New Neighbours

April 10, 2017:

In which Isa Reichert meets her colourful new neighbours, Sloane Albright and Sloane's friend Rusalka Stojespal, at her Triskelion quarters.

The Triskelion - New York City

The Headquarters, Armory and Fortress of the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics division is, for the most part, an unassailable tower in the midst of the diplomatic sprawl that is Midtown East. The primary intelligence clearing houses and most of SHIELD's senior leadership are all housed hear, along with a veritable army of agents and staff to keep the place running, the world spinning and the weirdness at bay.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Phil Coulson

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Situated on the East Side, the Triskelion is as impenetrable as a mediaeval fortress, lording over its domain and affording commanding views of New York City on its uppermost floors. It's a pretty and picturesque campus, lending a certain idea of safety and security, as it was no doubt designed to do.

It also offers a very real sense of security when your life has been turned upside-down. For the relatively new Russian transfer, that is a valuable experience.

Although it hadn't taken long to throw her meagre possessions into a bag and vacate the compromised apartment she'd been renting in the Bronx, Isa Reichert had resigned herself to a day or two of getting lost and finding her way. Even with her knack for navigation, the Triskelion's facilities are enormous, enough so that even she has problems finding her way on occasion.

Or maybe she just hasn't slept in two days, and every time she tries she can swear she feels a mechanised hand closing around her throat.

Thus it is that the one-eyed pilot is shuffling through the residental corridor one night, well after sunset, a bag of groceries slung over her shoulder and her other hand in a pocket. She's wearing plain clothes; a white tee-shirt tucked into blue jeans, a leather bomber jacket with various faded Russian service patches on it from projects that were never public, and scuffed combat boots. Around her neck is a ball-chain with two military dogtags, engraved in Cyrillic, and one gold wedding band.

She's a pretty woman from the left side or the back – about five foot seven, wholly natural auburn-red hair, and an easygoing amble of a pace that suggests she could move fast if she needed to. Yet from the right side… well. The right side of her face is more or less gone, buried beneath ropy scar tissue suggestive of severe burning. A dove-grey patch covers where her right eye should be; there is no eyebrow, and the scarring stops just shy of her hairline. It creeps down past her collar, and the scarred, stiff way her fingers move suggests it's far more expansive than just her face. If any agents passing through here stare at her, she ignores them, utterly; with the air of someone who's been through that routine a whole lot.

Frowning, the woman slows to a halt, cocking a weary and red-rimmed blue eye toward the placards posted on the walls.

"<Son of a bitch.>" Her curse is soft, and spoken in fluent Russian. "<Don't tell me I passed by that corridor again.>"

It's a castle. It truly is; Rusalka's been around and seen more than her own share. Her first visit to the Triskelion, and it's appropriately looming - and fairly impressive in its engineering. Those curved walls, those inset windows…to the engineer's eye, there's a lot more building material there than she'd expect. And then Sally remembers what she was told when she met that cheerful uncle of a caseworker for Sloane; looking the building over…yeah. It's definitely a fortress. Probably with secret lasers that pop out, too.

It's also huge, and even with the remarkably polite (for Americans) desk staff, it takes the Sokovian girl a while to get through. But at last her security badge works, and so she finds herself wandering the halls as well. Footsteps soft on the tile floor, she's more than a little bit disturbed with the wide corridors and covered doors everywhere - as well as, in spots, the immense silence of the building. Sometimes it sounds like it's breathing. But that's silly.

Stop spooking yourself! You sound like some peasant in a cave on a windy night, not like a proper Stojespal!

Her outfit is typical Sally; the leather racing jacket adorned with a few sponsors that the girl properly believes in (and one she is most embarrassed to work for) covers a slim frame. Blue jeans and T-strap flats for the rest, socks just barely visible peeking out from the tops of her shoes. No purse, she doesn't need such a silly - and stealable - thing; her wallet and car keys are in her pockets and nothing else matters.

Where the hell is Sloane's dorm room?! And oh, there's a redhead in front of her, someone wandering around the halls from the sound of the boots clomping in frustration she'd heard earlier. Finally, someone who isn't watching from behind a hidden camera somewhere, playing 'watch the lost visitor!' And then there's a language she hadn't expected.

"<You did. I heard you walking, ma'am.>" Red hair like that, from Russia? Must be dye or something. The accent's placed easily, Reichert's classical Muscovy dialect saying she's absolutely from the capital. Mumbling in Sokovian-accented Russian, the fluid syllables of frustration are apparent to the pilot. "<Is this whole building a dungeon, with no exits?>"

Eight to twelve are meant for training. The rest of the day belongs to her.

Of course, for Sloane, the rest of the day isn't filled with a lot right now – she's been reading a lot of books, managed to reacquire a bunch of her musical instruments, and now she has at least a few boxes of her stuff that was snagged by a friend from her college dorm while she was missing. Finding places – and times – is a little tough in the Triskelion; while lounges exist, not everyone is looking to listen to a college student pluck strings or jam on a cheap, old, and durable roll-out keyboard pad that mimics the piano (barely).

She's got a lot on the plate, for her future.

Sloane was never really one to enjoy swimming before, but… since the change, since the Mists, and since her Inhuman lineage was awakened, she's found herself in the pool for reasons more than and other than training with her abilities. She drew a few stares before people realized that she could hold her breath far longer than normal, and took to using it to her advantage – staying at the bottom of the pool, using the time and the silence to just swim in circles or … think.

Not just a lot. Heaps and piles.

Hair loose and a towel thrown over her head, she's got a set of buds tucked precariously into her ears at a slightly awkward angle – things aren't shaped the same anymore – while rock music plays away at a slightly-louder-than-safe volume. Her hoodie is worn open, a plain one-piece swimsuit underneath, and sweatpants on her legs, feet thrust through some cheap slides.

The SHIELD lanyard that opens all of like, three doors, hangs from the hoodie in plain sight – she had to tilt it toward guards that have seen her a few dozen times already in the last few days just to make sure it was visible.

Eyes laid upon the screen of a smartphone and she thumbs through social media – people that she's not talked to in ages, people that she still hasn't informed that she's back – elevator doors open with a *boop* and allow her to step into the halls. The room Coulson assigned her isn't too far from the elevator bank, fortunately, but then she hears familiar voices (in the wrong language) and spots familiar silhouettes (that she recognizes).

Killing the music and tugging one of the earbuds out, the coppery-haired girl tugs the towel back off the top of her head and around her shoulders, the artificial light adding sheen to the visible scales on her ears, cheeks, and forehead. She looks a little worried.

"Oh my god Sally if you got here by driving through a window or something I'm gonna be in so much trouble."

