Prepare For Rain


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Scene Title Prepare For Rain
Synopsis On a bridge that still stands, Jaiden appears in the past, and goes over the details of the days to come. What few there are.
Date January 2, 1999

New York City: Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

It's the middle of winter, and the rain is coming down in favour of blanketing snow.

This will mean ice on the roads come nightfall, crackling frost and maybe those dead from the cold who couldn't get in on time. The steady rainfall is not as thick and heavy as a winter somewhere warmer, and doesn't instantly soak Jaiden through the bone — but it's working on it, in intermittent patters of drops bouncing off his skull and shoulders. At the very least, it's his element. The smell of a winter city and rivers that circle it makes a thickly ozone-like scent, dirty and electrical and damp, and very different to the early-autumn dwindled warmth of the late afternoon he'd just been plucked out from.

Rain also has the effect of clearing the scenery. Jaiden finds himself to be more or less alone on the sidewalk of a bridge, one that isn't totally unrecognisable to him after maybe a few seconds of remembering. The Narrows bridge stretches between Staten Island and Brooklyn, untouched and sturdy, and he stands smack in the centre of its lengthy walkway, with water churning the colour of gunmetal beneath him.

Something else will catch his eye. Something that is not directly familiar, apart from films, from post cards, travel posters.

The New York skyline, unbroken, draws a horizon beyond the icy railings of the bridge. Its buildings touch clouds.

With a roar, a car drives unchecked down the road, sending up splintery shards of freezing cold water from its tire as it passes by, spilling headlight illumination in front of it. It's getting late, and even without a curfew, the crush of winter drives people home. "Konnichiwa." But not late enough that good afternoon doesn't apply. From behind him, Hiro's approach is casual, walking up to him from the Staten Island side of things. He holds in his hand an umbrella, big and black like bat wings, currently opened above him and bobbing along with his steps with the same rhythm of a wave breaking against a boat. Over his arm is draped fabric, a sleeve just visible to denote it as a coat.

To be perfectly honest, Jaiden expected more out of time travel.

In the movies and the books, Time Travel is a great show with lightning, cars going 88 miles an hour, crystal machines or spaceships going around the sun with vulcans as science officers but with Hiro? He was in an abandoned store in the middle of the destroyed city of New York when the diminutive asian man took his elbow and, with a blink and a snap of something parting around them, Jaiden finds himself standing on the bridge, looking over an unbroken ribbon of light that is the New York skyline.

The initial feeling that goes through Jaiden's head is wonder, confusion, and then a little dread. His train of thought goes something like "Wow, he did it! Wow, I'm back in time holy crap, what now. Holy CRAP he did it." Still, like any good soldier, a mission has been given and he will complete it, come hell or high water.

Still, he wish he'd known it was going to be around winter for the initial arrival. He would have dressed warmer instead of just packing warmer clothes.

Glancing at the stainless steel pocket watch, it shows the time to be a little before four in the afternoon. First rule of business - get out of this cold drizzle and get the right time, but before that can happen he's approached from behind by the same diminutive asian man who brought him here. "Konbawa." Jaiden replies as he steps beneath the umbrella. "And G'day. Got me right gobsmacked, now that I'm really here." He gestures to the coat over Hiro's arm. "Guessing that's for me, then? My fault for not asking when you were bringing me, I guess."

Even as Jaiden ducks under the shade of the umbrella, Hiro is offering out the arm with the coat draped over it — something that looks like it would fit the Australian as opposed to the littlest samurai, and do well to keep the weather out of his bones with heavy wool blending with something resembling waterproofing in its make. He keeps the umbrella for as long as it should take Jaiden to get himself warm, his own hands clad in the black leather of gloves against the pinchingly cold air.

"Sorry," is that muted kind of non-apology that could be as sincere as it is flatly delivered. "I'm not used to bringing people back and forth in time this often. These days. It is the 2nd of January, 1999." A blink, switching his gaze from Jaiden to the cityscape beyond, and he thinks to add, "Almost 3: 30 pm. I did not want you to be very time-lagged."

The coat is taken with a grateful nod and pulled on after the backpack is removed, buttoned tightly against the cold that's threatening to creep into his bones. Luckily his hat made the trip along with him, but the sound of raindrops splattering against the felt when no coat was available was going to get a little annoying. Suitably attired, the pack goes back on.

The pocket watch makes an appearance again, the time and date set with quick, efficient movements before it's tucked away again, his hands going deep into his pockets to keep the heat in or, at best, keep from falling off too terribly quickly from frostbite. "No, I wouldn't think you'd make this a usual thing. The fact that you had to tap so many people to take care of whoever's causing this shows how serious this is." Jaiden lets out a breath, the heat condensing into steam that vanishes into the darkness, turning to look over the city again. "I appreciate the concern."

Jaiden shifts his shoulders after a moment, nodding toward one end of the bridge. "So, you got a car or do we get to walk to somewhere with coffee and a roof?"

He'll ask the big questions in a minute.

