Pretty Bright Of You



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Scene Title Pretty Bright of You
Synopsis Linus willingly registers and finds that it's not as bad as he thought it would be, but unfortunately, there's more than one step to the process.
Date September 9, 2010

42nd Police Precinct, Bronx

Not all police stations in New York City are as quaint as the 42nd Precinct. Built in 1906, the landmark building on Washington Street looks homey and friendly, a sturdy looking, All-American building that looks like it could be situated in the center of any small town in the heartland thanks to its cheery red-brick facade and the nation's flag waving from the center of the three-storey building. Outside, police cars can be seen lining the street, overflows from the too-small parking lot.

Inside, things are a little less homey and cheerful. It's business as usual. The lobby is furnished with hard plastic chairs for those waiting, for whatever reason, and it's best not to ask. A counter serves as a barrier between the waiters and the department itself, that barrier fortified by bullet proof glass to keep the clerk behind it safe from any disgruntled taxpayers, criminals, or both. Beyond the glass is a bustle of activity, police in uniform and out coming and going, grabbing files or dropping off forms to the clerk, though most of the activity for most departments takes place elsewhere in the building.

The clerk is busy on the computer, though the nervous looking redhead man glances at the waiting area now and then.

There are a few differences between the man walking into the police station and the clerk behind the bulletproof glass and the counter underneath that glass. Hair, height, weight - but the trait they share is nervousness. Nearly shaking as he walks into the precinct, Linus Agron fidgets with his hands in front of him as he moves towards the counter. A hand rises up to brush through his hair, the back of his hand moving down to smudge the sweat away from his brow. He waits for an opportune time to speak up, when the clerk actually notices his presence.

"Uh.. hello. I'm an Evolved and I am here to register."

Blinking owlishly, the clerk nods his head once, then turns to the end of a file cabinet where a document organizer holds various forms. He reaches into the proper pocket and pulls out the paperwork, the long sheet asking for the various demographic information like any registration form might — Name, Social Security number, address, phone number, occupation, next of kin, et cetera and so on. Of course, this one has the extra box that says Do not write in this space where the ability will be penned in by the registration agent.

"Sure. Can you fill this out? And can you tell me what kinda power you got? If you know, of course. If you don't know, well, we can try and figure you out or make you an appointment with the testing folks, if we can't," the clerk says politely enough, slipping the paperwork and a pen through the thin slot at the bottom of the glass divider.

Linus drums his fingers against the counter while the man gets the proper forms, closing his eyes for a moment until the man's voice brings them back open. "Oh, uh.. yeah." He wipes his sweaty hands on his jeans before they reach, trembling, to take the slid form and pen. "N-no. I know what I can do, sort of." There's a long pause as his head works out the probabilities and consequences of lying and getting away with it, or getting caught. "I absorb sunlight and can do things with it, like.. heat and light based stuff."

The clerk, Dempsey, raises a brow and pulls out a yellow Post-It note and scribbles on it, absorbs sunlight/heat and light stuff, in a messy scrawl. "Got it. Hold on just a sec and lemme call in the guys who generally deal with this kinda sh — stuff," Dempsey mutters, letting Linus fill out the form while he turns to grab his phone.

"Det. Ramos, we got an Evolved regist— I didn't ask, Sir — yeah. Says he can absorb sunlight. All right, I'll tell 'em," he says then hangs up and nods to Linus. "He'll be right down. Can I see your driver's license while you fill that out?"

Filling out the form is difficult when your hands are sweaty and can barely keep the pen held between your fingers, as Linus is finding out. The sweat from the side of his hands smudges the ink as well, making it a mess but not unreadable. It's also hard to concentrate on writing when somebody a foot away is muttering on the phone about something you've only told a handful of people like it's as casual as can be.

By the time the clerk - Dempsey - asks for his ID, he's only got about half the form scribbled in. "Driver's License? Uh.. yeah." He sets the pen down, shaking hand reaching to pull out his wallet and then the license which he pushes through the slit in the glass. His hand is wiped on his shirt before he resumes filling out the form.

Dempsey takes the card and looks at it, glancing up at Linus and down to the card and back up, as if to be sure it's him, then turning the card in the light so he can see the hologram image. "Hold on, let me grab a Xerox of this," he tells Linus and heads to a machine on his side of the counter.

Entering the room on that side of the counter is a stocky Latino man in plain clothes who nods to Dempsey and then to counter where Linus waits. "That him?" he asks in a gruff voice, and when Dempsey nods, handing him the driver's license, Ramos heads toward the door to the side of the counter, opening it and holding it open.

