The Temporary Lighthouse


brynn_icon.gif caspian_icon.gif joe_icon.gif lance_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title The Temporary Lighthouse
Synopsis As hurt as they are, the LHK are pulling together… but they don't want to worry mom or the aunts! So Caspian inherits three of them.
Date April 3, 2018

Caspian's House

Charity only goes so far, which is why Lance got dropped off at one of the smaller clinics instead of the hospital after being smuggled back into the Safe Zone. They were less likely to call the authorities there too, and it was easy to explain the injury away as a bad fall - a dislocated elbow roughly moved back into position, severe muscle strain, general exhaustion. Given the lack of cell reception, it meant that he couldn't easily get word out to the other Lighthouse Kids, 'the adults', or anyone else immediately.

He's relaxing back in a bed right now, the back raised as he sits up a little, tapping through a game on his phone with one hand, expression screwed up in frustration. One hand is hard! The other arm's in a sling, kept secured carefully across his chest.

It took some time, but one of the things that Liberty explicitly offers to help with is trying to find missing people. Admittedly, the assumption is that they'll be doing so by checking databases and trying to piece together evidence rather than pursuing a recently-teleported youth… but Ygraine wouldn't have turned the case down even if it hadn't come from Brynn. For her, most other tasks were dropped.

Now, the Briton is escorting the young artist through the clinic to where they've been told that 'Lance Gerken' can be found - though Ygraine has already warned her companion that there's a chance that whoever they see will have been misidentified or have stolen the ID to get treatment. But there's a definite hopeful spring in her step.

Brynn is already highly wound up — the idea that someone stole Lance's ID just seems ludicrous to her. Why bother? These clinics will treat people even without ID; she's seen it happening off the Marketplace. So she's very tense already and moving stiffly — the internal injuries aren't life-threatening, but they are definitely not pleasant. God, I hope this is him. If it's him, maybe he'll be able to tell us where Joe and Eimi landed. ALthough…. there's not as much hope in hre expression about that. If he'd been with them, they would have all come in together. She waits rather impatiently at the desk to be given directions on where to go, and as soon as they have them, she's darting down the hallway to sweep aside the curtain around the bed that the lady at the front told them.

As the curtain's swept aside, Lance almost jumps out of the bed, his heart suddenly hammering a mile an hour and his eyes huge as saucers. "Wh— I— " Then recognition sets in, and he drops the phone in his lap, tears glistening in his eyes suddenly, "Brynn!" He reaches out, but one of his arms is all restrained, so he can't really do that.

Ygraine's approach is somewhat more circumspect… but a moment or two later, she also comes into view, looking openly relieved as she recognises the young man. Then she ventures a grin, upon taking in quite how warmly the two are greeting each other. "Hi there," she offers as her own quiet greeting.

The petite brunette takes in his condition, her own gray eyes filling with tears of relief. Even as his good arm opens for her, she hurtles to the side of the bed and leans over to wrap her arm over him! Carefully, of course. He probably hurts as much as she does. She buries her face in his good shoulder, the tremble giving away that she was just as grateful to see him as he was her.

When she finally pulls away, wiping her tears with the back of her hand, she bombards him with signs. Where have you been? Are Joe and Eimi with you? How bad are you hurt? Have you been here the whole time? Are you okay????

She leans in to hug him, and he returns it with one arm, resting his face in her hair and breathing out an unsteady sigh. Then she draws back, and as she signs furiously Lance tries to respond, but it's difficult with just one hand. After a moment and a grimace he replies verbally, making sure she can see and read his lips. "I landed in the water. Near Staten. Um. Nobody else was there, I was worried you all drowned— " A hard swallow, "I'm glad you're okay."

Ygraine frowns, having to concentrate to keep up with the flurry of signs from Brynn - though it's swiftly clear that it's in Lighthouse Cant rather than ASL, and her grasp of that doesn't extend much beyond what she's been promised is «hello, it's nice to see you» (but could be far more embarrassing). "She's hurt. But recovering," she quietly informs Lance. "We haven't managed to find Joe or Eimi. But we're not alone in looking for them."

Uncertainly, Brynn shakes her head. I landed outside the wall… I could see it, but the gate was miles away, she signs worriedly. Ygraine found me yesterday, and I stayed at Caspian's while Yg and another guy — a SESA agent I met — have been doing the rounds trying to find Eimi and Joe. She perches herself on the edge of his bed and then realizes she was in Cant and has no idea what Ygraine and Lance might have been saying. Sorry, Ygraine! she offers apologetically.

