Truth Will Out


jared_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif

Scene Title Truth Will Out
Synopsis Jared seeks out Kaylee to open a door.
Date April 3, 2019

Raytech Industries

The time at the cabin has been… fraught. Finding their way through the maze of what things they remember in common and what things they don't, Jared has found that pretty much his memories before the car accident in 1982 line up with Carina's memories — there are a few shifts, things that happened a little differently in his mind than in hers. Based on their daughter's explanation, he suspects that those were modified just enough to match this world's Carina to allow him to merge into this world.

DIfficult is an understatement. He has more than 20 years of memories of his marriage that she doesn't have. His emotions are a tangle because he loved this world's Carina… and now he feels guilty because those years were built on a lie. This woman who is his wife — his real wife — suffered for so long, alone and consumed by grief while he was here, raising their daughter with another woman.

How can she even look at him and not hate him? He raised their daughter with another woman and couldn't tell the difference. Why didn't he know something was wrong? There is so much guilt for the wonderful life he had and for the love he bore Carina here. There is grief at losing so much time and conflict because he's struggling to reconcile that there were two of the same women and he loves them both — how could he NOT? They were both Carina! There is rage for all that was lost.

Now back at his apartment in the Raytech complex, he's finding himself getting more and more conflicted. And here, there's no wood to chop, no lake to skip stones or simply walk around. He's struggling being in the city, and he can't focus on work right now either.

"I need the whole truth, Kaylee," he tells the telepath. "I need to know exactly what happened and whether I agreed to any of this." Jared's deepest fear is that he gave up on going home because he thought his wife was dead and this was a chance to not know that. To avoid the horror of having left Carina to drown to save their daughter. Even though she's already told him that he made the right choice. Intellectually he knows he made the right choice, the choice that Carina would have made in his shoes! The choice any parent would make. But intellect and emotional reactions don't exactly match, either. He needs to know so he can come to terms.

“Well, I can tell you right now that there is a high probability that you might not have agreed,” Kaylee offers up immediately after listening to what Jared has to say. Her tone is very matter of fact on the subject. Sitting across from him, she is dressed for a day of meetings, red lips stand out against the black and white of her power suit. Slender fingers occasionally lift to tuck wispy stray hairs, fallen from her loose bun, behind her ear. “The Company spent decades covering up the existence of people like me and anything that would upset the delicate balance of this world. So cooperation was… optional.”

Crossing her legs, Kaylee rests folds hands on her knees and leans forward a bit. The woman confides in him, even if her brother already did. “The event that brought over you and your daughter was on a level… that it didn’t matter if you agreed to it, your memories were going to be modified no matter what. It was too big. Big enough that the leadership even had their own memories wiped.”

Leaning back, Kaylee regards a man who is just as much family as anyone. “That being said, Jared. I need to warn you and I warn everyone who comes to me for this sort of thing… Once this has been undone, it can’t be put back.” Her hands spread apart as she explains, “I am not as strong as the man that put the blocks into place… if Charles did it. If it was Caspar, the memories are gone and I’m sorry I can’t return what was cut out.”

"I'm aware that if they're not actually in there, there's little expectation of finding them," Jared replies. "And I don't need the blocks put back — I need to remember my whole life, not just the parts they wanted me to remember." His gaze on Kaylee is steely — she's seen him like this before over the years. It's the same determination he had to get better laws written, to get his daughter's name cleared, and to go after the people who were part of the Massachusetts massacre. It's the same determination his daughter employed to get home.

"In all honesty, Kaylee… to find out that I didn't agree might actually be a blessing. Right now I'm pissed, and part of that is being pissed at myself for the possibility that I didn't fight to get home to my wife. That I took the goddamn easy way out." Because it's not in his nature to do that. Or he didn't think it was.

He moves, a little stiffly, to sit next to her. "I loved the wife that I spent 30 years with. But the wife who looks me in the eye right now? I should have been there for her. And I need to know that I didn't choose to leave her to face brain damage alone." He grimaces. "Or I need to come to grips with the fact that I did make that choice because I thought she was dead and find a way to forgive myself for it. I can't take the next steps without knowing."

Shifting over a little so he can sit, Kaylee shows no judgement towards this decision; but neither does the anxiety she is feeling show. They can say they are ready all they want, but until they are faced with it, they don’t really understand. Then it is the telepath that gets the brunt of it.

Yet, Kaylee will still step, willingly, into the next mind, with the same risks.

