You're Gonna Be Okay


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Scene Title You're Gonna Be Okay
Synopsis A phone call between Brad and Devon offers some more reassurances and further information on life inside the Dome.
Date February 15, 2011

The Dome:Roosevelt Island and Manhattan

The sunlight slanting through the wall of the dome filters red and grimy, darkening to where thick smoke has left a black stain on the wall. It casts an eerie sort of shadow downward, cutting into the dimness made by the snow-laden top. It's been creating short tempers and dwindling hope. It's becoming a boiling point, where most corners are set to explode in pockets of violence no matter the best intentions of others. However, some quiet and peace can still be found.

Devon has found one.

The teenager, having slipped out of the Westview apartments, armed as has become his customary appearance, found himself a quiet place at one of several abandoned houses. The owner is either dead or beyond the dome, but it matters little to Devon. What matters is it's a patch of calm within a world of stress. The boy is seated on the swingset that fills the back yard, his phone in hand and powering on. Once the welcome screen has flashed across the display, he thumbs through the contacts until he finds his employer's number. The send button is pressed and the phone placed to his ear, his free hand combing through his hair while the ring tones through the earpiece.

It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood oh will you be mine~ It's a beautiful day for a neighbour~ Won't you be mine~ Won't you be my neighbour~

The cell phone rings with the pretty lilt of Mister Rogers' voice as Brad Russo strolls down the streets of Manhattan, hot dog in hand. His Grey's Papaya hot dog is overloaded with toppings of various colours, textures, and temperatures, but he's in a delighted mood until he glances at the name that appears on the screen. Not that he's cranky about it; just solemn, recognizing his need to keep things in perspective.

He twists when he approaches a nearby bench, an easy perch to enjoy his treat and endure the call. Hopefully there isn't more bad news. "Hey. How you doin', Kid?"

"You ever see what a man looks like after he's gone through a meat grinder," Devon asks quietly. There's an edge of exhaustion to his voice, a sadness and loss, a boy who's seen far too much in recent days. "I'm holding up alright," he continues after a pause, perhaps composing himself again. "We're getting by, starting to find some answers."

The question has Brad frowning as he sets his hot dog (with the little paper holder thing underneath) on his leg, balancing carefully to avoid getting ketchup strewn across his suit pants. His lips press together firmly as his he considers the question a little further. "I'm glad to hear your voice after everything that's gone on there for the last while…" he begins only to reconsider his line of thinking. "It's good you're getting by. What kind of answers have you found?"

Head lifting, Devon casts a cold look to the wall, to the darkness that marks the exploded Eastview Apartments. "Someone took Amp, possibly the cause of this thing," he begins. "That's what everyone is thinking. We're following a lead on that." He pauses to let the better news sink in. More quietly he continues, "There's Humanis First in here, too. Ran into some of them over the weekend."

"Yeah…" Brad rubs the back of his neck. "I knew that, actually. One of my colleagues— " he begins before just shaking his head. There's a pregnant pause as Russo scowls at the hot dog, having lost the majority of his appetite at the notion of Kincaid living amongst Humanis First, a thought he hasn't entertained in some time. "Do you have a weapon?" he frowns a little deeper, "Do you know how to fire a gun?"

"I've picked up a rifle." Devon's hand absently goes to the strap across his chest, holding the weapon to his back. "One of the guys here also gave me a gun before that, when I asked." For all the world his tone has changed, conversational if still holding remnants of the pain a week ago. His aunt's death clouded with the disruptions and danger that's befallen after an uneventful two weeks. A pause lingers, filled with a moment of static. Then with a glimmer of his former self, "Never shot anything more than a prop gun, but I know how it works."

Russo nods tightly as he settles against the bench. His eyes are closed as he tries to envision where Devon is and what he's engaging with. A hand presses tight to his forehead and his eyes clamp shut again. With a low-pitched groan he considers, "Good. If you use it… " he stops. "Try to avoid using it," he then cautions. "And it's not that I don't think you can, it's that the moment you pull the trigger, that moment where you shoot someone else, you can't take that one back." He frowns. "Kid, a gun is powerful even if you never shoot it. In fact, you're a better weapon if you can avoid pulling the trigger. I don't know if this guy that gave you the gun told you any of this, but… firing is a last resort. Threatening and the threat of force can go a long way— "

Devon remains quiet as he listens to Brad, the swing he's sitting giving a light creak of metal on metal as he shifts slightly. "I understand," he says softly, after mulling over the advice. "If I have to… I won't hesitate, and I aim to kill." The teenager takes in a breath, letting it out slowly. "I hope it won't come to that. — I'm scared it might. But …I hope it doesn't." He may sound dispassionate, speaking of taking another's life, but honesty stands out. He's still afraid.

"You should be scared," Brad assures seriously. "The moment you pick up a weapon and don't have some measure of fear is the moment you've entirely lost your humanity. And yeah, you need to look out for you right now and if that means…" his eyebrows knit together. "Look, Kid, when you get out you can put the ugliness behind you entirely. I promise. Until then? Stay alert."

"Please let it be soon," Devon says quietly, voice cracking with the emotion he's hardly let himself feel in recent days. He presses his forehead to the swing chain, eyes squeezing shut while he bites down on his lower lip. "I don't want to be here any more." He takes a calming breath, in then out again, regaining some semblance of his earlier tone. "…I'll stay safe."

Again Brad's lips press together that cracking duly noted though not completely entertained. "You can do this. I promise you can do this. You just… stay on top of it. Okay? When you get out, come here and just crash for awhile, okay? And from there we'll figure out what to do.." Russo frowns again while his fingers tap against the bit of bench beside him. "But yeah, stay safe. Stay in touch."

"And Devon? You're gonna be okay. Just keep reminding yourself, alright?"

Devon's head nods, the action going unseen on the other end of the conversation. Seconds pass before he trusts himself to speak again, his voice coming out calm except for a waver of emotional injury he doesn't try to hide. "I will. I'll… call again, in a few days. — Or if anything changes." Another pause follows. "Thanks, Brad," he finishes, voice cracking again.

Lowering the phone and thumbing the end call button, Devon presses his other hand to his face, fingers rubbing at his eyes. He sucks in a breath, holding it while he looks to the cell, then letting it out slowly as he powers it off. The teenager pushes himself upright, readjusting the rifle across his back as he moves to return for the monotonous grind of life in the dome.

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