No Light, No Light, Part II



Scene Title No Light, No Light, Part II
Synopsis You want a revelation
Some kind of resolution
Tell me what you want me to say
Date July 2018 through September 2018

July 25, 2018

The Bunker: Robyn's Quarters

There hasn't been much sleep the last few days.

It gets hard, sometimes, after these missions she does with Wolfhound, just like it had been after some of her… stranger cases after starting with SESA. Instead, Robyn Quinn lays on the small bed at the back of her office, staring up at her ceiling. The lights are off and she's lost track of the time. She did hours ago, the empty bottle of Jameson sitting on her desk a testament to how she has spent this and the last several nights since returning from Fort Irwin.

It wasn't unlike the long nights between skirmishes and deliveries back during the war, though at least this time she had taken it a bit easy. She has to be up in the morning, after all. At least her morning ritual would be much more mundane now than it was those few years ago. Reports in place of weapons inventory or loading magazines, bullets traded for ink and guns for pens.

But that was the morning. That would only come after sleep claims her, whenever that may be. Not soon enough by her reckoning - lying awake in the dark brings a distinct uncertainty, a silence she's never been able to tolerate. It gives time for questions to arise and thoughts to drift, and these are things she's never particularly enjoyed indulging in.

These days more than ever, though, time is not the welcome distraction it once was. Time gives her the chance to think, to question. It hadn't been this bad in a long time, not since the start of the war.

That was before Wolfhound, before Elaine, before Colette, before Julie.

Before the realization that maybe her ability wasn't as gone as she thought it was, that maybe she doesn't know herself as well as she thinks she does, that the idea of who she wants to be isn't as clear cut as she always thought it was.

Julie is what her mind decides to float to, and an unhappy expression forms across Robyn's lips. She still remembers Julie's words well in her mind.

“First of all,” Julie says before taking a drag, “you can't lose your ability.” As she says that, smoke wafts out of her mouth. “Outside of weird circumstances like ability manipulation powers, genetic modification, it doesn't just… go away.”

Robyn narrows her eyes at the thought, at the memory. Just like she had told Julie, she had spent so long thinking that her ability was just… gone, this recalibration in her worldview was almost harder to take than when she'd first manifested so many years ago in a library power outage.

"You might have been incorrectly classified.” Blue eyes settle on Robyn, and for a long moment Julie is silent again. Then, as she blows smoke out of her nose, Julie finally looks away and up to the sky. “I don't think you know what you really are,” she says with a tilt of her head, inclined toward Robyn. “Do you want me to find out?"

I don't think you know what you really are.

It's a recurring refrain in Robyn's life these last few months. She used to think she knew, once upon a time. But the more honest with herself she is, the more uncertain that becomes. A few months before that, she was a cold and taciturn agent of the government, powerless and concerned only with her budding career and what sort of whiskey she was having on a given night. Before that, she was a warrior, storming against the enemy despite being colourblind, despite being powerless - and yet, somehow surviving. Before that, a smuggler insistent on her desire to not get deeper into the conflict, content to run weapons and supplies to former friends. Before that, an up and coming musician turned part time freedom fighter, part time studio manager. Before that, a struggling musician and DJ working with friends to keep a band afloat. Before that, a lonely bookstore clerk. Before that…

Has she ever really known who she was? Or had she merely just been picking up the part that suit her best at the moment? She had been so many versions of herself, sometimes in spans of time as short as months.

She closes her eyes, sucks in a breath. Her hands at her side clench into fists

“You don't manipulate external photonics, what I'm seeing is…” Julie waves her cigarette around like a wand at Robyn. “You can generate and absorb photons. You're on the light-manipulation spectrum, so to speak, but trying to do what a regular photokinetic does is like… trying to do power lifting with your mouth. You're going to fucking hurt yourself. And you did.”

Eyes still closed, one arm rises, fingers spread and palm facing up to the ceiling. Her fingers flex in and then all the way out, almost to the point where it starts to hurt a little. Her eyes clench tighter as Robyn strains in a way she hasn't in a long time. Tries to summon up a feeling she hasn't felt in almost seven years. One eye opens cautiously, and she sees-

Nothing. Just the night around her, the faint outline of her arm outstretched upwards.

A long sigh escapes her lips, arm falling limply back to her side with a thud.

"Of course not," she whispers, no longer sure of what, exactly, she was hoping she would see before her. Eyes stare at the cold, dark ceiling for another moment, before she rolls over on her side and once more attempts sleep.

It wouldn't wasn't the first time, and it wouldn't be the last time.

