One Hell of an Adjustment


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Scene Title One Hell of an Adjustment
Synopsis Richard and Remi finally have a conversation after the chaos.
Date January 17, 2019

Secure Facility, Kansas City, MO

There’s a lot to process after everything that happened, and a lot more to do— and some of it can’t be done from within quarantine. That’s been driving Richard up a wall, frankly, but he has plenty of distraction what with getting refamiliarized with his family…

And with other faces from his past.

He’s making his way down one of the hallways of the facility where everyone has been awkwardly housed in while the government tries to figure out what to do— which had already been decided, as far as Richard is concerned— today, a hand up rubbing between his eyes. He’s dressed casual, black jeans, a black turtleneck.

While there’s been a large amount of…well, shit to process and handle since the travelers ripped a hole in the universe to get here, Remi has been rather enjoying herself. The quarantine, while some have an issue with it, has been like a five star hotel stay as far as the telepath is concerned. Hot water for showers and baths, food that isn’t fish and vegetables, coffee is something she’d never thought she’d taste again — and cushy hotel bathrobes to boot. Not to mention dry ground and a distinct lack of fear that, at any moment, the walls could cave in and if you didn’t die in the implosion, you’d certainly drown.

She’s dressed comfortable, with soft black pants that feel like satin compared to the salt-stained clothes she’s been wearing for nearly a decade, a tank top, and one of those aforementioned cushy hotel bathrobes shrugged over her shoulders. In one hand, she carries a cup of coffee, and the other carries The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, which she appears to be about halfway through.

She stops as she rounds the corner, coming face to face with Richard Ray. She’s not really had much reason to seek him out — all she knows is that he looks like he’s seen a ghost whenever he looks at her, and that he’s the one Liz went through such lengths to return to. Awkwardly, she raises a hand, offering a small smile along with her wave — it looks like the split in her lip is going to leave a scar.

As she stops, he stops, since otherwise there might be an awkward collision in the middle of the hall. Richard’s expression is the soul of awkwardness for a moment as he tries to figure out what the most polite thing to do is, finally offering a faint smile.

“Remi,” he offers, “How are you, uh, settling in and all?”

Perhaps it’s a good thing that Remi can’t currently hear what’s going on in Richard’s head — it likely takes a little bit of the awkwardness out of the situation. “Richard, oui? Or do you prefer to be called something else?” Her accent is a little different than the version of her that Richard knew — a different region of France, and she’s not been as concerned about eliminating her French accent — why bother when you can do accents better than most?

She turns, leaning against the wall and watching the man thoughtfully. “I’m doing good, for the most part.” She reaches up, tapping a finger against her temple. “Still can’t seem to access my ability, but…I’m getting used to that.” As far as she can tell, it might never come back.

“Richard’s fine,” he says with a shake of his head, “Richard’s fine. And— good, good to hear. Your ability might just take some time to come back, if you burned it out, but we are working on a medical procedure for burnt-out abilities, and we have some strong evidence it can work. Might be a bit still.”

He hesitates, “I’m not sure which timeline you came from, it could be one hell of an adjustment.”

“I hope it comes back on its own,” she replies, smiling softly. “Though I’ve been slowly getting used to the silence.” She pauses, turning her blue eyes up to Richard, brows raising slightly. Hopefully they’ll get that going quickly. “If you need any guinea pigs,” she says, only half-jokingly.

“I come from the flooded world that we just escaped from,” she replies, rubbing the back of her neck. “Before the floods came, I was an A-list actress. Had a star on Hollywood Boulevard, won awards and such.” She chuckles as if that’s just a fond childhood memory. “Then I was a ship captain. Lost my ship and my crew to get here, though.” She sounds fairly sad about that.

“I think I’ve seen you before — back when I was in the brig in the Ark, I got visions of…of the me that you knew.” She speaks in past tense, as if she already knows. “You were at m — her wedding.”

“Yes,” Richard admits, smile fading for a more wistful expression, “She was a— good friend, and she worked with me, with my company. She died earlier this year. Her husband and children are missing, I’m hoping that they’re safely in hiding. He was a good friend of mine as well.”

He nods a little, “I’m sorry you lost so much, but— I’m glad you made it. I only wish we could’ve rescued more of you from that watery hell.”

