Should I Call You Angel Now?


cat_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Should I Call You Angel Now?
Synopsis A scene about dreams, a redhead, and metaphoric chess pieces.
Date November 22, 2010

The Nite Owl

The Nite Owl is a survivor from ages past - one of those ancient diners with huge plate glass windows, checkerboard linoleum floor, and a neon owl over the entrance that blinks at those entering. Inside, there's an L-shaped main counter, complete with vintage soda fountain and worn steel stools. All of the cooking is done on the ranges ranked against the rear wall. The outer wall is lined with booths upholstered in cracked scarlet vinyl, tables trimmed with polished chrome. Despite its age, it's been lovingly maintained. The air is redolent with the scent of fresh coffee, vanilla, and frying food.

Caution still applies in her movements around the city when she emerges from the Bronx stronghold behind and under a business she's still clandestine in her ownership of. Cat's attire is chosen to make her look other than a multi-millionairess, complete with sturdy boots suitable for walking in snow and a thick coat with the hood raised to obscure her features somewhat.

She's settled into a booth away from the door where she can watch it and not have her back exposed, able to see all who arrive and check out the street too, with a coffee cup in one hand and another opposite her at the table. Her message to Elisabeth asking to meet up was cryptic; it only said she's recently had a very interesting visitor who raised questions.

The blonde who comes in the front door has no need to hide. Though she looks in somewhat rough shape. Her arm is drawn up to her face as she enters and she's coughing with a chest-deep cough into the crook of it. She glances around and heads toward the table where Cat sits, and she slides into the seat across from her friend with a red, runny nose and weary blue eyes. "Hey," she greets with a voice clogged by the nastiest cold she's had in years. "What's up, lady?" She looks up as the familiar older woman who owns the place steps up, "Tea with honey? Pretty please?"

In return, Liz gets the 'oh honey, you poor thing' look and the woman hustles away.

Eyes settle on the blonde after the owner's done her thing and moved along to fill the request of tea with honey, and Cat commences to lay it out. Sort of. "Is your power still out?" It's a question only partly spoken, the unvoiced bit being 'can you raise the cone of silence?'. Regardless of whether or not that's possible, she presses on after a short sip of coffee.

"So there I was, sound asleep, having a debate with the Constitution's framers, when a woman with red hair came to visit me and I was suddenly in a hut." A brief grin is flashed.

"Should I call you Angel now?"

Elisabeth frowns at the query. "Yeah. Shot," she admits roughly. Her tea appears in front of her and she takes it with a grateful smile, then looks at Cat thoughtfully. "Shit… Delia came to you? Christ…. Cat, I sent her off on a fuckin' suicide run. Is she going to come back and see you?”

Her voice is kept low to avoid carrying beyond the booth where they speak, a wince being shown at the obvious pain Frontline's local director is in and the way she sounds, which shifts into an expression of mild surprise and disquiet. "She doesn't know if she can find me again or not. I told her to do so, I can remember things she's unable to and help her find the way back to her body. The story she told me was odd… In it, you're an angel in love with the red king, who needs her to get a shadow monster to tell her lies. The shadow monster, Delia relates, loves you but you don't love him back. He tells you half-truths, you asked Delia to help sort things out. Believes maybe if she pulls it off she can go home." Fingers grip her coffee cup, she holds it in mid-hoist.

"What beef do you have with Delia that you're trying to get her wiped out?"

Elisabeth shakes her head vehemently. "Not a goddamn thing — I didn't do it on purpose," she confides to Cat. "Like you, she came into a dream with me. But I didn't recognize her, I wasn't lucid dreaming. I only realized what happened after I woke." She grimaces. "It's… a long story, and I can't tell you all of it. But I was having a nightmare about trying to put together some pieces of a puzzle I'm working on. And I'm afraid the person I sent her to might just kill her. We've got to convince her that it's the wrong thing." She shakes her head. "Her body is with Jaiden. We need to convince her somehow to go back to him. So goddamn close, dammit."

"That's a relief," is spoken with a slow exhale of breath. "The shadow monster," Cat opines quietly, "sounds like what her reduced memory and limited experience might've equated with Richard, but it isn't him. I showed her his face, she calls him the red king, says her shadow monster is the black king, but didn't know what he looks like. He probably has abilities similar to Richard's, given the label attached. That's your business, you know I'm one of the best brainstormers around and puzzles are up my alley if you choose to tap into it." That topic is set aside with brief quietude as she sips from the cup.

"Part of her visit was spent trying to figure out what her anchor is, she said the angel had something which felt like it, but she thinks now it was yours instead of hers. There's a necklace she says got lost, one which appeared in images of several women, always in the same place. The significance of that is unclear. And she didn't mention Jaiden. Who is he to her? Boyfriend, lover?"

Biting her lip, Elisabeth admits quietly, "I know who the Black King is, Cat. Jaiden is … her boyfriend, I guess? Not exactly sure. But if there's a necklace, he'll know. I'll touch base with him about that. If he doesn't know, I gather that her father's also out with the others. He may know. It may be something that was her mother's. And it may be that if someone can get to it or can dream it into their dreams, they'll be able to help her. I don't… really know a lot about dreams, but Hokuto helped me some. What she probably felt with me was her own goddamn body," she says with a look of disgust. "I was in Red Hook when she came to me." Jaiden's garage is there too. She sips her tea. "We've got to stop her from going after the Black King, though."

