The Crew Stays Together


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Scene Title The Crew Stays Together
Synopsis Kain, Ling, and Kaylee formulate a means by which they'll live their new lives: on their own terms.
Date January 17, 2018

Speakeasy Hotel and Casino

Red Hook

A single tall window allows a prodigious amount goldenrod-colored sunlight in. It highlights the dust in the air, drifting like stars in an ever-moving galaxy midair. It highlights the stains on the brown carpet, the discoloration from cigarette smoke on the cream and gold wallpaper. It highlights just how different things are, and how much they stay the same.

The third floor hotel room above the Speakeasy Hotel and Casino’s ground floor doesn’t show off much of Red Hook. The view out the hotel room’s single window is of a packed street with a Chinese restaurant across the way and rows of parked cars. The single bed here is disheveled, with blankets tangled and mostly on the floor. Even the small circular table in what is ostensibly the hotel room’s “office” space is cluttered, but in this instance not with linens, but with a myriad placement of white Chinese takeout boxes.

Noise from the street filters on up into the hotel room, and with the window open a gentle spring breeze blows in. There is light, there is life, and there is Chinese takeout. Kain Zarek sits slouched in one of the four chairs around that table, a box of lo mein in one hand and a spork in the other because he’s a worldly man. His blue eyes are distantly focused across the cornucopia of takeout, perhaps beyond that to the ever-haunting memory of what they left behind — who they left behind — to earn this splendor.

It’s been thirty hours since they landed in another world, and every moment of it has been a reminder of what’s come, and what’s gone.

Standing by the window, watching the world below her with mild interest, Kaylee had first snagged the container of beef and broccoli and her own spork. She had never been able to understand chopsticks. It’s hard to tell if she is really looking at what is below. Long hair pulled back from her face while she eats; unfortunately, it gives everyone else a good look at the long line of stitches that traveled from her brow to her jaw. It made it a little uncomfortable to chew, but she did so slowly.

Looking back at the table, Kaylee runs her tongue along her teeth to dislodge anything in them. Finally, she sighs and moves to settle herself in one of the chairs. Around her neck, partially framed by the tanktop she is wearing, her adopted brother’s medallion necklace rests. When Ling had dropped it between them, she had retrieved it before they had piled off the bus. “I used to live on this stuff before the virus,” she comments thoughtfully, reaching to pluck a spring roll from one of the containers. “Never thought, I’d be eating it again.” She rests her elbow on the table and studies the roll for a moment.

As it keeps happening since they got there, unbidden little thoughts tend to manifest and next thing she knows, there are tears to blink away. Doesn’t help that her ability has been slowly returning, which means it’s there… all around her. She sighs and takes a bite of that roll; but then wiping at the corner of her eye with a heel of her hand.

Ling has been quiet most of the time since they got on the trains in Penn Station. Even more than an entire day later, she's spoken barely more than a few words. The loose button up shirt, jeans, and jacket she's in are a stark contrast to the tight suit she used to wear to pair with her ability in The Hub. In front of her sits a container of General Tso's Chicken.

"No one ever believed me," she speaks up, half looking towards Kaylee, "when I would call it a guilty pleasure." It certainly doesn't seem like her, and it's certainly not real Chinese food. Another piece eaten as if to punctuate that, and she sets the carton down on the table in front of her.

Like Kaylee, she too wears a memory of their past - the key shaped necklace she had lifted from Peyton. She starts to stretch, before visibly grimacing and relaxing, rather than risk aggravating her wounds that had barely started to heel. Even in the jacket, the cuts up and down her arms are clearly visible, much less the stab wound in her shoulder.

And with that, she returns to her introspective silence. She stares at the wall ahead, occasionally glancing over at Kain. Kaylee can probably her the occasional stray thought from Ling, a question constantly asked but never voiced - they're here. Now what the hell was she supposed to do?

“You see that,” Kain says with no context at first, poking his spork through his box of lo mein, “mah big dumb face, twenty somethin’ feet tall sellin booze in Danny Linderman’s name?” Kain’s blue eyes flick over to Ling, then across the room to Kaylee by the window. “All blowdryed hair and pearly white teeth like some sorta’ fuckin’ model.” There’s resentment in Kain’s voice, doubly so at the ineffectiveness of a spork to lo mein.

