Keep Me Company


kara_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Keep Me Company
Synopsis Left alone too long with his own thoughts, Warren tries to win some company from his captors. Unfortunately for him…
Date February 9, 2019


It's getting boring again, despite Finn's attempts with keeping music playing at the door. All Warren has with him is an empty water bottle and some bread, so he starts to occupy himself.

First he begins by chewing some bread to make a few little balls, sitting them on the floor to dry. Then he holds the bottle with his feet, leaning in to meticulously chew little carefully chosen holes into it.

Once his work is done, he uses his feet to push the few little balls into the bottle, then shifts it up to his mouth, and blows.

It creates an incredibly loud whistle, definitely loud enough for people above the basement to hear over the music. He just keeps blowing it, because he's bored and it'll get someone's attention.

At this rate, lasting until the end of the week before visiting harm upon the Ray in the basement was a bet Kara was going to lose with herself.

Living through the loud music playing when things were otherwise close to tranquil was… doable. It wouldn't be forever, and every bad song came with the hope that three or so minutes later, something better might come on. The high-pitched whistling noise almost instantly withered the last of her patience, though. Hearing it trill like whatever it was was attempting to be a soccer whistle directed her steps to the basement instead of outside where it couldn't be heard.

After all, Warren wasn't supposed to have anything. Now, he'd not have music, either. The sound from the iPod is killed.

"What," she demands to know while she's still at the top of the stairs, quickly descending after, "do you think you're doing?" Feet to the dirt, Kara looks over at the man chained to the concrete slab with a flat expression that only grows less amused as she sees him with the bread-and-bottle contraption.

"I'm bored, I want someone to talk to." Warren says as he drops the bottle from his mouth into his lap. "Finn left me bread and water, so I drank the water and made a whistle for when I need company."

"You know, during the war I took remote control of robots to destroy other robots and fight the president's army. But I don't think I got any credit, people were probably just very confused about why a robot was helping them!" He seems to take this as an opportunity to talk, seemingly in a good mood now that someone's down here. "I've gone a very long time without working on any projects. I'm fine with staying here but I don't think I'm doing so well in this basement!"

He stares at the floor for a moment, his eyes blue, ability clearly not active. "I need things, anything! Give me Jenga blocks, or some sand, and my arm!"

But after those demands, he shakes his head, taking a deep breath. "Sorry, I'm not used to not having anything to work on. Why don't you tell me about your life? Did you have nice parents? I think my mother died in an insane asylum because my father is Edward Ray, but I was told that by Harper and Harper should die in a fire, you know?"

What? "No. That's not how this works." Kara informs Warren patiently, striding close enough to reach out and snare up the bottle. It's held up as she tells him, "You're making this harder on yourself now. Proving you can't be trusted with anything at all."

It's only been two days of boring, too. His definition of a very long time versus hers, or anyone else's, varies greatly.

"From what I understand, you also built those robots to begin with," she points out in an even voice. "So I'd not bet on winning any sympathy with that statement." Kara taps the bottle on the side of folded arms, listening to the rattle it makes. Her expression remains flat as he asks for something to keep him occupied.

"Arm no; anything that can be turned into anything else, also officially a no." She shakes her head before asking, "So who's Harper, anyway? You seem obsessed with the man's demise." It doesn't seem she has any interest in talking about her own business.

"Hector Steel invented the robots! He was working for Harper, and Harper wanted to make a robot army. He promised to tell me about my life, and my past, help me get better, and free Elle from working for them!" Warren hasn't sounded defensive at all so far, until this. It seems to be a bit of a sore spot. "So I made Hector's robots better because he's humorless and full of hubris! But, but… I sabotaged his robots!"

"They were already built, and some were just designs. So, if they were going to be built anyway, I worked in an engineering trojan horse that could be used to take them over regardless of the programming. And everyone else was too dumb to notice!" he laughs at that, because fuck Harper. "Harper is the worst person in the world, he manipulates everyone, he probably manipulated Hector Steel too! But Hector kept saying I don't have a soul because he's an asshole! Just because I wanted to put one of his machine brains into my warehouse. Who doesn't want a living warehouse?!"

"Anyway…" He takes a moment to consider, well, the Harper situation. "He, Harper, he started threatening me whenever I went against him, threatening Elle. And before I could even take advantage of the trojan horse, they started attacking people with the robots. It was just… there were too many. I did what I could, but…"

He frowns, clearly actually feeling something genuine rather than his usual, well, eccentricity. He's also notably not used his ability in quite a few minutes. "I don't know how he got Hector Steel to design the robots, but it was both of our faults, and also not our fault. I don't… I don't think Hector was the kind of person to do it on purpose. I think he thought I was. I mean, I am the kind of person who'd build a robot for no reason, but I don't want people to get hurt, I wouldn't do it for no reason if I had a choice. But… I also didn't realize Harper was the kind of person who'd try to take over the world."

And then he just sort of, gets to the point, "Harper attacked teenagers, or college kids, I can't remember, but he attacked them with one of the robots we worked on. I was there, I wanted to stop it, but I got shot instead. I…"

In a surprisingly lucid thought, his mind reaching apparently increasing levels of clarity, he looks up to her and says, "I understand why I deserve to die, but I'd rather do better."

