1963-11-23 - The Morning After
Summary: It's a brave new world for some, and terrifying for others.
Related: Dial 0 For Oh Damn
Theme Song: None
lorna wanda 

It should be raining and dreary, yet the overcast skies and rather balmy conditions fly in the face of New York in late autumn. Thanksgiving won't be hitting for another five days, but it will not be a happy one. The parade is certain to take place under a grim pallor of memory. 22 November will not be remembered for the unusually mild weather, thirteen degrees higher than average. Nor for the twin separated by thirteen minutes from his younger sister learning about an unexpected relative. 23 November insists on dawning as breezily as the day prior, and though a good many people out and about wear black, they will have to cope with a sky that refuses to look appropriately miserable.

Someone mustn't have told Thor the news yet.

Traffic is listless, even the taxis fairly subdued. Pedestrians are thinner, as half the city stops to catch its collective breath. It makes the walk through Central Park so much easier, though dismal as Wanda skirts along in front of the Met. It wasn't many weeks earlier she was dancing on the jellied waters, raining down hexes on a demon. The damage is there, still, but the city sort of moves on. At least a vendor tries to sell some cinnamon sugared doughnuts and coffee, but even his heart isn't into it. The sorceress leans on the bridge, looking down onto the paved path. One mallard duck mournfully quacks as it waddles along. He might change his tune if he knew the Kennedys hunted ducks.


Lorna had seen the news, watched it with the other students in a quiet hush. Fear was a prominent emotion, along with disbelief and confusion. So very many unanswered questions. But Lorna knew one thing for certain, in this time of uncertainly, mutants would most assuredly recieve an unfair amount of the blame. So, she had gone to the various stores that she knew carried hair dye, and bought a large stock of it. So much for letting her green hair go undyed for even a day. /She/ certainly wasn't going to be chancing that anytime soon.

While she did wear a polite, black turtle neck, she didn't particularly feel too mournful per say. It was an abstract thought, to feel sad over the death of a president, someone so 'up there' in the world that she barely could understand the greater impact that the man had made.

One thing was certain though, Thanksgiving was going to be very different than she'd planned or hoped for. A sigh dragged from her lips as she adjusted her grip on her bags, cutting through Central Park on her way back to the Institute. She'd decided to walk rather than drive and was thankful for the kind weather at least.

Her gaze fell upon the red clad woman on the bridge, her brows shooting upwards. "Hey, aren't you.." She trailed off, coming to a stop. "We met at the store..? With the things?" She winced, that wasn't particularly specific.


At first glance, Wanda is not the sort of person to remotely look inhuman. Bad choices in fashion, nothing out of the ordinary there. Her typical ensemble is back, black fitted cigarette pants and a long-sleeved black shirt, burgundy corset over top, and corseted claret red leather jacket atop that all screaming malcontent, dysfunctional 20 something. To be fair, all these adjectives basically mean the same thing, and her choice of attire calls her out. She rests her arms on the overpass, peering down through the skeletal foliage to the basin below. The duck keeps padding along on orange webbed feet, quacking about the misery of the world. His green head bobs, and he nibbles hopefully at a forgotten fry probably dropped some time ago.

The cinnamon scent from the vendor is almost an insult to the injury of a relatively nice day, but it might be all these cards lined up in order that causes the greatest despair. New York is missing some of its buzz. Not much, but enough to be felt. The woman gets very little regard from her fellow pedestrians lost in their thoughts, some walking and reading at the same time, noses buried in the newspapers and a cover of Life magazine merely draped in a black border, with 'No' written in crisp font. Trust the fourth estate to have an opinion as soon as possible.

The brunette lifts her head as the other brunette nears. There's a similarity there, if they both wore their hair up, how the flow runs off their brow and maybe in the shape of their eyes. Maybe, maybe not. Scrutiny falls upon a stranger until she narrows in, and shakes off the incipient rudeness that usually accompanies staring. It's clear enough Wanda has not slept well, given the bruises under her eyes in orchid relief. Get that girl cucumber slices.

