To Happiness


ff_geneva_icon.gif ff_remi_icon.gif

Scene Title To Happiness
Synopsis Remi has a heart to heart with her newest crew member on the way to the Ark.
Date December 22, 2018

Open Sea

There's lots of water.

The Sayonara is rather different than the Cerberus was. Everything is completely manual, save for the tiny, archaic motor that is rarely used. Fuel is difficult to come by, so the little puttering engine mostly serves to keep the ship moving when there is no wind and the crew is fed up with rowing.

Even so, it’s a fun little boat, which requires a good measure of synchronization when it’s really moving — on some occasions, the crew sits on the side of the boat as the wind carries it along. Also different is the fact that, when the waves get rough, Remi has a policy of having her crew tether themselves to a bar that is mounted below the boom.

For now, however, the winds and water are calm, and all is well; the other crew are busy working on various side jobs, and Jasper is steering. The captain herself is taking a moment, seated at the bow with her feet dangling above the water. The open sea on a calm day is always a relaxing and comforting place for her, and today is no different; the woman watches the water break against the hull, a small smile on her face.

Due to the always-looming influence of the Stormfront, sailors are used to dealing with rainy days more often than not. To have a calm day like this one is a rare pleasure— though in some ways it is almost too much so, with the foreboding knowledge of just where the Sayonara is bound in days hence. A calm before the oncoming storm.

But it is best not to overlook small pleasures where they might appear. Geneva emerges out onto the deck from the direction of the galley, where she had been preparing the midday meal for the crew; one of the proudest contributions that she is able to make, as the teen is actually quite a decent chef. “Lunch below decks, when you’re ready,” she murmurs to several crew members as she passes them, until she comes to where the captain is sitting at the bow.

“Hungry?” she asks Remi as she nears the other woman’s position, offering her one of the two loaded trays that she currently has balanced on her arms. On it is perched a carafe of tea and little plates loaded with hot biscuits, chopped vegetables, and a lobster roll. Gene had had a feeling she would find the captain up here.

The telepath isn’t surprised by Geneva’s arrival — indeed, she seems to be expecting it, already looking at the young woman as she approaches. Though she does give the food a rather appraising look, followed shortly by a smile. “If we make it through to sail on more voyages out here, I might have to steal you from Ben on a more permanant basis,” she remarks, taking the tray with a warm smile.

“It has been a while since we’ve had quality meals cooked on board — I make sure my crew eats healthy, but I was never much of a cook. Never really had to be. Huck normally does the cooking, and even he agrees that your food is much better.” The captain chuckles, lifting a biscuit and taking a bite; she pauses, enjoying the flavor with a soft ‘mm’.. “Normally, we only get quality meals when my dear friend Silas is aboard.”

She turns, patting the deck next to her. “So how do you like the Sayonara?”

As Remi accepts the second tray, Geneva takes the opportunity to re-shift the first so that it is now being held instead of having to be balanced. They had been heavy. “Silas, huh,” she muses aloud when she hears that name. “Think I ran into him ashore awhile back. We got thrown out of a gambling den together.” Technically, every single person in that establishment had been thrown out together. It is a story which she couldn’t recall if she had told the captain yet.

The blonde gratefully welcomes the invitation to sit, gracefully settling down next to the telepath with her tray of food following right after. Her blue eyes survey the seascape of sparkling, sunlit waves as she does so— it is quite a nice view from up here. Though she does not look directly, she can’t help but let a little smile slide onto her face when she receives the compliments regarding her cooking.

“It is different,” she admits, tucking into a first bite of her lobster roll and pausing to talk again once she is finished. “Smaller, obviously. But I like that. It’s not anywhere near as crowded. It’s… easier to think here.” More opportunity to truly feel alone on the waves, in a serene, sweet sort of melancholia.

“Oui,” Remi smiles over to the younger woman, lifting her lobster roll to take a bite. She closes her eyes, making a small, happy sound — she has no problems with the fact that lobsters have thrived in this newly watery world of theirs. Oh yes, she’s keeping this one around if she doesn’t end up in another world at the end of all of this.

