Shattered Skies


matthew2_icon.gif robyn6_icon.gif

Scene Title Shattered Skies
Synopsis If the sky that we look upon, should tumble and fall
Date January 18, 2021

Snow days have a new meaning when you’re a parent.

Matthew Parkman Jr. sits at the kitchen table, legs kicking and a smile on his face. A steaming hot bowl of chicken noodle soup sits nearby, but his attention is fixed on an old issue of 9th Wonders sitting on the table, a gift from Aunt Lene when she stopped by last week. Matthew is rapt in his attention on the collector’s item, but more for the story than anything.

Outside, the snow is falling in heavy, fat flakes. It’s pristine, even if it’s meant something of a snow day for Robyn as well, staying home with Matthew while school is cancelled. “Mom!” Matthew calls from the kitchen table, “Did you know Peter Petrelli!?

Matthew doesn’t so much as look up as he keeps shout-talking to Robyn from across the house. “Was he really a terrorist!? This comic says he was a nurse!”

Snow days have a whole new meaning.

Kaleidoscope Studios
Robyn’s Apartment

Bay Ridge

January 18th
9:09 am

"Back then?" There's a small chuckle from Robyn as she picks a pan up off the stove, thin batter spread evenly across it. "Not really. But I know for a fact he's a good guy." Now she does, at least, but that's a secret she has no intention of sharing with her son at this juncture. "Would you like a crêpe to go with your soup?"

There's two small stacks of thin buckwheat shells, one for sweet and one for savory. Another skillet has ham and eggs simmering on it, making it clear which one she plans to have herself in the moment. "I have fruit and I have chocolate this time."

It's still unusual to her to be cooking, despite the last few years. She still remembers a time where she could burn mac and cheese or mess up heating up a chicken patty. Now here she is making crêpes, among other things. She would take a moment to admire how much more self-sufficient she's become, if she wasn't busy putting those skills to use.

And even if she couldn't cook? Well, Matthew would've forced her to learn real quick.

Matthew purses his lips to the side, eyes his still-untouched soup. “I should probably eat this first,” he says with a wobble of his head from side to side. “But save me one! And fruit!” Sliding out of his chair, Matthew walks into the kitchen with Robyn, carrying his comic with him.

“So… Peter was real. And he knew my dad. And you sorta’ knew him, but not really.” Matthew looks down at the comic, then turns it around to show Robyn the cover for the hundredth time. “But how’d somebody write about all this stuff before it happened?”


“This issue was published in nineteen ninety-six!” Matthew says with an exasperated gasp. “But that was like a million years ago!” He sidles up to Robyn, brandishing the comic at her. “If he was real, and this,” he points at the comic, “is stuff that really happened… how’s that work?”

The smile on Robyn's face is practically ear to ear as he comes into the kitchen. This moment, this exact kind of moment, is something she'd longed for for longer than she'd care to admit. It hadn't always been that way, given her attitude on children when she was in her 20s. But that was a lifetime away, now. "A million years ago! How old do you think I am, sir?!" It's a jest, of course, Robyn laughing as she turns off the burner on the stove

"Well," she starts and then pauses, thinking of a diplomatic way to explain this. "You remember how I told you that… time travel is real?" A thought is spared to Aunt Lene, whom she would have to talk to about revealing the truth to Matthew soon, as well as Adel. "As I understand it, the writer of that comic was what we call at work a precognitive, or precog for short. It means they can see into the future, though not always accurately."

Pulling her last shell off the crêpe pan, she turns to face him more directly. "The writer must have seen this some time before it happened and probably didn't realise it at the time." She leans forward a bit, studying the comic cover like she does whenever he brandishes one at her. "How people express this power is different from person to person. I suppose the writer did it through his art."

Standing straight again, she looks past the kitchen to the dining room. "You know the paintings I have up around the house and my office? Many of those are precognitive paintings as well. I'm a bit of a collector." And almost all of them are by Eve, but that fact she leaves aside. "And I used to have a friend who expressed it through…"

There's a trail off there as Robyn's eyes glaze over a bit, a memory crashing into her mind.

