Wishes On Moonbeams


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Scene Title Wishes on Moonbeams
Synopsis The special Solstice night- a lunar eclipse on the full moon- makes for an impromptu night of sky-watching and wishing.
Date December 21, 2010

Bannerman's Castle - Ramparts

The name Bannerman's Castle is as deceiving as its appearance; built stone by stone more than a century ago, the now crumbling fortress, seemingly derelict, was in its glory days used as a military surplus warehouse and still carries the faded words Bannerman's Island Arsenal on one of its walls. Time and neglect have since taken a hefty toll on the property, which belongs to the Maxwell Development Corporation in name, but is in reality much more than a prized relic.

On the outside, ivy creeps up its walls, some stripped down to skeletal supports and others as strong and stalwart as the day they were erected. In the decades that Pollepel Island has been abandoned, nature has reclaimed a large portion of the castle where its roof has caved in, creating courtyards of stone and saplings, thorny bushes and wire fences put up to section the most tangled hollows off. A few have been cleaned up, exposing worn stone floors that serve as gathering places for the people who live inside the ruins, and where the walls are tallest, shielding one open cavern from the mainland's view, there is a metal drum to burn fires in and large chunks of stone arranged around them in a circle.

Inside, Bannerman's Castle has been repurposed by the Ferrymen network as northern stronghold with its own electrical grid powered by basement generators, though most of the castle is lit by gas lanterns and candles to conserve fuel. Tall ceilings reinforced with wooden rafters are a feature in almost every room, including the castle's dining hall and the basement kitchen where food is prepared on outdated stoves and ovens taken from restaurants on Staten Island that were abandoned in the wake of the bomb and later repaired and refinished for installation in the kitchen.

Also in the basement are the fortress' supply rooms, which are kept under lock and key and contain everything from cured meats to additional linens, firearms, ammunition and fuel for the generators that power Bannerman. The living quarters and infirmary are located on the ground floor in the corner of the castle that's most intact, and while the narrow corridors are drafty, a lot of time and effort has gone into insulating the rooms themselves as best they can be insulated with what supplies were available and fit the budged allocated to the network's reconstruction efforts.

It is late night on the East Coast; most of Bannerman Castle is asleep, save for those who wished to purposefully stay up tonight, or those who are unfortunately afflicted with insomnia. Huruma had planned to be alone tonight, during the lunar eclipse. The best laid plans are always made into messes these days, it seems like; she isn't the only one that came up to an outer wall facing the night sky. Even when she gets there, there is a lone man lurking about in a warm coat and blanket, huddled up, leaning against a wall and watching the glimmer of red up on the moon slowly spilling into focus. Huruma gives him quite a start, appearing in the doorway of the stairwell and blinking her way outside like a supernatural pest.

She hasn't come here for him, that's clear- so he settles back again to watch her a moment. She's got on a few layers, one more than normal for the waiting game out here; elbows bending, Huruma finds a place on the bordering wall where she can perch crossed arms to still her while she looks past dots of clouds at the rusty red tint.

"Where is he?"

"That way." A tiny dark finger prods through the darkness back towards the levels below them.

"Is he close?"

"I don't tink so."

Three munchkins have arrived on the roof of the castle. One's hand is fastened to the hand of the resident blind woman. Joe is guiding Nora up to the roof. "We're going to see Haley's comet." Justin and Lucy have accompanied Joe. Justin with his directional sense is on Brian watch. Though they haven't really hammered out the details that Justin only knows which way. Not how close.

Lucy's hand is fastened to Nora's other hand. Because she needs double the help. The three children arrive on the roof with Justin at the lead.

"I found it." He beams proudly.

"I don't think it's Haley's Comet, unless Comet is the name of one of Haley's pets," Nora says softly with a little bit of a laugh. "I won't be seeing much of anything, but thanks for asking me along." The others in her little family are off being useful, guard duty and the like, and as always she's left behind to her own devices.

Or in this case, the devices of the Lighthouse children. "Remember, we have to be quiet, though, you have to use super quiet library voices while we're outside, okay?"

