Space to Think


remi_icon.gif savannah_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Space to Think
Synopsis The lesser traveled paths of Central Park provide space for three people to think.
Date January 25, 2011

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

It's late afternoon, and the sun casts its rays through the leaves of the trees in Central Park, along one of the less populated walking paths, with some benches along it and a picnic area some fifty yards along a branch of the path. The air is brisk, and folks who had been at the park for the afternoon have gone home for the day.

Nocturne Ziadie is strolling along the path, at a fairly slow pace, a cup of coffee from one of the street carts throughout the park in his left hand, though his left arm is in a sling, and a bag of what is probably chestnuts in the sling. It makes a good way to carry things, even if it is in the way otherwise. The older man hums to himself as he walks, with an occasional glance at the treeline and then to his watch.

There's still quite a bit of snow on the ground— it's melted slightly, but it's still got a fairly good presence here in Central Park. The waning sunlight glitters off of its surface, making it appear just a little brighter than it really is out here. It's also pretty chilly. Probably the reason for the sheer emptiness of the park that borders the northern side of the Midtown Ruins.

It's a good reason for Soleil Remi Davignon to make the trek out in the cold after work. American Ballet Theater is fairly close to the park, so it's easy for her to get here after the fact. And this place, when the cold sets in, is always so empty— a perfect, beautiful scene for Remi to escape the minds of those around her. Probably because she usually manages to keep a good 50 feet between herself and anyone else when she's 'relaxing' like this.

However, the snowy trees also provide a good enough distraction for her to not notice the man approaching. She holds her own coffee cup between her hands, sipping at its contents. She doesn't notice the approaching ex-NYPD cop until it's too late, and her ability hones in on his mind like a radio picking up a signal.

Links, links, there has to be some sort of link between it all. There's always a link between it all, nya da de man see dis. Ziadie's thoughts switch rapidly between English and Jamaican Patois, but are mainly in English this afternoon. It's a giant to-do list, rapidfire but quiet at the same time. The older man's thoughts might be busy and complicated, but they're quiet overall, as if he's used to keeping to himself. Fel had better have found out something by the time I get back tonight.

It's then that Ziadie glances up, switching around his cane and his cup of coffee to be able to take a sip of it. Gods be damned robots. This sling is a pain and a half. Another sip of coffee. But Fel's a mother hen like that, if I don't wear it I'm never going to hear the end, don't want to worry him, he's a good kid and Liz would kick my ass if I worried him more. He catches sight of the Remi, and blinks a few times, generally dismissing her presence. Or at least, trying to.

Remi straightens a bit at the sudden onslaught of thoughts not her own, unable to help but turn those wide blue eyes of hers toward the man as he approaches. There's that name again— Fel, Feebs, whatever that woman called him. Maybe it's just a coincidence. Well, it would be, if it weren't for the mention of the FRONTLINE agent that she just met over lunch today.

For a moment, she forgets herself, and just stares at Ziadie. Likely strange, having a young lady just turn and stare at you lke you've said something close to home. Then, finally, she remembers herself; a shy smile forms on her face briefly, and she turns back to viewing the treeline thoughtfully, sipping at her coffee.

My coat must be open or something. That's what it usually is. Like folks ne'r saw before or something. That's Ziadie's response to her staring, before he realises that it isn't, and his gun is safely not visible, and meets the young woman's smile with a slight smile of his own, and he continues to watch her for a moment, taking a few steps closer. After juggling his coffee cup back to his left hand and his cane back to his right. Want my old cane back. This one is a pain in the god damned rear. Damn sling. Damn shoulder. Could go without but that would be tiring. Plus, it's useful to appear more helpless than I actually am. It's Ziadie's turn to stare, a bit. Wonder what was so interesting.

Quietly, the little redhead sips at her coffee, apparently finding something interesting in the trees. She wants to turn off that obnoxious portion of her ability that picks up on any surface thoughts of those within a 50 foot diameter of herself. She wants to ask what happened to his old cane, but that would kind of give her away as being able to hear his surface thoughts.