The dialysis machine is on the ground, cables once connected to Julie are torn away and blood is spraying across the trench from the machine. Else is staggering around, just an arms-reach from Quinn, coughing up blood. She watches Else drop to her knees, lit by hideous yellow sparks of light tinged with lime-green, as a bullet hole appears in the center of her chest.

She coughs, breathlessly, sprays blood out of her mouth and then jerks back and away as a second bullet hole tears through one of her eyes, even though not a shot had been fired. Blood sprays across Liette's face, she's screaming but her ears are ringing so loudly she can't hear it.

"…song." The word comes out distantly, Robyn's eyes half lidded and shoulders slumped as she comes back to reality. A hand reaches up and covers her eyes, a small sniffle working up as she sighs. "Sorry. A-anyway…"

There's nothing to follow that.

Matthew’s brows furrow together, watching Robyn with a thoughtful expression. His head tilts to the side, jaw working, gears turning behind his eyes. Setting the comic down on the counter, Matthew walks over to Robyn and just wraps his arms around her midsection in a tight hug. “It’s okay mom,” he says quietly, “I miss people sometimes too.”

Said so simply, Matthew’s words feel like such innocent wisdom. It isn’t until there’s a sharp electric buzz in the air of someone pinging the front intercom that Robyn realizes how long he’d been holding her for.

There's no words spoken for several moments as Robyn holds Matthew tight. This was exactly what she needed in that moment, her shoulders relaxing as she squeezes him. A long exhale brings a brief moment of relief. It's only the sound of the intercom buzzer that draws her back into reality again, eyes fluttering open as she looks up questioningly.

"I love you, kidders," she whispers before disentangling herselt from his arms. "I should see who's here, though." There's no appointments scheduled for today, given that normally she'd be at Raytech or Fort Jay, making this arrival a bit of a mystery. Maybe it's someone come to visit - Gillian? Kaydence? Corbin? No, they would all be at work today themselves, likely.

This whole snow day thing is such a new experience for her.

Placing a hand on Matthew's shoulder, she starts towards the intercom. “Love you too, mom,” Matthew says as he makes his way back to the table, leaving his comic on the kitchen counter. Robyn’s phone sits on the counter next to the crêpes, leaving her unable to check who's at the first floor door, so the intercom it is.

"Finish your soup,” Robyn says, “I'll have a crêpe waiting for you." As she approaches the intercom by the door to her third floor home, she tilts her head and presses the button.

"Hello, thank you for coming by Kaleidoscope Studios!" It's Robyn’s cheeriest, most PR-ready voice she has, even feigning a smile to go with it despite that no one can see her. "Unfortunately, we're closed at the moment. Would you like to make an appointment?"

«Oh ah, hey. Yeah. Uh…s’this Kaleid—er, wait. Sorry.» The woman’s voice on the other end of the intercom isn’t familiar to Robyn, but something about the cadence is. «Ah yeah, m’lookin’ fer Robyn Quinn?» Whoever it is, they’re not up to date on her surname change.

«I uh,» the visitor on the other end of the intercom stumbles with her words, «S’about the Cherry Red Records thing, yeah?. Y’sent some stuff t’the Kjelstroms?»

Robyn stiffens, eyes widening as her finger lingers, pressing down on the intercom button. The timing of it all. "O-oh. Y-yes. This is Robyn." A deep breath rises in and out, fighting to keep her thoughts from drifting away mid conversation. Reaching over to the panel, she presses a quick series of buttons. "The reception area door is unlocked, please feel free to make yourself comfortable. I'll be down in a moment."

Her finger lifts off the button, staring vacantly for an extended moment as time seems to stop around her. Swallowing, she turns from the intercom and looks back to the kitchen. "I'll have to make your crêpe in a bit. I think this is going to be important."

Offering him an apologetic smile, she turns and makes her way to her room, to get properly dressed before heading downstairs.

