You Don't Exist


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Scene Title For Their Sake
Synopsis Charles Deveaux is forced to make a difficult decision in the aftermath of the Looking Glass incident.
Date June 27, 1982

A dozen photographs are spread out atop two dozen field reports. Pictures of spiral-shaped auroras from across the country. Late afternoon sunlight spills across the documents, and the sun is setting on New York City. Shadows grow long in Charles Deveaux's office, longer still in the back of his mind. It has been nothing but sleepless nights since Kansas. Since the death of Michelle LeRoux.

Charles Deveaux is exhausted. The reports he reads begin to blur together, all of the photographs look the same. He cradles his head in one hand, watching shadows track a slow journey across the wall. They reveal no secrets to him. But the knock on his office door ends one moment of stress and begins another in its place.

Charles' Office
The Deveaux Building
New York City

June 27th


"In." Charles says, sitting back in his chair and running both hands over his face. When it's Adam Monroe who steps in from the other side of the door, Charles looks up from his desk with a mixture of surprise and agitation.

"Where the hell have you been?" Charles asks, pushing aside the reports to open some space on his desk. "You just up and left in the middle of the night, Claudia didn't even—"

"Japan." Adam says with his hands raised in placating gesture. "I was in Japan. I went back to the cave we found Joy in. I had to—I had to see some things for myself." The unexpected answer has Charles slowly relaxing, but fixing Monroe with a laser-focused stare.

"And what'd you find?" Charles asks.

Adam rolls his shoulders and comes to sit across from Charles, scooting his chair in and folding his hands in front of himself on the desk. "More questions. What happened in Kansas got me thinking, wondering about some—some things in my past that I thought were dead and buried."

Charles eyes narrow slightly. "I have been extremely patient with you, Adam. All these years now, I've been really patient with you. And I feel like every five or six years you slip up and we find out you're a generation older than you'd let on before." He looks deep into Adam's eyes. "Japan. Joy. What's any of that got to do with Kansas? With those lights in the sky and…" Charles taps on the reports on his desk. "These people."

Adam closes his eyes and shakes his head. "I saw something, Charles. In that cave. When I went back there was—someone. Someone waiting for me." Adam scrubs a hand over his face, eyes unfocused and distant.

"Someone you knew?" Charles searches for clarity with his voice, resisting the urge to rip the answer out of Adam's head.

"No, and…" Adam squints. "Yes." He sighs sharply. "I know this sounds stupid, but it's extremely hard to explain. I'm still—trying to digest it all, but I promise. You have my word, Charles. You'll hear everything. The whole bloody truth I just—I need to think first."

"So you came in here to tell me you need to think?" Charles is irritated, glancing to the door and back. "You vanish off the face of God's green Earth for three days in the middle of a national crisis and you come back with your tail between your legs telling me you need to think?" Charles' nostrils flare as he breathes in deeply and grabs a pair of reports off the desk and associated folders.

"I don't expect you to answer me." Charles says, throwing the reports across the desk to Adam. "You want time, fine. But this?" Charles points to the reports as Adam hesitantly reaches for them. "I want answers for this right now."

Picking up the reports, Adam's pale eyes track from side to side. His brow belies horror and recognition before he drops the reports as if they were hot. His eyes snap up to Charles, and then his voice is stolen by a shallow gasp of breath.

"I know for a fact your real name isn't Adam Monroe." Charles says with a frown. "So what I need to know is… are the two people mentioning that name in these reports talking about you or someone you took that name from?"

Adam remains still in stunned silence. He lifts the front of one reports, scanning for other details and then closes his eyes and swallows bile down in the back of his throat. He sits back in his chair, as far as he can get from the documents. "Me," he all but gasps, breathlessly. "They're talking about me. I recognize the other names. But I—" He looks up at Charles, pleading. "I don't know them. I've never met them in my life."

Charles slowly slouches back in his chair, rubbing his hand over his mouth. "I believe you," he says with the certainty of a man who already knew the answer himself, but needed to hear it from Adam. Hear the truth for once. "Then this just leaves me with more—"

"They can never know." Adam says with wide eyes, fixed on the reports. "They cannot know." He looks up to Charles, unblinking. "For their own sake they can never know, Charles. Whatever you have to do, whatever has to be done."

"Whatever has to be done," Charles whispers with a shake of his head, slowly rising from his chair. "Twenty years I've been walking on eggshells around you, Adam. Twenty goddamned years." He steps over to Adam and looms over him, staring down into his eyes. "We are standing in the eye of a fucking storm of unprecedented nature, and I cannot weather this storm if I don't trust the people I've got at my back. You have forty-eight hours to get your shit together and make this all make sense."

Adam nods, swallowing audibly as he does.

"Then you and I are going to have words about all this shit." Charles demands. It's there that Adam looks up and shakes his head in disagreement.

"Not you." Adam insists, and before Charles can voice his obvious disagreement Adam offers an alternative. "Nakamura. I'll tell him. Then it's in his hands, what he tells you. You know he will if he thinks its the right choice."

Charles' lip twitches. Almost a sneer, almost a smile. He's torn between appreciating Adam's shrewd nature and being frustrated out of his mind by it. Exhaling sharply, Charles steps away from Adam. "Nakamura." The tension leaves his shoulders, his eyes wander the room. Of all the names. Charles looks down at the floor, then back to Adam. "Forty-eight hours, and you are in Kaito's office with your story. Am I clear?"

Adam nods, slowly rising up from his seat as well but never once taking his eyes off of the two reports laid out in front of him. "What about them?" He says with a gesture to the reports. Charles looks over at them, closes his eyes, and shakes his head.

"As far as those kids are concerned…" Charles says with one hand coming up to pinch the bridge of his nose. He lingers in silence, debating his answer. Then, with another sigh he makes his choice. He looks up at Adam, frowning. "As far as they're concerned…"

Charles looks away.

"…you don't exist."

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