2011-06-25: Worlds Collide


Shane_icon.jpg Tabitha_icon.jpg

Summary: Tabitha and Shane meet, each perceiving the other through their current nightmare.

Date: June 25, 2011

Log Title: Worlds Collide

Rating: R

NYC- Abandoned Building

Somewhere in New York, an abandoned building is left to crumble on its own time. The exterior is an eyesore, the interior is worse; nothing is left but rotten wall panels, debris, and the like.

The office building, still bearing a sign that reads 'Hartworth and Sons', is one of the most dilapidated and disused locations in New York; it's bad even by the standards of places like Hell's Kitchen and Mutant Town. The inside is no better; walls have collapsed here and there, and the floor boards creak with the strain of supporting weight, whenever anyone walks over them. Furniture is largely a thing of the past, though moldy chouches and chairs do appear here and there. Through all this ruin walks Tabitha, holding her right hand before her and engulfed in flames for illumination. The rat girl reaches up with her left hand, under her armpit where a pistol would hang had she one in her possession, whenever there is a particularly bad noise from the building. She moves along slowly, checking room after room, perhaps just looking for a sign of life; anything.

"…Hear they're getting closer," Shane sings very softly, very badly to herself, tucked up against the back wall of her crystal alcove, arms wrapped around her knees. "Their howls are sending chills down my spine…" It's been days, since the batteries of her mp3 player ran out, but it's only been a little less time since her immaterial savior last spoke with her, and in the intervening time Shane has developed a crushing need to just fill the air with something, anything. Even if it's her own voice singing terrifying songs she's known by heart for months on end, *anything* is better than the perfect stillness of the refractive crystal that has become her shelter since the nightmare began. "…time is running out now… coming down the hills from behind…"

The rat girl's ears prick up; something she would have felt before, but with the delusion masking what she is from herself, she simply hears the voice. "Hello?" she calls out, and changes course, moving through a room to a different corrifor. She steps over debris and ruined flooring, though in her mind she sees an abandoned laboratory, belong to some evil madman… or maybe even aliens? "Hello?" she calls out again, moving closer to the source of the voice. Her hand goes for her pistol once more; and of course it still isn't there. Tabitha sucks in a deep breath and takes a moment to steel herself, before advancing once more.

"…when we start killing…. it all will be falling down…" Sniffling, Shane scrapes at her face with the palm of her hand, not quite hearing the calls at first. "…from the nightmare we created… wanna be awakened somehow…" As she stops to catch her breath, the secing 'hello' reaches her ears, causing her head to snap up, eyes wide. Frantically, she starts scrabbling around the walls of her shelter, slapping her hand against the various facets that make up its walls, searching more more response. "Who's there?!" she calls, her voice hoarse and scratchy. "Where are you?!"

"I'm here!" Tabitha raises her voice, and slaps the wall beside her, checking for responses just as Shane is. "I'm going to get you out of here! Don't worry, just help me find you!" The rat moves more quickly now, darting from room to room and looking for the place that has the other girl's voice in it. She lets the flame around her hand go out, and feels her way about in darkness and moonlight, in case the fire startle the person she's trying to rescue. "I'm coming!"

Out. Away from safety, mind-tearing silence or no. Away from the certainty that here, she can't be hurt. Shane's breath is shuddery and quick as she scoots away from the facet that seems to be carrying the voice… but she can't help it. Silence would be her safety, but it's been *so long* since she heard another voice… "…I'm not going anywhere! *Nowhere,* d'you hear?!"

Tabitha comes to a stop, right near a wall that she thinks Shane might be on the other side of. She puases there, and puts her hand on the wall, with her fingers stretched outwards; and then abruptly there are tears in the corners of her eyes. "But you're not safe here," she pleads. "You can't stay here. They'll get you… they'll make you… wrong, like everyone else. They'll steal what makes you, you. You're… you're the first real voice I've heard in two weeks."

"…Doesn't matter," shane's voice is heard to say. "There's no way out of here until she makes one. No one gets in. It's safe… and I *hate it,*" she says, her voice cracking. "…I hate it but there's no other way. Tried, but I'm just another me and I can't get out. ….Who are you? You're not me. …..Are you real?"

"I'm real," Tabitha confirms. "You're on the other side of a wall… let me see if I can find a way in. If not I'll… try to make one." The rat girl keeps her hand pressed to the wall, as she feels her way around the room. "What's your name?" Tabitha smiles softly, and brushes the tears away from ther corners of her eyes. "I'm… I'm Tabitha. Tabitha Jones. Or Patches, if you prefer." She eventually makes her way too far; the corridor would take her away from the room in question, so she goes back. "Wrong way," she explains.

