Pieces Of An Unknown Puzzle


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Scene Title Pieces of an Unknown Puzzle
Synopsis Silas catches up with a friend outside Cat's Cradle in the hopes of shedding some light on the mystery of the shared vision.
Date January 2, 2020

Cat's Cradle

It's a damp, cloudy day; the weather doesn't do a whole lot to lift Silas's spirits, either, as he treads wearily around the corner, back around to the front door of Cat's Cradle. He's got his trick running full force, keeping anyone nearby from taking any special notice of him, but his eyes are still sweeping around, searching for any sign that someone might be looking; he's taken a risk in coming here, after all, and so far… well. So far it has not been everything he'd hoped for.

Day's not over, bucko, he thinks to himself, and as dispirited as he is, there's truth to that. The meeting hadn't gone as planned, but there's potential yet, for good or for ill.

The audiokinetic making her way back out of the Cat's Cradle has a pensive expression. The bodyguard who is her near-constant shadow stands up more fully as she reaches the sidewalk. Elisabeth saw Silas inside, but his ability keeps her from noticing his approach as she tells the tall African American, "Not the worst Eve meeting, but… it's definitely going to be something to keep an eye on." The number of people who had the dream and who some of them were has her intrigued, but she can't quite put a finger on anything in particular.

Silas spots Lis as she's leaving Cat's Cradle; he debates calling out to her then and there, but restrains the impulse; better not to spook her, especially not now.

So instead, he walks a few paces away from the door and waits for her to open up a bit of distance — enough that he won't just be popping up inside her threat range. Or her bodyguard's, either — wouldn't do him a lot of good to avoid spooking Lis if Mike shoots him.

He's already behind her, out of her line of sight; he waits until she's about ten, maybe twelve feet away from him, and until Mike is looking in another direction. Only then does he lift the shroud that conceals him from the two of them — though not the one concealing him from everyone else. Then, and only then, he calls out. "Ahoy, Lis!" he calls, raising his voice just enough that she'll probably be able to hear him. Or if she doesn't, Mike will.

His voice is familiar, but it doesn't mean she's not cautious. Elisabeth turns toward the sound, automatically giving Mike room to draw if he has to. Her initial assessment is instant, and her smile is one of relief. "Silas," she breathes. "It's really good to see you." She approaches, looking him over. "You're looking good… are you and Kain still laying low and staying safe?" Being here isn't quite 'staying safe' even if it is kind of still laying low.

Silas shrouds Lis as well as he approaches; any onlookers will find the bodyguard a much more interesting sight than the two of them conversing. "More or less. Kain wasn't really happy about me heading out… but at the same time, it ain't gonna do me a lot of good to keep myself alive if that comes to pass." A sour look comes over his face; that dream definitely left a mark on him.

"This little get-together… didn't exactly come out like I'd have hoped, though," he sighs, rubbing at his head. "I'd hoped — hoped — that maybe everyone could come together on this, but then fucking Sunshine goes and shows his sterling disposition and starts whaling on the bartender…" he sighs. Then his attention comes back to Lis. "Oh, right. That was the guy I told you about. The agrokinetic who knew my face." He shrugs. "Not that it matters, really, aside from him being a jerk. I already figured out who my evil twin works for…"

His smile comes back as his attention returns to Lis. "But, ah. The clone hunt isn't really what I came here to talk to you about." He falls silent after that, frowning as he considers his words. "Though since we are both here… any luck?" he asks, sounding hopeful.

"Nothing so far," Elisabeth replies regretfully. She wishes she had better news on that front. "I've run into the agrokinetic before… not sure if that's a good thing or a bad one. But now that you've positively ID'd him, maybe it will lead to something." Likely not, but who knows?

"I didn't honestly expect anything useful to specifically come from the meeting. I went to it to see if there was any kind of connection among those who had the dream." She pauses a long moment and says, "I feel like there are reasons for particular people to be pulled in. But if there are links, they're not obvious. This was just a start."

