We're The New Ferry???


brynn_icon.gif joe_icon.gif

Scene Title We're the New Ferry???
Synopsis Brynn can get on board with that!
Date March 11, 2018

Lance's Apartment

Joe is sitting on jet plane! High above the earth! No. No he's not. He's sitting on a stool that he found somewhere and has brought into Lance's apartment. He's got a notebook that he's writing in. A battered thing that's half empty salvaged from somewhere, or brought with from Canada. Either way. He's sitting on the stool in the kitchen with the notebook balanced in his lap, pen scratching away at the paper in front of him as he writes… something down. It's been a few days since the Doyle library thing, and though Joe was down for a couple days he's back to normal, or mostly anyway.

He's volunteered at the library to help teach ASL classes and has just come in about ten or fifteen minutes ago from doing that. So maybe he's writing up a lesson plan or something? There is also a half eaten jar of peanut butter on the counter next to him, with a spoon sticking out of it, and JOE written across the side in marker. If he's gonna eat out of it at least he has the decency to let people know he's done so?

Letting herself in the front door, Brynn is carrying nothing more than the backpack that goes everywhere with her. The eternal go-bag… the one Brian taught them all to keep so that if push came to shove, they never had to go back to a particular place again. It wasn’t something they did in Canada so much, but she hasn’t stopped the habit since arriving in New York. And given the tension of the situation in the streets following the second theft of food supplies, it’s unlikely that she’ll put that bag anywhere but within arms’ reach anytime soon. Of the kids in their age group, she’s always been probably the most cautious and watchful of them, what with knowing that she might not hear a threat coming.

Seeing him sitting at the counter, though, brings a smile to the brunette’s face. She slings her backpack down next to his stool, peering over his notebook’s edge to see what he’s doing. She helps herself to a scoop of his peanut butter on her finger. Oh God, who knows what she’s been painting/sketching/coloring/touching out there??? Apparently it doesn’t bother her a bit that his cooties are in the jar, since she’s just left her own there too! Her hands begin moving when he looks up. I made you something… but I don’t want to give it to you yet. It made Lance sad when I gave him his. What’re you working on? It’s rather difficult to be ‘casual’ and just drop things into conversation when you’re conversing in sign, so she really doesn’t bother too much.

Joe has a go bag. It goes everywhere with him. But really it is a go bag. It’s got money, food, supplies, a couple changes of clothes, may or may not contain weapons tucked away into the lining of the bag. Go Brian. But his backpack is resting on the floor in the living room, while Joe is sitting at the kitchen counter. He doesn’t look up when Brynn comes in, just waves at her and continues to write with the other hand. Then she’s coming over to peek over his notebook. On one side is an ASL lesson plan. On the other is totally laid out his investigation plans for the food disappearances. He’s currently working on the ASL lesson plan. He’s jotting down commonly used phrases and words. Like the most common ones. Asking where the bathroom is and stuff like that.

Hey Bry- He only gets halfway through signing her name when she goes and dips her finger in his peanut butter. Oh! Gross! You totally just finger dipped my peanut butter. Where have your hands been? Oh my god Brynn, why? Why you do dis? Why does you do this Brynn? I thought we were like besties or something. Joe looks forlornly at his peanut butter jar, with who knows what kind of germs and nasty in it now. Where have your hands been Brynn? Huh? Joe peers at his sister for several moments, holding that gaze. She knows what she’s done. And she did it willingly. Brat.

I am working up a lesson plan. Gonna volunteer at Aunt Gilly’s library and teach some ASL classes. You made me something? What did you make me? Is it going to make me sad? I mean I’ve been sad a lot the past few days, better to get the sad out now than be sad all over again. He flashes her a bright grin when he says that, then goes back to writing up his lesson plan, or at least, finishes the spot he’s on before closing the notebook.

Brynn eyes the plans on the investigation, but she doesn’t say anything about that. Yet. When he squawks about his peanut butter, Brynn snickers. And then signs, Give me a break, Joe — if my hands were dirty, I wouldn’t have put them in the jar. OR my mouth! I’m not you! She rolls her eyes expressively at him. But then she gets a little more serious. Yes… it might make you sad. I just told you, it made Lance a little sad. But… I thought you’d like it too.

