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Five Years Gone
Date: Spring 2012 Characters: Emelia Harper, Candice Wilmer Summary:… 
4th-Oct-2007 11:22 pm
Date: Spring 2012
Characters: Emelia Harper, Candice Wilmer
Summary: Candice has the afternoon uncharacteristically free. A leisurely walk leads her to the last pretty little place in not so pretty NYC.
Warnings: None
Status: In progress
Open

Candice didn't get many chances to feel like a woman anymore. She'd become an androgynous machine that shot and questioned and followed orders and when her nine-to-five ended, she had to put on another mask and head home. In between, she lost something. Then again, who hadn't, in a place like New York. Sacrifice was everywhere. The beggar on the street corner who she could swear used to be a movie star; the forty-something year old prostitute who lived down the landing from her apartment; hell, maybe even Parkman.

It was easy to pretend she couldn't give a damn when there was blood on her hands and she had to push through. Quiet days when nothing happened were the worst and if, by some accident, her schedule was free and she was sent home early, her whole world threatened to fold in on itself.

She almost called Jamie to pass the time with him, but that wasn't a solution, so she took to wandering the streets. Building after building in various stages of destruction, until at last... a hidden gem. A church. She approached it slowly, as if some godly force might spit her out if she got too near. It was pretty, its architecture not something Candice could speak of in correct terms but that she could appreciate compared to its surroundings.
Comments 
5th-Oct-2007 01:08 am (UTC)
Emelia had her own way of describing things. Not verbally but with pencil and pastels. Bits of charcoal already sat on the bench beside her as Emmie sketched the perfect church. They had grown too small for even her skilled hands to use and she had set them aside, intent on finding a use for them later.

She had been returning to this church for the past several days, skipping one due to rain but otherwis appearing faithfully, in a fashion.

The last detail of her portrait was driving her nuts, however. On the lawn of the nearly undamaged church was a withered old tree. Emelia couldn't tell what it had been in its thriving years and it was bothering her. She was desperate to draw something, anything that looked right, but nothing was working.

With a mild groan, she lifted her eyes from her sketch pad, staring at the dead tree before her. Closing her eyes, she tried to imagine what it could have been. With a faint laugh escaping her lips, she opened her eyes again.

"Cherry blossom. its the only thing that'd look right," she said to no one in particular. Before she could continue speaking, however, something caught her attention and she turned, looking.

A woman had entered the area and Emelia eyed her suspiciously. She did that to everyone nowadays. She continued to watch her as she dug a hand through her backpack, her fingers recognising the right tools just by touch. Finally she spoke to her.

"Amazing, isn't it? How . . . " she waved a hand towards the church, trying to come up with the right word. "How whole it still is." She looked at the woman again, briefly. "You think God had anything to do with it? Or sheer dumb luck?"
5th-Oct-2007 08:41 am (UTC)
Candice didn't talk to people unless she had something to get out of it. A promotion, a one night stand; heck, her life. She wasn't nice like Jamie and she had no need pretend, even if the girl was cute and she didn't seem like much of a threat.

"Luck, probably," she smiled, tilting her head at the girl. "I'm not much of a believer in any god who let New York be turned into rubble." It wasn't loss of faith, exactly; she hadn't been much of a believer to start with.

Yet another point she didn't have in common with her ex-husband. Maybe Jamie was right, maybe they weren't meant to be together because they were so inherently different.

"You're good," she added, nodding towards the sketch pad. "But you're in the wrong city to be drawing churches. Unless ruins are more to your taste."
5th-Oct-2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
Emelia blinked, watching the woman briefly. Always watching and staring. Partly waiting but for what she wasn't sure. A sign, maybe, that she was doing the right thing by hiding, shunning those like her. She wasn't sure. It didn't matter, though. Nowadays, humans and metahumans alike couldn't be trusted so what was the difference?

"Surprisingly rubble has more detail and at the same time leaves room for imagination." she pointed at the tree, holding up the picture a moment so the woman could see the cherry blossom tree she drew from the dead stump. "I don't know if its right or not. For all I know, that stump over there was a damn pine tree. A maple. A giant bush that had gone untrimmed." she shrugged. "This was more fun. Drawing what wasn't there instead of what might have been." She smiled slightly, thinking to herself that she had gone and made herself sound like a crazy person.

"If I were to go draw somewhere that wasn't blown up, I think I'd be bored."

5th-Oct-2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
"It's nice to dream," she agreed, pushing a pebble around with the tip of her shoe. It wasn't really a pebble, she noticed after a moment. It was a piece of bone, either human or animal. A child's bone?

She looked away the moment she considered it.

"I think it was a shrub," she decided, throwing the girl a cautious smile. "Something insignificant since that's what God's supposed to be all about; the little things."
5th-Oct-2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
Em looked from her drawing to the shrub and back again, frowning. "I like it as a cherry blossom better." She smiled slightly.

"Emelia," she said, extending her hand. It took all of her concentration to hold back the electricity her body contained. Obnoxious.
5th-Oct-2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
"Candice," she nodded, darting a quick look to her outstretched hand before shaking it. She could pretend to be normal, for a bit.

