Violent Separation


tibby2_icon.gif caspian_icon.gif

Scene Title Violent Separation
Synopsis An escape from LA that doesn't go as planned.
Date March 29, 2012

Los Angeles Markets

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Los Angeles, California.

The Coup that overthrew the government happened at the beginning of 2012. Exactly when, no one was sure. With the unrest caused by the explosion in New York, news, when it came, was disjointed and confusing, with biases strong and disinformation common. It was hard to believe anything you saw on TV - with the bias that the government started to exhibit against the evolved, news that came out spoke glowingly of what was going on, how the government was putting down unrest in various places, and news of battles or conflicts were usually relegated to the bumper at the end of news broadcasts or not at all. Historians would compare this to the news blackout at the start of the vietnam war, when everything was going glowingly, and the true horror was left to be written about in letters home.

It was infuriating, not knowing anything, but at least Tibby and Cas had each other.

That’s what kept Caspian going, really. The fact that Tibby was with him and that she trusted him completely, just has she trusted him. Evenings were spent on the boat out in the bay, avoiding other craft while fish hooks and nets were put into play to haul in a catch. More than they needed, mostly to put food in their bellies, but also to trade for things that couldn’t be found on store shelves anymore. With the growing unrest, shipments of crude oil hitting the california refineries stopped coming, or dropped to a trickle. This had the effect of tripling gasoline prices, which meant trucks with food couldn’t run, which meant food was starting to become an issue in affluent California.

The wealthy who could leave, did, their homes raided for anything of value almost to the hour of them evacuating on the few flights that made it out of LAX daily, and that was before the closing of air space entirely by the US Government. It was odd, not hearing planes taking off or landing, or seeing the sky clear, no blinking lights of circling airliners as they waited for permission to land. The city was eerily silent.

Tibby’s boat was their salvation. The long sailboat could get out to the fishing grounds without the use of its motor, and the size of it meant that they could stay out for the entire evening, hauling in their catches, before heading in to sell their stock at the impromptu fish markets the next morning, trading for what they needed, and getting back out on the water to do it all again. It was a hard life, but compared to some, Tibby and Caspian had it relatively easy.

And now, on the morning of March 29th….things were about to change drastically.

There's a yawn that escapes the woman as she comes to from below deck to grin around her. It's a good day, the catch will be a nice one. Oya would be pleased. Caspian will be fed as well. Things couldn't be brighter. There's a whistle as Oya slinks up to the deck and curls around herself on the padded bench.

Her eyes dance in the light of the sun as she takes a breath and spreads her arms, it's shorts still and a long shirt today almost covering her like a dress. She is weary of things like this, the war. The fighting, the food shortage. But today she wanted to relax in the morning before getting to work.

Her bleached blonde hair is messy as bedhair and she chiefs on the joint with a wide grin. She's waiting for her dude. Her man. Come on up. She calls for him mentally, wishing she was a telepath outright. How fun would that be? Like her cousin.

The hooks and nets have been out all night, the boat bobbing on the bay like a cork, gently caressed by the waves as the tide goes in and out, held by the slim, strong chain of the anchor dropped to the sea floor. A few minutes after Tibby makes her way to the decks, the sound of Caspian stirring below can be heard and, a little bit after a yawn that gets Oya’s attention sounds from below decks, Caspian pokes his head up from below and pulls himself to the top deck, dressed in a pair of light pajama pants, without a shirt.

Out here on the water, safety and security are provided by the expanse of water and a hyper-sensitive cat that will alert the people that she hangs out with if something is getting close, feels wrong, or just smells wrong. Their very own golden burglar alarm. “Morning.” Caspian rubs his eyes and stretches, his neck popping a little as he turns it, muscles playing beneath tanned skin. Life on the water has been good for the boy, despite the chaos on shore. He reaches over to ‘borrow’ the joint, some of Tibby’s stash that somehow never seems to empty fully, and takes a few puffs, holding it and handing it back before blowing out a cloud of smoke. He scans the water around them for a second, nodding to himself. “Hooks seem to have things on them, and the nets need to be thrown out and pulled in for the day’s catch.” He walks over to give the smaller woman a tight hug from behind, leaning over her to give her a kiss from above, his brown hair long and shaggy, since he hadn’t had a haircut in a while.

