Old Man Trouble


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Scene Title Old Man Trouble
Synopsis Lynette has a few extra pieces of news to share with Robyn. Little of it goes over well.
Date June 23, 2018


Silently, Robyn Quinn stares into the coffee in her hand. Half gone and begging for additives she dare not make use of while in the Benchmark premises, something about the coffee she holds in front of her seems to hold a memorising spell over her. She's been quiet ever since Chess took her leave of the SESA agent and their host. Mostly because she's tired, and now that she doesn't need to be at her best for the meeting Lynette had asked her here for, it shows much more plainly on her face.

Fingers tap against the ceramic, eye closing for a moment as she takes a long breath and sinks a bit deeper into her seat. She raises the mug, taking a long sip and smiles, before silently looking up to Lynette and nodding, a taciturn gesture of thanks for the coffee.

"It's good to know, Lynette, that you're still good at finding trouble," she finally breaks her silence to offer, following it with another long sip of coffee. "Lucky I enjoy it."

"A blessing and a curse," Lynette chuckles a little into her mug, but by the time she lowers it to rest on her leg, her expression has turned serious. "Chess' problem isn't the only piece of trouble I wanted to talk to you about."

She been internally debating how to come at this, with Robyn. The things she needs to know. Both pieces of news are rather delicate. But Lynette has had a lot of practice, in telling people difficult things, lately.

"Eileen is back," she says, bluntly, because that is only the beginning. "Not risen from the grave, but from another time. She seems to have some memory of things, but I don't know how much of that is genuine or garnered from the news and her damn birds. But— more importantly— she's very dangerous. If you see her, don't piss her off. I did and it went poorly. Her power… she has something extra now. Something that can drain the life right out of you."

Somehow, Robyn isn't surprised that there's more trouble. She had had half a mind to ask if Chess was all Lynette had to talk about, even. She quirks an eyebrow at Lynette, smirking as she takes a sip of her coffee. "Yes, well-"

Eileen is back.

Robyn suddenly finds herself almost choking on her coffee,a hand raised over her mouth the only outward sign of her reaction to the news. Swallow, sip again to sooth and clear her throat. Leveling her gaze with Lynette, expression flat. "Eileen Ruskin," she states flatly. "From another time." An implied request for confirmation.

To say that Robyn Quinn has complex feelings about Eileen Ruskin is an understatement. "And you're sure it's not just the Institute doing…" She waves a hand back and forth, almost as if dismissing the notion. "Institute things.

"It doesn't seem so, no, but I'm not ruling anything out." Because you never know. "We've been having a few… timeline convergence events and she seems to be related to them. However, Eileen from any origin is very clever. So who knows." Lynette is practical about the fact that there is a lot she doesn't know. "I don't know if she's running around the Safe Zone or not, but I thought it would be better to let you know before you happened upon her."

Especially with those complex feelings.

"But there's something else." Her tone is heavier there, her gaze more fixed. Something else appears to be bigger than an extra Eileen Ruskin with doom powers.

Robyn lets out an amused sound at the clever comment, turning to look somewhat away from Lynette - notably, turning the scar side of her face away from the other woman. She's quiet as she lets Lynette talk, closing her eye. "I wonder how much she knows," Robyn says quietly after a moment, though her implication is clear. Fingers drum on her leg for a moment. "If I thought I had time, I'd be inclined to find out." Her voice is impassive, flat and as empty of emotion as she can manage - which says a lot about where her head's at right now.

She looks back at Lynette with a bit of a sneer. "Don't worry," she adds after a moment. "This time I'll remember to bring a knife to the fight."

She shakes her head. "Jokes aside, thank you for the warning. I…" She wrinkles her nose, trying to find the words. "I looked up to her, once. Even after Pollepel, I was unhappy with how she was vilified. A part me hopes she keeps to herself. A part of me wants to seek her out." She knows which of these is probably the safer option.

She's not particularly good at taking the safer option.

"Events?" is her awkward way of moving along. "I doubt that's coincidence. Coincidence is chaos with a purpose. It doesn't happen." That's something she's come to firmly believe over the last decade. "So what could possibly be more dire than Eileen Ruskin?"

