With A Little Help


delia_icon.gif emily_icon.gif eve_icon.gif ezra_icon.gif luther_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif

Scene Title With A Little Help
Synopsis A charitable organization attempts to bring some community to the Safe Zone…
Date Novermber 2, 2018

A Park

Years ago, this park was teeming with young children, with laughter and families. Today, the playground is all but gone, only a cement outline remaining to give away that anything had been there at all. On the old sand, tables have been set up with plates and food. Volunteer servers stand behind them, ready to dish out and to keep people from raiding the meal area. Benches and blankets are scattered around the rest of the park, resting in the overgrown grass. Some are already taken up with small groups of people talking, or eating, or crying. It’s been a strange time lately. Ezra might not understand what it is they’re all going through, but she knows that camaraderie and a decent meal can help people feel steady again. Even if it’s just for a little while.

She’s organized the event, but it’s the volunteers that made it possible. People she tapped from the community, people who approached her when the fliers went out. The only hint about who is behind this is a donation box at the end of the food tables. It reads:

The Hands of Mary
Donations Welcome

Hindsight really is a bitch. After leaving the Ryans residence yesterday, Emily had noticed the flyer for the park event on the bus ride home. Mortified at realizing perhaps her experience had been more than a dream caused by a rogue dreamwalker … she'd been too drained to go back to try and explain it through. Maybe she'd make the trip in a day or two.

In the meantime, she was still bothered, and deeply, by what she'd seen. So reluctantly, she came here for answers. She's bundled tight in her beige coat, the neck of a knitted maroon sweater fluffed over the top of its lapel and sandwiched under a healthy off-white scarf. Gloved hands propel her wheelchair into the park, fingers trailing on the wheel to roll her to a premature stop. The aviator sunglasses over her face mask the skepticism she observes the whole affair with. She wasn't here for any touchy-feelies. She just wanted to know what had happened to her. And she wonders suddenly if there's not going to be a quick answer here for that.

She scans the parkgrounds, shoulders starting to droop. If nothing else, maybe she could get a free meal for her trouble. A slow breath escapes her in a visible fog before she clears her nose with a sniff.

A tall man stands off to the side where the line to the food servers has grown long. Luther hasn't joined it, though he appears like wants to. Hands stuffed into the pockets of his zip-up jacket, he looks much more like he wants to disappear into the layered grey hoodie tucked over his head. But the first thing that he does isn't to get in line for the food, but to step up to the donation box. The slight, unsteady sway of his steps could constitute reluctance. But his approach is purposeful, deliberate. And in reality, the man is drunk.

When he gets to the box, Luther digs out a hand from his pocket and flips his wallet open. Not the wisest of moves, if one were to consider possible thieves watching, but he doesn't appear to mind. The bills he sorts out get stuffed down into the slot. "You're doing good work," he rumbles at the volunteer thanking him.

As the wheelchair crawls to a stop, there’s a bump from behind. It’s followed quickly by a quiet grunt and a lurching forward movement. A look back reveals a familiar face, framed in a too-big hood and scrunched with effort. Squeaks’ hands grip the handles and she leans into pushing the chair and Emily, slow to start until she actually gets the thing moving. At first she doesn’t say anything, really focused on just pushing the wheelchair and young woman in no real direction — except maybe indirectly toward the food.

Really, Squeaks is just using the wobbly route as a way to look for another familiar face, and it’s just luck that Emily was found.

“It’s for free,” the girl explains, because maybe that’s the problem that caused Em to stall. Maybe that part was missed on the flier? Her path takes them over grass more than it does pathway. It’s a little bit bouncy, and sometimes she struggles against a clumpy spot that tries to hold a wheel in place. “For reals. But also they’re taking donations to help I think.”

It's like divinity caused Delia to be here today. The hands of Mary, her hands (just like her mother, Mary) are busy serving coffee, tea, or hot chocolate to anyone that looks like they might need one. She's a familiar enough figure in Elmhurst, she waltzes through dreams and stalks the streets looking for trouble whenever she's got a sleepless night. Those happen all too frequently.

Luther’s is a face she hasn’t seen except in passing for nearly a decade, not since they were all trying to catch a rogue terra kinetic. She almost didn’t recognize him. “Oh wow,” she breathes, “I haven’t seen you since you were shot in the leg.” Emily is recognized almost instantly, not so much the young teen pushing the chair, but both get a smile. "Can I get any of you something to warm the insides on a cold day?"

