No Voice Leaves Quiet


colette_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title No Voice Leaves Quiet
Synopsis Tamara gives cryptic answers to an important question posed by Colette.
Date August 14, 2010

Staten Island Nature Center

Goldenrod rays of sunlight cast in visible beams down thorugh the dense foliage of towering oak and pine trees surrounding the overgrown lawn of the Staten Island Nature Center. A heat haze in the air turns light into visible shafts with the sun barely cresting the treetops. A pink and orange sky is dappled with cottony clouds, spread out like a palette knife would streak white paint on canvas.

Seated on a three foot high, crumbling and pitted concrete wall overgrown with moss, Colette Nichols is having a conversation with herself. Or, more directly, a conversation with a hand-held camera.

"It's um… day three I think?" Her dark brows furrow together, mismatched eyes wandering to and from the lens. "We lost Lauren last night, she… hung on as long as she could, and Nurse Young says she was unconscious for the worst of it, so— so I guess that's better than her suffering." One hand not holding the camera to herself lifts up, brushing with her thumb the threat of tears from the bottom of one eye.

Sniffling softly, Colette looks out to the overgrown grass surrounding the wall, wild and untamed bushes and the thick treeline beyond. "We're gonna' be here till mid-week it looks like. I've— I don't know, sort've been helping out." Her clothing is unusual, for Colette at least. A patched up pair of faded blue jeans, sandals and a fitted green t-shirt. None of these clothes are a part of her wardrobe, quite contrary to the matter they're all Tamara's clothes. Comfort in the form of familiar fabrics and colors and smells, the best gift Tamara could have brought Colette in that satchel the other day.

Still staring out at the treeline, Colette swallows nosily and looks back to the camera. "I'm— sort've trying to record my thoughts, I guess. What you saw earlier was only a part of what was happening in the triage area last night, part've… I dunno, I wanted people to see. I don't want anybody who dies here t'be forgotten."

Playing idly with an errant lock of black hair at her temple, Colette looks back down into the camera. "This isn't even half of what's going t happen come November, if we can't… stop it, and— Oh!" Colette draws her bottom lip between her teeth. "Another vision for you. Um, I met this Russian guy who called himself Kozlow. He's… apparently sometime during the riots, he's a doctor taking care of the wounded. He meets up with Joanna Oliv— er— Joanna Renard, and, I… I guess she dies in his care. I— he had the same vision, I guess, the same as Joanna."

Quiet for a time, Colette lets the bottom of the camera settle down into her lap, still aimed up at herself but affording an upwards view of Colette looking off into the woods and the orange sky above her. "I hope that helps," she whispers, then clicks the stop button.

Tamara still hasn't bothered to brush out her hair, although at least she no longer sports the coating of dust that was part of her attire yesterday… even if she is still wearing the same clothes. Her sandaled feet are quiet on the dirt as she walks out from the nature center, pausing some distance from Colette — the edge of conversational range. Her blue eyes rest on the younger girl for a long moment, posture that of someone confronting an unwanted task.

She knows what lies in wait with that video camera, and the seeress is in no wise required to like it.

Reaching up to brush a stray bit of blonde hair away from her face, Tamara sighs silently, then draws in another breath and speaks. "Does it help?" she asks, tone suggesting a different implication than what Colette meant with her statement; but as with many of the girl's breadcrumb-like remarks, context must be interpolated.

She probably isn't supposed to be out of bed, but suddenly the moans and cries of pain of people whose pain and suffering are so much worse than her own have made the makeshift clinic feel much too closed-in, much too crowded and much too stifling. Breathing hurts enough as it is. Tasha has slipped out of her bed yet again. She's managed to wash herself of the blood and grime of her ordeal, so she looks better than she did yesterday, though still pale, dark circles beneath her eyes hinting at the trauma.

