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Scene Title Not Unimportant
Synopsis Joseph and Kaylee work to bury the latest dead, while discussing some of what's been bothering the telepath about dreams of the future and Hannah's memories.
Date March 12, 2011

Pollepel Island: Burial Grounds

The forest does something to block the chill of the wind from them, the trees as buffers, seeing as they are well away from the castle. If you ask Joseph, he wouldn't have a clue about what the best kind of ground is to bury the dead. He's seen all kinds of graveyard — ones on plains as flat as a plate, others climbing over sharp hills and dips in mountain country, with tomb stones as sloped as dentist chairs, crumbled headstones like jutting teeth. Pollepel Island doesn't offer much in the way of landscape variety. He's chosen, wherever lies farthest from the castle.

For reasons of sanitation as well as privacy to do what he's doing now. The shovel slides into the chilly soil, breaks and snaps thin grass roots, and is levered aside in fat black clods of earth that break on impact. He has not dug these trenches alone — two of them dug out ahead of time, but one is too small for the cloth-covered body to rest within peacibly. His crucifixes swing with the motions of his digging, jaw set grimly and mind elsewhere if not very far away at all.

You don't have to say prayers out loud, to be praying.

He is thigh deep in the ground when Kaylee comes upon him, directed there through asking. It's a bit of an echo of a dream they once shared, but maybe it won't occur to Joseph right away. And he isn't in tears, isn't wracked with guilt or shame. Or rather, if he is, it isn't worn on the outside. Blue flannel, blue jeans, but both becoming muddied and dark with sweat and earth. Across the clearing, there is the evidence of other burial sites, freshly turned earth making fifteen home dug graves, adults and children both. Each one marked in some form, usually rocks, for now, marked with initials. And ages.

Three other things. A cross she recognises, wedging into the earth and leant against a tree. Two bodies, tied in cloth with rope and canvas. This morning, he is alone, having dismissed those that helped him take them out here.


His name is spoken in quiet uncertainty, as if maybe asking permission to be there or possibly checking his mental state without really checking it and let him know he's not alone anymore.

Tendrils of blonde hair are lifted by the wind that does flit through the trees, from the loose ponytail that keeps it fairly tame in this weather. The brown leather jacket zipped up, though the black of Kaylee's turtle neck shows under it. Boots scuff against the dirt as she moves closer to the edge of the newest grave.

Her eyes for the moment are firmly focused on him, as Kaylee crouches there at the edge. Kaylee does so to avoid looking at the bodies. Her eyes are still red rimmed and tired looking, she doesn't want to tear up anymore. It also brings back the dream that others shared with her, the scene makes her very aware of their mortality.

Steam rises from a large mug with a chipped rim, cradled between her hands, which is slowly held out to him. "I thought you could use something to warm you a bit. Getting warmer, but these mornings…" She trails off studying the man. Her gaze dips down to the grave he's working on and the shovels. "Want some help?" she asks even though she knows he sent others away.

The shovel is leant against the side of the hole, Joseph attempting to clean his palms down the sides of his jeans as he turns to look at her, offer a smile. It's not exactly the place for smiling— or maybe it is, like this, gently reassuring, welcoming, warm and sincere. Dirt beneath his nails, he takes the mug from her, walking across the six feet of trench. "I'm about done here," he tells her with a shake of his head, a hand touching her wrist sort of as signal to a brief and light kiss, that's shied away from when delivered. "But you can help me fill 'em in, if you want to."

The morning is young yet, says the shrug. He can do it on his own too. Taking a deep sip of the warm beverage, Joseph turns his back on her just to move away — there aren't a lot of options where he stands, back and forth. The soil is mud beneath his feet, but a rich mix of rainwater and black soil.

"Like I would leave you to do all this work on you're own," she chides gently, after the kiss is received, long fingers touching his jaw lightly, affectionately before he retreats. Kaylee straightens then while he paces back from her. Knees don't like to stay down like that for long, especially since the ground is wet and she can't really sit.

She curls arms around herself, letting her eyes wander to the bodies waiting for burial, Kaylee turns thoughtful. "Besides, I want to help." Her tones distracted, as words spoken from her own mouth and the distraught screams of a young girl echo through her head. She gives a small shiver.

Glancing back at Joseph, she pulled blonde hair out of her face and tucks it behind her ear. She doesn't say that she's worried about him over working himself. If her possibly future version of herself told her anything, this is who he was… what he would be like. Kaylee could only hope to help alleviate some of that stress and rather then try to curb it… help him. Stand by him.

