Our Own Kind of Normal


elle_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Our Own Kind of Normal
Synopsis Elle and Warren bond over memory wipes and shared crazy. Discussion and torture ensues!
Date July 30 2010

Mortimer's Vault

Crumbling concrete tunnels beneath the streets of Manhattan eventually lead towards what may have at one time been a subterranean access point for a basement level of some midtown business. An enritre section of concrete wall has been demolished to give way from the subway tunnel into a large and derelict circular chamber. A staircase here is filled with broken pieces of concrete and twisated steel girders, clearly whatever building resided above here has long since collapsed down onto itself, leaving this vault cut off from the rest of the city.

Opposite of the cut entrance in the concrete, a massive bank vault door rests in the wall, a pair of closed-circuit security cameras mounted on the concrete sweeping through the chamber, electricity still powering them from somewhere. An analogue keypad has been installed next to the vault door, and the circular door itself looks to have been modified to be operated by the mechanical keypad rather than the combination lock it should be.

For those able to bypass the security and enter the chamber within, reality seems to be completely held off on the other side of the door. What was once an expansive storage chamber in this building's basement has been converted into — of all things — some sort of nightclub. Electricity powers neon lights and flashing strobes beneath glass flooring. Everything in here is clean, from the faux wood of the wrap-around bar to the stenciled curtains featuring silhouettes of faces, to the colored light in recessed sconces in the ceiling. Televisions completely fill one wall, connected to cable lines leading out from the bunker. This place is some implausibly constructed and well-maintained hideaway that clearly must have cost a great deal of time and money to construct.

When Elle's allowed into the vault, she's greeted with a rather strange sight. Warren's other halves have been allowed their time out, but he's been in charge most of the time lately. He's the one with the plan.

Right now that plan seems to be a fixing the damage that Alex did with all his talk of 'ambition' and 'making money'. "So you all understand now, that I left him in charge for a greater purpose? We'll soon have what we want more than anything, something even he said you'd all have, freedom. Freedom from your crap jobs, freedom from your colleges, freedom from the web of obligations you've trapped yourselves into over the years. This is what we're working for, don't disappoint me, lest you be deemed unworthy of this opportunity I've given you." he announces from the top of a bar table, then looks over at the sight of Elle.

"Everyone bow, then go back to what you were doing." He points to her, and they turn to the blonde and promptly bow, before breaking formation and either returning to drinking at the bar, or watching sports or movies on the numerous televisions. He, however, jumps down, straightens his unbuttoned suit jacket, then reaches out to take her hand, bend down, and kiss the back of her palm. "Hello, my dear Eleanor. Excuse the speech, I have to keep my men in line. One of the other me's did a little damage to their world views, got them being ambitious, dangerous thoughts."

And it is with great interest that Elle watches this interaction, leaning against a wall as she watches the man talk. Her brows are raised high, and she seems quite intent on just listening to the man as he speaks to his subjects. Plenty of cults to go around these days, it seems. She smiles at his words, thinking to herself that it would be easy for the simple-minded to follow such a simple plan. She'd have lots more questions, herself…but she's not part of Warren's 'gang'.

The men bowing to her is a bit surprising, and Elle offers a slightly nervous smile to the gathered men, offering a small wave. Then, as the man approaches, the nervous smile turns into a somewhat more generous one. Keep an eye on him? Make sure he's not a security leak? That's easy, especially when the man has his loyal subjects bow to you. That makes things seem a little bit easier. Plus, he is at least a little bit fun to play with.

She smiles as he lifts her hand, chuckling softly as his lips find the back of her knuckles. "Call me Elle…and I understand completely." She tilts her head. "Got somewhere a bit less crowded? I have something I want to show you."

"We'll just go to my room. Have you eaten today? I can have one of the cooks make something." Warren offers as he leads her across the lounge, presses a button in his pocket, then heads in as the door closes and locks behind them. "Make yourself at home." he offers, then heads to his small work bench near the bed, and takes a seat in the wheeled office chair that seems to have a few buttons on the arm rest. "Usually women don't come back after they've been here once."

