2007-06-30: Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Starring:

Jane_icon.gif Portia_icon.gif

Summary: Two guitarists, an East Village alley, the work of Simon and Garfunkel, and the ethics of using powers.

Date It Happened: June 30th, 2007

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend


East Village, Manhattan, NYC


A few hours have passed since both Portia and Kitty left the apartment, time Jane spent mostly playing guitar and piano in the main room there. Eventually, though, the need to be out and about surfaces. She packs her favorite guitar, the red Fender Strat, into its case and grabs the backpack. Both go over opposite shoulders and she makes exit from the abode. Her expression is pensive a few minutes later when she reaches the street, headed for the East Village. A media mention from nearly two weeks earlier is in her mind as she makes her way there. Freak wind damaging buildings. It's the kind of thing she'd been present for on two occasions before, and a thing she'd hoped to discuss with Desiree but hadn't gotten to, yet, given what she knows of Mendez artwork.

Some fifteen to twenty minutes later the twenty-something five foot eight inch brunette in the beige shorts and black Joan Jett t-shirt is surveying the damage to various buildings still under repair, and thinking of snagging some small pieces of cinder block for experimental purposes.

But it seems she's not the only one about. Portia herself has found a convenient alley that seems to have been abandoned mostly cause some of the rubble that's there in it. She sits quietly, strumming on her guitar and quietly murmuring the lyrics to herself.

There. That's a good spot to secure some easily portable fragments for her purposes. Jane steps into that alley and picks up a few samples, gathering them up and letting them rest until she can sling the backpack around and unshoulder it, then packs those small bits of concrete into it and re-shoulders the load. Consideration is briefly given to conducting her self-test here, and she steps further into the alley, looking for a spot not in view of the street so she'd not have witnesses, and her ears pick up the sound of a guitar.

With her face shifting into a bit of a smile, Jane moves to find the source.

And there's Portia, playing what sounds like a Switchfoot song. She doesn't pay too much attention to those around her, so Jane isn't noticed at all while the girl is playing.

The opportunity is seized, Jane grins at not being spotted and quietly sets her guitar case on the ground, the backpack after it, and works to pull her instrument out. The goal is to set up and be ready without drawing the girl's attention on her. Slow and careful she goes, trying not to make any noise and disturb Portia.
And so far, so good. Portia doesn't seem to notice, considering that she's in her grove, really just enjoying playing her guitar. Her eyes are shut too, which helps. And even when they /are/ open, she's just looking at her own fingers.

It doesn't take too long for her to have the instrument out and the mini-amp too, then plug in and be ready. Jane could take time to test the tuning of her own guitar, but that would alert the girl and she keeps her axe well-tuned anyway, so she foregoes the normal exercise. And she waits for Portia to finish the tune she's playing right now, to take a silent moment as her cue to start and reveal herself.

As Portia's tune ends and she hears Jane's own music, she looks up with surpise. She hadn't seen her! The teen smiles faintly, watching Jane as she just rests her guitar in her lap for the time being. "Hey." She murmurs, but doesn't speak too much. Doesn't want to interrupt, after all.

It's a quieter sort of tune she begins when the opportunity comes, a melodic one which starts softly. Lyrics come in about five seconds along, her voice presenting them in quieter tones than she might use normally. "Hello darkness, my old friend, I've come to talk with you again, because a vision softly creeping left its seeds while I was sleeping. And the vision that was planted in my brain still remains, beneath the sounds of silence." She nods in the girl's direction as she plays, the face wistful and pensive in doing so.

Leaning back against the wall, Portia watches, hugging her guitar to her chest a bit. She's more than happy to listen to the other woman's music. She glances around to see if anyone might be peeking their way, but then settles to watch Jane's fingers on the strings.

Moving into the second verse the tempo quickens a bit, and her voice becomes louder. The rhythm becomes clearer. "In restless dreams I walked alone, narrow streets of cobblestone. 'neath the halo of a street lamp,I turned my collar to the cold and damp, when my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light that split the night, and touched the sound of silence." Jane's head tilts, eyes regarding the girl as she plays, perhaps checking for signs of recognizing the tune in her features. Into the third verse she goes, the voice returning after an instrumental segment. "And in the naked light I saw ten thousand people, maybe more. People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening, people writing songs that voices never share. And no one dared disturb the sound of silence."

