Recalled Collapse


kaylee_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Recalled Collapse
Synopsis Magnes calls Kaylee to Benchmark to discuss many things.
Date February 19, 2019

Benchmark Recovery and Counseling Center

It's only been a day since he finally saw this world's Elaine, the first Elaine he ever knew and loved. In some ways it heals him, in others it keeps a permanent wound for another Elaine pried wide open.

But today he occupies himself with another distraction. He's at Benchmark, having introduced himself and called ahead. Kaylee gets a voicemail asking her to meet him there at a particular time, though that it's alright if she can't make it.

He's been in a room staring at the floor and occasionally out a window for a while. This is the spot where Varlane died, the spot that he saw him die. The way that Magnes carries himself is a far cry from the sort of gentle naivety Varlane did, but as he crouches down in his long black coat to just stare.

So many questions still run through his mind, questions that, to him, are ridiculously important to understanding everything.

People can say that it isn't important what he is, that he's just himself, but the ultimate question still remains.

Why is he so different from the other clones?

It wasn’t the type of call she was expecting and Kaylee had actually thought about not showing up, but… curiosity drew her there. The telepath isn’t dressed for work, she’s more casual with her jeans and worn brown leather jacket. Still in the doorway, she studies the man. Everything about his is different, even down to the tone of his mental hum behind her telepathic walls.

After a moment, Kaylee look away towards the window, lips pressed firm against emotions. Mainly guilt for not being there when Varlane needed her. “I got your call,” she greets quietly. Her tone neutral, not quite sure how to react to the situation, yet. “What’s up?”

"When I was between universes, in that infinite void as we crossed over, I was in his head, I experienced his death. I know that he felt grateful, that he loved all of you, thought of you like a family." Magnes doesn't look back at her, he raises his arm and wipes his eyes. "I can't let this go. The fact that we exist… just to die like this, it's cruel."

He stands up now, turning around to face her. "I learned in other worlds that I've always been a clone, I even met the original version of myself, an old man who taught me a lot about my ability, among other things. A world where he never died." Looking down at his hands, he's frowning. There's so much to worry about, it's only just starting to hit him that there's more to worry about. "In the documents I saw, they refer to me as the 'aberrant clone'. My body doesn't degrade, and I have the original Magnes' ability. I don't know why, I don't understand why I'm different."

Looking back at the spot that Varlane died, there's almost guilt in his tone. "If I'm the one who gets to live, it's up to me to find out why the others couldn't. Why I got to be different. It's… it's not fair. It's horrifying."

His words force Kaylee to look away and up, blinking a few times to fight the moisture that gathers. There is plenty of guilt to go around. Looking back, she clears her throat to keep it from cracking with emotion. “I’m sorry I couldn’t make his passing easier. He deserved better than that.” Arms crossed she steps into the room finally, eyes on the ground, thoughtful. “Richard has files from the project that created you all. Now that we’re all home I was planning on getting those from him, because I wanted to understand as well. That day you took over his mind, I met other versions of you.”

Coming to stand alongside Magnes, Kaylee finally looks up and studies him. Finally, she admits, “It’s something I’ve been thinking on. There is more than one way to make a clone, but also I know that, sometimes, the more you use a process the more diluted the result. I know a man names Tyler Case. Here his ability was switch and he was given cloning. The more clones he makes, the dumber the clone is.” Looking down at the floor and nodding to it she adds, “Maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe you were one of the first?”

It’s only a theory, but Kaylee offers it.

"Unfortunately I know the answer to that. It would be a clear cut answer if that were the case. But the very first clone, the Alpha clone, was made in 1988. He had something called frontotemporal dementia and Huntington's disease that they believed to be from the cloning process." Magnes explains, having combed over his own document so many times. "Every clone after that had degenerative cerebral issues within two to three years, fatally degenerative. Unlike the alpha clone, they were all born as adults, often with psychological issues. They all required a brain tissue sample from the Alpha clone."

