Race You


cat_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title Race You
Synopsis Literally, Cat just beats Tamara to the snow leopard exhibit. Figuratively… well, it's a little hard to figure who comes out ahead when half of the conversation involves symbols.
Date July 11, 2009

Central Park Zoo

The five acres of the Central Park Zoo are divided into three major exhibit themes: the Polar Circle, the Rain Forest, and the Temperate Territory. It features everything from leaf-cutter ants to the ever-popular polar bears; California sea lions to colobus monkeys; the two-toed sloth to the Japanese macaque. The exhibits are always a major draw for tourists, but the zoo offers a variety of classes and programs intended to educate the public in wildlife and wildlife conservation. The associated Tisch Children's Zoo includes a petting zoo and the Wildlife Theater, as well as a variety of exhibits targeted to the younger audience.

Hers is a busy mind, as ever. It comes with the territory of her upbringing, the expectation of high achievements Mason and Jennifer had for her. The insistence on growing into a well-rounded young woman of society who could be sought after as a corporate wife the way Jennifer had apparently desired, someone who could earn her way into Yale academically even though she could slide in as a legacy student and become an attorney. One whose drive would lead her to pursue music and political science as an undergrad and spark the manifestation of her ability with failure looming.

A mind which now has to stay busy as a consequence of that memory, many of the things seen since she took up the occupation of Rebel requiring it. If she doesn't keep her brain occupied, it would be too easy at times to sink into reflection of things and persons lost. To be swallowed by a trap of PTSD she might never escape.

She makes her way into the zoo, a guitar case over one shoulder and backpack over the other and it becomes decision time. If she goes toward the large cats, Tamara might be present. But on the other hand, birds are very much in mind given dreams and songs she's recently heard. A coin comes out of a pocket, she murmurs "Heads, the felines. Tails, the aviary." Fingers move, the metal disc rises into the air and she waits for it to come down.


The youthful voice comes from neither the path to the feline exhibits, nor the route to the aviary, but from behind Catherine. It is nonetheless immediately recognizable. The sybil stands perhaps six feet away from the lawyer, morning breeze teasing out strands of her long blond hair. Tamara looks up at Cat with an open, curious expression; she wears a purple tanktop, blue cutoff shorts, and black sneakers. Carries a black feather, presumably crow or raven, in her right hand, the fingers of the left running over its vanes.

She smiles but doesn't look down as the coin chimes against the concrete, spinning once around its rim before settling down to display a face in profile.

"So it is," the woman agrees while bending to pick it up. The coin goes back to the pocket from whence it came, Cat's eyes then move to settle on the sybil six feet distant. The feather is spotted, it holds her attention for a stretch of heartbeats before the face is looked at. "You're an intriguing young woman," she begins with a smile of her own forming.

"I've heard of your talents, and caused to wonder why you didn't tell Colette a path to finding Abby was right in front of her." Because maybe Tamara's precognition doesn't work that way.

The seeress tilts her head, brows drawing together in a perplexed frown despite the fact that Cat is speaking plain English. Colette, Abby — the names are silently echoed; recognition of the situation described seems to be lacking. She walks forward anyway, absently crossing the short distance between herself and the older woman.

Pauses again, black feather's tip brushing over her own cheek and chin. "It's cloudy," Tamara muses, though today's sky certainly isn't. After a moment more, she lowers the feather, offers a hand to Cat as though expecting to walk somewhere with her.

The girl is apparently amenable to letting Cat choose their course; it's not the where or what, for her, but the who. "Nasty?" she echoes, confusion clearing from her expression, replaced by thoughtful consideration. Tamara lifts her gaze to the sky, such of it as is visible above the city. She could be literally looking towards the horizon — or perhaps not. "It could have been. Depends which storm you meant; the clouds were all different colors, and some go worse together than others."

Toward the large felines she goes. "I'm told there's a war coming," Cat explains. "All around the world violence increases, and here a special army is being formed. Some I know have odd dreams of Munin swallowing the moon and mushroom clouds from falling feathers. Of beaches on 34th Street. Others tell me they're seen you and you told them the time for that danger will come after a closer storm has run its course."

The teen's face is studied, and questions formed. "What colors were the clouds, and which go together, or not?"

The sybil shakes her head as Cat's speech nears its end; not negation, exactly, but the unhurried motion is closely related. "All colors. Every color. Red, orange, gold, black, silver, blue, white, gray — shades and shades of them." Another shake of Tamara's head, dismissive. "They came from the small ripples, many and many of them. That's not what you're asking, is it?" Her free hand wraps around the feather's root, knuckles rubbing against the teen's closed eyes.

"Ripples," Cat repeats, "because small things go into the river. They disturb the surface and have effects, but they're limited, right? To really change the course of a river, one must move mountains," she muses. Memories of things Edward Ray said coming to the fore. "Do you see a large black bird affecting the river's course somewhere up ahead, Tamara?"

Feet move along, the feline enclosures now closer than they were, where those snow leopards await.

The girl tips her head, one brow arching as she peers up at Cat. "Sometimes. Sometimes all it takes is the right moment." She listens to what the woman could say; chuckles softly. "Edward is Edward." As if that explains everything. Maybe it does.

