Some Perspective


vf_magnes_icon.gif vf_munin_icon.gif

Scene Title Some Perspective
Synopsis Magnes attempts to get through to Munin. It goes about as well as Elisabeth warned him it would.
Date November 10, 2011

The Hub: Incineration Room

In the cramped, concrete zoos of the Old World, animals wear grooves in the floors of their cages and lose their fur and feathers and, eventually, their minds. Munin thinks that the smaller the enclosure is, the shorter the path to insanity must be. She certainly feels like she’s already going mad, and she’s only been locked in the incinerator for—

She couldn’t tell you how long she’s been locked in the incinerator. Only that the walls feel fractionally closer together every time she checks on them, which isn’t very often anymore.

The avian telepath sits with her back to the wall, chin high and eyes shut, listening to the low groans of the pipes shuddering as they move water and steam through the structure around her. There’s the occasional skitter of small pink feet, rats whispering through the walls. She measures every breath with the slow, careful deliberation of someone who’s too-aware of the soot in the air and the effect it has on her lungs.

Under the influence of negation drugs, she can only dream of the open sky.

When Magnes is allowed in, he doesn't say anything at first. He's wearing a white t-shirt with the Coca Cola Santa's head on the front, some blue jeans, and a pair of black boots. He finally stops in front of her cage, arms behind his back. The look in his eyes is… probably some quiet rage. "What I'm feeling right now, I guess it's proof that I'm not entirely far gone. It's been a long time since I've wanted to destroy someone from the inside out. If I was as impulsive as I used to be, as I was before… the black hole thing screwed me up, I'd probably be smashing Edward Ray's face in right now."

He takes a deep breath. Breathe, breathe. "Eileen. Hey. Uh I guess you don't know me, Magnes J. Varlane."

Munin cracks open an eye, showing a sliver of silvery cat-like green. She rolls her shoulders to work the kinks from her muscles, which are only slightly more defined than Magnes remembers his Eileen’s being. Beneath her jacket, she’s still a slim, breakable-looking little thing.

“No,” she agrees, “I don’t.”

"People say that you're different from the Eileen I know. That very well might be true." Magnes says as he crouches down slightly, watching her. "I didn't have deep insight into her, I liked to think I did, but, well, once you've had your consciousness expanded across the solar system and then snapped back into you, it gives you some perspective."

His tone is very collected, though this Eileen wouldn't know how odd that is, of course. "I was always someone who fell in love easily, though you're probably one of two people who I consistently admired. Or, well, the idea of you. The idea of Kazimir. Or at least Kazimir as he was in Peter's body. Long story."

"I don't know why our Eileen left Vanguard, she never really told me things like that, our only really deep discussions were about Kazimir usually. That was our 'bond'. He was the only person who ever truly felt like a father to me, the only person who truly made me believe he saw value in me. And losing him… it was something I guess you understood." His smile is bittersweet, staring down at the floor for a brief few seconds. "It meant a lot when you gave me his copy of the Art of War."

He had her attention at Kazimir.

Munin opens her other eye and lowers her chin, making her gaze level with Magnes’. Specifically: He had her attention at the tone he used when speaking Kazimir’s name, which lacks the malice or heat that she’s become so accustomed to. “They don’t call me that here,” she corrects him, gently. Eileen, she means.

It takes her some time to process what Magnes is telling her— or rather what Magnes implying. There are gaps even her imagination can’t fill.

“I remember you now,” she says. “The church. That was a very long time ago. ”

"You remember the church? You were terrifying… Also I guess I was alive here. Don't know if I still am." Magnes stares at her cage in distaste, as if he finds it offensive on some level. "That was back before my life got complicated. You know, before shooting people and such. We saved the world together a few times, you slapped me a few times. I heard that during the time travel missions, you and my best friend Sable went back to save my life, but I pissed you off so you smacked me with a cane. I had a memory wipe so I don't really remember it.” There's a slight laugh at that.

