Cross-Dimensional Messenger Service


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Scene Title Cross-Dimensional Messenger Service
Synopsis Captain Ryans asks Richard to deliver an important message.
Date June 16, 2021

Lowe’s Docks

Thump… Thump… Thump…

God… How long was he going to have to sit there?

Thump… Thump… Thump…

Even though he was well sheltered under the eves of a lean-to designed to protect Lowe’s cargo from the weather, a teenage boy no older than sixteen sits on a stack of crates. The heel of a well worn boot bumps against the side of the wooden crate in a lazy rhythm, while his eyes are rivietted on the Yeah, Buoy while it bobs in the stormy weather.

He was on a mission for his Captain and he was determined not to disappoint, but he didn’t anticipate waiting this long in the damp.

And he was getting bored.

Turning his attention away from the boat, he tosses a large crumb of hard tac at a rat staring at him from several boxes over. Elated, it scrambles for the bit and hurries off with its prize, leaving the kid by himself. Letting out a heavy, bored sigh, the teen falls back to lay on the crate, arms out to each side of him.

“Next time, I’m making Jac do this,” he groused, staring at the roof above him with a look of disapproval.

Jacelyn wouldn’t have been spotted,” is the dry observation from about a crate over, a shadow having become a man in the moments after the teenager fell back to lay on the crate’s top. Richard casually lifts a small, russian-made pistol up to catch the dim light, thumb brushing over the metal in consideration of the weapon, “She knows better.”

“Whatcha watching for, kid?” Casual. As if he was asking him what sort of comic book he was reading.

The sudden appearance of the man startles the boy. With a yelp he spills off the crate, eyes as wide as they can get. There is every intention to scramble away, until he realizes there is a gun trained on him. Instead he freezes in place, one hand lifted as if to ward off the bullet.

Terror filled eyes, shift up to Richard’s face. His mouth works a few times, but only sound squeaks out. A trembling hand grabs at his chest and holds up a coin on the end of a chain around his neck. The coin spins lazily on the chain, it’s marked with three claw-like marks. “I-i-i-i’m from the C-c-c-cerberus. My da—- captain wanted me to watch for y-y-you. O-o-or I think it’s you,” he looks a little uncertain.

“H-h-he asked me to request a m-m-meeting. Private. Meeting,” the boy, slowly lets the medallion rest against his chest again. “He said h-he hoped you’d meet with him and b-b-bring you there.” Message delivered, eyes go back to staring at the gun.

“Relax, kiddo,” Richard exhales a chuckle, fingers uncurling from the gun and sweeping through the air— the weapon drawn with the motion like trailing wisps of shadow-smoke, vanishing thereafter. “I’m not going to hurt you. Just teaching you a lesson about stakeouts, is all.”

“The Cerberus— that’s Ben, right?” He looks to the teenager, an eyebrow going up over the edge of his shades. He didn’t miss the almost-slip, either, asking, “He your dad? What’s your name?”

There is a flicker of irritation at being played like that, but the young man’s face smooths out and he cautiously climbs to feet, as if afraid to make any sudden moves. The kid’s eyes are riveted on Richard, while brushing himself off. “Yes, sir, he’s my dad,” he confirms. “I’m J.R. and I’m a Deck Cadet on the Cerberus.”

JR’s head tilts a little and brows furrow in a way that is a reflection of his father, “I heard Aunt Huruma and him talking about how you traveled from another world that all this isn’t all water. And I have a brother over there? That true?”

It was a real gun, but the kid doesn’t need to know that. “‘Aunt Huruma’,” Richard murmurs, a smile tugging up at the corner of his lips, “Some things never change, I guess.” He pushes himself straight, hands sliding to the small of his back in a brief stretch. “Yeah, it’s true, kiddo. It’s all true.”

He flashes over a grin, then, reaching a hand out to ruffle the teenager’s hair. “Most things are. Your brother’s a good guy. Let’s go see your dad, eh?”

Deftly, JR manages to just duck the ruffle with a mischievous grin, jerking his head in the direction they need to go, before leading the way. “I never got to meet the last travellers… then again, mom was super over-protective of me… not like my sisters.” He walks backwards a few steps and rolls his eyes, “But then who could tell Luci and Dee anything.” Of course, when he turns back to his job, there is pain there.

