Not In Kansas Anymore


carlos_icon.gif eimi_icon.gif

Scene Title Not In Kansas Anymore
Synopsis Eimi finds out just how far from home she is and how close she came to never seeing it again.
Date March 31, 2018

Naica, Mexico

The last thing Eimi remembers, she was teleporting her way through a cavern. It was hot and wet, hard to breathe. Hard to do anything but sweat. She didn't see any light at the end of this particular tunnel before she blacked out, just the crystals, the heat, and a vague impression of orange before she passed out.

So coming to with a cool breeze hitting her face might be something of a shock.

Voices speak nearby, low whispers carrying worry and anger— but not English. Spanish is a quick-paces language at any time, but now? Here? People interrupting each other and speaking in panicked tones coupled with her exhaustion make it turn to little more than white noise in the background while she regains consciousness. On a cot. With an IV in her arm. A tent over her head. A radio playing tinny salsa. Footsteps shuffling around. A thin blanket over her legs. Sun shining through the flaps of the tent.

She's not dead, which is the first piece of good news. And she's not alone, which is the second. It's hard to say if there'll be a third or not.

Panic sets in anew as Eimi wakes up, and the light is squinted shut before she yells out. "Joe! Lance?!" Her friends, though, aren't here, and that realisation sets in even as she's trying to sit up, trying to rip out the IV. Not that either of those are as of yet particularly successful, and instead she lets out a breath and grabs at the blanket, looks around. "Eve?" A familiar face would be nice.

When Eimi shouts, someone closer to her stands up suddenly. "¡Está despierta!" The words are called out and other voices in the tent quiet for a moment. A hand comes to stop her from ripping out her IV. "Lo necesitas," is spoken in a firm, female voice. Which makes sense because it belongs to a woman who looks quite stern. "¿Cómo te llamas?" There's a brief pause before she turns to peer at Eimi's face. "Mirame. ¿Sabes dónde estás?"

On the other side of the cot, a different voice talks over Eimi to the first. "No sé qué hacer," a young man says as his runs a hand through wild, curly hair, "no sé a quién llamar."

"No te preocupes," the woman says, "Carlos está siendo difícil."

Nothing around her makes sense. Not the weather, not the people, not the smell in the air. But one thing becomes quite clear as the pair talk to her and around her. She's not in Kansas anymore. Or New York.

"What?" Eimi asks, and understanding precisely nothing is not doing anything for her ability to be calm. She shoves at the woman and tries to pull out the IV again, although it's a once again futile attempt (this time because she stops trying as the tape is secure enough to prevent minor tampering) that instead ends in the teenager sitting up in the cot and pulling her knees to her chest and her breath heaves with the effort that took, and she looks at them and asks, voice very quiet. Very flat and devoid of the panic she's been showing.

"Where am I." It's not really calm though, because she repeats it again and the girl this time tries to grab the woman's hand if she's not too far away. "Where am I."

Her questions halt the conversation happening over her and the pair look down at her. The woman smacks Eimi's hand when she goes for the IV again.

"Stop," she says, her accent heavy, "you need fluids."

"La chica tonta," the man mutters.

"Callete," the woman says before she refocuses on Eimi. "You were in the caves. This is very bad. You had no suit, you had no team. Now you rest." Probably she would be more eloquent if she could explain in her native language, but she does her best. "You're at our base camp, outside the mines. I am your nurse, so you will listen." That part is an order. Also, probably does not help explain to Eimi where she is outside of the tent she's sitting in. "Where are you from?"

Eimi shakes her head rapidly. "No. No no no I need to find Joe and Lance and Brynn it wasn't right I don't know did you find my friends too?" The pace of her words picks up, but there's no more intonation. "It went wrong I don't know how but."

What precisely went wrong isn't said, and the teenager takes a deep breath in and shakes her head again, lifts a hand to her face as she can feel the nosebleed from overuse of her ability kicking in. Again. "I need to go home," is said just above a whisper. Without any elucidation for the others about where home might be.

"We did not see anyone else," the nurse says, her voice solemn. There is no promise to keep looking, no reassurances. Eimi nearly died there, if anyone was with her… well, it's been too long now. Her hand comes to Eimi's back, though, and she comes to crouch next to the cot. "What's your name? I'm Ofelia." She'll start small, trying to give the girl easy questions to answer. Something else to focus on. "We can help to get you home, but we need to know where is home."

