vf_elisabeth_icon.gif vf_magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Shipwrecked
Synopsis Would a desert island have been better? It's finally hit.
Date November 29, 2011

Liz's Room

It's late morning when Magnes shows up to Elisabeth's quarters, knocking a few times. He has The Garden of Forking Paths and a high school physics book in one arm, wearing the green Surge shirt he's grown fond of. "It's Magnes." he says, and, once he's let in, he adds, "So, we need to discuss a few things, I think."

She's laying on her cot, one arm thrown over her eyes. "Come in," is called toward the door, but admittedly quietly. When Elisabeth looks toward it to see Magnes entering, she pushes herself upright. "Hey," she greets. She definitely looks a little rough. Hung over? "What's on your mind?"

"I started reading these books by Jorge Luis Borges, and I've been brushing up on high school physics, trying to get my hands on theoretical physics books. I'm gonna find K-Mart soon." Magnes closes the door behind him, moving to take a seat on the edge of her cot. "The most difficult part about thinking of how to break through the, well, let's call it a dimensional wall, is that science literally has no idea what the hell gravity is. There are theories, we know it exists and obviously we see evidence of it, but we don't know what it is. I'm trying to learn more theories, come up with new ways to think."

He sits the two books down next to him, lightly sighing. "We think we need Gillian, but we don't even know why. The honest truth is that we have no idea how to make an interdimensional wormhole, and we need a lead."

By who? Elisabeth is not familiar with the author Magnes lists. She pulls in a breath though, and says quietly, "You need to talk to Ygraine. She probably knows more about the theories of what your power can do than you do right now. She might be able to help." She swallows hard and looks toward the door, which he closed on his way in. "She also knows the truth — though I'm not sure she BELIEVES it. Still. She's willing to believe. So … you can trust her with the power conversations." She sighs heavily. "I've brought her into the loop and Edward and I've already talked… we knew from the start that we weren't going to be able to keep this quiet forever. That we've managed a couple of weeks in these close quarters is actually kind of amazing to me, what with a few people already knowing — like Woods and Ruiz and stuff. I'd have expected them to talk to someone just because it's a crazy new thing. But now we're working on how to tell … people in general. Slowly."

She looks at Magnes. "I can't ask people to go blindly out there after Gillian without telling them why. So we're going to have to sort it out."

"Elisabeth, I know you have trouble trusting me, and I know you don't necessarily have the historical context to understand this… but one of my best friends is here, Isabelle. She's someone I very deeply trust, someone we can trust to have our back, to follow our plans." Magnes looks over to her, looking very serious. "This is very, very different from the Eileen situation. I'd trust Isabelle with my life, and, if you need an ally, I'd really like you to be okay with that."

Blowing out a long breath, Elisabeth makes a sound that is almost a snort. "Isabelle." She shoves a hand back over her shorn hair and considers. "Richard grew up with her. He trusted her with… a hell of a lot. So I'm going to agree with you. I've met her a couple of times, and I agree we should talk to her." She grimaces. "And I don't know if you're aware, but …. this world's version of Cardinal is actually alive and here."

Blue eyes rest on Magnes and hold a wealth of confused emotions. "I've been thinking for several days that we need to figure out a way to bring Peyton and Cardinal on board this as well anyway — Peyton's ability might allow us to actually remote view Gillian's situation, although I'm not sure whether she can do that without having had some contact with her before. But once Eileen is talking to us about what she's willing to give us, it could be helpful. And Cardinal's ability will obviously be exceedingly useful in recon." Elisabeth swallows hard. "I know in our time, he can take other things into the shadows with him… I don't know if that includes other living beings. But I'm going to find that out too."

"Peyton gets kind of pissed about hope, but uh, I'll leave that to you. Eileen… I'll talk to her again. Uh, I've gotten slightly involved with someone, so I should be able to handle Eileen this time. And Cardinal… well I guess you have someone you can depend on now." Magnes says right before he lets out a quick breath. "So, Isabelle, it was a bit of a complicated thing… she thought I was her Magnes, who may or may not be dead, I have no idea if he's dead, but like… it just felt cruel, and she knew I was lying to her, Isabelle knows me very well. I had to tell her, talk to her. I trust her, Elisabeth, I don't want you to be angry, I really need Isabelle right now, she was one of my best friends, even before all of this virus stuff happened."

