Late Bloomer


cat_icon.gif maxwell_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif

Scene Title Late Bloomer
Synopsis Leonard steals Max away from the hospital to a Ferryman safehouse in Midtown. Cat arrives and they have a chat about his power.
Date August 30, 2009

A Midtown Ferry Safehouse

The last few hours has involved a lot of shifting around, a lot of shuttling from place to place. And for the bulk of that time, Max Quinn has been doped up on morphine to keep him calm and therefore prevent spontaneous bursts of EMP.

He hasn't been very helpful when it comes to questions. And he's still fairly happily doped up when Leo arrives to pick him up. Celeb or no, he doesn't really need to be taking up a hospital bed - and aside from that, he's a danger to other patients. He could destroy vital and sensitive equipment. So he's been discharged and wheeled out of the hospital towards Leonard's waiting car. He's still wearing his costume with its artful tears and soot marks. He seems only vaguely aware of what's going on.

Leo's gone, gotten his car, and some of Max's stuff from his apartment. As well as various useful goodies for camping/squatting in the wilds of New York. Not that there won't be actual furniture, really, but fresh sheets, etc, are always welcome. Lots of battery powered things, so there's no need to worry about a power hookup.

It's not too far - it's one of the sturdier apartment buildings in the edge of the ruins. Most of what's around is it condemned. But this, despite its worn facade and the vegetation growing around it, is structurally sound. And, on the upper floors, a good place to lie up. Leo himself used to use it as a squat when he was homeless. He more or less carries Max up the stairs, like a child in his arms, lest he come to harm, and deposits the still-doped actor on the freshly made up bed.

Beyond the danger to other patients, there's also the danger to his reputation. What had occurred on set may have been witnessed, after all. Questions could arise; the man needs to be taken to a more clandestine place so they can attempt helping him get a handle on it and he can make some decisions.

To that end, Cat has gone ahead and ensured the place is free of electronics. When Leo arrives, she opens doors and observes, checking out the state of Maxwell's lucidity.

Surely someone told him already, but Max still asks, "What's going on?" The cooler late-summer air is enough to wash away some of the haze, but there's still a fair bit in his system. The world is fuzzy and indistinct around the edges. He allows himself to be lowered onto the bed, though he tosses out an arm to steady himself, then somehow thinks to push off his shoes. The surroundings might be strange, but the sheets smell welcoming and fresh.

He pinches his eyes closed and puts a hand to his forehead. "The room's kind of…pulsating," he murmurs. "Got a drink of water?"

Water there is. Plenty of it, albeit in bottles. Leo nods, hands him one. "Ever done that before? Become a human EMP?" he wonders, as he settles into a camp chair not far from the bed. So Max hadn't mentioned he's Evolved - that's okay.

"We were on the set," Cat elaborates, "and Humanis First attacked it. Set off bombs in trash cans. Suddenly you were repelling objects in a circle around you, in pulses, and those made anyone close to you feel ill and disoriented. We'd just met moments before that, Mr. Quinn. Do you remember the studio woman bringing me over?"

Max sits up slowly, eyes closed. He opens them only long enough to take the bottle from Leo and to peer at Cat. "I remember," he answers hoarsely. "Ffffuuck. A human what? I just remember hearing the explosions, feeling the ground shake, then I got this horrible sick feeling in my stomach. Like some kind of weird…attack."

"Did you know you were Evolved?" Leo's tone is gentle, but inexorable, and he watches Maxwell with a certain distant patience. "Had you ever had a seizure like that, before?" He summons a bottle of water from the table to his hand, absentmindedly.

For the moment, Cat stays silent. Leo's just asked the question she had in mind, others will wait and depend on Maxwell's response. One of the water bottles is secured and opened, she using the normal means of doing so.

Max clutches his stomach in sympathetic memory of the EMP 'hiccups.' "Nnnno, I can't be Evolved. How could I go all this time and not know?" One eye squints, watches the bottle float. Then he looks back to Leo. Buh? Was that real or was that the drugs?

Leonard lets the bottle hover in front of him, turning it over and over still capped, as if it'd been dropped out in space. "In some, it manifests late. Welcome to the club," he says, bluntly, leaning in, elbows on his knees, and eyeing Max.

Again she doesn't speak, choosing instead to let the veteran/stuntman/actor mull that over for a time and gauge his reactions. Cat takes a slow drink from her own water while observing the man. Her features suggest curiosity and some mild concern; there's no sign of panic or disgust. While she isn't exhibiting an ability of her own, it seems she's been around them and is untroubled.