A small smile appears on Elle's face as she steps into the room after Warren. "Food…might be really nice, actually. Maybe some breakfast? All I normally get is a bagel." And despite the fact that she's not interested in him just yet…he's at least nice. Crazy, but good intentioned, it seems. Elle seats herself on the corner of the bed as he sits in the office chair, crossing her legs and leaning forward as she rummages through her purse.

"Usually those women aren't also sociopaths with an affinity for throwing electricity at people." She smiles for but a moment…but the smiles disappears just as quickly as she pulls out a glossy photograph, the one given to her by Harper yesterday. For a moment, the ever-glib and charming Elle Bishop looks sad as she looks at this picture. Then, she holds it out to Warren.

"What do you do when you find out that everything you've been living has been a lie? When you start feeling like everything that you've lived up to this day is or could be a lie?" She frowns. Asking advice from a crazy man.

"Didn't I tell you the story yesterday? Harper told me that my entire past is a lie, made up in my head because Linderman and I guess the Company wanted to control me. Now that I do know it's all been a lie, that my mother was crazy and killed herself, that my father is in a coma in the Institute… I'm still not sure how to react to it all, it's still sinking in." Warren doesn't know how to help, other than to tell his own story, so possibly they can help eachother. "Linderman let me do whatever I want for years, he made me think I had an important job, because he wanted to keep an eye on me, and use me for something. All I can think about lately is gutting him, killing everything he knows and loves, then finding a way to get my father back. But I don't know yet, and the Institute is doing good things for me. I don't even know what kind of person my father is yet."

He looks down a second, then up to her again. "I'm crazy, but even I know Linderman is too powerful to just go out and kill, so right now I'm just pissed off and confused. I don't even know how to help you, if I can't even help myself, but I'll try my best?"

A shrug rolls over Elle's shoulders as the man talks. She points quietly to the picture, giving him a stoic look. "I just found out even more lies. First, they tortured me…jolted me with more electricity than any person should have to deal with…shaped me into their perfect little killing machine." She looks down at the picture, frowning.

"And last night, I recently discovered that my mother was not the worthless bum my father painted her as. She didn't just leave before I was manifested." She holds the picture up, waving it around slightly, as if shaking it would empty her mother from the photograph paper. "My mom worked for the Company, too. She was a scientist. A researcher. And when the Company decided that the research was too dangerous…they killed her." Still wearing a big frown on her face.

"Apparently, when I found out, my father…" She grits her teeth, lowering the photo into her lap. "…That bastard had my memories erased. All of my memories." When she looks up, her eyes are wet, though she's doing a pretty spectacular job of keeping herself from crying. "I don't remember pancakes in the mornings, or riding my bike, or any of those things normal kids have." She stares down at the picture, then. "Everything is a lie. And I gotta wonder how many more lies there are…"

"They erased all of my memories too, every memory of my entire life, when I was around seventeen. The Haitian, I think Harper called him that." Warren sits back in the chair, fingers tapping the arm rests as he gives both of their situations some real thought, his eyes going completely mercurial as he does so. He does press a button, which doesn't seem to do anything. Maybe it's the breakfast button? "Seems like both of our problems seem to stem from the Company somehow. But they're not all bad, there only seems to be a few people in there we'd need to kill. Most people involved with me seem to have already been killed, but hell, I don't feel like I got to get my hands dirty, so I'll kill the people who hurt you too. How about it? We could team up."

The petite blonde offers a small shrug, staring down at that picture. "The Haitian, yes…there are others who work in memory erasure, too. I'm like you…most of the people involved with me seem to have already been killed. Arthur Petrelli, Charles Deveaux…they're dead." She frowns. "I won't kill Daddy…I can't kill him…"

Suddenly, her eyes narrow. "Daddy will have to live as long as he's still alive, knowing what he did. Knowing that he destroyed the life he created, and knowing that I know he's lying. He can live with the fact that I will never, so long as I am breathing, EVER trust him or anything he stands for again." She frowns.