Hiro considers that request for a second, glancing off towards where an SUV is growling down the bridge, rippling the puddles the steady rain creates as it goes, shaking the foundations of the bridge on some minute if ever unsettling level. Silently, he tracks its progress thoughtfully, before a hand goes out to touch his fingertips light like a butterfly on Jaiden's sleeve.

The world snaps away, instantly reappears before Jaiden's eyes.

"It is easier to fold space than time," Hiro notes, standing with him at the mouth of an alleyway, now deep within the city they'd been admiring on the bridge of the cry of traffic, up close, is to be of any indication. It's so much louder ten years ago, than the desolation of the New York that Jaiden knows better. With a gesture, Hiro bids Jaiden to follow, moving down a sidewalk littered with people aiming to get out of the rain, taking umbrella with him.

They head for the bright windows of a teahouse, its glass door opened to admit customers. "We must be careful with our abilities. Rhys Bluthner does not anticipate for your presence to create problematic ripples that we will need Kaylee Thatcher or other means to eliminate," he tells Jaiden as they move. "But a low profile is important. These times are very different to ours."

It's like being in downtown Sydney all over again, except with about ten times the number of people. Sure, thing would be a lot worse on the streets if it wasn't raining - most people don't like being cold or wet, and today is a combo-pack of misery for those who don't like that sort of thing.

When the world snaps away and the two appear in an alley, Jaiden blinks, one hand going up to steady himself against the grimy wall. "Give a bloke a second to prepare himself, would you, b'fore doing that sort of thing." He blinks, rubbing his eyes, looking around again and following.

Ease of folding space as compared to time is nothing when one can't do it at all. It's like trying to wish a ball of tar into being from a pile of sand - you can do it, but if you don't know how to do it, the whole exercise will be futile in 99.9999% of the tries. The fact that Hiro can do it, and do it consistently? There's that .0001%.

"I'm not planning to do anything wild and wooly - I don't do anything like that in public if I can help it then. Now?" Jaiden shakes his head in the negative. "No sir…life and limb only. She'll be apples, mate."

The teahouse has a table for the pair of them near a wall in the back, and after entering, Jaiden removes his backpack and sits, facing the door, his back to the wall. "First question I've got….of a million or so bubbling behind my eyes, naturally….Since I'm a target, they know I'm here, now, don't they?"

He doesn't take off his coat, when he sits — the tail of it drapes over a thigh, hem dripping upon the dark wood of the floor. Hiro's sword is also missing from his person, more notable now that the chaos of the open street, the falling rain and the herkyjerky motions of time-space movements don't give reason for Jaiden to be distracted. Umbrella, folded now, leans against the table, and tea candles flicker along a ledge on the wall.

"Perhaps," he says, with a twitch of a nod sideways. "It is also probable that they will not know of you until you are able to rescue Elisabeth Harrison, which is my instinct. I have brought you several days before the villain," yes, he uses this word quite freely, "is meant to attack her. It will give you time to find him or her so that we can identify another one of these people."

Jaiden just unbuttons his coat, making it a little more comfortable to sit, scanning faces in the tea house before turning his full attention to Hiro. "Does this villain have a name or a face? Or was Rhys able to tell you when Elizabeth was getting got?"

Hiro's mouth pulls into a frown, and he shakes his head. "I think that whoever is doing these things is taking some of his people from different periods of history," Hiro says, voice comfortably low, though the crowd within the little cafe is not exactly on the heavy side. "And it will make it easier for Rhys and I as well as our precognitive ally to track them down, to track him down. But I do not think the one you are meeting has been recruited through these methods.

"But that is all I know. If I could investigate with you, I would — but they already know of me, so I am reluctant to stay in one place for very long at a time. Do you know where you will be able to find Elisabeth?"

"Yes, I have her address that she was living at now in my notes." Jaiden chuckles after a moment. "It'll be interesting seeing her just as she's gotten into the police force and before any abilities manifested."

Jaiden's voice is as quiet as it can be for an Australian -still rather boisterous but not broadcasting to everyone with ears from here to Staten Island. "I'll take notes. Lots of 'em. I'm pretty sure you're going to tell me that I was successful in my endeavours and that's why I'm here now, but you have to understand how…Nerve-wracking this can be."

Awkwardly, but still with all the good intentions in the world, Hiro lays a small hand on Jaiden's shoulder — and instead of slipping into space and time and disappearing beneath it as if getting swept off by a current, they remain huddled at their table, with the clink and scrape of cutlery sounding gently around them in the dim ambiance of the teahouse. "Your destiny is to be successful in this mission," he says, with a kind of certainty and faith that the average person in this day and age and decade probably lacks. "And if it is not— "

He considers that for all of a few seconds, before lifting his hand off Jaiden's shoulder. "Then that will be a problem." Very reassuring.

The chair scrapes against the wooden floor, and he rises to stand. "But you will not be entirely alone, and if all goes well, you will be home within a week. I will leave messages at this store if I have guidance to offer. I do not think you will require it." There is a suggestion of a smile at his eyes, though not as his mouth.

"You can keep the umbrella."

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