The Shattered Lady


eve4_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif

Scene Title The Shattered Lady
Synopsis Eve sees something strange when Squeaks visits. It's a little creepy, but also puzzling.
Date September 20, 2018

Cat's Cradle

Cat’s Cradle rarely has books everywhere but today is an unusual day in the unusual bar and Eve’s residence.

The sign says closed but the door is open just a touch, a sliver of sunlight blazing in from the chill morning glare. Thick books, skinny books and a bunch of scattered loose papers litter the floor, counter of the bar, tables, chairs, everywhere. Sassy, the bartender is nowhere to be found. All the lights are out in the place but the dirty windows allow for some modest light to filter through.

There are no glasses that were left over from the night before, the grill hadn't been hot in a couple days. Cat’s Cradle has been closed for three days in a row now.

A lone spotlight flickers from purple to red lighting angled down towards the center of the stage.

Cat’s Cradle isn’t one of her normal hangouts. She hasn’t been back since the night she watched Eve go all weird at invisible hands and water that didn’t exist. It’s a little bit off the path that takes her to and from the library or Raytech, but not so far that the young teenager couldn’t stop in if she had wanted to. She hasn’t really had a reason.

Today she does.

Finding the door partly open and the closed sign is a strange thing. Squeaks doesn’t know Eve so great and she can’t be sure if it’s normal to find the business place like that, but that she has found it raises all kinds of alarms. She slips through the narrow opening and stops barely a step inside to stare at the mess.

“Eve?” Pitching her voice too quiet to be heard throughout the building, the girl slinks away from the doorway. She picks her way further into the bar, careful to not touch anything. No need to disturb it if she’s gone into somewhere dangerous. “Eve…” Even as she creeps deeper into the room she looks over those books and papers, ever curious. She can’t help it.

No one answers her calls.

On the ground at her feet lays a piece of paper which looks like it's from Eve’s sketch book, the sign of the Gemini is etched on the page in frantic broad strokes of charcoal. Another piece of paper lays next to it and if read closely it details some mythology, eastern mythology. A paper with a bold title of Zuni before delving into an old story lays underneath both of the pages at Squeaks feet.

All of the books open actually are on the topics of myths of some kind from all over the world.

To the left of the redheaded girl there's a rustling of papers but when she looks she sees only a few papers fluttering to the ground in front of one of the collection of theater chairs in the space. Nobody in sight, a dart of movement in the shadows beyond the light of the spotlight centered on the stage.

The low rumble of a voice that's muffled perhaps by curtains draws Squeaks closer to the stage.

Papers rustling at her feet cause the teenager to look down. Her head tilts when she picks out the drawing, and she even squats down to pick it up for a better look. Lowering the drawing, but not letting it go, she looks over the rest of the scattering of papers and books. “Zuni,” she wonders out loud, but in her library voice. The other pages are looked over too, picking at what little bits of writing are there, gathering just enough to know what they might be about.

The common theme between all of them isn’t missed.

Her eyes lift at the sound of more papers fluttering and immediately track to the sound. Standing up again, Squeaks tippy toes toward the front of the stage. She first finds where those papers fell to, and nearly stoops to pick those up also for a better look. But she goes very still when she hears the voice.

Looking left then right, the girl considers abandoning all reasons for being in the bar. She hasn’t seen Eve, so there’s no reason to really stay. Except that the Cat’s Cradle is closed, and a mess. So, she slinks up onto the stage, looking for a hiding place while following the voice.


The sound of something hitting the ground behind the curtain can be heard and as Squeaks investigates she notices a weight tied to the end of a rope that's sliding upwards, at the same time there's an audible thud from behind Squeaks coming from a space away from the stage. A spotlight clicks on the bright light illuminating a shape hunched over an old piano pushed against the wall, dust and papers flying in the air as booted feet land on the floor. “Hot damn.” Whispered in surprised.

The notes that ring out from the pale hands playing the piano are dark and dissonant, the progression never resounding and leaving a tension in the air as the figure sways to and fro and a mane of wild midnight hair slips out from the hood covering the face. “SING FOR ME ANGEL. NAAAAAAAAAAA NA NA NA NA NAAAAAAAAAAA!”

