Zoo Encounter
Roleplaying Log: Zoo Encounter
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Ombra wants to show Ryan something at the zoo, but the attempt is sidetracked with surprise wuff!

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: October 24, 2019
IC Location: Gotham Zoo
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 25 Oct 2019 06:18
Rating & Warnings: PG-13 (Suggested Violence)
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Thu Oct 24 20:59:53 2019 *

* * *

It's getting very late at the zoo, with the doors soon closing to the public, the staff going through the evening routine for shutting down, cleaning up after the visitors, security slowly becoming less prevalent as an empty ground is much easier for just a few to handle.

From not far away, a shadow-girl leads one young man that is one of her two closest friends toward the grounds, her excitement ringing in his head as she keeps the exact nature of what she wants to do a secret somehow. When asked, she just vaguely offered that she has an idea and really wants to see if it will work. She stays in hiding as they move, using her unique interaction with the way light works to her advantage. The fact that the zoo is almost closed is no matter to her. Fewer people around! Fewer will notice her. A shadow that is shaped just like a cat emerges from her body, and moves forward, itself staying as much out of sight as it can. Ombra herself takes the same cat-shape as the shadow that came from her, and she bolts into the zoo proper.

* * *

Shhh. There's nobody here. There's nothing going on, and the fact that there is means nothing. The zoo has been…mostly cleared, it's true. One small female by the wolf den, watching them walk back and forth, back and forth, almost not worth mentioning.
The call to end the night goes out, and she turns her head. It's a wonderful coincidence, one of these deep and unexpected chances, that she turns just in time to catch…something. Those who know her would have called it a scent in the air, but an onlooker would say they likely just needed to pee, because she turns, walks to the porta-potties…
And vanishes. Seconds later, eyes watch from the darkness, in soft yellow, slitted mostly closed. Watching.

* * *

Ryan for the life of him cannot overcome his curiosity as to what Ombra is wanting to try, of cors, he could attempt to read deeper into her mind but he will not break that line, for he values his new friendship. As Ombra heads into the closing zoo using her powers to her advantage, Ryan, however, has no such advantage as that but has his own way of being sneaky.
Ryan run's from shadow to shadow and using his telepathy to scan the minds of people who are still near buy to know when its safe to move, the runs for the fence and using his telekinesis to jump over the fence and back into hiding and continues to do this once inside the zoo while trying his best to keep up with Ombra. As he does Ombra hears in her head "Slow down Ombra, it's a little hard to keep up with you without being noticed."

* * *

The concerns expressed by the close friend of the shadowy girl-gone-cat were anticipated, and through the telepathic link she has with him, she provides details. Placement of the zoo staff. Where they are looking, where they are alerted. She has two sets of eyes to provide him with ample information, in addition to Ryan's own abilities. Going unnoticed is a breeze. Ombra's excitement grows.

The two housecats give off the unusual-for-zoo scent of housecats, though one of them also has traces of human and rat that cling to it the way Rahne's scent mix of human and wolf clings to her.

* * *

The fact that a wolf isn't in its cage. Laying low, watching quietly as if a preda…well of course it would be a predator, watching the new arrivals as if watching prey. It's a wolf. That's what they do.
However, the mind inside the lupine is percolating with what it's picking up. Familiar scent; haven't seriously met but have scented at the Mansion. Not prey, do not hunt. Sometimes looks out the window at us on the yard…
The wolf rises from its hiding place, a massive red beast in the limited light of night. Pads to where it can be easily seen, aware of the staff as well as anyone. Humans are so scent-blind, they ignore their noses, hers telling her where they are..and where they aren't.
So Ryan and Ombra see a wolf step from the darkness and sit, looking noble. Regal. And kind of stupid, because it's just Wolfsbane. False alarm.

