Seeking Safe Harbour

May 24, 2015:

After reaching out to Oracle, Joshua and Lynwen find safe harbour

Metropolis and New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Incoming Secure Transmission The Knight and Lady are extremely grateful for the package that you sent. Its contents will help the Lady greatly, but the Knight's kin threaten to betray him. They are in league with Amicis Humanitas. To evade his traitors, The Knight and Lady must flee, perhaps to a great distance, and certainly from where they now dwell, because the traitors know the location of that cottage. If you will help, the Knight and Lady would be again in your debt.

Message from Oracle //Does the Knight and Lady wish to stay in the city of the Apple or are they wishing to reside a land further away? Either way, provisions can be made and assistance provided, no debt incurred. When preferences are known, further provisions will be made.

Incoming Secure Transmission My kin know my address and other details. They might share those details with the A.H. Moving to another city might be wise. My Lady needs to be near a place with trees, a place where she might commune with nature, if possible. If we relocate, I will need a job. I teach, but I have other skills as you surely know. I can mend books and authenticate manuscripts. I can work as an translator, or I can find other work.

Agent Melinda May and Oracle have discussed this series of messages. Oracle can certainly find them a safe haven, work might be a challenge but she does have contacts who can help. It just means that Joshua and Lynwen will probably need to relocate to Gotham.

Locating the pair in Metropolis, through the communicator she'd given Joshua, Oracle has asked Agent May to go and speak with them. Much easier to have a face to speak to, then just the faceless voice, particularly when the subjects involved are under threat, is preferable. Having shown May their images, Oracle is aware that the Agent has already met them… so there's that…

"Thanks for doing this, May" They may have decided to work together, but O feels saying thank you goes a long way "There's a little vietnamese restaurant just down the street from where they are, that looks relatively secure." The wheelchair bound redhead also knows that May prefers those types of locations, where English may not be spoken.

Oh yes… she's also given May a copy of the translate program on her communicator. If Lynwen still speaks in Welsh, at least May will see what she's saying.


Joshua remembers how Lynwen, unaware of the consequences, stirred magical forces on the island and drew the attention and concern of May and several others. When he and Lynwen arrive at the restaurant, he does not know that she will be here. He knows only that their mysterious benefactor arranged for him to meet someone who might help them. Fortunately, they do not need reservations. After a brief stroll, they arrive, Pausing near the door, he murmurs in Welsh to Lynwen, "The message did not provide a description, but I'm sure that our contact will find a way to signal us."


"That they will." Lynwen responds back to him in Welsh as she moves past him and into the restaurant. Her long golden hair has been braided and bound up. She is wearing a sun dress and her heavy gold jewelry. She murmurs to him. "It could be like it was before?" She grins as she adjusts the strap of her purse she is carrying over her shoulder.


Melinda May arrives at the restaurant just a moment or two before Joshua and Lynwen, so she's just settling at a table — away from windows and facing the door — when they arrive. She stands again and nods to them to invite them to her table, then asks the waitress in Cambodian for beverages for the three of them. She doesn't call out across the restaurant at them, though it seems like no one already here would mind or even notice. The conversations are relaxed, and almost invariably in some Asian language or other.


Oracle listens and watches, the audio / visual feeds from the communicators aid this. When everyone is seated at the table "Joshua, Lynwen, I believe you've met Agent May before. She and I work together, on occassion, and she's agreed to help me with your request." She's unsure how much the two know about May and Oracle herself knows little about Joshua's gift. "Why don't we start at the beginning, so we're all on the same page? I understand you're concerned about your family being involved with this group, Joshua and I've seen you do something… but I'm not entirely sure what… "


"If it's consistent, we'll find the contact at a table toward the back," Joshua explains. He offers his arm to Lynwen so that their close proximity and murmurs will seem more casual. His eyes scan the tables. When he sees May, one eyebrow twitches. "Not quite a stranger," he notes to Lynwen. While he guides her through the maze of tables toward the back of the room, he listens to the mixture of different languages. "Interesting," he adds. "Whatever happens, I should find time to study some Oriental languages. That could prove useful." When they reach May's table, he bows to her and greets, "Hello," in English, both to May and to the disembodied Oracle. Returning to Welsh and assuming that their benefactor has made provision for May to understand, he continues. "That is correct. My friend in England was, unfortunately, quite sure. They're helping to build an … equivalent to the Friends in the U.K. My concern is not merely for myself, but for others if the two groups should work together."


