Walking Dead


remi3_icon.gif barney_icon.gif seren_icon.gif

Scene Title Walking Dead
Synopsis While out touring the Safe Zone with Seren, Barney sees a familiar face that he probably shouldn't be seeing.
Date February 26, 2019

Memorial Wall

The memorial wall is a four-hundred-foot long span of boardwalk following the pylons of a taller pier set along the coast of Ferrymen's bay at the end of W 18th Road off of Cross Bay Blvd. The makeshift wall, once used for community notices, covers this span and is adorned with thousands of photographs, keepsakes, and other memorial items. Candles, flowers, and notes are often left at the base of the wall.

It’s been a real trip, walking around New York City on the actual ground. In her world, this was all underwater, and the dubious skeletons of buildings served as the main source of solid ground — the land had to be sailed to, and wasn’t exactly safe or habitable. She hasn’t been able to tour Manhattan and Central Park, where she had an apartment at one point, but that’s quite alright — it’s been amazing to even see the still rather ruinous remains of the city she once lived in.

Today, Remi’s explorations have brought her to Ferryman’s Bay, and the wall filled with memories of lives claimed by the civil war that she was never there for. Her coat, a nice luxurious wool thing that she would never have dreamed to wear back in her home world for fear of becoming waterlogged and cold, is pulled around her snugly, a soft scarf wrapped around her neck, and soft jeans and high heeled boots cover her bottom half — things she could never really enjoy (let alone find) for many years before now.

She stands at the edge of the pier with her hands shoved deep into her pockets, looking out over the water with a rather wistful expression on her face. It’s such a sharp contrast to what she’s been used to for so long, imperfect and derelict, but still, so much better than she could have ever imagined.

In order to know the way forward, it's best to know where everyone's already been. It's with that philosophy Seren asked to be shown around town to see places most impacted by the war.

Seeing what's been left behind — the mementos, photos, flowers — it's a solemn experience but a necessary one to better empathize with the scale of what happened to the country they are just getting to know.

"Thanks for this, Barney," Seren says while they walk next to the larger, red-haired man. "I don't think I ever understood the scope…" The rest of the statement trails off as they look down the boardwalk, where even today, years after the riots and the war, people still gather to either observe. Either to remember, or look for familiar faces among the memorial for the lost. Baird is settled on their shoulder and back, a small but fantastic four-legged winged creature with the face of a northern white-faced owl. It nibbles at their ear with its practically hidden beak, trying to elicit a reaction from the young person, but they're deeply engrossed with taking in the memorial wall.

Barney has changed out of his normal Raytech suit today. He's in jeans and a simple black polo with a jacket on over it, so a lot less formal as he shows Seren around some of the sights. "Nor did I if I am being honest. During the war I worked relief efforts. Bandages, food, clothing anything really. Anything that could help. We brought it into warzones even. So I knew things were bad. But when I arrived here the devastation of this city was shocking." He pauses at one of the memorials, the faces of a number of missing children on photos. He bends down and brushes a little dirt and dust away from the memorial, cleaning it up a little bit. When he straightens it's with a sad sort of smile and a gentle sigh.

"A great deal was lost. But we are strong, and we push for…war….d." Barney trails off as he spots a figure nearby. His brows furrow for a few seconds, and then his eyes widen, slowly but steadily, and his skin drains of color, going deathly pale as he stares at that figure. "That's not… there's… Miss Remi?" He asks of the empty air since he's probably not close enough for her to hear him. If she looks his way there won't be any mistaking the wide-eyed stare that is directed her way. His lips continue to move but no sound emerges, just that utterly confused look plastered on his face.

It’s rather fortunate that Remi can’t hear him call her name, because, deep in her thoughts as she is, she probably would give it away right off the bat by turning toward Barney. As it stands, she stares out over the water for a moment longer, before turning toward the wall — and her eyes land upon the shocked face of Barney. It’s enough to cause her to stop in her tracks, briefly glancing about to see if he’s looking at someone else.

The SESA agents told her that she should avoid people who used to know her, but part of her feels it might be a little too obvious for her to just turn tail and run away from the large bearded man. So instead, she shrugs and rather pointedly turns her gaze toward the wall that is covered in pictures and writings and the like, clearing the distance with a few clicks of her heels on the wooden pier.