"Eimi," is the first thing that's said, although there's still a bit of a distrusting look cast about and the blanket is clutched a little tighter, breathing heavy until it settles down again, and she finally offers, "New York."

"Eimi," Ofelia repeats. And then: "New— York?" This is clearly not what she expected. She stands. "Stay." That's to Eimi. The man across from her only gets a look, but he nods in return. And turns his attention back to their charge.

Ofelia crosses the tent and stops in front of an old man. He looks calloused from years of hard work, his skin is brown, his hair: grey. But as much as he might look elderly, when his eyes move to find Eimi they're sharp. She can see him sigh at something Ofelia says before he disengages from the conversation and makes his way to Eimi's cot.

"Eimi." His accent is there, too, but not as heavy. His English, she'll find, is more practiced than those around her so far. "I'm Carlos. Ofelia tells me you're about as lost as you could get. Why don't you tell me what happened?"

The same distrusting expression meets his, and she lets out a breath. "Where am I?" the question comes again. "Mines, caverns… lost. But no one has told me where I'm lost."

She pauses and waits a moment. "And if I tell you, you'll help me get home?"

Pauses, and adds, "I didn't end up in wherever that was on purpose."

"You're in Mexico. East. Head north and you'll run into Texas. Eventually. Why you would want to, I can't say," Carlos says. It almost sounds like it might be a joke, but he sounds too tired for it. "I sort of gathered that you didn't wander into the crystals on purpose, if you can believe it," he notes, like she just told him something super obvious. "So why don't you tell me what happened," he repeats. But then, a small concession: "I'll get you heading that way. Before I pass you to people I trust, people who trust me, I'd like to know you aren't a plant. Because you appearing here the way you did? Kinda feels like bait."

It's the last bit that actually gets Eimi to relax, and she shakes her head. "I'm… I'm a teleporter," she explains, even as her gaze fixes somewhere out beyond the tent and she's watching for any reaction. For any reason that her trust so far may be misguided, that she'll need to leave in a hurry. So what if she can't even manage to stand up yet. "I was with my friends," her breath catches, "In New York. I… we were out and I… I tried to get us all out of somewhere really fast. It went…"

There's a brave face put on, but quite likely were she by herself she'd be sobbing right now. Instead, she squeezes her eyes shut for a long second. "I don't know where they are, and I ended up down there. There was something it was making the walls close in around me and it was. It was going to kill us, I did the only thing I could think of."

"Alright," Carlos says to her explanation. "I worked with the Ferrymen. When there still was a Ferry. I know a place to take you. A safe place. From there, they'll get you home." Carlos sighs through his nose, a wrinkled hand rubbing over his face for a moment. "Used to be a bloodhound. Still am, I suppose. That's my gift. Stick with me, you won't get lost." His hands move to his hips and he regards her for a long moment. "For now, you stay put. You listen to Ofelia. Once you're healthy enough to move, we'll hit the road. I'll stick around here, aside from getting things we'll need for a long walk." He starts to move off before he stops and looks back to her.

"Mexico isn't the vacation paradise it used to be. Don't use your gift. Unless it's that or your life."

Eimi lets out a breath and lays back, pulling the blanket up.

"Okay," she finally agrees, and then furrows her brows. "I lost my shoes before I ended up in the cave." And the rest of her clothing is in pretty sorry shape as well. "Is… is there a phone at some point? There's…" Not that she really expects a phone. But people are worried, she's sure. Changing the subject, Eimi adds, "I… usually I can cover a lot of ground with it." Not using it? That's a discussion that will come later.

"I'm hungry." Unsurprisingly, but it's a sign that she's relaxed some and is no longer panicking that she's willing to admit it, and furrows her brows a minute more.

"Thank you," she adds. "For… finding me."

"Clothes. Food." Carlos can manage that much. Probably with Ofelia telling him sizes and what not to hand a young woman to wear on a trek through Mexico. "There'll be a phone when we get to the safehouse. Before that, probably not. If we can find one, we'll stop."

The discussion will happen, no doubt. At what volume it happens will depend on a lot of factors.

"You're welcome. Rest. We'll get you home."

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