The Good Work


cat_icon.gif kazimir5_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title The Good Work
Synopsis Reunited on the carrier, Magnes and Kazimir discuss the virtues of good and evil, and Cat reminds Kazimir just how those virtues skew in his direction.
Date January 4, 2010

USS George Washington

The ocean is a relaxing thing, little more than crashing waves and roaring surf for miles in every direction. The USS George Washington is still anchored off of the west coast of Madagascar, that black smudge on the horizon looking distinctly ominous amidst the lightly drizzling rain. Perched at the edge of an observation deck, leaning over the railing and watching the rainwater drip down from the level above, Magnes Varlane's focus is not truly on the horizon, even if his somewhat cyclopean thousand-yard stare is focused inward instead.

"You did good out there…" The voice behind Magnes arrives without any announcement, no sound of footsteps or so much as a creak of a bulkhead door. It's only when Kazimir Volken's darkly dressed frame comes to lean over that same railing, watching the falling rain landing on the flight-deck below and the taxied jets that he makes himself known. Peter Petrelli always had a knack of showing up unexpectedly, and it seems now inhabiting his skin this new Kazimir has equal part and parcel Peter's knacks.

"You saved everyone's life back there," he admits quietly, blue eyes angling towards the younger man, studying the white medical patch covering his eye. "I've been hard on you, Varlane, because I know you have potential. If things had been different, and I'd run into you earlier…" there's a narrowing of blue eyes, and Kazimir looks out at the water. "Well, that's not important. I just wanted to let you know, that I'm proud of you."

"I don't get thanked for saving people's lives often, sometimes I feel like the Doctor. Thanks, though." Magnes smiles slightly, then his mood drops right back down, staring below the rail he leans on. "Claire was shot in the head, she can barely remember anyone, but, she seems to have a memory of everyone but me. She can't remember me at all, not one thing. It's not her fault, I know that, but, it hurts, I don't know why, but it really hurts that she can't remember anything about me. And I feel like a tool for feeling bad, when my girlfriend's the one who got shot in the head."

Kazimir's eyes narrow only slightly, hiding concern behind an impassive mask. "I'd heard," he admits with a level tone, "I have not bothered to go see her yet. It would be a waste of time if she did not remember me at any rate, her spotty memory could well be a liability…" even though Kazimir's tone seems to indicate otherwise. He turns, looking back out at the water from Magnes.

"Hurting is natural," he offers to the best of his ability, some form of sympathy, "you have time to hurt now. Time to nurse those wounds, and time to recover. This mission is not yet over, you know?" It's a statement of the obvious as Kazimir's blue eyes settle cautiously on Magnes. "You're going to need to put all this aside, wrap it up, and save your pain for privacy while the mission remains." He almost smiles. "I have a strong feeling you will be able to. You're far stronger than you've let yourself be."

"I learned my lesson about letting emotions cloud my judgment in a mission. I can't quite remember things, from my time at the Company," Magnes doesn't bother waiting to see if Kazimir had any idea about his stay with the Company, he simply continues, staring at the water. "I can remember things about my training, conversations, but no names, faces, or any real identifying information. I remember one mission, it may have been my first official one. I don't know what exactly happened or any details, but I know I was so worried about something unimportant, something that had absolutely nothing to do with the mission, I got badly hurt when I could have acted differently. I've been through a lot this year, been hurt a lot, watched people die, killed… and I think it's all coming together finally, even if my personal life seems to take huge dips."

"They trained you poorly," Kazimir opines with a shrug of one shoulder, folding his hands on the railing edge and watching the drizzling rain fall quietly. "But I can't fault them for not being tough enough in their training regimen. This, though, seems to have done a fair job of maturing you, helping you shape your ability." Dark brows crease together, and Kazimir turns his head to regard Magnes thoughtfully. "Your ability is an extremely powerful one, Magnes. I was amazed at how you limited yourself when I first saw you utilizing it, and after what you displayed on our escape from Svartalfheim, it's proof positive that you have a far greater potential within you."