"Lacks humor and is full of hubris," Kara repeats back, full of a special kind of appreciation for the description. She glances back toward the stair with a wry grin, thinking ahead to wonder just how well that description might be received if relayed. Her humor diminishes as she looks back at Warren, shoulders tipping up in a shrug in a response to most of the description of the Harper situation.

"Intentions rarely matter," she informs him blithely, seeming to get the idea he doesn't realize that. "Actions do." Kara's head tilts slightly, flyaway from her bun skittering across the side of her face. "You might have meant to do this, or that, or did it for whatever reason, but you did help Harper, the same way you helped your brother tear a hole open in the universe, and wittingly barred the path of people who would have prevented that mistake from happening."

"Do you know just what other horrors slipped through aside from your brother's girlfriend?" she asks patiently. "Death machines, things that make the robots set upon civilians during the Civil War start to look like playthings. Three, four meters tall and…" Kara's brow twitches as she looks off, her expression more severe than it was a moment ago. "God knows where it crawled off to."

She comes back to the moment, chin lifting in an acknowledgement of Warren's declaration he wants to do better. "What's your idea of doing better? Throwing yourself on an enemy bayonet instead of quietly offing yourself in a corner? Because I'm struggling to see why of all places, you crawled here." She adds in a derisive tone, "Hang the armor; it's just an excuse. A temporary one."

"I knew about the giant octopus robot, we stopped that. When I saw it, it flooded my brain, I couldn't figure out what I was seeing all at once, it was too much! And then I saw everything, and then I saw it as a child, and I realized we were in an inevitable time loop that already happened before!" Warren sounds caught up in his thoughts again, but he shakes his head and seems to ground himself as he makes eye contact with her.

"I didn't know there were more. I can stop them if you let me." he assures, sounding confident enough on that. "You could find Hector Steel, but I don't think he has the stomach for fighting. He'll want to do something fancy like make some sort of remote to shut them off, something that might not even work if I modified what he did while we were in the… no, wrong memory." he shakes his head again. "Let me fix it."

"The armor… I do need the armor, it's been driving me crazy since I saw it. There are works I make, things I work on that are like… perfect designs! I could feel it in my soul, I must have worked on that armor before. I can't… I…" His eyes squeeze shut, breathing in and out, until he's calmed down and can focus. "If I go after what I want, what my brain needs, maybe it doesn't matter what happens to me. This is how my brain is, and even though I want to fix the world, my work broke it even more."

Staring down at his feet on the floor, he asks, "If I couldn't stop Harper, if my work helped him, and all of those people died, why do I deserve to think about protecting my own life? I just want to fix the world, I want to repair it, even before Harper. When my brain got better, when it was working a lot better than it does now, and I was like a regular person for a few months, I thought I could fix the entire world. Everything Harper gave me, I thought, 'this is what I'll use to make the world great, with futuristic buildings, and robots making everything safer'!"

"I helped stop you from getting in the way of my brother." he admits, even though this doesn't really need admitting, he just needed to admit it again, in a different way. "I feel bad because my brother was wrong. But I also didn't want my brother to be unhappy forever and then become a crazy dictator from the future who kidnaps people and hooks them up to giant time machines."

"I didn't feel bad at the time, but now the time loop and the inevitability of everything is over. I really want to see that armor, but I also want to make up for making a hole in the universe." Looking back up at her, he frowns. "I don't know, can't I just make everyone happy? There has to be an engineering solution to this! Just let me help you with what's happening here, and try to fix the consequences of helping my brother, and also show me the armor please."

An eyebrow arches at hearing even more of the cephalopod machines had come through, a tightness in Kara's expression. The thought of that thing showing up in Providence in the middle of the night to feed kept her awake sometimes. A muscle near her jaw twinges as she wonders if he could actually do anything about them.

"You don't need the armor," Kara fires back with a flat insistence, brushing him off before he can even get his whole spiel out. There's a measure of patience in her expression as he goes through the motions of calming himself down, time bided by tapping the bottle against the side of her arm again. "And it sounds like you don't need to just 'do whatever your brain wants'." If that's how he wants to refer to excessive ability use, that's not her problem. "Sounds like it has a tendency to backfire."

Her arms unfold and fall down by her side while she stares incredulously at him. And with something distant, judgmental of his naivete. Making everyone happy just isn't a thing. "Not seeing the armor," she repeats offhandedly to reinforce it.

"But if you can keep it together for a few fucking days," Kara pauses, brow arching to drive home her point as well as show her exasperation with him. Well, more than resorting to swearing had. "That'll be enough time to find something you can take a look at." She doesn't sound happy about that, either way.

"You don't understand! I only got to see a small fraction of how that armor worked, it's… it's so much better than what I've made so far, and I know I had to have had something to do with it! I need to know what I did." Warren squeezes his eyes shut, thinking. "Ugh, all I remember is getting blown up, why didn't I get the armor memories! It's so hard to think of the right things…"

But her next offer seems to calm him a little, and he nods. "It's so hard, keeping it together down here! If I don't use my ability it's just… it's unbearable! I didn't even use my boots to make a deadly slingshot, you can trust me with a Rubix cube or something! I'm not trying to hurt anyone, except Harper. And I really don't like that one intern, but I wouldn't hurt an innocent intern!"

But he finally decides to just groan and agree. "Fine I'll try! I won't use my ability for days and I'll stay in this Hell basement! It's already been, what, a week, two weeks?! But I can do a few more days."

Not the best perception of time.

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