The Worst Is Yet To Come


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Scene Title The Worst Is Yet To Come
Synopsis If you just let me make my own mistakes, I promise I'll behave only in the worst way.
Date April 16, 2021

Janus Offshore Drilling Platform
Off the Coast of Virginia Beach

April 16th
5:17 pm

clink clink

If she could be, Robyn Roux would be back in New York by now. There was a lot to think about - her own constantly shifting, stormy opinions, everything Agent Hall has had to say to her, everything Agent Gates has had to say to her. Just…


It's always everything.

Which is why thinking is the last thing Robyn seems to be doing, her bag making an unexpected clinking noise as she strides through the hallways of the DOE's little secret treehouse, filled with all it's sci-fi bullshit Robyn has grown to loathe. She had packed a full travel bag just in case they were to end up staying overnight - a distinct possibility, given the subject matter at hand.

There's an unexpected confidence to her as she strides down the metal hallways, towards the lab areas. Like she's not supposed to be there and she knows it and doesn't care. She was due to make her way down here is the way she sees it, after having walked out on the meeting earlier and failing to attend their walk through.

Even now she was almost certain Chess, Elliot, and Wright were looking over information packets of some sort, rather than doing anything productive.

A door opens for her, eyes locked ahead as she spies the back of the chair containing her prey. Clink clink goes her bag as she shifts her posture, a wide and wicked grin forming on her lip as she starts forward again. A hand moves down to her bag, tugging at a zipper.

It's only when she's near the back of the woman's chair that she speaks up. "Erica Kravid," comes out in a manner one might expect a snake to address it's victim before sinking it's fangs into it, her hand rising back out of the bag with notable speed/ What follows, however, isn't an attack or the beginning of a physical altercation.

Instead, a bottle lands with an echoing thud on to the table beside the woman - Irish whiskey, 750ml. The plan had originally been to split it with Richard after whatever insanity they had to sit through tonight. Instead, she's making mistakes.

"Join me for a drink?"

As Kravid swivels in her chair to face Robyn at her back she threads a lock of dark hair behind one ear. In the gesture Robyn briefly catches a glimpse of a long, crescent-shaped scar behind her right ear. Kravid’s eyes dip to the bottle, then alight to meet Robyn’s.

“That seems ill-advised” Kravid says with the corner of her mouth crooked up. She reaches behind herself and closes her laptop, then rises from her seat. “But we’re sitting on an oil rig above a rift in time and space, so…” she spreads her hands, “what’s one more straw on the camel’s back?”

"Not even th' first one I've ever seen." Robyn's accent is somewhere between the French affect she's become so practiced in and her naturally learned Irish accent, her tone carrying an unearned familiarity to it as she speaks to Kravid.

Something tempers Robyn's wicked grin ever so slightly, looking more steadily at Erica. "I figure, this is th' least ill advised thing today. A bad idea, but far from the worst." She certainly made her thoughts on that known. "Besides, I'm not lookin' to get hammered," or so she says, "and I doubt anyone else'd say yes after earlier."

Fingers tap the bottle, then look to Kravid's desk before she picks the glasses and bottle back up. Seems they're finding a more suitable venue for this. "'Sides. I had some questions I wanted to ask you. Some probably even different from what they put you through normally."

“Oh, I do love interrogations,” Kravid says as she squares her shoulder in her seat, watching Robyn out of the corner of her eye. She motions across the chipped cafeteria table to the bench seat across from her. “Pull up a bench, join me in the nondescript misery of a cafeteria dinner.” In front of Kravid is an aluminum trap with a scoop of mashed potatoes, a scoop of turkey and gravy, and a scoop of corn. None of it looks appetizing.

“A billion dollar scientific endeavor,” Kravid grouses with a roll of her eyes, “and the cafeteria food tastes like it was cooked before the war.”

A small chuckle slips from Robyn, shaking her head as she slides the bottle between the two of them and moves around to the other side. "Don't be dramatic, Erica. It's not an interrogation." There's no chiding tone, though, just simple amusement. "I'm not wearin' my suit, I'm not here for SESA or these guys," she remarks with a jerk of her thumb behind her.

