For Her Happiness, If Not Her Safety


emily_icon.gif magnes2_icon2.gif

Scene Title For Her Happiness, If Not Her Safety
Synopsis Emily connects with a grieving Magnes to provide him with an update on Addie's wellbeing and entreat him to have patience, and faith.
Date February 12, 2019

«Hi, hoping this is the right number. Elaine pointed me to— anyway, I'm looking for a Magnes? Hoping to get in contact with him to pass along a message.»

«I have some news about his daughter.»

«If this is really you, and you've got time, meet me Tuesday, at 4pm. I'll meet you outside—»

Red Hook Market

February 12

4:07 pm


Who would have thought the textile factory that once served as FRONTLINE's headquarters now served as the heart of the Safe Zone?

The darkness of winter has a weaker hold on time than it used to, the sun still casting ample light even at this time of the afternoon. Plenty of people come and go from what's now called Red Hook Market, just as much for the bazaar of goods housed inside, the Tavern within, the foodstalls set up both inside and out, and the Safe Zone Cooperative meeting set to start in under half an hour.

There are many people in sight, coming and going and lingering outside the castle-like facade at the entrance.

But none appear to belong to the nameless voice who left Magnes a voicemail two days prior.

Magnes has somewhat learned to make a bit of an imposing figure these days. It's something he somewhat found necessary for survival in many instances, so when he shows up, it's in full buttoned up long black coat, standing in the middle of a still very unfamiliar New York, though not quite as unfamiliar as a few of the other worlds he's seen.

People instinctively give him some measure of personal space, walking around him more than they need to. Primarily because the gravity surrounding him within at least 5 feet is slightly heavier than normal. It gives one a bit of a strange feeling of vertigo or slight nausea, even if it's not enough for one to think anything is too out of the ordinary.

He was told that there's information about his daughter, so he's more than ready for a fight, even though he'd rather not have one here in public.

It's a few minutes later that one of the electric Yamagato buses rolls to a stop by the freshly-printed route sign, expelling a handful of people onto the curb. By the time it rolls away, there's only one person left standing there, eyes searching the crowd intently.

Emily Epstein is frustrated more than anything else. The bus had to run late the one day she really had time-sensitive plans to keep to. Brown riding boots hit a puddle as she finally strides across the street, wondering if she'd had the right number. If the person she meant to speak with had come and left. If they had come at all, even if they did receive her message.

Her hand goes instinctively to the strap of the brown shoulder bag slung diagonally across her cream-colored peacoat as she sees someone stand out from the rest, once she's close enough to note the deviated paths from those around him.

Dark, surly… Sure, she supposed she'd look like that too, with what she'd suspected he'd been through recently. And the reality of it is, she doesn't even have a clue.

It's not the gravity that keeps her from getting too close — not entirely. Emily comes to a hesitant pause, brow slanting down as she considers him. Head tilting slightly, her hair frames her face in waves. "Magnes?" She sounds like she's trying to get the attention of a friend she's fallen out of touch with rather than a complete stranger. Hopeful.

When he hears his name, Magnes immediately looks over at Emily. He starts to walk forward, boots audible against the ground. Then he turns, walking down the street and away from her. Only, she can full herself being pulled, as if there's a rope tied around her waist, attached to him.

"Walk and talk. Where's Addie?" he asks, apparently not mincing any words. He seems quite serious, as odd as his current actions might seem.

Her brow ticks up at the apparent recognition, her shoulders squaring as he abruptly turns away. Emily realizes there's something wrong when she's compelled to follow, heels digging into the ground to try and stave it off. She stumbles a step forward regardless. And then a second.

The fuck was happening?

She alters her path, hooking an arm around the pole of the first street lamp she passes. "Stop and talk," Emily declares in return. "Or we're going to have a problem."

Magnes stops walking, turning to look at her as she grips the pole. "You realize I can just pull you off of that, right?" he wonders, then just sighs and releases her. "Where's Addie? Do you work for… why are we in public?"

He sighs, walking up to her to offer his hand. "Come on and follow me into an alley or something. And tell me where my daughter is."

"Yes," Emily intones skeptically. "Because those don't sound like famous last words at all."

It's safe to say she doesn't take the proffered hand. Nor does she unhook her arm from the lamppost which she clings to like she and it are the best of friends.

They're still very much within sight of the Market's comers and goers and that's exactly how she wants it to be.

