Who: April & Caspian & Laura & Caitlyn What: Welcome to the island? When: Sunday, July, 14, 2019, afternoon Where: Outside the Facility and to the Finn residence Rating: Low, it is April after all Status: Complete
To say that April was disoriented was an understatement. The last few days were a confusing whirlwind. First she was in that place, then without warning she was on some boat, and then off to this island. The first day or two they kept her inside, in that medical place, poking and prodding her until they decided to let her off to her home. But home was a strange concept. April couldn’t remember her home, she couldn’t remember anything. And the prospect of living alone was a bit scary. So for now, the petite blonde just wandered around outside of that big building, trying to figure out what to do and where to go next.
It wasn’t uncommon for someone to seem a bit disoriented, especially if they were new to the island. The influx of newbies had waned; it was almost as if the island had filled to capacity even though he knew that wasn’t the case at all. Plenty of land was left for cultivation. Was the Government planning on doing anything with it or was the idea to allow the residents to squeeze into substandard housing and make the best of it?
Caspain stood there for nearly a minute assessing whether to bother to get involved before deciding he couldn’t just let her wander around aimlessly.
“Excuse me,” he began, moving slowly up to her, cautious. Who knew yet what powers she possessed and he wasn’t looking to get electrocuted or thrown off into the air on a whim for startling someone. “Are you lost?” That accented lilt was commonplace now.
April spun around, big brown eyes looking up to the stranger curiously. She blinked and tilted her head to the side before responding with a little laugh. “I’m always lost. Your voice is funny. In a nice way, not a bad way.”
He blinked at her, eyebrows arched at the comment made on his voice. He didn’t think it was funny but then again not everyone had an accent as prominent as his. “Oh, well, thank you I suppose.”
Being lost here was bound to get you into trouble. “Do you know where you are headed? This is not the place you’d want to walk alone.” On the outside the island looked safe - pristine and manicured, the epitome of family development and safety - but it was more than met the eye.
April thought about the question for a moment before showing him her ID card, a bitten-nailed finger pointing out the address listed. “I’m supposed to go there, I think. That’s where they tell you to live, right?”
She had no belongings with her, but it was clear that this would be her first time going to her new home on the island. She had no idea what to expect of the place, or anything here really. “Do you work here?” He seemed nice, and asked if she needed help, that was usually someone’s job, or that’s what seemed right anyway.
Blue eyes would fall to the residence; she was in a building not far from here and he couldn’t let her go unescorted because she might not ever make it there safely. “Indeed. I can show you the way if you’d allow.” An arm would be offered. Nobody would even remember that they’d wandered past so that way she would be undisturbed by guards and the like.
“It isn’t safe to walk alone,” he cautioned. Upon mention of him working here, he shook his head and held up the ID card similar to hers. “I do not, though I probably should contribute more.” He stayed at home mostly.
“I saw that your name is April. It’s my honor to meet you, dear. I’m Caspain.”
April hesitated a moment, not entirely sure what offering his arm meant, but she decided to just go with her instincts. So she hugged him. Stepping back, she looked around and then back to him curiously. “Why isn’t it safe? And why do you need to contribute? And what does contribute mean?”
She looked to her badge and then back up to him with a smile. “It’s nice to meet you too, Mr. Caspian.”
That had not been what he had in mind but he went with it regardless. She seemed not to have been updated on how things worked here. Motioning to a nearby bench Caspian motioned over to it. “I find it best not to sugar coat what goes on here, otherwise you’ll find yourself on the brunt end of a bad situation. Would you sit? I’ll tell you what I know.”
As they moved to the bench he sat next to her. “The Government keeps people here who have abilities,” he stated, motioning between them, “so people like you and I who are different. They tell you it’s for healing purposes, to find a cure for what is ailing you, but I feel fine and I imagine that everyone else here feels the same. The guards who patrol aren’t always nice to us. Young ladies like yourself can sometimes be harassed, or hurt, because the regular people think we are beneath them.”
He wondered what Laura would think of this one. “Lots of people here are like you and I, and taken from their families. Forced to live here.”
April followed along obediently, not really questioning why this stranger wanted to sit down and talk with her. He seemed nice, that was all that mattered. “Sugar coat? That sounds delicious. And itchy.”
Sitting, she turned to face him, listening intently like a good little student. Her brow furrowed though, as so many questions popped into her head as he spoke. She picked what felt like the most important one and started there. “What abilities do you have?”