Hesitating briefly, she goes back around to her backpack, wiping the last vestiges of peanut butter on a paper towel on the counter before fetching out her sketch pad. She flips rapidly through the pages, most of which are in black and white charcoal so that the two or three in vivid scarlet and orange rather stand out as she flips past them, arriving at another sketch. He already knows she loves to draw people’s faces, loves the lines in their expressions. And she’s captured an image of the man the kids called “Santa” — a different one from Lance’s picture. She has captured the man in this image one-on-one with Mala, showing her something about the strings of the puppet in his hands. The same one that made an appearance at the Library opening. She pulls it from her sketch pad, exposing the brutal lines of the image beneath it very briefly, and hands it to him, pulling the pad close to her body to continue to shield the rest of what’s in it protectively. She doesn’t often share her sketch pads’ contents.

Heathen, I know not where your hands have been! Nor whether you would eat off dirty hands. Yes he does too. Joe knows very well that Brynn would not, but never the less the dramatic over acting continues. For all I know you’ve been out seeing Hailey. Or been in Red Hook market doing who knows what! And you stuck your finger… in my peanut butter. Joe does serious up a little bit before tipping his head to her statement. Lance and I are different enough that it might not. They’re brothers, not clones. And even clones aren’t always exactly the same. Look at Brian. And then you waste my peanut butter wiping it off on a towel. On a paper towel no less! Those are actually pretty hard to come by right now I’ll have you know. You just wasted like… 45 cents worth of paper towel or something. Joe, still being Joe. Dramatic.

Joe swallows hard when he sees the picture. It features Doyle, and it features Mala. His eyes take in Doyle and his features pinch a little, then he sees that it’s Mala in the picture and his jaw tightens up, teeth pressing together, the threat of tears in his eyes as they start to glisten along the edge of his lower eyelid. He doesn’t take the sketch right away, he stares at it in Brynn’s book, and only once he realizes it’s being handed over to him does he take it in hand. And then unfortunately tears do spill. It’s not a hard cry, it’s just light tears but they are there, snaking their way down his cheeks at the sight of two friends, now both gone. He tilts his head back and swallows hard, trying to breathe steadily to stop the emotion from overwhelming him. He can’t quite put his thanks into words so he doesn’t. He gently lays the sketch down on his notebook and slips off the stool to wrap Brynn up in a tight hug.

She didn’t mean to make him cry like that. Brynn hates to hurt people. She’d hoped that it would be a good thing for them to have. She wraps her free arm around his waist, resting her head on his chest as she returns the hug. Her art is her own form of catharsis, and although she wasn’t a regular visitor when Doyle was around, he made an impact on her as well. She squeezes him tightly, a silent apology for giving him something that made him sad.

When he releases her, Brynn looks up at him with regret. I’m sorry, Joe. I wanted you to have something to remember him. You and Lance always seemed to like him so much. He was always so gentle when I saw him. She didn’t really know him… he was gone by the time she came to actually live with the Lighthouse Kids. Can I do anything?

Joe hugs Brynn tight for a few moments before relaxing his hold. He doesn't step back, he holds the hug, just not as tightly for a few moments longer, then he steps back and makes sure she can see his hands as he signs to her. Thank you so much. It's good sad. I mean that. He takes her hands and squeezes them gently. Your art is amazing, and it always makes me happy when you share it with me.

Joe smiles softly and continues to sign at her, his motions slowed down to impart meaning to what he says. It does make me happy to have something to remember him by. Honestly I was starting to have a hard time picturing his face, and I don't want to forget anyone who's helped us like he did. And I… I miss Mala a lot. She was awesome. Thank you so much Brynn. And yes, you can keep being primal Brynn. Keep being primal. Did you know that phrase is from the future? We found out from Lynette that like Cash and Adel and Benji and some others were all from the future. They brought Primal back with them. So it's like… a paradox that we even use the word.

She looks at him worriedly, and then nods her understanding of his sadness. Brynn’s gaze on his hands is intent, and she smiles a little when he talks about the future. I heard that story — or at least a little of it. Not as much as you, but… She shrugs slightly, pushing her hair back over her shoulder. She sets her sketch pad reluctantly on the counter so as to be able to sign more clearly. And she looks hesitant. Do you… do you really want to keep doing the things we learned about growing up, Joe?

You heard this story? When did you hear this story? We just heard it the other day. Lynette blew our minds! Like literally. We were both dumbfounded and nearly speechless. Cuz Joe is almost never speechless. You knew this and didn’t tell us? Brynn. Brynn I thought we were cooler than that Brynn. He huffs and tips his chin up, looking away from her, but only for a second or two, then he tilts his head back down and grins at her. Whatcha mean? Helping people? Yeah. I do. People are starving out there. Criminals and Pure Earthers are preying on people. People are being taken advantage of. I can’t sit idly by while people need help. And people will always need help yes, but this is different. This is not the same thing as just standard needing help. Yah know? I can’t… I just can’t sit here and do nothing. So yes… I do want to keep doing the things Brian taught us to do. At least for now.