After he explains that, he takes a deep breath for the next part. "And then I happened. I was created in 2006. My father pretty much disowned me because I didn't want to follow the path he set out for me, and the documents that I was given by Arthur, Samson, whatever you want to call him, said that I was officially abandoned because they believed I was degenerating."

He holds his arms out, nodding down as he indicates his clearly still existing body. "When they realized I wasn't degenerating, they started referring to me as the Aberrant clone and instead kept me under distant observation." He holds his palm out to her, as if he's perplexed by it. "I've been shot, had my arm eaten, turned into a black hole, literally exploded and brought back to life, experienced Kazimir's entropy. I'm clearly not degrading. Not to mention… aren't clones supposed to be sterile? And from what I observed, from both the time I had to fight one of my clones, and the time I was in this Varlane's body, they all have telekinesis."

"Hell… I learned physics, even the original version of me sucked at science. I'm the opposite of cerebral degradation. I think…" He looks down at her, very seriously. "Something was done to me that either my father didn't know about, or my father didn't tell them about. But all I had were the documents I was given by Pinehearst. They raised more questions than answers."

The telepath softly hmms at what Magnes tells her, since she hasn’t yet gotten her hands on any of it, this is all news to her. Brows furrow as she considers what he’s saying. Curiosity tickles at the corner of her mind. “So… you feel like you need to know what changed? So there are no more surprise…” Kaylee sighs out softly through her nose as she considers options. “It had to be when you were little, if all these other versions were the same.”

Pulling a cell phone out of her pocket, Kaylee starts composing a message, nail tap on the glass of the screen. “I’m going to see if I can get Richard to pull out everything he has for me. Maybe in this timeline there is a clue to what it was.”

Once send it hit, she looks at where Varlane was the last time she had seen him. “No offense, Magnes. If I ever see your father, I will not be nice.” The hatred she feels towards the man is evident when she looks at the man. “Varlane deserved far more than what he got and I will make sure your father knows that. He’ll know what he did to Varlane.” She refuses to call him a clone, “Intimately.” If she had any say.

"Hermod killed my father in one timeline, I think I understand why now. Hermod was my Vanguard name. If you spoke to other versions of me, it probably wasn't him. I… we had a huge fight, he thought I was a clone, and then something I said, I think it made him realize that maybe we were both clones, or maybe it was the guilt of having Abby killed and knowing there was a way out, a fact that Kazimir graciously tried to torture me with. But, it made him shoot himself, whatever he realized, right there in front of me." Magnes reaches behind his ear, rubbing at something.

"There's a mark behind my ear, I didn't realize it before, but before he shot himself he checked behind my ear when I mentioned that if we were clones, surely there would be some kind of sign. I think the scar is an incision, I'm not sure, but I know it has to do with how I was made." Lowering his hand, he looks to the phone, then locks eyes with Kaylee. "If anyone examined Varlane, I want to know if he had the scar behind his ear too. You can ask someone for me later. Either answer is still more information to connect the dots."

“There were two… One I think in the timeline where Pineherst was and the other… where I… I mean she stayed, it was a wasteland.” Keeping things straight was tough sometimes.

The mention of killing himself gets a sympathetic look, Kaylee can’t even imagine. “I’m sorry you were forced to do that.” Her brows fall in thought as a flick of memory is sparked. “You know, I think I remember… I think I saw it.” There were a lot of visions before the aurora’s disappeared. Seems that was one.

As for the mark behind the ear, “We had him looked over when he got here, but he didn’t look behind his ear. He healed quickly, though, a lot like Adam,” the mention of the man, has her paling, but at least she doesn’t linger on him. “He also had a tooth in the wound and it was spit out by it, before it sealed up all the way.” Which by the look on Kaylee’s face was pretty disturbing.

"They had to be doing experiments on us, each individual clone, I don't know. The first one I met, the one who was batshit insane and waving guns around, he kept describing what sounded like the Virus world, traveling between universes, but in a really twisted way. Like, he had the memories but they were warped. And this was before any of that happened." Magnes stares down at that spot again, thoughts lingering on so many details.

