Seaside Tales


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Scene Title Seaside Tales
Synopsis Silas comes seeking answers and Mad Eve relives guilt, stories are exchanged and secrets discovered.
Date June 26, 2020

The Pelago

Night has fallen in the Pelago; few are awake and even fewer afoot at this hour, but Silas Mackenzie treads the midnight walkways like a restless ghost.

Down from the heights to the docks below, past where the Midsummer's Night — a good name, but not his name — waits. Further still, to where a boat Silas well remembers is moored — a boat that had, for a time, been Silas's second home.

The Forthright.

Here, at last, Silas pauses, compelled by the weight of memories good and bad alike. He hesitates for a moment, taking a breath… but though the past is always close, Silas is done being chained by it. He raises his voice.

"Ahoy the ship!" he calls. "Requesting permission to board!"

"You know the price! One salty sock!"

The voice comes from the old woman, Mad Eve. Hunched over and leaning on a metal staff. She wheezes in laughter and steps forward in the low hanging light upon the deck, her staff making a clicking noise when rod touches wood. Poppy and the others must be off enjoying themselves in some pub with others the same age. "If it isn't the old man himself, bothering an ancient woman on a cold beautiful night. Hm?"

Eve's mad grin is shining as she dips her head, the frizzy gray mane shifts slightly in the wind, her pitch black robe sweeps along behind her. Around the deck the plethora of cats gifted or borrowed from one Captain Tibby and Stefanie Winters meowed and played, slept and hissed. A trio of tabby cats, sisters trot up to the man. Nuzzling his ankles and circling him while staring up at him with bright green eyes.

She was something of a mother to everyone she met, whether they were looking for a mother figure or not. Silas though was always a special one, Eve would snicker and talk to herself or the many cats of the ship when she thought Silas wasn't or even was looking. "A sneaky one he is… just you watch heh."

tut tut

"I'll be having that sock now."

What was with the old woman and peoples clothing? Some said she was making a very large golem.

"One. Salty. Sock," Silas repeats slowly, shaking his head. "Aye," he sighs, pausing to open his pack — a weatherworn thing he'd picked up from Lowe's — and fishes out a faded sock. It's black with orange harlequin diamonds, and if it had originally belonged to someone else, well, that's their problem. "You still working on the mannequin?" he asks.

Ah, but Mad Eve isn't the only one who's picked up on his presence; he'd recognize the cats who come meowing towards him just as they recognized his voice. He smiles. "Chloe. Vera. Mora," he murmurs, squatting for a moment to dispense pets and cheek rubs where they're due. But time isn't waiting; after a moment, he comes back to his feet. "Treats later," he says, before turning his attention back to Mad Eve. "Your sock," he says, starting towards Mad Eve, sock in hand.

"Great art takes time my dear young man," Eve grins as she reaches out a hand and grasps the sock, eyeing it like a pirate would the most bountiful and shiny of treasures. "Excellent!!"

Mora climbs up Silas' leg, up to his shoulder and perches in a way that states: this is my human and this shoulder is my home. None of the other cats dare to challenge her. "Tell me Young Man," Mad Eve turns her back and begins to hobble into the belowdecks of The Forthright expecting Silas to follow. The cats mostly stay on the deck, Chloe and Vera trail behind them with a select few. It's not like there wasn't more down below. "Why have you come to see a tired old woman?"

She did look old, she always had since Silas had known her but something about her was more weary, she moved just a touch slower. But those brown eyes were still full of energy and mischief. There's a twinkling in her eyes as she turns her head to regard Silas with a familiar look, one of knowing.

"Oh, you," Silas murmurs to Mora, reaching up and gently rubbing the cat's head; he can hear her purring. Mora's always favored him, which tracks; he's died twice so far, but his thread's never quite been severed. Still, he's glad Eve's headed below; Chloe and Vera are still down there lurking, and if he doesn't get a move on they're probably going to try to grapple his boots.

"I'm going on a trip soon," Silas says. "Again," he adds, with a momentary twist of sardonic amusement; he's not been 'home' for all that long, after all, and here he is already plotting to leave again.

"I'm going to the Isles of Japan; hoping to make a diplomatic expedition of it. Map the way, negotiate, open trade, all those good things, or at least make an attempt. Seems if I'm going all that way, it'd make sense to do what all the old explorers used to do — get a buy-in from the government. Make it more likely I get there and back. I was hoping for your support, when I pitch that to the Council of Captains." He's going with or without the Council's support, of course, but with would be a lot easier.