"I had to swim," Lance admits with a grimace, "I was.. I mean, I barely made it. My elbow was all fucked up." Thus, one imagines, the sling he's in. He glances to Ygraine, then back to Brynn, "Some guy brought me to Uncle Flint, but I don't think he was really happy to see us." Instead of angry or upset at that, he seems to feel guilty at disturbing the old man's privacy. "He helped pull my arm back into place though."

Ygraine winces sympathetically at Lance - both for the swim and for the elbow-pull. Then she finds a smile for Brynn. It's okay! I don't hate you any more than I did before, she answers fondly. Honestly. I understand talking in what you're most comfortable with. I can leave you two alone, if you want. But anything you can tell us might help. Maybe you're… Her signing trails off, a frustrated frown creasing her brow as she hits a gap in her vocabulary. Maybe you got spread out. Around a middle place. Maybe in a line. We might be able to work something out. If we're lucky.

She doesn't really remember Flint Deckard except as a face among the adults. She never interacted with him…. or if she did, she doesn't remember it right now. He's not exactly social. Brynn winces visibly and holds up her right hand, the thumb swollen but at least moveable. It's not impeding her signing much, even if it's stiff and sore. I got off with a dislocated thumb and internal bruises. She bites her lip and adds, Two landing points, miles apart? That's… that's not what Eimi's ability usually does. It's line of sight, I thought. I think she really puled deep, Lance — I'm scared she and Joe might be even worse off than us.

"I know. I think it was— I think she panicked," Lance rubs a hand at his eyes to scatter the tears, "It was— I don't know how that monster was there, mo— Gillian told us it was dead." He, of course, still thinks everyone saw what he saw. "I really thought you were all dead, Brynn."

I don't know who he was — I couldn't see him, Brynn replied immediately. He kept jumping from shadow to shadow, and I think… I think what he did was basically scare those people to death, she admits. I think he's watching us now. Cuz… we escaped. It's the most she's said about what happened to anyone since Ygraine found her yesterday. She reaches out to help him brush tears off his cheeks. The monster is dead. Gillian promised and mom doesn't lie. It's a measure of how shaken they both are that they're slipping into calling Gillian that — they haven't in a long time, despite perhaps still thinking of her that way.

Ygraine watches and listens intently, frowning a little again. She nods pensively. Panic for Eimi fits with what Brynn told us. But… monster? She looks to Brynn for clarification. You said… afraid. Again, her vocabulary falters, to her evident frustration. The monster is not the man who makes fear? The monster is definitely dead? But the man who makes fear might be watching?

Lance's brow furrows a little, "Wait, scare those people… what is it that you saw?" He looks to Ygraine, then back to Brynn, "It was— it was that shadow monster, I don't think you were there. It froze everything. It killed— a bunch of Brian, and one of Gillian, when she had his power for awhile. She got us all out, but…"

Brynn hiccups, a distinct sign of distress with her — it means she's holding her breath, trying not to cry. And so she tries to breathe a little more steadily so she can maybe make sense for them. All I saw was the shadowman hopping from shadow to shadow. I don't know what Joe saw, but I saw him dive sideways before it got dark. And then you were chasing something else. I assume you were all giving verbal instructions, but…. She's useless in the dark. I think whoever it is… .slammed the door so they could scare the crap out of us. Maybe…. I don't know. But you saw them on the floor — they weren't fighting, they were holding each other. And that agrokinetic just sort of blurted his power, same as Eimi did, didn't he? Like a panic reaction? And I still… feel like he's following me. Watching. My neck keeps prickling. She is very certain of that feeling and the sense of dread and fear that accompanies it.

Ygraine reaches over, briefly forsaking signing in favour of delivering a squeeze to Brynn's shoulder. I will help if I can, she delivers as an open-ended promise… though she follows it with a glance to Lance, in hope that he can provide a little more information on what he experienced during the incident in question.

"Afraid…" Lance reaches out, fingers closing over Brynn's own hand in a warm squeeze— just for a moment, he doesn't want to stop her from signing— and then it drops, "Yeah. I've— I've been dreaming about it. Maybe we should ask Gillian for help…?"

Brynn nods immediately. Me too. What little sleeping I do, I'm dreaming about it. Still scared, she admits. Her hands wrap around Lance's hand, gripping hard. The boys are, in a great many ways, the only foundation that Brynn has — and she's grateful beyond belief that at least one of them is okay. When he lets go, she signs, I don't know if she can help, but maybe?

