Real Life Or Fantasy


elisabeth2_icon.gif kaylee_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Real Life or Fantasy?
Synopsis With all the memory alterations, how is anyone to know?
Date April 6, 2019

Raytech Corporate Housing, Elisabeth's Apartment

Inside a Brainpan, Mostly

They've all been here before. Although sometimes her mental Self is an adult, more often in this place, the image is that of the younger aspect. And sure enough, perched on the mahogany four-poster in her peach and sea-green room, Elisabeth's persona is once again that teenaged blonde with waist-length hair caught up in a bouncy ponytail. A pair of frayed blue jeans and a spaghetti-strapped pink tanktop, the kind of things the adult hasn't worn in decades, give her a carefree innocence she hasn't had in years.

Richard's visits to this place were few, but perhaps memorable enough. And Elisabeth and Kaylee have stood together before in front of that leaking, rusted, chained door that has stood in the corner of her childhood bedroom since the day that the sanctuary was created. Built many years ago now by Hokuto, the sanctuary was never really meant to fend off quite this many sustained attacks and has been slowly degrading with the years, though it's been shored up since Kaylee was here last — Delia's visit gave Elisabeth a more nuanced view of her safe space. She's been allowing some of her nightmares in so as to deal with them in a controlled environment and take some of the pressure off of the walls that have protected her for so long.

Although she intellectually knows at least most of what's behind that leaking door, courtesy of a penny she wears on a chain around her throat along with David's wedding ring and Ezekiel's patron saint medallion, Elisabeth doesn't have emotional ties to the memories — the ones on the penny are not hers. They are the specifics of what happened to another Elisabeth. These memories behind the door… these are her own. And now the time has come to reintegrate all of her life. With both of her parents alive and here, Elisabeth believes she can manage the child's trauma hidden in her own mind.

Blowing out a slow breath, Elisabeth says finally, "I guess I'm ready. Dad's really worried about this white-haired guy, you know." Maybe she's stalling just a little.

The other blonde in the room, Kaylee stands in front of the leaky door, just as another version of herself had done before. Though here, telepath looked far less put together than she did in real life. In fact, she looked tired and faded. Her blonde curls look like a mess fresh from bed and hastily pulled back into a ponytail.

While water dripped along long lines around the fingers of one hand, Kaylee’s attention is on the avatar of Charles that had popped up to give to give them that pre-recorded warning again. It was kinda creepy every time he did that.

“I find him fascinating,” she says of the white haired man, not Charles. “I wonder if old Company records have anything about him. To seemingly write himself in and out of events is a hell of an ability.” If that was what he was doing; Kaylee could only guess.

A dripping hand moves from the door, to motion to a space near Elisabeth. The memory of the white haired man fades in, one taken from the telepath’s own memory. Kaylee for her part, leaves the door to stalk around that memory, studying the stranger from various angles. “You sure you don’t remember seeing him?” She asks looking past his shoulder to the woman on the bed.

"Nope. It's why I told you to bring Richard in too," Elisabeth admits. "Dad told me about what you saw in his head and now he's curious as hell about whether it'll show up in my memories." She pauses and admits, "I think he's planning on talking to Ryans about this guy — see if he knows who it is. Given how many memories have been taken from him over the years, though? I can't begin to guess what Ryans might have once known." With a faint grimace, she comments, "I sort of wish I'd allowed Kaylee to break this down back in Arthur's world… maybe the Ryans in the last world would have known him, since his head wasn't fucked with." She shrugs slightly. It's water under the bridge now, no pun intended.

“I don’t know what his ability may have been…” Richard’s clad in shadows in the form of a suit complete with fedora, as if something about the situation had drawn him to think of himself in his Agent look, “…but I can tell you who he is.”

He stops in front of the image of the white-haired old man, his head tilting a little to one side as he considers the lined face of that memory. “It’s funny, really,” he murmurs, “How everything comes down to family when it comes to us? Relations, ancestors, uncles and aunts, grandfathers and grandmothers. It makes me wonder if maybe you’re right, Kaylee, maybe this is all part of some grander…”

A shake of his head, dismissing the thought.

“This is Walter Renautus,” he explains, turning to his sister and lover, “His children, Luca and Elena, were with the Institute— they were working on the Garden of Eden Project.” One both of them have heard him mention before, the dream of repairing nuclear-damaged areas and restoring them to life and fertility. “They sided with the Ferrymen in the breakout from the Ark…”

Back to the memory, he frowns, “…and died in those trenches with so many others. Their children were kept by Kravid, they’re teenagers now. Kravid was using them as a long-range communication method, since they can telepathically communicate with one another from range. Kyla’s in custody, Kyle ironically is free since Wolfhound broke him out of where he was being held hostage against his sister’s good behavior.”