Speaking of strange visions and dying people… "I went to Mas Mechanic's a few days ago." It sounds out of the blue, but… "Hannah's memories," she reminds him incase he forgot. "What I saw has been bothering me, so I went there when I walked Missy one day." Of course, Kaylee confesses to it, like she's uncertain of if it's a good or bad thing.

He indulges in tea even as his free hand grips against the wooden pole of the shovel, nosing its spading end into the muddy ground and twisting a look back at her as she strikes up conversation. The inquiring raise of his eyebrows indicates that no, it's not a bad thing. Maybe a little baffling, but Joseph is not much of a monitor of people. This particular flock, the network, is one that splits apart and wanders too much for him to keep proper track of.

The edge of his boot sinks the shovel against the last handful or several of dirt needing to be lifted, but Joseph doesn't, not immediately. He lets her continue.

"There was a woman there, named Eve. Eve Mas." As in the name on the shop. "We.. had an interesting discussion." Kaylee doesn't mention the woman was slightly crazy, that was for sure. "She grew up in that shop and I'd say she's about the same age as Hannah in there." Moving to crouch again, she watches the metal of the shovel sink a little.

"She's never heard of Hannah Kirby or Benji Foster working there… nor does she remember a little boy with a black dog named Alicia." She did tell him about that part didn't she? So much information, she tends to forget what she has told him or not. "I know that people go by other names, but…"

She catches her bottom lip with her teeth as she looks up at him, looking a little uncertain. "I want to go have another look at those memories. I know that's not… not how I normally work." There is a but in their, but she doesn't. "I like her, she's a nice woman, but it was a really weird experience." It really appealed to her curiosity. "Made weirder after talking to Eve, who seems to be a precognitive of sorts."

Pushing the spade in, Joseph levers out the last of the dirt in two heft sweeps, before he's setting the shove aside, on flat ground beside the coffee mug he set down, and giving Kaylee his full attention once more. "Maybe it's just some place Kirby's been, and it kinda got— I dunno, laid over her memories, muddled with other ones. No offense 'gainst your ability or nothin', but the brain seems like a tricky place t'navigate. I'd say, o' course, that she's lyin', but that don't seem any likelier.

"What do you reckon you'll find?"

Once again, tea taken up, gripped two-handedly and drawn from, the heat of it welcomed as much as its comfort. This place doesn't offer much in the way of that. Or maybe it will, once proper monuments are erected, once all the graves are closed, once they stop needing to drag the fresh corpses out here.

Would they ever stop needing a place for their dead? There was a dream that seemed to say otherwise.

“Honestly?” Kaylee sounds just uncertain about it, doubting herself or just going through a moral dilemma. “I don't know. Maybe she just had one of those future dreams, too. The city looked all bombed out.” Not just Midtown. “And when I mentioned it to Eve, she was all interested in it. Showed me a sketch of some other future that didn't happen and mentioned someone had some of her paintings that I might find interesting. She's suppose to contact me.”

He can see the doubt in Kaylee as her eyes flick away from him to stare at the metal cross, she hasn't been sure about herself since she returned from the past.

“Maybe, I'm just feeling a little paranoid.” Kaylee admits softly, knees dipping forward to rest against the damp ground, dampness soaking into the knees. “Between that dream, the robots, the woman now sharing Eileen's mind… this thing with Hannah… the flu.” The bodies get a look now. The list is so much bigger, but she doesn't say it all, he knows all of it. “I feel like I need to learn what I can. All the variables… ”

Realization flickers across her features and she gives a sad humorless scoff of laughter, hands moving to cover her face briefly. “Oh great… I'm becoming my father.” The words sound so bitter. Just like he'd do, she wants to find out about this future is and stop it. Or at least protect what means the most of her. Namely Joseph, the Ferry and her family.

This last sentiment gets a raised eyebrow for her troubles, not exactly compassion reflected back at her in his expression when he detects the note of sincerity in her voice. "Well. There're worse things. Try turnin' into my father." Draining porcelain of more of the beverage, leaving the lukewarm left overs to settle at the bottom of it, Joseph sets it aside at an arm's length of distance from the trench, as well as laying down the shovel. He doesn't want to go hey, can you pass me that in reference to a dead body.

And doesn't mind procrastinating a little longer. "So you think somethin's coming. It's smart to speculate, to try and see ahead. If I still had a workin' power, I'd offer to help, but— you got a good heart, and a head above it. Just trust both. An' I'm sure the docs won't mind you takin' a look at Hannah anyhow."

