The Walls Have Ears


avi_icon.gif devon2_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif kaylee3_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

also featuring: barazani_icon.gif

Scene Title The Walls Have Ears
Synopsis Kaylee and Devon have the unfortunate task of sharing what they've found. Avi is tactless, Liz becomes worried, and Richard schemes.
Date August 15, 2019

Kaylee's Raytech Apartment

«I’m sorry, Avi.»

Devon’s Mindscape

<August 15>

While everyone was demanding answers when Kaylee wasn’t offering them right away. Devon, especially, looked confused about what was going on. More so, when she lightening quick touched his temple and - in a blink of an eye - mentally grabbed everyone and dragged them into Devon’s mind.

Richard and Liz have been through this before, Avi has not. So the Wolfhound leader gets the full weight of the telepath’s apology.

The group appears to be standing in a void, darkness stretching out around them, except for the conference table that pops into existence to the left of them.

«This…» Kaylee doesn’t finish the sentence, noticing a small picture window, the world beyond the panes were just as black as the rest. Rushing over, the telepath yanks the curtains closed. Holding them for a moment, before continuing. «This was necessary, I can’t maintain a screen and talk about this.» Clearly, the curtains were blocking something in Devon’s mind.

Speaking of blocks…

Devon can feel the block in his mind unraveling and the conversation he had with Kaylee accessible for him again. Kaylee was giving him a chance to tell everyone.

“What the fuck,” is really all Avi can say to this. As flatly as possible.

It's disorienting regardless of how many times you're ganked into a mindscape. Elisabeth makes a small sound, and then purses her lips. "Right then… What did you do, Ray?" Because Ghostbusters is never out of style.

“I swear to God,” Richard adds a bit dryly, “If Trebek shows up I’m punching him in the goddamn face.” Arms fold pointedly across his chest, and he glances between Kaylee and Devon questioningly, both eyebrows raising a little.

What the fuck?” Avi says, this time at Richard.

Devon is just as confused as the rest, a puzzled look shifting from Liz and Richard to Avi, then over to Kaylee when the telepath rushes to… draw the curtains on a window? Why…

But then why comes back to him.

He remembers. Uneasiness settles in with talons that dig into his shoulders and cling to his spine.

“Kaylee found something,” he explains cautiously. Devon looks to his friends, the adultier adults in his life that he's often looked up to, sought out for advice. This time he weighs them with apprehension. He hesitates, jaw working to feel out which words best explain the situation. Which won't get him immediately locked away in a hole somewhere. “There's a link connecting me, here, and me someplace… maybe with Monroe. I… I've been unknowingly spying. I guess.” I'm sorry is what he means.

Kaylee’s expression is flat by time Devon has his say… Not exactly what she was looking for, but okay… time to try and keep the rest from a panic. Making sure the curtain is secure, the telepath steps away from it and sighs.

«Devon and I decided to take another look at his memories,» she looks between the other three as she explains in a bit more detail. «See if I missed anything, since last time… //» She trails off and waves away her time in the hospital. Not important. «No new memories, but… I found evidence of Doc’s ability. The memories in Devon’s head were put here.» Lips press tight for a moment, before she says, «I know what his work feels like, but… but… I watched him die. I was wa- //» Her breath catches, words halt as those memories come back yet again.

«I was washing his brains out of my hair for a week,» The words slightly, rushed, but Kaylee’s point is made.

Doc was dead.

So why did it feel the same?

Swallowing hard, Kaylee managed to continue; her mental voice gruff with renewed emotions, «That is only part of it,» Twisting a look back over at the covered window, nodding at it. «I found a link. Like Varlane had with Magnes and the others.» Something that only Richard knows what she is talking about.

Because of this Kaytee elaborates for the others. «This means that what he sees and remembers, //they have access too from their end through another version of Devon. I can tell you right now, he had no idea, I would have known.» That is //especially directed to Avi, almost challenging him not to believe her.

“Hold on,” Avi says with a slow raise of his hand, “back the fuck up.” With a look leveled sharply in Devon’s direction, Avi suddenly turns to Elisabeth and starts to raise a finger as if to make a point, but then purses his lips and brings his hand slowly back and makes a little fist-shaking gesture. “Right, portals,” he mumbles regarding Elisabeth, then returns his attention back to Devon.

