2011-01-21: Ideas To Help


Star_icon.jpg Travis_icon.jpg

Special Guest Abraham

Summary: Travis comes to Abraham with a few ideas to assit the village before having a conversation about Star.

Date: January 21, 2011

Log Title: Ideas to Help

Rating: PG

Africa - Rundown Village

The lush green trees of the rainforest hide the small village, with only one road that leads out. The road clearly doesn't get much use, high grass growing up the center. It's nestled next to a beautiful river, flowing with the clean source of water. Still, it is a good walk down a slippery slope to get there.
The village here is poor, but hardly unpopulated. There is one solid building standing at the middle of town, and that's the church, though even that is a roug stucco building. It also seems to double as a clinic. There is no steeple, it is a simple block building, but a cross stands high over the main entrance of the buildling. There are no white people who live here, a dark shade of black on the skin tones of each inhabitant. Though it is small, there are people who live and play. Children run amidst dogs, the women wash clothes and cook while men bring in the food. Some traces of civilization can be found, playing cards and checkers seems to bethe popular activities among the elderly, and they can be found in the shade of any of dozens of trees or around the large fire kept burning at the center.
The rest of the buildings in town are all the same. They are grass huts, and offer little privacy. None of the inhabitants seem to mind, content with their community life. This might offend some of the sensibilities of Americans, but they don't seem bothered by such things.

After being here for two days, Travis has wanted to see what he can do for the village and talking to Abraham about some ideas has been brought up. So he's headed over to the chapel shortly after washing up, eating breakfast and getting dressed. He's wearing one of his custom Rockies jerseys which he seems to have a lot of, over a pair of jeans as he walks in. He walks over to one of the women he's seen speaking English and asks her if she's seen Abraham and if she knows where he can find him.

Abraham was just finishing some tending to the injured. There's a lot of work to be done around here, and since he's the one people turn to, he has the most work of all. The pastor walks in a rather upbeat manner, all the same. "Do not worray, God will provide for you what he desiahs." The woman seems comforted, and after adjusting her pillow, Abraham gets up from the side of her bed. "Hello, Travis!" he annouces as he spots the youth. "It is a beautiful day, is it not?" he asks. He seems to be very good with names, there isn't a person in the village whose name he doesn't know, including all of the visitors that have recently arrived.

Travis smiles to Abraham and nods. "Yes, it is a nice day, I was wondering if you had a moment, just, give me a second." He says going over to the injured woman and offering one of his hands to her. "I don't know if you know English or not, but I can heal you if you like." He says letting it be her choice. If she takes the offered hand there will be a faint blue glow and it will take about 5 minutes till she is completely healed.

Abraham grins broadly, and repeats to the woman in Igbo. He explains to her that Travis can heal her, and she nods, smiling broadly and reaching out to take her hand. Two old men in the corner watch, and start discussing something between themselves. Ever so often, they indicate toward Travis. It appears that they are having some sort of disagreement about him, and trying to convince each other of their position.
"It is vedy kind of you to be heah," Abraham says. "You have a great blessing with your gift. So what is it dat you wished to speak with me about?"

Travis doesn't mind healing people, he's happy to do it. "The healing part is good but the other hand, that one can make people sick. I try not to use that power." He says as it's not a friendly power. "Each hand is kind of like an opposite, the bottom two can heal or cause illness, the middle are heat and cold and the top two are an energy shield and an energy sword so like an offense and a defense, anyway that's off topic." Travis says as he squeezes the woman's hand before letting go and offering her a smile. "I wanted to talk to you cause I'm a bit of a carpenter and I was wondering if there was anything you needed here, maybe find a way to build stronger homes."

"Dat is vedy interesting," the pastor says. "You have been given a gift in all of dem, but a great responsibility as well. You say stronger homes?" Abraham echoes. "Da people heah have lived in homes like dis for many generations. If dey had something new, some of them may very much appreciate it. But who would help build dem once you are gone?" he asks. "Can you teach them to build the homes themselves?" he asks. The two men in the back are still discussing between themselves.

"Well, I just don't want to see their homes get destroyed if they're attacked again. Maybe if we can find a way for a bit more solid of a structure, it might help them withstand an attack." Travis explains. "I know this is all a bit of a culture shock for me and really different from anything back home but I might be able to teach them what I'm doing. See if it helps. That's why I'm talking to you, I don't know what you can and can't do here and what supplies you do and do not have."

