Who Told You That?


barbara_icon.gif shirley_icon.gif

Scene Title Who Told You That?
Synopsis Barbara pays a visit to Pollepel Island's newest resident
Date January 16, 2011

Pollepel Island

It's about an hour after someone has brought Shirley lunch. Several hours since they figured out the effective range of Shirley's ability is two yards. And right now? Right now Shirley is laying down on her bed, being bored. She's staring at the sky, and she has nothing to do. Nothing at all. There is no obviously no computer. And the promised books and art supplies haven't arrived yet. As such, Shirley is almost tempted to get herself some more rest. She's still tired from the past two days, so she figures it couldn't hurt.

The delivery of low tech entertainment isn't something that has meant to take so long, but unfortunately priorities on Pollepel Island are always shifting with what needs doing most at the moment. Shirley hasn't been forgotton amongst the other duties on Pollepel Island, and even as she's thinking to get more rest, there's a sudden knock on the door to her room. "Hello? SHirley?" a feminine voice says from the other side, just a hint of a canadian accent in her speech. The door pushes open a moment later, a tallish woma in a sweatshirt and basebal hat, red hair falling down her back entering from insider, a shoudler bag ove rher arm and a backpack on her back. "I'm not interrupting, am I?"

"No, you're not." Shirley responds as she turns to sit upright, glancing at the woman who entered her room. "So, not that I'm likely to remember for long… but what's your name?" The teen asks, smiling faintly and extending her hand. "Like everyone here… you seem to know who I am." A shrug, "I suppose word travels quickly in a place like this…"

"Well," Barbara starts, offering a smile to Shirley, "I would hope that I know who you are. I sent Brian after you." She steps into the room, moving towards where Shirley sits and setting down the backpack. It's unzipped just enough for Shirley to see several books inside, along with a sketchpad and a box of pencils. Offering a hand down to Shirley, she grins. "Barbara. A pleasuer to actually meet you, Shirley. I'm sorry we're not meeting under better circumstances."

"So you're Brian's boss, huh?" Shirley asks as she shakes Barbara's hand, "You look sorta familiar… ever got on TV or anything?" The teen asks as one hand moves to scratch her head, "I'm sure I've seen you on television before some time, or maybe somewhere else… don't really know." She shrugs, "I suppose it doesn't really matter. And, well… if the circumstances were better, we probably wouldn't have met, right?"

"I wouldn't say his boss, no." Barbara's never really thought of the council as anyone bosses, even if it several ways it's very true. The mention of her being on TV makes her wince a bit. Unless Niki's goten into some trouble since the last time she was around, that means Tracy… She shakes her head no, smiling. "I haven't, no. Mustbe confusing me with someone else, I'm afraid." Releasing Shiely's hand, the Councilwoman sits down next to Shirley looking at her closely. "Shirley, I wanted to speak to you about a few things, if you don't mind."

"I guess I must be.." Shirley responds, and she leans back against the wall next to her bed. "I don't mind… everyone seems to want to talk…" She shrugs slightly, looking over to Barbara, smiling. "I suppose I might as well talk to you too, then, right?"

"Well, if you'd rather not talk, I certainly can come back later," Barbara offers, though in this case it's mostly a show of how willing she is to bend. She's rather hoping to speak with her now and get this over. "I wanted to make sure you've been spoken to about where you are, and the situation you find yourself in. I'm here to make sure that we can trust you, Shirley. Not that we have any reason, yet, to doubt you. But saying we need to be catious these days is an understatement."

"Brian told me that this was some sort of island… something about a Lighthouse Orphanage." Shirley offers a bit of a shrug, "He didn't really tell me much more… beyond that the government tells people that you lot are terrorists…" There's a tone of voice in there that makes it clear she's not entirely bought the terrorist idea. "I don't think you seem like terrorists, though… and Brian assured me you weren't…"

"I will tell you right now, SHirley, that we are not the terrorists that the government would like for you to think that we are," Barbara states firmly. "We help people, people who need it, people who are scared, particularly in this age of forced registration for all. People who come to us, or that we come across, much like you." Her arms cross as she looks over at Shirley, continuing to watch her closely. "Unfortunately, Brian was right tot ell you as little as he did, and there's not much more I can offer you, yet."