However, she does have at least one reason to talk to him. That arm is interesting. After a moment, she turns, peering over at the older man. She smiles faintly, offering a somewhat shy wave. "Bonsoir, Monsieur."

"Evening there," Ziadie says, ducking the young woman a nod by way of greeting. Good, for once I'm not talking first. He takes another sip of his coffee, with of the awkward switching things around between hands that doing so entails. Even so, the mental commentary the old man has going continues. Coffee is definitely not enough, nice as the warmth is. There's a frown. He's a bit grumpy because of the not being able to drink due to taking large doses of ibuprofen, and there's a hint of that grumpiness good-naturedly aimed at his roommate, this Felix person who keeps being a side note to his thoughts.

Remi offers a faint smile to the man, sipping at her own coffee and generally holding it between her hands to absorb what little warmth she can from the cup. "'Ow are you zis evening, Monsieur?" She offers a charming smile to the older man. Apparently, she's just a really friendly, extremely well-dressed girl. Her coat and boots look expensive. There's that Felix fellow again— she's curious about the guy, now. Sexting a woman, and now an old man generally preoccupied with thoughts about the guy. She almost wants to look a little deeper, below the surface. But no— that would be wrong.

Arm hurts like a son of a bitch, I haven't been able to learn anything about the god damned robots in midtown, they're not getting back to me about the questions, and I wish I knew if that Jackson girl was alright. That's Ziadie's thought in the same moment where he answers Remi's question. "Well enough, and yourself?" He winces a moment, just a fraction of a second of emotion on his face. It's not his shoulder causing him to wince; no, it's what he said. Sometimes, sometimes, I would give anything for being able to just answer a damn question without a headache springing from it. There's a lot of cynicism to that particular thought.

Remi tilts her head toward her shoulder, quietly watching the man. It's moments like these that she ponders revealing what her ability really is. And it's not difficult to put two and two together that he's got an ability of some kind. His thoughts certainly don't indicate that he's well enough, as he says. She watches for a long moment, a rather neutral look on her face.

"I am doing okay! A bit stressed from work, but life is going fairly good." She speaks truth; she's at a fairly good place in her life. "Can I ask what 'appened to your arm?" She's testing the waters a little, right now.

Then, the woman extends her pale hand, offering it out to Ziadie with a warm smile on her features. "I am Remi Davignon," she murmurs, smiling faintly. Davignon, like that famous fashion brand. "And you are…?"

The former police officer extends his hand in return, with a faint chuckle at how much bigger his hand is than hers. His palm is worn and callused from a lifetime of hard work, and his handshake is firm without being overly so. "Nocturne Ziadie," he says. The mall incident last week, with the telekenetic … it's close enough to the surface of his thoughts that even if Remi hadn't heard about it on the news, it's there. "Pleasure to meet you." Robots, fucking robots and rubble and god knows how I managed to get out of that one, don't even know how, really. But … "I dislocated it." He did, anyway.

Remi's eyes turn up toward the old man, a smile on his face. "Enchantée, monsieur." She turns her eyes down toward his hand in hers, for a moment, before closing her eyes. Easy, Remi, don't break him when you do this. Suddenly…it doesn't feel like Nocturne Ziadie is alone in his mind. What kind of robots? What happened? You do not need to give yourself a headache. No need to talk. Just…think about it, and I will hear. Think of me as…your secret sounding board.

Then, she pulls her hand away, stumbling back a single step and raising a hand to her head. God, that's difficult— the private links are still a pain in the ass to initiate and keep up, because if she doesn't keep control, she can easily push her way too far into someone's mind. But it's so much easier than having to concentrate on thinking into one person's mind, rather than anyone who walks by.

A smile is offered up to Ziadie, a bit sheepish. Hopefully, she hasn't just terrified the old man.

