Truth Tastes Terrible


keagan_icon.gif doyle_icon.gifelle_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Truth Tastes Terrible
Synopsis Keagan is confronted with the nature of his aunt's employers. Elle, Ygraine, and Doyle find some new info about Magnes.
Date February 12, 2011

Queens - In a Subway tunnel stairwell

Queens is the largest in area and the second most populous of the five boroughs of New York City. Located on the western portion of Long Island, Queens managed to avoid much of the physical ruin attributed to the Bomb. However, Queens on whole suffered from something far more significant in the wake of the explosion that tore apart New York — Economic crisis. With much of Queens relying on industrial productivity for its commerce, it was the mass exodus of many businesses from the New York area following the bomb that crippled the borough.

With refugees pouring in from the western portions of New York following the destruction of Midtown, Queens was inundated with homeless of all walks of life. Food shortages, coupled with the collapse of Queens business centers and the strain put on local police only furthered what would become one of the most embarassing mishandling of a crisis situation the city had ever seen. Weeks after the bomb hit, riots swept through New York by the panicked populace, this was felt most hard in Queens, where food riots ravaged the businesses that dared remain open. Shea Statium was used as temporary shelter for bomb refugees, and the riots that swept through Queens enveloped the stadium as well, resulting in a remarkable loss of life in the chaos.

Ever since, Queens has settled down from the turbulent weeks following the nuclear explosion. But while its scars may not be as physical as Midtowns are, Queens suffers just as the rest of New York does, under the shadow of that broken skyline to the west and the collapse of its social and economic centers. Queens is now a ghost of its former self, slowly struggling to recover from the damage done.

As the others start to separate, Keagan seems rather miffed. He just got here, and now they all want to leave? How rude. "Wait, nothing's decided yet!" He growls. "The Suresh Center aren't a bunch of butchers. What are you, one of those nutcase conspiracy theorists? These nuts are the butchers, you didn't see what they were doing a couple of hours ago. They — they just slaughtered them! The Suresh Center tries to help evos." He crosses his arms, a little too quickly, causing him to wince from the bruising he received from the bomb the night before.

"Yeah," Doyle replies with a little smirk as he looks back at Keagan, hands clasping together as if he were talking down to a small child, "And Santa Claus will be here in eleven months to give you presents, the Tooth Fairy will pay you money for all your lost teeth, and politicians are honest." He rolls his eyes, turning to walk away with the others who're heading for the Brick House, "Suresh is just an Institute front. Don't be naive."

Ygraine - having patted Jaiden on the arm and muttered a suggestion to meet up momentarily, then hopped down from her perch - hurries through the first people dispersing from the crowd to put herself beside Doyle. "There is good being done there at the moment", she points out to the big man, smile gentle. "A lot of people'd be dead without those facilities. It's why we can't let it fall. Whatever else has gone on in association with it, it's the only hope for some people right now."

Blue eyes suddenly turn toward Keagan, and Elle narrows her eyes. "The Suresh Center is, as Doyle just said, an Institute front. The Institute, who experiments on people. Uses the Evolved for their own plans." She sneers, suddenly. "They don't try to help Evolved. Roosevelt Island is just a prison they're building to house Evolved. Sure, they let people in and out now, but those guns?" Elle scowls at the kid.

"Those guns are going to be turned in one day, instead of out. We've already seen the start of it— we're in the start of it." She sneers. "The Suresh Center is home to people who would turn an Evolved into a living battery for their own devices." Someone is sensitive.

Keagan curls his lip in a scowl. "My aunt isn't doing experiments on people! You're all crazy. You just believe whatever stupid stuff they tell you on the tabloids and — don't walk away from me!" He hates being blown off. "I've been there, you're trying to make my aunt to be some crazy nazi, she isn't. I don't have any experiments done on me, don't try to pretend you know what you're talking about." He looks between Elle and Doyle, and then gives a hopeful look back at Ygraine, the one voice of reason that he sees at the moment.

As the teenager spits out his accusations of them just being crazy, Doyle's jaw sets, his expression screwing up into something less than pleasant, and then he twists around back towards Keagan; hand jerking upwards with fingers dangling down, his ability uncoiling eagerly within him to lay claim to the kid's muscle control, forcing him to halt in his tracks. Paralysed from the neck down as the puppeteer steps slowly over towards him.