She follows them and when they approach the table, Lynwen offers a cheerful smile to May, then in Welsh she says. "Woman of Steel, or Melinda, it is a pleasure to see you again. I hope you are well." She looks to Joshua and grins. "Nope, she is not a stranger, we broke bread with her. Hello, spirit voice." That last is said to Oracle. She goes to take a seat and she nods her head at what Josh is saying.


Melinda May will admit to being a bit curious about the unusual greeting from Lynwen, but she certainly wouldn't do so aloud. As they all take their seats, she nods to Joshua as he says something in Welsh. She'll have to remember to thank Oracle for the translation set up later. "Our mutual friend has appraised me of your current housing troubles. I might have a solution that will work to your benefit and mine." The waitress arrives with glasses of water, and after giving the pair a brief and considering look, she speaks with the woman in Cambodian again for a moment who then nods and departs. Yes, she did just order for the pair.


"I would like you to speak to Jericho about the Friends, Joshua." Oracle is aware that there is work being done on a meta-human scanner and that Jericho is involved there. "May has given me some details of her thoughts, they are interesting and I think they will suit."


Joshua inclines his head to May. "We're pleased to meet you again," he says. When May speaks to the server briefly, he nods. "We also appreciate your hospitality. We do not want charity. If we can help to protect others, we will. My parents seemed resigned to my … oddity, but now they are showing their true colors. I can accept that for myself." He glances to Lynwen and then adds, "I worry about others who might become targets."


Seated she looks at the waitress and she gives her a smile. Her eyes go back to Josh and she looks to the communicators when she hears the voice of Oracle. Her gaze goes to May then. Then back to Joshua. In welsh she say says, "He worries to much, I am worried they will harm him. There is a reason that I am worried."


Melinda May waits for the translation to come through then nods. "A secure place of residence will help allay that, hopefully. And that is something I am actually in a position to offer." She pauses again as the waitress returns with their food — one huge bowl of soup with a plate of noodles, vegetables, and tofu to add to the broth, another a similarly huge bowl filled to the brim with noodles, vegetables, and more tofu, and a third dish of wide noodles stir fried together with vegetables and what might be either beef or pork. May doesn't reach for any one dish immediately, letting the other two claim their preferences. She is okay with eating any of them.


"Lynwens' right to be worried. The movement is whipping up sentiment on both sides. A good friend of mine got caught in that the other day." and is sporting the bruises to show it. Whilst the group are eating in the restaurant, the redhead is sipping a hot cup of tea, leaning back in her chair as she considers. "I'll let May explain further, but assisting others… the help will be welcome."


Joshua knows that Oriental food, and even the humble noodle, will be foreign to Lynwen. He turns to her and quickly explains the dishes to her. He patiently shows her how chopsticks work, while he adds, "I'm more familiar with Chinese dishes than Vietnamese, but all Asian foods seem to have many similarities. The noodles are the basis, the foundation of the dish, if you will." He reaches for her bowl and loads it with noodles. Then he adds some of the meats, vegetables, tofu, and broth for her to try. "It will be fine," he assures. "If something is too spicy, we'll understand. Such things are a very personal preference, like what wines people prefer." He nods to May again. "I have been … in the shadows until now, careful to hide my … gifts from others. Recently, circumstances have pushed me to rethink that. If hiding my gifts means allowing others to suffer, I'm not sure that I can live with silence."


With the bowls served to them Lynwen stares at them with open curiosity. She looks to Joshua and then to May. "What is that?" She asks them both in Welsh. "Aww how do you eat it?" She is watching them first before she eats or touches the dishes. She nods her head. "He is good with what makes the oil less lamps work, he knows lightening." She adds before she gives him an apologetic look and gentle pat on his harm. "The chicken has flown the coop." She says to Joshua. "This is why I am worried about him after what I have learned about people here."


"I intentionally chose dishes with mild seasonings," she tells Joshua. After all, a Welshman and an earth child do not seem the sorts to be familiar with sriracha. "This red sauce has spice to it if you do want to add some." She claims the stir fried flat noodles for herself and lets the other two sample the pho — the broth with the add-ins to be used as they wish — and the bun — the vermicelli noodles with everything piled on top.

"Here is the offer I presented to Oracle for you both to consider. I have some modest property on Staten Island, and my job keeps me away from the place more often than not. You would be helping me out by residing there and maintaining the property, and the security features I already have in place there would help keep you protected from … undesired visitors."