"…Shane," the sullen, hoarse voice replies after a moment. Apparently, no preferential options for this one. "I mean it. You can't get in. I've tried to get out and it's impossible. ….Not really sure I *wanna* go anywhere anyway. It's all mes out there, and I have to break them. ….. I don't like that… Think it's driving me crazy, a litt—I see you!" Even behind the raw scratchiness of the girl's voice, there's such hope and joy in her face as the image of a girl, a *stranger,* seen through the shining walls of her alcove that she could have been another person entirely. Alas for Tabitha, confirmation of Shane's vision comes in the form of a wall-mounted panel, showing a limp-haired, too-short and too-skinny girl in black bike shorts and sports bra, huge armored (and scuffed) earphone-like objects hanging around her neck. Her face is filthy, eyes puffy and red and bloodshot, hair limp and stringy… but there's another actual person in the glass, and that makes all the difference in th

Her face is filthy, eyes puffy and red and bloodshot, hair limp and stringy… but there's another actual person in the glass, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Tabitha runs up to the viewscreen, and skids to a halt in front of it, slapping both palms against it. "What… but… no!" she shouts, and beats her fists against the screen in frustration. "Where are you? Where are you /really/?" She sucks in her breath, and shakes her head. "No, this can't be. Shane… Shane, I've got to get you out of there. I've got to save you! I'm supposed to save the world, the whole world… I odn't know what's gone wrong, but it's all wrong, it's all wrong and I have to save all my friends and everyone else, and… and I need you." She steps back again, and pushes her fingers through her hair, pulling errant locks out fron in front of her eyes. "Do you know how you got in there?"

"Crystal," Shane says after a moment, spreading her fingers, pressing her hand against the glittering wall in front of her. "I was running… and… then everything was crystal. She kept me safe… told me where to go. Ended up here." She manages a soft laugh, tears spilling down her cheeks. "…Now I'm just another me. Sometimes I wake up someplace else. Have to come back. Don't have a choice. 'Cause sometimes I don't break the other mes. Sometimes the crystal does it. ….just not here."

Tabitha shakes her head slowly. "I don't understand," she whispers. "I… everything was normal, I was just… I just went down to Mutant Town to drool on auto parts I couldn't afford, for a muscle car I want to fix up… when I can afford to buy one. But then the whole world went… just… Now everyone are zombies. Well, not really zombies but… monsters, I guess? Someone let something loose on the world, and it fucked everything up, and they stole all the powers from the other mutants… and you're probably lucky you are in there. It didn't happen to you."

"Lucky," Shane whispers, turning to look over her shoulder at the pretty, featureless crystal alcove, at the puddles on the floor collecting water to drink. Her face twists in fury, fist glowing crimson before she slams it into one of the other walls away from Tabitha's view. At the moment of impact, there's a thunderous explosion, Shane's hair blasting backward… but the crystal remains as smooth and unblemished as ever. "DO I LOOK LUCKY?!"

Tabitha takes an involuntary step back, and watches as her conversational companion lets off a veritable blastwave of rage. She looks in in shock; and then her features contort, and she steps back up to the viewscreen and slams her fist against it. "YES!" she howls, "Yes, you *DO* look lucky! Compared to all of the people, if you can even call them that, that I've seen in *AGES*, Yes, you do look lucky! You haven't been turned into a total monster! And if I hadn't found anyone normal I think I was going to shoot myself and let someone else save the world."

"Well FUCK YOU then," Shane roars, "*You're* still in the City, *you* get to *do something,* you have a place to go so just *FUCK OFF* if you think everything's so peachy here!! I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE I AM AND I GUESS MY FAMILY'S ALL ZOMBIES NOW SO THANKS FOR THAT."

Tabitha abruptly bursts into flames, and lets out her own wordless yell of rage and pain. "Yeah? Well FUCK YOU TOO! At least you fuckin' HAVE a family! My Mother died after a car crach and my FUCKING DAD TRIED TO SHOOT ME IN THE HEAD IN MY SLEEP. How fucked up is that? Hunh? At least we can save your family! The zombie thing can be undone. Timeslip said so! So did Tony Stark! They're both still okay. Still. And I have to get you out, so I can get you to them. They know what to do. Even if you are being a bitch."

