the fuckin' mess we've made of things."

After a few steps, she tosses another smile Huruma's way. "At the very least, you get a second set of eyes tonight you wouldn't have had otherwise. And at least one more person who thinks of you as a friend. Hopefully little things like that might tip the scales, if not the big changes we hope to make."

"A few years ago, I only had myself." It is a sad thing to say, considering, and it gets put out into the air with minimal thought behind it. "Now, I am not sure if I could be content with …nobody." Huruma sighs out through her nose, the warm air filling her lungs again, sticky and sweet, even if it has the faint scent of permanent ash. "I've been-" She dry-gags a little- "-domesticated." One way to put it.

"It's up this way. I only remember th'building. Th'one with green doors at the side, you can see it from th'path. Look for chalkmarks when w'get inside." One hand tucking in some of the tank that has escaped from under her belt, Huruma leads Nora onward into the ether. All to find a hidden bit of treasure, and giving the duo a short time to think about things that matter a little less than time travel and deadly viruses.

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