The woman’s expression turns sympathetic. “I’m so sorry,” she murmurs, frowning. “I saw her husband and children, too — the girls are beautiful.” She sags a little — she’d been hoping that the man and his daughters from her visions were well off. The news is a bit concerning. “I hope they are in hiding, yes,” she adds, turning blue eyes toward the ground.

It’s very strange, talking about another version of yourself.

“I’m glad that I made it, too.” She reaches up, touching a ring that hangs around her neck by a chain, eyes hooding slightly. “It’s a bit like I told Liz — even if you couldn’t get more of us out, those of us that did get through…” She smiles then, turning her eyes up to meet Richard’s gaze. “You saved us, at least. The floods destroyed everything. If I hadn’t gone with Liz and Magnes, I would have ended up dying in a hopeless battle, running along the coast for the rest of my life, or trying a suicide trip across the Atlantic to try and reach France.” She shakes her head slowly. “There was nothing left there.”

“No…” Richard shakes his head tiredly, “No, I imagine there wasn’t. I was born there, you know.”

A hand lifts to rub against the side of his neck, as he smiles faintly, “I was… taken from your timeline not long after I was born. Ironically, in this world, I stopped the flood. So in a way— well.” He wrinkles his nose, “I’ve got enough guilt on my shoulders as it is, I can’t blame myself for that too.”

The news of where Richard is originally from is a bit surprising. That’s interesting. “You didn’t miss much,” she replies, shaking her head. “Except for my movies. I really wish I had been able to bring some of them here. I had almost all of the awards,” she laughs, shaking her head. “In any case, it sounds as if you’re blameless there.”

She watches the man thoughtfully, before suddenly remembering her coffee and taking a long sip. She still can’t help but close her eyes and simply enjoy the flavor. After she recovers, she smiles up at Richard again. “I was thinking of heading to New York — is there much of a theater crowd there? I wouldn’t mind getting back to my thespian roots, perhaps find a small theater to join — or start one, if there isn’t one.”

“Our Remi was a ballerina,” Richard admits, “Quite the famous one, at that, as far as they go. So I’m told, anyway— ” A wry smile, “— ballet’s never really been my thing.”

“Hollywood’s gone,” he admits, “Most movies are being produced overseas these days while we recover from the war. Theatre’s small but it’s still around, you could probably find something— or start something. SESA’s being pretty generous from what I understand.” It’s hush money, he knows, but it’s still appreciated.

“If I hadn’t gotten my first part in my first play,” Remi replies, a faint smile on her lips, “I probably would have gone down that path. Acting set a fire that I’ve never been able to put out — not that I’d want to.” She offers a small chuckle. “I can still do a few twirls, but that’s about the scope of it.”

She reaches up, running a hand through her hair. Then, in a shockingly good Midwestern accent, she says, “I put all of my focus into learning how to properly do accents,” she chuckles softly.

“Silas and I were talking about possibly starting up a dinner theater. With his delicious food and my acting chops, it might be fun.” She shrugs — the sky is the limit. Sure, it’s hush money that they’re getting — but she’s not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

“It’s not a bad idea at all,” Richard admits, rubbing a hand to the side of his neck before gesturing vaguely with it, “God knows people appreciate distraction, and with the power issues and all… maybe invest in some oil lamps and all, and during brownouts you could get people flocking to enjoy your shows and food.”

He shakes his head, “I— damn. I don’t even know what I can tell Jaiden or Graeme if I find them…”

“I…” The mention of Jaiden and Graeme both has Remi rather flummoxed, as evident by the look on her face. It’s pretty clear that, in the flashes, she saw them. “I saw Graeme, carrying Tori down the aisle for her and Jaiden’s wedding. I remember — how she felt for them both.” She frowns, suddenly, as though she feels horrible for the fact that she has nothing more than fleeting knowledge of the people who were so important to the other her.

She looks down to the ground. “If it weren’t for SESA, I would say…well, I would love to meet them, and her children, but…” She shakes her head. “I don’t think I could ever be her, and they might —” She cuts herself off, shaking her head. “Je suis vraiment désolé. It is a rather perplexing situation to be in.”

