Impulsive meets Shadow
Roleplaying Log: Impulsive meets Shadow
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Impulse and Ombra have a chance meeting facilitated by gravity

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: November 06, 2019
IC Location: Gotham outside Clocktower
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 07 Nov 2019 15:36
Rating & Warnings: PG
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Wed Nov 06 18:32:16 2019 *

* * *

It's dark earlier and earlier, made all the more apparent with the time switch only a few days before. The saving of daylight. One lone figure stands at the edge of a clock tower, gazing down over the streets of a city that she has only recently begun to really understand. The unsettling nature of it has finally given way to a sort of enlightenment. Every city is alive, if one just knows what to look at.
Leaning over the edge, the shadowy figure gazes more directly down at street level, at the passersby, her mind alight with what they might be doing, where they go. Home or work? or other? The wind abruptly picks up, and provides a bit of a lesson to the shadowy figure. She is subject to its whims, and its whims push her past the edge, catching herself and dangling. A cliffhanger! She's never been in one before. THen she's never really fallen from the height she is at before either.
Whatever went through her mind at that moment, the shadowy figure falls, completely soundless.

* * *

Time is often considered an irrelevant matter to a speedster. Or perhaps it's the other way around; speedsters are irrelevant to time. In a smattering of seconds they can do things that would take full minutes to hours under normal circumstances. They can cross cities and states and countries by the time someone's finished making a drive-thru order at a fastfood place. When they run, they practically exist in their own world, or perhaps more appropriately in a space just between the world everyone else dwells in, and between time itself.

It's a space that Bart Allen has retreated to more often of late these past weeks, an escape that only proves temporary, because every time he exits, reality crashes back upon him heavily, and he just doesn't know how he's supposed to deal with it. He's developed interesting acquaintances this past year alone, and in the instances of friends, some have become considered practically family. So it's difficult to swallow when the news of one such person hits so deeply, and to hear of lives snuffed out in the wake of such things is like a sucker punch.

He feels like he's fallen and still hasn't recovered. Still falling, maybe. It's partially his fault and he knows it, not having attempted to reach out for a handhold, not knowing where to look. He's falling; fallen into routine, into work and school and whatnot, anything and everything and when there's nothing left, then his escape has been to run. Where his feet take him, he doesn't care; it's not like he can get lost, as much as he might try.

The streets around him are familiar. He's been through Gotham many times before, if not to visit his friend at home, then to bother others, and just because he's on some other hero's hometurf doesn't make him think himself exempt from helping out a person in need if he comes upon one. The world ticks slowly by, all around him, the usual dinge and dreariness of the city only slightly more tolerable at the moment because the evening chill doesn't touch him.

And then he sees it, darkness moving across darkness, a shadow somehow more solid than most, dropping away from the towering structure above. There are no lines, no gesture to indicate another action forthcoming to break the form off from its plummet. There is only a streak of white and red as Impulse doesn't give a second thought about it, redirecting his path to coincide with the falling, arms thrown out to catch.

* * *

The shadowy girl experiences a fleeting moment of having time practically stand still, entering a heightened state of experiencing and instinct as she begins the fall. It quickly passes, and despite instinct making her cry out in distress, nothing, no sound emerges. No sound as she passes from above down to below at a rate that would almost certainly result in numerous life-threatening injuries to someone else. She has a scant few seconds of air time, preparing herself for the impact. It would be a new sensation, for certain.
Then suddenly she isn't falling, and despite feeling some impact, she isn't newly familiar with what happens when she plummets that far into a hard surface. Numbed, for a moment, she stares upward and feels the arms holding her. The way her hair moves suggests her head turns, and the arms are connected to someone. A savior! In Gotham!
The shadow's savior comes to understand several things immediately upon contact with the shadow that is girl-shaped:
The first is what it's like to suddenly become deaf. Sound simply stops interacting, like the world just hit the mute button. Not even the sound of one's own heartbeat.
The second being that like the shadow he has caught, the savior has become very similar. A silhouette is all anyone can see now about him.
The third is that the shadow is prone to hugging, and she hugs her savior joyfully. It's only for a second, but the energy behind it, the enthusiasm, it tells a different tale than a frightful experience.
When she stops hugging, she makes a fast, subtle and nonsensical gesture with her hand that most people who don't comprehend sign language wouldn't even notice. A quick test, in a way. With his different experience of time, the now shadowy savior almost certainly notices regardless.

