ArchivedLogs:Camera Lucida

From X-Men: rEvolution
Camera Lucida
Dramatis Personae

Alice, B, Blink, Dusk, Flicker, Heather, Hive, Isra, Jax, Natalie, Paige, Shane, Steve, Dragonling, Horus, Ryan, Spencer, Tola, Zombie

9-17 February, 2017

I show them how to party good.


<NYC> Harbor Commons - Lower East Side

thursday. 9 february. 10:03.

<NYC> Harbor Commons - Rooftop - Lower East Side

It's quiet up here. The springlike warmth of yesterday has faded into a crisp chill -- earlier flurries have cleared up into bright sun, at least. On the ground the cold isn't awful but on the rooftop, the wind is sharp, biting. It doesn't seem to bother the pale waxy-skinned man sitting up at the picnic table, lightly dressed and casually perusing a Kindle. Neither does Zombie seem /much/ bothered by the rapid back and forth fluttering -- zip behind the toolshed, zip back off toward Birdhaus, disappear briefly, return, vanish again, return -- of a large and veeery subtly iridescent-shaded Horus, who has been moving at a frenetic pace for a little bit now.

It's only when the avian youth stops, talons clicking down on the guardrail and a low warble in his throat, that Zombie looks up from his book. Horus is looking down -- down and over, toward the (currently-open) gates to the courtyard. There's a news truck pulling up to the corner. Another soon behind it. A van with large antenna on its roof. A steady disgorging of people from their insides. Horus warbles again.

Zombie isn't looking at the cars so much as the open gates. It's slow when he speaks, soft and a little rattly. "-- Yes. Perhaps we should do something about that."

thursday. 9 february. 10:17.

<NYC> Harbor Commons - Courtyard - Lower East Side

There's a stirring at the gates -- a quick ripple of excitement from the crowd outside when a /person/ approaches. An actual person from within the Commons! But the buzz soon fades to disappointment when that person proves to be Nobody Special, a nondescript young man in chinos and a green plaid button-down. It doesn't take long, though, for the first enterprising reporter to start in on the questioning and unleash a storm to follow: "Do you know Ryan Black and Jackson Holland?" "Have you seen them here?" "Why were they released? Will there be a trial?" "Will they be making a statement?"

One man pushes forward, past the gates. "This is private property," is all Flicker says. Quiet. Truncating the man's question before it's really begun. "You need to step back."

"The gate was open." Dismissive, brusque. "Do you know which --"

Somewhere in the crowd, one of the reporters is already wearing a faintly knowing smile. There's a blur -- nearly too fast to track, really. "of these houses," the man is continuing, now standing squarely on the other side of the gate. He trails off -- splutters. Flicker is back inside already, swinging the gates closed. With no words, but a heavy clang.

friday. 10 february. 08:25

<NYC> Harbor Commons - Courtyard - Lower East Side

Steve emerges from his building, buttoning his peacoat as he heads for the gate and slips out into the throng already gathered on the street. He pushes his way through the sudden frenzy, firmly but with many 'Perdon's. He smiles at the jostling reporters but answers none of the chorus of questions directed at him. A few enterprising journalists trail him down the block, but most give up once he peels away for the subway station, content to report and speculate on the brief Captain America sighting.

friday. 10 february. 11:16

<NYC> {Teamhaus} - Harbor Commons - Lower East Side

"They're still here. I do not want to hurt them. I need to get out. I need peanut butter," plays Heather flatly, sitting up on the counter. She peers through the window to try and spot the reporters and protestors. "They have been here such a long time. This all seems like it should be old news by now."

"It's only been a day," Paige remarks with a hint of amusement from where she sits on the floor, back against the counter Heather has perched herself upon. "I mean, while I'd consider a day a long time to be standing around in the cold hoping for a possible glimpse of some persons of interest," she continues, gesturing idly with her hands. "They do have a job to do. For fuck's sake, they get -paid- for it. You've got to admire their dedication at least a little bit, though, right?" Still, the goat girl lets out a sigh as she folds her arms. "But tell you what - I'm going to hang out with Marinov today. I'll get you your peanut butter on the way back, okay?"