Ygraine worriedly studies both of them… then nods. If you think she can help, then yes. Ask her. At worst, she'll say she can't. I'll keep looking as well. Help you however you want. But I can't promise what results I'll bring.

It's at that moment that Ygraine's phone vibrates with a call from Caspian — he is on his way to Elmhurst, Joe has been located — no one knew who to contact for him until he woke up and was coherent. The news is greeted with relief from the three at the clinic and they set about getting Lance checked out of the place so they can all get back to Caspian's apartment. It's a much shorter check-out process than at Elmhurst. Joe has a bill the size of a mountain — one that Caspian once again trashes on the way out the door.

Lance and Brynn are both ensconced on opposite ends of Caspian's couch when Cas rolls in with the third member of their little family. Brynn's relief is silent but absolutely clear in her face. She lets Lance make the verbal greetings, though, sharing a happy grin with Ygraine and Cas!

Lance is still looking a bit pale, and there's a sling keeping his arm folded across his chest as he relaxes there on the couch, head raising as the others enter and a faint smile on his lips. "Joe! Thank fuckin' God, I was worried," he shifts, sitting up, "Are you— are you okay, were you hurt…? I thought you'd all drowned— "

See Joe had to undergo surgery. And negation to get fixed up. They had to negate him just so they could cut him open and get inside him to fix the internal bleeding. Which by the time he got back to the wall had done a fair bit of damage. So yeah, he's got a very hefty bill that he has no idea how he's going to pay. But hey he's alive at least. He doesn't walk in the door, no he shuffles in the door, taking it slow, wincing in pain with pretty much every step despite the pain killers they gave him a small bottle of. His steps carry him inside far enough to slump back against the wall for a few moments and breathe heavily. A hand is lifted, waving weakly in Lance's direction before he pushes off the wall, using Caspian for support as he makes his way, slowly across the floor to the couch, where he promptly sinks down into it and lets his head flop over backwards. "Drowning would have been better. I Mean not the dead part but… ugh."

We're still trying to find Eimi. Ygraine accompanies her signing with words, offering the youngsters and Caspain a rueful smile. There's a SESA agent helping. We'll keep looking. And it sounds like there's a lot to find out about what you ran into before you got spread out across the city. But since you three are all alive, it seems likely Eimi's in one piece, too.

Now that all three are safely tucked onto the couch with their injuries — Brynn moved immediately to allow Joe to stretch out more fully — she wraps her arms gently but tightly around Joe once he's sitting there. They all look pretty damn battered, but now that they are together, she seems a little less tense. She's still worried for Eimi, of course, but … these are her family. It's a little different.

How far away did you get dropped? Maybe with three points on a line they can now actually make some guess as to where Eimi ended up, after all.

In her relief, she reverts to Cant once more, if only because it's so much more shorthand than ASL. I'm so glad you're both all right. Jesus, how bad are you hurt, Joe? What happened? Lance and I both… saw something. In the room. Before Eimi panicked. Then she realizes what she's done and signs the questions again in ASL so that Caspian and Ygraine might follow at least some of them. Although she's pretty sure they're all going to be asking the same stuff. Because any of it might help locate Eimi. Plus…. if they are being followed, they need to be alert.

Bringing up the rear is Caspian, parking his van, locking it up, and helping Joe up the stairs. there was food in the van, too - a jar of peanut butter and a spoon which, more than likely was forgone during the whole trip. "Don't worry about translating, guys. Catch up. I'll start dinner. just throw a little English in there sometime so I can keep up a little."

"I can't sign right now anyway," Lance admits over in Caspian's direction; the fact that one of his arms is currently useless is, in this context, incredibly frustrating to him to say the least. He struggles to sit up more, reaching out to rest a hand on Joe's shoulder reassuringly. "How bad— " A look to Brynn, then back, and he switches gears, "Maybe now you'll stop insisting you're invulnerable! I kept telling you you were gonna get yourself hurt! I thought you were all dead, I landed in the water and then when I got to shore none of you were there— "

Ygraine fishes out a printed map and a pencil, moving to present them to the trio on the couch. I've marked the gate we found Brynn at. And as best I can, where I think she appeared. If you guys can add anything more, it could help. Where you appeared. Where you were before. Anything else. I'm really glad we've got three of you safe. I want to find the fourth, and figure out what it was that set all this off.

