Tyson had a point, Levi admitted. Who exactly happened to be his father was irrelevant. At least, for now. There were far more pressing things to be concerned about. Namely, Taryn. She was in bad shape and somebody had to be strong for the both of them. She had been there for him at his lowest points, and now it was time for him to return the favor. And there was no way he could do that when he was moping around.
"Thanks, Tyson," Levi replied weakly. Fatigue was beginning to hit him hard. Physically and emotionally. If this is what one day in this universe was like, he didn't want to think of what was yet to come. For his sanity's sake, he probably shouldn't anyway. More than anything, he just wanted to be near Taryn. Once he was sure she was okay, then he could focus fully on helping the team escape.
"If I couldn't answer one of your questions I would just tell you," Renee mentioned, getting annoyed at his usage of her nickname.
"You're right Tyson. I think that would be best, we can figure out what we want to ask in the meantime," Garrus told Tyson, looking over at Renee and giving a slight nod. Renee turned to Serdar and asked how much longer before the truck is ready.
"Almost done. If we start leaving now it'll be done by the time we get there," he replied, standing up along with Renee as she told everyone they'd be heading out now. The two led the Society out of the interrogation lobby and through the base.
The truck was perfect for carrying a large group such as them. It even had a closed off area in the back; which was currently in use by the unconscious Taryn and her nurse. "Made it here just in time," Serdar muttered, grabbing the keys from one of the mechanics and starting up the truck. The Society was led onto the truck, and once everyone was safely in the drive started.
It was a quiet drive for the most part, only a few sparse words being said. The heater had broken down half way into the drive, causing Renee to yell obscenities at it. The rest of the drive was cold and miserable, but as they pulled up to the much smaller base they would be staying at everything before was forgotten.
"You'll get meals and a place to sleep tonight. If you guys are cleared tomorrow, than I'll give you all a nice treat and let you stay somewhere much nicer for the rest of your stay," Renee told them after they were inside the base.
"Warmth," Garrus muttered happily, standing next to one of the heaters.
"Indeed. I need to go now, but I will be back 'ere in the morning to check up on everyone and for the last check," she told them once the commanding officer came to lead them to their rooms.
"Uh thanks for this," Garrus said quickly before she left, getting a smile and a wave goodbye before she left.
With that, the Society was led to their rooms. They were small ones with only a simple bed and desk inside, but it meant they would no longer have to sleep in one large room. Food was brought to them shortly after, a dinner of simple stew and some bread. It was eaten graciously, with seconds and thirds called for. The Society than headed to their rooms and went to sleep (those that could), getting as much sleep as they could before the morning came.
If asked to place how comfortable his sleep cycle had been over the past two days, Tyson would have put it between a high speed, head on car crash and free falling in a metal suit during a thunderstorm. This time he didn't even have any dreams, instead it was just underline guilt from not being open with his about exactly how bad his situation was, and how much he'd found out about the universe they'd landed in.
The ceiling in the room that he was given was pure white; not a single speck or disfiguration. Tyson had spent enough time staring at it that morning to confirm it. He checked the time and saw that it was ten in the morning. Everyone's probably up by now. I guess I should find Garrus and tell him. All things considering it's the least that I should do.
Tyson slid his legs off the side of his bed and pushed himself put. He felt stiff and sore; worn-out and out of place in his own body. A long yawn was let out and Tyson rubbed his eyes, before getting up and putting on the black clothing that he wore under his armour. Tying up his boots Tyson walked over to the door to leave. It took him a second, but he realized that he was so sleep deprived that he put his shirt on backward and inside out.
The beige walls in the hallway all looked the same; the place could very well become amaze if Tyson didn't wake up soon. He walked down the hallway, hand tracing along the wall until the side bent off and he found himself in the lobby. Garrus was sitting on a chair, but Tyson saw something he needed more at that very second. With a drowsy stumble, he made his way to the coffee maker and poured himself a cup; he left it black.