Well now it all makes sense. Apparently the old man's encountered telepaths before. At least you don't shout your thoughts all over the park like the last one. The old man is doing a very good job of thinking of inconsequential things on the surface, as far as how much of his thoughts are in English, and his consideration of Remi is in is native tongue. A moment further consideration, and his thoughts go back to being in plain English. Robots in midtown that from what I do know target the evolved. With machine guns and apparently negation gas, if you must know. He pauses. "Are you alright?" he asks aloud.

I wish Kam would hurry up and give me a publication date because I know this one won't need as much editing and he was looking over the chapters himself and I think as soon as they see exactly what I've written they'll want to get the process sped along as soon as possible especially considering it's timely material and I can't possibly stop and update it especially since I'll already be working on a sequel although I might want to be careful about how much governmental conspiracy I put in this one since Kam might get kind of jumpy but maybe I'll get another trip to Europe out of it because Prague was nice and—

What's it like to be in the mind of Savannah Burton? Right now, all rapid-fire and continuously spinning. Enough to drive one mad, but they say the best geniuses are. The blonde author makes her way along the path, a soft leather messenger bag slung over one arm as she hunts down a place to sit and work. Work, after all, is on her mind and she does her best writing when she can find an interesting place to write in.

Remi smiles faintly up to the old man. "Oui, I am okay. Just got slightly light-headed for a moment." She goes quiet for a moment, her eyes focusing on Ziadie's face. Then, into his mind specifically, she speaks. I could do that, but I prefer not to. Some of us enjoy our solitude, when we can get it. She pauses at the second part of his thoughts, and her brows raise. Mon dieu! That sounds…rather terrifying. I will have to avoid midtown! Not that she ever goes there to begin with.

Then, that sudden, rapid-fire thought process runs through her mind, and she winces, just a little. It's not so much loud, but it's a bit nerve-grating, like those people at the end of commercials who read the fine print so fast you can't understand what they're saying. And far before Savannah actually shows herself on the twisting path, Remi is looking toward her expectantly, waiting to see who is behind the onslaught of fast thoughts.

Ziadie nods. You and me both, there, he responds, continuing the conversation silently rather than aloud. Avoid midtown, avoid the edges that are really parts of other boroughs. The older man sips his coffee again, and apparently regardless of the fact that he's standing right near a telepath, he goes back to his own thoughts. For a split second, before continuing to address her. And do me a favour, Miss Davignon. You don't know anything about robots, and you didn't hear the rumours from me. They're dangerous rumours. There's a mental wince even at that small untruth though, what he's telling her to not know. God damn lies I hope to hell Fel talks to whoever it is he knows.

He tilts his head slightly when Remi winces. "Miss Davignon?" he queries. "You alright, there?"

—unless I haven't heard anything because they didn't like it. Maybe Kam knows something, but he'd tell me if he knows something and he hasn't said anything so maybe I should pick up some of that curry he likes and see if maybe he feels like talking. Ugh, I should work though. What am I kidding? My writing is crap and the publishers hate it and I'm a one-hit-wonder. I really thought I could help people and make them understand and I think talking about adolescent manifestation is brilliant and it's a great follow-up to the Amplified and could really help younger Evolved with their abilities. Well, if my writing wasn't such crap! The rapid-fire in her brain doesn't seem to come across as much in Savannah's countenance.

The author makes her way along the path, shifting the leather bag on her shoulder as she takes her time in searching out a location. She spots the two up ahead, making her way in their general direction, seeming in no particular hurry as she looks at the various aspects of the park, seeming to take them in.

Remi straightens once more, smiling to Ziadie. "Oh, just tired after a long day." A cover for the telepathic conversation she's having wth the man. One hand is waved toward him, then dragged through her hair to comb it back away from her face. I don't go there anyhow, but thank you for the warning. I'll certainly be extra certain to avoid that dreaded wasteland. Indeed, around here is the closest she'll bring herself to the ruins of midtown. You'll have to pardon any odd reactions on my behalf. I admit that my ability is always on, and it takes conscious effort to direct it. I— I don't normally talk to people like this, and I can hear everyone with in a good…fifty foot radius. So…who is this Felix fellow? I met Liz earlier today, and she was thinking about him, too.