Portia seems quite transfixed with the music, a small smile on her features as she shuts her eyes, listening along. She really likes it. She even seems to recognize it a little. She leans back, watching Jane once more.

Onward she plays, into the fourth verse, the features showing focus and concentration on what she's performing. "Fools said I do not know, silence like a cancer grows. Hear my words that I might teach you, take my arms that I might reach you. But my words like silent raindrops fell, and echoed in the wells of silence." Then the fifth verse is entered, bringing the song to its conclusion after about three minutes and six seconds. "And the people bowed and prayed to the neon God they made. And the sign flashed out its warning, in the words that it was forming. And the sign said the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls. And whispered in the sounds of silence."

Done, her fingers and voice go still, Jane standing there with eyes calmly on Portia.

Glancing back to Jane as she finishes the song, Portia nods. "Hi again." She glances around. "Wasn't really expecting to run into anyone way out here, but… nice to see you anyways.

"Me too," she answers with a light chuckle. "I came to look at what happened here, and gather a few pieces to experiment a little with. Small bits of cinder block, to see if I can improve something." Jane takes a few steps, moving to lean against anything available and not too dirty. "How're you feeling, Portia?" There's a pause before she softly asks "Did the talk go well?" Her voice sounds as if she expects it did, Desiree being supportive.

"She was busy. Didn't actually get to talk to her yet." Portia admits, glancing back over. "I'm sure it'll go okay, though. I came out here to practice and think. Didn't think there'd be a lot of people out here cause of that wind thing."

"Oh," Jane replies with a quiet nod, not saying anything about the wind issue. It doesn't seem right in her mind to go into that with a girl of fourteen, the possibilities suggested in those Mendez paintings. Instead she follows a different track, quietly asking "Are you nervous about that conversation, Portia? Maybe even nervous about yourself?"

"Oh, I don't know. I don't think I'm nervous…" Portia says. "I mean.. I figure she's got a power.. I've got a power. It won't be much of a converation, I'm sure."

Nodding slowly, Jane replies "I've not even told my own parents." Her feet move again, taking her a short distance, as she adds "I've worked hard to build this life here for myself, played guitar in some crazy places over these months since moving to New York, pulling myself free from the whole track of being the dutiful daughter who put music aside and went to law school, fending off Mother's plans to marry me off to some future big shot politician like a breeding mare. My relationship with her isn't like yours with Desiree. They're very different people. She'll put you being happy first, I sense. But Mother… I won't tell them, involve them with me like that, even though they may well have something too. It tends to run in families."

"Getting married might not be so bad." Portia admits. "But I can't imagine not having music. Maybe I'll get lucky and have a lot of male fans to pick from." She giggles. "But I'm glad I have Mama. Dad, on the other hand.." She shakes her head. "Can't talk to him about /anything/. He's so critical." She seems thoughtful. "My brother's got one."

Her head tilts slightly. The brother has an ability too. But Jane doesn't seem surprised, it shows more on her features as a 'that's interesting' kind of look. "It does run in families. Your mother has one, you do, so yeah, I had to wonder about Parker also." She steps back to where she was before, asking quietly "Are you wondering what gave you away, made me pay attention, Portia?"

Portia nods a little. "I wouldn't mind that. I'm not entirely sure what put you onto it myself. I'm.. I don't know. I guess I'd better be hiding it a bit more."

"It's simple, really," Jane begins, speaking quietly. "I had inside information. I had my eyes open to start with because I know your mother and she has an ability. Like I said, it tends to run in families. I know this from other people I've met. Then we were talking, and you told me you went to a certain bookstore and met Pete, found you had things in common with him." Her fingers slide up and down the guitar a few times, idly.

