No Light, No Light, Part III



Scene Title No Light, No Light, Part III
Synopsis You are the night-time fear
You are the morning when it's clear
When it's over, you're the start
You're my head, you're my heart.
Date April 30, 2020

Kaleidoscope Studios: Recording Studio 1

Kaleidoscope Studios is a small studio owned and operated by former New York musician Robyn Roux, originally opened with the hopes of helping revitalise and revive New York City's local music scene in the wake of the Second American Civil War. It possesses a walk in reception and lobby that doubles as a small practice space with attached kitchen nook for recording breaks. A hallway leads to two recording studios, each with its own green room for writing and practice. Each of the two studios was rebuilt specifically to accommodate music dampening and a large number of electrical equipment, with both actual rooms furnished with instruments repaired by Robyn herself as well as the best recording equipment that was easily available at the time.

The building Kaleidoscope Studios is housed in covers half of its block of 41st Street, though the studio only occupies part of this space. Above the studio, the home of the owner can be found, though high end Yamagato branded security is used to prevent intruders from gaining access to the floors above the studio. There is additional space as well, however it is currently utilised by the owner as either studio or living space.

"And I thought
It can't get much better than this
Can't get much better than this
Laughing in the summer air
Your hands running through my hair
We'll make the world wait for us and
It can't get much better than this
No, it can't get much better than this…

Singing isn't uncommon in Kaleidoscope Studios. It is a recording studio, after all, so it's generally expected that someone's singing if anyone expects or wants to be making their bill payments that month. Tonight, though… tonight is special. It isn't a client sitting in the main room of Recording Studio 1, singing their heart out as fingers dance across acoustic guitar strings.

Tonight, Robyn Roux indulges something she had rarely seen fit to in the past: The desire to sing. To play. To write. It's an impulse she has felt keenly ever since she was released from Elmhurst, an impulse to create in a manner she hasn't felt in almost 10 years. Yes, there had been spurts here and there, her files filled with relics of half written songs like All Eyes On The Liar or half hearted demos like the ones she had attempted recording after the war but before joining SESA.

But none of that had hit like this was, like this drive did.

"The end of the summer came
Rebecca, Elly, Annie, and Blaine
All said their goodbyes and cried.
They left to our own devices,
That was their mistake and
I'll never forget that August day
As I stood there and thought
It can't get much better than this
No, it can't get much better than this…

A few more strums of the guitar and Robyn stops, smiling to herself as she reaches over to a stand beside her where a notebook rests open. Picking up the pencil that rests at its bottom lip, she begins to write down notes, musical and otherwise, along with lyrics and instructions, occasionally pausing to go back and scratch something out.

Leaning back, she lets out a contented sigh. It feels good to be at this again. She doesn't know what, if anything will come with it. It may be a fleeting fancy for all she knows, a desperate attempt to cling to something familiar and re-embrace the past in the wake of trauma. She'll cross that bridge when she gets to it, but for now—-

For now she finds herself abruptly thrown into darkness as all the lights in the room, all the electrical equipment, everything suddenly shuts off. It's a long moment before she moves, shifting the acoustic out from her lap. Eyes wide, her eyes slide around the room in an almost panic before she finds her phone, sitting on the tom drum not far from her. Quickly she rises, hurrying over to pick it up and press the button on the side.

2:01am it reads in bright white on black.

"Fuck," Robyn breathes out, swiping up to bring up the tool bar for her YamaPhone. It's only when she presses the button for the flash light that she notices the blinking number in the corner. 1%, with a disastrously empty battery next to it. It had been hours since she'd come down here, almost immediately after dinner. Had she really been this lost in her music? Why hadn't Matthew come to get her?

All of those worries and thoughts are fleeting as she watches her phone screen go blank, taking the flashlight with it as the Yamagato logo appears to herald a shut down. The Frenchwoman stands frozen in place for far longer than she would care to admit, still staring at her phone.

Sure, she can see in the dark but

That doesn't mean she likes it.

Fingers curl around the device as she slides it into her pocket, taking a deep breath, "No worries," she tells herself as she slowly turns eyes sweep across the room as she does. Nothing to worry about. Nothing she could see at least. That's the catch, isn't it? Even being able to see in the dark, she can't possibly hope to see everything.

