That Moment


vf_kain2_icon.gif ff_silas_icon.gif

Scene Title That Moment
Synopsis Silas confronts Kain about a vision of his death.
Date January 18, 2019

Secure Relocation Site

Kansas City, MO

January 18th

7:18 pm

It's been a couple of weeks now since Silas Mackenzie's arrival in the new world, and for all that the people here are considerate and hospitable and seem to actually give a shit about his well-being, for all that this is a much better place than Kenner's Ark… some days are worse than others. Some days the effort of keeping a smile on his face and pretending everything's alright seems a lot harder. Some days the fact that he's still in a cage — a very nice cage, certainly, but still a cage — weighs on him.

On days when his restlessness is just too much for him to sublimate into something else — days like today — he walks, stalking the corridors like a particularly friendly caged tiger, smiles and greetings for everyone as he memorizes the layout, not just with his brain but with his feet, his legs, so he could walk this place blindfolded if he had to.

Just in case.

Other people choose to walk the halls blindfolded by their own thoughts. There’s no recognition on Kain Zarek’s face when he comes wheeling around a corner, wringing one hand at the crook of his bent elbow on his way out of an exam room. He nearly collides with Silas, coming to an abrupt stop that jostles Kain nearly as much as a collision would have. He stares at Silas for a moment, ashen, as though confronted by a ghost. Remembering himself, however, Kain just flashes a nervous smile and keeps anxiously rubbing a hand over the same spot.

“Watch it there, Smiles,” Kain says in a jovial tone, trying to brush off his own surprise. “Ya’ll gonna ring somebody’s bell one of these days.” Realizing he’s expressing a nervous tic, Kain relaxes his arm, revealing the small round band-aid stuck to the spot he’d been touching. More inoculations, likely, there’d been rounds of medical testing since they’d arrived. Whatever the H5N10 and Shanti viruses are, the people at this facility are taking extra precautions to screen and inoculate for them.

And there, of course, is Kain Zarek, materializing from the aether like a ghost summoned by the worries Silas is trying not to think about. Silas rocks back a half step in surprise before he manages to collect himself, to don his usual cheery grin. "Heh, sorry," he chuckles. "Just, uh, feelin' a little restless lately, I guess." The surprise fades quickly, but a faint pall of unease lingers.

Silas considers dropping a quip about (yet) another round of vaccinations to put the Cajun at ease, but… he doesn't think it'll be enough. He also thinks that, somehow, this is the first time he's caught Kain alone in the same place as him, and if he's going to ask the man about what he'd seen, he'd better strike while the iron's hot.

"You know, though… I'd kinda been hopin' I'd cross paths with you. There's somethin' I've been wantin' to ask you about for awhile." he says, letting a hint of worry show on his face. "Somethin' that's been eatin' at me for awhile now. Somethin' I'm hopin' that maybe you can help… lay to rest." There's a thin smile on his lips as he looks to Kain, watching the Cajun closely to see if there's any particular reaction to that turn of phrase.

"You got a minute to talk? Won't take long. Scout's honor," he says, donning his most charming roguish grin; the idea of someone like Silas ever having been a Boy Scout is worth a laugh, surely.

The light in Kain’s eyes drains away as he looks to the floor. A ghost of something flits across his expression, manifesting in a twitch of one brow and a downward crook at one corner of his mouth. When he looks back up to Silas, Kain has begun scrubbing at the sore injection spot on his arm again.

“Yeah,” is Kain’s hushed and defeated-sounding response. “Yeah, Ah’ve got all th’ time in th’ world… ‘spose whatever ya’ll’ve got on yer’ mind’s important…” Though the way that comment hangs in the air off the end of his drawl has a dubious quality to it. Kain’s been awkward around Silas since they first met, for all the same reasons Silas has been wanting to talk.

