2011-03-19: Traditions Of A Medicine Man


Jeremy_icon.jpg Outback_icon.jpg

Summary: Jeremy gets his first bit of help from Vinny in their nightly sessions.

Date: March 19, 2011

Log Title: Traditions Of A Medicine Man

Rating: PG

NYC- Thompson Square Park

Thompson Square Park is a small park in the middle of Mutant Town. The benches might need a fresh coat of paint, the fence might be rusted in places and the pavement is raised and has cracks but it's all part of the mutant haven and fairly relaxing. Trees and grassy areas are in between the many paths, there are a few structures and benches along the path as well as a special area of the park that is marked 'the dog walk'.
//Two trees have been planted in the park as a Memorial to Carmencita Florez and Detective Baxter each with a plaque stating the tree is in their memory. //

Late evening in Thompson Park and Vinny stands near the entrance. In addition to his Diggeridoo case over one shoulder he's carrying a large dufflebag as well. Having gone around the walking paths several times he feel comfortable that they're not going to be disturbed. He's been working on what he's going to be doing tonight all day, a part of him rather proud of the results. Another hoping that he hasn't bit off more than he can chew.

Just like agreed to with Vinny, Jeremy shows up at Thompson Square Park without being under the influence of any substance. He looks tired though and there are dark circles under his eyes, he's actually been trying to go all day without anything but it's not easy. He's dressed in a pair of jeans, long sleeved shirt, jacket and gloves to avoid any accidental skin touching. He spots Vinny and walks up to him giving a wave. "Hey."

Vinny smiles and gives a nod and wave. "G'day, wasn't entirely sure you were gonna show but I'm happy ta see ya." He turns and starts to head into the park, motioning for him to follow. "I got a good spot for this picked out, not too far of a walk."

Jeremy nods and seems a bit more tense then he was last night. "Well..I told you I would come so..hopefully I won't let you down." He says brushing his hair back out of his face before following Vinny deeper into the park. "So, what exactly are we going to be trying to do?"

Vinny smiles "Ah not me you'd be letting down, we're doin' this to help you hopefully." He continues along in his usual waddling pace. "Well when I first changed I had a problem similar to yers, see I have an ability called elctrolocation. Basically a natural talent from my animal half that allows me to sense the electrical fields around me and detect living things and inanimate objects, kinda like some crude Radar. Problem is it's on all the time, about drove me screamin' bonkers when it started."

"How long before you could deal with it?" Jeremy asks as looks around as he walks, almost as he's trying to figure escape routes or something. "My school has been trying to work with me on my powers but they also want to know how much I can see as well. Focusing on details along with the whole picture sort of thing."

Vinny nods "Well I sought the help from a friend of the family, an aboriginal woman who took me to a tribal medicine man. He sat me down and helped me to gain focus and control. It took some time, a few weeks of doin' it every night I figure. But I learned to push what I was seein' to the back of my mind, I couldn't shut it off, but I could turn it down, put it into the background where I could still use it and sense it, but it wasn't dominating my mind. Tonight I'm going to do what he did with me for you. This isn't a quick fix, it's not a miracle cure, but with a bit of sweat and luck this'll help you the way it helped me."

Jeremy takes a deep breath as he listens to Vinny. "Okay, is this going to be a more then one session type of thing?" He asks as he unconsciously makes sure his gloves are pulled down tight on his hands. "So is this some old…aboriginal meditation or something?"

Vinny nods "This is going to be nightly for as long as it takes or as long as ya keep comin' back. I'm only offerin' the help, there's no strings attached to this." He nods again. "That's exactly what this is, let's just say we're takin' old school to a whole new level."

"Well, I can try to come back every night but it might be hard depending on home work and stuff." Jeremy says as is resisting his urges to have a cigarette. He wants to try to this this relatively clean. "I'm not going to have to touch anything, am I?"

Vinny nods as he finally stops, the destination is a small patch of concrete that at one time was likely a basketball court that's seen better days. "Yes you will, but I have that covered I think." He sets the cylindrical case down and then the dufflebag. Opening the bag he removes a folded blanket and after figgling with it a little lays it out in the center of the square of concrete and motions to it. "Have a seat please, cross-legged if you can."

