One And Many


eve4_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif

Scene Title One and Many
Synopsis Interesting things are always found while visiting the Library of Eve.
Date December 6, 2018

Cats Cradle - Upstairs, in Eve's apartment.

The door to the Cat’s Cradle opens slightly, then closes again about a second later. But because it’s early in the day it can really only be one person, and not the ghosts that might show up in the middle of the night. Squeaks might as well be something that’s haunting the bar, since she’s moving on quiet feet and slinking past tables. She does pause, very briefly, to help herself to a cherry from the bar. It won’t be missed, and Sassy probably won’t say anything anyway.

The teenager’s path cuts away from the bar and to the stairs that lead up instead of down. Up is where Eve’s apartment is, and that’s where all the books have gone. The door that greets her there is eased open in much the same manner as the main one into the business, and like before she slips inside. These visits are all fairly common, and it’s sort of like a whole personal library now, but without due dates. Or waiting for a certain book to be returned or found at the other library.

Normally her visits are kept short, she lets herself come and go as she needs and usually doesn’t bother anything. And she’s been real good at returning the books she’s finished. Today looks to be no different, as Squeaks carefully closes the door behind and walks to the room where the books are being kept. As she does, her backpack comes off her shoulders and one of her more recently borrowed texts is removed, something brought back to trade for another.

The smell of candles of various scents, cinnamon, apple, wood.. greet Squeaks as she enters Eve's apartment. The plants are in need of planting and a half empty jug of water sits there on an end table next to the drone Spike that sits in the corner as usual. Humming can be heard coming from the woman in question bedroom, it isn't long though before Eve herself is padding out barefoot to the living room dressed in a long flowing purple skirt and long sleeved black scoop neck top.

"Why dearieeeeee. Hello" Eve walks over and smiles down at Squeaks, "Come for some more knowledge have we? I found some old texts in the market, traded a silver bracelet for them."

The search for the First in myths had deepened for the woman since her visit to Brooklyn College, her incident during the Masturi. Eve enjoyed Squeaks coming around and asking the questions and reading the books, it made her feel like the next generation would have heroes.

“Hi.” Squeaks tilts her head up so she can give a quick look to Eve. The seer’s new findings are an exciting thing. “Like really old books? Older than…” She trails off to think up something that's been around forever, and finds a place on the shelves for the one she’s returning. “Older than the Underneath?” A lot of those tunnels are pretty ancient.

"I wish. I'm in search of more ancient texts, I'll let you know what I find." Eve smiles gently over at Squeaks and she goes to the kitchen to grab water for them both. "Where have you been? What adventures have you had?" She asks with a genuine interests, Squeaks was a curious girl. Curious people were Eve's favorite people in the world.

"Just some slightly older books. Ones that you might not find at Barnes and Noble." Not caring if that reference is relevant or not. The books laid out on the table range from Native American and a few on Sumerian mythology. "I had a dream once," unprompted Eve tells the story, "My first one… I didn't remember it until recently really. Or had not thought of it.. you know your auntie's brainpan is hot hot hot."

"The word unite in Sumerian, that's what I remember most.. and a child with hands raised to the eclipse. A child of it." Eve seems lost in her ramblings as things seem to click into place for her.

“Older, but not really old.” The teenager might like to see some really old books sometime. There’s a lot in the library that are far from being new, but nothing so old as ancient. “Child of the Eclipse,” she wonders out loud. That’s a term she’s familiar with, one she remembers an old man using about himself, and her and Joe. And probably all slice people really. “I wonder if I can find Zhao again and ask him about these things. You could write your questions down and I could ask him too.” Because that’s absolutely normal, right?

Turning to the table, she looks over the books that are laid out. “I haven’t been to dangerous places, just home. And the library. Raytech.” She nudges one book aside and pulls another closer for a better look. “I learned some stuff. How come the eclipse is so important in all these cultures? I saw it comes from another word that means abandonment, but some places makes it sound like eclipses are really important somehow.”

"Child of the eclipse.." sliding her tongue over her teeth, it has a ring to it that's for sure. Any question that Squeaks is about to ask is thrown to the wayside when she mentions Zhao and speaking with him. Eve's demeanor changes as swift as a feral animal she and lifts one leg to half crouch on her seat. Lips twitch before she erupts into a cackle, "The world and it's web spins tighter and tighter."

