Master Plan


griffin_icon.gif child-owain_icon.gif

Scene Title Master Plan
Synopsis Griffin has a very important conversation with his son, Owain, one that has been ten years in the making.
Date December 03, 2010

A Schoolyard

A happy little boy. A sweater vest, a button down and some slacks. Most kids in New York City get jeans and t-shirts. Owain gets a nice pea-coat and scarf and even some gloves to go with it. While other kids are running around and tackling each other, some getting a little dirty or torn, Owain is quietly playing basketball in the yard of his school in the financial district, waiting for the bus that will come and take him home.

He's a graceful kid, laughing and smiling and missing a tooth now too - tooth fairy took care of him but good for that one. But unlike the others, he's neat and clean and looks like a perfectly little buck-toothed gentleman. While his looks signify that he is his father's son, his dress and mannerisms are displays of his 'mother's' influence. He laughs, shooting the ball again. It hits the rim.

It was difficult to work up to this point. To work up to the point where he finally reveals to his son, who has lived a lie for all ten years of his life, that he is his father. Marjorie can't be trusted to break this to him— she hasn't, and she probably won't. It's his job, in any case, and in this respect, it is not her decision. Not any longer.

And he's come prepared. A messenger bag contains several photo albums, collected from his final visit with his wife, Owain's mother he never got the opportunity to know. That life was prematurely snuffed out, as much as Griffin wanted to prevent that. It happened later at night, and he wasn't found until the next morning as opposed, but the outcome was the same: Griffin was taken in by the Company, and Owain was left in Marjorie's care. No real butterflies were stepped on.

The messenger bag is placed on the ground near the basketball court, and a long hand reaches out, catching the basketball before it can hit the ground. Then, Griffin is dribbling the ball once, before passing it back to Owain. "Straighten your back when you shoot, and follow through by pointing your hand at the square. The ball will go where you point."

Owain was about to shoot, but he turns, a little surprised to see Griffin. And he smiles. "Oh, Hi Mr. Griffin. What are you doing here?" He asks, turning to a friend of his. "Here Freddy, play with this a second, I'll be right there." He tosses the ball behind him to a little boy in a green windbreaker. Owain's jacket, by comparison, is thick and warm. The boy turns back to Griffin, sweeping some of his bangs back off his forehead. "Where's Mom?" The boy asks, assuming that Griffin came with his mother. After all, he's hardly ever seen the man without her.

Griffin smiles faintly, gesturing for Owain to join him as he moves over to a bench near the court, grabbing his bag as he does so. There he settles down, patting the bench next to him. "She's at home right now, waiting for you. I came by to chat with you. Been a while since I've seen you, and there's something important I need to tell you."

How on earth does he start? Well, to begin with, he pulls out a photo album. The one of he and Cindy's life before Owain came into the picture. The album is opened, revealing a much younger high-school age Griffin. Slowly, he flips through, giving his son a chance to look at each picture. He and Cindy after he had just won a national high school game. He was good. He was on the track to being an easy pick for the NBA. Theme pictures of a slickly dressed teenaged Griffin playing a grand piano while Cindy lovingly looks on.

"This was me and my wife, Cindy. She was my high school sweetheart…I loved her very, very much. She saw me through the fall I had at a game that made me limp like I do. Shortly after we graduated from high school, we got married." He smiles, tracing his fingers over a closeup of an extremely happy Cindy, holding tight to a brightly smiling Griffin, their cheeks pressed together.

Owain follows obediently. He is nothing if not a polite boy. As he settles, he sits back so his feet just don't touch the ground. Seeing that, he slides forward. He wants to be like an adult, with his feet on the ground. Eventually he'll be tall enough, he's just not yet. It feels like a lifetime before he'll be able to. "She's pretty," Owain says appropriately, truthfully. As the pictures flip by, Owain glances over them, but doesn't look terribly hard. People who aren't in pictures, or who have no memories of them tend to be less interested in the content of them. But he looks, politely.

