An Unexpected Encounter
Roleplaying Log: An Unexpected Encounter
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

AN unexpected encounter at Downtown Manhattan, Union Square as Captian America, Counter, and Ombra meet at a chess tournament.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: October 09, 2019
IC Location: Union Square,Downtown Manhattan, New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 10 Oct 2019 21:31
Rating & Warnings: PG
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

"Rook to Queen Four. Checkmate."

Steve Roger is currently dressed in civilian attire of a brown leather jacket, white t-shirt and jeans. Despite his causal attire, his fa?ade seems all too serious as squints at the board for a few moments. He looks up, taking in the ten year old boy who is seated across from him, then looks back toward the board again.

"I think that's checkmate, Cap," the man in the suit to Steve's right 'helpfully' points out.

Steve squints at the board a second time. Finally after another three seconds, even he is forced to admit defeat. A hand reaches over the outdoor table to shake his opponent's. "Good game," he concedes.

The child is all smiles. "I beat Captain America!"

"You did," Steve replies.

"I really beat Captain America!"

The man in the suit next to the superhero nods with a smile. "You did great. I can see why you won the chess championship."

"Captain America /really/ sucks at chess. I mean, I thought he would be kinda good, but I mean he was bad."

Steve rubs the back of his neck with a light laugh. "I don't really play that much, I'm more of a che-"

"I mean if it wasn't for you looking at the board so funny, I would have thought you threw the game."

The boy's mother offers a simple, "Thank you, Captain America" before taking her child away before she embarrasses him further.

The afternoon setting is simple, the Union Sqaure chess tables where Steve has faced a bitter defeat at the hands of a child.

As Steve looks toward the handler who made the Children's Chess Championship grand prize (playing Captain America) possible, he give a good natured smile. "At least it wasn't playing Fortnite," Rogers confesses.

***

Ryan is very familiar with the game of chess, that game that takes much strategy, reading and outwitting your opponent, planning ahead, and most of all defeating your opponent, or at least that is what he was taught growing up. As a child, his uncle would have him play many chess matches to help teach him strategy and tactics for not only the game but in all situations in life.

Ryan had just walked into Union Square just in time to catch the last bit of Cap's game and much to Ryan's surprise Cap lost.

Seeing Cap lose, Ryan goes and sits down a bit away from the commotion and wonders to himself how or perhaps why did the famous captain America lost a game of chess to a kid. Maybe the kid is just a genius or maybe Cap let him win.

Ryan decides to stick around and see if Cap playas another game with anyone and see how Cap plays a full game, hoping to see how the great Captain America really plays and how he thinks and strategizes, After all, you can learn a lot about a person on how they play a game of chess.

***

The next to sit in the chair is not another child, nor really anyone who would be frequently seen.
A familiar-looking cat-shadow creature hops up onto the seat, changing in size and shape to taking the form of a silhouette, a shape that resembles a female human form in outline no matter which angle it is viewed from. No features are visible, just a blackness. The seat as well changes to take on a similar appearance. Nothing but outline, all black.
The girl-shadow's hand raises to wave, greeting Captain America. Her body movements are a little furtive, nervous for some reason, but chancing this opportunity. The waving hand lowers to her side, and the other gestures toward the board.

***

The man in the suit next to Cap takes a step back as the sudden pooling of shadow turns into a woman. But before the man can say a word, Steve looks toward the woman, a single hand raised to halt the man before he exclaim or threaten.

"It's fine," Steve states as he takes in the individual, having cautions of his own for the time being. There is half a beat of silence before he adds, "I think."

The wave is returned with a simple "hello".

The man in the suit walks away, still keeping on eye on the situation. A glance is given toward Rivers as he enters by the man in the suit, but he focuses on getting out of the walking liability that is a superhero talking with an unknown being. For now, Ryan is not heeded by Cap, the Man Out of Time focusing on the woman(?) right in front of him. "We didn't get a chance to talk last time. Though not sure you can talk from what I gathered. You from Earth?"

Guess when you deal with beings from Asgard or Kryton, you gotta start somewhere.

***

Ryan is a bit startled, to say the least seeing as what just transpired but keeps himself calm, getting all riled up will not help anyone.

Ryan is quite curious about what or who this shadow is and that Cap may be trying to communicate with it makes him even more curious.

Letting his curiosity get the better of him though still staying cautious Ryan slowly moves to a better position to see the shadow and defend himself should things go south and then reaches out with his telepathic abilities to the shadow and see if it can pick up anything up, a thought, emotion, a presence, sentience, anything that might help him learn more about this shadow.

