The Lost Ones


brynn_icon.gif devi_icon.gif

Scene Title The Lost Ones
Synopsis So different. So alike.
Date May 3, 2019

Anarchy Customs II

Located in the northern part of the Sheepshead Bay, the immortal sea offers a lapping, timid and yet relentless, resonance from somewhere nearby… until it's interrupted by the banging, crashing, or booming that usually emanates from the nearby garage. Set into the crumbling brick structure that looks like one of many in this barely rehabilitated region are two large, rolling bay doors. The corrugated metal entrances are covered in vibrant colors of chaotic graffiti, the artwork framed by the copper-green patina of rust around the edges reads:

Anarchy Customs II

Just inside, the large garage is home to many vehicles with varying numbers of wheels; parts in different states of dismantling, repair, reconstruction, or destruction; and some things that are simply unidentifiable in their current state. The walls are cluttered with various tools, mobbed further with stolen street signs and more untamed, fresh graffiti. The smell of oil clings to the air as eagerly as the grease stains spattered on the concrete floor.

A small, unassuming, black-painted door with an obvious deadbolt is set off in the back corner. No graffiti here, just a pristine white plastic plaque with red letters: Employees Only.

The tank of the bike that she's been working on is sitting in front of her, and Brynn's focus on it has been absolute for nearly an hour. It's offered Devi the opportunity to watch how the chromakinetic actually works. The base paint on the tank was done as usual, but the design work has been on paper, and once that design was set to Devi's liking, Brynn's transfer of it to the tank was… almost like watching someone paint, but not quite. She uses her fingertip to place her colors, and they have sharper edges than even tape can offer. Graceful curved lines, including the outer tracing, have no bubbling, no smudges. She's gone back over some places, changing the colors just to see if something looked better or worse, lighter or darker, wholly different coloring. The experimentation is fascinating.

But finally she lifts her gray eyes from the tank, apparently satisfied with the image that is in place on both sides beneath the shiny protective coat. She has been aware of Devi's presence for more than five minutes, but she had wanted to finish. Looking up at her boss, there's a curious expression on her face that asks What do you think?

Devi stands off in Brynn’s shadow, a figure of black hair, clothing, and ink. For all intents and purposes she looks broody-thoughtful, tattooed arms crossed over her bosom and an intense scowl tugging at her cyan-hued lips. The process has clearly captivated her, the art even more so. The shift of Brynn’s attention in her direction jars the biker from her observation. She meets Brynns gaze and then steps forward, considering the tank more closely.

“It’s good,” she says aloud. Lifting a casual smile to Brynn for assurance. “You ever heard-” She groans at herself. “- Pinstriping. Ever see it?” She’s making horrible, vague gestures to the tank and her eyes like this is some game of charades. “You outline this bold, dark shape here. Makes it pop.” She makes a gesture of flicking all her fingers wide open. “Distinction is key when your medium is moving and-..”

The biker holds her hands out, low and empty in front of her. “Fuck me. This isn’t working. Teach me some sign.” She wheels her index fingers around one another - at least having picked up the proper signal for sign. The biker pulls up a chair in front of Brynn.

Quirking one brow upward, Brynn pulls one knee up and watches Devi talk… with not one shred of comprehension except that her boss likes it. And is … trying to tell her something about the artwork and failing. She pulls out her phone, thumbs flying — she can't use the phone itself, but texting is a godsend. As is the 'notepad' app on the phone.

I know you're trying to tell me something that's going to add a detail on some part of this, but you're gonna have to write it out for me. She shows Devi and grins, her gray eyes amused. This is not her first rodeo. Then her fingers fly again. I can teach you to sign, but it's going to take a while before it's useful to you. What do you want to know how to say? That might be the easiest place to start.

Devi pats the seat between her parted legs in a quick, drum-solo rhythm. She brings up her hands. Sign. Slowly. “I learned the one I need most.” The biker grins, perhaps a bit proud. The brimming smile falters a bit as she considers the text another moment. With painted lips drawn thoughtfully to one side she taps the phone and then points to Brynn. “Tell me something about you. Then sign it.” She gives a single nod and leans back, ready to learn - a two-fold bridge traversing the gap between her and the teen.

Laughing at your boss is probably not nice, but it's not a mean grin — Brynn's just genuinely amused. Okay. That one is pretty self-explanatory. She types first so that she can point to words and phrases for Devi.

But what to tell her boss about herself? I have lots of brothers and sisters. A few of us just bought a place to live with Aunt Gilly's help. She runs the Doyle Library. We were all foster kids in the Ferry.

Signing it is slow, because Brynn is careful to sign deliberately so Devi can see them. That information might also change the way her boss looks at her, but It's not like Devi wouldn't figure it out as soon as Joe pokes his head in here to find her.

A penciled brow is lofted, the raven-haired woman taking the time to analyze each symbolic gesture and reverse engineer them back to the originally typed message. She double checks the signing of Ferry, with her own tattooed digits. Afterwards, her contemplative expression is followed by the slow blossoming of a warm smile. “The Lighthouse brood, eh?”

