Not a Typical Encounter


remi3_icon.gif huruma2_icon.gif

Scene Title Not a Typical Encounter
Synopsis Huruma and Remi run into each other during a trip to the antique store.
Date March 4, 2019

The Vault

The Vault is a densely packed antique parlor, decorated with its own wares, full of recovered furniture, ornaments, candle sticks, tea sets, jewelry, collectors pieces, paintings, picture frames, and most strikingly, a canopy of mismatched chandeliers that hang from the ceiling. A certain level of appraisal in the items being made for sale and accepted for sale stops the Vault short of becoming a run of the mill junk store, but the occasional piece of kitsch occasionally washes up despite the owner's best efforts. It's probably best that you don't ask exactly where certain high end pieces came from.

It is a brisk, rainy day today, a light drizzle falling from the gray skies above adding to the chill of nearly-but-not-quite freezing temperatures. Understandably, the streets aren’t quite as lively as they might be on a nicer day, with only the occasional person rushing to their next destination with their coats bundled tight around them, umbrellas clutched tight to their chests to keep the rain from making it worse.

The former sailor didn’t bring an umbrella — instead, Soleil Davignon, or ‘Amelie’ as she is known to anyone who doesn’t know her origin story already, uses a hood to keep her hair from being soaked, with the coat it is attached to clutched tight around her. She quickly slips into The Vault, taking a moment to pause in the doorway and breathe out the cold air and take in the warm, musky smells that come with all antique shops. Then, she raises her hands, slipping the hood down to make her shopping trip that much easier.

The telepath with the broken ability has her sights raised high today, as it were — the chandeliers here are what she’s after, charming adornments to decorate the theater that she is opening with a pair of friends who do know where she’s come from. She slips further in, lips parting slightly as her large blue eyes take in the sea of sparkling crystals that blankets the ceiling — it’s really quite awe-inspiring to take in.

Only recently returned to the Safe Zone, Huruma has been taking her time in the last day or so to reacquaint herself with the local goings-on. There has already been a surprise or two for her when she returned to the Benchmark after being away for so long. Wolfhound's roles have been demanding of late, though that may be an understatement.

Turns out that there are more surprises in store for her after all. She isn't complaining. It keeps things exciting.

Without her telepathy, Remi has no idea she's been watched on her way around the neighborhood. It was purely chance, but Huruma knew that face- - and to a different degree, everything else was familiar in the ways of being convinced of a Mandela effect in practice.

She knows it can't be her. Yet she follows anyway, waiting a few minutes after the other woman has slid into the shop before slipping in herself.

Huruma's coat is open around a deep red sweater, a slash of color between black and black. Her hood remains pulled up over her head and leaving her features in shade.

Remi is none the wiser — she’s gotten better about her bad habit of keeping her head up in the clouds without her telepathy, but she’s still not quite so alert as she normally is. And really, one does not often expect to be followed into an antique shop.

The woman stops beneath one of the chandeliers, reaching up with one hand to touch the price tag briefly, before moving on. A few bits of furniture are touched gently, and one hand reaches into her purse to pull out a small notepad and pen. A few notes are made before the woman moves on.

“This would make a great prop,” she mumbles to herself, pausing at a Chaise lounger; she reaches down, pressing her hand into the seat to test the cushion, before making another note in her book. She sounds like Remi, but she lacks that French accent that so heavily laced the fashionista’s words.

She stops mid-scribble as her blue eyes finally land on Huruma and that red sweater of her own. To her credit, she only stares for a split second, before her eyes dart down to her paper. She recognizes that woman — she was always with Captain Ryans.

Although Huruma doesn't exactly follow Remi through the shop, she lingers behind other rows of antiques, a passive effort to allow herself some time to study this woman. Even the voice, though? Huruma moves silently into the aisle of Remi's own studies, quiet even as the doppelganger glances up and quickly back down.

The Flooded world's version of her was leaner by far, a wiry, snakelike woman thanks to life on the water; angrier looking, too. Here, however, her frame is filled out, stronger, and her nature more elusive, for all the world looking as if she stepped right off of Themyscira. Huruma's stare lacks the anger and distance of her counterpart. Still white as bone, though.

"I am not in the habit of playing dumb." Her dark voice is the same from the rarer times Remi had heard her speak. "So who are you? You are not her, but… you are."


Remi really isn’t doing well at this whole not being recognized thing. When Huruma speaks, she can feel mild panic welling up within the woman. She, too, has her differences — she’s much less waifish and thin, and more filled out from life aboard the Sayonara. Her arms and legs are more muscular, and she looks a bit less like she’s been sheltered from the world, like the other version of herself is.

Alarmed blue eyes find Huruma’s face once more, brows raising. She knows what this woman can do — they shared drinks more than once or twice. She knows that the tall, statuesque woman is not easily fooled. And apparently, in this world, this woman was familiar of the other her, at least in passing. For a moment, she just stares.