The pastor smiles gently. "You must understand, dis village has survived with vedy little for a long time. Dey are not in want, though sometimes in need." he makes a quick motion around the chapel. "Dey are content with what dey have. Dey do not wish for running water, or electricity. I know dat must be strange to an American, for all those things are good, and America is blessed to have dem. But all dey need is here, for God has provided all dat dey need to live. We have trees to make good lumber. We have axes and knives to cut and shape them with."

Travis doesn't full understand, especially from the point of view of someone who has had their house destroyed in a fire. "Electricity I can understand, running water that'd be hard for me to live without." He admits. "I was just thinking though, if you build something a bit more sturdier it might save lives too. This is all just so different to me. I don't mind helping to rebuild what needs it or helping with repairs but if you need anything else, or want to do anything else. It's just my father was a carpenter and taught me a lot about wood working and if I can use what I know to help, I'd like to."

It would be greatly appreciated," Abraham agrees. "And we thank you. But You will have to understand dat dere is only what we have here to work with. Da nearest hospital is two days away. Da nearest lumber store is da same, and we do not have vehicles to bring materials in. We have only dese materials to work with." He smiles. "Sometimes having more brings you less. You become dependent on things, and forget dat God is da source of all you have. So you start to worship your possessions. Da people heah do not have much, and dey are happy with dis because dey do not become distracted."

"Well I wasn't talking to going to a store but just seeing what you have here to use but I'm already sure this is a lost battle." Travis says with a chuckle as he doesn't think that there is much more he can do then what is needed. "Though just out of curiosity, what would they become distracted from?"

Abraham smiles. "Dey can become distracted from following after God," he explains. "Dere are many other things dat can still distract dem, but material things is not among dem. Dey would rather be without luxuries den to be pulled from Truth. Da people heah did not all start in dis village. Dey came from many places. God brought dem here. He brought Hosea here. We do not know how it happens, but heah in da middle of da wilderness, dis village has grown. People find it, just as you have. Many choose to stay."

Travis looks down at two of his hands and fidgits a bit. He's not that familar with Christianity, sure he went to church as a kid but he hasn't been in years. Also the whole living your life for god thing, he never really understood it. "I don't really know Hosea that well, he used to go to school with Rashmi who I go to school with now. I kinda tagged along."

"Ahh," Abraham says. "Well, I do not think he would mind if I told you dis," the pastor reveals. "You see da many scars on his body? He used to be a man like those who attack us. Full of rage, full of hate. He could not see what was good because of his own bitterness. He lived for himself, and was not filled. God drew him here to learn, and changed his heart. It is only when you live for God, and desire what he desires, dat you will have peace in your heart. Many things seem noble, but can be twisted into evil by men such as da one who comes against us."

Travis nods but doesn't comment much on the religion side of things. That's not what he came here for. "It doesn't seem like an easy life, growing up like that. I think the only time I really hated anyone is when my father was killed. But, I don't really hate them anymore, just I mostly miss my Dad more anything. But what was it that made him hate so much?"

"Hosea's village was slaughtered by a man named Nero," Abraham explains. "He and his brothers were taken to become soldiers for Nero. His sisters were taken as wives for his soldiers." Abraham nods sagely. "He had a vedy good upbringing, his father was a great preacher. Men who hated what is good came to kill him, but dey could not. He would speak, and dey would abandon their wicked ways. He had a special gift. He died saving a man who was trying to kill him." Not a common way for people to die. "You see, da people who attack us, dey are under the devil's power. Nero knows dat everyone has a breaking point. You would be wise to know what yours is if you are here long, so dat you can resist him."

"Dunno if I have a breaking point." Travis has never been pushed that far. "And you say that like I'll definately be meeting this guy." He says not thinking that it'll happen. "And what is it that he's trying to get out of people. Breaking point for what?:" It's very vauge in Travis' opinion. "He attacked you guys when we came in so I assume this is a regular thing, Why does he keep attacking?"

"He wants more soldiers for his army," The pastor tells Travis. "People can only resist, but inside each of us, dere is tha ability to commit great evil. Nero is vedy good at finding out what is so important to us dat we will kill for it. I do not know if you will meet him. I certainly hope not. But dis is not a safe country. You come to expect suffering heah. I do not want you to be unprepared."

Travis's first thought in regards to something that important is his Mom and he's grateful that she isn't here, though a part of him wishes he could call her. "Do guys do anything to fight back or just make sure he can't come here? Like maybe figure out a way to use what you have to figure out some kind of alarm system? I mean if he keeps coming you won't have a village to fall back on anymore."