That thought causes a hitch in her breath, causing her to whip around to look behind her. The motion causes the guitar to bump into its stand, sending it into her cane and falling to the ground. The sound on impact against the floor catches Robyn off guard, eliciting a shriek from her before she hunches over, arms pulled over her head.

A stillness settles in, leaving only the sound of Robyn's uneven and ragged breaths. It takes her some time to slow her breathing and swallow down emotion, looking around the room pensively as she rises back up to her feet. Huffing out a breath, she wastes no time in grabbing her cane andmaking her way to the door. "Fuck why can't the new power station be up," comes as a low curse as she pulls keys out of her pockets; Normally the doors in the studio electronically locked, but with the power out for the nightly blackout she would have to do things the old fashioned way.

Keys rattle in hand, shaking as she unlocks the door and pushes it open, moving from the recording room into the control room. One hand gripping tightly against the raven head of her cane she stops on the other side of the door, back pressed against it. "Wait," she breathes out, looking around. "I can glow." It's nothing like the illumination she once was able emit, but it's something. Maybe even enough to provide a dim light akin to a night light.

She draws on light within her, trying to bring it to the surface. She's had little practice since leaving the hospital with her already newly regained ability to emit light, so far all she has been able to accomplish is passive. She had bled light again when she accidentally cut her hand cooking the other day, and she'd noticed that sheen glow at other times - but all of them were incidental.

As her eyes slowly open, she looks down at her hands the hope of seeing even the softest warm light shedding through the gray world she otherwise sees in the dark. But there's nothing, no light to be had.

"Fuck," she repeats, sliding down the door to the floor, tears welling up in the corners of her eyes.She shakes, uncertain of why. She has lived in the dark, in one way or another, for years now. What has changed. Why does she feel so anxious? Eyes squeeze shut as her fingers curl back in. There's little light to be had, but if she can grab enough, maybe- she can light her way back up stairs.

Taking a deep breath, she tries to center herself before opening her eyes. Her darkvision makes it hard to see the darkness she has pulled in around her, from as far out as she can manage. But even as she tries to will it to the surface - still nothing. That soft glow remains elusive, and again her fingers curl back in. This time they tighten into her palm, nail digging into her hand just shy of painfully.

Something in her breaks.

A soft sob chokes out from her throat and she wrenches her eyes shut again, arms wrapping around her legs. "I just want to go upstairs! Why does this have to happen when I'm alone?!" she says quietly, more to herself than to anything else. Not that anyone could hear her right now. Raising her chin, she sets it against her knees and takes a deep breath, trying to fight her anxiety. Chewing on her lip, she opens her eyes and sighs, focusing ahead on the door out of the control room.


that soft glow of light


It isn't coming from her.

Eyes widen and her head snaps to the side, to the slight glow in her periphery and she sees - herself.

A shrill scream escapes her lips as she scrambles back hands wrapping around her cane. It isn't quick or graceful, she's having trouble like she did before - everything. Her hand clasps over her mouth despite the copious amount of soundproofing. Rushedly pulling herself up to her feet, she turns and slams into the door into the green room. She doesn't look away from the doppleganger, one hand fumbling her keys into the lock.

She turns it so hard it snaps, but manages to accomplish its goal of unlocking the door, allowing her to push it open. Without hesitation, she slips through the threshold into the green room, almost stumbling into a chair as she slams the door behind her - but not before she hears a sound. A familiar, haunting snap sound she's head more times than she can count, usually associate with her or Colette using -

As she rights herself up, she finds herself staring into the eyes of the doppleganger, somehow. A string of curses in mixed French and English flows like water as she stumbles back. Flight switches to Fight with it proven unsuccessful, and Robyn sneers as she eyes the doppelganger intently. Metal scrapes against metal as she pulls her sword from it's cane sheathe.

Brandishing the blade awkwardly, she holds it forward and backs away. "Listen, I don't know what this is or what kind of asshole power is doing this, but- maybe fuck off!" With those words, she lunges forward, aiming for a shoulder - she seeks to prove a point both literally and metaphorically.