The warmth of the coffee helped wake him up a little before the caffeine would kick in. Slowly he made his way over to Garrus. "Garrus if you wouldn't mind," Tyson lost his words for a second and took a sip of the coffee to stall. "If you wouldn't mind could we talk in private for a bit? The topics are a bit sensitive, so I would suggest the roof." Tyson had tried some night wandering to calm his mind down during the night. The tactic had once worked for him, but this time it had failed.
Garrus simply nodded at Tyson's request, slowly putting his own cup of coffee on the table as he stood up. He was definitely out of it; his sluggishness showcased that well enough. The sheer scale of what had and was happening was getting to him more than ever now. The little sleep he had gotten had done little to help. In fact, he would say it made it even worse.
After doing a quick stretch, he and Tyson headed up to the roof. There was an initial concern about if they were allowed to go up there, but it was shrugged off once they actually reached the stairwell. It was a quiet climb up the flight; neither party saying anything until they closed the stairwell door behind them.
"What do you need to talk to me about? Is it about our situation? Because, I'm telling you now that the ball isn't really in our hands. There aren't any plays for us to make right now. Which really sucks since I hate not being a real part in the decision making," Garrus told Tyson, a tone of annoyance and despair in his voice. He turned away to look at the scenery around; noting that there were a few cities nearby. There was only one road coming by the base, and as of now it was completely desolate. 'At least we won't be surprised when they come.'
Repelling down a building at a full tilt sprint? No problem. Running through an open field while being sprayed with bullets and mortars going off? Nothing that couldn't be solved by running a little faster. Defusing a chemical weapon without a chemical suit? Hazardous, but nothing a calm nerve and decontamination couldn't cure. A silent walk to a roof where he'd once again half to admit to someone that he couldn't guarantee how long he'd be in control of his powers and body? The first three combined couldn't make Tyson more nervous.
Once they reached the roof top Garrus let it all go. Tyson listened silently at the position Garrus felt the Society was in, and Tyson couldn't help his opinion; actually he could only make it worse. The issue could be helped and there was something risky Tyson needed to do before he could add his pieces. As long as I keep a low decibel level I should hopefully be fine. Tyson abruptly opened his mouth and walked around Garrus in a circle. His power silently swept across the roof top, disabling any potential listening devices on the roof.
Tyson's eyes went pitch black again. He grabbed his head as Vesper reached out for control; after a moment it was gone. This is starting to feel like when I first learned to control my power and I don't have time to be trapped in a fucking relearning experience. "Sorry about that. I wanted to make sure that any potential listening devices were disabled. Now I do have some good news for our situation, but I have a lot worse news." Tyson said with half a groan.
"Good news is that we at least have some friends in the resistance. Brian and Katie's counterparts seem to like them well enough, and my counterpart is about the same. I'm hoping to go back and help him later for breaking us out of that prison. The still good, but not as useful news is that we know what Renee's power is; a mind control power where you have to do whatever she orders. That's only good news because she doesn't know that it isn't working on me anymore." Tyson told Garrus before taking a deep breath.
"Friends are a good thing, and we definitely need as many of those as we can get. I've gotten good feelings from those that we have met, even if they all have their own agendas while we get to just be pawns in this all. We aren't the players, and it sucks. I haven't felt this hopeless since the Society was abducted by aliens! At least for that debacle we knew that Earth was only a couple million light years away," Garrus told Tyson, his voice rising with the last few sentences. He looked out at the road leading away from the base and nodded once Tyson brought up Renee's powers.
"Going to be hard saying no to her, eh? Heh, didn't think I'd ever wish I'd never met her. Maybe she'll grow on me if she doesn't just force it on me," Garrus said with a chuckle, shaking his head at the situation. Tyson's last sentence drew his attention back to the conversation, "Really? How does that work out? I couldn't fight it whatsoever when I was told what to do."
Tyson had inadvertently walked himself into the topic using Garrus. This was still something Tyson didn't want to confront, but he wasn't going to get a better chance than now. He took in a deep breath and turned to the road that Garrus was looking towards.
