New Kid


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Guest Stars:

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Scene Title New Kid
Synopsis Gillian greets a new kid, Fox, to the Lighthouse.
Date May 24, 2010

The Lighthouse

From the outside, the Lighthouse looks as if it has had better days. The massive tower rising out of the house has fallen from its former glory. It is no longer a shining beacon, guiding wayward ships in from the lost harbor — though some may argue its purpose now is even more admirable. In its current state, the lighthouse seems to be in disrepair. Though upon closer inspection it all seems to be in the details. The paint has chipped away, leaving a discolored patterns of grays, whites, off-whites, and more grays. The occasional graffitti tag is here or there along the large building. One would notice that the doors, the windows, and the integrity of the building are all quite sound and newly repaired. The lighthouse has just been left with the look of abandonement.

Inside is a completely different story. Upon entering the main door, one will find a completely furnished and cozy arrangement. A spacious living room lined with two large blue sofa's, facing each other, a coffee table between them and several large bean bag chairs have been planted in the room. Shelves have been hung on the wall to display various different pictures of the occupants. A large bookcase is against the wall, holding a large variety of books from Dr.Seuss to the Bible, and even a copy of the Qur'an. The living room is focused on the fireplace a small black fence encloses it, the wood stocked on the bricks in front of it.

Connected to the living room is a kitchen, complete with a large rectangular table capable of seating around four on each long side and two on each end. A sink, a stove, an oven, a microwave and two refrigerators complete the look. Several low and overhead cabinets line the kitchen. At the edge of the kitchen are a pair of doors, one leading to a bedroom and the other, which has a padlock on it, leads to the basement.

At the back of the living room a glass sliding door leads out into the backyard of the Lighthouse, but just before it a staircase leads to the upper levels of the structure.

Even in this cold, any day the Lighthouse gets new people is an event. The cellphones have finally started working again, for the most part, so Gillian knew to expect the drop off. Some of the kids are doing chores, but a few are gathered downstairs, to meet their new friend. Unfortunately, as cars have to go through Jersey to get to Staten Island, some get impatient and wander away by the time the car finally pulls up, and the kid is escourted to the door.

Gillian's still there, though, quickly opening the door with the blast of cold. Warmer than a week ago, but still untimely. A bag is handed to her by a sturdy looking man in winter clothes, and she invites him in for a cup of coffee, which he accepts. A red haired teen takes him toward the kitchen, leaving Gillian with the young girl, a few of the other kids looking on in interest. "Hi, my name's Gillian, and this is the Lighthouse."

Fox enters quickly, eager to escape the cold. Once safely inside, she stands still, shivering, with arms crossed, bouncing a bit on the balls of her feet, trying to keep warm. She looks up to Gillian shyly. "H…hi," she says. "I'm Mackenzie Anderson. But I usually go by 'Fox', that's my middle name." She quickly glances toward the inviting fireplace.

Luckily, the fire downstairs still keeps much of the area downstairs warm. Spaceheaters are still working in various areas. Unlike many places, the Lighthouse never lost power. "We're still really full, so I asked that only one of you got transfered today, until some of the people here can move out, but— nice to meet you, Fox," Gillian says with a smile, taking the bag and motioning her toward the fire. "Let's go sit by the fire until you get warm."

"Hi, I'm Hailey!" one of the blonde girls speaks up. "I like the name Fox, it's cool! I wish I had a cool middle name."

"Okay," Fox says to Gillian's suggestion. She crouches down to remove her wet shoes and leave them in the entrance to dry. "Hi," she says to the blonde girl. "Thanks, it was my grandmother's maiden name," she explains. Eagerly, she pads closer to the fireplace and sits down on the ledge in front of it, with her back turned to it. She bites her lower lip, thinking. "So…everyone here…has a mutation?", she asks awkwardly.

"Well, we don't call them mutations usually," Gillian says with a grin, as she settles down on the couch closest to the fire.

The blonde who introduced herself follows, slowly, with a crutch that becomes noticable. Apparently she's got a broken leg, of some sort, and she sits down next to the older woman, but leans forward a bit to watch Fox, "I can tell what animals feel."

"Oh," Fox says, looking down. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound rude." She shifts a bit, folding her arms behind her now, then looks up at Hailey, eyes widening. "Do you mean, you can sense their emotions? Does it happen automatically, or do you have to focus on an animal for it to happen?", she asks.

"It varies, sometimes I have to focus, sometimes it just happens when they get close enough," Hailey explains with a shrug, pointing her crutch under a table. "Chandra's down there. That's Gillian's cat. He sleeps a lot." An orange tail can be seen popping out from under the table, and a fluffy orange cat sleeps soundingly out of sight, near the fire. "I only got the ability a few months ago— I kinda hope I can talk to them someday."

"Most the kids have the gene to develop an ability, but some haven't yet," Gillian says in grown up voice, despite only being a few years over twenty. "And you weren't rude, it's okay."

Fox briefly leans over to get a glimpse of Chandra beneath the table, then looks down at her feet again. "My mom had an ability, and I hoped I would too someday, but didn't find out that I had the gene until a couple weeks ago when the state took me into custody and a doctor examined me," she says. She goes silent, collecting her thoughts.

