You're Not You?

Participants:

colette3_icon.gif devon2_icon.gif kaylee3_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

dirk_icon.gif devon_icon.gif doc_icon.gif eve4_icon.gif gillian5_icon.gif graeme_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif varlane2_icon.gif

Scene Title You're Not You?
Synopsis Kaylee makes a horrifying discovery.
Date August 15, 2019

Darkness.

Deep and endless.

The most primitive parts of the human brain remembers when it was something to be truly feared. It is why as children we fear it and see things in the dark, crying for mommy and daddy to banish it away.

It is this darkness that surrounds both Kaylee and her companion. However, despite the inkyness pressing in around them, Kaylee offers a comforting smile to the young man in front of her. She gives Devon’s hands in hers a squeeze of reassurance. There was a surreal feeling to be able to see each other so clearly. While Kaylee normally lets the host’s mind form the scenery, this time she had taken control of the narrative, plunging them into eternal night.

The telepath’s eyes close, clearly she wasn’t done. Devon can feel the subtle shift in his mind. With a pop and hiss of white noise, TV screens come to life around them. Even the harsh glare of picture tubes don’t penetrate the dark.

Each screen clicks over to show a memory.

They were all Devon’s memories.


Devon's Mind

August 15th

9:17 am


Even the missing memories are represented by huge gaping holes, devoid of screens. It was those voids that brought them here. Or at least, the reason for them. Colette had agreed to help out on their day off, left to sit and wait; but the woman had demanded to go. Being a spotter wasn’t the most glamorous job, but a necessary one. So instead Bob is called into help, though he grumbles about important work… After the last mishap that landed her in a coma, Kaylee was nervous to work without someone watching and why her former bodyguard said yes.

«Now…» Kaylee says softly, letting go of Devon’s hands and turning to look one direction way and then another. Glancing down at the darkness they were standing on, Kaylee gives a tap of a foot and a brick path made of soft golden light stretches into the distance, through the field of TVs.

Once complete, Devon gets a mischievous grin from Kaylee. ##FFFF80|«Now we follow the yellow brick road.”»#

It’s corny, but it works.

“Well that explains a lot,” Devon muses loud enough for Kaylee to hear as well, while he makes a round to look at the various blank screens. Dry humor touches his tone, the joke implying his sometimes empty-headedness easily made at his own expense. He turns back to Kaylee as she speaks, then allows his eyes to follow the path that manifests.

“Lions and tigers and bears?” It's a lame joke, but now actually on the precipice of venturing further into his mind gives him not much else of a defense. And that makes him a little uneasy.

A glance slants toward Kaylee before Devon takes the first step. “Promise me we're not going to run into flying monkeys or killer poppies though.”

«Only if I wanted us too,» Kaylee comments with a chuckle. To make her point, the telepath lifts her arm and a flying monkey pops - literally with a ‘pop’ sound - on her arm. It is far smaller than the ones in the movies, men in monkey suits, but still a literal monkey with wings. It looks at Devon, leaning forward curiously, before it gives a loud shrieking hiss before launching into the air. After a few flaps of its wings, it literally turns to dust and floats away on an invisible wind.

The young man gets a wink, before Kaylee turns her attention to the screens as she moves down the yellow brick road.

This is where it gets weird for him.

As screens catch her attention, Kaylee reaches up and pulls the TV screen from the wall, using it like an ipad, flicking through the memories, while she walks. «Not quite sure what I am looking for… but…» She stops in front swath of darkness, but three screens are scattered through it. «These are the memories we recovered.» Lips press in disappointment are how much dead space there is around those memories.

Devon smirks at the manifested flying monkey. It's tempting to reach for it. How tangible is a thought like that, especially when it isn't his own that created it? He keeps from touching, breathing a laugh when the thing shrieks and takes flight. His head lifts and he follows the monkey’s path until the screens take over.

Lions and tigers and bears might be more preferable to so much emptiness.

He'd been told months had passed, but Devon often struggled to wrap his mind around that. The gap between the mission and the beach, as it fit within his frame of understanding, was a matter of hours or perhaps a day. Seeing it represented as it is, as he stands beside Kaylee, puts it into perspective.

