Facestealing Aliens From An Alternate Dimension


emily_icon.gif geneva_icon.gif

Scene Title Facestealing Aliens From An Alternate Dimension
Synopsis Geneva and Emily catch up over some intrigue.
Date March 2, 2019

Winslow-Crawford Academy, Brooklyn College

Being dragged up the stairs and into the lobby wasn't how Emily had expected to leave the event, but it could be worse. Geneva could be yelling at her instead of trying to talk to her.

Though the former wasn't ruled out just yet, either.

"I don't know if they were facestealers or what, but it was creepy as hell. I can't believe he showed up again." Emily breathes in incredulous exasperation, looking over her shoulder before she pulls her arm back to herself. She thinks they're far enough away to converse safely, if not quietly. Dropping entire conversational trails of thought laced with expletives in the presence of children was something she tried to avoid, usually. "They were carrying on like they were trying hard not to stand out, but I can't figure out why. She said she'd come from 'the coast', but I don't know if I buy that. How far down a hole would you have to have your head shoved down to not know what slice means?"

Yelling certainly hasn't been ruled out yet as an eventuality by Geneva, either, but for now there are other things to be concerned about by the sounds of it. As the two get uneasily settled into their new, hopefully rather covert spot in the building, she just rubs at the bridge of her nose as she analyzes this. "Okay, with everything I've seen, I guess facestealing is an option that's on the table," the girl admits finally, dropping her hand from her face and holding it out palm-first in a 'let's just hold on a minute' gesture.

"But wait, let's think about this. There was an Eileen that dropped in from another dimension, right? While there was already one in this one. And with what happened at R— um. I mean. What I'm saying is, what if that guy and whoever else are some people who came over from somewhere else, too? I don't know if that technically makes them facestealers, but it would probably explain what you've seen." Gene is speaking assaugingly but distractedly; Emily’s scare is contagious.

It's a good possibility, right?

"… I mean, yeah." Emily concedes lamely, her brow furrowing. "That was my second thought, but I didn't want to jump immediately to assuming that." she mutters as much, her voice lifting after. "Since you've said it now, though," she gestures with one hand to Geneva. "Yeah, that's definitely more what I came around to thinking. Especially once they brought up Raytech."

Geneva might have hesitated to drag the company's name into it, even in a well-deserved way, but Emily holds no such reservations.

"And they made it sound like they picked up 'primal' from one 'Jac.' Like Squeaks Jac, maybe. And if they only got into town a few weeks ago, that matches right when Squeaks and them got back from wherever the hell the government had them at." She sounds so sure, but her expression falters immediately after as she looks up at the other teen for validation. "I don't know," she cuts immediately back in on herself. "That doesn't all sound a bit far-fetched?"

"And it would still technically makes them facestealers," she agrees drily, just a hint of humor. "At least as far as my dad would be concerned, given his reaction to…" Her brow lifts as she lets Geneva fill in the rest of that on her own. You-Know-Who.

It is less a matter of Geneva being interested in protecting the company's name than being unsure of what she is really free to talk about. As well, the catastrophic ending to the last 'secret-sharing' conversation Emily and she had attempted is still stiffly fresh in her mind.

But now, fuck a duck, the cat is out of the bag anyhow.

There is an actual snort of incredulity, tone more cutting than she would normally take with Emily. "Girl, far-fetched was back before you’d've told me I'd be spending Christmas and New Year's sucking sugar water. And do you think it's any less far-fetched than your facestealing theory? Anyway. That would make sense, seeing as how Squeaks works there. It's not really any less creepy, but I guess it is what it is."

Not that Geneva feels comfortable about any of this regardless, given the havoc that any one of these additional travelers could wreak. Her last experience had more than spoken for this.

Even self-conscious as she has been, Emily laughs when Geneva firmly points out how plausible the idea of other reality-travelers is in the face of … whatever weird conspiracy scenario she could come up with. She looks down for a moment, head shaking with a thin, but self-deprecating smile.

"Yeah, it still is pretty fucking creepy. Just how the fuck many other people out there come from other realities? Like, Jesus Christ, they're going to become the next minority population of New York or something." She'd snicker if it wasn't entirely plausible. "Unofficial one, obviously, since it's not like people would go around outing themselves like that."

Her mood settles as she considers the reality of it. More worldhoppers. All with their own reasons, probably. "Shit," she mutters thoughtfully. "They still could be creepy serial killers or something for all we know. I doubt it's just your everyday person that goes jumping realities." She shifts a look back to Geneva. "Though, I guess the mystery being solved, more or less doesn't matter anyway? Stay away from them, hope for the best?"

Despite herself, Geneva cannot help but feel a twinge of entertainment at how closely Emily's reaction had mirrored hers back when she had discovered the same thing. "I asked the same question of Magnes," she voices aloud with the silent suggestion of a smirk, though it is thoughtful. "I don't know if he's the most reliable source- fuck knows he didn't give me that impression- but he said that it's hard to travel between worlds. That it requires 'careful timing and specific circumstances,' and that it can't be done without people noticing."