"Do me a favor and take a deep breath or something. Dragging someone off into the dark when they're trying to help you sounds counter-productive, yeah?" Emily's brow furrows again. She realizes she's being a shade combative and settles her shoulders after. There's no change in that anchoring grip on the lamp. "Your daughter is safe. I'd like to talk and share what I do know."

"Not in an alley, and not somewhere in the sky." She's pretty firm on that stance. "There's a tavern inside that's a perfectly good substitute for that."

"Let's go." Magnes waits for her to lead, not knowing exactly where a lot of newer establishments might be. "I came a long way to get my daughter back. It was literally her mother's last wish before she was murdered. I'm not the most patient at the moment."

He points to the pole. "Did you notice how I didn't rip that pole out of the ground?"

Murdered? There's a confused bent to her expression, eyes flickering away from him and back uncertainly while her grip on the pole starts to loose. "But Elaine's fine," she marvels aloud, mouth before brain. "I saw her just—"

Her gaze flits back and forth again as she catches up with the implication. Oh. Hand starting to slide from the post, Emily voices, "I'm sorry for your loss." before she looks back to the Market building.

She was supposed to stress patience to him, make him understand how complicated things were. These aren't great circumstances to be fulfilling that under.

Despite that, she does impart a severe glance over her shoulder at him as she heads for the tall doorway. "And Robyn was worried about you," she mutters derisively, taking the front step up two at a time before heading into the brightly-lit building. She trusts he'll follow, but she keeps her pace measured regardless.

"So, Addie's safe. That's what I've been told." Emily explains as she heads down a staircase to a sublevel, lights strung on the walls making the factory setting look almost festive. Reclaimed space done up with fairy lights — it's an oddly familiar aesthetic across recovering realities, it would seem. "And… if I'm right…" She pauses at the bottom of the stair to glance back at him, studying his features. Overlaying them, then, with another's.

"Then I know it, too, because I've seen her. But she didn't call herself 'Addie'." She's off again, heading for an area walled off by old casks and brightly-colored bottles wedged in the spaces between. Stepping through the gap in the entrance to the tavern, Emily swiftly navigates for the only open table she sees — a booth close by the entrance. With a look back at him, she gestures for him to sit first. She'd brought them this far, after all.

"She looked just like Elaine," Emily admits. "That hair is pretty distinctive."

Magnes doesn't question that she saw Elaine, he seems to keep his reactions rather reserved. "It's good that she's safe. Now, tell me where she is so I can go get her."

He takes a seat, very tense, probably the most far from relaxed as someone can be. "You tell me where she is and I'll go get her right now. There's not a person on Earth who will stop me or keep me from her." Then, he holds up a hand, as if to stop her. "If what you say next isn't where she is, then it needs to be getting to the point of why we're here. I'm not trying to be rude, but I'm not in the best emotional state after watching my fiance die. So, while I still have some patience…"

Nodding in her direction, indicating for her to get to the point.

"For her happiness, if not her safety, you can't." is perhaps blunt enough.

"Not yet."

Emily looks uncomfortable to have to deliver that news but sits down across from him regardless, adjusting the strap of her bag to keep its contents just so. When she looks up from settling, she relays what she's been holding onto. "The situation surrounding her is complicated, but there's someone working on it. Working on getting her back to you, if you can hang in there. They have to get buy-in from the people who matter." Her voice is careful as she clarifies, "That includes Addie, Magnes."

She settles against the backrest, wondering how to begin describing the fact the girl thinks of someone else entirely as her father. Instead, she shakes her head and looks back to him.

Magnes listens to this, reading numerous implications into this. He slams his hand down onto the table, and whatever the hell happens causes very strange looking hairline cracks to appear all through it. It's not from the impact of his hand, it's more like the table is straining under the weight of itself.

He stands up, and she can feel how heavy the gravity is around them now, it's enough to struggle to walk in. "Don't follow me." he says with equal parts venom and pain in his tone, and she'll find it very difficult to stand up from the chair. At least until he finally thinks to draw in his ability, releasing that he unintentionally did what he thought.

He clearly doesn't seem to be entirely in control at the moment. "Just… stay away from me."

Whatever that means, he starts heading back in the direction they came from. She's free to follow him, but he seems intent on leaving her behind.

Emily is intensely aware of the eyes on them as Magnes slams his hand on the table, her hands curling slowly into fists underneath it. When the table begins to crack, they unfurl, and she first starts to try to come to her feet, hands lifting to brace against the table.

