Concerned Citizens


magnes_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Concerned Citizens
Synopsis Magnes comes to Teo to get in touch with some of his stranger and fonder political associates and, in turn, begins to insinuate himself squarely into that category.
Date August 17, 2009

The Verb: Roof

This is a flat roof, the surface grey concrete, which covers a building with enough space for sixteen apartment units on each floor along with elevators, stairwells, and maintenance areas at the center. It can be reached by an elevator and/or staircase near the right edge, a large freight elevator just back of the center, and stairwells centered on front and back of the building. The back left corner holds the large machinery needed for climate control of the interior. Discreet cameras placed all around the edge monitor the roof.

Near the elevator and stairs from the penthouse below is a pair of picnic tables and a sophisticated grill for cooking outdoors and eating when the weather permits. It's covered by an open air tent of sorts for shelter when rain and snow come.

The right front corner, overlooking 4th Street, has a sturdy wooden structure ten feet back from the edge. Here there are outlets for plugging in amplifiers and other electrical devices should Cat choose to come up here and make music. It has a set of glass doors which can be folded aside to allow approaching the edge and closed to protect against weather.

The front left corner features four each of small apple and cherry trees with garden chairs here and there around them, a number of sunflowers, tomato plants, potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, and various other plants chosen for their appearance in pots or planters large enough to hold them. Someone with access to the roof likes to garden, and has been doing so at any chance.

Later in the evening, and Magnes has completely forgotten that he needs to meet Claire soon, he's finally remembered to try and contact Teo. Once contact has been made, and a location decided, he lands on a very familiar roof, wearing his semi-casual suit and a pair of old black sneakers. The nature of the meeting was not stated over the phone.

He casually waits, after thoroughly checking nearby rooftops for snipers, a bit of a habit lately, staring at the roof's entrance with a serious expression on his face.

Metal scrapes the concrete of rooftop behind the younger man, the door being pushed open despite the protest of rusted hinges and something gone crooked the last time it was slammed into its frame. Teo is garbed in ratty-hemmed jeans, a jacket over a T-shirt, in defiance to the warmth of the weather. His head's shorn short, but finally porcupining beyond the bristly bowl of his original buzzcut. "Officer," he says. A beat; he amends, "—trainee. Buona sera. How can I help you?"

"I guess you're in the loop." Magnes determines, staying casual with a small smile now. "Before I say or ask anything, I need to confirm one thing," This, as his tone laces with seriousness again. "Are you a member of Phoenix?"

Teo's face goes blank. The startled 'what oh' kind of blank, nothing deliberately deceptive for a moment, before his eyebrows start to ratchet upward toward his hairline. "If I said yes," he answers, presently, "I'd be lying.

"Why?" The line of questioning turns on a diametric axis, lands its arrow squarely atop Magnes' head. The Sicilian blinks wintry eyes across at the younger man. The surprise has long since faded since Varlane's phonecall. What remains is curiosity, the wary kind.

"I have questions, I have things to say, but I can't say them to just anyone." Magnes pats his pants pocket, indicating the location of his phone. "When I got your number, knowing you're associated with Abby, Hiro, and Minea, that narrowed down the potential organizations you could be involved with. I called you on the hunch that maybe my investigation studies aren't a complete waste."

Oh. Well. Teo's forehead ladders with thoughtful lines. He drops his head a fraction of an inch, hangdog, scuffs blunt fingers up the back of his neck. "That any of those three are in Phoenix would be Hell of fucking news to me," he offers, eventually. "If you want to get in touch with Phoenix, they say Helena Dean's in charge, right?" There's a crook to his head, inquisitive despite the insistent ambience of fatigue. "The face CNN and YouTube put up in technicolor streams?"

Magnes would correct Teo on the Minea situation, he'd normally let it slip, but Elisabeth's advice is something he's apparently not forgotten; to paraphrase 'Shut the hell up'. "The face… that woman from Abby's birthday party? I have no idea where she is or how to contact her. Can I trust you to relay a question, and my number?"

Crawling through one set of memories tends to be taxing enough, without the diffusion and distortion of having an extra person's crammed into your skull adjacent to that.

Teo's brow furrows under the effort of trying to sort through identities catalogued, some only in passing, months ago for one of him— more than ten years ago for another. He means Helena, then. Helena had been at Abigail's birthday party— hadn't she? "Like I said, I'm not Phoenix," he asserts dryly, hunkering his shoulders high under his ears. "But like you pointed out, I know some mutants tied up in some pretty weird shit. I can try, and I won't betray your confidence. Shoot."

"I need to know if Phoenix knows anything about Synthetic evolved, and the Company, and some things that may have resulted in dead children years ago." Magnes offers the information with no real detail behind it, in case Teo isn't completely on the level. Then out comes his iPhone, and he holds it up, showing large bold black numbers. "Write this down, it's how she can contact me."

Despite that Teo hasn't been a student in five months or ten years, he does still have a pen on him. A little stiffly, gingerly, as if there's something a little wrong with his right hand, the writing implement is dug up with a forefinger and thumb, his right trouser pocket. Uncapped, the lid clinched between his teeth. He pulls up the sleeve of his left, starts to scrawl on his inner-arm—

Pauses. Blinks. Retroactively hears, instead of merely listening. "Varlane," he says, after a stilted moment's silence. "That isn't cop work."