Leaning in until they're nearly eye to eye, Doyle says softly, "I don't read tabloids, kiddo. Your aunt? Whether she knows what she's doing or not… she's working with murderers, and worse than murderers. They've killed friends of mine, and done worse to others. You can't afford to be a naive little arrogant prick anymore, kiddo." He smiles a fake smile, brows raising, "Welcome to real life. You accept the truth, or you end up dead in a ditch. Or in one've the Institute's labs, if you're unlucky."

Reaching over, Ygraine gently - very gently - puts a hand on Doyle's shoulder. "It's not his fault", she murmurs. "Clinging to what people remember as good is only natural in a time like this", she says, hoping that her words are at least somewhat soothing… even as she fears that her earlier attempt to get Eric to take the kid under his wing might not be destined for success.

"Let's all get up above ground, into the open air, and clear our heads, shall we?", the Briton suggests hopefully.

As the control of his body is stolen from him, Keagan's face panics. "Lemme go you freak!" he grits out in a loud voice, much louder than anyone would probably want being yelled from the subway stairs. It also probably wasn't the best choice of words. The teen doesn't mean an insult for his state of being evolved, he just means that Doyle's a freak in general. However, if someone doesn't know that Keagan himself is evolved, it'd be hard to expect a person to take it as another context. "She's not doing anything wrong! My aunt is a good person, we go to church every week! — She doesn't really pay attention that well — but she's not a murderer!" He swings his head back and forth, trying to actually bite Doyle, if he can reach. He uses what he has available, which isn't much given his situation.

She looks dangerous right now, for such a tiny little thing. "They want to turn me into a battery. Like it or not, anyone who works at the Suresh Center, aware or not, are working for an evil company, and they'll get theirs one day." Then, the redhead is slinking away again, doing her best not to get so mad that she burns her clothing off again. She's been doing good lately, no need to ruin her record.

"So do all the pedophile priests," Doyle replies with a bark of humorless laughter, pulling back as Ygraine's hand rests on his shoulder — which is the only thing that keeps him from getting headbutted by the fruitlessly struggling teenager. He turns a glare on Ygraine, gesturing with one hand towards Keagan, "And we're supposed to bring him to the safehouse? He's just going to get in touch with them and tell them where we are? And then we're all fucking dead!"

"How", Ygraine asks Doyle, fixing him with a glare and opting for facts over emotional pleas. "If they had sodding troopers, Eric, they'd have been on guard last night. The place is fucking trashed. Out of the cops and guards there - all Stillwater - I'm aware of one survivor, and last time I saw him he was face-down and still leaking. When I was there this morning, there was no sign of any surviving security."

Turning her gaze to Keagan, she fixes him with a rather feverishly bright stare. "We're not accusing your aunt of killing people. But there are serious problems with the backers behind the Ceneter. And some of what went on in there should never have happened. Can we leave it at that?"

Elle's claim makes Keagan hesitate. "But…my aunt is really smart, she wouldn't work for a company like that. She went to college and everything." He struggles again, not as aggressively, still trying to get free from the control. "I only know like four of them," he contests. "The people I know who work there would never hurt anyone. Magnes…he's a nice guy, he even saved my life. They wouldn't…" his last couple of weeks has been bad enough without finding out that his aunt works for an evil corporation. "Maybe you just had a bad department, I mean, sometimes stuff like that happens, you can't just go say that it's all evil because your manager was a dick or something. I mean experiments is a pretty harsh term I'm sure there was something you just didn't understand…" Yeah, he's rambling. The look on his face is one that is rather shattered. "I'm sure they gotta be okay, my aunt can't fight, she gets faint if somebody runs past her unexpected. He isn't crying, but he doesn't look like he has much left keeping him from that activity.

A sneer is turned on Keagan from Elle. "Smart people can make stupid, wicked decisions too. Your aunt works for a company who has killed more than one person, and left at least two people horribly scarred for life. They were all electrokinetics. They put metal rods into them, and used their abilities to power some crazy machine. I've seen the scars. Big pock marks all the way down the spine, down the arms…lord knows where else."

She scowls at Keagan. "You don't have to fight to be a bad person and hurt people. What does your aunt do?"

The mention of Magnes prompts a sneer from Elle. "Magnes Varlane is a fucking moron, and if you listen to anything that he says, you're a fucking moron too."

