Be Present


elisabeth2_icon2.gif magnes_icon2.gif

Scene Title Be Present
Synopsis Getting home in an all-consumingly huge task… but there are some things more important than that.
Date September 29, 2013

Magnes and Elaine's Place

It's once again one of those days that Elisabeth is invited to Magnes' house, to the basement.

And just like the last time, there are revelations.

He takes his evidence out of the safe for this, putting all the photographs back onto his board. But this time there are extra photos. Enlarged photos of math equations, an old photo of David Cardinal and a blonde woman, among other things.

Wearing his green Surge t-shirt with a pair of blue jeans and his black Converse, he moves out of the way, then motions to the board. "We've uncovered this, and we can only hope that Arthur Petrelli has no way of recovering this, but we can't count on that either."

Elisabeth left the baby upstairs with Elaine to play with Adelle. They're small enough to be tossed into Baby Jail and play next to each other quite nicely usually. Down here in the basement, she has her arms crossed as she studies his new intel. She studies the picture closely and smiles just a little. "I'd… really like to take this with me, if you don't mind. I want to make sure it goes home with us, if I can."

Sighing, she studies the math that is so fucking far over her head it might as well be on Mars. "Okay… uhm… here's the problem now. I can't comprehend that level of mathematics. And given that she was a hypercognitive… I'm not entirely sure anyone else can either. Unless we can get to Edward Ray. He helped her work on it. And all I ever learned about the other partner is that his name was Richard something. David didn't know his last name. Possible we could try to find him. But… knowing Arthur, he's either dead or wishes he were."

"It's for determining frequencies. I don't know what kind of frequencies, but that's what the math is for." Magnes explains, then crosses his arms, considering. "I've been thinking that I should show this to the lead of my lab team. Tamara wouldn't put us with someone who has any kind of loyalty to Pinehearst. If we could keep this all secret and work on it…"

"I get what you mean, but this is the key, everything is here, it's just… it's a lot, but it's here. She was a hypercognitive, but that's probably why she wrote it all in so much depth, so that someone could understand." He looks over at her, frowning. "Who can we trust with this? I have a… possible idea, a possibly horrible idea, but it's an idea nonetheless."

When Magnes says "frequencies," Elisabeth pauses and considers something. So damn much SCIENCE in all of this that she struggles to understand, but one thing about frequencies did catch her attention as she was trying to learn string theory through all of this. "Don't stars emit different frequencies?" she asks. "Like… isn't there a background frequency in space or something? Does that frequency change over time? Or…. is it possible that it changes from timeline to timeline, and she was trying to map it? Because the machine was supposed to be a window into alternate realities…. so it would seem to me to make sense that she was trying to tune the machine, so to speak. Like you would a radio frequency, right?"

She glances at him and grimaces. "Tell me who you're thinking?"

"Wait, maybe that would explain the aurora. Auroras are radiation from the sun basically slamming against the Earth's magnetic sphere or something like that." Magnes rubs his chin, considering this. "But we're still a long way away from figuring this out, I think. I can kind of tell what it's all for but it might as well be Chinese. It's going to take me a long time, and whoever else I show this to. The lab is probably the best bet, but…"

"I was thinking of the painting, where Gabriel has Ruiz's ability. What if… Gabriel knows how to take abilities without killing someone?" he considers, before saying the, well, insane part. "What if we got Hiro, right? And Hiro took Gabriel back in time, without actually interferring with her, and could harmlessly copy Michelle's ability…"

Elisabeth blows out a long breath. "It's not a bad thought. But I don't want to act on that idea yet. Because as soon as we start messing around with this, we're going to draw the wrong attention. So… without actually building anything or asking Gabriel Gray — who doesn't really know us from a hole in the ground — favors that he has no reason to grant that may in fact ruin his life…. let's keep on this from other angles." She looks at Magnes. "I promised him that we would keep him out of this, Magnes. As much as humanly possible. I would really like to keep my word on that. I'm hoping that the painting implies that he'll be able to act as a power boost for us to get home, but honestly, I don't want to give anyone in this timeline any reason to look in that man's direction while he tries to build a life."