"Okay." Shirley nods slightly as she listens to Barbara explain things. "So, uhm… is there anything else you wished to talk about?" This question comes after Barbara's explanation, "Because I think you said 'a few things'…"

"Mostly, I wanted to make sure you knew what's up, so to speak. That we're here to help you, at least until you have control of your ability. If Brian is taking you in with the Lighthouse kids, likely longer," Barbara offers with a smile. "That you haven't been whisked away to some unusual place to be watched and prodded without hope of returning back to the mainland. I also wanted to answer any questions you might have, as well as I can. THough you'll have to forgive me for evasive or incomplete answers."
"Did anyone, well… uhm… tell you about the… uhh… situation with my father?" Shirley asks softly, her eyes darting to the ground as she asks this question. "I don't know how many people have been told, and Brian, well… he told me not to go into details… so I can't give any if you don't already know them, but well… I was wondering whether you knew…"

"That he's a member of Humanis First? Yes, it was mentioned by Ygraine when she contacted me," Barbara replies reassuringly, a hand tentatively placed on the young woman's shoulder. "Which is an absolute shame. ANd I suspect wby Brian is willing to take you into the Lighthouse. But, I do think at some point you should confront your father. If he's unwilling toa ccept… we can send somsone to make sure things don't get out of hand. But that's something to wory about later."

"I'm afraid…" Shirley whispers softly as the idea of confronting her father comes up. And then she changes the subject, "So… Junie, Koshka, and I tested my range earlier today… it seems to be around six feet. Dunno how helpful that is, but… there you go." The teen smiles weakly, "Next up is trying to get that range down, right?"

"I don't blame you," Barbara remarks quietly. "Admitting such a thing can already be a daunting task. To someone you believe will be predispositioned to hating you for it? Terrifying. But when you have the courage, you never know how it might turn out. His own child being evolved may be enough to saw his mind." She lets that sit for a moment bfore leaning back a bit. "Ideally the goal is to teach you how to control it. See if it can be turned off. Getting the range down may or may not be a part of that. It's hard to say so far. I, personally, haven't ever encountered an ability like yours."

"But what if it doesn't change his opinion?" Shirley has to ask… "What if it makes him try to kill as soon as he has the chance?" The girl starts to sniffle, "It's just… I'm terrified of the one person in my life that I love most…" She doesn't even comment on the matter of learning to control her own ability anymore.

"Like I said, we can make sure someone’s with you, to make sure things don't get out of control, if you'd like." Barbara rolls her shoulders a bit, before turning and opening her arms in an offer of a hug to Shirley. "It's just a suggestion, if you're ever feeling up to it. Nothing that anyone will ever force on you. Many of us know what it's like to go through similar situations."

"But what if he waits until you are gone?" Shirley asks as she wraps her arms around Barbara, resting her head on the woman's shoulder and starting to cry. "I… miss my father, but at the same time I'm afraid of him… this doesn't even begin to make any kind of sense…" She says in between sniffles.

This is a good point, the Ferry can't spare someone to keep an eye on SHirley for a prolonged period of time. "If it comes to it, we'll figure out something, I'm sure." ANd she jus sits ther ein teh hug, and lets Shirley cry for a moment before she speaks up again. "It makes fine sense, to me," she remarks after a moment.

Shirley keeps sniffling even after she releases the hug. "I just… I just want to be normal…" She states softly after a few moments. Letting out a bit of a sigh. "What if … if I don't want to be Evolved..?"

Babrara grimaces, moving to look Shirley straight in the eye, and once she's caught the young woman's gaze, she shakes her head. "I'm afraid that that's just not an option," she replies with a rueful tone, hands on Shirley's shoulders. "The best you can do is learn control, or take negation drugs once they're available to the public. But nothing can make you not evolved."

Shirley sighs. "I was going to become a software engineer." The girl complains, sighing as she diverts her gaze from Barbara's. "I love computer programming. It's what I live for… It's the only thing I'm really good at…" Her gaze turns downwards, and she closes her eyes as a few more tears start to flow.

"You may still be able to, if we can teach how to properly control your ability," Barbara replies quietly, giving a bit of a sigh. "Just because you can't now doesn't mean you won't ever again. It's simply a matter of learning ad adapting./"

"Maybe.." Shirley responds with a sigh. "It's just… the only things I can come up with to do with that fucking 'ability' of mine, even if I learned to control it… are criminal or military in nature… I don't want to be a criminal or soldier…" She glances back up to Barbara, "And, well… without a computer, I am bored."

