The Story Of A Mango


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Scene Title The Story of a Mango
Synopsis Jac meets with Kaylee for a history lesson.
Date October 23, 2020


“I hope you like turkey.” Jac Childs’ voice announces her arrival, instead of the usual knock on the doorframe, giving Kaylee Thatcher only that long to register her presence.

Kaylee Thatcher’s Office

October 23, 2020

12:28 pm

“There was ham also.” Luckily, she's expected both with lunch and for other reasons that she had chosen to not disclose the other day when she'd asked to talk with Kaylee. One of two small brown paper sacks is set on the desk. “But it looked questionable.” Which is saying something, if she decided against it.

Jac retreats a couple of steps and keeps the other sack lunch for herself, it's contents likely identical to the one given to the woman. The bag hangs from her hand at her side, her other arm crosses behind her back to clasp around her elbow. A shoulder finds the doorframe, where she chooses to wait, in case she's early or plans need to be changed.

Looking up from the laptop in front of her, Kaylee offers the girl a lopsided smile. “Is it lunchtime already?” She asks, leaning forward to pull the bag closer.

The office hasn’t changed much since he hung up her duties as COO, it was still a nod to the victorian parlour. More organic than her brother's modern design. Kaylee motions to the seating area, as she stands with the bag in hand, with it’s carved wooden coffee table situated between the couches and chair. All carved from wood and padded in fabrics of red and gold. By the sheets wadded up on the floor behind the furniture, they had only been recently uncovered.

“You settled in here again pretty well?” Kaylee asks, looking into the bag as she sits at the edge of one of the seats.

At the invitation, Jac returns to the office properly to follow Kaylee into the sitting area. “Yes, mostly,” couldn't be a more honest answer, delivered as she takes a seat opposite the former telepath. “It's… a good place to start over.” Once it was the best place for her to reach for the stars, now it's the place for her to search for new ones.

Her bag is placed in her lap and opened to take out the sandwich and inspect the rest of the contents. Half a green apple, a prepackaged pair of graham crackers, and a single serve bottle of chocolate milk. It's the last of those that's taken out next.

“I'd like to take on more.” Her eyes stay on the small bottle of milk, a fingernail finding a seam in its wrapping to fuss with. “I know Mom and everyone is worried I'll fall behind again, but…”

The young woman shrugs and glances up at Kaylee. “I know I can handle it.”

Perched on the edge of the antique couch, Kaylee watches the girl while unloading her sack of goodies. There is a small smile at the mention of starting over. “That’s how we hope people feel about this place. One of the things we decided when we opened Raytech, is for it to be a place for second chances.” It’s the apple she unwraps first.

“What do you want to take on more of?” Kaylee asks before taking a decent bite of the apple. She’s definitely hungry.

Shoulders rise and fall in a way that says the teen thinks she knows what she wants but isn't sure it's the right answer. And this isn't the topic she meant to breach over lunch; but it's been opened so going back doesn't seem a good option.

“Responsibility.” Jac’s answer lilts with a waver in confidence. Too often she's reached for higher ground only to be put back in place for being a kid. It's set a precedent, the expectation that she’s never going to gain trust enough to do more than observe and assist.

“I mean I'm learning so much,” she adds on quickly. And she is, by observing and assisting in the small ways she's been allowed to. “I’m really grateful Richard let me come back. I know he didn't have to… I just… want to do more.”

The thought hangs for a moment as she tries to explain what she means. There isn't, really. Not that she can find. So it's left at that with a sigh and a smaller shrug.

Well! Kaylee’s brows lift slowly as the teen fills her in. She doesn’t speak up yet, only studies the teen while she works on that apple half. By her expression, though, it looks like Kaylee may very well be siding with the adults on this.

“I’ve been there,” Kaylee says when she finally speaks up. “You’re on the edge of being an adult, but not just that.. you’ve been through….” What was the best way to put it? “A lot of shit and things like that age you. You’ve been going full speed and now that you’ve been forced to slow down, you don’t know what to do with yourself.”