* * *

The closer he gets, the more obvious it becomes that the form is a person after all. There's that usual elation that accompanies the successful rescue of an otherwise unfortunate person, but in this instance, it gets cut rather abruptly by the sudden negation of sound. Certainly there are still sounds when he runs, even though he's faster than most, but there are the sounds of his steps, the subtle swish of fabric with each movement, the thumping of his heart, of blood pumping in his ears— It's all gone and it's sudden enough that for a split-second, it startles him.

The world snaps out of the slow-motion haze it had been in, time reasserting itself as Impulse comes to a halt around the mouth of an alleyway. Normal sound should have also flooded back in, and yet it hasn't.

Staring down at the shadowy form in his arms, at least until he finds himself being hugged, and being a bit of a hugger himself, he allows it, even giving a brief one in return, in reassurance before setting her down, if only to pause when he catches a glimpse of his own arms and hands, then down at his feet, transformed, it appears, into a shadow himself.

'Cool,' he says, and although he knows he does so and feels his mouth moving, he can hear nothing of it, which in his opinion makes it slightly less cool and perhaps even a touch concerning.

The shadow-girl moves, with intent, he realizes as she signs with her hands, and while he recognizes what she's doing, his grasp of the unspoken language at the moment is nil. Once his own hands are free, he brings his up in the universal (?) gesture of 'wait a moment', or it could be a double high-five but who does that any more? Regardless, it's not like she'd notice, for the speedster vanishes in a heartbeat and returns in another after a quick trip to the local library, and as he raises his hands to sign back to her with his newfound knowledge of ASL he pauses as he also sees he's no longer a shadow.

* * *

Standing under her own power, the shadow is trembling, though only a little, the new feeling of the fall and the dashed expection of impact, quite exciting for her. There's a bit of thrill added on as she finds her savior wears a colourful outfit, and a look of perplexity to her posture as he is gone for that instant. She's not entirely sure he even left, but her brain suggests he did.
Then, that excitement she felt, it grows when it's revealed she can communicate! More clearly than typical that is. Turning to provide profile, thus allowing her hands to be seen rather than blending in with the rest of her body, in addition to providing a glimpse of the smile she's wearing.
'Thank you' and 'very happy to meet you' and then 'my name is o-m-b-r-a' along with its translation, 'means shadow', indicating herself.
'I'm sorry' comes next, and the smile has faded. 'Didn't mean to scare or deafen'

* * *

This is different, and perhaps a bit of a challenge, but in the same way it's a bit like trying to learn the language of the buglike Tamachoans, except a little easier because this is the same world and dimension.

Watching as she signs, it's easy for him to parse her words now. His sharp memory comes in handy for learning things on the fly, although there's a little bit of work in matching up her actual signage with the images and gestures he'd sped-read through in a book. Confusion colors his features for a moment at the apology before brows lift in understanding. He wiggles his fingers out before giving a shot at responding, his tongue sticking out in concentration as his hands move, pointedly at normal speed.

A scooping motion in front of him; 'You're welcome!' And reassurance- 'Not scared- startled.' Giving his own name proves a little tricky since he signs 'impulsive', but then amends with spelling out i-m-p-u-l-s-e.

* * *

'I can read lips a little bit', Ombra reveals. 'still learning how' Her smile comes back, but it's a bit sad. 'most times just see screaming before gun' She steps to peer out of the alley, but does not leave it, her attention soon back on Impulse, putting her mind to task to best come up with a compromise between wrong word and spelling it out. 'maybe i-m-p' she tries.
'If speak words and sign I can learn more' she signs this with careful consideration.

* * *

"Oh…" Impulse blinks and then begins to nod. "That'd make this way easier. Talking only with hands is kinda weird. Just learned like a couple minutes ago." He accompanies with as best he can of sign language, much more simpler for the paring down of words needed.

There's a frown as what she's saying sinks in. While it doesn't surprise him that people are quick to respond with violence to someone like Ombra, it's no less disheartening. "You haven't been hurt, have you?"

His lips quirk in a faint smile. "Sure, I can live with 'Imp.'" He looks around, just in case anyone might have noticed them to try giving them trouble. Vaguely he recalls that the city's been enforcing its own actions against vigilantes, after all. "Are you from Gotham, Ombra?"

