Two And A Half Tylers


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title Two and a Half Tylers
Synopsis Tyler Case comes clean about his daughter's secret.
Date December 19. 2019

HNLMS Tydeman

Somewhere in the Antarctic Ocean

January 19th

3:12 pm Local Time

"I don't believe you."

Robyn Quinn's hands are on her hips as one of the ship's crew turns away from her, prompting her to do the same. Hands thrust into the air in a frustrated motion, a a sour look forms on her face as she looks back at the others gathered in the small open area with her. "J’en ai ras le bol! I refuse to believe that we can't get one round of something to drink here. God knows we could all use it."

Or at least she could.

The ship ride has been long and painstaking; at times feeling like time is moving even slower than it did on their trip out. The water is as volatile as ever, and Robyn has been rarely leaving her room - and when she is, she seems just as ill at ease as she did when they were on their way to Colobanth, always staying hear the middle of the ship, never looking out at the water.

Eyes fall on to Richard Ray, and then over to not one but two Tyler Cases. It's still a strange sight for even, even despite having been there when Tyler had Julien Dumont's ability transferred to him by Gillian Childs. One Tyler Case had been a party, but a part of her worries what two would get into.

Particularly two with such complicated states of being as these two.

"Find better transportation next time, Richard," is how she chooses to take her mind off of it, hands still on her hips. "Or at least something faster."

“If you’re hiding a bulk teleporter or some sort of super-jet that carries the fuel for the trip and can land on ice, VTOL-style,” says Richard in wry tones from where he’s sitting at a table with the Tylers, gesturing with one hand, “By all means. I don’t have one of those X-Men planes hiding anywhere, though.”

A wry smile tugs up at the corner of his lips, “You can talk to your bosses about sending me a budget to invent one, though, I’m sure Warren and Devi would love taking on the challenge.”

“Uh,” Tyler #3 angles a look over to Richard, then up to Robyn, “am I the only one here who’se a little confused?” To whit, Tyler #4 is just as confused but remaining quiet about it, standing by one of the windows with his arms folded and attention set out over the choppy surf.

“So if I’m getting this straight,” Tyler 3 says as he makes a box on the table he’s sitting at with his hands, “you’re actually the CEO of Raytech, the company on all those commercials on the satellite tv.” Tyler looks squarely at Richard. “And you,” then flicks a look to Robyn, “you’re like a secret agent working for the government that’s good now?”

Oh my God,” Tyler #4 quietly mutters by the window, pinching the bridge of his nose with forefinger and thumb.

"Better," Robyn is quick to note as she holds up a finger at Tyler #3. "There's still a lot I'm not fond of. But it is much better. But good… I'm not always convinced." With that little nugget on the table, she folds her arms. "And not a secret agent. I'm plenty well known. Famous, even." It's not the game she imagined, but it's something.

She blinks, head tilting slightly askew. "How do you have TV and not know these things? Are you only getting British signals?" That would explain River Styx at least.

Her attention swivels to Richard next. "Just get that crazy brother of yours to reverse engineer Wolfhound's. Or let's just take it next time, I don't think Avi would even know it's missing." It's not like they're using it right now, right?

With a heavy sigh, she positions herself so that she has both of them in her sight. "Anyway. As I'm sure you've gathered, Tyler, things are very different now. Except when they aren't." Her shoulders slump and she closes her eyes. "It's going to be… interesting when we get back."

“I don’t think they watch the news very much,” says Richard in wry tones, leaning back in his seat and gesturing a bit with one hand, “And yes. Me, Kaylee, Warren, and Valerie founded the company, and we sell weird technology. We’ll be moving in to the base we just left now so we can investigate that— valley. Codename Kadath.”

He read a lot of Lovecraft when he was in the bunker, so he could understand his brother during his more Mortimer moments.

“Most of— you was down taking care of Jean-Martin Luis for the last few years,” he explains to Tyler, “During the war. The root Tyler is in hiding with Libby now, the others are various places to cover his tracks. Even I don’t know where they are.”

“To be fair,” Tyler #3 says with one finger raised, “most of the channels we get on the broadcast system are Norwegian, and while uh… we’ve picked up a few words here and there? Not really our first language.”

Noel speaks Norwegian fine,” Tyler #4 says as an aside with an askance look to Tyler #3.