He hesitates for a moment, then looks back to Eve directly. "That's the lesser reason. The main reason I'm here, Eve, is for a story. A truth. I asked Ryans; he wouldn't tell me very much," Silas admits, smiling ruefully. "But one thing he did tell me was that I should talk to you."

"So I'm here… to talk about the story of Adam Monroe and the Dragon."

"Mmm time to see some sights? I spent some time in Japan! Lovely place." Mad Eve's devilish grin shines through.

"//Well then I must say, an interdimensional traveler such as you I should feel honored at your visit!" As if she wasn't honored already pfft! When Silas is making his request known the older woman stares at the younger man with an intense expression on her face. They've come to the door to her room, there's smells of cinnamon and other flowers but the stench of cannabis lays over it all.

"Ryans… that old man?" Mad Eve frowns, "A good one. Strong." On the subject of Adam though she is silent. Instead she opens the door and welcomes Silas into her den. Paintings are stacked along and against the walls. Some hang. Others are covered in white or dirty sheets, the multitude of cats that are slinking between Eve's legs and coming up to regard Silas with curious expressions all around. He had been gone for some time and unlike the trip of familiars that usually followed the man the rest were just getting to know him again.

There are two seats, facing each other. A plate of chocolate chip cookies along with a steaming kettle of hot water and two chipped cups with various loose leaf teas inside. "Have a seat dearie." A twinkle in her eye as Eve settles into her own seat. "Dragons. Don't hear about those too much." It would seem at least that she doesn't think that Silas is a crazy person.

"If we are going to be hearing and telling stories it is best to have a cup of tea, hmm?" Slowly she pours the hot water into each cup and the aroma of cinnamon coupled with ginger grows stronger. Watching as the steam rises and curls, "What is this story, tell it to me." A tilt of her head and eyes narrowing.

Silas gives Mad Eve a bland look as he settles into a chair, one hand coming up to pet Mora briefly — she's still purring — then dropping down to give Chloe and Vera petting opportunities. Vera is taking the opportunity to playfully sharpen her claws on his boot, because of course she is; still, better than sharpening her claws on his leg.

"If I knew the story, I'd not be asking you to tell it," he observes reasonably. "All I know is the ending. But then, you've never been a stickler for keeping things in their right and proper order, have you…?" he muses. "So I suppose we'll begin at the ending, then."

"Not that long ago, in the world the Travelers returned to… there was a lone ship anchored in the middle of the ocean. On board was a very old, very sick man, hiding from Death. Like Sisyphus of old, this old man had outsmarted Death once long ago, and had lived long beyond his expected years… but Death is wily and patient and terrible, and has little respect for bargains; all the while it had been creeping slowly closer, and now it was nearly upon him."

"And so this old, sick man had come to the middle of the ocean to hide… but even that was doomed to fail, because Eve Mas was looking for him. She'd bought a boat and gathered a captain and a crew, and off they went, and they found their prey and caught it by surprise."

"And then… Death arrived."

"It looked, for all the world, like a little girl with eyes of molten gold, but it wasn't. I saw it appear on deck without warning… and I saw it raise a hand and tear a military submarine from the ocean depths by will alone," Silas says, his eyes haunted.

"I saw her take that boat apart. Just… literally separate it into its pieces, nails from boards. And I saw her speak to that old man — Adam Monroe — and I heard her words. 'Kensei,' she called him. 'I am not your enemy, Kensei. I am not your friend. I am your creator.'"

"And Adam, as old and as sick and as hurt as he was, raised his hands and tried to fight, one last time… and the Dragon — for that is surely what she was — simply… took him apart, just as she had the boat. Wished him out of existence. Unraveled him, with a wave of her hand."

"And then she turned to my crew and raised her hand, and I saw the malice in her eyes. So I shot her in the head, and then…"

Silas sounds old and tired as he pets Mora with one hand and Vera with another; Chloe takes the opportunity to vault into his lap, so his hand comes up and pet her, leaving Vera to cuddle his boot with impunity. "Then there was an explosion or… something… and I was in the middle of the ocean."

At last Silas comes back to the present, his eyes coming back from whatever memory he'd been reliving to settle on Mad Eve. "I don't know what happened to the rest of my crew; whether any of them survived, or where they ended up… but I found out that I was back here again, in this Flooded world I'd come from. In a place that I'd left so utterly that, as far as it was concerned, I'd died." Silas takes a deep breath, listening to the rumbling chorus of purrs coming from the tabbies for a moment.

