Sacred Things, Part I


kaylee_icon.gif sibyl_icon.gif

Also Featuring:


Scene Title Sacred Things, Part I
Synopsis Kaylee stands vigil at an appointed meeting place past an appointed meeting time.
Date June 6, 2018

Ruins of Staten Island, Sea View Hospital

The ruins of Sea View Hospital haven’t changed much since its initial destruction back in the days when the word Vanguard was more than a headline guaranteed to move newspapers, which are finally back in vogue.

They’re a little more wild, a little more tangled, overgrown with snarls of ivy and thorny vines. There are flowers, too, but they’re the kind that pinch closed at night. Kaylee smells saltwater instead, and the mealy scent of damp earth retaining its moisture from the last time it rained. No storm clouds tonight, open sky and a layer of thick black smoke beneath it where a fire smolders in some far-off place on the other side of the island.

Fireflies appear to wink in and out of existence like the world’s smallest temporal manipulators — or floating stars.

It’s peaceful out here in a way that even the quietest, most secluded corners of the Safe Zone are not, because even the quietest, most secluded corners of the Safe Zone aren’t entirely absent of people. Kaylee only has Barazani for company, and the churr of crickets serendating them from the ferns.

meet me at outside sea view hospital
im leaving the island tonight.

i have $10,000 if your brother can promise my safety.

Kaylee’s cell phone screen illuminates her face as she checks the message once more, knowing that it hasn’t changed since the last time she looked at it.

Maybe she means for it to be a beacon, a light to guide the way and lead Sibyl to the rendezvous point that the girl herself chose, if for unspecified reasons.

She asked Kaylee to be there by 10pm.

Now it’s pushing midnight.

“So… where is she, boss?”

“I don’t know,” huffs out Kaylee looking at her phone for the millionth time, pushing long blonde curls out of her face as she stares at the time, “Fuck, I am going to get yelled at.” She told Bob it would be quick — or as quick as a trip to Staten Island would be — and he had relented. She even convinced him to dress down, like her. Preferring clothes that harken back to her days within the Ferrymen; a worn pullover hoodie can only contain so much of those blonde curls.

“Maybe you get yelled at,” Bob offers blandly, his voice gruff and flat with his irritation. “You know, they’ll have my head if somethin’ happens to you right? And I’m not talkin’ the one attached to my shoulders.”

Blue-eyes roll skyward, asking for patience. “Shut-up, Bob.” He holds up his hands, just saying how it is gesture, taking a step away, eyes scanning the area. He was in a zipper hoodie and jeans. Only this that might give his roll away was the AEGIS he insisted on wearing under the hoodie and his shoulder rig. “Five more minutes,” Kaylee insists, which he sighs about, but relents.

Five minutes whittles down to four, to three. It’s only when Kaylee has to confront the reality of leaving empty-handed that a noise that sounds like a miniature explosion ripples through the trees some two hundred feet from the edge of the rubble.

Sounds like being the operative pair of words. There’s no flash of light, no shockwave to knock them off their feet, only a plume of starlings flushed from their roosts. The cumulative roar of their wings is deafening, but brief; Kaylee watches as the flock threads harmlessly out of the woods and flows, as one, across the canopy above their heads and winks away again into the dark.

Her heart is beating very fast. That’s all.

Sibyl emerges from the trees a few moments later, visible by the virtue of the moon alone. Her clothes are dark, gray denim and a cotton top that was once white but has accumulated so much soot that gives her the appearance of a small black cat as she springs out and begins delicately picking her way through the rubble on her way toward Kaylee and her bodyguard. Wisps of flyaway ashy blonde hair, escaped from her braid, catch the light and glow like brightly-lit filaments.

She carries a briefcase under her arm.

Both Kaylee and Bob physically jump at the sudden explosion of birds into the sky. Her bodyguard already has a Glock in his hand, when Sibyl comes out of the darkness. A hand on his arm, forces him to relax a bit. “This her?” He asks a touch impatient to get out of there and back on the boat.

“Yeah,” Kaylee says with a nod, offering Sibyl a small smile.

“Good. Let’s go,” Bob motions in the direction of the boat with his gun, before returning it to its place.

Of course, Kaylee ignores him — probably unwisely — instead focusing on Sibyl, motioning to hurry. Her heart still hasn’t calmed down from all those birds. It brought back too many bad memories. “Everything okay? You look like you have been through hell and back.” She glances behind the girl, with concern.

“No,” Sibyl answers, because it’s a refreshing change of pace to be able to be honest with someone. No, everything is not okay.