Silas regards Kain for a moment, his smile taking becoming rueful, questioning. Jesus. This is making me feel like the bad guy here. And I was the one I saw gettin' shot! By him! Part of him wants to just let it go… but he knows that if he does it's going to haunt him. Especially given the way Kain's acting now — like he's being whipped and forcing himself to endure it as… as penance or something. That thought evokes a mix of sympathy and foreboding, but he doesn't really want to take the time to consider that, doesn't want to dwell on might-have-beens when the man with the answers is standing right here. There's no sense dragging this out, either; time to double down and hit the heart of things.

"Important to me, I suppose," Silas says, mustering some gravitas. "I saw somethin'. Coming through the tunnel. Well. I saw a lot, really — it was an eye-opener — but there was one thing in particular that I wanted to ask you about. I got a… a vision, I guess. I saw myself flyin' through the backdoor of, of — get this — of a Chinese restaurant, of all places," Silas starts to chuckle. "Then, suddenly — bang!" He mimes a gun with his fingers. "Center of mass, right in the chest… and outta the door behind me, I see a guy who looks, and sounds, a lot like you. Smokin' gun in hand," he chuckles.

He regards Kain quizzically for a moment, tilting his head. He'd been meaning to ask Kain about 'Danny', in the thoughts that maybe what he'd seen had borne some relation to what the Silas in this world had been up to, a warning about trouble that might lie up ahead… but now… now he's starting to wonder. The way Kain's acting, the way Kain's looking at him… the next question that comes out of his mouth slips out almost of its own volition.

"Did you kill me?"

The corners of Kain’s mouth come down into a clear frown. It’s the answer Silas didn’t want to have, and the one Kain doesn’t want to admit to. Clearing his throat, Kain looks down to the floor, then back up to Silas. “Yeah,” he says in a grumble. He looks away again, brows creased and head down, shoulders hunched forward. “Ya’ll saw that? That moment?”

Kain closes his eyes and shakes his head. “For what it’s worth,” he says with a quick look back to Silas, “Ah’ didn’t want to.”

Kill you.

Silas is silent for a moment, digesting that. "Huh." He really hadn't thought this through. There should be coffee on hand for moments like this. Shit. He is silent for a moment longer as he parses the rest of Kain's words. He didn't want to. That actually is worth something, come to that; jives with what he'd seen, too, now that he thinks about it. Kain had been talking a lot, considering his audience had been a pre-corpse.

Pulling himself back to the here and now, Silas looks back to Kain, giving him a rueful look. "I musta stepped in some awful deep shit, huh. What'd I do to piss off this 'Danny' guy? And who the hell was he, anyway?" He lets out a breath, heavy with frustration. "I mean… it wasn't me died in that back alley; even if it was, it wasn't. Obviously." Not so obvious, maybe, but he trusts Kain to get where he's coming from. "But… I wanna make sure that if they ever let me outta this place that I'm not walking straight into a noose 'cause of whatever Hometown Me did, y'know?"

Kain looks tense for a moment, then exhales a long and tired sigh. “Daniel Linderman, ya’ll probably have better luck lookin’ his ass up in a history book. He was mah’ boss fer’ a long time. Crime boss.” Kain looks up to Silas, smiling awkwardly. “Ah’ wasn’t exactly a good egg. But, neither were you.”

Scrubbing one hand over his beard, Kain continues. “Ah’m honestly not sure why you had t’go. It wasn’t usually mah’ job t’do that but wrong place wrong time. It was… January of oh-nine, if Ah’m reckonin’ right. Not long ‘fire the virus went out of control in mah world. But it ain’t nothin’ ya’ll gotta worry about. Ah’ looked up m’old boss on the internet…”

Kain shrugs. “Looks like cancer killed him ‘fore the US of A could. Like mah’ daddy was always fond’f sayin’… you act a fool, an’ it’ll come back around.”