"May's good people, Joshua. She is … my right hand woman… " an admission from the redheaded Information Goddess "I will confess that I have not seen or reviewed her security measures, primarily because I felt it unneccessary." Knowing May, and who she works for, the security will be second to none.


"Before I received the news from my friend, Lynwen asked me about living on Staten Island," Joshua informs May and Oracle. "As your 'right hand' knows, Lynwen has a strong connection to the elements. In the city, she feels … separate from them. I believe that living in a place with closer ties to nature might help her." He looks to Lynwen. Then he worries, "My parents and siblings know that I teach at ESU. I worry that their new … friends might pressure the administration to remove me. If that happens, I am not sure how I will repay you. As I said, I am willing to help."


Lynwen watches them, seeing how they are eating the food she tries to mimic them. Tries being the key word, she eats a little, testing and trying it out. Her eyes go to the voice then back to the food in front of her. The Tofu gets a very curious look. She spears a piece studies it and then takes a nibble of it. In welsh she says "It has the constancy of curds but no flavor. What is this called?" She looks up from the food. "The island is good, do not worry Joshua, we will figure out a way if that happens, the place sounds safer than where we are, and safer because I know what I will do to it will stay and not have to be redone." She smiles when she says this. "I would not mind living there, but what course can be taken to protect Sunstone?"


Melinda May eats with her chopsticks with the ease of a life's worth of practice, but there are forks and spoons available as well. When Lynwen asks about the tofu, she offers, "It's soybean curd, called tofu. Frequently used as a source of protein when wanting to avoid eating meat. It's an acquired taste." In other words, she won't be offended if they opt to NOT eat the stuff.

"Who is Sunstone?" That's a name she's not heard before. And, she and Oracle did discuss how to protect Joshua at least from being tracked. This is where Oracle's expertise comes in handy. May can very easily get actual legal identification for both people through SHIELD, but it would be Oracle that could fabricate a 'life' to go with the each of the new identities.


Joshua watches Lynwen closely while she gives the chopsticks a good effort. He finds a fork, and with a smile, he offers it to her. "You should not worry yourself," he urges. When Lynwen mentions "Sunstone," he looks to May and blushes. "It is her 'nickname' for me," he admits. "According to legends, the Vikings used a crystal that they called 'sunstone' for navigation."


"I've already done Lynwens papers, May. I had to get creative, but she should be safe." Oracle falls silent a moment, sipping her tea as she thinks on Joshua's words. "They may be able to apply pressure to ESU for your removal. But… " she's unsure of the political landscape at the moment. "We could help you find employment, Joshua. But have you thought about contacting the X-Men? X-Red are the public face, I have contacts there and they may be able to make use of your skills. It's a thought."

As to repayment "This is what we do for people, Joshua. There is no repayment required. But if you wish to aid us in our work, I don't think May or I would have a problem with that."


"It is a stone used for navigation when it is overcast." The blonde explains. "They really do work. I have used them many times. It is shame they do not use them anymore." She looks to Joshua. "I think with the move we will be safe for now and I think that they will be able to help you. I sense no demon magic on them. I sense that they are not of the dark. For that I am willing to take this chance." She explains. Her gaze goes to May. "Warrior and Ghost, I will tend your gardens and I will help where I can for the repayment of keeping him safe. I will also aid you in helping aid others. I still do not understand the need of the papers, but it has been explained to me."


Melinda May nods and them both, then. "When you're done eating we can go." For her own part, she's eating modestly. It's not that the food isn't good — she wouldn't frequent a place that wasn't at least decent — but she's not about to go on a mission when a regular intake of calories is less certain.


Joshua smiles when Lynwen elaborates on his explanation of the nickname, and nods when she offers to tend the garden and home for May. "We will be glad to help you, and to assist in your broader work whenever our skills might be of use," he confirms. "As for the X=men, I have not spoken to any of them beyond a brief introduction to Mr. Drake after a public lecture which I attended," Joshua answers. "A biochemist, a Doctor Simmons, seemed eager to speak with him at length, and other people wanted autographs. I did not wish to intrude."


"I would suggest, Joshua," Oracle answers, before taking another sip of her tea, "that you get in contact with X-Red. With your permission, I'll let them know that you will be reaching out. " She considers "They have resources to help here… and Mr Drake is good people as well." combined with Oracles and Mays SHIELD contacts (if needed), they should be able to keep the pair safe.

"Well, if that's decided then… is there anything more?" Her tea is nearly finished and will need replenishing soon.