"Not many people in New York feel chatty these days," she commented with a smirk, returning her right hand to her pocket. It was still cold.

Her grin was strangely feral, an experiment in human reaction. "Least of all with strangers near deserted churches."
5th-Oct-2007 10:06 pm (UTC)
Em tilted her head at the look, smirking slightly. "Who said I'm feeling chatty?" she asked, eyebrow twitching up a tad. "I like noise when I work. It helps me concentrate." She held up a very outdated MP3 player, before the ones that came with videos. "I have the loudest of death metal on here. I used to dislike loud music. Prefer Ray Charles to Korn but....Marilyn Mansons cover of 'This Is Halloween' kinda grew on me."


"So what do you do for...work or whatever?"
6th-Oct-2007 07:20 am (UTC)
Another smile, because she had to admit Marilyn Manson had its uses, especially when you were pulling weights back in the training room.

"I work for the government," she replied softly, watching Emelia's expression carefully as one might and actress one seeks to copy. She didn't really, even if her face was a canvas she hadn't put her mind to yet.
7th-Oct-2007 12:41 pm (UTC)
Emelia blinked slightly. She worked for the government? Interesting. And only slightly nervewracking. She turned back to her sketchpad and added minor details to the drawing.

"Whats it like working for them?" she asked, trying to keep the conversation going. "Is it as exciting as it sounds or just a lot of paperwork?"
7th-Oct-2007 12:45 pm (UTC)
"Stressful," Candice answered, shrugging a little as she watched the girl's hand. She had skill and obviously the time to perfect it. Candice couldn't remember the last time she'd put her mind to anything other than a mission.

"I'd tell you more but than I'd have to kill you," she joked, cracking a smile. "You're an artist?"
7th-Oct-2007 12:52 pm (UTC)
Emelia shrugged slightly. "Art student. Sort of." It wasn't like she actually went to a college for it. A professor that used to work for one of the local community colleges before the city exploded decided to reform classes in one of the slightly less damaged buildings.

"Its one of the few things I'm good at.' she said with a smile that threatened to turn into a grin.
7th-Oct-2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
Candice hid a snort of laughter. Art students. Exactly what the world needed, she thought, without being sarcastic. How else would they break out of this never ending cycle of privation and fear? More restrictions, more violence and never a sign of normality; it was enough to make her forget that seven years earlier she'd been a normal woman, with normal ambitions.

Now 'normal' sounded like a curse.

"Do you paint or just draw?" she asked, not derision but honest curiosity fueling the question.
7th-Oct-2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
"Paint. draw. Little bit of pottery when I can." She shrugged. "Not a while lot. I generally like to sketch more than anything else. Not people, though. I've never been able to master that."

She thought back to the earlier part of their conversation. "I'd like to draw something other than delapitated buildings but that might just be me."
7th-Oct-2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
Ah, but all the fun was in observing people and their little quirks. Copying them even more so.

"That how you found this church?" she smiled, nodding towards the small, strangely preserved building.
8th-Oct-2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
She shook her head slightly. "Actually, I found this church because some dumb kid stole my hat. Chased him here and he dissapeared." She paused, looking around the area still trying to find that kid.

"Never got my hat back."
9th-Oct-2007 10:01 am (UTC)
"Maybe he was one of those freaks," Candice shrugged, the word bitter and sweet all at once on her lips. She used it when she had to blend in and when she wanted to piss Jamie off. It worked wonders in both cases.

Her eyes regarded Emelia carefully. "You know, like the girl who robbed that bank down in Atlanta last week."
9th-Oct-2007 12:02 pm (UTC)
"I didn't hear about that one. What happened?" she asked, eyes filled with curiosity. "Did she walk through the wall or something? You have to admit, out of all of the...things...they can do, some of them do sound a bit useful."

Like that time in Tampa when the power went out and Emelia didn't notice because her hair dryer kept going. Or the time she had to change a light bulb and she was pissed about the light bulb breaking so each new one she picked up shorted out immediately.


That was fun.

"Not that I'd want to be one." She finished this with the slightest of smiles.
9th-Oct-2007 01:16 pm (UTC)
"She was a teleporter," Candice retorted with a grin. "Popped in and out of the vault in under a minute. Only way they even knew it was a girl was the security cameras."

She shrugged. "At least that's what they said on the news." And she hadn't looked any further. There were bigger and better meta-humans to worry about right in her hometown.

"Skill or not, it's still a crime."
9th-Oct-2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
Emelia nodded slightly, biting back the desire to say it was an abuse of power and that the girl should be using it for something better.

She'd have also made herself out to be a hypocrite considering the times she's used her ability to keep her electric bill way down.

"If they caught her, how would they keep her in one place if she can teleport everywhere?"
9th-Oct-2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
"She'd probably be sedated," Candice sighed, not wanting to delve into any more detail. What happened to captured, unmarked meta-humans once they were captured wasn't pretty. It was also something that couldn't be disclosed to the public.

"I'd tell you more but then I'd have to kill you," she shrugged as seriously as she could. "Don't worry, people like me exist to keep people like her away from people like you. One big happy America, that's what it is." And if that sounded even so slightly bitter? Well, it was because she felt bitter to think about what she did, what she had to do.
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