“Even if you did choose… it might not have been your choice. We telepaths can be just as persuasive.” Reaching up, Kaylee doesn’t touch his temple, but he can almost feel it there. “A simple alteration of a fact, you’ll stop fighting, and accept your fate. Insert a new belief and you will think you had escaped and come back to your wife.” There is a touch of apology for that, like she is apologizing for all the other telepaths before her, letting the hand drop into her lap her gaze following.

“If you are certain,” Words are slowly spoken, emphasized for their importance. “Then I will absolutely do this for you… but I would have been a poor telepath and friend if I didn’t warn you before hand. So if you are sure beyond a doubt, we can begin.”

The older man reaches out and pats her knee gently. "Either way, they're my memories and it's the life I lived. Good, bad, or ugly," Jared reassures her, "I'm old enough to live with it."

Maybe they all think that….

Rural New York

Outside Castle Point

June 18


Floodlights cast across the surface of steady currents. Red and blue lights from police cars shine off of the arching span of the bridge overhead. The night sky is black and lightness, a yawning void that refuses to relent, letting rain hammer down on the search efforts.

On the rocky banks of the river, beyond the dark pines that rise up from the shoreline, Jared Harrison sits in the back of an ambulance with his daughter Elisabeth held in his arms, wrapped in a gray blanket and still sopping wet. Elisabeth is crying, and Jared is staring vacantly out at the water.

“Sir, there's no car.”

A uniformed police officer holds a pad of paper in one hand, close to his chest, trying to review Jared’s statement. His hat is wrapped in a plastic cover and a yellow poncho thrown over his shoulders. “We've dredged the river twice, there's no car anywhere. And we talked to the drivers up on the bridge, traffic’s been at a standstill for an hour because of a logging truck crash about a mile up,” he motions in a direction Jared doesn't bother to look in.

“So…” The Officer furrows his brows. “We called DHHS, and we’re going to need to talk to your daughter separately, ok?” Jared blinks slowly, looking up to the officer with a befuddled expression. “Now, I don't want to make a big scene of this, ok? But you're gonna have to hand her over to me.”

Jared’s hands clench into fists. “I didn't jump,” he reiterates for the fifth time. “My wife is down there!” The Officer braces at the bark, closing his notes.

“Well, that's a funny story. Because we ran the ID you gave us. That license number isn't registered to you in the State of New York, and Jared Harrison died in ‘79. We called his widow and confirmed ev— ”

“Excuse me Officer.” The voice comes from the dark, where a middle-aged man in a brown suit stands under an umbrella. The officer turns, looking confused for a moment. But before he can speak the man steps forward and speaks up. “I'm Charles, I'm with the Department of Health and Human Services.”

“You're with the Department of Health and Human Services,” the officer parrots back in a monotone voice, shoulders slack.

“I'll take it from here,” Charles instructs.

“Why don't you take it from here,” the officer seamlessly agrees, stepping away from Jared. And as the officer moves away, Charles Deveaux slowly approaches under the shelter of a black umbrella.

“Mr. Harrison, I—”

You're not taking my daughter!” Jared bellows, one arm around Elisabeth’s waist as he rises up to stand, blanket falling off of his shoulders. Charles steadily raised a hand, slowly shaking his head. “I'm not crazy! I didn't try to— to— ” It's so unfathomable he can't even say it.

“I'm not here for your family, Mr. Harrison.” Charles words seem to immediately soothe Jared, who gently sets Elisabeth down to stand beside him. She, red eyed and in shock, stares up at Charles’ dark silhouette under the umbrella. He, in turn, steps forward and shelters the two under it.

With one hand on Jared’s shoulder, Charles Deveaux looks into his eyes with a mixture of compassion and regret. “We don't know what happened here yet,” he says in a soft, weary voice. “But I promise you, I'll do everything in my power to find out and make things right.”

Jared’s jaw trembles, imperceptibly. “I just— I just want my wife. She's— ” Charles makes a face, lowering his hand as he looks down briefly to Elisabeth, then back up.

“Your wife’s fine.” Charles lies, and yet also doesn't.

“I'll take you to her.”

Present Day

It’s a familiar feeling that Kaylee finds inside of Jared’s mind, a familiar means of occluding the past behind the wallpaper of false memories. Charles Deveaux’s handiwork is like the art of the great painters of the Renaissance, decades of skill honed with a masterful point and used with the greatest of ease. Even in the 1980s Charles possessed a gift for manipulating the minds of others that surpassed anything Kaylee has ever seen before. Charles Deveaux may have been the most powerful telepath to ever live.