The one-eyed pilot makes absolutely no effort to walk quietly or mask her presence. This place is ostensibly one of the safer places she could be, right now, and she could really use some guaranteed safety and stability in her life. She still looks pretty haggard; it'll take a few days to get over that fright.

Isa Reichert slows to a halt, frowning at the sound of a familiar language, with only slightly unfamiliar cadences.

"<What?>" She turns on her heel, looking over her shoulder far to the left side. She still looks pretty ordinary from that side; a pretty woman, albeit one very slowly edging out of her prime. "<No. It's not a dungeon. The corridor layout is a little repetitive, though.>"

She turns around fully and the illusion of 'normal person' is ruined. Maybe this really is a dungeon, and Sally really did wander right up to a monster. The entire right side of the woman's face is a mass of ropy burn scarring, almost to the point of a movie monster. A patch covers where her right eye should be. Her lone brow on the left side arches as she studies the Sokovian girl coolly. "<Some of the residencies seem like they should be further down the hall, but I guess it is what it is.>" She shrugs, as though she has no idea of the potential horrifying effect of her features. "<Maybe we should carry maps.>"

And then there's a somewhat familiar voice just behind her. Isa half-turns, flicking her lone eye back to regard Sloane. "Ah. Fish-girl." It seems more a friendly moniker than anything else; Isa must be in a pretty good mood, in spite of how exhausted she looks. "Was wondering how you were settling in. Look like we might be neighbours, hm?" She holds up her bag by way of demonstration. "Have been reassigned to temporary quarters in Triskelion."

Her English is, put simply, awful. Her voice is rough and gravelly from too many years of heavy smoking and hard drinking; her diction is clipped and laconic, almost curt in its sparsity. But she does seem to carry her point across, anyway. Thank goodness for small favours.

Eight to twelve. That was what she had permitted Agent Coulson to have, and Rusalka was here to make sure it was overseen. That, and perhaps just to look in on Sloane and make sure she didn't need anything - after all, she's still settling in. Who knows when you might need to make a quick run to the shopping mall! :3 Well, that, and making sure she's not bored.

SHIELD must have some kind of secret elevators, becaues Rusalka is absolutely sure that the doors opening in front of Sloane weren't there before. So of course she ignores the soft chime of the elevator, not paying attention to the quiet whisper of her friend's footsteps. Instead, she takes a closer look at the Russian woman before her.

A little like her mother, she thinks. The same posture, the same bearing. A woman who's seen too much, done too much, and lived too long for as young as she is. She frowns slightly as Isa turns, the mark of 'military' all over her. Possibly one of SHIELD's soldiers, Sally thinks.

<"No, but—"> She's about to say 'but it feels like a hospital' but the words turn to ash on her tongue when Isa turns to face her. Those scars, those wounds; brutality inflicted by the devil's own grandfather upon Isa. No wonder she has the same haggard, exhausted bearing of her mother. Sally steps back into a mild curtsy, head bowing slightly and left toes reaching back in respect. "Ma'am. I…"

Of course, suddenly hearing Sloane's voice sneaking up is enough to get a jump and the smallest of squeaks of surprise out of the engineering student. A cringing expression with wide blue eyes is thrown at the other teenager. "Are they teaching you to be a ninja or something?! Don't just sneak up on us," she adds drawing a deep breath. "And no, of course not! I have the right to be here," Sally adds proudly. She shifts her shoulder a little, letting the jacket reveal the actual, honest to goodness SHIELD badge with her own face on it. It opens one whole door! …The one marked visitor, but it's still a door.

"Maps would be useful," Rusalka agrees in English, glancing at the annoyingly bare walls. At least directions! Hers is more fluent, but still accented, the soft fluid syllables of a carefully spoken Sokovian dialect. Some of that backwards, counter-revoltionary country's aristocracy, it seems, especially with those cobalt-blue eyes. And then Isa refers to her best friend as merely 'fish-girl,' which gets Sally sliding into a protective, slightly defiant stance - standing just to the edge in front of Sloane.

But…neighbors? Sally glances back and forth, curious now. "You both know each other…?"

Originally, Sloane was also taken aback by Isa's condition; the scars and how vastly different that they made her look – but then, she also looks pretty shocking to people that look at her and expect to see a human, and not—

'Ah, Fish-girl.'

Sloane's fiery orange eyes start to squint. And then they just keep squinting. And squinting more, and more, and more. "Sloane."

Accused of being a ninja, the ginger's head slants before she looks back at the elevator banks and then back at Sally, a little bit incredulous as she replies, "I just walked out here! Stop gettin' so lost, or … or somethin'! Jeez." Her cheeks puff out with wide eyes and scrunched brows – the frustration put on display exaggerated to high levels, mostly for the sake of humor.

"Oh, they l—let you… in. What? Oh jeez, I hope you didn't have to like, go all 'Baroness of Sokovia' on them or somethin'." She knew she'd be allowed visitors, just not so soon. The glance next goes to Isa – she's being reassigned quarters to let her stay at the Triskelion. "Oh! Cool. Um. I'm in 1602," she says, pointing a brief ways down the hall. If I ever make too much noise or something, just lemmie know. It's tough finding headphones that fit so I've been messing with my guitars not hooked up to cans, so…."

She also points at her long, tapered ears as she says 'headphones that fit.'

Do they know each other? "Er, kinna – Agent Rayshar – no. Rei…chert?" she asks, exploring the syllables in an attempt to get it right, "—we met last week. It was a lunch thing after morning training. … Class? … whatever it is. The thing where I make water with my hands and then throw it around." Or make the olympic-sized swimming pool attached to the gymnasium turn into a wave pool.

Sloane's thumb hooks down the hall, toward her room. "I've got snacks an' junk in my room if y'guys are, like, hungry."

Shifting her grip on the plastic grocery bag, which mostly seems to consist of dry goods, Isa squints a little at the girl in the driving livery. She's used to that kind of reaction, of course. Many people stare at her once they see the ruin the right side of her body had become. The worst was early on, when the wounds were still healing, and small children would be frightened by it and cry.

There is a quiet weariness in her posture, despite the straightness and the military posture. She has indeed seen too much, done too much, and lived too much for the thirty-eight years in her dossier. She's closer to forty than thirty, and the lines through the unscarred half of her face suggest more. It's a wonder her hair hasn't begun to frost.

Isa tilts her head very faintly as the girl recoils in horror, masking it with politeness with a quickness that's nothing short of impressive.

"Devushka. Have no reason to cursty to me." Isa raises a brow, blue eye hooded. She seems almost perplexed at the gesture, mostly because people rarely did anything like that towards her. She was always the one to do the saluting; the bowing and the scraping.

Whether or not Isa notices the subtle change in Sally's posture, it's hard to say. If she does catch it she offers no acknowledgement.

To the question of whether or not she knows Sloane, she only wobbles her free hand noncommittally.