Kendall had beaten the kids to the roof, fancying a little stargazing, or what little can be seen from here. At least it's not as bad as actually being in NYC. Of course, he might be doing things other than stargazing, to judge by the Green Lantern ring faintly glowing on his finger. He's got some blankets, and is flat on his back staring upwards with his beringed hand extended in the air, and that's how the kids would find him. As he hears the whispering, he sits up and looks over at them, smirking faintly. Hey kids.

Some investigating yields the finding of a Kendall after a moment, before the kids come wheedling up the stairs. Huruma turns her head to watch the doorway there, trying to recall the names of the various children before any of them happen to try and engage her. Joe, Justin- Lisa? Lindsey? Lucy- One of those, she's certain. Thankfully Huruma does not try to say anything to them. Instead, her eyes wander over Nora. "Super quiet Anne Frank voices." She amends for the adults, in her usual steady contralto.

"Or I'll mark someone down for beatings." Huruma says it seriously enough that it sounds real, at least.

"But we're not inside, or inside a library." Justin accuses the woman. She doesn't know that, because she's blind. But he knows. He's not blind right now.

Lucy clings to Nora's hand quietly. She's usually very receptive to older women who aren't mean. Joe however is looking over to Huruma, his head cocking to the side. Then his attention swings over to Kendall. Stepping up beside Justin he points excitedly at the faint glow on the man's finger. Heeeey. That's not normal.

'Anne Frank voices' earns a slight snort from Nora, more because it's too apt of an allusion and analogy for their situation, much more apt than she'd like. "We're not in a library, no," she whispers. "It's even more important than being quiet in a library. Being quiet in a library is just out of politeness for the other people reading and working there. We need to be quiet for our own safety. Politeness is nice, but your safety is much much more important, okay? So library voices."

She squeezes the little girl's hand that holds hers in reassurance, knowing that talking about their safety and need to be quiet might be more frightening, but they need to know, and everyone else she's heard talking to them has been pretty up front. There is no candycoating their situation — not when it means life or death.

"You'll have to whisper to me what it looks like, okay?" Nora adds softly. "I've seen one of the sun before, but I can't remember seeing a lunar one."

"Do I have to be quiet too?" Kendall whispers, although he seems a bit taken aback by Huruma's appearance. Damn she's…. tall, and…. well, the lyrics to the song 'Brick House' comes to mind… ahem. Noticing the kid admiring his ring, Kendall grins at him. "Ya like it, huh?" he holds up his hand again, forming a fist. "In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power… Green Lantern's light!" he recites softly, and the ring glows brighter. He's been wanting to do this for a long time.

The moon in the sky is largely unblocked, save for a thin passing cloud now and again, the full moon glow shining silver on the pasty surfaces in the sky, and the stonework of the castle, and the acreage below. Save for the shimmer of Kendall's ring, dull against the moonlight, there's nothing but the flickering river moving around on the ground. Huruma looks to be more invested in watching the moon than anything else. Where it would usually mirror itself in her equally pale eyes, this time, of course, it has the beginnings of the red tint, as the color makes itself vibrant against the winter. It is especially red this time, from several factors.

"Nobody is allowed on th'wall. Or I'll'ave to push you off." Just a warning for the kids. They climb things, she remembers. Huruma leans into the wall, her mottled brown coat disguised against it, with the rusty moon reflecting itself on the silverlined landscape.

"The moon looks kinda red," whispers Lucy to Nora, taking the library voice decree very seriously as she stares up at the sky. Nora's head tips upward as well, dark hair falling away from her face, moon reflected in her dark and useless eyes. Her brows knit together as if she's concentrating on something, head tipping a little before her lips curve upward into a slight and secret smile.

"The moon is turning red because you're staring at it." Kendall tells Lucy with a perfectly straight face. "People heard there's going to be an eclipse tonight, so everyone's looking at it more than usual. This is making it embarassed so it's blushing." big fat liar.

A good a time as any. Huruma is not terribly happy about there being a crowd out here, but there was at least one thing that she did come up here to do. She uncoils her arms from one another, twining her fingers together and resting her forehead on the space between thumbs and the knuckle of a forefinger. It turns out to be exactly what it looks like.