Joe doesn't complain about getting hugs. Does it cause him some pain? Sure. Tension in his face shows that, but there's no complaint. He lifts his arms and wraps them back around Brynn in return, hugging her tight for a few seconds before he lets them drift back down, one draping against her shoulders, the other reaching out to Lance. I got dropped in the Bronx. I… I'm not sure how far. I could find the place again I think though. His movements are slow, tired, and also a bit clumsy from the pain killers, but his hands move through the ASL. He lets out a long sigh and tilts his head back again, staring up at the ceiling. I had some internal damage. I think… I think that was from Eimi actually. Where is she? She okay? He asks, looking around the room at the various people around them. Only then seeming to register what Ygraine signed earlier. She's still missing??? He signs in alarm, but doesn't try to move off the couch. He knows when he's beat. And right now he's beat. They had to negate me to fix me up. Do you know how much they charge for negation gas? Good god. He sighs again and flops his head back once more. "Nah. Pretty sure the damage was from Eimi. Not any damage that… whatever it was did." Joe's hands move, signing it as well for Brynn's benefit. "I missed you too bro." Joe tries to lean in and pull Lance to him at the same time for a hug. Group LHK hug.

Coffee - real stuff - is being made in the small galley kitchen, caspian leaning over to look at the gathered trio from time to time, emerging after a little while with a luxury - canned pineapple on a plate. "My contacts really…yeah. Eimi we have no idea on. We'll probably need to look at the places you went and the place that you all left /from/ to see if there's any link between it all. And hopefully we can get an idea on Eimi's location once we have the information on your locations." He sits down in the chair closest to the LHK huddle and watches, smiling a little. "It's good to at least have you three back together. Brynn was worried sick."

The combination of verbal and signed explanations is pretty typical of Joe — with Lance not able to sign, she has to watch his mouth more closely and she can't help grinning a little when he hollers about 'invulnerable' at Joe. It's a long-running thing between the two of them. She stays out of that. But she does slip her feet under the edge of Joe's thigh where he's sitting — it's her way of keeping physical contact while still being able to see what's being said. They really are, occasionally, kind of like a puppy pile.

I was scared to death, she readily admits. Given how bad it hurt when she pulled us out, I'm pretty sure she's going to be worse off than any of us. Pretty sure the internal injuries — actually all the injuries came from the way she yanked us into the 'port. Her brows furrow together. She takes the page from Ygraine where her own approximate landing position was mapped — though she freely admits that she may well have misjudged the distance. It took way longer to walk it than it really should have, so she's not entirely sure exactly how far around the wall from the gate she was.

But if we were all scattered— Brynn points to the small map and then looks at the distance from there to the river, where Lance says he landed, and then the Bronx in general… Her worried gray eyes go to the boys and then Ygraine and Caspian. Unless she was traveling in a bizarre path, these…. are not on a straight line. Which probably means they have no way to use those spots to track Eimi.

There's no attempt for Lance to resist that hug, leaning in against his bro - and Brynn - as best that he can without aggravating any of their injuries. "Yeah, well, still," he nudges Joe lightly in the ribs, "You're not invulnerable. And— " He chews on his lip a bit, "Okay. I'll see what I can do about pulling in some more money, I don't want you to be in debt like that." He draws in a deep breath, then exhales it, "Something was seriously messing with us. Maybe it was— maybe they were like Aunt Stork?"

It's possible she 'threw' you. That you went one way and she went the other. Ygraine pauses in both her signing and her English translation to sigh, peering dubiously at the map. We can see what we can come up with. It gives us some possibilities to check, and at least confirms the kind of ranges she can achieve. I can't promise this is enough, but it's something. The more we have, the better. The pineapple, she eyes with surprised interest… but refrains from attacking herself. She gets to travel outside the US moderately often, after all. Aunt Stork? Whoever that is, I think that more help is likely to be good. Me… I can try to make some calls right now. Just in case I can turn up anything quickly. But I'll do my best to help beyond that, too. Back soon, I promise. Waving farewell, and shooting them all a worried look, the Briton slips out.

An LHK puppy pile yo. Joe doesn't mind the physical contact. You kind of lose all sense of a personal bubble when you're forced to live 20 kids to a room through a good portion of your childhood. Okay it might not have been 20, but it was a lot. Pretty much all the time really. He tilts his head back and closes his eyes for the moment, signing anything others might say for Brynn's benefit.

I was pretty scared too. But mostly for you guys. Wasn't really worried about me. Figured I'd get back in time. But was super worried about you guys. Was really relieved when I found out you guys were okay. But we need to find Eimi too. She might not be Lighthouse but she's a friend He cracks his eyes open again, looking over at Brynn as she signs. Yeah, but she could have hit a central point or… way overshot. Or undershot. She could even still be down there. I…# He looks down at his stomach 1E90FF|I am not in a condition to go out there yet though.## He doesn't like admitting it, but there it is. We'll figure it out Lance. May have to reach out to Brian for help with it. But we're not gonna do anything… crazy for money. He leans his head over, bonking it against Lance's shoulder, then immediately regrets it, lurching back with a grunt of pain. "Stupid stomach. And yeah, could be something like Aunt Stork." He signs that for Brynn too.

