To Empty A Full Cup


magnes_icon.gif rebel_icon.gif

Scene Title To Empty a Full Cup
Synopsis Magnes Varlane's searching into information on Rebel finds him face to face with the technopath, and Magnes is recruited into Rebel's crusade to find Liette.
Date April 8, 2010

Dorchester Towers

Later in the morning, after briefly checking in with Sparrow, Magnes has finally headed home and changed into more casual clothes. A loose-fitting red TNG era Starfleet shirt, some comfortable blue jeans, and his black snow boots in case he has to quickly go outside. "Damned cops." he mutters to himself again. His roommates aren't home, in fact he's away so much, he's not even sure if his new red-headed roommate is even staying there anymore. He sits down, grabbing his 360 controller, then pretty much spends his time playing GTA4, beating the crap out of cops.

At least until the power goes out. There's an audible pop through the large apartment when the power cuts out, and it wouldn't be the first time Magnes' day has been ruined by blackouts as of late, the storm that hammered the city on Sunday and Monday damaged power lines all across the city, and these little moments of stone-age respite are the aftermath.

The apartment is silent after the power goes out, not a single whirring or humming piece of electronics anywhere. But something catches Magnes' attention out the large picture windows of the apartment when all his lights go out. There's street lights down the visible stretch of highway outside that are still working, traffic lights at an intersection aren't flashing from the outage, and the building across the street still has power. Typically when Dorchester goes out, the whole block goes out.


Magnes groans, standing up to look out the windows, opening one to stick his head out to see if anything else has gone out. After that, he closes it and crosses his arms, giving it a few moments of thought, then just tries to shrug it off. He's no electrician, who knows what's going on, so he reaches into one of the bookcases and grabs one of the Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane books there.

That's when the television flicks on, a static buzz of electricity followed by a high-pitched whine that lasts for just a second. Then, an old audio clip plays out through the speakers of Magnes' television; "The only thing we have to fear… is fear itself." When that old, popping piece of audio plays, there's a horizontal white line that cuts across the LCD screen of Magnes' television like a one pixel line of dead cells on the display.

Hello, Magnes.

The crackling trinity of voices comes through the speakers at the side of Magnes' television, but that little flat line begins wavering with the syllables of electronic speech, like a sine wave. The voice is like a trio of people speaking in three part harmony, each one having a slightly different pitch of voice.

"What the…" Magnes certainly didn't see this coming, and quickly flings his hand to close the window curtains with gravity, and stays away from them. "What's going on? Who are you and what exactly is this?" He doesn't sound so much afraid as just very alert, like he's ready to fight someone at any moment.

We are Rebel, and we have been watching you.

The voices echo through the surround sound system, filled with deep bass and the occasional whine and pop that sounds reminiscent of a dial-up model's squeal, the ringing of a telephone and other odd digital noises. The power in the apartment remains off, save for the television and the speakers, perhaps to keep Magnes' attention on the conversation at hand.

You were looking for us, and we have come. What did you wish of us?

"Right." Magnes does not sound amused, he would be if not for the circumstances he needed to see Rebel for in the first place. He doesn't move from his spot directly inbetween the two windows, avoiding vantage points as he peers at the television rather seriously. "What the hell did you get Claire tied up into? This all more or less confirms that news report. Why would you go and ruin her second chance?"

I did no such thing.

The voice is emotionless, mechanical, and despite having the inflection of three people there is little else other than the tone of clear rationality in Rebel's speech, some sort of psychological equilibrium between his trinity of minds.

Claire came to me of her own free will. I requested her help, and she came willingly. She is fighting for the truth, and all battles have casualties. You learned this in Argentina, did you not, Magnes? When the government forced you to fight for them? Turned you into their dispensable toy soldier?

Bitterness rises where cold calculation once was, more out of the youngest of the three voices than the other two older and deeper ones.

None of you were given a second chance, Magnes. You were given a lie.

"Don't give me that terrorist cultism bullshit!" Magnes angrily shouts as the couch suddenly slides all the way into a wall, and the coffee table does the same, so nothing's blocking his line with the television. "You feed Claire all that crap about saving the world, then just… manipulate her into doing what you want. You don't think I know how this works? You're screwing with a girl I love, you really think I'm just gonna let it continue? But I guess I shouldn't expect you to understand that, huh?"