Devi makes a vague gesture towards their surroundings. “The first Anarchy Customs was out on Staten,” she admits with a fondness that can be seen if not heard. She steals a moment for herself, apparently recalling the old days as it were. After a moment she reaches out and gently taps the newly colored tank. “How did you learn you could do this?”

Brynn smiles that Devi knows the Lighthouse. She hadn't expected that, and nods to confirm it. Lighthouse. She uses the ASL for it, though there is a Cant sign as well that simply means 'home.' When her ability comes up, Brynn shrugs a little. It's not as long a story as some.

I was in the hospital after the Bomb. No one signed, and I didn't know what happened or when or if somebody would come for me. When I was crying or sleeping sometimes, color was bleeding off onto the sheets. A nurse saw it and she disappeared me.

The signing is both quicker, because Sign isn't a word-for-word kind of translation, and more thoughtful as she searches for the right signs for some of what she's telling Devi.

Thick, darkly lined lashes deepen the shadows around darker eyes. It’s unclear if the squinting is a result of Brynn’s tale or efforts to reverse-decipher the signs that are in so many ways simply context clues to the overall language that includes expression in place of tone and body in place of volume.

Bomb. Feels important to practice and know that one. Duh. Devi signs it with a scowl. “It’s pretty amazing,” she says, gesturing to the tank as a way to elaborate that she is referencing Brynn’s ability as a whole. “Almost… peaceful?” The inflection is lost on Brynn, but clear in Devi’s expression regardless. She’s not sure it’s the right word, but she’s never been good with that sorta thing, anyway.

“You tight-” She makes a gesture of crossing her middle and pointer fingers, definitely not the appropriate sign. “-with your family?” Blood relatives or not doesn’t seem to matter to the gang leader.

Reading the question, Brynn nods and then waffles her hand back and forth. Then she takes up the screen to type her response and then signing it. There are a lot of us, so closer to some than others. My brothers Lance and Joe, my sister Hailey. They're the closest ones. But we've adopted another one and some of the others have come to the city from Canada. I'm not as close, but they're still family.

She looks at the tank and signs (and types), Peaceful? Making sure she understood. And then she studies her work with pursed lips. I like that. I didn't have anything particular in mind when I did it, but… Brynn grins at Devi. Communicating everything twice over is a little slow, but immersion is the best way to learn, after all. I'm glad you like it. I hope that your customer does.

The ebon-haired woman gives a single nod. “They’re welcome ‘round here. Anytime.” In case there was any doubt. Devi turns her attention back over the shop. Whatever she sees there tugs downwards at the corner of her lips for just a moment, but the effect is fleeting. In the time that it takes to look back on Brynn, she’s smiling anew in her tilted-charming way.

Devi reaches out and rests a hand over the little cellular device, shaking her head. She’s upping the ante on their lesson plan. She smiles at Brynn and asks in part-sign, part-speaking: You settling in okay? Here?

There's a smile of gratitude at the open-door policy, and Brynn nods her thanks. And then she tips her head. I think so. You don't ask anything difficult of me, she points out with a small grin. I just hope that as your business builds, I can do the kind of designs that will appeal for you.

After a few moments, it’s clear Devi may have gotten in a little over her head. Takes her significantly longer to piece together enough of the recognizable Sign to understand Brynn. Still, after clarifying a gesture or two, she gets the gist enough.

Her reply is choppier, but the lip reading may help to clear up a lot. You’re teaching me. Let me teach you. “Tit for tat,” she says out loud. “Remind me to learn the sign for those,” she says more to herself than aught else with all serious - those are very important one’s in her book.

Anyway, the biker turns away and reaches out, pulling over a hip-high, rolling, black toolbox. After some time digging through she pulls out a long, very thin brush with wooden handle an a small jar of reflective silver paint. She wets and dips the brush, but stops and gestures at the tank with a lofted a brow. From one artist to another - she’s not going to tamper with Brynn’s work directly without consent.

The choppier reply isn't much of a deterrent — Devi speaks clearly, so Brynn can sort out what's meant even when it's not quite right. And she corrects some of the signs as they go. And then she laughs, showing Devi the sign for what she wants: tuck left thumb into fist with pointer knuckle slightly up, thumb to nose, a loose circle with the hand around clockwise to meet up with the other hand heldin the same shape at breastbone at a 90-degree angle. Then she types out with her thumbs, repayment or retaliation.

She looks curious when the brush comes out and scoots backward to give the older woman room to get in there to the tank. Tipping her head, she watches what Devi puts on the tank.

Devi pauses long enough to level a blank stare at the words on the little phone. “No-no. I really need to know the signs for ‘tit’-’ she gestures the handle of the paintbrush to her bosom “- and ‘tat’.” She whirls the brush around and points to the tattoo on her throat. “Individually. Very important vocab.” And for the biker-bitch, that’s very much the truth.