“So what you’re saying is that this is the New Coke version of Devon, and Original Recipe is… where, on the fucking moon?” Avi brandishes a hand at Devon as he says this, suddenly talking about him like he isn’t even in the room. “And, and, he’s been a fucking two-way radio for Adam? Just, eavesdropping on our conversations? Breaker breaker this is Devon, here’s some hot gossip, over.” Avi is squinting incredulously at the entire idea.

“I’m at a fucking— a loss is so generous it doesn’t even fucking begin to compare.” Hands in the air, Avi starts to pace in circles and then lace his fingers behind his head. “I mean, what the fuck?

Elisabeth's whole body jerks at the word 'link', her gut reaction one of God, no, not again. Even here inside Devon's mind, her face literally bleeds white, her immediate fear having to do with more alternate dimensions. And then it's clarified, and Kaylee explains for the benefit of those who didn't live with Magnes Varlane for years. This is not better.

Quantum-entangled clones. And Adam has figured it out. And done it to Devon.

"Good to see you in fighting form, Epstein," she murmurs drily in an aside to the man as he reacts. Her focus, however, is on reassuring Devon in the same way she soothes Aurora sometimes, "This is not your fault. Are you okay, otherwise?" Her first concern, always, is for her people, her kids. Devon… was kinda her first kid.

And in the real world outside Devon's head the subsonic detonation of her rage takes the path of least resistance, shattering the bank of windows on Kaylee's apartment wall… and those of the surrounding apartments. The cracking sound, like ice, is the only warning Bob has before the windows blow out and shards tinkle musically to the courtyard below. The people in the apartment are shielded from the effects of the miniature sonic boom that rattles the courtyard.

It should be more of a surprise to Richard than it seems to be, but at the revelation he merely nods slightly— a grimace twisting his expression, but it’s clear that he suspected or feared this exact situation.

“Hydra and Heisenberg…” He reaches over, hand smoothing over Elisabeth’s shoulder to try and calm her, gaze cutting over to Avi briefly before sliding back to Kaylee and Devon, “So, the way Heisenberg should work, he’s not exactly a radio but — they’d still need to question the other Devon. Reception’s also probably not quite one-hundred-percent, so they aren’t getting everything.” Unless they improved the process, which is entirely possible, but he’s trying to be reassuring here and not fatalistic.

It is Avi’s turn to get a flat look from the telepath, unhappy with how he is acting towards Devon. A hand moves to rest on the young man’s shoulder, a gesture of support. ##FFFF80:«For all we know this could be ‘original recipe’ - as you called him - and even if it isn’t, he’s a human fucking being, Avi. Don’t talk like he isn’t here.»## Kaylee comments in a tone just as flat, bristling.

«And as I said, he //didn’t know until I brought it to Devon’s attention. I had to really dig for it.» Kaylee offers Devon an apologetic look, she didn’t like having to do this to him. «I do feel like the memories I recovered were left on purpose,» Her other hands and lifts, fingers snap and a trio of TVs light up, hanging in the air. Devon’s recovered memories start to play on a loop. «I also don’t think he ‘escaped.’ I think they let him go, leaving just enough memories to make us happy.//»

Turning towards the screens, Kaylee points to the escape playing nearby. «And for all I know this could be fabricated dream. There are a lot of unknowns still.»

After a moment of watching the flickering screen, Kaylee sighed heavily. «I don’t know what is going on in Adam’s court, but… So much hasn’t made sense. Mental abilities have fingerprints, a… certain taste to them.» The telepath’s eyes close and she reaches out a hand like she is feeling for something, Devon feels the light pressure for a moment. «I swear, I feel Doc’s ability and… there is no way.» The hand drops and she looks at Richard. «Unless they did to him, like they clearly did Devon, here.» Which seemed like a possibility now.

«Either way, we have an opportunity here,» Kaylee concludes, «We can use this to our advantage.»

Devon shrugs. It's the best he can offer given the circumstances — both what brought them all here as well as those things presently happening. But it's what he's got for the moment that won't have anyone call bullshit on him just now.

He slants a look when Avi goes into a tirade, brows drawn together. This new and improved Avi Epstein has been weirding him out ever since getting back.