* * *

Ryan sighs to himself, great full for Ombras help and information, it actually helps him out quite a bit, but the fact she is letting her excitement control her instead of taking is just a little slower really goes agents his way of acting. However, though Ryan can feel her excitement and seeing her get excited makes it all worthwhile while for him.
With the information Ombra is feeding him combined with his abilities, Ryan catches manages to catch up and keep up with her now. Again using his telepathy to talk with Ombra. "Ok I get it your really excited but please be at least a little." Ryan's words cut off as he sees a wolf just step out of the shadows and just sits down, it takes him a moment but eventfully recognizes who it is. Resuming the telepathy to Ombra and pointing out to her the wolf sitting there. "It appears we are not alone."

* * *

The twin feline coordination effort comes to a halt when they sense their first point of interest. The scent they pick up, the subtle sounds not so much. But the scent leads them to the sight, more easily with Ryan's informative thoughts, and the sight fills Ombra-cat with vast excitement! The cat with the mixed scents draws closer to the Rahne-wolf, its tail up, confident and utterly fearless, like it does not have the instinct to be wary of predators. It breathes, the little puffs can be sensed, but it makes no sound. Not its soft paws touching the ground, not its breath by inhaling or exhaling, and not its heartbeat. It also looks much like the silhouette of a cat. It approaches, intent on touching.

Its twin, the cat that smells like a cat but otherwise is identical to the one that approaches Rahne-wolf, is alert for oncoming persons, a sentinel, perched on a post.

* * *

A party trick perhaps, or something more, but as the cat approaches the wolf, which Ryan was nice enough to notice…there's a shift of some sort, and suddenly there's what appears to be an eleven-year-old leaning down toward the cat, and the wolf is gone.
Short red hair, no curves. A child…or perhaps a bit older, it's hard to tell sometimes. But the speed of the shift puts lie to the tales of werewolves and their screaming, horrific shapeshifting. If she was one, if she was the wolf, it was not painful at all.
As the kid reaches out a hand for the kitty's head. Kind of like she wants to scritch. This …is not the threat, if there is to be one.

* * *

Ryan is a little surprised to meet Wolfsbane her in Gotham zoo, since the last time he saw her was back at the X-Mansion, then again he is in Gotham now too so anything is possible. Ryan picks up on Ombra increased excitement he points out the wolf to her. Ryan then comes out of the shadows into plain view for Both Ombra and Wolfsbane to see. As Ryan sees Ombra begin to approach her and then Wolfsbane transforming back to her human form, that and picking up on Ombras excitement of what she just saw, Ryan figures its probably a good idea to introduce them to one another.
Ryan using his telepathy to communicate to both Ombra and Wolfsbane simultaneously, "Hello Wolfsbane, it's been a while, allow me to introduce you to my friend Ombra, she is a mutant like you and me, Ombra this is Wolfsbane, an acquaintance of mine back at the X-Mansion."

* * *

Just as Ombra-cat is getting close enough, wolf changes! The look of surprise is evident, because Ombra-cat stops moving momentarily, the head moving in a more investigative manner, still very friendly as cat-postures go. Then the hand reaches, and Ombra has to fight the impulse to back away. Maybe this one won't react like so many others do when there is no warning of what is to come. The anxiety echoes for Ryan's telepathic reception as Ombra-cat lays herself on the ground and leans her head forward for the child-shaped Rahne to touch, dreading the reaction.

The dread, the anxiety, perhaps understandable to Rahne even if she has no idea what Ombra is thinking. The moment her hand makes contact with Ombra, the world stops making sound around her. No sound from within either. Efforts to speak, a heartbeat, her breath, it's as though she has gone completely deaf. The hand that touches Ombra, the arm attached to it, the shoulder, the torso, the entire being of Rahne, has become not more than a black shape, like Ombra, and like her twin that sits as sentinel. At least Ombra-cat feels just like a cat! Soft fur, head pushing against the hand that comes in contact, brushing scent gland over the fingers.

