The Rainmakers


gillian2_icon.gif helena_icon.gif mcrae_icon.gif

Scene Title The Rainmakers
Synopsis Two atmokinetics and an augmentor create an evening of bad weather in trade for a week of good.
Date October 11, 2009

Rooftop of the Deveaux Building

Seriously, don't we already know what it looks like?

A little of the day has gone by, and the miracles are happening. Helena had made the time to get in touch with both McRae and Gillian, explained her plan, and asked for their help. Now, here on the roof of the Deveaux building, with one of the best views of the city, Helena waits to see if both or either will show up. She's pretty darn sure she can't do this alone.

"Of all the fucking places to choose to do this," Gillian says as she finally gets up all the stairs. She looks winded, tired, and bends down to practically sit on the concrete rooftop as soon as she's out a few steps onto it. Her eyes flicker over the familiar design, the cherubs, including the one with a bullet hole in the chest. "Really wish I could still fly— would've been so much easier to get up here." A few deep breaths later and she pushes herself back up to her feet, looking back to see if the other guy has shown up. The bag at her side sports an umbrella sticking out of it. From the description she's going to need it.
You have been applauded.

Old man in a rainslicker's coming up from behind, below, his footfalls as light as the girls' despite his superiority in age and size. Of course, even under the voluminous folds of the green rubber sheeting, David McRae's shoulders loom mammothian broad, filled out by generously proportioned skeleton and the active lifestyle of… a Ferryman operative, spiritual instructor, weather incarnate, and farmer. Whatever he so happens to be. The rainslicker is forethought of some sort; perhaps a disguise, or an indulgence, maybe— maybe a genuine necessity.

"You must be the augmentor," he calls out, addressing the back of the brunette head even as he lifts an arm to wave hello at the more familiar of the two women. Only here, in the midst of Manhattan Island's urban sprawl and its skeletal remains, does McRae's considerable height seem practically dwarfed in comparison.

"It's a good view of the skyline." Helena says reasonably. All of her hangups about this place are emotional in nature, but they also aren't enough to deter her. "McRae, this is Gillian. Gillian, this is McRae. He's the only other atmokinetic I've ever met." She smiles faintly at both of them. "I brought a camera in case we wanted to record, but it's okay if we don't. I kinda figure the work might speak for itself."

"Nice to meet you," Gillian says, eyes trailing up at the much taller man. She didn't think to wear a disguise, but— there's enough problems going on these days anyway. "Yeah, I augment people. It's my thing. Hopefully this won't wipe me out so much that one of you'll have to carry me home— but if it does you better do it, cause I don't think this would be a awesome place to spend the night, especially not in the fucking rain— I'll catch a cold." There's a flippant tone to her voice, but she glances back at the statues again, then settles her eyes on Helena finally. "He's kinda your opposite, isn't he? In terms of…" He hand moves, in a kind of gesture that makes it seem she's implying appearance.

The old man makes a noise at the bottom of his throat, bemused, not unkind, despite that there's a figment of mirth recessed in the bright squint of his eyes. "Not even in my youth would I've held a candle," he offers, his long strides tocking out to a stop at the low rise of the bricked wall.

He turns his head along a trajectory parallel to Gillian's, makes his own brief study of the statues that are set up to overlook the gulf of the shattered skyline below. "I don't mind being recorded," he decides, after a moment. He could explain further, but the declaration probably explains itself in adequate terms. "Have you already given forewarning to the meteorological organizations or whomever takes care of traffic safety concerns?"

Helena looks flushed, a little guilty, and "Um. No." She feels like an idiot. "But it's Sunday moving into evening, traffic's going to be light anyway, and the meteorological centers already know something is going to happen." Because Helena Dean said something would. The power of celebrity! It's going to bite her in the ass tomorrow. "How close do you need to be?" she asks of Gillian. "I could angle the camera to keep you out of the frame."

"For a full one I need to be touching you," Gillian says softly, looking rather suspiciously at the camera for a moment. "But I can do it without that, especially if I'm standing close. It just won't be as strong as if I were touching you." There's a long glance toward the city scape again, before she looks back at the blonde, "I don't really want to be filmed, especially not using my ability… I guess I could hold the camera? That should keep me close enough, I think— and I won't be prone to passing the fuck out if I don't give everything."

There's an inclination of McRae's preposterously bald dome, acknowledging. "I'll carry you if you need it, but I think it should be possible to reset the barometric patterns for the next several hours without taking too much of you.

"We should try to share it out evenly." His expression had changed everso slightly when Helena answered his question like so, given the champion of Evolved equality activism doubtless engenders higher expectations for civic responsibility than some shabby old mutant supremacist, buuut. It's fine. At the very worst, the call will come in a little late.