Her bag is pulled down from her shoulder and set down next to where she intends to sit, looking down at the other woman. "I'm here out 'a morbid curiosity an' a perverse desire to make bad decisions," she echoes. She doesn't have a tray of food in front of her, instead begins pouring two fingers of whiskey into each of the glasses.

"An' see, I was smart enough to bring my own food with me. Probably got enough pulled pork for both of us if you want some." Again probably meant to be shared with Richard, but it begs a question: Why is she being so nice? It's a question answered as she settles down across from the other woman.

"I wanted to ask questions 'bout where you come from," she admits. "If you're up to it. I won't hold it against you if not. LIke I said, this isn't an interrogation."

Kravid’s demeanor shifts, her jaw sets slightly, and she leans back to give Robyn an assessing stare. Picking up her styrofoam cup of coffee, Kravid cradles it like a talisman in front of herself, regarding Robyn in thoughtful silence as she takes a sip.

“So it’s curiosity, then?” Kravid admits, then sets her cup down, leaving her hands wound around it. “I’ll be honest, I didn’t listen to any of your albums back before I crossed over. Not really my speed. But…” she looks aside, brows knit together. “My daughter liked your stuff.”

"Morbid curiosity," Robyn asserts as she points her finger at Erica. She seems ready to make another snide remark, but Erica manages to catch off guard enough to stop her dead. "Oh yeah?" Her head tilts to the side as she pulls a food container out of her bag and sets it between them, two forks retrieved in kind. One is offered across the table to Kravid.

It takes a moment, though, for her to process the mention of her daughter. She's read files on Kravid, on her world's variant of the woman. She knows about Taylor Kravid, but it only just connects with her how this Kravid has been forcefully torn away from her daughter.

It causes a little more empathy, misplaced as it may be, to bubble up in Robyn.

"That's all well an' good," Robyn remarks quickly, hoping to move the conversation past that. "But I figure neither of us wants t' dwell on things we don't have anymore. Besides, I knew I was… still some sorta musician over there, yeah?" The container is opened, allowing the aroma of the bbq to waft up between them as Robyn reaches for her glass of whiskey. "But I'm more interested in my other work." A quick sip passes whiskey across lips, but serves a different purpose entirely as her raised glass hides her mouth as she continues.

"I'm wonderin' what you know about what I did f'r Arthur. An' in return, well… I dunno. We'll figure somethin' out, yeah?"

Kravid’s brows tense with the mention of Robyn’s other work for Arthur. Her jaw flexes, curiosity and wariness flashing in her eyes. “I didn’t know anything explicit,” she says with a measured tone of voice, precise in her word choices. “I knew you were one of Arthur’s cleaners, but I didn’t even know how many of them he had. His… Kill Squad.”

Folding her hands in front of herself, Kravid watches Robyn carefully. “How do you know about any of that?” She asks with a twitch of one of her brows, slowly winding her fingers around the length of a plastic fork.

So it was real. Not that Robyn had any doubts at this point, but there's some concrete proof she's never otherwise had before. "Three, that I knew of at least," Robyn remarks as she holds up the appropriate number of fingers. There's a particular uncertainty to her as she leans back in her chair, sticking her fork into the barbeque.

"Back in 2018 there was a… phenomenon. The whole aurora in the sky thing, all that weirdness. Came with a time or two of glimpsing int' other timelines if you were unlucky enough." She takes a bite of her dinner, fixing her gaze on Kravid. "Or every few days if you were me." That's an exaggeration, but it certainly felt like that. "So I got t' learn a lot about myself and other possibilities that might've happened."

Taking her whiskey glass into her hand, she takes another small sip before setting it back down. "I've been curious ever since. What it was like there. It feels like having half a puzzle finished but with none of the remaining pieces available." Her shoulders rise and fall in a shallow shrug. "An' I don't know, maybe I just felt like talking to someone who isn't best buds with Eve Mas for a bit."