Then, she looks up to Warren, slipping the photograph back into her purse. "Besides…I think something big is going to happen in September."

"I think they're the same people involved with me. I thought the Company was supposed to lock dangerous Evolved up, not create crazy ones." Warren shakes his head, then stands up to head over to her, sitting on the bed so he can slip an arm around her shoulders. "Breakfast will be here soon. And what happens in September? You know, I'm not involved with those world saving people, I don't care what happens to the world as long as they're not bothering me."

Elle certainly doesn't seem to mind the man slipping an arm around her shoulders, even going so far as to lean against him. Physical comfort is a strangely good thing right now, despite her reluctance to get too close to Warren. That, and he's warm. "I'm not sure exactly what's going to happen in September…but it's big."

She doesn't give voice to her suspicion that this something is going to be a bad thing for the Company, or that she's already got her safety ticket if she chooses to take it…which she will. She'll never go quietly into the night…not like the her she saw in the future. Nor does she give voice to her knowledge that Warren works for the Institute now, and that she is likely to join him in employment at the Institute.

Instead, she glances up at him. "I really don't know what I want out of life any more. Maybe truth…but I don't know if I'll ever get that."

"I've never known what I've wanted out of life. This is the sanest I've ever been. I haven't even been motivated to write fake religions, at least I think they're fake, I can never remember." Warren shrugs and watches his metallic door that almost gives the vibe that they're in a big safe deposit box. "I keep thinking that if I meet my father, he'll give me a purpose. I can only think of two things I want right now, well, three, actually. My golden guns that the police have, you, and that little Liette girl, because I can use her knowledge to make better weapons. So far I'm not doing so good on any of those goals."

Still leaning against Warren, Elle sighs softly. "Easy answers never come. Believe me…if they did, I wouldn't be in this position. Sometimes…I just want to see what it's like to be normal. To find out what it would be like to have a job. Go home. Clean the house." She glances to the metallic door thoughtfully, one finger idly tracing along the man's arm. "But I don't think I'll ever be able to find that out. I don't think I can." She then turns those big blue eyes up to Warren's face. "Well…at the very least, I'm still coming around? Maybe we'll see what we can do about the guns. Maybe even that Liette girl."

They want her to keep his trust, she can certainly do that.

"My dreams can wait, you want to know what it's like to be normal? I don't see why you can't know." Warren decides, slowly standing, and motioning his head for her to stand with him. "I may not have had a normal life, but at least I remember a fake one. Even if I can't give you a childhood, I'll have a legal identity soon. You have a legal identity, right? I was offered a place somewhere called the Octagon. I looked into it, it's a damned nice place. You can come, and we can try the whole normal thing when I'm not doing my crazy stuff, and you're not doing your… crazy stuff."

Elle tilts her head toward Warren, standing along with him. A small smile forms on her face. How sweet! "…Well, we could try…" Her hand trails along his arm as she takes a step away, tiny arcs of electricity running along his skin and making his hair stand on end, likely. Then, she peers up at the man thoughtfully. "But I don't know if I can even pretend to be normal…I'm not. I've spent my entire life with the Company…I really don't know anything else."

"You'd be living with me, do you think I could tell? To me, you're the most normal person I've ever known, everyone else is just weird." Warren raises his left hand to smooth his hand down, then raises his left gloved hand to place the side of his index finger under her chin. She'll remember that the left one is the robot one, though who knows how far up it goes. "We'll do normal our way."

A small smile is offered to Warren as he places his finger under her chin, the girl nodding slowly. "Well…I can't just up and dissapear completely from the Company…I have to at least pretend that everything is hunky-dory. Just for another month or so…" Though her father isn't going to be getting any of that special make believe bullshit any longer. "But I can at least come over and stay every once in a while…it'd be nice to have the occasional bit of peace."

She lifts her hand, carefully taking that robotic hand of his. Curiosity takes over, and she attempts to slip the glove off. She wants a better look at that hand. "So, what happened to make you lose you arm and or replace it with this?"