"Munin." he corrects himself. "I know you don't really know me, but there's nothing, not a thing on this Earth, that would let me keep you trapped here. I know that you've, well…" He gestures with both arms, as if to indicate The World. "But the entire reason I'm even here is because I got turned into a black hole by some asshole who took control of my ability, my consciousness expanded, I wanted to… I wanted eat the world, everyone in it. You, my time traveling daughter from the future, all my other friends. I just… I wanted to consume, I was literally a primordial force of nature… circumstances could have led to me being here in this cell too."

"I know that you hate weakness, you hate what it does to people. I know that the you that I know would give me a speech about not trusting her, not thinking that she's good, probably threaten my life a bit. But we've all done things, Gabriel's done things, I don't know how you feel about him here. But you once told me that he needed people to be understanding, not demonize him." He starts to reach out.

"This world is dead. I want to take you and all of these people somewhere else, somewhere better. You don't deserve this, what's done is done. Are you happy with what's done?" he asks, stopping his hand short of actually reaching her cell. There's no judgement in his tone, it's clearly a sincere question, something he wants to know. "The you I know, you'd probably break my fingers to teach me a lesson about not trusting you."

He offers his hand to her, within reach.

The door is open.

Magnes knows Eileen well enough to recognize when something is happening behind her eyes. She studies his face with abrupt intensity from beneath her lashes, the same way those caged zoo animals might regard someone who ventured too close to the edge of the enclosure. His hand might as well be poking through the bars.

And there are no bars here.

Munin reaches up and takes Magnes’ hand. She does not break his fingers. Instead, she uses it to draw herself up, long legs unfolding in an extended, languid stretch. “You like me,” she observes, and places her opposite hand on the young man’s chest. Fingers splay over the area she imagines where his heart must be, feeling his pulse through the cage of his ribs and the flimsier fabric of his shirt.

She takes a step forward, out of the room and into the corridor, her hips abruptly fitting snug against his. “We could pretend,” she whispers, angling her face so he feels the warmth of her breath on his throat. Her lips brush his jaw as she speaks. “You’re almost as tall as he is, and your hands are rough like his. If I close my eyes, you could be Gabriel. If I close my eyes, I might like you too.”

Munin covers Magnes’ mouth with hers, catching his lower lip between her teeth without biting down.

She’s kissing him.

"These all seem like really bad decisions on my part…" Magnes hasn't actually made any decisions. Oh wait oops no actually he leans in, placing his hand against her cheek, leaning in to go for her lips as well. But before he does, he has to add, "I mean, you know I'm supposed to be figuring out where Gillian is, right? I mean, I need her to take us out of this universe." There's a pause, and he stares down into her eyes. "I mean it doesn't have to be right at this moment, like I mean, the order of topics isn't super important I guess…" Okay he's going in to kiss her again.

All responsible, good decisions.

“I’ll help you find Childs,” Munin murmurs thickly against Magnes’ mouth. She might even be enjoying this, but it’s for the wrong reasons. Mid-kiss, she pivots on her heel and spins them around in the doorway. The hand braced against his chest shoves him away from her with enough force to send Magnes staggering backwards into the incinerator.

As weak and malnourished as she is, she has only strength enough to pull the door shut behind him. It closes with a resounding bang that echoes through the corridor outside and will undoubtedly draw someone’s attention.

“I’m sorry, Varlane,” she says through the door, and maybe she is. “I really will help you, but there’s something I need to do first.”

The lock turns.

"Oh goddamnit!"

Magnes watches her with an absolutely bewildered expression. "My consciousness gets expanded across the solar system and my penis still gets me locked in a cage! What the fuck, expanded consciousness!" He crosses his arms at her apology. "Sorry would have been doing it first and then locking me in the cage, but I won't argue the semantics of apologies. Just don't kill anyone, and come back so that I don't seem like I totally fucked up."

“You have nothing to worry about,” says Munin. She kisses the tips of her fingers and presses them to the glass porthole in the door, by way of farewell. Then she disappears from Magnes’ frame of vision, her retreating footsteps swift and sharp until they simply aren’t anymore.

He can hope this time she’s telling the truth.

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