Logs:Of Ire and Indecision (Or, Different Perspectives)
|Of Ire and Indecision (Or, Different Perspectives)
"Feel like a rock and hard place. How you pick this?"
Across the Rift - Cabin in Maine
Dinner has come and -- not quite gone. A slow process, the Dishes Situation in the small and extremely overcrowded cabin such that eating happens in waves, but they're on the final stretch of it -- at least, everyone who wanted food has had a chance to get some by now. Kavalam was among the last of these; he's working his way hungrily through a bowl of unappetizing looking but actually quite tasty stew and rice, sitting cross-legged on the floor by the coffee table right in the center of the cabin's main living room. By now, in this close-quarters high-tension situation, his place among the other kids is -- a tenuous one. Still easily overlooked, when he's not making an effort, but when he does at least people are usually not startled by his existence, even if they still can't really recall the details of their previous experiences with him. Mostly remembering his name (even if the likelihood that the average American successfully pronounces it is hit or miss.)
He'll take it, for now.
It's only when he is about halfway through his bowl that he does start Making The Effort to be noticed -- and when he does he makes it strongly. Ability doing a complete 180, from Easily Overlookable to Oddly Compelling; when he speaks, there's a brief moment where it's actively hard to ignore him, before it levels back out into just an average level of Being There. "-- Are we really going to do this? New York? Our New York has so many killer police robots. How many do you think are in this one?"
Nanami has long since finished eating. She's just slipping back out of the kitchen, wiping her hands dry on her shirt after finishing some dishes. Her brows crease -- at Kavalam's question or his existence, either way. "Can't stay in this cabin for always. You got a better way home?"
Lael has just finished his food and gathered up a few empty bowls from his fellows, heading to switch places with Nanami, though he hesitates when Kavalam speaks up. His brows furrow deeply, his hair wriggling faster. "Easy to say it's gotta be lots more," he offers, "but they been roundin' up mutants how long now? Can't imagine there's a whole lotta us left someplace like New York, though that don't necessarily mean they'd cut down patrollin', neither." His snakelike eyes search the room. "K.C. might could tell us."
"Can't tell -- from here." K.C. (still in the same clothes she wore since they arrived. Still unshowered, to probably nobody's delight) has been sitting in a corner by a window, knees pulled to her chest and fingers twitching restlessly at the air. She hasn't spoken to anyone in a while, but she's been speaking all the same, a soft monotonous litany of -- mostly doom. Her voice raises enough now to carry through the room, though it doesn't break out of its toneless flatness. "No Sentinels here. Get close. Then tell." There's a pause, her shoulders rocking steadily forward and back, before she adds, "Don't want to get close."
Marinov had accepted whatever has been gathered for their unique dietary situation, and ate it quickly and promptly returned to their relatively stress-free activity of slumber, confirming for all whether they're able to purr (yes, when asleep). But this talk causes them to snap awake just as quickly. They rub their eyes and look around as their brain catches up with this discussion. "I imagine there's killer robots plenty but... It's a way out of this fucking hellscape. To our friends, our families."
Marcus is perched on the back of the couch, feet resting down on one of its arms. Even for him, he hasn't been particularly conversational since he finished cooking and eating, just observing the room in mostly-quiet, but his eyes rivet on Kavalam when the other boy speaks. "If no New York, where?" He dips a quick glance to Marinov at this last comment, lips thinning and head bowing slightly with a very small flare of nostrils.
Kavalam's huff is short and sharp, his jaw tightening mildly at Marinov's comment. "Yes. Friends. Families. I feel deeply for those of you who have those." He sets his spoon down in his bowl, his shoulders tighter. "But we don't even know if there is a way back. You are hoping. Hoping this portal exists, hoping we don't die trying to get through the biggest city in the country, past the biggest police force in the country, and find it. It is a very slim thread to hang all our lives on."
“How long y’all reckon before the whole world here goes to shit?” Beau asks, not looking up from the empty bowl in front of him, his stomach letting out a growl as he speaks. “I can raise hell when we get there, distract the sentinels while you all push through. Not a great idea but it’s a start.”
"If there is a way back it's probably only a matter of time before one side either tries shut it or starts a war through it. So if we do try for home it's best to try now," Cassy pipes up from by the front door. "We can't just find a place to hide and hope the killbot situation improves."
She nods in response to Beau. "Staying here isn't exactly risk free. What will they do with an army of killer robots once all the mutants in America are gone? Scrap them and call it a day?"