“Yeah, sometimes, but it’s a roulette wheel whether— ” Tyler #3 was about say something else, but clamps down and grimaces, scratching the back of his neck.

Tyler #4 exhales a slow sigh and scrubs one hand down his face. “I’m… I’m really glad they’re ok. I’m glad Libby’s ok. I’ve been worrying about that for a while, it’s just…is it safe for us to go back to the US? Things weren’t exactly great there when we were uh, you know, there last. What with the police and the genocide.” He grimaces, pacing back and forth. “I’m just worried about Noel.”

“Understandably so,” Tyler #3 chimes in. “Because like, we know the war’s over and that America seems to be… you know, rebuilding?” #3 looks over his shoulder at his counterpart, then back to Robyn and Richard. “But, she’s… Noel’s like us,” Tyler says with a motion to himself, then out to Richard and Robyn. “She’s special, and… that didn’t usually mean safe.”

At the insistence that Noel speaks Norwegian fine sometimes, Robyn's eyebrow shoots up, arms crossing as she begins to pad back and forth, eyes always lowered when she turns so that she's never looking out into the turbulent waters that the ship cuts through. "That's why I wanted the thre- four of us to talk before we get too far along. Honestly Dana and Michelle should be here, but we should establish a baseline first."

Her eyes shift over to Richard, pausing her thought for a moment. "Wait. You've seen Tyler since-" She hasn't laid eyes on the man - any of him - since the war. Not until today, of course. Taking a breath, she sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose. "Of course you have." With a shake of her head, she turns her attention back to the Tylers.

"The government now is more Evo-friendly than it ever has been in the past, Tyler." Her posture straightens, unfolding her arms as she feigns a smile. "The current administration has done a lot to ensure that SLC-Expressive folks - that's the current term - are treated equally. The Chesterfield Act contains registration protocols, but they are optional. They are also more thoroughly designed to be in an Expressive's favour, rather than being like a gold star they have to carry around."

That was probably an analogy in poor taste, but oh well.

"That doesn't mean some people aren't still shitty, and that there aren't still people vying to walk back some of those forward progressions. It's still the United States. There's still democracy." There's a weird bit of disdain at that particular comment. "It's as safe as it's ever been. But that's for normal matters." Quinn's gaze becomes steely, laser focused on Tyler #3.

"This is a very complicated matter," she offers in a low voice. "Once SESA knows Noel's parentage, I can't promise they won't take her to find a 'better' home for her." Tilting her head a bit, she sighs. "And once they know that you retain some of Julien's memories - and in fact used to be him - I can't guarantee they won't try and detain you to get anything they can out of you." Eyes alight to Richard. "And if they know where Sabine is, assuming she's on the right side of the law…"

Sucking in a deep breath, she recrosses her arms. "If Dana weren't here, this would be easy. I adore the woman, but I suspect this is why Director Zimmerman sent her along - to make sure we didn't hide anything." With a swallow, she raises her chin just a bit to look down at Tyler #3. "You keep saying Noel is special. I need you to explain to me what that means while it's just the four of us."

“SESA has no right to do any such thing,” is Richard’s sharp opinion on the matter, slanting a look at Robyn that may, in truth, be meant more for her superiors rather than her. “Tyler’s been raising her and - technically - is genetically the father. I’ll push Dana out this damn plane before letting them take that child away from her parents.”

This is probably hyperbole, but with Richard, sometimes it’s hard to tell.

“As far as where Sabine is…” He brings one hand up, fingers rubbing between his eyes, “It’s… complicated. I know where she is, but her current affiliation makes things far more difficult than they should be.”

“That feels right,” Tyler #3 admits to everything about Sabine being complicated. But when topic of Noel’s ability comes up, both Tylers can’t help but look tense. One looks to the other, and it’s #4 who quietly excuses himself from the conversation while #3 continues the conversation.

“Noel’s only ever really known me,” Tyler admits, looking nervous. “She… doesn’t really remember Julien. She was just too young.” He looks down to the table, wringing his hands together. “As long as… as long as nobody tries to take her away or— or lock her up. That’s all that matters to me.” It’s then that he looks back up, right at Richard. “I know I can trust you,” he says firmly, looking to Robyn next, “both of you. You’ve only ever done right by me or— or tried to. I don’t…” he shakes his head, “I don’t have anyone else to turn to.”

