The Well


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Scene Title The Well
Synopsis Eve and Sibyl come face-to-face with Samson's wrath.
Date April 3, 2018

Staten Island Farm Colony

The last few weeks.. months.. have been eventful. And full of danger and death and blood and even a monkey and a python. But there were so many loose ends, strings fraying at the ends and unraveling slowly out of Eve’s fingers. But one of the earliest threads, one that was close to her heart. Was Sibyl. The Elusive Sister Seer, she who is a Smartass.

Eve wronged her by jumping all willy nilly into her mind that one time. Sibyl had been scarce ever since and Eve has been on the move, time traveling and dying and the like. She couldn't pin her to one location long enough to apologize. That's on the agenda today and so she's out on Staten Island. The Greenbelt. Clouds are thick overhead and the ground is wet from an earlier sprinkle of rain, not much sunshine on this afternoon.

She's there in the trees, standing still. Her clothes are dark a muted red sweater dress, black leggings, knee high boots. Her messenger bag is held fast against her body. Peering through the brush towards..


Wild animals know when they’re being followed, and the teen has been a stray long enough to have developed this skill unrelated to her ability — whatever it is — which gives her an edge when it comes to eluding people who might mean her harm the same way a fox knows how to dodge the hunter or his hounds.

For the last few hours, she’s been leading Eve on a leisurely chase through the Greenbelt, beneath decayed, crumbling bridges and over streams that require her use stepping stones to cross.

As foxes are well-aware, crossing water is a great way to throw a dog off their scent, and there are dogs out this way. Whether Eve knows it or not, there are other entities in these woods that are more of a danger to the both of them than they are to each other, the Arrowoods included.

So when she stops at the edge of the old tumbledown Staten Island Farm Colony, it’s a safe assumption that she’s grown tired of this game they’re playing and is ready to talk. Once upon a time, these buildings were a poorhouse erected from brick, and later a hospital repurposed to treat patients with tuberculosis. Now, like most of the island’s craggy, overgrown wilds, it’s abandoned.

A rusted chain link fence creaks in the breeze.

Hyenas love games and though Eve has been the one chasing, a weird smile has crossed her lips on multiple occasions. She tiptoes after the girl, toes pointed. She wished she was a ballerina at this moment but she's not as graceful as that and so there's a bit of a commotion when she almost slips over into the water off the stone. Quickly gathering herself and holding still, her gaze stays on Sibyl’s retreating back.

There is no surprising a fellow Sister Seer, not usually at least. But the game is fun and hopefully a bit of an icebreaker because the conversation would be tense, she could imagine. The young girl had been running from her since February.

“Ah ah.. are you tired? I could have gone a couple more rounds.” The older woman’s face peeks out of the bushes as she steps out into view. Her messenger bag moves slightly, an item or two falling over each other in there. “I've got a gong, you should see it.” Obviously Sibyl was at the auction.

Sibyl looks tired, but her exhaustion appears to be more emotional than it is physical. Being tracked halfway across Staten Island will do that to a person. Her clothes are cleaner than the ones she wore to the Cat’s Cradle on the day she and Eve first met, and fashioned from finer materials: lighter alpaca wool in pale rose pink, black leggings, and leather boots to protect her calves from the tangled underbrush. She turns up the collar of her coat, which is a moody blue with burnished brass buttons.

Her ashy blonde hair is a little more wild and floats around her face as she swings around to face her pursuer.

“I know,” she answers. “I’ve been watching you, too.”

I’m sorry.” Eve spreads her hands and gives Sibyl a look. “I didn't mean.. blah you already know.” Because she does. “Hopping into someone's mind can be the rudest thing. Hopping into someone’s mind like us, one of the most horrible things to do.” Wind tussles her hair today, no sombrero.

“You have seen him then.” A tilt of her head, Sibyl knows. A dragon she had just met not to many days ago. Pale hands grasp the straps of her battered bag closer. Interacting with another sensitive is something that Eve wishes she had growing up with her ability.

Maybe now she can be of some help to this wicked little thing. Tamed? She does look it but Eve can tell, the wildness hiding underneath those blue eyes.