* * *

Wolfsbane, or 'Rain' or 'Ryan' as the people at the mansion call her, none of them seem to agree on the pronounciation, looks up at Ryan. She isn't a big talker apparently, so her thoughts as human are calm. Maybe a little timid. But it has an effect, because she's distracted when Ombra-cat leans in and touches.
Sudden stillness would come over her. This stillness, the near-petrification of a child in the dark who doesn't know if her hunter can see her, if she's going to be caught and dragged for another beating. The same stillness of an animal who's scented something dangerous, or new…
She doesn't move her fingers, not to stroke. She freezes. To see if she'll be killed by this new threat…or if it's not a threat at all.
Abused habits never die. They just get hidden, deeper. Don't move and it won't hurt you.

* * *

A soon as Rahne touches Ombra and begins to go change Ryan telepathically reaches out to Rahne in a calm and securing tone "Don't be afraid, you are not in any danger. This is what happens when anyone touches Ombra, it's part of her powers and the effects are not permanent and will end as soon as you stop touching her." Ryan Knows just how much Ombra fears and dreads this moment, he can hear and feel it coming from her mind and tries his best to help this meet co smoothly for them both. "Ombra is a kind and friendly soul and will not hurt you, I know this can seem terrifying, but trust me when I say you are in no harm and Ombra only wants to meet and be friends"

* * *

This reaction, Ombra is not entirely familiar with. She has seen her fair share of fear, of loathing, of violence when that experience is discovered, but never paralysis. She slumps down to lay on her side, moving herself out of contact with Rahne's hand without making it seem like she does not want to be near the girl. The moment the hand stops touching, everything returns to what it was. Rahne can hear. Her voice works. She no longer looks like a black shape. The cat eases her way to take a few circling steps to put just enough distance between herself and Rahne, and then becomes a shadowy silhouette of a young woman, which lifts one hand to wave, trying her best to be non-threatening, kneeling there with her unwaving hand on her lap. At least, it's probably on her lap. Her seemingly featureless nature makes it hard to see without getting a different angle for an outline.

Ombra's anxiety flares up again in Ryan's mind. She was expecting her wolfish encounter to go in a vastly different direction, not to frighten a young girl.

* * *

She slowly, the wolf girl does, raises her hand. She looks at it. Ryan's thoughts didn't lie. No pain, no terror. No attack. It's not hurting me. Her thoughts are human now, she doesn't try to hide them. She looks up, her eyes soft. For all the wolfish, animal power she has, this is clearly not a dangerous woman.
She's just Rahne.
"I be sorry," she says softly, a harsh accent making it hard to discern. But she's kept it simple. She ducks her head, looking down, a sadness in her features as she spots the shift, the cat becoming someone else. Oh lord, she thinks clearly. I'm so very, very sorry.
But it's not for her actions. She's sorry for what's happened to Ombra. Pity, and a prayer for her soul.
"May…ah try again?" Thank you, she thinks to Ryan. Thank you for warning me. I would never hurt her, she's an innocent. I know.
Blame is on her, clearly. In her mind.

* * *

Ryan picking on Ombra's anxiety and Rahne guilt, and all the negative emotions coming from them both, Ryan blames himself for this he should have acted faster knowing that might happen, Rayn knows he needs to fix this, he may be the only one who can. Ryan walks up and sits next to Ombra placing a hand on her shoulder and becoming affected by Ombra's power, a gesture to show that he is still here with her and not alone. Ryan then reaches out with his telepathy to both Rahne and Ombra "It's not your fault Rahne or your Ombra, its mine I should have been faster at helping you both with meeting and help with what happened. Ombra, Rahne is sorry for her reactions and wishes to try this again." Ryan has an idea he liked to try that might help with communication. Ryan then holds out his hand towards Rahne in a inviting manner to grab ahold of "Rahne, Ombra if you are both willing, I can link our minds together and allow us to communicate telepathically to one another." Ryan is hoping that if both of them could communicate with each other freely it can very much help with getting to know one another and hopefully create a new friend for Ombra.