“This whole thing feels like one big fuckin’ joke. A world made outta’ thing we couldn’t never have,” Kain jabs the spork into his takeout box and sets it on the table top, “an’ we get stuck being the Johnny Come Latelys of this fuckin’ world.” Running a hand through his hair, Kain looks down at the table. “We’re alive, so we can be God’s punchline.”

“Maybe not there,” where they came from, “but clearly we got it here.” Or a version of them. “And it ain’t that we can’t have it, we just gotta be careful about it.” Kaylee pulls one of the bags close to her at the table and paws through it looking for something. “Though it still boggles my mind that I became a cop,” she glances up at them both with a brief look of amusement. “What’s the fun in that?”

Finally, Kaylee finds what she’s looking for and sets a plastic wrapped fork next to the other blonde in the room, giving him a bit of a lopsided smile. “And I’m kinda with her,” she motions at Ling across from her, “I ain’t got a clue what I’m suppose to do. Just do what these guys say and just live a life they made for us?” There is a small shake of her head, while she picks-up her box a food again and settles back in her seat, stretching her booted feet in front of her.

“I said it before,” Kaylee starts, spearing a piece of broccoli on the end of her spork, “I don’t like that they are scattering all of us to the four winds.”

An eyebrow is raised at Kaylee as she shares her thought - having had to be around so many people who were always negated, sometimes you forget what abilities they even have. She grumbles something in Mandarin, spearing another piece of chicken with her fork. The look she gives Kain, and then Kaylee, speaks volumes when she doesn't.

I told you so.

That this wasn't what it was cracked up to be. That hope was a bad idea. She gives a low laugh, setting her spork back into the carton. "They want me to be an accountant." She grits her teeth a little bit at that. "I haven't bothered to read what… I am doing here." It'll just make her that much angrier, when she has the energy to be angry again. "It doesn't matter," she adds blithely, leaning back in her chair. She looks over at Kain, and then to Kaylee.

"I have no intention of being a simple accountant."

Tongue pressed against the side of his cheek, Kain’s clearly in thought. He sets down his lo mein, reaching out to grab a fortune cookie from the plastic bag of them between the cartons. “Ah’ don’t think that’s in our nature, as survivors, t’just take what’s handed to us. Maybe them great big prophets saw that and knew we’d wind up here, conspiring over takeout…” Conspiring?

“Or, maybe they ain’t as all-knowing an’ all-seein’ as they sound. But me…” Cracking the cookie open, Kain pulls out the small scrip of paper and flashes a broad smile as he turns the paper around: What ever you're goal is in life, embrace it visualize it, and for it will be yours. “…me, Ah’m a self-made man, and Ah’ think Ah’ jus’ got m’self an idea.

“Then there are those of us, who are tired of others forcing them to take what is handed to them.” Kaylee states blandly, which might be the root of her issues with what is going on. She spent years having Edward do that. Even though, in the end he had been right in his paranoia. In this new world, she hadn’t expected to be facing a potentially similar situation.

Leaning forward to rest elbows on the table and catch the wording on that tiny piece of paper, Kaylee can’t help but return Kain’s smile with one of her own. One that might be a little knowing, as is she knows what he’s thinking; but doesn’t voice it, turning back to her carton.

Ling studies both Kain and the fortune for a moment, smirking a little bit. As she often does, she follows Kain's lead, reaching into the bag and pulling out the second of the fortune cookies within. "I have always believed that make our own future. It matters not what the world is, who else is here."

She tilts her neck to the side until it cracks,. Again wincing from the pain in her shoulder. "As Richard would've said, 'fuck the big prophets'." Her hand closes around her fortune cookie, the plastic popping as air is forced out, the confection cracking and crumbling as Ling crushes it. Only once it's firmly pulverised does she open her hand and pull out the message inside.

A brief look at it, and her smile widens, almost snake like as she sets it down on the table - Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.. "So let's hear it."

Smiling, Kain throws his fortune onto the table and looks to Kaylee, then to Ling. It’s clear that something’s churning in the back of his mind, and this is the same cocksure expression he’d had when he built his plan to escape their world — one that ultimately panned out, at least in part.

“A’right,” Kain starts, brows raised and hands coming to fold behind his head. “Now, stop me if you’ve heard this one b’fore but…” There’s a glint of something in his eyes. Mischief?

“Ya’ll ever done a heist?

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