Skin pulls taut over the bony ridge of her knuckles, hands clutching at the briefcase so tightly that something should snap under the pressure, whether that’s the handle or her fingers. It’s a slim leather thing, unremarkable in every way except for what Sibyl’s text message claims to be inside.

As she draws closer, other things stand out to Kaylee: the gash under her left eye and lazy dribble of blood; a gold wedding band threaded through a slim chain made from a similar material, left dangling in a narrow loop around her throat; involuntary tremors that her body can’t quite control, no matter how much of an effort she makes to appear prim, adult, and put together.

She’s just stolen ten thousand dollars in cash from one of the most powerful men on Staten Island and taken a bullet to the chest at close range, even if she doesn’t have the entry wound to show for it.

As other teenagers like to say these days, she’s shook.

Hands are gentle when they find Sibyl, gripping the teen’s shoulders to steady her, Kaylee takes in the sight of her and there is a sharp inhale. “What happened to you?” she asks quietly, looking again over the girls shoulder. Fingers capture the girl, chin to turn her head enough to get a look at the cut. Lips pressed together briefly, before letting go.

Gently, she tried to guide Sibyl in the direction that Bob gestured and towards the boat that they took out there. An arm rests across the small back. “Let’s get you out of here.” Sounding very much the mother that she is.

“Finally,” Bob snaps out, moving to follow the pair, a glance over his own shoulder when the girl came from.

“I want you to call ahead when we get on the boat,” Kaylee directs to her bodyguard, her mind already thinking about what needs to happen when they get back over to Raytech. She’s rather thankful, the place sits on the river. “I’d like to have, Miss Black looked over.” Once she gets a nod, the telepath allows herself to focus on the girl.

“What happened?”

Sibyl allows the hands on her shoulders and the angling of her chin, eyes raised to meet Kaylee’s as directed, but she resists when she moves to go. “Wait,” she says, drawing the briefcase into her chest with the same ferocity a child might clutch a cherished doll when told to part with it.

“I need to know he’ll protect me.” There’s little room for misinterpretation, even if she seems as reticent to name names as she is to actually leave the island she’s called home for almost a year. Your brother, she means.


“Not just from Alister Black.”

“Oh come on!” That from Bob, who really wants to get off that island.

Kaylee silences him with a sharp look. His lips press tight, hands go to his hips, and he waits impatiently for the business of things to be done with.

“Not just — “ Kaylee’s brows furrow a little in confusion, leaning away a bit to get a better look at the girl. Clearly, the Ray siblings were under that impression. That she needed protection from that nut who they had talked, too. Seems easy enough and Richard had agreed. Even laughed about the amount being offered, cause he’d do it for free.

The desire to help the teen and the desire to protect her brother war with each other. “From what, Sibyl? What do you need him to protect you from?” A hand stays on the girls shoulder, even though she steps around to look at the girl . She could get the information, but that isn’t the type of person that Kaylee is anymore. So, she has to wait to see if the girl answers.

“Everyone,” Sibyl says. “Everything.”

She’s not just soot-stained and seeping blood. Her exhaustion goes bone deep.

“This is a financial transaction,” she tries to remind Kaylee, too tired for her voice to carry much authority. If she came from the smoke’s point or origin, then she’s been carving her way through the island’s dense woodland for hours on foot, which wouldn’t be a problem if she hadn’t needed to cover so much ground.

She looks past Kaylee, to her bodyguard, who she does not recognize — and, by extension, does not trust. “The money is for a safe place. And so you can help me find the man I showed you in my memory. How do I know he won’t just take it?”

“Who, Bob?” Kaylee sends an incredulous glance over at the bodyguard who just shrugs, waving them off, and turning back to his watching of the area. She can’t even picture it.

There is a smile that tugs up a little at the corner of the telepath’s mouth, when she looks back again, “As if I would let him.” Bob glances back with a confused look, clearly he doesn’t know what she can do…. However, Sibyl has seen some of what Kaylee has done to others. “Hold on to your money til we get back to Raytech if you like.” There is no plans for either of them to take that case of money.

“What you are asking is a pretty big order,” Kaylee comments, the smile sliding away a little. “You realize that my brother is only human — ” literally “ — and can only protect you from so much. Will you accept that we will do our damndest to protect you from what is within our power? And yes, I promised you I would help you find him and I promised you a safe place. No matter what you choose, that hasn’t changed, money or no.”

“Not— Bob.”