A Short Time Later

Still shaking off the cold, Robyn’s visitor paces around the lobby of Kaleidoscope Studios rubbing her gloved hands together and occasionally breathing into her palms. Melting snow dusts her oversized black winter coat and her pink hair, shaved on the sides and swept up into a fluffy coif.

Robyn’s visitor looks younger than Robyn, somewhere in her early twenties, maybe no older than Lance. She is the picture of nerves, biting her bottom lip and bobbing her head up and down to a tune only she can hear. On the sound of Robyn’s approach the visitor looks up, blue eyes wide and posture tense as she freezes in silent stillness.

Barely looking dressed for the weather, Robyn emerges from the stairwell dressed in a gothic inspired, somewhat lacy black dress, long blonde hair swaying behind her as she runs long pointed jewelry adorning her fingers through her hair. This is her idea of music professional, because even with the uncertainty in the voice of the woman in her intercom, perhaps she expected something besides this.

The young woman pacing around the lobby is met with a slight tilt of her head and a curious furrow of her brow. "Bonjour," she greets in smooth French, slowly approaching her visitor. "Robyn Roux, formally Quinn." A hand extends out to her as Robyn approaches, a small smile forming on her face. "To whom do I owe the pleasure?"

Eyes flit about, looking for anyone else who may have come with her, but ascertaining that she's alone brings a bit of confusion to Robyn, even as she motions to a couch for her visitor to sit. "Please, sit."

Awkward beyond belief, Robyn’s guest starts to move toward the couch and then stops, pivoting to offer out a gloved hand toward her. “Sorry, right— should’f said who I am, yeah?” She smiles, toothily, and laughs.

“Chase.” She introduces herself, hand out, “Kjelstrom. I uh… I guess y’knew my mum?”


Already in the process of taking Chase's hand, Robyn doesn't so much freeze as she clasps it to shake so much as she seems to briefly have her soul vacate her body entirely. "I-" Eyes close, trying her best to keep her smile even. "I'm sorry, I just- I didn't know. That Else had a daughter."

If she sounds caught completely off guard and awkward, it's because in the span of a few words she has become both of these things.

"Um, yes. I knew your mum." Releasing Chase's hand, Robyn is the one who takes a seat first, folding her hands into her lap. She doesn't seem disbelieving of Chase's claim, even as much of a surprise as it is, at least. "I honestly wasn't expecting to hear back from anyone when I left my message. I always wanted to meet Else's family, though."

A look is offered over to Chase, given with a genuine smile. "Welcome to Kaleidoscope Studios, Chase."

Chase’s expression goes through a few attempts before settling on bittersweet, too wound up to sit, so she paces. “Thanks,” Chase says with a tilt of her head to the side, hands tucked into the pockets of her jacket. “T’be honest, I didn’t know m’mum at all. She was my age when she had me, an’ she decided t’send me t’live with m’nan an’ pop ‘cause she weren’t ready t’be a mum.”

Chase scuffs her foot along the floor, brows furrowed. “Last time I saw her was when I was ‘bout six years old. She came t’Denmark t’visit, right ‘bout time the city blew up here. She left, an’ never came back.” Breathing in deeply, Chase’s shoulders rise and then fall with a sigh. “Honestly, promised m’self I wasn’t goin’ t’care. But s’been a lot’f years an’ I ain’t as angry as I was when I was knee-high.”

Looking up at Robyn, Chase grimaces. Though the expression slowly melts into an apologetic smile. “M’ nan an’ pop said you’d mailed them about the lawsuit. They looked you up an’… I mean, I pieced some shit t’gether on the internet. That you were Ferrymen t’gether.” Chase sighs through her nose, then shakes her head.

“I didn’t come here t’talk about lawsuits or whatever.” Chase finally works up the courage to say. “I jus’… I dunno. I was just hopin’ y’knew her. Feels like nobody else did. An’ maybe if you’n I talked… hell, I dunno.”