"Reichert," she supplies blandly to Sloane. Tit for tat; it's probably revenge for 'fish-girl.' "But 'Isa' easier to remember, maybe. Can call me that." She considers for a moment, studying the fish-girl's tapered ears in apparent thought. "Have something that might work, maybe…"

The unit number earns a lifted brow. "Am in 1604. Right next door, apparently. Hunh. Da," she offers to Sloane with a faint tilt of her head, "met in corridor. Quinjet pilot with SHIELD." Food? "Da, thank you. Have nothing better to do right now. Was just bringing grocery back to quarter." The bag is lifted to indicate it.

…Wait a minute. The one-eyed woman is a pilot?

"Reassigned from Moscow… but you probably knew that," she adds, glancing to Sally. "Probably."

Well, admittedly Sally does see the scales and scars. She'd be lying if she didn't. But, especially after her talk with Case Worker Coulson, she intends to see all that as 'just one more part of being human.' Hell, she'd even come up with a term the SHIELD agent liked, though she isn't aware of it yet. The same feeling goes for both Isa and Sloane, two people transformed by fate - just as, perhaps, she will someday. An end likely found similar to Isa's, trapped in twisted and burning wreckage…as so many before her have.

Isa's comment gets a hand raised. "Respect, ma'am. For one who has given so much." She glances over Isa's outfit, clearly that of a soldier. Or one who shops at military thrift outlets; not all that different in the end. "If I may be prideful to say such things, you do remind me of my mother. <One who has given much to her country, and had much taken from her.>" It's a statement to a soldier as much as it is to, perhaps, a memorial.

Sloane squints, and Rusalka simply stands protectively - though, there's a lack of venom in the Russian's voice, and she takes a breath to relax. Especially as her friend stands up for herself - before yelling at her.

"What did I do! This is my first time here, of course I'm lost. It's laid out like a prank, a labyrinth with no exits." Please ignore the windows at the end of the hallway letting in the rather beautiful D.C. afternoon. She reaches up suddenly, poking Sloane's puffed cheeks in a typical gentle teasing of the shorter girl - feeling the boundary between skin and scale, and deciding she doesn't care. Squeeeeeze~

Sally listens quietly as her friend tries to remember, and she nods to Isa once more. "Ms. Reichert," she adds with a small smile. And then the mention of 'snacks an' junk' gets a glance at the musician - just what kind of 'junk' hmm? Are you sneaking in more of that foul stuff again? Hmpf.

And then she's proven correct, in a surprising way - Sally's eyes widen slightly when the one-eyed horror movie star admits to being a pilot. "I see…Stojespal," she adds with a slightly imperious lilt, by way of belated introduction. "Sally Stojespal." A curious name for someone with that accent. And then she finally turns back to Sloane once more.

"And no I did not do such an embarrassing thing. I merely had words with your case worker, the curiously charming Mr. Colesl-Coulson, sorry." He's very off-putting, it's an easy mistake to make. "He provided me with a badge as well, and only needed…a little convincing to take good care of you." Wink.

'Call me that.' Sloane puts on a lazy smirk, looking at Sally while pointing at the redhead pilot. "Agent Isa."

While she can't speak a lick of Russian, she's hung out enough with Sally to pick up a few words. 'Da,' and the emphasis, then the more emphasis, then the even more emphasis helps with that. And no, Sally, not like that. She didn't even return to the building with it.

She lets them speak in Russian, on that note, without much fanfare – instead, she slips past them and moves on toward her door, tugging the lanyard off her hoodie and swiping it across the pad on the door itself. A beep, a loud and heavy click, and then the door to 1602 is opened – and she leaves a slide-on sandal on the floor to allow the others to come inside.

While it's a rather nice studio apartment, it's still… a studio apartment. Decorated with what she could get from Sally's place, the dresser is still something of a mess, the computer covered with post-it notes and the desk piled up with books about swimming, science (chemistry!), and … fish. An acousting guitar is propped up against one wall with her flute and a few other instruments sticking out of one of the boxes. Inside the bedroom and at a few other places – taped behind the computer monitor, for example – there are photographs from 'before.' Friends, family, parties…

A few of them are arranged so corners cover up Sloane's once-more-normal face.

Slipping off the hoodie, she tugs open the cabinets; a few paper bags of corn chips are available, a jar of queso dip, and other snacks are set on the counter while she closes the door to the bedroom. The coffee pot looks untouched, as if it were never plugged in once. "Eat away, I've got some stuff in the fridge!"

When she emerges, it's in a change of clothes – light shorts and an ancient band t-shirt.

"So yeah!! Sally. Behold, my mighty … apartment. This is way nicer than the dorm."

At the explanation behind the title, Isa raises that delicate eyebrow again. It's a stark contrast to the other side of her face. Her features are angular but pretty, in a classical sort of way. Once upon a time, she must have been a pretty woman, before the flames. Even now she might still be capable of turning heads – from the left side. Until the whole of her is visible.

She rests her free hand on her hip and fixes that single eye on Sally, as though she were considering whether the girl is being flippant or serious. Apparently she decides on the latter, especially when further commentary is offered in Russian.

"<We'll see how close that is to the truth,>" Isa offers, studying Sally speculatively. "<But I appreciate the sentiment behind it.>"

It's a curious statement, as much as that is a curious name for a Muscovite. There's no way that name is genuinely Russian. It lacks a patronym, and the phonemes are all wrong for the language. Most likely it's some kind of alias or pseudonym.

Balancing the bag in her scarred right hand – it seems that scarring must be more extensive than it looks – Isa tilts her head and watches the blow-by-blow between the two girls with some amusement. It quickly turns thoughtful as Sally offers her surname, and for a brief instant that blue eye unfocuses as she skims whatever she might have heard about it. Apparently she comes up empty on that front. She'd never paid much attention to the nobility, such as it were; especially the places that were beyond Moscow's crowded streets.

Her attention was often fixed directly overhead, at a point some twenty to thirty thousand feet or more. Things below just didn't matter that much.

"Ah. Mister Coulson. Da," she offers, with a faint jerk of her head, tossing the hair from the left side of her face, "he is good person. Will take care of you, I think. Help keep SHIELD running like well-oiled machine. Is good at it, too, from what I have seen." She unfolds her arms, fishing in her bomber jacket a moment before producing a black cloth lanyard of her own, dangling her badge. It opens considerably more than three doors. The photograph of the woman on it looks only slightly less exhausted and haunted than the one in reality.

The unscarred side of her mouth twitches in a faint almost-smile. "Can bring these back to my quarter later. Nothing cold," she adds, by way of explanation, as she files after Sloane into the small studio apartment. It looks a lot like her own, except Isa's looks a lot less lived-in.