It's troubling, daunting.

“I don't know if I can do this…” comes from behind Kaylee, followed by the tentative steps of Colette out from her silhouette into Devon’s mindscape. Strikingly, her eyes are green here, not blinded like Devon has only ever known them. “I don't…” Colette looks around, brows furrowed, “this feels wrong.”

Tucking her hands into the sleeves of her unbuttoned flannel shirt, Colette looks over at Devon with a sympathetic expression and a slow shake of her head. They hadn't actually talked since he'd come back from the dead, not more than professionally while she was on the job with the NYPD. This was something altogether different. It was surprisingly intimate. Surprisingly alien.

“What’re we looking for?” Colette asks, looking over to Kaylee with her bottom lip pinned between her teeth.

«I don’t know yet,» is Kaylee’s answer to Colette’s question, the words spoken slowly as she concentrates on the void that stretches out before them. «Something hidden,» Kaylee murmurs as she strikes out, only the golden glow of the path and that trio of monitors like small stars, flickering and shifting. The telepath heads towards on in particular, the last one she uncovered… the escape. It was the only memory she hadn't really seen too closely herself.

Pulling the TV close, Kaylee watches it for a moment, before hanging it in front of her and throwing her hands apart, instantly the TV grows to become something more like a small movie screen.

«Welcome to working with a telepath,» Kaylee comments to Colette, looking at her friend. The younger woman has never been through this kind of venture. Even though they had a moment a long time ago. FFFF80|«You’ll get used to it, most have. Helps that I have an ethic.»## Her family certainly has gotten used to the ventures.

«This is why I question the motivation and purpose behind your escape.» Devon’s escape from the submarine. Kaylee looks to the young man and motions to the blank screens around it. «Where are the rest of the memories tied to this and why was this moment hidden behind a door. Someone blocked your memory after… or… this was an earlier escape.» A hand presses against the screen, feeling the texture of the memory, but honestly, a good manipulator could easily fool her.

Turning slightly, Devon breaks from his uneasy stare at the blank screens to look at Colette. The shrug he offers first could be seen as apologetic, even sympathetic for different reasons. “Whatever we can,” he supplies a beat later, after Kaylee has filled in some of the details. “They left some gaps.”

It's a bit of an understatement. But he follows that with a shrug also.

With his arms folding against his chest, Devon looks at the screens. For one who tries so hard to keep things tucked away and untouchable, he's doing a fine job of not showing his concern about others being witness to his memories. Maybe it has to do that old thought and practice, pretend it doesn't bother you and people will leave it alone. If that even really works. “I'm hoping that we just missed something. Or… we’ll uncover new information. Anything.” Anything useful.

Colette makes a noise in the back of her throat, shaking her head as she stays close to Kaylee. She keeps working the fabric of her flannel sleeves between her fingers, shoulders hunched forward as she considers the impossibilities of the mindscape around her. “What if this is a bad idea?” She asks, to neither of them in particular. “Are— are you sure Devon didn't make himself forget? People do that. As a defense mechanism.”

Colette sounds certain of that much.

“We can't just— it might not be safe to just start peeling up corners of the fucking carpet in his head. Because yeah, it might be hardwood floors beneath. But it might also be like— bloodstains?” Scrunching her expression up, Colette looks anxiously over at Devon. It's his head.

«I could send you back out to hang with Bob,» is Kaylee’s offered response to Colette’s distress, not really looking at the woman. Instead, the telepath busies herself shrinking the memory and putting it back. Only then does she turn to look back at her friend, her expression unreadable.

«Devon and I discussed it. These memories were from the first scan I did,» Kaylee motions to the trio that twinkle soundlessly. «They were hidden from him. I’m just going to take another look, deeper to see if there is anything I missed the first time.» Sounded simple enough to her.

«However,» Kaylee turns to Devon and motions to him, «if you want to abort, I will not hold it against you. Sometimes, learning the truth can be dangerous or hurtful. Once out, I might not be able to put the blocks back up, if you don’t like what we find.» The telepath has offered those words before, but she offered them again, for Colette’s sake.