"I understand the dual desires," Lynette says, as she didn't take the safer option herself. Perhaps Robyn will be more prepared than she was, when she eventually chooses curiosity over safety.

"Yes, events. Eve has seen a few. I've… seen a few." Differently than Eve does, of course. "But it's all tied in together. Something's coming, Robyn. I don't know what it'll be, not entirely, but it's coming." She moves, setting her mug on a side table before she stands up. Crossing to a small cabinet, she opens a lockbox and pulls out a flash drive.

"You're going to want to watch this. Probably alone or with someone you trust. There's a video on it, it shows a lot of oddities. A me that isn't me. A Mateo that isn't him. It came from a videotape that fell out of a portal to another time. And you want to watch it because… Magnes Varlane is on it. We think it's possible he didn't die. That he got… lost. But if anyone would know, it'd be you."

This is where Lynette starts to lose Robyn, amusement slowly fading from her face. She looks down at the flash drive, furrowing her brown. "'Something's coming'?" Robyn scoffs at Lynette. "Sounds something I would've heard Magnes-"

And then she says his name. And just like before, Robyn falls silent, but this time she stares at Lynette instead of looking away. It's an almost baleful glare. Lynette is not someone Robyn has ever been mad at, whom has only seen her anger directed at others. So when she sits up straight, sets her mug aside, and looks her eye directly into Lynette's, it's clear a nerve has been hit.

"I trust you more than most people, Lynette. But you better not be fucking with me," is said in a low voice, eye narrowing. "Because Eileen? Magnes? It's not fucking funny." She glances down to the flash drive again, and then leans forward, slipping it from Lynette fingers.


Lynette has no problem relinquishing the drive, but when she sits, she sits on the table in front of Robyn. "Believe me, I wish a lot of this wasn't real. And I cannot say for sure that this is what happened. But in this video, Magnes is doing experiments to try to jump timelines. To come home. Liz is there. I'm there. And I've certainly never done any of that."

She takes in a breath, hands running down her pant legs for a moment. There's something else, of course, because it really isn't like her to buy into anything this easily. Without more proof.

"I met Mateo in the Arcology. He knew me. I didn't know him." Of course, no Mateo escaped with them, so she can probably guess what happened to him. "And then, years later, I met him again. Only this time, I knew him, but he didn't know me. It was a different Mateo. He was from some other place and he landed here trying to—" She pauses there, shaking her head a little, pushing a dryer tone onto her words as she continues, " —save me. Another me." Her eyes roll ceilingward, as if being flippant about it might make her feel better about it. "So it is possible. For Eileen to be different and for Magnes to have survived. I would not suggest it to you if I didn't think it was likely."

That would be supremely shitty. She tries not to be that. At least not to her friends.

"Watch it. See what you think. If you don't think it's him you're free to come back here and hit me." That's a joke, but only partly.

It's clear from the expression on Robyn's face that she'd rather watch it now. But instead of pressing the issue, she slides the flash drive into her palm, and then into her pocket. She studies Lynette for a moment. "I'll remember that. I hit harder these days."

Her hands fold back into her lap, thinking on what Lynette has told her. "I'll have to watch it to believe it. Clearly." She closes her eye. "…with Elaine. She'll want to know." With that, she cocks her head to the slide slightly. "A multitude of Mateos, sounds like." Her eye closes part way, and she looks down at the floor. "I hate this shit," she remarks in a quieter tone.

She huffs out a breath, hands running down her face. "I guess it makes sense. I mean- I've been to the 19th century. I have two daughters of a stripe from a future we avoided." The latter, exactly, may be news for Lynette. Robyn can't keep track anymore of who knows and who doesn't. "I just never thought about going sideways. Like, some Doctor Who shit."

"I believe it," Lynette says, as far as Robyn's ability to throw a punch.

She doesn't seem to mind that what she's said is difficult to believe. Lynette wouldn't believe it herself, if she hadn't had her own experience. "She should know, yes. Whoever you think needs to know, tell them. I'm not planning on keeping anyone in the dark that shouldn't be." Secrets are what soured her experience with the Ferrymen, she's not planning on repeating that. "A multitude of Mateos would normally be a fantasy of mine, really, but the reality of it is less fun than I hoped," she notes, dryly.