Heather nods sullenly in response to Paige's response and pushes the blinds aside slightly to get a better look. The voice on her recording sounds hollow: "Maybe they'll be interesting to watch."

friday. 10 february. 20:47

<NYC> {Workhaus} - Harbor Commons - Lower East Side

Dusk has probably not, actually, grown inured to the noise of the protesters outside, but the enormous headphones firmly placed over his ears perhaps go some way toward mitigating their annoyance. Parked in front of his computer, sprawled along a long cushioned bench in his home's conservatory terrace, he still manages to find plenty to be annoyed at /anyway/ -- at the moment, whatever lines of code are displayed in front of him. Clearly not working as they should, judging from the string of profanity he's muttering at the screen. He looks up (or, really, down) from his work at the gentle but insistent nudge of a small fuzzy (silver and metallic turquoise) tribble-bot that is rolling itself over and over against one leg of his chair. "{You get lost, kid? Missing your pack?}" He leans down to scoop the fuzzy robot up into one hand -- only to be confronted by another bot. Larger, just as bright, a rather big metal dragonfly in gold and red. /This/ one is carrying (in sticky strings of webglue beneath it) a large and expensive-looking camera that it delivers -- gently, gently -- down onto the end of Dusk's bench. The first dragonfly is soon followed by a second, with similar cargo.

By the time he turns back to his computer there's a message on its screen from B: 'is this COD or an IOU kinda thing?'

saturday. 11 february. 09:17

<NYC> Harbor Commons - Garden Plot - Lower East Side

With no official tender for the better part of a year, many of the garden beds have fallen into some state of disrepair. Some of the plants are thriving anyway, hardier than others or perhaps benefitting from intermittent care by the Commoners who like them best, but many -- many could use some love. And so now here -- /conveniently/ away from prying eyes or the worst of the noise from outside, but that's probably just a side benefit -- here Jackson has come. He hasn't been here all that long, on his hands and knees doing his best to fight back the bindweed that has climbed up the tomato plants. Snip, snip, snip.

Quietly, abruptly, there is another person in the garden-turned-greenhouse. Spencer looks only recently awoken -- hair still mussed, shirt still the same oversized Jack Skellington one he was sleeping in, though he's traded pajama pants for jeans. For a long while he stays quiet -- just watching Jax work. Eventually he steps down off the edge of the garden bed, picking up his own pair of pruning shears to help in the cutting.

It's not long afterward that the door opens from outside and Shane swaggers in. He's carrying two thermoses and a plate of cupcakes -- reasonable breakfast, right? Setting these things down out of immediate dirtsplash range, he presses kisses FIRMLY to the top of Jax and Spencer's heads both before skirting around to the opposite side of the bed to start weeding.

The next time the door opens, it's more tentative. Huge black eyes peer in -- it takes a moment more for the rest of the tiny blue shark to follow. B lingers by the doorway. Hir eyes are kind of bright while she watches the others. Gills fluttering quick. She is slow to creep to the edge of the bed they're working in, take up a perch on its edge. Ze reaches for a cupcake, unwrapping it slowly. Hir eyes are still focused on the others, a tiny-soft rumble of purr in hir throat as she takes the first bite.

saturday. 11 february. 17:33

<NYC> Harbor Commons - Game Room - Lower East Side

The game of Evolution has been ongoing for some time, now. One of Hive's improbable creations has just been devoured by one of Dusk's carnivores -- several Flicker's growing army of creatures, meanwhile, profit scavenging off of the other man's kill. Dusk first scowls -- then crooks a lopsided grin as Flicker takes more foods from the food bank. 'Why did we even bother dragging ourselves out of the primordial ooze, that's what I want to know.'

Flicker is looking innocent. 'I ask that question every time I talk to you guys.'

He's not looking /near/ so innocent as Natalie, though -- not playing, but strolling now into the room with a slight bounce to her steps, a slight swing to her hips. The smile that springs to her lips -- gleams wicked in her green eyes -- as she approaches Dusk, though, well, it kind of ruins the angelic expression she'd worn earlier. She /says/ nothing to interrupt the nerdbro's gaming -- just waltzes up to their table. Drapes a camera around Dusk's neck -- hangs another from a wingspar -- mirrors it on the other side. Places a fourth neatly down beside his array of cards. Her fingers trail lightly against the colorful fuzz of his wing as she turns to dip back out.

Flicker's eyes have widened. Slightly. His hand rubs against the scarred side of his face. "That camera," he points out mildly, "has a phone number attached."

Hive only snickers. << I don't think she'll be calling him. >>

sunday. 12 february. 07:43

<NYC> {Lighthaus} - Harbor Commons - Lower East Side

Jax's hands are quick, practiced as he puts a neat knot in his necktie, slides it into place up against the collar of his dress shirt. He checks and double-checks his pockets -- wallet, keys, phone. His teeth bite down against his lip, toying restlessly with one lip ring.