* * *

Vastly impressed, Ombra seems. 'minutes' to emphasize. 'You learn fast' She does not at all seem skeptical of the claim, only awed. Still, she makes a conscious effort to make the individual signed words more clear, both to ease comprehension and to facilitate better learning.
That sad smile again. 'No shooting today' and 'learning from mistakes' and 'I heal fast' all come as distinct strings. Rather than try to indicate on herself, she points to spots on Impulse where she has been shot, and several would be probably fatal. 'They hurt but I'm fine'. A housecat-shaped silhouette appears on her shoulders, as though leaping up, but it was definitely not on the ground before that. It wasn't anywhere. 'Friend' Ombra signs. 'from water town like me'.

* * *

That's an understatement if ever there was one, and Impulse grins widely at it. He can learn fast, but it's usually the application that gets him. Ombra's consideration as she signs back is appreciated, as seeing the motions and gestures in real time helps immensely.

He looks sad as she as good as admits that she's no stranger to getting wounded from a gun, although he tilts his head curiously as she continues with her explanation of being able to heal fast. He's a pretty fast healer too, depending on the wounds, but only due to his metabolism. There's a swallow as she indicates the locations for what couldn't be anything less than severe injuries, and at her assurance he breathes a sigh of relief, as though simply talking with her hadn't been enough confirmation.

"I'm glad," he both signs and says. He's not sure that he can just take her to a hospital otherwise. Operations might prove a problem, especially if… The speedster looks at her thoughtfully. "Your shadow spreads with whatever you touch?" he asks, before he holds out a hand to her. It had been accidental before, but he's not afraid to see it confirmed, it seems. His smile flickers back into place again as he sees the feline take form, and he brings up his other hand in eagerness to try petting the thing.

"Water Town?"

* * *

Touching the feline upon Ombra's shoulder feels precisely as what would be expected from a non-frightened housecat, which acts familiar, leaning into the hand that reaches toward it. Like Ombra, no sound from it. Not even the minute brush of fur against fabric. Unlike Ombra, nothing changes upon touching. The cat leaps to land on Impulse's shoulder, balancing there before settling.
Reaching for Ombra, that carries with it the changes again. Blackness of body, silence. Not hug this time but that's probably not as expected. Ombra's finger makes the barest of touch to Impulse's hand and the effect is immediate and all-encompassing. She draws it away again, letting the world of sound flood back in. The last thing to change, the glove. Everything else was instantaneous when she broke contact. The glove remained as shadowy-looking thing for a second longer. 'touch non-alive too long and vanish' she signs in warning, looking uncomfortable as she signs that.
'water town one word proper name' she explains. 'at north border'

* * *

The shadowy cat fascinates him, feeling a cat but neither seeing nor hearing an actual one. Impulse laughs a little, holding steady enough for the cat to find its place on his shoulder, and by his actions it seems that he's well-acquainted with doing so. Save for the fact that the cat he owns is roughly the size of a tiger now, so he doesn't quite encourage her to do that any more.

Now that he knows what to expect, Impulse isn't startled as the darkness envelopes him again, although it's still a little unsettling to have sound blotted out. In testing he tries speaking again, shouting, even, the way an overly curious child would in discovering how echoes work, except this is quite the reverse. As the shadows give way to the usual red and white of his uniform and sound returns, there's a look of awe on his face as the speedster watches the last of it slip away from his fingers.

"Whoa… Neat."

He wiggles his fingers in testing, the movement from Ombra prompting him to look at her again as she sign-speaks, amber eyes blinking behind his goggles as what she says sinks in. "Wow, really? But where does it go?" Guess shadows and deafness aren't the only effects of Ombra's ability.

Trying to call up a mental map in his head, Impulse nods distractedly at the clarification of the place Ombra claims to be from, even though he doesn't quite pinpoint it. Then again, he's had no real need to commit every town and city to memory. "I'm from Alabama." Manchester enjoyed its hometown heroes, so finding old articles about Impulse and Max Mercury attached to the small town and state weren't too difficult. "But I mostly hang around New York now. …secretly. What with the reg. law and all."

There's a bit of fumbling with his signing here and there for lack of words to fill in that he either didn't find or wasn't sure applied.