"Just ignore the bills." Caspian says from his spot on the seat. "When you came in, I can almost guarantee they just checked to see if you had any insurance and, when there wasn't any, chalked you up to being too poor to afford the care. So they patched you up as best they could and sent you home - at least that's what they did to Brynn. I do have the letter that said that your bill was being taken care of still. You might want to keep that just in case." Caspian sits back in his chair. "You're not going back there without me, I hope you realize that." he adds softly.

Aunt Stork doesn't broadcast, though, Brynn points out. Clearly whoever this is does. Even huddled up with them, the girl still seems shaken. She has been wary and watchful ever since Caspian picked her up, looking over her shoulder as if she expects someone to be there all the time. Even now, she occasionally scans the room as if expecting something to jump out of a corner. Her neck is prickling… for someone like her, for whom an audio cue of danger is completely lost, those physical hindbrain instincts cannot be taken lightly.

Grateful that Joe's ingrained habit of signing for her is not impeded in the way Lance's is, Brynn's able to follow the conversation. She eyes Caspian, perhaps a little warily but not hostile. She signs, I think when we go back out there, we need to see if Aunt Stork is in town and get her to go. Cuz if it is someone like that — an empath — well…. Aunt Stork is really scary. She kinda looks like Pissed-off Jungle Cat when she goes all TeethFace.

At the mention that they're not going to charge him, Lance shoots a frankly dubious look in Caspian's direction. Negation drugs are expensive, and he doesn't have that much faith in the system. "We'll do some follow up and make sure," he says with a shake of his head, looking back to the other Lighthouse Kids, "Yeah. We need to find Eimi. She disappeared getting us out, we owe her that much…"

He grimaces, "But yeah. We'll try and get in touch with her, I'm sure she can help, if she's willing."

"Uhh I have no clue. But I do worry about the bills. Not the hospital's fault I was dumb and got myself hurt. They shouldn't be stuck with the bill. Even if it is probably overcharged and upjumped." Joe's shoulders lift in a slow shrug, or they start to. He immediatley thinks better of the action and lowers them back down, giving his head a slight shake. "Not going back there without a telepath that can fight back against whatever was being done to us. Maybe an Empath? Not sure. Empath powers are weird sometimes. But yeah, not going back unless we have someone who can psychically fight back. Cuz that was messed up. Even though I know a dog couldn't tear my skin I saw a pack of dogs heading for everyone and threw myself into them and then… they tore into me. I know that can't happen but it did." This is all signed for Brynn. Apparently the drugs don't impact Joe's ability to run his mouth and hands at all. He reaches out a hand, squeezing Lance's shoulder gently, nodding to him.

"Well…if you go, please bring an empath, a lot of lights, and something with gps capability so we can track you in the event you're scattered to the four winds again.". Caspian nods to Joe on the concern on the bill. "trust me, it's not like you intended to go out and get hurt. I'm sure the hospital can handle a little charity, but if you need to earn a little extra, I've got a couple of things you mav be able to do to earn a little extra. once you get some food in you and some rest, and we find Eimi, we'll talk."

Dogs? Is that what he saw? Brynn just sighs softly. Looking between the boys, she signs wearily, Joe saw dogs. ANd they actually BIT him. You saw… the monster. Again. Because she's pretty sure that's what he saw at Yamagato that day too. I saw someone who disappeared into the shadows. Maybe none of those things are true. I'm not sure it even matters in the end. If you guys are planning on going back… well, I think we need to consider what abilities would be of help there before we do. And I'd like to not have bruised kidneys and things like that before we go.

There's a soft sound from Brynn as she shifts herself, a pained sound that she doesn't realize she's made. With her feet still under the side of Joe's leg, she's scooting a little down into the corner of the couch and curling up into a little ball. It is both a defensive posture to make herself as small as possible but also sleep is not exactly peaceful right now. She unconsciously sets herself in such a way as to be able to sleep upright in that corner of the sofa where she can see both boys, where she and Lance flank Joe on the couch because he's even worse off than they are and they can protect him from either side if need be. But the day is clearly catching up to her too — it's not going to be all that long at all before Caspian has an LHK puppy pile asleep on his couch.

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