Kravid barks out a laugh at that last comment, shaking her head. “Well, you’re in good company here. She gives me the creeps at the best of times and keeps talking about catheters to me at the worst of them?” That last bit is delivered with a squint. Even Kravid can’t imagine the why on that one.

“As for the, uh, overlays? I knew about them,” Kravid admits, moving the conversational topic to something less mind-shattering. “I experienced… one? Maybe two, but I was asleep for the second one so it’s hard to be sure if it wasn’t just a dream.” It’s only now that Erica is beginning to relax, slouching a little in her seat under the weight of fatigue as she does.

Kravid sets her plastic fork aside, eyeing it warily as she does, before returning her attention to Robyn. “So, they’re actually sending you through that thing?” She asks with a snort and a laugh. “No one’s told me why any of this is happening, but the looks I get from Doctor Suresh tell me whatever it is… it isn’t good.”

With a click of her tongue, Robyn leans back a bit in her chair, a smirk on her face. "At least I know that no one has grounds to commit me as long as Eve is around." It's said with a snide tone, no care given to the fact that Eve or anyone else may be able to hear her. Still, the smirk falters a bit as she lingers on the thought.

Instead, she jumps at Kravid's evolution of the topic at hand. "Yeah, that seems 'bout normal for most people. I always like t'joke that I'm not most people but life has funny ways a' makin' that clear. LIke I said y'learn a lot about who you could be from these sorts of things." With a swig of liquor, she sets her glass back down and focuses on Kravid.

"They're sending them through that thing. 'Least, if I have anything to say about it," Robyn offers, folding her arms across her chest. "I've had my fill a' time travel an' other dimensions. Seeing the 1800s was the limit for me." She doesn't qualify that for once, or stick it with an air of self importance. "I have a boy t'take care of now. SESA work is one thing, but this?"

Maybe there's a hope in Robyn that Erica will empathize with her as a mother.

"I mean, it's nothin' good, but… you know, the whole save the world thing seems t'come up every few years now," is all Robyn has to offer on what's happening.

“It would be easier to just give up and not, wouldn’t it?” Kravid notes with a hint of distraction in her voice, staring down at the table in front of her. “But then, if you have a child everything changes.” She lifts one brow, but doesn’t lift her eyes. Instead, Kravid has started to pick at a chip on the table with her thumbnail.

“Once you have a kid,” Kravid continues, “all pretense of personal limitations goes out the window. Suddenly, there’s nothing that you wouldn’t do to save them, even if it meant doing something as stupid as…” She looks up at Robyn, “stepping into another world.”

Stopping mid bite, Robyn doesn't match Kravid's gaze. Maybe this was a bit of insight she didn't expect, a turnabout she didn't account for. Either way, she seems frozen for a moment like she was just caught stealing from a cookie jar.

Slowly she sets her fork down, still staring at the food in front of her. "You're right," she says quietly. "I know that. I don't want to just- give up. I think they can handle it. I just…" The irony of this moment is lost on her as she looks away and off to the side, before reaching back and sliding her bottle of liquor a bit further away.

"I've lost everything else this past decade. I don't know if I can handle being separated from him."

Kravid spreads her hands slowly. “From the way I hear about things, if your team doesn’t come back with a solution to our problem everyone loses everything. Especially your kid, and their future.”

Lifting up the styrofoam cup for her coffee, Kravid sloshes it around and estimates how much room there is in it. Then she sets it down and instead picks up the bottle of whiskey Robyn laid on the table and unstoppers the cork, topping off her coffee with it.

“Maybe you’ll benefit from some perspective.” Kravid says, setting the bottle of whiskey down and pushing it over to Robyn. “When I was about your age,” she says, picking up her coffee, “my daughter, Taylor, was ill. I turned to someone with an ability to heal to help her, but he was…” she takes a sip of her coffee, “a monster. Sold me a lie that she had a lung disease from coal dust in the air. He was an abuser. Later, a cadaver.” She sets the cup down.

“The moment I took his life was the moment I realized that there was nothing I wouldn’t do for my daughter.” Kravid says, her attention fixed on the reflection of the ceiling-mounted lights in her coffee. “Years later I… I learned the truth. She had a degenerative genetic disorder.” Kravid’s brows pinch together. “Extremely rare.” She says in a guarded tone. “I labored my whole life trying to save her, turned to Pinehearst to help.”