"Unfortunately," Kazimir exhales that disclaimer, "I will not be able to help you come to realize it." A sigh follows those minous words, and Kazimir's slow shake of his head comes with a clearing of his throat at that train of thought.

"I need you to be strong for everyone, Magnes. Be strong for the team, and for this mission, and once it comes time to put aside your pain, that you find a way to put it aside and focus on the mission at hand, and continue to listen to whoever remains in charge. You have a great deal to learn, but I have faith in your capacity to, if you can just put yourself aside."

Things are weighing on her mind; it's a more darkly demeanored Cat who makes her way back to this place, not so far from where she stood before with others and heard details of what transpired in Madagascar. Claire's situation is one of them, and a thing she has added to the list of topics at hand when she finds this man, the object of her seeking.

Sight of Magnes speaking with him causes her to remain some space distant, however, and not launch herself into their discourse. She will instead wait nearby and bide her time.

"I know you've done and tried to do a lot of horrible things, but I feel like I've learned a lot from you. It feels like when Hiro used to train me, but with less comic book reading and staring at his sister." Magnes sighs, climbing up on the rail, then just sits on the edge; it's not as if he has to worry about falling. "I didn't really know Peter, except from the comics. I met him once or twice, but that's about it. I'm probably the only person here who feels like it, but I don't really feel comfortable calling you Peter, the person I know is Kazimir. But I'll be strong, even if whatever's wrong with Peter gets fixed, I'll remember the good things you did instead of dwelling on the bad, and I'll do what I need to do to save the world."

"Peter Petrelli is gone." Kazimir states, his tone not sharp, but more solemn, the way someone admits when a family member passes away. "There is no fixing him, there is no reversing what's been done. I know how this ability works, how it consumes and devours, how it hungers and swallows. He is gone, and I am all that remains, again." Brows furrowed and the scar on his forehead creased from this expression, Kazimir turns to regard Magnes carefully.

For a moment, just a moment, he's quiet, watching Magnes' expression before he unleashes something in more harsh verbage. "Do not forget what I have done before," Kazimir insists, harshly, "do not forget that I am a murderer who has killed thousands of our kind, do not forget that all of this," he waves a hand out at the ocean, "is my fault. Do not dare disgrace the sacrifices of so many people who have given their lives, given their souls to stop me by canonizing me as some sort of redeemed devil." There's venom in his voice, frustration and emotion that is rare to emit.

"Do not forget for one moment that I am a villain," his blue eyes are cooling, losing that heat and emotion, "and that if I had the chance one year ago, I would have killed you without a thought."

"So it's like what they say, Hitler had some good ideas, but he's still Hitler?" Magnes asks, pressing his feet against the second rail, closing his remaining eye as he inhales the sea with an almost liberated expression. "I can't forgive or forget what you've done, that's true, it's not like with Gabriel, an ability didn't make you do it. But then, I can't forgive or forget what he's done either, I just believe he can be a different person, if he has help. Supposedly we're cop partners in the future."

He opens that one eye and looks down at Kazimir, offering a friendly, understanding smile. "But one of the most frequent lessons people tried to hammer into my head this year, is that things aren't black and white. No one's all evil, no one's all good. Very few people really know it, because I don't really tell them, but I'm a very vengeful person. I shot John Logan in the thigh with a sniper rifle, twice, because I wanted revenge for Abby. That was after I had a kid hand him a cell phone so I could call him evil and tell him that I could kill him whenever I want. I'm… not a completely good person, but I'm not completely bad either."

"Good people are decided by the sum of their actions in history's recollection," Kazimir corrects, motioning a gloved hand out to the island of Madagascar. "Edmond Rasoul, the dictator of Madagascar, was a good young man when I met him. He was an eager young soldier, a man who wanted revenge for the death of his family from those like you or I. I sculpted a strong, good young man into the monster that he became. The sum of his actions will make others remember him as a monster, as a terror to humanity… but if we had not stopped him," Kazimir's blue eyes narrow, "how would a history written by Rasoul remember him?"