“If I'd known anything, I’d’ve brought it to the table immediately.” Defensive, but it can't be helped. Dev has been doing everything he can to make sure the right people are kept in the loop even while feeling kept in the dark himself. There may even be more to say in that, but the pressure of Kaylee’s hand on his shoulder stills those words. He glances her way as she ends with… an advantage?

“Fucking Christ,” Avi grumbles of both nothing and everything all at once. He paces the empty expanse of the mindscape and it's pitch blackness, only on remembering where he is does he look down at himself in confusion, then up and over to the others with a wordless and inscrutable inquiry. Kaylee understands, because of course she does. He's wondering what it means if you pace when you're just a bunch of collected thoughts.

The answer is both unimportant and would go over his head.

Sighing, Avi’s shoulders slack and he levels a look on Devon. “Yeah, I know. I…” he trails off, making a noise in the back of his throat. “Not to be that guy, but are we sure this is Devon? I mean— I remember Sonny Bianco. No offense,” he says to Devon with a wave of one hand, “But if we’re talking full-on Humpty Dumpty scenarios of putting someone back together again…”

A sharp breath is pulled in as Avi asks the question aloud that Elisabeth doesn't want to think about, doesn't want to suspect. She reaches up and grips the hand on her shoulder hard, her blue eyes flicker to Kaylee questioningly. She doesn't want to know this answer and yet she needs to.

“It’s entirely possible it is Doc’s ability,” admits Richard with a grimace, “We don’t know enough about how Gemini works, after all, it could have been— infused into someone else. Or, hell, for all we know Adam has a mosaic under his thumb.”

Hopefully not Gabriel, he thinks.

His gaze returns to Devon, and he answers Avi at the same time, “It is — you are — Devon, if that’s Doc’s ability at work. Whether or not that’s the body you started with, Doc’s duplication is effectively a xerox of the person, flaws and loyalties and all.”

Except when he fucked up.

«Avi,» There is a sharpness in the telepath’s tone, meant to catch his attention and stop this rant. «This is Devon. Despite the link and the obvious memory duplication, this is Devon.» Kaylee gives the young man a reassuring smile. «I’ve been through a lot of his mind, especially when I suspected the link, there is nothing here to suggest anything else. And unlike Curtis, there is no trigger or anything other then the two way radio as you called it. I trust him.»

Blindly motioning to the link, Kaylee adds, «The reason I called you was for that. What does this tell us?» Kaylee looks between them all, before answering, «They are keeping tabs, but now that we know it is there, we can turn it on Adam. Feed him false information. Let him see just enough to keep him from being suspicious.»

Kaylee shrugs shoulders, not completely certain with herself, «This might be how to corner him finally. Especially, if we can use it to spy on him.» The telepath paces towards the covered window, hand brushing over the fabric. «//Wonder if I could follow it.

“First,” Devon says as he holds up a finger. Tension in his voice hints at restrained anger. He's tired of the knee jerk reactions to his presence, the looks that make him feel more like a specimen on a slide than a person. That finger points at Avi. “Quit talking like I'm not here. That goes for everyone. I'm done. It isn't helping.”

Those words are left to hang for a moment while he looks at each in turn.


“Second. I'm Devon.” His brows raise as he makes the statement. It is a statement, and his look is a challenge for anyone to say otherwise, including himself. “I am Devon. That other one? Maybe called Devon but he isn't.” Saying it out loud is as much for strengthening his own belief in that fact as it is for solidifying it with everyone present.

He takes another moment to look at each face, ending on Kaylee. “Lastly, I'm afraid of the consequences of letting you trace that link. You're the one wanting to keep it hidden. However… using it in reverse. I don't even know how to try.” He looks at Avi, Liz, and Richard. “But I think we should figure it out, turn it into our advantage.”

“Jesus Christ,” Avi mumbles into his palms as he scrubs his hands across his face. “Alright, so, look… Kaylee’s a big girl, big girl shareholder britches, if she wants to play doctor strange in your head I'm gonna trust her to know her own limits,” he says to Devon with as much certainty as he can.

“Maybe she can use it to figure out where they're— ” Avi hesitates, grimacing, and then looks down at the floor, “keeping your clone,” is said a little quieter, “and we find out where that is and God didn't give me a fucking jet to let it sit in a hangar and not blow up Nazis, so…”

Avi quickly flicks a look over to Richard. “You've gotta have some kind of Weird Science shit at your place, right? Get your brother to build some kind of X-Men helmet for Kaylee, protect her or make it easier? We do that,” now he's just windmilling ideas, “and maybe we just get them all to go fuck themselves on the end of a missile.”

