Gravity's a Bitch


magnes_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif

Scene Title Gravity's a Bitch
Synopsis Magnes is brooding over the loss of his power and his life as he knows it, but finds solace in a sweaty and somewhat sympathetic Veronica.
Date May 3, 2009

Primatech Research

The gym of the facility.

It's been, well, not a good day, though truthfully it hasn't been a good few months. Everything has finally gotten to his lowest point, or at least that's how Magnes sees it. He's laying on a blue mat in the middle of the gym, staring at the ceiling in black sweat pants, black sneakers, and a white t-shirt. No powers, he doesn't feel motivated to do any training in either his current mental or physical state, but he knows that won't stop Minea when she comes around.

Another day with no luck in finding her assigned targets. Another day dealing with the caustic smart-assedness of her new partner. Veronica definitely feels the need to work it off in a long, treadmill-pounding run or maybe a bout of kickboxing. She enters the gym, dressed in her usual work-out attire of black shorts and a black tank top, neon green iPod at her waist. She raises a brow as she sees Magnes lying on the mat. "I really don't know how often they wipe those things down. Doesn't it smell?" she asks as she uncaps her water bottle, lifting it to her lips to sip a bit.

"I don't care." Magnes says in a rather brooding tone, looking over at her with that disappointed-in-you look, then back up at the ceiling. Apparently he is still not a happy camper about… well… their camping, among other things. "So this is my life now. At least I'll save the world, even though I was finally learning how to date. I was gonna have my first real date soon, even though she's, well, having relations with a guy I don't like."

Veronica looks amused, arching a brow. "Your first 'real' date?" she repeats. "Are you into open relationships? Is she? If she's having 'relations with a guy you don't like' then I'm not sure that's a real date. Did she agree to this, with the word 'date' in the question?" she asks. Maybe she should have been a lawyer. With her luck, all her clients would jump bail though. She moves over toward the mat and sits down on the bench of some resistance machine beside Magnes. "What did you think it meant when they said not to tell anyone? That they meant not to tell anyone except the girls you think are cute?" She grins a little and reaches over to nudge his side with her shoe, lightly.

"You know my plan, my stupid, idiotic, plan…" Magnes' fists tighten, then he sits up at the nudge and turns around to face her with crossed legs. The way he gets up is rather awkward, suggesting that he's posibly really used to the casual use of his power. "It was a real date though, with the word date used. I don't know, before she got tied up with that guy, I was gonna ask her out, but I was really stuck on Abby. Hell, I'm still stuck on Abby, who am I kidding? I just hate when she yells at me. But I don't know, I was gonna try to maybe take Xiulan away from that guy." He looks up at Veronica, and at the sudden recalled knowledge that, yes, Veronica is hot, he looks right back down at the mat with red cheeks. "But who cares, that's all over. By the time I get back to them, they'll have all moved on, forgotten about me, and I don't know. I'm a Company guy now, so there won't be any dating in my future."

The woman listens, and stops teasing him for the time being. "Aw, kid, you can still date. Do you think I don't date? Granted… it's not like I have any real serious relationships, but I'm not in a convent either," she points out. "And what did Len say about seeing them? Did he tell you that you can never see them again?" That seems doubtful. "It's a bit tricky, to juggle a relationship and the Company when the first is supposed to be based on trust, I will give you that. But you can date, and cross the bridges that come up when you get to them. Or date someone who knows what you do, though that can be tricky to. What did Len say, about seeing Xiulan and Abby and all them?"

"I have to stay with the Company until my training is done, I can't see any of them for a while. Len told me to tell them all I was going away for a bit." Magnes sighs deeply, hunching over as his mood sours even more from having to repeat it. "But hey, however long I have to stay here without a personal life shouldn't be that bad. Even if all my friends move on, I can make new ones. Or maybe I'll make Company friends. Am I stupid or what?" he asks, looking up at her with an 'Isn't-this-ironic?' look. "Kaito Nakamura said to stay away from Adam and the Company, and one led directly to the other. I mean, I wanna work for you guys, I really do, I just wanna be depressed about my situation for a few days. Is that alright?"

"Sure," says Veronica with a shrug. "No one's saying you can't be depressed. Just realize that if you're choosing to be depressed, rather than just happening to be depressed, it's you keeping yourself down." She shakes her head, not intending the double meaning. "Well, that and the suppressants Minea shot you up with. I think you'll feel at least a little better once those are out of your system, right? And we have some nice people who work here." Not many, maybe, but some. "Maybe Len will take you karaoki-ing with him."

"He's a cowboy, he'll sing about his lost red truck that his woman stole and took his dog with her." Magnes explains, apparently meaning 'country music'. But he smiles slightly, looking up at her. "You know, I wouldn't have joined if Minea was the one who came for me. I joined because you seemed like a good person, and, yeah, maybe I think you're um, well, you know. But I really did think you were nice, and that had a big thing to do with why I said yes."

