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Scene Title Improbability
Synopsis Edward Ray finds Magnes Varlane locked in an incinerator, and decides whether or not to flip the switch.
Date November 10, 2011

The Hub


For the last thirty minutes, Magnes Varlane has had four sooty walls to keep him company. Sealed within a blast furnace, every creak of the old gas lines and rumble of steam pipes outside brings with it the possibility that Munin was planning to remove all evidence of her swift but inevitable betrayal of Magnes’ trust. But the fire never comes, the noises are mundane and only there to haunt the corners of his perception.

It feels like hours, the time he waits before something realizes he’s missing. But when that metal slat in the blast furnace door slides open, it’s a pair of large blue eyes staring back at him. For a moment, there’s just silence, and then in a somewhat patronizing tone the voice of Edward Ray calls through the slot. “Well, I hope you learned your lesson.” He doesn’t go about unlocking the door, doesn’t go about looking for Munin either.

“I’m curious, because this falls outside the realm of what I anticipated…” Edward’s tone kicks up at the end, almost like it’s a question before his question. “What, exactly, were you expecting would happen if you let her free?”

"I wasn't trying to let her free, things just sort of… escalated. I wasn't prepared." Magnes crosses his arms, staring down at his feet in clear embarrassment. "I was hoping that maybe this was a part of your calculations. But okay, here's the thing, I know she's coming back. I know you're not going to believe me, I know Elisabeth won't believe me, but she remembered me. She remembered the first time we met. That means this universe isn't so different from ours, it's not some alien world. At the very core of herself, she's still the Eileen I knew, she's just…"

He raises his hands and makes a cat scratching gesture. "She told me she'd help with Gillian, she said this after she was in a position to escape. And by the time she had me locked in her, I told her not to kill anyone, and she told me I had nothing to worry about. She had no reason to reassure me when she already had me trapped. She had no reason to agree when she already had me, uh, well I mean the details aren't important." He throws his hands up. "She'll be back, she's not going to betray us, I know she won't."

“Do you know what Munin’s role within the Vanguard is?” Edward asks rhetorically, through the slat. “She is an intelligence collector. I’ve learned that much from the handful of their number we’ve been able to capture over the years. Ones who stayed in that very room with you. This world you seem to think isn’t so alien from yours, was facilitated by her avian spies and her ability to play the engenue to any poor man or woman simple enough to believe she has a heart.”

The latch comes open, and today Edward does not turn on the incinerator. As he opens the door, it’s with a look of disappointment. “I don’t know precisely where she is, but I know where she might be and I’ve sent someone to reclaim her. But, Magnes,” Edward’s lips twitch at the corners, restrained anger visible in the tension at the corners of his eyes where he shows his age. “I’ve flipped that switch for lesser offenses.”

Stepping out of the way so Magnes can come into the hall, Edward is smoldering with anger. But at the same time, there’s a certain curiosity in his eyes. While what Magnes did may have angered him, he was telling the truth when he said it was unpredicted. That, alone, may have been enough to stave off the inferno.

"I know that Eileen is very pragmatic, very tricky, she constantly told me to never trust her, over and over again, no matter how nice she is to me or how much I like her. I understand that." Magnes stares at the incinerator, considering it. "When she's back with us, when she helps us find Gillian, I think you'll be glad that you didn't incinerate me." He still sounds determined, despite Edward Ray's ability, and information. "She told me she would, and I believe her. I don't care about all of that other stuff, I believe her. She wasn't lying to me. She was rarely truly, deeply sincere, but, if I don't know anything else, I know Eileen's heart."

Edward eyes Magnes for a moment, then looks momentarily down at the floor. “Let me give you a word of advice, Magnes. From someone who’s been down the road ahead of you?” Those blue eyes track back to him. “Just because you think you know someone’s heart, doesn’t mean you know who they are as a person.” There’s a weariness to Edward’s voice at that, and as he steps aside and starts to walk behind Magnes, it’s with a furrowed brow and a nervous look in his eyes.

“If you prove me wrong,” Edward cracks the weirdest of smiles to himself. “Well… we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, I suppose.” He swallows, audibly, hands folding behind his back. “Run along now,” he says in a very intentionally flippant manner.

“I have a bird to catch.”

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