She would probably have succeeded in nonchalantly pretending not to notice Barney and the fact that he looks like he’s seeing a ghost — he probably is, as far as he knows. However, she then notices his companion — or rather, the four-legged winged creature with the owl face. If Barney didn’t get a good look at her face before, he’s definitely getting one now when the woman turns to stare incredulously at the unnatural creature.

"Hm?" Seren looks away from the boards and the postings on them as Barney trails off, wondering what the matter could be. It's Baird who spots Remi first, owlish eyes blinking in her direction. Owlish, because it's not an owl. Owls don't have four legs, and certainly don't have paws. It chitters with interest and draws Seren's attention over as well.

"Oh. Remi? Is that a friend of yours?" they ask with a hint of a smile. "Who you've not seen in a long time…" is added as a guess, seeing as how Barney looks so perplexed.

They're at a place of memorials and reunions. Who knew they'd find a reunion of their own here.

So naturally, Seren's smile only grows and they wave at Remi when she turns back, even if the woman's wearing a similarly surprised look. It should only make sense — Barney was just as shocked to see her!

Barney stands stock still for a good few moments, just staring at Remi. "She… is dead." Barney finishes softly and simply. The big ginger's features remain confused, but the color starts to return to his face, well a little anyway. He's still rather pale as he walks forwards, his steps slow but purposeful in guiding him in Remi's direction.

"Miss Remi worked for Raytech. She was killed. Horribly. We had a memorial… her husband was working with me on the hydroponics project. Mister Jaiden. It… that can't be her, but it most certainly is." Barney's steps carry him onwards, drawing to within a half dozen paces of Remi.

"Miss Remi. How is this… possible?" He asks without preamble, because well Remi knew who he was and Barney isn't privy to the whole world hopping bit. He’s definitely spooked, but also very very curious, and very befuddled at her being there. Alive.

"This is two ghosts I've seen in the last week. First Miss Elisabeth returns from the dead and now… Miss Remi?" He asks it as much as says it, the confusion still written across his earnest features. He really doesn't understand, even though he knows what kind of crazy science stuff Richard gets up to.

The shock of the four-legged creature throws Remi off-guard, and when Barney calls out for her, her gaze snaps to him, eyes widening slightly. There’s no recognition in her eyes — thankfully, she didn’t know another version of him in her own world. But she seems to respond to that name.

At least, for a moment. Then, she blinks a few times, shaking her head once as if to clear the cobwebs, and smiles faintly to Barney. When she answers, it may not seem strange to Seren — they have never met the woman that Barney knew. But to Barney? Her accent likely sounds a bit strange, coming from her, an American accent — Northern California, to be precise.

“Oh dude, I’m sorry. You’ve got the wrong person!” She smiles a bright smile, a fresh-ish scar barely visible on her upper lip beneath a veil of makeup. “I get that all the time — especially since I came here!” She laughs softly, one hand lifting up to rub at the back of her hair. “Everyone tells me I look like a dead ringer for Soleil Davignon.”

She turns a little further, gaining a bit more confidence in her character as she glances Barney up and down with an appraising look — one he is likely quite familiar with. “My name is Amelie — I used to be a celebrity impersonator, and now I’m here trying to open up a theater.” She flashes a bright white smile — everything is the same as Remi, even her smile.

"Oh…" Seren's expression is tinged with sorrow as they reach out and place a hand on their coworker's shoulder. "Barney, I'm sorry." It's awful that they look so similar to cause such a strong reaction like that. Though, now that they look back to Remi and really consider her, she does look like … well, herself.

"You must've been really good at your past job." The one where she pretended to be the dead actress. "You really do look a lot like her." Not that admitting as much helps the situation at all. A series of chirps rumbles from Baird's breast as it tries to impart either something soothing or something distracting on him to help him get back to the moment.

"We're with Raytech," Seren explains like that should be enough reason why Barney's had such a look come over him. "Everyone there knew Ms. Davignon really well."