* * *

From Ombra, there is a glance upward to see Ryan as he moves adjacent, though she is mostly focused on Rahne, on her mouth mainly, trying her best to see some specific details regarding how it moves. It's kept to a few easy-to-follow words, and so it is easy for Ombra to follow. Now, there is no hesitation, she offers her hand toward Rahne, to let her experience the unsettling nature of that which touches Ombra, knowing what to expect. Ryan senses a sort of thrill, joy about it.
The other cat gets closer too. Ombra's twin before she took a human form. It brushes against Rahne at the side, and when it comes in contact, there is no darkening of the body. No elimination of sound for Rahne. It's just a particularly silent black cat.

* * *

Rahne, poor little Rahne, picks up on just enough of what's going on to bring her out of her little self-pity fit. Someone needs her, needs her to not be a little brat right now. So she perks up a bit, thinks warmly a bit more, and looks directly at Ryan. Then she says the only thing she could possibly say right now, the only thing her loving heart would ever allow, when faced with a child who's so worried.
"Yes."
Then she's touching, letting her fingers softly brush over the cat's head by her leg, still crouched. Oh let the senses go, they were annoying anyway. Too much information sometimes. Oh lord, it be a blessing to let them go. Then she lifts them both, both of Ombra's hands. Let her know, Ryan. How much I'd give, to not smell, hear everything. It's too much.
How much of a blessing her gift of silence can be, in a world of too much sound. Oh please, yes.

* * *

As Ryan listens to Rahne words and she takes ahold of Ryan and Ombra hands, a sigh of relief goes through his mind and now to link the minds. In truth Ryan has never done this himself but has been taught the concept of it. Still this is no time to be afraid for Ryan he needs to do this, for both of them, not matter what.
Ryan begins to focus on both Ombra and Rahne through the physical contact using it as a guide for himself. First he focuses on Ombra's mind and follows the connecting from her head to his hand on her shoulder and follows it along his arm to his mind. Success as he connects her mind to his.
Next he focuses on Rahne's mind, from her hand down her body to her arm, following it through her arm to her hand where she is holding Ryan's hand, following it up his arm and into his mind. Success and now to merge there minds into the link. This is where Ryan must concentrate all his power to make this work and is already proving straining, but it does not matter he must succeed in this no matter how hard or straining it is for him. After a moment the connection is made and the mind link is formed between the three of them.
Both Ombra and Rahne hear Ryan's voice in their mind. "why don't you tell her yourself Rahne, I have linked our minds together and we can communicate to each other freely now."

* * *

As her hands are both taken rather than just the one, Ombra's excitement flows. She has a little bit of a hard time sitting still, thrilled by this simple yet meaningful gesture. When Ryan connects them, her mental voice comes pouring out,
'Thank you thank you thank you oh god this is awesome so glad you aren't afraid to touch me and I'm sorry for the scare when you first did but now it's okay Hi I'm Ombra I guess you were told by Ryan he's really good friend'
Her anima, her little cat friend, it waslk to her, and just becomes part of her. Gone. No scent of it remains.

* * *

The little squeak that would come from Rahne's mouth is silenced; probably for the best, given that she's reacting to the sudden influx of thoughts from Ryan's link. And the obvious, unmistakeable relief from one, the just as obvious exhaustion from the other's hard work to link them all.
Her own mind is mostly quiet, a place of no-thought half the time, and sadness in others. But nobody, and I do mean nobody, could stand silently in the face of Ombra's smile.
Her heart is a place of warmth, as she offers it without words. You are safe here, always, forever. I'm sorry you were hurt, whoever did this to you is not welcome in my heart, and yes she really feels things that way.
'Afraid? Your gift of silence, it's so wonderful. The world is so horribly loud, especially here…' She takes a moment to think, how she hears the world with enhanced ears. Horns, cars, animals, talking, so much talking. So many people, so close. They're quiet. She can think.
A blessing. Thank you both. Her eyes are crying, crying with joy. But not for herself, for how she's clearly making Ombra feel. And bringing Ryan along for the ride.