“I enjoy the solace much more. My ability makes it much more difficult for me to go into crowded places, because I have to have a low focus on keeping the voices from getting too loud. Imagine being in a very large crowd where most people don’t understand the concept of volume control.” She told Geneva of her ability once they had set sail, since the secret to her ship running so quietly is her bond with her crew. “And your ears, while kind of used to it, are still kind of sensitive.”

That’s one of the great things about the world being so much less populated now — she doesn’t have to deal with crowds as often. “I have to essentially keep my ears plugged when there are too many people around, and it can be a strain after a while. So…the small crew is a definite plus.” She takes another bite of the lobster roll, savoring the taste.

Taking another nibble from her lobster roll as well, Geneva listens to the description of Remi’s ability sympathetically. She simply shakes her head, at the end. “I can’t imagine always having to live like that. I’m not a fan of crowds as it is— and that’s without being trapped listening to all their thoughts. Can you turn it off? Turn it down?” The voices, that is. “If that were me, I don’t think I could stand being around other people at all.”
The girl’s thoughts flow back to when Remi and she had first met, on the floor of that converted market in the Pelago. It is not something she plays up by any means, but neither has she been able to hide that Annette is a topic she thinks about quite often. In a time long ago, she would have taken much more offense to another being able to read her most painful thoughts so easily, but now… she supposes she can’t bring herself to care, really. It’s… a thing that simply is.

Absentmindedly, she reaches over to the opposite corner of the tray, picking up the silver carafe resting there and nodding to the empty cup resting on the captain’s tray. “Tea?”

“I can turn it down,” Remi replies, smiling faintly. “It’s like a volume knob that I have to kind of hold in place. I’ve found ways to keep it from turning back up, but sometimes it slips. It helps if I have a single mind to focus on, especially a calmer mind.” She chuckles, and nods to the question of tea.

“It was difficult when I first manifested. But I wasn’t about to let it stop me from living my life — I worked on it a lot, and got better at using it. It’s like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets.” She chuckles softly. “And it’s not like it’s something I can turn off or forget about — if it’s always going to be there, I may as well use it, oui?”

She takes a bite of the veggies, smiling. “It is awkward when trying to date someone. There’s not really any guessing, you know exactly what they are thinking about — which isn’t always a good thing.”

Geneva obliges, filling up first the captain’s cup and then her own with steaming hot tea before setting the now much-lighter carafe back down, nodding along to Remi’s explanation of this feature of her telepathy. Quite interesting stuff, really.

“Oh, geez, I can imagine how awkward that must be.” She winces appreciatively at the hypothetical, setting her lobster roll down so she can start working away at a piping-hot biscuit. “There are some things I don’t think I’d want to know, about what other people were thinking that is. You have a damn useful ability. But still.” Even with being able to dial it back, it would be like a radio one could never, ever turn off. It is a concept she is still trying to digest as she chews contemplatively — it is strange food for thought.

And, along those lines. After a few more moments pass by, the girl decides to takes this moment to broach a subject change, her brows furrowed mildly. “Captain… I was wondering. Why did you decide to go with the Travelers? As far as I know, you’re not from where they’re going, either.” It still feels so strange, this talk of other worlds and dimensions. It will probably never feel fully real to her.

“I had to leave more than my share of dates back before the water came. It would just get awkward, what was going through their heads.” She laughs softly. “What I wouldn’t give to trade my worries now for the worries I had back then.” Then, Soleil is taking a small sip of her tea, closing her eyes and savoring it for a moment. Warm beverages that actually taste good are few and far between.

The question prompts a thoughtful expression to pass over the captain’s face. For a long moment, she’s quiet, taking a bite of biscuit and chewing on it as she stares at the clouds of the stormfront.

“There are a lot of reasons,” she replies. “Mostly, it’s because of Magnes.” She glances back toward the man, who seems to be having a rather tender moment with Elaine. “He came to me, spoke to me, and he was not only kind, but he was open with me most of all.” She pauses, mulling over her words. “I looked back, saw his journey through different worlds that were different, but also similar. I looked even further back, and saw where he is from. He knew a different version of me.”