Eve’s deranged grin appears as the hooded figure whips her head around to face the teenager, stomping her foot on the ground she cackles as her fingers move up and down the scales, hammering out unconventional rhythms with grunts emitted in time, eventually the dark and demented tune softens and Eve’s erratic movements lessen as she goes almost still, hands the only part of her moving and as she hits the last note that thuds out she finally stops and lets the silence fill the air for a bit. “A visitor. Hello Angel.” Her rasp booms and echoes through the place.

Her head swivels toward each sound as she ghosts her way across the stage and to the curtain. It takes her some seconds to wrestle her way through all that fabric, efforts interrupted only for a breath when something large and heavy thumps not far away. But soon the teenager does find her way and peeks, first into semi-darkness and then squinting against the sudden glare of a bright spotlight.

Slipping into the space, she tries to skirt the brightness and just watch the piano playing. She should probably not stick around — she’s seen homeless people acting unusual like whoever is playing the piano. Sometimes those people are not safe.

When the face turns toward her, Squeaks almost turns to run. Recognition comes quickly enough that her feet stay rooted in place, but there’s definitely uneasiness in her posture. Finding the bar a giant mess and the creepy music, it’s all a lot of spookiness. “Hi,” is offered quietly, feet shuffling a little bit to bring her closer, but not too close to the piano.

“You have found me in the middle of some studying, my niece Chicken goes to college.” And it was Jolene who had actually re ignited Eve’s reading of lore from different cultures. “So many different people across the world not connected by the wireless connections of the ether but..” Eve’s gaze locks on Squeaks. “They are all talking about the same thing. Did they ever guess..?”

The pale strange woman leans back from the piano and scoots closer to Squeaks, crouching in front of her to be more at eye level. “What have you been up to dear?” It's clear that Eve has not slept in many nights. Dreaming or kept up with her investigating of these issues it's unclear at the moment.

The redheaded teenager would notice more and more how it looks like nobody has been here.. maybe even a week.

“There's lost of things that sound the same but are from different place,” Squeaks agrees. She's probably read a few things like that, even if she hasn't sat and studied it. It's likely there's been enough that she's come across to understand the similarities. And maybe even the differences.

When Eve comes closer, the young teen offers the drawing she had picked up. The question is answered with a teeny shrug. “All kinds of things?” She isn't really sure how to answer that question. It's a lot like asking someone how they're doing.

“Your building is messy,” she continues with a look over her shoulder. It's a little worrisome, the Cat’s Cradle being messy. Squeaks looks at Eve again. “What are you looking for? Is it the golden eyes again?”

Gently taking the drawing from Squeaks, Eve looks down at the Gemini sign there on the page and her brow furrows. “All kinds of things..” she absently echoes as she runs a finger down the lines on the page. The building is messy and it's a wonder Eve has taken the dishes up to her apartment at times. Papers though, papers everywhere. “We have temporarily become the Library of Alexandria instead of Cat’s Cradle.” Temporary.

Opening her mouth to answer Squeaks latest question Eve blinks as something flutters in the corner of her eye. Flapping into view a book sails over Eve’s head pages aflutter as it settles to hover around the space that is Squeaks’ head. Fighting itself and flipping open its pages. There on the pages flipping as a flip book, a dark inky shape takes shape, a female form stands there before a shudder ripples through it.

Eve’s eyes darken until that darkness spreads to make her whole eyes jet black. Something Squeaks would be familiar with. Fake Drowning. The seer tilts her head, strands of midnight hair in her mouth. “What a magical book.” Commented softly almost a whisper.

The feminine form shatters to pieces, each pieces becoming black splotches varying different sizes and shapes no real order to them. With a loud snap the book slams shut revealing the cover to be that of a wolf’s head in all black.

Rearing back, Eve gasps and blinks though her eyes remain black, “The Book. The shattered lady.” Black eyes center on Squeaks.

Calling the Cat’s Cradle the Library of Alexandria is almost as baffling as the mess. Or the building being closed. While her observations might have answers for already, it doesn't keep the girl from thinking of more questions. When the seer gets that weird, not-here look on her face, she looks over her shoulder for help. There’s no help here this time, she knows that even when she turns. So after a second, her attention returns to the woman, wide-eyed and worried.

