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2046-02-14 Emptiness

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Emptiness
Date Posted 2016/02/14
Location Tompkins Square Park - Mutant Town
Participants Talya, Daniyah
Summary Talya encounters a telepath in the park.
 
During daylight hours, the park is pleasant enough, if not ever truly safe. Concrete paths criss-cross a green space liberally shaded by trees, while the north end boasts basketball and multi-purpose courts of cracked and pitted concrete. The playgrounds have long since been abandoned, and most of the equipment is rusted and broken, while the pool sits empty save for rainwater. It's often filled with teenagers who've long since abandoned school and those who can't find even the shelter of a squat to call home. Drugs are freely traded at all hours, but when night falls, the park becomes a veritable marketplace of illicit substances. Interested parties come to Tompkins Square from all over Manhattan to partake, if they're sturdy enough to brave Mutant Town at night. After twilight, the park and surrounding areas are home to drug-fueled parties and violence in almost equal measure.


It is a winter night. The weather is cold and flurrying.


Talya must be feeling restless tonight, or perhaps creative. The darkness and flurrying snow provide a perfect canvas in any case. She's leaning against a handy tree, by a path which at least some traffic out to nightlife and back at this time of night, and flashing a firebird through the trees to see who reacts. It flirts with each person who passes, showing a multi-colored tail or dropping a feather to apparently melt the snow with a little sizzle.

Daniyah is making her way through the park in subdued elegance, every bit of her clothing expensive in that understated manner that suggests to show off money garishly is just /gauche/. She pauses on the path, gazing up at the firebird with more amusement than wonder. And then she casts her mind outwards as she watches, searching to see who might be behind it.

Talya's not hard to find, with no more than illusionist's natural shields. She notes Daniyah's attention, and has the bird buzz her face, just to see her flinch from heat that doesn't exist. Under an illusion of no more than snow, Talya wanders up, taking in Daniyah's wardrobe from closer, while she thinks she's unobserved.

Daniyah does shift away from the heat, though without the visible signs of a startled individual that Talya might expect. "Quite the show." She she turns to look straight at Talya, eyebrows raised. "Not terrible /subtle/, mind you. But I do appreciate your sense of style."

Talya shows--and thinks--surprise. She doesn't answer immediately, but instead strengthens her illusion and changes her position, watching to see if Daniyah keeps track of her. With Talya's attention elsewhere, the firebird starts to flap off but mostly just fades out.

There's a delay of perhaps five seconds, but then Daniyah's gaze does indeed follow the Russian illusionist. A hint of a smile curves her lips. "Well, it seems you're not in the mood to be social. I'll just thank you for the show, then, and continue on my way." She turns, prepared to make her way further along the path.

"Wait," Talya says. She hurries another few steps, to appear from another, different point, apparently from the snow and thin air. "What gave me away?" Her expression is wary, but with a hungry curiosity behind it.

"It was hardly your fault." Daniyah stops, turning to face Talya once again. Though Talya hears her next words, the woman's mouth does not move. "<< Very few can completely silence their thoughts. >>"

"Oh!" Talya's brows go up, but she doesn't particularly draw back in fear, just fidgets in discomfort. "Thought you were an illusionist. Maybe a relative--" Half-sibling... "Or something like that."

This earns a bit of an amused laugh. "I can make illusions of my own, but it requires a little more... direct effort. Making someone believe they see something is far harder to do to a crowd than a proper illusion is." Daniyah shakes her head, even as she continues to watch Talya curiously. Many people -- even mutants -- get a little uneasy around a telepath. It's something she may periodically enjoy toying with. Just like she enjoys plucking someone's name from their mind, without asking them for it. "So, no, Ms. Rasputin, I doubt we are related in any way."

Talya does flinch. A little. And hides it, instinctively, then gives up on that effort. She prowls a little closer, though it's a bit of a wildcat when it's still a kitten. Not a housecat, but. Her fatehr is very much at the suface of her thoughts. "I don't know your name."

"No," Daniyah agrees, with a hint of amusement. "You don't."

"Oh, what do you think I'll do with it? You're afraid?" Talya mocks. In her mind, a very direct echo of her father. He used--uses, probably--that technique.

"Afraid? No, not particularly. I just don't see much need for you to have it." Daniyah says this with a rather matter-of-fact tone, as if she believes you're only entitled to what you can take for yourself. "Why, do you believe you have a need?"

"Maybe you'll need someone to save you direct effort and wish you'd fostered a connection," Talya suggests. Various half-formed illusions stir in her mind, all discarded as having no effect when the subject is aware of them. Basically, however, she's annoyed: she can't see how to take it, and she thinks her father might have.

Daniyah laughs. It's a pleasant sound, warm and almost musical, and a bit at odds with her somewhat superior attitude. "Perhaps so," she allows. "But I wonder whether you would really be up for the sort of errands I run."

"Ha." Talya's thoughts change direction suddenly, mercurial. "Ever part of the Black Court, were you?" Not that she knows much of it, having seen only the edges. "No, I probably wouldn't be. So you can't get my help for free by appealing to my pride. Tit for tat."

"You've had an interesting life, haven't you." Daniyah regards Talya thoughtfully, as if she were flipping through a folder of files, skimming the contents. "And friends with that time-hopper I met on top of the Empire State Building, too." Rather than telepathy or anything simpler, she just sends a card to Talya's Eyes. Daniyah Kashani, and an single email address. "Perhaps someday we might be useful to each other."

"Ng," Talya says. That implication of skimming is what finally sends her metaphorically dancing sideways from a surprise threat, like a puffed-up cat. She thinks very hard about Kitty in New Rus. Trapped forever, blood on the rocks. Talya's no one to take lightly. Right? "I think you're probably right," she says. Reluctantly.

Daniyah's eyebrows raise, somewhat, as Talya focuses on thinking about Kitty. She says nothing on the topic, however. "I often am. There are advantages to being able to see the answers as they ask the question."

Talya hauls herself a bit more back on balance. "What's the thing that leaves you empty, then? Knowing no one will ever like you unless you make them, or people will only every like you because you make yourself what they like?" Talya classes powerful illusionists in the latter category, if Daniyah's curious.

"Neither." Daniyah's tone turns a little colder, a touch more defensive. "I learned early that no one would like me, because of what I am. So I no longer care whether or not they do. Remember this: life's a great deal more easier if you make no ties to anyone, Ms. Rasputin. That way, you're never betrayed or hurt by someone you let close."

"Oh, you're one of those," Talya says. She notes the defensiveness, considers a few different tacks to try to convince Daniyah she's wrong, then gives up. "I'm afraid the fundamental flaw with that philosophy in my life is that I exist." She holds her hands wide, beside her hips. "My father did not succeed in holding to it, and he failed on multiple occasions to ignore my existance."

"I," Daniyah replies, "am not your father."

"Presumably not." Talya walks around her, with just that little niggle of doubt, even as she plays up her examination for illusion telltales above and beyond it. "He'd have tired of playing the joke straight by now."

"I imagine I should let you get back to your illusory firebirds." Daniyah's tone is flat, no longer amused by the topic. "Do enjoy stirring up people's imaginations. As well as calls to the NYPD Mutant Affairs tip line, no doubt."

"This is Mutant Town." Talya lifts her hands to indicate it. "I am fair from being the weirdest shit around here." She does finally leave Daniyah alone, though, heading off through the snow and not starting up her illusions again either.

Daniyah resumes her walk, now broadcasting 'I am not here' vibes as if to ensure any passer-by's gaze skips right over her. No longer in a mood to be interrupted, it seems.

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