Brynn’s brows shoot upward at the teasing and she comments with a wry expression, You clearly never paid attention when Adel and Benji talked to each other. I knew something was up and pieced at least most of what you just said together just by listening. Because that’s what Brynn always did — “listen.” And many people forgot to notice she was there. Especially when they both forgot she was there and forgot she understood Cant. I thought all you guys knew. I mean… it wasn’t like it was a secret, I didn’t think. Then again, how would Brynn KNOW if it was a secret unless someone told her?

When he starts talking about the things they were taught to do, Brynn looks down. Not far enough to not see his words, but she’s uneasy with all of what he’s saying. I’m not any good at doing that kind of thing, she points out. And I’m…. She bites her lip as she looks up at him. Joe… what if it’s starting again? Her gray eyes are a little haunted. She hasn’t exactly been doing so great herself since Hailey was shot. Do we need to go home? Maybe we shouldn’t stay here.

Well I didn’t run around spying and snooping on people. Joe sticks his tongue out at his sister, then just stares at her again, holding it a few moments, eyes narrowing. You never talked to any of us about it, so how would you know it wasn’t a secret? I”m pretty sure they weren’t intending for kids who they probably knew in the future to know they were from the future. I mean what if they knew us in the future? They wouldn’t want to like.. destroy the timeline by telling us, you know? I think? Time travel is a very confusing concept.

Joe puffs out his cheeks, then gives a slow shake of his head. Brynn, you’re not a fighter. You’re a survivor, but not a fighter, you didn’t have the level of training that Lance and I did. But that’s fine. And you shouldn’t feel guilty for not wanting to be out there with me. I know I was guilt tripping you and Lance before, and that was fucked up of me. You shouldn’t feel guilty. Okay? He’ll reach out a hand to tip her chin up so she can see the earnest look on his features. I mean it. Don’t feel bad. And… if it’s starting again then that’s all the more reason for me to be out there helping. Just like all of our protectors helped. Not all of them fought. Some of them scouted, kept watch, informed, found food and shelter. Most of them didn’t fight. Most of them were… support to put it in video game terms.

Joe frowns at the question of going home, honestly thinking on it before he gives his head a slight shake. If it gets too bad? We can figure something out. But I dont’ think it’s bad enough yet for that, and it’s getting better not worse from what I’ve gathered. So… I don’t think we need to run yet. But if you need to Brynn I understand, and I’ll take you home. He’s not saying he’d stay there, but he’d take her home back to Canada so she’d be safe if she wants.

I’m not leaving you guys, Brynn insists emphatically. If we’re going, we’re all going. But she does look disturbed still. Nibbling on the edge of her lower lip, she pulls in a soft, hitching breath. Then she reaches rather hesitantly for her sketch pad, and without having to look where she’s opening it to, she flips it to a particular page. It’s done partially in charcoal greys but with vivid colored pencils in several places… it looks like a war zone. A set of trucks, a building that he might or might not recognize as the safehouse at Beach Street, people with what are definitely automatic weapons. Chaos. Fire blazing in brilliant scarlets and oranges.

I don’t want to do this again, she signs, showing him the picture. I keep dreaming about it. Since Hailey… It explains why she looks tired. If he remembers the Beach Street attack at all — Brynn’s not even sure that he was there or knew or remembers — she was very young. The memory is clearly still very vivid. Pure Earthers sound pretty much like the old Humanis First kinds of people. This … Things are supposed to be so much better now, Joe. But they shot her.

Well, if you’re waiting on me to go back you’re gonna be waiting a long time Brynn. Joe admits, shrugging his shoulders slowly after the statement. I’m not going to leave these people in need. Not when I can help them. But if you and Lance and Hailey wanted to go back I would understand, and I wouldn’t blame you I promise. Joe watches then as the sketch book is flipped open, his eyes settling on the page that’s depicted. “I don’t want to do that again either Brynn. Which is why I need to help stop anything like that from happening. Joe puffs out his cheeks, unsure how to explain his rationality to her. He looks from her, down to the picture, then back up again. Pure Earthers are exactly the kind of Humanis First people. They’re probably the remnants of them to be honest. Changed their name cuz reasons and they’re back to annoy us again.