Which, as she continues to peel away the layers of false memories in Jared’s mind to find the hardwood paneling of truth beneath, a thought occurs to her. If Charles was so powerful, able to redact and rearrange the memories of so many people, why didn’t he use it more? People line Daniel Linderman, Arthur Petrelli, so many horrible people who worked with Charles for years, so many tragedies that he could have discovered and stopped. Why did he choose to do the things he did, with the people he did?

What did he know?

What did he take to his grave?

The Deveaux Building, Penthouse

New York City

June 19


“Your daughter certainly likes her lemonade.”

Warm morning sunlight spills through tall, brick-framed windows overlooking a lush greenhouse and rooftop patio. Seated on an antique sofa, Jared Harrison keeps close watch on his daughter, seated on the floor in front of the sofa with an empty glass in front of her and a half-eaten sandwich. Leaning down beside Elisabeth, an older woman takes her cup and straightens, looking over to Jared.

“I know all of this is a lot to take in, but it’s honestly for the best.” Nia Deveaux has been a constant pillar of reassurance since the events of last night, opening up her home to the Harrisons, making sure Elisabeth was well-cared for. But the air of secrecy around all of this felt, was, unusual. Nia’s husband Charles had promised that Carina was alive and well and at the time that felt perfectly logical, but now, a day later, Jared is beginning to question the nature of that truth. How was she here? Why had he so eagerly agreed to go with Charles?

In the doorway to the living room, Charles Deveaux makes a silent appearance. He’s been watching them all interact for a short while, patient and tired all in one. He doesn’t look like he’s slept the night. When Nia notices Charles, there’s a difficult to discern look in her eyes, followed by her attention shifting back to the Harrisons.

“I’ll get you another lemonade,” Nia says softly to excuse herself as Charles slips into the room. When they pass by each other, Charles brushes one hand lightly against one of Nia’s arms, and the offers him a warm smile in return.

As they sink into the images, it pretty much looks as he remembers except… Carina never surfaces. The surroundings are the same, an ambulance, the traffic. But the cops aren't being nice and helping… they're treating him as a suspect. And he himself keeps insisting Carina's still in the water. "Jackasses," he mumbles about the way the cops are acting. "Because I'm going to go jump off a bridge and commit suicide with my child in my hands." Although, to be fair, that's not the most horrific thing that has ever been on the news, he supposes. Still, in 1982, such things certainly weren't common!

He drags a hand down his face as he watches, feeling his chest clench tightly. This isn't the situation that he has remembered living all these years. Some part of him didn't want to believe all this.

He frowns as he realizes they're sitting in the apartment with the lovely black woman as if it's no big deal. "You were right," he comments to Kaylee in a controlled tone. "Alter a belief, and it changes everything. I didn't want to believe I'd left her behind in the car to die… so I was primed to believe when he nudged my head, wasn't I?" Stupid, stupid, stupid!

“It’s what I would have done,” The telepath says, suddenly appearing next to Jared. Gone is the business suit and manicured look. The woman next to him seems frazzled, blonde hair is a mess, slender fingers brushing through it, only to snag on knots. Her outfit is rather grunge, a worn leather jacket, torn jeans, heavy black combat boots. When she tucks her hands into the jacket pockets, there is a flash of a black shirt under it with a Intel-like symbol that states ‘Monster Inside’.

Kaylee’s head wobbles a bit, “And have done and will do again, if needed.” Not that he needed to know that, but might as well be honest. “Not friends or family though… and as a last resort.” Most of the time anyhow.

Almost casually, the telepath circles the other one, slowly. There is open admiration for the older gentleman on her face. “Seriously, don’t beat yourself up. You’re not stupid. This man,” her head nods to Charles, “was an extremely powerful telepath. No way you would have known what was going on.” Moving to perch on the arm of the couch, Kaylee’s eyes slide shut as she continues seeking out and freeing trapped memories.

Charles pauses, regarding Jared with a momentary thoughtfulness, followed by a quick glance to the side where Kaylee’s projected consciousness manifests in Jared’s mind. For a moment it feels like Charles was reacting to that, for a moment it feels like this isn't the past but the present.

Then, it passes.

“Jared,” Charles says casually, “I'm sorry for the delay.” His focus moves down to Elisabeth at the table, walking over and looking down at her with a warm smile. “I'm glad you both got plenty of rest…”

A dark silhouette moves into the doorway behind Charles, an elderly man with chalk white hair and weathered skin creased with wrinkles in such a way as to look like cracked stone. He watches Jared and Elisabeth for a short time, then quietly follows Charles into the room.