"Some of the children stay in the trees. Dey help warn us if da army is coming. We have no weapons, but we do not desire to kill dem. Dey are hurting people," Abraham tells Travis. "But da army is becoming more subtle on dere approaches. Sometimes we do not have time to escape before dey come in." The pastor walks back to the men who are arguing for a moment, and says something that seems to decidedly end the discussion about Travis. One of them slaps the other on the shoulder, and says something that might be interpreted as 'I told you so.' Abraham turns back around to face Travis. "But God is good. He brings suffering to teach us. When da time is right, he will remove da suffering as well. Suffering for doing what is right is a blessing, much better than to suffer for doing wrong."
Stepping into the chapel with a basket of clean cloths to make pallets for those that are too injured to return to their own huts, Star stops short when she sees the conversation between the six armed kid that she met briefly on the trip here and the village pastor. Her hair is tied back in a braid that hangs over her left shoulder and she's wearing a dusky blue t-shirt and a pair of lighter colored jeans with the boots from her Alpha Squadron uniform. No sense in bringing more than one pair of shoes with her, after all, when they're just going to be in a tiny African village with nowhere more cultured than a small chapel to go, after all. She doesn't pause for long, though, before she continues on her way to put the freshly laundered sheets away, "Suffering is never right." The numbness that she's been exibiting for the last couple of months hangs heavy around her when she speaks, her voice flat and almost emotionless.

"I didn't say kill them, I was more talking about protecting yourselves." Travis says as even a small place to hide would be better as their homes don't seem to stop bullets. "And a vechile can move faster than a child in a tree. I mean, even a simple system that when the cross an area makes a noise, rings a bell, lets you know that something is coming." He has to bite his tongue from saying what he really wants to say right now. "So..what were they talking about?" He says turning away from the subject a bit.

"Dey were arguing over whether you had a spiritual gift of healing, or a common gift of healing," Abraham answers. He doesn't say exactly how he resolved the issue, however. "Ah, Star, how are you?" Abraham greets. He really does remember everyone's name. "Suffering is a part of life, and can teach us many things dat we should know, so it can be vedy good. It is da one who brings da suffering who must beware, not da one who suffers. To make a string dat would alert us, dat could be good," he admits. "Do you have string?"
Abraham points out the window, showing where the boy in the tree waits and watches the forest. "Dat is Diar," he says. "He is watching right now, and can see only so far. If dere was something dat could help him see, den it would bring faster learning. It is bettah to escape than to stay. Da soldiers would stay until dey break da safe place. Unless you know how we would hide it?"

Star shrugs and turns back to the two men, "I'm alive." She thinks, anyway. The empath shakes her head a little and shoves her hands deep into her pockets, "What's all this about a string? We could probably come up with something if we really needed it, but I don't think I brought any actual string with me." Nope. Not her, at least.

"I have a chalk liner with my tools, I can cut the string out of that." Travis says as he knows it's not a hard thing to replace, for him at least. "And, if we could get you a pair of binocluars that could help." Though he doesn't how well through the tree the boy could see but it might be a good thing if they can get one. He looks at Star as she walks in and gives a smile and wave. "Hey, you're Star right?" Trying to remember her name from the way over. "Just trying to think if we can come up with an alert type system."

"Dis would be good," Abraham says with a grin. "Truly it is a blessing to have you with us." The African goes to pick up his Bible from a chair, "I am sure I will be blessed to talk to you all later. May God keep you, and I will return. I am going to go to see how da fishing is today. I must do my part to help da community, too!" He laughs, heading for the door.

"Yeah, I'm Star." A thoughtful expression crosses her face and she tilts her head slightly to one side at the mention of an alert system, "So, like, bells on a string or something?" She wrinkles her nose a little at that, "Might be a little hard to hear unless it's practically in the village, don't you think? Then it wouldn't really do much good. Or it'd be set off by animals all the time and everyone would just get to where they'd ignore it all the time." She would, at least. When Abraham makes his excuses to leave, she forces a small smile and nods, "Stay safe." Translation: Stay alive.

"Take care Abraham, talk to you later." Travis says as he looks to Star and nods. "Well it's better than a kid in a tree. Anything to give them some notificatoin but honestly, I have to see how much string I have in my chalk liner. I don't, I just have to so something to help. Imagine living like this, people coming to attack you constantly and stuff. There's gotta be something we can do for them."
Star's nose crinkles again and she hunches her shoulders a little, "Yeah, I guess." She's still, obviously, not entirely convenced that some little string is going to help that much, "Maybe fishing line would be better? At least it wouldn't be as visible as a chalk line, anyway." She shrugs at that thought, "And it could be run to some kind of bell or something here in the chapel so that everyone can hear it easier." Because there's probably almost always someone in the chapel to stay with those that are injured, right?