"It has to do with my power. Other than Levi and myself, no one else knows what I'm going to tell you. This is mostly because I didn't know about it till recently. I should probably start with a little bit about my power itself.
As you already know my power wasn't something I was born with; a genetic formula gave them to me. Well this formula didn't work as planned and instead of echolocation, I was able to manipulate sound waves. The formula also made several other changes to my body when it restricted itself. I grew an extra organ and several sections of my brain altered and emitted unusual brain waves. I thought it was nothing beyond how my body was able to produce those sound waves until we entered Levi's mind.
When we were inside his head, I went over my decibel in order to help stop Victor. When that happened my subconscious was pulled back into my head and another appeared; a half-man, half-monster creature. Not too long after I met it inside of my head when we were attacked by the zombies. I'm honestly starting to think that this things is produces my powers all of the time, and I'm more of a valve that let's some of it out.
This wouldn't be too bad since I'd just have to not use my powers and I could avoid it. Instead, after we entered this universe, it started to trigger my powers for no reason. I could feel it pushing at my mind to take control and act on its own. It was what was blocking Renee's commands, it knew what she was doing and stopped her.
I can still use my powers, but barely. Every time my eyes turn pitch black like its eyes. Garrus when we were jumping between universes, I saw a version of myself that turned into what that beast looked like. I don't want to lose control. And I don't want to become this thing. And Fuck I don't know what to do!" Tyson finished, as he turned around and looked Garrus in the eyes; his own eyes still receding back to normal. An expression of helplessness was painted across Tyson's face.
"I...oh jeez Tyson," Garrus said in disbelief, trying to form the words racing through his mind into a complete sentence. "How could you- Actually I understand why it took you until to tell me. Between all this there just wasn't the right time to do it, right?" he asked with an awkward smile as he processed the information. For Garrus, this was just another thing to be piled onto all the other stresses that had been burdened on him.
"What we need to do now is make sure that this doesn't become a Victor sort of incident. Do not use your powers yourself if you can until we can figure out exactly how bad this is. If they do trigger because of the thing, just...I don't even know at this point, man. We'll figure something out though, even if it takes a while. I'll start keeping an eye on you in case it happens, and Levi will do the same since he knows about it. We're gonna fix this, Tyson," Garrus told his teammate reassuringly. His attention diverted to the road once more when he saw movement in his peripheral vision, noting that a car was being driven down it towards the base.
"Thanks man. I'll try and bench my powers for now and hopefully it can be fixed or at least mended." Tyson didn't really believe it, but he was trying to mask that in his voice. Tyson noticed Garrus look back towards the road and turned to see the approaching car. Shit not much time. Shit's only going downhill.
"There's two more important things I need to bring up before we go and meet our guest. The first is...well...you know how there was this universe's Lector dude? Well I thought I killed him during the prison break and told Levi so he wouldn't have to worry about him. I was informed before we flew here that he didn't actually die. With Taryn how she is I don't think we should tell him for a while, but I don't want it to be a surprise for him.
This next one you don't have to answer right now, but do you think you'll be capable of leading us in a war? I can tell right now it will happen sometime soon, and we don't know when or if we are going to go home. It's something you should think about once we get our place at the table." Tyson informed Garrus with a quiet barren voice. He cupped his hands around his mouth and blew into them as he walked by the door and head downstairs to go see who was showing up.
Garrus was silent as he watched Tyson head back down the stairwell, at a loss of words. It was the second thing Tyson said that got to him; whether he could lead the Society in a time of war. He had never been completely comfortable with the role of leadership that had been given to him all those years ago, but he had grown into it after a while. 'I've been complacent about it though. We've never had to deal with something quite like this, and I've never prepared myself for such things. Let's just hope none of us will have to deal with a full blown war,' he told himself, leaving the chilly rooftop to go back down below.
"I do not like dealing with military officers," Renee said to Serdar as she closed her phone, placing it in her pocket as they drove down the lone road to the small base that the Society had stayed at.
