Some Costs Are Too High


vf_elisabeth_icon.gif vf_magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Some Costs Are Too High
Synopsis How much are we willing to pay to get home?
Date December 23, 2011

Magnes's Room

Magnes is laying down in his room, he sort of passed out for a good ten minutes after the experiment. His room, at this point, is covered in sketches, long rambles, and diagrams on the walls about wormholes and black holes. Some things are crossed out, largely ones that look older, or conflict with new things he's read in books. "I wish I was just crazy… now I don't know what to think…" he suddenly says, when he realizes she's still there.

Elisabeth hasn't left him alone. She's worried about the impact of what they all just did on both Ruiz and Magnes — Ruiz's physical reactions aren't right. She knows it. She could hear his heartbeat's irregularity, and for that reason she hasn't yet taken the negation drug. She's been sitting there in Magnes's room monitoring the sounds of his organs, seeking out anything that doesn't sound right. When he speaks, she opens her eyes to look at him.

"You should have said something." She's still mad. Not furious, just… upset. There's furrow between her brows. "You let us walk into that thinking that you were suffering voices in your head, Magnes… even if they weren't real, we needed to know that you were potentially that compromised. It factors into the decisions about what things to try and what things to maybe not try. Not to mention … now that we know it is fucking real, it has to factor into what we do moving forward."

Elisabeth sounds weary, more than anything.

"I thought it was me. When I became a black hole, I wanted to just… eat the world, consume everything. I started to forget my friends, my family, it was like I was becoming less human, like a literal force of nature, some kind of god…" Magnes starts to slowly sit up. His heart is a bit quick, but he otherwise doesn't sound like he's dying or anything. "I thought that maybe it was just anxiety. The sleep walking, the weird messages I wrote to myself while sleepwalking. Whatever it is, it has to be human, there can't just be… things floating around in 5th dimensional space… I mean, I guess technically there could be, but…"

"Yes, Magnes. Technically there could be any number of things out there that we don't understand. Especially if you're right and this isn't even dimensions as we understand them — which, quite frankly, isn't exactly well understood even by the best theoretical physicists of the time, to whom you have literally zero access. And I don't give a shit that you're smart. You cannot possibly know what is out there, anything you say is a guess." This is the part that she is tired of trying to pound home into this boy's brain. "Just because you're reading books on physics does not mean you actually understand anything that's going on. You have theories. You have possibilities. You have what you hope you understand and the you think you know. Please stop speaking when you talk about this as if you actually have any clue what the hell we're doing. Because we don't. We're making a best guess, predicated on additional best guesses."

Blowing out a slow breath, she says quietly, "And I'm not sure that what we just did didn't literally nearly kill Ruiz. His heart doesn't sound right. Plus now we have to worry about all the fucking sci-fi horror movies any of us have ever seen because who the fuck knows what that might have been on the other side of that voice. Jesus…. we're living in a Chinese curse." She leans her head back against the wall. "You sound like you're going to recover. But unless we have better information, we're not doing that again. Call it selfish … and it is… but if what we're doing is going to kill that man, who is working SO DAMN HARD to try to get everyone out of here, then we're only going to chance it if we're pretty damn sure it's going to work. Otherwise, we'll kill him for nothing."

"I know, we won't do it again. I promised Lynette that if she said no more, then that would be that." Magnes admits, with just a bit of guilt in his tone. He crosses his legs, only wearing his socks at the moment, and seems to go into a bit of deep thought for a few moments. "I don't really have a theory about what that could be. Both me and Ruiz hear it, or something like it, even before that experiment. I mean, I know that I could be wrong, but the only way to talk about this is in a way that I can kind of conceptualize it…"

He raises a hand to slowly massage his forehead. "Whatever it is… it either has to be in 5th dimensional space, or in another universe, communicating with us. It… knows things, somehow. Based on who it addressed, we could possibly come up with theories. Um, who did it address again? I'm sorry, it was just… it was a lot. We have to keep thinking, and deconstructing, that's what my father taught me. We can't stop to worry."

Elisabeth looks over at him, relieved that he both feels guilty and that he promised Lynette. "I'm not stopping to worry at this point. It's just one more thing in the back of my head," she tells him quietly. "The only thing I'm worried about is killing Ruiz and being stuck here because of our own actions." She told you she was being selfish! She really feels like she is — she wants to go home. She doesn't want to die here. So that means taking these risks with someone else's life. But if we're gonna kill him in the attempt, it damn well better be to save as many people as possible. "You and me going home isn't worth his life. Getting everyone out…" She pauses. "He'd tell you it's worth it. But if you say those words out loud, Lynette will slit your throat, I'm pretty sure. So don't say it. Just know it." There's a grim kind of finality to that tone. Because she does know… we're going to try again.

"This experiment tells us a few things. Something or someone is out there. It probably has a better grasp on what we're doing than we do. It is EITHER telepathic or can see at least some of us. And for God's sake, we do not want it cut loose on our world or any other if we can help it. So… if the choice has to be between setting whatever that is free and us never going home? Magnes, we're never going home. Understand that I'm not willing to take that risk."

