Spread 'Em


asi_icon.gif eve_icon.gif

Scene Title Spread 'Em
Synopsis To receive a favor is to sell one’s liberty.
Date March 16, 2020

The Oracle Room

They had talked even later into the evening but after all the hugs, tears and emotions some had went home while others opted to crash at Eve's for the night in the upstairs apartment. The owner of the establishment was taking the time while the others slept to sit in her sacred space.

The Oracle Room hadn't changed too much since February, a lot of the paintings had black cloth thrown over them probably by Poppy and Sassy. The painting hanging over the fireplace of the Mothers is also covered, fitting for two of them have passed to the land of the dead. Eve herself sits on the large couch that curls around the black table in the middle of the rooms, a lit joint lays in her hands. The smoke wafts up and curls around her face. Being here with her paintings and her original gift partly restored floored Eve, she felt right and at home it was as if the paintings themselves talked to her from beneath their coverings, merging with the echoes of the future that swirl in the deep recesses of her mind and so forth. The paintings whisper of the prophecies they foretold or foretell.

Eyes closed and head tilted, a recent toke has smoke leaving her nose in a slow exhale. She was savoring this moment, there wouldn't be much chance to stay here with the news and the government on the lookout for her if she resurfaced. One night at home couldn't hurt, any surveillance being done outside would just think that Boom was spending the night in mourning together. Eve begins to hum a bit and rocks back and forth with eyes still closed. Lifting her hand she takes another deep pull from the joint and tilts her head back to blow the smoke up and out towards the ceiling.

The question still stood from earlier, what now?

The footfalls of someone else coming down to the Oracle Room are easily overheard, Asi's movements purposefully telegraphed. It saves her the need to announce herself otherwise, and focus instead on what's actually brought her down here.

Because yes, what was Eve going to do now?

"I'm not sure it's safe to really poke your head out at all, Eve," she cautions instead of regreeting her. "What happened with you, what happened with the Entity isn't something that can just be washed away overnight. If you go anywhere public, make yourself known…"

The corner of her mouth quirks back in a frown as she looks around the black-draped room. "I'm not sure trouble won't follow. Federal trouble."

The woman addressed keeps her head tilted back and the joint held in midair by long pale fingers. The two women hadn't seen each other in months; Both changed from their journeys. "Yes, I've seen the news. Roll the cameras, I do look," Eve opens her eyes and stares at the ceiling gaze going to and fro, "Problematic. Which just won't do. Mm?" She sounds tired, being on the move a lot can do that but the former(?) terrorist was used to that; it had just been a while since her life had looked like this. "I have a lovely idea for that. It'll require a favor from you." This is when Eve's head comes down and she stares straight ahead at Asi.

"I shouldn't be the only one that should be worried about the Feds should I, Oni?" Eve's head tilts as her gaze is unflinching. "Mazdak, really? Felt a little inspired by your friends old stories of dipping our toes in a little terrorism hm?"

Before this Eve might become volatile in the literal sense and otherwise but the woman's eyes do not narrow and she does not seethe at deceit. That also wouldn't do. Not for what Eve had planned. "We may have gifts that defy the bounds of reality but we have not proven ourselves above the humans." In this there is a sneer and Eve's crimson eyes do squint. Eve is the same… but not. Something has shifted within the seer. "In fighting, betrayals of the highest order. Man preaches of our supposed superiority but what have we proved? That we can be born?" She rolls her eyes in disgust. "Lazy, and men have always been that. We don't need to conquer or lay to waste our enemies." Conquering and the like though there were women conquerors too the methods weren't always the same.

"There might have been time for my fantasies of dropping each of your techy techy toys in a full bathtub one after the other while you watch but, one," Holding up one finger with a grin, "I've been a terrorist myself. Two, you got my cousin out of the pen and magical number tres!" Eve now holds up three fingers with her now-mad, wide grin, "If we don't put aside our petty squabbles then we won't be able to save the world for the humans to also enjoy living in."

Did the ones who wanted to enslave, experiment on and steal from deserve it? To Eve that mattered little, life wasn't fair and they were the majority. It couldn't be helped. "Have you bought into it, the message of those from that cliquey cult Mazdak."

Up there— it had taken some convincing, but it truly felt like their Eve had returned to them.

Face to face with her now, Asi comes to the realization she isn't as sure the once-seer came back quite the same. Or the same at… all. Her frown disappears at the shift in Eve's tone, the stare, the accusation— however true— and then, the supremacy.

The mask she wears is tight-jawed, if deadpan, even through the threats of torture by putting pieces of herself to death. Especially through that part. It continues even when Eve pushes on, insisting she won't. There's no relaxation, no relief, no putting that moment behind them. So many things she says, all of them with their own weight.

Then comes the question.

"Have you?" Asi asks back calmly, evenly. "Eve?"