"Mr. Agron? Come on back, son. You can finish that paperwork once we get to the backroom if you're still filling it out. Why they need to know how much money you got for losing your front teeth, I don't know," he says jovially, despite his gruff voice. Of course that is one thing the form doesn't ask.

"X-Xerox? You need to xerox it?" Linus' question goes unanswered as the man is already gone to the machine, out of earshot of Linus' meekly asked question. He lets out a sigh, continuing with his form until the other gentlemen with the gruff voice speaks up. Sometimes you just know when somebody is talking about you, and Linus looks up. He watches as the man moves to the door and opens it, then beckons him forward. "Uh, yeah. Alright." He forces a laugh at the man's joke despite his complete lack of desire to find anything humorous at the moment. He follows the man, his form clenched in his sweaty palm.

Dempsey returns to the counter to glance at Linus, none too apologetic for making the copy of the man's license. That little step in the protocol of course helps in case the registrant gets cold feet and runs off — they have his information. The redhead man sits back down and returns to the computer, heaving a sigh at all the reports he needs to organize for the day.

Ramos gives a jerk of his head indicating Linus should follow him, and brings him through the front office and to a hallway beyond, and finally into a small interrogation room of sorts. The walls are brick and solid. A mirror on one is of course one-way glass, and other than that, there's nothing but two seats and a table.

"All right, Mr. Agron," Ramos says, handing the nervous heliokinetic his driver's license, and then taking one of the chairs for himself, nodding to the other. "Can you tell me about your power? What can you do?"

Linus continued to follow Ramos, his eyes firmly locked on the ground in front of him instead of looking at anyone he might pass by. When he sees the man stop out of his peripheral vision, Linus comes to a halt as well and looks up to see where he is. He gulps when he realizes the room look a lot like the rooms he sees criminals and suspects get interrogated in on TV shows. "Uh.. is this where you do all of these registrations..?" Despite his hesitance, he takes the seat opposite Ramos. "I.. uh, I absorb sunlight. It.. well, it gives me energy. Keeps me healthy, fit.. awake. And when I don't get sunlight, I get a little sick." He reaches up to scratch his temple. "And.. I can project heat from my hands." The last bit is said with heavy trepidation, his brow sweating.

"Depends on what you can do. Non-Evo, you get a blood test in the front room. No reason for the privacy, you know? But here, we're alone and less likely for you to get upset and fry the bystanders or something. It's happened before." It has. That story still gets told.

Ramos takes notes as Linus talks, and nods. "Absorb sunlight — how did you figure out it was the sunlight? That's pretty bright of you. I mean… how do you know it's the sunlight keeping you healthy and fit? And that you're not just a pyro or some sort of thermokinetic or something? I'm not doubting you," Ramos says, holding up a hand and crossing one ankle over one knee as he watches Linus. "Just so I can get a handle on your power and figure out what it does. Can you show me this heat thing, by the way?"

Linus wipes his hands on his pants again, then wipes them over his face and through his hair to get the sweat off as best he can. "Pretty bright of you?" That he laughs at, but his face goes straight almost instantly when he realizes it wasn't a joke. "Uh.. thanks. Experimentation with different types of light sources.. I narrowed it down, and it's ultraviolet light mostly.. it's the most prevalent wavelength of light in sunlight." He frowns when the man asks to see the heat. "Okay. I'll try to be careful."

Linus raises both his hands over the table, but still pretty far from the other man. His hands begin to glow a little, a yellowish gold light that isn't blinding, but is significant. Then he points one of his hands at a cup that was left on the table, incinerating it.

"Hahah. No pun intended," Ramos chuckles, only recognizing his accidental double entendre after the fact. His dark brows rise in his chubby face as the little Dixie cup is consumed by light before it crumbles to ash.

"Holy shit," he says, looking impressed. "Is it just your hands? Can you shoot flames from your eyes or anything cool — or, maybe hot, haha — like that?" he says, a little eagerly, like a kid meeting someone with super powers. "What's the biggest target you've done that to?" he nods to the pile of ash on the small table that sits between them. "And can you use it in smaller doses, or is it … just that hot, and no in between?"