"That's -- not very reassuring." Nanami is looking more deeply worried once Cassy speaks up. "We have an army of killer robots at home. More than one. What do you think they're going to do with those?" Her brows knit, fingers scrunching now at the hem of her shirt. "But I want to see my parents."
"Different bad at home." Naomi is wedged between the back of the couch and a window, staring out into the winter landscape, arms wrapped around her knees. The map she took on the first day is laid out on top of her feet. "Bad we know at home. Bad we don't know here. How we know Canada ain't gonna send us back to this shit, if we go there? Like they gotta deal wi' the government or somethin'."
Kelawini is sitting beside Kavalam on the floor--had been aware of him this whole time even if she's been too busy ravenously devouring her food to make much in the way of conversation. She stops now, eyes darting between the others as they speak. Swallows. Looks very tempted to take another bite but then sets her spoon down firmly in what remains of her supper. "Me and my sister, we can beat those robo buggahs!" She pushes her hair back where it starts to fall across her face. "We get a little better at this we can--make um ignore us like. Protect us mebbe!"
"Dumb idea," K.C. looks up long enough to blink at Beau. "Dumbest idea. Distract every Sentinel in New York. Whole way through. Dumbest idea." Her eyes return to the air in front of her. "World at home. Not exactly great. Big risk. Different hellscape." Her head shakes, quick and jerky, when Naomi speaks. "No deal. No deal."
Harm hasn't been eating much, though they have a bowl of their own and are picking determinedly at it. They have been attending, though, their expression growing steadily more dismayed as their schoolmates speak. They huddle deeper into the corner of the sofa, knees pulled up to their chest now and bowl set aside. "It's bad at home, too," they admit, "but at least they're not rounding us up and putting us in camps there. And here -- won't the border be watched, too? And..." They bite their lower lip, chew on it. "...they wouldn't be expecting mutants to try to get back into places like New York, right?"
Gaétan's been quiet, all this while, picking through the last of his own bowl of stew where he sits on the floor leaned up against the base of the couch. His eyes skip from one person to the next and then back to his food, studying it as the conversation washes over him, but now he looks up again. "That's not -- true." His voice is very quiet and he has to clear it before he speaks up again, more clearly. "Our government has been rounding mutants into these places for years at home. Just because you don't know about it --" His head shakes. "But they have them all over the country, for locking people up and experimenting on them, just like here. Smaller scale." His jaw tightens. "For now."
“Just Staten Island at first. Just long enough for y’all to get through.” Beau awkwardly adjusts his dirty purple Macho Man tank-top. “Who the hell goes to Staten Island anyway?”
“I bet the border is locked down tighter’n hell.” Gaétan gets a nod. “Home is fucked. But maybe we can stop it from getting even more fucked.”
"We don't even know where in Staten Island it is." Kavalam's hands spread. "Do you know Staten Island? Have you spent much time there? Do you know how to get around it? Do you know how many police stations it has? Are we meant to search every single one hoping that maybe one of them has this portal? While you hare off and die in the first five minutes with this inane distraction idea and we're left to scour the rest of the borough? Do you know how large a borough is? Good luck with that." He looks to Gaétan, his eyes wider behind his glasses. "Sorry, what?"
Marinov's mouth clamps with a click when Kavalam speaks, and then fall silent to listen to some of the others, their tail curls around themself. "Not so sure that Canada would want some of us crossing through or sticking around just on." Their eyes twitch in the direction of Nessie. "Visual inspection." And what would we even do-- like, we get to Canada, and then? We don't exist here. Or, we exist here and we're somewhere else." They fall silent and look visibly uncomfortable, twitches of muscle beneath their fur.
Lael has stopped and filled the sink so he can do the washing up without making too much noise, his attention still half on the others speaking though he adds nothing further for a time. It's the water that saves him from breaking the bowl that slips from his hand at Gaétan's revelation, though he grimaces at the sudsy water that splashes him. "An' with that registration act done passed it might just be a matter'a time at home, before we get to this." He sweeps one hand vaguely at a window, indicating the world outside the cabin. "Don't reckon that's turnin' off anyone on goin' home, but it do sound like an awful long shot regardless."
“Pardon me. Mayhaps you’d prefer I intercepted the sentinels securing the border? I’m sure Stark half assed this trillion dollar government contract.” Beau drawls dryly, left nostril curling back slightly. “We’re fucked regardless of what we do. If y’all wanna go to Canada, fine, I’ll help. I don’t have any friends or family waitin’ on me anyway.” With that he falls onto his back and stares at the ceiling.
