Radio Free Columbia


evan_icon.gif elaine_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Radio Free Columbia
Synopsis Magnes picks up a transmission while trying to find emergency broadcasts on an old radio, then takes Elaine out to get supplies from Evan.
Date May 7 2010

Staten Island

Even in the middle of the day, the sun is barely doing any good. The harsh glare of visible light is still present, but the heat is overwhelmed by local conditions, soaking uselessly into the top couple of feet of snow. At least the flakes are beginning to subside, and so a handful of people are braving the trek from Columbia south into Staten Island. Dressed in thick wool from head to toe, they're carrying backpacks stuffed with supplies - turned around to sit against their chests, as a further dodge against the freeze - except one who just has a shovel to clear through the worst patches.

"We should get overtime for this," Evan mutters under his breath, not for the first time today. Still, when the others press-ganged him into coming along on his mission, he didn't try to talk his way out of it - not like either of his classes were able to make any progress, anyway, with half the students stuck in place as well.

Earlier in the afternoon, while tuning an old radio to try and find emergency transmissions, Magnes came across one particular transmission from Columbia about a supply shipment. With everyone else's hands generally tied, he decided to take Elaine with him to help carry things so he can concentrate on the actual flying part. They're both dressed rather heavily, he's wearing thick all white snow gear, with mirror goggles on his eyes. He made sure she wore goggles too, considering the flying would freeze her eyes otherwise.

They finally get to the supply truck a little later in the afternoon, after a bit of searching, and the homeless as well as a few people who can't make it to markets are getting boxes handed out to them. He doesn't immediately ask for a box, instead he places a hand on Elaine's shoulder, then walks to the back of the truck to ask, after moving his red scarf out of the way, "Can we help somehow? We just need one box, but we'd like to help while you can. We don't mind being the last."

Elaine is most happy to get out. She's also most happy to appear useful in some sense. She frowns a little at the 'slight cold' out around them. She peers over at the supply truck, glancing between Magnes and whomever else is around. "Yeah." She adds, quietly. She's a little distant, it seems, for some reason.

The truck is pretty crowded at first - bringing as many supplies back and forth on a single trip as possible without bogging down along the way - but the first round of deliveries is enough to clear some room. "Sure," one hooded figure replies to Magnes, "we can always use another couple pairs of hands. Little extra body heat wouldn't hurt, either."

Evan slips off his backpack and returns it to its more typical location, picking up a box and carrying it out to the waiting crowd, leaning heavily against it for a moment afterward. "You all right?" he asks, peering over at Elaine. "We've got some medicine in here if you need it— not the sort of thing you want to wait on, when you need it."

Magnes looks to Elaine with a hint of concern, running a gloved hand over her cheek before he goes into the truck to grab a box and walk back out with it. "My name's Magnes Varlane, she's Elaine. We're with the Lighthouse orphanage. I got the transmission on the radio, so I figured I'd come out for whatever supplies we can get. Who knows how long we'll hold out with this blizzard."

Elaine offers Magnes a slight smile before she looks towards Evan. "No, I'm fine. Just a little tired. Hard being stuck inside… and out here's just as inhospitable sometimes." She looks back to Magnes. "At this rate, it could be a long time…"

Magnes Varlane? Evan shakes his head. Jesus, it sounds like a comic book villain. Parents must've been hippies. Out loud, he just nods, going back for another box. "Oh, I don't know," he replies, "sooner or later, someone's going to figure out who's responible. Probably put a bullet through their head." He sounds practically casual about the idea, or at least too worn out to pretend much empathy.

If only he knew that the strangeness of Magnes' parents went far higher than hippies. Handing the box over to another family, he starts walking back into the truck, yawning. "All I know is that I don't think I'll be going out again. I've already been out twice today, and it's freezing. When we get home, we're getting under a blanket and watching a movie, if the electricity is even still on."

"I don't even care about the movie, I just want the blanket." Elaine comments, though her gaze shifts to Evan. "Are you really sure someone /caused/ this? That it's not just global warming or something messing up things? Cause… I don't think I'd want to run into this person causing this much snow, if it's possible."

"Yeah, you could both use it," replies Evan, "been pushing yourselves hard." Of course, so has pretty much anyone who's braved the outdoors for more than a few minutes at a time, these days.

Turning his attention back to Elaine, he shakes his head. "Manmade climate change - the regular type, from industry - you're talking a few tenths of a degree per decade. And more in the other direction. Something on this scale, you're talking crazy stuff— aliens, secret WMDs, that kind of thing. Somebody's ability gone haywire? Not such a crazy idea any more."

"He's right." Magnes agrees with a firm nod, handing off yet another box. "Storms are like very large scale tornados that take place in the sky. They're constantly moving. For once to stay in one place, in this part of the world, and just kind of hover while progressively getting worse… it's just plain supernatural." Back to the truck again, though stopping to adjust his goggles. "It's like a man having a baby kangaroo out of his butt on mars."

Elaine grimaces at the comparison. "Alright. But just shooting someone like that? That's a bit harsh, I think.. I suppose I can understand the whole 'You caused a huge blizzard you have to be accountable for things' bit, but just /shooting/ someone? What if it's some little kid who had no way of controlling it?"

Evan shakes his head. "I didn't say I agreed with it… at least not without knowing who it was, and why. If someone's doing this on purpose— but what I mean is, whoever does end up tracking them down might not bother to ask questions. Or it could just turn out that it's the only way to stop them." He doesn't like the idea, that much is clear… but he doesn't like the idea of New York turning into New Antarctica permanently, either.

"In the end, it's hard to make a decision on what should be done until all the information is known." Magnes brings out one last box after a few back and forths, then he hands the box to Elaine. It's completely lacking in any significant weight, so she can easily hold it. "That's the last of them. We should probably be heading back before we freeze to death. And I've gotta cook for the kids soon."

Elaine winces. "I suppose that could be true, but we've got no real idea of anything. So I suppose it doesn't matter." She takes the box, glancing back to Evan, giving him a polite nod before looking back to Magnes. "Yeah, and they'll be cranky if they don't get fed on time."

"Mmm, not yet— but it will, sooner than later if you ask me. Anyway, you folks take care of yourselves." Imagine being an orphan in the middle of this hell-frozen-over. Evan waves to the couple and climbs back onto the truck, huddling back with his co-workers as the truck struggles through a three-point turn and heads back the way it came.

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