The X-Files This Isn't


elle_icon.gif niki_icon.gif

Scene Title The X-Files This Isn't
Synopsis The Jessica Problem is discussed. Elle sets up an appointment to start working with Niki on her powers.
Date September 18, 2008

Primatech Research — Level 5

True to Elle's word, Niki had been moved into a spacious room that's far closer to an approximation of 'living room' than cell. A comfortable black couch is placed in the middle of the floor, facing a wide-screen tv and a thin, glassy coffee table between the two. Small and nondescript picture frames in spotty clusters around the four walls; one or two dressers set with everyday objects like lamps are also to be seen. There is even a window, heavily curtained and vertical. Should the drapes be lifted aside and the glass slid upwards, however, no daylight meets the eyes. Only a blank, concrete-gray wall about a single inch away.

This is still Level 5, though admittedly a decorated, comfortable, and 'homey' unit of it. Though Niki's been here since early this morning, Elle hasn't actually seen these quarters personally yet. Thus, the environment is also new to her as she cracks the door open with one hand. A short-sleeved pink blouse and jean capris is what she's wearing, and there is a friendly, eased look to her demeanor as she eases her way inside in the manner of company who's become casual enough to be expected.

Niki's unused to the nicer treatment. But it feels a little more like home. Even though it's still a prison, it has amenities, and clothing, and things that make it more like home. She looks back to Elle as she comes in. "Hi there." she offers by way of greeting. "How's it going?"

"Dece'," Elle returns, pausing with one hand on the doorknob to glance around. There is a caramel-colored purse looped over one shoulder, and she adjusts the grip of her fingers on the strap as she takes it in. "Nice place you got going, here. Mind if I hang out for a while?" She probably has something in mind, though the informal tone of her voice wouldn't suggest it.

The taller blonde looks amused. "You know, I do still know that I'm locked up in here. It's not like you have to pretend. But thank you for getting me moved somewhere nicer."

“It wasn’t my decision.” This is said with an indifferent shrug; ultimately, it’s true, though the suggestion to her Company superiors had come from the reports she’d been making to them. Elle lets her hand rest on the knob for a little longer yet, her slender figure framed in the doorway. Finally, she clicks it shut without looking, leaving the comment about being locked up go answered. “S’everything been all right in here?”

A nod replies to Elle. "Everything is as good as it's going to be. Although I hope you have some plan in mind for…solving the problem." The Jessica problem. Unlike Jessica, Niki doesn't despise Elle.

"Yeah, that's what I came to talk to you about." There is something of a small, earnest chuckle in Elle's voice. Her gaze fixes on the couch, then more briefly on Niki's face, implying that they should maybe move to sit on it so they can talk. It's a conversation better suited for a non-standing arrangement.

Niki nods and moves over to the couch. She sits, and indicates for Elle to do the same. "All right…so what's the situation?" she asks, looking to ShortBlonde. "The problem is, Jessica can't be trusted. And she's good at acting."

Elle had already started to shift to do this, settling near the other end of the couch (but leaving some space) and dropping her purse between her feet. Her position immediately becomes more settled, though subtly; her legs cross as she considers what she’s going to say.

“She’s also aware that we’re talking behind her back now,” she says, shooting a slight but meaningful glance at Niki. “It’s like this. The best thing, when it’s all said and done, would be for you to be able to make Jessica go away forever. Control, you know? But that’s kind of a far shot right now— right now, we’d just like to make it so you don’t give Jessica excuses to come back.”

Niki looks over, and frowns. "I don't want her to come back. Period. Ever. But I don't have any way to stop her from coming back."

That is where you might be wrong.” Elle’s long nails tap in sequence on her kneecap, a comparatively tiny motion. “See –- when I talked to her the other day? Basically, what I got out of it is that she shows up whenever she thinks you need help.” While that may have been obvious to Niki, Elle is only recently familiar with the process through watching and intervention. “Our goal is to get it so you can help yourself.”

Niki tilts her head to the side, and frowns. "The problem is, she seems to be the one who determines what "needing help" is. I certainly didn't need her to doublecross a mob boss and steal millions of dollars."

The line that slips onto Elle's lips is somewhere between a smirk and a smile. "We'll need to figure that part out, eventually. What I'm here for is to help you with your powers." Physical conditioning should come first in preparation for the tackling of the mental/psychological aspect. It's not hard to see where she's going with this. Confidence, self-defense, the believe-in-yourself mindset. All these tools might help Niki build the internal strength to beat Jessica, later.

Not to mention, useful superpowers are useful in any case. All the better if Niki can control them.