Great. Guilt trip. Veronica sighs a little. She has no special powers. She has no Evolved ability. But she herself was coerced into joining the Company some five years ago under false pretenses, or so Goodman told her. She's not sure yet if he was lying or not. "I'm flattered, Magnes," she says with a smile. "Of course I sort of made it seem golly-gee-whiz good, but you got the seriousness of it I hope when you came in for the tour and the protocol and before you signed the contract. It's true that you can do extraordinary things, and that you can really help people while working here." She actually believes that much at least. "You can consider me a friend, though you know that… the Company comes first, okay? We did what we did to try to help you the other day, Min and me. We wanted to avoid having to tell Len."

"It's alright, I believe you. If you were gonna really kill me or anything, I don't think I'd have been given a second chance. Of course, I still feel like crap over having to miss out on things with my friends." Magnes suddenly pushes off the ground with his hands, then bam, he falls right on his back with a groan. "God, I hate this, I want my power back. You said you don't have powers, right? I can make you feel like you do, when I have mine again."

She arches an eyebrow at that. "The last time someone made me feel like I have a power, I couldn't even walk a straight line because I was so confused from everything and the pain, nausea, and hangover was horrific… I'm not sure that having a power is something I want to feel again," she says in a rare bit of utter honesty. "It's not horrible being normal," she adds. "The only time it pisses me off is when a target has an unfair advantage over me."

"I don't know, I can't remember his name, but in 9th Wonders, there was this really awesome Company guy, no powers or anything, and he'd just completely beat the crap out of any Evolved. I wonder if I'll meet that guy here…" Magnes, apparently, knows about the 9th Wonders comics, and assumes the Company does too, because… they're the Company. "Too bad Mendez died before he could really explain the Company, all I remember about it is that awesome guy. But um, my point is that, with enough training, you can take out almost anyone." Then, reaching out to gently take her hand, because the only time he usually feels comfortable touching is when he's gonna use his power. "You don't feel anything with my power, I guess it's like, um, walking on the moon, except when I completely change gravity, I don't think there's a good analogy for that."

"I don't know if there's any particular guy like that. He have a name?" she asks, glancing down with surprise as he takes her hand. She squeezes his and smiles. "Well. You can show me sometime, if you want, as long as you don't get me killed, I suppose. And no doing it in broad daylight in front of video cameras, got it?" she says with a smirk.

"I'm kinda sad that no one thought my fight was cool. I mean, I can see if I got someone hurt, but I mean, wasn't it cool?" Magnes asks outright for once, because really, he thought it was cool! He squeezes her hand back, his bashfulness apparent as he stops looking her directly in the eye. "I don't know his name, I was never really huge into 9th Wonders, so I only remember the coolest parts. He has these huge glasses."

"I can hold my own, without a power, but you know, when you have people who can fry you with their eyes or can make you kill yourself with a thought… my two black belts don't mean a whole lot, you know? It's why I always carry a tranq gun now. I didn't have on me that time someone threw someone else's power onto me… I've learned my lesson. We weren't even really on duty, it was just a chance thing, but now I know better. Tranq guns. Tasers. Someone like you, once you're trained up? You could be unstoppable." She stands and pulls him to his feet. "Let's run a few miles, then I'll take you out for a beer."

"B-beer?" Magnes stands up, apparently the idea of beer making him a bit nervous. "As long as I don't wake up with your tongue in my mouth. As good as that was, uh, well, it's a bit much to wake up to." Standing, he stares down at his legs, seeming vaguely disappointed. Not having a power sucks. "I don't know, as irresponsible and reckless it was, I felt like I was Superman fighting Doomsday or something. You remember that one animated episode, where he's fighting Lobo, and he's like 'I usually can't let go, but with you…', and he just lets loose all over Lobo's face? It felt like that, for once I wasn't worried about controlling my power, or making sure I don't accidentally send someone into space, I was just letting loose on him. It was… liberating, and educational. I never wanna cause that much destruction again, but, a part of me wants to fight that guy again."

"Well, it was cool, but it got you a lot of attention that you don't need. You can do a lot more if everyone's not watching over your shoulder, you know?" Veronica says, heading over to the treadmill. "And I guarantee you, you will not wake up with my tongue in your mouth. I have no idea what you're talking about for that matter," she says, coolly, her eyes narrowed, but there's a touch of a tell-tale quirk to her lips that shows she's a tiny bit amused. She gets on a treadmill. "Up to 5 miles?" she asks, programming her run.

"Tracy Strauss, she um, gave me my first tongue kiss." Magnes steps on to the treadmill, pretty much following her lead. "I had to do a lot of running in Japan, Hiro's training was hard. He beat the crap out of me, and I broke my foot in that fight. I haven't told many people what happened after the fight, because, it was kinda weird."

"Your first… tongue kiss," Veronica repeats, looking amused. Is he 21 or 14? "That's… weird," she says with a shake of her head. She knows who Strauss is, but can't envision the scenario that led to a kiss. "What happened after the fight?" she asks, starting to run and glancing over at him. She knows he'll hate the run without gravity, but maybe it will be good for him.

"I was home schooled, didn't get out much until I was a teenager." Magnes explains, taking a guess at what she means by weird. He starts to run, having to keep up with the machine and not go at his own pace like he's used to. He's fine now, but there's still a long way to go. "Well, basically, I woke up completely healed. I had bruises, lots of bruises from my training, a broken foot I think, and lots of scratches from the fight. It was all gone when I woke up, on some park bench. I think Adam has a healer."

