b_eileen_icon.gif young-magnes_icon.gif b_sable_icon.gif

Scene Title Submissive
Synopsis Or: Totally Off Script. Sable and Eileen steal Magnes away to safety, or what they presume it to be.
Date April 2, 1998


Discreet loitering is a skill Sable has honed over the years, the ability to stay in a space without seeming to linger. Of course, part of the purpose of loitering is, generally, to be noticed, to be present. But that's for punks of a certain power and comfort level, people who can afford to get run off. Sable's an ex-vagrant. Not being noticed is key. And, considering the watchful suspicion of Donna Varlane, it's probably good to stay under the radar.

Hours pass and the sky sinks into indigo, and the stars hold themselves at a dim distance, put off by the uncouth clamor of the city's lights which flare into cacolucy. Sable sticks to the alleys, yellow eyes watchful in a way that seems contrary to her usual carelessness. She brought a knife, it turns out, a simple folding blade which she flicks in and out of its handle with a push of her thumb, a fidget that may just be a matter of boredom, but may also express an underlying sense of ill ease and even aggression.

Each minute they wait is a minute in which they might fail. They know almost nothing about Magnes' murder. Just that it was in his own house, and that his mother was blamed. Not totally surprising, having met the woman.

So out of his house, Sable figures, is better than in. He must not be where he shouldn't be… or however you would put it. Tenses get confusing, especially when obligatory modifiers are added. Sable has no patience for syntax or semantics or whatever other five dollar word would be used to describe that grammatical quandary. She's getting antsy enough as it is just waiting for Magnes to clamber out his window or whatever other fool way he intends on sneaking out.

Eileen suffers the brunt of what impatience is not sunk into her fidgets or the occasional low bout of singing Sable has a tendency to engage. Mostly tunes by the Dead, though the occasional line or verse from Hank Williams. Better singing, though, than pestering, which is what she does. She asks again, as she has done any number of times. "Y'all see anythin'? He out yet?"

She can't tell, because they are several rows down from the Varlane household. The careful watch they have kept is really only kept by one of them. The blind one, ironically.

"No," says Sable's companion. "Nothing yet." The barn owl perched on the roof of the brownstone opposite the Varlane household is getting impatient, too, soulful black eyes glittering with irritation more obvious to the avian telepath than anyone who might happen to glimpse its silhouette. Talons flex and a beak grinds. There are other places it would rather be. Hunting, for instance — it's very hungry, and although Eileen has instructed it to keep watch over little Magnes' window, the sound of human voices drifting through multiple panes of glass and the telltale rustling on the other side of the curtains does not interest it nearly as much as skittering claws and the twitch of tiny whiskers poking around near the dumpsters in the narrow alleys that separate one home from the next.

The pigeons know better than to be out this late, but — much like the women themselves — the mice and rats of New York City have no other choice.

Smoke curls from the tip of Eileen's cigarette, which she holds between the delicate weave of her long, pale fingers, once again clothed in lambskin to protect her hands from the evening chill. She'd stopped for awhile, made another attempt at quitting, but even being poisoned hasn't stopped her from falling prey again to the habit. If asked, she blames it on routine rather than any weakness of character. Knows, though, the truth.

Sneaking down the stairs at night isn't so hard. Magnes' mother is asleep, he thinks, and no one expects him to do something like this. He has royal subjects, things to learn about his future self. He wears all black, including his shoes, straightening his horn-rimmed glasses as he slips through the back door with a little black backpack on.

As he marches down the streets to his destination, Eileen's bird would be able to see him. He looks dutiful, singing to himself. "There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium, and hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium and nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium, and iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium, europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium…" He goes on like that with practiced memory, staring down at someone's cat on the sidewalk briefly. "Pets are a wasted resource that irresponsible people take in." he announces, as if answering some unsaid quiz question. "Valuable resources are used for things like vets and zoos, just toss 'em over to China, they're starving and don't even have an FDA!"