His brows furrow, a thought crossing his mind and visible in a shift of his expression. “I guess… Libby and, you know, the other me’s.” But Tyler cuts that off when #4 comes back, this time with Noel in tow.

Noel dips her head down in a sort of sulk-nod, smiling in an awkward greeting to Richard and Robyn, offering a wave mostly obscured by a too-long sleeve. Tyler #4 shuts the door behind them when she comes in, then quietly encourages, “Go on kiddo, show ‘em what you got.” To which Noel looks up from one Tyler to the next, uncertainly. When both of them give her a thumbs up, Noel just claps her sleeve covered hands together and—

Before Richard and Robyn’s eyes, Noel splits into at first two, then three, then five different copies of herself in identical clothing. An impish, playful smile crosses her lips, and the multiple Noels look over to their fathers who once more give approving nods. “Let’s see what the roulette wheel did for ya.”

One Noel closes her eyes, holds out her hand, and fire manifests from her palm. Nothing bigger than a match, but flame from nothing. Another Noel simply turns invisible, a third covers her body in a thick sheet of ice making her look like a frozen statue, another floats up off of the ground and simply hovers for a moment while laughing, and the last shrugs helplessly and isn’t sure exactly what she can do.

Click. One last round slid into a magazine for a Beretta 9mm. The last of five that Lene has helped Cardinal load in preparation of what would be coming. “I wish I’d come clean with you sooner…” she says reluctantly, threading a lock of burgundy-colored hair behind one ear. “I just… you know. Trust issues.”

Looking up across the basement of the Skinny Brickfront, Lene offers Cardinal a lopsided smile. “Do you know what textbooks call my power?” It’s a swerve from their previous topic of conversation. “Mosaic. It’s… pretty, y’know? I think Mohinder Suresh coined the term. But… I like it. We’re all different, people with abilities like me, but…” Lene sets the last loaded gun down on the folding table. “There’s something beautiful about the simplicity.”

“Okay, okay,” Tyler #3 says, “pull yourself together.” And just like that, all of the Noels fuse back together with a flicker and a snap. Tyler #4 crosses his arms and looks up to Richard and Robyn, angling his head to the side. “She replicates, and each time she does the copies all have… just some random ability.”

Anxiously, Tyler #3 asks, “SESA’d be fine with that, right?”

"You're goddamn right they don't," is an adamant statement from Robyn, shifting her eyes over towards Richard. "I'm not saying it's going to happen, but- I worry about circumstances like this. It's a miracle I was able to keep Matthew from being shipped off to foster care." She sucks in a deep breath. "It was a different situation, but- I worry." Leveling her gaze with Tyler #3 as his twin makes for the door, she shows little amusement as she continues. "And I will do everything in and out of my power to keep it from happening."

Letting her arms fall to her side, she lowers her head slightly. "And like I said, this is a complicated situation." There's a lot left unsaid in that comment about Sabine that speaks volumes; she'll have to ask Richard about that later. "But with all hope, we can wrangle it into something…"

She trails off as Tyler #4 reenters with Noel, a smile creeping into Robyn's face as the girl in her too-long sleeves comes up to them. She offers her a small wave, like the ones she had been giving at the table earlier in Colobanth. "I'm glad that's the case, Tyler. Hopefully I can keep your trust, given an understandable distrust of who I work fo-"

She stops as Noel splits. "Replication," she states with a raised eyebrow. "That makes sense given her-" It's beginning to look like she's not going to get a whole sentence out as each individual Noel begins to exhibit different fucking abilities. Robyn's gray eyes widen, shoulders slacking as she watches the display in awe. It's only once the Noels snap back into one being that she swallows and slowly moves to the table, thudding/ down beside Richard.

"Mosaic. Fuck."

That's her answer, Tyler, never mind the child here (who has probably heard worse on River Styx).

“You inherited a version of your father’s power? Not too unsurprising, it…” Then there’s that roulette wheel demonstration, and Richard just stares at the replicants for a long moment. The man’s lips twitch in half a smile, half a grimace.

“That’s an… amazing power, Noel,” he finally says, genuinely, “Absolutely astounding.”

Then a much sharper look is turned on both Robyn and the Tylers, “It’s a pity that you haven’t manifested yet, and have no idea what your ability might be, isn’t it?” This is said in very, very firm tones. Mastered over a few years of being a corporate CEO.

