Sounding Boards and Secret Societies


marcie_icon.gif evan_icon.gif

Scene Title Sounding Boards and Secret Societies
Synopsis Evan confides in Marcie about his work with some secret societies dealing with time travel.
Date April 4, 2011


It's been a few weeks since Evan and Marcie have seen one another in person. A couple of short phone calls— but he was tied up with his work at the university, or she with hers on the road.

As he approaches the restaurant where they finally arranged to meet up again, he leans against a nearby stretch of wall, pausing to rub his eyes. He's been working longer nights the past couple of weeks… and staying up later at night, dwelling on the outlines of a project he only barely understands.

Marcie's last few weeks haven't been very exciting. Except for a few deliveries in bad parts of town. But that's par for the course in her line of work. She walks toward the restaurant, half looking forward to dinner and half dreading it. Looking forward because Evan is easy on the eyes and a pretty good conversationalist. Dreading because Marcie still gets the feeling he wants more out of their relationship than she does. Not to mention that she still thinks he suspects her of being Evolved. But, she agreed to the dinner, so she might as well make the most of it. She's dressed up a bit for tonight, wearing a blouse and slacks, rather than jeans.

Sensing Evan through his ability, Marcie approaches him where he's holding up the wall. "Hi, Evan. Been waiting long?" She smiles. Even from out here, she can tell that one of the people in the restaurant is Evolved, but she tries not to notice.

Caught off guard - he didn't see her coming, and then suddenly there's that familiar voice - Evan blinks as he looks up again. "Yeah— I mean, no, just a few minutes. Traffic let up for once, huh?" Now that he's spotted her, he takes a few moments to size her up afresh. No butter face there, either. It's a tenuous relationship, admittedly, but his last couple ended up in such a hash that he'll take what he can get.

"Looks like, but I took the subway." Marcie doesn't own a car, and she left her bike at home tonight. They walk into the restaurant. Marcie can tell now that the other Evolved is one of the waiters. Something about air manipulation. She focuses back on Evan. "Ready to sit down?"

Evan nods, glancing briefly toward the street before following her inside. The conversation is put on hold long enough to get seated and get some drinks. "Could I get a cup of coffee?" he says to the waiter. Yup, that one. "Long night last night." And it shows; he's a little paler than she would have remembered from before.

"I'll take a coke," Marcie orders. She's all for coffee, but more in the mornings than at night. She makes sure she takes the seat facing the kitchen, giving less opportunities for the waiter to cross behind her. As he leaves to fill their drink orders, she addresses Evan. "So, what were you up to last night?" She wears a smile and her eyebrows are arched.

Hmm… how much should he tell her? How much would she actually want to know? Well, he brought it up in the first place, so he has to say something, at least. Evan rests his chin in his hands, asking Marcie a question more matter-of-fact than it has any right to be. "Do you believe in time travel?"

Marcie blinks at Evan for a moment. Is he serious? That is not what she expected him to say. She was more expecting an awkward telling about some other girl. Or perhaps a late night of research. "If I say 'yes', do I get to hear the rest of the story?" True or not, it should be good with a beginning like that.

"That is kind of the idea," he murmurs, dryly. Evan keeps his voice low: just one more conversation among many, nothing worth gawking at. "I mean, there are all sorts of other abilities running around. I've never met one, that I know of, but… there's circumstantial evidence that something has actually been going on. Maybe actual travel, maybe just sending back information. Or looking ahead and gathering information that way, I don't know."

With her power, Marcie has sensed a lot of different abilities from the people around her over the past years. She has not, however, ever come across a time-traveler. That doesn't mean they don't exist. She decides she's willing to keep her mind open. As he said, there are all sorts of other abilities running around. "Ok. So what does this have to do with last night?"

Evan takes another quick look around, not so much for mysterious conspirators as just nosy bystanders. Looks like the coast is still clear. "Long story short - and assuming that the people I've met have been honest - there's a group trying to steer events toward specific targets. And another one trying to steer them away, because— well, some of it looks to get pretty ugly. I've been going through some of the information and trying to figure out how."

"And which side are you on?" Marcie asks. She tries her best not to sound like she's humoring him. The way Evan is talking, referencing a vague 'Them' who's out to destroy everyone, he sounds like your run-of-the-mill conspiracy nut. But she's never known Evan to go off the deep end. Then again, she hasn't known Evan very long, or very well.

The waiter returns with their drinks, setting the beverages in front of their intended recipients. "Are you two ready to order, or do you need another minute?" He's in his early twenties, and generally has the look of someone trying to work their way through college.

"I— think we need a minute." Evan glances over to Marcie for confirmation— he's had a menu open, but has only really given it a cursory glance.

"Currently, the second one," he continues, after the waiter moves on. "The thing is, the first group is assumed to be doing it because they think they need to, to avoid the risk of even worse things happening. Which sounds sketchy, but if they turn out to be right…" He gestures vaguely: this is about as far as his own information goes, without bogging down in a sea of details.

Marcie hasn't even had the chance to open her menu. She does so as the waiter walks away, but focuses on Evan rather than the list of entrees and appetizers.

"I'm sorry, but all this talk of mystery men and secret plans sounds kind of far fetched. How did you get this information? And what happened last night?" That last question started the whole story, but Evan still hadn't answered it.

"Oh, last night I was just digging through some of the information. After the stuff I was doing for Columbia anyway." Okay, so he was doing some research, sort of.