“The Smoke Man?” Sibyl asks, because there are many people Eve could be referring to when she says him. Further clarification may be needed but, “Yes.

She looks past Eve, studying the gaps in the trees and the shadows they contain, half-expecting Samson to make an appearance even though neither of them have spoken his name aloud. When nothing comes, her gaze roams back and settles on the older woman like newly-returned springtime birds are settled in the branches above their heads.

Even on a gray day, the woods are alive with warblers, sparrows, and the occasional blue jay flickering between the fresh leaves in search of berries and lazy insects.

“You should have stayed away from him,” she says. “Now he’s got your scent.”

“I can't stay away from things I should.” It's a quick retort and Eve doesn't need to backup that statement. The noise of the fauna of the Greenbelt is calming for Eve, focusing more on that and Sibyl’s voice than the echoes that pound in her head. They had been louder, weren't they always loud though?

“He would have eventually, I’m close to his son.” There's a small smile and a dip of her head. Sibyl even knows a piece of Gabriel.

“I have an idea on how to deal with the dragon. Texas is far enough that I have time.” Maybe not but she shrugs a shoulder. “Can you see him now? I haven't looked.” Not yet at least. There are so many things on Eve’s mind. This, the first of two visits she must make. Consulting her Sisters. She's never been so bold as to act as if she has all the answers. Just enough, to get by and maybe shake things up. Once or ten times.

“I can, if I look. Work boots caked in mud. Nettle stings, doesn’t hurt. Cleaving through last year’s blackberry bushes. Hunting.” There are wood boards under Sibyl’s feet that groan as she takes a step backwards. “He hasn’t changed shape yet, but you don’t have as much time as you think you do.”

A distant boom of thunder is too far away for Eve to feel it in her bones or the pit of her stomach, where a sound like that might usually resonate. The sky is dark on the horizon where storm clouds stack on top of one another, forming a dense black wall that will sweep across Staten Island in a few hours and saturate everything with still more rain.

“His son,” Sibyl prompts. “Is he like him? A monster?”

“He's always on the hunt it seems. He's desperate to cheat death. I think he thinks he's death.” Eve's tone is quiet as she inches nearer, nowhere within striking distance or grabbing just closer. “But a man is just that.” And Eve was ready for the men to understand that. Thundering booming and dark clouds overhead it's as if Mother Nature was trying to tell her something.

“Once,” She says with a light chuckle. “He was the scariest of them all. Stabbed me right here,” She points to her belly with a look down. “In a dream. We danced in real life.” It's all a dance though, twists and turns.

“Your fake father, why the secret? Your school for girls.. flames all flames. Did you want that to be so?” It's a whisper in a singsong tone, her notes floating over in Sibyl’s direction.

Something shifts in Sibyl’s demeanor at the mention of Epstein. Her face grows stormy like the sky. “You leave him alone,” she warns, and there’s more emotion in her voice than Eve has heard from her before in the waking world; it crackles electric in its intensity, abruptly ragged and sharp. “I needed someone and he was there. He found me and built me a nest high up where nobody else could find me. I was safe there— until I wasn’t. And then you and Delia Ryans came looking.”

She opens her coat, showing Eve the pistol she wears beneath it, tucked into a holster that’s much too large from her skinny frame. “Sometimes things happen that I don’t mean to,” she says. “Like at Saint Margaret’s. I don’t want to hurt you, Miss, but I will if I have to.”

“He's your protector and my druncle, I would never seek to harm him silly.” Eve shakes her head the raven dark strands a nimbus around her face. “He hurt a friend of mine before. But he's seasoned, he deserves to sit back. You,” Eve's eyes wander down to see that pistol in the too big holster for the young lady and her smile widens, “Can protect yourself.”

And Eve admires that.

There's a wave of her hand, “Stop with the hostility. It's much too grey already,” Eve goes to light a spliff from her metallic cigarette case. It takes a few tries because of the wind and Eve has to open her coat to lean inside and light the thing as she does, she reveals her own firearm. A desert eagle strapped inside. The joint is running badly on the side so it won't last long but it can't be helped.

“It was an accident. The dream at least and again. You have been watching me too, you knew we would seek out answers. A child covered in the darkness like you.. well we were worried.” Eve flicks a finger at the joint, ash sprinkling down and then whipping in the wind before it can hit the ground. “And do you understand your gift? What you can do?”