He only knows of one technopath, has only really heard of one, and it's about the only gamble/bluff he has up his sleeve. "I've got, what, five or six years on you? You wouldn't know a damned thing about what a guy will do for a girl." Now he's talking like he knows the technopath, but doesn't offer more than that at the moment.

Your cup is too full.

Rebel's words seem calm, despite Magnes' outburst, and have something of a zen-like commentary to them; a man familiar with Bruce Lee might get the reference readily, but it goes back further than that, to the teachings of the Boddhisatva.

We are not one person, Magnes. We are gestalt, three entities of different ages. Three minds, three outlooks, three cultures. We are committee, we are thought, memory and action. Your preconceptions of someone you have only just met cloud your judgement and make you weak. Empty your cup, Magnes Varlane, so that you may replenish it with new knowledge.

"Three people? And do you know, statistically, how right I could be about who one of you are, considering the number of Evolved in America, and further cutting that down to the number of Evolved with the same ability?" Magnes asks, not giving the technopaths what he figures would be the satisfaction of looking intimidated. "But go ahead, you have something to say, I'm listening. I'm not closed minded, but I'm not easily influenced by terrorists like most of the people I know in this city either."

Willpower is one thing. Misinformation is another.

The screen snaps to life, depicting a series of speedily moving images of biohazard containment areas, men in white biohazard suits, caution tape, blurry shots of large and white armored vehicles, concrete walls and razorwire fences, the sign for the Summer Meadows neighborhood, pictures of riot police and electron microscope imagery and then nothing but a picture of the crater at Midtown from a news broadcast dated 11/8/06.

The United States Government is tailoring a custom made viral infection to target the Evolved to force them to register out of fear so that they can be tracked, cataloged and contained in encampments where their rights will be slowly stripped from them. Your war against the Vanguard allowed the United States Government to obtain biological and chemical weapons towards this goal.

Rebel's feed showing the crater at Midtown ends, and the black screen with that sine wave returns, flickering softly.

Now answer me this in return, Magnes: How does what Claire did in Battery Park City that you are so enraged with, differ from what Claire did in Madagascar against the government there?

"So you are the person who keeps leaving messages in those articles, with that website I can't figure out." Magnes moves a bit closer to the screen, but he's still mindful of the window vantage points, and lifts his legs so they're crossed and he's floating in the air. "I don't have any doubt that this, what you're showing me, is wrong, that the government shouldn't be doing this. I don't speak for Madagascar, I wasn't there, but I do know that what you're doing, and what you're dragging Claire into? It's anarchy. You wanna go from corrupt government to freakin' anarchy. What the hell do you expect to happen when you're killing politicians and trying to overthrow the system, Libertarianism? Get freakin' real. There have to be better ways."

Your cup is too full.

Once more those words are repeated, and the white line wavers with the five syllables.

Killing politicians, overthrowing the system, anarchy. Did we tell you that is what we do, or are you assuming based off of the opinions of others?

There's a hint of something more bitter behind Rebel's tone again, this time from the oldest sounding of the three voices.

Do you want to know what I've heard about you, Magnes? Listening to people talk about you behind your back on their cell phones? What the people you care about think about you? Why they think you do what you do?

Are they right?

Are you?

"I know people have a low opinion of me, and I know there's never been much I could do about it. I mean, you help save the world, and it's still not enough." Rebel clearly hit a bit of a nerve, but it serves to calm Magnes down more than make him angrier, staring down at the floor, then looking up at the television. "Alright, so what are you doing? What was worth Claire suddenly ending up wanted again?"

You will all be hunted soon enough. The tide is turning, and eventually we'll all be running for our lives.

On the screen is displayed the image of a middle-aged man with brown eyes and dark hair, stubbled chin and a weathered face with dark circles beneath his eyes.

This man is Howard Lemay, Homeland Security liasion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is also an agent of the Company, a clandestine organization of spies and assassins that have been hunting the Evolved for generations. Lemay was in possession of a dossier collection that a man I work with required. He is preparing to defend our kind against the government, and he needs people willing to do what is necessary and what is right. I am merely aiding him.

The image of Howard Lemay vanishes, and the screen goes black for a moment.

But there is something, Magnes, that I could use your help with… something I think you can do, and something that is very important.