There's a light shrug at the detailing of the work that needs to be done. “It can wait one second,” she says softly as she takes the joint with one hand and uses the other to rub at his arm in his embrace, she grins as she takes another puff and then another. “It's a nice morning, breathe it in with me.”

Tibby’s green eyes close as she sways to the gentle rocking of the boat. Her blonde locks shifting in the wind. She hums softly, the tone vibrating into Caspian’s chest. She strokes his arm absently as she puffs on the joint. Enjoying the moment with him.

“You only snored just a little.” She teases.

Oya is napping again, not ready to tackle the days chores. The feline is waiting though, she knows the catch is coming. She always gets to swipe a few.

“I was /tired/. Besides, you slept sideways in the bunk again, curled around yourself. I had to sleep in a half moon shape. Big spoon to the rescue.” Caspian playfully laments, resting his chin on the top of tibby’s head, squeezing his arms around her tightly, lifting her off the deck for a second before setting her back down gently. The market he normally went to was behind a forming battle line, and the last thing he wanted to explain was why he was trading fish for gasoline. That meant he had to go further north, to the markets north of Compton. And that was before keeping Tibby entertained for the evening. Caspian chuckles and reaches down to borrow her joint, taking a few puffs, holding it in the corner of his mouth for a second as he breathes in the fresh scent of sea surrounding them, holding it out for her to take when she’s good and ready.

“We should be able to leave tonight. It’s getting tough on land.”

There's a chuckle at his words and she nudges him with her hip as she spins out of her grasp nabbing the joint back as she does with a wild smile. “Come on lazybones, it's work time,” clearly teasing because she made them stop from starting right away.

“It is,” she calls over her shoulder as she comes to the nab joint in her mouth between pressed together lips. Working on the nets before taking a free hand and taking the joint away to blow out the smoke. “We should move fast actually yea? Do wanna get stuck in the shit.” The shit being the mess that is now land.

“I think it's time babe.”

She begins to work at the nets with Caspian, her mood content as she works.

Caspian rolls his eyes with a chuckle as he watches his skatie work. Life on the water has been good for her, too, musculature showing up on that svelte form of hers and a nice tan coming in to boot. He pushes himself to his feet and starts bringing in the lines - multiple deep sea fishing rods lashed to the deck in multiple directions, several of them taut, promising treasures as they’re pulled in. As she brings in the nets, Caspian brings in the poles - glittering fish and shrimp poured into repurposed laundry baskets, larger fish thrown into several coolers full of sea water to keep them wriggling until they reach the shore and the truck that Caspian will trade off for hard currency that’s easily carried for use in Mexico.

They’ve done it. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Months of hard work, avoiding the pirates, avoiding /everything/ that might put them in jeopardy, seems to finally have an end goal. The boat is fully packed with canned goods and trade items, as well as a few guns and several of Tibby’s stashes that were in danger of being overrun or discovered. Each line is drawn in, hooked, and the pole is placed into a container on deck, and when that’s done, he comes over to help with the nets. Many hands make light work, and this is no exception.

“Any requests from the markets? It’ll be the last time we’re here until the war’s over and done with.” Oya is passed a large sea bass to feast upon, grabbing it in her jaws and carrying it to the bow where crunching sounds can be heard after a few moments. Caspian washes his hands off in the ocean water, adding a little of their soap to work up a quick lather before rinsing them off. “Important things are another can of fuel, some bullets for that black gun of yours - the long one that has the big scope on top - and…whatever else I can get for the fish, I guess.” He sits down and just smiles, watching her, the setting sun at his back.

There’s a look of concentration on that tanned face of Tibby’s as she works. Oya is content to feast at the bow of the boat and Tibby sends feelings of comfort and peace through their connection just to make sure she stayed in a good mood after her meal. Being on the water with Cas and Oya has been a dream come true, she can’t believe that in spite of all that’s happened.. They’ve found some peace for themselves. Albeit very short peace.