***

Physically speaking, the shadow of a girl starts setting the black pieces up in the typical chess starting arrangement, demonstrating she at least knows that much. Each movement of her body that she makes is accented with a tremble, as many a fan who meet with someone as famous as Steve Rogers might. The pieces suffer a similar, temporary fate to all things she touches. Featureless black, until she releases them and they return to their normal state. As Steve speaks, she watches, trying to discern what she is seeing. She moves her left hand up to where her ear would be, and covers it momentarily, then her right hand does the same, and both end up on her lap.
On the mental side, it's a completely different story. The edge of her thoughts is flowing with hope, nervousness, worry, excitement. and a definite sense of intellect. Digging just a little deeper and it's evident her mind is human. She thinks in English, and she substitutes her thoughts for her ability to speak. Dozens of them, clamouring to get out but no sound. Several variations of 'Don't mess this up', 'I can't believe he's letting me play', 'is that a gun? oh no… oh phew. yay!' and during the ear gestures, 'Sorry, I'm deaf'.

In addition, the girl-shadow's mind is active with 'What's he saying… ants talk… no that's stupid' while Steve speaks.

***

There is a pronounced silence as Captain America attempts to read the woman on his own. Of course, when he is merely using his own powers of perception rather than any extra gift, there is much less to be gained. His gaze flickers brieftly to each piece as she touches them, merely taking in the pattern to begin to try and figure this all out. He sets up his own pieces, making sure each pawn is in place. After he does so, in seeing the woman waiting, he moves as per the rules, allowing his white knight to take the forefront.

After the piece is played, Steve glances up. This time he tries another language to see if that helps: "Je m'appelle Capitaine America."

If still nothing, he tries another: "Ich bin Captain America, sch?n Sie kennenzulernen."

***

Ryan now understanding that the shadow is not a threat but a woman who seems to be going through star-struck with the chance to play a game of chess with Captain America. To be honest Ryan can understand her feelings, after all, he to is having some of those feelings as well especially since it was Cap who saved his life back during the apocalyptic invasion of New York over 10 years ago.

Ryan also realizing that the woman is deaf and cannot seem to talk decided to see if maybe he can help with this using his telepathy.

Ryan begins to walk towards both Cap and the Shadow "Excuse me, but do you mind if I watch your game. It looks like it will be one to remember."

Simultaneously as Ryan walk towards Cap and the shadow, Ryan reaches out with his telepathy to try to communicate telepathically to the shadow. In a serious but polite southern accent "Hello Miss, are you able to hear me? If you can may I know your name?"

***

The chess game, it's better described as a game. The shadow has an understanding of the rules, the moves, and the importance of pieces relative to each other, but there is zero strategy behind her choices. She plays in the moment, and she does not practice playing in the moment enough to even present a mild challenge. Her enthusiasm is unflagging at least! No reply from her regarding the further use of languages, other than a nod because she can see the words form on Steve's lips repeatedly. Captain America. Yep! That's him all right!
The shadow's brain tries her best in making the best possible move, but she never sees past the current state of the board. She reacts, she makes the occasional aggressive move. Barring Steve throwing this game, she has no chance to emerge the victor, and she is not expecting to win. When she hears Ryan's thought, her mind becomes keenly aware of someone making that contact, reaching out to her, and the reaction is immeasurable. 'Oh my god hi!' Rather than 'wait that wasn't mine' or something. She is familiar with mental communication. And she is overjoyed to have it happen. Yet she stays focused on the game, as though she does not want to make an outward sign that anything has changed. 'I'm Ombra it's wonderful to hear from you what's your name? Is anything weird happening to you because when I touch people it's really scary for them and I'm kind of scared it's going to happen from this contact too where are you?' She may be slightly unused to telepaths, despite her evident experience with the medium…

***

Ironically, despite being the most lauded of the trio and known for his oratory skills, Captain America seems to have the most difficulty in having dialogue.

"No problem at all," he seems to state with a faintly distracted tone, playing a decent game of chess. It's clear he has some level of strategy for the game, but his skills of tactics are much more practical and creative rather than that of a mastermind.

As she gives a nod in response to Cap's words, Steve tries to use America Sign Language in the hopes that it be what is required. It's slow, but as he does it, it's clear that he practiced somewhat. «Good to meet you again, what's your name?» he attempts to communicate, unaware the powers of telepathy are allowing for a much clearer conversation.