"Where did you meet this Zhao? Is he an expert on the Children of the Eclipse?" Coming back around to her question, "The Eclipse holds power.. it swallows all. Maybe it is why, something that takes in that much power has to put it somewhere.." pointing to her chest and then to Squeaks.

A growl or snarl could not have brought a greater wariness to Squeaks’ expression when Eve cackles. Her brows get a little bunchy, and she looks up at the seer. Even the book in hand is brought up as a small shield and hugged tightly against her chest. “He talked like that,” she explains. “Called us Children of the Eclipse. Joe said it meant being slice.”

She eases a half step from the table, watching for all those signs grown-ups have for when they get particularly dangerous. It’s hard to know if Eve is angry or… just being Eve. “When Joe and I went to look for Eimi in the ruins. There’s a huge plane that crashed and we were looking there.” Probably it’s reasonable to assume that’s where the teenager ran into the old man.

“It’s fine. He didn’t see Eimi, but he talked and maybe knows a whole lot of things.” Squeaks lifts her shoulders a teeny bit, and then lets them drop again. “Eclipses also block out light. Real light when it’s blocking the sun and reflected light when it’s blocking the moon. So isn’t it more stealing power that way?”

"Did he.. how interesting, it sounds like he and I would get along famously!" An outright lie seeing as she just destroyed a big money making factory of drugs that he ran, whoopsie. Eve nods her head thoughtfully, "It is good he didn't see Hopper," she missed Eimi. A faint frown as she turns her head back to Squeaks her "episode" averted narrowly.

"That is a good observation dearie, if the eclipses are the source of us gaining our gifts and the eclipses steal power. What is it stealing power from to grant us these gifts?"

“I don’t know.” Squeaks leaves the topic of Zhao alone, because thinking about eclipses is way more interesting right now. She hesitates, wondering about what she remembers of eclipses. And if she’s ever seen one, but probably she has. “Maybe it depends on the kind. There’s different ones. When the Moon goes between the Earth and the Sun, it blocks that power from getting to us. It gets darker and cold— ”

The dark is okay. Squeaks has never really been afraid of the dark. Usually can find her way even if she can’t see anything. Her ability has always been good like that. It’s the cold isn’t so great. And it’s both dark and a little cold in the lowest parts of the Crash Pad, where the building that’s been taken over as living spaces stretches way far down into the dark ocean. But that’s where she’s gone exploring. There aren’t a lot of places left to see, and a little cold isn’t going to stop her.

The cold water is a bit of a shock when she steps into it. The building offers some insulation from the outside, but not enough to keep the ocean warm. Her teeth chatter as she stands, knee-deep, waiting for her body to adjust. It’s going to be just like swimming in spring, right? The teenager takes a couple of breaths, holding the last one, and then ducks down into the chilly depths. She’s up a second later, body shuddering as she pulls in a brand new breath, and then down again she goes.

As she sinks a second time, Squeaks twists left then right to keep her body moving. Arms and legs work together to hold her in place, not too far from the surface but head and toes under water. And she starts, after a second, trying to make those clicks, to see if her ability still works.

The clicks don't sound, not in the way that they do above water but the precision in which they operate stays the same. Echoes and shapes, twists resonate back to the young girl and bubbles leak from her mouth before she is forced to take another breath. Before she has to pop up a collective of circular shaped object that's.. large leap to her perception. The chill in the water sticking to her, it feels like it's under her very skin.

"Dearie? Squeaks?" Eve waves her hand in front of Squeaks' face. Brown eyes squinting and then she smiles gently, "Ahh, another you. More than two. Hmmm?" Speaking to the girl who cannot answer.

As Squeaks' head burst above the surface of the water there is a glint of something that hits the light for just the tiniest of moments. There's something below there. Confirming what her ability told her with her eyes.

The teenager’s eyes stay focused on nothing particular, unaware of the hand moving in front of her.

A breath is gasped in noisily, both out of necessity and excitement. It worked! It works underwater. Squeaks lets out a laugh that echoes around her, the chill in her body giving the sound a shuddery, broken sound. There’s things down there, lost things. And even though her body is beginning to feel the cold, she’s interested in going beneath again.

