How To Break A Hero In One Easy Step


jennifer_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title How to break a hero in one easy step
Synopsis Magnes encounters Ygraine and Jennifer, demonstrates his obliviousness, discovers a fellow gravity-manipulator, then loses his powers.
Date January 17 2009

An abandoned church, in one of the quieter portions of Chelsea.

Currently in New York, it is a cloudy day. The temperature is 19 degrees Farenheit (-7 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the East at 5 mph. The wind chill index puts the temperature to 12 degrees Farenheit (-11 degrees Celsius.)

The chilly weather outside is really rather frightful, but Ygraine decided that the bitingly cold night was one of the better occasions on which to take Jennifer on a trip to see at least a couple of the wonders of the city's upper areas.

Hand in hand with the younger woman, and with both heavily bundled up against the chill, they're walking up the side of a boarded-up church's spire. With the nearby street lights receiving less-than-frequent maintenance, the pair are in near-total darkness as far as an external viewer might be concerned, though the ambient glow of the city is sufficient to let them find their footing.

"Last I checked", says Ygraine quietly to her companion, her words carrying the distinctive accents of her education and homeland, "the steel shutters on this place were still intact. And in this weather, no one should be hanging around - or looking up even if they do go past. But the spire's the best place I've found thus far for a bit of star-gazing. Not that you can see a lot anywhere near the city, but on a night like this, there're at least some visible…. Now… we're nearing the top. Keep hold of my hand, and I'll step over the parapet first, then guide you to me as I reset things for us."

Jennifer looks about, considering the place. It's a pretty view, certainly, but she shivers a little. "It's freezing out here still…" But she looks over. "Yeah. This is probably a bad time to mention being afraid of heights, huh?" she says, nervously.

It's cold, but Magnes has his red Robin hoody with the yellow R, and for some reason he's felt much more free since he got contacts, not having to worry about losing his glasses in the middle of a jump. He isn't so much as skating as he is jumping, doing flips and twists and simply enjoying himself.

Then he comes across the church spire, where he figures he can relax a bit and stare at the city. When he lands a few feet in front of them, standing on the side as if it were the ground, he scratches his head and raises an eyebrow as he stares down at them coming up. "What? What are you doing up here? It's dangerous…" he says with a concerned tone, figuring they're using some type of rope he hasn't spotted yet.

Ygraine shoots Jennifer a sidelong _look_, momentarily unsure as to whether or not she's being teased. "Even were I to be so mean as to let go, you could belly-crawl safely to the ground, never mind walk there", she says gently, a pale cloud of exhaled vapour accompanying her words. "But I apologise. I… woah!"

As Magnes lands, she takes a startled step backwards, then moves protectively in front of Jennifer, grip firm on the smaller woman's hand. "I'd have thought that hurling yourself across the sky at night would be more dangerous", she says dryly, voice rather tight.

Jennifer points out. "But you can slip on snow. And what if I…never mind, never mind." She comes over the edge quickly, and then looks back with a brief shriek as they run into someone up here. She certainly wasn't expecting anyone else to be up here.

"Nevermind me! You shouldn't be up here, what if you fall?!" Magnes asks with a concerned tone, beginning to slowly roll down the spire to them. "Come on, I'll get you down. I don't know why thrill seekers are always on roofs… Oh right." he smacks his forehead as if the obvious just hit him.

Ygraine double-takes at Magnus's method of locomotion, peering at the skates before laughing softly, albeit without much in the way of humour. "You can stay back there", she warns the stranger. "We're fine."

Jennifer looks back. She's remaining a half-step behind and to the side from Ygraine. She was already nervous, and running into someone else up here has made her even moreso. She looks back. "So what brings YOU up on the roof?"

"How are you fine? You're standing on the side of a building!" Magnes points out, sliding his hands into his hoody pockets after unzipping them, then turning his attention to Jennifer. "Um, I was just skating around, then I wanted to look at the city. But I'm a professional delivery boy, I know what I'm doing!"

Ygraine can't help but laugh at Magnes's final proclamation. "Delivery boy, huh? And that has you leaping to the top of church spires in skates, does it? As I said - we're fine, and don't need rescuing. I'd hazard a guess that we're a lot more secure up here than you are in that footwear…"

Jennifer looks back from one to the other. "That's true…roller skates on roofs seem like a really bad idea." She's much more laconic than usual, cause she doesn't know who this guy is, which means it could Be Trouble. "Especially with snow."