"He's on the move," Eileen reports, without raising her voice. Likewise, there's nary a whisper from the owl as it launches off the roof of the brownstone and wings after Magnes, keeping him in view. It's close enough to hunting that the familiar motions reduce some of the bird's anxiety. Hers as well, if her gentle tone is any indication even if the best place for an ambush is in the dark. "Am I wrong to assume that we're still following your plan? He won't like it if he finds out he's been lied to."

Sable's knife flicks closed and disappears into one of her many pants pockets as she rises from her lean and rolls her shoulders. Finally. Something to do. One can only remain abstractly tense for so long, especially if one is a mildly unbalanced child of ritalin generation, sans the ritalin. Sable gives Elaine a crooked grin.

"That's an awful unkind way 'f puttin' it, 'lyin''," the yellow eyed girl says, "'s a story, is all. One he told me t' tell 'im. 'n' th' important parts are true, eh? We're from th' future, 'n' we're here t' stop whatever motherfucker wants a world without 'im." A brow is lifted as she sidles towards where the alley meets the street again, where the lights there buzz down their jaundiced illumination. "Y'all just pissed I made y' th' wife," she teases, tipping out around the corner of brown brick.

There he is.

Sable lifts her hand into a salute, keeping her smile in check. If she let it loose, it could take on features she can't control, and she doesn't want to be smirking down on the little guy, which she will with him in those absurd glasses and full black ensemble. What's with creepy child geniuses and black clothes, anyways? Crakes and Magnes' and other prodigious troublemakers.

Sable motions to Magnes with a hand, indicating he should join them in the cul-de-sac, and then slides her gaze back over to Eileen. "Yeah, whippoorwill, we stick t' th' plan. But don't you be afraid t' grab the reigns. I didn't make y' a professor f'r nothin', eh?"

"I haven't cured eye sight impairment because it builds character, yes?" Magnes asks Sable when she steps out, having questions for the future aready. "People having disabilities make them practice, they become functioning citizens of society because they have to work twice as hard." He slides his hands into his pockets, tagging along behind. "I'm married to the pretty one, the quiet woman? My father would like her. Every man should have a strong woman, quiet and submissive like it's supposed to be."

Eileen's grip tightens around her cane like the owl's claws had worn angry marks in the brownstone's concrete lip. "Don't mistake silence for submission," she says, her breathy accent more noticeable the more irritated she becomes, and although she has some way to go before she can lay claim to true aggravation, there's something disapproving in the shape of her mouth and the knit of her brow.

It's tempting to crack her cane against the side of the boy's head and drag him back to one of the Ferry properties not yet Ferry — somewhere she knows to be dry and safe, if not as well kept as it will one day be in the not-so-distant future. It would put an end to his talking, for one thing. For another, it would keep them out of the open: exactly where Eileen doesn't want to be. "I can see you quite clearly."

Man, Ferry high ups are violent! Sable does not know of Eileen's aggressive thoughts, nor her flirtation with what you might call concussive pragmatism, but she would only be briefly surprised. Her general sense is that the further up the Ferry ladder you get, the meaner and more vicious you become. That's just been her experience. Part of becoming the Man, a grim transformation.

"Fearing a paradox," yes, she's familiar with the word, if only through conversation with Magnes, "Dr. Varlane, I'm not gonna tell you all about what you're like, and how you change," Sable says, noting, at least, Elaine's displeased rebuttal, "but you've a long life with lots of new perspectives t' gain and all that. So trust me when I say Professor moon is no submissive. And, knowing you as well as I do down the line, I can tell you: you wouldn't want her so, either.

"Of course, you won't live long enough t' learn that unless we get you safe and sound. Someone's gonna try and come after you, and we need to find them before they do you harm. I can handle a scuffle, but particulars," she nods to Eileen, "I think I'm leaving t' the Professor." Hiding people is, after all, what she does.

