No Good Answers


brynn_icon.gif devon_icon.gif

Scene Title No Good Answers
Synopsis But it's not like it's anything new.
Date March 3, 2021

The Lanthorn

The text that hit Devon's phone came from what he probably considers an unlikely source — Brynn is not exactly in constant contact with him these days. So the request, Could you come see me at the firehouse?, might be something of a surprise.

It's definitely not an expected message, catching Devon off guard when it came in. But, with a small measure of reserve, he replied that he'd be there in a bit. In the end it took him a little more than an hour to arrive, announced by a sound knock on the door. And then a text message, in hindsight, to say he's outside.

It takes a little time for the door to open, but when it does, the petite brunette accompanied by the Goldendoodle is the one who does it. Her right hand is on the door while her left holds a cane to help her balance. Despite the hour and the closed curtains in that front window, Brynn has on sunglasses. A gesture with her right hand invites him in.

She can't exactly tell him why she asked him there until they make it back to the family room — and she actually thought ahead! There is a tablet sitting on the coffee table that she points to for him to read. She moves awkwardly, not quite limping but clearly cautious of her steps.

Sorry for the abrupt invite. I didn't know who else to talk to. I'm hoping you might be able to help me a little bit. I'm not me. And I don't know what to do. She's kind of hoping he's figured out how to manage because there were two of him, right?!

After following Brynn, Devon picks up the tablet as directed. It's obvious, at a glance, that he's not even sure how he'd be able to help. Or where this crazy idea is coming from. He frowns slightly, looking up at Brynn then to the screen again.

Not sure what you mean, he types. Did you talk to Asi? His hand hovers briefly, like he might add more to his response. But he ends there, offering to tablet back.

Brynn lowers herself slowly to the sofa, careful that she can see where she settles. Afterward, she takes the tablet back and types into it, i don't know how to explain well. The bodies in the plane crash, these bodies — they're not the real us. She hesitates and seems to be searching for words. We're consciousness inside robot bodies. Me and Jac and Aunt Abby and Aunt Kaylee and everybody … the real versions of us are somewhere else.

There is an expression of uncertainty on her features, her gray eyes giving a sense of being lost. I don't know if the real me is even alive. I don't know where to put that, Devon. I don't know how to feel… except scared.

And she knows he will understand at least that much.

To a point, Devon does understand. Finding out you're cloned — or whatever the technical circumstance is — isn't an easy thing to swallow. I think that's a pretty normal reaction. His brows tick up as he replies, unsure of his words but at least saved from having his voice betray him.

There isn't anything I can really tell you. His experience had been vastly different from what he's imagining the crash survivors had gone through. Not better or worse, just very different. He and his other self were not modified in any detectable way but were literally identical twins. He was also connected to the other him, sharing experiences without going through them. Except maybe just live. You're still you, what makes you *you* is what's inside, not the packaging it comes in.

Is it, though? Brynn's expression shows her uncertainty, and she absently uses her left hand to massage her right. It looks like a nervous habit that she's developing. When she reaches for the tablet to type to him, she sighs softly.

Aunt Abby is gone, she types. It's a loss that she feels deeply. She said the 'real' Abby would be trying to get home. That idea is both terrifying and heartbreaking.

They think we're breaking down, Devon. She looks up at him and maybe it's clearer why she turned to him instead of one of her siblings for this. He doesn't have quite as much personal attachment to her personally and she needs a friend. They think that the stroke and stuff is because we are somehow unfinished. I don't want them to mourn me if the real Brynn is still out there somewhere hoping for a rescue.

Maybe it's not really so different after all.

And no one really has any concrete answers about what anything is, Devon points out. As far as he knows, the evidence isn't pointing clearly at anything. Everyone is looking at the doom-and-gloom of the situation and it sucks. He pauses to look at Brynn, to make that eye contact so she knows he's not belittling the issue at hand. But it could be the very natural response to being under a lot of stress too. You and every other survivor keep running headlong into walls trying to figure out what happened and how to fix it. If you're connected to your other self?

Devon shrugs. Honestly, I'd take these strokes as a sign to slow down. You could be doing more harm if you keep trying.

Brynn's not sure she likes that answer. It shows in her expression. Her tapping into the tablet is not as laborious as her signing feels. I haven't been running headlong into anything — I've just been doing my best to figure out how to live without my ability. And now with being able to *hear* a bunch of things that are distracting and have no meaning, she retorts.

With a long sigh, Brynn bites her lip. She isn't one of the ones who has been doing anything except allowing them to take blood and stuff once in a while to study. She looks up at him and asks with genuine curiosity, I don't think we're connected to our real bodies. These bodies don't have the Slice gene in them at all. If our real bodies are out there… would you stop trying to find them? I know it was different for you cuz you're the real body, but…

Both my bodies were real.”

Devon speaks it before he types it onto the tablet, his fingers tapping the screen with as much emphasis as his voice had held. Of course, only he and Doodlebug are able to appreciate that, but perhaps Brynn will pick up on the insistence through his actions. And still not one of you has any idea what's happened or is happening. You might be connected to your original bodies or you might not be. Your original bodies might be buried in the ocean or sent off to colonize Mars. That's a stretch of the imagination, but he's trying to get the girl to recognize that the survivors' lack of information and acceptance of the unreasonable is stunting any viable paths to understanding what's going on.

Besides, he goes on. Somehow you're all connected, right? So if half the group goes bull in a China shop trying to solve the problem, then maybe it triggered something in the rest of you. It feels like grasping at straws, but Dev has little to offer that's helpful. Except the uncounted possibilities.

His vehemence makes her jump — not because of the words, but the tone itself is harder somehow, causing her to instinctively duck, as if that would do any good. Gray eyes flicker uncertainly up to his face, seeking whether its anger or something else in his expression. She doesn't have enough experience to determine anything from tone. Brynn watches his face and then looks at what he typed.

For a long moment, she stares at his words. And then finally she simply types back, Then there's nothing I can do about it anyway. They won't stop looking for answers. and she's not sure she actually wants them too, although she doesn't particularly want to /die/ either.

Pulling in a breath and letting it out slowly, she finally shrugs a little. Guess I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing. There's not a lot else Brynn feels like she actually *can* do about it all.

There isn't anger in Devon as he types or while he waits for Brynn’s response. Just an intensity and undertones of undefined frustration. Look, everyone who was taken must be connected somehow. So it likely doesn't matter how little or much any one person does, if his theory is right then any action or inaction will somehow going to affect everyone. The only thing you can do is support each other. Start with Asi maybe, she was asking me the same thing a few months ago. He starts to hand the tablet back, then pauses to add one more thing.

And try to live your life like nothing’s different. Sorry there's nothing else I can tell you.

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