She shrugs a little. "I'm reasonably sure Kain is right about you being seen anywhere. But you're a grown man and can make your own choices." Elisabeth shakes her head slightly. "He has my number if he needs me. You do too. Use it, yeah?" As soon as I have anything, I'll get word to you somehow. You said the clone wasn't what you wanted to talk about, though? What's on your mind?"

Silas sighs, nodding at Lis's point. "I know. But…" he shrugs; he's already said his piece on that, anyway.

At Lis's followup question, he nods. "Right. Something Eve said," he nods. "All that about bringing the worlds together." Silas looks off into the distance. "You ever think about that? About what it might look like, from the Flood, if that were to come to pass?" He idly wishes he had a cigarette; it'd give him something to do with his hands, at least. "Because the best case scenario for that — the Sunday morning gospel version…" he pauses, then looks Lis dead in the eye. "Think of all the people who died in the Flood, who are still alive here. It'd be like all of our loved ones, come back. The Flood, undone."

He makes a sour face and waves a hand. "I know it's a pack of bullshit, the worst kind of wishful thinking; you don't have to tell me that. But the important thing, the reason I'm bringing this up to you… it's the kind of bullshit we've heard before. From Don. In his little 'I have seen the face of God, and she is real' speech, right before the bullets started flying."

Bringing the worlds together. Looking toward the sky, Elisabeth bites back some choice words as she shoves her hands into her pockets and instead says quietly, "You know… it's funny how many things I learned in a whole different context are applicable here." Blue eyes come back down to meet Silas's gaze and there is definite concern. "I wish I hadn't ever had occasion to wonder about what a compression of the timelines in the local quantum neighborhood might look like. That dream… Jesus, Silas, I've already lived one version of that fucking war in the world before yours. You can see the aftermath of a similar war here in this world. Your world fought it in a different way. If that bitch is looking to collapse the quantum strings, I promise you, it's not going to come out the way anyone thinks. It'll probably be even worse than we can imagine."

The kind of weariness that shows in her expression isn't anger, it's the soul-deep exhaustion of fighting the same battles over and over again. "We know that Don in your world was touched by the Entity that came through with us. I just… don't know what the fuck we're going to do about stopping yet another catastrophe. And the worst part is? She isn't wrong. They are always going to fear us. There will always be an 'us' and a 'them.'"

"Oh hell," Silas snorts. "Even if there were no Specials — or even if everyone was Special, for that matter — there'd still be an us and a them. You take three perfectly ordinary people and stick them on an island, odds are good that two of them will gang up and pick on the third, or worse; 'Lord of the Flies' was grim, but it wasn't inaccurate," he says, making a sour expression. "That much is just human nature."

"We can't change that. With or without powers, people are always gonna be people. The only thing we can do is try to do the best we can ourselves, and hope that others fall in," he says somberly… then he cracks a grin. "And hope we don't fuck it up, of course," he adds wryly.

Still, hearing confirmation that Don had been touched by the 'Entity' seems to confirm the connection between Don and the dream. "As to what we do… I've had some thoughts about that," Silas says, his expression growing serious again.

Elisabeth is listening; her blue eyes are intent on him and she seems to find his insights valuable. "There's been at least one breach that we know of since we all came through. Richard had eyes on it. So anything you can think of, I'm all ears, Silas." She's uncertain what form the danger is taking but it's definitely there.

Silas frowns, tilting his head. "Wait. What do you mean by 'breach'? Did someone else come through?"

"We don't know," Elisabeth replies quietly. "There was… a hole. Not as big or as major as the one we tore, but there was one." She sighs heavily. "We're just going to have to wait and see."

"A hole?" Silas asks, an incredulous expression on his face. "Into… backstage? Jesus…" he murmurs, looking visibly rattled for a moment at that.

But he can be dazed and confused later; right now, they've both probably got a schedule to keep. "Right. A-anyway," he says, as much to try and regain his own focus as anything else. "We know what it wants to do now — to unite the timelines. What I don't get is how it plans to do that. I've heard talk of obliterating sentience or eliminating free will, but I'm… not a hundred percent sold on it."