This first album is gone through rather quickly. Pictures of a happy wedding, more pictures. The album is filled almost all the way to the brim before the pictures end. Then, Griffin is placing that back into the bag, and pulling out a second album, opening it up. The first picture is of a positive pregnancy test, with girlish handwriting underneath. 'We're pregnant!!!'

"She and I loved each other so much, that our love made a baby. It wasn't something we expected, but we were happy. We were going to be parents, and have a little baby that came from our love." The subsequent pictures are pictures of Cindy picking out baby clothes, with a belly that grows progressively through each one. Marjorie is in a few of them; in one, she's holding up a blanket that Owain might recognize as his baby blanket, standing next to a Cindy with a belly that's just starting to show the little child growing within her.

Slowly, he flips through, with Cindy growing larger. Marjorie and Owain's grandparents make appearances too, all of them centered around that growing belly of Cindy's. "He grew inside Cindy, and it felt like his due date was coming so quickly, but at the same time, he couldn't come to us soon enough. I fell in love with him before he ever came out of his mommy's belly." He slows here, glancing toward Owain to watch his reaction.

It's the blanket more than his mother that catches Owain's attention. "Hey," He says, moving his hand to stop the turning of pictures by pointing at Marjorie's smiling face. She was so ready to be an auntie! "Hey, that's mine. Was I born when this was taken?" He asks, curiously. Marjorie doesn't look pregnant in any of these shots. Maybe he'd already been born, or not born yet. Maybe the blanket was a hand-me-down from Griffin's kid. That would make sense - Marjorie is all into handing things down family generations.

"No, you weren't born yet in these pictures." Griffin smiles faintly over to Owain. This is going well…so far. The photo albums were a good idea. It lets him slowly introduce Owain to this crucial fact. The pages turn slowly, now, Griff letting his son take a good look at each one. At the entire family, rallied around Cindy's growing belly. Other people, Cindy's parents, who Owain might recognize; Griff is unsure if Cindy's parents had a part. Last he saw when he visited on his way to New York, Cindy's mother had eventually died in 2005, and her father was in a home. The Clayton Family really got the stiff end of the deal.

As her belly grows bigger, there are more pictures of Cindy sitting in bed. Marjorie, slim as ever. A few of these are dated not too long before Owain was born. "The pregnancy was difficult, but we held through it."

The page is turned, and then there is a filler page, done up decoratively by an obviously feminine hand. 'JANUARY 26, 2000: The Beginning of a Beautiful Life.' That's Owain's birthday. Griffin allows Owain to absorb that for a moment, before he turns the page again. There's pictures of the trip to the hospital, and the time spent in the hospital room while they waited for the time for pushing to begin. Marjorie is there, as are all of the family, with a smiling Griffin looking as nervous as can be, holding his wife's hand.

"Hey, that's my birthday. How come Mom's so thin?" He asks, frowning a little. Something's not right, and it's making him frown. "I'm supposed to be born then, but Mom isn't giving birth. I don't understand." Nervousness and confusion fill the boy's eyes as he looks up at Griffin. What is this game you are playing, sir? That's what his eyes ask. After all, when things don't add up - it confuses the boy. And he is as confused now as ever before.

Griffin keeps turning the pages. Pictures of Griffin, pacing in the waiting room with his arms crossed over his chest. Pictures of a very strained Cindy, tired after pushing. Pictures of the family, supporting Cindy. Marjorie looks young, only a teenager, and so excited about being an auntie. He doesn't offer a verbal response to Owain yet, letting the pictures do the talking.

And then, after another turn of the page, there's another decorated page. At its center is a picture of the happy family, holding a newborn baby boy. Griffin and Cindy don't seem to care about the camera pointed at them; they're both staring down at their newborn son with loving eyes. Beneath it, in that same girlish handwriting, is the child's information.