"My journey wasn't over, of course — there were ghost ships and mermaids and sirens, pirates and a princess sleeping in ice — but it's not my story I'm here to talk about," he says. "I think Old Man Adam was the Kensei from that old story… and that little girl was the Dragon. I want to know why it cast me back here, Eve, to the point that I'm making ready to sail to Japan to get answers. But I figured I might as well ask around here, first, to try to figure out who Adam Monroe actually was, aside from 'British, kind of a jerk, lousy tipper'. I wanted to talk to Monroe myself, but it seems he's dead here… so I asked Ryans… and now I'm asking you."

The ending enthralls the old woman, she leans forward ever so slightly drinking in every word. "You shot a little girl in the head." After the man is done, Eve leans back and considers him for a few moments, "Hardcore." Clearly impressed on some level on the dedication to saving the world and his friends. That makes the crazed old woman think of something else, something she thinks on as she sips her tea. "That was a riveting story, a tale I will not soon forget and one I will pass along the seas of this world. The tale of dragons, witches and immortals on the sea." She could hear it all in a song now.

A couple of the cats break out into a fight and the yowling doesn't have her head turning but the sound of one of the sheets being pulled to the ground to reveal a set of paintings does make the woman turn her head and narrow her gaze first at the paintings and then at the ceiling or more appropriately, the sky. "Hmph."

Four paintings stand side by side. Each depicting a different scenario.

The first canvas is awash in electric blue paints, a swirl of white and blonde. A female, hand outstretched below her to a dark haired figure in similarly dark clothing. They are sinking to the bottom of the ocean but almost touching hands, almost in an embrace.

The second depicts what looks like a stormy night on their familiar seas but a strange triangular light shines down, figures can be seen falling to the raging waters below.

The third shows an explosion of light on what appears to be a mass of land of some kind. Broken buildings can be seen just beyond the light's reach. A tall shadowy figure stands off to the side, face obscured by a hood.

The fourth might strike Silas as especially odd seeing as it's his own face that stares back at him in shock but most notable beyond the look of horror in those light grey eyes is the blood that is splattered on that face, across his forehead with a few specks on his cheeks.

"Ah…" Maybe if she were younger then the sheet would have been hastily thrown the sheet back on but Mad Eve is old and she also believes that there is sometimes power in inaction. She actually turns to ignore them and looks back at Silas. "Why you? Why not you?" That very familiar cackle of laughter rings throughout the cabin and she shakes her head at the man like a mother would her son that isn't paying attention.

"You pulled the trigger on a Dragon's earthly host, it might not have sent you anywhere my darling." Mad Eve considers something and grips the teacup in her hands tightly. "Sounds like you were not just a witness too but a participant to a Great Work." There's a sadness to her tone and the expression on that wrinkled face. "A massive surge of energy, a ripple, an untangling and tangling. All of these words apply but when you are in the middle of that chaotic storm…" Eve raises her hands into the air.

"Anything can happen. Imagine this my young one, this Dragon… this Dragon would have wanted to kill you. Then why not? Because maybe you were sent here on accident… a consequence of the energy you expelled out into the universe." They didn't call her a sea witch for nothing.

Before Silas can say anything she continues, "And just because you might have been sent here by mistake by this Dragon doesn't mean you didn't land back here for a reason. Do you understand?"

A pause. "I know you want to speak of Adam Monroe, friend to Captain Ryans."

But sometimes fate moved you along it's current and you needed to ride it, this was Eve's way and one Silas knew very well. If he wanted any answers at all he would need to indulge the mad woman.

Hardcore. Yes, that's one way to describe it, Silas thinks… though the thought is without the bitterness and self-recrimination that would've marked a thought like that, before Sunspot. "A captain has to protect their crew," he says simply, nodding to Eve.

But the revelation of those paintings draws a widening of his eyes. The first he doesn't recognize, but the second… the second makes Silas's guts clench. The triangle in the sky isn't the same as the portal he'd come through, but the people falling from it suggest something similar.

The third is, again, something he doesn't recognize, but the subject of the fourth is very familiar. He takes a slow breath, suddenly glad indeed for the company of the cats.

It's only when Eve cackles that he's able to tear his attention away from those paintings. At first, he frowns at the idea that his arrival here was an accident… but… maybe. "Maybe," he says dubiously.

"I wouldn't think an explosion would blast someone into another reality, but…" he trails off, because he doesn't have anything to follow that but with. "It's as possible as anything else that's happened in the past few years," he admits.

"And I don't know about being here for a reason," Silas says, sighing. "Truth be told, I've never been good at the big picture stuff. But I'm trying to make the best of it." For all those lost along the way, a whisper floats up from the back of his mind. And for me, too, dammit.