Nanami's eyes also rivet on Gaétan, her face paling and her body going more still. She has to swallow hard before she can muster an answer to this. "Not the first time we lock people up in camps," she says, her eyes shifting to Cassy and then away, "even if white people love pretending it not happen till it happen to them. But --" Her shoulders slump heavily, and she sits down beside her sister with a whump. "Feel like a rock and hard place. How you pick this? I just want --" She doesn't finish this sentence, just scrubbing angrily at tear-filled eyes.
"Beau can you please stop volunteering for a suicide mission until we actually figure out what we'll do?" Cassy snaps. "I doubt you'd even distract a sentinel for a whole five minutes anyway. One dart and any of us is powerless." She glances over at Nanami. "And a bitchy history lesson isn't helping either. No-one is saying home is perfect but at least it's not this fucking terrible."
Kelawini's eyes go very, very wide and she sits up straighter, opening her mouth and then snapping it shut again without speaking. She starts to reach for her sister when Nanami sinks down beside her, but checks the motion with a frustrated grunt, wrapping her arms tightly around herself instead. "Can't blame no one wanna go a safer way--" she says finally, doggedly, not looking at Kavalam. Whatever this rest of this thought was, it's cut off abruptly in favor of her narrowing her eyes at Cassy. "Who you call bitchy?" she snaps, rolling forward onto one knee, fists clenching. "You want fo step outside I show you who's a bitch."
"Not so terrible. For you." K.C.'s eyes snap up to Cassy, and then back down. She gets up from her corner, heading for the door. "Go to New York. Fine. But not me."
“Nothing ain’t ever that terrible fo’ white folks. Maybe you should stay here. Get some fear o’ God into you.” There is a thump as Naomi’s head hits the back of the couch. Then- “Wayment.” Naomi scrambles up. “K.C. wait we gon’ die without you-“
Kavalam's eyes track K.C. as she starts to pick her way through the room. He looks down at his bowl again, knobbly fingers tight around it. "I'm not -- I do feel for you all. If you want to go home. I'm --" His mouth presses into a thin line. "But it's such a long shot. I'm not dying for that."
"Bitching about getting someone else's perspective isn't gonna help either," says Marinov to Cassy, tensely. "I just want to go home. I think... in this world, there was an alternate me, and I think-- I'm pretty sure they're dead already. I don't like my chances sticking around." They look up when K.C. starts towards the door, and they get up to their feet, their voice softening a bit despite the tension that still lingers. "Hey K.C. are you just needing to step away a sec?"
“No, you’re right, fuck me. I’ve tried to be useful, but I worried more about not bothering y’all.” Beau goes from prone to standing in a moment, untying his button-down from his waist and shrugging into it. “We’re not all awful. Just most of us. I’ll be back.” He turns to follow K.C., actually leaving regardless of if they do or not.
Gaétan curls his arms around himself. His eyes narrow on Cassy, but only for a second before he looks back at the floor. "Without K.C. or Kavalam? I really don't like those odds."
Nanami's fists have already balled up; she's just about to draw back and take a swing at Cassy when Kelawini rolls herself up to threaten the same. Almost instantly her motion shifts to putting that same arm, not restraining but warning, in front of her sister. "Fuck. Don't need no bang-up here now, not even some haole bitch." She settles back, fists still clenched but now in her lap. Brow creased, and her tone a lot more defiant than her veeeeery uncertain look. "Bots we can take. But leaving people here..."
"Here. There. Some of us, we get shot in the street either world. Some of us, in cages either world." Marcus's eyes have narrowed down at his knees. His normal quiet voice has gone a little flintier all the same. "Must be nice. To think history." He looks up at Kavalam, nodding slow. "I go with you."
K.C. stops by the door, breathing a little more rapidly and staring at the doorknob when Marinov and Naomi approach her. "Need to step away. Need to step far away. Need to step away." She presses her palms to her eyes, then drops them. "Canada. New York. No point. We're all going to die. Don't need to run at it though."
Nessie has been quiet in the corner, her tail swaying with increasing agitation all this while as her hands wring together. "Ohgodohgod," she's kind of whispering to herself under her breath, "we are never getting home."
Marinov jaw tenses a little and they say to K.C., "If you've gotta have some quiet for a bit, I'll let you be. I'll be here. We'll... figure this out." More confidently. "We'll figure this out. I trust you to know--" They look back to the others, clearly wanting to speak, but likely just going through a mental countdown a few moments. "We'll look out for each other, stick together and figure this out."