"I hate it, too. But. Here it is, so I suppose we better deal with it. The other option is burying our heads in the sand and pretending everything's fine. Which is an attractive option, truly." But it's not going to happen. The mention of the kids from the future gets a heavy sigh. "Which ones were yours? Seems like everyone's family came to visit." There's a touch of bitterness there, she does her best to bury it, not wanting to taint anyone else's view of that experience.

Robyn looks up at Lynette pointedly, eye narrowing at her. "I don't…" She starts, but stops and trails off after a moment, before shaking her head. "Ne careful, Lynette. Only telling Elaine because- well. She's one of three other people I can think of that it would really matter to." She sits back up straight, pursing her lips. "We should be making sure as few people know about this as possible." A beat. "Does Richard know yet?" She's very much of the mindset of controlling the information - but given her job, that shouldn't be too surprising.

She ignores the fact that thinking Richard shouldn't know runs counter to the idea that Elaine should, but she has her reasons.

"To be honest…" Looking off to the side, Robyn huffs out a breath. "What can we do? No time manipulators anymore. That we know of, I guess." She begins to frown a slight bit more every few moments. "I miss Magnes. He left me money, I found out. Will finally was disseminated out. I didn't deserve. I was hardly a good friend to him." Fingers curl inwards, begin to brush repeatedly over each other. "It's been six years. I've also… moved on. I'd be glad to have him back, but I don't know how to help with that anymore. I don't know if I can, honestly."

The question of the kids gets a slightly sour look, and she regrets having mentioned it. "None directly," she states quietly. "The kids, that is. One adopted, one- well." Robyn rolls her shoulders, and laughs. "I had a big family in that future." One that will certainly not exist now. "Neither my daughter, but my daughters all the same." She shrugs after a moment. "Jolene and Adel."

"I'm not putting it in the news," Lynette says with a crooked smile. "Don't worry, it'll only go as far as it has to." There are things on that video that she doesn't want a lot of people to know, too. Like what Mateo is capable of. People who find out sometimes react poorly.

And with guns.

"Kaylee brought this to me. Richard knows," Lynette says, voice sounding resigned. "Believe me, I would have tucked it away and never shown him, if it was up to me. Because if he gets it in his head that Mateo needs to fix this, he and I will not leave that conversation on friendly terms." She lets out a breath there, hypotheticals shouldn't keep her on edge, but this one does. "Honestly? Nothing. We wait and see how it shakes out. They're working on a way home themselves. I have no idea if they'll make it or won't. That video is years old. We can't know if they're even still alive. But I believe in their determination."

Lynette puts a hand on Robyn's arm, supportive. Comforting. "That's what you were supposed to do. Move on. If he comes back, you can choose how much you want to engage with that. You're different. He'll be different. Nothing about that will be easy and I didn't tell you this to make you feel obligated to do anything."

She sits back a moment later, a hand running through her hair. "Those are both nice girls, from what I remember." She hasn't spoken to either of them in some time. Years. Maybe when they have something other than shared trauma to talk about.

Robyn is quiet, thumbs taping against each other as she stares on head, rather than at Lynette. She keeps her thoughts on Richard knowing, the spread of this information, the differences between now and then to herself. She looks down to the manilla envelope in her lap, feels the weight of the flashdrive in her pocket.

She has a lot ot think about, it seems.

"But I will." Do something. Because that's who she is. She always has trouble sitting back and letting things happen. Fingers curl inwards, before Robyn somewhat abruptly pushes herself up to her feet.

"Thank you, Lynette." And despite how it may seem, she means it. "But I think I need a drink now." She looks over at the set aside cup of coffee. "Something stronger than black." She holds up the manilla envelope - she won't forget about that, at least.

"Well. At least there's time. To prepare." For doing something. Lynette, of course, is planning on barreling right into it, even if it is mostly to protect Mateo. Her own and any others that get themselves mixed up in this.

When Robyn stands, Lynette follows a beat later. "I understand," she says, about needing a drink. "And you're welcome. I'm sorry I didn't have better news. Maybe next time."

This time got a little heavy.

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