"You never did," Serdar replied quietly, keeping an eye on the road ahead of him, "Might have been a blessing that you didn't stay in."
"Well aren't you the funny one today?" Renee asked as she looked outside the window, unamused at Serdar's response, "Using your own brand of sarcastic 'umor on me, making jokes with my father this morning. Soon you will be up on a stage telling jokes with our guests as an audience."
"I never intended anything mean," Serdar clarified, not wanting such a small thing to escalate any further. "I'll refrain from making anymore humorous comments today if that makes you feel any better."
"It does not make me feel any better since that is going to be impossible with my father being 'ere," Renee replied as the car slowed down to a stop at the front of the base.
"I will do my best to avoid him then," Serdar replied, parking the car and getting out once it was off. "Is he already here, you think?"
"I doubt it. 'E 'as never been on time in 'is life. 'E'll be in the conference room soon enough I imagine," Renee said after getting out and closing the door, putting on her coat before briskly walking inside to the warm building. She exchanged greetings with some of the soldiers and personnel there as she went to the area that the Society had been given to stay in.
Up ahead she saw Tyson and Garrus heading back towards the lobby as well. "I see you two are already up and awake. The rooms were sufficient for the both of you, yes?" she asked as she approached them, getting a nod from Garrus, "Wonderful to 'ear. Perhaps if we can wake the rest of your group we can get things arranged so that you will all 'ave much more than just a sufficient place to stay while you are 'ere."
Fucking France. Tommy mentally cursed as he rose out of bed. The bed he was given was approximately half a foot too short for him, he had to pull his legs up to fit in and during the night he pushed them straight through his foot locker. Once he sat up, he began pulling any remaining splinters out of his feet, then he checked the rest of his body for any shrapnel he had missed from before. After a quick search he found a 9mm had been keeping his molars company, he used his thumb to dislodge it and threw everything into a trash bin. He was wearing a pair of black boxers and a grey tank top. He went to the foot locker, and picked through the broken wood to grab one of his spare smoke bombs. Tommy had originally started using these things for changing into his Golem outfit, but after realizing how long some of the Societies missions could be, he started packing one simply for extra clothes. He held the ceramic sphere between his left thumb and index finger and cracked it. Smoke poured out and began to obscure his hand and arm. He reached in with his right hand and retrieved a brown paper package which he threw on the bed. He then placed his right hand over his left and spoke, " Restitui." And the cloud of smoke imploded on itself, leaving a ceramic sphere in the palm of his hand. Tommy grabbed an XL "Promenade Museum Tours" T-shirt from the package, and his vest, and left his room.
" Perhaps if we can wake the rest of your group we can get things arranged so that you will all 'ave much more than just a sufficient place to stay while you are 'ere."
Fucking French accents. he cursed again as he dragged himself to the coffee pot, and poured himself a cup. Fucking French roast. he cursed again, he couldn't exactly remember where this grudge against the French came from. As far as major wars went, his family could have started hating the French anywhere between the 100 years war and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Regardless, Tommy knew was raised to dislike the French, and he intended to do his Gypsy mum and his English Dad proud.
" Bed was a bit small frankly." Oh wicked burn and Tommy proceeded to take a victory sip.
"Usually beds are made for people of normal size. You should 'ave just grabbed another bed from one of the adjacent rooms; no one would 'ave minded...or fought back," Renee explained to Tommy after he came out to the lobby where herself, Garrus, and Tyson were. The picture of the Promenade on the front of Tommy's shirt caught her eye as she sized up the man in front of her. "Never seen a building like that before."
"That is our base of operations you could say. Our headquarters," Garrus explained, picking up the cup of coffee he had left behind when he went to talk with Tyson on the roof.
"It is also a museum," Renee mentioned, eying the picture of the building on the shirt.
"It seems odd to me to 'ave something as important as your 'eadquarters be free to the public in such a way," she commented, not quite understanding why it would be that way. To her it seemed foolish to have something so important be so easy to access.