She looks around, apparently taking in the details with that lone eye of hers, noting the instruments and the decor with muted interest. "Not bad." Tying off her bag of groceries and setting it down, Isa makes a slow circle, leaning over and reaching out to poke gingerly at the acoustic guitar. "Never learn to play that. Always like how it sound, though. Flute, too," she adds, gesturing towards the flute but not touching it. "Was always a good sound, but I like other music."

One hand rises to mimic a flying jet, and the pilot grins; one side of her face a good-humoured half-smile, the other side a rictus.

Isa lets her hand fall, slipping both into her pockets. "How is life in SHIELD so far? Enjoying life here?" Her hand rises to indicate Sloane's badge. "Agent Coulson, he take good care of you, da…?"

The introduction gets a nod, and even if poor Sloane is uneducated in Russian outside of yes, no, hello, and a few choice curses for those who mix metric and imperial tooling on the same vehicle Rusalka will always forgive her. "Paying respect, Sloane. One should treat their elders well, after all." There's only a slight bit of tease, and Sally gives Isa a momentary glance - it's not outright calling her a baba, but the pilot is older than the two of them put together.

Barely. But Sally's not going to bring that up.

For her friend's sake, the conversation continues in English. That and it's easier to stay in one language than switch back and forth; her mother had no problems in doing so but the gear shift is a little more difficult for Sally. "It is truth. Here, in a land where such things are a little more discrete." They're actually of the same height, and it's easy to meet Isa's gaze. Out of respect, she doesn't stare for more than a few seconds.

Instead she takes the time to look around, sure in her friend's discretion - and taste in decor. A lot of photographs, a few mutual memories…

She doesn't quite notice the difference in the covered photos and uncovered ones. Not yet. Blue eyes inspect the room - going over the kinds of furniture there is, the comfort of the air conditioning, and the kinds of proper foods made available. Good high-caliber thinkyfoods, it seems; SHIELD isn't all that stingy when it comes to its agents. Still, Sally's suspicious, she's trusting this Agent Coulson with one of the few people on earth that means anything significant to her. It's not quite a white-glove inspection, but it's definitely a close search.

Rusalka herself has a curious name; no patronymic either - though in her case it's hardly a secret identity on the run from mad Soviet assassins. It's simply a hardheaded great-grandmother who decreed such things were intensely silly and she would have no more of them.

"Very swanky, Sloaneykins." Such a nickname in front of guests! At least she didn't say firehose. And then Isa brings up the musical instruments, as Rusalka finally takes a flavor inspection of the corn chips. They pass, crunchily enough. "She's quite good, actually," as the shorter girl reappears. "That flute was how we met, in honesty…" There's a bit of a small smile of memory, before she glances up.

Yes, how is Agent Coulson the Avuncular treating Sloane? Snatching a spot on the rug, legs crossed comfortably, she's settling in to listen.

'Nothing cold.' "Don't worry about it!" 'Very swanky.' "Thanks! I mean it's not Greenwich Village, but I can't complain since I'm not like, paying rent. In New York. On the East Side."

She lets that price break sink in a bit.

After returning, Sloane rustles her fingers through her hair after departing the bedroom, hair not quite damp but not quite dry either. "I haven't seen Agent Coulson in a few days, actually – I have someone different for day-to-day stuff and getting my training handled – Clarinda? I dunno if either of you know her. She's pretty nice, though."

Stepping past Sally and snagging the chips and dip with a brief, "Yoink!" Sloane retreats to one of the few comfortable seats surrounding the wall-mounted display that is her TV, pulling up and folding her legs – and depositing chips and dip on the endtable adjacent to it. "But yeah he was pretty awesome. Like, all that cardboard-tastin' crap they served me while I was in medical, the day after you guys found me, Agent Coulson brought me a cheeseburger. A big, angry, grease-dripping all-the-fixin's cheeseburger."

Her hands lift, fingers flat and straight, her orange eyes deathly serious. "And it was the best goddamn cheeseburger I have ever had in my life. So right now, we're definitely cool."

Shifting her position to reach out and snag the guitar by the neck, the Inhuman slips the pick out from between two strings on the neck and tabs a few chords out. She has skill, but there's a very distinct notion that she's being very careful – she doesn't want to break the pick, or the strings, or the neck of the guitar with her metahuman strength. "Anyway, yeah – uh. I was actually a music major at Columbia before… alla this."

"Dad said if I was gonna be a musician he wanted me to be a big famous concert pianist, but I would've rather just done my own thing."

Chip, dip, crunch. Her brow scrunches. "I started learning self-defense stuff here, too, so I'm gonna totally learn how to be a badass. I mean other than the driving thing, because I can't."

Something dims in that single blue eye at mention of showing respect to elders, and the way the pilot's brow arches suggests she wants to tell Sally, is this the hill you want to die on? She doesn't say anything, though, because it wouldn't be nice to instigate a bloodbath in a new acquaintance's apartment.

"You want to stare, stare." Isa waves a hand in apparent nonchalance, picking up on the conscious effort needed to look away. "Might help you. Some people, they stare. Did myself favour, got used to that many year ago. Is what it is."

She folds her arms, watching as Rusalka goes about her inspection; when the Stojespal prodigy plunks down on the floor, Isa fluidly sinks down into a crouch beside her. Maybe it's not the trained fluidity of a warrior, or the predatory grace of an assassin, but she still has some grace to her.

It's ruined a little bit by the hideous pop one of her knees gives, though Isa shows nothing on her face.

The pilot glances up, looking to Sloane. She shrugs at mention of Clarinda. "Have not heard that name. Saw Agent Coulson last night. Was when I was transfered, in fact." That seems awful quick. Extenuating circumstances? Mention of Coulson bringing a cheeseburger to a patient in medical, however, earns a twist of Isa's mouth that suggests amusement; something in it almost wistful, but she doesn't share whatever it is she's thinking of.

Watching as Sloane retrieves the guitar with obvious care, she narrows her eye a little, a shift of her hip settling her more comfortably on the floor. Floors were never a bother to her. She frowns. "Can't drive? Why?" The words are immediately followed by a nonchalant shrug. "Admit, don't have car myself, but can drive. Some reason you can't learn…?"

Don't look at Sally, she's a perfectly normal and not old-rich daughter out to make her way in the world! Her dorm is in Greenwich right with all the other peasant students, though she wouldn't mind a little more floor space and a bit less…whatever might be going on in the next floor. Chris Knight's already graduated, so could they maybe keep it down on the weekdays at least? A little? After one AM?

The name Clarinda gets a headshake. "No, I have not met her yet. Only Agent Coulson, who…met me at the track, of all places. I doubt he is one to enjoy it, in honesty." Shrug. Not everyone really understands the truth about life before and after a race.