One hand comes up, rubbing between his eyes, “Walter’s great-grandson was named after him.”

There is a soft huh at the information dropped… “I was there and Ferry… I didn’t hear about that.” Kaylee murmurs, looking at her projection of the man. Then again not a lot of information flowed through the group freely… Even for a telepath.

The dismissal of her theory, however, has his sister bristling, “You can dismiss it all you want, but I know what I…” there is a heavy sigh and Kaylee turns towards the door. “…forget it.” She murmurs under her breath and steps up to the door again and Charles beside it.

“Sorry, Mr. Deveraux,” Kaylee says softly, like a kid going against the parents wishes… not that he really cares… Falling silent again, her hands rest on the wet door and she turns her attention to her ability as it curls out from around her and sends out searching tendrils. They find their mark and sit poised like a cobra ready to strike. “When you’re ready, Liz,” the words are a touch flat and weary.

That's a hell of a bombshell Richard drops, and Elisabeth's gaze on him is thoughtful. There is a conversation that apparently needs to be had when this is done — she needs some time to actually process what he just said. Then her blue eyes turn to Kaylee and rest on her a long time. She's worried about the telepath. But she nods slowly and sighs. "Go on… the sooner we're done, the better, I think."

Some Time Ago

“Jared,” Charles says casually, “I'm sorry for the delay.” His focus moves down to Elisabeth at the table, walking over and looking down at her with a warm smile. “I'm glad you both got plenty of rest…”

A dark silhouette moves into the doorway behind Charles, an elderly man with chalk white hair and weathered skin creased with wrinkles in such a way as to look like cracked stone. He watches Jared and Elisabeth for a short time, then quietly follows Charles into the room.

“Mr. Harrison,” Charles says with a brief look down to Elisabeth, then back up, “I'm sorry this took so long. But you deserve to know the truth before I settle you in to a more comfortable lie.” The old man behind Charles slowly draws nearer, his attention now more on Elisabeth than anything. Charles continues, untucking a newspaper from beneath his arm and handing it out to Jared.

“This is the easiest way I might be able to explain,” Charles says, and Jared can clearly see the headline on a newspaper dated June 8th, just a few days ago. US PRESIDENT REAGAN ADDRESSES BRITISH PARLIAMENT.

“It's Carter, for you, isn't it?” Charles asks with a crease of his brow. “Second term.” He lets Jared take the paper, and slowly, Charles looks down to Elisabeth and then back up to her father.

“Have you ever read the works of Lewis Caroll, Mr. Harrison?”

Charles’ question about Lewis Caroll’s stories is the last thing Elisabeth remembers of their talk. Jared stands up from the couch, walking over to Charles and lowering his voice while at the same time looking both incredulous and angry. Elisabeth, by herself on the floor in front of the coffee table, looks up from her half-eaten sandwich and then over to the other person in the room that neither Jared nor Charles seem to notice.

“Hello, Elisabeth,” the white-haired man — Walter Renautas — says in an immaculate British accent. There is a gentle smile on Walter’s lips as he bends down to bring himself a little bit more on Elisabeth’s level. “It is a pleasure to meet you again,” though she never recalls seeing him before. “I know your father is very busy right now, and I know all of this…” he motions around the room, “is frightening. But I have something important I need to tell you.”

Walter looks over to where Charles and Jared are speaking, then back over to Elisabeth. “Can you keep a secret for me?” His brows slowly rise and the tiny young Elisabeth just shakes her head no.

“Momma said don’ talk to strangers,” is her simple response, to which Walter cracks a smile and seems to appreciate her honesty.

“Your mother sounds like a very smart woman,” Mr. Renautas opines, then crouches down beside Elisabeth with his hands on his knees. “But I’m not a stranger. We’ve met many times before, but it hasn’t happened in a straight line.” She doesn’t seem to understand that and turns to look at Jared.

Dad,” Elisabeth calls out, to which Jared looks back to her sitting by herself at the coffee table. “Daddy the old grandpa man wants to talk t’me.” Jared furrows his brows, looks to Charles who scrutinizes the area for a moment then slowly shakes his head, and Jared just smiles in a strained and shaky manner.

“That’s fine baby, you play.” He has no idea, and apparently neither does Charles.

“Ok dad says it’s ok.” Elisabeth chirps, looking up at Walter who smiles gently.