"There's nothing wrong with wearing skates up here! And like, why are there even girls up here? This is embarrassing, like a girl being in my room or something…" Magnes zips his pockets up again, then jumps up and down a few times on the spire, which should logically make someone fall right off (Ignoring the fact that he's standing on the side of a spire at all), but instead he slips, then falls down on the side of the thing, right on his butt.

"Stupid snow… But see, I'm fine! I mean, I still fell, but I fell on the church thing! What about you? How are you two up here? there a hidden rope?"

Ygraine darts a glance to Jennifer when Magnes slips and falls - though amidst all her muffling against the cold, there's precious little of her expression to be seen. "I'd hazard a guess that you're a telekinetic or gravitokinetic", she ventures, apparently disinclined to reply directly to his query. "Are you pushing yourself into place, or altering which way's "down" for you? Either way, you must feel pretty confident to throw yourself across the city. Don't you punch through roofs - or windows, or even walls?"

The shorter brunette seems a little offended by that. "What, like girls can't be on roofs? It's not like there's a "boys only" sign or anything up here." She's found something that she can latch onto now.

"T-that's not what I mean! I mean, like, it's just, well… I come up here 'cause I feel confident, but now there's girls up here, so like, oh god this is too embarrassing!" Magnes' cheeks are red, perhaps from blushing, maybe even the cold, but he bashfully lowers his head and groans in frustration.

He stares up at Ygraine once her questions register, then shakes his head at something she says. "I'm not telekinetic, this scientist I know, he says it's gravity manipulation. I can change which way's 'down', and I don't really worry about crashing into stuff, I just feather fall, you know, like in D&D."

Ygraine gives Jennifer's hand a warm squeeze, though the smile she shoots at her is hidden behind her scarf. "You're a skater who role-plays?", she asks with a chuckle, sounding marginally less on-edge. "Two counter-cultures I didn't think mixed too much. But… that's pretty impressive. Do you alter the gravity inside yourself, so that you fall in a chosen direction? Or do you hook yourself onto something, so it pulls you?"

Jennifer hears the bit about gravity manipulation, and she can't help it. She busts into giggles. "Oh, god. 7 million people in this city, and…"

"Hey, I started skating 'cause I looked up to the older skater guys when I was a kid! They're not really as cool as I thought now, but I still like skating. I think skating is the only thing I do that's not like, you know, geeky…" Magnes lays back on the spire, appearing quite stuck to it as he stares out to the city with his arms behind his head.

"But um, I don't know how my power works, I haven't even known what it was that long. When I use my power, I just kinda… feel like I wanna do something, then I do it. I learned how to use most of my powers by accident. I can do other things, but I don't know how to control them, like, I've gotten super heavy like two or three times." He casually thumbs up into the sky. "But I could fall all the way up into the sky if I wanted."

Though she mostly-stifled a laugh at Jennifer's exclamation and giggling fit, Ygraine winces faintly at that last comment from Magnes, giving Jennifer's hand another squeeze - the pair of them remaining firmly rooted in place. "And you're… studying with a scientist?", she ventures cautiously. "Or you just happened to talk about your abilities with one?"

Jennifer looks from Ygraine to Magnes. "You know, I think that would terrify me. Heights notwithstanding. Cause even if you only fall the wrong way a second or two, by the time you flip-flop it…ow." She looks to Ygraine, wondering if she'll say anything. Jen won't press.

"I'm not studying with one, though I was studying to go to college for physics, I suck at it. But um, the scientist is named Mohinder, he's related to the guy who wrote Activating Evolution. I showed him what it's like to stand on the ceiling." Magnes slowly stands, reluctantly walking toward the two, though he appears almost afraid of them, with his head down.

"I can show you two how it works, I mean, I just have to hold your hands, then this will seem like it's the ground. And I don't usually change direction super fast, I slow down, then change direction." he explains with a firm nod, though still doesn't make eye contact when he offers both hands.

Ygraine doesn't reach for the offered hand, instead peering very quizzically at the youth before her. "Ahhh, dude… you know that rope you were talking about? Where exactly do you think it's attached on us?"

Jennifer looks over, and now she steps out from behind the side of Ygraine. "I'll give it a try." Because she trusts Ygraine to save her butt, and she wants to see if it's the same. Her power is useless in a fight if it comes to that.