Joe eyes his jar of peanut butter, then Brynn’s hand, then the jar of peanut butter again before he sighs and dips his spoon in to take out a spoon ful, nomming some of it as he thinks. I dont’ think I was at the beach street place. I could have been? Not everything from those days is entirely clear. Every thing changed so much. Faces and location and… it was a lot. I know. He noms some more of the peanut butter off the spoon before his shoulders lift in a half shrug. But that’s the problem. That picture? Is what I want to stop. I want to be there to protect those children and people. I’m older. I have the skills and ability to do so. I CAN”T turn a blind eye. And that’s what it would be for me. Especially after everything that the Ferry did for me. To abandon the cause and let others suffer when I can help? It’s just unconscionable.

Pursing her lips thoughtfully, Brynn studies the image of her dreams. I don’t remember a lot either. Just… pictures. Heat. Being afraid. She sighs heavily. I understand why you want to help, I just… don’t know if poking our noses into things like thefts is exactly the way we should be doing it. She looks up at him and admits, I’m scared for you. I don’t want to lose you, too, Joe. You’re … you and Lance and Hailey… you’re my FAMILY. We made it through the war, we finally have the chance to be something else. To help people in other ways. I don’t… I don’t want you to get shot at.

She closes the sketchpad, resting her elbows on the countertop. What can I do to help you that doesn’t involve getting shot at? Cuz I really just can’t do what you want to go out there and do. I don’t even want to. She holds up one hand in admonition, though. That’s not to say I won’t be there to back you every step of the way if you need me out there, Joey… but I need to do something… quieter.

I know. But we’re not like SESA agents or cops or anything like that. It’s not like we can go in there in any official manner and investigate this stuff. I mean investigating and then turning the info over to the cops or SESA would be one thing, but like… poking our noses into it is the bare minimum of involvement. Scouting and scoping stuff out. I did offer to go alone. Not like they can hurt me unless they gas me, and even then I’ve got training to fall back on. Brian gassed me plenty of times to make sure I could fight without my ability. Pretty sure I’d have the element of surprise. Joe’s confidence is pretty much unshakeable. It’s going to take something truly earth shattering to shake his confidence.

Well, I don’t want you guys to get shot at. And that’s what happened. Hailey got shot. Maybe if more people would pick up their torch and pitchfork and do something about what’s going on then kids wouldn’t need to step up to the plate and do so. I won’t drag you guys into it. If you want to help then okay, but if you don’t I won’t pressure you. I’m not worried about being shot at. Brian and I tested some pretty decent caliber stuff against my skin. Pretty sure I’m immune to small arms fire. Joe’s shoulders lift in a slight shrugging motion. Do what you do best Brynnie. Watch people. Go to the market, and watch. Watch for weirdness. Watch for strangeness. Look for furtive people doing furtive things. That’s something you’re awesome at. And if you’re sitting there drawing and doing art stuff who’s going to question it? Could sit in Raq’s shop and people watch. I’m sure he’d be fine with it. Especially if you help him with some hair dye work and stuff like that. That’s stuff you can do without being shot at.

Well…. She hadn’t really thought of it in those terms! Brynn brightens visibly. I can do that! she agrees, looking both relieved and perhaps even a little excited. And then if we do figure something out, we can tell Aunt Gilly… or maybe even that SESA guy I met in the Market. He seems really nice. She looks up at Joe, seriously. Did you know girls in the Zone actually fight about accidents and stuff? I mean… how stupid is that? Why would you even fight about something so stupid?

She grins slightly. She thought she was going to hit me because we bumped and she got wet. I didn’t break her wrist, though — that would have been rude. Especially since she tried to hit me with waggly-wrist. No clue how to to fight. She makes a tch sound of disgust as she rolls her eyes. So then the SESA guy ran them off and walked me over toward Cat’s Cradle so they wouldn’t jump me. He was really nice. It was way better than when he was scaring Eimi.

Joe smiles as well when he sees Brynn’s features brighten at the idea of what she could do. Seriously. You love watching people. And you’re good at it. It’d be a perfect thing for you to do. And yes, we do have contacts that can get things done and taken care of. So we can go tell them and get them to help. Gilly and others have SESA contacts, or they’re Co-op council members like aunt Gilly and I think Raquelle is part of them too? So we have people we could go to, and what SESA guy? Someone tried to pick a fight with you? Well that was dumb. You’ve been trained more than enough to handle some twit in a market. I’m glad you didn’t have to break anything though. People are dumb.