Richard, weren’t you paying attention at all?” Tyler #3 asks without a hint of sarcasm as he comes to stand behind Noel, followed by Tyler #4 quietly sighing and covering his face with one hand. “Oh,” Tyler #3 murmurs, followed by a louder, “Oh!” He gets it. Now.

Noel cocks one brow up and looks over her shoulder to the Tyler behind her, as if to wordlessly say are your friends okay? But Tyler #3 just claps his hands on her shoulders and gently squeezes them. “Honey, you’re going to come to learn that daddy’s friends are a little weird.”

“Yeah, that makes sense,” Noel says with a couple of small nods.

Despite the conversation, Robyn can't help but laugh at both Tyler #3 and Noel's reactions, shaking her head. "Oh, we're the weird ones?" Quirking an eyebrow at Tyler #3, she crosses her arms. That jovial mood only lasts a little bit before she leans forward, forehead propped against fingers as she closes her eyes.

"Of course," she states, shifting eyes over to Richard. "She is young, of course. I doubt anyone will question it." Lips purse. "That is truly amazing, though. It's the most unique form of ability mosaic I've ever seen. Nothing like…" She stops herself from saying any of the names that come to mind, instead letting the thought drift off. Looking back up, she smirks. "So I figure Noel was the one who did most of the work around the facility?" Offered with a renewed sense of amusement, her gaze fixing on the young girl.

"Next q uestion," comes quickly after. "Do you have any thoughts on what you're going to do when we get back? You won't have to register if you're not staying in the Safe Zone, but it's not like the rest of the country is much better off."

“What I mean, Noel, is that you shouldn’t let anyone know about your ability. Not who you don’t trust, there are… absolutely people out there that would try and take advantage of your ability for their own ends,” explains Richard with a shake of his head, “…which, by the way, includes Dana, so be careful around her.”

“As far as where you’re staying— if you do want to stay in the Safe Zone,” he offers, “I can provide housing for you all. And protection, for that matter. Especially while we try and get in contact with your mother.”

“Dad tells me not to tell anyone unless he gives me the okay,” Noel explains with a rise of her brows, proud that she’s followed the rules. “Rules are what keep us safe.” Neither Tyler can help but smile at that part, each adopting a sort of goofy lopsided smile.

“Honestly, I hadn’t thought that far. We’re used t’being off the grid, so the thought of going back to New York scares the pants off me.” Tyler #4 admits with a shake of his head, raking his fingers back through his hair. “I don’t exactly have a uh, lot of great memories about New York, what with the bomb and the Triads and the whole Edward thing.”

Tyler #3 nods in agreement, drumming his hands on the table. “We’ve been living on top of an ice cube for years, if you guys have a recommendation for us I mean… something long term, we’ll take it.”

"Well," Robyn says quietly, looking over at Richard. "You beat me to it." The goofy family moment earns a small smile from her, as she looks past them and into the imaginary distance. "I was going to offer room and board at my place, but Richard's is probably far safer. And I don't know how Matthew would feel about having to suddenly share his space."

Rubbing at chapped lips, she continues to stare off between them. "They'll give you some money to get started if you settle in the Safe Zone. If you don't want to… well, at least stick around while you figure it out. Don't run off as soon as we get there." Spoken somewhat absently, as the SESA agent lets out a small sigh.

“Good rule.” Richard flashes Noel a grin, “Your father’s done a good job. Smart man, he is.” It may be one of the few times someone called Tyler smart.”

“As for New York — I can understand that. How does Detroit sound?” His eyebrows both lift as he looks between the others, “I’ve got plenty of real estate there I can throw around for you, and it’s not in a Safe Zone — so no mandatory registration. Can put you up in some pretty nice housing, honestly.”

Both Tylers look at one-another, exchanging a meaningful look, then Tyler #4 nods. “Detroit might not be a bad choice, while we try and figure out where Libby and all the other me’s are. You wanna go to Detroit, kiddo?” Tyler #4 kicks up his brows, looking over to Noel.

Noel looks over at her dad, then the other, then shakes her head in confusion. “I don’t know what that is,” she admits sheepishly. Tyler #3 steps forward, putting a hand on her back, then looks to Richard and Robyn.

“I may have failed you as a father,” Tyler #3 says, one hand at his chest and a crooked smile, to which Noel offers an incredulous look back. Tyler #4 doesn’t quite follow, squinting at his double.

We need to find a copy of Robocop.


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