Out of her Gourd


mynama_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif

Scene Title Out of her Gourd
Synopsis Mynama tries to blow up a pumpkin with her brain and Daphne stops by to make smartassed comments — then actually gives some real advice.
Date October 23, 2010

Central Park

Considering that the Halloween is just around the corner, it's a relatively warm day in New York City. But it's been like that for awhile. Maybe the earth is bucking against the incredibly long winter by squeezing out as much warm weather as it can before it submits to the cold once again. But the grocery stores and street markets still sell pumpkins for people to carve cartoonish and ghoulish faces into for the upcoming holiday.

Few people take these gourds to Central Park, however.

Still, Mynama Barros-Nunes sits with her legs folded, about ten feet away from a rather large pumpkin with a good sized stalk that she's set up on a wooden crate. It's possible the crate once held other vegetables, and that she was able to talk the stall owner out of it. It makes a perfect pedestal for her purposes.

Dressed in a eggplant turtleneck sweater, jeans tucked into tall, suede boots, and with a bright cyan blue fashion scarf arranged around her neck and her hair pulled back tight against her skull, the teenager stares intently at the seasonal icon. The large, burnished gold hoops in her ears twitch slightly with her efforts, her brows furrowed and her long fingers curled around her calves.

Not so far from Mynama's meditative like posture, a tall black-clad man is standing alone with a cup of coffee, sunglasses and low-brimmed hat shading his face. One moment, that is, he is alone; the next moment brings with it a rush of wind and a blur of red and gold and green, almost blending into the foliage of the nearby trees — except falling leaves don't whoosh. And then Daphne Millbrook is standing in front of the man, proudly offering up a paper-wrapped parcel of sorts.

There is an exchange of parcel for an envelope which is tucked carefully into the red and white courier bag that the speedster carries, and then she is given the cup of coffee as well. Apparently the going rate for stolen goods is a certain sum of money and an eggnog latte.

The man bends to give the petite blonde a kiss on each cheek. He tucks the parcel into his leather jacket and walks off.

Daphne looks rather pleased with herself as she sips her latte, dark eyes sparkling with the pride of a job well done as she surveys the park, noting the strange girl staring at a pumpkin.

She nears Mynama, a little warily, then says, "If that were me, I'd be bored out of my gourd." — Get it? — She offers an impish smile.

"You use that when you do open mics?" is Mynama's dry response, delayed a few seconds and with an accent that isn't quite from the Spanish mainland. She straightens her posture a bit and closes her eyes, lifting one hand to pinch the bridge of her nose. Apparently staring at pumpkins invites headaches. After the pain abates slightly, she turns her head to look up at Daphne - something that's probably only necessary because she's sitting down in the autumn-leaf-blanketed grass.

The expression she gives the older woman is one of confused annoyance. "Why can't you be like everyone else and just look at me strangely when you pass by?" She waits a beat, and then her dark eyes go wide. "Can you make pumpkins explode with your mind?!"

It's as if she's struck gold.

"Sorry," Daphne says, offering a pursed-mouth smirk and a shrug of her shoulders. "Squashkinesis is not what my registration card says." Not that she has one.

"And really, do I look like the type of person to just keep my thoughts to myself?" Bleached-blond dreadlocks stick out from beneath a burnt-orange knit cap, a bright lime green scar is wrapped around Daphne's neck, clashing with the orange-red pea-coat she wears atop jeans. "I'm kinda not really known for being quiet, unless I'm on a job." Mynama's too young to be a cop, so Daphne's not too worried about being arrested.

"You got a power, though? Are you trying to practice safely? I'd suggest maybe not in a public place, 'cause even if you're registered, a pumpkin suddenly going all Kablooey might freak people out, ya know? I could maybe find someone who could help you practice, if that's what you're trying to do. I got a network and all."

Mynama looks a little disappointed, but it's short lived. Yes, people with evolved abilities are numerous enough to present what the government what might interpret as a threat, but you still don't run into someone else whose card says "Evolved" every day. Mynama brightens at the knowledge that the blond punk-pixie is like her, and her lips pull into a wide smile that dims moments after it's born.

She looks down at the grass in front of her and plucks up a leaf, tearing the brittle orange wings away from the russet veins. "I have one, but I don't know what it is. I thought maybe if I tried a lot of different things, that I would find out. I could make it happen." But the frustrated and disillusioned tone in her voice would suggest that this pumpkin is just one in a long line of previous attempts to do battle with vegetables.

"Hmm." Daphne moves closer and actually sits down near the younger woman. "I don't think that's how it works, to be honest, kid. Most people I know? Their powers kinda kick in when they need them, or maybe in a time of stress or something. You can't will it to happen. It just does, when it's ready to. And you know how many powers there are? The odds of you hitting the right one — I donno. I'm not good at math except to count my earnings, but I think you could try a new thing every day and be like my age before you hit the right one."