"Oh, this?" Warren doesn't seem sensitive about it, it allows her to remove the glove and reveal the bronzed robotic hand. It's less Terminator and more Full Metal Alchemist, with lots of little gears all working together as he moves the fingers. They're a little limited in their range, but it's still better than traditional prosthetics. "I loved a woman once, a cop. We even dated for a while. But before that, well, there was this crazy cop named Dutch. I challenged him to a fight to the death for her. We fought on the roof, I had my sword, and he had his badass training. It was great, I almost killed him, but I held my grenade too long as I was going to shove it down his throat, and it blew half my arm off, up to my elbow. It's all on the internet, I was wearing body paint, you might not recognize me."

Hmm. Something to look up when she gets home. She quietly pushes his sleeve up to where the bronze arm begins, quietly peering it over, peeking through the gaps at the little gears. "You seriously challenged a guy to a fight to the death for a woman? And…wy were you wearing body paint?" Well, that's…chivalrous. And almost a little creepy. Then again, Elle is pretty creepy on her own, so creepy doesn't effect her like most would. "This is pretty cool, though. I bet it really hurt when you lost your arm…"

"I think it did, I don't remember the explosion too well, it knocked me unconscious. I want a real arm again, nothing beats a real arm, but I've been thinking of trying to build something even better than this." Warren closes it into a fist, and she can see all the subtle things that work like psuedo-muscles flexing with that one movement. "The body paint was… me being crazy, I used to be crazier than this. My arm used to have attachments, I think I lost them when I blew up my old base to destroy evidence. There was a chainsaw attachment and everything." He sniffs the air, and they can smell something like potatos and possibly something with bacon in it. "Want me to challenge anyone to the death for you?"

The girl's nose raises, sniffing at the air. Oooh. Bacon is always good. She smiles softly, her fingers running over the surface of his metal arm. Sparks travel between her fingertips and the metal. "And it absorbs this, right? That doesn't short anything out?" She tilts her head up toward Warren thoughtfully. "Chainsaw attachment…that kind-of reminds me of of Evil Dead." She giggles softly, cheering up just a little as she idly traces little trails over the metallic arm with minor jolts of electricity.

"That's how it runs, electrical charges. I grab a high voltage wire and I'm good to go for the day." Warren explains, and it's clear that when she shocks the arm, there seems to be a pattern of the electricity going inbetween the cracks instead of the actual shell. "I've been studying Tesla's work a lot, I like electrical machines. Up there in Midtown, I converted a room to be an electric musical instrument, electricity sparks and makes music."

Electricity making music. That is actually really fascinating. This arm thing is also fascinating, the girl idly trickling electricity between her fingers and the man's arm. Elle turns to peer up at Warren quietly as she does so, that fascinated look still clear on her features. So maybe he's a little bit good for her. At the very least, he offers a good distraction from matters that are quite stressful for the little electrokinetic. And she can smile around him.

Who knows, maybe his chances will increase with time. "Tesla was a pretty awesome guy…I heard he designed a superweapon, but died before he could complete it."

"I could design a superweapon. Most of the reasons I haven't designed some things are purely limited resources and money. Like this arm, it could be so much better if I had a team of people who knew things about biology." Warren stares at her for a while, drawn in by that fascinated look, and all he can think of to say is, "Most of Edison's best work was stolen from Tesla."

Elle stares right back at Warren for a little while, smiling softly…then, suddenly, she begins giggling softly. "You're kinda like one of those mad scientists on TV…you're pretty crazy, but you're a freakin' genius." No wonder the Institute wants her to keep an eye on him for them. He is quite obviously infatuated with the little sparkbug, and she's certainly an easy ticket to information.

She quietly sends sparks over his arm, still amused by the fact that it absorbs her electricity.

"Well, I'm not completely like those mad scientists. I haven't worked out how to carve my initials into the moon yet… but one day." Warren carefully wiggles his metallic fingers when she sparks his arm, then looks to the door. "We should go eat. I could bring the food back here if you don't want to be bothered by the men."