He hasn't forgotten the warnings from their first trip. They could stop, but then nothing would be achieved. Devon would remain grasping for understanding, wondering about what happened within that chunk of missing time. He could learn to live with the disruption, but the not knowing what happened would probably, with a terribly aching slowness, drive him toward insanity. It still isn't an easy choice, but it had been made when he'd brought the question up to the telepath.

He looks at Colette, wondering briefly if she'd choose to go back. There'd be no blame or shame if she did.

“I remember.” Quiet confirmation that he's ready to go forward. The outcome now could as easily destroy him as the never knowing. Nothing is without its risks. “If shit turns sideways, we get out though. I don't need to turn my brain into scrambled eggs again and I don't want to see either of you hurt.”

Closing her eyes, as if that would do anything, Colette shakes her head and stays fast at Kaylee’s side. “Hounds stick together,” is a surprising thing for Colette to say given that she retired, but the bonds she forged in Wolfhound wouldn't be so easily broken by something as simple as distance or a change of careers. Devon has gone missing on her watch, on her last assignment. His presumed death was all it took for her to leave forever.

Now, in some strange twist of fate, she has a chance to make right what went wrong there. To be there for her teammate when she couldn't before. Not everyone gets second chances like that. “I'm in,” Colette says resolutely.

The telepath had been fully prepared to let go of the other woman’s mind, but is pleased when she decides to stick it out. Kaylee rests a comforting hand on Colette’s shoulder. «I have no intentions of letting anything happen to either of you.» It is the best assurance the telepath can offer. Doesn’t mean they can’t become trapped by the right circumstances.

They didn’t need to know that though.

The hand slides off Colette’s shoulder after a brief squeeze, so that Kaylee can step out into the middle of the darkness. Devon can feel the shift in his mind again, feel the brush of her telepathy as it curls through the young man’s memories. Surrounded by that darkness, Kaylee lifts her arms out to each side, she can almost imagine the tendrils of her ability, like the coils of a snake slithering along in a silent search into every corner of his mind looking for anything that could be that one thing she missed.

Devon’s mouth turns up with a slight grin when Colette chooses to stay. It’s a relief and comfort to have another Hound with him. Doesn’t matter that she’s moved on to other things, he still recognizes Colette as a member of the pack. The grin fades seconds later as he sobers to the task ahead, and he mouths a thank you to his teammate.

A look slants to Kaylee, drawing his attention to her and not the darkness around them. That feeling of rummaging, no matter how faint, is still unnerving. Brows furrow, nervousness shows in a shift of his feet and a roll of a shoulder. He’s no longer sure if he hopes they find anything.

Or if he hopes they don’t.

Sometimes, if you hope hard enough for something, it’s what you get.

“What’re we looking for?” Colette asks, sticking close to Kaylee’s side. But the darkness that surrounds them is as suffocating as it is impenetrable. As they pluck through Devon’s memories, tug at threads of things experienced, there’s a growing sense of unease in the back of Kaylee’s mind.

Devon holds his hands up, the sticky note clinging to one palm as the card man's tone changes. Yikes, hostility! "Woah, okay there. Dirk? Um… I was told… I was… You sure? Told me to meet him here, let the guy at the desk know and …You sure?" Did he get the day wrong? Or worse… is he late?

The hand with the sticky note falls to his side, while the other combs through Devon's hair. "Why don't you try again," he suggests, trying to play along despite the sudden feeling of uncertainty. His tongue pokes out, wetting his lower lip nervously, and he completely misses Brad's arrival.

Colette’s brows furrow, recognizing Bradley Russo from interviews at Fort Jay following the events on Liberty Island more than a year ago now. Kaylee, like a bargain shopper at a second hand clothing store, rifles through the racks of Devon’s memories with a deft hand and a keen eye. The familiar, the personal, the past, the present, they all have a tactile sensation that exists solely in the conscious plane. It’s like someone who can tell expensive fabric by a touch. She knows what she’s looking for, and this isn’t it.