The bodyguard’s confused look is met with a steelier one. Sibyl shows teeth. “Cardinal.”

It’s a name no one has called her brother by for a long time, or if they have—

“This is a financial transaction,” she repeats, voice small but firm. “Nothing ever gets done without incentive. Sometimes it’s money. Other times it’s something else.”

Alister might have taught her that. More likely it was John Logan.

“I can’t trust you’re doing this out of the goodness of your heart because I don’t know how good your heart is.

“You have been on this god damned island too long…” Kaylee sighs, “Look. You don’t trust my motives. I get that.” That might have stung a little, but it was also well earned and she gets that.

Kaylee is thoughtful for a moment, eyes turned upward while she debates the next thing she says, “How about this… “ she feels a bit ridiculous for even saying this… Damn you Alister and Logan both. A serious look is lowered to the teenager. “Five hundred dollars” yes, she’s keeping it low on purpose “for transportation to Raytech, in house medical care, a room for the night, and a guarantee that you will have a meeting with my brother tomorrow,” after she’s been seen and a good night’s sleep “so that you can negotiate the rest of the terms? Because, I can only speak for my brother to a point,” Taking a deep breath she continues, “Should you both find yourselves unable to come to an agreement you have my word we will bring you right back here and refund given.”

That said, Kaylee gets a bit of a flat look and offers a hand out to the girl, like anyone would in a business transaction.

Kaylee's hand hangs between them, the deal pending in the air dense with moisture, with crickets and night birds.

And a thunder strike of rifle fire suddenly blasts from the darkness. It hits nothing, just sinks bullets into the crumbled ruins of the hospital. A threat, as to what might happen if any of them try to make for the boat, sitting pretty at the shore. Even as Kaylee tries to reach for the mind behind muzzle flare, she knows immediately that it's out of range.

Gunfire stops. No second volley — yet.

At the very edges of hearing, the snap and click of metal and plastic together is just audible. Recognisable. Reloading.

Sibyl swings around, putting the briefcase between Kaylee and herself, and the direction in which she imagines the gunfire erupted from.

In the time it takes the gunman to reload, a sweep of her ability, however it functions, locates its source with accuracy not possessed by human ears.

She backpedals abruptly, booted feet scrabbling over loose chunks of broken brick and stone. Her hand seizes Kaylee’s by the wrist and drags her behind a half-collapsed wall, its peeled wallpaper still visible, if faded by more than a decade of exposure to the elements.

It looks like the original pattern might have been some kind of floral and stripes, although that seems to be the least important detail about Kaylee’s surroundings.

Sibyl presses herself flat against the wall, hugging both Kaylee and the briefcase to her. “Saint James,” she hisses.

Bob’s on his own.

There is a hiss of surprise from the Raytech executive, ducking down, hand raising briefly as of warding something off. Though this time she isn't completely paralyzed by the sudden gunshot. This time a head didn't get blown off in front of her.

Looking outward for the direction of the shooter, Kaylee is almost thrown off balance by the tug on her wrist, knee clipping the wall and she falls behind it with Sibyl. A look of surprise is angled towards the young girl as she declares who it is. “Your kidding?” Not that the telepath thinks she is. There is a slight chill of fear down her spine, but still she scrambled up to where she can peer out, just enough to check on Bob.

The bodyguard himself, waits until the girls are under cover before dropping behind his own piece of wall, several steps away. “Sibyl,” Kaylee asks softly, “Why is he chasing you?” Her ability is stretched out to the limit of its range, waiting for him to cross that threshold.

Saint James doesn't.

Not yet, anyway. Rifle readied, Etienne keeps to his hiding place. Sweat casts a sheen on his skin, hair sticking to the blockish forms of his face, the stern tension taut along bone, and cuts through the grime accumulated on his skin from his quiet stalk through the Greenbelt of Staten Island. When he raises his voice, it might ring odd to Sibyl's ears, better accustomed to the quiet razorblade growl he normally speaks with, his coded silences.


"You want to leave the island alive," voice carrying easy through the relative silence of wilderness, "you leave behind what you stole."

Yet another transaction. Staten Island has a charming way of doing things.

At least he spares Sibyl the indignity of having to explain, although she’s sure Kaylee would have figured it out without much further prompting. The amount of money contained in the briefcase between them isn’t an insignificant sum. There are only a few sources she could have feasibly obtained it from, and the most likely candidate’s representation is pointing a rifle at them on the other side of the wall.

She tips a look up at Kaylee, searching, an apology in her stark blue eyes. Fear, too.