Barney sees the widened eyes though, and he notes the lack of recognition in them. He's not sure how she couldn't recognize him, but she doesn't, and that only draws the big ginger's brows together in confusion and the dawnings of suspicion. Barney is not normally a suspicious person. But well the dead are returning to life already and even someone as willing and ready to believe people as he is is going to get a little suspicious.

"You may not be her, but you have her face. And not a look alike. You have her exact face. So either you are her, or you have somehow copied her face. I am not sure which situation I would rather it be. But I worked with Miss Remi. Maybe not closely but I know her face." Barney intones in a solemn voice.

"That smile, the way you look at the world around you. That is entirely Miss Remi. Not learned mannerisms. Who are you?" Barney asks again, his tone confused not angry. He's not upset, he's confused and bewildered and befuddled. His features all scrunched up.

"Is it tangible?" He turns and asks of Seren, a glance to the creature on her shoulder. Barney wants to pet the little monster. He's not sure if it was trying to comfort him with soothing noises or just the general situation, but it deserves pettings for being a good… mythical thing.

Blinking those blue eyes as Seren offers her explanation, the telepath who currently doesn’t have her own ability dips her head. “Oh man,” she replies, still using that California accent. “I’m so sorry — it can’t be easy seeing me after what happened.” Concern creases her brow as she speaks, the actress pushing her acting skills as much as she can to deliver a convincing performance.

Then, Barney points out that he doesn’t believe her, and for just a second her act drops, and genuine sorrow paints over her features very briefly. She knows what happened to the other her — she saw it from her other self’s eyes. To herself, she quietly wishes that she could tell him the truth, that she could give him some small comfort in his apparent grief.

But then, the act is brought back up. SESA made it very clear that she couldn’t use her own name — couldn’t tell anyone not already in the know that she is who she is. “My name is Amelie,” she repeats herself, though she sounds a bit less convinced of the truth of her words. “I’m from Bodega Bay in California, and I worked in Kansas City as a celebrity impersonator.”

This is harder than she thought it would be; blue eyes turn to the distraction that is Baird, and she smiles again. “That is a fantastic creature you have there. Did — did you create him with your ability?” She assumes it’s an ability — it couldn’t not be. Hopefully, Baird will provide a good distraction.

Barney's insistence on Remi's — Amelie's identity is nothing Seren can solve. Thankfully, though, Baird appears to pull him out of it. They smile. "If you're gentle with him, yeah." The creature's owlish eyes blink as it squares up on its perch, reaching out with a swipe of its paw before it settles back down, its head starting to tilt with interest.

Amelie's remark on Baird brings color to Seren's cheeks, and the creature's white and grey form shimmers with a splash of straw yellow that colors its whole form. "I — thank you," they stammer in reply to the strong compliment, taken off guard by it. Their smile resumes, sheepish but warm. "Baird and I are good friends, he's been around as long as I can remember."

They lift a hand, opening their palm and looking down at it. "My ability lets me make lots of things. Anything I can imagine." They seem to consider a demonstration, but their palm closes again quickly and they return their attention to Barney and Amelie.

Barney stands there for a handful of seconds, watching Remi. He knows it's Remi. He is positive of that fact. There are some differences, like that scar on her lip. But he knows who is standing in front of him. He reaches a hand up gently to pet Baird's head lightly before he remarks softly to Seren. "I'll be back at the wall over there." There's another look at Remi before Barney turns and walks away, heading over to the wall a short distance away. He can keep the pair in sight, not that Seren needs watching over, but it's far enough for him to have his privacy. He is clearly not convinced of Remi's statement that she is not in fact Remi. And that's his solution. Rather than cause conflict or make a scene he simply steps away, excusing himself from the situation.

“Amelie” absorbs her attention in Baird, her expression turning to one of almost childlike amazement when the creature shimmers to a yellow tone. “That’s amazing,” she replies, smiling and reaching up to offer the back of her hand, in case the rather spectacular creature wants to smell her hand before she can pet it.

However, when Barney steps away, her face goes from delight to one of sorrow. She watches after him with a sad look on her face — she wishes she could tell him everything, but SESA said she shouldn’t.