Once outside of the center, she leans against a door, breathing in the cooler air outside for a few moments, not knowing that Colette and Tamara are just around the corner, just out of site, not knowing that Tamara had apparently left the interior of the building from a door on the opposite side of Tasha's chosen exit. Though Tasha's wound was shallow, she'd lost enough blood on Thursday night that her walking is sometimes still a bit of a precarious venture; she trails a hand along the wall as she begins a walk to "stretch her legs," but in reality she's trying to find quiet and a place that doesn't remind her she almost died.

Unaware of Tasha's arrival, Colette is distracted from her thoughts by Tamara. Mis-matched eyes settle on the blonde, and there's a thankful, warm smile that crosses the brunette's lips. "It— " her eyes flick down to the camera briefly, "it does. It helps to like, just talk about stuff to it, like it was somebody who was gonna' listen and not tell me nothin' or try'n judge me no matter how dumb I'm saying things." Wrinkling her nose, Colette moves to set the camera down on the stone wall, then leans back and rests her hands on the pitted concrete at either side of herself.

"Thanks…" Colette quietly offers, "I mean, you know… for getting it for me back then. I never really did much with it, until the Flashes happened. Now," her eyes move from Tamara to view the camera with side-long quality. "Now I kind've know why you got it, 'cause everything's for a reason, right?"

Maybe not the reasons Colette thinks they are, though.

The blonde tips her head to one side, then nods once. "Good," is all she says on the subject of the camera; as for why she got it, Colette is no doubt expecting the slightly perplexed look she receives, the expression that conveys a sense of I'll take your word for it. It's short-lived; Tamara turns away to regard the building behind them… or rather the injured girl making her way around its perimeter, for all that Tasha is not yet in physical view.

Drawing in a breath, Tamara shakes her head slightly, as though to displace a thought. She takes one half-step forward, pauses a moment, then progresses into actual motion, padding down to join Colette at the rock wall. Though, in typical fashion, the older girl chooses to fold herself into a cross-legged seat on the pine needle-littered lawn rather than perch with the other on the low wall. Bracing hands against the soil at her sides, she tilts her head back to look up at the sun-dappled treetops above. "I always liked the rocks," Tamara observes conversationally. "They're very quiet. Trees have noisy little birds."

As she comes around the corner, Tasha's brows raise, seeing Colette and Tamara outside. Well, that at least explains why it was so easy to escape. She doubts Tamara is surprised to see her, but Colette might be. She gives a little wave with the hand that isn't trailing along the wall. It's a few more steps before she's within talking distance, since her still sore throat isn't going to carry very far, especially over the noise of birdsong in the trees above.

"Hey," she murmurs, her soft and whispery voice a little stronger than yesterday which means it's most likely not permanently damaged. She doesn't explain why she is outdoors. It's probably the same reason Colette is, minus the need to make a recording.

A smile is all Colette could respond to Tamara's sybillic commentary with, but it's an honest one is nothing else. Both of Colette's sandals are slid off with a downward's point of her toes, and she reaches out to give a nudge at Tamara's side with one bare foot, quietly laughing in snorted quality to the blonde before sitting up straight on hearing Tasha's whispered greeting on the wind.

Colette moves quickly, up onto bare feet in the soft, dwey grass. Her eyes widen and then narrow before she accusingly notes, "Aren't you supposed to be resting," in a playfully teasing voice. Briefly glancing down to Tamara, Colette turns and pads off through the grass barefoot to Tasha. She closes the distance quickly, arms sliding around the brunette's waist and nose going to her forehead in a bump like some affectionate porpoise before settling back down flat on her feet.

"Come sit," Colette insists, sliding one hand down to find Tasha's hand, lacing fingers together while her other hand rests on the small of Tasha's back, guiding her over to either the low wall or the grass in front of it, whichever she seems to gravitate towards more. "I was just about to ask Tamara something, so— I guess you might have good timing."

Back in her grassy seat, Tamara tips her head down to watch the two younger girls with a faintly lopsided smile. One foot stretches out to nudge Colette's discarded sandals together, nothing particularly neat about how they wind up. As Colette returns with Tasha in hand, the blonde stretches her arms up and falls back to lay on the lawn, looking up towards the sky.