She felt the need to clarify something though. “I wasn’t taken from my family. At least, I don’t think so. I don’t remember. Did they take you away from your family?”
Nearly chuckling at the comment she made, Caspian decided to make things easy for the poor lass. She seemed to be childlike in the way she saw the world, much like his own daughter. “Yes, sugar coating means to make things seem nicer than they actually are. Not in the way you would associate with food.” Nothing about this place was sweet.
“I can read your mind,” Caspian replied. “Not that I would to you, but that’s what I can do.” He didn’t bring up the mneumokinesis as it tended to offset people.
She didn’t recall whether or not she was taken from her family. Caspian watched her carefully, though he didn’t feel as if she were being deceitful. “No, but some were. My family, fortunately, is here as well. I’m glad that you weren’t taken from yours, either.”
April smiled slowly and nodded. That made sense. Sugar was nice, so sugar coating must be extra nice. But he said something about not sugar coating. That was a little disappointing.
When he said he could read her mind, she wasn’t sure if she should believe him. “Really? What am I thinking about?” Candy, of course, lots and lots of candy. Not that she’d actually had any in a while now. Someone nice at the lab gave her candy sometimes, when she was little.
“Oh that’s nice. Do you have a big family?”
“Candy,” he replied, nonchalant. “Lots of it.” He saw that man in the white coat offering small treats but he felt that was far too invasive and said nothing about it to her. She would need to learn to guard her thoughts but that could come later.
Shaking his head at her, Caspian smiled. “No, there are a few of us. My wife, Laura, our daughter Caitlyn. My brother Dorian lives with us as well.” Dorian was like a brother to him though they weren’t actually related.
“Would you like to meet them? If you have a few moments to spare. I don’t want to keep you from settling in, though you must be hungry. Rations for food come twice a week.”
April’s expression brightened, delighted that he knew exactly what she was thinking. Instead of finding it threatening or invasive, she thought it was fun and cool.
“Oh, you have a big family! They sound nice. Caitlyn is a pretty name.” April smiled, and nodded at the offer to meet them. “Sure, I like to meet new people. Well, everyone is new to me, so, I just like to meet people I guess.”
“What are rations? Is that kind of food? I am always hungry.”
He was glad she wasn’t as sensitive to his ability the way some were, but then again she seemed to innocent and unknowing to intrusion. He was sure the young woman would benefit from insight. “Forgive my manners. I looked at your ID card a moment ago, but I wanted to formally introduce myself. CaspIan Finn at your service.”
He was glad she thought so highly of his family and liked his daughters name. It endeared him more toward her. “We can head that way once your questions are answered as I am able unless you’d rather go now.”
“Rations are specific portions of food set aside for a specific person. Once they’re gone, that’s all of it until the next time they bring some.”
April smiled, happy to meet someone so nice and polite. She couldn’t think of any questions, since the ones she just had flew right out of her head once she got on a different train of thought. “We can go now. I forgot my questions. I forget a lot.”
When he explained about the food, she nodded in understanding. Something about it felt a little familiar, being limited on what she could eat and when. “Is candy rations?”
He wasn’t sure if she had amnesia or was just forgetful (people existed like that) but he nodded regardless. “Alright then. Let’s start heading that way.” If she had inquiries afterward he would answer them along the route.
As they rose and the question came, Caspian nodded. “If you’re fortunate to get sweets they come in small portions. We have a market here, though, which has small treats like candy and a bakery with cupcakes and the like. The Government will give you pocket money to spend at your leisure.”
April stood and followed Caspian’s lead, looking around curiously as he explained. “That’s nice of them. But what’s a cupcake?”
“Well,” he began, sighing softly. How did you phrase that? “It’s a very small cake tucked into a wrapper. Usually they have frosting, sprinkles atop. Quite good.” His wife made the best baked goods and her cupcakes were to die for, literally.
Leading April along he passed by the various residences. “That is the building you are staying in,” he mentioned, motioning to her building. “I’ll make sure you get home safely, later on.” The trek toward his home wasn’t much more and as they ascend the porch he paused only to let them inside.
’Laura, come to the front door if you can.’ would be projected toward his wife. Otherwise he didn’t make any outward notification that he was using his ability.
“This is where I live with my family. Please make yourself at home.”
April smiled as Caspian described a cupcake. “I’ve never had cake, but I’ve seen it and it looks yummy. So I bet a cupcake is yummy too.”
When he pointed to the building, April tried to make a note of it so she’d remember it later. But she knew that might not happen. But then she was completely distracted by the giant house he pointed out as his own. Stopping in her tracks, she stared up at the building with her mouth open in awe. “You live here? This is what a castle must be. Are you a prince or a king?”