"Moto wa Roho, maisha ya walio hai, Ond ya utakatifu, Dhamana ya asili ya yote, mwanga wa upendo, taa ya uwazi, ladha ya utamu na kuanguka, kuwa na sisi na kusikia sisi."

Not one of those urgent prayers, as if her life- or anyone's here- depended on it- but a velvetty, steady stream of invocation in her native tongue. Perhaps it is a pretty thing to hear, perhaps strange to see, but regardless of what anyone else seems to feel about it, Huruma keeps her skull there on the ridge made by her fingers and palms.

The teenage girl lets go of the hands of the littler ones that hold hers, and she lowers herself to the ground, the blanket she wears around herself most of the time indoors serving as padding and insulation against the cold roof. She wraps her arms around her thin legs, tipping her head upward as she listens to that prayer she can't understand.

Nora's eyes close, then, and her legs uncrane, falling to either side in the lotus position; she rests a hand on either knee and exhales. The foreign words seem to be an appropriate backdrop for a moment of quiet meditation for her as well. If she prays in that silent moment, it's hard to tell. She certainly has things to pray for.

Joe, Justin, and Lucy huddle together. Tiny eyes watching the weird words fall out of Huruma's mouth. Then watching Nora join-ish. Justin looks to Joe for direction, who has nothing to offer. Peering back over to Lucy, he bites down on his lip. "I don't know what to do" He whispers overly loud to the other two children.

"Me either" Is the loud whisper issued back from Justin. Taking Lucy's hand Joe leads the two back further away from the adults as they look up and up and up. His eyes close for a moment before opening back up.

Kendall is equally eying Huruma strangely. And Nora, for that matter, but then he just shrugs, staring up at the moon. "Hmm….." let's see, is there anything he can do right now to make this more interesting? he pulls his ubiquitous pad of paper from his pocket and uses the moonlight to draw something. At that moment, another moon appears in the sky, this one with a blue rim in direct contrast to the red-rimmed moon. Of course, it's only visible to those on the roof, but it's still a sight to see.

Huruma has never done this in front of anyone, so yes, it is quite odd for them. She isn't surprised that they are left at a loss. When she lifts her head up, one hand at her cap to rub dull at a phantom itch, she starts a little when she sees two moons. It takes her a moment, but- her head swivels, bird-like, to stare across the stone towards Kendall. The look is accusing, but she murmurs only to herself before taking a step back to lean herself against the wall and look over towards the children to see what they think of this- development.

The confused whispers of children when one adult begins to pray and another, not quite adult, sits down to do whatever it is Nora is doing, brings a smirk to the teenager's face. When the foreign words stop, Nora's eyes open, the smirk becoming more of a smile.

"That was lovely," she tells Huruma, tipping her head in the direction Huruma's voice had come from. "I'd ask what it meant but that's probably totally impertinently rude if it was personal so I won't," Nora adds. "I hope you get what you asked for, though."

And now it starts to piece together. They're making wishes. They're making wishes!

"They're making wishes!" Joe hisses and the three in unison dance forward and practically fall on top of each other to get down to their knees. Slapping their hands in their laps, though Joe and Justin go first. Lucy a few moments later.

"I wish I had a transformer."

"I wish I was a transformer."

"I wish for a new home." That's Lucy, at the last.

Kendall smiles innocently at Huruma as she stares at him. "Something like this happens only once in a blue moon, don't you think?" he comments lightly. "Eh, transformers are overrated. They probably smell like motor oil and they're always destroying everything." not that Kendall didn't wish he had a real transformer growing up.

"I already am. Have been. Just a reminder…" Huruma's muttering gets loud enough for Nora to hear, little more. She watches the children now, her mildly accused face for Kendall slipping into something bemused. Out of the mouths of babes. One more thing she is going to have to hammer into her memory for another time. A small smile fits there nicely on her lips. "I think those are fine wishes, don'you, Nora?"

The wishes, the first two, make Nora laugh, and then the other brings her brows together. Her jaw sets, as if in an attempt to be stoic, but a single tear slides down her cheek. She's not so much older than them.