"Most everyone here is an orphan," Gillian says with a sympathetic smile, dimples showing up on her cheeks as she does. "Even some of the older people who are just helping out." Herself, Colette, Brian…

"My parents died in the bomb— Lance and I were at school, we were far enough away," Hailey says in quiet tones, casting a glance toward a silent corner of the room that happens to have a dark haired, blue eyed boy lurking there, with an hispanic boy lurking not far behind him.

"Paul, Lance, this is Fox. She'll be joining out family here. Don't cause her any trouble, or someone will make you write lines on the chalkboard again."

"Eric's a bully too and no one made him write lines when he made Bai-Chan think he had chicken pox," the blue eyed boy complains verbally, the silence from the corner dropping.

Fox nods silently to Gillian. "I think I didn't realize how fortunate I was until my parents were gone," she admits. "I've just felt so…empty…since then," she says, doing her best to hold back tears. She looks up again briefly when the boys are introduced, giving them a meek 'Hi' but not saying any more to them at the moment.

Noticing the look on her face, Gillian stands back up and says, "Come on, time to go upstairs and pick your bunk bed. We have one that's completely empty, so you can choose top or bottom and not have to share with anyone at all." The blue eyed boy sticks out his tongue a bit, as Gillian offers a free hand, to lead her up the stairs.

Fox sniffles and nods, then takes Gillian's hand as she stands up. "How many kids live here?", she asks, following closely. "And do theywestill attend school? Or do we have lessons here?"

"You are number tweleve," Gillian says, leading the way up the stairs, where her next question may be answered. A chalkboard stands, with some english problems, and younger kids sitting in desks, writing in notebooks. "That's Lucy, Lily, Eric and Joe," she says, pointing at each of the kids. The desks range in sizes from small to bigger, but there's a good dozen of them. "We do most the lessons here right now, because of the weather. Once it actually feels like New York again, we might go back to taking lessons somewhere else, but for the moment— here."

Fox nods, and gives a little wave to any of the kids who might happen to be looking her way. "I'm kindof slow with reading," she says. "But I guess you saw my transcript already," she says, again looking down at her feet. "Math's kindof hard too, the numbers always seem to…shift around on me. If that makes any sense."

"I'll help with reading," Gillian says, moving into the bunk room where— she freezes a bit at the sight of the two huskies curled up on the floor of the hallway near the tower leading up in a spiral. They take up almost the whole hall, but they seem to be comfortable and quiet. With a shake of her head, she snaps out of it. "The dogs won't be up here much longer— once it's a little warmer they'll spend more time outside." It sounds like she's looking forward to this. "That's the completely empty bunk," she adds, dropping the girl's bag down next to the bed, before she oddly closes the door behind them. It seems she's not a fan of dogs.

Fox gives the dogs a lingering glance before slipping into the bedroom, then steps into the center of the room and turns around to quickly survey it, before finally sitting down on the edge of the lower bunk. "I think I'll take the bottom," she says, flopping backwards to test out the mattress, leaving her lower legs dangling over the edge.

Closing the dogs out seems to have settled Gillian's nerves a bit. "The boy's dorm is across the hall. You're not allowed in there most the time, same as they're not allowed in your dorm," she explains, sitting down on the bunk next to her bunk. There's four in total. My bedroom is down the hall to the left if you need anything. The only other place besides the boys' dorm you're not allowed is the basement. "Is there anything I can do to make this easier for you?"

Fox grabs hold of a bedpost and pulls herself back to a seated position. "Down the hall and to the left?", she repeats, uncertain, her left hand pointing to her right. "I keep getting my left and right confused," she admits, before pausing to think. "I don't know anything that could make this easier," she says at length, staring down at her knees.

"Didn't think so," Gillian says, before she adds on directions. "The spiral staircase leading up is on the side of the other bedroom. I'm the other one at the end of the hall." That should help with right and left confusion. "Just make sure you knock first. You're not alone here, Fox. Everyone here— even the grownups, have all lost someone. Nothing's gonna make it any easier, but we're all family here." Even if it's a strange disfunctional family.

"I guess it helps to know everyone's been there," Fox muses. "Maybe I won't feel quite so alone." She scoots back and folds her legs in front of her, idly picking at a hole in one sock. "Everything's been happening so fast, I don't think any of it's really sunk in yet. I don't know what I should be feeling anymore…" She sighs. "It'll take me a while to remember everyone's name, I was never good with names," she rambles.

"That's fine. I know you're not very good with reading, but…" Gillian walks over to the dresser and pulls open a drawer, "This drawer is yours," she says, before she retrieves something she put in there earlier and brings it over. "There's the kids names, and a few other things— ways to recognize them. But it's the back I want you to work on." It has a pencil attached to it. "I started keeping journals when things got tough. You don't have to worry about spelling or anything, cause no one's reading them unless you want someone to, but it helped me work out my thoughts. Might help you."

Fox looks at the journal as it's brought over, and accepts it, nodding to the comment about not having to worry about spelling. "Okay. I'll try. Thanks." Looking back up to Gillian's eyes, she adds, "You're nice. And pretty, too." Suddenly embarrased, she looks away shyly.

"You may not have thought so a year ago, but— thanks," Gillian says, still smiling warmly, not really shy, but borderline surprised. "Unpack your stuff and get settled. I need to go make a few calls to see how many new kids we'll be getting. We're getting a couple more from your shelter— a lot of people died in the last few months." The snow, the fires, gas inhilation, car accidents— many ways to die. And children left without families. "You are right, though— you're not alone here."

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