“It’s a very simple thing, my dear. A place and a time… and I can only assume you remember it when you’re older.” Walter leans in and whispers something to Elisabeth.

“May 11th, 2019. 7:00pm. Time’s Square.”

Present Day

Watching the interchange, Elisabeth can't help the snicker as her younger self comments on 'the old grandpa man.' "Jesus… maybe Aurora's more like me than I thought." Cuz she can totally hear that coming from her daughter's mouth. But … the rest of this? It's got a level of uneasiness causing chills up her spine.

“Alright,” Richard states, arms folding over his chest as he levels an amused look over at Elisabeth, “You are no longer allowed to give me shit about mysterious errands sent to me after Edward died, Liz.”

One hand comes up, scratching under his chin, “He said it wasn’t in a straight line. Time traveller?”

Only in their world would such a question be almost casual.

The world returns to what it was before they stepped into Elisabeth’s head, Kaylee looking just as tired as she pulls hands away from the other blonde’s temples. “That is the only instance of that man in your mind that I can find.” She scoots away and stands.

“Well, sounds like you all have a date.” Whatever that will be for, she can’t even begin to talk. “But I agree… something related to time travel at least. Maybe a bit like Mateo and Odessa’s mom… maybe? Only Liz saw him… “ Kaylee’s hands spread a touch helpless.

Moving to grasp Kaylee's wrist, she urges the other woman to sit down. She doesn't like the look of the telepath's face. "No more of this," Elisabeth offers quietly. "You look awful."

Only after that does she comment on her thoughts. "I am totally allowed to give you shit." There's no heat to her grumbling, but she's also maybe a little worried about the date. "How the hell could he even know that I'd find this memory again — it was wiped. And he had to know Charles Deveaux was going to do it." Elisabeth pauses and then adds, "Given Walter's power and what happened to the elder Walter that landed him in the alternate timeline… it would make sense. I mean… they haven't yet managed to figure out the exact genetic link of powers through family lines, but… there's obviously some tie." Her own alternate-world offspring and parent at least make her firmly believe there is some component to it.

"And why me?" She looks between them, puzzled. "What has Walter Renautas got to do with me?"

“I have no idea,” Richard admits, one hand lifting to rub against the nape of his neck, “I suppose that I’ll have to dig into the man… see what his grandchildren know. Then we’ll need to meet him on the appointed day, which he probably won’t remember asking us to be there for.”

He pinches the bridge of his nose, “Time travel gives me a headache.”

There is a soft sigh as Kaylee is forced to sit again. “I’m fine,” she insists to Liz, “Just not sleeping all that great lately.” She might sleep better, if she wasn’t spending so many nights in the basement of Raytech, trying to uncover missing memories of her own.

Kaylee’s so far been unsuccessful.

Fingers rub at a temple has she sits there listening to them. “You’re assuming it is going to be him,” Kaylee sees the need to point it out. “He may only be the one moving the pieces. We know now that the board is far bigger then we really could imagine.” She’s already seen how much bigger the board is… seen it in its different forms from her father’s mental string map, to standing on the roof in a place where all time and space existed at once. A place all time travellers probably passed through and never knew it. She was still having nightmares about that last.

After a moment, Kaylee says something she’s never really done before. “Take me with you when you go.” She almost seems surprised with herself, glancing between the two of them. She almost backs out that comment, but then continues. “Look, I can do more than just kicking down doors.”

Elisabeth smiles faintly at Kaylee, her blue eyes holding an amused sort of knowledge. "Hell yeah, you can." Partners. In another world, that's what they were… and that time is coming again soon in some ways. «Before that meeting, you're getting fucking firearms training in the range. Because if you shoot me in the ass, I'm-a be really pissed, Lucy.»

Apparently she picked up some things from that world.

Glancing at Richard, though, she comments on going there. "The meeting place is in the damn exclusion zone. Not that we can't get there, but it's definitely going to take some prep time. If the subway tunnels are unblocked, we might be able to use those. Otherwise, we'll have to figure out the boat thing and evading whatever patrols might be watching." Practicalities are much easier for her to deal with than the anxiety that has arisen now that she has all of her memories actually in her possession. Knowing about the car accident is a bit different than remembering it, and with the breaking of the locks, that memory now belongs to her too. She's grateful for the neutral topic to hide behind for now — that's too much to handle.

“Liz,” Richard observes with a rueful smile, “You’re still thinking ‘resistance fighter’ and ‘refugee’. I could just submit the paperwork for an attempt to recover materials from the exclusion zone, and we lead a team in the front door.”