Here's where it becomes a little bit of work…but then, it's so easy around him. Elle smiles, turning toward the door and making her way toward it. "No way, I want to see what your gang is like. They seem to adore the hell out of you." She offers the man a bright smile. "So what's it like, leading all those guys? What do you do, exactly?" That fascinated look remains on her face as she reaches the door, accompanied by a smile as she waits for him to open it with his little remote.

Warren reaches into his pocket, pressing a button, and the door unlocks and opens for her. They walk out and the door closes behind him, and this time she has more time to really look at what they're doing.

Some older men are huddled around a TV screen arguing over stock, while some younger guys are on sports, a few others discussing geeky things. There's other men at the bar talking, and overall, it seems like a very diverse group. "We used to go around doing whatever we want, but since we started laying low, we've been focusing on our more constructive goals. I choose each man based on how terrible their life is, how they've been swept up in the current of their obligations, and I try my best, with everyone working together, to have everyone reach their life's dream, no matter what it is."

Elle quietly walks out, her eyes trailing over the room and each man's activities, making mental notes to herself. Then, she turns to watch Warren, listening carefully as he talks, a small smile on her face. "Sounds pretty charitable, actually. Doubt others would see it that way, but…I think it's admirable." She smiles across the room at the men, before turning to peer at Warren. Then again, this is the fellow who pushed a man at her and told her to kill him, so maybe not so much. "What kind of things do you work toward?"

She smiles, reaching out to send more jolts of static over his mechanical arm.

"Right now I'm just trying to find my place. Alex wants to make money so he can have freedom, but my plans will lead there anyway. And he's too greedy, I don't trust him, I just needed him to open the door to the Institute. Mortimer's just there as a measure of sanity, he probably can't wait to live a normal life in that apartment." Warren leads her to an empty table with a television on the wall next to it, and a man with a chef's uniform, hat and all, wears the black number sunglasses, with the number 7 also being on his apron.

He sits their plates down, both having bacon omelettes with various vegetables and onions in them, with two hash browns on the side, then another man brings glasses of orange juice. "But right now, more than anything, I want the freedom to do what I like, and I've been offered that. I want to build and have resources and not be bothered by police. Freedom is very important to me."

The girl smiles down at the food, then up at the chef with a mouthed 'thank you'. She quickly begins to eat, for once smiling just a little genuinely. At least she can forget for a little while. "Everyone wants that…I'm glad that you're getting your shot for it." She munches quietly on the food for a moment, silent and thoughtful. Then, she smiles to Warren. "So, what do the guys' numbers mean? Is their number like…a ranking system or something? Or just the order that they came in?" Curious little thing, isn't she?

Warren doesn't seem to mind the questions, giving the chef a nod as he grabs a fork and starts to eat. "The numbers are because I can't remember all their names. They used to get killed a lot more frequently, and replaced just as fast. I have exactly forty men at all times, and eight women, though none of them are here right now. I call them my Crazy Eights, but I never got a woman to lead them. Speaking of, I was told my two oldest members work for Linderman, it was a part of the plan to feed my delusion. And that means they work for the people who screwed you over."

He grins up at her from his food, taking a bite of his hash brown. "Would you like to get a little revenge and help with an execution?"

Kill some spy-types that desperately need killing? She might consider such a thing. Tapping her chin with the handle of her fork, she glances up. "That might be a bit fun, actually…" She grins over to the man, spearing some eggs up. And all bets are off, knowing what she knows now. "Sign me up." She pops the forkful of eggs into her mouth, chewing cheerfully, if that were possible.

"A woman after my own heart." Warren says as he holds a metallic finger up, not even looking away from his food. "21 and 24 are traitors, strap 'em up! We're in for a long and informative torture."

"What the hell? We've been with you since day one!" 24 exclaims as men grab each arm without question, starting to drag them to a back room.

"Long enough to know that begging and pleading never stopped me before." he casually points out with a wide grin, going back to his food. "These eggs are great."

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