The girl gives her head a shake, because that’s going to help her feel warmer, then she’s pulling in a really deep breath and sinking again. Her clicks start again, and this time she knows more where to look. Below, there’s the circular something that she dives toward. Arms pull while feet kick, dragging herself through the cold, cold water. She’ll make the one attempt to get it before going back to the surface.

Aunt Eve sits back and watches Squeaks with a curious glint in her eyes.

Bubbles float up pass Squeaks' face as she dives down again. Clicks hurtling through the watery depths to again hit the edge of something circular. It's round, medium sized and as Squeaks closes her fingers to pull she notices how cold it is, metal.

"Ooh she's got a message from the side, chickie chickie ooo ooo," Snapping her fingers in time to imaginary music Eve sings softly, twisting midnight strands of hair together.

In the flickering light, the face of a man standing next to a woman comes into view under a glass surface, it's a metal picture frame. Shaped in a circle. Dirt and muck stains the surface and covers the faces of the rest of the people in the photo.

Climbing out of the water isn’t as easy as getting in. The cold is as deep as the darkness below the surface and Squeaks pushes the metal picture frame onto the dry floor before dragging herself out. Water sloshes with her, pooling onto the floor, and the air feels even more cold than before. She shudders with the chill, but rests on her knees to examine her finding.

The teenager spends several seconds trying to rub at the glass with numb-feeling fingers. With all the wet and the deep cold, it’s being harder than it should be. She pauses a couple of times, to breath on her hands and try to work some warmth into her fingers, then decides to give it up until she’s warmed. “It’s dark down here anyway,” she says out loud. “I need — ”

“ — Light…” The word drags itself out and slumps in confusion. Squeaks sags backward a step, eyes narrowed a teeny bit and expression puzzled. Her head swivels, and then even her whole body after two or three seconds twists in place. This is still Cat’s Cradle — she’s pretty sure, since there’s Spike and everything else just like it was — but what about that other place?

“What… did… was that aliens?”

Watching Squeaks, Eve leans back and smiles softly. "It looked like you got a glimpse of another life, another river. The visions have littered our world for a bit." Rubbing a spot on the inside of her arm. Eve looks curiously over at the young woman. "I've seen the shades of my life, if I were to lean one way more than the other. Consistent! We are. I bet that surprises." A light chuckle and then Eve is making herself busy making more tea, humming lightly.

"Some of our Shades are darker than others, more sad but they can teach us things, lessons if we pay attention. Never forget, you can trust yourself in unfamiliar waters."

There's a hidden meaning in Eve's words, a slightly haunted look veiled by warm smiles and warm teas, she only hoped that Squeaks learned beautiful things from the other rivers, leaving pain and darkness in the past where it belongs.

“Another life?” The teenager makes another circle, and raises a hand to press against her forehead as she does. “There’s others…” But the question dies, because she already knows the answer. She’s talked before, to her work-boss and others, about the superstrings being other versions of their world. So why wouldn’t there be another her somewhere else? The idea probably wasn’t thought of, or she wouldn’t be so confused by it.

As she comes around again, Squeaks looks up at Eve. “It was dark,” she explains, “not lots of light.” But not scary. She seems more bothered by just seeing another her than anything she might have seen. “Did… did you see?” As she asks she lets herself walk forward, to join the seer for tea. “It’s okay if you don’t want to say. But…” But there’s a lot of questions starting to simmer about what just happened.

"Sometimes the brightest answers lie in the dark beneath shadows, covered in the muck." Tilting her head Eve nods at her young adoptive niece. As they settle on this conclusion, Eve leans forward to pour more hot water in her cup, steam rising and hitting her nose and eyelids.

"I only see my Sisters. Not what lies around them. Curious hmm? We speak to each other but we can't.." it was interesting how she could only see her other selves and not view the actual surroundings like most of the others she's talked too. "They are so different yet we are the same. We are One and we are Many." The raven haired woman takes a moment to stare up into the ceiling holding her cup up halfway in the air. "To the One and the Many, May we continue to watch and learn from each other for as long as the Shining Lights crack the Door."

Another hum sounds and Eve closes her eyes. She felt like time was running out, to learn what this all means.

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