"Yeah, well it's been like that for a while now. No one has really ever thought of changing it. For the most part it's been closed due to the constant repair that it has been needing. We've been gone for a day, which probably means that it has been destroyed by this point with the stuff it has been dealing with," Garrus told Renee, wondering if the Promenade would be just a pile of rubble once they got back. 'I am praying that the Union or any natural disasters or whatever decide to just hold off until we get back.'
"I see," Renee replied, stepping around Tommy to take a look at the back of the shirt, "We do not 'ave a place like this anywhere 'ere because we 'ave no superheroes. There are many people with powers, but they are usually all drafted into the military of their respective countries. Powers are important military advantages that cannot just be wasted on people running around in gaudy outfits saving others while fighting counterparts in equally 'orrible clothing."
'Our clothes aren't that gaudy,' Garrus thought defensively, looking at his own worn down green jacket and grey pants. 'They are a little worse for wear though.'
A few hours of tossing and turning was the closest thing Levi was going to get that resembled sleep. He spent much of that time drifting in the realm of half-sleep, his racing thoughts preventing him from completely going under. Now, as he stared aimlessly at the wall, he figured he might as well get up. There was no point in trying to sleep any longer. His sore and tire body complained as he rose from his bed. He did a few stretches to try to relieve the stiffness in his muscles and picked the pile of clothing he tossed aside earlier.
Levi's button-up was a goner. Between the rips, burns, and blood stains, it looked more like a tattered rag than a decent shirt. A shame, because it was one of his favorites. That left his white undershirt and leather vest, which were in decent enough shape, all things considered. But for now, he only put on the undershirt. He then left the bedroom and headed down the halls to the lobby. It took him a few moments to remember the way; the featureless beige walls didn't help navigating at all.
As he entered the lobby, he caught the smell of coffee. Garrus, Tyson, and Tommy were already there. And so was Renee. After the last time he spoke with that woman, Levi wanted as little to do with her as possible. Whatever ability she possessed allowed her to manipulate the minds of those she spoke to. That seemed to be a trend in this universe and it didn't sit particularly well with him.
Despite his discomfort, he quietly acknowledged Renee as he headed to the coffee machine. He poured a cup and dumped a pouch of creamer into the warm liquid. Levi never enjoyed the taste of coffee, but he couldn't afford to be picky; he needed something to help wake up and there was nothing else. He took a sip and frowned. Even with creamer, the taste was a bit too strong. Trying to ignore the aftertaste that reminded him of eating dirt, Levi took another sip of the coffee.
Seems like a lack of foresight I'd say. In Britain they would be more prepared for larger guests, and in America I'm not even that big compared to some. As Tommy sipped his coffe he composed a thesis on how the inability of the French to provide adequate bedding for large men was a direct result of their desire for a sleeping pad that could also serve as a raft, should their retreat require crossing water. Tommy also found the whole white sheet situation subject, it seemed to facilitate easy surrenders.
At this point Tommy decided to take a break from methodically insulting the state of French bedding, to focus on something more American. He noticed there were some geographic charts on one of the lounge tables. Flipping through a strack of them, Tommy found something very odd about New England's shape. There are no words to describe the magnitude of this revaluation. He folded the map, and silently slid next to Garrus "Garrus, you must look at this," Tommy whispered discreetly as he passed the chart to Garrus, " On the map, Rhode Island is whole. Do you realize what this means!?"
"It means..." Garrus started as he grasped the chart Tommy had passed him and took a look at it. His mind was forming a blank on what Tommy wanted him to realize, which he figured was due to being tired from all the stress. 'I think I'll need a vacation after all of this if our world isn't in turmoil by the time we get back,' he thought, the train of thought leading to the Society's enemies.
"Oh, I get what you mean now Tommy," Garrus replied after he realized that all of Rhode Island was still in tact, unlike how it was in their universe. The small block of land on the edge of in Newport County was right where it had been before Major Crime had tossed it at Patriot during one of their many battles. Now that Garrus was thinking about it, no Society meant that none of the many battles had ever happened.