“I didn’t steal!” Sibyl’s voice has a harder time cutting through the dark. “The deal was the briefcase for the safe return of his stupid fucking cat, and that’s what I arranged!”

“Clearly, Alister didn’t see it that way,” Kaylee comments softly, thoughtfully. Her gaze turns towards her bodyguard, though she isn’t looking at him, eyes unfocused as she ponders.

There is a touch of suspicion in Barazani’s eyes. “Boss… whatever you’re thinking… No!” He doesn’t get to say much more before Kaylee simply steps out from behind the shelter. He dissolves a few choice words in a whole other language, while Kaylee steps forward with hands out. See no guns, though she can’t say the same for knives.

“What is it that she allegedly stole, Mr. Saint James.” Brows lift a little, clearly curious. “Did Mr. Black even send you after the girl?” Kaylee was making a gamble, but almost as much as she wanted to get the girl off the island, she didn’t want to burn a bridge with this man. With the uncertainty of the future ahead, she might need him.

While Bob doesn’t risk her life by hastily following, he eases around, where he can see the treeline. A hand held in his direction, stays him for the moment.

Kaylee doesn't have long to wait. And fortunately, response doesn't come in the form of a second round of rifle fire.

Because her instincts are correct. The man on the other side of the space that stretches between them is interested in talking, judging by the way he emerges rather than remaining undercover. Still holding the rifle, cradled in his arms and aimed forward. Dirt spattered, sweat mingled in blood, a sort of quiet fury behind his countenance as he stalks through the dry, coastal underbrush.

Stops. Staying out of range in a very specific way. He may not know Kaylee's basic parameters, but a man like him does not survive without a basic understanding of ranges, limits, and the estimates thereof.

He doesn't strike her as a man merely sent on a mission.

"She knows what she stole," he says, white teeth just visible between syllables. He lowers the rifle, just a little. If he were to pull the trigger, it'd probably explode the ground at Kaylee's feet. Probably. "Heard what you did to Pohl's men before we took the freighter. Try that shit with me." It sounds like an invitation. It's not.

It’s not the expression on Sibyl’s face that betrays her, but rather where her hand goes. She swallows the ring swinging off her neck in a tight little fist and shakes her head at Kaylee.


The prospect of surrendering this small, unremarkable piece of women’s jewelry to Etienne upsets her more than the briefcase; whatever it is, it’s worth more to her than Alister Black’s ten thousand dollars. Anger flares white hot in her belly and extends outward around her in a psychic halo that Kaylee can feel even without searching for it.

Her mouth grows very hard.

“It doesn’t belong to you!” she shouts at Etienne from behind the relative safety of the half-wall. “You took it from a grave dug by somebody else for somebody else!”

Sibyl’s voice has no difficulty straining to be heard, now.

That invitation gets a narrowing of Kaylee’s eyes, lips press into a thin line. “While I am flattered that you think I would, I have no desire to do that, Saint James…. You are more useful to everyone alive. Though I do agree that it’s best that you stay where you are.” Because she doesn’t know what the hissing voice at the back of her mind will do. Scales slide against scales wanting to play, even as she pulls back her ability, it takes effort to keep those feelers out and she would rather keep her strength.

When Sibyl’s voice pipes up behind her, Kaylee’s eyes don’t leave the pirate; but, her head does turn slightly in that direction. “A wedding band? Dug out of a grave?” Her full attention is on Etienne now. “What is it to you?” Kaylee wonders aloud to the man in front of her, brows ticking up. “Money?”

"The fuck is it to you."

Where Etienne is so normally calm and collected, a part of his danger, a quiet form of anger zithers through his words. Like trying to negotiate with a cornered animal in spite of his advantage. Another step forward, silent in the sand. He doesn't appear to acknowledge where the third party in the group is hiding, intent solely focused on Kaylee even as Sibyl's voice rings out of the darkness. "Make her give it to you," he tells the woman. "Leave it behind and you leave on your feet."

Light eyes flick in the direction of Sibyl, and a sneer colours his voice; "Leave behind the money and you might be able to come back one day."

And who wouldn't want to come back one day.

Sibyl closes her eyes.

She focuses on the ring, the feel of the metal warming in the seat of her palm. When she breathes in, she fills her lungs to capacity, then presses it out again. What she’s doing requires so much concentration that Kaylee can feel her lose touch with her senses one at a time as she reaches out with her ability, cautious and creeping.

It brushes past the other telepath like something whispered in an old and forgotten but familiar language that Kaylee knows she should recognize.