Mentioning the cheeseburger, now, that gets a raised eyebrow - and a nod of approval from Sally. This Coulson, he is a very kulturny fellow. Good. Blue eyes meet blazing orange, and Rusalka grins. "I imagine it would have been. Five months…" There's a momentary quiver of Sally's lip and chin, as the fear is finally settling a little. She's lost before…and thought she had again. It's masked quickly, turning it into a cough.

"He treats you well then. He seemed…quite insistent on that, actually. We had an interesting discussion, and I am glad he is holding up on his promises." Okay, she might not have gone all Baroness of Sokovia on the front desk, but she let it show for the SHIELD agent a bit. Maybe a bit more. "Your afternoons, plus…your music.

Nibble. Nibble nibble. What, she's not picky, just careful and precise.

The Stojespal girl thinks back to Coulson's words…and reaches a hand out to pat Sloane's knee gently, resting across the scales and skin both. There's no flinch. "You are still. I have checked, and made sure they kept you as 'missing' rather than…anything else." Her hand falls away, as she leans back a little bit, letting Isa get comfortable as well. "You simply took a semester off, is all. And pfah to the rest. Not everyone needs a concert hall to be great at what they do."

She shrugs out of her jacket, laying the white leather to the side while finally stretching her arms out in the short-sleeved top. "And…other music, Isa." She saw that airplane gesture, and nods. Meanwhile, that glare of death gets a raised hand. "Starshaya sestra. And, I have seen similar wounds in the past, in honesty. None on one so young, though. My family…partisans against the fascisti." That should say a lot. Rusalka diplomatically leaves out the partisan activities against the bolsheviks as well, though.

"Can't drive! Hah! She refuses to learn. Kuritsa." Chicken. She's teased Sloane about it before. "I have offered to teach her all I know about being a driver. She keeps babbling about living here, in the land of taxis and buses and whatnot. But no," the Sokovian chides, "she will simply beg for rides and mooch my fuel. Alas. Have you seen the prices in this overtaxed abomination of a city, and for the paltry watered-down garbage they call petrol!" Smiiiirk.

Isa doesn't know Clarinda. "Oh. A'right. I mean I didn't know if all of you guys knew each other or what, this building is huge and I can only open a few doors around here. And the elevator, I guess, but I can only really go to like three floors, too," Sloane says, finger tapping at her chin. But, the pilot saw him last night. "Oh really? Cool. I said 'hi.'"

She stops strumming the guitar long enough to pop a thumbs-up.

Five months.

"I guess after I got out of the cocoon, I slept for nearly a day. … then I was hungry. But it was like, powdered mashed potatoes and junk like that." Oh, that – they had a talk, then. Oh dear. Now the Baroness of Sokovia joke may have actually been a little more grounded in reality than she realized. The Inhuman additionally grins a bit, scales shifting a bit. "Makes total sense you would've been at the track."

A tweak of the small knobs at the top of the guitar while Sloane strums out a few more notes, building a little bit of a melody on the fly. The politics between the pair are a bit lost on her – she's still catching up with the last five months, let alone the world.

"Oh my god, I live in New York and I'm from Boston, I never needed to learn how to drive a car," Sloane says. Her finger lifts to point at the brunette. "And I paid for the gas when we drove around a lot, so don't even, like. … ugh!! Fight me."

Tilting her head, the smirk is almost palpable. "Anyway, with all the training I've been getting I'll probably end up having to learn how to drive or something pretty soon. They seem pretty intent on making sure I'm ready for anything out there. I mean other than the water thing and not being entirely able to control not like, not … every … part of it. It's a pain to explain."

"Self-defense. Could teach you what I know. Is not formal style, though. Just know how to punch hard." Isa casts a bland look at Sloane, as though she were evaluating the girl's potential. "Would probably be better off learning from SHIELD agent." A beat, and she corrects herself. "SHIELD agent who is not me, maybe, I think. Had only learned enough to…"

The pilot trails off, as though aware of treading over an unspoken line. These two are untested, and it probably isn't wise to discuss Former Life here. She trails off; half her mouth twists into a bland smile. Thankfully, it was a generic enough start, and not something actually damning.

"Sestra? First I am older sister. Now I am one so young. Which is it?" Isa slowly raises a brow at Rusalka, and she has enough of a mask over her reactions that it's hard to tell whether she's annoyed or amused. Between her stone-faced neutrality and the scarring, her face isn't as expressive as most, and it can be difficult to tell just what her reactions really are.

The faintest twitch of a half-smile at the corner of her mouth suggests she's not really offended, though. "Whoever say flattery get you nowhere, they lie. Sestra, I believe you." The smile drops from her face, expression sliding right back into that guarded neutrality as she points to indicate the ropy, ridged scar tissue ravaging the skin.

"Was accident," she offers. "Five year ago, maybe. Was lucky. Received good treatment. Still hurt like fire of Hell, though."

That must have been one hell of an accident.

Instead she flicks her eye over to Sloane, snorting softly. "Too scared to learn, then she can walk. And fly maybe on someone else's quinjet, da?" An empty threat. If she has orders, Isa will fly anybody that needs flying. Who she takes with her doesn't matter. It never did. The only thing that matters is the fact that she can fly.

"Wouldn't worry." Isa waves a hand dismissively in Sloane's direction. "Can drive, but prefer not to, myself. Would not drive in this city. Easier to take subway, take bus, maybe walk. Or fly quinjet." It's a wan attempt at humour.

She does frown a little, though. The effect is probably amplified on her face with how fixed half her face is; the scarring creases slightly, but in general it doesn't seem to have the plasticity of normal skin. When they were fresh the burns must have been hideous. It's a wonder it didn't kill her. "Don't know what you mean by 'all part of it.'"

Leaning back a little, stoically ignoring the series of crackles that come from stiff and complaining joints, Isa settles for watching her two impromptu companions, studying them. Of the two, it's hard to say which is the more outgoing, especially with the way they rib at one another. That kind of familiarity brings a ghost of a smile to the unscarred side of her face; a familiar tableau, one she used to go through with her husband – the kind of easy, ribbing banter of two truly familiar with one another. The sharp-sounding humour wasn't sharp at all in their hands.

Consciously, she wills her expression back into neutrality. Hopefully neither of the girls noticed. They're perceptive, and despite her exhaustion, she's going to have to watch herself more closely.

So, she settles for banter of her own.

"You think fuel is bad here in this city? You try finding fuel for quinjet. Am glad that is not my responsibility. If automobile fuel is so bad, am not sure what I would expect for quinjet." Isa wrinkles her nose. The effect isn't quite as ghastly; the scarring hasn't quite crossed onto the bridge of her nose. "Almost enough to feel sorry for SHIELD quartermaster."