August 26, 2018

Bay Ridge: Robyn and Dirk's Apartment


It's with a start that Robyn sits up in her bed, breathing heavy and shaking. Fingers dig into the fabric of her sheets. It takes her a moment to realize that she's in her room at the Bunker, and not in whatever hellscape she had just been dreaming of. It's already fading from her mind. A hand over her chest, she pants as she tries to bring herself back down, to stop shaking.

It always takes her a bit to adjust, to come down from moments like this. Sometimes, it's nightmares about her mother. Other times, she remembers Else, Doyle, the chokepoint. Occasionally things more ephemeral. Most often, scenes from the war replay in her dreams, and while waking up quite like this isn't common, sleep is always a bit elusive.

She stays upright for several moments, before rubbing at her eyes. "Quelle heure est-il?" she asks of no one in particular. Fluttering open, it takes a moment for her eyes to adjust to the light in the room. She frowns, surveying the area around her - clearer, brighter than she was expecting. It's with a heavy sigh that she swings her legs over the edge of the bed, begrudgingly ready to start getting ready for the day.

At least, until her alarm clock catches her eye. In frustratingly bright gray, it reads back at her 03:07. Her brow furrows as she stares it. "Cela ne peut pas être vrai…" she mutters as she rises up and walks over to it. There's no way it's right, it's too bright to be only 3am. But, a quick investigation turns up no signs of a power outage or any sort of tampering.

Robyn's expression thins, eyes sliding to look at the window. She tends to keep her blinds down in an effort to explicitly minimize the amount of light coming into her room, but…

Slowly she makes her way over to the window, seeking a definitive answer to is it actually this early or am I finally losing it. She doesn't hesitate as she reaches the window, pulling up the blinds.

For a moment, it is as bright as anything else she can see, though lacking in the usual unpleasantness of such things. But as her eyes start to adjust, she realises there isn't a big ball of fire rising over the horizon - the moon still hangs lazily in the sky, and as her eyes adjust and she looks past window, out into the Bunker grounds she realises that, no, it definitely is dark out and, yes, it definitely is 3am.

What the hell? is an isolated thought, dominating her mind as she her blinds drop and she wanders back to the bed and once more attempts sleep.

September 7, 2018

Red Hook: Winslow Crawford Academy Gala

She rarely shows it, as much as she acts like it's a complete bother, Robyn Quinn still relishes the rare moments she can get out of the apartment or away from the and see the few people she still counts as being among her friends. Though she had done less mingling than intended, Peyton's celebration gala had been a rather pleasant experience.

Pleasant enough that as she waves goodbye to some of the other patrons and scans the crowd for one last sight of Jolene or Nicole, she wears a rather wide smile on her face. That in and of itself is pretty unusual for the agent these days. The slight spring in her step just makes her demeanor that much more strange - perhaps she was feeling a bit more like her old self lately, even if she can't quite pinpoint why.

It takes her a moment, though, to notice that she's actually stepped outside from the party, coming to slow stop several feet from where it's being held. Sometimes, her vision rendered in black and white as it is, it's hard to tell, but as her eyes adjust, she begins to see something a bit more clearly - that the area around her, the further she gets from the gala, almost seems lit. At least for a bit, at least - ahead of her she can see where the night begins like it should.

But here, around her? It's almost clear as day, allowing her to see perfectly, if still in a strange veneer of darkness. And it is extraordinary.

"Is this…" Robyn breathes out, continuing to look around her as she starts forward again, holding on to the front of her (supposedly) yellow and white dress. She's cut off, though,a s a throbbing grows in her head, like a resurging migraine.

She squeezes her eyes shut and groans, rubbing at her temples. "Bordel de merde…" She didn't even drink much tonight, which leaves the source of her pain an annoying mystery to her. Headaches and migraines both actual and metaphorical weren't uncommon to her, but the sudden throbbing pain she experiences gives her a moment of pause.

Letting out a weary sigh, she shakes her head and opens her eyes - that pause continues as she looks around again. The world looks at it should around her, the night permeating everything around her. She blinks, and she frowns as she's reminded of a night a little over a week ago.

She looks down at her hand, fingers flexing out and then back in. She would worry about his in the morning.

September 10, 2018

Bay Ridge: Robyn and Dirk's Apartment

It's with a deep sigh that Robyn flops back on to her bed. She sits alone in her assigned room in the Bunker, staring up at a monochrome and featureless ceiling. She's waiting to hear about from her higher ups at SESA about a meeting she'd like to have - a meeting, with Donna Dunlap in the hopes of uncovering some new leads and traces now that she - and Wolfhound - have had a moment to rest.

And with Wolfhound resting, it means that she has little to do for the moment. And just like any other time alone, nothing to do leads to her mind wanders. About how she should be out exercising. Out at the shooting range. Going into town. Sitting in the lounge. Largely doing anything besides sitting in her room - not even her office - doing nothing.