Elisabeth shakes her head slightly. "No… no, I don't think I'd go that far," she replies when he comments about 'someone she can depend on. "Richard… was a different person before the Virus. Before … the 36. I don't know if you remember that. It was my case when I was still a cop. 36 teenagers committed suicide. That… didn't happen here. But it was that situation that … made Cardinal into the guy you know. I have no idea what this Cardinal will do."

His information … that he's already told Isabelle… initially he can see the flash of abject rage. She bites back whatever it was she was initially going to say to him and there's a flash of hopelessness. What the hell good will it do to yell at him? It never gets her anywhere. And at this point, what the hell will it matter anyway, since she's already agreed that Isabelle would be potentially worth bringing on board in this first round. Eventually everyone is going to know anyway.

When my ship gonna come?

And will I hold till it does?

Elisabeth just simply shakes her head and looks away from Magnes. "Glad you found… somewhere to put all your pent-up hormones," she tells him stiffly. At least she doesn't have to worry about THAT possibility — she'd have had to kill him if he tried anything in her direction. The rest? What the hell does any of it matter, keeping things quiet? Whatever changes they make to this reality… it's not their home. Should she even care? She does but should she? Even Elisabeth has no idea.

"Whoa wait Isabelle isn't what I meant, we're just friends. Isabelle is a good friend, Elisabeth. I would never have told her if I thought it was dangerous. I get that I make mistakes, but the things I've done here, the few risks I've taken, have I actually been wrong?" Magnes asks, very seriously.

Looking back at him, Elisabeth shrugs and shakes her head. "I have zero ability to gauge whether you're wrong or not here," she tells him candidly. "You believed in Eileen. I don't think that she's doing it for the reasons you seem convinced that she is…. but you know what? What the fuck does it matter why she's helping us?" She sounds weary. "This is not our timeline, so who cares if we get it wrong here and fuck it up?" She shrugs a little. "As long as we're not messing up our own homes, does it even matter?"

The blonde sighs heavily. "We have no true frame of reference for any of this. We can… extrapolate SOME things from our own timeline and not others. So why should my decisions be any better or worse than yours about who to trust?" She shrugs slightly. "I don't have any good responses for you."

"I know that it's hard to trust me, but I know things that you don't, just like you know things that I don't. Eventually you'll do something that makes me angry, I'm sure. But… I'm doing my best. This timeline, this world… it's dead. If there was a future, I'd be concerned with messing it up, but…" Magnes shakes his head. "Try to have some faith that there's at least some method to my decisions."

"Oh, I have faith that there's a method," Elisabeth corrects him quietly. "I just … don't trust your judgement. I have nearly three years of knowing you, through attempting to be a cop, a freaking masked vigilante, Godzilla on a rampage through Tokyo, and a government agent, Magnes. Trusting you? It's really hard, given the fact that none of the choices you've made in the past have turned out well for anyone." She shakes her head. "But who knows? Maybe here, your decisions are the right ones. I …. just have no way to even measure that. So why the hell fight with you about them?"

What should I believe as darkness falls on me?

Yeah… it's taken almost three weeks, but it's finally starting to hit her. That by trying to save their friends, she's essentially landed somewhere — albeit not alone, she certainly has company — where instead of at least dying outright, we're basically sitting around WAITING to die. And grasping at straws.

"That time I accidentally set a fire while time traveling in the past." Magnes notes, as if to acknowledge his awareness of his mistakes. "No, I understand, Elisabeth, I understand. But I just… I'm trying. I'm not being so impulsive, at least ignoring screwing up and getting tricked by Eileen. But I learned, and our talk after that, I realize how big of a risk it was, regardless of how confident I felt."

"That's why when I say that Isabelle isn't a risk, I mean that." He stares at her for a long moment, almost reaching over to touch her shoulder, but then he takes his hand back. "I don't want you to feel helpless. I don't… know what you need."