Hands burrow further into his pockets as Devon falls into step beside Jaiden. His eyes tick toward the street side then pick a point ahead to watch where he'll go. "Wasn't sure who was behind me," he explains. It's not offered to be an excuse, just admitting to he realized someone was following. "Watching movies helps get an idea of things. I'll do better next time."

"I know you will. You did well, all things considered, and watching movies…that's one of the better ways to get some ideas, but remember the people who wrote the movies didn't have to count on those to keep them alive." Jaiden walks along with him, hands in his pockets, looking all the world like two friends just on their way somewhere which, in fact, they are. Also, walking on the street means anonymity in a crowd - they can talk without fear of being overheard by anyone who matters. "Remember to try vertically, if possible. And with your talent, you can do things other than use streets."

“This is nuts…” Colette whispers, watching distant images of memories play out in the darkness as Kaylee searches between and around them for things hidden or left unseen.

Colette’s question doesn’t get an answer, Kaylee is fully focused on what she’s doing. Threads tugged, faded memories peered at. Every manipulator has a signature, a fingerprint. It is like a familiar smell or the sound of a familiar voice. She’ll know it the instant she touches it. Unlike last time, Kaylee was dipper deeper into the memories, into his mind. Touching the dark corners, looking to scare something out.

Devon himself, with find himself remembering the oddest things when the telepath brushes certain memories to look at it closer. Something he forgot happened, is now fresh and clear.

Though, Colette can see a slight furrow to Kaylee’s brows. A good sign or bad to was hard to tell with how quiet she is being, fully engrossed in the process.

“That guy is a certifiable asshole.” Devon’s very humble opinion of Dirk isn't even murmured but spoken at completely conversational levels. He vaguely remembers that day, his first as an intern at Studio K. He shakes his head at it.

The glimpse of him and Jaiden is even less remembered I'm specifics. The lesson that day was taken to heart but nothing else.

“Yeah,” Devon voices an offhand agreement to Colette’s opinion. What if there isn't anything to find, the memories could have been burned out. It doesn't change the choice to look, he doesn't ask Kaylee to stop. He chews on his bottom lip to witness memories brought up and put aside by the telepath’s hand.

Colette is rapt by the process, walking along beside Kaylee as Devon’s life experiences are illuminated like vignettes in a stage play in the distant darkness around them. But Colette can’t know or see what it is that has Kaylee’s brows so furrowed. There’s no way anyone but Kaylee could notice it. Memories have textures, the culmination of every sensory perception and experience boiled down to a jolt when they’re probed. It’s not unlike the way a song or a smell can make a person remember a fraction of a moment. Kaylee had noticed something before, the first time she was in Devon’s mind, about those textures.

There’s something off about them.

It isn’t that they’re wrong, or that they’re fabrications. The memories are very real, very much Devon’s, but there’s something about them that’s familiar when it shouldn’t be. Like a film or a residue on the memories, something tactile that changes their quality. She’s felt it before.

She’s felt it in the dark recesses of Curtis’ mind, where the government ripped his identity out and then pieced it back together, the day they made Ash. Whoever in the US government performed that memory modification on Curtis before the civil war was the same person who modified Devon’s memories of his captivity with Adam’s people.

When Devon pulls away, Graeme lets Devon have space, for a moment, moving back to sit on the skateboard again and rolling back and forth slightly, almost but not quite restless. "You can't beat yourself up over this," he adds, still quiet. "Take the time and space to grieve however you want, but no beating yourself up for something you couldn't have known would happen."

"She told me Heller was there when the social worker came to take Junie." Devon's eyes lift slightly, slanting toward Graeme though still partially hidden beneath his hat. "Tell me it's coincidence. Tell me… Tell me it was some… something random. That it had nothing… to do with…" He leaves the words to hang, unable to finish what he doesn't believe to be true. It's too much to be coincidence, that the same night, hours after he, Melissa, and Remi had made a failed attempt at getting information from Valentin, the house where Junie and her grandparents were killed in a fire. The teenager drops a hand to the newspaper in his lap, fingers curling to crumple the newsprint while the image of his actions turns hazy as he watches.