Magnes doesn't offer up the fact that he knows all about the Company if Rebel doesn't already know, though the mark on his neck should be a clue that he's at least encountered them. "So we're heading to Apocalypse future instead of House of M future. I'm sure one of you get that." he says, still hinting at knowing who one of them is. "Alright, I'm listening, and I'm being open minded, so, go ahead."

More like Days of Futures Past, Magnes. Unless you know something I don't, this doesn't seem like an Age of Apocalypse thing, you know?

The youngest voice in the triumverate actually speaks up, Michah Sanders coming to the fore of the trio of unified consciousness, quickly swallowed back down beneath the others after that very personal commentary seems to rouse him to life. Rebel's unified voice is far more imposing, far more mechanical, synthesized. It— it kind've sounds like Optimus Prime, to Magnes.

There is a girl who has knowledge of a secret government facility known as the Institute.

On the screen, a black and white traffic camera image of a sixteen year old girl with wavy blonde hair in a short skirt, dark stockings and carrying a courier bag comes into view. A middle aged man in a black trench coat is walking ahead of her.

Her name is Liette, and she possesses a power similar to that of Peter Petrelli. Her ability is not what makes her dangerous, but her knowledge. We arranged to break her free from th Institute officials that held her captive, but we lost contact with her somewhere within a network known as the Ferrymen.

The image disappears from the screen, returning the sine wave again.

If you can find her, Magnes. We can get her. But if she is handed back to the Institute, thousands of people will die.

"Knew it." is all Magnes says when the youngest voice speaks up, but he quickly moves on, paying close attention to everything he's being told. "Alright, I'm guessing you expected that I'd have questions, so here they go. Why would she be safer with you than the Ferrymen? Why aren't they choosing to work together with you, or you with them? I need those pieces of information to make an informed decision, because like I said, I'm not easily manipulated."

Their cups are full.

So goes the saying, once again.

A doctor, Harve Brennan, took Liette into his possession. The Ferry misunderstands my goals, and I am not the best orator, some times clear cut facts lose themselves behind heat and emotion. I tried to convince Doctor Brennan that Liette's life was more important than his own, or his family's. That they would come in danger if he kept Liette. He misinterpreted it as a threat to his family. Now his whole network believes his words, without proof.

Then, after a moment of silence, Rebel seems to wuarrel with digital noise for a brief moment.

We also have a measure of secrecy. We do not tell everyone everything we are doing. It is called Compartmentalization. In the case that someone is compromised, we do not wish all our secrets being known. Some members of the Ferrymen find this distrustful, such as Doctor Chesterfield. Some disagree that the future coming is as dark as we see it.

Some are the enemy.

"A part of me wants to help you, a part of me knows Micah Sanders wouldn't be working for some evil organization, but… I'm really bad at leaps of faith." Magnes hunches slightly in his floating cross-legged position, appearing to really consider it all. "But… I do trust the Company." He finally admits, continuing. "Well, I trust some of the people in the Company. Alright, I'll try to get Liette for you, but I won't betray my friends doing it, I won't hurt them, and I won't hurt anyone innocent. Those are my terms. I'll get her back my way. But I do have one last question… what do you intend to do with Liette? Where will she go when you have her back? I mean, I know what can happen to people who know dangerous secrets, but she's a little girl…"

You trust the Company?

There's silence from the other end of the screen for a moment, and the sine wave stays motionless.

Find me Liette, and in return I will get you the contents of the Company's dossier on you, Magnes. It will change your perceptions, but you must be prepared to empty your cup before you read it.

Considering Magnes'q uestions, Rebel quarrels again, a hiss of digital noise and data screeching softly in the back of the speakers before the 'comittee' reaches a concensus.

All you need to do is find her, and text me her location on your cell phone. I have now unlocked your phone, you may make global calls to any location you wish, boosted your signal so that it will receive underground, and you can no longer be tracked by the device. You also have unlimited calling time. At any time that you send a text to Rebel, I will receive it. You do not need to apprehend Liette. Just tell me where she is.

With that, all of the electricity in Magnes' apartment clicks back on noisily, lights come on, electronic devices chirp to life and the refrigerator in the kitchen rumbles back on. The X-Box has turned back on as well, right in the very same spot of Grand Theft Auto where Magnes was last playing, as if nothing had happened at all.

Except for the text message on his phone.

» Rebel: She will be kept safe.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License