The response is quick and sharp, "I have fought for our equality and rights for over a decade. Not, for our sovereignty." There is a question partially unanswered and another waiting in the wings but Eve takes another pull from her joint and considers the coveted paintings around them. "PARIAH, we were committed without doubts but never to the lengths Mazdak has gone to." Or maybe they had and Eve didn't want to think about the more unsavory things she had done.

"How did you like them and their message?"

Does a lot hinge on that next answer? Perhaps but that's almost always the case with Eve, you were always at a crossroads and never knowing if there were a trap underfoot waiting to spring loose. "How did you like being around just your own?" A tilt of her head.

The apparent disdain for Mazdak eases Asi's concern this is a possible test of her loyalty to a cause that's thrown her to the wolves more than once, but only just. Now that she's been put on that edge, it will take some time to come off of it.

This is why she kept these details regarding Mazdak mostly to herself— the uncertainty, the fear, the walking a razor's edge… Where everything carries with it a potential threat, and not always to just herself.

Asi maintains that same calm distance when she speaks again. "I've been around my own for years, Eve." If she were to use that terminology provided to her. "With the Mugai-Ryu, I had fellowship. Even at Yamagato, I felt valued."

"With Mazdak? I've never felt more alone."

She holds Eve's gaze with the admission, standing in the midst of her neutral answer.

And then her gaze breaks and Asi looks away.

"I had quick decisions I needed to make following Detroit. Wolfhound made it apparent they had a position available for a technopath, and that they were willing to work with me, work on my behalf to see my status restored with the US government. It's not a full recovery, but I'm no longer actively being sought as a result of their efforts." Tongue passing between her lips as she resists the urge to bite down on it, she adds more quietly, "And I have other allies in Japan working on building me a path back home there as well."

"Until Mazdak proves it looks out for its own, I'm not interested in devoting any more of myself toward it. They lack the sword of Damocles they once held over me." Now her gaze goes back to Eve in an outward demonstration of confidence in that fact, for all that she keeps her poker face. "Do I believe we are better than them?" With cold certainty, she states: "Yes."

"But will I help Mazdak again for nothing in return? No."

"You mistake me dearie," Eve flicks the ash off the end of the joint with her pinky finger, "The Expressives of Yamagato, SESA, Wolfhound, all of them operate within a system that doesn't always do what's best for us. Or even care." That's a noted fact among them all. The dark haired woman takes another pull and allows the smoke to blow out in a plume from her nostrils. The room was getting gradually more smoky, as if she had never left.

"We were not like that, everyone should be family because we are. One family, the sooner we learn that the sooner we can get to doing what's needed. I am so sorry you were treated that way Asi," Eve uses her actual name and leans forward with sympathy in her eyes. "Once Cameron was killed by… that ghoul Kazimir Volken." Her eyes flare brighter for a moment and one hand curls into a tight fist, "PARIAH broke apart, it didn't work anymore and there was too much heat on our aggressive methods. That is how the group known as Phoenix began, led by a weather witch." It felt like eons ago and for a moment she wondered when the years started to seem like hours for the immortals of the world.

"That group's nature was different than the last, I ended up on the outs with the head, went to the Ferrymen. Before that though, I had friends there but still didn't feel as if I had a real place. I know that pain they've placed upon you." Asi's words are like an injection of data and intel right to her brain, she tilts her head and nods, "The Hounds will do right by you. Pays better than work with Boom." Money was a necessary evil and being the hero didn't always pay; at least Eve wasn't used to that.

"I'm excited that the sword is no longer on your neck and for the progress of you returning to your old life, someday." A shade of the former Eve shines through and she grins and winks at her friend, "Do you think though, back there is where you belong now? Here even?" There had been so much that all of them had gone through it was devastatingly altering in the very least. Uprooting. "Sometimes I wonder if we've ever really been home." Smashing the joint into the ashtray she stretches.

"Who is this man I'm associated with like the best buddies in the news, Baruti Naidu? Confrontation they say, explosive red light, shockwave, bang."

"Well," Asi counters helpfully. "The one thing you actually have going for you is that the public interpretation seems to be that you were fighting against Naidu." She turns out one hand in the beginnings of a shrug. "So…"

Life slowly returns to her reactions, something more natural instead of explicitly cautious beginning to emerge.

"He's a leader of Mazdak. One of three. I suspect another may call himself Nabu, as in, the Mesopotamian god of literacy and wisdom. He is the contact who found me in December again, using a child to deliver his message when I was investigating something on Staten." She looks to the side rather than at Eve directly still, as that ultimately related to an event she never spoke of either. She'd shown up tired New Year's Day, but after all— who hadn't?

Asi shakes her head to herself. "Naidu has gone to ground since Detroit. I can't contact him. I've been trying hard to find him again for something— entirely unrelated, but the global organization has gone silent. Their armies proceed apace in the physical world, but technologically, their leaders have vanished."