Now he looks back to Eve. "Yeah, I was hoping to find out about Adam. Truth be told, if you know anything about him, I'd still like to hear it, even if his story… might not have the answers I'm looking for. The Adam that I met over there… from what I heard, he'd done some bad stuff." Which is an appropriately British understatement if ever there was one; collaborating with Nazis and the stuff they'd been talking about in Failsafe probably deserves a bit more of a description than bad stuff, but that's going to have to do for now. "But he died trying to fight the thing that was about to go after my crew. Man deserves recognition for that, at least."

"But" Silas says. "If we're talking reasons… maybe the reason I came here wasn't the reason I needed to come here," he suggests, glancing towards the paintings and shrugging.

"A captain has to protect their crew," Eve agrees with a nod towards the younger man, eyes filled, she's impressed. As he studies the paintings she doesn't make a comment, instead she focuses on his words. "Hmmm anyone who says they're good at the big picture stuff is an utter fool. How can you grasp a concept that continues to grow?" the old woman waves her hand dismissively, "You are just fine at the big picture stuff, you have as much power as anyone else Sneaky One."

Onto the subject of Adam, Eve waits a moment. "I know he has blonde hair." She grins in amusement but nods her head, "That, is exactly the point." Now she leans forward with a hunger in her eyes that Silas knows well. "We get so caught up, evolved monkeys gathering by the dozens. And we do have will, we can make changes. But there is a force that guides, that moves despite our greatest efforts."


Her wrinkled hands rub together and she clasps Silas' shoulders as if he's passed some test. "Maybe the reason you came here was just the bait all along." A light shrug from the seer.

Silas has his doubts about his relative abilities with the bigger picture, but the only sign he shows of his dubiousness is a faintly raised eyebrow; he's not here to start an argument, and it'd be ridiculous to argue about that, anyway.

Eve's grand revelation on the subject of Adam is met with a blank stare… then, after a moment, he nods. "Yes… yes, he does indeed," Silas agrees distantly. For a moment he says nothing more, focusing on petting the cats; the three sisters are the main recipients of his attentions, but every now and then one of the others manages to sneak in long enough to get some pets before wandering off again.

Then, Eve leans forward, grasping his shoulders; Mora shuffles slightly, but doesn't appear eager to leave her perch. Silas studies her for a moment, considering.

"That may be so," he admits. Then his gaze sharpens, and a hint of a grin crosses his lips. "So then… tell me, Mad Eve, if you will. What do you see?"

She was reading him before he had even asked the question. Doe brown eyes fade away to milky white and her mouth drops open slightly, eyebrows raising, "Mmmmm? Ah there you are." Mad Eve places both hands on the sides of Silas's face and tilts her head, bringing his to an odd angle as well.

Those eyes stare into Silas', boring into his very soul it feels like and the old seer stays there for a time. Eyes side to side as if she were having a dream and then she's sitting back and staring hard in the man's direction. "I see. The next leg of your journey will offer a test of endurance, of character. I see blood. Flashes of lightning amongst the red. I see your meeting with a young face, feels like mine. The sky opens, they pass through but not unchanged. I see the end. The startling white, intertwined with black. Death and decay. I see your face, angelic in a sea of shadow warding off the demon. I see secrets burned out and secrets made anew. A debt paid and bargains struck. Blood runs thicker than water but how about the soul? How far can you travel? How deep will you allow yourself to go? I see-"

Mad Eve stops and nods faintly to herself, "Yep. That's what I see." The two sit in silence and the old woman rocks back and forth, humming and lightly tapping her fingers on her knees. "Oh yes! I remember now. They share a secret you know, a common bond." Latching onto an old point of conversation as many elderly people do.

"That Captain Ryans and his best friend Adam." Eve waves it off dismissively but takes a sip of tea and shrugs. "Both had children vanish without a trace in 82." It's said with sadness but like an afterthought, nothing she thinks is that important to Silas' life. "I would know a thing or two about lost children. It's not a pain you move on past, not easily."

The trio of cats are thoroughly enjoying their visit with Silas and can't seem to get enough of the man. This amuses Eve or maybe something's on her mind because she snickers softly and eyes the man surrounded by cats.

Silas knows that Mad Eve's visions are the real deal, but interpreting them can be rough; Mad Eve doesn't always speak plainly…

…and this one seems more twisty than most. A test of endurance, okay. Blood… not good, but okay. But… lightning in the red? Meeting young Eve? That's already happened, hasn't it? And… angelic? Him?