There’s a palpable energy building in the warm nighttime air, and in the dense, leafy branches around them. Movement flickers in Etienne’s peripheral vision.

A shadow scissors through the dark above his head. Then it’s joined by another.

And another.

This is how atmokinetics like Helena Dean and David McRae must feel on the cusp of a storm, in the slow minutes before that first crack of lightning that splits the sky apart.

Kaylee thinks she’s experienced this once before, too. A very long time ago.

That sensation. That sound.

Kaylee’s heart starts to pound in her chest, she can almost hear the thudding in her ears. An unreasonable fear grips her. She’s terrified of that sound. Maybe even has nightmares of it.

“Kaylee,” is hissed at her from behind, Bob’s noticed something, too, but not in the way she is. Maybe it’s the fact that she is standing there with back straight and very still. Almost as if she is afraid to move. His it is enough that he uses her name. His answer is a sharp shake of her head and a small almost unnoticeable wave of her hand. Stay there is the unspoken words.

The movement catches her attention too and her heart is in her throat, breath catching. “Sibyl… don’t, do this. Let me — ” She had to act quickly.

“Etienne…” Kaylee hisses off softly, taking a step towards the man; her eyes not even on him, but above him. “You need to go. Now.” Each word is measured and full of warning. Nervously, fingers work off her wedding band and holds it up with slightly trembling fingers. «Take this.» The words whisper in his head. «Bring it to Raytech in a few days time and I will pay you for it’s return. I’ll make it worth your while, more than what is in that case.» Out loud she pleads with him softly, “But you need to go now.”

What she isn’t saying, is that she is trying to save him — save them all — with hopefully as little blood shed, as possible.

Etienne is not immune to the strange turn in the atmosphere. He tracks that sharp, darting movement, and then the second, and then a third, like a great cat getting teased by the shadows of sparrows. In his hands, his rifle is held almost negligently, moving a step backwards as Kaylee closes up the distance between them. When she first speaks, he ignores her.

When her voice slithers into his head, she has his full attention and though his hands tense around the weapon they hold, he doesn't raise it. Looks to the ring she's offering him, but doesn't reach to take it as she hopes. Doesn't run as she hopes, either, standing his ground.

A dark shadows clips downwards, close enough to displace a lock of hair across his face.

He sees her terror. He asks, "What do you know?"

“Enough,” is how much Kaylee knows, flinching as a shadow passes close to him. She takes a deep breath and lets it out as she says, “Vague memories, images… feelings. Nightmares. Enough to know you need to leave.” The ring is held out to him again and given a small shake, her eyes going to it briefly, before meeting his again. Her hand feels naked without it’s comforting weight. Giving this particular ring over is tough, since it’s traveled with her in time.

“You have no reason to trust me or my motivations for doing this. I get that.” Kaylee sounds a little frustrated and flustered. Even as she talks to him, his own mind is in turmoil as to what to do.

At the sensation of something passing over head, Kaylee’s head ducks down, eye contact broken so that she can look up. “However, I’m going to ask you to trust that I’ve no reason to fuck you over here. I’m not even going to force you to leave. I’m gonna let you have that choice, but I really need you to make the right one, cause I want you safe, but I also I want her safe, Etienne.”

Sibyl has a choice to make, too.

There are aspects of her ability that she’s held off on using for the reasons that Kaylee so delicately alluded to, and because Epstein forbid her from tapping into that part of the thing smoldering bright inside of her.

As Kaylee implores Etienne to make the right decision, Sibyl makes the wrong one.

The woods erupt into a dull roar, abruptly accelerating toward a crescendo.

Something swallows the moon.

Those same shadows become sharply honed edges, knives that wink and scream in the pitch black.

Etienne's attention is intent. As she speaks to him, pleads with him. As she shakes the ring like she's beckoning a dog. As the world around them begins to thicken and darken even more than only long, deep, night time shadows. Through the dull roar of sheer noise beginning to rise.

Where the telepath's frustration and fluster roils up beneath her manners, Etienne's smooths over as if he'd entered some calm within the storm. The angle of his rifle changes, no longer interested in aiming it but securing his hold over it, and should Kaylee look back at him, she might just on gut instinct that the danger has shifted.


But she's looking to the sky, and she's looking to where Bob has yelled out her name, barely visible through the maelstrom of knife-edges. Then— impact. The golden loop between her fingertips slips loose. Her knees give. The ground rushes up to meet her.

And then nothing.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License