“I don't think you should be doing that while you're… that.” Comes a voice from above Luther’s head and there sitting or rather laying in a tree is the pale face painted with a devilish grin and eyes that twinkle in mischief. Eve isn't really scolding Luther as much as teasing one of her partners in crime and the expression on her face says that and more. Secrets blooming in the back of her head, she rubs a spot.. the spot where they had to slice her skull open for surgery, scratching at that now familiar itch. Whether Eve knows why they are all gathered in the park remains to be seen but she swings her feet merrily, flashing through the slits of her deep purple dress.

Protecting her modesty just barely for the people below her, Eve peers and squints before waving and winking at her newly adopted niece also taking in the blonde in the wheelchair, “My my dearie.. you have interesting friends.” She's one to talk honestly. The fellow dreamer gets a radiant smile, eye to eye. “My warrior woman, Dreamy.” The smile deepens.

She's had her own experiences with these.. visions. Though not as the others have.. it's weirdly comforting for her to see others so.. distressed by the trauma they are witnessing. Or the love, more people were seeing good things than bad was her guess. Nobody here has seen as twisted of things as she did.. maybe that was just Eve’s way of thinking on it. Because if anyone in this park had they would be a bonkers as she is.

Ezra appears at Delia's side, a hand resting on her arm for a moment. "It's good to see you here, Miss Ryans," she says, her smile warm, "thank you for the help." It's likely that every volunteer has gotten a similar moment, but she lingers here to follow Delia's gaze to Luther. She looks him over, her smile still friendly even though he has shown up drunk. Everyone processes in their own way, after all. "Maybe a water for this one," she asides to Delia.

Across the park, there's a small group seated around a folding table. They're just like every other group engaged in conversation about these odd visions, except that their volume pitches upward. Eventually, they're loud enough to start drawing attention. It's just moments before one figure lunges across the table to grab the other by their shirt.

The unexpected thud to the back of Emily's wheelchair causes her to turn right away, expression severe for whoever couldn't mind their fucking step enough to — oh, it's Squeaks. At this distance, the teen can see Emily blinking rapidly behind her sunglasses as she tries to dial herself back before actually snapping at the girl. She's able to bring it down to mere exasperation. "Squeaks, what are you —"

The first lump in the ground they hit silences her as the aforementioned Squeaks navigates them off of the paved path in favor of making a more direct line for the food. She turns around forward again, exhaling her own stubbornness away in a clouded sigh. If she's bound and determined to take the hardest route, I can't really stop her at this point…

A decision she instantly regrets as she sees who's manning the refreshments. Her large dark lenses thankfully mask the momentary widening of her eyes as she sees Delia. When the dreamwalker greets her politely instead of with an accusation, Emily's hand stops from snaking to her wheel to redirect herself away from the line. Probably still too soon to worry about that. she reassures herself.

Then there's a call from above from a grinning Cheshire Cat, and Emily's attention drifts toward Eve before she can stop herself. A skeptical note sounds at the back of her throat before she hastily looks away, more than glad to face Delia at least for the moment. Voice even, she speaks calmly enough. "Why not a hot chocolate. Too cold for ice cream today." Her shoulders lift in an indifferent shrug.

She doesn't turn at the sound of the raised voices, but hearing the clatter from the table as it's jostled does draw her attention, an eyebrow raising. What now?

“We're going this way,” Squeaks explains as she's pushing the chair. It's really the only other thing she says until she's stopped at the table with the food. Then, she steps onto the littlest wheels on the back, those ones that keep the chairs from tipping too far back, and she peers over Emily's shoulder at the tables.

The offer of warm foods is met with just the beginnings of indirect suspicion. The teenager treats most grown-ups that way, even still. But then there's a familiar voice above rescuing Delia from a side-eyeing.

“Hi.” Squeaks’ answer to Eve is also a normal one. Simple. And it might even come with a question — definitely it should be asked why the seer is in the tree. But there's some yelling happening, which prompts a curious look. And a quietly asked, “How come they're fighting?”

"November is definitely too cold for ice cream," Delia agrees as she hands a hot cup of tea to Luther and then begins pouring two hot chocolates for the young ladies in front of her. Whatever suspicion Squeaks might have is poo-pooed away in the dreamwalker's own mind and is about to be addressed when Eve pops out of nowhere.

"Eve, I swear to god, if you scare anyone into spilling this hot chocolate, I will haunt you forever." That's a both a threat and a promise, she's certain she could do it. Then she extends a cup in each hand to Emily and Squeaks before smiling, "There's caramel popcorn in the line if you're looking for something sweet to go with it." She had a bunch.