Case in point, Savannah's mind continues to prattle away at the back of Remi's, prompting her to squint over at Savannah. She's pretty loud. And busy, too. Despite this, she offers a faint smile in the author's general direction, coupled with a slightly shy wave.

Ziadie nods. "Good days can do that too," he says. I know how that goes, at the very least. He takes another sip of the cup of coffee. Nearly empty, should have gotten a bigger one … A shrug. Well, half a shrug, right side only. Fact that I'm getting used to not being able to move my left shoulder without pain probably isn't a good thing.

Then Ziadie makes what is probably a conscious effort to direct his thoughts back to their silent conversation. More 'n fair. I can't turn my ability off … I know how it is. Felix is my roommate. I've been staying with him. Friend of mine from back when I was on the NYPD, I knew him for a while, and he's been good to me, took me in. A bit of mental muttering in patwa follows, something about family, the transition into the language he uses to keep his thoughts private a bit forced. You met Liz? How is she doing? Eventually, Ziadie too glances over towards the author who is walking up the path, and there's a nod of his head in greeting that should be visible even across the distance.

—I should find her again, thank her for the help. She was right about the bombing, Humanis First, everything. It went on without me, but… I didn't die. Maybe she'll let me put her in the dedication… she's a big fan, I'm sure she'd love that. Not like people have to know why she's in there anyways… and if it weren't for her, I never would have finished the book so quickly. Death's a good driving factor… oh. People. Smile and focus.

A smile spreads across the author's face at the little wave, a small wave offered herself in response. Savannah doesn't really know either of them, but she's still giving a polite greeting. She pauses, though, looking down on her wrist for her watch. "Dammit, I forgot that thing ran out of batteries," she grumbles, then looking at the two. "Do either of you have the time?"

You sound like an interesting fellow, Nocturne…if you don't mind me calling you that? And Felix sounds interesting, as well. Elisabeth— blonde, right? She seemed well. Busy, but well. Remi smiles faintly up to Ziadie. It's always harder for her to distinguish between thought and speaking, at times, but she manages fairly well. "Oui. It 'as been a very long day. I work over at American Ballet Theater— I teach, and 'elp with choreography." She smiles.

As Savannah approaches with those interesting thoughts, Remi raises a brow, turning to peer thoughtfully at the woman. Wow. That was…morbid. After a moment of staring, Remi offers a charming smile, and pulls out her phone. "Oui, it is 5:15." Very thick french accent she sports.

"You got it before I did," Ziadie says, speaking of the time. Yes, blonde. That's good. I'm glad to hear that. Whatever reason he might have had for being glad to hear it isn't mentioned. He's a good kid. By the length of time Ziadie has known him overall, not so much of a kid anymore, more of a man, but Ziadie refers to Fel as a kid anyway. He switches back to speaking aloud. "Please, call me Ziadie," he says. "The only people who have ever called me Nocturne for very long were my mother and sisters." His own accent, vaguely Jamaican, is much less pronounced when he speaks than it is when he thinks.

"Ah, 5:15, good…" Savannah murmurs, glancing between the two of them. "My watch stopped working and I don't usually have my cell phone on when I write… if I remember to bring it that is." She laughs. "Anyway, sorry to disturb you. Thank you so much." The blonde takes a step back to continue on her way.

Her thoughts, it seem, move a lot faster than her. Ugh, do I always sound so stupid talking to people? I wonder what I look like when people don't know who I am. Do I look a mess? I was a mess back in college, even I wouldn't have wanted to run into me back then, before the meds. Did I take them? Sunday, Monday, Tuesd—yes, I remembered. Maybe going out was a bad idea today. I'm bound to do something stupid. Should have left the credit cards at home…

Remi is more than happy to stop her efforts in communication. It's tiring to limit it to one person. At least there's only two people around right now, so the background noise is minimal. She only smiles to Ziadie. "Oui, I will call you Ziadie, zen. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." He's a nice old man! She likes him. Maybe she'll be his friend, or something like that.