Blinking, she followed inside, but she was still in shock at the place. “Wow.”
Hearing the request, Laura hurried down the stairs and to the foyer, worried that something was wrong. But when she saw Caspian move inside with the petite blonde, she was confused. She offered a little smile though, noting her expression. “Hello.” She glanced to Cas, waiting for an introduction.
A chuckle would escape, “Not likely, but it’s kind of you to think so. We have a large family,” he reminded her. “We need more space than the average person.
As Laura appeared he breathed out a sigh of relief. ’I think she has amnesia or something, love. She can barely remember where she lives. I brought her here to keep her safe.’ was placed into Laura’s mind.
“April, this is Laura, my wife.” Caspian motioned to the dark haired woman, and then to the petite blonde. “Laura, this is April. She’s new to the island. I’m trying to get her acclimated.”
Laura frowned faintly at Cas’s words as she moved to April to greet her properly. She offered a hand in greeting, but April did just as she’d done with Caspian and gave Laura a hug. Surprised, Laura returned the hug, looking to Cas again with an arched brow before addressing April. “It’s very nice to meet you, April. How are you finding everything so far?”
Laura lead them into the living room to sit, thinking to Cas. She was all alone?
April was happy for the hug and smiled to Laura. “It’s nice to meet you too, you guys are so nice. Is everyone here nice like this?’ She remembered the warning about the guards, but she was curious about the others like them.
’Yes. No family. This is her first day here.’
Caspian only nodded at the two to ensure that April knew it was alright here to be so friendly. He hoped the young woman wouldn’t have to learn the hard way that such could be misconstrued. Caspian also hoped she didn’t run into Paul.
As the pair went into the living room he followed suit. “Some are,” he managed. “Some are not. There are those of us who are bitter about their situation, angry because they are here. But they’re very few.”
Laura frowned again but tried to just focus on April for now. “Have a seat, please. Would you like something to drink or eat?”
April moved over to sit on one of the big cushy couches as directed. Sitting gingerly, she smiled at how soft and comfortable it felt. “Are all the places as nice as this?” At the offer of food, she hesitated, not wanting to be rude. After a moment, she shook her head no. “No thank you.”
He didn’t like the way she complied, the poor girl did just about anything she was instructed to and it made him uneasy. “I would hope so but I would imagine not.”
Caitlyn came barreling down the stairs all pattering of feet and swirling of her skirt. She skidded to a stop and looked at April. “Hello,” the girl greeted. “Who are you?”
Caitlyn’s gaze would go to her parents. “A friend. Why don’t you go play a while, love?”
April’s eyes widened as the little girl hurried into the room. She looked to Caspian and Laura curiously and then to who she assumed was Caitlyn. “Can I play too?” Before she finished the question, the petite blonde had shifted into a little girl, just about Caitlyn’s age, with long dark hair but the same features, big curious eyes and a button nose.
Laura blinked as she witnessed the transformation and nodded a little in response to the question. She was speechless otherwise.
Caitlyn grinned, nodding. She reached out for the hand of the little girl who had suddenly appeared and she smiled. “Please Mummy? Da? Can she play?” Their daughter looked at both of them and Caspian looked up at his wife.
“I suppose that’s alright,” Caspian breathed, nodding. “If you both want to play in the house that would be fine. Caitlyn, this is April. She is new to the island.”
Little April hopped off the couch and took Caitlyn’s hand with the same bright smile she’d worn before. “Hi!” She looked to the adults, waiting for permission before she hurried off with Caitlyn to go play. April loved to play and Caitlyn was already her friend, she’d decided.
Laura watched the two girls run off to Caitlyn’s room to play then looked to Cas. “She’s all by herself? She’s a child. Or… is she?”
“No, she’s no child,” he replied, shaking his head after April and Caitlyn had rushed off together. “Her ID said she has some sort of age related ability.” He looked at his wife. “She is much like a child herself, though. I fear that she will fall victim to a situation that no one will be able to protect her from.”
An unruly guard, someone like Roman who might take advantage of her kindness.
“She has a place of her own, Laura,” he managed, “but I don’t feel good about letting her stay there on her own. I’d like to check in on her if that’s alright with you.”
He didn’t want his wife to think he was doing anything behind her back or trying to get with another woman. He was just concerned about April.