She lets out a faint laugh. "I entertained, briefly, that I might find home with them. That I would find a way to lash back out at the world for the things it's done to me and so many others." Her gaze roams again, eyes glowing a blue-gray distinct from the neon hue it used to. "But no, even they cast me out and sent me 'home'." The technopath lifts her arms to broadly gesture at the space as if it signified all of New York. She lets out a choke of a bitter laugh she finds they don't have time for.

Because they've gotten off topic.

"When I thought you were gone, I felt awful. I was pulled so many directions at once, and I was convinced that I was making the better call by not following you. I let you down for rewarding me with your friendship, Eve. And for that, I'm glad I have the chance to not only apologize, but to make it up to you." Eyes flickering back to their darker hue, she turns to face Eve properly, looking up to her.

"What's this favor you'd ask of me?"

"Mmmmm. Mmmmmmm. Mmmmm.. This Nabu doesn't have a name given to him by his parents?" Eve's hand curls and lightly rubs in a circular motion on her belly, "The fact that you did not realize you already had family in us, does not mean we ever //didn't consider you as such." There's mild disappointment in her tone. Her eyes soften though for a moment and she nods her head, "It is good to have you back tricky Oni," There have been a large barrel of emotions coming along with Eve's return and Asi's display makes her smile softly.

"Just know, I'm never gone. I think I'm too stubborn to go anywhere truly. Somebody has to watch this world, someone has to dip into the crazy. The Other." Eve was coming to terms with her place in the world more and more, throwing her shoulders back and smiling over at the technopath as they settle on another just as important issue. "Well it seems the Fuzz want a piece of me and my brain seizes at the whole "turn yourself in Eve, it won't be that bad Eve!" of the matter!" Clapping her hands together and leaning forward.

"I'm making a video, roll the cameras, action! To clear my name and announce a big fat party for all of us Expressives. We have a duty to welcome the newborns to the family Oni," Eve isn't technically illiterate so it must not be the actual video part Eve wants the other woman's help with. "It must go, everywhere. Not easily removed by the grubby fingers of security."

So that's where Asi comes in.

Regarding not trusting the Fuzz, Asi's mood darkens in a sign of her agreement. She herself would not put herself in a position to potentially be betrayed, taken advantage of— locked away, or worse. "You should listen that part of your brain, Eve. That kind of self-preservation just makes sense."

At the request, her mouth quirks to one side. Should she ask first, or simply perform the favor before knowing just what the nature of the welcome will be?

Well, she owed Eve a favor. And having established Eve was Eve…

"I'll make sure it gets seeded. I'm sure once the fires are set, it'll spread quickly enough on its own." At least, in the US that should pose no problem. But she wonders…

"How far do you want it to travel?"

"Mmm yes and I have.. ways to fan that fire." She's had time to think about this out in the woods and on the road. She wants to take another shower, wrap herself in a robe and sleep until the world finally ends. That isn't likely for Eve who believes idle hands could lead to her doing something more dangerous than she's already doing or worse. Boredom.

You have to toe the line, right in the middle or maybe just a little to the left.

"As far as your mind can go, so many of our family have been reborn. They need to know they have us, they need to know… we care." Eve's mind turns around to Asi's earlier statement and she tips her head back and smiles. "Now's no time for surrender. I told them." Throwing her hand in the air, "Told you all." As a matter of fact, "Thankfully you and the others listened but the FUZZ. Pfft. They laugh at me until my visions come forth, banging on their front doors while they're in their nighties. Pissing the night away." Eve spits

"They, can wait. Our family cannot." It's as simple as that for Eve.

"Now! They say these phones are as good as film cameras and I no longer crack them to pieces with my whole being!" The older woman tilts a smart phone up to the light and tilts it watching as the screen comes to life and her face appears there. "Oh hello!"

Despite herself, Asi's expression wrinkles in amusement. It's hard to not cave to her enthusiasm, to her positivity. "Okay," she concedes to Eve. "We'll plant the seeds…"

"And we'll see what happens next."

A sly look over her shoulder towards her friend and Eve winks, "Let's spread 'em."

The video begins with a brief burst of static before the recording blinks on showing a large black shroud and a table and chair. In that chair with her hands calmly placed in front of her is Eve Mas, she smiles at the camera with too many teeth. "Hello world," Wiggling her fingers at the camera. "I figure I've got some explaining to do and the best way to get the truth unfiltered is through a cellphone video nowadays." Her smile drops and she looks sort of blankly out of frame for a moment before coming too with a shake of her head.

"The events that occurred on February 28th, B Day. Were tragic tragic, unnecessary deaths. All that carnage…" The dark haired woman pauses and considers her next words, "I wish there were an easy explanation but as with most things in this world, the answers are not easy." Licking her lips and tilting her head. There was a lot she could say and much she shouldn't. Not without losing the focus of this, Eve's brow furrows as she contemplates how to continue. She didn't want to write a script, this needed to be as raw as she always was.

Eve settles on the truth.

"Imagine something so terrible…"

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