Joe shakes his head a little bit and rolls his eyes. People are seriously dumb. But I’m glad you didnt’ have to break anyone’s wrist or anything. And I’m glad it sounds like at least a couple of the SESA agents are decent folks. We ran into Quinn who goes by Robyn now at the arcade. She’s SESA too. It’s kinda weird, all our people being all like… grown up and stuff. Not a ragtag bunch of fugitives trying to keep Evolved safe but… responsible adults? With relationships and jobs?

Joe puffs out his cheeks and gives his head another shake. I dunno. But I’m glad you’re okay, glad the market didn’t turn to violence. And wait… who was scaring Eimi? She said she was in some trouble cuz she’s a teleporter. Poor girl reminds me a lot of us when we were younger. I know she’s our age but like… I keep thinking of her like she’s one of the kids we’ve taken care of. I’m too old for my age I guess. In some ways Joe is a very old soul at this point. But in others he is DEFINITELY his age.

I don’t think he meant to scare her, Brynn admits. There was some stuff going on just outside the market and I think she got a little flustered, although I didn’t see why. By the time Iooked up, she was kinda freakin’ out and teleported away. And then Silvia came along and she and I both pulled Eimi to us… I told her if anything happened, go to Aunt Gilly or Aunt Eve. Turns out, though, that the SESA guy knows Aunt Eve! She pauses. What do you know about Aunt Eve and a tuba? Cuz… that was a weird message he wanted me to give her!

Joe rolls his eyes, then closes them. I don’t know what the heck this tuba thing is about. But Aunt Eve has a tuba, and she plays it at random times I guess. Like she saw us at the arcade a different night and like just swept on past. Stunk of something, guessing weed. Cuz there’s no way Brian would have let the kids have access to anything like drugs. Even pot. And then she swept out. And then like just after she left there was this tuba noise. And at Doyle’s library dedication she said something about not having her tuba. But I mean really… it’s Eve. She’s nuts.

Joe says that with all the affection in the world but it’s true. During the riot in the market the other day she just started stabbing dudes. For… no particular reason? She decided I was in trouble from a bunch of unarmed hangry people and… came to my rescue. With a knife. Joe throws his hands up. Cuz Eve.

Yeeeaaaaaaaah. Brynn giggles that silent giggle of hers. Aunt Eve is nuts. She’s wonderful! But definitely a couple cookies short of a bag. Shaking her head at the news that Eve was freakin’ STABBING people, her gray eyes go wide and signs, Wow. Just…. wow. Mind: blown. Although…. It’s EVE. Sighing, she shakes her head again, and then looks excited. Flipping through her sketch pad, avoiding the scary images that she never shows people but that she got that glimpse of today, she stops at a psychedelic hot-pink-and-yellow background with a jazzy cool cat band playing a cello and a piano and a saxaphone, wearing black shades.

Look! Have you been to Cat’s Cradle yet!?? I did this on the wall outside for her!!!

I mean it… it is Eve. So yeah. Joe wasn’t surprised, he was more confused by Eve’s actions. Once someone has proven themselves nutso… there’s not a ton of surprise left. Confusion and acceptance though? Plenty of that. Joe’s head shakes a little further at the memory, then he flashes a broad grin at Brynn, chuckling lightly. He leans back against the counter behind him as she goes flipping through her sketch pad. When she shows him the picture of the cat band he blinks, staring at it, his features slowly scrunching up in confusion. I mean the art is great. I’m just confused. Cat’s Cradle is… what? You mentioned it earlier but I don’t know what it is. You did it on the wall… Brynn were you tagging people’s businesses? Or is Cat’s Cradle Eve’s? Wait who would let Aunt Eve run a business? There’s a snort from Joe, not that Brynn can hear it, but his derision is clear in the way he signs at her that he thinks he’s wrong about Eve owning a business.

It makes her eyes crinkle up in that thoroughly amused silent laugh. Well, yes I was doing a little tagging when I met the SESA agent — but it was with chalk! Like… literal chalk, not the other kind. But no, Aunt Eve owns the Cradle and she had some stupid graffiti people doing a picture for her instead of me. She rolls her eyes. So I fixed it for her. And she loves it! Because Eve always loves Brynn’s art — she’s a fantastic aunt that way. So now it’s the official look of the Cat’s Cradle! Primal, right???!