“Eve?” Squeaks’ voice is soft. She eases backward a part of a step as she watches the seer. It’s like the fake drowning, but… it isn’t fake drowning. Squeaks looks over her shoulder again, a shooting look that jumps away from Eve then back again quickly. “What book? What lady?”

“Well it's floating around your head, you tell me.” Says the seer with a squinty eyed look over Squeaks’ shoulder. “The Shattered Lady.” Eve repeats curiously as she blinks and her eyes face to their now usual brown. “There was a book with a wolves head, tales of the wolf…” there's one wolf that Eve is acquainted with but this couldn't be Gabriel, could it?

“Come my adventurer, tea time.” And a joint because the headache that comes with the use of her ability was beginning to flare and she wanted to head it off.

Scrambling up to her feet Eve makes her way over tables and chairs to the stairway that leads up to her flat above the place. “I've diced some fresh ginger root, let's see.” Bumping the door of her place open with her hip to reveal the home equally a mess of papers and drawings, the sunlight let in to feed the plants in the space a stark contrast from the main floor of the bar. The hazy Oracle Room must be in some similar state of distress though luckily for Squeaks they are not in that smoky place though this room isn't as comforting not with the chaotic energy of Eve. “Spike! We have a visitor behave!

The dog like drone, a gift from Teo doesn't move or speak, it sits in the corner where it always has.

Even though she’s sure she won’t see anything, the teenager looks up anyway to see if there’s things floating over her head. “I don’t know what the Shattered Lady is,” she admits, hitching her shoulders up in a steep shrug. “The book could maybe be the new one, Wolves of Valhalla?” She isn’t sure, but it kind of matches the description a little.

“What’s the Shattered Lady,” she asks as Eve starts to walk away. It takes her a couple of seconds longer before she follows, having to hurry a bunch of steps to catch up.

“Eve — ” Squeaks’ question cuts off as she climbs up the stairs. She hasn’t been this way before, and the mystery of it brings a long look around. Especially at that dog looking thing. “What’s that,” she asks quietly while following the seer inside.

Her attention on it lasts for as long as it takes to ask the question, and she’s returning to the more important puzzle. “I don’t know about any lady,” the girl explains. But maybe she could make a guess, especially if there’s a book with a wolf head on it floating around. “What’s she look like?”

Tilting her head as she goes, “Well the Shattered Lady knows you my dear.” Her hands move in twitches and waves as she sways through the mess of an apartment and sliding into the kitchen to grab onto the counter and swing up on it landing on her knees with a slap, Eve pulls out mugs from the cabinet before sliding back to the ground and filling her kettle with water from the sink. “I've heard of that book, haven't read it though hmmm.” It was one thing to live the tragedies she and her friends did but it was another to relive them through the pages of the many books that had been written.

Waiting for the water to boil, brown eyes cast over to the drone dog, Spike and the corners of Eve’s
eyes crinkle at Squeaks’ question. “That's Spike! He's ferocious but don't tell him this,” lowering her voice to a whisper, “His bark is worst than his bite I swear.” But Spike doesn't bark at all. “I man I love gave him too me, while I was making out with his “evil” twin. Take your time with your heart in the future,” unsolicited advice from Eve before she is shrugging her shoulders along with Squeaks, “How would I know what she looks like? She lives in a book! She has no face currently, just blotches of ink and ink blotches.”

Waving her hand in front of her face, Eve’s expression is curious, “Think back dear one, why a book, why her?”

How does she know me?” the teenager wonders out loud. If it’s the whoever from the journal, well there’s no way to know who that person is. She’s trying to find out, it’s just taking time. Unscrambling letters and making sense of ciphered sentences isn’t very fast work. And that’s still only if the journal she found is the same as this Shattered Lady person that Eve is seeing.

Spike the drone-dog is given another look. She’d like a closer examination of it, but maybe later. There’s bigger things that have her curiosity still. She steps carefully away from the doorway and picks a path toward the counter and the seer.

“Ink blotches.” Squeaks’ tone echoes Eve’s description and makes it sound like a question. “Like ink blotches that can move on their own?” A look darts down and one hand finds the edge of the sleeve on the other arm and pushes it back a little, just enough so the edges of the black marks show for a quick second. Sliding her sleeve down again, she looks up at Eve, wide eyed and nervous.