* * *

The little cat-shadow even purrs, behaving like the ideal pet cat everyone expects when seeing one. Weight is correct, muscular resistance is correct, everything except the silenced shadow part.
Ombra picks up a clump of newspaper, and it becomes as shadow, but she just holds it there. Within a minute, it's gone. 'I don't know where' she admits. 'if not bigger than me then gone'
There is a little difficulty in comprehending location, but with the state abbreviation spelled out, she picks up on it immediately. 'I like n-y-c' she informs, fond memories. 'met friends there' sudden intense excitement. 'played game with…' She tries to figure out how to name whom she thinks about. 'c-a-p', and once that sinks in she signs 'ballcap' as associated shorthand. Contextual. 'game of chess in public was amazing'

* * *

His eyes go wide as he watches the newspaper vanish, going so far as to wave his hand around where it used to be as though expecting that it had just gone invisible. "Weird…" he marvels. So anything smaller than her- that relieves him a little as his thoughts go to whether she'd have to sleep on the floor or could manage an actual bed without it disappearing from under her.

Absently petting the cat on his shoulder, Impulse is all smiles again as it seems Ombra's been to New York. "Cap… Captain America Cap?" he asks, since there's only one guy so renowned that comes to mind right off the back from the nickname alone.

* * *

Ombra seems less than thrilled about the vanishing act. It might explain where her clothes went at least. She doesn't appear at all uncomfortable in the chill weather despite that.
The shoulder cat's breath can be felt too, as it pushes its nose into Impulse's neck and chin, even flicking its tongue out. Ombra's nod confirms the identity of the mysterious cap, a sense of pride about her posture. 'big public game' and 'showed them not monster'.

* * *

Impulse laughs as whiskers tickle him. He's not sure how shadow cats work but he's pretty sold in believing that he's playing with the real deal. It also hasn't occurred to him to wonder about things like clothing when it comes to Ombra, much less the environment. Scratching beneath the cat's chin, he nods at her with a smile.

"Good. And Cap is good people." At least from all that he's heard of him. He had to be, to be considered a model hero of America and all that, right?

* * *

'visiting for long?' Ombra's signed query seems to punctuate with some kind of shiver, which only lasts perhaps a half second. And she looks excited again. 'Do you need place to stay? I can help find'
Shoulder Cat goes to ground level to brush against legs, and merges with Ombra at shin level.

* * *

"Me?" Impulse watches as the cat hops on down and returns, quite literally, to Ombra before he looks back up towards her face again. "Oh, I was just passing through." He glances at his own feet, looking a little sheepish. "…you ever feel like there's so much going on that you have no idea what you should be doing? Maybe running's not helping anything, but I thought it'd get my mind off things at the very least." For a little while, maybe.

* * *

By the look of Ombra, she doesn't fully understand, but she does know a thing or two about running away from problems. 'I ran here too' she offers. 'too scary for home and friends' She shrugs at that though. 'made better friends' and then 'can't go home' and then 'you can'.

* * *

That admission makes him feel a bit guilty if not just sad, and the latter shows on his face as he looks at her again. "Still sorry you had to do that. But…home is wherever you make it to be. And I'm glad you could make new friends. We can be friends too," he adds, smiling again. It falters a little too easily as he considers the last of what she signs.

"Yeah… I can go home, but…it won't fix things. I don't know if things can be fixed though, not like this." He shuffles his feet, the thick zig-zaggy cleats of his shoes crunching on loose bits of gravel and dirt. "…a friend of mine died- it was reported a suicide-murder because someone else was also killed. It doesn't…doesn't feel right, but I don't know what to do about it." He sighs. "I think I'm still trying to wrap my head around it."

* * *

'Home here' Ombra informs. 'with friend in grave yard'. The smile that shows on her profiled face is gentle. Content. THen it's gone at the mention of friend, and she's back to hugging Impulse. When she steps back again, she suggests, 'remember and live when you can'

* * *
For a moment he's unsure of whether he'd translated that right. She's living in a cemetery? It doesn't sound like the most ideal place for anyone to be staying, really.

Ombra steps forward to give him another hug, and its one he accepts with all the silence that crashes in with it as he hugs her back, blinking back tears. For a blissful moment all is still and quiet once again, and the only regret is that it doesn't silent his thoughts completely, but he hangs onto it for as brief as it is.

Her advice is puzzled over, but after swallowing down the knot that's formed in his throat, he smiles tightly, nodding at her. "Yeah. I guess that's a good reminder."

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