"Good wishes, all of them," she agrees, her voice feigning cheer. "If wishes were fishes, we'd walk on the sea… but if you ask only on special occasions, like birthdays and lunar eclipses, it's okay. To ask for something — once in a while." This is directed to the children — and perhaps a reminder for herself.

Not really sure that motor oil smell would be a bad thing, Justin is immediately on the defensive of transformers. Springing to his feet he goes to dance in front of Kendall. "Noo. Not the nice ones. Bumblebee is a nice one and he's your friend and he plays the music like Dee dee dee~" That's Justin's way of playing a song in his mouth.

Joe however looks over to Lucy with a little frown. His little arms coming up they go to enfold Lucy's shoulders. "We'll find a new home." He says quietly, before looking up to Huruma. "What did you wish for?" Joe springs to his feet to walk over to Huruma.

Lucy on the other hand reaches out to reattach herself to Nora's hand. "What did you wish for No-ra?"

"I don't really have a home either." Kendall tells the kids with a sigh. "Or rather, mine keeps… getting lost." he has a bad track record with homes. First, he was disowned by his parents and kicked out, then the Den was raided, then he had to leave the Little Green House, then Gun Hill got raided, and he can't really stay at Pollepel either due to needing to be in the city regularly. So let's see how the Garden holds up.

Huruma looks down to Joe as he wanders over, her arms crossing over her stomach in the process. She still looks mostly well-meaning, even if she is always going to be somewhat intimidating. Maybe less so to children these days. "For th'moon to watch over us." The dark woman answers after a moment of deliberation, looking the boy up and down. "I ask all th'time, but tonight, and tomorrow, it is especially important to ask." Even if they can understand the concept, asking the moon for things probably sounds a little strange. Huruma is strange too, though, when it comes to nine year olds.

Nora's long and delicate fingers curl around Lucy's chubbier small ones, and she rises from her sitting position.

The children most likely expect the obvious answer of sight or healing but it doesn't come.

"For change," she says softly, then shakes her head. "No. That's not right. You can't wish for change. You must be the change you want to see in the world. So I wish, instead, for the strength to be the change, and for my friends to have that strength, too. For you to have that strength, and Joe, and Justin, and… "

A conspiratorial smile lights her face. "I think Huruma probably is strong enough already, don't you? I'm not sure, because I can't see her, but she sounds super strong." Also, the woman hacks up deer all by herself and the kids call her a giant — Nora may be blind, but she has an imagination.

Ten year olds! Joe looks up at Huruma, cocking his head oddly. "Don't understand." He says frankly. "Moon doesn't have thumbs." And you need thumbs to protect things.

Justin however, very ready to further defend the transformers lays down his transformer sword and peers at Kendall as if seeing him for the first time. "How old're you?" He asks, frowning deeply. "You a kid? You could stay with us."

"Justin we're not allowed to do that." Joe barks quickly.

Lucy peers up at Nora as she speaks, giving a slight shrug. "What are we going to change?"And while she is waiting for the answer she takes the time to practice hanging from Nora's wrist. Putting both hands on her arms, Lucy pulls up to see if it'll work. Nora armrope.
Kendall looks at Huruma again, and then erases his drawing, making the second moon disappear. Ehehe. Yeah, don't hurt him. Intimidation! Wait til Kendall hears about the cannibal bit, he'd probably freak out. When he's addressed, however, and with those words, Kendall frowns fiercely at Justin. "I am almost eighteen years old!" in half a year, maybe. "I'm not a kid." gee, defensive much? "I have two jobs and a place to stay."

"Th'moon influences plenty wit'out thumbs." Huruma likes to think the primordial God is above needing primate appendages. She tenses her shoulders and peers over at Nora in between huddling her arms closer to her torso. Not made for the cold. Something about it makes her brain think it is twenty degrees lower than it ever actually is. Now she is left to wonder what Nora sees in her head when she thinks of Huruma. Hopefully something good.

"You, settle down b'fore I roll you off of here." Huruma pointedly glowers towards Kendall, then back to Joe. "She'as protected me this long. No hurt in asking t'keep extending th'gesture to …all of you." And that's that.