“My journal asked for help.” Even though it’s a strange thing to say, the girl is very serious about it. And worried. Maybe this is something to be careful with, if the seer is seeing things. “It… someone, on the pages, said they were lost and scattered and couldn’t get back because they had to hide and got trapped.” She takes a step forward, making the next part more secret. “They said to look in the Wolves of Valhalla. And… that’s where these marks are coming from. Ink blobs out of the books.”

Eve’s hand snakes out and pulls Squeaks’ arm back over to her, brown eyes swirling again to that jet mirror black, pushing that sleeve up to regard the mark in an open mouth stare, “Oh my..”

The mark on Squeaks’ arm squirms with life on her arm, throbbing as it grows more, additional lines manifest on Squeaks arm but much too fast for Eve fill them out and decipher herself. The air around Eve feels thick as if she can’t breathe. It's dark. Blotches of ink sliding over her vision…

“What have you found girl!” Eve throwing Squeaks’ arm back at her and simultaneously backing up into the counter, she regards Squeaks with a wide eyed stare. Forgetting about the water which has begun to boil, her chest rising and falling rapidly, she felt like she couldn't breathe. Eyes slowly fade back to brown again and Eve sags against the countertop. “Objects speaking and the girl listens..” Eve can't blame her, she knows what it is to be curious. So curious it could lead you into dangerous darkness.

“It grows on you, attached. You have been marked girl.” The prophet knew of another girl that was marked.

With her arm snatched, Squeaks flinches and half turns her face away in expectation of something that isn’t just investigation of those strange marks on her arm. She pulls against Eve’s grip a teeny bit too, offering a quick, “I’m sorry,” in anxious tones.

There’s probably more relief than there should be when she’s released. She pulls her sleeve back down over her arm and takes a few fast steps away from the seer. The girl’s arms wrap tightly around her own middle and she takes several more steps, slower ones, before she chances a look up at Eve again.

“I don’t know. It was in a table.” A table with a drawer that was painted over. She still wondered if there was more to it. “I found it… and it was just… gibberish before. Just random letters and nonsense.” Then it started using codes to talk. Squeaks takes a breath and darts a glance over her shoulder, toward the doorway, then back to Eve just as quick.

“No need to be sorry dearie just know what you're getting into. We curious types, we find the most peculiar things. Fascinating things, dangerous things.” She doesn't think it out the ordinary that Squeaks has found a book that speaks through her. “Be careful but we all deserve our adventures. Spirits frolicking through the moonlight but needing the sun to see the answer.” She had many in her teens.

“Have you asked it what it wants?” A simple enough question though a person in a book surely would want to get out. Let out. Eve tries to keep the notion of that other thing out of her head.

Rubbing at her forehead, Eve makes her way to pull the kettle off the stove before she's pouring hot water over the diced up ginger root, allowing it to cool for a few moments as she waves at the steam, squeezing honey in and a few drops of lemon each. “Immunity booster, take it every day that I can. Keeps the germs at bay, if you're going to be an adventurer than you'd better do your best to not get sick.” Sliding a steaming cup over to Squeaks the pale woman makes a show of blowing on her own tea before dipping her head to take a tiny sip. “Ahhh germs be gone!”

“Is there bad things with the ink,” the teen asks. She stays by the door for now, even shooting a suspicious side-eye look over to Spike. It isn’t the drone-dog’s fault about anything, not really. But she still gives him a look like he had something to do with the strange visions. “It doesn’t seem very bad, or scary. Last time, part of the ink even made words then crawled into the journal…”

Her eyes fall from Eve to the cup and then lift up again. Making sure her sleeves are fully covering her arms, even half her hands, she slinks away from the door and cautiously returns to the counter. Lifting onto her toes when she gets close, she peers into the cup before taking.

“It’s asking for help. Because it’s lost and scattered and can’t get back together.” Squeaks has been explaining that a lot, she should probably memorize the exact message she decoded. “Whoever it is got trapped and tried to hide, but got stuck in the shipment of books. They told me to look in the Wolves of Valhalla.” Lifting her cup, she gives the liquid a sniff before taking a taste of the tea.

In the ink? Eve shakes her head with a shrug, “It's marked your body, giving instructions. I have not encountered this.. entity but you have. What do you feel when you're interacting?” You don't need to dream the future to know if something is evil, there's a switch inside Eve's imagines. It flicks wildly when she's close to something truly terrible. “So.. not very scary or bad. Then you might have found a friend. And we rescue our friends, nobody gets left behind.” Just like the Other Otter, she has to rescue him.