There's a part of Silas that is sorely tempted to write Eve's vision off… but he knows better. Just because he doesn't understand what she's saying doesn't mean there's not some truth to it, and an esoteric guide is better than none. So he files it away, petting the cats as Eve finally leans back, her vision finished.

The cats enjoy the attention, at least, but after a moment Eve drops another interesting tidbit. The revelation that the Old Man and Ryans had both had children vanish is startling… and it explains a bit of why Ryans had been so… reluctant… to talk about Adam's past. Still doesn't explain why Ryans thought Mad Eve would know the story there… he muses. Though, to be fair… it's possible she does and just isn't inclined to talk too much about it, either. '82, though… that was a lifetime ago. Long before the Flood; might as well have been a different world. But —


Wait. Lost children? Mad Eve?! Silas thinks, hands falling still with shock; Vera notices and butts at his hand, jarring it back into absent-minded motion. "You had kids, Eve?" he asks tentatively.


The mad old woman sniffs and lifts her nose but that feeling is soon deflated along with her shoulders falling and head hanging. "Or maybe had." It's in this moment that Silas sees a little of the vulnerability she hides behind the crazy and bravado.

"What would you do? If you had the choice between-" Eve stops herself and glares at the wall, upset at something. Something backing her into a corner. "Saving your children's lives or saving everything?"

The question is surely the start to something, maybe another tale.

"Maybe I can tell you a story, you must guard close. A story that you can never utter, a story that I have held inside for a long while Young One. At least maybe, the beginning. Hm?"

In all the time Silas has known Mad Eve, he's rarely seen her looking so careworn. Her question, though, sees him fall silent as he considers. How far would you go to save your child…

Redd might have an answer for that… though Silas suspects his answer isn't the same one Eve reached. Not that it matters. To that other world, 'John Dantes' will never be anything more than an unsolved mystery.

But Eve's question still stands. The beginning? Of what? Silas wonders. One way to find out, I guess.

"Alright, Eve. Tell me your story."

Though the subject is bittersweet, the chance to spin a tale for an old friend leaves that devilish grin on Mad Eve's face. "It started as it always does, I had a dream. That dream pointed me towards a meeting that would change the tide and require sacrifice. You're sensing a theme aren't you, hmm? As a younger me once said: Sacrifice is the only way." Folding her hands in her lap neatly as she thinks back to those moments, "But that first dream, that was of their faces. My babies. Boy and a girl, one with hair as dark as mine the other with hair so fair like an angel or a princess from a fairytale. I loved them before they even existed."

It's here that Eve grows sadder and she closes her eyes, "And with their birth, I also saw their death. A perfect circle." Bitterness blooms and stained teeth grit against each other. "And with their death I also saw a solution. To a problem much bigger than my own, to this world's alone and I knew what choice to make."

It's unlike Eve to beat around the bush in this way, she's ashamed and the tears that begin to trail down her cheeks are evident of that. "But I chose to have them, raise them, love them more than life itself." The old woman grows quiet and looks at Silas finally as if she were afraid of being struck. "I had the dream, I went to the place of power and I met a man, a hopper of sorts." The rollercoaster that is Eve continues as she snickers lightly through her tears:

Ten Years Earlier

New York City


Where have all the good men gone

And where are all the gods?

A woman's voice sings the lyrics to Bonnie Tyler, swaying in her seat upon an abandoned Staten Island Ferry draped in seaweed and populated by crying gulls. The sea is only just now calming, three months after the end of the world. Skyscrapers in the near horizon slouch toward the coast, some still crumbling away into the risen ocean. There is little left of the old world, little left for those still clinging to it to hold onto, leaving the wild seer to allow the ship to drift in a circle carried on the wind-driven currents.

Where's the streetwise Hercules

To fight the rising odds?

Eve Mas grins widely and throws her arms out wide, "Hmm. Where could he be? I'm in the right place, right?" She speaks to the cats prowling her boat, for now just three.

Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed

Late at night I toss and I turn

And I dream of what I need

"X marks the spot." Eve leans forward in her seat and squints across the horizon against the stinging wind and torrential rain. She was sure this was the spot.

I need a hero

But she needn’t be looking ahead to find him.

I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night

When Eve feels a hand clap down gently on her shoulder, she knows that destiny has found her. The familiar voice coming from over her shoulder isn’t one that is there to deliver good tidings, but instead something far more complicated.

He's gotta be strong, and he's gotta be fast

“Sorry, Eve,” he says with a gentle squeeze of that hand, “but you’re early.”

And he's gotta be fresh from the fight

By the time the gulls notice anything amiss, Eve Mas and her guest are gone, save for a few drops of blood left behind.

I need a—

Present Day


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