"I'm sorry to hear that," Robyn says quietly, glancing over at Chase before looking back down at her hands in her lap. Wrinkling her nose, she half turns towards Chase, letting a smile reform on her face, a sad smile with a tempered quality to it. "You have the right of it, though. That we were Ferrymen together. I…"

There's a question lingering in her mind about Chase's timeline of events, but it's pushed aside for a moment. "I was there the day she passed," comes just as quietly, hands wringing in her lap. "If I'm going to be honest? I only knew her but so well. I looked up to her quite a bit before we actually met, she was big in the local indie music scene and that was where I wanted to be."

Swallowing, Robyn leans back against the sofa, her smile taking a fond turn. "But we had mutual friends when I was new to the Ferry, and we got on pretty quick. Became kinda a mentor to me as I was putting together my album and recording." Lips purse, a small chuckle escaping her, rueful and anxious. "Sorry. I miss her, your mum. A lot. I could keep going if I'm not stopped."

“Na, it’s fine.” Chase says with a scuff of one hand at the back of her neck, meandering over to the couch. “S’nice t’talk t’someone who has a good opinion’f her. Nan’ an’ pop basically cut ties with her when she went back t’the States after the bomb.” Chase sits down as she talks, unbuttoning her jacket but not taking it off.

“We didn’t talk about her when I was growin’ up. My grandparents were my mum an’ dad, s’far as I was concerned. But… when she died,” Chase says with a dip in her tone, “things changed. I think… they finally realized they weren’t never goin’ t’see her again. Then when the calls started comin’ in ‘bout her music, an’ money…” Chase shakes her head. “They got greedy. We had arguments about it, an’…”

Chase stalls, looking down at her hands and rubs them together. “Some shit happened, an’ I moved t’Canada a couple years ago. Now with the fuckin’ lawsuit, an’ everythin’ I just… I wanted t’find someone who knew her. What she was really like. Y’know?” When Chase looks back up to Robyn, there’s so much in her smile and her eyes that is Else. Even her mannerisms and her muddled multinational accent, it’s all so familiar.

“Was… “ Chase starts to ask, then shakes her head and stops herself.

"I wish I could be surprised." It's an uneven response, punctuated with a sigh. "What a shame that is. Greed just keeps music from reaching the people who need it most." Quiet as it is, this is said with a clear conviction that Robyn genuinely believes in. "I never realised how fraught her familial relationships are." Certainly that's something she can empathise with now, in the absence of her mother and her estrangement from her father.

A shaky breath slips out as she leans back forward, offering an honest laugh. "You're in the right place, thought. I don't know if you put it together, but I cared a lot about your mum." Obviously that's clear and Robyn's been cheeky, as evidenced by the growing grin on her face. "I'm sorry you didn't get to know her better, but I'm also sad she didn't get to know you better."

She's not going to shame someone who isn't here for her choices, in particular knowing she would've likely made the same one if it had been her at that age.
A moment of silence falls before she looks over at Chase, an eyebrow quirked. "Was she what?"

Chase had been quiet as Robyn spoke, but when that question is raised again she looks up with a startle in her eyes. Doubt crosses her face, nervousness and a shadow of fear. Robyn’s seen this look in people before, most recently in Louis the actor who fled from the UK. She realizes what Chase had wanted to ask.

“Was mum different?” Chase finally works up the courage to ask. “Y’know, special?” She raises her brows, wringing her hands together. “I tested positive when they started makin’ that mandatory when I was a kid, but I ain’t caught fire or blown up yet.” She smiles awkwardly, sweeping a lock of hair from her face. “Kinda’ makes me relieved I moved to Canada, but…”

With her suspicions confirmed, an eyebrow quirks up as Robyn nods and smiles. "Oh, is that all?" After all, that isn't a big deal here. Not anymore, at least. "She was, yes. She didn't like to talk about it. I only found out from happenstance. It was… a sensitive matter, given the nature of her ability." A distant look in her eyes tells as much of a story as anything she could say does.