And so, hopefully, this particular of influx of facestealers should be the last.

For now, there is an subtle scowl, and Gene suddenly becomes more frosty, words dripping with a font of sarcasm. "But it's like you said. Yet one more thing to ‘stay away from.’" Emily doesn't get off the hook that easily.

The smile Emily wears doesn't quite fade, but she does look away when she hears that shift in tone. Gradually, her mouth firms into a thinner line. There's a flicker of worry, but it passes, and then she's silent.

A breath is drawn in to apologize, and it's exhaled away before being brought to light as spoken word. She clears her throat, glancing at Geneva out of the corner of her eye. "Squeaks came by, right after you." Emily says first, like that's an important part to her segue. Her eyes narrow as she looks off at a display case, attention flitting back and forth between the objects inside. "… I shouldn't have snapped at you like I did." she manages to say.

"No. You shouldn't have." This much Geneva can adamantly agree with, her breathing remaining unexpectedly even. Her expression, however, tells a different story; one that evokes just how much she wants to say. In contrast to the initial skittishness of Emily's gaze, Gene crosses her arms and leans her shoulder against the nearest wall in a transparent, accentuated gesture, eyes never leaving those of the other girl.

"I wasn't trying to get all up into your business just for the hell of it, you know. Say what you want, but that sort of response wasn't warranted." Tone, degree, content— none of it. The memory of it alone nearly begins to draw forth a defensive reaction once more, but Geneva keeps it in check. Her emanation of cold calm remains undisturbed.

Emily only begins to shake her head then, her tenuous attempt at staying mellow slipping away. "The fuck you want me to say, Gene?" she asks in a quiet rush, looking back at her. She meets her gaze with a firmness that lacks the ice her counterpart's does. "You'd prefer me not to be worried after you the same way you were about me?" She turns her torso next, mostly facing her.

"Yeah, it came out wrong then, but I stand by just about everything I said." she insists. After a pause, she exhaled a short breath from her nose. "You asked me how I was doing, and I answered you honestly. I didn't expect you to start going all Dr. Phil on me for it."

Emily's eyes sharpen, one hand coming away from her side to gesture vaguely. Tongue in cheek, she points out, "Clearly, you're not done with it yet, either." Her chin lifts, beckoning Geneva with a tilt of her head. "Go on, life coach, tell me what else I'm doing wrong."

"No, sorry, that's not how it works. Worrying about each other is one thing, it happens. It's not an excuse to completely shut someone out." If Emily is insistent on her stance, then Geneva is no less recalcitrant about her own.

"I'm not asking you to get me involved in everything that's going on in your life, but at least, I dunno— let someone back you up on this shit. So you have some kind of fallback. Doesn't have to be me. You're into more dangerous shit than the average bear, you know." It seems she is unfortunately every bit as stubborn as Squeaks had been, if not even moreso with the experience of additional years.

The baiting comments about Dr. Phil and life coaching go very pointedly ignored. Perhaps the answers that had been given will be enough.

Emily bristles visibly, the tension gathering in her shoulders and staying in her posture despite a shift of her weight to try and shake it out of her. "Gene," she starts, and then bites her tone off, looking away to try and keep her voice level. She only looks back when she feels she's got it under control. And she mostly does. "You know way more about me at this point than any of the rest of them do." Their shared friends — family, for Geneva. "And I've tried hard to keep it that way. I've got layers of bullshit to deal with, and it's not things I just went and sought out, all right? You…" A short, frustrated breath escapes her. "You know that."

They'd spent a lot of time together in the month Geneva had been at Emily's. Much of it had been quietly spent … but not all of it.

She trails off after that, realizing she's gone way beyond just addressing the topic of facestealers, both previously mentioned and currently discussed. "The point is, what if I don't want anybody that close, Geneva? I'm clearly not handling it well." Their last conversation, and apparently this one, was proof enough. "And if you ask me, dropping any of this on an unsuspecting friend sounds like a pretty shitty thing to do." Her brow arches, something pointed about her look. Like was done to you, for example.

Her expression ripples, a sudden thought bringing an involuntary amusement to her. "Besides, apparently fucking Sasha is looking out for me. Between him, Julie, Eileen, — and apparently you, because you won't let this go, I should be fucking covered, right?"

"I know." It is succinct, but Geneva is already sounding less stony than she had been; the reply is beginning to settle down into a more normal inflection, if one that is more than a little dry. "Frankly, I'd be worried about you if you had sought this shit out. But you didn't, and now you have to deal with it. That's how life usually goes." Her shoulders lift in a shrug, but there is sympathy in its weight.

Additionally, though it may not have been the hoped-for response, a peal of laughter escapes from Geneva at the mention of a certain phrase. "Girl… really? With all we've been through, do you really think I fit the label of ‘unsuspecting friend?’ You could tell me that the Safe Zone's going to be flash-mobbed by, I don't know, aliens tomorrow and I wouldn't even fucking blink. That's how done with all of this shit I am." She sweeps a hand out expressively, not bothering to suppress her own amusement.