Silas frowns slightly; in the January 2009 he remembers, he'd been mostly playing courier, with a side of short cons and bootleg DVD sales. Yeesh. The point stands: Silas Mackenzie, you were not a good egg, he thinks to himself. Still… maybe he picked the right time to punch out, at least. Virustown sounded like it sucked pretty hard, from what I've heard of it. Even as he's thinking that, though, he knows that it's wrong; in the first place, Plaguetown Silas hadn't chosen to punch out, and in the second place… shitty world or not, he would've wanted to stick around as long as he could. Don't always get that chance, though… but there's no point worrying about it now. Dead is dead; that Silas is dead, and I'm not.

His frown deepens a bit as he considers the enigmatic 'Danny'. If nothing else, knowing that he's out of the picture in this world is a huge load off of Silas's shoulders; whatever may or may not have gone down between Hometown Silas and this Linderman character, it's probably a safe bet that it didn't survive Linderman's death. But… you know, maybe I'll look into Danny later anyway. Just in case. It's not a guarantee that he'll find any links to his own Hometown counterpart by digging into Linderman, but it probably won't hurt to spend an hour or two looking through pictures at a library or do some digging through the internet or… whatever it is people do to dig up dirt these days. Silas's prefered technique is to hit the pavement and buy some drinks to loosen tongues, but it's not gonna work too well when the guy's been dead for years. Of course, he could punch his own name into the internet, too, but something about that seems… faintly ghoulish.

His thoughts move back to Kain's words. It's a little disappointing that Kain doesn't seem to know just what Plaguetown Silas had done to get on Linderman's shit list — the terminal shit list, at that — but he isn't gonna sweat too much about a single loose end on an otherwise neatly wrapped gift, especially given that the loose end in question is something that is two literal worlds removed from any of his concerns.

At that last bit, Silas gives Kain a bit of a side-eye… but there's a hint of a smile on his face even so. "Yeah, think I mighta heard somethin' like that somewhere," he says drily. His grin broadens for a moment, full of wry amusement… but then he schools his face into a more serious expression. "Look. I 'ppreciate you talkin' to me about this. I realize it's probably dredging up a lot of shit you didn't want to wade through, but if it's any consolation, it's really taken a damn load offa my mind." He frowns for a moment, looking thoughtful… then grins. "You know, though. If you've got any stories about old times — good stories, I mean, the kind you can laugh about — well. I managed to talk one of the SESA guys into nabbin' some bourbon for me. Mostly for cooking purposes." Or for the cook's purposes. Close enough. "Care to have a drink or two, shoot the shit? I can throw in some old salt stories, if you want," he offers with a grin.

The look on Kain’s face is steely and assessing, shifting toward suspicious until it just suddenly flattens out and becomes relaxed. Sighing, Kain throws his hands in the air defeatedly. “Y’know what, Smiles?” Kain squints and takes a step forward, gently jabbing a finger into Silas’ shoulder. “Ah’m gonna take y’all up on that offer.”

The way Kain accepts the invitation makes it sound like a threat, though. “Ah’m gonna have a drink, maybe we can scrounge up a cigar or two in his place, an’ Ah’m gonna tell you about this time Ah’ played russian roulette by mah’self and won.”

It’s hard to tell if Kain’s joking or not with that last part, but the way he suddenly and aggressively hooks an arm around Silas’ shoulder and turns him around to start walking implies that this is either some very shaky coping mechanism, or Kain is having a nervous breakdown.

Or both.

Silas has a sudden feeling that he's gonna end up getting more than he bargained for here; he has a further suspicion that he's probably gonna wind up going through most or all of that bourbon tonight, with an outside possibility of something being set on fire before the night's over. Either that or drunken sea shanties. But… what the hell. In for a penny, in for a pound.

The bit about playing Russian roulette by himself, though… that evokes a certain sympathy for the Cajun even amidst his amused misgivings. He's played that little game now and again, on… a few occasions. He does wonder how Kain managed to win, though; usually the best Silas has managed is to cheat on the bullet placement and hope he managed to stop himself before he got to the last couple of chambers.

He pulls himself back from those maudlin memories with a chuckle. "Ha! Sounds like a story," he agrees. "And that sounds like a plan," he says, giving Kain a toothy grin and walking along.

Jim Beam, here we come.

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