Between answering questions, Joshua has been eating heartily, even adding sauce to his mixture of pho, meet, and vegetables. When Oracle offers her recommendation, he lowers the chopsticks and nods. "I would be glad to speak with the X-Men, and whatever happens, if I am able to help others, I will risk myself for that."


With a nod of her head she takes a few more bites of the food. She exchanges the attempt at chopsticks to her newly acquired fork using skills. She is trying to figure out the different flavors she is tasting. It is good just very different this can be seen with thoughtful expression she wears on her face as she takes each bite. She looks between them.


Melinda May is totally okay with letting Joshua nosh and Lynwen sample to their hearts' content. Even after they've been here for a few minutes, none of the other patrons are batting an eyelash at their presence or choice of spoken language. It's one of those things she kind of prizes about these restaurants.


After the trio finish eating, May offers to lead them to the residence she's offered (or drive them there if they didn't arrive via their own car), and a good bit of time and a ferry ride later they're driving slowly through a modest residential part of Staten Island. Finally, she pulls into the driveway of the last house at the end of the street, smaller seeming than even its small neighbor but clearly well maintained.

There doesn't seem to be much of a back yard, but the side of the house that isn't separated from its neighbor by a drive way runs right up against a greenbelt of some sort. Trees and shrubs along the fence there obscure most of what's beyond, especially after dusk. (http://tinyurl.com/lsam4vq)


Joshua smiles and glances to Lynwen when May slows the car and they see the small cottage. "It's a fine place," he concludes, nodding in the rear-view mirror. "If you're sure, we will be honored to care for this home for you. As I have said, we also will be glad to assist you in other ways that you need."


There is a look of relief on her face when the get to the island and away from the city. It is not the true wilds but has more elbow and breathing room. She grins when they drive towards it. "Looks nice, I like the green, my eyes have been hungry for it. Everything is lovely do you mind if I add more plants and herbs to what has been planted there?" She asks from where she is seated. "There is much more breathing room here."


Whilst Oracle has gone along for the metaphorical ride, she's been making a fresh cup of tea and returns to her screens as May arrives at their location. "It does look, lovely May." She's not ever 'peeked' at the house when Mays been there, she prefers to maintain peoples privacy when she can.


The groceries she insisted they stop and purchase from the small market a short ways away is more than easy enough for the three of them to carry in through the side door that opens directly into the kitchen. "Feel free to look around, I'll put these away." Thankfully, she'd already cancelled the house-sitting service, so the pair can settle in immediately.

At Lynwen's question, she replies easily. "You're welcome to do whatever you want with the back yard, so long as you don't dig up the koi pond or damage any of the hardware that keeps it running." She then gestures vaguely toward the side of the house opposite where they came in. "Past the trees on that side of the house is private property, but if you go straight out the front door, everything on your left is part of the Decker Farm. I don't think they'll get too riled up if you walk around there, but if you want to pet the foliage, you might want to go around to the main house first and make sure it's okay. Otherwise, keep going straight past the market where we bought these groceries and you'll find the wildlife refuge. That's federally preserved land. As long as you're not trying to kill and eat any of the animals there, you can likely do whatever you want."

And the moment she finishes saying that she regrets it. If Lynwen is arrested for running through the woods naked, she'll never forgive herself.


Joshua settles one of the bags onto the counter, and then, knowing Lynwen's eagerness, prepares to explore the house with her. He pauses at the door and smiles. "We will care for all of it as if it were our own," he assures. "I suspect that the plants and fish will thrive, and that your neighbors will have no cause for complaints. In fact, they might come to appreciate our presence among them."


"Bees!" Lynwen declares. "Do not worry the pond will be fine, if there are fish in the pond I will make sure they are well. Plants can be added and what are the winters like here?" She asks. "Will Joshua be able to get items from the apartment and bring them here?" She asks. "So the wilds are not far from here, this is good, I will be able to do some rituals there. What is Decker farm? What do they grow?" She looks from May to Joshua. "What are Koi?"


Oracle is already pulling up the cities grid and accessing records on Decker farm. If May doesn't already have it, and Oracle suspects the woman does, she'll be arranging surveillence from that angle. As well, security systems for the neighbouring houses are confirmed, if need be, the Information Goddess will access the security firms systems to gain video access.


Melinda May looks from Lynwen to Joshua and back. "Let me introduce you. They're Japanese Carp, very large, very colorful, and often very cantankerous fish." She leads the way through to the back yard, stopping in the mud/laundry room to offer them each a small handful of pelleted food. The yard is tiny but well groomed, and the koi pond takes up nearly half of the space, including a water feature that is probably concealing the pond's filtration system. When she steps over toward the pond, three or four large koi (it's difficult to count them as they're not staying still) promptly move to the surface and start shoving each other to try and get closer to where she's standing, mouthing at the surface clearly in expectation of food.