"*Had,*" Shane mutters, slumping against the wall, looking away. "Kids at school put me in the hospital, then I get out and they send me to New York. School there. School for muties like me. Family was all I had, and they gave me up and now they're zombies. Whatever. Not getting out unless I wake up outside. Then I have to run. Break mes, run. That's all. That's all the world is now. First person I see since she showed me the way here, and I'm still a bitch. …S'fine. …Guess I gotta hope that's the next me I break."

Tabitha stands still, and the fire dies out after a time. She deflates, and then sinks down to sit cross-legged on the floor, staring up at the viewscreen. "I'm sorry," she whispers. "I'm sorry, Shane. You're not a bitch. You're just… hurt and lost and scared, like I am. I want to save all my friends, I want to… to help everyone, I just don't know how." She gestures up at the screen, and shakes her head. "I can see you plain as day, and I can't even figure out how to help you. What the fuck use am I, anyway? The world is doomed if it's all hinging on me."

Shane lifts a shoulder. "You're there. You talk to Iron Man. Guess that makes you a hero." Scrubbing her face, she drags a hand through her hair, turning to rest her back against the wall, looking up at the shining facets of her prison. "…'Sides. Can't save everyone. Nobody can. No big deal."

Tabitha shakes her head. "No," she replies. "I have to save you. I *have to save you*. I don't know how, Shane, but I will. I'll get you out of there… I… I promise. No matter what." She stands up, and crosses the floor to the viewscreen; she puts her hands on it, and then presses her cheek up against the screen as well. "I promise," she emphasizes. "I'm not going to rest until I get you out of there, save and sound, or die trying."

"No," Shane whispers, not turning around just yet. "…Don't promise. *Don't.* Promises *hurt* when you don't keep'm. Just… do whatever. … …That way… 'F I get out?" She turns, dropping her forehead against the wall and looking up at Tabitha. "…Be a nice surprise. Right?"

Tabitha sighs heavily. "I don't want it to have to be a surprise," she murmurs. "I want you to have hope, Shane. I lived without any sort of hope for a while, and… and I know it was really only a short while compared to some, but it was too long, and I almost cracked. I know that sounds corny, like all that 'all you need is love' shit you hear in that one song. But… I mean, I dunno… just don't give up hope, okay?"

Shane lifts her shoulder again. "…Gets easier, longer you gotta do it. Years? Meh. Barely know what else to do now. …Mostly." Her eyebrows rise, and she gives the girl in the glass a tiny, sad smile. "…'Sides. …Hoping for a real nice surprise."

Tabitha shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Yeah, well, so am I," she replies. "I'm hoping for some neat way to come along for me to use to save everyone. Apparently that's what I'm supposed to do… but honestly I'm just some seventeen year old chick who can barely keep herself out of trouble. I go for a walk in a park and all of a sudden there's gang violence. I got for a walk in Union Square and a gunfight breaks out. I try my damndest to do the right thing, and make people like Tony Stark proud of me? Oh hell, I get it wrong every time." She sighs heavily, and pushes back from the glass. "We make a great pair, you know. We've got enough issues to fill a dumptruck."

Shane snorts. "…Yeah. You're real. Not crazy enough to make up anyone who's got issues like me." There's a flicker of emotion behind her eyes, and she presses her hands against the glass, her gaze intense, searching. "'F you gotta make me hope, Patches…? Gimme a nice surprise. Last time I had somethin' to hope for… ended up in the hospital. Swore I'd never be that stupid again. Don't make me stupid, Patches… *Please.*"

Tabitha pauses, and then nods her head quickly. "Okay," she replies. "Okay, I'll do my best. I will. And that's a…" She trails off, and shrugs her shoulders. "Well, I'll just do my best, okay?" she finishes, with a strained sounding voice. "You can't… can't be too far, though. Either that or like… you're stuck in an alternate dimension somehow, but still close. I dunno… I mean… I can copy you, so you can't be too far."

Shane closes her eyes, letting out a slow, shuddery breath. "…Dunno. Maybe. All I know is, can't go anywhere when I want to, and anywhere I go's just more of here."

Tabitha sighs. "I think I'm running out of time," she mumbles. "I probably need to… to… leave, before the people who ran this lab show up again and I get my ass kicked. But…" She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "I'm coming back. I plan on it."

"Be a nice surprise if you do," Shane whispers. "I ain't going anywhere…"

~ Fin ~

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License