Seeing from the present, to the past to the future was something she was familiar with through others but doing what Sibyl is capable of, that is something new.

Sibyl was right to watch the trees, though. But her instincts were somewhat premature. The cloud of gray, ash-shedding smoke that comes filtering through the treeline is not the precursor to a forest fire. It is instead a roiling carpet of death, churning and undulating in the way that smoke has no real analog to. It is billowing at the same time it is creeping, a charcoal carpet leaving everything in its wake powdery with white-gray ash.

The low, harmonic hum that accompanies the cloud of smoke is a familiar thrum to Eve, one she’d felt not that long ago in the center of her chest. Instead now, she feels it in the air all around her, in the way the trees shake and sway, right up until she turns to see the carpet of shadow encroaching on her amid the morning light. A second later and Eve is struck by a force in her chest, thrown forward toward Sibyl and — unexpectedly — into Sibyl. The two tangle like collapsing marionettes, crashing down on the boards Sibyl had so carefully lured Eve out to. Only under the weight of both their bodies, the boards creak and break.

Sibyl and Eve tumble down into ricky darkness, falling some twenty feet into water below. They land with a splash and a cry, Eve first with Sibyl atop her. Morning light reflects off of the glossy, water-slick walls with their mossy masonry and pitted texture. Broken boards jut up from the ice cold murk along with the shoots of small growths without even springtime buds on them. For a brief moment, both women are under that murky, cold water.

Sibyl is first to the surface, prickling cold stinging her skin as she takes in a shocked breath. Eve is slower to rise, because as she tries to stand all she can feel is the lancing, white-hot ache of a broken leg before she crumples back down into the freezing cold water. Overhead, the well mouth is twenty feet above, with crumbling riverstones laden all the way. Daylight shines through the opening, and for a moment there is nothing but silence.

That did not go quite the way that Sibyl planned it. She ditches the weight of her holster and pistol, shrugging it off her shoulder with some effort. It disappears into the inky black. There’s a temptation to kick off her boots, too, before they can fill with water and pull her down to the bottom of the well with her discarded weapon.

There’s no time.

She latches onto the side of the well, bare hands scrabbling to find a hold. Pieces of loose stone and mineral deposits come off in her fingers, but her small size proves to be advantageous in this particular situation. The structure supports her weight enough for her to heave herself out of the water, and then a quarter of the way back up to where a steel rod juts out of the stonework, giving her something sturdier to clutch at.

She dangles there like a half-drowned kitten, dirty well water sloughing off her hair and clothes as she blearily blinks it out of her eyes, taking a moment to gather her bearings. When she chances a look back over her shoulder at the swirling water below, she sees no sign of Eve at first.

That should be a relief. And it is, in a way.

Still, she bleats.

Surprise is a funny thing. But surprises are also.. what's the word kids? Fun. And the surprise of Sibyl working with a dragon makes Eve giggle, she learned fast. Maybe from the womb. The hyena laugh that escapes the crazy woman is haunting and as they crash into the waters twenty feet below them Eve is cut short as she is submerged under the water. It takes a moment for Eve to try to stand but there's that shooting pain that makes her see stars and her eyes roll with a, “Whoa..” and then there's Sibyl, smartass. Trying to scale the wall. Eve takes a moment to watch her back, she's fast but she's small and Eve is taller and stronger. She winces again as she leans against the wall, gripping with pale fingers. That really.. really hurts. The cold water makes her shiver and her right arm digs into her messenger bag, there's a hiss emitting from the bag a moment later and a white gas rises as Eve pulls a a canister of negation gas from her bag.

Since meeting Samson she had slept with these babies. Liberated from a none the wiser army convoy back during the war. For use in emergencies only, Eve hates being negated but in this instance.. she’ll have to allow it. She coughs as the smoke rises from where she leans on the wall. There's a whistle and then Eve does two things after allowing the gas to collect around her.