"You're just going to church," Ryan mumbles from the bed. "What do you even need to /bring/ to church?"

"I don't..." Jax trails off. Shakes his head. He glances toward the windows -- then to the door.

"Steve'll be there," Ryan reminds him. "/Ion/'ll be there."

"Right. Right, it's not -- I can -- right." Jax takes a deep breath, smooths at his already pristine dress shirt, picks his jacket off the back of his desk chair, and heads out.

Ten minutes later he's back. Only shakes his head in response to Ryan's questioning look. His cheeks are red as he goes to flop down, still fully dressed, on his bed beside the other man.

Ryan curls an arm around him. "The world'll still be there next week. Or whenever you're ready for it."

monday. 13 february. 19:47

<NYC> {Madhaus} - Harbor Commons - Lower East Side

Alice has pulled the curtains aside and pressed her face nearly up against the glass, squinting critically in the direction of the front gate. "Doesn't look nearly as crowded as it was earlier. I'll be /fine/. Why would they even pick on me, anyway? Nice wholesome human girl and all."

Blink is pressing a coat at her sister and holding out a purple nylon tote bag. "I'm not worried about them starting anything with /you,/" she's fighting off a smile. "/You're/ the one who's going to start things if you have to deal with them."

Alice turns around and ducks into the coat, then accepts the bag -- practically by reflex -- rolling her eyes dramatically. "Have you /so/ little faith in me?"

Shaking her head, Blink gathers Alice into a tight embrace before stepping back. Her hands glow faintly purple. "I have every faith in your desire to stand up and fight the bigots, and I'd /rather/ not have to get you out of jail." She pauses, tilts her head. "/Again./ See you tomorrow." The light shoots from her hands and expands into a swirling purple portal in the middle of the living room. On the other side, a highrise rooftop garden is visible.

"Unless you find yourself a /hot date/," Alice adds, grinning brightly and giving her sister a peck on the cheek as she darts past to hop through the portal.

tuesday. 14 february. 18:03

<NYC> Steve's Room - Harbor Commons - Lower East Side

There's dinner being prepared in the Commonhaus and plenty of games to be played later in the evening. Around the time Steve is due home from work, there's -- well, only quiet, really. There's evidence that someone has been here earlier, in the large new (and likely soon enough to be destroyed) chewtoy that Zenobia is gnawing -- it's heavy and durable Kong-level rubber though this toy has been fashioned into the shape of an anatomically correct heart.

Over in Steve's actual room, a large glass vase (asymmetrical and patterned in shifting shades of blues and whites with glints here and there of silver; its uneven flung-up edges and careful shading make the entire creation look like the frothing crest of a wave crashing upward) holds a bouquet of carefully-wrought glass flowers. A few glass flower petals have been scattered around the base of the arrangement. /On/ the table (in a tightly sealed plastic carrying case) there is an apple pie, its latticework crust decorated with little pastry hearts on the cross-hatched strips. The actual card propped up against the vase is an ostentatiously glittery confection of lace and construction-paper that looks straight out of an elementary-school craft class. Inside, just a brief note: 'No matter what comes next, you got me.'

wednesday. 15 february. 08:30

<NYC> Harbor Commons - Courtyard - Lower East Side

Steve pushes out into the press of bodies, excusing himself in Spanish as he goes and answering no questions. A tall and well-built white man in an olive drab jacket refuses to move out of the way.

"Hey, Cap," says the man, snapping a smart salute.

Steve returns the salute. "Hola. I'm afraid I can't answer any questions." He's already moving away again, looking ever so slightly sheepish.

"Not here to ask questions, Sir," says the man, dropping hands hands back to his sides and following Steve as he wends toward the edge of the crowd. "I just wanted you to know how much you've inspired me -- not just as a symbol of America, but of humanity's future. You are the first of a new breed, Sir, and I hope to follow in your footsteps."

"What are you --" Steve stops, stares at the man, who returns his gaze unflinchingly.

"Mutants blunder into their powers, undeserving and oblivious to their true potential," the man is all too eager to explain. "But with your help, humanity can ascend to true mastery..."

Horror and anger war for dominance on Steve's face, and he does not stay to hear the rest of the man's pitch. He plows his way through the rest of the crowd and takes off at a run with which no human could keep up.

thursday. 16 february. 14:11

<NYC> Harbor Commons - Space Station - Lower East Side

Perched on the back of one of the benches, Isra is swathed in a voluminous red cloak edged in gold, intricate pink and purple fractal swirls in her skin where it is visible. She keeps a watchful eye on the toddlers up in the climbing structure, while one pointed ear remains cocked toward the front gate at all times.

