|Daryn Elizabeth O'Conner-Roman (darynoconner) wrote in destructionisle,|
@ 2019-10-31 20:05:00
|Entry tags:||!complete, !october ac, !thread, daryn o'conner, jd stevenson|
Who: Daryn and JD
What: Food Delivery
When: October 29, 2019
Where: Daryn’s Place
Food delivery wasn’t exactly that exciting, JD and Ian would head to the mainland the day before and escort the shipping container back to the island and from there they’d sort and divide the supplies into individual crates for singles, couples, families and of course the staff. They had done this every two weeks for around two years now so it was routine, the only thing that changed was if someone died, new people were moved onto the island or when singles paired off and moved in together.
Over the years the two guards had gotten to know most of the long term residents by name, though residents names were rarely stated on the form, just the number of people living there and what they should get. That didn’t stop him or Ian from saying hello when making their deliveries and occasionally having a quick conversation, sometimes this might be the only contact with the world that some people would have, especially the older and more recluse residents.
With the crate of food in his arms JD walked down the path to the door of Daryn’s house, he knew what was written in her file and how dangerous she could be but in the times that he had known her she had never done anything that would make him cautious of her. Shifting the box to one side he pressed the doorbell and waited.
Seated at the small table in her kitchen, Daryn was writing furiously. So intent on the task, she hadn’t heard the man’s thoughts as he neared the door. Startled by the bell, she quickly shuffled her papers together and shoved them, along with the pen, into her empty dishwasher. It was an odd place to put things, but it was doubtful that anyone would go looking in there and she didn’t have time to destroy the evidence.
Moving to the door, she opened it cautiously and peered out. She knew her appearance was startling, her skin sickly pale, her cheeks sunken, dark circles under translucent blues. The decline had been rapid, but in the last two weeks Daryn’s health had gotten so poor that she couldn’t leave the house now even if she wanted to. She knew something was wrong and she needed help, but the only place to go was the Facility. If they even allowed her inside, she knew the odds of her ever being able to walk out of that building again were slim to none. If whatever this was was going to kill her, she’d rather die on her own terms than in a locked room under the eye of the government that enjoyed watching her suffer.
Stepping aside slowly, she opened the door to allow JD inside. She didn’t know him well, but she knew for a fact that he was one of the few good ones. She hadn’t seen Ian in well over a month, and worried that he wouldn’t be able to help her after all. Now seeing his partner with the rations made her think the worst. Letting her gaze drop to the floor, she spoke softly, her voice hoarse. “Could you put it in the kitchen? I’m not sure I can carry it.”
JD tried his best not to look startled at the difference in Daryn’s appearance since the last time that he had seen her, which was two weeks before when he had delivered the last lot of food. He suspected that little of that food had actually been eaten but Daryn was an adult as well as a resident, he couldn’t go telling her that she needed to eat.
He did however offer a smile when she stood aside and asked if he could bring the crate in. “Sure.” Stepping into the apartment he already knew his way to the kitchen, all these places were the same so it wasn’t that hard to memorize. While he knew that Ian was working on some project he wasn’t sure about the details and didn’t push his friend to get any details, if Ian thought it was important for him to know something than he’d tell him in due course and not a moment sooner.
“I can put it away if you need a hand, but if I end up putting something in the wrong place tell me, I don’t want you to have potatoes growing in the back of the cupboard.” He offered, some of the older residents on the island seemed to like that more personal touch and more than once he had also gotten asked to hang a picture up or fix a curtain or something that a resident was unable to do due to height or disability.
Following him to the kitchen, she peered at the box of rations. Taking out a few items, she shook her head no to the offer. “Do you know of anyone who might need a bit extra? It’ll just go to waste here so I’d rather give the rest to someone who needs it.”
She moved to put away the few things she’d chosen to keep, hoping she wouldn’t waste those as well. She probably could have used a little help around her place, the window that was damaged in the hurricane two months ago was still just covered in boards. But she hadn’t bothered to ask anyone for help with fixing it.