For the first time in a while she actually smiles faintly. "What do I need?" Elisabeth wonders if she even knows that. She's quiet for a while, giving his query serious consideration. "I need to feel like we're making some kind of progress, I guess," she finally says. Reaching up to rub the back of her neck, she admits, "I'm not very patient, Magnes. I'm not good at the long games or at mind games. Diplomacy I can usually manage — but dealing with this creeping feeling of hurry-up-and-wait while someone else has to do whatever they're doing and there is nothing that I can contribute to it? I don't do well with it." She smirks wryly. "Used to be about the time Richard would start watching me waiting for all hell to break loose, because invariably that's when I start making stupid decisions." She slants a look at him. "You're not the only one who tends to be impulsive at times."

Shaking her head slightly, she admits to the same thing she told Isabelle yesterday. "I need some decent sleep. I'm having constant nightmares … if it's not seeing flashes of Ezekiel and Peyton, Monica getting her arm blown off, and everything starting to float, it's … seeing a man turn into bloody mist in front of my eyes and knowing that I did it. Or the bridge during last year's riots when I had to hurt or kill a bunch of civilians. Or the image of a mushroom cloud made of shadows that fall to the ice pack in tatters." She has seen too many things in the past few years. "Even the dreamwalker's safe space isn't… exactly helping the way it used to."

"Elisabeth, I need you to keep planning the way that you are, to keep making your connections, because I'm not a leader like you are. I'm… I'm trying to figure out how to do my part, how to actually do what we need Gillian for. How useful do you think I'd be out there, without my ability, going after Gillian?" Magnes asks, and he actually does reach over to touch her shoulder now. "We both have strengths and weaknesses, we're both making our own kind of progress. If we just keep going, we'll eventually reach a eureka moment. But… patience really is what we need right now. And you need to sleep."

"Me…" He considers this for a moment, running a few fingers through his hair. "I stopped dreaming, I don't know why. And when I look at some of the people here, like Elaine, this version of Elaine, and then think of the stuff I've done, the things I've experienced, I start to think…" He places a hand onto his abdomen, staring down at it. "I'm not a normal person anymore. I keep trying to pretend, but I'm someone who knows how to shoot guns, I've killed people in combat, I tortured someone, I have bullet wounds, stab wounds, a bunch of other wounds… I'm not a kid anymore, but I worry every day that my experiences won't be enough to save you. I have a trail of mistakes and suffering that don't inspire faith in you, but I look at that trail as something it's time to learn from…"

"Isabelle thinks pretty highly of you," Elisabeth tells him quietly. She's entirely unsure what the other woman sees in Magnes, but she cannot deny that it's here. "So I'm glad that you found her here… because as much as I'd like to be the person you can turn to just as much as you'd like to be that for me…" Elisabeth leans her head back against the wall and then slightly sideways to rest on his shoulder. "We are clearly not that for one another." She's quiet for a long time as she simply sits there with him. And then she finally sighs and asks softly, "Do I even dare ask what this other book you're looking at has to do with what you're doing? This Borges guy?"

"Lots of philosophical stuff about multiple realities, dimensional perception, and other bizarreness. It's helping me twist my comprehension of certain things, look at reality in a less… rigid way. Lynette suggested I read them, she's very nice." Magnes lays his head back against the wall, closing his eyes. "You should talk to Isabelle more. Get to know her. Whatever you're feeling right now… as long as you're on her good side, she can usually find just the right thing to say. Though that thing might end up being 'moonshine', she says other things too."

Elisabeth snickers a laugh. "Yeah… I've experienced the moonshine. But at least when she set out to get me shit-faced, she pulled out real whiskey. That was quite nice of her." She sighs. "And now that I know she knows… I'll maybe talk to her a bit more frankly. Just… do me a favor. PLEASE. I don't want anything about my personal life getting out here. PLEASE do not bring up our Richard Cardinal's name to anyone around here. I'm… a little leery. Cardinal's birth father is apparently a friend of Ray's, he's here and alive, and it makes me really… suspicious."

"I mean, I mentioned Cardinal to Isabelle, but all I said was 'I can't be someone like Peter or Cardinal'. But uh, she didn't seem to take it in a particular way. She mostly made a joke about doing Cardinal… I was mostly being sad about stuff," Magnes admits, but then nods. "But I promise. Now that I know, it won't happen again, okay? And Edward Ray is suspicious in general, I just wish I knew why. He just seems like… there's something strange going on, certain things that don't make sense. But we'll get to the bottom of it."