Getting a decent night's sleep had been greatly appreciated by Katie. Initially she had been unable to get comfortable, but after turning part of her armour into a leaf blanket she was out like a light. It was difficult to change from the things one was used to, she knew that well now.
A breakfast of fruit and some raw vegetables later, she was hanging around the lounge, one brief glance at Renee to acknowledge her presence. Katie was not a fan of the way that her mind had been so easily manipulated. It was one thing to get in her head, but another entirely to compel her to do as Renee said.
Rowan, on the other hand, had had absolutely no trouble sleeping. He was used to spending nights in different places, and while they were in an alternate dimension of reality, they weren't in one where beds didn't exist. So he was grateful for that. The shapeshifter was up at a reasonable hour, assuming a well-rested look despite the Society's recent experiences, and had taken his time getting down to the lounge. He eschewed the coffee favoured by the others for a plain glass of water from the water-cooler next to the coffee machine, giving a short wave to the others as he did so.
"Hm. If I knew we were gonna be away from The Promenade for this long, I would've brought some clothes with me." Jason mumbled as he rose from the single-sized bed appointed to him by the establishment's staff. He decided against making any complaint towards the diminutive stature of the mattress's size (as his feet quite easily dangled from the edge), and instead rose to his feet, stretching accordingly.
"You've spent longer periods of time in the armor before." Erebus piped up.
"Yeah, but you know how perspiration works. After awhile, the crevices start to get all stank and muggy. I'd air 'em out, but it's not like I can just mozy up to the others, stark naked. I mean...I can...but I'm not an exhibitionist." Jason replied, using his privacy to talk to his armor aloud. It was one of the things he preferred to do when no one else was around, to avoid looking like a crazy person.
"Hey, weirder things have happened. You could easily add 'parading around nude in an parallel universe' to the list."
"Ha. You're a comedian, Ero." Jason retorted, quite dryly. He did wonder if the place had a restroom of sorts as he began leaving the room, the thought lingering through his mind as he traversed the quiet halls of the place. He realized how much he would appreciate a shower before body odor really began to set in. Soon, he encountered the lounge (almost bypassing the small threshold in the process), entering as he heard the words of his fellow teammates. He greeted the crowd accordingly, bee-lining towards the coffee machine almost instinctively. He didn't even fully realize Renee and her associate until after he had poured himself a cup full of the java. But as he laid eyes on her (after she finished saying something negative about costumes), the first thing that sprung into his mind was the mental acts she performed on both he and Levi the day before.
"Heh, it seems we just bounce from one lounge to the next, huh? Fun." He mumbled to the air, taking a loud sip of the hot caffeine. But his mind still subjected Renee's abilities. It was something he realized he felt somewhere else, by another person. Whenever he was in the presence of someone much closer to him. The thought racked a quaint shudder through the Keyholder's body.
Tyson just nodded yes when Renee asked if their rooms were sufficient. Half of Tyson's mind wanted to go ahead and antagonize the woman for a while, see how far she could bend before she broke so-to-speak. Instead he kept better judgment and just stayed quite; listening to the other conversations as they went on.
'The bitch forgets that we are openly targeted by villains. Having a public headquarters also means that, they won't have to take people hostage or something stupid if they want to just attack us. Plus it helps with the publicity portion of a government funded organization. Now I can't argue with her over everyone's outfit. I were a suit of armour though, she could've at least omitted it.'
Tyson spotted Levi enter the lounge and walked over to him. "What's with that look? The coffee isn't that bad." Tyson said with a feigned cheerful voice. "So how'd you sleep and is there any update on Taryn?"
"Heh, it seems we just bounce from one lounge to the next, huh? Fun."
"It's a bit of a running theme, isn't it?" Levi quipped dryly as he took another sip of his coffee. The taste was still awful, but he couldn't deny that it was helping him wake up. He was already beginning to feel a bit more alert and clear-headed. While waiting for the courage to take another sip, he swished the cup a little and watched the black liquid mix with lighter brown swirls of creamer. Perhaps it would've helped to stir it a bit before he started drinking.