Clearing her throat with a wince, she glanced to him. “How have you been?” Since the mutant girl was found dead, it seemed like things had calmed down around the island for now. No one had responded to the blame placed on the Faction, and Daryn worried she was now paying the price for doing a bit of her own questioning with the group’s current leader.
“Yeah, there’s a few people who wouldn’t say no to a bit extra.” JD said, although he was already a bit worried about Daryn’s offer, she was obviously not eating enough but at the same time he didn’t want the food to go to waste. “Especially the families, those in charge obviously don’t know how much a growing kid can eat.” Or someone like himself, to keep his muscle tone he did eat quite a lot, most of it proteins and what he saw in these crates wouldn’t be able to satisfy his current diet.
Seeing the window was still boarded also concerned JD, they had fixed pretty much everyone else’s apartments, why wasn’t Daryn’s one of them? He’d ask about that and would probably fix it himself if it came to it.
“Going okay. Was a bit rough at the beginning of last month but it’s starting to improve.” Finding Hannah’s mutilated body still shocked him, despite all his time in the Army and seeing countless dead bodies in Afghanistan this was his first time seeing someone that he knew and conversed with. It almost reminded him of seeing Ian injured and his leg blown off. It made him visibly shudder. “They’ve got me working hard but idle minds…” He offered a small smile.
“Feel free to distribute it as you like, I trust your decision.” Even if she couldn’t read his mind, Daryn would have been able to tell that JD was a good man and a kind soul. People like him were a rarity here and sometimes it was hard to remember there were so many more like him out in the real world.
“Can I offer you a drink or something?” She’d seen enough in her time on the island to know that the guards weren’t necessarily treated much better than the residents in the eyes of the government. She wouldn’t be surprised if he’d been working all day without even a brief break.
Listening to his words, she offered a nod in understanding. She’d experienced her own share of trauma, both personally and in her work. She rarely spoke of it though, but understood the feeling of being haunted by experience. “I know I’m useless to anyone now, but if you ever need, I can be a good listener.” She kept countless secrets and only a fraction of them were her own. His would be safe as well.
Having residents trust him and his decisions wasn’t something that he was used to on the island, the only person he really trusted was Ian but they had so much history together. It made him feel a bit better, even though she only really trusted him to distribute that excess food to deserving people.
“A glass of water would be lovely, thank you.” Another thing that was uncommon, although the older residents were more open towards him than the younger ones, maybe because they had lived through so much or they just had better manners he wasn’t really that sure. He couldn’t mention how nice it was to have people not afraid of him and cowering, lowering their heads or running away whenever he approached. Really he was like a big puppy, just not a lot of people got to see that side of him here.
JD’s brows creased a bit. “You’re not useless. Sure you might not be working in the clinic anymore but I’m sure there’s something you could be doing, even if it’s just listening. I have a pretty strong feeling that counselling and mental wellbeing of the residents aren’t high up on the list of things that they really care about here.” Which was sad in itself, how many of the recluse residents would be otherwise if they were able to talk to someone about what was bothering them. “Then again they haven’t even bothered to offer me any kind of help like that and they know my history.” Having to stand guard over the dead body of a fellow guard had triggered his PTSD, though thankfully Hannah’s death hadn’t, or it had but Ian was able to pull him out of the rutt before he fell into it.
Daryn motioned for him to have a seat. Moving to the cabinet, she found a glass and poured him some fresh drinking water from a container in the fridge. Handing it to him carefully, she gave him a bittersweet smile. “Most of the residents don’t trust me anymore. Certainly not enough to talk to me about anything personal.”
Sitting across from him with carefully, a brief look of pain crossed her features but she ignored it. “I’m sorry to hear they haven’t treated you better than that. I suppose the government letting down their own men isn’t exactly something new, but it still isn’t right.”