The ground looks awfully far away, so Tasha moves to the mossy wall instead, squeezing Colette's hand, but not quite sitting. "I just needed some fresh air," she murmurs, though the way her brows knit together convey her worry more than her husky words do. She smiles down at Tamara, then looks back at the mismatched eyes of Colette. "I'm not sleepy, and it's not that restful to lie awake and worry about everyone you can't help," she points out. "I can only sleep so many hours in a day, you know."

Quirking her lips into a smile, Tasha tips her head. "If you two need to talk, I can go back inside, though."

"Stay," is bossy-Colette talking as nods down to the concrete wall, "sit too or I'll totally make you sit." There's a fond smile there as Colette leans in and presses a soft kiss to Tasha's cheek, then slides past her and leans forward, stretching to pick up her video recorder from the wall, sliding the velcro strap around her hand. On rising up, Colette doesn't reach her full height, but instead tilts her head up and presses a kiss to the front of Tasha's throat gently, then motions with a nod for her to sit on the wall.

Colette, however, moves to settle down cross-legged on the grass beside where Tamara lays, clicking buttons on the camera and turning it on. She folds out a screen front side, a small LCD display showing the grass, Tasha's foot, and then Tamara. Not quite yet turning it on, Colette straightens one arm out and plants her hand in the grass, bracing her weight on it. Then, with a brush of her thumb, she clicks records on the camera and angles it up to Tasha.

"Smile," Colette teasingly says, "you're on Colette-Camera," is added in a sing-song tone of voice, followed by amused laughter. The camera wobbles as she points it down to show Tamara laying in the grass, zooms in a little on her in silence, then zooms out and offers a faint smile. "Okay, so, I think this is the first time I've ever recorded all of us together, and I dunno why I haven't done it before." COlette turns the camera on herself, smiling goofily into it, then swings it back around to aim at Tamara again.

"I have a question that I need your help with," Colette asks of the sybil, "but you probably already know that, don'cha?"

In the LCD screen, Tamara can be seen to close her eyes, fingers plucking at the grass in fidgety little motions. "I know," she says, the words voiced on a weary sigh as she rolls over onto her side to face Colette — not the camera. She couldn't care less about the camera. Cheek braced against one hand, she looks at the brunette for a long moment. "Always the question," the seeress remarks quietly. Her other hand rubs at her eyes, then stops there. "You'd better say it," Tamara reminds Colette, "so the owl knows."

The small brunette's brow furrows and Tasha ducks immediately when the camera is pointed briefly at her — she doesn't like to be filmed or photographed. She's the artist, not the art, after all, and today she's certainly not looking her best, bandage at her neck, dark circles, pallor making her usually pale-olive coloring a touch sallow. Still, she offers a husky chuckle at the joke of Colette-Camera, then she grows more somber at the rest of the words. She thinks she knows what the question is, but she's not sure. And she's less sure she wants to hear the answer, but she glances from Tamara's face to Colette. "The owl?" she echoes. "Who-who is the owl?" It's a bad joke.

"That's a terrible joke," Colette voices Tasha's own internal dialogue with a wry smile. Her expression though is soon to grow more serious, and scooting closer to Tamara, Colette lays a hand down on the blonde's knee, squeezing gently even while she keeps the camera trained on the sybil's face. Silent, in consideration of her own question, Colette looks up to Tasha with a faint but worried smile, then back down to Tamara thorugh the LCD screen of the camera.

"If there was one like, specific and really important thing we could do to stop the riots that're happening in November…" Colette's teeth draw over her lower lip, hesitant to finish the sentence, "what— like, what would it be?" Her nervousness is now explained in the way she gently squeezes Tamara's knee again and then moves that hand away so as to not ground Tamara in the here and now. Specific questions are never easy for her, which is likely why Colette tries not to knowingly ask them with any frequency.

If ever there were a moment that Colette would want prevented, though, it would be that. If ever there was something important, it would be that.