"If you want to know what she could do, I certainly don't mind telling you." But she also doesn't want to burden her with that knowledge unwillingly. At least her conversation with Matthew had prepared her for how to explain this, if necessary. "Most of us in the Ferry were expressive. Not all, but most, I'd say. I certainly am." It's a good thing she doesn't have to grapple with that anymore.

War hero,” Chase says with a motion to Robyn, followed by a laughing smile, “so that tracks.” What people outside of the US must think of the Ferrymen when viewed through the lens of history.

“I do.” Chase belatedly admits in half-formed thought. “Want to know what mum could do, I mean. I just— I don’t know if I’m completely ready to? M’scared, ‘cause I haven’t manifested and what if knowin’ is part of it you know? More’n half the battle?” She laughs to herself, then scrubs her hands over her face.

“Good Christ I’m sorry I’m such a fuckin’ wreck,” Chase says with a yelp of nervous laughter, running her hands through her hair. “I didn’t think this’d get t’me so much. M’fuckin’ shakin’.”

Tongue rolls over lips as Robyn collects her thoughts, looking amused by Chase's nervousness. "Well, at least I feel better about being nervous m'self." The contraction is unintentional, as Robyn through a combination of memory and the presence of Chase slips just the slightest bit back into an Irish accent.

She doesn't even notice it when it happens. She hasn't done that since Elaine.

"But, if there's anything I can guarantee ya, it's that you won't find anything other than welcome an' patience here, so I hope that tempers that nervousness a bit." Her gaze focuses on ahead, taking a deep breath.

"Your mum, she could predict the future. Through her songs." Taking a moment to study Chase for a reaction, Robyn quirks her lips side to side as she continues. "Like I said, she didn't really tell people much. She was ultimately a pretty private person. I imagine she was worried what would happen if people found out."

A worry that ended up being very credible.

Chase looks troubled for a few moments, grappling with the reality of that explanation. It takes her a moment to talk, and that time is spent running her hands down her face and staring into the distance in silence.

“That’s heavy shit.” Chase says with a look over to Robyn. “I honestly feel like m’head’s gonna explode. M’not sure you— it took me months t’work up the courage t’come down to New York, t’look you up an’…” She sighs, scrubbing the heels of her palms at her eyes. Once again she grows quiet for a time.

“I don’t have nothin’ t’remember mum by. I’ve listened t’her music, but it ain’t the same as rememberin’ what her voice sounded like. Now s’like… all them rumors about her music, s’real? Wild times, yeah?” Chase smiles and shakes her head, shaking her hands and standing up from the couch, unable to stay still. “D’you know anybody else who knew her at all?”

"Ah, um…" It's Robyn's turn for a thousand yard stare, taking in a deep breath. "Yeah, few folks are still around." Alive, she means. It's been years since she thought about Andy, but many times she saw Else, Andy was there as well.


"Colette Demsky and Delilah Trafford come to mind," she remarks somewhat absently. "Tasha Renard, as well." It's amazing to think about all the people who aren't around, even if alive, as well. It's jarring, a realisation that brings Robyn to silence as well.

Slowly, she looks up at Chase, offering her a turn of a sad smile. "I figured it'd be a lot t' take in all at once, y'know? It always is." Swallowing, she looks down at her feet for a moment, before rising up to her feet. "I have something you can remember her by. If y'want it."

Looking towards the door to her office, her smile grows a slight bit. "Well, I appreciate you gettin' that courage, Chase. I really do."

Chase’s expression is one of wide-eyed uncertainty and nervousness. She breathes in deeply through her nose, paces around again, and then rubs her hands together. “Ain’t sure if m’ready for that. Holdin’ that weight. This’s a lot. Brings back a lot. Lotta’ anger from when I was little…”

Shaking her head, Chase makes a rough noise in the back of her throat. Looking at Robyn, though, she still manages a smile. “All them people, though. They… d’you know how t’get in touch with ‘em? It— it’d be nice if I could… if there was a way t’talk or…” Sighing, Chase runs her gloved hands through her hair.

