Natives Get Restless


lydia_icon.gif samuel_icon.gif

Scene Title Natives Get Restless
Synopsis Dissent seems to be the rule of the day until it isn't.
Date October 7, 2010

East Harlem, Thomas Jefferson Trailer Farm

It's an oddly warm evening, with room to spare for Lydia to make the journey back from East Harlem without curfew closing its jaws on the wriggling movement of NYC's population. There's enough light in the sky to see by, too, even without the lanterns hanging out front the trailers. Beneath her feet is beaten road with tire imprints, sparse thatches of weeds growing in through the cracks, and the murmur of a densely populated patch of landscape seems to fill the night with its whisper. Thomas Jefferson Trailer Farm is one of the side effects, of the nuclear explosion that wiped away the city.

It's a little familiar, and also a decent cover. How many Unregistered citizens, Evo and Non alike, take shelter here — power in numbers?

He had said to come here if there was ever a time he could not make it to her shop, due to Roosevelt Island's security quirks, with Arnold either missing on an errand or too weary to accommodate Samuel. This would be the first time, even, that she's had to come across the ramshackle abode that Samuel is calling his current home. Or one of his current homes. A man like him might have a few. Fortunately, Lydia doesn't have to work hard to make sure she has found the correct one — his is lit from the inside, door opened to spill illumination onto the trodden grass. Beads string across the entryway, currently tied back.

Two figures stand outfront — Samuel's familiar shape, cigarette wedged between fingers creating a screen of smoke, and a long limbed woman that Lydia might be able to identify as one of the new people of Samuel's recruitment, all ashy blonde hair, willowy limbs and a strange, fine-boned face set with big eyes. There's an arguement going, touching Lydia's hearing.

"…beg patience off you, Maeve, you've waited this long. I can't make 'im return with a snap o' my fingers, now can I?"

The last remnants of summer fleeting with the coming of fall have Lydia grasping at any opportunity to enjoy its receding warmth; she hadn't opened the shop today, and had, instead, found herself wandering some to clear her thoughts before finishing her journey here. Little is amiss about her aside from her paler than usual skin, and the circles that line underneath her eyes, wrestled thoughts scarcely give restful sleep. Despite herself, she'd prepared to come here, taking care to put herself together, even going so far as to stall before she could master her tight-lipped smile which falters at the sound of the argument.

Her steps slow some at the words, an odd lingering to try to hear more, yet with the slightest shake of her head, she takes a few more decisive steps forward, determined in her resolve and forcing that confident serene smile as the distance is closed. "Samuel," the word is said warmly, even as she interrupts the argument. A single hand reaches out to take his, an extended action of goodwill that is only dimmed by the faint narrowing of her eyes — a silent skepticism not quite issued. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" there's a quirk of her eyebrow as her gaze turns to Maeve, "Hello. Maeve, right?"

The cigarette tumbles from Samuel's clasp, gets crushed by an edge of boot heel, other hand coming up to take her's in unabashed comraderie that has Maeve staring at the joining with eyes slit in a cattish glare. It disappears as Lydia focuses her attention on her, the older woman straightening her posture and lifting a hand to push pale blonde strands out from her face. The residue of powder comes away in traces on that cling to her skin and hair — other people produce sweat from their palms.

Maeve is different. "That's right, I am. You were interrupting."

"Maeve," Samuel says, tone admonishing, eyebrows up. "Lydia's come quite far to visit. We're all a little out of her way, and it ain't like I got a cellphone for her to call ahead on. We can discuss things later." That last word comes across as cutting emphasis as Maeve opens her mouth, shuts it again. Her milk-white hands flex, like they might be tempted to hook knuckles past his eye sockets. She refrains, tossing a glance away for all that she doesn't immediately dismiss herself.

Samuel's rough hand squeezes Lydia's, silent apology. "Arnold's not come by for the past few days or so," he explains. "It's a little worrying. He's not been well."

The comment from Maeve is enough to redraw that tension across Lydia's jawline and shoulders, just enough stiffness to be present, but not all-consuming. Her own eyes narrowing she tilts her head to watch the woman disappear. "Natives are restless?" her own eyebrows arch expectantly as she reciprocates the squeeze, a silent form of solidarity, even if her own quiet discontent has been growing as of late.