This is a lot for Max's drug-addled brain to absorb. Hell, it'd be a lot for a completely sharp mind to take in. He finds himself staring at Leo's little hover-show. Then, something occurs to him and he looks from the telepath to Cat. "Wait…you two know each other?" Then he looks around. "Where are we, exactly. Fuck, my agent and manager've gotta be pitching a fit. And Mitch and Joe…" He sucks in a long breath. Then realization dawns on him.

"The movie's finished, isn't it?" And not in the cinematic 'The End' way.

"Humanis First had their way, at least for now," Leo says, shoulders slumping wearily. "Yeah. She's a friend," he says, simply. "And you're somewhere safe. Fact is, with what you can do….it'll be a little before you're safe in 21st century civilization," he says.

"The first order of business is getting a handle on what you're now capable of, so it doesn't go off without you intending it to," Cat pipes up. "As to people flipping out about where you are, you being out of contact, that's up to you also. We can let them wonder, or we can make a way for you to contact a publicist with the film company and have them keep putting out a story about being at an undisclosed location in the aftermath of the attack but being perfectly safe and healthy."

"It's not what I can do, Leo. It does it to me. My ribs still ache." Max clutches at his side. "I think I like the Hollywood version of being Evolved better." A tiny ghost of a smile appears. Well. At least he hasn't lost his sense of humour. "If I know my people, they're going to want to talk to me, but I'm guessing…" He looks around him. "…this isn't a place you want a lot of Hollywood types knowing about. I'll, uh…write them a note? Tell 'em to…aw, hell. I trust whoever to make up a decent cover story."

"Call, if you can trust yourself not to blow out a phone," Leo says, simply. "That works better. Make 'em think you aren't kidnapped. I swear, we mean you no harm." He takes a few mouthfuls of water, regards Max as if he's not sure what to do with him.

"You aren't, by the way, kidnapped. You could get up and leave at any time," Cat assures. "But we very much recommend against that before you get a handle on what you've manifested. It could happen again without your intention and cause damage. Or get attention on you in a way you can't work out of, lessen your options. Both, actually."

"It's not uncommon for you to feel a physical effect. Many people with a new ability have them. It often shows in the form of nosebleeds, headaches, or both from the sudden overuse. Stressful situations triggering manifestation is common too."

"Oh, don't worry. I don't plan on going very far for awhile. I just don't want anyone panicking or hunting either of you down. I don't want to bring shit down on your head. There's enough of that to go around already." Max re-caps his bottle of water and slowly lowers himself down onto the bed. "I don't know what that was or if it'll happen again. And I definitely don't know how to trigger it."

Leonard's tone has no doubt in it. None at all. "It'll happen again," He rubs at his eyes, and then takes a few hasty swallows of his water. "We'll help you, though. It can be controlled."

"First you have to find your on switch," Cat states quietly, "then you can find the off switch. When it happened, there was chaos. Trash cans suddenly exploded, and it would seem your instinct was to get things away from yourself. So you did just that. This is where the trigger lies. Think of what you felt at that moment, what was going on in your head."

"I don't know." Well, at least he's honest. Right? "Did you not flashback at the first attempt? Maybe PTSD is your trigger. God knows I fuck shit up when mine comes on," Ah, Leo. Ever silvertongued and eloquent.

"Think about Somalia," Cat instructs, "get that in your mind. When we get the pulse to happen, then we can work on concentrating to get it under control. To stop and start it at will."

He uncaps the bottle of water and takes a deep breath. "I appreciate your help, uh, Cat, is it? But I'm pretty exhausted and my head's still full of drugs. Maybe I'd better hold off on trying to make that happen again until I've got my head back." Then, "What exactly did I do again?"

He does have a point. So Leo doesn't press the issue. Far from it. "Some sort of electromagnetic pulse. Ferrous material reacted, but nothing else. Fried electronic equipment - that was a shitload of damage you did there." He sounds almost….admiring?

"It pushed away metal objects in a circle around you," Cat adds, "and caused discomfort to people in the area. That doesn't seem to fit EMP, unless… somehow the severity of the initial outburst interacted with the electrical bits of the nervous system." That's what makes sense to her most, anyway.

But she acquiesces for now. "Rest, relax, clear your head, Mr. Quinn. There'll be time for working on control."

"S'just Max, okay," says the actor. He waves a hand. "People only call me Mr. Quinn when they're sucking up to me, not doing me favours and saving my ass." He coughs and holds a hand against his stomach. "I should call my agent. Stop him from panicking at the very least. But uh, if I really do make stuff explode, I hate to ask to use one of yours."

Leonard just hands him a disposable cellphone. "Not a big deal," he says, dismissively.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License