That fight though, Ezra is passed a worried look. "You want me to take care of this?" She doesn't exactly have Lucille's method of calming a situation, but she does throw a mean right hook.

Luther squints at Delia, taking a moment to realize then recognize the woman. Their most recent interaction bubbles up freshly, and he nods slowly to her. "Been shot plenty other times since," rumbles the man as he stuffs his wallet down into his jeans pocket. As for Eve's teasing, the seer is replied to with a wordless grunted huff at first. Then, "You shouldn't lay there, squirrels poop 'round trees," he counters her. Squeaks and Emily also get a longer glance, one that ends in a peculiar, softer look for the wheelchair bound lady, and an arched brow at the younger teen pushing her along.

Maybe Ezra can read minds too, because the woman's aside comes just in front of Luther's answer for, "What's this, tea? How 'bout a drink, hm? Old times' sake…" It's a joke, sort of. One that falls flat, and is interrupted by the sudden upward pitch of volume behind him at the discussion table. Like several others, Luther turns his attention to the commotion. It's just that his reaction is a little bit slowed down by the drink.

A frown comes belatedly, followed by irritation. "You gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me," growls Luther under his breath. And without grabbing his paper cup of tea, the man turns and stalks towards fighting. Security will be security.

"What if I threw some of that squirrel on you," counters Eve with a laugh as she climbs down quickly from her perch to land in a crouch in front of her friends. The pale skinned woman peers up at Luther through thick eyelashes and then he's riled up and Eve is sucking her teeth before she's dancing forward to grab at Luther's arm, "Not every fight is ours to stop Hot Hands, sometimes people gotta feel what they feel… and sometimes that is a punch in the face." It's healthy, it's alllll healthy. Plus, "We don't need anymore civilian injuries hmmmmm?" Leaning in to look the gruff man in the eye. "That might deter from our other stuff man, the pie in the sky. You know!" Flapping her hands on either side of her she takes a moment to look over at the growing altercation.

If Luther presses she won't stop him, she knows what it is to just have to do something but at the risk of escalating the situation further Eve tries the softer approach which isn't something too many see happening. "The wind blows but do we blow with it Hot Hands, hmmm?"

Ezra sighs at the display of anger across the park— this isn’t what she wanted to happen during this event. But, with the nature of these visions being a mystery to most, people will process as they need to. Still.

“Please,” she says to Delia’s offer, “then perhaps they can find a way to come together over the things they’ve seen instead of letting them drive each other away.”

Before Delia or Luther manage to work their way over, the aggressor has already thrown his first punch and scrambles over the table to follow up. Around them, people shout and some jump in to try to pull the man off his friend, but it only seems to draw more people into the fighting.

Emily and Squeaks hear it best when a woman near them lets out a heavy, resigned sigh. “The evolved are doing this to us,” she asides to a companion, who nods sadly in response.

Pausing at the grab to his arm, Luther nearly yanks it away from Eve with a belligerent growl. He does level a sullen stare back at the seer for her words, then looks back to the conflict. “You’re right,” the man grunts after a seeing the first punch and further shouting happen, “You’re right.” A beat. “Sometimes people gotta feel what they feel.”

And right now that feeling is a fight. Luther continues his path to the break out brawl, whether or not Eve’s going to get dragged along.

The woman with her opinions gets a long side-eye from Squeaks. “There’s no such thing as evolved,” she points out. It’s simple genetics. “There’s just people and sometimes people get genes that change them a little bit. Being expressive is one of those genes things, like having red hair or green eyes. And saying someone is evolved like you did is mean. You shouldn’t say it.” She looks over at the almost fighting, with Luther and Eve going that way it’s probably taken care of. But just in case, she grabs the handles on Emily’s wheelchair in case the older girl wants to leave.

It's a good thing Squeaks speaks before Emily does, the cup of hot chocolate in her hand feeling a little heavy all of a sudden. Like it might need to be lightened in someone's direction.

Was it a rational reaction? No, not exactly. But she'd had enough of people wantonly blaming Evolved for being the source of all of their problems lately.

Even if they might be right.

"The point of all this was to come together as a community, wasn't it?" Emily poses the rhetorical question in a particularly dry voice, glancing at the two women out of the corner of her eye. "Not spend time casting aspersions without facts."

Inwardly, the irony of what she's saying isn't lost on her. Still, she glares at the two with all the intensity as before.

"Looks like Team Hot Hand's is blasting off againnnnnnnn." Eve is indeed dragged along, "Hot Hands you're quite springy! New protein shake?" A cackle sounds from the woman's throat before she's getting her bearings, fine if he wanna fight.