He leaves the girls to sort out the media portion of the project, giving them his profile as he closes his crow-footed eyes. Tastes the stale and particulate in the air, listening to something more than an ordinary man would be able to hear.

"We don't have to." Helena says, repeating her earlier thought. "The work will speak for itself. I brought Gatorade and granola bars, I figured if anybody's energy flags, there's a little bit of pick me up. So I'm ready whenever you are, and yeah, even splits, I can do that." She looks between the two of them, takes a breath. "Well okay," she says, and offers a hand to each of them.

"I should have worn a raincoat," Gillian says in retrospect, before she steps closer and takes the offered hand from Helena. There's a mild glow that springs up where they're touching, one that looks purple. A year ago the glow had been dark, now it's more violet than before. Not quite the white that it'd been in the future Helena witnessed, but like a mix of the two. The knot unravels in her mind, and she mutters something briefly under her breath, indistinct, before she reaches out to take McRae's hand as well. "This'll feel a little weird at first, so I'll start out slow. Don't want you two to make a tornado or something." Could they make a tornado? She doesn't even know.

Certainly they could. A big one. Not news that McRae decides would be a good token of news to share, given the rhetorical tone that the augmentor had asked her question in. His hand closes sturdily over the girl's own, warm and coarse from work calluses. Not fight calluses. She's met enough men with those to probably begin to tell the difference, by now. "I'll let you take the epicenter," he calls across at Helena. "I'll weave it in outward of that. Sound good?"

Sparing Gillian a smile at that last, Helena nods to McRae and closes her eyes, tilting her face skyward. The weather system directly above is easy to tune into; and really, it's constantly in the back of her mind, anyway. But there's a difference between sensing it and shaping it, and she situates a lot faster with Gillian's presently low level boost. She begins to tweak the temperature, dropping it in slow degrees, gently nudging a cloudfront here, a gust of errant wind there, gently nursing a new storm system into being with very specific requirements in a small area so that McRae can then expand it.

Slow breaths follow, and Gillian continues to wish she'd worn a raincoat— even the heavy jacket she put on likely won't be good enough in the end. The two may have protection from their own element, but she doesn't get the same benifits. Not anymore. The knot opens up a fraction more, a glow beginning in her eyes, the same color as the flow where they have contact. "Say something if it gets to be too much," she adds on, focusing on a point in front of her, past the two of them, as she keeps her mind on the threads of energy flowing through her fingers.

Control's never been a tenuous thing for McRae, with his decades with his gift established behind him, but this is new, different, and puts a wrinkle in his brow as he feels the potency of the girl's gift begin to suffuse under his skin.

His awareness expands, beyond the near wrinkle and shift and gusting animal breath of the local barometry and onward to the further vistas, where cumulus clouds begin to curl, wrinkle, bunch and blacken on subtle reverberations from the block of pattern Helena's pushing into. It was all madly theoretical, of course: his proposal, the notion that the two atmokinetics could weave together, as if the weather were some inert tapestry, a scrap of craftsmanship, not its own animate thing.

It takes him a moment to remember that that was what he'd suggested, that this is what he is here to do. He drags his attention away from a long and longing look Southward, circles closer. His fingers tighten, and the hem of his raincoat flips and snaps merrily in Gillian's hearing.

Even that which is animate can be guided, and led into a particular weaving. Helena's smile is radiant, she could spread her influence as far as the city even without Gillian to assist, but by concentrating in one smaller area and getting a boost? It is so much more potent than she expected. The weather is a dance of intricacy, and her ability partners to McRae's in communal steps, with Gillian's as their fiddler.

Eyes slide closed as the wind pushes against her. Gillian remembers, vaguely, what it'd felt like to manipulate the weather, and part of her tries to hold on to that memory once again. That'd been more comfortable, and different than just sending threads of energy into hands she holds, calloused and soft. The knot unravels a bit more, the energy growing each time it loosens, the color where their hands touch getting brighter.

The power grows, the weather changes. It's tangible to the mundane senses as well as to the atmokinetics'. McRae begins to extrapolate. Thicken the the pulsing rhythm of gas exchange and macroscopic temperature shifts, yanking so much humidity out of the sea, condensing ambient moisture and boiling it high, stretching it out to frame the stormfront that Helena's building. His awareness of the younger atmokinetic's craft refines itself to hair-raising precision, and he syncopates his step carefully.

Overhead, thunder, a luminous coruscation of lightning through clouds.