“Arthur was, of course, exactly the same kind of monster that doctor I murdered all those years ago was.” Kravid explains, swirling her coffee around. “He used an ability he stole from Pete Varlane to… make a copy of me, so that I could work harder. You see this?” Kravid asks, pulling her hair back from over her right ear, revealing a crescent-shaped scar behind her ear. “That’s where he took a piece of my brain to make another me.”

“One of us worked in Mount Natazhat,” Kravid says with a rise of her brows, “and I worked at Geopoint. After Natazhat blew up, Arthur put all the pressure on me. Long hours away from home, unrealistic demands. He dangled Taylor’s well-being in front of me and when I wasn’t delivering the results he wanted he’d threaten her.” Kravid’ brows rise slowly, her upper lip curls in disgust.

“Then, as if to fucking spite him, she…” Kravid’s brows twitch. “She died. No one could do anything for her. No science, no powers. One minute she was there and the next…” Kravid slides her tongue across the back of her teeth. “So I did what any grieving mother would do.” She says with a look up to Robyn. “I adapted.

Finishing her coffee, Kravid sets the empty styrofoam cup down. “I wound up here. Which, coincidentally, my other self did too. She just got a head start. We got together with our native variant from this timeline, aligned our priorities, and thanks to the graces of Adam Monroe… Taylor hadn’t passed yet. She had a longer lease on life. His blood, beyond anything, was the only thing that could keep her alive. You’d think Arthur would’ve thought of that before he murdered him in my time.”

“But we,” Kravid says with a smirk, “me, myself, and I, did what we couldn’t do alone. We solved Taylor’s illness, we cured her, which of course… curing her meant making her valuable for Monroe, desirable. It felt like no matter what we did for Taylor it kept putting her life in danger. And of course she’d never understand the lengths we went through to save her, to keep her safe from the real monsters of the world.”

“But at the end of the day,” Kravid says, “the only person I could count on was myself. Or, at least, a reasonable facsimile thereof.” Pushing the bottle of whiskey away from herself, as if she didn’t trust herself with it, Kravid huffs out a breathy laughter. “What I’m trying to say is… if you want to save Matthew, you make the hard choices. Even if at the end of the day he hates you for them, because his life means more than anything. More than yours, more than any of them.” She gestures to the room at large.

“When you decided to have children, you put your own happiness aside.” Kravid says thoughtfully. “Everything you do—everything—is for them.”

Robyn is silent as she listens to Kravid, though there's more than several points where she starts to raise a finger, only to think better of it before she can open her mouth to protest or offer some sort of counter point. For once in her life, Robyn Roux keeps her goddamn mouth shut, all of her bluster, her anger, her fitful smugness drained from her.

It stays shut even once Kravid has finished relating her tale, her self-described perspective offered to Robyn. The SESA agent looks mildly uncomfortable, but not with anything Kravid has had to say.

Maybe Robyn is finally facing down some harsh truths.

Instead, she holds her gaze on the remains of her pulled pork in front of her, not even looking up when Kravid finally takes hold of the whiskey bottle Robyn had brought to share.

"I was at Sunstone," she admits in a low voice to possibly one of the last people she should. "When we rode out, Taylor was with us, alive and well." There's a brief pause, but she doesn't give Erica much room to interject or voice her thoughts on that particular matter. "I don't know where she is now since my time with Wolfhound ended with that particular mission, but I imagine she's doing well for herself."

It's conjecture at best. Robyn didn't have much optics in the aftermath of Sunstone on anyone except Matthew, and that's only given the proposal she had put forth at the time.

"That's also where I met my son," she adds in a more serious tone, finally looking back up at Erica. "I didn't decide to have kids, I adopted a lonely boy with nothing left in the world. I knew how hard losing my mother had hit me and everything I'd do to have her back, I couldn't begin to imagine how he must have felt."

Chewing on her lip for a moment, she casts her gaze away, as if she has a hard time looking at Kravid directly as she continues.