The question is rhetoric, and Kazimir turns to look back out over the deck of the carrier again. "The world will remember you how history wishes you to be remembered," there's a disappointment in his tone there, "and as all of man's written record shows, history is written by the victors of any conflict. Whether you're remembered as a hero, or a villain?" Blue eyes track back to Magnes, "depends on who wins this war."

"Like Vlad Tepes? Everyone says how horrible he was, with impaling people on poles, and now he's known as freakin' Dracula, but his own people paint him as a hero. History kind of sucks, doesn't it? But we'll win, no matter what." Magnes holds a hand out, ability extending into the rain, pulling and molding little drops until they make a baseball-sized wobbly sphere of water. He pulls it in, then raises it above his hand, watching it wobble as he tries to form it into a perfect sphere.

As he's messing with the water, his eye turns, spotting Cat, then he smiles. "Cat. Were you looking for one of us? Sorry I didn't notice you there."

"There is time," the woman thus pointed out replies, "and I have a decent portion of it." Cat remains where she is, eyes moving between the two men, the focusing out across the water and the distance. She may well be reviewing a memory in the fashion she sometimes exhibits, seeming to not be aware of her surroundings during that time. "He is correct, also. George Washington is called the Father of our country because he and his fellow Founders outlasted the British will to defeat him. If he had not, he'd be just another person hanged by Britain's crown as a traitor."

"Catherine." Kazimir states simply in greeting, regarding the brunette over his shoulder before looking back out to the water. "Thank you for the way you handled things with the SatCom, it worked… as good as could be expected." Which is to say he survived, so that's a success, even if a narrow one. "The air-strike was a necessary evil, and I apologize for having to play you into that corner, but I needed Sarisa's anger to be assured that Svartalfheim was destroyed and the United States government would not have access to Hector Steel's machines."

Turning around and leaning off of the railing, Kazimir rests his back against the rail-guard, elbows propped up at either side. "Sometimes clever deception is necessary to force someone into action, but I'm glad you have continued to trust me. Miss Kershner and I had some… harsh words yesterday, but she and I have come to a mutual understanding."

Magnes rotates around the rail so that he's facing Cat as well, still molding and shaping the ball of water inbetween his hands. Using his ability without actually touching something was not a thing he was said to be able to do the last Cat likely heard. "You know, the one thing I liked about Argentina is that I felt useful, needed sometimes. It was nice not to be the pizza boy who gets in everyone's way." He doesn't comment on what the two are talking about, as he has no idea what a lot of it even means.

The ball Magnes works with is briefly studied; it's a new application of that ability. Cat's mental process is given to the event, and a theory formed. Gravity is a force, ever present, and can be manipulated without physical contact upon any object under its reign. "Confidence is a fine line to tread. Too little, and you make failure more likely by overconsidering the possibility. Too much, and one risks creating failure through recklessness. Beyond that, at times all one needs is direction. Your forte is action, not planning."

Attention shifts back to the older of the two males then, a nod granted toward him. "Interesting strategy," she allows. "The air strike was called off when I found it needed to tell Agent Kershner we spoke, but greenlit after another operative reported on visiting a church. The priest there, he says, told of Kazimir's presence just a month ago, to confess. After the confession Kazimir's host, a young American man, allegedly seemed to wake up and be lost."

"My credibility with her, and the man making that report, is now diminished. I do not think the man she sent will ever believe what I say on this matter. He has some… history with Kazimir Volken."

Narrowing his eyes, Kazimir inclines his head to one side as he regards Cat, considering her words very carefully. There's something of a nervousness in his expression, and as much as he wants to look at the sphere of water Magnes is forming, commend him on learning from his instruction so well, his focus is locked on Cat like a hunting dog on a fox.

"I recall something about a church," Kazimir states quietly, blue eyes narrowed as if the point was inconsequential, "prior to my brief trip to Shanghai." He glances at Magnes, then pushes away from the railing and approaches Cat, gloved hands folded behind his back. "Who, Catherine, was the man that found out this information? Who has… a history with me?"