"Alright. I can understand that." There's maybe a little disappointment there, but perhaps a little relief as well that Robyn doesn't have to part with her last reminder of Else yet. "An' yes, I do. Three of my best friends. They all live here in town. I can put you in contact with them, or, um. However you would like t' handle that."

Robyn wrinkles her nose a bit, finally noticing the slip of her accent. She doesn't seem to question it though, not at the moment. "So, hey. You said y'came down here from Canada. Where are you staying while you're here?" There's a beat as she swallows a bit awkwardly, looking down at the floor. "I have a spare room, if you'd rather stay here." It's the least she feels she can do for Else's daughter.

Rather quickly, Chase raises her hands. “I uh, I can’t— I got a place in, uh, uptown. Hotel room. It’s a uh, I’m… I mean I ’preciate the offer, s’just— s’a lot.” Smiling awkwardly, Chase scuffs a hand through her hair again.

Struggling with her words, Chase clomps around on booted feet and tracks a full circle on the floor. “Maybe… would it be like— too much t’like… I dunno if I— I don’t do good with one-on-one stuff, y’know?” She breathes in deeply, rocking back and forth on her heels. “Could we… do like— a thing? I don’t wanna say a party ‘cause that feels fuckin’ macabre, yeah? But— somethin’?”

A low laugh is what Chase gets in response as she settles back down on the couch. "I didn't feel right not offering," she explains, lowering her head slightly. "I'm sorry if I made y'uncomfortable. I don't mean to, I just-" Eyes close again as she stops, shoulders rising as she sighs. "You're right. It's a lot." And this is how she's hoping with this ongoing discovery.

Not good at one on one seems to be a bit of an understatement, one of Robyn's hands bunching up her dress a bit as she considers. "No. No, I think a party is the right approach. Doesn't have t'be anything big. It's been a while since…" she held a party dies on the tip of her tongue. This isn't about her.

"But if that makes you uncomfortable? We can do a lunch, the five of us. Or however many y'want to have there."

“Sounds like a fuckin’ wake.” Chase says with an awkward smile and nervous laughter. “But… maybe that might be nice, yeah?” Something dawns on Robyn. A realization. A grim truth. When Else Kjelstrom died, Robyn held her body in that drainage ditch until she couldn’t any longer.

When the night has come

"Else!" Quinn shouts again, staring into the other musician's dull eyes. The blood looks the same as anything else in the drainage ditch to her, but she's been through enough at this point to know. She doesn't know that this is how Else died the first time, replayed for them - second verse, same as the first - but she doesn't need to. The elation she had felt when she had found Else was fleeting. She wouldn't feel it again. She had saved her. And this was all it amounted to. This time, she can't choke back a sob, and instead she wraps her arms around Else's body, her head against the other's cheek.

And the land is dark

Holding Else’s body close, Quinn does what's probably the last thing she should be doing in this moment. It's the thing she knows how to do best. She sings, quietly.

And the moon is the only light we'll see

It might sound like she's having a breakdown, words between sobs, clutching Else tight. But as she hums a few last bars, she sniffles, her arms loosening around Else's body. "I'm sorry, Else. I tried. Looks like that fading star finally burned out," she whispers, tears still resting in the corners of her eyes. She doesn't even register Rue calling out for her, and when she feels an invisible pull on her, she fights it, eyes wide and having not paid attention enough in the last few moments to know the source.

No, I won't be afraid

"No!" she shrieks, not wanting to let go. Only for a moment, though, before she releases Else entirely, going largely limp as she lets Griffin pull her free, slowly raising a hand up and over part of her face so that she's somewhat obscured as she comes into view of the camera crews. She had been counting on invisibility for this.

Oh, I won't be afraid

They never recovered Else’s body. They never were given the opportunity to bury her, to mourn, to grieve. Else Kjelstrom never had a funeral. They never had closure. Now this, Else’s estranged daughter, all of the past coming back all at once. Perhaps, then, it was finally time.

Just as long as you stand

“Somethin’ in her memory sounds fantastic.”

Stand by me

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