Stardate Unknown


vf_elaine_icon.gif vf_magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Stardate Unknown
Synopsis Magnes shows up for some roleplay.
Date November 29, 2011

The Hub, Elaine's Room

There's a knock at Elaine's door, at the designated time he was supposed to show up. He apparently found whatever he could just sort of laying around, and in his hands is a Star Trek TNG photobook, two old TV remotes for entirely different televisions, and a very questionable and possibly fictional illustrated astronomy book. "It's Magnes!"

He's wearing his newly cleaned green Surge t-shirt, blue jeans, and black boots.


Elaine opens the door, having set down a French copy of The Little Prince that she was thumbing through, likely to teach some of the older kids. She brushes her shirt off, a long tunic-style off-white shirt with a ripped sleeve and faded blue jeans. It didn't really need much brushing, it was more a nervous habit.

She eyes the objects curiously. "What are you planning?"

"Well, I was thinking, since you mentioned using our imaginations, that we could roleplay." Magnes suggests, heading in to look for a place to sit. He doesn't go for the bed, he doesn't want to be awkward, he instead waits to see where she indicates instead. "Star Trek roleplay!"

Elaine gestures over to a pair of chairs nestled in the corner of the small room with an end table sitting next to the two between the chairs and the bed. "What, like pretending to be Star Trek characters? I don't know how good at this I'd be but it does sound like fun."

"Hey, I'm not exactly an expert, but you know, there's that one movie I never saw the end of. Bridge to Terabithia. Those two kids were always playing pretend! And everything turned out great I assume." Magnes takes a sit, sitting all of his materials down onto the table, sitting a remote on her side. "I'm thinking that we're two red shirts, but we're red shirts who survive against all odds! We go out on interesting missions, exploring worlds and civilizations!"

"I play pretend with the children, sometimes. They've got great imaginations. I like to imagine too, about the sky and the stars and being on the outside. One day, maybe. Maybe not in my lifetime, but these kids might be lucky enough to see the stars. Real ones, not just ones we make on the ceiling for craft projects." Elaine nods slowly. "Alright, I'm willing to try your scenario. It has to be very dangerous since we are red shirts after all."

"Hey, before we start, can I ask… well, Peyton, she said that a lot of people down here, they really don't like hope. But, I don't know, you don't seem like someone who doesn't like hope." Magnes looks over at her, reaching out to gently touch her arm.

"Hope is… a delicate thing. You can't be too hopeful because you'll be let down, but it's a nice thing to think about. Maybe someday things will happen. It's not likely, but it keeps you going. You wake up and wonder 'will something happen today' and while the answer is 'probably not' it gets you out of bed in the morning," Elaine answers. "Peyton's right. A lot of people give up. I don't think a lot of people like me because they think I'm naive. It's a dark place in here. But someone's got to keep a light glowing." She places her other hand atop his and squeezes his fingers.

"I have hope. I have hope that I can save this place, make a better future for everyone. But I know I can't just say that to people, I know that if I fail, they'd be let down. Even the idea of them becoming hopeful, it's probably scary for everyone…" Magnes looks over at her and smiles, just sort of staring. "I don't care how crazy it is, I'll keep believing that I can find a way to make a better future for everyone, that one day I'll be able to fly you up into the air and show you the stars."

"You're a dreamer. I like that about you. I like that you don't give up. We need more of that spirit around here, especially around the kids." Elaine laughs lightly. "So if you can fly, you're half-way to the whole show-me-the-stars plan. Progress already, right?" She sighs dreamily. "We'll make it somehow. Or die trying. But that's not the worst way to die."

"We should probably roleplay before my heart entirely pounds out of my chest." Magnes laughs, slowly raising his hand to place it gently against her cheek. "Sorry, I shouldn't get so, uh, handsy. Sooo… I could set the scenario…"

Elaine leans her head in against his hand, feeling the warmth of it on her cheek. "You're more nervous than I am and I'm pretty nervous right now." She laughs. "But you promised me some Star Trek, so let's do the thing. Paint me a picture of the stars, Magnes."