***

Ryan lets out a sigh of relief in his head as he was not sure if his telepathy would work or not, though caught a little off guard to the response and the many questions that he gets all at once. Though in truth he was not sure what to expect in the first place.

Ryan continues to speak to Ombra using his telepathy "Hello Ombra, my name is Ryan, it is a pleasure to meet you and to answer your questions, no nothing weird is happening to me and I am the guy standing right next to you and Captain America watching your two's game."

As Ryan continues to talk telepathically with Ombra Ryan turns towards Cap and tries his best to keep his own feeling in check as he does not want to look bad in front of the famous Captain America "Thank you Caption, I look forward to seeing how you play."

caring on two conversations for Ryan is a bit straining but he is determined to see this match and talk with his new acquaintance Ombra. Continuing his telepathic conversation. "If you like Ombra I could help with communicating with Captain America for you and also help you win against him if you like?"

***

Ombra lights up, so to speak, as she sees the hand gestures, the words forming, and excitedly she responds, spelling her name out letter by letter. She senses that she is communicating with someone who is not strong with the language, and it's not easy to make out the specifics. She ensures her movements of the hand to spell are slow and easy to follow. She also has to turn profile for the next gesture. «Thank you» It's succinct and gets the point across.
'Hello Ryan! Thank you so much for hearing me I haven't been able to hear or speak for a year it feels like but it might have not been as long I lost track of time' Her head turns up to view Ryan, and to him she waves. 'You can help me? Oh of course you can help me talk! You aren't silenced or deaf! That's what I was worried about because every time I touch someone they become silenced and deaf too it took a few touches to figure that out because I can't hear anything but you know that already oh god I'm rambling I am so sorry'

***"

"If you want to, no harm there," Steve admits with a hint of chagrin at Ryan's eagerness to watch Rogers play.

Captain America's chess playing skills are not exactly legendary. As he continues to move and play, he makes common mistakes, but not enough that cost him the game or cripple him direly. It's clear that he likely lost due to his ability to think with the pieces given, but perhaps there is less of the dire need than that of saving the world with the men and women sworn to fight alongside him.

At the signed thanks, Steve has finally figured out how to communicate with the woman, he gives the simple response of «Thank you». Then comes the awkward part of the conversation where he learns he literally has nothing else to say other than 'how old are you' and 'who is your favorite avenger'. That and 'shields suck' but Tony assured him that it really means 'Founding Fathers'.

***

Ryan watches Cap every move in his game of chess, wanting to learn everything he can about how Cap thinks and strategizes. As Ryan watches the game he notices Cap's mistakes but being able to recover from them, slowly but surely Ryan is figuring out what type of person Cap is piece by piece, move by move.

Simultaneously continuing the telepathic conversation with Ombra. Ryan thinks he catches a bit of anxiety in her thoughts with the conversation "No worries Ombra and no need to apologies. I cannot imagen going through not being able to hear or talk for over a year, I to would probably ramble a bit as well, in fact I would be delighted to talk with you more if you would like and help you talk with Captain, though we would have to do it in a way where he does not find out I am a telepath, I'd rather him not find I am a telepath…… at least not yet."

***

For Ombra it's just fun, a way to show she's a person. It delights her to no end just to have this chance, and interacting with a celebrity is beyond anything she could hope for. With care, she signs, mostly by showing profile again, «I have trouble saying things too» It looks like she's smiling, making a little humor. Even as the game bears down upon Ombra toward defeat, she shows no sign of dissatisfaction. Each move is just as important for her to make as the first.
'I won't tell anyone and I won't show them on my ouija board either that's what I've been using to talk a lot lately but I can't hold on to it for too long' Flow of sorrow. Worry again, this time that she might be seen as some monster. It's covered though, by hope and the delight of her present game. 'I don't understand how you will talk for me but not make that part known he knows a bit of sign and I can talk that way but it has to be kept simple he's not very versed in it'

***

As the game ends with Captain America the victor, Ombra excitedly rises and gives another gestured gratitude, staying long enough to arrange the board back to starting positions as her opponent is called away, relieved to not need to worry over what happens in th event a handshake is expected. Less worried over what Steve would think than everyone observing.
Afterward, the girl-shadow finds herself a tree to sit against as her mind just never really ceases its activity, having someone to talk to for the first time that can actually hear what she is saying, she never wants it to end, but she knows it will and she dreads that coming up. That tangent of thought has flashes of people, terrified, either moving quickly away from her or attacking out of fear or loathing. She has experienced dozens of gunshots, each one incredibly painful, but never for long.
'Are you also a mutant?' she wonders, calmed a little, better collected in her thinking. 'I mean I think I am but no one in my family is so does that matter?'
The tree she chooses, it also takes a shadowy silhouette look.