She sighs again, mostly for want of something better to do.

Well… something creeps in the back of her mind, bringing a slight throbbing with it. She winces a bit, before raising one hand in front of her face, fingers spread. Fingers curl in and back out. This has been on her mind an increasing amount lately

“Of course it's not.” Is Colette’s matter-of-fact response, her nose wrinkled and brows furrowed. “I can still see you using it. I thought you— ” she cuts herself off, realizing the answer. “You thought it was gone?” Grabbing a towel from the floor, Colette wipes beaded sweat from her arms and the back of her neck.

Whipping the towel over her shoulder, she walks barefoot over to Robyn. “All around you,” Colette says with a motion of her hands in silhouette of Robyn, “when I concentrate I can see little… feathers of light. Like the little hairs from inside a barnacle or something.”

“I saw you using it in Detroit. I saw you using it at the gala. I thought…” Colette’s brow furrows as something comes to mind. “You didn't do that on purpose?” Then she realizes that Robyn might not even be aware of what she did. “When I was… when I was about to laser Bella fucking Sheridan in half, you turned my ability off like,” she snaps her fingers, “that.”

"Pourquoi…?" Why can't she just… do what she needs to, wants to then? If she's always doing it… It doesn't make sense to her. Or at least, not to how she always knew her ability to work.

It's clear she would be relearning that. If she could ever get to a point where there was something to relearn, at least.

Fingers curl in again, and Robyn narrows her eyes. Concentrates. Tries to dismiss the building headache. Her fingers suddenly flex back outwards, and she holds a breath. This isn't like all her other attempts in recent history. They were casual, wanting, lacking in effort. This time, she groans, strains, pushes.

And nothing comes to show for i-

The light flickers slightly, abruptly, quickly. Blink and she'd have missed it.

Her eyes widen as she bolts upright, looking down at her hand as her fingers relax and once more curl inwards.

What had just happened? Was it the victory she wanted, or just a trick of the light?

She lets out a frustrated sound, and sets about trying again.

September 18, 2018

The Bunker: Robyn's Quarters

Her hand trembles in front of her. Robyn has last all track of the time. In the last few days she has barely left her room at the Bunker - and without the soft sounds of a record player, or the linking of ice and glass, sometimes it's hard to tell she's even there at all.

Having one of the smallest rooms in the building doesn't prevent her from finding ways to wander and move about her room. It's been over a week now, that she's been using the lull to study, to try and figure out exactly what's happening, how she can do- anything really. If she can do anything.

She's managed to replicate the flicker of the lights a few times, but with no real consistency. No measure of effort, power, concentration, or anything. It's funny. The more time she puts into this, the more she remembers nights spent in her room in Boston, locked away while her mother worked on dinner and she tried to figure out new tricks she could do with her apparent control over light.

Bittersweet memories now, still locked in a room, but without a mother or the grasp over light she thought she once had. She's still trying to figure out exactly what it is she had. Julie tells her she's not like other photokinetics, that she doesn't - or at least shouldn't - be moving external light. Not like Colette does, or Jolene would do when borrowing her ability.

So, then, what kind of photokinetic is she? This question has risen to the forefront of her mind, and it fits in well with the general question of who is she. A little too well, an uncomfortable and perhaps unwelcome familiarity at this point.

The lights flicker again, just slightly more sustained than before.

She would get this, even if it kills her.

September 27, 2018

Bay Ridge: Robyn and Dirk's Apartment

«"In addition, the NYPD's former SLC-Expressive specialist team, NYPD-SCOUT, will be returning in full force."»


Robyn's only been sort of paying attention to the radio broadcast as it plays in spare room of her and Dirk's apartment. Her attention is mostly focused on the room around her, rather than the radio behind her - but when she heard who was running this… whatever it is, she knew she had to listen in. Particularly after that article in the Siren, as farfetched as she knew it to be.

But that particular comment draws her back in - the proper return of the NYPD and something like SCOUT were long overdue. And it was certainly better than having another FRONTLINE in town, that's for sure.

Still, that's not what tonight is about, Robyn refocusing her attention on her hand held out in front of her. All of the lamps in the room - three, and the overhead - are on, which she tends to avoid out of fear of damaging the many paintings she keeps in here. Tonight, though - that's the only way it can be.

«"Like that bright young man said earlier, we need to build new. We need to start fresh. It's time we start listening. Thank you for giving me this opportunity, Quentin."»

The past week and change, she had been thinking about this. About what people had been telling her, what she had seen with her own eyes. Julie, that she absorbs photons. Colette about her ability coming back "curly"; about the feathers of light she say coming from her; about how she had effectively shut her down at the gala. And the gala itself, how she had been able to see like she used to…

Her ability, passively pulling in light. Had she always been doing that? With the photoreceptive gases at Yamagato, was that absorption of light what had allowed her to see again? When she "shut off" Colette, had she simply been rerouting her light and absorbing it, so to speak? She'd been reading again, books like the ones Colette had given her all those years ago, in an effort to figure it out.