"The telephone with the buttons." It's nicer than saying 'the possessed and deranged stock.' "Yes. You were very good making it go away."


A small shrug and Lorna pushes a stray piece of her hair back from her face that had slid free from its ponytail. Unlike the woman opposite of her, she was the most typical looking college girl imaginable. Black turtle neck, a maroon and burnt orange plaid skirt that curved around her calves and a Frost Institute Jacket tucked under an arm, the other holding the bag of hair dye.

"Yeah that," She bit her lower lip, shifting her weight from foot to foot. "Still not very good at making things like that 'go away'—but what did?" She whistled.

"That was far out." She beamed and came up beside the woman a polite distance away. "I'm Lorna by the way. I never caught your name, but thanks for helping out there. I was really freaked out."


The whole bashful and modest approach holds no water with Wanda; it leaks credibility like a sieve. She merely levels a veiled look through her lashes, doing nothing to reduce the implicit burn of her anger eyes. "That was 'not good.'" Eyebrows rise slightly, and then she gestures towards the park. "You did well. Are you good now?" Good, well, healthy; it could be any, but English as her likely second or third language has its limits.

Casting a look back to the various pedestrians, the obvious disinterest in any of them tends to keep them at bay. They might stare a little longer at two young ladies, but most have other concerns on their mind. "Wanda," she says. "It is nice to meet you, Lorna." The way that R gets rolled, she's definitely not from these parts, or even rarer parts, like Maine. "I think the problem is gone for now. It will go somewhere else."


A flush of color fusts the tops of her cheeks and Lorna bites her lower lip once more. "I don't really have that much control. I was just pushing really hard everywhere on everything… It's not like, I was trying to do anything complicated or stuff." She toed the ground. "I've seen better.." She sighed, her shoulders slumping before her gaze lifted up to Wanda.

"Wanda, that's a pretty name." She smiled, and her expression was wide and open and utterly trusting.

"I'm glad to hear that that problem is gone." She reached up, playing with the tiny Star of David that hung from a leather strap around her neck. "At least that's one less thing for me to be scared of happening."


"You see better?" Wanda snaps on that comment like a cat pouncing a choice ball of yarn, and chasing the end, she comes up with a point. "Where was this?" Her sentences aren't naturally truncated always, but she still has to come to grips with sleep deprivation and tension chasing her from head to toe.

"Thank you." What else does one say to a compliment about her name. "Yours, does it mean something? I have not heard it before."

Small talk slips and sinks as her gaze flits sideways for that Star of David, but unlike some souls, there's no judgment in her expression. Rather a familiarity with its shape and its purpose, rather briefly scribed in knowledge passing over her face. "Why do you fear? The news is not good. Yet you have shops open. People go outside. The sky is there." She points up with a slender digit. "This man has baked food, and the water runs, the lights are on. This is quite good. Yes?"


The answer to /that/ was a bit complicated. Her birth-father's control was so beyond what her scope of powers could do it was astronomical. But also Hope had borrowed her powers and within five minutes the girl had done more intricate and more complicated things with metal than Lorna had accomplished in six months of practice.

The world was decidedly unfair.

Lorna scratched the back of her head and she bit her lower lip again. "Yeah, uh.. it's kind of complicated. But I'm.. not very good at it yet." Her cheeks burned red and she toed the ground.

"But as far as my name? I dunno? Never really bothered to find out." She shrugged, pusing her hands into her skirt's pockets.

At the question of 'fear' though Lorna's brows shoot upwards. "Are you kidding me? There's aliens, some crazy myths going on that are supposedly real, mutant riots and now the president got shot last night. Geeze louise, have you /seen/ the news? Not exactly sunshine and rainbows.."


Decided unfairness is part and parcel of the whole world right now. Let Wanda sing all the unkind ways it lasts, and how miserable one can be.