"Alright, Star Date… I have no idea how Star Dates work. Star Date, I'm sure the Captain knows that, we've encountered a distress signal from a strange planet that doesn't seem to actually rotate. one side is perpetually super heated by its star, the other half is ridiculously cold, but right in the middle is a perfect line where civilization thrives." Magnes stands up, then reaches to take her hand, holding the broken remote in the other.

"If we look through the window, we can see a star much like our own sun. Our skin bathed in the warm light, even through the protective shielding of our starship's window." He slides the remote into his pocket, then steps behind her, moving to place both hands on her cheeks. "The warmth of the star is almost intoxicating, magnetic even. Too close, and we'd burn up, but from this distance, its beauty radiates, and we can practically bathe in it."

Elaine laughs as his hands are used to emulate the star's warmth on her cheeks. She stares in front of her as if she can see the star. "It's beautiful. But we have to keep our distance… I'd hate for us to burn up just because something looks so good. That's always a danger… being drawn in just by something pretty."

"But some pretty things, they're exactly the kinds of things you want to be drawn in by. It's just a matter of getting to know if they're as good as they look…" Magnes' hands slide from her cheeks, to her shoulders, then he reaches down for the remote. "We'll be landing soon. A few things to remember about this planet: They keep a cage up, to separate the zones where things get a little too hot, or a little too cold. Don't get beyond those zones. There's not a lot else we know about this planet, their civilization, so we could be walking into anything…"

Elaine nods slowly, listening to the instructions. "What are we looking for? Signs of life, ruins?" She looks around as if to observe their surroundings. "I can handle avoiding the hot and cold zones. They're caged for a reason. Cages usually mean danger." She laughs lightly. "But who knows what we'll find! Maybe we'll find out why things are so hot and so cold."

"Oh, that's simple. When planets don't spin, one side gets super heated, the other side gets super cold. The reason our Earth, for example, is such a nice temperature, is because it's spinning. Think of it like a rotisserie chicken, slowly spinning and getting evenly warmed." Magnes explains, as he walks back to the chair, to start pressing invisible buttons. "The middle part is perfectly in between the hot and cold zones, pretty much forever, unless something drastic happens. But the reason we're here is because of a distress signal!"

"I'm glad you're better at science than I am. I've never really thought about these things." Elaine laughs slightly as she listens to his explanation. But then he gets to the heart of the matter: the reason they're there. "Ooh, a distress signal? Was it just a beacon or was there some kind of mysterious message we have to decode?"

"It was a distress beacon, but the exact nature of the message was heavily encoded. That's why I was just going to have us go down there and see." Magnes admits, pressing some more invisible buttons. "Navigating will be a little difficult."

"A simple beacon… well, it will be a challenge then. We don't know what we'll find. It could be… a trap." Elaine makes the last part as dramatic as possible before she giggles. "But really, what do we have to do navigation wise that makes it challenging? Just moving around the hot and cold patches?"

"We have to get right in the middle. There's a lot of calculations involved. There's some interference from the star that's not allowing us to transport down." Magnes, once he's seemingly put their imaginary ship on autopilot, stands up to face her, reaching up to place a hand onto her cheek, looking down into her eyes. "There's a reason I wanted you to come with me…"

"I'm sure you're good with calculations. I was told you were a genius," Elaine explains. "Most geniuses are good at numbers. I'm certainly not." It's hard to tell if she's just being honest or if she's roleplaying at this juncture. Maybe both. But then he's looking at her. She turns bright red.

"Is it because I'm smart too? Or funny? You needed good company in case you die? I have a very particular set of skills…?" She isn't sure where he's going with this, but his hand is on her cheek and she can't stop blushing.

"I just… didn't have a good way of being alone with you, so I could get to know you, so I could see if we had chemistry…" Magnes says as he starts to lean in, his memory of the other Elaine quite clear, knowing what she liked, how she liked to be touched, the little things…

And then he stops, removing his hand. "What if you were a clone, a perfect clone of someone else, but you grew up differently, you have a different personality. But… I used to date a different version of you, it's over between us, but now I'm falling for you…"

"I acknowledge that you're a different person, but…" He shakes his head. "Would you be upset about being the clone, even though you're the one I'm interested in now, and I'm moving on from her?"

Now the lines between roleplay and real life have blurred and Elaine isn't sure how to answer. She seems to think for a moment or two before replying. "What's to say she's not a clone of me?" She smiles wryly. "Wouldn't all clones grow up thinking they're the real thing? Who says there has to be one real person and the others are just some kind of facsimile?"