Born January 26, 2000

Mother: Cindy Elise Mihangle

Father: Griffin Owain Mihangle

On the next page, are more pictures. Pictures of Owain being held by his parents. Of him being held by his grandparents on both sides. Of a smiling Marjorie, holding her newborn nephew. Everyone is so happy in the pictures; a long wait was over, and they were welcoming the start of a new generation into their family. And each photo is labeled: 'Owain with Mommy,' 'Owain with Daddy,' 'Owain with Grandma and Grandpa'. And under Marjorie's photo: 'Owain with Auntie Marjorie.'

"She's so thin because she isn't your mother. She is your Aunt Marjorie. My little sister." He pauses, letting Owain take this in. A finger caresses the face of a tired, smiling Cindy, kissing her newborn son's forehead. "Cindy is your mother, Owain. She loved you, so very very much." A pause. "And I'm your father."

He braces for whatever reaction his son might have to this life-changing information that he is offering.

Owain leans over, frowning as he looks over these photographs. His fingers trail down the works, marking them as he reads them. It’s a gesture he'll probably carry well into his old age, and for a moment one can possibly see what Owain Mihangle, after all that life has to offer, may look like. But then he goes back to being a ten year old boy who does not look happy.

"But that doesn't make any sense. Mom's…mom. I mean she's always been my mom. That's….that's not right." He sits back, almost authoritatively in a gesture of stubbornness that could only have come from his father. "Mom's mom, and she said my dad was kidnapped by the government for being Evolved. I mean if this lady," he gestures to Cindy, "is really my mom, where is she?"

"Marjorie…she is, by blood, your aunt. That doesn't make her any less the woman who raised you. But she is not the woman who gave birth to you. It— it wasn't ever supposed to be like that." Griffin slowly turns the pages, and the pictures become more and more recognizable. The first days home, with Cindy looking happy. In the pictures, they seem so happy.

His questions prompt Griffin to tilt his head to one side, peering down at the boy who is unmistakably his son, if one goes by looks alone. Demeanor seems hereditary, too. "Your mom…Cindy…she died when you were just a little boy, only four months old." The pictures suddenly end at four months, as Griffin has said. But the pictures are unmistakable. There's even one that Marjorie may have kept, when she was invited along for picture time. A duplicate.

"I was taken by the government for being Evolved. They kept me for ten years." He doesn't reach out for the boy to hug him like he wants to. "Some of those ten years, I don't even remember. The rest, they kept me in a concrete cell, with uncomfortable cots and, when I was lucky, tiny windows." He holds his fingers about four inches apart. "And they gave me shots every day to keep me from being able to use my ability." With the same hand he used to indicate size, he points up to a crescent-shaped scar under his chin.

Owain isn't so interested in the photographs anymore. All photographs tend to look alike, when it comes to families. Photographs don't give him information, and information is what he really needs right now. Griffin may see himself in his son, but there is just as much of Marjorie's parenting as anything else. "But…I don't understand." He closes his eyes a moment and then shakes his head. "Why didn't you guys just say so? Is that why we came to New York? For you? Mom always said….but….how did your wife die?" Your wife. Not my mom.

Griffin tilts his head toward the boy. As they speak, he's removing a picture of him and Marjorie gathered around Cindy, who is holding the baby Owain. The back is labeled, just like the album was labeled for that spot. "I really, really wish that I had told you sooner, but Marjorie— she wanted to wait." He leans back on the bench, staring out over the basketball court, idly fidgeting with the photos in his fingers. "As far as I know, I'm why you and— and your mom, came to New York. She hired a private investigator, and found me."

A sad look forms over his face as the boy asks how she died. He was hoping to avoid this question, though he knew it would come. It still doesn't make the answer come any easier. "She— well." He takes a deep breath, closing his eyes. "My ability manifested at a very, very bad time. I have telekinesis…I can move things with my mind. It…" He stops, opening his eyes to stare sadly down at the boy.