In the highest tier of the rocket ship, Egg has one thumb talon from each fuzzy black wing hooked onto the railing, their bulbous head poking out through it. Their huge green eyes squint toward the gates to the Commons, their pointed ears straining to perk all the way up, though still flopping over at the tips. 'Many people, so many! What are they doing? Is there a party?'

Seated on the platform just below Egg, Tola nods encouragingly at this line of thinking. 'Probably!' is signed before switching to a spoken, "Yeah it looks like a party! You should go see. You're good at parties." One chubby green hand makes a -- whoosh? Little flying motion. Swoop.

Egg dangles upside-down for a better view at their friend, eyes bulging out even farther as she speaks. 'I'm great, I learn from Dad, I show them how to party good.' Thus inspired, they clamber up on top of the railing and spring out into the air, wings snapping wide and taut, gliding with rather impressive stability out across the courtyard and over the gates.

friday. 17 february. 15:27

<NYC> Harbor Commons - Lower East Side

"Seriously? All you motherfuckers just fucking /standing/ here and none of you saw -- fuck it. Goddamn fucking worthless pi --"

B is dragging Shane away, at this point -- hand clamped over hir twin's mouth, hir own eyes wider as ze pulls him baaack very much /away/ from the pair of police officers who have, currently, been stationed to keep an eye on the crowds collected at the Commons. "{For fuck's sake, Shane.}" Her Vietnamese is sharp and tight.

Shane growls low, nips irritably at B's hand. He does not make any further attempt to commit suicide by cop, though, staying quiet until they're back at their house. His head tips back, eyes narrowing as he looks up at the mess that has been made of the back side of Workhaus. Bold and red in messily spray-painted scrawl over the stone: 'DIE FAGGOT'

B doesn't look at it -- doesn't look at it /again/, anyway. "I'll get a bucket."

friday. 17 february. 16:23

<NYC> Lower East Side

Steve slows to a stop at the corner, staring down the block at the milling mass of people, equipment, and picket signs in front of the Commons. He blows out a long breath and continues approaching. Some of those gathered surge out to meet him, waving signs, cameras, and microphones at him as he pushes his way through, keeping his face carefully neutral.

A brawny man in a suit and tie with a blonde fashy gets in front of Steve. "You are a disgrace to America, to your race, and to your Goddamned species," he growls. "You don't deserve that shield."

Steve ignores this, stepping around him. The man follows him, leaning in close, shouting in his face to be heard over the general clamor.

"Well, we're onto you now, fucking faggot. So go have fun with your freak rentboy and his spawn while you --"

Steve's expression hardens as he turns to the man, right hand rising and clenching into a fist whose rising arc catches the other man solidly on the cheek. The man's head snaps to the side and he staggers away -- probably would have fallen if the crowd were not packed so tight. Said crowd is hastily clearing a path for Steve, however. The fury plainly written on his face gets him the rest of the way to the gate unmolested.

friday. 17 february. 19:27

<NYC> Harbor Commons - Rooftop - Lower East Side

Hive is leaning against the edge of the rooftop -- the edge looking toward the river, not toward the knot of people outside. A cigarette hangs between his fingers; his eyes are unfocused, the slump of his posture more lazy than tired.

Flicker's rapid flutter of presences makes itself felt before the man can be seen. Still with his messenger bag, books, laptop, /he's/ got tired enough to spare as he comes back from school. A healthy dose of anger spurting in between to go with. << Is there /anywhere/ they won't -- /ugh/. >> In his mind's eye, one /particular/ cluster of the protesters outside -- waving all too familiar 'GOD HATES FAGS' signs along with their 'GOD HATES FREAKS' and now 'THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS' 'GOD HATES CAPTAIN AMERICA'.

Hive's hand lifts to his mouth. The next drag of his cigarette is slow. "/Well/."

"Well?" Flicker's brows lift. Questioning.

The shrug of Hive's shoulder is barely perceptible -- not visually, anyway. Easy enough for Flicker to feel, together with the next puff of his smoke. He leans more heavily against the railing. His eyes are still fixed out on the water.

At the gates, though, there is a shifting. A movement. A /quieting/, first of all -- talking and chanting and intermittent yelling alike all abruptly dying off. The police are the first to leave, though the swollen cluster of protesters soon follows. One by one, after this, the media presence also filters back to their vans.

Left behind at the now-peaceful gates, all in a neat row, is a long line of cameras.