“Mr. Harrison,” Charles says with a brief look down to Elisabeth, then back up, “I'm sorry this took so long. But you deserve to know the truth before I settle you in to a more comfortable lie.” The old man behind Charles slowly draws nearer, his attention now more on Elisabeth than anything. Charles continues, untucking a newspaper from beneath his arm and handing it out to Jared.

“This is the easiest way I might be able to explain,” Charles says, and Jared can clearly see the headline on a newspaper dated June 8th, just a few days ago. US PRESIDENT REAGAN ADDRESSES BRITISH PARLIAMENT.

“It's Carter, for you, isn't it?” Charles asks with a crease of his brow. “Second term.” He lets Jared take the paper, and slowly, Charles looks down to Elisabeth and then back up to her father.

“Have you ever read the works of Lewis Carol, Mr. Harrison?”

The Present

Kaylee feels the threads of memory come unraveled there, too tenuous to maintain as a cohesive narrative. The moments closest to Charles's moment of manipulation tend to be the least coherent, but Kaylee — and Jared — recall what happened in the jumble. A revelation of the truth, at least in part, and Charles reassuring Jared that soon the confusion would be little more than a bad dream.

But the elderly man in that vision, pale and white-haired, remains a cipher among the other faces.

Pulling in a long breath, Jared's expression is grim as he lets it out very slowly. His sharp blue eyes are moving from Charles to the new arrival and he is … disturbed at the amount of attention that the silent man pays to his daughter. Is Charles just ignoring him…? The furrows in his brow are deep as he watches things play out. There is relief in knowing that he essentially had no choice in the matter of being forced to remain and not remember — does he feel guilty still? Sure. Because that was his wife he left behind. But… there is a small amount of thankfulness too. It would have made him crazy to know there was no way back through a hole in the universe… and he didn't have to mourn her before her time. Unlike the Carina who is now here, who he has to face every day.

"So," surmises slowly, as the information flow seems to fracture. "He explained as much of what happened as he either knew or thought I needed to know… most likely including the fact that they had no fucking clue how to send us home. And from there… went on to insert us into Carina's life as if we'd never been killed." He looks at Kaylee and comments in a tight tone, "That's fuck-ton of people for him to have manipulated. My family, her family, our friends. The scale of this is honestly mind-boggling."

Dragging both hands down his face, he then crosses his arms, eyeing the second man. "Who the fuck is that? And why the hell did he look at Elisabeth that way?" He's bristling with unfocused rage — the unknown man at this moment seems a convenient enough target for the turmoil of emotions.

“He was pretty amazing like that,” Kaylee says as they come back to the present, sitting next to each other.. “Everything I’ve seen lately, really.” Even as she talks, her eyes are still unfocused feeling those threads slowly slip away. “He didnt’ work alone though… but the things he did do himself. I can only hope to one day reach that level of talent.” There was a pedestal and the telepath had Charles up on it.

The reaction he gave when she stepped into the memory… It might not be nothing, but it made her wonder and left her feeling a bit uneasy.

There isn’t much time to dwell on it, the subject quickly turns to the white haired man. This is when Kaylee finally shifted her gaze to Jared and focuses on him. There is a wariness. “I’ve never seen him before. Clearly Company though… but…” She trails off thinking over if she’s ever seen him before then. “I thought we knew most of them. He seems… important. I should check what Richard has on Company employees.”

A thought occurs to her and blue eyes unfocus again, “Hey. Did you notice? Maybe I am seeing things, but… it looked to me like no one addressed him. Or even looked at him.” Her head tips a little to one side, like a dog seeing something interesting. “You’d think you’d have reacted like you just did now, if you saw him.” After a moment, Kaylee gives a little shrug of uncertainty.

Jared's scowl deepens, the grooves in his face pronounced. He's not a young man anymore, and all of this bullshit is alarming the hell out of him. He works his way through the memories she's unlocked again. "None of us saw him. He wasn't there," he tells her slowly. "Or… maybe he was and we didn't know that. But why, then, would he be visible to us as observers in my buried memories?" Blue eyes pin her with that intensity that his daughter inherited, the sharp mind behind those eyes processing. "That has to be because he was there but whatever his ability it, it … basically rendered him invisible to us?" It's a question… he's theorizing and he knows it. But he's had a lot of exposure at this point to powers and their explanations.

Pursing his lips, he says simply, "I want answers." She knows that implacable tone. He won't stop until he has them.

He's distracted for just a moment, though, checking the time. "Carina will be home soon." Given that she's been in his head for some amount of time now, the trepidation still attached to thoughts of his wife, mixed with the love and the guilt and the grief, are all evident to her. He's struggling with the complex mix of good and bad that came with all of this knowledge on the arrival of everyone from that world, still overwhelmed by the fact that he both did and did not have a life with his wife. Rubbing his forehead, Jared asks quietly, "Don't mention the man to her?" He grimaces. "The honeymoon is over… we're having to … figure out how to do this." He's worried it might be too much for her.