Then, she’s glancing around — thankfully, the shop is relatively empty, and the shopkeeper appears to be off doing something else that doesn’t involve poking at the customers, as is common in antique stores. “My name is Amelie Laurent.” She’s lying, and she knows that Huruma knows. “I’m from Bodega Bay, in California, and I’m a celebrity impersonator.”

She doesn’t even try to sell the lie, instead reaching up and tapping her scarred lip once in a ‘shh’ motion — the truth is coming, but not yet.

The exchange of silent staring lets Huruma taste her panic more clearly. Her eyes shutter once, a slow blink in response. When the twin speaks it is with a blatant lie, and one answered with a tilt of Huruma's head. Given that this woman hasn't turned tail and run, it says //Something //.

'Impersonator' along with the hushed gesture earns a crook of lips, between amused and annoyed. Alright. A game, then.

"Well, Ms. Laurent, I am sure you get this all the time, hm…?" Huruma takes a few lazy steps closer, pale eyes roving freely. Her voice settles to a drawl. "And // aaalll// the way from California. What brings you here of all places?"

At the very least, Remi’s got a pretty good cover story — and normally, she can do a great job acting it out. But she knows that Huruma can probably tell that she’s lying, so most of her effort simply goes into holding up the American accent. “All the time. Especially here — I didn’t realize how much my celebrity counterpart had interacted with the community.” She flashes a bright smile.

She’s still a bit panicked — mostly because this is one of the few people in the world she knows she can’t lie to. “I’ve come to make a better life for myself. California was hit pretty bad in the war, so I decided to try my luck here.” She keeps that bright smile — at the very least, she can outwardly avoid the signs of lying.

“A friend of mine and I are going to open up a floating dinner theater.” Amid the mild panic and dread, a little spark of excitement can be felt — she’s not lying about that. “We’re working with Raytech to get things going. That’s why I’m here,” she murmurs, gesturing around at the store. “Trying to find some furniture and lighting for construction.”

As she passes under one of the aforementioned lamplights, one hand moves up to brush the hanging glass. Remi- - Amelie's- - outward lying only gives Huruma clues. She moves closer, the lamp behind her now a halo around the hood of her coat. The hand which had played with the glass flicks the cloth from her head.

A floating dinner theatre? Huruma's lips twitch in a half smile.

"Raytech, hm?" The taller woman narrows a look to the blonde, more curious than anything. "I didn't know Richard was the theatre type. How does he feel about your resemblance? He and Remi's family- - they were close."

The question prompts Remi’s brows to raise a bit, the smile still on her face as she smiles pleasantly up at Huruma. “Oh, he was pretty shocked when we first met,” she replies — again, not a lie. “I don’t think he was expecting me at all.” Truth again. “Most of the people I’ve met from Raytech kind of look at me like I’m a ghost.”

She lets her head dip slightly, eyelashes fluttering as she glances around again. “I’m here for the same reason Elisabeth Harrison is back.” This is said in a low whisper, so only the taller woman can hear. Worry spikes as she mentions this — did she say too much? A little bit of fear, too — she doesn’t want to be disappeared for going against what the government says.and telling the wrong people too much, but she also knows that the tall woman isn’t going to be fooled by lies.

“The theater will be great. I’ve been talking to people — the boat we’ll be using will arrive soon, then we can start building the theater on it. I’m hoping to do two or three levels, with a covered bar on the rooftop so people can enjoy the water.” She sounds excited about that, at least. “I think it’ll be a real hit — Richard says as much, at least.”

That's because she is a ghost. Huruma's brow furrows some, watching the furtive look the woman gives the rest of the shop. Amelie's admission has an unintended, mildly jarring result, it seems; both of the dark woman's brows arch upwards, eyes glinting with a mixture of discomposure and revelation. It's difficult to tell what goes flying around inside her head, but whatever it is- - her stare intensifies, mouth tight at the corners.

No, he didn't, did he? It makes everything clearer, even the boat. Elisabeth. Last she'd heard, Christmas gave them nothing except hurt and more questions. Richard had been so intent on the way of things. Adamant in his belief.

"I- - it- - I'm sure it will be." Scarcity is Huruma with a stammer, brief but present. She was listening, so the explanation did not completely drown out the rest with blood in her ears. "Elisabeth is back?"

"You're… from the flooded earth, aren't you." Memories of Apollo spin around in her memory, unbidden.

She knows.

Almost immediately, the woman’s posture seems to melt, tension dropping away to a relaxed state that can only be brought on by the fact that she doesn’t have to pretend with this one — she can be herself. On top of that, relief suddenly blossoms in the woman as she bobs her head in a quiet nod.