Pulling herself back up into a sitting position as Colette scoots over, Tamara looks at her with a somber expression. It's impervious to the younger girl's worry, and the subject of that worry only nods slightly as the query is formalized. Drawing her shoulders in and wrapping her arms around herself, she bows her head, blonde hair falling forward to obscure the sybil's face.

The timeframe and scale of this one are both quite large. It's thus likely no surprise when the silence begun with Colette's question stretches… and stretches.

The question surprises Tasha, and she immediately looks back to see how Tamara will answer it, since that sort of question seems to fail in her experience with the prophet. Not that she has asked that many questions of the sort. She brings her left hand to her lips to chew at her thumbnail, worrying it between teeth as the silence from Tamara seems to go too long. Her dark eyes move from Tamara's face to Colette's and she raises a brow, as if to ask the other if she might want to rephrase the question. The theme-song to Jeopardy would be running out of time by now, however. She doesn't want to interrupt Tamara's thought process, but the abused thumbnail actually cracks this time, and her teeth peel off a crescent of nail before she turns her head to spit it into the grass.

The silence is, as they say, deafening. From the camera's point of view, the world jumbles and jostles, but it's only because Colette has risen up onto her knees, crawled across the grass and settled back down at Tamara's side. She doesn't touch, not yet, not until the answer comes. But now the camera views Tamara's face from profile's angle, views the way her blonde hair spills down her cheek, the way her lips part in deep breaths and eyes seem unfocused, halfway lidded.

Colette looks up, away from the camera and without moving it. Watchign Tasha, Colette's brows furrow and she tries to look reassuring with a smile, but nervousness has set in to both of them in equal measure. By the time Colette is looking back to Tamara, a solid minute of silence — save for the noises of the nature center in the distance — has passed.

The camera sees how her fingers clench, at least of the one hand visible in its field of view, knuckles white as short fingernails bite into the skin of her palm. Her lips pull back from her teeth in a grimace, and Tamara lists forward as her eyelids flutter — not quite to the point of toppling over, but it's a near thing. That she is, inevitably, bleeding from the strain of exertion is almost unremarkable for that moment.

"They listen," she says, whisper nearly as hoarse as Tasha's injured voice. "No words. Stop the listening. No voice leaves quiet, quiet still, no fire, no fire, no —" Her voice breaks in a sob, and Tamara flinches away from her companions. "Don't listen," the sybil whispers, as a few tears trail down to thin the trickle of blood on her lips.

The sight of blood makes Tasha suck in breath nervously from behind her hand at her mouth, and she glances at Colette manning the camera. Her eyes flit back to Tamara as she speaks in her cryptic wording, and she shakes her head, not understand, but afraid to say anything, afraid to disturb Tamara's mind's eye or perhaps afraid to simply upset her worse than she is.

Still, she glances at Colette again. "Bugs? A … a spy? A leak?" she whispers the ideas as they come to mind.

"That's— that's enough," Colette stammers, dropping the camera into the grass entirely, "You did enough," and it doesn't even matter what it is Tamara said so much as that she's hurting in the here and now and that Colette incited it. Lifting up one hand to brush her thumb beneath the sybil's nose to swipe the blood away. Colette winds her free arm around Tamara's shoulders and draws her into a tight embrace, pulling the blonde towards her and pressing her nose into the top of her hair. That blood-streaked thumb angles away from Tamara's face, trying not to smudge it on her cheeks.

Staring up and over Tamara, Colette furrows her brows and looks somewhat pleadingly to Tasha, motioning with a nod of her head to try and elicit the brunette to come over too. It may be a long way down to the ground, but it's easier when you have someone to lean on to get there.

"C'mon, come back," Colette whispers, wiping her bloodied finger off on the grass before sliding fingers through Tamara's hair, trying to rouse her back to the present. Once she's sure Tamara's okay, then she'll review whatever was said on the tape. Right now, she can't even recall.

When Colette lays down the camera, Tasha is already rising from the wall, taking the couple of steps toward the two on the grass before sinking to her knees. Her brows contort with worry and fear, and she reaches to touch Tamara's arm, stroking it gingerly, as if Tamara might be made of glass and may break into shards at the touch.