The first rainfall begins. It sweeps in like a stage curtain, quick medium size drops that create a staccato against the solid floor of the roof. It's not a downpour yet, but that's coming. This is not the center of the storm though, it's further out and further up. Helena's fingers briefly tighten in McRae's; the smile on her face becoming beatific. This is the sort of working she dreams about, and murmuring, "You did this to me before…" to Gillian, only half-aware she's said it.

"First time we ran into each other up here I did it by accident," Gillian admits softly, voice quiet as she keeps her eyes closed. It may not be a downpour, but she's letting the sound and the feeling tell her what's happening more than her eyes. The thread keeps opening up— more and more energy spilling out. Until it slows and finds a steady tide. One of the first things she'd learned was to keep a piece for herself, to keep energy back. Even if there's energy bars and energy drinks, she wants that much. Edward's video said her power should be disappearing— and yet it's as strong as it'd been a year ago— and even more so, really.

Indeed. McRae wouldn't buy it if anyone had mentioned any ridiculous rumor that Gillian's power is diminishing, though this is the first time they've met. Thunder is different, somehow, to the crash and spin of watchtowers splitting and gates felling to shards, does not perturb him the way that nightmares made of memory have. He doesn't interrupt, listening with the polite detachment of a curious companion.

"No…" she says, "In the future…your energy, it was white." Helena's attention refocuses though, and she smiles up at the old man who holds her other hand. This is good, yes?
Phoenix> Father McHotty Scotch says, "Yay people"

That's when her eyes pop open and Gillian can't help but blink down toward their hands. It's not white but it's creeping closer and closer to that. "Well it's not quite white yet," she says against the sound of the weather changing, as she looks toward the blonde weather witch. "So I was still strong in the future?" Talking about the future in front of newly met bald guy while they're trying to do something epic with the weather.

The wind whips harder, the rain becoming more harsh and frequent. The three of them are going to get soaked, but oddly, Gillian will find herself comfortably warm, if uncomfortably wet. The benefits of staying in Helena's proximity. Helena, tapped into the core force of the storm, eases it gently into expanding, and replies with that same distracted air:


"There's some things I hope haven't changed, then," Gillian can't help but say quietly, as she closes her eyes again. Uncomfortably soaked as she may be getting, at least it's a warm rain. "Maybe if there's ever a hurricane heading our way, we can stop it. That would've been a nice miracle…" But until there's a hurricane coming their way, it's not really something that needs doing. "Not that this isn't nice too, but I think the people who have to walk home are going to be a little upset…"

It isn't quite drowned out, but McRae's voice has to carry below the level of shrieking wind to be heard, for lack of energy or concentration to send it hurling hoarsely over. "Why would you weaken? You're young. You'd think God wants more time out of you yet. Take it from one who's felt enough of that." A spiralling drizzle snags the edge of his hood, slaps it back on a rumpling whisper and hiss of air and thin synthetics, right on cue. The sheen of light off the knot of his hand with Gillian's limns his jaw, casts shadows up over the crag of his cheekbone and hollow of his eye.

"Some things." Helena agrees, but seems fine with letting McRae take up the course of conversaiton at that point. She closes her eyes, tilts her head up to the sky to feel the rain on her face. She doesn't need to watch the sky to know what she's doing, but standing under it makes it easier on a subconscious level. It's not quite a hurricane, but it is rather along the lines of a tropical storm. "When the city has a week's worth of the lowest pollution index in years, they'll understand." she notes absently.

"I hope so," Gillian says, looking back toward the older man, and finding it difficult to look away again once she spots the shadow under the hood. It's hard to see in the rain, with all the squinting she needs to do, but once she does see it, she doesn't look away. "I'll take whatever I can get," she says after a moment, before opening up the knot just a fraction more. There's still strength left for her— there's still a piece she's holding back, but it's more than enough to do what they need to do tonight. So that people can enjoy a week of the cleanest air many of them have ever seen.

At least it's an island. A small, dense island, topographically level, with little real concern of major flooding. These thoughts and others are vague even on the old man's mind, now, however prudent his earlier inquiries had been. McRae doesn't have to worry, himself. Carolina will come get him when he needs. His eyes stay closed. He thinks, but doesn't ask aloud, What happens when you're given more than you can take? Such questions are for a different time. Today, they bring the rain.

"…and now tonight's weather report. Over to you, June!"

"Thanks, Todd. Despite the near tropical storm level showers of this past Sunday evening, as it was today, we're predicting perfectly clear, beautiful skies for the rest of the week, with pollution index reports predicting record lows that haven't been projected for New York City since the early part of the twentieth century. So get out and take a breath of fresh air, folks! Seems like a miracle, doesn't it?"

"Back to you, Todd!"

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