"The one that I fought, he was years removed from the one you knew, possibly generations ahead. The Varlane you knew wasn't violent. If we all degenerate differently, I think it means that they're making alterations to our genetics that might also affect our minds." He squints, almost straining to think of some conclusion.

"You were there." he confirms, because it's still quite vivid in his mind. "You were going to be killed, I burnt my ability out trying to kill this guy who was going to shoot you. I mean… her." It's clear that doesn't get much easier, remembering when people are different. "Your father, both versions of your father that I actually knew, all they wanted me to do was protect you. That's what I had to promise them both. Of course, one version of your father was an actually good man, the other was a sociopathic asshole, but they were both necessary for us getting home."

Apparently somewhat moving on from clones, he walks to the window, staring out of it, up at the sky he remembers Varlane staring up at. "When we all broke out of Arthur… Samson's secret prison, I made Tyler augment Edward as much as he possibly could. When my daughter was kidnapped, I wanted to get home with absolute certainty. So I spent the entire time following a roadmap laid out by your father."

"He saw that thing at the end, staring back at him… I should have known…" Resting his hand against the wall, hanging his head. "I should have known that I could lose Elaine…"

“I have no doubt,” Kaylee agrees with the sentiment that he was definitely experimented on. “And I did notice you all were connected. I tried to shut Varlane from the torrent of information, but it was something beyond my control.” And she did try. “In fact, it was like he had to be connected to function…” she trails off, eyes unfocused as she think back. “When the link was shut down it was like he was a vegetable.”

This brings another question with it, “With the way closed, do you still feel connected to the others?” Kaylee can’t help but be just as curious herself about what he was and what he endured to become that.

At the mention of Edward, the telepath goes quiet. “Protect me?” Her tone is still curious… but also a little flat. “My father died in the Ark,” she says firmly. So he wasn’t alive in this timeline anymore… she’s telling him, just incase he didn’t know. “And it’s interesting to know that no matter the world his goal is the same… save his kids above all else. I’s sorry to hear about Elaine… but you should know following my father can only really end in pain, for you. He’ll use anyone he can to meet that goal.”

There is a hard swallow and Kaylee folds her arms tighter around her. “I don’t need protection, Magnes. I can take care of myself. Your family needs you.” Stubborn as always. Kaylee’s chin lifts a bit in defiance of a dead man’s orders.

There is a tick more before Kaylee can’t help but asks… “What did he tell you?”

"The things your father said in different timelines, for some reason they blend together for me a lot. He was someone who, while he varied between degrees of socio or psychopathy, I'm not a doctor, remained so fundamentally the same. I had to make sure that you made it to the Flood world, that's where he felt like you'd be happy. But you stayed behind earlier than that. He just wanted you to be safe and happy." Magnes turns his head to look back at her, while most of him still somewhat faces the window. "It's strange, in the virus world I realized that I could stay under the radar of your father's ability. I don't know if it was my careful planning, or something inherent to what I am. But I don't think he ever accurately made a prediction involving me."

"It could be my ability, it's not quite as straightforward as gravity manipulation, but I'll keep calling it that because I don't want everyone to know what my ability is. It might have something to do with why we were all able to connect, but… I never really felt a connection, only during the time we switched bodies, and during those dreams. But I never experienced anything like Varlane was." He turns around entirely now, apparently staying away from the topic of Elaine. "I was the only remaining clone in any given timeline that I know of."

Leaning against the wall, he starts to slip into deep thought again. "In Virus, Hermod killed them all, including my father. In Arthur/Samson's timeline, my father was dead, for almost ten years, so no clones other than me would be alive there. In the Wasteland timeline, I don't remember seeing any signs of my father, only myself. And in Flood, my father died a very long time ago, and none of us clones even exist." He waits a moment for her to process, watching. "Varlane only connected to us, the versions of me that I met who were still alive. From how you describe it, Hermod is dead so he didn't connect, and the older version of me isn't a clone, so he never connected with Varlane either. There were rules for it, at the very least…"

"But, I did feel connected to something. In between the worlds, because of the nature of my ability I guess, I felt connected to every world, every reality, it was like… infinite. It used to overwhelm me, it still feels overwhelming, but I don't go insane from it now. I don't entirely lose my mind like when I first felt that way. Maybe it's related to what Varlane experienced." he considers, because, well, it's really his best guess.