“She is,” she replies in a soft voice, leaning lightly against the chaise lounge and lifting a hand to fiddle with her hair, which is freshly cut. “And I am,” she adds quietly. “Couldn’t be more amazed that I’m here — it’s so surreal.” She smiles faintly, glancing toward the door. “It’s not perfect, but nothing is, is it?”

She hasn’t dropped the American accent — she’s good at it. That changes, however, when her voice dips to a whisper, the French accent breaking through ever-so-briefly. “I never thought I’d see it again.” For just a moment, her mind goes somewhere else, somewhere immensely sad, with a mix of heavy grief mingled in — but the moment is fleeting, and she turns, a wistful smile set into her face.

“Yamagato has done such a good job out here,” she finishes, sliding back into the fake accent with ease.

Even if Remi feels relief, it only relaxes Huruma a small amount to know that it does. Still, she offers a weaker sided smile, suddenly less intimidating than before. "Surreal for anyone."

"They have. And I have seen your world, so I know precisely why you feel as you do." No explanation offered, however. "It's not perfect, but it is ours and we fought for it. If you know Elisabeth… Maybe she has told you about what it was like before." A deep breath pulls inward, Huruma letting loose a heavy sigh just after. An exhale that seems to carry tension with it.

"Yamagato has their troubles too. But when it comes to the new world… We could have worse saviors… " There is a note of hesitation then, and Remi gets a torn look. "Is she at Raytech? Elisabeth…?"

Clearly she had some sort of impact.

“Between her and Magnes Varlane,” Remi replies in a soft tone, still glancing about as though she’s sure someone might be listening. She isn’t supposed to be talking to people like this, it’s why they gave her so much money to keep her mouth shut. But then, she hasn’t really said much. “Mostly, Magnes — he let me into his head.”

Casually, she plucks the price tag off of the chaise lounge — seems she’s going to get it.

“She is,” Remi adds, turning her gaze up to the empath. “As far as I know, at least. After everything we went through, I can’t imagine her being anywhere but at Richard’s side.” The woman did tear a hole in the universe just to get to the man, after all — it’s quite understandable.

“I don’t know about Varlane, though.” She adds this as an aside — most people probably don’t know he’s back, too. “Haven’t seen him since we left Kansas City.”

So Magnes made it back too. Huruma looks somewhat at a loss, just for a moment. Her mind pulls back to the present.

"The last time I saw either of them, they were being lifted into the mouth of a hole in the sky. I was there. I guess this means black holes do go somewhere." For the first time, Huruma has a tiny smile that is nothing like her more predatory one. There's something else.

"When you saw me, you panicked. You knew that I knew, didn't you? Who you were."

“I can attest, though I don’t remember much about my experience.” The former starlet’s gaze darkens slightly. “I heard a loud…sound, in here.” She reaches up, tapping a temple. “Then I woke up here, without my ability, and…well.” She frowns a bit — that’s a story better reserved for a more private location.

“It’s not so much that I knew that. I mean…many people look at me like I’m a ghost, rightfully so.” Blue eyes cast toward the ground. “I knew another you where I came from,” she murmurs. “Not well, but I had shared drinks with you and Captain Ryans,” she continues, turning her bright blue gaze back up to the tall woman’s face.

“I panicked because I knew my cover story wasn’t going to work on you.” She knew Huruma well enough to know that lies are difficult to successfully get across when the person you’re lying to can feel your emotions.

Huruma came in less like someone who saw a ghost and more a spectre of death. She hums, lips closed when the other woman admits the loss of her power. So if that wasn't it-

Deceit to an empath is an icy, elusive thing; though it isn't this that prompts a reaction, rather the former words. Brows move up and then furrow back down, incredulous. "Benjamin?" Huruma can only laugh halfway, still puzzling. "Captain? He was in the Navy, I suppose… But- you mean to say that I was part of crew? I wasnl with him there too?" Now the laugh is entire, pale eyes glittering like a kitten's.

"I am. Not a fan of boats. I knew of two. Of me. This is three.. And arguably the least terrible."

“Yes. You and Adam Monroe helped him to run his ship,” she replies, smiling faintly as she recalls aspects of her former life. She wasn’t close to the crew of the Cerberus, but she liked them well enough to share drinks every so often. “I liked you all rather well.”

She smiles at the mention of boats and her dislike of them. “I spent nearly a decade living mostly on the boat that I captained, The Sayonara.” A flash of sadness and grief rips through the woman, suddenly, as she mentions her boat. She points upward. “We had a small community nested in the upper floors of the taller buildings, but I rarely went there.” Concern, this time, blossoms in the broken telepath.

She turns her gaze toward the ground. “Now that I’m on solid ground, I find myself missing the water, funny enough,” she murmurs, letting out a small chuckle.

That tidbit has Huruma blinking back once. "… And Adam?" She cannot decide how she feels about this. Conflicting feelings on the matter show in the set of her jaw. "The Cerberus." Somehow it feels right on the tongue. Her breath puffs in a low laugh. "Three heads, hm?"