"I'm not here as a cop, or some terrorist, I'm here as a concerned citizen. The world is burning and I'm doing everything I can. I accidentally created martial law in an entire country, I think I owe the world at least one risky ivnestigation." At least one, that's all Teo needs to know. Or, perhaps two, as Magnes quickly adds, "And if you could, I'd like you to ask if they're involved with finding Peyton Whitney."

Aggravation flattens Teo's mouth, digs the corners downward and inward. Not directed at Magnes, this time. "You accid—" Japan, he remembers, belatedly. That isn't what he'd meant to ask about, though, not what he haad honestly felt compelled to object about. He doesn't want Phoenix within ten thousand fucking miles of Humanis First!, frankly, and of those, not the Columbia 14. "They aren't vigilantes. I don't know if they're going to be on the Peyton Whitney case— that seems like actual law enforcement work.

"But yeah. The other thing. I can ask them if they know about… syn—thetic Evolved, and dead kids. Sounds like the kind of conspiracy theories they'd have a handle on." The last digit is inscribed on Teo's arm, and then he's pulling his sleeve back down, carefully. The pen clicks shut again, and he regards Magnes with eyes half-hooded, wondering. He's reminding Teo of a man that Ghost knew once, a little. "You all right, amico?"

"I've got a lot on my plate, I'm stressing over the Peyton Whitney thing, I just broke things off with a girl for another girl, which isn't bad, I really like this girl I'm dating, but the other girl didn't take it well." Magnes holds up his arm, pulling his sleeve back, then shoes the scars from all five nails digging in, and somehow burning the wounds. Electrical burns, if one can tell. "There's a whole host of other things on my mind that I can't tell you or anyone else really, but it's all worth it. Life is getting better and I'm hoping we might put a dent in what's happening to our world…"

There's more Ghost than Teo staring at the younger man out of the Sicilian's pale eyes right now, evident in how very little his expression truly changes even at the sound o those words. They would have appealed to his younger, more optimistic self, once.

—No, that's a lie; they appeal to him still, but he thinks better than to show it, knows well enough to hide it. He blinks away the afterimage left by the spur-shaped scars that had laddered the younger man's arm. "Is this what you wanted to be when you grew up?" he asks, finally, jerking his clothes straight with a squared fist. "Rotating through women, saving the world?"

"I wouldn't call it rotating, I haven't even had a makeout session yet. I think I finally found the right girl though, mostly because I never felt like i knew what the right girl was until I met her." Then, there's the last question, which earns an exhausted breath from Magnes' lips. "Everyone wants to save the world, Mister Teo, they just don't know what saving the world means. Once they find out, a normal person might turn away and say 'Let someone else do it'. Well, I was a normal person, everyone told me to let someone else do it, but now I have the ability to be someone else. This is what I wanna do now, this is what I wanted to do before, but now I know what it means."

He walks to the edge of the roof, peering down at the streets as the cars drive by the building. "Sacrifices, possibly losing friends, getting hurt in ways I couldn't even have imagined a year ago, and making nearly fatal mistakes that I have learned from. I didn't want the responsibility that came with saving the world when I was growing up, but now I have to, I don't have a choice. Delilah, Abby, Claire, Hiro, they're all just a few people I wanna save the world for, just a few, out of millions."

It also means you lose your mind, then have two crammed into the socket of your skull, are summarily betrayed by all your friends except two serial murderers, get your libido hacksawed off by an accident involving two ancient old mutant powers that be, annnnd have been just short of homeless lately. Teo closes his eyes briefly. Squeezes. Opens them again.

Fuck life, eh? At least there's still poetry.

"You should read Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, I think," he answers, finally. "There's this character that declaration reminds me of. Septimus. 'He was one of the first to volunteer.

"'He went to France to save an England which consisted almost entirely of Shakespeare's plays and Miss Isabel Pole in the green dress walking in the square.'" There's a quaver-beat's pause, the beginning of a sigh, an itch for nicotine that Teo doesn't reach into his lapel to try and sate. "Don't think you'd care for the ending, though."

"An ending is what you make of it, I'd guess. But I'm getting more confident than I ever have been, not cocky and reckless, just more confident. I know I can do something. Claire sees something in me, my employers see something in me, and I may not know what it is, but I know it's there." Magnes begins to slowly ascend, fists clinched as if trying to give the impression that he is stronger than before, mentally and physically. "My friends might burn around me, one day I might even somehow lose Claire, even though I'd scratch and claw in order to protect every one of them. But I won't give up, there's always people to fight for, and the Peyton Whitney video is what gave me my final bit of resolve. I guess it backfired on those bastards."

Or it might backfire all over Peyton Whitney, but God knows, Teo has no right to talk about that. Lad seems to have gotten some training in under his belt, has friends— at least, a girlfriend, with real tactical experience and a solid lump of gray matter in her head. Teo watches Magnes begin to rise.

Almost explains: Septimus Smith falls to his death, but after a moment, he remembers that even that, too, had been the last resort, when the only other alternative had been the loss of his freedom and his wife. An ending is what you make of it. That makes sense. Teodoro Laudani has studied enough literary theory to remember some of it, even five months and ten years in. "Don't get hit by lightning," he says. "Weather feels off tonight."

"I'd be more worried about the girl who scarred my arm hitting me with lightning." Magnes takes a deep breath, closes his eyes and turns his head up to the sky. "Thanks for the help, call if you need anything. I have to prepare for graduation and try not to be late for a date." He suddenly just bolts into the sky now, not as fast as Nathan or Maria, but still pretty fast. Who needs an inexplicable smoke trail anyway!

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