She can’t even say that she wouldn’t come to feel something for the two that this other version of herself held so close to her, and she’s sure she would love the other her’s children, but…blue eyes turn to meet Richard’s gaze. “I wish I could give them all some kind of solace after their loss.”

“You aren’t her, no,” Richard says gently, “I know that better than most. Another iteration of myself, well— I’m very happy that I wasn’t him, shall we say.” He grimaces, “Well, they’re my people, so they’re a bit of a special situation.” SESA might not see it that way, but old Endgamers take priority over the government, even if they aren’t an active group anymore.

“It’ll take time to get used to. Take the time you need.”

“It’s mostly odd, the way some people look at me like they’ve seen a ghost.” She smiles faintly, turning to lean against the wall, sipping her coffee and shrugging the bathrobe over her shoulders a bit more.

She tilts her head toward one shoulder. “I’ll stick close with you, for now — thank you for all of the effort you went through to get everyone through.” She smiles again, sipping her coffee. “If I can ever help you out, I’d love to — though I don’t know what work you’d have for my skill set.”

“Can you blame us? In a way, we have…” Richard brings one hand up to rub against his face, waving his hand vaguely her way, “And I’m not going to ask you to help with anything, God knows you’ve been through enough. Settle in, build a life, enjoy a world with less… humidity.”

“You deserve it. You all do.”

“I might get bored eventually, I think.” She offers an easy smile, sipping her coffee again. “I mean, I’ve lived a rather busy life up until now — lived through the flood, captained a boat, helped dimensional travelers get home and followed them there myself,” she murmurs, smiling.

“I mean, I’ll take a vacation, but I don’t know how well I’ll do. I may go stir crazy, I’ve not been landlocked for so long in nearly a decade.” The telepath shrugs.

After a moment, she reaches out, gently placing a hand on Richard’s shoulder. “You’re a good man. I see why Liz was willing to rip a hole in the universe to come back to you, I think.”

At that, Richard laughs softly, a hand coming up to cover hers briefly on his shoulder. “You say that now,” he observes ruefully, “You say that now. Not a lot of people would agree with you, I think, Remi. I’m not a bad man, but I do what needs to be done, and that makes a lot of enemies.”

He chuckles, then, “If you find you miss the water, maybe invest in one of those big show-boats, do theatre on the river.”

The telepath’s brows raise slightly. “I always like the bad boys,” she replies with a shrug. “But I’ve always been keen on pragmatism.” She lifts the coffee, closing her eyes as she sips at it — even though she’s been drinking plenty of it, she still can’t keep herself from visibly enjoying coffee. “Morality is relative, in any case.”

The suggested prompts a pleased smile to blossom over the former starlet’s face. “That’s an interesting idea. I wonder if there are even any of those still around. It would be interesting, to say the least.”

“It’s worth the thought,” Richard admits, shaking his head, “It’d certainly be unique, and the Safe Zone is just chomping at the bit for more entertainment… and if you were using the boat’s engine for power, no worry about the brownouts either. Could be a good business to get into.”

“And I have a feeling,” he adds wryly, “You know how to deal with any pirates too.”

Richard’s words clearly have a relieving effect on the telepath, a bit of tension clearly draining from her shoulders. Hearing that the Safe Zone is eager for things to do is a bit of a relief. “If I can get one that will allow for dinner theater, that would be spectacular.” She grins a bit. “I’ll have to speak to Silas about that idea.”

She smiles at the mention of pirates. “Traditionally, I used to run, but I do know my way around a ship — probably better than most pirates out here.” She shrugs a bit, grinning.
“There you go,” Richard’s hands spread slightly, “Dinner theatre on a riverboat. We’ll be giving New Orleans a run for their money in no time.”

A smile tugs up at the corner of his lips, “I’m sure you and your friend will do great.”

The telepath grins. “I’ll be sure to give you front row tickets for life.” She tips her head respectfully toward Richard. “After all you’ve done, we can at least do that.” She chuckles softly, and sips her coffee once more.

“In any case, I have a warm shower to sit under,” she murmurs, raising the coffee cup in a ‘cheers’ motion. “It was very good to speak to you, Monsieur Ray. I hope to have further conversations in the future.” She smiles to the man.

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