"I don't know, I thought the rope was hidden, you know, like in the movies. I don't know anything about building climbing… I mean, the Human kind." Magnes appears genuinely oblivious to the fact that there is no rope, considering the chances of someone else having his power seems… well, slim.

He takes Jennifer's hand, and if Ygraine's power didn't already do it, Jennifer will suddenly feel as if the church spire were the ground, naturally standing on it with no feelings of being pulled back or anything like that. Standing on the side of the spire just feels… natural, even if a bit surreal, like the church building is sticking out of the side of a wall (The ground being the wall). "You alright?"

Ygraine takes a half-step back, arms folding - albeit somewhat clumsily due to the stacked layers of clothing - as she warily watches proceedings with Jennifer. After a moment, she reaches out to lightly touch her fiancee's shoulder with the tips of her gloved fingers, but doesn't do anything visible, instead 'feeling' the gravity affecting the younger woman.

Jennifer yelps just a bit, at the sudden shift. It just makes her queasy. But then, it usually does that with Ygraine too. She nods. "Aside from the whole wanting to yarf thing, definitely.

"You can jump up and down and stuff, it's just like the ground. Go ahead, spit, it'll hit the side of the building." Magnes suggests, because, well, spitting is scientific. "Hey, there really isn't a rope, how are you up here? Can you fly?"

Ygraine moves a little closer, lightly stroking Jennifer's back. "We walked", she says to Magnes, tone once again dryly amused.

Jennifer looks over. "Yeah. Sort of…the same kind of way." she says. It always feels slightly odd. Her hair should be going that way, darnit.

"You guys can jump and stuff? You wanna go jumping? That'd be totally awesome!" Magnes says excitedly, though his grip on Jennifer's hand is quite firm, suggesting that he's not quite confident in his assumption yet. "I never met someone who could do what I do before, this is so awesome!"

Ygraine chuckles wryly. "No, no jumping. This is a link between two objects, at short range - rather than simply resetting something's "down", it's more like setting up a current. There needs to be two ends, a route for the gravitons to flow along."

Jennifer laughs. "I'm not a jumping fan. I just ride along with people. Kind of like I'm doing now." Pause. "So does yours have a time or distance limitation?"

"Time? Um, I don't know, I just do things, and I don't like to push limits. I once did one of those Incredible Hulk jumps, it was pretty scary, so I never did it again. Actually, whenever I try to do it again, I can't, so I guess I lost the power." Magnes shrugs at that, then starts to slowly skate back a bit higher up the spire, though not if Jennifer resists. "Oh, and every morning when I wake up, I feel like I just suddenly fell and hit the bed."

Ygraine cocks her head, applying a touch more pressure to Jennifer's back as Magnes moves to pull away. "So… you don't feel your… resetting of gravity wearing off or weakening at all?"

Jennifer replies "Well, I kinda meant being here. Like, if you walked away and I'm still here, do I stay on the wall?"

"I don't feel the change at all, it feels like this is how things are supposed to be. It's like, what's natural changes. Do powers run out or something? I never thought about that before…" Magnes says with a slight look of worry, then his eyes suddenly widen and he grabs the spire, legs dangling as if gravity shifted back to normal. "Oh crap, it really does wear off, I can't use my power!" he exclaims in sudden panic, gripping for dear life.

Ygraine blinks, stares, then eye-rolls. It takes her a few more seconds to realise that Magnes might actually be serious. Sighing, she darts a glance to Jennifer, almost as if asking for permission - then steps forward to plant a hand on Magnes's back. After a moment, gravity flips - taking with it the orientation of his hair, clothing, soft tissue, the contents of his stomach (and bladder)… probably rather an odd sensation, when it's not one that he initiated.

Jennifer looks over, and tries to grab for Magnes, while at the same time, clinging to anything she can herself. She doesn't want to Go Splat because the power suddenly gives out.

Magnes groans when gravity shifts, he certainly didn't expect it, since he didn't will it to happen. When he slowly releases the spire and stands up, quickly grabbing Ygraine's hand, he sighs in relief. "I wish someone told me before that powers have limits. I can't use mine at all, I don't even think I can jump… It feels a lot less safe up here now."