"I think, looking back on it, I did it because I was lonely, though. So was he, it made sense to me, and I'd been told multiple times that I'm a good mother. I could do this, I thought." Swallowing, her hands bunch up the cloth of her jeans as she digs nails into palms. "That's no reason to adopt a child, though." A small, rueful laugh escapes her lips. "And yet, it worked out. I need him as much as he needs me. I can't begin to imagine where I would be without him."

She imagines somewhere more like the Robyn that Kravid knew.

"To be honest, I'm still- learning how to be a parent. I don't have my own mom to ask, and my father has gone out of his way to distance himself from me." And the other is a shadow of his former self, but that detail goes unspoken. "I'm not made for it, I'm made to be a rockstar. So I'm figuring it out as I go. But keeping him safe?"

Shifting her posture slightly, she slowly turns her gaze back towards Kravid. "Last year, my work followed me home, and I very nearly gave my life to protect him. Hell, I'm not convinced that I didn't die and there was some sort of cosmic hiccup, because no one knows how I did live. Instead, I was in a coma for a month."

A hand reaches up, fingers curling around her jaw as she tries to find words to continue her thought. "I know you're right," she concedes again quietly. "I know. I…"

Trailing off, she looks down at her food and lets out a small, sad chuckle that drifts into a weary sigh. "Thank you, Erica," she offers in a small voice before falling quiet again.

Very slowly, Erica Kravid’s expression shifts from inscrutable to something more akin to concern. Whatever Robyn has said over the last few minutes, Kravid only latched on to one thing. A single detail.

Who?” Kravid asks with a tightness in her throat. But she knows the answer. “Not Matthew?” She says with a tone that implies surely not that one.

Robyn's brow knits close as her arms fall into her lap. "Yes." Slowly she looks back up to Kravid, eyes narrowing as she regards the other woman with a swiftly changing demeanor - something harsher, more akin to the bluster she had walked up to the other woman with.

"If you have something to say, Erica, go ahead and say it." Her lips turn in a small frown, eyes still narrowed as she focuses on Kravid. "I figured you would the moment I realized what I was telling you." Leaning forward, she places her chin on the back of her palm, waiting expectantly.

Erica looks tense. Afraid. Not of Robyn, but of Matthew.

“Do you have any idea what he can do?” Kravid asks. It’s rhetorical, she’s going to tell her. “Interdimensional quantum interpolation,” Means absolutely nothing to Robyn. “More colloquially, reality manipulation.”

“Matthew Parkman is one of the single-most powerful Expressives ever recorded. His ability, the scraps we’ve been able to study? It indicated that Matthew was able to swap quantum states of matter between possible states. Television on, television off, right? Car on, car off. Person alive, person dead.

Kravid slowly leans forward over the table. “We believe his ability has unknown ripple-effect across variable quantum states. Turn a television off here, what happens to it elsewhere? We were studying him as a baby in my timeline and even Arthur was afraid of what he could do. When I crossed over and learned that the Institute had him at Sunstone…” She breathes in through her nose and exhales a sharp sigh.

“We don’t know what Matthew is capable of.” Kravid says with a quaver in her voice. “But there was an incident in 2017 when he fell down a flight of stairs at the Sunstone facility and broke his leg. As his panic response to the injury, Matthew wiped every single computer in the adjacent lab blank and stopped the hearts of every single scientist in the room in an instant.”

Rubbing her hands down her face, Kravid laughs into her palms. “Monroe must have sanitized all of the data on Matthew’s research when he cleaned the facility out. No sane government would have ever given him into parental custody otherwise.”

It isn’t a threat. It’s a warning; one mother to another.

Robyn seems ready to contest Kravid almost immediately, but when the words person alive, person dead leave her lips, she freezes. Her eyes widen just enough to be perceptible, sucking in a deep breath as she sits up and leans back against her chair. Eyes half lidded, she looks off to the side, pointedly away from Kravid.

"And I wouldn't have left him to the system or government containment," is what she settles on quietly. "I don't know the full breadth of what he can do, but I do know it's powerful." Very clearly not to the degree that Kravid does, but she has ideas.