With a short nod JD pulled out a chair and sat down, he couldn’t stay too long but it didn’t bother him if his rounds took a bit longer. Taking the glass of water he took a sip, it was cool and refreshing and just what he needed. “Thank you.” He listened as Daryn said that no one would trust her anymore. “And you think they trust me? There’s not a single day that goes by when I don’t get glared at or people shy away thinking that I’m going to hurt them. Just because some of the other guys are assholes doesn’t mean we all are.” And that lack of trust did hurt him.
“It isn’t new, just think about how many veterans are living on the streets out there, not only Vietnam or Desert Storm vets but men and women my own age. We’ve all got PTSD to some extent but some are worse than others and some are living with other disabilities and the government doesn’t care about them. Why would this island be any different?” As harsh as that statement was, it was true and he knew the truth behind this island, they just wanted to keep anyone who might cause trouble under their control.
Daryn listened to him with a sigh and a nod. It was a sad state of affairs, and she couldn’t think of a way to fix it for him. She obviously was failing at making things better for herself as well. “Why do you stay? Do you have a choice to be here or could you request to be moved elsewhere?” Obviously the guards had somewhat more freedom, but otherwise she had no idea how their assignments worked and if they could request a transfer.
“I stay because unlike most of the other guards I actually care about the residents. Marsh and I took the jobs here to try and do some good, help those displaced from their homes and lives because of the Washington state radiation leak.” JD wouldn’t have said any of this if he didn’t already know that the microphones in this house were still out because of the unfixed storm damage. “We’re all humans, just some have taken what might be the next step in human evolution. Maybe in a hundred or a thousand years gifted people will be the norm and ‘norms’ like me are the ones dying out.”
Daryn nodded slowly, staring at the table top as she listened to his words. After a few moments of silence, she spoke softly. “If people like you die off, there’s certainly no hope for the future for any of us. Just because we’ve adapted and survived, it doesn’t mean that all of us are still good people. Some let their abilities change them, the power and the possibilities lead them to do things they may not have previously done.”
She finally looked to him, unsure if she should dare to say anything further. She would have told Ian, but he wasn’t here now and she wasn’t sure if she’d get the chance to pass on the information.
"There'll always be honest people and dishonest people, those who let power - in whatever form - go to their heads and those who just continue living their lives. I've seen combat and everything that goes with it, I know that not everyone in this world is who they say they are or as nice as they make themselves out to be, I'd be stupid if I didn't think otherwise." He might be a Southern country boy but JD was in no way stupid.
Even if she didn't tell him anything, or even wrote a letter JD would hand it over to Ian without opening it, he never opened anyone's letters in the underground postal system, he was an honest man. "What's up Daryn? I've seen that look before." The look of uncertainty.
Taking a deep breath, she considered her words before speaking. At this point, she literally had nothing left to lose. “I know who is responsible for attacking the guards. I don’t know if they’re the ones who killed Hannah too, but I don’t think so. I confronted one of them about it. And I think that’s why I’m sick now. Not that I was in great shape before, but.. I think this is the way to keep me quiet. And I won’t let them win.”
JD knew he should ask, he should find out who it was and report it to his superiors but at the same time something sat in his stomach like a stone. The Mayor had said that all the violence was done by a resident, but what if it hadn’t? What if it was someone employed by the government that had done it to cause unrest and try to turn people against one another. He also knew about Daryn’s ability and that right now she more than likely could hear these thoughts going around in his head, looking up from the glass that he held between his hands he raised an eyebrow. Am I thinking in the right direction? He said, not really sure how the whole telepathy thing worked, if he had to project it or not.
She smiled faintly as he directed his thoughts to her. She answered out loud though, since the cameras and microphones in her home were already disabled. “I don’t know who is at the root of it or why. But I know who was manipulated into doing the acts against the guards, and it wasn’t one of yours.”