"But does anyone here have any fishing line?" Travis asks as it might be a moot point. "I have to double check on how long the chalk line is but it's probably too short. Binoculars would probably be the best help." He sits down for a bit and unbuttons his shirt as it gets hot quick here. "So, what's your thoughts on being here, helping out?"

"I don't know. Maybe ask some of the guys?" She shrugs, "I'm sure someone brought a fishing pole with them wanting to try out the fishing here abouts." Star shifts her weight slightly and shrugs again at the question, "I dunno. I'm not really thinking much, really." She smiles a faint, crooked smile, "The kids are pretty sweet, though." Once more, she wrinkles her nose, "Kinda wish they weren't so touchy-feely sometimes. I can't seem to keep them out of my hair." Hince the reason she's braided it today.

"Yeah I've noticed them going crazy over Rashmi's hair." Travis says with a bit of a chuckle. He stretches back all six arms with a yawn. "Not really thinking much..I find myself doing a lot of thinking while here. In a good way. Look at these people, their lives, but yet they -sing- the next day after losing several members of their community. Even the view, sure things are rough but we get to be here making a diffrence and combined with being surrounded by the rainforrest and the stars at night, I can't help but feel a little…relaxed."

Star just shakes her head at the fact that she's not the only one who's hair the villagers can't seem to get over. She nods and looks around for a moment, "Yeah, there is that…" She doesn't really comment further on the hopefulness of the people they're helping. She lowers her voice so that it's less likely that she'll be overheard, "I've kind of wondered if I maybe made a mistake coming along… I really don't see what I can do to help these people." Especially when she's not entirely back to being herself after her little unwanted adventure towards the end of last year…

"Well, for me it's been easy. I know carpentry so it's been easy." And one of Travis powers is healing so he's been a big help. "What is it you're good at Star? Rashmi's been kinda going through the same thing, wishing she could do more to help. But there's plenty to do. If you want to learn how to help them rebuild homes, I'm sure they'd let you. Or learn how to fish."

There's another shrug, "I dunno. I guess I'm good at telling people what to do." Just ask Cloud about that one, "I can organize things pretty well, but I've never built anything before." No, Star's just handed tools to her brothers when they're working on a project, though that's mostly just been with her twin and she hasn't even done that much in the last year or more now. She makes a face, "I'll fish as long as they don't expect me to touch it." That's about as much interest as she has in the slime of freshly caught fish.

"Well why not start then, learning how to build something." Travis suggests. "I don't know, they probably do expect you to touch it but it might not be that bad. I don't know, I've never been fishing." It was never something he took an interest in. "Why did you decided to come?"

"Yeah, I guess." Star doesn't really sound like she's very enthusiastic about the idea, though. Then comes the question that she's been dreading: Why did she come? She shrugs, seeming to draw in on herself a little, "I guess I just wanted to get away from the school for a while." She goes quiet for a few minutes, looking down at her feet, before finally looking back up at him, "Something bad happened back before Halloween and I'm still kinda trying to get over it." It's an honest answer, at least.

Travis nods to Star. "Well if you want an ear, I know I'm a stranger but, we're stuck here together right?" He says giving her a friendly enough smile. "I don't know much about Xavier stuff, I go to the same school Rashmi does."

Star nods, a faint half smile born at the offer, "Thanks. It might be nice to talk to someone that wasn't there." She makes a face, "Cloud just freaks out a little too much when I try to talk to him about what happened." Who wants to think about their twin dying, after all? There's a long pause where it seems like she might not say anything more, but she finally gives Travis a cautious look, "What'd you hear about what happened to some of us at Xavier's back in October?" It all leads back to that month and a half when so many people were missing.

Travis shakes his head. "Not really, this is really my first time meeting people who go to Xavier's. Rumours what happens over there don't really travel to us."

There's another nod and Star looks down for a moment before she explains, "Well, long story short, a bunch of us ended up in this really freaky world- I think it was another dimention -and some of us died. We got better, though…" Though how one 'gets better' from being dead is a mystery.

"So like that Monty Python thing, you got turned into a newt, but you got better?" Travis asks kinda feeling bad about making light of what is probably a serious situation. "Okay, so I think I follow you. Did you go to this other dimension because you were dead?"