"We were in a church in Argentina." Magnes points out, though he's sure it's likely not helping, he feels the need to contribute somehow. "I think that airstrike was the most terrifying experience of my life. I mean, I could have flown away, but the idea that my friends could have died, especially Gillian… It was just terrifying."

She doesn't display any fear of the man advancing on her, Cat remains motionless. "Francois Allegre," she provides. Comments from Magnes apparently go unheard in this exchange, she doesn't make any move which indicates perception. "He was with us in Russia."

The look to Magnes at mention of the church in Argentina seems to soften the blue-eyed man's expression. There's a tension in him, memory of the small church on the edge of the village, memory of why he was there with Magnes. Breathing in deeply, Kazimir turns to look to Cat, and as much as he wishes and hopes that what she said was a hallucination, the truth is somehow unavoidable.

"Is that so?" Kazimir's intonation of that is revealing of how he feels it an impossibility. "Thank you, Catherine." Kazimir looks like he's been confronted with a ghost, and for a man who is rather literally a phantom of sorts, it is a sobering revelation as he turns and looks towards the bulkhead door leading off of the balcony.

"He and I have some catching up to do then," Kazimir admits flatly, "and I should see what he has done since last we spoke." Kazimir has the wrong idea, the wrong intention, he's expecting Flint Deckard, not the ghost of sins past that is haunting the USS George Washington.

"Magnes," Kazimir calls out as he looks over his shoulder, "keep up the good work."

"Yes Sir." Magnes answers like a soldier to his commander, very carefully trying to pull the sphere of water apart into two smaller spheres, though it gets very broken up and clumpy in the process. He briefly looks up at Cat, waiting to see if she's going to say anything to him.

"See you, Magnes," Cat offers, as she turns to follow the older one. She isn't certain he quite gets what she meant, and intends to explain it. "I shall accompany you," she tells him. "There are other things to speak of. First, this is really Francois Allegre." Her voice lowers to a volume for his hearing only. "The one nearly murdered in 1994 by Carlisle Dreyfus. He was found at approximately that time, after passing along his gift, and brought to the present."

Kazimir halts in mid-stride, sucking in a sharp breath as he turns on his heels to look at Cat, blue eyes saucer-wide. Time travel. For all his worth he looks like a man terrified by the possibility, and Kazimir takes a lurching step backwards and away from Cat as if she were some sort of mythical Valkyrie come to deposit Francois Allegre from Valhalla. He tenses, jaw setting and chin lifting up.

"Then you will not accompany me," Kazimir intones in a hushed, though firm, tone of voice. "He— he and I have… too much history between one another. This is something the two of us need to— to handle privately." Breathing in a shallow breath, Kazimir stares at Cat awkwardly, al of the normal confidence and reassurance in his mind faltering on the razor's edge of that revelation.

"It will be very difficult to convince him of the truth," Cat remarks, "that you aren't Kazimir Volken, but you know that already. Having the ability you do, for him that is likely enough to forever color his perception. If you desire, on the other hand, to be accepted as Kazimir in his eyes, this is child's play. But as regards me, Peter, you're on board ship. Sticking to the act here is unneeded, and counter-productive." Her expression very much shows a calm belief in what she says.

"We should speak again soon," she adds, as party to letting him go and not seeking to follow, "of other matters which include your niece." And with that, his path is free of her presence.

"What is there to convince?" Kazimir asks with a black brow raised, blue eyes narrowed in his consideration of Cat. He doesn't let her answer the question, doesn't want her to. "Once I've spoken to Francois, and we've settled things," he moves to the door again, considering the bulkhead's handle before wrenching it open with a protesting groan of steel, "then we will discuss things."

But he hesitates in that threshold, looking up to Cat quietly, watching her for a moment. "You should speak to Richard." He adds as a footnote, no explanation offered, just walks through the door with the headstrong intention of finding the ghost of his past.

It's time that Kazimir Volken is reunited with Francois Allegre.

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