A glance to his sister, and he nods slightly, “He may not be the one moving pieces at all. He may just be being moved, and be aware of it.” He knows that one well enough. “We’ll want to make sure it’s not a trap, of course.”

Liz gets an amused look from Kaylee at the thought sent her way. To be honest, she needed the help anyhow, since weapons quals were so important and she didn’t have the berth of time other versions of herself did. «I asked Luther to help too. I would hate to let Donovan down and fail out there.» She was not an easy learner.

The plan has Kaylee turning that same amused look up to Richard, letting him tell it and he does. She motions to him and looks back to her friend. “That’s all I had to do, when I was waiting for Lynette and Mateo to return too. All legit. We actually have a…” she wobbles her head a bit and settles on… “decent relationship with the government.”

There is a bit of a lopsided smirk at his counter argument, but she doesn’t refute it. All in all, they knew nothing about what to expect. “Of course,” is Kaylee’s agreement to making sure it’s not a trap.

A brief look shoots to Kaylee and she simply rolls her eyes. «I have a notion you're gonna need all the help you can get.»

Elisabeth opens her mouth to reply and seems caught off guard, blue eyes blinking at them both. He's not wrong. "Well…. Damn it," she murmurs. Rubbing her forehead for a moment, there's this look of almost-confusion. It's been so long since she was legit, she just … doesn't quite know what to do about that thought. Nonplussed, she looks between the siblings. "You're right." Christ. She's got to get her head around the fact that this is not that life anymore.

She looks around the apartment, aware of a strange sense of her own disconnect from this life. Rubbing her palms down her slacks-clad thighs, she moves to stand. "A decent relationship with the government is good… If it's that simple, then I won't spend too much time worrying about that front," she says absently, taking up a spot near the window so that she can look outside at the cityscape that's visible. "I wish I understood what the hell this is all about," she whispers.

“We had a better relationship, but…” Richard’s frown cuts off his line of thought, and he shakes his head, “Well, that’s a different matter. Still…” He reaches out a hand to brush down Liz’s arm, moving to stand as well, “We can get in without too much trouble.”

A nudge of his shoulder to hers, “I’ll talk to Walter’s grandkids. We might want them to come, since— I somehow doubt that he’s going to be expecting us. Non-linear relationships can be strange.”

Just look at him and Simon Broome.

Again the mental comments of Liz get a small smile, but she doesn’t respond further. Kaylee knows she’s helpless and will be the first to admit it.

“When have we ever really known what was going on and we will still step off the frying pan.” the telepath points out before looking at her brother. “And you never know Richard, he might be expecting us. It depends on his ability.” Kaylee can’t help but chuckle, even though whoever this person was… it made her a bit uneasy. "Either way, when you are ready… You know how to reach me when you’re ready.”

Elisabeth shoots a smile to Kaylee, her body shifting into the light touch of Richard's shoulder as if it's comforting. "Well… you know when we have to be there, so…" The idea that Kaylee is coming with them is something she's taking for a given. Glancing between the siblings, she sighs. "Well.. at least there's a few weeks in here where I can get my head on straight about the rest of what we saw. I'd already seen most of it, courtesy of the penny Kaito gave me. But…" It's not the same as living it. Feeling the terror of the eight-year-old in the car and the grief when her mother never came out of the water. "Focusing on the grandkids is as good a place to start as any," she agrees softly. "I'll fill dad in, too. He's … a little on edge about all this."

“Yeah, well, even so bringing his family can’t hurt,” says Richard, flashing Kaylee a grin, “And we know one of them can be trusted, at least…”

The shoulder further away from Elisabeth comes up in an easy shrug, “I’ll meet with Delilah, give her the 411… I’ll see if Kyle will meet with me. Kyla’s in jail, unfortunately, she got picked up by Wolfhound on an op for Kravid.”

“Either way, it sounds like you have a plan,” Kaylee opines, fingers moving to rub at her temple. Kicking down mental doors is never easy, but the added stresses in her life… “Now… if you’ll excuse me,” she attempts again to push to her feet. “I will leave you to your planning. I think aspirin is in order and maybe a dark room to rest in for a bit until.”

Turning, Kaylee leans down at gives each a quick hug in turn. “Let me know what you decide.”

Elisabeth nods, hugging Kaylee tightly. "Get some rest," she tells the telepath, her blue eyes worried. She's given enough space, she determines — it's time to haul Kaylee out of her self-imposed silence and give her an ear to talk to. Or take a crowbar to her tongue to get the details. One of those two things will work. She'll just have to show up with the good ice cream.

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