There's a nervous flicker of fear across Jeremy's face as Vinny confirms part of what he's been afraid of. He watches Vinny do his thing before sitting down, cross legged, on the blanket. He rests his hands in his lap and takes a few calming breaths. "Sorry if I'm nervous just, I'm not used to doing stuff like this."

Vinny nods "Perfectly understandable, if I had an anthromorphic Platypus I just met prepare to perform an aboriginal ceremony to deal with a problem I've like had for years.. well I'd be a little spooked to. But as a mutant I'd think ya'd be used to weird by now, cause it's gonna get a little stranger before it's over." He removes several objects from the bag, a large glass jar of what looks like grey mud, a large and rather ugly-looking green candle, and a few bits of cloth.

Jeremy shakes his head. "Not really. I mean I've seen some really weird things but I don't think I'll ever be used to it. Just it's a little easier with you when one of my teachers is a talking raccoon." Jeremy admits. He watches Vinny take out the items and a part of him just wants to bolt, it's taking a lot for him to stay sitting. "So how long have you…been like this? A mutant I mean."

Vinny chuckles and smiles "Since the day I was born.. didn't have the bill and tail, but I had the fur. Doctors didn't say mutant right away, called it infantile Hypertriconosis.. more commonly called werewolfism." He walks over and sets the candle in front of Jeremy, a few feet away. "Now normally I'd have a fire and I'd toss in scented wood and herbs, but since I can't do that here I used the same kinda stuff to make my own candle. Not much to look at is it?" He sighs "They tell me there's an art to it, but I've yet to figure it out. Now the rest of this is for me, gotta follow tradition you understand, which means looking the part."

"Most frown on fires in the park and I guess lighting a garbage can fire isn't the same thing." Jeremy says and it's hard to tell if he's joking or serious as he hasn't really cracked a smile all night. "Looking the part?" The Japanese teen asks Vinny.

Vinny nods and leans in to light the candle, after a moment or two the scent becomes apparent. A thick heady scent of herbs and wood, a few more flowery scents. "Yup, gotta get painted up and the like. Won't take more than a few minutes." He stands and grabs the bag, heading behind a bush. "Around my 13ths birthday the change hit, we were on a trip deep in the bush at the time. I got really sick, too ill to travel and it would take days to get back to civilization. So our guide took us to a nearby aborigini village, where over a 5 days period my legs shortened, my spine lengthened.. my skeleton in general changed and the bill and tail grew in. Thankfully I don't remember most of it."

Jeremy makes a face as Vinny describes the change since it sounds painful to him. "I was fifteen when it started. It started happening more and more often, these flashes when I touched something. When I finally got the nerve to tell my parents, I found out the truth before I could. One of them touched me and I saw everything, who my parents really were and since then, it's been anything I touch. I don't really remember much of the night I ran away either."

Vinny nods as he emerges from the bush, no shirt and he's wearing cut-off jeans with a loincloth painted in pictographs over it, colored bands over forearms and ankles. He's also barefoot, his feet are wide, webbed and clawed. More like flippers. "I feel for ya mate, one should never hate thier parents, or be hated by them." He walks over and opens the jar of grey paste, dipping fingers into it he begins painting stripes across his chest and over his arms, eventually marking his entire body in the grey lines.

Jeremy watches Vinny kind of hoping he doesn't have to do what he's doing. He can't help but look at Vinny's feet and comment. "It must be hard finding comfortable shoes." He feels stupid right after saying it though. "Sorry, just, I don't know with my parents it just taught me you never can truly know who someone is."

Vinny nods and looks down before laughing "Ah had to have them custom made, but it's just another thing I've learned to live with. Now that I I'm done setting up let me explain what we're going to do. I want ya breath deeply, take in the scent of the candle, I'm going to start playin' the diggeridoo and when I do I want to focus on those two things. The sound, the scent, think of nothin' else. Let them make up yer whole world and just relax, nothin' else matters, and there will be no room left upstairs" He taps the side of his head "When ya touch somthin'"

"Should I leave my gloves on?" Jeremy asks with a slight waver to his voice. That's his only question as he nods to Vinny's words and gets really quiet now almost to nervous to speak. He's already trying to take a few calming breaths to settle his nerves and without drugs or cigarettes to help it's not easy for him.