Laura nodded thoughtfully, still thinking about the show of abilities they’d just seen. “Do you think she did that intentionally? She didn’t really seem very… aware.” Laura didn’t want to make any assumptions, but she couldn’t but worry about the girl… and the child the girl could become, and the negative things that could happen to her on this island.
“I agree, I don’t think it’s a good idea for her to stay there alone. Do you think she’s able to take care of herself? She seems…” Laura couldn’t think of a way to describe it, but she felt the urge to protect the young woman.
Shaking his head, he didn’t think April had any caution when it came to showing her ability. “Whatever it is I don’t think she gives much thought to it which could be dangerous.” He doubted she did it to show off; she didn’t seem like that sort of person though he hadn’t looked into her mind.
Children were also influential. He didn’t want April leading their daughter into a situation because she didn’t know any better.
“I cannot say for sure.” He shook his head. “We have an extra room here…” Maybe that was too far fetched but he hoped that maybe they could reduce the impact of the newness if she stayed here with them.
Laura sighed, thinking about it with concern written on her features. She moved to sit on the edge of the couch then looked to him. “Do you really think she’d just go and stay with complete strangers?” Although Laura was already almost entirely sure the answer was yes. “She would be safer here… maybe at least until she gets settled in.”
Laura did have potential plans for the extra room, but she wouldn’t bring that up now. April needed a safe place to stay.
“She came over here with me, didn’t she?” Caspian could have been anyone and she would have come with him willingly. There had never been intention, only a hope that there would be some connection between her and his family.
“Perhaps. Would that be alright with you?” Caitlyn didn’t seem to object to having a friend.
Laura nodded without hesitation. “Yes, of course. At least here, no one will hurt her. And we can help her figure things out until she is ready to go off on her own.” It just felt like the right thing to do.
He nodded at her, glad Laura understood. Why he doubted her rationale he didn’t know, but he was grateful for her. “Indeed. Would you like to tell her or shall I?” Only until they felt April was ready to face the world on her own.
Laura hesitated a moment before shrugging. “You know her just a slight bit better, so why don’t you offer and see how she takes it. As much as we want to help her and keep her safe, she does have her own free will. We should see if she even wants to stay, she may just want to go to her own place.”
So far the young woman seemed innocently compliant. It was a bit unsettling if he was being honest, but he’d ask regardless. Laura was right, they couldn’t make her stay, and he wouldn’t stop her from leaving. But if that was what she chose he would go check on her if not for her sake than his own peace of mind.
A nod would come as the reply. “Alright. After she and Caitlyn are finished playing I suppose it wouldn’t hurt. Worst case is we could walk her home and check on her afterward.”
Laura nodded, giving Caspian a small smile. “It’s so good of you to be concerned about her and want to check on her.” Moving to him, she kissed his cheek. “Do you think she’s hungry? Maybe I should make something for her.”
“Probably. I recall being famished upon arrival here, though we all were distracted by trying to get ourselves sorted out.” It was possible that April was hungry but the woman had never mentioned it. Though he didn’t ask.
“Perhaps you should ask, I doubt it would do any harm.” Maybe Caitlyn was hungry too.
Laura thought about it for a moment and then nodded. “I’ll go see. Are you hungry now? I have a sneaking suspicion if I ask Caitlyn and April what they want, it’ll be cookie-related.”
Eyebrows would arch at the question. A moment ago he had not been hungry at all but now that the idea was there he supposed that he was feeling a wee bit peckish and probably could stand to eat a bite or two. “Sure, that sounds fine. Even if that does end up being cookies.” One or two never hurt anyone and Caspian was not turning down whatever Laura made.
“Off the subject, love,” he began, curious, “Have you ever considered that little bakery place at the Market? You know, the one with all of the good smells and that odd, pink haired woman running the place?”
When he changed the subject, Laura frowned slightly. The last time she’d even considered a job was the day he was taken. She hadn’t thought about it since, intent on staying home and near her family in case anything bad happened again. Maybe if she had been there then, things wouldn’t have gone the way they did. “Considered it… for work?”
He hadn’t changed the subject to keep from addressing the issue at hand, that was still as real as it had been moments ago, but only because his train of thought had derailed a bit. “A job?” He inquired, smiling warmly at her.
Hands would lift, palms cupping the sides of her arms gently, “My love, you never have to work another day in your whole life if you don’t want to. Ever. But I know how much you like to keep busy and often having something to do that you enjoy makes the day less burdensome. Don’t you think so?”
“Don’t worry about it, darling. Alright? It was silly of me to bring it up. I just want you happy, is all.”