“Every ability is unique,” is the only thought Kaylee can offer on the white-haired man. “And how it interacts over time. He might be able to block himself out in realtime and I just happened to find the loose thread to unravel it all.” There wasn’t much more she can explain there. “But it does raise some interesting questions.’

The mention of Carina, gets a small nod from Kaylee. “Of course, this is for you to tell… but I can’t keep this from Liz.” There telepath found herself thinking about this man and the mystery he possesses. “Her memory may hold more answers, especially about this man and the interest he’s shown in her. I’d be curious to see where else he would show up in her memories.” Her tone is distant and thoughtful, her mind gnawing on the mystery like a dog on a bone.

The suggestion draws the lawyer's eyes, and he quirks a brow at her. In a tone as dry as the Sahara, he asks, "She hasn't already had you bash through whatever barriers are in front of hers?" He's amused but a little concerned as well. "That's not like her — she usually barrels through obstacles." He shrugs with a vaguely rueful grin. "Can't blame that one on her mother, generally. Much as I'd like to try. Carina was always a much more deft touch — she'd get her answers before a witness even realized they'd given her exactly what she was looking for." There is admiration for his wife's — no, his former wif— no, that wasn't right either. The dissonance that comes with how to think about the Carina who lived 30 years with him as his wife but wasn't the Carina he married and the woman who is now sharing his home and is the woman he married but left behind in another world is significant.

Jared throws his hands in the air and then drags one through his hair with the other on his waist. "Goddamn it," he mutters, standing there like that for a long moment before consciously dropping his hands. No need to have an aggressive stance with one of 'his' kids. "I feel like I'm cheating on both of them." It's a hellacious position.

When he looks at Kaylee, there's a kind of frustration there that she might or might not recognize. And then he grimaces. "Never mind — you don't need to hear that shit. If you think you need to talk to Liz about what we saw, feel free. I had no intention of keeping it from her anyway."

“All in good time.” Kaylee comments with amusement to counter his dry tone. “She’s only just gotten back, Jared, and I imagine it’s been a heck of an adjustment and she might not have thought about it” She looks down at the hands she folds in her lap, she adds softly, “All of us have had to make adjustments.” Even the woman before him.

As he goes on about Carina, mentally and verbally, there is a small smile of understanding. “Really?” Kaylee speaks up when he’s done. A brow arches at him. “You really think it’s cheating? They are both the woman you married, only… slightly different, due to the events that happened in their lives.” Eyes unfocus slightly at a thought. “Every version of myself I witness, at the center was me. Just the events were different.” And the man they feel for, but she glosses over that.

“If you look into her eyes and don’t see your wife looking back… well….” Kaylee dithers there and wobbles her head a bit. “I know it’s tough to wrap your head around it. It was rough for me too.” He probably remembers her mental state for a long time when the auroras filled the sky.

She can see that her words hold weight, that Jared hasn't looked at it from quite the angle she offers. What does he see when he looks at her? The softening of his expression is evident, the faint quirk to the corner of his mouth almost a smirk. A wisp of a song passes through his mind. There is magic all around you if I do say so myself. I have known this much longer than I've known you…

"The day I met her… she was on a break. She was waiting tables at a diner near the university, studying for an exam. Taking notes with this intensity that caught me. When she looked up, she caught me looking and she had this… shy little grin. And then she pretended she wasn't looking." His voice is soft. "She looked the same way on the runway." Looking up at Kaylee, he offers an abashed smile. "She's my wife."

There is a satisfied look as he comes to his conclusion. Spreading her hands, Kaylee says quietly. “There you have it. The past is the past, Jared. Better to look to what’s in front of you.”

Once she says that, her smile falls away, the mask she’s been wearing cracks a little and for a moment she looks tired. “Can I ask you a favor?” The confidence is gone and only a troubled woman remains. “I need your help… on a personal matter of my own.” There is a hard swallow as she looks away for a moment. “I need some legal documents drawn up. I can’t think of anyone I trust more with that.”

His attention diverts instantly and his gaze sharpens on her face. "Of course. Tell me what you need and I'll draw it up." Jared never hesitates — anything she needs is hers for the asking.

Her explanation perhaps bothers him a little and he does ask her if she's certain about what she's doing, in the way of any father wanting to look out for one of his children on all fronts. But he promises her that her documents will be ready within two days.

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