She tilts her head. "Is this what those hypothetical questions were about? What do you mean by clones exactly if this isn't hypothetical." She looks concerned now. "Do I have some kind of twin I don't know about?"

"Well, not a clone…" Magnes reaches to take her hand, then walks to the bed, moving to sit on the edge, so that he can be next to her while he explains. "I can't tell you everything right now, exactly, though I do promise that I will, very soon. But for now, let's just say that, in a manner of speaking, you did have a twin, and I was in a relationship with her. But… she was very different from you. Some things are similar, but, you're definitely different people."

"I can't go into detail, not yet, but it really is bugging me. I feel a little guilty about it." He looks over at her and lightly sighs. "I like you for very different reasons than her, except the looks, that's… not really any different at all. She isn't shy, either, not at all really."

"So not a clone but someone who looks like me but acts different?" Elaine sits on the bed facing him. "I suppose I can understand that. But as long as you're interested in me for different reasons than you're interested in her. I suppose I just have to trust that you are honest about your feelings. And I do trust you Magnes, don't let me down."

She squeezes his fingers gently. "You're the most exciting thing to happen to me in a long time. You are telling me some very odd things, but they don't change my mind about you."

"If you trust me, then trust that I will tell you the truth when it's safe to tell you." Magnes reaches over to touch her cheek with his free hand, leaning in slightly. "I want to show you the stars, Elaine. But there's a lot I have to do before that can be possible, a lot I have to figure out… learning how to make the impossible happen is kind of my thing, but it's really hard."

"Hey…" he asks, his voice suddenly in a whisper. "I've noticed something, about things you've said, and your shyness… um… have you actually kissed a guy before?" he suddenly wonders.

"Okay. At some point I trust that the weird stuff you're being vague about will make sense," Elaine smiles slightly. "And I trust you'll make it so I can see the sky again. That's a big task but I believe in you. If anyone can do something that big, it's you. I haven't met anyone like you. You'll do big things, Magnes, big things. So at the very least, even though it's not much, you have me rooting for you. Maybe that will help."

"O-Oh." Well that's a question she wasn't expecting to have been asked. "I mean I—don't laugh, okay? I traded some books one time to get a guy to kiss me because I was so embarrassed I hadn't been kissed yet. It wasn't very good but it was something. So I guess if you count that then yes, but it almost doesn't count."

Magnes knows that this Elaine is different, but it would be a goddamned waste not to cheat a little and give this one good experiences with what he knows.

What would ancient philosophers say about situations like this? What would sci-fi authors who constantly go on about ethics use this as symbolism for? Things like this, they require years of thinking, decades of consideration.

Or I guess he just leans in, hand still on her face, to use literally everything he's learned about an Elaine Darrow's preferences to lead this Elaine Darrow to a more proper first kiss.

Elaine knows it's coming. She knows the kiss is approaching from the conversation they had. She even knows it from the way he put his hand on her cheek. But all of that doesn't prepare her for the kiss at all.

She leans in, kissing him back in what she assumes is the proper manner. And really, she's not bad—just extremely inexperienced. The other Elaine had a prior relationship before she met Magnes, this Elaine Darrow was a fresh start in most any way. As she leans in to kiss him back, she lets him be the one to pull back from it.

She's busy locking this kiss into her memories.

Magnes takes his time, his other hand moving up to slide up her back, gently grabbing the back of her neck. And, when he breaks it, he slowly moves back, takes a deep breath, and raises his arm to wipe his mouth. "Well, I'm pretty sure that counts."

"Yeah… yeah I think that one definitely counts," Elaine says, perhaps a little dazed. She's blushing but smiling as well. "Thank you for that. I was hoping for a first kiss that went something like that."

"I feel like I'm really bad at reaching the end of a roleplay." Magnes admits, then shrugs, reaching over to grab the back of her neck again. "Oh well, screw it. Let's just make out until we get bored of that."

There's a tiny smile from Elaine. "Next time you don't have to come up with an excuse to see me, alright? But I liked the roleplay. We just got distracted." She's clearly referring to the kiss. "And I wouldn't mind you distracting me."

And so they did.



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