"Huge indeed. I was wandering around for ten minutes on this floor trying to find you." Well, she's probably not quite allowed on 'the floor where all the people with super powers train' or something. Lots of good reasons for that, Sally supposes. The guitar strumming, though, soothes the snarky beast, and she closes her eyes to listen - not bothering to notice the pause.

Not eating for so long, then…hospital food, yech, followed by such a meal? Agent Coulson might well have seemed to be an angel himself come with the manna of heaven. And then Sloane dares to tease her for her track time, and Sally finally opens her eyes again. "I had to dispose of my winter tires. It was time to switch, and I had enough tread left that it would have been wasteful otherwise. All four were given a true funeral." On that track, there's a lot of Sokovian rubber coating the top of it…

"Hmpf. I suppose I should have expected the meeting - a foreigner, you with your new powers, and well. Agent Coulson was worried I was about to kidnap you away or something. I have no such intentions; this is your home. He understood easily enough." Among other things, she's sure. "I think he tried to recruit me, actually. A charming weasel of a man."

Hmpf. "City girl, city girl, yes yes yes. And yes, you did, with arguments about paying more than you needed. Silly." She gently punches Sloane's knee, trying to avoid the guitar. No way is she going to interrupt the music. "Fight you, bah. You'd probably rain on me or something. Though. I suppose…that's a thing now, for you. Having to fight back, and protect yourself. Something Agent Coulson wanted you to be able to do." There's a small frown, a minor curse running through her mind. Can't we have just stayed students?

Maybe it's how Sloane feels too, she wonders. Well, there's time for that.

Isa's offer of help fighting gets a nod, before a nearly owlish blink in the pilot's direction when Sally's called out for her familiarity and hedged judgements of Isa's age. Well she was trying to be polite! And then she's caught out for sure, and gives a melodramatic sigh. "I am surrounded by devils, you both. Hmpf." The perfect image of the young, put-upon noble girl!

The mention of an accident, though…images flash through Rusalka's mind. She's seen what happens at two hundred miles per hour; she can only imagine tripling that - or more. But then they're both teasing Sloane which is a much more fun thing to do. "Well. I might well say that if anyone is going to teach her that, I shall. Though…" She considers a moment. "I believe I'll have a rental, for such things. A Lotus is…not a suitable first car." Neither is a quinjet something that one cuts their teeth in the air with, she can imagine.

There's a sharp laugh at the pilot's comment. "I suppose you are correct. Then again…you aren't the one trying to find someone who will swindle you the least!" Grin. Well, at least she's staked out the good gas stations in town. "But yes, the quartermasters and the logistics men…may the harvest wolf share her divine wisdom with them. And eat the others."

And then she looks back at Sloane, taking in those scales, the orange eyes, all the transformations her friend has gone through. "Hey…I'd…like to join you, if you do learn how to fight." She raises her hand to her chest, feeling the invisible half-pendant in there that Sloane has matched, secreted somewhere. "At the very least, I should as well, if you're going to." Blue eyes almost soft at the idea, but there's a determination there as well.

She swore an oath upon her family. It is as predestined as the sunrise.

"Sorry – you could've probably asked someone to page me, or something. I suddenly realized how much I actually like to go swimming, and the pool's basically open twenty-four seven. Which is weird, I guess. I never used to like it that much before," Sloane notes, fingers twitching across the frets as she continues to pluck strings and play. "It's weird."

A sharper ear will pick up the meandering notes and chords slowly easing into Clapton's 'Signe.'

Likewise, for the pilot to observe Sloane is to observe someone that is … just… sad, and hiding it as well as they can. In some ways, Isa can certainly recognize those feelings and emotions through the way she plays, keeping herself from making eye contact for too long; almost forcing herself to pay more attention to the guitar than her best friend and new neighbor. She does her best to keep the smiles up, complete with those weird slightly-long incisors, but and having Sally here is definitely good for her soul.

Coulson once remarked how well she seems to be holding up. Blithely laughing, she replied that she's actually fucking terrified.

Picking up an (empty) plastic water bottle, Sloane tucks it against her hip where she sits on the cushy recliner, even with her knee getting the light thump across the scales. "Oh man, could you imagine me getting kidnapped to Sokovia or something? Like, your mom would flip her lid. Straight flip. Everything. Including a table. 'Rusalka Stojespal,'" she starts, her voice adopting a bit of a mock accent, hand waving in the air momentarily, "'I swear to God if you don't take her home!'"

The accident – Isa's scars. Sloane rubs the back of her hand, brushing bare skin across her scales and then giving her hand a bit of an instinctive flex in and out of a fist. The scales still are a little stiff, but she's starting to adapt to it.

"I wouldn't mind it, Miz Isa. Honestly, I think it'd be pretty cool, but I don't know if they'd allow it, Sal. It's not like… it's not like a fencing class or archery and P.E. and junk, a lot of what I've learned has been so I can use my strength and my speed to my advantage. Or like, how to not use them, and not rely on it all the time? It gets rough 'cause they don't have a lot of those padded head-guard things that actually fit over my ears without crushing them bad. It's not that big of a deal, it's not like they're going to start teaching me how to shoot guns, right?"

They're totally going to teach her how to shoot a gun.

Isa tilts her head very faintly to the right, left side of her chin lifting faintly as she studies Rusalka. So the old tires were given a proper Viking funeral, then, just like that? That sounds like the kind of person Isa could get along with. Someone with their own ideas about things… and a fearlessly spitfire nature. Something about Rusalka strikes her as a younger version of herself.

Phil Coulson, a charming weasel? That descriptor doesn't seem like it's too far out of left field. The pilot finds herself rubbing at her jaw at that.

Slowly, one red brow lifts. The devil, hm? "Had been known to be called that, before." Isa allows herself an edgy sort of half-smile. In particular, her husband had said that about her when they'd first met, amusedly. "Heh, heh. Take it as compliment, you know."

Calling it an accident isn't exactly lying. It was an accident. As for swindling, she shows her own teeth, though it's less benign than Rusalka's. Isa's scarring has a way of making her expressions look somehow more sinister. Harvest wolf? She still believes in superstitious nonsense like that? But Isa knows better than to raise an issue; she lets the matter slide without comment.

As it is, the issue of nationality is a potentially bristly one; and a topic that Isa has been studiously avoiding.

"Can't teach you anything about that, I think." Isa gestures with her scarred right hand, flicking scarred fingers in Sloane's general direction, indicating the smooth scales. "Is up to someone more qualified. Can teach you how to break someone's kneecap, though. How to break their nose. Best way to use knife or switchblade as weapon… plenty of thing you won't learn from regular course."

She shrugs, rolling one shoulder. "Will teach you whatever you need to know, though. Have nothing better to do." And she senses something of a kindred spirit in both girls; each one putting on a brave face in spite of the circumstances. Buried deep under the roiling negativity, there are some maternal instincts down there somewhere.