The rest of the rainy walk he’s fairly silent, at least until they are approaching the Cerberus. “This used to belong to the head of the Sentinel. Crowley… or whatever his name was. Dad and Aunt Huruma killed him and took it.” Like any youngster there is pride there.

Speaking of fathers, Benjamin Ryans stands at the top of the boat ramp - looking far older than the Prime counterpart - lips pressed together as he scrutinizes Richard. The younger Ryans scampers up the ramp, pulling his father’s attention. “Ben,” he offers in greeting to the teenager, “I was starting to think you fell off the perch or went to bother Lowe.”

“Not my fault people are smart enough to stay out of this weather, Pops,” JR counters with a cheeky grin.

Captain Ryans waves the boy off, “Go help in the Galley.” That gets a groan… but the boy is quick to do as ordered, offering a wave in goodbye.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Cardinal.”

A smile crooks to Richard’s lips as the boy goes scuttling off towards the galley, and then he turns his attention to the captain - moving to stride up the rank, hands tucking into the pockets of his bomber jacket. “Don’t blame the kid, I was watching him for about a half hour before I let him see me,” he admits casually, “Can’t be too careful, and I didn’t know who he was working for.”

Stopping just past arm’s reach, he tips his head in an easy nod, “Ryans. Liz sends her best.”

“I’m glad she made it home. Liz spoke highly of you… then again just the fact that she travelled through so many worlds…” Crows' feet deepen with the rumbling chuckle, “Well, you must be a special man indeed.”

Holding out a hand to Richard, the Captain grins, “While I can’t fathom you leaving such a lovely lady behind, I'm glad for the chance to meet you.” Ben motions Richard to join him, with the other hand. “Though, I must admit this is a bit more than a social visit.”

“Ah, I’m just some guy,” Richard chuckles, reaching out to clasp the offered hand firmly, “My wife, though? She’s a special woman.” The smile slips just a bit, “If the stakes were lower, I never would have.”

Dropping into step beside the man, “And it never is, I find. What’s on the table, then?”

“When Liz came through I asked her to take some things to my son, Bradley,” Ben starts without much more prompting. His cane taps on the slick surface of the deck, while his shoulders hunk to protect his neck from the light rain. “That way he knew about his family here and that he was never forgotten.”

The door swings open into the galley, without anyone touching it, and Ryans leads the other into the dry warmth. Just ahead of them, JR has been put to task wiping down tables. He looks up at the pair and disappears through a door at the end of the hall.

A pair of chairs are motioned at before Ben settles into one of them slowly. Settling back with a sigh, Ryans continues, “And while I know you said you didn’t know if you were going to get back… well, I don’t believe in saying never. When you go back, I need you to take another message. You, Bradley, and Liz were not the only kids to cross over when Michelle turned on that machine.”
“Bradley’s doing pretty damn well last I saw him,” offers Richard as he follows the other man, hands tucking into the pockets of his jacket, “We probably owe the freedom of the entire country to his bravery. We got him the information, but he was the one with the guts to broadcast it publicly to the whole world…”

He slides into the seat offered, leaning back and bringing his hands up to fold behind his head, “Yeah, there were… thirty-something? I forget the exact number, I’ve got it in my notes back home. A good pile of them, though, and that’s assuming the Company even found them all.”

There is a faint smile at the mention of his son and his part in all things. Eyes blink a few times and old Ben clears his throat. “Good to hear the apple never fell far from the tree. But the message is not for him.” Reaching into his jacket, a pair of envelopes are tossed on the table with a muted clink. Both have a name written on them. “It’s for Adam’s children. He wouldn’t let me send notes with your Liz before, but…” He lets that hang, gaze dropping to the letters on the table.

“They deserve to know who their father was,” Captain Ryans says softly, picking up one of the envelopes and gently pulling a necklace, like the one all the hounds wear. “What he tried to do and how much he and I tried to find a way to get our kids back.”