"You haven't seen or heard from Arnold at all?" even with her best efforts to keep the words even, Lydia's voice cracks around the last of the sentence, much to her chagrin. Raising her opposite hand to Samuel's shoulder, she finds her confidence, "Maybe we can find him. I'm here, after all." Of course if Arnold's somewhere in the past, that'll do either of them any good.

The hand is lowered moments later, however, her mind not quite made up about anything that she's come to discuss. "Of course, that's not why I'm here. Gillian came to see me, seeking you out. It seems she wants the present that isn't."

Samuel's hands raises after loosening her's from his, pushing her hair back with only a quick glance to watch Maeve's slender form disappear around the trailer. "I'm sure y'could find 'im — but if we've the means to go get him, that's another problem entirely. We'll give him some more time to find his own time, shall we?" That easy smile doesn't come, though, but it won't be the first time that Lydia's seen Samuel take on board some issue, some problem, and keep it hidden.

His hands fall away, coming to rest comfortably to fold. "Does she now?" is obviously pleased, despite the current issue that ails him. "Then as soon as our friend is back among us— and he will, one way or another— I'll see her on her way."

Lydia's gaze turns to the trailer and then back to Samuel before she takes several small steps away, seemingly nonchalant in the action, and in doing so, she turns outward to the world. "She does. Seemed rather convinced when she left. Especially at the notion of having parents, a family, a place to belong — it's hard to imagine why a person wouldn't take that offer." Her lips run over her tongue, while she may be good at playing coy, when she wants something it doesn't come so easy.

Thoughtfully, she pivots on her heel to look back at Samuel. "What exactly are you doing in the past?" While the words are meant to come out nonjudgmentally, they bear an edge, even in Lydia's rich tone. Simultaneously, her jaw tightens underneath her own concern, but her smile stretches over her lips. "I know I've been helping for some time, but I realize I don't actually know what changes are being made, aside from Gillian's parents. I know where and when you can find the answers to your questions, but the questions themselves are mysteries."

In contrast, Samuel's pacing takes him inwards, until he comes to sit on the edge of the edge of his trailer's threshhold, picking at a strand of wooden beading coming loose and twining it around a finger. "I suppose what it comes down to is how well you trust my heart's desires," Samuel says, with no small amount of whimsy in his voice as he flashes a glance back her way. "But I suppose the wants of all men are fickle at best, and it's a fair enough question. For the most part, I'd have difficulty answerin' you."

He leans a shoulder against the other side. "If it helps any, I do my homework about each face you bring up. 'bout why they need t'be brought to our side. 'bout what they need to be changed. There's a man as far as the early 1900s, with the power to kill with a touch. He passes this on to his son, and his son lays a waste of corpses trackin' from Argentina to Africa. I don't know how exactly, but it's his actions that define the way those in power over us think about people like you an' me, even before we came into the light.

"Somethin' to be trapped, locked away. Hunted. I've sent Kira after him. I'm tryin' to make a world where we're not the bottom of the foodchain. We're too powerful to be plankton. And every path you send me down, brings us a little closer to that world."

The comfort of Samuel's words only registers in one thing, Lydia's jawline which relaxes at the notion of the goal although skepticism pulls at her eyebrows slightly still, not quite convinced. Thoughts of power remain unsettling, even as she tries to steady her thoughts by grounding her feet, weight shifting from one foot to the other. "It's not simple, is it? The way the world is… I used to think if we were peaceful then…" her words drift off, disappearing like a thought bubble, never quite articulated or fully formed.

For a few moments she just watches him, that distance between them remaining until she pads towards him, closing that distance, "We shouldn't be treated as we are. Registration. Terrorism. Anger. We don't deserve the fear, but — " her chin drops to her chest, bringing her gaze down. " — killing people for some end…" Finally she lifts her head to stare at him again. "I don't know."

"It's been weighing on my mind — what we're doing. I'm not wise, I can't see where things are going…" Absently, her gaze drifts to the trailer, "So much weighs on my mind…"

His watchful stare on her narrows, even if no severity filters into his expression, head canting to watching her and a shard of yellow light hitting along the hollow beneath his cheekbone. "You're a good person, is the problem," Samuel says, not yet getting to his feet again, but his posture improves, fingers stretching, curling. "Someone like you, who can peer into the hearts of those you come by, see their every desire and empathise with the things that make them who they are— because what are we, if not the things we wish for—

"Well. You'll never have blood on your hands. You never could. My element is the earth — the ground in which we bury corpses." His teeth show again in a brief smile, sweeping a look up and down her. "We're too far in to secondguess ourselves. You know that, if you know nothing else."