It's been a while since her body hasn't listened immediately to her, since she's had to strain herself. But she's also had a lifetime of practice fighting through it. She manages to struggle to a flat-footed state, heel of her hand digging into the top of the table roughly enough she worries about it actually snapping. She can't stand upright entirely and her arm shakes, and even so the intensity of her stare only grows as she tries to gain eye contact again. "Magnes—" she starts, and almost falls as she finds herself able to stand just fine again.

Bewildered, a shaky breath escapes her as she turns, watching him head back into the bazaar. Go, go. she screams at herself. "Magnes!" Emily calls after him, pushing her way past a waiter who tries to flag them both down. Her feet beat on the pavement as she rushes to catch up.

"Listen, I'm sorry. It's not what you — what any parent would want to hear. You came all this way just to be told 'not yet'. But please, you have to believe me, have to believe in them that this is going to work out."

She reaches out to try and grab his arm, stop him from storming outside where she definitely won't be able to catch up. "She's your daughter. She won't have forgotten you, no matter how the two of you were separated. No matter how long."

Magnes eventually stops, even though it took a lot of talking for him to finally slow down. He turns around to face her, then reaches into his coat after undoing a few buttons. Layers of plastic full of what seem to be photos and some papers are pulled out. Then he goes through it, pulling out a single photo to offer her.

It's a glossy printed photo of Magnes in a grey shirt that says Dad to the Bone in black letters, with Elaine all seemingly huddled together on a couch reading a comic book. It specifically seems to be some sort of kid friendly version of a Teen Titans book.

The girl with them is very clearly Odette, even if maybe a year or so younger. "Take this to her. I need time, I can't be here, I need to finally see Elaine…"

It takes only a glance for the photo to hurt, and it's not even her family. Emily looks to the ceiling for just a moment, the photograph held delicately in one hand.

"Okay," she concedes reluctantly. "Go, take what time you need, and we can talk more about this later. I'll see if I can't get this to Addie."

Emily shakes her head to dispel some nervous energy as much as ignore the bad feeling she has in her gut. "My name's Emily. If you didn't pick up my number, just have Elaine go through Joe, or any of the other Lighthouse Kids in New York." She shrugs weakly at that, mentally dizzied from opening that gate and potentially letting two sides of herself she'd tried very hard to keep apart finally collide.

"You're not alone. You don't have to be, and you won't be." She's not sure where the emphatic words come from, but they feel pertinent. She knows for a fact he's got others who care about him; she can see it from here.

Her mouth hardens into a line, softening only as she points out, "Elaine's with Yamagato. You know, the people rebuilding like half the city? Do you know how to get there, or how to get in touch with her?"

Magnes seems to calm down a bit, for whatever reason, smiling a little when she mentions the Lighthouse Kids and Joe. "Huh, Joe…" He looks at her, tilting his head slightly as if assessing something. "You are pretty young, and I guess Joe is about that age now." There are deep and heavy implications behind his observation, but he continues on as if it were nothing.

"I'll keep in touch." he says in response to not being alone, and contacting her. "I've been reading about Yamagato and what they're doing here. I was thinking I'd call Kimiko Nakamura and ask for a job or something. I might fly to Japan, I don't know. If I call her I'm sure she can get me in." You know, the CEO of Yamagato.

He's never had a particularly good grasp of Kimiko's high profile.

Emily quirks her head to the side, brow slanting sharply downward in visible disapproval… before trembling something more confused with the double-take she does from the namedrop of a CEO she only knew by name because of the newspaper articles about the Fellowship bombing.

She tapers back her 'excuse the fuck out of you?' response as a result, only shaking her head and flaring her nostrils as she tries to remain patient herself. "Okay, but Elaine though. You have her contact details?"

What was with this deja vu? She'd had to reel Joe back in from a segue with the same topic only a week ago.

"I don't. I figured I'd go there and just…" Magnes shakes his head. "I'm not thinking straight right now. Give me her number and I'll catch up with her. It'll be rough, but I need to do this." He considers something for a moment, and then asks, "Can I have Joe's number too? I want to catch up with the Lighthouse Kids."

"You figured you'd just fly around until she came outside and noticed you," Emily finishes that thought for him wearily. She gestures for him to hand his phone over. "That's a good way to get shot crossing international boundaries as a UFO or something."

She carefully slides the photo into the side of her small bag before taking his phone, keying from her own as she holds it in her other hand. "My suggestion? Don't call them 'kids'." Emily glances up, lifting one shoulder in a half-hearted shrug. "They're just the Lighthouse … gang or something now." It's clear she hates her own description, so she amends it by stating (practically repeating the result of a previously-held conversation),

"Just Lighthouse. Not Kids. Additional moniker TBD."

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