“Love will do funny things…” Kaylee comments about the other versions reasoning for staying earlier.

Turning over his thoughts, listens to what he has to say. Kaylee tilts her head while looking his way. There is a small reassuring smile. “To be honest, Edward’s inability to predict you is far simpler than you think.” It’s a simple solution. “His ability was only able to work if he had enough data. If you don’t unload all the information about yourself… well, he can’t predict you.”

Stepping away, hands folding behind her back, she continues, “Take for example me. He doesn’t know my heart. So he couldn’t predict my behavior or that I would fall in love with someone before I… she reaches the world he wanted her to.” There is a slow shrug of her shoulders as she steps around the chess board. “Data… it’s what he needs. It’s why he had the string maps full of news clippings and such.”

Augmented… that was something else and she wasn’t sure if it changed how it worked. Picking up one of the pieces she turns it slowly in her hand. “What if I told you… that I’m pretty sure, his ability was in the service of that thing that came out of the portal. That the information he gave you was possibly to drive you to that moment.” She motions to the board. “Nothing we’ve done has ever been our own choice, Magnes.”

"Even if that was the case, there was nothing I could do, I couldn't just not come, I couldn't leave my daughter without her parents. I had dreams, I could never tell if those dreams were me or it. They said similar things, but… I don't know. After a certain point I stopped hearing it. Maybe by that point, it knew it was getting what it wanted. Or maybe it was too busy manipulating Don." Magnes leans his head back against the wall, looking a bit helpless.

"I thought coming home would be when I could finally rest, finally try to have a real life again. But Elaine's gone, I still can't get my daughter back, a bunch of my friends died on the way into this world, and I still have to solve the mystery of what the fuck I even am." He breathes again, closing his eyes. "The people who made it, they came back to what they wanted, what they expected. I'm happy for that, but… I don't understand why I had to have most of what were my reasons to live taken away from me in the span of a few minutes. I'm holding on for my daughter, holding on to bring some kind of closure to myself and the other clones, but… a selfish part of me doesn't want to hold on."

Hands are held up in defense of her words, Kaylee’s tone calm, “I never said you shouldn’t have come. As a parent you had no choice. Most parents will tear the world apart to protect their kids.” Her father sure did. “Richard would have torn the universe apart getting Aurora and Liz back and wouldn’t have rested til he did just that.”

“You’re tired and I get that.” Stepping around the game, Kaylee quietly approaches Magnes and moves to rest hands on his shoulders. “But, sometimes, holding on is the best thing you can do for yourself and for those who love you. It isn’t easy, but some good can come from it.” Fingers squeeze gently before letting go. “You’ll get your daughter back. Lynette and Mateo got their son back, you’ll get your daughter back.” She feels confident.

“As for what you are…” Kaylee steps back and looks him over, “I see a person, just like Varlane was. So what if you are a genetic match so someone else. It doesn’t define you and you shouldn’t let it.” Hands spread and Magnes gets an understanding smile. “However, I do not have much place to talk, but I think those closest to you will agree.”

"Me and my original self are pretty different. He does martial arts and haiku, he didn't get kicked off the police force. He's Catherine Chesterfield's mentor, though she doesn't have her ability there. And he's… really not good at science. For someone who was in his fifties, I felt like the older one at times. But he was pretty wise, a wise martial arts guy." Magnes finds it in himself to back up her words, that being a clone doesn't necessarily define him.

"I wish there was a way to know if they held off and stopped the Vanguard. We left that world just as a war for the remnant of humanity began. A war that largely started because we popped into the universe and the Vanguard saw it." There's a deep frown, the whole idea of it clearly bothering him. "But I think they can stop it. I gave older Magnes advice on what to do and what not to do while fighting Kazimir. And Adam is on our side in that world. But I heard that Kazimir is inside Gabriel again, and fighting Kazimir in Gabriel's body is… it's a nightmare, a complete nightmare."