"You will not be that always. This you can do. Tomorrow, more or different things." Her shoulders lift and lightly skim back, pulling at the leather stretched taut from shoulder to shoulder. She turns slightly towards the bridge, her hip butting up against it, allowing her to face Lorna.

"How is it not like the war? Two thousand lost on the ocean. How many die in battle? Sickness. No food, no water, and no medicine. Open to the cold, as the houses are gone. No one pushes you from your home. There is a government."


Lorna's eyebrows shoot upwards as she shifts her grip on her bag of hair dye. "Not yet no," She whispered, and glanced down at her feet with a heavy sigh.

"But who knows what will happen now? If the person that shot the president is .. well /literally/ anything besides a 'normal' human, well, there could be a war. One where mutants are dragged out of their homes and rounded up. Or if it was an alien, are we going to be invaded? Or the Russians even.. gosh. It feels like anything could happen. It could've been anyone. There /could/ be a war. Who knows." She shrugged, pursing her lips.

"I don't feel like I'm ready to face that possibility yet."


"Maybe war comes. Maybe it does not." Wanda is awfully lucid about this, no traces of fear, just tiredness. Given how hard the news cycle has rolled in this era, it's no surprise, surely, that she is a little sleep deprived. "Violence comes when fear controls people, Lorna. They shout and take a gun or a knife. It makes them feel better, a little. This world is now frightening. It is not what they knew. This has always happened. Yes? The swastika over Poland and Ukraine shed fear. They were countries lost under the German reich. Before them Russia or England or France. Name a place. It has been taken over or had war. Someone might have armour in them. They might use a gun or fire in their hand."

Her eyes narrow a little, and she examines the woman. "You know. I know. Most are only people. Not crazy, not soldiers. They want to go to work and eat dinner and sleep in a bed. It is so important we talk, we say things. Do not let it come to war. Many times there have been men who say 'we fight.' Then people stand up and say 'No.' It is not too late, there are no tanks, there are no guns. Make them stop. Be brave."


A small shake of her head follows and Lorna shifts her weight upon her feet, biting her lower lip. Hard. "People always fear the unknown, and right now, there's a /lot/ out there that people just don't know." She exhales a shaky breath, and adjusts her grip on her jacket to her other arm.

"It doesn't mean that /I/ won't be afraid though, 'cause I am. I totally am. I'm not good at words, at talking to anyone. I'm not the person to do those things that you say.. I'm just not. I'm a college kid and I just want to keep my head down and graduate. That's all." Her voice was small and she wavered hesitantly.

Had she not jumped out of the car and raced along with Hope to help those people, feeble and in poor control of her powers as she was? Hadn't she stayed and helped against those phones and electronics that had attacked? She /was/ those things, and was becoming the sort of person that Wanda spoke of. She was just, once again, in denial of it.


Wanda shakes her head at that sight of doubt and fear. "Life is not known. No one is wiser than others. They fear, yes, but fear is like a sickness. It goes here, and that person coughs out fear, and it goes there and makes that well person sick with it. The best defense means we speak out, and we do our best. You are a student, you have things to say. You can say them to keep the students with you strong. Everyone is 'just'. I am not important. I am not special. I do not have a high rank or a title. But I speak because here you may learn, you may see."


Another sigh falls from Lornas lips and she drags a hand over her features in response. "This is way too heavy for me today. I can't handle it. Sorry, Wanda. It's not your fault." She mumbles.

"Look, I gotta get going back to my dorm. It was nice to see you and finally get your name. Thanks for the advice." She had shut down, the stress and fear that had bubbled up around her on campus from other students and in town had drained her emotionally. Not even her bubbly personality could ease such a weight.


The young woman nods, accepting what passes. She gives no sense to the other girl of about her age that anything is awry, but there is a flat, mirrored quality to her hardened gaze once Lorna leaves. Those in their bubbles, floating up and down the street, grieving or shocked, fully wrapped up in their own heads. It's a danger, a live wire, and one that she has to force herself to approach without a sound. A few minutes later, she walks away, leaving naught but shadows where once they stood.

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