Dislodging herself from the big man, Eve cracks her knuckles and looks from Delia to Luther, "We've gotta stop meeting like this honey bears! Now lets kick some ass!!" The seer roses and beats at her chest with her own fist before wincing "Owwww." Softly she whispers before throwing her head back to scream Bloody Mary and leap onto the first person causing trouble she can find. The Murder Imp awakened.

“No, kid, she’s right,” a voice comes from the other side of Squeaks, “fuck this expressive bullshit. We are evolved.” The young man holds his hands out, a ball of flame bursting into existence between them. His veins light up under his skin, as if his blood itself were fire. “She wishes she were!”

Around him, his friends laugh and shout and when the woman starts to retreat, the group follows after them whooping as if trying to scare them off.

Luther approaches what has devolved into a fist fight, dragging Eve with him. But as with many such brawls, a stray swing hits him in the gut. The men barely seem to notice. Others seem to be spurred on by them, shouting and starting to get physical with one another, as well.

Ezra, from her place near the tables, watches with an increasingly concerned expression. “Oh dear,” she says, just above a whisper. When she moves, it’s to get in the way of the firestarter and his friends.

“This is not what you came here to do,” she says, hand held out in front of her, “please, come sit and let her have her small thoughts. Don’t make yours small to match her.”

Whether they will listen— or anyone— is up in the air.

"Knock it off!" Luther barks at the center of the main fray, focusing on one of the men in the middle. The punch to his gut staggers him back, but doesn't deter. How many situations has he gotten into like this, in his life?

With a grunt and renewed determination, Luther moves to grab the guy's arm and lock it around behind his back in a classic security guard style hold. Eve's nickname is accurate though, seeing as Luther's grip turns hot enough to feel like touching a fresh out of the oven skillet.

“You’re not,” Squeaks’ head swivels to the new voice as she answers, a frown forming over the show of flames. She looks at Emily when the group starts after the older women, reluctant to leave the older girl, but she’s also not willing to just stand and watch. Not when there’s people being stupid. She huffs and leaves the older girl to follow the group for a few steps.

Then, when Ezra makes her move to stop then, the teenager makes her move. She darts around the group to stand beside the young woman.

“You’re only proving them right.” Her head tips to motion after the women with their opinions. “And that’s not what anyone wants. It definitely doesn’t make you evolved. Evolved means you’re more complex, better than before. Showing off a genetic change isn’t showing your evolved. That’s like… like a knight waving a sword at a samurai. Different peoples got different things.” Squeaks looks up at Ezra, then chances a quick look at the gathering. “Besides, this is supposed to be helping people and you and…” she points to the mess Luther and Eve are getting into, “that’s …none of it’s helping anyone.”

"Fineeeee!" Eve is mid tug of a flailing man's ear riding his shoulders like a cowgirl. "Helloooo. My apologies but I had to stop you from ya know." Being an ass! Snickering, the woman stays up there, pulling an ear hard to keep the man steady. "If you drop me," She whispers, "I'll snap that neck on my way down, steady boy. Whoaaa nelly." Blinking, Eve's gaze turns to Ezra and she juts her head out into the space between them. "You trying to smoke?"

Luther's touch is enough to draw some sense back into the man's mind, but seeing as he's caught, he can only try to pull away. "Man, it's cool! I'm cool!" he shouts over and over, as if repeating it enough times will make it more true

Ezra smiles warmly at Squeaks for her backup, nodding to her points. The group, though, they seem disinterested in hearing anything that amounts to them needing to change their behavior. For a moment, it looks like they might turn on Squeaks and Ezra, despite the women's peaceful intentions, but a too-close siren has them rethinking their current life choices and they retreat instead.

Eve's chosen mount stops cursing at her at the sound and turns (slowly, because he believes her threat) toward the noise.

"Get off me," he demands one last time, shaking her a bit to try to dislodge her, and yet, it isn't enough to get her loose unless she lets it. Ezra looks over, a more impish smile coming to her face at Eve's question. But an actual answer doesn't come, because she turns back to her event to watch it crumble into pieces. A sigh leaves her as she and a handful of others are left once the MPs arrive.


Ezra leans against the wall of the City Hall building, phone held to her ear as she waits for the other side to pick up. It isn't a person, but a beep and a click that signals her to speak. "Mother, I need your help. New York needs us, but I can't help them on my own. Please ask my sisters to join me here." She ends the call there, no more information given, or needed. It's a few minutes of waiting before a reply comes in a text to her phone.

Mother hears you. Help is coming.

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