He frowns for a moment, his expression thoughtful. "What I'd like to hear, though, is Chel's take on it. She knows about Don's ramblings better than anyone here, and she's the one who invented the whole Looking Glass thing in the first place. So, for my money, she'd be the one with the best chance of figuring out how the Entity wants to do this thing… and from there, figuring out how to stop it from doing it." He looks a bit tentative as he finishes, looking at Lis to see if she's reached the same conclusion.

"Yeah. I'll bring it to her and see what her thoughts are," Elisabeth replies. "I'm… not sure how much she actually listened to him, but given what you're talking about, she's probably the best option." With a sigh, she admits, "She's not doing so well. It's a hard adjustment for her." Michelle lost so much just in the getting here.

"Yeah," Silas says, that one word sounding leaden; Michelle Cardinal strikes him as someone who carries her burdens close, and does not relinquish them easily. Remind you of anyone? he thinks to himself sardonically.

He shakes his head slightly, drily amused at the thought, and turns his attention back to Lis. "Well. Give her my best, if you get a chance. And if you think it'll do any good," he says somberly. "She's a big part of the reason we made it here, after all." Then he grins. "Well, anyway. That's about all I've got as far as shop talk. How's things going with you, anyway?"

"You know, you are welcome to go see her," Elisabeth tells him quietly. She isn't sure how well Silas knew Michelle, but he spent at least some months there in the underwater world with her. She won't stand between the two of them. "Given your talents, it wouldn't be that hard to slip into the greenhouse. You'll find her there most of the time. But… be careful, okay?" No one wants Chel to become a target.

She smiles just a little and admits, "They're going okay. It's … There's a lot happening. I've got the investigation into your local analog, a massive drug investigation happening, and it seems like there's no escaping the rest of it. So… as that little fish in the movie said, I just keep swimming. Even if it's really just treading water."

"Greenhouse, eh? Yeah, I heard about that. Didn't realize she was working on it, though." He nods slowly. "Good on her." Maybe sometime he'll pay her a visit. Not that they were all that close, but… Travelers should try to stick together, right? And besides, driving food prices down is something he can definitely get behind.

"That's all you can do sometimes," he says, grimacing. "If I'm being honest, some days it feels like about all I'm doing, too. Waiting for everything to fall into place."

Her smile is soft. "I'm not taking a single day of the quiet for granted," Elisabeth admits. "Shit is bound to hit the fan. We both know it… and yours hit sooner than I would have hoped for you. And even though I feel guilty as shit saying it to you, of all people… every moment I have here is a gift. It's selfish as hell, Silas, but even with the bad coming at us, I can't be sorry. When the shoe drops, we'll fight again."

Silas smiles in turn, delighted. "Good," he says, and that's all; as far as he's concerned, Lis has got it exactly right. "Every moment is a gift, and bein' sorry for what you can't change… there's no future in that." He nods resolutely; he believes what he's saying.

Then his smile takes on a bit of a rueful edge. "I'd probably better not linger around outside for too much longer, though," he sighs. "And I'm sure you've got places to be. Just so you know, though… I've got a burner phone. If you need to get ahold of me for something, you can get me at…" he rattles off the number.

Nodding, Elisabeth says, "I'll have Alia make sure the number is as secure as we can make it." She pauses and then says, "Tell Kain Her Royal Highness made him a Christmas card. I don't have it with me, but… I can drop it in a pickup location if he'd like." She smiles slightly. "I hate that we're all still looking over our shoulders." For different reasons than before, maybe, but still. She'd hoped for better for the people who'd come so far.

Silas nods, offering Lis a smile. "Appreciated. And rest assured, I'll let him know." He nods, then pauses. "Oh. And, uh… if you happen to be at Cambria's anytime soon… maybe let him know that it might be awhile before our grand opening after all," he says, not without a touch of regret.

It doesn't last long, though; he doesn't let it. He musters a grin and offers Lis a parting nod. "I hate it too, but all we can do is our best. Good luck on the investigations, Lis; take care of yourself! And give Richard and Aurora my best," he says, offering a jaunty salute before turning to take his leave.

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