"Well, that was nice of him," Veronica says with a bit of a scowl. "He left me feeling like I hit a brick wall the next day." She doesn't look happy at the memory. "Promise me if you do get to fight him again — and no, I'm not saying to go after him. In fact, orders are not to, unless Len tells you otherwise, all right? For all agents," she explains, "but promise me that if you do get to fight him again, you'll hurt him for me." Her pace is easy and light as she runs rather gracefully.

"Well, I fought his man, never fought Adam before, but I promise. He's put me through a lot, so I'm not gonna complain about hurting him. I know I can stop him, I know my power works on him, I used it on him before I knew he was a real threat, and he couldn't move until I stopped using my power." Magnes explains, growing more casual as he realizes, hey, he's not alone! But damn, this threadmill, he's quickly building a sweat, huffing and puffing. "If I could control some parts of my power that I've accidentally used, I could really do something to him…"

"Accidentally?" she says. "What parts don't you know how to control yet?" she asks, curiously, glancing over as she pushes the UP arrow on her treadmill, bringing up her pace a touch. She's a long-distance runner, so it's not a break-neck pace by any means, but one geared for endurance and stamina. "We can try to help you with that. I'd be willing to be a guinea pig."

"I don't use the parts of my ability that I don't know how to use, on people. It could be dangerous, and I still don't know how permanent my other abilities are." Magnes presses the UP arrow on his too, because again, he's following her lead! Though it seems to be starting to wear on him already, he doesn't stop. "There's this one thing I do, if I get startled or trip while I'm holding something, or just, any other reason, the thing floats when I let it go. I've seen things float for like half an hour, they gravity is completely gone. I can't activate it on purpose, I don't even know what it is I'm doing when that happens."

She listens and nods. Once upon a time she was going to be a scientist, so the thought of testing the power is one that is interesting to her. "We could maybe test that out. Have you carry something, and I can trip you. See if after several times, maybe you can make what's unconscious move into the conscious," she says thoughtfully. She finally sounds a touch out of breath, and a sweat starts to gleam on her brow and cheekbones. "What else? I would assume anything you could do wouldn't be permanent, but you're right, that'd be dangerous, should probably leave that to the lab people to figure out."

"I don't know, doesn't sound impossible that it can be permanent. The only time my ability ever just shut off or stopped working was in Tokyo, I put everything I had into that one last kick, and I felt like I was hitting him with a car. My ability has always been kind of a puzzle to me. I'm not really good at changing the weight of other objects, except poles, because I trained a lot with them in Tokyo. But other objects? I have to change my weight and the object's at the same time" Magnes looks over at her, suddenly distracted, staring. "You're kinda, um, sweaty." He swallows, footsteps suddenly awkward, then bam, he falls forward and smacks his face on the control panel, then gets slid right off the treadmill and on to the floor.

Veronica's listening, glancing over as he talks, nodding… his power is one she hasn't had any experience with — either with targets or partners, both of which she's had many. She turns back to adjust something on her control panel when he goes flying face first into his own panel and then off onto the floor. "What the…" Vee says, her hand automatically going out to push the "Emergency Stop" button on her treadmill so she doesn't do the same. "Shit, Magnes, you okay?" she asks, hopping off her own and kneeling next to him, her brows furrowed a bit with sincere worry.

Magnes sits up, holding his nose. "I don't think my nose is broken, but it hurts." he answers, groaning a bit in pain. "Sorry, god." Looking down at his crotch, he says with a slightly annoyed tone. "This is your fault again."

"Okay. Rule #57 in the Hero Handbook. Superheroes don't talk to their manparts, Magnes," she says with a laugh. "Do you want an ice pack?" she asks, moving his hand with hers to peer at his nose.

"Sorry, I don't know why I keep doing that now. Delilah made me a pervert, I'll stop." Magnes' cheeks are of course red now, allowing her to check his nose, which is just a little swollen, but not broken. Meanwhile, his eyes… they're staring. "I'm gonna close my eyes now." And he does.

"Delilah talks to her body parts too?" Veronica asks with a bit of a smirk. "Here," she says, standing, and reaching out her hand to help the poor gravity-bound young man to his feet. "Go hit the showers. Maybe the cold ones. And if you don't want beer, I'll take you out for a soda and burger." The fact someone thinks she's the nice one apparently has her wanting to live up to the role.

"No, she just, well, she makes me feel a bit more open about sexual stuff, I guess. I usually can't even say the word sex around a girl without lighting up." And Magnes is definitely lighting up right now. Standing, he starts going for the exit, but looks back and says, "We can go for beer, I um, liked how confident I felt when I drunk with Miss Strauss."

"Just remember it's harder to be hungover when you don't have gravity on your side," Veronica says with a smirk, heading toward the ladies locker room. "But you're on a ration. Minea'll kill me if you're nursing a hangover again, so it's one or two and then you're cut off, buddy."

"You're the boss, I think. But we can keep stuff between us, if we're friends!" Magnes is quick to point out, smiling back at her with a wave, then finally exits.

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