Not a Better Person


kapila_icon.gif robinhood_icon.gif

Scene Title Not a Better Person
Synopsis Robin Hood comes asking about how to be a better person. Hana knows she isn't one, but presumes to give him advice anyway.
Date May 25, 2009

Somewhere Unreal

Granted, life as Wade Quinn has turned out pretty well for young Taylor Reed. He's had no knocks on the door and no invading technopaths to worry about, but deep inside something has been nagging him. What were the words?

I can offer you something else. A different life.

That's what he/she said.

You are not alone, Robin Hood. You do not have to be the pariah.

When you are ready, attempt to access that network, and contact K.Apila; she will teach you a lesson you do not want to learn.

K.Apila? K.Apila?

So he does. Entering the net he reaches out as if able to summon K.Apila. Whoever that may be.

K.Apila? Are you there?

Three people know that identity, to the knowledge of the woman who uses it; one of them, Hana definitely doesn't want to talk to. The other two don't rank much higher in her esteem at just this moment. She lets moments of digital silence pass, gathering what semblance of tranquility she can before sending a reply into the aether.

I am.
Who asks?

I was told to seek you. I was told you had answers. I was told you could help me. I am called Robin Hood.

Either Hood doesn't recognize the signature of K.Apila or he doesn't know it. Either way, he explains who he is with those two words. Welcome to Sherwood Forest.

There is another pause, and in the digital conversation, it is just a pause — there are no gestures, no expressions, no body language by which to convey subtlety.

After a time, the sought-out technopath replies. What answers are you looking for?

Why is he being asked that? He didn't approach anyone. They came to him and said they had answers. Something to make him a better person. Maybe he's wasting his time.

I don't know. Someone came to me and said they had the answers and that I should contact you. That you could help me — be better, I guess.

He can't see the way her head tilts, the consideration of his reply. K.Apila answers more quickly than before; distaste is somewhat easier to swallow the third time around, when she has no other option open.

Answers do you little good if you don't know the questions that go with them. I have many answers; not all of them are meaningful for you.
Do you truly want to take the first step down that road, Robin Hood?
Do you truly want to be better?

There is a momentary pause, but not so long that K.Apila's final remark seems out of place.

It is not an easy road to walk.

It is a pity that only unadorned data was sent; there is no sense of what emotion fits with that sentence, whether it is clinical remove, the weight of experience, or somewhat in between.

Damn. Why do they always speak in riddles? Why can't they just come out and tell me what it is they want me to know. There's a sudden thought that perhaps they are playing with him now. Taunting him. Perhaps sensing how young he is, they are taking advantage of him.

What do you mean by that? Why can't you just show me the way and stop with all this weird talk? I didn't approach you guys, you approached me. If this is some joke, it's not very funny.

It's probably for the best as Hood would probably sound rather irritated at the moment.

It's a peculiar form of 'taking advantage', these conversations that do nothing, ask nothing, demand nothing. A joke, perhaps. But still a peculiar one.

Hana can more than understand his frustration; she shares it all too often. She's not, however, inclined to take pity on Robin Hood of all people. Or cut him any slack for his youth.

If you want to be better, Robin Hood, first recognize and make amends to those whom you have wronged.

Yeah, he'll have to get back to her on that one. After he calculates how many — potentially, millions of — people he has done wrong to. And that's only in this timeline! Shit.

You have no idea what you are asking of me.

And if she does, she's just being mean then.

I'll consider it. If it's even possible.

He draws back from the net, making his way back to the body he left waiting for him. Hood becomes Wade once again as he sits and stares at the computer.

Ultimately, Hana only cares about one of those many people. Monk cares about the rest, inasmuch as they relate to 'Robin Hood' and redeeming the boy.

Monk can keep his philosophy.

Lifting her head, Hana looks up from where she was sitting, dark gaze flicking to the window, the street outside, with its cars and people and pets and birds all enjoying the spring evening. She smiles, a wolf's grin of bared teeth meant not for those immediately outside, but for something far away beyond the buildings that block sight.

Monk may have tied her hands in every way that matters, but she can still do this much. Go chew on that for a long, long time, Robin Hood.

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