Stupid graffiti people? Joe looks confused, brow furrowed at that. Won’t… won’t those graffiti people be pissed that you messed with their work? You’ll probably have to go fix your picture from time to time. People are gonna mess with it. But I’m glad she loves it. It looks awesome. I mean I don’t really get the whole cats with shades thing. But I imagine it’s something jazzy? I guess? I should get some culture. Cuz I have no artistic stuff in me. Like music, or painting or drawing or anything. Joe’s shoulders lift in a half hearted shrug. He’s never had to worry about lack of artistic talent, but now here he’s surrounded by artists of different shades and he’s more than a bit lost when they get excited about their art. He’s excited for them, and with them, but he still doesn’t… GET it.

It is pretty primal. And I mean it could totally help you out. Other businesses might want to know who her artist was. You can charge some money to do art for them. I’m serious, you could monetize the heck out of your ability. I mean I don’t know if you want to turn what you love into a way to make money or not. But you could monetize big time. You could clean up graffiti around the city for cheap. You can make signs and posters and redecorate for people and I mean… so much stuff. Sooooo much stuff. And then you can help me and Lance buy an apartment building. We figure we can get a building pretty cheap now. And we could all have our own place, but all be in the same building. I think it’d be awesome. We could also house anyone that might need our help. Sorry that… got away from me a bit there. Big project idea for the future. Joe’s grin is big though. He just so earnestly wants to help people.

No, no… she hired them, I think. And then didn’t like their work. Brynn grins wickedly. Given that I put it up there NOT with paint — i.e., she recolored the bricks themselves — I don’t think it’ll be a problem to fix whatever gets tagged on top.

She stops, looking at his hands in amazement. It’s not that Joe’s stupid by any stretch. He’s just always on the go. The fact that suddenly he’s … talking like Brian. It hits her suddenly that … they’re not the Kids anymore. They’re the ones who eventually are going to have to step up. Because who else will? They can’t be the protected ones all their lives, right? Pulling in a sudden breath, her expression seems dumbstruck and one hand goes to her stomach, as if she’s feeling ill or hungry.

You keep saying I can make money, she signs slowly, the corner of her lip caught in her teeth. Could we really make enough to buy… like a whole building? Cuz… I mean, we know how fix things. And Caspian knows how to do wiring and stuff, right? And… well, we’ve got Aunt Kaylee and her contacts too. She’s got lots of business people. And Aunt Lynette has tons of practice running a home for people who need it… Gray eyes come up to Joe’s face. Are we… like… the new Ferry?

Joe laughs softly and signs that laughter with his hands. Yeah, I guess that would be pretty hard to remove. Even if they paint over it it shouldn't be a problem. Dunno why I didn't think about that. I know you recolor the actual objects. Joe rolls his eyes at himself, but then pauses as he sees that reaction, the amazement and the realization. Joe sits, and he waits patiently, but he has a broad beaming sort of smile on his face. This is what he's been waiting for. From her and from Lance. This right here. So he waits, patiently letting her come to her own conclusions and realizations. Well mostly patiently, his feet might be rocking and bouncing a bit on the floor while he waits, but it's Joe. Sitting still isn't really in his playbook.

On our own? Probably not. But we have a lot of contacts, in a lot of places. Kaylee, Gillian, Lynette, Eve, Colette and more. We know a lot of people, and some of them have access to some significant resources. I think… I really think we could do it. And we're not much younger than most of them were when they were protecting us. Brian was like… 21? Or 22 when he found me. And we are definitely more experienced and trained than most of the Ferry were when they were helping us. When Brynn's eyes find his face he's still got that big beaming grin. He doesn't respond to her last question with his hands, he just tips his head in a slow but firm nod. Yes, they are the new Ferry. This is how we help Brynn. Not with vigilante justice, but with making a difference. Not with guns, but with kindness.

Oh…. oh God. Brynn just stares at him. And then she launches herself at him and hugs him so tightly it might feel like a chokehold. She’s trembling against him, as if the realization is so big that the sudden tears against his shirt aren’t enough to release the emotional wave that came with the understanding. It’s almost too big for her to wrap her head all the way around… that they have become the people who look out for others. Because who the hell is she to think she can be responsible for other people???

When she pulls away from him, her hands are already flying. We don’t know anything about actually running a safe haven. Or how to handle money. Or even anything about business! We know how to feed people out in the country, where we can hunt! But how do you feed them in a city? How do you keep crazy girl-gangs from jumping on them? How do we make sure the SESA people don’t think we’re some kind of Evo cult or something and disband us? What if we draw too much attention and they think we’re a threat? What if we can’t protect anyone? What happens if it’s all starting again and the Pure Earthers come after us for trying to help people? We’re not going to be hiding unregistered people, are we? I mean, I know Registering is something we’re all leery about, but to go to college and get jobs, you gotta do it. To live in the Zone, you gotta do it! I don’t want to make people do it, but I don’t want to try and be the new Ferry in that we’re hiding unregistered people all the time and smuggling, Joe! That’s not safe! And it’s not even close to the ‘normal’ that Lance really wants.

