My Dad Sucks WAY More Than That


vf_elisabeth_icon.gif vf_magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title My Dad Sucks WAY More Than That
Synopsis Magnes comes to let Liz know the outcome of the trip outside, and Liz gives him the radio.
Date December 11, 2011

Liz's Quarters

After much quarantine and being washed down, Magnes is finally allowed to walk around when the evening of the 11th rolls around. He's back in his green Surge shirt, and looks a bit exhausted by the time he knocks on Elisabeth's door.

He leans forward, forehead resting against the wall next to the door, yawning.

The door is opened immediately — it's a safe bet that since she knew he'd gone out, she's been waiting for him to come by and let her know what happened as soon as he could. Elisabeth looks relieved that he's … here. And okay. "Come in," she gestures immediately. "Tell me everything." She looks like she's both dreading and anticipating what he has to say — because she knows it's all going to be horrible, but… it's still information.

"Hana's alive." is Magnes' first statement, as he takes a seat on the edge of her bed and just rests his forehead in his hands. He doesn't seem like his usual self, full of energy and such. "We have to get out of this world."

Elisabeth blinks. "Wait, what?" They already knew they had to get out of this world — that's not news. "Hana's still alive? And coherent?" She's not entirely sure how long the Israeli woman has been out there, but … that seems like it shouldn't be possible. "Jesus," she breathes out, shoving a hand through her shorn hair while the other props on her hip. "That….. if she's willing, that actually could be helpful. If the radio signal thing has any merit at all."

"She insists that she has the virus, but she's definitely not a zombie. I might not have made it back without her. I don't understand how it's possible that she has the virus." Magnes lays back on the bed, letting his feet touch the floor. He runs his hands down his face, groaning. "These 'zombies', they're suffering, they're all people just… suffering, out of their minds and in Hell. I can't… this world… it almost seems wrong to let this world exist."

"Well… as I understand it, the virus attacks the Evo gene. None of the Evos went zombie. That's was just all the non-Evo vectors. The Evos just flat died." Elisabeth could have misunderstood, but… "I know they're suffering, Magnes. And there's nothing we can do for them." Her tone is gentle but firm. "The lesson you must keep in your head here — no matter how hard we try, we are not going to be able to save everyone." It's a sad but inevitable truth. And he has to know it. "I know you don't want to hear it. And you certainly don't want to believe it. But it's a fact. You have to put them out of your head and just deal with what's in front of us… saving whatever ones we can."

"If I did try to save everyone, I could get everyone killed. It's like I have to tear my heart out to do this, and I hate it so much…" Magnes places a hand over his chest, gripping his shirt. "That… if that was true, about the virus, it's not true anymore. The zombie we found, it could turn invisible, it almost killed us…"

"Well, that or I misunderstood the matter," Elisabeth replies quietly. "Although to be honest, it wouldn't surprise me to learn it's mutated again. I mean… it would have to continue to mutate, right? To continue to find new hosts." Shaking her head slightly, she moves to sit next to him. "There are a great many kinds of jobs even in our world where you have to tear out your own heart to do what needs to be done. You've always tried to ignore that — when you tried to be a Company agent, when you tried to be a cop, when you went to Antarctica." Her blue eyes are focused on the far wall. "Sometimes, no matter how much you want to help everyone, you just have to save the ones you can."

"Evolution is almost more horrifying than that. Depending on how rapid the evolution is, yeah, there's a chance and even a high likelihood that it'd evolve and 'jump species', especially since, well, we're all the same species but with a specific genetic mutation." Magnes takes a breath, as he's now gone into science mode. He sits up, hunched slightly. "But even more horrifying than that, is that it's rapidly evolving all the time, every cell division is a chance for more random evolutions. And a virus like this… who even knows what it might do. It could be intelligent for all we know."