* * *

There is happiness in Ryan's heart, from the feelings of excitement and happiness from Ombra and hearing her voice through the link with such the same expression and from Rahne's feelings of joy and of peace with not hearing everything around her. The fact that Ryan was able to help with the link allowing them to speak to one another, giving Ombra the chance to speak to another person through her voice, to meet yet another person who is not afraid of her or her power, and to give Rahne a new sensation of quiet thanks to Ombra. Ryan has never felt this happy not ever since he lost his family over ten years ago, he had forgotten what this feels like.
as both Ombra and Rahne continue to talk there is nothing but silence from him. He is having to focus all power just to keep the link and it is very taxing to him for he has not yet mastered his powers yet. But it does not matter to Ryan for this is how he can help using his gift and he is going push himself as far as he can, as long as possible to keep the link up for both of his friends.

* * *

'Oh the quiet is nice too but I'm glad Ryan can let me hear stuff he hears it's super lonely when all you hear are things you think and you're alone and and and are you crying?' Ombra's concern is immediate, trying to figure out if she can help somehow but then she clues in to the context, and she settles down, her thoughts racing a lot less with that moment of focus. 'I'm glad you like the quiet. You change shape too! How scary was it the first time? I was so confused and disoriented, I didn't even know what happened but I was a rat,' Memory of a jail cell, her perspective suddenly dropping to floor level, and then escape!
Ombra brings Rahne's hands up to her cheek. 'People don't want to touch me very much. This means a lot. Oh how do you know Ryan? He's new to the city. Are you from the big mansion?'

* * *

Laughter, inside, internal. Where nobody can normally hear it, she doesn't laugh with her body anyway. It's not right, it attracts attention. But inside, she can laugh. This is the first time anyone's heard Rahne Sinclair really laugh, and it's not meant as a darkness. It's a chime, a warmth.
A gift, in a way. 'Ryan. I didn't know his name, I've seen him looking through the window at me. Sometimes.' She isn't as talkative, not even in her head. She would rather let Ombra speak, let Ryan speak. Though she can feel how hard this is for Ryan, and doesn't want to hurt him.
'You don't…you don't want to know,' she says, and it rings with honesty. The mind can't lie, because the memory of being hunted by men with guns, torches, being shot, bleeding nearly to death in the cold, springs up, brutally repressed. She shoves it down again, presenting to Ombra…silence. Just for a moment.
'Please, please tell me it hasn't all been bad for you. That there have been good times? God can't hate us all.' Shapeshifters. She thinks it's a curse. She thinks…that she's damned. Oh, she wants to know that Ombra isn't alone, isn't in the dark.
Yes, from the mansion. It seems like such a small point though, in the greater issues.

* * *

Though Ryan may not be able to speak due to his deep concentration he is hearing what they say and show through the mind link. As the Memory Of Rahne being chased, and hunted reminds him of what happened to him when he was forced to run away and go underground for 2 years. Ryan can resonate with Rahne on this as he learns quite a bit about Rahne whom he has barely even gotten to know when he was at the Mansion.
As he hear the conversation continue Ryan want to speak to them, letting them know that he knows what it feel like and that they are not alone in this, it could break the link if he tries. But he want to help so he tries and attempts to speak just a little.
Ryan speaks but there is great strain in his voice as he speaks and pause in his speech, "I know how you feel Rahne…. and how you felt as well Ombra,…… for I too went through the same thing back then. This time it is Ryan's memory that comes to the surface. The memory of his uncle working with his friends to get his home town all riled up and the make shift mob coming for him with the intent on killing him just because he was a mutant, on how he had to steal from his uncle and run away just to survive, on how he lived in the underground fighting and stealing just to survive, on how he fought in illegal fight rings just to make money. As the memory comes to an end Ryan speaks "You two… are not alone……. in this suffering." As he finishes this great pain throbs in Ryan's head but he fights through it pushing himself to keep the link up.