Star's nose wrinkles at that and she rolls her eyes, "I guess so…" She shakes her head at his second question, "No, because not everyone there died. Just those of us that were cut or scratched." She shudders, "For me, it was this zombie… thing. She scratched my arm and I woke up dead a couple of days later." Her hands come out of her pockets and she wraps her arms around herself, "And things changed then." Though what changed, she doesn't say just yet, "Cloud was there, too, but he didn't die."

"Woke up dead? How can you wake up dead?" Travis asks trying to wrap his brain around thatone. He's mainly listening though not really offering much of an opinion at the moment.

"Like, I woke up, and I didn't have a pulse." Star's obviously still at least a little freaked out by that, too, "And things kind of changed. Like I wasn't me anymore." And that was the scariest part about the whole ordeal, "Then the others had to kill me again before I could be me again."

"Well you're you again right? No lasting damage?" Travis asks as to him it sounds like things worked out alright in the end. "So now that I know the back story, what is it that's really bugging you about the whole thing?"

Star shrugs, "I guess. I just… Well, I lost my powers while I was dead and…" She shudders, "Well, I was dead!" And now she's not. She shakes her head, "I guess I'm just letting it get to me a little more than I thought it would. There're some people that think I should go home to Boston instead of staying in New York after what happened." Some people like her own brother…

"But what do you think Star?" Travis asks her. "Do you think you should go home after what happened or stick around and see what comes next?" He asks since ultimately it's her decision. "I guess it would be a bit weird to..wake up dead..so like zombie?"

"I don't want to go home." Star's expression turns stubborn and she lifts her chin a little, "Like I told Cloud, I'm going to stick it out and learn how to protect myself and learn how to use my powers." Not that she's really mentioned exactly what her powers are. The next question gets a grimace and a nod, "Yeah, I guess. I didn't need to eat, and I was strong." Beat, "And decaying…" Can we say: Ew!

"Okay the decaying part is kinda gross but did everything work out in the end?" Travis asks trying to help her see that things might not be that bad. "And if you don't want to go home, then don't. And next time that Cloud guy tells you to go home, just tell him to screw off, it's your life, your decision and you're sticking with it."

"Yeah, I guess it did…" Star rolls her eyes, "I've already told Cloud that. And he's not just some guy: He's my twin brother. I think it was about as hard on him with me being dead as it was for me."

"So what's this whole thing that's making it difficult for you together over besides being dead?" Travis asks. "Is it that it made you question your mortality? And as for twin brother well, I've never had any siblings but doesn't that give you free reign to punch him for being a douchwaffle?"

Star shakes her head, "It's just weird being alive again when I thought I was gonna be stuck dead forever, I guess. I've been doing a bunch of stuff the past couple of months to remind myself that I really am alive again." Not that she'll say just what it is that she's been doing… As for the twin thing, "Oh, I've told him he can go take a long walk off a short pier, alright… Not that he listens to me much anymore." She frowns faintly, "Been kind of weird since we got back, anyway, with knowing stuff about him that I couldn't know. Like exactly where he is and what he's feeling most of the time whether he's in the same room as me or not."

"See I think I'd have more a problem with that then the zombie, unzombie thing. That seems so…intimate." Travis says as he isn't sure if he'd want someone know what he was feeling most of the time. "Well you weren't stuck forever and you're alive. Why are you doing stuff to remind yourself when you should be more celebrating that you are."

"Well, you don't know my brother… He's been in more trouble than you can shake a stick at since he started going to school at Xavier's…" Star makes a face, "He's been kidnapped, brainwashed, mutilated…" She doesn't mention that she, too, has been kidnapped, had her memories wiped, and died since coming to the same school a few months after her younger brother, "At least if I know how he's feeling and where he is, then I can find him if he's in trouble." As for celebrating life, "I guess that's what most people would say I'm doing, really… I want to experience things now. More than I did before, anyway."

"Then do it, and this is a good place to start." Travis says as he stands up. "And you know what, that is some pretty intense stuff there that your brother has gone through but this is more about you right now then with your brother." He says. "You're in Africa with the change to do something and surrounded by people who really appricated living. Come on, I'm about to go help with rebuilding this home I've been working on with a few guys. How you come help us."

Star nods and straightens her shoulders, "Yeah, alright. I'll help." She sighs, "It's what we came here for, right? To help." And maybe she will get over herself being surrounded by people with such a positive outlook even when they're under the threat of some creep that won't let them live in peace.

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