His brows creased when Daryn mentioned they were manipulated into doing it. "Someone with mind control." It reminded him of that time a few months ago where Ian had lost all his memories and didn't even know who he, let alone JD was, that was scary but could it be the same person behind it? Or was it a group of people banding together? He knew about the Faction but they seemed to have gone quiet of late, probably in fear, or plotting their next move. "I should ask you who it is, but they'd ask for my proof and other than your word I don't have any… and I never reveal my sources." Privacy was something he took seriously.
Daryn shook her head and looked away. “If it was a telepath, that would make more sense. Just someone with a lot of power and influence, who people trusted to follow. They were led astray, and while it doesn’t excuse their actions, it does explain it.” She looked down at her hands in her lap and then shrugged. “If you need to reveal me as a source, I’d understand. They’ve already done their worst to me and I feel like I may not have much longer anyway. I’d rather go out in truth than protecting those who would never protect me.”
While Daryn’s words were kind of cryptic it did make sense, other than someone with the ability to manipulate others' thoughts, only a person with influence and power could make someone do their dirty work for them. He still didn’t trust his bosses, he just did his job and didn’t complain, although he knew that his kinder attitude towards the residents did make him not popular amongst the other guards and those higher up. “No.” JD shook his head. “I am not going to ask you who, and I never reveal a source. Until I can get concrete evidence than I will not say a thing.” He leaned forward a bit. “Is there anything I can do? You’re wasting away here and I don’t want to see you die because of it, not if there’s something I can do to help.”
Daryn offered him a faint smile and looked down with a shrug. “Unless you know a doctor or someone else who can treat me without me having to go to the Facility hospital then I’m not sure there’s much that can be done. I appreciate your concern though, truly. There’s not a whole lot of people left here that would try to help me.”
JD sighed, sadly he didn’t know of anyone, not even an old fashioned medic who could help. He could fix up scrapes and cuts but whatever it was that was wrong with Daryn was way beyond him. “If I hear of anyone I’ll let you know.” Although he had no idea what was wrong with the woman it was clear that whatever she was suffering was definitely taking a toll on her. “Can I at least try to get these windows fixed? Get rid of those boards.” At least make it feel a bit more homely here.
Daryn nodded once and looked down again. She didn’t want to die, but she’d helped herself as much as she could. There were limited options and she knew she’d only last so long like this. She just needed to be brave. Swallowing hard, she looked back to him with watery eyes and shrugged. “If you want to, you don’t have to go to any trouble over it.”
It was the least he could do, if Daryn was going to continue to waste away, at least she could do it somewhere that bit more comfortable. “These repairs should have been finished months ago, I haven’t seen any other houses that are still boarded up, except yours… maybe they’re afraid of you.” That wouldn’t surprise him, some of the other guards tried to avoid contact with Daryn, knowing she was a telepath maybe they thought she could manipulate them somehow. “I’ll be doing ration deliveries until tomorrow afternoon but I can drop by after that, see what supplies are needed.”
Daryn just smirked a little and shook her head. “I’m the one who should be afraid. They’re not the one who was ambushed, attacked, outnumbered and beaten publicly, then detained for over a year for just existing. But sure, scary telepath.” She could have been bitter but her words were devoid of emotion. Just stating the facts, she was harmless in comparison to them when they ganged up against her, even using all of her abilities at their strongest. “There’s no rush. Whenever you have free time.”
The other guards were assholes, there was no nicer term that he could think of. JD was glad to have Ian and lately he did worry about what might happen if the extend of their friendship got found out, there was probably some kind of rule against relationships between guards which was why they were keeping it all hush-hush, to anyone on the island they were just best friends, or brothers in arms and that was it. “The combined IQ level amongst the other guards isn’t particularly high, as you would probably know. I’m no genius but I’m also not as arrogant or ignorant as they are.” He really hated it when they split Ian and JD up for whatever reason, it took all his willpower to not continuously roll his eyes at the attitude of the others. “Tomorrow, I promise.”