The older woman brushes her onyx hair back over her shoulders and leans in towards the tank. Ultra fine brush dipped in starry silver, an impressively steady hands draws a pin-thin line to frame one of the bold, dark shapes Brynn’s masterful ability has created on the surface of the tank. It’s a slight, subtle, but skilled adjustment that makes Bynn’s art pop. “Pinstriping,” she says, making her visage available as clear as possible for Brynn’s lip-reading benefits.

Brynn actually blushes. She's dark-haired but fair-skinned and it shows vividly. It won't hold the same meaning if you do it that way, but okay. She obligingly shows Devi the signs for both, trying not to giggle that nearly silent laughter that belongs to her.

As the brush moves, the very subtlety of the adjustment fascinates her. And her attention is suddenly laser-focused on what Devi is doing. That is not something she's done in this way before. The single sign she flashes, one that only those raised in Cant would know, is breathed out. Primal. She is utterly bewitched by the technique — something new to learn.

A gentle, fluid pull of the wrist leaves a clean tapered finish at the final edge. Devi pauses, a jerky, avian quality to the tip of her head as she considers the fluid line. With a little bobble and then a final nod she turns in time to see the culture-specific sign. Her smile warms and she offers out the brush. “There’s a set in the top drawer. Couple o’ design books, too. They’re yours now. Whether you learn it ol’ fashioned or your way, makes no difference to me.” She winks. “Just enjoy.” Her words are intermittently supported with Sign where she wishes to be clear: paint, brushes, yours, enjoy.

Then. If there’s anything else you need. You or your family. You let me know. Devi gives a casual nod and pushes to her feet.

Brynn's brows rise at the gift and she looks pleased and little uncertain. Typing into her screen, she says, Are you sure you don't need them? Art supplies come dear these days. Good ones are not easy to come by. It's clear that she's thrilled at the idea of learning a new art technique, though. I'm hoping to pass the entrance tests to Brooklyn College so I can take some art classes there. The confession is made with a bit of a shy shrug. Not sure I need them, but I want to be really good at this.

She bites her lip and then offers, How do you know about the Lighthouse?

Devi’s titled smile softens on one side to something less playful and more… fond. She nods at Brynn. “I’m sure.” She gives the a-okay sign. While the older woman’s skill was not in question, her passion for the paint wasn’t there. What she had shown was a technique and a good eye, nothing more. “You can do more with them then I can.” She keeps her visage turned towards Brynn, her words carefully and clearly molded for the young employee’s benefit.

The question about the Lighthouse draws her chin up slightly; brows too. “Oh.” A breezy sort of chuckle. “Anarchy Customs, the first one, was on Staten. Some of the kids used to poke their heads in, you know? Sometimes I think kids that shoulda been headed for the Lighthouse… fell off the beaten path and ended up at my door.” She shrugs, letting the gesture blossom into an open palmed, helpless gesture. “Older ones. Troubled ones. Not many, mind. In all likelihood they didn’t know about it, the Lighthouse, and I never sent them onward, you know?” She purses her lips and scratches her thumb on her chin, but she doesn’t vocalize whatever thoughts follow. She’s only managed to throw in a few signs this time, distracted by memories as she is.

Taking the gift at face value, Brynn's face lights up. Clearly it has meaning to her, that she's being entrusted with such a cool set of tools to work with.The young woman tips her head, thoughtful about the fact that Devi collected kids. Kids like Brynn and her siblings. She follows the conversation easily enough, despite the lack of signs.

So you're like us, she types rapidly in her screen for Devi to read. One of the lost ones.

Dark eyes flit quickly across the little screen, finishing with a little snort. Neither it, nor the expression that comes alongside, are dismissive, though. It’s a huffed, impressed sound. Devi swallows, and perhaps in the glow of the little phone, her head beant nearer to Brynn enough to read it, the younger woman can make a tension just there behind the immortalized, tattooed bird on her throat. “Yeah. I guess I am.” She turns her gaze to consider Brynn from the corner of her eye, smile coming up on that side. “But, it’s okay to be lost - the scenery is nice.” She winks.

With a faint grin, Brynn points out, Sometimes getting lost is the best way to find yourself. Then she gestures to the tank. Do you want to finish the pinstriping? It seems like something that should probably be all done in one hand. And Brynn isn't versed enough — yet — to feel comfortable with a technique she's only seen the once. I hope the client likes it, she types. I think the addition is primal. Gives it just the right amount of glitz.

The raven-haired woman chuckled, the sound bubbling up from deep inside that tall core and warming her husky tones and alabaster features alike. “That it is, Peeps.” She turns to consider the tank before giving a little nod. “I’ll do the other side, mirror image. Show you a bit more that way. The rest is on you. This is yours,” she succinctly with an easy-going smile.

Devi guides Brynn through the fluid gestures of pinstriping as Brynn guides her through the gestures of Sign. A generation apart, the Lost Ones still know how to find each other.

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