She tosses the negation gas up through the air, sending it sailing past Sibyl but it drops again and with a look of horror Eve barely catches it on its way back down. “Arrgghhh!” Another hiss of pain. In that next moment, with a cry Eve is lunging forward and grabbing onto said structure. Her bag of tricks and coat are weighing her down, the coat is lost in seconds, one desert eagle in the water below but her other one still tucked in the bag, it's heavy but she lays that on the structure and tears roll down her face as she struggles upwards barely able to balance on the thing with the canister spewing gas all around her. Through the tears come laughter it’s hoarse and it's barely getting out of the woman. Pushing through the pain. Sibyl dangles not to far from within Eve’s reach and she..

Grabs on tight onto Sibyl’s ankle, pale grey eyes that are red in the corners now stare up cooly at Sibyl. “No.. no.. no.” As Eve drags the girl down with her, falling back into the water.

There isn't much time.

The gas swirls up in choking yellow-white clouds through the cylinder of the well, but a downdraft keeps the gas from ever leaving. It sticks to skin, cloying and greasy, and seems confined within the well’s space, even as the canister hisses and sputters within Eve’s hand. She can feel a downward push of air swirling the gas, keeping it from exiting the well mouth. No one ever comes to look, comes to see what’s down the well. There is just a sudden and horrible noise that accompanies the hissing of the gas.

A scraping sound.

Something heavy being dragged across the ground, toward the well.

At one point, and it must feel like a distant memory by now, Sibyl attempted to shriek out a warning when Eve pulled the pin on the canister containing the negation gas. Now all she can do is cling to the older woman in the water, tears running from the corners of her eyes and gathering in her mouth which gapes soundlessly like asphyxiating fish. Eve sees that the whites of her eyes have gone bloodshot pink as she turns them up toward the well opening above and the gathering storm clouds visible through the mustard yellow haze and blurred vision.

She lets out another feeble-sounding cry, either to appeal to whatever humanity Samson has left, or because she’s abruptly not feeling like herself. There’s a psychic fracture present that wasn’t there before — Eve can sense it even as her own ability ebbs away, but for the teenager the experience is like slowly being cleaved apart.

If the negation gas doesn’t kill her, then being sealed in the well will.

Her feet tread water until they don’t anymore. “Nat-” she manages, barely. Her head lolls against Eve’s shoulder. “Natalie—

Two shivering, frightened animals. A fox and hyena though the hyena’s laugh is subdued and more out of nerves then anything else. Still, Eve cradles Sibyl in her arms. Quite a turn of events if you are counting everything just happened in the last few minutes ago. The cold water has shocked her system into being numb, the echoes and whispers that usually pound in her head have lessened until there's not a peep. She can’t even see that door always open a crack in her mind’s eye.

Trask was someone she always felt uncomfortable around but she is used to it. The connection between herself and the future being cut off. It still, was a rather uncomfortable experience. “Natalie who child?” But Sibyl seemed to be incapacitated by the negation and though Eve wanted to slit her throat she also deep down.. understood Sibyl was scared. Frightened animals can do some fucked up shit, Eve could only think of the wild things she had done before.

She's thinking fast though, eyes scanning the opening of the well, nothing covering it yet. Eve’s bag of tricks sits on the weak structure, the strap around her shoulder still. She leans against the structure with Sibyl in her arms. Pushing the girl over onto the surface, following after with a howl of pain her eyes wide she frantically searches through the bag, the canister of negation gas lying by her side and still spewing the chemical agent, she couldn't see very much at all but the yellow-white smoke. Her mind goes to that vision she had of Sibyl, here in the Greenbelt. This might be a variation.

Inside the bag… two grenades. She notices another gas canister, her desert eagle, Tampons (wet now), baggy of weed, oh there's that little golden bell she carries around. Ammo, a knife, a triangle, one red sock, a coiled up roll of wire, rope (it's not that long). A couple other items at the bottom of the completely soaked bag. She wants to grab for the grenade, she also wants to live. “Do you want the immortality that badly?” She yells up.

The negation gas canister continues to spew yellow gas into the well, the stink of it clings to the back of Eve and Sibyl’s throats even as they feel the sense of nausea and skin irritation associated with the gas. The grinding sound had stopped, but it was hard to tell what caused that.