A slow breath escapes Elisabeth when Devon gives his own assessment of his state and her expression eases, though her grip on Richard's hand at her shoulder doesn't loosen much. She can't help but crack a grin at Avi — her exposure to him has been limited and his take on things kind of … appeals. Blowing things the fuck up? Yeah. She can get behind that. She does slant the former agent a side-eye on the whole X-Men helmet thing and the Captain America reference. Who knew Avi knew comic books??? (Elisabeth really only knows a little through years of listening to Magnes tell stories to the kids.)

"All right," she says slowly, looking between Devon and Kaylee. The idea of using Devon disturbs her. "If I remember how the quantum entanglement worked with Magnes… if they ask the right questions of the clone, the memories belong to both of them. So… how do we tailor the information the clone has access to?" Elisabeth pauses, and then adds, "And how long do we think the clone can survive?" She has a slew of other questions to ask but now doesn't seem the time.

“As difficult as it is to believe, Avi, we don’t have science for everything. Mostly because SESA keeps looking over our shoulders, to be honest, but…” Hey, Richard’s being honest. He’d probably be doing a lot weirder shit if someone wasn’t there to complain he might use it to take over the world with.

A version of him did it once, after all. So maybe he understands Devon’s feelings better than some, there.

“Telepathically tracing a quantum entanglement is… well,” he grimaces, “I mean, we tried that with Odessa, but that was across superstrings as well, and we saw how well that went. Did you try with Magnes and his clone, sis?”

He hesitates, then adds, “Peyton might be a better bet.”

“As for the clone… depends on what access they have to material to keep him stable, assuming it’s a Hydra,” he admits, “The fact that Devon here isn’t showing any signs of Hydra Syndrome is a good sign.”

«We didn’t intentionally with Odes —» There is a pause and Kaylee ohs softly, «You mean your little //dream trip with Delia.» Kaylee wasn’t there for that one. «And no I didn’t, but that was because Varlane’s mind was fragile, same with the connection…. And it was… intense from everything that was happening at the time?//» she says after grasping for the right words.

Kaylee huffs a bit, «And let's be honest, It also wasn’t foremost on my mind.» There was a lot going on in her life.

Again the telepath’s attention drifts to the curtains, curiosity pulling her. «Devon’s connection is not the hot mess the other was. This one has experience behind it.» Kaylee looks at the others, «Does that make sense? Though, I think your right. Give Peyton a try, maybe.»

Eyes narrow slightly and Kaylee motions Devon over, her attention not leaving the screen. «I wonder if the link is random. Varlane couldn’t control what he saw, but maybe you can.» Fingers hold the edge of the curtain. «Should we…» The telepath grimaces and presses a hand against her forehead, with a hiss. A hand brushes at her nose and even in the mind scape, blood smears across fingertips. «Maybe… maybe not now.»

Devon squeezes his eyes shut and rubs his face with his hands. The words around him are absorbed, but much like a sponge that's already absorbed a lot of water. A breath eventually leaves him, slow and steady, and his hands drop to his sides.

“We don't even know if it's safe for either of us for Kaylee to go down the rabbit hole in my head,” he points out. “Honestly, I'd rather not find out the hard way and die again?” He's serious, but he tries to pass the statement off as a joke.

He moves to the window where he stands at the telepath’s shoulder. “Who is Peyton,” he continues, not even trying to mask the suspicion in his tone, “and what does she do? I'm not sure I'm okay with more people digging around in my head.” Dev angles a look at Richard, Avi, and Liz, brows furrowed. “And what are the symptoms of Hydra Syndrome?”

“Sudden, uncontrollable liquefaction,” is Avi’s clear answer. “All that bubblegum sludge down in the basement of Sunstone in the reports Robyn filed? Yeah, those used to be copies of Pete Varlane’s kid. Look,” Avi holds his hands up slowly, “this is all taking a lot of shit with a lot of salt. You aren’t melting apart at the seams and we’ve got no reason,” he strains, “to suggest otherwise. For now.”