"You can't see me, your eyes don't follow anything. And if you're not submissive, then I guess you're just a trophy wife." Magnes says with an affirmative nod, as if that explains everything. He immediately begins inspecting his clothes, frowning down at them. "We have to avoid paradoxes, but you!" He points up to Eileen. "You're not allowed to smoke anymore. Except for a cigar sometimes, smoking is the crutch of the emotionally weak, lacking control in that one aspect of their lives that will, uh, keep them from complete control!"

Thok is the sound of Eileen's cane connecting with dense bone — the lower half of Magnes' left leg just below the knee rather than his skull. She's not about to risk damaging its contents or having Sable tell people that she's the one responsible for him being the way he is today because she lost control of her temper for the very short amount of time it took her to strike him.

"If he doesn't keep his mouth shut," she warns Sable, "that someone is going to be me." A twitch of her wrist flicks the cigarette to the damp cement, and she crushes it under the toe of her boot. An outstretched arm provides her owl with a target to aim for, her skin and muscle protected by the thick wool of her coat. Eileen does not flinch when the large ghost of a bird swoops in to land and hook its gargoyle feet around the offered perch.

Ouch. That can't feel nice. Sable winces slightly as Eileen proceeds to beat a child. Not that Sable necessarily has a problem with this. Rod sparing and child spoiling are, despite her departure from imposed Christian faith, still linked in her mind. She gives a shrug. "We know he grows up better, eh?" she says, like 'what are you gonna do?'.

Magnes jumps forward when the cane hits his legs, then he stops walking suddenly, standing for a few seconds. Then, seemingly out of the blue, he just starts crying, running over to Sable so he can bury his face into her shirt. "I want a divorce!" he yells into her shirt, very unhappy.

"I'm not noticing much of a difference." Eileen hoists her cane and, owl cradled, gestures for Sable to lead the way with a tip of her head as if to ask, Shall we? "Don't worry," she assures Magnes, or attempts to, "where I come from, you meet a very lovely girl with hair like candleflame, eyes of honey and skin smoother than your mother's finest china, who has the potential to make a much better wife than me. Walk."

It feels like everyone's dropping out of character here. Dr. Varlane, eminent founder of Extrasolar colony MV-Opus 66, is weeping into the shirt of Sage Townshend because his loving wife, Professor Moon, just thwacked him with her cane. This is all totally off script.

So Sable switches into a more comfortable persona. "Y'all write any poetry, whippoorwill? 'cause you could write a mean lyric if you put yer mind t' it. Y'all could even sing the track, play violin," she grins, "I remember hearin' you at the Blue Moon. We got a studio, 'n' I'll give y' a featured credit."

She uses this chatter to cover her slowly guiding the weeping boy frea- er- genius, sheparding him after Eileen as she follows. She'll know where to go, Sable's sure of it. She'd hide him under an underpass if it were her decision, and she figures Eileen's got a more comfortable option. At least marginally.

Magnes sniffs, moving away from Sable to wipe his eyes, then start walking again. "B-but you're the prettiest girl…" he says while starting down at the floor, a bit more subdued in his words now.

"When we get where we're going," Eileen promises, and whether or not she means to make it sound like a threat is up for debate, "remind me to show you my arm," which can mean one of two things:

Either Magnes' future — the immediate one — has more physical abuse in store, or that one of her hands appears almost withered in comparison to the other even with both gloves on isn't just an illusion created by the absence of light or the way her clothes fit her body. "Some," she confesses to Sable, her tone terse and polished, but without the edge it adopted when she first reprimanded Magnes, "but I'm afraid I don't have much of a voice.

"We'll take him to the Garden. Cottage might be occupied, but the property's been in a state of disrepair longer than the Ferry's had it. I'd be surprised if the owners check the outlying buildings more than a few times a year, and there's an old guest house around back that we knocked down last year."

Only it isn't 2010. It's 1998, and Eileen's intended refuge is still standing.

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