Of course, the other option that Daphne is suggesting isn't exactly a wise one to put on the table. Mynama looks thoughtful for a moment, then looks back up at the other woman. "I'm Mynama," she offers, a glimmer of her previous joy twitching momentarily on her face. "And I'm not sure if I want to go throwing myself in front of subway trains to find out what I can do."

With her luck, it wouldn't work.

There's an arch of brows from Daphne. "No, I wouldn't suggest doing that, but you're young, okay? I mean, most people don't manifest until they're like your age, or later. Me? I didn't until I was in my mid-twenties. You got loads of time in front of you. Just because your DNA says you are doesn't mean you're ready to be, you know? The gene might be there, doesn't mean it's active. Like — there are people who have genes for genetic diseases that don't kick in until they're 40 or 50 years old. Just because the gene's there, doesn't mean you are that thing, either."

She nods toward the pumpkin. "Carve a face in him and make some pumpkin pie. It's a better use of your time." Because nothing is worse to Daphne like a waste of time.

The idea that Myanma may have to wait decades before she can effectively unwrap the last present she ever received from her mother - because she's convinced her mother must have had an ability too. The leaves rustle as Mynama draws her legs up and hugs them to her chest, resting her chin on her knees. "But people don't want to have diseases. I mean, if that doesn't show up until way late, that's alright. But this… I could have something awesome, but I can't do anything with it until…well, until whenever whatever says I can. It's not fair.

"Plenty of people didn't want to manifest at all, and they did. I want it, but I have to wait?" Myanma shakes her head with a frown before she turns to look at Daphne again. "Anyone like that in your network?" It's a challenge of sorts with a slight emphasis on the word network, but it's also a legitimate question.

The older woman chuckles and shakes her head. "Life isn't fair, kid. I didn't know about powers, when I manifested, but if I had? If I had thought about it like you're doing? I would have been even more pissed off about my life than I already was, if I sat around mad that my power hadn't kicked in." She is suddenly a blur of motion, jumping from her seat, turning a circle around Mynama, and sitting down again so that this time she faces the girl, rather than sitting beside her.

"That's what I can do. Before I could do that?" She waits a beat, dark eyes seeking Mynama's. "I was crippled. So yeah, sometimes life isn't fair. I had that gene my whole life, I went more than twenty years not being able to walk. If I sat around mad that my power hadn't kicked in — God, I don't even know what I would have done. But it works when you need it to — need and want are not the same."

She tilts her head. "You know that song? 'You might not get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need…'"

"Except in this case, I don't think trying will help," Daphne adds.

Mymama is once more agog at Daphne's display, but she swallows down much of her awe at the sober, if short, tale of Daphne's life before manifestation. Having looked up at the blur of motion, Mynama rests her head on her knees again. Daphne's story doesn't really change how she feels. It just adds a whipped-cream topping of guilt.

"It might," she murmurs, the gears in her head already turning as she starts up new schemes of experimentation. "I mean, I'm sure the Suresh Center has stuff they can do, right? They help people who have manifested. So why not do something like… like when someone has the hiccups? You scare them, and the hiccups go away. Only in this case, you're inducing powers." It's logical.

Daphne's dark eyes widen at the mention of Roosevelt. "Don't go there," she says with a vehement shake of her head. "The whole island. It's a trap, kid. You might be registered and all, but really, I mean — you think they're letting people have gorgeous lux housing for cheap out of the goodness of their hearts? They're trying to make an Australia out of that island, but instead of a penal colony, it'll be all us Evos. I don't trust it. And you don't want people to poke and prod you til you do something. At least not those people. If you want someone to scare you, I'll do it, or I'll find someone to do it, who's not gonna lock you up if you turn out to be able to boil my brains with a blink of your eyes, all right?"

There's been propoganda, of course, and columnists and bloggers who have said the very thing Daphne does. But when it comes from someone like Daphne - who might as well be an autumnal sprite for all her pixniess and speed, and who has a network of people who she so willingly offered to Mynama for aid, the words carry a weightier doom.

But that's not the only thing that makes Mynama's eyes grow as wide as saucers.

"…people can do that?"

"Put you away?" Daphne says, and she nods solemnly. "I went on a rescue — this place called the Institute, they had people locked up that they stole for experiments on their powers. You know the visions people had? They did that — this group called the Institute. People died that day, driving and car accidents and God knows what, you know? And it's working with the government. And the Department of Evolved Affairs, they're government, and they're the ones who are all over Roosevelt like white on rice. So yeah, keep the hell away from there, okay?"

Daphne rises once more, and nods to the pumpkin. "You can try to blow up Jackie there all you want with your brain. Just don't go to Roosevelt. If you don't trust me, I get that. I'm not exactly a good role model, but Roosevelt? It's bad business, man." She shivers involuntarily at the memories associated with the place — the Den, the hospital where she tried to rescue Hiro, being attacked by Danko. Too many bad memories to count.

"No, I mean… boil brains by blinking?"

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