"Who told you that?" Barbara says with a curious expression. "If you learn to control you ability, you can live any normal life you might have before, more than likely. You'll just have to be a little more careful not to accidentally fry a harddrive or soemthing. Certainly, there'll be more that you could do besides being a crimnal or a soldier. I'm neither, after all. I don't care what anyone outside of our group will tell." And then she gives a bit of a laugh. "You get used to it after a while, trust me."

"Maybe…" Shirley responds with a shrug, laying back down on her bed, "It's just… why did God give me this ability if he didn't mean for me to use it…?" She glances up the ceiling, almost as though she's asking God himself.

Uh oh. One of those questions, the kind that Barbara has no freaking clue how to answer. "Well, you never know. Learning to control it means you use it at will. Not that you never use it at all. You may need to, eventually." Which as close to maybe he has a plan for you as she's willing to get.

Shirley nods slightly. "I guess that could be correct…" She says, turning around to look at the wall, "It's just… it's like your friends are all already working up plans for using me as a weapon against those Llama robots Brian was talking about…"

"Oh, really?" Barbara sounds rather annoyed all of sudden, looking towards the door. "I'll have to speak with folks about not talking about turning our guests into weapons without thinking to ask them about taht first. I'm sorry about that, they should know better." Barbara raises back up to her feet, looking down at SHirley. "No one will ever turn you into a weapon, Shirley, and any aid you do provide anyone in future will be of your own volition. Got that?"

"Got it…" Shirley responds softly. She does seem a little cheered up by that response. "I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to do in my spare time though… seeing how I'm confined to this room, and this room doesn't have anything I can entertain myself with…"

The backpack is picked up and set down where Barbara was sitting, redhead motioning to it with a smile. "I brought you some books I could find for you to read. Alice in Wonderland, Watership Down…" There's a copy of 1984 Barbara can see under another book inside, she hadn't meant for that to slip inside, but she makes no motion to remove it. "I brought you a sketchpad and a set of pencils as well. I… draw a lot, personally. It's a good way to set myself at ease, and give myself something to. I say give it a try, and if you want any lessons, I'm more than willing to teach."

"I kind of like to draw, actually." Shirley says, visibly cheering up. "Daddy tells me I'm good at it…" And with that comment, she sighs again… wrong kind of thing to think about right now. "Thanks, Barbara…"

"No problem, Shirley. I want to make sure that you're comfortable here, and that you understand why you've been placed here and everything that's going on," Barbara replies with a grin. "I know it's not an ideal situation, but we'll make the best of it that we can."

"And in the meantime avoid giving me too much information, so I don't become too much of a risk?" Shirley asks softly, though her tone of voice isn't resentful or anything. More like she wants to confirm that's the reason why things are kept from her.

There's a bit of wince, but Barbara nods. "You're smart. You can figure a lot of this on your own. But in the event we have to esend you back prematurely, or you don't end up staying with us for a prolonged period, I'm afraid we have to make sure you don't know too much, since i'm sure someone will make notice that you've been missing."

Shirley nods, "It's okay… I can understand it, really." Her voice doesn't carry very far. but it doesn't need to. "I just wish I… I could be of use. You're a bunch of strangers, but you've done so much for me in such a short timespan…"

"Don't worrya bout it, Shirley. If you stick around, we'll at least find something small for you to do to help out." Barbara grins, reaching down and ruffling the younger woman's hair. She's a bit old for that, really, but Barbara does it anyway. "For now, just sit tight. We'll get working wth you soon."

The hair ruffling is tolerated, but clearly not appreciated. "Okay, Barbara." Shirley says softly. "Thanks for everything… maybe I could, I dunno… do something simple like peeling potatoes?"

Barbara grins. "We can always use more people in the kitchen. So, I think that would work really well. I'm sure someone else'll be by to talk to you before long, and I'll try and stop back and see how you are regularly, alright? But, for now, I'm afraid I have a meeting to attend."

Shirley nods, "Okay… good luck with the meeting." A pause before she asks… "Will you be talking about me in that meeting…?" She's mostly curious, "I mean, I can understand if you can't tell…. I'm just kind of curious…"

"You'll probably get a mention. The others present need to be aware of the new people among us." Really, Shirley should expect that, so Barbara feels fine sharing it. "But beyond that, I can't say for sure. I wouldn't expect so."

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