"They're probably just holding-" Wait. Wait. Doyle stops, dead, and then he turns his head slowly to look at Keagan, his eyes narrowing and a hand gesturing to the teenager, "-did you… did you just say that she works with 'Magnes'? Magnes Varlane? Magnes Varlane works for the Institute?"

The mention of Magnes prompts a sneer from Elle. "Magnes Varlane is a fucking moron, and if you listen to anything that he says, you're a fucking moron too."

That also gets Ygraine's attention, her own eyes widening sharply at the mention of that single name… and there being no move to disagree with the words of her companions. "If it is Varlane, then the guy is a dangerous, violent lunatic", she says, quietly but fiercely intent. "Stay the heck away from him if you can. He's the kind of twisted fuck who seeded his apartment with weapons, in case he ever needed them - gun in the kitchen, weapon hidden among his girlfriend's underwear, and a sodding knife tucked into the sofa in case he ever wanted to stab someone while he was sitting on it. A knife in his own fucking sofa. And there's a heck of a lot more, such as getting one of his supposed most-loved people in the world beaten unconscious because he wouldn't stop mouthing off to cops even though she was begging him to stop…."

Closing her eyes, she takes a deep, long breath. "But if it's not Varlane, then… you're lucky. And if it is…." She looks to her companions. "This guy here doesn't work for the Institute, and he isn't Varlane. None of this is his fault."

"Okay, well, yeah, he's not the smartest guy… but he saved my life, and my girlfriend's life…oh jeez, if he's — I gotta get out of here, are you sure about this? Magnes is friends with Anna! He's been teaching her to skate, she hasn't manifested yet!" Thoughts of paranoia start to fill Keagan's young mind. "And Aunt Yana would do just about anything to make sure that Anna stopped seeing me. And Magnes has been trying to impress her!" Of course, he doesn't know how many of these names mean anything. "I don't think Magnes could even fire a gun, he's kinda goofy and weird. I think I need to sit down." He's paralyzed, and he still feels like his legs are going to give out.

That is one danger of Doyle's ability; he can make muscles hold in place long after the point where they'd normally give out. It can get rather painful over a course of hours. It's only been a few minutes, though, and he waves his hand in disgust— releasing the teenager from his bondage.

"I'm going to fucking kill him," he mutters, turning to stomp along away.

"You've heard of the Company - that grand, illegal conspiracy that kidnapped and did things to Evolved people, that the government was hunting late last year?", Ygraine asks, still quietly intense, taking hold of Keagan's shoulders - though she's distinctly relieved that Doyle has let the boy go. "Magnes has boasted of having been with them. And not only does he know how to fire a gun, he's credited with changing the laws of an entire country after he had a fight in a global landmark and trashed it. A major power clamped down on the Evolved, and gave him the 'credit' for persuading them it was necessary. He doesn't give a shit who he hurts, and he's had a lot of experience in learning how to do it better and to more people. He's probably the most unhinged and dangerous person you've ever met, and you've just given me an explanation for why he's not secured in a padded room somewhere. If he's with the Institute, then they can probably keep him around to be useful for them."

A sigh, and Ygraine shakes her head. "We've dumped a lot on you. Don't kick yourself over it. Magnes is… high-functioning, at least superficially. He can pass for merely 'a bit odd', most of the time. Then he does something like sign up for an evil conspiracy out to use people as lab rats, mouths off until his 'friend' is beaten unconscious, or trashes Shibuya…. And… try not to take it personally from the others. They've… they've both been hurt - used as those lab rats - by people he's worked for. But it's not your fault. You didn't know."

Keagan reaches up to touch Ygraine's hand on his shoulder, before sloppily dropping to his knees. His whole body is like jello. He puts his face in his hands. "Isn't there anyone out there who can just…live life well?" he asks. "I mean…it shouldn't be that hard. I think I'm gonna be sick," he says with his head bowing between his knees. Indeed, it's a lot to dump on a fourteen year old, especially given the rest of the garbage going on around him.

"I'm starting to wonder the same thing myself." This is said in a dark tone as Elle stalks a bit away from the others, scowling. No need for them to know that she almost dated Magnes, back when he was with the Company. Now, though, Elle Bishop is much more likely to kill Magnes the next time she sees him.

Ygraine shoots a glance after Elle - but files consideration of the woman away under things to be dealt with later. Then she musters a wan little smile for Keagan. "Let's get you up into the open. That'll help a bit", she says gently. "C'mon…. This way…."

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