There is the teensiest of winces from Nora when she becomes a jungle gym — beneath her blanket, beneath her coat and beneath her sweater, that particular wrist bears a ring of finger marks from being gripped and dragged to her feet. She lets the little girl climb her as she will, however, holding her arm up. She's apparently stronger than she looks.

"The world for the better," is her simple answer. If only words were deeds, and it was as easily done as said. "You can start by eating your vegetables and doing your homework. That's the first step."

"Is the eclipse happening? It'll get darker when it does, don't be scared okay?"

"We've had a lot of big kids." Justin professes.

Joe, forgetting about his problem with Justin's offer, immediately goes into support mode. "Rocket, Simon, Junie, Colette, Kai.. I forgot her name. The old kids always leave."

Justin gives a big nod. Peering up at Kendall, a little smile flicks on his lips when Huruma comes on his side. The tiny boy folds his arms triumphantly.

Lucy however lowers herself from Nora's arm. Staring up at the air, Lucy taps her lips. "I won't be scared!" She pipes.

"Well one major difference is… I've got a girlfriend." and yet Kendall feels the need to back up his own status as an 'adult', and to a kid nonetheless. "I don't need anyone watching me. I can support myself. I've even got a job around here." here being Ferry. The moon is gazed at. "Halfway." he comments. "You can practically see it shrinking. What if it never comes back?" he smirks at the others. "It's not like what happened at Belinsk, signaling the end of the world." gee, someone's been playing a video game lately.

Huruma gives Kendall another pointed look, sharp as a nail. The last thing she needs, is to field a little kid thinking that the moon is going to disappear. No sir. Not gonna do it. She grinds her limbs a little again, her layers rough as they rustle together. "If you are scared, I will know." This is provided to Lucy, in Huruma's best teasing tone at the moment- it's barely there.

Nora rolls the eyes she can't see with. "Me thinks the lady doth protest too much," she murmurs. "Girlfriends and jobs don't make you a grown up."

She squeezes Lucy's hand. "It won't disappear but for a few seconds, and then it will start to come back. It's just passing under the shadow of the earth. Isn't that funny to think planets have shadows? But they do. Really really big ones."

She stifles a yawn. The celestial event may be an exciting one for those who can see it, but it's just a cold night out on the roof in the darkness for Nora.


Joe ignores Justin stepping closer to Kendall. They're being argued against. So Lighthouse kids unite! Win this pointless argument! "Rocket had a girflriend I think! And.. and.. What was the girl's name, Lucy?"



"Elaine!" Joe spits back up at Kendall. "She probably had girlfriends." He's not catching on at the moment that that might be incorrect. "We have jobs too!" Yes, Kendall is fighting with a ten year old.

"Joe!" Justin pipes.


"I know where Brian is." A dark finger prods through the night again to reveal the Lighthouse owner folding his arms over near the entrance back into the castle. "Come on guys. You should have told me where you were going. Sorry Nora, Huruma. I wasn't sure where these three were."

Kendall watches the last sliver of the moon disappear, and then it turns red. "Wow, would you look at that." he breathes out. "So cool." he is totally ignoring the current conversation. "Did you know the last time this happened was 372 years ago? I mean, it's a total lunar eclipse on the winter solstice. THAT hasn't happened in 372 years, not an eclipse." Kendall, knower of many useless facts! "This is a once in four lifetimes chance!"

"They may stay up here if they will please to be shutting up and keeping still." Huruma lifts her chin a little in response to Brian, the gesture halfhearted in its imperiousness. "If not, they will'ave to look from windows, I suppose." Who wants to see it from a window? Really? Open sky all the way. She smiles now and looks back up, her eyes reflecting the rust of the moon. Open sky indeed.

"I think it's past their bedtimes, and it sounds like it's all over anyway. And I need help getting back to my room that I simply couldn't get to without the three musketeers," Nora says with a smile toward Huruma. "Thanks for letting us join in. I'm sure they'll remember it for a long time."

This is her first time on the roof, and even she isn't stubborn enough to try to find her way back on her own tonight. "Come on, let's go to bed. It's really late, and even us big kids should get rest," she tells Lucy, pressing their joined hands toward Brian so that the little girl will lead the older blind one in the correct direction, leaving Huruma to pray to the moon for their protection and safekeeping.

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