***

Ryan walks over to Ombra and sees the tree change into a shadow-like shape of what it was, he pauses and looks at it for a moment, then speaks into Ombra's mind "huh now that's interesting." He then continues to walk over to Ombra and sits next to the tree but does not make contact with it. "Yes I am a mutant, as for the family thing I don't think so, No one in my family was a mutant either or at least as far as I know. According to what I was told it has something to do with a special gen called the x-gen that some people have and some don't.

"If you don't mind me asking, how and when did you get your powers?"

***

Curling up with her back to the tree, Ombra hugs her leg to her chest, while the other steadies her. A glance upward, and troubled thoughts associated. They're quiet at least now, she's calmed, unwinding after a stressful but very delightful time. 'It's the same tree' Her mind expresses, noticing with some hypersensitivity how Ryan reacts. She's keenly aware of how everyone around her reacts. 'It's just dark now and can't make sounds so if it falls in the forest and someone asks you can say now' Humor, and sadness. 'but it won't hurt if you touch it' She stretches out fully, then takes a simple lounging posture.
'I was sitting in graduation and everything went silent and then everyone wanted to get away from me' Several layers under that, (I'm a monster and no one wants to get near me) faintly echoes and a sense of loneliness pervades everything. (Brave face or he'll run away like everyone else) Things she does not actively think about but nag at her. Her more active thoughts turn to pleasant ideas. 'I met a really friendly ghost but I couldn't see his face but then we talked by pointing at letters on tombstones and so that's how I thought of the ouija board'

***

Ryan feeling her emotions and picking up on some of her thoughts to herself, he realizes just how much they are alike in a lot of ways. "I see, that's a pretty clever idea to use as a way to communicate."

"As for me I was 9 years old when my mutant ability's activated." Ryan pauses for a moment and you can see the look of pain and sadness wash over his face as he recalls the memories. "It was about 11 years ago when I and my family came to visit New York for a family vacation, right when the apocalyptic invasion happened. My dad could not just sit idly by while this was happening and did what he could to help get everyone to safety, I got separated and during that moment my powers activated and I could read the thoughts of everyone around me and was able to avoid dangers and find a safe place. Eventually, the Avengers came and stopped the invasion and I was eventually found by volunteer rescue being called the miracle survivor, but my family…… did not survive, my father died doing what he does best being the best cop he could and by helping those in need." Ryan tries to keep his emotions in check but it just too much for him as some tear starts to fall from his eyes. "Sorry Ombra, I did not mean to break down like this, I'm sure this is the last thing you want to see or hear with not being able to speak for so long."

***

Ombra listens, hanging on every word she hears, not entirely understanding the situations described, but understanding at least the emotional impact. The pain of loss. She wants to offer a hug and begins to move in that manner but she stops herself, shouting herself down from within because that would endanger the situation. 'I just want to hear you' she expresses. 'And speak to you' (Until it stops… it's going to stop…) 'As long as you want to I mean because this means a lot to me just to listen you're the first voice I heard other than my shadow' Seemingly from behind her, another cat emerges, just as dark as she, just as silent. It sounds mentally a lot like Ombra. '>Hello there<'. Ryan can tell it's part of her, but Ombra does not yet realize it. The cat approaches and rubs against Ryan, which results in no change to him at all. Other than having a fuzzy thing in contact.

***

Ryan begins to scratch the cat on the head and leans his back against the shadow tree, thinking to himself of why is he being so open with Ombra, after all they just met and yet for some reason relates to her and her situation, after all, it was not but a few months ago he was in a similar situation. He takes a moment to collect himself then resumes the telepathic conversation "Thank you Ombra, to be honest, you are the first person I've really talked to about this whole thing and I thank you for listening."

Ryan is silent for a moment before he speaks again "You said when you touch others stuff happens, they experience what you experience." Ryan holds out his hand towards Ombra "Please show me."