A thunk rings out as the blade passes effortlessly the other her's shoulder and into the door behind her. Blinking, Robyn recoils back, drawing back the sword and- there's nothing on it. Blinking, her eyes dart to the unmoving doppelganger. "What the…" It's a disarming moment, and for the moment her fears of a potential attack and the surrounding darkness fall away.

The weapon lowers back to her side as she chews at her lower lip. She should know better than to let her guard down, sliding the blade into its sheath. Yet, here she is, doing just that. The sound of that snap echoes in the back of her mind, so achingly familiar yet so distant from her. It's that connection that drives her in that moment.

Despite that, she still breathes tightly, alert bells ringing in her head as she steps towards this vision of herself. It's only now, under this scrutiny that she realises that she isn't moving. That she looks just like her in this moment, the exact same clothes, the detail of her scar and her tattoo - all of it is a perfect replica of herself as she exists right now. Shifting around it, her head cants to the side as she tries to further understand what exactly is happening.

That faint glow. The snap. The exact duplication of how she looks. Her hand reaches up to touch the unmoving, unreacting duplicate of herself and- she finds nothing. Her hand passes right through. This her insubstantial, perfect as she may appear to be. "What are you?" she whispers as her hand passes through herself. "How are you? Who is doing this?" As she moves her hand through the specter, she feels something - a thread of sorts.

A kind of thread she is used to handling. A thread of light, metaphorical in nature but very real to her. Pulling at those threads is how she taught herself to manipulate light to begin with, once upon a time weaving them to create her various visual effects, and in more recent times, pulling at them to pull back the light and let darkness in. The latter is the instinct that takes over, feeling the threads and pulling them towards her, pulling in the light around her once more.

Robyn finds herself sucking in a surprised breath as she pulls and the doppelganger vanishes with another audible snap. The photokinetic stands still, stunned. "Did- did I do this?" Slowly her hand recedes back to her chest, held close as she stares at the space once occupied by the other her. "Or am I finally losing it?"

Fingers curl tight around her cane, the bottom of it thumping against the floor as she lowers it back down. Chewing at her lip, it finally occurs to her that she still hasn't made it upstairs. That she's still standing here, in the dark. A shiver runs her spin, feeling a spike of anxiety as she turns to face the door out.

This is something she's never been capable of before. Invisibility, blindness, darkness, light flashes, colour shifting - those were all things she had been capable of at some point in her life, through training or brute force. Illusions had never been one of those things, much less this sort of detailed replication. But..

Tentatively she holds hand fingers twirling in front of her like she's twisting thread around her fingers. She pulls her hand back close, letting it hover just over her heart, and she concentrates. Focuses, on what she had just seen. On not… on not being alone, like she had when she was on the verge of tears just a few minutes ago.

It feels longer than before, but her eyes snap open as she hears that almost electric snap once more. Just like before, her gaze snaps over next to her, to the soft glow akin to a black TV in a dark room stands next to her. And there, once more, she finds herself looking at herself, exactly as she is right now. "Holy shit," she breathes out.

And this time, the other Robyn looks back at her and smiles, something that makes her jump back with surprise. She had imagined how that might look, and… it happened. Eyes wide again, she steps away from the photokinetic clone of herself and moves to the door to the hallway. Swallowing, she opens and looks down, before looking back at the other her.

It's already half way across the room following, something which prompts Robyn to blink… and then to smile.

"Wild," she says in a low voice as it steps through ahead of her. The way it moves mimics the way she would without her cane, a sort of subconscious will to it as it turns back to face her like she would do in its position. This doesn't help the uneasiness, but it does help with something else.

As a small smile crosses her face, Robyn looks down at the floor and then back up again. "Well. At least I don't feel like I'm alone anymore," she whispers as she starts to stride down the hall, feeling a little less afraid of the darkness around her than she had just a short while ago.

She didn't know what to make of this. Inevitably, she would need to talk to Colette. Consult some books, studies. See if she can better grasp what she's tapped into tonight. For now… for now she just wants to get upstairs and to bed.

At least she has some company for that.

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