Cheeks flush a nice red, eyes dropping shyly. "Thanks for the vote of confidence." She means it. "Though I think there is a little bit of a bias there," she teases gently, offering him an affectionate smile to show that it does mean a lot. "I know you'd help that way, if you could. Even if your gift is.. not working. This…" She motions between the two of them. "This helps. Us talking."

Kaylee then wrinkles her nose a bit and straightens. "Though not sure about them letting me in. Megan really doesn't think much of me, especially ever since… well… when we freed you from that Refrain place." Her eyes look over the grave before settling on him, her mood sobering then, as if maybe she might have heard a thought there in his head.

"I'll help you pick them up and lower them in." She says out of the blue, the thought of dragging them over to the hole and dumping them in, seemed… disrespectful. "How you feeling, by the way?" She's more them likely asked him that a few times since the injections. With Abby getting sick, she can't help it.

Joseph pulls himself out of the grave, dirt and mud smearing up the shins of his without a blink from the pastor. It's all the same to him, at this point, and there's something good and wholesome about the earth and dirty hands. Something that doesn't come often after living in the thick of the city. "I dunno if Megan's that spiteful, but I can ask her for you, if you want," is said with a glance askance. One that says he is expecting her to refuse and do it her own self. "Otherwise— I can come, at least."

On his feet and dusting his hands off, he moves for the closest body, the one of the tall plague-victim within that needed the trench elongated to fit his frame in any respectful way. "I've been feelin' fine. Healthy." And tips a black-eyed look downwards at the huddled , canvas wrapped form of the body.

"You grab the feet end."


Crouching down, Kaylee tries not to think about the body that's in that wrapped canvas, even as she curls fingers into the rough fabric. Knuckles touch something solid and fleshy under the canvas, but she doesn't think about that.

Feet shuffle as she moves to the edge of the grave. Once they get the body settled gently in the earth — not a light one either to her —Kaylee stands at the edge with a shovel held in one hand. Her brows dip down in thought. This whole thing has her thinking about screaming young girls, but also something else.

"Joseph?" She looks from the body to the pastor, looking thoughtful. "What's the psalm… how did it start…" Eyes narrow as she looks out at the water sparkling in the morning light. A breeze lazily blows at strands of hair. "It was something about man being like a flower in the field, getting blow over by the wind? Ah…" Eyes drift down to the grave as she struggles to remember it. "'As a father has… compassion for his children…'" She stumbles a bit on the wording and sighs heavily, looking rather disappointed in herself. "I can't think of it."

She looks to him to see if it jogs his memory.

"'As a father has compassion for his children'," Joseph says, and punctuates the beginning of this extract by shoving spade end of shovel into the soft dirt he'd been plying out of the ground, "'so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him, for he knows how we are formed, he remembers we are dust.'" He tips the black earth down into the trench, peppering it with the dirt in a light, almost respectful way, even if soon they'll have to crush it beneath the dirt. "'As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over and it is gone, and its place remembers no more.'" Another shovel full, and another, shrugging a pause. "It's a funeral extract, or that's how it's used a lot. Psalm 103.

"'Oh Lord, you sweep us away like a dream.'"

Another clod of earth. "Psalm 90. It reminds us we're mortal. Brief. But not unimportant." He looks towards her sidelong, quirks a crooked smile. "Maybe I'll read it next Sunday."

When he looks her way, he'll find Kaylee watching him, blue eyes glittering with unshed tears. The smile on her lips is gentle, content and full of a sort of pride and affection that a woman should have for that important man in her life.

Maybe the words moved her, though more likely it's more. As those words echo from a dream extracted from several people, spoken by her for him. Lashes flutter a bit as she blinks several times, which sends a tear sliding down her cheek. She's quick to brush it away with the back of her hand and takes of up the shovel.

She sniffs a bit and starts to work beside him, it feel right to be there helping him… she can only hope he feels the same. "I agree," Kaylee says softly. "I think that would be perfect. In light of everything, we all need a reminder to keep hope and even faith alive right now. That we're not unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

"You're perfect for the job."

"Well, what was it you were sayin' about people being a little bias here?" Joseph says, that crooked smile turning into a more genuine, wider grin, albeit a brief one. But he pauses, and sticks the shovel in the dirt, and moves to loop arms around Kaylee for an embrace that can last as long as they want it to. Blonde hair tickles against the soft underside of his jaw, a breeze snagging the finer threads of her hair up his cheek.

There's only dead folks to lay down rules, and they aren't — as quiet as the river, or a view of it, a photograph — for eternity.

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