She thoughtfully takes another bite of a biscuit, chewing as she turns her gaze back down to the water breaking against the bow. “In another life, I was a prima ballerina instead of an actress. That other me…she had the same ability, but she was so different from me.” She smiles faintly. “It’s funny, because if I hadn’t gotten a part with my first audition, I would have kept up with ballet, and perhaps lived an entirely different life.”

Then, she goes silent again, her expression turning from warmth and fondness to a soft frown. “This world…” She pauses, turning a frown to the stormfront. “I hate it here. This world is dying. The floods took culture away from us — now, instead of going to the movies or reading a book or going to see all of the beauty of this world, we survive. There is still art and culture, but it has taken a backseat to simply staying alive. Our entertainment is watching two people try to knock each other off of a platform and into the water.” It makes sense for a former movie star to be disenchanted by this world, honestly — Remi has done extremely well for herself, but she clearly isn’t happy here.

She takes a breath. “I want to try to follow him. Some of the other travelers have been picked up along the way. Madame Elaine is one of them.” She glances back to the happy couple, a faint smile touching her face. “I want to try and leave — to go to this world he comes from. It sounds as though it has its own issues, but…as far as I know, the water never came.” She sips her tea slowly. “I don’t know if I would be happier there, but this…is not the life for me.” She makes a wide gesture to the open sea.

“The other crew…they do not know yet.” She turns to watch Geneva thoughtfully — perhaps the reason she’s confiding in the younger woman is because she has only known her a short time, and the attachment that the rest of her crew has isn’t there.

For just a moment, Geneva's eyelids close. The worries back then. It has been so long she has had 'normal' problems, she scarcely even knows what that means anymore. Even pre-Flood, she had been consumed for years by the quest of finding her sister — and whether that emotionally wrought journey was preferable to life now, she really didn't know.

Taking hushed little sips of tea as she does, the girl listens soundlessly and attentively to Remi, letting her captain say everything that is on her mind. The comment about lost beauty earns a dark nod, and a quiet stare into the depths of her teacup. "There’s almost nothing left here," Geneva agrees, her tone unintentionally low. "The others… my crewmates on my old ship, The Cerberus. They were all convinced that this is a world fighting for. Worth saving. But, I'm not sure I agree." Did that make her a terrible person? If so, then so be it.

To the teenager, the end of the world had essentially come already. The Sentinel would only be coming to mop up the last traces of life in a barren house.

Briefly, her mien turns thoughtful and musing when Remi mentions her alternate self. "A ballerina, hm? That's quite romantic. I wonder if there's a version of me in that other world, and what she's like." To her, it is an unsettling but curious question. "I suspect I’ll find out, because… well, I want to leave, too. I.. owe it to Annette, and what she did for me, not to die in this watery hellhole."

Her blue-eyed gaze flashes upwards, towards the other woman’s eyes, and there is the rarest indication of a smile. “Maybe we’ll both find happiness there.” A wild dream. But suddenly it does not seem so inconceivable.

“I am a realist,” Remi replies, frowning. “The Sentinel will never stop until either they’re all dead or we’re all dead,” she says, staring off at the neverending expanse of sea. “And either way, there will be many casualties on the winning side. Call me a coward, but I would much prefer to get away from the disaster of our world if I can.” She glances toward Geneva thoughtfully.

“I will do my best to get the two of us there,” she adds, reaching out suddenly and placing her hand on the back of Geneva’s, squeezing it once. “If happiness can be found there, I’m sure you and I can accomplish it.” She nods slowly, releasing the girl’s hand.

“Even if it’s a wild dream, I’d rather die chasing that than trying to preserve a world that’s going to die no matter what.” The captain of the Sayonara smiles softly, taking another bite of the lobster roll.

“That’s the way I see it, too. There are only blood and tears to be had from something like this.” And this world has already seen enough of both to last many lifetimes. Geneva’s gaze is even more distant than usual, resting for a moment across the endless blue depths of ocean. Thus, the feeling of Remi’s hand on her own startles her for more than one reason— but she accepts it just as quickly. The pale-haired girl finds herself smiling back in response, a genuine expression that lights up her usually-sad eyes.

“Thank you. I’ll try my best, too. It’s good to have found this ship.” Though all they have available on hand are teacups, Geneva raises her now half-empty one into the air a mock-toast.

“…To happiness.”

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