Exhaling a sigh, Avi looks down at his hands and wonders about their impermanence in a mindscape and what they represent. Blinking himself away from that existential distraction, he looks over to Kaylee. “Look, we don’t know if they’ve got someone like you on the other end of this game of cranial telephone. We don’t even know where the other end goes. This could be a big fucking monkey trap to snare a telepath. We need to figure out where the other end is,” he agrees, motioning to Richard.

“Whitney’s a good case study, if it works. We might also be able to shake Ryans by the ankles and see if his other daughter falls out of his pockets, a dreamwalker could get us where we need to go. The other option, and this is in the fuck you Avi territory, is that we send something down-pipe and just blow whatever’s on the other end.” Shrugging, Avi spreads his hands and tries not to look too guilty. “Devon’s here, so by law of odds whoever or whatever is on the other end might just be some sort of David Cronenberg monster. We find a way to send the telepathic equivalent of a fucking cruise missile down the link and— ”

Avi claps his hands together. “No more link problem?”

Elisabeth stiffens under the hand on her shoulder. The idea that Devon might melt the fuck away sends another (much smaller) pulse out into the world off her body out there. In here, though, it's not visible.

Mildly she offers (because he said that's what territory it's in!), "Fuck you, Avi. We're not sending the mental equivalent of a cruise missile. Partially because we don't know what's on the other end but partially because quite frankly while Kaylee's ability might actually be able to do such a thing" She doesn't mention the kinds of things she's seen Other Kaylee do. Ever. " we have no idea if that will also turn her brain to bubblegum sludge." It probably won't, Liz thinks, but honestly? The idea of that might just terrify the others too much.

"Peyton — She's the one who runs Aura's school, helped us back before I left, Dev — and then Delia are both good options, though. Delia's been helping Aurora; I can send her a text and see if she's close enough." Elisabeth pauses and looks between Devon and Kaylee. "This, though. I assume the drapes are basically hiding this conversation from the knowledge of anyone… does it mean Devon has to be kept in the dark?" She looks at him, "I'm not crazy about this whole using you thing, but…" it's his body, his brain, and as always she'll back him balls to the wall.

“Jesus Christ, Avi,” Richard mutters, bringing his free hand up to cover his face for a moment, “And people say I’m fucking tactless.” There was a reason he was using a euphemism there!

He clears his throat, “Epstein, just so you know, abilities aren’t a cure-all for every problem in the world. Sometimes we need to do things the old-fashioned away — we’re not omnipotent, you know. As much as some of us like to act like it, we’re just people with some extra tools.”

A grimace, “Delia is, as much as I hate to say it, our best bet if Peyton doesn’t pan out. The problem becomes that navigating a quantum subconscious link like that is— difficult, and dangerous, even for someone with her level of power in the dreamworld.”

«Jeesus, Avi. No…» Kaylee looks at the older man like he grew another head. ##FFFF80«Really? That’s Devon on the other end, I’m pretty damn sure. It’s a person.» Devon and not at the same time really.

«We’re not —»

And suddenly, all of them are standing in the living room of Kaylee’s now trashed - Thank Liz :| - apartment. There is the sound of sweeping around them and the muted conversation of some of Raytech’s security. Put to work, while they waited. At the hissed whine from Kaylee, al work stops and the trio of men look towards the waking group..

“Carefuly… Just had to fuckin’ over do it again,” Bob grouses, there to steady Kaylee when her knees buckle, letting the telepath cling to him while she powers through the sharp stabbing migraine of over use. He had plenty of warning from the twin trails of blood leaking from her nose to get to her.

The telepath groans and brushes at the blood with a grimace. “Dammit. Idiot.” Kaylee growls out in irritation at herself. “I miscalculated.” Something unusual for her.

Slowly, Kaylee straightens and pulls away from her former bodyguard. “We’re not doing that, Avi. I’d like to get him out of that place. Alive. He deserves a chance at a life like any other clone ever created.”

“Clone? What?” Bob asks with a furrowed brow. “Who’s a clone? You?” He points at Avi, eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“Don’t worry about it. Bob, could you get me some —” Kaylee finally notices her apartment.

What the fuck happened to my place?!?

Immediately, Kaylee regrets raising her voice like that, hands clutching at her head and doubling over in pain. “Son of a —”

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