Niki frowns, uncertainly. "I don't really…I mean, I can't really use it, on my own. The times it's happened, it just…happened." She seems uncertain about the whole thing. FAR from Elle and her mastery of her powers.

As Elle had told Jessica before, so she comments to Niki now. “If Jessica’s done it already, so can you. You’re in the same body, after all -– it’s just a matter of training.” Nobody starts out perfect with what they’re not familiar using, after all.

She frowns a little at the news. "I suppose. But there are differences. She has a tattoo or something that I don't." Her first revelation of that rather important fact. "She used to cover it with makeup when she was pretending to be me."

Elle apparently, however, doesn't think it's that important. "Unless that tattoo gives Jessica, like, magic powers, that shouldn't matter. Shouldn't have anything to do with using your powers, anyway."

She leans forward a little, palm resting on her fingers, elbow on knee. "Mind if you tell me a little about them? About the times it's just 'happened to happen'."

Niki shakes her head. "No…but it's proof that it might NOT be the same body." she points out. "And the one I most remember was when I was in jail. I wanted to hug Micah. They wouldn't let me, and one tried to hit me with his baton. I cought it and broke it."

This makes Elle hold her gaze quite still, amusement dancing coolly in her eyes. "Don't go all Duane Barry on me, please. You know there's no way they could switch your bodies every second your personality changed. Even you don't know when it's going to happen." The shifts, that is. "And are you sure you don't remember more than that? Every detail's important."

Niki looks exasperated. "I don't know! And how else do you explain it? Tattoos don't spontaneously appear." Except hers does. "There's got to be some reason for it! And it was a reflex. I caught it and broke it, before I even realized it."

Mutely, Elle shakes her own head. “I’m not the right person to ask about that. —Tell me how it felt.” This is a command. “You must have been mad when you were trying to see your son, right?”

The taller blonde nods. "I was furious, actually. I wanted—" Pause. "I wanted to hurt him." Which is what Jessica wants most of the time.

This is carefully considered. It is odd that Jessica hadn’t chosen that moment to surface, and Elle points it out: “Usually, it’s your sister who’s eager to hurt people, isn’t it?” The question isn’t really asked in expectation of an answer. They both know it. “I’m guessing it was adrenaline? You wanted to see little Micah so bad you worked yourself up without needing Jessica to.”

Niki frowns, but nods in answer to the agent's question. "That still isn't encouraging. If I need an adrenaline rush to use it, Jessica's likely to come out ANYWAY."

“Obviously, what we need to work on is getting it so you don’t. And it’s unlikely, since like I just said, it seems like Jessica doesn’t bother showing up when you’re mad enough to take care of yourself.”

There is a meditative pause on Elle’s end, lasting no more than a few seconds. “If you’re up to it, I’ll take you up to the weight room tomorrow sometime. There’s a few things I can show you about power control.” No, Elle won’t be lifting weights. Niki might, though. Possibly.

Niki looks over. "I guess so, if you have something I can work out in. I can't promise that I'll be able to manage anything with it, though."

With the crook of a one-sided smile, Elle rubs the back of her head a little with her palm, rising to her feet. The purse is plucked from between her ankles in the same fluid movement. “Sure, but it’s not like you’re going to be like, doing sets or anything. You know that.”

Niki looks a little uncertain. "You're not going to be throwing lightning bolts at me again, are you? Because that was a little ridiculous." She doesn't stand, yet.

This time around the smile really does melt into a smirk. The pitch of Elle’s voice, however, is so light and untroubled as to reassure of the inherent silliness of the question. Niki can breathe. “No, silly. Nothing like that at all. I’ll be giving you pointers on how I learned to deal with my power. Seeing if they help you at all.” There is a second’s pause, and she adds brightly, with that same darkly amused twist of her lips: “Think of it as a coaching session. Kinda.”

The taller woman finally stands, and she nods. "Sounds good. I'll look forward to it. Thanks for visiting. It's easy to go a little stir-crazy in here."

It doesn't take long for Elle to shoulder her purse, tossing her hair back with a single flick as she does so. "My pleasure~, Niki. I'll be back for you sometime before noon, so be ready by then." Without waiting for further movement to be made on Niki's part, she strides towards the doorway, handbag swinging nonchalantly just behind her shoulderblade.

The "weight room" scene will be assumed to have happened, off-camera, the morning before PARIAH's raid. —Elle

September 18th: It was a Mobile Minefield

Previously in this storyline…
Murder is My Métier

Next in this storyline…

September 18th: Chili and Children
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