Finally, he just spits it out. "When my ability manifested, it killed my wife…you were four months old." He can't help the tears that trickle from his eyes— it's still to this day a sore subject, especially after his final goodbye with Cindy barely a month ago. "After— after it happened, you were crying so much…so I held you close and cried with you, until the police came and took me away, and they gave you to your Aunt Marjorie…"

"Wait," The boy says, now a little bit flustered. He kicks his feet a little as excitement and confusion start to run through his veins. "Wait…your ability manifested….that's…that's when people become Evos, right? So what you…you shot her with laser beams or something? Is that what happened? So she was dead because….you killed her and….and then they gave me to Mom. And mom had to find you? If you're my dad…why didn't you come back? Why isn't mom here now?" Kids and their questions.

Griffin watches Owain for a long moment through teary eyes, his brows arching for a moment. So many question…but he'll answer them all, and he'll tell you the truth. "Yes, that's when they become Evos. You're an Evolved too, so Marjorie tells me, so one day, you'll manifest, too. Until then, we we won't know what your ability will be, or when it will even happen."

Then, he shakes his head. "I didn't shoot her with laser beams. I…it's something that is very difficult for me to talk about." He rubs at the bridge of his nose, frowning a bit.

"At first…I didn't want to come back. Back when you were living in Chicago, I visited, but I didn't say hi. I just…watched you. My son." It feels good to say those words to the boy. "You seemed so happy, and I— they didn't want to let me out of Moab, it just happened. None of us even planned it…I was reading in a courtyard, and then I was in Canada, and three weeks had passed." He frowns. "I didn't want to bring my trouble to you. I was scared that my trouble will effect you." A warm hand gently clasps the boy's shoulder, if he will allow it. "I still am scared."

"Your mom…she isn't here right now because we had a fight. I wasn't nice to her— I was very upset, and acting like a child." He's reaching into the bag, writing a phone number on the back of the ten year old photo. "And she didn't want me to tell you that you are my son. She thought that you're too young." He says this in a tone that disagrees with the statement.

"So why are you telling me now?" Owain's eyes, big and green as they are, stare up at the man that he's told is his father - is his mom's brother. That's very confusing, it's like a joke people tell about who is the doctor, the father or the mother. Stuff like that that is confusing. "I mean, if you didn't want to come and find me - come and find me and mom - then why are you telling me now? I mean, is she a bad mom or something?"

Griffin turns his own matching green eyes down to his son's face, flustered for a moment by the question. He chews on his lip for a moment, thinking of just how to answer that question. "I did come and find you. But…you were safe. I wanted to keep it that way. Things are different now— Marjorie found me, after ten years, here in New York. She moved you out here with her. And…I've gotten to know you." He squeezes the boy's shoulder gently, closing his eyes. "And I changed my mind. I want to be here with you. I want to be your dad, if you'll let me."

Then, he's shaking his head. "No…she's not a bad mom. Not at all. She's done so well, raising you like she has. I just…I felt that you deserve the real truth, not a fairytale life, not knowing the truth about your existence." He offers the picture to the boy.

"I'm telling you because I think you're a very smart young man, and because you deserve to know the truth. Just like I think that you are old enough to make some of your own decisions— like about me." He glances to the offered picture. "Take this. Ask your mother about all of the things I've told you today. Show her the picture. You take the time you need to process all of this…and I'll answer all of your questions with the truth. I promise."

Owain takes the picture, folding it and slipping it into his pocket. One perfect crease. He's a kid, he doesn't realize what he's doing. He'll regret that motion in about 5 years or so, but for now he's only 10 and it doesn't really register. "I have to catch my bus," he says, and with that the boy pushes off the seat and rises. He starts away, but pauses back over his shoulder. "Bye," he says softly, before running to pick up his back-pack up against the school wall and to run to his bus.

Griffin watches quietly, nodding. "And tell your mom that I do love her." He calls this after the boy, placing the photo album back into his bag and raising to his feet to watch his son go. Then, gathering up his own bag, Griffin begins to make his way away from the school, his eyes hooded. Soon, he'll be moving into a better place…this weekend, actually. And now, Marjorie will likely know that he's alive. Things are in motion…there's just a few more strings to take care of in his master plan.

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