Heller,” Colette says in a flinty whisper, her hands balling into fists at the mention of the now-dead soldier’s name. Kaylee can feel, united in a mindscape like this, the boiling anger of years past rising to the forefront of her thoughts.

Colette’s anger isn’t the only emotion that rises, Kaylee’s own rises the meet it. However, for the telepath, it is accompanied by fear and panic that is associated with that name. The memories of a flash of steel and the blossoming pain from his assassins blade.

It disrupts the telepath’s concentration and she falters, sending her stumbling a few steps. For a moment, the other two become a bit more aware of the outside world and the soft sound of Bob talking to someone quietly on the phone. Then it is gone and they firmly set in Devon’s mindscape again.

Kaylee glances over at Colette, with a flat look, «Please take a deep breath,» She takes a breath of her own, trying to get her own emotions in check. «Your emotions are bleeding over mine,» which blonde woman was surprised about. Taking another deep breath, she turns back to the task and pushes away the sharp ache that was starting to build behind her eyes, and continues the search.

Catching them before they were kicked out of Devon’s mind, took more effort than she thought. Like catching yourself before falling off a cliff. She was feeling a bit of whiplash.

The memory pricks like a needle, sharp and surprisingly painful. Devon has buried that one deep enough to move on, but revealed now he remembers the guilt. One of his greatest mistakes was allowing people to follow him on that fool mission.

It's a relief when the mindscape wavers and Bob’s voice enters his awareness. The brief interruption helps Dev keep his face set without emotion, gives him a second to pull his thoughts away from the emotions connected to that memory. Or at least try. His eyes flick to Kaylee and Colette when the world within his mind returns, brows raising slightly.

Sorry,” Colette hisses, ducking her head down as she tries not to watch the personal moments of Devon’s life play out in psychic diorama around her. One brow raised, she looks at Kaylee and seems uncertain of what they’re looking for or hoping to find. Making a noise in the back of her throat, she rests a hand on Kaylee’s arm. “Kaylee, take it easy. Maybe— maybe there’s nothing to find.”

And there isn’t.

The more Kaylee pages through Devon’s mind the more and more she pulls through the memories the more she realizes there’s nothing else hidden away here, no more scraps of memory to find. No more hidden messages from Joy. There’s only—

Seams?

Kaylee’s rifling through the memories comes to a halt. She backtracks, then goes forward again, then repeats the process one more time to be sure. Between old memories of Devon’s, memories where everyone looks younger, memories where New York City isn’t the Safe Zone, she feels something. A psychic texture. Like a bead of solder running down the links between moments in his mind.

A thought comes to Kaylee’s mind, one that — in a place like this — emerges from the darkness with a life all its own.

When Kaylee opens the door, there's a riotous clashing of metal inside the room. A wheeled cart is knocked over, followed by the clatter of forceps and clamps skittering across tile and out the door, followed by a frantic and severely injured man in his fifties. He's balding, and what little hair he has left is dark in swaths but mostly gray and curly. Most of his hair is matted down by blood seeping from a gash on the top of his head. His lab coat is stained dark with blood and not all of it looks like his.

Jesus Christ thank fucking god!” The doctor exclaims, fingers wound into Kaylee’s sleeves as if she were a tall guardian angel come here to save him. He is, notably, shorter than her. But then, wife and panicked eyes see past Kaylee, past Lene, see Gillian.

Stef?” Gillian can see the name tag on his jacket clearly. Doctor Elijah Carpenter. The memory copier. Former Moab inmate come — what? — Institute doctor?

A dawning horror and confusion sets in on Kaylee. Rapidly, she flicks through more of Devon’s memories. “Kaylee?” Colette asks in a small voice, brows raised in concern. But it’s there, it’s everywhere, those seams are between moments in Devon’s life from childhood all the way up through the day of the raid on Sunstone Manor, but nowhere after. It’s like…

…it’s like his memories were patchworked back together. By a memory copier.