"But Captain Sawyer was going to help them, so, I'm hopeful that her fleet will turn the tide of it all." He looks down at Kaylee, certainly looking exhausted. "I worry about multiple worlds, it's exhausting. It's easy to say that they're not my home, but it's different when you've been there, when you know that those places exist, that those people are real, living, and breathing, right now. There's so much that it's like… being here in this world, I can barely register the fact that I just exist here, that the fate of humanity doesn't rest on my shoulders, that there's not some huge thing I have to do. Accepting that the world just exists, and that I live in it, I'm not even used to it anymore."

“Exactly, you are you,” Kaylee reiterates to drive home the point. “The answers there will come, but don’t let it stress you out.”

As he goes on, Kaylee quiets a little, but once he’s had his says she huffs out a humorless chuckle. “Somehow, I don’t think any of us are done with the world saving business.” Not that he really wants to hear that. “We had a fairly peaceful few years after the war, but… I don’t think we are done. I had hoped when you all came home, it would be… but then we released that thing into the world… and I am not convinced it is gone.” Turning a little, Kaylee looks at the window. “So now I feel like I am waiting for something to suddenly happen.”

Offering Magnes a small smile, Kaylee says, “Truthfully, I can’t even begin to understand what it is like to live in so many timelines and meet so many different versions of the same people.” Fingers brush through her hair and tucks loose strands behind her ear. Even though the subject makes her uneasy anymore, Kaylee offers something at least. “I don’t think you have to worry about some of the worlds. Pinehearst is gone in the one and Alan Rickham is president. People seem to love him and his Vice-President… me.” The amusement tickles at her words. Though, her expression sobers as she continues. “The one of me that traveled with you, she almost died… for awhile I thought she had.” The telepath swallows back the emotions that come with think about that version of herself. “But I do remember there was a sense that things were turning in their favor. So maybe that world will find peace as well.”

Turning back to Magnes, Kaylee offers him a bright smile, “I would say that if anything, you at least left some of the worlds in a better place.”

"I'm glad you're doing okay in that world. It's difficult to imagine what you've left behind when you escape just before a nuke goes off." Magnes admits, making perhaps the understatement of the century. "But, it's good to hear that Rickham is doing better. It was difficult to even get him to talk at first, so we could escape. He went through such a traumatic experience… But without him, we might not have made it."

"Whatever happens next, I'll be ready for it. I've gone through too much to let this world just fall away or be destroyed. I've been in and seen absolute nightmare scenarios, I've seen what kind of people that good people can become." Regardless of that, he smiles down at her. "If there's one thing I've learned, it's that there's no such thing as being good natured. But there's no such thing as being bad natured either. Our choices and our environment shapes us. A lot of being who we are, a lot of doing what's right, it's down to both our choices and what the world forces us into. Some people choose evil to serve what they perceive as a greater good, or survival… but even I've been there."

Head tilting a bit, Kaylee studies the man before her with amusement. An impressed smile tugs at the corner of her mouth. “Look at you…” She sounds like someone who never realized that kid they knew grew up. “You are a far cry from the guy I knew all those year ago. You’ve changed just as much as the world you left.” She reaches out to touch his arm as she offers a genuine, “Welcome back to your world, Magnes.”

There is a sigh as Kaylee makes a decision on something. “I know you have plenty of friends, but if you need any help with any of that. Your daughter, researching the clones and what might have happened to you, look me up.”

She motions towards the door, with a jerk of her head. “For the moment though, you hungry? I know this great little place that makes a great roast beef sandwich.” She looks around the room that once held Varlane. “You can tell me about your family and I’ll tell you about mine.” As much as the loss will be painful, sometimes talking about what you lost can be just as therapeutic.

"Elisabeth's slapped me enough to at least knock some sense into my head. She's like having a big sister or even an aunt, Elisabeth is definitely my family. She was even there when I proposed to Elaine." Magnes follows her toward the door, nodding. "My family… it's such a complicated thing. But whose family isn't complicated these days. Cardinal's certainly is. I spent years drowning in Michele's research, learning everything I could about her. I both admire and fear her. In some ways, she's a bit like Edward, except the most intelligent human being on Earth. She's a hardened, calculating woman. I get anxiety thinking about how intelligent she is, the lines she's crossed."