Vinny nods "For now yes, there's no time limit on this. I keep goin' until ya feel yer ready. Now for the touch item." He reachs into the bag and pulls out.. a platypus, a rough doll made of fabric and buttons and the like, obviously hand-made. "Now this is my spirt animal, my totem. So I'd appreciate it if ya didn't pull his head off or somthin'. This was given ta me when I woke from my change by the wife of the tribal leader. Only things yer gonna see when you touch this is me, and a motherly old aborigini lady who stitched it together." He sets it directly in front of Jeremy. "When ya feel yer calm and as focused as yer gonna get, then pull off a glove and touch it."

Jeremy moves so his hands are resting on his knees and takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. He takes a few deep breaths letting the scent of the candle fill his senses as he tries to focus on that. He's trying to clear his mind and not focus on the fact that this could all be some trick by a crazy Platypus man. This is all a big leap of faith for Jeremy but he's also desperate.

Vinny slides the diggeridoo from it's case and squats, taking the offical shamantic stance and raising the instrument to his lips under his bill. After a moment the reverberations from the wooden instrument begin to thrum into the night, nothing fancy or complicated. Just a constant rolling tone, the circular breathing meaning there are no pauses or gaps. A perfect sound to concentrate on.

As the diggeridoo starts up, Jeremy focuses on just listening to that blocking out any other sounds of the park. He takes slow deep breaths letting the butterflies in his stomach settled. He takes a good fifteen minutes of just listening and focusing on the scent of the candle. He slowly takes off one of his gloves and lets it hover over the platypus so that he can let it just drop on it when he's ready. He takes another five minutes or so of just letting everything be his focus before lowering his hand. As soon as skin touches the fur, Jeremy's eyes snap open and focus on nothing as his hand is almost glued to the stuffed animal for five minutes as every thing that the platypus has been through, every place it's been along with the making of the platypus and even where the fabric came from. Once everything flashes through Jeremy leans forward taking deep breaths as his mind processes everything in quick fashion.

Vinny continues playing the entire time, only stopping when Jeremy slumps forward. He watchs for a few moments and asks quietly "You alright? Didn't think it was gonna work the first time, when you're ready we'll start again.

Jeremy shakes his head and then nods his head at the question. "Yeah just..trying to process everything. I saw everything with it and need time to sort it out." He says still taking deep breaths. "Just, it's not going to work right now, touching the platypus again. I've seen it all, there's not much new. In a few hours it might work." He says as once he's seen it it's in his mind for a bit.

Vinny nods "That's why we keep at it, ya won't see anythin' the next time. That's what we're goin' for. Get your head accustomed to not seein' somthin' when it touchs somthin'"

Jeremy isn't sure if he fully understands what Vinny is saying but he nods as he rests his ungloved hand on his knee. "Though I will admit that the stuffed animal is a lot easier on me then some of the other things I've seen. Do you ever miss being in Australia? Sorry for the off topic just it'll help me to try again."

Vinny nods and stands a moment to stretch. "Yeah I miss bein' home now and then, miss my folks, miss the lake by my home, miss the trips into the bush. But this is where I need ta be, the hotbed for Mutant rights is right here and I wanna help where I can."

Jeremy nods to Vinny and pulls his knees to his chest. "Thank you, for helping me." He says as he pulls out a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket. "Mind if I have one cigarette and then we can try again or will that ruin things?" He doesn't want to mess up anything Vinny has planned so he figures asking is best.

Vinny shakes his head "Naw a smoke is good, just no booze or the like. Head needs ta be clear, powers need ta be workin' for this ta do any good." He smiles "Always glad ta help when I can, just glad ta find somthin' where my experience might come in handy."

Jeremy takes out a cigarette and lights it with a shaky hand before taking a long drag. "Once I'm done we can try again. This will just help me calm down. It's never easy." He says. "I think I saw you once before in the park, a while back with the diggeridoo. You control water right?" He says as he continues to take drags off the cigarette and putting it out on the cement after a few drags.