Lips pressed tight as Kaylee struggles to find the right words. “But Jac… After all that happened… you should be concentrating on your last years of school.” Folding her hands and leaning forward to rest elbows on her knees. “You need time. I should know.”

Grimacing at her own words, Kaylee sits straight and offers her an apologetic look, “Plus, you have a mother that truly cares about you and until you reach eighteen, people are going to hesitate.” They probably will still when she’s a brand new adult, too.

Picking up the package of graham crackers Kaylee fiddles with it, “What I’m saying is… you need to have patience, you’re young and the level of responsibility you want takes time.”

“Yeah.” Jac’s answer is quiet, lacks argument and finds grounding somewhere near understanding. Just being back home itself has been challenging, everything felt different, changed. “I know. I wasn't asking, just… answering.” Honestly saying how she felt about things since returning.

The teen shrugs and looks at the bottle of milk in her hands. She turns it over, peeling the plastic label off slowly. “That isn't even what I was wanting to see you.” Her brows knit slightly, briefly, before she lifts her eyes to look at Kaylee from beneath her mop of red curls.

“Richard said you might be able to tell me more about my sword. And Adam.”

Kaylee gives a nod of her head, “I have been studying Adam’s past, but more so to get an understanding of that thing he was trying to stop. Understand her motivation and how she got to this point.” Her hands spread a little helpless, “Of course, things have kept me from continuing… and I hit a wall… Then woke up in a crash in Canada.”

Picking at her sandwich a sigh escapes through her nose, “I’m hoping to get back to it, but until I know what happened to us I can’t concentrate on it. Luckily, the Entity has been quiet out there and hopefully it will stay like that for a while.” Reaching out she knocks on the wood of the table in hopes of not jinxing herself.

While she chews on a bite of her food, Kaylee gets up and retrieves a tablet from her deck. “I don’t have any real specific information yet, I’m waiting for a contact to send me his research. What I do have, comes from the Yamagato exhibit.” Her mouth pulls to one side ruefully, “Only problem is I’m not sure what’s true and what’s been altered.”

The tablet is set on the table and flipped around where the current image on the screen is facing Jac, “You can look through that if you’d like.”

Leaning forward, Jac sets her milk aside so she can scroll slowly through the images on the tablet. Someone had mentioned Yamagato before, maybe it was even Richard, but she didn't think their collection had much in it. Maybe a few ancient relics, a replica of traditional samurai armor, the kinds of things a museum would have. To see this much is to find a hidden treasure.

Captivated, the teen pulls the tablet into her lap and sits back for a more thorough look through. “This is all at Yamagato,” she wonders aloud as she pauses on Kensei & the Dragon of Kiso Mountain. “These are primal.”

The young woman goes through several more images before she looks up at Kaylee. “Could I have a copy of these? And… would you let me study with you? I won't get in the way. Please? Two minds can uncover twice as much as one.”

“Yeah,” Kaylee offers around a bite of food, a hand held up to cover her mouth while she talks. “I’ll email them to you as soon as I can. If I had my ability, I could share some of the visions I’ve witnessed from postcogs. What happened in Japan back that is… bad.” But of course, the obvious.

“Have you talked to Eve?” The former telepath stumbles over the names since… well… Eve is stuck in jail. “When you can see her, talk to her. Eve went to Japan looking for answers too. She may have even more information.”

A sigh escapes, Kaylee’s nose when she looks at the tablet in her hands. “I just gotta figure out what happened to me…well, to us first so I’m not distracted.” There is an apology in those words, cause all of this wasn’t a priority at the moment. “I can’t be done, because it’s still out there. The man who created these exhibits is my contact. I gave him a grant for his research… All I want is a copy.” The former COO couldn’t help but be nervous about her investment, because it was important.