“Bullets, gas.. Some herbs for sure. I’m looking for something special,” she winks at Caspian though as she doesn’t let him in on that particular secret right now content with just teasing him before hauling up a net with his help. “Ya been okay?”

She’s sort of used to weird ass ways to live. What with smuggling with her father since before she was a proper teen to surviving that stint in Madagascar. “I worry,” a simple truth. She just wants them to get to the market and be done with the day already, they could eat dinner. Curl up together, pretend none of this is happening.

Once the nets are in and the baskets are full of glittering fish, Caspian leans down to pluck a small notebook from the cabin, scribbling down notes on what has been requested. “Just to clarify..” He’s got that teasing tone. “Herbs as in smokable, not herbs as in oregano and rosemary, right? Because both would be nice.” Whatever the answer, he jots down a few other things on his list just to be sure that he’s got a written record of what they need to get. She lets her ask for the more gray area or illegal things - since she has the connections - but he’s often within sight or at least earshot just in case something goes wrong. Tibby’s Bokkie with Forcefields, keeping her safe.

“I’m okay. Little nervous, sometimes, but as long as I’m with you, I’m okay. We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and all that.” He rests a hand on the boat and sits back with a grin, watching her as she puts away the nets. Even with the specter of war looming over them, these past few months have been nice for him. He never thought he’d be living on a boat in the bay, with a girl and a cat, but here he is, and for all the hardships they’ve had, there have been some pretty nice moments, too. Watching late night meteor showers against the backdrop of the Pacific sky was a particularly nice memory. So was sailing out where they couldn’t even see land to be safe from the light and noise of the city. Most days, it was enough just being with each other as they worked to make their daily bread, listening to Tibby’s iPod as it charged with the solar cells scavenged from somewhere.

“How about you? Things okay for you?” He starts to adjust the boom and the mainsail, pulling the anchor up from the depths so they can head in.

“Just dandy babe,” giving him a wink as she works. Oya has went below deck for a nap but Tibby still feels her mind, like she always does. She finds herself daydreaming about Adze, Oya’s lost brother. The thought sobers her, reminding her of the gravity of their situations they are in currently.

“As long as you’re here,” she grabs at his hand as they begin to head inward, “Then I’m good.”

“Thing get rough when governments have full control of their military in a coup.” She's know that from her time back home. The stories, the things she's witnessed. “I'll keep you safe,” a half tease with a wink. They’ll keep each other safe.

He gives Tibby’s hand a squeeze as they head for an out-of-the-way cove, lowering their sails and stowing the masts low as they drift in. This is somewhere they can park the boat without getting seen and, more importantly, can't be gotten to without a lot of effort on the part of the person searching for the boat. Caspian’s forcefields help get them up and down without too much difficulty, and after that, it's a short trip
to the market. “It's not something I ever thought I'd be in the middle of.” He says regarding the coup. “I always thought the US was above that sort of thing but I guess not.” He sounds quite disappointed at that.

The boat stowed and locked, the fish hauled to the shore in four loads - three for Caspian, one for Tibby, and the trek to the market begins. And as they draw close, they stay near each other - the market is getting rough now that things are getting bad, with people becoming a lot tighter than they were before. “I'll keep you safe.” Caspian tells her quietly as they draw close to a vacant stall where they can set up to sell and trade. “Once we have a little capital built up, you can go and get your things and then we can get out of here.”

Their fish actually sells well, with a line already starting to form as they start setting out baskets. Tibby’s the cute salesperson while Caspian is the muscle who hands out the bags with fish and shrimp and takes the money or trade goods. A nice pile starts to form. Not a lot of canned foods, but a few bullets, some cigarettes, and some jewelry. Paper money is mostly worthless now, with barter becoming the name of the game.

It's getting close to the afternoon when they sell completely out. The things they need go into Cas’s pack, the rest into a basket for trade. They set out into the market, to get fuel, bullets, and Tibby’s herbal supplements.

During all of this, the sound of planes can be heard approaching from the north….