"She's had some teaching from Hokuto," Cat provides, "but not so much on the workings of a human mind. I showed her pieces from Carl Jung's works and played out lessons given by Hokuto herself, the basics of personae and animi. Delia hadn't been told about those. Obviously, another thing Hokuto hasn't taught Delia is how to move back and forth from her body with ease over distances. If she comes back, now that I know she maybe has a romantic link with Jaiden, I can show his face to her, and maybe get her to figure out how Hokuto moved around, led people to visit other dreamers through a group of mirrors." Silence again, the cup raised once more.

"Because the odds of doing this the quick easy way by finding Hokuto are slim and none."

Elisabeth looks…. stunned. "I thought Hokuto was dead." That's what she was told. Or was it? Now she can't remember if she was specifically told Hokuto was dead or not. She was told Hokuto was the Nightmare Man…. Her brows pull together in puzzlement. "Jesus Christ."

"Hokuto is dead," Cat confirms, "yet Delia once told me she's still around. Best I can guess, she knew she was dying when she was shot, and after passing out was able to evacuate the body." Thoughts turn briefly to the battle with her nightmare promoting side, and to not being sure how many people know the full story now. "Ghosts count among the many incredible things we've found to be real." A dryly spoken comment.

"The mechanics of getting Delia back to her body I can't be sure of, without being able to ask someone who's dreamwalked and done it, but I'll make a leap and presume if she can be led to Jaiden and he's sleeping close to her mortal coil, it's an easy bridge to cross."

"Well, it's worth a shot anyway. We've got to keep her the fuck away from the task I asked of her," Elisabeth hoarses softly. Her hands cradle her teacup and she sighs. "Well, now that you know the story… I hope you can use it to accomplish what needs doing. I'm not sure how else I can help. Perhaps if she tries to come back to my dreams…." Although maybe that's not a good idea. Elisabeth gave her a friggin' eyeball. How weird is that? "Maybe I'll be able to tweak onto it and help her some too."

"That may be, Elisabeth," Cat replies, "you made an impression on Delia. In her memory-challenged adrift mind, you represent an angel. The bigger question is whether or not she's able to find the same person twice. She had an orb of some sort, attached to a silver chain. She said it was supposed to lead her to the shadow monster, but brought her to me first."

With fingers wrapping around the cup again, she goes quiet. Most likely replaying something in her mind.

"Could be the orb represents some function of her normal memory, leads her to people she met in the waking world who might have answers, without her really understanding it. A demonstration of her persona, perhaps."

Elisabeth winces. "It was my eye," she tells Cat with a grimace. "It was totally gross — I pulled it out and handed it to her. If it's something proving useful to her, I'm grateful, but it was one of the weirdest dreams I've ever had."

Silence for a few beats, the panmnesiac watching Elisabeth calmly as she shares that piece of data, before considering taking another drink and placing it on the table instead. "That's odd," she muses, "the angel version of you stood on a puzzle piece, surrounded by water. White dress, broken wings. But… the angel wasn't missing an eye."

"No… she wasn't. Until I handed it to her. Pulled it out of my own head to hand it to her on a silver chain." Elisabeth leaves the broken angel part alone — the haunted, broken-winged guardian on her shoulder carrying the bloodied sword is her personal reminder to not give up; she can rest when she's dead.

"I see," Cat murmurs just prior to renewed indulgence in coffee. "It's a waiting game, then, at least seemingly, until and unless she comes back and can be led to Jaiden. I also need to speak with her father, maybe he can shed some light on what or wherever might anchor her." While setting the cup down again, she seems to have a flash of idea. "I have to wonder how effective it might be to put as many people she knows as possible around her dormant body, have them sleep near it, increase the odds of drawing her in by making a cluster."

But she also seeks to address another matter. "Still no indications of me being a wanted woman, Elisabeth?"

"Nothing coming down the pipe at me, no," Elisabeth replies in her rough voice, covering a coughing fit again. "To be fair, they won't necessarily tell me either. Not unless they want my squad to come in on it. DHS has its own thing going on. But … if you don't think the building's under surveillance still… I'd get visible again, Cat."

"I've got some other feelers out," Cat provides with a nod, "and it may happen soon. Before I do, though, there's a test I'd like to try. Having an illusionist cast the image of me around the building and observing what happens." The coughing fit doesn't go unnoticed, in tandem with the still rough voice.

"Rest your throat," she advises quietly, "we've covered the bases, and you're not well."

"Ffft," Elisabeth snorts. "Gonna be that way a while," she reveals quietly. "Blew out my fuckin' immune system, apparently, when I blew out my ability." She sighs heavily. "An illusionist would be a good idea, if you know one. I don't think I have anyone on tap who can ….." She pauses. "If you can't find an illusionist, let me know. I actually might have someone on tap who can do it for us." She smiles a little. "Nice to know my resources are still useful."

That revelation causes a brow to arch sharply. Silence extends for several beats, as Cat seeks a way to respond without saying 'holy shit, woman, get yourself into a fucking sterilized bubble until it comes back!'. Eyes study Elisabeth during that stretch, and fingers wrap around the cup again to lift it.

In the end, she chooses to utter just one word in regard to being wide open as far as microscopic attackers are concerned.


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