“I…I’m sorry I upset your friend,” she asides to Seren, turning to look at them with a small frown. “I…all I am at liberty to tell him right now, to make him feel better, is that he should talk to Richard Ray about the fact that he saw me.” Maybe Richard will ignore SESA’s desire for silence and tell Barney what’s really going on — she doesn’t want to get put in jail in this new world that she worked so hard to reach, just so she can comfort someone who she probably should have ran from in the first place.

The owl-faced creature certainly doesn't smell the offered hand, but does lean its head in. Its beak hidden in the beard of feathers on its face seems to nip lightly at her fingers. Seren only shakes their head, looking over to Barney with a furrowed brow. "Yeah…" they say quietly, if noncommittally. Will that make Barney feel better or worse to tell him to talk to Richard Ray about it? Seren had never seen Barney like this!

"Maybe it's just the scenery. You know … the wall, memories of the lost, and so on. It's already all a bit heavy and emotional." Barney's state certainly isn't being brushed off, but maybe that's why his reaction is so profound. Seren's brow pops as they wonder, "Maybe it'll be better if we swing by somewhere that'll brighten his mood. Red Hook's a bit out of the way, but…" They hmm while they think on it, gears turning.

Amelie can hear it, like the inside of a giant clock tower, or like the tumblers of a particularly large lock. It lasts only a few moments before there's an audible 'click' as an idea falls into place.

Seren grins warmly at whatever idea they've just had, looking back to Amelie with a short tip of their head. "Enjoy the city, Ms. Amelie. I hope you find what you're looking for here and find a happier place to be, after."

The sound prompts the woman to blink a few times, glancing about with a confused look on her face — when she determines it must be from Seren, turning to look at them with raised brows. “Your ability doesn’t cease to impress.” She smiles brightly, dipping her head toward the other. “I wish I could do something like that!”

She doesn’t mention that she’s a telepath — that would probably make the connections seem even closer, which is definitely not a favorable outcome.

“You as well. With luck, some friends and I will be opening a dine-in theater of some kind. Mention my name and we’ll be sure to get you some discounts,” she adds offering a dip of her head toward Seren once more. “It was nice to meet you — and I’m sorry again if I upset your friend.”

"No fear, already working through a recovery plan for him," Seren assures with a warm smile and a quick wave as they turn back for Barney. Baird takes off first, leaping into the air and soaring with flaps of its straw-colored wings. Its belly flares with rainbow hues as it soars, streaks of iridescent light trailing from its feathers. They let out a laugh as the creature swoops past Barney, color left in its wake.

"Barney! I definitely know our next tourist stop you have to show me," they announce, as excited as they are matter-of-fact when they jog back to his side. "Let's go to your favorite place. Where's the best place to get a meal in the Safe Zone, in your eyes?" They look off to Baird as it soars down the boardwalk, leaving streamers of light to follow it by.

Barney glances down the boardwalk in Remi's direction, the normally jovial man clearly distressed by running into her. But he's also not going to push the issue. He doesn't know why Remi would lie. If it's Remi. But who else could it be? He's confused and perplexed and just generally trying to figure the world out at that moment. Thankfully he's snapped out of that reverie by Seren's question of him.

"Uhhh my favorite place?" He asks, hesitating for a few seconds, then a few more as he ponders over that. "The restaurant selection is actually rather slim. I do know of a hot dog stand that is up and running through. Real New York hot dogs. They're quite good. There's a Chinese place near Red Hook market. But the restaurant selections are very slim. We can find somewhere to go eat though. Perhaps Yamagato Park if you are partial to Japanese food

Through the guise of staring at a few messages on the wall, Remi watches Seren and Barney depart out of the corner of her eye. She probably should have run. She probably shouldn’t have spoken to them. She feels truly terrible for upsetting and confusing Barney, but she also doesn’t really favor the idea of being locked up in this new world after she’s gone through so much and lost everything to get here.

Hopefully, Barney will talk to Richard and come to some kind of peace with this.

After a moment, Remi sighs, pulling her coat a little tighter around her and heading in the opposite direction that Seren and Barney are going, her hands shoved deep into her pockets to ward off the cold — and maybe, somehow, the guilt.

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