But, shaking his head, he goes back to the other matter at hand. "I've never liked having to make the difficult choices… but I realize that if I have to make a difficult choice, I'm going to put all my chips into it. If some people have to suffer, then I don't want that suffering to be in vain, I want as many people as possible to live on where others couldn't…"

"It's a reasonable goal," she tells him quietly. Elisabeth's thoughts are on the radio and what Hana might have been able to do with it…. or whether she could do anything at all, since it's not exactly high-tech digital. "Edward sent you something to play with," she tells him, nodding her head to the corner of her 'cell' — the shortwave radio set sits there, doing nothing at the moment.

Magnes stands up, heading over to the shortwave radio to grab it and take it back to the bed. He stares down at it, eyes wide. "My father taught me about shortwave radio. I mean, it's not something I ever really focused on, but it was one of my lessons when he was teaching me about Numbers Stations and why it was important to learn how to crack the codes." There's a frown, and he shakes his head. "I never figured out how to properly crack the codes. I mean, I figured out one, but code cracking… it was just a bit much, so we moved onto other things."

But then, looking up at Elisabeth, his eyes are wide. "What if we could listen to our universe?"

Looking back at him, Elisabeth wishes she could sound as hopeful as he does. But she smiles. "Anything is worth a try, Magnes. If nothing else… it would get two worlds of people on board studying the problem, right?"

"Yeah, if we can figure out how to receive transmissions, we can probably figure out how to send them. I got a bunch of the kinds of books I needed, I'll be studying for a little while. And I'm finally gonna talk to Eileen. I'm trying to catch her in Isabelle's bar, I have a plan." Magnes' mood seems to have perked up a little, continuing to stare down at the shortwave radio. "If we can travel across worlds, then radiowaves can. Hell, radiowaves can travel through stars, a human can't even do that. I just need to find some ideas, which means I'll have to do a lot of cramming."

He gently turns the knob of the radio, though doesn't turn it on. He's just thinking. "My father taught me a lot of things, gave me a lot of rules, things I tried to forget. He once told me that if I ever met someone who looked like me, ever met someone who looked like my twin, I should shoot him. I only recently remembered, ironically I didn't remember when I actually met evil Vanguard Magnes."

"You know…" because he's on a tangent, a bit of a rabbit hole. "That Magnes, the one who called himself Varlane, he said that he got to our universe because of an accident with Gillian and a black hole. He also went on a lot about being from a Vanguard paradise… People here keep saying they don't know me, even Eileen doesn't recognize me except for that one time we met, but that weird twin I have, Varlane, he really said some stuff that makes me think…"

Elisabeth looks a bit surprised. "She's being allowed out and about?" Because she certainly hasn't seen Eileen around." And then she blinks with a frown. "Your father…. knew about alternate timelines," she says flatly. It's not even a question. Because… why the fuck should anything surprise her? "If what you're saying is accurate, then we are on the right track, going after Gilly. I don't know that I personally think this would be anyone's idea of a paradise, Magnes, but … maybe you were insane."

"I mean, only one of us threw a shark at the other, and it wasn't him." Magnes says with a slight smile. "I don't know, I know me, and I know how I was with Kazimir, even if he was in Peter's body. The feeling of being more than people believed I was, the feeling that I was special, meant to be something. Kazimir gave me those things. I can't imagine how I'd be if I joined him, if I embraced this world's Kazimir."

"I know what's in my mind, what I hide, what my father taught me, the person he wanted me to be, the past I run from, long before I knew any of you…" He closes his eyes, perhaps combing through buried memories. "Sometimes I scare myself, I think I've always scared myself. Being fun, silly, it's easy, it belittles, well, myself, in a way that I can handle. The way that I'm dealing with."

Looking up at her, very seriously. "Edward Ray, his ability, trying to manipulate and think around it, think about the building blocks of probability and how to overcome someone who can predict my every move… these are things that my father taught me, I realize it more every day. He was teaching me how to solve puzzles, how to crack abilities. Every ability has a weakness, and Edward's is actually very simple."