Hearing what Squeaks has to do the seer nods along, “Then look you must. Continue your search, scour the edges of the pages and leave no ink blotch unturned. You can do this. You've come this far.”

Taking a sip of her tea before she shakes her head from side to side as if hearing music that was not playing, “Ah ah.. I think that's all our time for today.” Eve drinks more of her tea and sets it on the table, “You don't have to leave but it's important to know when to be digging and when to take a break for a dance party.” Snapping her fingers the pale woman hops off from her seat and shimmies over to a stereo in the corner. Pressing the play button, the sounds of disco and synths and some kind of eastern Asian horn being played start to blare from the speakers. Clapping her hands twice before she twists and twirls, dark mane of hair flying in the wind after her Eve boogies around the living room.

Turn your magic on, to me she’d say

Everything you want’s a dream away

We are legends, every day

That’s what she told him

The wild older woman sings along to the lyrics loudly, swinging her hips and flailing around. Her erratic movements bring her near to Squeaks and she snorts as she crouches down, bouncing on the balls of her feet and extending a hand for the teen. “Come come, Shattered Ladies, Bloodlusty Immortals and world ending Gods are for later. Coldplay is for now!”

Turn your magic on, to me she’d say

Everything you want’s a dream away

Under this pressure, under this weight

We are diamonds

“Be a diamond with me!”

A quick lift of her shoulders answers Eve’s question. The young teen really isn’t sure how she feels when things are definitely evil. A lot of things are scary, and she’s definitely been around a lot of bad things in her life. Everything is treated with suspicion until she’s sure if she needs to be careful still or run away. Including the journal she found. But with the journal, there’s so far not been much to be afraid of.

Until the seer started seeing things, like a Shattered Lady, and growing ink.

“But…” There are still millions of questions to ask. There’s the drone-dog to be investigated. And all those books downstairs! Squeaks watches Eve dance around, face scrunching with skepticism. She leans back slightly, and takes a shuffling half step backward, when the woman gets near. “We can’t be diamonds,” she states quietly, but confused. How could they be diamonds? She eases back another step. “I… I’m going to go to the library. Instead.”

“But how do you know we cannot be diamonds giovane!” Eve proclaims it as if Squeaks aversion to the idea is silly, “Why would you ever want to stay the same hm!” These last thoughts are what follow Squeaks as she prepares her exit, questions still a buzz in her head and Eve could relate to that feeling. They never all got answered did they? In this current moment though Eve is lost to the groove and with eyes closed and face turned up towards the ceiling she doesn't notice Squeaks departure, though she calls out before the girl can reach the door reaching the outside, “Don’t fall to deep ragazza,” Eve knew what it was to get too deep. Sometimes.

= Now I feel my heart beating

I feel my heart underneath my skin

And I feel my heart beating

Oh, you make me feel

Like I'm alive again

“Thread lightly.” She whispers to herself as Eve holds her body tight and swings herself around the room.

= Alive again

Oh, you make me feel

Like I'm alive again

“Diamonds are crystals.” Squeaks’ voice is quiet but there’s no missing the matter of factness to it. “They’re made by mineral replacement processes in rocks.” Obviously they can’t be diamonds, and it doesn’t make sense to insist on being something they obviously aren’t. Not that it seems to matter much since Eve is busy dancing and doing what Eve does. So she leaves her hardly touched tea on the counter as she makes her retreat, to slip through the door and down the stairs.

There’s too much to wonder over to stick around to dance. Shattered Lady and ink blotches and floating books, way too much.

Pausing halfway to the door when she hears Eve’s voice yelling after her, the girl huffs a breath and shakes her head. No time for more confusing talk. She picks her way through the open books and drawings, and nearly makes it to the door before one on Eastern Mythologies catches her attention. Blue eyes flick toward the stairs as she stoops to gather the book and another nearby that’s similarly mythology but from the Zuni. A couple of seconds more are spared to scribble a note on a napkin explaining that she borrowed them.

The note is left on the door where it should be seen then Squeaks, hugging the books against her chest, ducks outside and runs. There’s a library she needs to get to.

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