"Do you want me to go get help?" she asks, not turning to look at Colette, though she leans her chin on Colette's shoulder, knowing that while touch helps ground Tamara in the present, it also helps reassure Colette. "She'll be okay — like last time… she just needs rest, I'm sure," she murmurs reassurances she isn't entirely sure are true, but it's all she can give besides the offer to run and get help from inside the building.

Tamara doesn't respond, even in as much as a twitch, as Colette discards the camera and attempts to clean her face, the resulting red-edged smear only a partial success. It isn't until after Tasha joins them — perhaps because of the additional presence, or maybe only a function of elapsed time — that her shoulders finally slump and the sybil settles into Colette's embrace, aware of her at least that much. It's hard to tell exactly how much, when the girl remains silent, features obscured behind a veil of disarrayed blonde hair. Somewhere along the line, she passes into exhausted sleep — the change discernable mostly because no more tears fall once Tamara is sleeping.

It helps, Tasha's chin on Colette's shoulder, it helps that Tamara eventually slouches down towards her and rests against her chest. One of Colette's arms cradles the blonde in close, wrapped around her shoulders firmly, while her free arm seeks to do the same to Tasha. Regret, ultimately, paints its way across Tasha's face and causes her brows to crease together, eyes to shut and face to bury down into Tamara's unruly hair.

She had been crying, Tamara, on seeing what she was seeing. It's enough to make Colette's eyes shut, her breathing still and body tense before she can exhale a sharp sigh of frustration. Mis-matched eyes look towards the discarded camera, then up to Tasha as Colette lifts her face out of Tamara's hair enough so that her lips can brush across Tasha's cheek and jawline.

Silent comforts, all of these, but what's on that camera now may well be the best chance at subverting the chaos to come in just a few months time. Squeezing both Tasha and Tamara close, Colette asks in a shaky voice, "What did she say?" It's as if she's afraid to turn the camera on, to see Tamara like that again.

Tasha sits back on her legs, letting one arm wrap around Colette while the other hand continues to pet Tamara's arm, not knowing if the sensation permeates the blonde's subconscious at all, but finding it comforting to herself to feel the warm skin beneath her palm, at least. "She'll be okay," the teen whispers again, forgetting her own weariness and her own pain now that she has someone else to comfort.

"It's on the camera… I can watch it to get the exact words for you, if you want, if you don't want to look," she whispers, guessing that it will be hard Colette to watch it. "But she said…" she frowns, trying to remember the words, but shaking her head. "She said that they listen, then she said something like 'no words, stop the listening.' Something about 'no voices leaving quiet,' and then 'no fire.'" Tasha tilts her head so it rests against Colette's, Colette's dark hair against her cheek.

"I don't know what it means. I was thinking maybe that … I don't know. Someone's listening to us? To Ferry safehouses, maybe, or our phones? Like bugs or something? Or maybe there's a spy? If we can stop the spies… maybe there's no raid?" It's a guess, but who knows. Tasha sighs and shakes her head. "She never knows what she was talking about later, does she." It's not a question.
Poseorder is not enabled in this room.

"No," Colette offers softly as an answer, "most… of the time she doesn't remember anything she's talked about, after it's happened." There's a look down to the camera, then up to Tasha as Colette leans in and rests her forehead against the brunette. "She bought me that camera for my birthday a couple years ago… I never used it until recently. But— she doesn't even remember getting it for me." There's a frown tugging at the corners of her lips, but Colette seems to be trying not to sink into a fugue after what she's heard.

"I don't know what it means," Colette says softly against Tasha's cheek, "I never know what she means…" is said a little more quietly, and also defeatedly. But that Colette doesn't break down is only because of one thing rattling around in her head. "I know somebody who does, though," is a little oblique when said. "I— I know somebody who fixes the future." Richard Cardinal used a different word than fix, but the analogy is close enough.

"M'gonna protect us," Colette offers in a hushed tone of voice as she presses a kiss across Tasha's cheek, then one slightly higher up at her temple, "I swear."

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