Her fingers flex out, relax. Flex out, relax. A practised motion even after all of these years.

And she concentrates. First she tries to release light - if she's always absorbing, it has to go somewhere right? Maybe this is the night it finally works. Maybe this is the night she feels a bit more like herself again.

«"I think we're all about out of time. I'd like to thank my panel, the Safe Zone Cooperative, for coming out tonight and—»

As the transmission abruptly cuts to static, Robyn frowns. She tries not to let it distract her too much - and a failing signal out here in the Safe Zone is nothing unusual at all. She closes her eyes, tries to turn out the noise as static turns to song.

Lord it's the devil would you look at him

She concentrates. There's a feeling she's been trying to recapture all these years. She longs for it, in a way she doesn't long for much else.

I've heard about him but I never dreamed

One eye peeks open just the slightest bit, hoping for something, but it finds nothing. In the past, she would've been deterred. But this time she presses on, even as that awkward ache builds in the back of her mind.

He'd have blue eyes and blue jeans

Her hand trembles again, and she grunts, pushing on something that isn't physically there. For all the talk she used to make about how she was fine being normal, about how she had moved on from having an ability…

Well somebody's talking he's whispering to me

She'd been lying through her teeth. She was being honest with herself about that now. The way she had jumped when Richard presented a possible path back to what she knew, the way she cried when she'd been able to see in colour again at the Gala…

Your place or my place well which will it be

But now she's armed with information. Information she didn't have before, that she couldn't have had before. Now she's armed with goals and things she wants to do beyond solving a case, preserving her career, and general self interest.

Now it's time to turn information into understanding.

I'm getting weaker and he—

Robyn wrinkles her nose as the music turns over to static and an unfamiliar voice cuts through on the other side, talking about things she's not paying attention to. With steely determination, she opens her eyes and grunts again.

But still nothing. Is it the distraction of the radio? No, she tells herself. Without it she'd be even more distracted. She isn't one for silence, even now. She redoubles her focus, hand out, eyes closed. Fingers curl inwards, into a fist, as the sound cuts to static again-

- And Robyn Quinn hears something else within the ebb and flow of auditory snow.

«Feel the touch of the sun.»


«the boy»

"What?" Robyn keeps her eyes closed, brow furrowing worriedly as words dance on the edge of hearing, as she feels a slight tingle in the tips of her fingers.

«When he offers you tea, you will already be dead.»


«the seer»

At the tingle fingers flex back outwards. "Is someone there?" is an idiotic question and she knows it. She should know better, even, than to ask questions of a radio that can't talk back. A chill runs down her sine as the tingling spreads, increasingly familiar to her.

«Do not trust Odessa. She is the broken mirror.»


«It all»

Her expression grows as dark as it can with both of her eyes closed. "Whoever you are," technopath, radio wave manipulator, audiokinetic, whoever it is that's doing this and may be listening, "you aren't funny."

«Let yourself go…»

This one comes through clearer than the others, less married in the prevailing static that's taken over WSZR. Deceptively clear, even if they words and their meaning is not.

The tingling in her fingers suddenly intensifies. Robyn Quinn knows this feeling. She searched for it for years, that distinctly electric feeling, slightly warm, slightly prickly, all very subtle in a way she's never been able to describe.

«Only when you fully step into darkness…»

The feeling suddenly turns cold, and Robyn's eyes open wide. Out of surprise, she curls her fingers back in, jerks her arm back - and it happens.

Nothing she could have ever expected.

Everything around her goes black.

But only for a moment as her eyes adjust, quickly focus… and then she can see, almost like nothing happened. But there's a darkness, a night that hangs at the edge of her vision like a wall, trying to creep in. Just like that one night and a few others. Just like at the gala.

«…will you be able to see the contrast of the light.»

"Darkness…" Robyn breathes out. The absence of light, something she'd never been able to do much, even with both Colette and Ygraine teaching her. But back then, she'd always been trying to move light to create pockets of light. Now - had she just absorbed all the light in the room?

That would make sense for what Julie had told her. For what she'd come to theorise so far.

It doesn't matter. She did it. Something. Anything, knowingly and intentionally.

The radio cuts back to the voice of Jolene Petrelli, but Robyn barely notices. She falls down to her knees, half laughing and have crying.

Seven years for this moment. And even if her ability had come back curly, even if she'd been doing it wrong this whole time…

Where this is no light tonight, there is a strange sense of hope and fulfillment.

It makes working on her birthday worth it in every way.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License