To the part where they're going to teach her out to shoot guns, Isa just affects a bland expression and shrugs expressively.

"…Da, probably."

"If I could have found someone." Sniff. A slightly regal one, no less; she's well trained in that. Rusalka gives Isa a glance, before smirking. "It took me twenty minutes of walking after I got into the elevator just to track her down by following the footsteps. I've been in crypts louder than this."

No really, she has. Then again it's not like a Sokovian funeral is the quietest thing in the world, but it's a term that gets the attention of most Americans.

The mention of her mother gets a burst of laughter from Rusalka, an honest and giggling one. The fact that Sloane's accent and impression was spot on didn't help much at all, and the tension that'd been building in the student melts back some. "I suspect she'd not stop with the table and go right on to the aircraft. Can you imagine that…" The elder Stojespal, Isa's age, with a frown downright chiseled into her face, glaring so hard her blue eyes might well glow like a nuclear reactor.

It's a thought that gives Rusalka a shudder, before she leans back and just listens to the music for a minute. As much as Sloane is holding back her own feelings…her friend is also trying to navigate things. Help be a shoulder, 'Uncle Phil' had said - oh god, is she thinking of him like that already? That besuited civil weasel is more ingratiating and clever than she'd realized. But he was right. Help her remember she's still a person, not a monster or a thing. And if there was anything that she could reach her hands out to do, to press a button to change, it'd be to wipe those thoughts away.

But she's just a girl. Not even a psychology student, but someone trying to drive a race course blind. All she can do is go forward, being herself - and feel for the sensitive spots, those kerbs just before she goes off the road completely. So for now, as much as she can feel the tension in her friend, all she can do is be here. Maybe that'll be enough.

As for the idea of combat training, well. "I can still help, I'm sure. At least, to teach you how to deal with someone with a sword, right?" She'd been studying the rapier for over three years now; she's no slouch and it might be useful. Then again SHIELD probably has Highlanders working for it, for all she knows. At the very least she'll be there to cheer Sloane on. Except for the guns. That, Rusalka will definitely pass on.

"Then a compliment it is," Sally adds with a smile. At least there's not a lot of emotional subtext with Isa, and there's a little relief in that. And it isn't as if Rusalka is that superstitious! Maybe just a little, once in a while. For luck. And then the talk goes to beating people up once more, and Sally perks up and shrugs her shirt a bit to get comfortable.

There's a half-grin on her face. "I suppose I might have to learn such things. It's not as if New York is all that safe a place, outside of campus." Especially for someone with a body like hers; it's almost annoying she knows she's good looking - but is honest, and concedes the looks department to Sloane when they're together. It's why the ginger gets first pick at her Fancy Closet, and - a secret shared by noone - occasionally is permitted to dispense fashion advice to Sally.

Blagh, guns. Instead, she considers something else. Something Phil had said. "You know…once, back in the old lands." Cobalt meets sky as Rusalka glances up at Isa, before looking back to Sloane. Those orange eyes… "There's plenty of stories of famous heroes. Great men and women both, who conquered the lands and the devils together. 'Bogatyr' is the proper term, but…I suppose anything will do. I mentioned it to your case worker…he rather liked it." Certainly instead of the perjorative 'inhuman' or other such things. "Just…I don't know."

She trails off, frowning a little - the idea rough, poorly phrased perhaps, but trying to help Sloane see things in a new light. A different one, at least, and well…Phil did suggest it was a good idea. Sally stiffens her shoulders a bit in a moment of proud innocence as she realizes she can just blame him. But she still steals a glance at Sloane, to see how her friend takes the idea.

She's had a lot of time to practice her Irja Stojespal.

Isa could teach her a few things, that's true. Still, she laughs a little, shifting her guitar. "I'm pretty sure if I tried to break someone's nose I'd accidentally like, break … their face. Wait – is the face a bone? Like is it 'facebone'? Or … how does that even work? I'll have to go google the crap out of that."

"Hey, I'm down for … whatever. I'm not going anywhere for a little bit, I don't think," Sloane says, then tugs the water bottle out. She pushes her hand against the top, orange eyes lidding closed as she starts to focus… then water starts to form inside the bottle, dripping from the lid and along the sides before it settles into a soft trickle that ends up filling the bottom third of the bottle in short order.

Unfortunately, now there's a few droplets of water hanging in the air before a split-second of "rain" falling in the apartment – not enough to soak anyone completely, but definitely a few drops here and there. She's getting better…ish?

Guns, haha. Ha ha ha. Haaaaaaa ha ha ha. Haha. Ha h—

Da.

—fudge.

Sloane looks up, eyes incredulous. "Aw, for real? I hate guns."

Uttering a sigh, she takes a drink from the bottle before returning it to her side, shifting songs, playing tunes. Sally changes gears, too, bringing up that alternate name. The inhuman smirks a little, letting her shoulders roll in a soft shrug. "It's not bad, I guess. I was gonna do more research about this stuff. See if I could find out anything else about other people like me."

Maybe go find them, talk to them, and see what they know, or what she could learn.

"Nyet." The pilot shakes her head to Sloane, ignoring the spill of red hair over one shoulder. It's on the right side. She can't see anything anyway and it does work well to veil the eyepatch and the scarring. "Nose have no bone in it. You break nose, you are only hitting… what is word. Cartilege. Have heard can kill person by hitting hard enough, shove piece of cartilege into brain? Not sure if true though."

She shifts her weight, settling more comfortably on the floor, to the tune of a lot of noises like 'snap-crackle-pop.' It's with some interest that she watches Sloane fill a third of a water bottle, and then flinch as the rest of the apartment gets the lightest of drizzles.

"Maybe. Don't know too many people here myself. Also arrived not too long ago." Half a glance is shot back to Rusalka, and Isa's single red brow arches. "Your mother is pilot…?"

"Mm…well, maybe it's all about control. I mean, you wouldn't want to just floor a dragster the first time you got into it, right?" Or, with a glance at Isa, whatever the appropriate airplane analogy is. "Uh…well, it's a bone, but…" What do you call the face? Facebone it is. "Hah, I knew you'd end up in a physiology class!" Sally laughs, thinking back to the days of 'classes I'll never have to take' and remembering what was high on Sloane's list.

Isa's take on faces and noses, she notes down - okay, so, maybe that's why broken noses are like that. Compared to everything else? Huh. "Wow, you can…" Well…her great-grandmother probably knows. Probably could tell stories that would chill Isa's soul, at that…but it's not a question the engineer's going to ask. "Well…I guess it's kinda hard to break properly, since well…airbags." Shrug. "Though I can only imagine how uncomfortable that would be."