A moment later there is a tremendous updraft and the gas is sucked out of the well in a cyclone that lifts some water into the air as well. The gas rushes up and dissipates into the sky, turning into a yellow haze in the morning light. Then silence, save for the distant chirping of birds in the trees. Then the crunching of gravel, a clunk of wood, and an old man’s silhouette leaning over the opening of the well.

Samson looks down into the darkness, sunlight reflecting off of the sides of his eyes. How brows furrow, lips twisted into a scowl. He's silent for a long moment, then holds one hand up and the grinding sound continues. A slab of concrete, the old well cover, comes scraping into view as though this were an eclipse, and the aperture of the well was the sun and the well cover the moon.

“Why did you say that name?” Samson asks down, voice dry and cadence hesitant. Eve hasn't ever really heard him affect that tone before. He isn't talking to her. “Straight answer, and maybe I'll let you leave before I close up this mistake.”

“She had your boy,” Sibyl’s small voice croaks from the bottom of the well. The negation gas might be gone, but its effects still linger; nausea crashes over her body in a wave, and she stops to bury her face in Eve’s chest to keep from retching onto her sodden clothes or into the water. Her trembling creates ripples in its surface that spread outward from where Eve has her caught in the protective circle of her arms, keeping her head above it.

She can’t be using her ability to describe what she’s seeing. The greasy chemical that plasters her ashy hair to her cheeks and swells her eyes shut has neutralized her in a way that makes her seem even more fragile than the glass-limbed child she is.

It must be a memory. “Small. Dark eyes, hair. Still dark. Still.” She swallows hard. Focus is impossible under the influence of negation drugs, but she’s trying anyway. “You wanted to help him. Samson. Samson, the cage. Let her out. Please.”

“Oh hello! She sees like me.” If Eve is talking out of turn, she's not aware or to actually see the face of the Dragon is a relief but the way he sounds, Sibyl has struck a nerve. Obviously Samson already knows this. That nausea and skin irritation makes Eve’s body shudder but she aims a look up at Samson with a tilted head before looking over at Sibyl and registering what she is doing, the urge to itch her skin is strong but she's holding Sibyl still and she's not wanting to let the girl fall into the water fully. Eyes wide as Sibyl recounts the memory.

Let her out.

The words ring loudly in Eve’s head and it feels like a roar as she shakes her head and twitches. “Let me out. Let me out. Letmeoutletmeout. Just like..” That dream still locked into her brain ability or not. Those golden eyes.. Eve looks from Samson to Sibyl. She's confused obviously, she doesn't know that's his wife’s name, Natalie.

You know her?” She means the woman with the gold eyes, but they probably won't get that. She shivers again, coughing into the water. Pulling Sibyl tighter to her, the notion to squeeze her until her ribs pop pops into her head but.. she also wants to smooth her hair back from her face.

Eve is just not sure how to feel about her little smartass. But talking means no closing of the well so she's grateful for the seer’s words.

With an unpleasantly abrupt start, Sibyl is torn from Eve’s arms by a telekinetic force, hauling the girl up and out of the well. She spins around as she’s pulled up like an untethered object hurtling through the void of space. Water flies off of her and rains down on Eve as she rises, brought to hover eye level in front of Samson. From here she can smell the stink of sickness and cigarettes on his breath, taste the ashen quality in the air around him.

Samson’s eyes narrowed head tilts to the side, fury and fear rolled into one snarling expression. Two fingers swiftly rise, angled at Sibyl’s brow as she eels a blunt force gently tap the side of her head. Then hesitate. Then relent. Samson exhales a slow, wheezing breath and slings Sibyl aside, sending her tumbling across the nearby grass. He’ll deal with her later.

Turning his attention back to Eve, Samson looks down into the watery darkness. “If my boy cares about you so much,” he growls into the echoing depths of the well. “He’ll come rescue you.” The grinding sound commences again, against Eve’s protests, against Sibyl’s, until the well cover is gulls over the opening and has blocked out all light except a thin, incandescent ring around the edges. Trapped in a watery eclipse, Eve can still hear Samson’s voice — muffled as it is.

“But I wouldn't count on it,” is his parting advice. “We Grays are known for disappointing others.”

And then…

…she is alone.

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