Linus looks relieved when the man doesn't slap cuffs on him or run out of the room in fear, and his shoulders relax some now at the detective's questions. "Just my hands. I mean, I never really tried to shoot it out of my eyes or anything." He looks at his hands, the light dying down some but not going away. "I can make it warm, like a tanning bed or just nice sunlight.. or I can make it really hot. I don't know how hot I can go because I don't like to hurt things, you know?" He frowns. "Really, I just wish I didn't have it."

"Yeah, probably best not to try to make it as hot as you can," Ramos says in agreement, glancing at the cup and raising his brows again, then shaking his head. He jots a few notes down. "I'm gonna jot down that you're not sure how high you can go, and you might get asked for some training on it by the people who are specialist in that sort of stuff, all right? It's nothing to be afraid of. They're there to be sure you're safe and so are the people around you."

The police officer reaches for the paperwork on the table and glances at it, then begins to fill in his part of the form. "The technical name for what you can do is heliokinetic. Helio means sun, apparently, but you're a bright kid, you probably knew that," he says amiably enough, before tapping his pen on the paper and glancing up.

"Can I ask how long you've known about this power of yours? You seem to be in pretty good control of it. Any instances you lost control?"

"That's why I'm here, you know? If I could just talk to cats or something simple like that, I wouldn't be worried or anything. But since.. well, I can do that," he gestures to the ashes on the table, "I'd like to know just what I can and can't do, because while I do have pretty good control over it.. better safe than sorry, right?" He looks a little sheepish about the question if he has ever lost control. "Y-yeah, I have." He puts his hands to his face, no longer glowing at all. "Please don't lock me up or anything."

"Nah, I get that, I get that, kid. It's okay. It's gonna be okay. Hell, a power like yours, they could probably use you on FRONTLINE or something, way I see it. They might think you're useful. You're a good kid, we don't wanna lock you up," Ramos says, reaching out to pat the younger man on the shoulder.

"I'll tell you what. You came to us willingly. You coulda run for the hills. I'm gonna waive the fines and penalties for not being registered when you found out you were Evolved, and I'm going to make you an appointment for the specialists tomorrow. Hold on just a second," the police detective says, pulling out a cell phone from his pocket.

His chubby fingers must have a hard time on the tiny keys, as he seems to need to backspace quite a bit, but eventually the number is entered correctly, and he holds the phone to his ear.

"Hey, it's Ramos over at the 42nd. I got a helio over here that just registered but needs some testing. Can I send him to you?" The man is quiet for a moment, and glances over at Linus. "When's good for you? Pick a time between 8 and 5 tomorrow."

Ramos is pretty good at the comfort thing - Linus looks relieved again, his shoulders actually stiffening with a bit of confidence under the man's hand. "Yeah. Yeah, thanks." He looks down, ashamed though, of not coming in sooner. "I-I would have come in sooner, but I was scared. So thank you." He lets the man make the phone call, and when the question is asked, thinks about. Either way he would have to take the day off from work. But the later he goes in, the later he's registered.. and the later he can stay up playing video games. "One is good."

"1 o'clock?" Ramos says, dark eyes on Linus, then giving a nod as the voice on the other line apparently confirms it. "It's a date, then. He'll be there." Apparently he has faith that Linus is not a runner. He pushes the red disconnect button, and stands up, nodding to Linus once more to follow him.

"Here's the deal, Linus. I'm vouching for you by not charging you any fines or throwing you in jail for the night — pretty much the minimum for late registrations, especially the Evolved. But you came to us willingly, even with a powerful ability. I think you're a good kid. But if you don't make that appointment, my ass is on the line, and the deal will be off — you'll have to pay for evading registration, and it will likely be a fine and some jail time. I don't wanna see that, so show up, right?"

He moves to the door of the small interrogation room, opening it and waiting for Linus to exit, watching the tall young man's face for understanding.

Okay, maybe he shouldn't stay up late playing video games. If he misses that meeting, not only is his ass on the line, this guy's is too. It's clear by the look on Linus' face that he is very grateful for everything this Detective Ramos is doing for him. "Yes, sir. I'll be there with bells on. Alright, maybe not with bells on. But I'll be there. I don't want to screw you over or anything."

"I know you won't," Ramos says with a broad smile as he leads Linus through the hallway and to the front desk, where he opens that door to let the heliokinetic exit into the lobby. "Dempsey here will give you the address and phone number. Your evaluator's name is Minh Luoung. Don't fret about it — it's not a pass or fail test. Just be up front with them, like you were with me, and it'll be fine." Ramos claps a hand on Linus' shoulder, leaving Linus to worry about the next day's pokes and prods.

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