It’s really good that given his propensity for never shutting up, he can actually READ sign as fast as he can sign it.

Joe is patient. Well he can be patient. When he needs or wants to be. Which is not most of the time. But for this he can be patient. Then he gets bumrushed by a Brynn though. His eyes fly wide open, but he gets his arms open so she can hug him, and wraps them around his sister, grinning as she grabs onto him. He holds onto her as she goes through the emotion of that epiphany, and only once she pulls back does he sees the tears, then look down at his shirt, then back up, a pouty lower lip stuck out. He didn't mean to make her cry. But he watches her hands fly, and doesn't bother trying to respond until she's done, cuz there's no break in the hand movements. His eyes widen a little bit as it… continues. Once she's done he flashes her an even bigger grin. You pulled a me!

Actually we know everything about running a safe haven. We know how to protect it. We know how to organize it. We know how to supply it. We know how to teach kids to handle their abilities if they're evolved. We know how to cook and clean. We know how to mend clothes and fix basic handyman stuff. What we don't know we know people for. We know everything there is to know about running a safe haven. Joe's grin couldn't get any wider, and it's still in full force as he goes on responding to her questions and statements aplenty, his hands flying pretty quickly, though not in the same rush as hers were. We know a SESA agent. Quinn. I mean Robyn. I'm sure she could get a good word put in, and maybe a like minded or sympathetic SESA agent could be assigned to check in on us. We wouldn't be a cult. And we wouldn't be teaching the kids how to fight, except in like self defence. So probably about your level of training you received. SESA couldn't argue with kids getting self defence classes. Especially here in the safe zone. So we make the effort to get SESA oversight. Then? Way less suspicious. And if Pure Earthers come after us for helping people then we REALLY will be the new Ferry huh? And yes I know you're concerned about the violence. I can't promise people won't come after us and the others we're helping. There's a slow and gentle shrug from Joe. He really can't make that promise, and he's not going to lie and say he can.

But, we are much better equipped and prepared than the Ferry were to help us. And they did a good job. All things considered? Almost none of us should be here. But look how many kids they saved. And no, we're not going to make people register. And it's not illegal to be unregistered. It's voluntary to register. So we wouldn't be hiding anyone. We wouldn't have to ask whether people are registered. There's not some legal requirement for us to do so. I don’t think. So we won't. But that's something that could be hammered out and figured out later. There's a lot of logistics involved in this. We'd have to get money and support together. Get the building. Get it fixed and cleaned up. There's a lot involved. It's something to work towards. It's something I AM going to work towards. I would love to have you and Lance along to help. And he's half on board anyway. He's talked about buying a building and turning it into a haven.

She points out to him, Actually, if they want to live here, it is illegal. But the rest, she just stays quiet as he talks. When he says that Lance has already made the comment too, she brightens up considerably, her tears still damp but not still running. You know Lance is going to think of all the down sides, she opines, so if he’s seriously considering it, I really think we could make it work. And Aunt Lynette and Aunt Gilly can totally coach us on how to make things work well. There is a kind of wonder on her face. I like this idea, Joe. Because she really hated the violence. In so many ways, she’s the gentlest of maybe all the kids that came through Brian’s training — having to train for self-defense, she was fine with. And she’s no pacifist, but she’s definitely not soldier material. I can do this. And maybe I can get enough money with my art. I … was kinda thinking about tattoos. I mean… Colette has a TON of them, and I did one for that lady, Miss Fitzroy. Do you remember? I… could really get into that, and it’s no needles and never fades!

I still have most of my resettlement bonus for moving back here. I don’t know how much of yours and Lance’s you guys have kept. But I’m sure with some support and some pooling of resources we could get a building. Even if it’s a small one. I know the prices on real estate are super high though so… we’ll see. Maybe we can convince Kaylee’s company to buy us a building, or loan us a building and use it as PR or something? Or… I don’t know. Again this is planning stages. I’d need to start talking to people, figuring out resources and money. Figuring out what contacts we have where. And would be legal and what wouldn’t. I know it’s technically illegal to live here and not be registered but we both know there are plenty of unregistered people here. Joe tips his head to the mention of Lance thinking of all the downsides. I know he will. He’s a pain in the butt like that. But at the same time, we do need to think of all the negatives and downsides. Cuz if we don’t then we won’t be ready when they come up. So… that’s not a bad thing, not really.