He holds up a single finger. "He can only predict people if he knows them. Which is why, when I'm around him, I've gone out of my way to tell him false things about myself, minor things. That I like pickles on a burger for example, I hate pickles on a burger though. White lies, a stockpile of white lies, things no one would have a reason to lie about. I want to be the chaotic grey area of his mind, the thing that exists in his probability model inaccurately."

There's a long frown. "You know…. you and I need to sit down sometime and actually talk about your father, I think, Magnes. It's…. unlikely that it's important now. But … if we do get back home? I'm starting to think your father might be one of those missing threads that, if we pull on it a little, is going to open up a whole new array of information that we probably needed. I was rather under the impression that your parents were just assholes. Which… sounds like at least your father really WAS that… but it also sounds like… " She shakes her head. "I've just stopped believing that anything happens truly by chance. So his ties to you and yours to all this? It's niggling me. ANd I don't like it when things niggle me. Richard taught me to listen to the niggles."

"Well, I don't think you ever knew this, Cardinal did though. My father works for the Institute, and for a while, before I realized they were awful human beings, I was thinking of joining the Institute myself. My father wanted me to, I guess to give me a chance to prove myself. That I wasn't a failure that he disowned." Magnes does, however, quickly add, "I didn't know this until kind of recently, I'm only just starting to put certain pieces together. I sometimes wonder if he treated my mother so awful because he was an asshole, or for other reasons."

There's a blink. A long one. "Motherfucker," Elisabeth breathes out. "No… I was not aware of that, Magnes," she tells him. "Not like it really matters, but… if Richard already knows all that, then I don't see the need of trying to get it out of you. Because we all know the Institute's sorry ass was doing time travel shenanigans. So … why wouldn't they know about alternate timelines?"

"I never knew a lot about the Institute, I mean, I knew that they did shady things, but there was a long time when I kept trying to avoid any information, at least until Messiah pulled me back in. And obviously I got involved with the Ferry…" Magnes shakes his head, just seemingly exhausted with literally all the thoughts. "I kept holding out hope that they might be doing something good, but obviously, in the end, that wasn't the case. And, well, until now, us talking right here, I always assumed you knew whatever Cardinal knew."

Elisabeth laughs, genuinely amused. "That's probably true a lot of the time, but Magnes…. we were a couple. We didnt' share a brain cell. Hell, some of the time, we even had differing opinions on what things would work or what things were important. Do you remember me shit-canning my life and becoming a fugitive? That was not in the plans." She shakes her head. "Wow, was he pissed over that. But… wherever your father fit into the mix, at the time he was probably not someone we considered pivotal to anything, so… not important for me to deal with. I had enough on my plate."

"I never understood my father, or what he wanted. I lived with him for most of my life and I didn't understand a thing. He was the kind of person who would pull a gun out on someone in traffic." Magnes says this, and then suddenly reflects on his life, and his tendency to, well, shoot people for super minor reasons. "Um, anyway, I mean, I really don't get it, or what his plans for me were. But I'll try to use what he gave me to do some good."

"It's pretty much all anyone can do. So… go see what you can get out of Eileen, okay? If she has a location, that would be helpful. Between Peyton and Richard, we may be able to get a full recon of the place. But we'll see what happens."

"Alright. I'll talk to Eileen, and get to studying. I'm hoping I'll have a solid plan soon, for how we'll get out of here." Magnes stands, sitting the radio on the bed for a moment, and walks over, trying to offer her a comforting embrace. "I'll get you home."

There's a soft sigh, and she hugs him back tightly. "I wish either one of us could make that promise," Liz whispers. Then she releases him and shoos him off. "G'wan, you… you have studying to do," she tells him with a weary smile. "And I've got…. hell, I don't even know what I've got." Certainly nothing useful at the moment, though.

"Go kiss Cardinal!" Magnes exclaims before he takes the radio and darts out the door, shutting it behind him as if expecting something to get thrown at him at any moment.

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