As Caspian knows to be observant to the area they are, Tibby isn't worried that much. Oya and a few other felines prowling around are used to have eyes on just about everywhere in the market. As they draw into the place, Tibby relaxes and her gaze gets that lazy hooded look, of someone noted by everyone around her. That served her well while smuggling overseas and it continues to do so.

There are no touches of affection or even a hint from Tibby that Caspian and she are together. Underworld types like to take advantage of that and so the putting on airs of being partners but that's it.. can make some criminal types a little bored. Though a prize such as tiny and exotic as Tibby.. still draws unwanted attention.

She doesn't say much as they work. A faint smile here, a low toned joke placed there. Everyone is happy with their purchases and once they’re finishing up and the sounds of planes draw near, the young woman’s head snaps up and she blinks before casting her thoughts out to the felines around save Oya.

Run, forward!

A mass of cats are leaping and going through the market trying to flee already. “Come on,” She says shortly to Caspian a angry look on her face. Even simple days like this can be interrupted.

Planes are never a good thing. They haven’t been a good thing since the war started and the airport shut down. They’re either dropping aid supplies - which hasn’t happened for about three weeks - or doing a survey of the landscape for some nefarious purpose. Still, Caspian has learned to trust Tibby’s instincts when it comes to things like this. He quickly grabs what’s not been traded away from their stock, shoulders the can of gasoline that they managed to find, and peers out from behind the awning to try and see the planes. Where they are, where they’re coming from….and when the first explosion hits.

The bombing starts north of the marketplace - near the 405 in Long Beach. Massive bombs that shake the ground, softening up targets inland. This is followed by the whistling of artillery from the east, outside the outskirts of the city. Well-placed rounds start to rain down north of the market, obliterating a ‘opposition leadership stronghold,’ which, when looked at later in the war through the lens of clarity, was actually a hospital that took care of evolved patients as well as the community surrounding it.

“Holy shit! It’s moved to a shooting war!” Caspian shields his face, the shockwaves from the explosions, more than a mile away, causing things to flutter and fall off shelves, the sound punching everyone in the chest like a giant’s fist. The crowd, stunned into silence, starts to run as more impacts start to move closer, walking towards the market, like a tide rolling in. “We need to go. Now.” Thanks, captain obvious.

The small woman is already taking off a quick look behind her to Caspian with a nod of her head, they’re in this together. Grabbing onto a pack filled with things she pulls out a pistol of her own. The big guns are on the boat. There's ammo though, and she knows Caspian is proficient in his ability.

A whistle coupled with a mental call summons Oya to her side, with the African golden cat was a large black cat, more fat than muscle but he moved fast zig zagging before coming to be alert at her other side. There's a bare of her teeth as she gives a call to the air and hustles forward, balancing the weight of the pack with her steps.

“We get to the boat, grab the rifles,” rifles “Cast off, we can't take anyone.” That last part is unlike Tibby but she swallows a sob back at that thought. They have a limited window and she can't rely on either of their good hearts to get them out of this. Her father was just as cold, sometimes even leaving Tibby to fend for herself and get back to the ship after a dangerous job gone wrong.

“You think you can shield us?” The felines both draw closer to the woman prowling around her in a tight circle their eyes on the surroundings, obviously stressed by the noise, Tibby stops behind an old tree to face Caspian.

It's a grim statement coming from the small woman, but at this time, it's now or never. Anyone else on the boat would strain their already limited resources past the breaking point, and would definitely cause more problems that could better be avoided. A delay could end up with them stranded, captured, or dead. Caspian’s eyes crinkle, but he nods once. “I know.” That’s all he can say to that harsh statement.

He looks back at the approaching explosions, grits his teeth, and nods. “Yeah, I can. Probably not a direct hit, but enough to keep us from getting filled with shrapnel.” They actually practiced a little to see if they could reach Caspian’s limit - first with bats, then with a small gun, and once with a car - none got through and Caspian was no worse for wear. “Let me take up the rear. Run slow. Stay close.” This is directed to the cats and Tibby. “I'll keep a barrier up between us and the hell behind us.” He draws his pistol, squeezing it like she showed him how, before he pulls her into a tight hug, squeezing her for a few intense seconds. “I love you more than anything. Tibby.” Then, releasing her, he nods. “Let's get to it.”