I figured you would. You’re too good of a person not to want to help. But when I realized how dead set you and Lance were against the idea of helping the way I suggested I started thinking and brainstorming. And I really think we could do this. And that home burned down where all those kids were staying, so I know there’s got to be a demand for another place like that. And we be straight up. We don’t hide that we were Ferry kids from SESA. We tell them right up front. It will help. Being honest will help. I mean I know they’re government but it really does seem like they want to help keep the peace and what not. And this would help. Less kids running around the streets. Less kids with abilities running around unchecked. It could only do good.

I really think you could pull together a LOT of money Brynn. Between what you can pull in, and what support we can muster… maybe the Council can approach the government and convince them to give us a discount, or like… borrow the building to us on the understanding that we’re going to fix it up and then pay for it over time. I don’t know. I need to talk to people about that stuff, but I really think we could do this. And I want to do this. I want to help and I want to give back. People sacraficed so much for us that… I just… I feel like I need to do something.

She has a look of surprise when he admits that he started brainstorming when she and Lance balked. It really makes that much of a difference to you? If we don’t think it’s a good idea? That’s not exactly always been the case… then again, they were living in relatively safe conditions the past few years, so if she and Lance balked at something, Hailey and Joe didn’t much care. I bet Aunt Kaylee’s company would totally buy a building and let us rent it and fix it up for something like this! I mean, that company’s whole publicity thing is about building futures, right? And you’re right — with that home burning down, there’s definitely a demand for places. Maybe not even with just kids or anything, but maybe even people like us — new to the city, maybe never had reasons to actually use our abilities and stuff. I love this!!

Brynn’s enthusiasm for this kind of work is evident — it’s so much more up her alley. I still have almost all of the resettlement bonus. It’s how I got the eggs and cheese the other morning. If he thought that came from Lance, he was mistaken. Brynn was the one who splurged a little. And I really like the idea that we could have a whole building so we’re not crashing in one another’s little places. I know Lance kind of misses having his own bathroom. She wrinkles her nose. And he definitely misses not having someone sleeping in his living room. We never had any privacy at home, but I think he got used to it here.

Of course it does. Joe remarks with a slightly bewildered expression on his features, as if confused as to how she could even ask that question. You two are my family. And while I love all the adults as well like Gilly and Lynette… what we went through together? That's a whole different level of bond. You two are my family. And Paul, whenever he gets here. Joe smirks and flashes Brynn a wink. Cuz Paul is the last missing member of the trio of doom that gave Brian so many premature gray hairs. Lighthouse Kids Brynn. Family always. Your opinions mean everything to me.

Joe hasn't of course said that he won't continue to investigate bad stuff, and hasn't claimed that he won't get involved in stuff that he should probably keep his nose out of. But he also wants something that Lance and Brynn can get behind. We are going to do college. Joe after all would have been pushing for Brynn and Lance to study whenever they get the chance to do so, cuz as he's said he's going to help them pass their entrance exams. But we can also do this. I… I think it's a great idea. And I'd hoped you guys would too. I'm happy you do. His head nods to the talk of Raytech, and to the talk of helping other people, and to Brynn's statement of loving the idea. He's just a Joe bobble head for a few seconds while he nods along.

Hey now, I like crashing other people's places. But yeah. It would be pretty awesome to have a space of our own. But still be close. I don't have any issues sharing a bathroom, or having people on my couch. Not that I have a couch. Or a bathroom of my own. Now that is. Or… ever. So I guess I don't know. But I don't think I would have a problem with it. But yeah. I think this is a good idea. We just need to get support for it. So uhhh… we should talk to the adults. He of course means the adult adults. The ex Ferrymen.

Brynn’s smile is soft at him and she hugs him again, tightly. This time happily. We should definitely do that, she nods multiple times as she pulls back. Her smile is incandescent. This is so TOTALLY primal. We are gonna be the best crew EVER! Whatever worries she might have had, he seems to have completely banished at this point, and now that she’s happy there’s every likelihood that she’s going to draw something new! I promised to meet Silvia today, she signs eagerly. I promise your peanut butter doesn’t have cooties! Eat it! She bounds over to swoop up her backpack and is out the door without looking toward him. Sometimes she has a little Energizer bunny to her too!

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