"But, seriously. 'Knowing's' only half the battle, and you know that. If you're not handling it well, it’s all the more reason to not do it by yourself." Though she had been laughing a moment earlier, Gene is utterly serious now, tone dropping in acknowledgement of Emily's short list of names. "…It's good to know you've got peeps looking out for you. I just don't want you walking alone into shit that's way over your head, you know? I’m sure you wouldn’t want that for me, either."

Emily emits a disgruntled noise at the bold statement that this is just how life goes, not arguing, but not having to like it either. When Geneva laughs, she turns back to look at her with that same nonplussed expression, though she lets out a snort of amusement by the time aliens are brought up. A smile curls at the corner of her mouth despite herself. "Aliens … hell, why not ghosts at that rate?" Her brow knits together messily as she attempts to be serious in her flash of amusement. "Though wouldn't the facestealers technically be aliens? Sure, it's not another planet, but it kind of is, right?"

The perpetual tight knot in her chest loosens by threads thanks to the moment of levity, helping her to not immediately snap again. Instead, she lifts her shoulders in a somewhat sullen shrug, the smile fading quickly.

"I'll try to do better." Emily says after a pause, her posture straightening. She at least presents like she means it, refocusing her gaze on Geneva's, even if it's a hard read at the moment.

Riding the train of this revelation to its logical conclusion, there is a mock wince from Geneva as she presses the thumb and forefinger of her left hand to her temple for a moment. "…Fuck me, you're right though. They're not technically from this planet— alternate Earths don’t really count so far as I'm concerned. Well, I'm sure glad I can tell people I got Kafka'd into a little bird by a facestealing alien whose alternate self was a possessed psychic corpse."

…Isn't nature amazing.

When she lets her hand fall away back to where it was, it is with a sigh, though one that does not quite express frustration. "I mean, that's about all anyone can ask for, Em," she says evenly, meeting Emily's gaze with one of her own. Her expression seems the lighter for having had this talk— and she appears, if not content, then at least some kind of emulation of hopeful. "All I'm saying is, if you get yourself killed, I'mma find you and kill you, okay? Okay."

It’s said as deadpan banter, but the candor behind it is real.

"Geneva," Emily shushes her counterpart, brow twitching in amusement though she's trying to keep a serious face. If anyone overheard them, that was an oddly specific string of things to be saying out loud, and in public. At best, someone would think they were crazy.

She grins anyway, her eyes softening. When Geneva makes her threat, Emily sidles closer to her so she can nudge her roughly with an elbow. "Great logic there," she drawls before adding more pointedly, "for something that's not going to happen regardless." A quiet scoff escapes her. "Besides, I'm starting that internship now. I'm not going to have any time to get into trouble between that and class." she swears more drily than deadpan.

Her mood sobers after that, looking back to her friend with an uncertain expression. Her weight shifts, which may or may not sell her attempted nonchalance. "So will we be okay, or do I need to throw out some extra incentives or something?" Eyebrows lifting, "You know. Pizza. Promises to call you if anything crazy happens." And then slanting downward critically. "Assuming you've gotten a phone yet."

No more crazy than Geneva feels having just said all of that; her ears are still ringing slightly even when she finally falls silent. But she has just enough reaction left in her to tilt her head and give Emily a deliberate side-eyeing when the other girl mentions not having enough time to get in trouble, even through the elbow nudge she is being given.

Just somehow, she suspects that Emily will still find a way.

But when given that reminder, Gene stretches a hand deep into her jacket pocket, rummaging past a stray mitten before producing — tada! "Actually only got it this morning," she says with a note of satisfaction, giving the small object a quirk between her fingertips; fluorescent light gleams dully off the glass.

And she presents a cheekily returned grin. "Gimme your number, and we're good, chica. …But I’m not going to say no to pizza, if you're offering."

Emily nods heavily, relief plain in her despite attempting to play it off. She reaches for the phone, eyes narrowing in melodramatic skepticism. All of the above, eh? She tuts. The look is quickly broken, looking down at the device in her hand with a touch of appreciation for its newness.

"Good," she murmurs seemingly at the phone while she taps away at it. Really, though, she's just glad to still have her friend.

When she hands it back over to Geneva, she gives her a thin, but sincere smile. "Well, guess we're ordering out sometime, then." Emily looks away back toward the hall suddenly, as if expecting 'Si' the facestealer to possibly make an appearance from the stairwell. She lets out a slow sigh. "I should probably head over to the library and get some work done while I'm out here. You heading back in?"

Geneva is utterly shameless, and her expression says so as Emily finishes up and she takes backs possession of her phone. "Yup. I haven't even started on my tile yet." Shit. Oh well. Regardless, this had been a more productive talk than she ultimately could have hoped for, facestealers and all.

"You fucking take care of yourself, you hear?" is her choice of parting remark to the other teen as they turn away from each other, though her meaningful look lingers on in the air for a few seconds longer than the words do. For all the other problems she may be facing, Emily had never been in danger of losing this friend.

For better or for worse, like a bad stain, Gene is there with the intent to stay.

Aliens be damned.

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