A glance is cast toward Savannah, and Remi smiles, waving a hand. "Non, non, you were not disturbing! You didn't sound stupid at all!" That was a slip, a bad judgement call on her part where she gives voice to an unspoken thought— from another person. She can only hope that Savannah won't notice.

"No, Miss Davignon, the pleasure is mine," Ziadie responds. Damn, coffee's all gone. That's what, my fifth cup today? Felix's going to throw a fit. Boy worries too much. His words are really long practised formality and dealing with people, but it helps him hide the bit of gruffness that is coming from the pain in his shoulder, and from not having had anything to drink. Ad the tone of voice is sincere, even if the words are rote words that the older man has not used in a long time, overall. He turns to Savannah. "You should get a new watch, sooner than later," he calls out. Curfew exists, after all.


Savannah sounds startled. While some might have let it go by, she's perceptive. Especially when she had just been thinking about it. The author looks flustered, looking from Remi to Ziadie, as if they were playing some joke on her. "I-I should hope I didn't sound stupid… w-was just asking for the time." The normally collected author seems shaken to pieces.

ShitshitshitshitdidIsaysomethingwhatdidIdowrongbreathebreathecalmthingsarefineshesaidyoudon'tlookstupidsoyoumustbefine. There's a deep breath as Savannah collects herself, looking back towards Ziadie. "Oh, yes, I know. I found that out the hard way. Best not to forget the time."

Remi frowns, reaching up to rub at her forehead. Oh god. She just made a fool of herself and called someone stupid. "Non…you didn't. I— I'm sorry, I am not good at English." She's flat out lying with that statement, completely fluent in the language, but…well, she really doesn't like having people know she's a telepath, because then their thoughts get all suspicious and silly.

The only reason she made an exception for Ziadie was because he's— well, he's old.

You really shouldn't drink more than three cups of coffee in one day. Too much caffiene can be bad for your heart! Remi is losing her touch. Why? Because, while she meant to just send the thought to Ziadie alone…she just broadcast it to the two of them instead. Suddenly, she claps a hand over her mouth, as if she's just spouted out some horrible curse word.

Ziadie winces when Remi lies. That one hurt, he thinks, the thought specifically directed at her. It comes right after she says she isn't so good at English, should be obvious enough. Though I suppose at least it's a believable lie. That done, he responds to Remi aloud as well. "Perhaps I shouldn't. It helps, though," he says. "And if it's bad for my heart?" Another one sided shrug. "I have had a long life. Longer would be nice, but I can deal with the risk of caffeine." Better for me than smoking, or drinking. Though Felix seems— Ziadie's thoughts switch languages again, with a furrow of his brow. He doesn't seem to like letting on that he cares that someone else is worried over him, or that it bothers him. "And as I said, the coffee helps. What with having dislocated my shoulder, which hurts."

Too much caffeine… I haven't even had coffee today— Savannah looks from Remi to Ziadie, and then the older gentleman is talking about caffeine too. Her breath catches in her throat. She grips the leather bag tightly, looking between the two of them. Nononono what I am thinking, this is bad. Calm down. You can't break down in a park, it's public and what will people think of you? What must they think now, hearing things… I thought I was doing okay. I thought I was normal.

The author's hand fiddles with the strap on her bag. "I-I'm going to get out of your way now…"

Cut me some slack, s'il vous plaît? I've had a long day. Usually nobody is even out here in this weather.

Both of Remi's hands come up to cover her face for a moment, as if she is absolutely mortified. And she is, really. Here she is, exacerbating someone's mental issues. Good job, Remi! You are a prime example of the perfect telepath. You instill madness in people by slipping up. You can't even properly broadcast your thoughts after a long day at work!

She frowns, dropping her hands to her side as she steps over to the author. Tentatively, one hand reaches out to touch Savannah's upper arm. "Non, you are normal. You are fine, pardon moi. I am a— telepath. A mind reader. You're absolutely fine, oui?"