"Here they are anything but friends. They used to be, once upon a time… Or so I understand." Huruma sighs quietly as Remi's emotions hop-skip. She isn't ready to field that, just yet, so she says nothing. "Hence the river theatre. Maybe that is where you belong."

Remi seems to catch on, and smiles just a bit at the notion that Ben, at least, seems to be doing well. “It’s good to hear that C— that Ben is well here.” Or at least it seems like he is? She nods, then. “Adam. I liked him, though I didn’t see him nearly as much as I saw you and your Captain.” It’s strange, talking about other versions of someone with them.

She closes her eyes for a moment, wrapping her brain around how surreal this all is. “I feel most at home on the water, at least. I am still very happy to be here. I appreciate the solid ground.” She taps her toes on the ground once to emphasize.

When she speaks next, her voice is much quieter. “I’m not supposed to be talking about these things. I’m supposed to keep my cover — SESA asked us travelers to be quiet about what happened to bring us here.” Sounds like there are others like her, too.

"How astounding this must be. I am starting to feel it myself…" Huruma speaks in a hush at first. "Though somehow, knowing I've found the same people I love here, in other worlds," She can't help but wonder how it came to be. That isn't worth getting into. "It is an affirming feeling."

At the mention of SESA's rules, Huruma just makes an annoyed noise against her teeth.

"… You will find that Richard has a difficult time keeping conspiracies to himself." She doesn't think he'll last as long as he likely wants to. Taking bets. Huruma tilts her eyes to examine the nearest chandelier once more. "As for the government, no harm done. I am not exactly a typical encounter, and I won't mention it. It isn't as if it makes me look as heroic as fighting the Vanguard did."

“It’s pretty fantastic, if you ask me.” The woman can’t help the small grin. “I’ve gotten to see some of my old stomping grounds that I never thought I’d see again.” She pauses. “Most of it is closed or outside of of the Safe Zone — I had an apartment looking over Central Park at one point in my life.” A pang of longing accompanies the recollection.

“I don’t think I found my same loved ones,” she murmurs in a near-whisper, reaching up to touch her necklace, which contains a rather battered-looking engagement ring — a ripple of almost overwhelming grief passes through the woman, before it is shoved back down where it came from.

Instead, she allows an amused smile to cross her expression. “I kind of get the feeling,” she replies. “How else could he have managed to do what he did?” She hasn’t offered a full explanation, but he was partially responsible for their return, after all. “And thank you,” she adds, nodding toward the woman at her assurance of silence.

"I have seen too much war to miss places. It's always the people that make anything worthwhile." Huruma addresses both the woman's longing and despair with one mention. Maybe she's right. Home is where the heart is, right?

"When he sets his mind on something it usually takes over. Or so I've noticed." Her nose crinkles slightly, though she makes him sound endearing. "He's changed as I did. Finding reasons to be better. So I am glad to see him put his money where his mouth is."

Huruma looks down at Remi one more time, gaze hooded by lids and mouth softened. "Well, Amelie… I look forward to hearing about your riverboat..Just keep an eye out for pirates." A smirk lists over her face.

The words about people prompts a sudden flash of grief again, this time accompanied by a heavy sense of loneliness to go along with it. To her credit, all the woman does outwardly to show her pain is to reach up to touch that ring again. For a moment, she clutches at the jewelry, as drawing strength from it. She has friends here with her, mostly Cassandra and Silas, but it certainly isn’t the same as if she had Jasper with her. He was her home.

Instead of responding to the apparently difficult words, she moves on to the next topic. “He and Elisabeth are suited for each other, then.” She grins. “She did just as much as he did, I think.” She can understand that, certainly.

She straightens a little, smiling up at Huruma with a swell of confidence. “I feel like pirates might have to look out for me.” She is fully planning on installing security measures for such situations, with the help of her primary backer and the technology that his company creates. That, combined with an extensive knowledge of sailing, and she feels confident of her safety on the rivers and bays of New York.

Huruma doesn't have any input on whether or not Richard and Liz are fated to be. Probably. She only smiles faintly when Remi assures her of her own danger quotient.

"Good. They need a little bit of a firm hand out there." The dark woman slides her own hands deep into the pockets of her coat, angling away in a departing gesture."I wish you luck. It's a whole new world, hm?"

As Huruma is angling toward a departure, Remi is angling to go deeper into the antique store, still quite set on finding various pieces of furniture for her business venture with others from her world.

“So I hear,” she replies, a small smirk set into her features. “Thank you, Huruma. It is a whole new world.” The smirk gives way to a more cheerful smile, and the telepath turns. “I hope to see you around. If I don’t, then drop my name at the theater.” She chuckles. “Nice to meet you.”

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