Evan turns to another page of the menu, shrugs and sets it aside again. "And yeah, it sounds a little crazy, but there's so much— nobody would go to that much trouble just to fool me into something. You remember the mass visions last July? I was on the subway when it happened, I ended up talking with one of the other passengers and it got him talking about that sort of thing."

"So this information came to you in a vision?" Marcie asks. She's still a little foggy on how Evan had learned of these secret plots.

Evan sighs, shaking his head. "No, I just blacked out— or sensed nothingness, or something. It was about as confusing as it sounds. He said maybe there was a version of the future where I was already dead— and I did take a stray bullet a couple weeks later, so there might have been something to it."

Marcie begins to think she's losing track of this story. "You blacked out last summer, or you blacked out recently? When did you get the information about the two groups?" It seemed unlikely that information procured in July had suddenly now become the cause of late nights. Something had to have happened in the last few weeks. There is definitely a part of this story I'm missing.

Evan nods. "Yeah— the first one. Last summer. I got the information a few months ago, I'd been working on it off and on… just a couple weeks ago that I started to get somewhere with it. Of course, that just went and opened up a bunch more questions."

The waiter returns. "Ready to order?" he asks, completely oblivious to their topic of conversation.

Marcie looks up. "I haven't looked at the menu yet. Just put me down for some kind of chicken salad."

"Yeah, sorry, we've been…" Evan trails off briefly, letting him fill in the blank however he likes. "The tuna sounds good." He watches to make sure the guy's wandered off again— long enough to see him catch someone else's dropped fork faster than he could actually reach down and grab it. Oh, great, he thinks to himself, hope nobody decides to give him shit over that.

Marcie, keeping a slightly wary eye on the waiter, also catches the fork incident. She doesn't comment. Instead, she returns to the previous conversation. "Ok, so you were told about all this time travel stuff with the two groups months ago. What kinds of things are you researching? Do either of the groups know you know about them?" This story was still sorely lacking in details. Why did Evan bring it up to her if he didn't want to actually tell her anything?

Mostly because Evan doesn't have all the details, either. Faced with the sheer magnitude of the idea, he's come to trust that someone else does, and that they'll fill him in when the need arises. "The second group does. The first— well, if they did, then hopefully they'd have come to plead their case by now." More realistically, they might just try forcing him to stop what he's been doing.

"And I'm trying to figure out how the steering works," he continues, "or how it could work. Whether things that used to be coming up are still coming up— the casino getting hit with a hostile takeover, that sort of thing."

"The Linderman casino?" Marcie asks in shock, before thinking better of it.

"Right, the one where we—" Leaving that blank to be filled in as well, Evan reaches for the cream and sugar now that the coffee's had time to cool off some. "It's not a sure thing, nothing is at this point, but it looks like one of the big targets."

Marcie nods, but she doubts anyone can succeed in a hostile takeover against anything the Linderman Group owns. But she drops the thread of conversation about the Linderman Group. Wouldn't be good if the conversation wormed its way toward her connection to said organization, bottom rungs though she is. "Why do these groups want you?" she asks.

Evan shrugs. "Because they'll take who they can get, maybe? I don't think there are a whole lot of people in on it." At least the side he's met. "And because I've been able to pick some patterns out of things… like I said, there's years worth of information, but it's all scattered around."

"If so few people are involved, why are you telling me?" As intriguing as all of this is, Marcie is not sure that she wants to become embroiled in it.

That's a good question, actually, and one that Evan doesn't answer right away. "It helps to have someone to confide in," he says, finally. "To make sure it still makes sense when you say it out loud. That said, if you want to stay clear of it— " After all, he hasn't told her all that much in the way of specific names or events.

Marcie sighs. But instead of answering Evan's question, she asks one of her own. It's been bothering her for a while now. "Evan, what are you looking for in this relationship?" After a beat, she continues without waiting for his answer. "This is the second time you've called me because you need someone to confide in. But you don't know anything about me. And I like it that way. I'm a very private person, and I'm not interested in confiding. If you want me to be your sounding board, I don't mind. But if you think, the more you confide in me, eventually I'll open up to you the same way … that's not what I'm looking for." It's blunt, but better to be clear.

"I don't know," he replies, shaking his head. "I hadn't really thought about it like that, I just figured I'd see where it went. But if that's how you feel about things…" Evan shrugs. "Yeah, that would end up getting in the way of things. I do appreciate you telling me up front, at least." Not like the one that unexpectedly fell apart on him the year before.

Marcie gives a small smile. "That night at the casino was fun. If you want to do it again sometime, I'm interested. But don't stop looking. You obviously want a real relationship, and you deserve one with someone who will share parts of herself with you." She shakes her head. "But that's not me." She adds, "And all this stuff about secret societies, I think it might be for the best if I stay out of it."

The smile is returned in kind. "It was. But— yeah, I do want that. But at the same time, there are other things demanding my time." The other side of last year's breakup, him not being around often enough. His career was bad enough as it was, but— Secret societies? It till sounds so weird when it's said out loud. Maybe in another year or two, Evan will be more accustomed to the idea. "So… I guess I'll see what ends up working out."

Marcie nods. "I understand." She looks up. "Oh, good, the food's here." Her smile widens as her salad is placed in front of her. She's fine if Evan wants to sleep together on occasion, and she's fine if he doesn't. As long as he understands that they're unlikely to get any closer than they are now.

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