Elisabeth nods slightly. "David Cardinal just…. rubs my fur all the wrong directions, if you know what I mean. Creepy. Be very very careful around him. And don't let him shake your hand — his ability is apparently a touch-telepathy of some kind that lets him hijack your five senses and see/hear/taste/touch anything you do. So he can spy any damn time he wants." She grimaces. "And if he's listening right now, we're fucked." She shrugs. "But there's not shit I can do about it."

She sighs. "As to Edward Ray. He's a manipulative motherfucker from Hell. He's got something in his head. I don't know what. I just know… our Edward had reasons for doing what he did. I firmly believe that … somewhere under all that shit is a guy who's maybe selfish, but I've never yet seen him be like an evil mastermind. Still…" Elisabeth just shakes her head. "I don't even know. I never liked him and more often than not, the messages he sent Richard were cryptic and contradictory, at best. I never quite knew what to make of him there, and I still don't."

"He doesn't seem to have much value for human life, so we know that much about this world's Edward Ray." Magnes holds out his hand, as if counting, though he's mostly just making the motion for whatever reason. "This world's Edward Ray has little value for human life, so it makes you wonder what his motivation is for apparently running this place. It's definitely not to stay here forever, even before we came. He's not some humble leader, he's someone with clear drive and motivation."

"He doesn't value human life, so the question is then, what does he value?" he wonders, his finger counting continuing. "What motivates him if not altruism. We don't know what motivates him, so we can't really know what he's planning."

"His own kids. At least in our world," Elisabeth replies promptly. "I've heard that at least one of them is here… Kaylee's name has come up. I'll see if I can make any kind of headway there. In our world, she's an absolute sweetheart… but who the hell knows here? She's had a lifetime of Edward Ray here, whereas back in our world she absolutely didn't." She grimaces and sits upright. "Of course… I could be totally wrong about that and he was just as big an asshole in our world and made it look like he gave a damn about his kids because he knew it would get Richard to do what he wanted."

"You know him better than me, you know the leads to follow. You have to find out what his motivation is. There's… only so much I can really do for that." Magnes admits with a slight frown. "I'll keep doing what I can, finding my connections, using what I know from our world as best as I can. If we just keep playing to our strengths, we'll get somewhere, I know we will."

"I've been sort of dating a girl here, just, you know, innocent stuff. She was, uh, my ex, back home, but here she's a very different person. We actually seem to have more chemistry here, we're more similar as people, it's strange…" He can't help but close his eyes again, yawning. "Don't worry, I won't tell her anything. I just thought you'd find the situation to be kind of a dumb distraction from our real problems."

Elisabeth sits upright, her head coming off his shoulder. "Yeah… because that's all you need. To get yourself involved with an alternate reality version of your ex." She glances at him, and then just sighs and shakes her head. "Take my advice for what it's worth, Magnes, but seriously… complicating your life? Not a good plan. And Izzy's likely to Gibbs-slap you for it if you get too off-course." At least on that front, she thinks maybe she and Isabelle Ashford may very well agree. That smacking Magnes is fun sometimes.

"Isabelle doesn't really approve very much, but she also realizes I'm kind of adamant about this. I don't know, I'm not gonna exactly settle down and have kids or something right now, I just…" Magnes shrugs. "I like the way she makes me feel, I need that."

"Well…. as Isabelle is likely to actually say out loud… at least one of us is getting laid," Elisabeth retorts somewhat ascerbically. She offers him a faint grin. "Whatever, Magnes. Seriously. If it keeps your spirits up? Just…. don't lose sight of the goal, okay?"

"Well…" Magnes considers correcting her for a moment, though perhaps considers that the reality of what he's actually doing with Elaine is far more embarrassing. "Thanks, Elisabeth. I hope you get laid too."

"Hell no. Not on this planet, mister." Elisabeth seems absolutely adamant that she is not getting involved with anyone here. She makes shooing motions. "Go. Read your book. I'm going to catch a nap and sleep off the rest of Isabelle's hangover."

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