* * *

'People…hurt you?' Ombra's thoughts just echo on that, as though someone shouted into a deep cavern. And welling up from within that same cavern, answering, it's hard to pin down what it is. Sorrow? Sympathy? Anger? Rage? She feels all of them. It's overwhelming her own mind. No matter what she does, she can't protect Rahne from that nightmare of suffering. Not yet. 'I know how it is to be shot, bludgeoned, stabbed, hounded…' and beyond. She carefully releases Rahne's hands, standing. 'I think I know a way I can protect you. I can protect everyone. I just need to find…' her thought echoes off again, into that cavern, and does not return. She moves further into the zoo, the sense of what she wants difficult to discern from her thoughts. She hides as the single guard patrolling comes to ensure no one has stayed or broken into the grounds. She stops, gazing at the enclosure. Tigers. She becomes a cat again, and no barrier holds her back from entering, intruding on the fierce great cats' territory. As fast as she entered, she disappears into their den. Strangely, no sound of tigers being agitated come out, though perhaps not as strange given Ombra's… relationship with sound.

Then a full-sized tiger made of shadow emerges, and as it approaches the way Ombra came in, it changes to Ombra. 'It's not scary now.'

* * *

"But…" Rahne says, the disconnect from Ombra's hand allowing speech once more. She sighs, she lowers her head. She gives the one thing, as she listens. Watches. The tiger, the horrible memories. She closes her eyes against them all.
Not perfect, Rahne Sinclair. She still, deep in her heart, thinks this is all wrong. That they're right to hate her.
But not to do those things to others, not to these two children. Even if one of them can turn into …other things. Other huge, terrifying things. Why does it have to be so complicated, that people who've done nothing wrong are so often the ones who are hurt the most.
Yet the sound has come crashing back, and the city's noise with it. Rahne looks smaller somehow before it, and she turns, breaking the link herself. But just before it does, she thinks one thing clearly. One thing, and one alone.
'I don't understand.'
Then she's running. Not fear, not from you. But she runs anyway, unable to deal with how others can be treated…like she deserves.
Side note, Rahne may not be totally emotionally stable. But it's a start.

* * *

Ryan, unfortunately, understands why, why people treat us so terribly, why the good get treated so badly, its fear. People fear what they don't understand and they single it out making you the bad person in their eyes, giving themselves just cause to act how they do. This is why he decided to rake up the offer of joining the x-men because they fight to make the world better for everyone like them.
As Rahne runs away Ryan tries to stop her but he has used up too much of his strength and falls down right in front of Ombra, and Telepathically thanks to the link Ombra hears the words in his mind "I'm sorry Rahne I wish I could help you, I'm sorry Ombra I failed with this, I'm sorry I could not keep the link-up longer, sorry I was not strong enough, so sorry." Ryan goes silent and lays there heavily breathing but not unconscious as his body is are just out of energy from keeping the link up for as long as he did.

* * *

After a short time, Ombra changes again, becoming a goose. She flies back out from the enclosure, her mental voice saddened, but giving Rahne a farewell as she feels that coming before the other girl breaks from the link. Before Ryan feels his energy sap too far. Potentially a little trouble. Only potentially. She has tricks that will eliminate the trouble from this situation, that would mean maybe the guards give Ryan's unconscious body to the authorities and things spiral from there. She can find Rahne again.
Her anima, the shadow that was a small cat emerges again from her body, only this time it's not small. It's a tiger. And the tiger picks up the unconscious body of Ryan with ease, and walks with Ombra to the front gate. They haven't practiced this but they know how to coordinate. Ombra picks Ryan up in her arms, holding him against her as she holds the tiger from its back. The confounded security guard has no idea what he's watching. Just shapes moving around. One of the shapes resembles a tiger. It's very hard to discern what happens from his perspective. The tiger leaps over the zoo's entry wall, and once on the ground, Ombra and tiger vanish into the night with Ryan.

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