Ziadie, keeps where he is, for the moment, but tilts his head as he watches the author and the dancer. "You're in no one's way, ma'am," he says, voice soft. "Please, take a few deep breaths." No such thing as retired, it seems. His gaze lingers on Remi. Cut yourself some slack, Miss Davignon. As you said, no one's out in this weather, and the park's usually quiet. It isn't your fault either. "Just a few deep breaths, and then you can hurry off. But take a few deep breaths first, please ma'am. Wouldn't want you to turn the wrong way in the park, or such." The old man sounds weary, though not with Savannah per se, voice paced at the same slow pace older people tend to use. No such thing as retired unless I just say screw't all, and no, can't do that. Not to Felix, or to Liz… No.

Savannah's instinct is to pull back when her arm is touched, but she braces herself, staying put. "N-No, I'm not normal. I can't be. Not even if I wanted to… you can't change your genes." She sucks in a deep breath. "I'm sure my head looks a mess to you, then. You can see I'm not. Just forget this happened." Her eyes dart around, shifting to Ziadie as he speaks. "T-This never happened, okay?" She looks pleadingly at him, then back to Remi. I'm such a mess, and when I try to explain it to Kam it'll all just come out as not a big deal. It always sounds like it's something little when it never feels little. I hate this.

Remi hesitates for a long moment, peering between Ziadie and Savannah. Then, after a moment, she digs into her purse, rummaging around for a particular item. After a moment, she pulls out two pristine business cards, and offers one to each of the pair. "You, call me me, I'd like to talk to you more." This is said to Ziadie. Then, she looks to Savannah. "You, call me if you want 'elp…sorting everything out, oui?"

And then, Remi is rather hurriedly making her way away from the pair, replacing her gloves. She doesn't offer much chance to respond; It's a little too tough for her right now.

Ziadie furrows his brows a bit, taking just a step closer to Savannah. "That's it," he says, encouragingly. "Another deep breath." He pockets the card from Remi, and watches the young woman walk off, distant for a moment. "My name's Ziadie," he says. His voice is even and level. "It's alright, it is. You didn't get in anyone's way." A pause. "Encountering some things can be disconcerting," he continues. "I know. Please, it is alright." The older man offers Savannah another encouraging smile, using the smile to mask the concern.

The card in Savannah's hand is carefully tucked away, looking guiltily after Remi as she hurries off. She looks back towards Ziadie, offering a weak smile. "Sorry, this is such a mess. I didn't mean for anything to happen. My name is S—no, that doesn't even matter. I'm sorry. It's not important. Just pretend it never happened, okay?"

"Nothing's your fault," Ziadie says. He watches Savannah, carefully, hidden observance. Enough that he'd recognise her again. "I can pretend it never happened," he says, quietly, stepping forward once more before leaning on his cane, so that he's at a conversational distance. "But you can't." Concern flashes over the older man's face. He pauses, considering how far to push the matter. "Will you be alright?"

He's right. Savannah realizes that visibly, the corners of her mouth turning slightly downward. No, she won't be able to pretend it never happened. "I'll be fine, in a while. I'm used to this sort of thing, I just… usually don't have to deal with it around people. It usually just… stays in my head."

Slowly, Ziadie nods. "Alright, then." He's dropping the matter, apparently satisfied with the answer, but now it's his turn to reach into his wallet and pull out a card. The business card is old and slightly yellowed. Sergeant Nocturne Ziadie, NYPD, but the phone numbers have been crossed out and another number written on the back. He offers it to her. "I know how that can be," he says. "Listen, if … if you need anything, or just …" God, this is awkward. Here he is offering his number to a woman less than half his age. He trails off. "Leaving a message at that number will get to me. Take care of yourself."

The yellowed card is taken, examined briefly before it's carefully tucked into her bag with Remi's card. Savannah looks back towards Ziadie, smiling genuinely, if not still a little nervous. "Thank you. It's appreciated. It's thoughtful. Thank you." She shuts up, realizing she's repeating herself, and shifts the bag to her other shoulder before she forces her feet to move and continues down the path in the direction she was originally going.

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