And then, even more notable than her impression of Rusalka's mother, Sloane pulls out the water bottle and does her thing. THAT is the first time Rusalka's actually seen Sloane's power as more than a stir-stick trick, and it gets wide blue eyes locked and entranced. To the point she doesn't notice the droplets forming elsewhere, until one manages to nail her forehead and run down past her cheek before she can wipe it away.

"Ahem. I…suppose I understand what you meant about making it rain." She grins, glancing at the bottle before looking back up to Sloane. "But that was still amazing! Is it just…like, how does it feel when you…y'know." Reach out with a 'hand' to do that?

Isa's unexpected question gets Sally's attention, and there's an almost owlish blink - before she connects what she'd said earlier with the pilot's quick deduction. "Oh. Uh, no, actually." There's a quirk of a smile; even if they're slightly estranged out of sheer 'difficult child/headstrong parent' there's still a bond between them. "She's a major in the Sokovian Air Force, administrative officer at an airfield. Not a pilot, though. I think she's going to leave the service soon, though, to take over the barony proper." Shrug; we can't all be awesome.

"Mm…that might be a good idea. Ah." Agent Coulson, again. Well, he is her case worker. "Your agent did say there were others that…" Were like you. Were transformed. <Bred sivoy kobyly> on that. "Went through what you did, and well…maybe he'd be good to ask." Dammit, she can't help but admit she trusts Coulson. The weasel. It's just the way he is, and the way he rubs off. Honest. Still, she can't help but feel like she's been manipulated to suggest just that to Sloane…

'Can kill person by hitting hard enough.'

Sloane's eyes go a little wide, her mouth a tight pucker of lips and not quite sure … what to say, really, or how to react to that. She doesn't want to go killing people, that's for sure. She fidgets with the bottle, taking another drink as she tries to use the motion to hide her expression a little bit. This – might weigh on her in her next session with the trainers.

Sally brings up a good point; Sloane smirks a bit around the rim of the bottle. "But I still got out of having to take it in the first place."

She looks at the bottle, then at Sally, then Isa. "It—oh jeez, sorry, sorry… I still don't have much control over this stuff yet. Um… so like. … it's hard to explain," it starts, the ginger Inhuman folding her arms and resting her elbows on the guitar. "It's kind of like. Imagine, like."

"Ugh."

"So I guess if you think about it there's almost always moisture in the air, right? So I kind of focus on that. Like, I'm drawing the water out of the air. It's kind of like a tension, or a pressure, and it's easier for me to do it in places where there's some humidity… or if I'm at the pool, I can do it there." Her hands wheel around a little as she gives her examples, "But a lot of it is just really focusing on that water and then just pulling enough of it out of the air to … make it. Like, condense it."

Tilting the bottle, she swirls the water inside. "It's still pretty tough to control, I only started learning how to do this stuff last week."

Sally encourages going out to meet other Inhumans. The Boston girl nods, slanting her head back against the seat. "Her mother is the kind of lady that would like, stop an airplane with her boot. Or give this glare and make one land. Like, she'd send in her tax returns and it's just a photo of her ready to strike."

"Can be issue of control," Isa concedes, wrapping both arms around one upraised knee. She lays her chin down on the top of her knee, single eye hooding. "Hit someone just right, you break their nose quickly. Hit hard enough, you stun them. Hit harder than that, maybe, I don't know, you kill them, maybe. Never done that myself."

"Da, I hit a man once, hit him so hard his nose broke. Thought I broke hand doing it, but didn't." Isa smiles flatly, so flatly it might almost be a little scary. "Man was drunk. Said a few inconsiderate thing to me when I was younger. Broke his nose before husband could do it himself." Love at first sight.

A classic case of you should have seen the other guy.

Huh. It's the first time she's mentioned a husband. Nobody's seemed to be around with her in the Triskelion, so maybe he lives somewhere else. She doesn't seem to be wearing a ring on her finger, either, although that's no surprise. Her fingertips are scarred and so is the skin just above her collar. It's probably safe to assume everything in between is similarly deadened. Putting a ring on that finger might be difficult.

"Have to agree with Coulson. Might be good. Seek out other like you. Talk to them. See that you're not alone." Isa shrugs, casually, a toss of her head clearing her hair from her face. "Can't hurt."

She's being hypocritical as hell in this, but she has a few good reasons to be. The timing's not right to be honest or truthful. Honesty and truth are dangerous qualities in her life right now.

She stares a moment at Sloane at the description of Irja Stojespal.

And then Isa brings a hand up to cover the lower half of her face, snickering.

"Sound like my father, once upon a time. He was pilot, too." That's a safe enough tidbit without revealing who she is. "But he was good man. I guess at this point, some call me like that, maybe, da?"

To the matter of superhuman powers, though, Isa only shrugs one shoulder. "You do what you have to do. Is all there is to it. Mostly, you do what you have to, to keep on living, I think. All do. Same for me. Was like adjusting to superpowers, for me, after accident. Everything different." She taps at her right cheekbone, where the ropy scars give the side of her face a chilling texture. "Have to learn how to do everything again with one eye only." There's a short pause, and then she says, serenely, "But seriously. Fuck stairs."

Admittedly it wasn't something that Rusalka had thought about. Really, it isn't as if Sloane was suddenly sporting the physique of a bodybuilder r anything; maybe… Blue eyes judge momentarily; fortunately Sloane's outfit's revealing enough to make it easy. Yeah, she is a little more beefy, but…that could just be having a proper exercise routine.

But…Sloane did say she's a lot stronger now. How strong…well, that's a good question. It's just one she's not going to bother asking, because for a couple of college girls it doesn't matter. And that is the end of that matter, as far as Sally's concerned.

"Hah. I'll make sure you get enrolled next semester, then!" Petty revenge is the best revenge. Or something. She waves her hand, moisture on her fingertips still. "Not a worry. It was only a little bit, but…oh dear. You…you wouldn't." There's some vehemence in those words, as Sally gets just a little protective of her four-wheeled treasures. "I didn't realize you meant it truly when you threatened to rain in my car!"

…Firehose.

The word, as well as their mutual joking threats over it, bounces in her head and gets a snorted giggle, before she relaxes and listens closer as Sloane describes her power. A few nods, following most of it…but how to truly 'pull' it is something she'll never understand. It's a moment of a frown upon this realization, but she sweeps it right off her face - especially as Isa mentions a fight she'd gotten into, and there's a sudden embarrassed blush across Rusalka's own face. AHEM.

Saved by the snicker! Isa's own reaction to Sloane's…fantastically accurate description of her mother gives her a chance to take a deep breath. And she can't help what spills out next, as Sally just leans over against her friend's legs, propping her head up on one arm balanced against Sloane's knee. Her attention, however, is entirely fixed on Isa, and there's a nearly sublime expression of regal dispensing of permission as she blurts out something.

"A good man. Mm…yes, I suppose, if you like we could call you a good man, Isa."

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