"I know Lynette, I knew her back home too, even if we weren't close friends or anything. I won't say anything like that to her." Magnes agrees, but then he's considering the rest of what she says, and he has to stop to think again. It's as if he doesn't want to say the first things that pop into his head, or has to consider their weight, which has not been his historical code of conduct. "If it comes to that, if it comes to us having to stay here, then I'll jump in there myself and kill that thing. Everything can be killed, my father always stressed that. There is not a living thing that cannot be killed. Even Adam Monroe can be killed, I came up with a way to kill him a long time ago."

Blue eyes study him quietly. "Your father is an idiot. But he's probably right about that. It doesn't mean you can do it, but it's not like I can stop you from doing that kind of thing. I can only point out that if you do that, then you're no longer here to hold the hole open anyway and everyone here dies." She shrugs. "Still… if it means keeping that thing off our world, I'm okay with that too."

"We can't let things like this go unknown, or just exist. The most horrible thing I ever saw was Gregor, when he became a horrible creature after putting Claire's organs inside of him. He had like four eyes." Magnes frowns, staring intensely at the floor. "Nothing is sacred, Elisabeth. I never saw a monster like that in my life, and even though Claire shot me because I stupidly got in her line of fire, I still stabbed him in the head."

Elisabeth simply nods. "You're not wrong. Because if not us, then who?" It's what's driven her work all along… if we don't step up, who will? She leans her head back against the wall again and closes her eyes. "I don't know what the next step is, honestly. If Eileen doesn't know where Gillian is, which you've said she doesn't… even if she's willing to help us find her, we don't know how long that will take. You should rest up for now."

Pushing herself to her feet, she smiles a little. "I need to finish getting Christmas ready for the children. It's in a couple of days, and no matter what else is going on, they deserve a little bit of cheer. I'm hoping that when Izzy is out on her scavenging run, she might come across some hard candies or something out there."

"Eileen thinks we should go to Kazimir, me and her." Magnes explains, and immediately holds a hand up. "I know what you're thinking. But, it's not an entirely bad idea. Kazimir is not an entirely unreasonable person to deal with, and Eileen knows him better than most people. I can also tell that she very likely resents him, I think that her feelings for him as a father are very bitter right now, because he's taken the body of the person she's in love with."

Lowering his hand, he adds, "Eileen loves Gabriel in every timeline I've ever heard of, and this one isn't any different. I can tell she's in pain, she's not going to betray us for Kazimir."

There's a long, quiet moment. "Do you remember what happened the last time Kazimir was involved?" she asks him quietly. "As I recall, you abandoned the people you claimed to care about so as to go to Kazimir Volken. You've explained to me how much you admire this man, how much of a father you see him as." She looks at him. "And somehow, despite the fact that when I bring this up to you, you deny it… you're still looking for a way to go to the man. Because somehow you think that you're not simply a pawn to be used." She shakes her head. "No." The answer is flat-out. "Not even if he were the only way to escape this world would I ever agree to this. I would rather die here with all the rest of the kids and the other people in this bunker than to agree to this."

She pauses at the door and shakes her head slightly. "Eileen has loved Gabriel in every timeline that I'm aware of as well… and I honestly believe that if she thinks she can retrieve Gabriel by turning you over to Kazimir so that he can, as an example, maybe take over YOUR body and power so as to get himself an advantage in killing everyone on this planet, she will do so in a heartbeat." Her blue eyes are steady on Magnes and she says softly, "And I'm so serious about this, Magnes, make no mistake. If you hare off and do it on your own without FULL DISCLOSURE to both me and to the rest of the people that you're risking, I will personally come after you and make every effort to stop you. Up to and including putting a bullet in your head so that Kazimir cannot in any way access your memories of where this bunker is and what we're trying to do."

"I won't do this without your permission, Elisabeth." Magnes assures, but then he holds his hand up again. "But… can you talk to Eileen? I don't know, I trust you, you think of things from angles that I can't. So, I'd like it if you talked to Eileen yourself about this, see if you can sense anything from her. Just, see for yourself I guess? I don't know. If it's currently our only option, I'd at least like it if you personally talked to her. If after that you still think it's a bad idea, then I won't mention it again."

"Want to know the hardest part about the fact that it's the two of us against the universe, Magnes?" Elisabeth sounds sincerely sad about what she says here. "It's knowing what we know about other universes and how people turned out… and wanting to believe that they'll do the right thing but not being willing to risk other people's innocent lives on that bet. We do not have that right."

She opens the door. "I'll think about talking to Eileen, but quite frankly? Kazimir Volken and his sociopathic logic might actually make sense to you, and I really can't see how anything she says will change my mind that allowing you anywhere near that fucker is in any way healthy for the remainder of the human population on this planet."

"Kazimir always told me not to forget he was the villain. When I went out there, when I saw what he did, when I saw those that thing… I understood what he meant." Magnes shakes his head, but then offers a single nod. "I won't do this without your permission, Elisabeth. That I can promise you. I trust your judgement."

"I'm holding you to that, Magnes," Elisabeth says to him in a soft, serious tone. "As difficult as I find being here with you? Being here without you would be worse. Eventually I'd probably come to think that home was just something I dreamed up — assuming I lived that long." She heads out of his room.

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