The kitchen door is kicked open by the youngest Ryans, smacking loudly against the wall and getting a grimace from the boy. Hands full of a bottle and glasses, he hurries over to set them down, offering a muttered apology, and to hurry away to his duties again.


Richard reaches over, fingers brushing over the envelopes, “Do you have any more information about them…? First names won’t help too much. I know– some of Adam’s kids but these aren’t on the list that I know of. Admittedly, most of those were after– “

Then he jumps at the opening of the kitchen door, relaxing only once the boy hustles back out., He chuckles, shaking his head, “Kid nearly gave me a heart attack.”

Back to Ben, he lifts an eyebrow for his answer, not finishing whatever he was about to say - maybe he lost his train of thought.

“Ben’s a good kid, a little wild still and enthusiastic,” The captain says as he pours out a finger of alcohol in the mismatched glasses. “Been through a lot, thought I lost him when the…” There is a catch in his voice, forcing him to clear it. He offers an apologetic smile. “Simply put, he managed to survive a missile attack that took his mother.

The old man looks in the direction of the door, “He’s all I have now.”

But that is quickly waved away, after a sip of mediocre whiskey, for the business at hand. “But I digress, Daniel and Roselyn… I never met them myself, but he talked about both of them being redheads.” Ryans is thoughtful as he casts his thoughts back on years of discussions. He often talked about their birthdays being within weeks of each other. Though Roselyn was older by several. She was nineteen and Daniel was only twelve when they both simply vanished like my boy… and.. well, you.”

“Redheads….” Richard brings one hand up to rub at his jaw, gaze hooding behind dark glasses, “Daniel and– oh!” A sharp snap of his fingers, “Roselyn Darrow. Of course.”

He looks back up to Ben, “I know her daughter, at least, she came to me asking about the overlay awhile back. She used to date Magnes, actually…” His tone wry at that last. He’s not sure why anyone would do that, but…

“Daniel, Daniel… let me think. They probably would have kept him close…” He reaches out to pick up the glass, taking a sip of the harsh alcohol.

There is a crease in Ben’s brow as Richard talks, as if trying to follow the other man’s train of thought. “I don’t know about Darrow, but I guess if you end up in a different place where there might be another you…” He shrugs and takes a drink from his glass.

“But, here they were Daniel and Roselyn Monroe,” Ryans says gruffly around the burn of the subpar whiskey, “Adam’s pride and joy. He had been so proud when she’d gotten the job at Yamagato, flew out from the UK to attend her party. Knowing Kaito, he helped her get in there.”

Another sip and Ryans looks like he remembers something. “Mmm. That’s right. Kaito lost a daughter that day, too.”

“I think they came through together– Roselyn and Kimiko,” says Richard in agreement, before pausing– and he breathes out an amused snort, “Christ. Kimiko put Roselyn’s daughter in charge of the Kensei Exhibit at the Nakamura’s company, there’s some layers there…”

Then he blinks, brow furrowing, “Maybe Niel… Daniel, of course. Fuck, that poor guy.”

“Smart, like your mother,” the Captain comments with a small smile. “Clearly, as reckless,” he adds with a mild tease. “But at least, it sounds like all these kids came through it alright. Probably living better lives then they would have had here.” A hand motions to the world outside.

“Either way, I believe they deserve to know that they were never forgotten, that he never gave up hope, and that he died trying to do the right thing,” Ben says, adding a nod to the envelopes. “You are my best hope to get that message to them, even if it takes years.”

“It won’t take years, I promise you there,” Richard replies with a slight smile, “I can’t– guarantee that Niel will understand any of it, but his daughter will. And I’m pretty sure Roselyn’s still alive and well, even though we’ve never met.”

He’ll have to break a few NDAs, but when’s that stopped him before?

“That is all I ask… just an attempt,” Benjamin rumbles out, with a satisfied nod. Shoulders seem to loosen and slump, like some great weight has been lifted off his shoulder.

Relieved that went well, Ryans scoops up the bottle to refill Richard’s glass and his own. “Now that is out of the way, let's swap some stories…. I’ve been curious what happened to Liz and that darling daughter of hers. Then, maybe tell me about how Bradley is doing.”

Because, of course, Richard wasn’t getting away so easily.

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