"The thing no one seems to understand is that he's just a scared boy looking for acceptance. If you're right about what he can do," and she raises a finger as she looks back at Kravid, "and believe me, I'm certain you have more experience and knowledge in this case, but if you're right… it never would've gotten better, he never would've learned control in another environment."

Swallowing, her mind is racing with thoughts as her hands ball up in her lap. "I'm not going to pretend I have it completely under control, but I'm trying. I was serious when I said I need him as much as he needs me. I- I just…" Fidgeting, she looks down at her food again. "There's growing pains and risks with any nascent expressive ability, and I'm doing my best to help him learn how to keep his emotions in check and prevent those sort of panic responses."

Her nose crinkles as thoughts continue to swarm in her head. "Admittedly, I don't know much about- quantum states, or science in general. It's probably high time I start learning so I can be better prepared. But I'm doing my level best to make sure he's in a better place where those aren't his go to reactions."

"But… thank you. For the heads up. It's always good to have a better idea what I've gotten myself into," she adds after a moment. It's oddly sincere, like most of the turn this conversation has taken.

“You don’t need to thank me,” Kravid says with a dip of her eyes down to the table. There’s tension in her shoulders, and Robyn has a sudden sense that the worst is yet to come. “You don’t thank someone who just gave you information like that. Or…”

Kravid pauses, works her mouth from side to side, brows together. “You and I are the only people who know what Matthew can really do. Perhaps Pete Varlane and Adrienne Allen if they aren’t dead. Mother-to-mother, I’ll never tell a soul. I’ll take your son’s secret to my grave, because you don’t deserve what will happen otherwise.”


“The minute any government gets wind of what Matthew can do,” Kravid says with a snap of her eyes up from the table to Robyn, “you and he will never have another moment of peace in your life.”

"I don't know," Robyn admits in a low voice, distracted by some thought or another that this conversation has bragged up to her mind. "I think they know as much as I do. Did. It's hard to be certain anymore, particularly after what happened last, uh. Year." Clearly that's something that's on her mind now. "And, knowing they're in contact with where you came from…"

She trails off, the implication clear that they may have Kravid's own research, not knowing how much of Pinehearst's work may have survived until now.

"Thank you," she repeats, this time more sincerely, more forcefully - Kravid is going to take this thank you and like it, it seems to intend. "Hopefully? Hopefully they're smarter than to make that sort of move, though," she offers, closing her eyes. "Because they should know by now I'll burn it all to the ground if they do. But I'm not naive enough to assume they won't."

Her jaw tenses, eyes opening as she looks back up and into Kravid's eyes. "Point of curiosity," she asks in a low voice. "Matthew, and people. A thought, and 'turn off', so to speak." Her head cants slightly to the side, swallowing. "Do you think that goes the other way too?"

Kravid fixes Robyn with a long, silent look. After a moment she exhales a sigh and looks over to the wall clock nearby. “I think as far as Matthew Parkman is concerned… anything is possible.”

With a frown, Kravid rises from her seat and looks down to Robyn. “I have something I need to do in the lab. But one parting piece of advice, mother to mother?” She says, straightening her blouse. “Never underestimate your child…”

“…you never know what they’ll do next.”


Zuni Pueblo
Zuni, New Mexico


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Sparrow Redhouse steps off the front porch of her house, one beer in hand and the other proffered out to a dark-haired woman loading solar cells into the back of a pickup truck. Taylor Kravid offers a warm smile, taking one of the beers and toasting with it before taking a sip. "You wanna take a break?" Sparrow asks, looking at the solar cells. "Cassi's inside, helping dad make some huevos rancheros for lunch."

Taylor smiles, happily, and wipes some sweat and grit from her brow with her forearm. She looks out over the rippling desert horizon, then nods and starts moving toward the house. A moment later another voice calls out from across the dusty driveway.


Taylor and Sparrow turn to spot another recent resident of Zuni Pueblo, carrying a stack of solar cells over one shoulder, come jogging over.

"Did somebody say lunch?"


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