***

With the leaning against the tree, there is nothing peculiar about how it feels. The oddity is that nothing Ryan does when touching it causes the expected sounds associated with it. No scraping of cloth against bark, being the main thing. The cat behaves as many cats might, at least according to Ombra's experience with them. Pushing against his hand, never quite standing still, aggressively seeking out the petting. All Ombra's ideas, but the cat is actually separate from her despite being part of her. It even feels like it's purring, but no sound.
At Ryan's request, Ombra's internal worries bubble up close to the surface. 'Okay' It's uncertain, but Ombra has hope it won't result in the worst imaginable scenario: Being alone again. She rates it worse than being shot. She reaches her hand to make contact with Ryan's shoulder. The instant she touches, everything goes utterly silent. Ryan goes utterly shadowed. Like Ombra, no details can be made out other than the outlines. At least visually. By touch, everything is normal. 'I'm sorry for how scary it is' Her mental voice is quieted, foreseeing Ryan recoiling in horror, trying to ready herself for that. It's not working. 'It stops right away if you stop touching me'
Ombra wants nothing more than to touch another person.

***

As Ombr touches Ryan shoulder in the effect begins, he sits there for a moment not moving at but taking in exactly what Ombra goes through every day. First, he takes in the deafness, quiet, nothing of it all but can he knows there is sound. Then he tries to speak as he normally would but nothing comes out. He then examines himself starting with his hands then just looking at himself seeing what he looks like. Ryan takes in every moment to understand just exactly what Ombra sees, feels, on a daily base.

Ryan then turns to look at Ombra and resumes the telepathic communication, as he does there is sympathy and compassion in his voice, no anger or fear. "This is what it is like for you every day, and you said that I'm the first voice you have heard in over a year. I am so sorry Ombra no one should have to go through this." Ryan then leans over and gives Ombra a hug.

***

Ombra's worries build as Ryan goes still and just experiences. As he starts moving, but not in a way that suggests fear, her worries subside, and she can't help but tremble. Then suddenly, being held. The emotional floodgates let go, and she breaks into a quivering, sobbing ball. Nothing is heard, but Ryan can certainly physically feel it all. It's intense enough that her mind just stops conscious thought. It lasts for minutes, with Ombra burying herself in Ryan's embrace, and when she finally comes to her senses, she remains there. Much less insecure, worries washed away. Lingering sorrows but she feels safe.
Ryan may notice, anywhere he touches on Ombra's back, her shoulders, sides, his hand meets skin.

***

Ryan just holds onto Ombra as long as she needs him to for the time does not matter, for Ryan he understands what she feels to a point for he too went through his own silence hell like her for many years, even now he still goes through it. But if he can help Ombra in any way he intends to.

Once Ombra calms down a bit resumes the telepathic communication, still with a soft, sympathetic and now caring voice. "Listen Ombra I know of a place that is safe place for mutants like us, it's called the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, they took me in and have been helping me with my powers and much more, they took me an and made a part of their family, let me take you there and maybe they can help you too, at the very least you can have a safe place to stay and be around others like you and me, people who are more understanding of us."

***

'I have a place where I won't make anything disappear by touching it for too long' A lengthy mental tally of such things comes to mind. All manner of objects, all of them about Ombra's size or smaller, and all of the non-living. Ombra draws away abruptly, deeply apologetic. Ryan's jacket is added to the list. Its pockets' contents, however are not. 'Oh no no no no no I'm sory I'm sorry' She has no way to replace that. It's gone now. 'Everything does that I was stupid so stupid'

***

"don't worry about the jacket, I can get another one easy enough. Plus it's worth losing a jacket to help a friend in need, so don't beat yourself up about it ok."

"If you're worried about things disappearing there you don't have to worry, and if anything did they can get it replaced. This place is about helping mutants learn to control their powers and they could help you too." Ryan pauses for a moment and thinks about how can he best help her before continues "If you don't want to go there that s ok, but I am going to give you that address in case you change your mind or if you ever want to talk at least. I really want to help you Ombra in any way I can."

***

Ombra's thoughts continue along the berating-of-self line, but she is calmed again soon enough. She trusts Ryan. She wipes the tears that somehow have found their way back onto her face, and that cold fear of losing such a friend withdraws. 'You keep calling what happens around me powers' She thinks a lot less of them than what that word implies. 'I'd call them curses if I believed in that stuff' The cat leaps to her lap, and she holds it close. 'Thank you so much for that hug it meant the world to me' She still feels guilt over the lost article, even assured it would not be missed. She feels a tinge of hope. Not much. But it's there because of what Ryan tells her. 'I want to meet more people who won't run away or shoot me when they see me'

for the first time since his mutant gen activated Ryan actually feels happy he has been able to help someone who has been suffering for so long and its all thanks to his powers, and has found someone he trusts, which does not come easy for Ryan considering what has happened in his past. But to him, this is the start of a new

Ryan gets up from the ground, looks down at Ombra and smiles at her as he offers her his hand to help her up. "Then let's go, I'll take you there right now."

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