Joshua follows May through the house, and once he has a handful of food for the giant carp, to the back yard. Once outside, his eyes sweep over the space. He smiles. "It's a wonderful yard, and I'm sure that we will spend many delightful hours here," he concludes. He steps toward the edge of the pond and carefully sprinkles some of the grains over the rippling water. "I've not heard of the Decker Farm, either. Every community has its hidden gems."


Following May out to the back yard and to where the small pond is. Her moss green eyes seem to take everything in. "They are beautiful," Lywen says as her eyes move to the brightly colored fish that are swimming and asking for food. . "Are you raising them for food like a chicken or are they more like a pet?" The woman asks. "I have seen people keep fish in the grocery story." She tries to explain. The word Grocery is said in English. "What are you feeding them?"


"So that's what that sound was, May" Oracle had heard the Koi when she and Jericho had discussed Bahrain with the woman. "Have you named them?" Knowing May, she probably had let Coulson do it. Later, Oracle will ask May if she would like the security reviewed, not that it likely needs it but… a different set of eyes and all.


"Definitely like a pet. The chemicals used to maintain their habitat are probably not good for humans to eat." May watches as Joshua's offering to the fish is met with even more frenetic thrashing about in the pond. And as soon as every last morsel he gave them is gone, they're right back to begging again. "Try this, Lynwen." She moves to sit on one of the rocks along the edge of the pond, not caring that the fish have splashed water everywhere, and offers one pellet held between finger and thumb. One of the fish glomps it out of her fingers and splashes away while she prepares the next pellet. "And yes, Oracle. They have names. But they're too crazy right now for me to point them out individually. Their names are Hideto, Emiko, Daisuke, and Kyohei."


When May answers about the names, Joshua repeats each one slowly and carefully. Then he looks to their hostess and questions, "I know that as fish, they probably do not hear such things well unless they are close to the surface. Still, do they respond to their names when you call them?" He watches the carp and he smiles. "I will learn all that I can about caring for them, so that you will not need to fret over that while you are away."


"Very nice." Lywen moves over to where May indicates. She moves quickly but carefully. "How old are they?" She asks her. "how long have you had them. They are very beautiful, they are more pretty than rainbow trout." She tells her. She looks to Joshua and offers him a grin. The communicator is look over at too.


"They are about… six years old now, give or take a bit. They were small enough to fit in my hand when I got them." May is sitting along the edge of the koi pond with Lynwen and Joshua nearby while feeding the large and boisterous carp. If she 'feels' Fenris' arrival along the ley line that leads right to the edge of this same pond, she gives no indication of it.


Oracle is listening in on the Communicator. Plans for the area, including Decker Farm and the security companies that monitor the neighbouring houses are displayed on her screen. The naming of the Koi, has her snickering to herself "Interesting fish names, May. Any giant lizards lurking around?"


Following May's example, Joshua kneels at the edge of the pond and pinches a single grain of the food between forefinger and thumb. He offers the morsel over the water, and one of the carp rewards him by taking the tidbit. He looks to Lynwen and smiles warmly. Winters here are not far from what you have known in Britain," he tells her. Although he is speaking Welsh for Lynwen's benefit, Oracle's program provides almost instantaneous translation to May. "Is the pond heated, so that we will not need to worry about them once winter comes?" he asks.


"Very nice." Lywen moves over to where May indicates. She moves quickly but carefully. "How old are they?" She asks her. "how long have you had them. They are very beautiful; they are more pretty than rainbow trout." She tells her. She looks to Joshua and offers him a grin. The communicator is look over at too." She asks.


"It's not heated, but these koi are from Japan, so they're accustomed to having the pond freeze over for the winter. The only thing we have to do at that time is make sure to turn off the pumping unit before the first hard freeze." She hand feeds the fish for a moment longer before dumping the rest of her handful into the water for them to thrash about over. She stands and dusts her hands off, preparing to go back inside the house.


There's a sudden tearing sensation for those who are sensitive to magic. May will be familiar with the sight of a Way opening nearby and a tall, lean man stepping through. One Lynwen and Joshua have seen before. "Mmmm what's… ah, May, hello. And the Druid as well I see." He smirks. "And her Sunstone. May, I apologise, I thought there might have been trouble here."

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