Leaning in close to him, her lips met his in a soft kiss. “I am happy, with you. I just worry about being away from you and Caitlyn after what happened. I do want to work, to keep myself busy and out of trouble. But I don’t think I could forgive myself if I wasn’t there again when you needed me.”
“There is no keeping you out of trouble, darling,” he quipped playfully, returning her kiss. “Let me handle protecting the family. Not because you aren’t able, but because I’ve been doing it for a long time anyway.” They wouldn’t sneak up on him again, that was a promise.
“Between the three of us, it’s doubtful anyone will get as near as the sidewalk without the alarm being raised. And being out there is better for gathering intel, keeping a watch. It’s much more helpful than being cooped up in here with nothing to do.”
She smiled slowly, stealing one more kiss before stepping back. “I can think of something to do to keep us occupied. But… I will think about it. Maybe I’ll go visit the bakery first, just to see what it’s like, and go from there.”
He emitted a soft laugh, nodding, “I don’t even have to read your mind to understand what that might be.” Letting her go, Caspian stepped back only slightly. “Feel it out. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. It isn’t like we need extra money, or really anything. I suppose that is a perk if there has to be one scout this place.
Laura nodded with a small smile. “Alright. I will try.” She thought about it for a moment before turning her attention to the matter at hand. “I’ll go check on the girls.”
She went off in search of the two, and after a few minutes returned with Caitlyn and April in tow. They only lingered for a moment before hurrying into the kitchen to help make cookies. Laura smiled with a small laugh. “April’s agreed to a ‘sleepover’ with Caitlyn’s urging. So it’s a start. Plus, she was super eager to learn how to bake cookies. So at least we know she’s safe for the night.”
Caspian had turned, making his way toward the kitchen though in those few moments he’d paused to listen - the shared connection he had with Dorian allowed them to communicate frequently.
Once the sounds of footsteps approached he came back to reality, watching Laura come toward him. Eyes would fall to the girls (he knew April wasn’t a girl, really. Or was she?) and then his gaze would go to his wife.
“Oh, good. Well then, don’t let me keep you from the fun.”
Laura reached out to touch his arm lightly, her eyes scanning his face in concern. “Is everything alright?” She paused for an answer, then moved about the two children before they could get into too much.
Moving around the kitchen, she took out the ingredients, both Laura and Caitlyn explaining to curious April how the process of cookie making went. April was pretty astonished by the idea that someone could just make cookies any time they wanted to. She was pretty sure she’d never done that before.
Turning his attention to Laura he nodded, “Of course. Just listening, love. Checking on Dorian.” He wouldn’t lie to her unless he had to, and this time he was telling the truth. He didn’t want her to think he was hiding anything, but routine check ins with Dorian seemed appropriate.
And then he was turning to follow the trio of ladies into the kitchen. “Don’t mind me,” he expressed with a smile, “I’m only here to taste them once they’re finished.”
Laura offered a small smile and a nod to Caspian’s response, studying him for a moment before going off after the girls. She took out the ingredients and set them all out on the counter with Caitlyn’s help. Looking back to Cas as he followed, Laura smiled. “So you just want to watch while we do all the work? Can you reach a bowl for me?” She usually was able to manage it, but she wouldn’t mind the help of his height in this situation.
But April was eager to help. “I can do it!” She shifted again, this time quite intentionally, to an older slender woman, a bit taller than Laura but not nearly as tall as Cas. She easily reached up to retrieve the bowl and handed it over with a proud smile.
“You’re adorable when you’re baking,” he replied, offering a gentle smile. Before he could do anything about the bowl April had volunteered. He blinked as she changed at will from a young girl to an older woman, pausing to process what he had just observed. He was trying his hardest not to gape at her, either.
“Well, that solves that problem then,” Caspian chuckled once he’d regained his composure. “You don’t need me after all, you’ve plenty of able assistance.”
April was fascinating. That was a power which might not be used for good in certain circumstances. He hoped she never had to experience that side of the island or humanity.
Laura just watched in astonishment and glanced to Cas again. This girl… or woman, was definitely intriguing. Taking the bowl with a nod of thanks, she took a moment to refocus before going back to the task at hand.
Just as confused as her parents, Caitlyn was just a little more vocal about it and started to ask April a steady flow of questions about her ability. Sadly, April’s consistent answer was “I don’t know.” After a few minutes, she shifted back into her little girl form, but it seemed much less intentional this time around. Just going with it, April focused on learning the art of cooking making and more about her new friends.