"Ah, Peter." Portia kind of gets a goofy smile. "Yeah. He's nice. He sort of.. well, ran into me while invisible. I don't mean literally. I mean, like.. he was invisible, I was invisible.. so we saw each other."

She doesn't register the girl's expression when she speaks of the younger Mr. Petrelli, her thoughts are moving along a bit with the track she's on. "So I knew he's like us, and the bookstore tends to draw people like us, the remark about things in common just rang a bell, you know? And, well, I know he has a dog, but I've never seen a cat at his place when I've been there. I… I won't give you away to anyone who doesn't already know without your okay, except your mother, if you don't tell her soon. It works the same for others I know like us. I don't give their names up without permission unless they get dangerous or something. So if you were to ask me about any particular person, I won't confirm or deny he or she has anything. Cool?"

"I see. Kinda like a secrecy code." Portia giggles. "That's cool. I respect that. I just don't know what I'm supposed to use this sort of thing for. I mean.. there aren't rules for powers like this. I mean, people always talk about what they'd do with a super power, but.."

"Ethics," Jane replies with a slow nod. "I'm not going to advise you on using it at all now, really. You're only fourteen, getting into cloak and dagger stuff should be several years away for you, if ever, you know? You also need to get better control, Kitty said you were half visible and half not. Beyond that, you've already been spying."

"Sounds like what Peter said. Told me not to go become a superspy or anything." Portia frowns. "I can't just /ignore/ it, though. And I only freaked out because Kitty /saw/ me. So I lost control. It's not like I'm not careful. And the only spying I really did was on my mama, and that was because I was worried about the whole powers thing." She frowns. She'd fold her arms across her chest, but she wouldn't want to bump her precious guitar, so instead she just looks grumpy.

"No, you can't ignore it, it's a part of you," she agrees quietly. "I'm just saying the how and when will come to you over time. Think about this for a moment. When do you think it would be right, or wrong, to be invisible?" It's a quiet voice Jane spoke with, the tone one meant to lead Portia into thinking and coming up with her own ideas.

"I don't know. I can tell you I don't like to be invisible unless I just really want to be alone. And I haven't done anything other than the other night." Portia frowns. She appreciates Jane's help, but she's not sure she knows what to do about her powers.

"Good enough," she replies softly. "It doesn't have to be anything earthshaking, really, and at fourteen it's best not to be. First thing is talk about all this with your mother, let her help you figure it out, and practice so it happens when you want it to, and not when you don't, or slip if something upsets you. You've got a big advantage, really. Privacy won't ever be a problem for you. You hear all those stories about stars and how photographers go nuts, right? You've got them beaten already." A smile is flashed, but it fades as she remembers something else. "You've been told about Sylar…"

Portia nods slowly, then glances between Jane and the rest of the alley. "Yeah, I'm sure it'll be fine with privacy later when I make it big." When, not if. She looks over to Jane. "Sylar.. yeah."

Her features darken, it's clear something about him, that name, gives her anger and fear. Jane doesn't elaborate on the man and what he does. "Do you know what he looks like, and what to do if you see him?" This, obviously, is something she believes very important to know.

"Peter showed me a picture." Portia murmurs, frowning a little at that. "He said if I saw him, I need to get somewhere safe and call him. That's really all he said, other than that he takes abilities and hurts a lot of people."

"That works. Don't call attention to yourself, leave the area, and call Pete." Jane really doesn't have more to say on the subject of Mr. Gray. "I know some people, your mother does also, who can help you, if you want. We work with each other, help learn about what we've got, develop control over them and expand on things. But that's something to talk over with her, not me." Her eyes drift to the pack where she put the concrete samples, then return to Portia. "I should be moving along. Might be a great idea for you to find your mother, too," she suggests.

Nodding slowly, Portia glances back around. "Yeah. I suppose you're right. I need to talk with her anyways." She slowly pushes herself to her feet, putting her guitar away into its case.

"Take care, Portia," she offers as she also starts to pack up. "Looking forward to playing with you. Lots of places around the city for it, really." Jane sends a quiet, warm smile her way before departing once her gear is collected and shouldered.

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