"Are we making progress?" Lydia's teeth graze her bottom lip before tacking on, "Would we even know?" With a heavy sigh, her shoulders drop downwards, heavy with the weight of everything going on. Her tongue runs over her lips as her fingers knit together in front of her. "How can I not have blood on my hands? Aren't we all guilty?" perhaps to varying degrees, but the guilt remains.

She shuffles towards him again, the distance closed. She turns away from the trailer and lowers herself to the stoop, shifting on the step and settling into it while considering the words. "For awhile… everything seemed like it was coming together, but… I don't know anymore." She clears her throat as her gaze turns to the horizon. "I found Edgar." Or, more accurately, he found her.

His eyebrows go up at this news, hands twitching but ultimately keeping to themselves, curling his fingers inwards to his palm and scratching one thumbnail against a fingernail, working off a trace of inexplicable black in adolescent, absent fidget, exposing the glossy fleshiness beneath. Samuel's silence is unexplained, but short, giving her no time to prompt him before he knows he must say something. "Then I hope you were wise enough to keep him," he states, eventually.

Her prior words hang in the air, untouched. Are we making progress? "What's his story, since the raid that night? I had no luck, myself. One would imagine he was a little too fast to keep decent track of."

Her eyes remain fixed on the horizon, something calming about looking out at the world simultaneously grounding and uplifting. Now Lydia's eyebrows knit together, her words rolling over her thoughts. While the words might be defensive, the tone is far from, in fact, she manages to keep it even, smooth, and even somewhat nonchalont, "I didn't lose him the first time." Implicit is the second. Her hands are folded on her lap, left to rest on her knees.

"Arrested. Escaped." Her lips twitch upwards a little, "He played minor league baseball for awhile." It's how she knew he was alive after so long. "Ended up in New York as a fugitive." Her fingers comb through her hair, raking her sandy locks behind her ears. When she speaks again, her voice is but a whisper, "Arrested. Yesterday."

"We can rescue him," is Samuel's easy and generous reassurance, softly gravel-throated. Concession, too, as if he were making up for the fact he did not look, or did not appear to look. His hand comes to rest high on her back, fingers curling to rub circles with the tips — it's not a condescending gesture, but familiar in its intimacy, chaste in its intent. "Once Arnold is back with us, from wherever he's gone, we can do anything we want."

His hand moves away again, and he stretches his legs out a little as if to rid them of stiffness. "That is, if you're still with me. The natives do get restless occasionally," and she can feel the shift of her hair where he's placing a lock of blonde in better alignment in a paternal fidget.

Dark eyes peel away from the horizon as her head angles towards him. Whether the reassurances have succeeded and Lydia's doubts have subsided is unclear, but Samuel is shot a constricted smile, confined, but it manages to reflect in her eyes. There's no uncomfortableness at the touch, no stiffening, in fact, the hand on her back actually prompts slack in her generally straight posture.

There's a subtle nod, a slight drop of Lydia's chin. "I'm with you.," her lips curl easier at her own words as quiet as they are. "We're fixing the world. The needs of the many have to outweigh the needs of the few."

"That's right," is quick, maybe too much so in that if there was any kind of trap, then Samuel set it off. Maybe faith in Lydia's sweeter nature is enough to bite back the faint paranoia that alights in eyes, the cant of his head, because he's smiling again and moving to stand. Offering his palm for the taking. "There's room in this tin can for another if you'd like to spare yourself the journey home. Or if not, and you've some time, we can go over the faces you've shown me, see if there're more to take care of before the past manages to catch up to us."

His hand is taken as Lydia stands again. There's a thoughtful quirk at the right side her lips followed by a nod; while she might not be wholly convinced, for the time being, her concerns have been, once again, relegated to wary silence. The feeling of home, the draw of the envisioned present, and the general state of the world make it too easy to let her concerns turn mute. When she does speak, her words don't reflect her earlier queries, even at her furrowed eyebrows, "I'd like to stay." His hand is given a squeeze as her voice quiets like her speech is some grand secret only kept between the two of them, "Thank you."

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