But—

The smell of oranges swarm Eve’s senses and her eyes go wide, the red light making it almost seem as if her eyes are that milk white they get when she is having a vision. Shaking her head from side to side she pounds her free fist into her thigh as she takes in the man’s face. “I’m looking in the wrong place,” her tone frantic as the look in her eyes.

Eve pounds forward fast and moving to push anyone out of the way that she needed too. “The princess,” She cocks her Desert Eagle swinging it to point at the man’s temple, grabbing his blood splattered coat with a pale hand holding him at length.

Doc turns to Kaylee, "We've gotta get out of— "

“Is in another CASTLE!” Eve screams as she pulls the trigger. Whatever warning he was tearfully trying to convey to Kaylee is lost when Eve pulls the trigger of her gun. There’s an explosion at the side of Doc Carpenter’s head, a spray of blood and bone against the wall beside Kaylee, and the doctor slouches into her arms and then his weight drags him to the floor.

##Whatever secrets he had, whatever information he was trying to convey, those possibilities shrivel and die with a single choice.##

It’s impossible. Doc Carpenter is dead.

A sharp intake of air hisses between the telepath’s clenched teeth and eyes refocus. How many nights did that man’s face haunt her dreams. Of course, she’d recognize his work. There was no way to forget it after that tragedy. Kaylee looks at Colette, ignoring her for a moment. Instead, she turns to Devon. The way she looks at him, she felt like she was looking at something strange and yet familiar, it could easily look like confusion. «This… This isn’t right…»

Colette suddenly vanishes, as if she'd never existed in the first place. Ejected from the mindscape.

Freed of some of her efforts, Kaylee reaches up to cradle Devon’s face between her hands. His face is studied for a moment, as if looking for imperfection, while she says, «I need you to trust me. I am going to look a little deeper.» The telepath’s eyes shut and Devon feels the pressure increase, it’s uncomfortable, but not painful. It was obvious she was looking for something.

In fact, it wasn’t a memory she was looking for…

«For now, we have a task,» Kaylee gives Varlane an encouraging smile, hand moving to touch his temple. «We know you’re connected to other versions of yourself. Mateo and Lynette are worried about their children. So let’s start there, hmm?» Her ability wraps around his mind in an attempt to focus his connection. To try and keep out the rest, she braces herself for the job ahead.

As much as she is curious about the Ms. Bellamy comment, Kaylee brings her friends to the forefront of her mind and Varlane’s memories.

“It… doesn’t work like that,” Magnes says with one hand raking through his hair. “It’s… I’m not you, I can’t just make things happen inside my head. It’s like… it’s like I’m a radio. I’m stuck tuned in to one channel, but the frequencies are always changing, so I never know what I’m going to pick up. Dad— ” he falters for a moment, “he— Dad wanted me to learn how to control it, but I can’t. That’s not… it’s— I’ve tried.”

Kaylee was looking for a link.

Worry touches his expression for the first time since embarking on this trip. Devon's eyes dart between Kaylee and Colette. Right up until Colette vanishes like someone cut from a film. “What,” is the start of the question while he stares at the place Colette had been occupying.

His attention, peeling from that query to go on to the next, jumps abruptly to Kaylee when she takes hold of his face. “Wait, why…”

Devon's protest ends as his mind is picked through. The discomfort of it draws a frown, and he sort of leans away while covering Kaylee’s hands with his. Not to interrupt but to alleviate the pressure.

There is a sound that escapes Kaylee, whatever she was looking for she found it. The telepath’s eyes a shiny with tears when they finally open. «Devon… there is a link in your head.» The memories of her last run in with a clone were still fresh and even though this one was different…

Kaylee lets go of his head and brushes at tears that are not really there.

“Adam has a clone of you somewhere or…” As much as Kaylee hates to admit it, “you may very well be the clone. Worse is the two of you are mentally linked, which means that…

“You’re spying for them.”

Kaylee holds up her hands immediately to stall any protest. “I’m not saying you are doing it, but they can use that link to see where and what you have done.” There is anxiety in her words, because.. this was big..

Uneasiness causes Devon's brows to knit. Anger and worry roil together in sickening waves as the news begins to sink in. A clone. A link inside his head. There's something different about him. Mentally linked to his other self. He's genetically changed.