Ygraine sighs, rather heavily, then reaches over to rest a hand on Jennifer's shoulder, to make sure that gravity does indeed continue to flow in a safe direction. "You're set to have this wall as your "down" for the next few minutes", she says quietly. "Move normally, and you'll stay close enough to keep the reset in place. Do you understand?"

Jennifer chuckles. "Well, it was just a think-it-through kind of thing. I mean, I didn't mean to mess you up, but I figured knowing how it works was an important sort of thing."

"I don't know how to make my powers come back…" Magnes regretfully says as he stares down at his skates. "And it's so weird up here, like, it really does feel like we're standing sideways. How do you use your power?"

Ygraine cocks her head. "It feels different to your own effect? That's rather odd… perhaps it's just the difference in power-use." She allows herself another gentle sigh, having been very firmly outed as the one in the pair with the gravity-affecting ability - though she and Jennifer remain largely anonymous heavily-wrapped figures in the dark. "It was sub-conscious at first. I only realised that it was definitely wholly real after Senator Petrelli made his announcement - from then, I put effort into practicing. Controlling it. Getting a feel for it. Testing the limits. I'd suggest that you do the same."

"That Petrelli guy sucks, but I get it. I mean, I've been trying to practice, but I just can't make anything happen that I don't normally do. I can't even figure out how to get heavy, and now I can't do anything at all until my mana or whatever regenerates." Magnes sighs in frustration, slowly starting to walk down the spire, but he quickly stops and holds his stomach. "It definitely feels different, when I do it, it like, changes something in your brain I guess, the side of the building is literally like being on the ground…"

Ygraine frowns, shrugs, then chuckles. "So… even perceptually, it looks to you like the whole world's skewed? Mine just lets it feel that way to your body - doesn't tweak your brain at all."

"But, how do you turn it on and off? Maybe if I figure that out, I can turn mine back on." Magnes closes his eyes, rubbing his temples with one hand in frustration. "And yeah, I guess you could say that, skewed… standing like this is giving me a headache."

Ygraine cocks her head, studying Magnes quizzically. "Really? Physiologically, you shouldn't be having any trouble at all. As far as your body's concerned, you're standing upright and gravity's behaving normally. Though perhaps it'd be a good idea to get down to the ground and let you return wholly to normal…"

"But I mean, it's just so weird to be standing on the side of the wall, it gives me a headache to see everything tilted like this… it's totally different. I think it's all in my head, this whole headache, well, I mean, of course a headache is all in my head, but, you know…" Magnes' cheeks just go red and he stares down at his skates. "i'll shut up now."

Ygraine shakes her head at Magnes once more, but manages to bite back on her inclination to laugh. Instead, she sets off down the spire, escorting the other pair. "C'mon. We'll get you back on the ground - then I think we'd best call it a night. All of us. I'd guess a good sleep'll help for you."

"Wait! Shouldn't I give you my number or something?" Magnes asks as he starts to follow her down, very slowly skating, appearing rather nervous about the gravity that isn't his. "I mean, this is like Superman finding Supergirl or something, I mean, not that I think cousins are attractive, I just mean that we have the same power!"

Ygraine can't help but laugh at that. "It seems that we don't, exactly. But… hmmm. I'm a little wary about just handing out contact details to strangers. I've no idea who you might linked to, or who might be watching you…"

"My name is Magnes Varlane, Professional Pizza Delivery Boy for Panucci's Pizza." Magnes pulls out a menu from his pocket and holds it out to her. "I don't think I'm being watched, I mean, I met that Sylar guy once, but I don't think he wants me near him. And anyway, I'm just a delivery boy, why would anyone be watching me?"

Ygraine rather warily peers at the menu - but would need him to release her hand to accept it, the other being taken by Jennifer. "Because you have an ability. Are you Registered? If you are, have the government studied you? If not…" She shrugs gently. "Anyone with an ability is potentially of great interest to many people - even if it's not an ability that lets someone do something as dramatic as yours."

"Just stop by the place some time, then we can talk! It's in Brooklyn, my off hours are usually around 10 PM, except on the weekend." Magnes smiles at her as they descend, and once they reach the ground, he'll give her his cell number.

Ygraine carefully guides her companions through the process of putting one foot "up" against the ground and leaning weight upon it before she shifts their "down" back to normal - having casually gone through the process first, to better be able to offer support. That done, she accepts the offered menu and cell number and bids Magnes a good night….

January 17th: Shopping for Misunderstandings
January 18th: Womanizer Womanizer
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