He holds his left hand behind him, a barrier extending from it, glass-clear and impenetrable, three feet wide, six feet tall at an angle so they can run.

The bombs are getting closer.

The young woman nods her head curtly and gives the felines their command to not wander to far up less they encounter Caspian’s forcefield. The felines tilt their head in answer, tails swishing in time with one another. Tibby cracks her knuckles and then they are embracing fiercely, she closes her eyes breathing in his scent. She’ll always know it, even though she's not a cat.

Looking ahead of her in a crouched she moves forward, pistol held tight in her grip, the veins popping out on her small hand. She runs through the scenarios in her head. “This is fucked babe, filthy doos.” She glares ahead. Stalking forward with her feline companions, ears attentive to sound, trying to discern when and if people draw near. At times she stops for a moment to see through one of the felines, usually Oya, using their enhanced vision to see ahead of them.

Seeing nothing but hearing all the destruction getting closer, Tibby darts forward still staying within range of Caspian.

This is one of those moments that is horrible on so many levels. You can just watch it happen, and as they go, block to block, it's always the same. The panic at the rumbling of explosions, the slow movement away, and the panic as they try to save what they'd gathered before the inevitable hits. He stays low as they move, watching Tibby stalk as she does, his attention sharpened to a razor’s edge, his pistol at the ready as they run.

There’s a whistle overhead as artillery barrages start to walk their way south, 155mm shells thudding from the outskirts of the city, the artillerymen firing for maximum destruction. His grip is tight on his pistol, the barrel training on shapes that move in the shadows of buildings as they run past, slight pressure on the trigger. He doesn't want to shoot anyone, but he will if it's him, Tibby, or them. A few warning shots do flash out from his pistol - too close to be a miss for the people being shot at, but enough to warn them to keep their distance.

It takes an agonizing two hours to go a mile and a half.

They pause behind a truck, peering across the street at the boulevard that leads to the abandoned house that leads to the cove where the boat is. It's so close they can almost taste it.

“We’re almost there.” Caspian says, crouching behind a burning car, next to a retaining wall, the artillery walking even closer, his shield protecting them from the gravel that’s being thrown up by each explosion, the shockwaves flowing around the shield, not causing any harm. Most people are gone, fled to safety or killed in their tracks, with a few seeking shelter, praying that the rain doesn’t choose them to fall on. Indiscriminate shelling and bombing….who would have thought the government would stoop to such a level? Certainly not the residents of California.

He touches Tibby on the shoulder. “Let’s go.”

Oya and the new black cat hurdle the wall, sprinting for the boat Caspian helps the shorter woman over the wall when, suddenly, a whistling sound can be heard coming closer. Incoming.

Without a thought, Caspian /shoves/ Tibby against the retaining wall and his power takes hold. A shield of glass-like force forms around her - surrounding her completely, from head to toe. The world outside is muffled as he presses his hand against the outside of the bubble, his eyes closing as he braces for the inevitable explosion.

When it comes, the world surrounding her is filled with fire.

When it clears, the shield vanishes, letting in dust and smoke.

Nothing can be seen of Caspian, save for his shoe. The man she loves is gone.

She didn't get to say goodbye.

Didn't get to hold him right before.

A choked sob escapes her as she gets up from the ground. Her green eyes wide, ringing in her ears. “Cas! ..Cas!” Tibby looks around wildly as she falls onto his lone shoe.

The felines come too and Tibby starts to weep. “Cas! Where are you?!”

Climbing to her feet she wheels around in a circle, there's a look of fear on her face. This can't be happening. “No no no no,” he was just there.


Her voice is lost in the sound of war happening around her. She will look but she will not find. She will weep but there will be no comforting hand to console her. Her small hands curl around the discarded shoe, pulling it close to her chest.

For now, she's alone.

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