"This is scary, having this information. Not only because we don't know how to use it yet, but because it puts us all in possible danger. We don't know what Arthur Petrelli is thinking." Magnes lifts his legs up, floating in the air with them crossed. He needs a break. "I just want Elaine and Adell to be safe."

"All the more reason to lay low," Elisabeth says firmly. "Asking too many questions all at once, finding information like this and then making any noise about it at all… those things will draw them to us fast. Far before we're ready for them. Okay? We don't have an army — we have a small resistance cell. Short, fast, tactical strikes and then we disappear into the crowd and blend in. And we don't strike again until no one is looking." She reaches up and rubs her forehead, sighing. "It's really sad when urban terrorist tactics are something you're good enough at that they become second nature."

"We don't have a lot of time to figure this math out. In science terms, this could take years. Which means I have to decide who I'm going to trust. But it feels so much like peeling that wallpaper opened Pandora's Box…" Magnes goes to get the photo of David and the woman from the wall, then carries it over to Elisabeth. "I keep thinking that it feels like the end of the world, the possible end of every world, and I have to find a way to stop it. I've felt like that more and more, the longer we're here, the more I realize that Arthur Petrelli is like this god who controls everything… it's almost worse than Kazimir."

Taking the picture, she looks at the two young people contained in it… so silly. Practically children still, hippie kids. So many things went so wrong and destroyed their lives and so many others. Elisabeth looks up at Magnes and nods slowly. "I understand where you're coming from, Magnes. I do…. But I'm going to tell you basically the same thing Tamara told you. You cannot save everyone. Sometimes you have to choose who you're going to save… is it going to be us, the babies? Or are you going to try to save this world? Virus…. that was a different thing. We were dead even if we didn't try, so it was a no-brainer. Here? It's not as cut and dried. Here, the choice to step up and attempt to topple Petrelli could get our children killed. And while it's not perfect… neither was our home. You can't spend your life taking responsibility for changing everyone else's circumstances. Yes… you should step up and do what you can to help people. But you have to know where that line is, Magnes."

"See, my concern is for Arthur Petrelli gaining the ability to go into our world, or other worlds, and just… who knows what. We need to establish communication, we need to find a way to at least warn people back home, so they can prepare. We need more than guerilla warfare, that's what I've been thinking for a long time. We need a world where the government is on our side." Magnes looks around, then shakes his head. "That isn't going to be this world, Tamara told me that much. But if we aren't going to change this world, we have to prepare for the consequences of what Arthur does."

Elisabeth moves to sit on the couch. "Magnes…" They've been away from home nearly two years. "I'm fine with preparing for the consequences of Arthur," she says, sounding more weary than he's heard her in a long time. "But I don't want to go on a fucking crusade to attempt to save this world. I would be content with getting a message out to our world warning them and with making sure the people here have what they need to fight Arthur themselves. I told you when we got here — I am not jumping timelines with you and attempting to save all the worlds we land on. I have to focus on saving us. And I need that to be your primary focus too. We are not superheroes with unflagging stamina. We are people — and we are few. Yes, we can help change things for the better. But I don't want the responsibility of fixing everyone else's problems. We have enough of our own. If we can fix some of theirs while fixing our own, great. If we can only fix theirs by basically ignoring our own — which is what we're doing if your focus is on how to solve the Arthur problem here instead of how to get a message home and/or get a portal open — I am not willing to go that route. I'm sorry. It might be just a little selfish. But I think we've earned the right to not fight everyone else's wars."