He might be the clone.

A clone that's spying for them.

Dev takes a step backward. His thoughts scatter like spilled marbles. “That… no. No way.” Clones aren't impossible, but this? They'd said he'd died, barely more than a charred carcass. Of course, that could have been fabricated. His hands raise and fingers curl into his hair. “That’s impossible. That's… I mean… I don't know what I mean.”

«We need… //» Kaylee starts to pace away in thought, but ends up shaking her head when the answers are not immediate. «We need the others, is what we need.» Sometimes, you just needed back up.

«//Okay… //» Turning back to Devon, Kaylee takes a deep breath.

«I need to block the memory of //this conversation.» She doesn’t approach him, not yet. The telepath isn’t going to force it on him, but she offers more. «As far as you’ll know, we didn’t find anything and now I’m going to make you dinner.» At least Kaylee wasn’t a bad cook. «This will give everyone time to gather, then I will unblock it again. I-If you are okay with that?//» Teeth catch worriedly at her bottom lip as waits for his okay.

Devon's eyes track after Kaylee, but he remains rooted in place. His fingers loosen enough so he can drag through his hair then lock together against the back of his neck. The idea of bringing others in rattles him further. It's sensible, of course there are people who need to be told. But…

“They're going to lock me away.” His tone is strangely calm, quiet. As ridiculous as the concern sounds, it's a strong possibility.

He squeezes his eyes shut, breath catching as though suddenly pained. Dev’s hands separate, slide from his neck to his face. His palms press against his eyes. Maybe it helps with processing, if he rubs hard enough at flesh and bone the world will right itself. He will wake up from the nightmare that began in January.

He exhales slowly…

one…

two…

three…

and drops his hands from his face to find Kaylee looking at him. Still waiting for his answer. “Yeah.” Devon’s tone is resigned, and he looks uneasy. “If that'll… I don't know.” How would blocking it help, if he was spying before he knew? “Whatever you think’s best.”

“I don’t think they will,” Kaylee understands his worry, but… “I.. I kind of think there is an opportunity here, but we need time. I especially,” the telepath reaches up at presses two fingers to her forehead where a small ache is forming. “I need time.”

Kaylee studies Devon as she approaches him, “I don’t know how the others will react, but… I’ve learned that going it alone isn’t the way. Sometimes, you just need help.“ A finger lifts to press at the center of his forehead, “When all of this is over, I promise you…"

"You will get all of your memories back.”


Kaylee's Apartment

The Physical World


The world suddenly tips and both Kaylee and Devon’s eyes open in the telepath’s apartment simultaneously; though Kaylee gives a bit of a flinch at the forming headache. Bob, knowing the signs, is already snapping to action to get what she needs for it. “So.. you find anything?” he calls back over his shoulder as he does so.

“No,” Kaylee supplies, with a brief glance at Colette.

«I need your help.» Kaylee’s voice echoes through Colette’s mind, after establishing a noticeable presence. An attempt not to startle her friend. «I need you to pretend you have someplace to go. Call Richard, Liz and the Wolfhounds, tell them to meet us here. I promise I’ll explain everything later, but trust me when I say this is urgent.»

Meanwhile…

“Sorry, Devon, but at least we won’t keep wondering. Though I imagine it’s a bit of a relief.” Kaylee looks suitably calm and apologetic, even as she worries internally. For all Devon knows they found nothing, the conversation before suitable locked behind a door. Her smile brightens and gives his arm a pat, moving to get up. “How about I work on that meal I promised you? I haven’t cooked for anyone but me for a few months now. It’ll be a nice change.”

Blind eyes focus squarely on Kaylee, and for all that Colette tries to hide her worry from Devon she can’t. Momentarily, she turns her head to regard him, then looks back to the telepath and then her bodyguard before boosting up to stand.

“I’ve— ” Colette’s hands open and close, forefingers and thumb rubbing together, “gotta go. This was…” she flicks a look to Kaylee, “too much for me. Mindscapes. Stuff.” It isn’t a good lie, but she doesn’t care.

She just wants out.


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