But, ignoring that, something occurs to him, looking over at her. "I was catching up with things in your world. Mortimer Ray is your brother. I was friends with him for years. He… was killed, when I was killed, except he didn't get brought back. But he taught me so much. Arthur-Samson practically owned him, trained him and manipulated his compulsive need to build, and Edward was locked up and unable to help him. It was kind of sad."

"How is he here?" he wonders, curious.

The question about her brother, draws Kaylee up short. It wasn’t a question she hadn’t been expecting. In the doorway, she pauses and twists to look back at him. A brow arches before she looks away again. “He’s… functional. He isn’t the psycho killer anymore. The Institute tore apart his mind and stitched it back together haphazardly. I keep waiting for it to unravel, but… hopefully not.” There is an amused smile at a thought, “My son thinks he walks on water.”

There is a bit of a shrug, turning to lead them out. “He’s the one that builds all of Raytech’s robotics. Should see the receptionist he made us. Anyhow, he’s married and leaving happily. He is on vacation, else I would suggest you meet him.” After a pause, Kaylee adds, “I don’t think the other versions of me knew about their siblings. Only Richard.” There is sadness at missed opportunities.

“Guess I got lucky that way here,” Kaylee concludes.

"Neither of our families had much in the way of breaks in any world. With yours, it was mostly because of too many people wanting to exploit half of you." Magnes explains, at least from his observations and experience. "At Pinehearst, he had to use his ability at all times. He wasn't allowed to turn it off. It made him function in that he was almost always building something at all times. But…" He just sort of lets the implications there speak for themselves.

"I think the most tricky thing for me is the idea that all of my memories are someone else's memories. But… I did get to meet my mother in one world. I hope that I can meet her here, and my sisters. I just can never be sure about who survived the war…" Then, curious, he looks over at her and asks, "You ever met my other daughter? Adel, the one from the future."

“Not all,” Kaylee points out with a bit of a crooked smile, reminding him he’s had a lot of years to make his own.. “Only a few years. What is important are the ones you’ve made yourself.” There is a shrugs as she steps through the door into the hallway. “As for my family, I’ve been lucky in that. As far as I know, I’ve never been exploited, but I think that is all Edward’s doing. Plus, I don’t think people know how to deal with a telepath.”

When it comes to the mention of his other daughter, Kaylee’s expression falters a little. Memories of her step-daughters death would always be fresh when dealing in the subject of the kids form the future. Turning thoughtful, Kaylee’s head shakes a little “No, at least not directly. Though, I have heard she was a part of Wolfhound. Have you contacted her yet?”

"Edward definitely went out of his way to protect you in every world that it was necessary to do so. As a dad myself, I can tell that you're his 'little girl', anything happening to you would destroy him. When he told me to protect you, I took it to heart. Leaving her behind early was difficult, but I have to trust that she's an adult too." Magnes actually takes in Benchmark a bit, now that he's not here with particular intent. It's certainly something new.

"I haven't seen her yet, I figured I should try to get everything taken care of first. With Addie, not being a complete emotional wreck, things like that. And I still have a lot of difficult things to explain to her. She's my daughter too, I have to think of her feelings. I also don't want her to hate me." he admits, probably the same feelings any estranged/kinda dead parent would have. "I'm still not entirely sure what Wolfhound is, but I hope she's alright in it."

The idea of her being Edward’s little girl… that earns Magnes a flat look. Lips press into a thin line. “That is debatable,” Kaylee grumbles, but doesn’t get into all her daddy issues. “But I know he cared.” Is all she’ll allow the man, even if she still loved the guy.

When it comes to the subject of Addie, Kaylee offers a bit of advice. “Don’t wait too long. Take it from a daughter who thought she lost her father in Midtown. If you do too much before going to her…. “ Slipping an arm through his to guide him towards the entrance she ads. “You will light up her world, Magnes. Every girl wants her daddy in her life.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License