Tamara looks down at the feather in her free hand, turning the glossy black plume between her fingers. "One. Maybe more than one. Things get fuzzy, and there was still a snarl in the shadows to unwind first." She lifts her gaze to her companion, reaches up to brush the feathertip softly against Cat's jawline. Smiles broadly like the child she should be too old to act as, and drops the woman's hand. "Race you!"

Tamara doesn't wait long enough to say where; knows she doesn't need to.

It's not such an easy run with guitar case and pack across shoulders, the larger of the two items bounces a bit, but Cat does give chase toward the large felines ahead. She lets out a quiet laugh. "Of course he is." Other questions are held during the race's course; she's athletic and some four inches taller than the younger one which may give her some advantage.

Tamara isn't running to win; that would be a very different race. The outcome of this one isn't important, so she lets the crowd slow her down, doesn't put forth the effort needed to slide through the gaps. Cat's height offsets the baggage, and she reaches the snow leopard enclosure just a hair before the teen collides with the fencing. Tamara folds her arms over the rail and leans forward, grinning broadly at Cat while attempting to recatch her breath.

"Not bad," she states while leaning against the metal barrier. "That was fun," she adds. Cat is silent for a time afterward, questions still held at bay while she lets the younger one recover from the exertion. She herself made no attempt to show anyone up, finishing just a hair ahead is good enough. During the quietude, brown eyes move over the snow leopards, the images seen now being compared with those from the previous visit.

They're the same cats as before, if in slightly different locations, ones still meeting the same end of mitigating summer's daytime warmth. The sybil lets her own gaze turn towards the cats, although her attention is elsewhere; there's seeing and there's seeing. The corners of Tamara's mouth tug back in a small, wry smile. "Go ahead," she says, not looking away from the leopards.

"The snarl in the shadows to unwind first," Cat begins, "is that in New Jersey, a man who can be in several places at once?" Her eyes drift from the enclosed beasts to Tamara again, watching the expressions her query might bring while listening for the answer. It helps, she muses inwardly, to have been around Edward and heard his terms. She seems to respond to, understand them.

The sybil's gaze remains turned towards the leopards, but distances itself further yet from them; blue eyes unfocus, color thinning as her pupils widen, if only a little. Tamara cants her head. "Yes," she replies quietly. "That day set the course to follow."

"So," Cat follows, "it's important not just that we succeed, but how we do so. There could be so many variables, and the importance of finding all the copies. Is this what you see, Tamara?" the panmnesiac inquires of the sybil. "The potential decisions, and the consequences of those? Edward sees the probabilities involved, can determine the best likelihood for success."

Darkened eyes flick to Catherine, her expression faintly drawn, the look of someone not completely following — but near enough. "It… was many things," Tamara ultimately replies, speaking slowly, feeling her way through the answer. "The lines are different. So are the measures." After a moment more, she shakes her head a bit, letting the subject go.

As does Cat. She turns her eyes back to the leopards, watching them in their movements, recalling her emulations of darker versions onstage. It draws out a smile of sorts, pressing things set aside for those moments. "My name is like them," she offers. "One that can be played with, tied to fierceness and independence. But my fortune has been better, I've avoided being contained, fenced in as these proud creatures are. There are some who would have me so. There have been friends who were contained. You were present to help them free, I've been told."

What follows is two simple words. "Thank you."

Darker, distantly related; as the past is to the seer. Her gaze lightens, clouds with puzzlement; but, after a few moments of futile searching, Tamara says "You're welcome" anyway. Steps away from the fencing, hands falling to her sides, the limply-held feather apparently forgotten.

But it isn't forgotten because Cat saw it, can never be forgotten. Her eyes move to the feather. "You like birds too?" she asks quietly, seeming content now to drift into more casual conversation. "I'm Cat," she shares, partly wondering if the sybil already knows this.

Tamara nods at the name; expected, known, inasmuch as anything is. She follows Cat's gaze to the feather in her hand, lifting it up and peering at it curiously, as if it were a new sight; nods once more. "Sometimes. They can be pretty colors. Even black ones. I like feathers."

"Do feathers mean something to you, Tamara?" she inquires. Cat sets down the gear she's carrying, the items rest near her feet on opposite sides. "If I didn't have what I have, I might wish for flight. The ability to soar free, to easily reach great heights and view everything from above, like an eagle."

The girl is quiet after Cat concludes her remarks, contemplating the feather that she turns over in her hands. "I don't know," Tamara finally says. Her gaze lifts to her companion, lips pulled to one side in a crooked, rueful smile. "I remember that I like them."

Displaying a slight smile of her own, Cat nods. She considers telling Tamara how to find her if she needs assistance of any sort, but then a quiet laugh is let out, the realization she doesn't need to be told settling in. "If you need shelter sometime, a safe place to ride out storms, you know where to find me."

A slow smile spreads across the sybil's face as what Cat could say changes, as she thinks her way through the implications of Tamara's power. The girl bobs her head once. "Always," she agrees. The hand holding the feather lifts, wagging the black plume from side to side in a wave. "Go, Cat. Do what you see. Right or wrong, nothing changes if nothing was done."

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