Vinny nods "Yup, out here every night practicin'. Only learned about the water about a year ago and never got much chance ta learn ta use it. Gettin' pretty good. So aside from being Hydrokinetic and having these dashin' good looks I got a few other tricks."

"I come out here every now in then to play the violin or just relax. I used to spend a lot of nights out here before I started going back to school." Jeremy says before starting to take a few deep breaths. "Okay, I'm ready to try again." He says as he starts with the breathing again.

Vinny nods and returns to his previous position. "Now since ya say that ya won't see nothin' if you touch it again then that's good. Focus on that feelin' focus on what yer mind's like when the power doesn't kick in, keep a grip on that feelin' remember it and try to bring it back the next time ya touch somthin'" He raises the diggeridoo to his lips again and when Jeremy is settled and ready he begins to play again, the candle burning merily away the entire time.

Again Jeremy focuses on the scent of the candle and the sound of the diggeridoo trying to ignore anything else. It takes longer this time then the last time as he might be focusing too much but he does his best to clear his mind. He slowly reaches out and puts his hand on the platypus again but this time no visions spill into his head since he saw them all moments ago. He just leaves his hand there as he keeps his eyes closed. He keeps that up for about five minutes before opening his eyes slowly and breathing steadily. His hand doesn't move from the platypus yet though.

Vinny doesn't stop, the drifting tones of the diggeridoo cutting through the air. Jeremy can litterally feel the vibrations from the instrument as he plays. Cheeks puffing in and out in the circular breathing technique as he'll continue until he gets an acknowledgement to stop from Jeremy.

After a while there's a bit of a smile that cracks on his face as he nods to Vinny. He doesn't know why but he feels a bit good about what just happened. "Sometimes I forget what it's like just to touch something. I know it sounds weird but even something like this it just feels nice." He says removing his hand and brushing back some of his hair.

Vinny stops playing and stands again "Crikey that's hard on the back. Don't know how that old man did it all those times." He smiles to Jeremy "Nice ta hear it. Now this is gonna take time, could be days, could be weeks. Hard ta say since yer problem is different than mine was."

Jeremy picks up his second glove and pulls it on tight. "As long as I'm not overwhelmed with school work I can come back every night. Getting my High School diploma is really important to me. I've got about a year and a half to go on it. But I'm going to put a lot of effort into this since it'd be nice if I could get it under control."

Vinny nods and walks over to return his diggeridoo to it's case. "I'm here every night, ya get to the park and don't see me then listen for the Digg. If I'm not gonna be here I'll tell ya the night before. He looks over into the darkness and walks a bit to the side of the concrete, there's a blue glow from his eyes and the sound of a sprinkler starting up before a small wave of water engulfs his form and swirls a moment before dropping to the group taking the grey paste with it. Vinny shakes off a moment and goes to put out the candle and gather the other items.

Jeremy watches Vinny with some curiosity as he stands up from the blanket and stretches a bit. He takes out another cigarette and lights it up. "So is there some certain significance to what you're wearing and those marks? I understand tradition but I was wondering if there was some deeper meaning."

Vinny nods and begins slipping into his regular clothing. "Tha paste is natural clay and charcoal, tha marks are to connect the medicine man ta the earth. When performing a ritual the medicine man wears as little as possible and marks himself ta show his connection ta the land he lives on. It is said with that connection he can commune with the spirits of Dreamtime and ask them for aid or guidence."

What Vinny says makes sense to Jeremy as he continues to smoke. "I don't know much about the Australia or the customs there. Thanks again for helping." Jeremy says offering a gloved hand. "But I have to get back to school before it's too late. I'll see you tomorrow night Vinny?"

Vinny nods and shakes the gloved hand "Sure thing Mate, oh and if ya ever think yer bein' followed or got some unwanted attention comin' with ya. The safety phrase is "Hey I could use a beer." Since yer not supposed ta be drinkin' before these meetin's that tells me somthin' is wrong."

Jeremy nods to Vinny and gives him another small smile. "I'll remember that. Thanks again, have a good night." He says as he turns to leave the park and head back to Barnes for the evening.

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