"I know, I honestly agree with you… I'm just concerned. That us getting home might be the very thing causing all of this to happen. I don't know, it's… I'm sorry. You don't need all of the things I'm thinking about." Magnes runs his fingers through his hair, walking up to the kitchen, but he keeps talking. "I feel powerless, I feel blind, like I have no control. I need to fix that, I need to get one step ahead…"

"You are one step ahead," Elisabeth tells him, getting off the couch and following him up the stairs. "It's more information than we had, and we're not going to stop digging. As long as Arthur leaves us alone, we'll leave him alone…" She pauses, though, and gives him a faint smile. "We personally will leave him alone, that is. That's not to say we won't make goddamn sure to empower people like Ivanov and Gabriel and whoever else we think is in position to get Arthur fucking Petrelli off his throne. And in this timeline, it won't require Advent to kill his ass…. so far as we know, he doesn't have regen yet. Which means he's killable."

"Have you seen Claire around at all?" Magnes asks, because when she says about regeneration, it certainly occurs to him that he hasn't heard about her in this world, or seen her or anything. "Either way… we'll get there, I'm sure. I'm just… tired. I'm very tired. I'm overwhelmed by the idea of the future, by all of these worlds, by what I have to do next, what I have to do after that. I just want to be close to Elaine and not think about anything…"

"No, I haven't," Liz answers his question. "But… given that her father was Company, I'm not surprised. Hopefully Bennet got them underground — he is one of the smartest agents I ever met, outside Ben Ryans…" Whose name brings a host of complex memories, given the disparity between home and Virus Ryans. She pushes it to the back of her mind for consideration another time. "I'm sure she's fine," she finishes the thought.

Walking into the kitchen, Elisabeth wraps her arms around Magnes in a rare show of affection. "Stop thinking. We are both prone to taking a lot of responsibility that is not really ours to take. If you're not still talking to the therapist, go back and see them for a bit. Sometimes I have to talk my way through the same sense of drowning under the idea that I'm failing at getting us home, Mags. I told you when we got here… this is a marathon, not a sprint. Take the time you need to recharge. Okay?" She draws away from him and ruffles him lightly, glancing toward the living room where two babies sit side by side thoroughly ignoring one another. There is a hint of a sadness to her that never quite fades. Her daughter is a living reminder of home. But she's also learned another lesson here in this world. "No matter what else we do… it's these moments that are important. Don't miss them because you're stressing the future. Be present in the moment."

"Yeah… thanks. I guess it's not like the universe is going to crack open any time soon. We'll get home so I can get married eventually. At least I get to look forward to the fact that nothing we experience here will be worse than Elaine from my world going nuclear when she learns about this." Magnes has thought about that quite a few times, and walks into the dining room to peel his shirt off, replacing it with a grey shirt that says Dad to the Bone. "Alright, I'm ready to dad."

Elisabeth has to laugh quietly. "Oughtta be damn entertaining…. Which do you think will be funnier — Elaine going nuclear or Richard pulling out all the stops to try to trip me up somehow because he's damn sure I'm some kind of imposter?" The twinkle in her blue eyes is wicked. "Bet you $10 he spends at least four hours interrogating me."

"I at least don't have to worry about that." Magnes turns around and raises his shirt, something she's probably noticed a few times, showing off the colorful dragon tattoo around his belly button. "It's an Evolved tattoo. Xiulan gave it to me a long time ago. It's pretty much the absolute way to tell that I'm not a clone. Of the known timelines, I think there's only one possible timeline where I actually have this tattoo other than where we're from."

Tilting her head, Elisabeth smiles. "Xiulan did mine too." The battered, bloodied warrior angel with midnight-blue-and-black-tipped wings on her shoulderblade whose haunted face has an uncanny resemblance to Liz's own. "Actually, she did both of mine. She was quite amazing. If you're ever uncertain if it's me…. so far as I know, our world is the only one where I have them as well." In case he ever needs that detail.

"I had a huge crush on her. But I was way too young to understand anything back then. It was a very long time ago…" Magnes heads back to the kitchen to stare into the fridge for a while. He's staring at all the baby stuff he bought. "Well, go relax. I'll make snacks. We can worry about the future tomorrow."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License