“I believe the key to defeating this… being… is it’s past. Even further back then Adam Monroe… I just need to figure out where to start,” Kaylee shrugs, feeling a bit helpless.

“I haven't seen Eve since…” Jac shrugs slowly as she thinks about it. Longer than a year ago. “It was before Praxia.” Her eyes look at the tablet again, then focus on the reflection of herself looking back.

“Who else believes the Entity is still… somewhere?” The teen has long been skilled at asking the hard questions while sounding like she's asking what's planned for supper, and now is no exception. She leans forward to gently lay the tablet on the table, since Kaylee agreed to sending them she doesn't need to try to memorize everything. “I'm just wondering. Because… I mean there was Detroit.”

Not that she believes that day was the end of Uluru. Jac might be foolish about a lot of things, but that isn't one of them. “Mostly I'm interested in Adam. But since they're connected,” she nods toward the research that Kaylee has already done, their shared experiences implied, “I thought we could help each other out.”

“I dunno how many,” Kaylee says with a shrug of uncertainty. “I haven’t asked around too much. I think those that believe know that… things are not as simple or as black and white as they appear.”

Kaylee looks down at the food in front of her, but in truth her mind is lost in memory. “For me, it’s obvious. She seemed to explode at Sunspot, too, and showed up in the body of a young girl.” Looking back up, her hands turn upward in a gesture of uncertainty. “So I think she’s still out there. If not here then the place between time.” A concept that would be strange to her, if she hadn’t seen it herself.

“I know your interest is Adam, but like you said, they're connected at least for a short time within her existence,” Kaylee confirms. “There will be things I need to explore on my own, but I will do my best to assist you in learning about your father.”

“I remember Sunspot.” Jac remembers she almost got hit with a blast of something after fighting back the being that came through the portal too. “And I know she can inhabit bodies. It's part of what makes her dangerous. She can look like any one of us and we’d… I don't know what happens then.”

Shifting in her seat, the teen gathers up her lunch bag and picks out her sandwich. “Do you know where I could find out about Claudia Zimmerman? Besides maybe the Deveaux Society?”

“Exactly,” Kaylee says of the Entity, her head nodding in agreement. “It’s also why I think she’s even older than when she and Adam met in Japan. I also know she has a plan and I know part of that was giving my father his ability, I’m sure of it. I had a nightmare once and… I was told.” Kaylee rubs at her eyes and sighs, a clear sign of her frustration at the whole situation. “I guess what I’m saying is things are definitely more complicated than just her body hopping.”

When her hand drops, Kaylee shifts to the girl's question. “Anyhow, as for Ms. Zimmerman, I can’t help you there,” she says apologetically with a slow shake of her head. “Never met her myself. People tend to avoid me for what I am… was. Richard is the only person I know who’d know.”

That seems to be the answer that Jac was anticipating. She doesn't look disappointed, and there's something of acceptance in the way she shrugs. “I thought it couldn't hurt to ask,” she says as she unwraps her sandwich. One half is raised and inspected for the perfect edge to begin on. “Richard said Monica Dawson might know, if I can get a meeting with her.” Which, by her tone, she has doubts about. She takes a bite from a long side of the sandwich, continuing after she's chewed for a few seconds. “Her, or Nicklaus Zimmerman.”

“All you can do is try, kiddo,” Kaylee says about the contacts her brother offered up.

Picking up her sandwich, Kaylee looks at it and smiles a bit lop-sidedly. “I do have a story about your father I could tell you, but it stays between us.” She gives the girl a wink. While there are some that know the story, she knows it will mean something to the girl.

“So first a little context. Back when you would have been a little girl, things were far more chaotic. Than strangers showed up from the future and with them a man who wanted to change the past….”

There haven’t been many that Kaylee has told about her adventures in time or the five years she spent in a different time… and Jac will be one of not even a handful that hear the story of a mango and one Adam Monroe.

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