"What's with that look? The coffee isn't that bad."
Levi shifted his gaze from the cup. "Never was a coffee person," he replied to Tyson.
"So how'd you sleep and is there any update on Taryn?"
"I didn't. And I haven't heard a thing about Taryn since we got here. I mean, I just woke up, so maybe I'll hear something later." He sighed. "I just hope she's doing okay. Just...I'm sure you saw her when they wheeled her out. She's in bad shape, Tyson."
" Huh, that means I never got my ass kicked by Major Crime last time we met. Sweet." Tommy mused, as he recalled Major Crime nearly blasting his arm off. "Cause I mean that really sucked, so I'm glad to have that off my record." He then took another few sips of coffee and actually found himself warming up to the taste as the caffeine kicked in. He also noticed Jason was still armored, it wasn't unusual to see him walking around after a fight when he couldn't find his clothes. "You know Jason you could just ask for a pair of fatigues," Tommy told him.
Renee had taken a seat next to the coffee table after making a cup for herself. The small amount of kindness still in her heart made her leave a few packets of sugar for whoever came after her; the rest was used to make her coffee something that could give someone diabetes just by looking at it. More Society members started to wake up and enter the lobby, and soon enough everyone was sitting or standing while trying to wake themselves up.
As Renee was checking what the temperatures would be for the week, her phone began to ring. "I'm not sure why you needed to call to let me know you are 'ere," she began after accepting the call, a confused look on her face after hearing what the other person wanted.
"What? Why would you even need me to ask them if they are allergic to that? I don't even know 'ow those two things could even be grouped together. I know you want to impress, but I don't think now is a good time. Just...stay in there and I'll bring them in a moment," Renee said before hanging up, exasperated by the way her father acted sometimes.
"Time to get cleared everyone. Follow me," Renee told the group, taking one last drink before leading them outside of the lobby. She ignored Garrus when he asked who they were meeting, and whether or not this person could be trusted. "Everything will be fine. Just let me go in first," Renee explained, halting them at a set of double doors. She took a deep breath before opening the door and entering at lightning fast speed; black smoke, snow, and the sound of cats emitting from the room.
From the hallway yelling could be heard in French, and after a couple of minutes Renee opened the door and motioned for them to come in. As they entered she handed them each a piece of toffee with an unamused look on her face, telling Serdar that this is the last time she'll ever do something like this again.
Garrus looked down at the candy he had been given by Renee as he moved into the room, distracted by the oddity of it before hearing a sharp whistle from the other side of the room. Across the room sitting in a recliner chair sat his father. 'No, this universes version of him,' Garrus reminded himself, managing to shake off the initial shock as he stepped forward.
"Still makes me your father," Roman told Garrus, popping a toffee in his mouth as he lounged in the chair looking both disappointed and bored.
'And I forgot he did that.'
"Does that. From what I can tell though you should be used to getting your thoughts read by Leland," Roman said with a smile, looking Garrus over once he got closer, "You seem to have grown up to be a good man, son."
That was more than Garrus could bear, and as all the bottled up emotions over his whole life spilled over he started to break down into tears. As Roman got up and embraced him, Garrus started to ramble on unintelligibly about everything that had happened in his life and how he felt. "I understand this is a bit much. Take a deep breath and take a seat. We can talk about everything once we get things cleared up, okay?" Roman asked, getting a nod from his son who let go and took a seat at the table.
Once Garrus started to compose himself, Roman focused on the rest of the Society as they all funneled in from the hallway. "Greetings. I had planned for a bigger welcome for all of you, but I suppose just an introduction will do. I am Roman; father of these two bright adults here. I will also be the one doing the last check to make sure everyone is not a spy from United America," he told the Society, knowing that they all wanted to hear that.
Tyson dropped the feigned cheerfulness from his voice. "Sorry, I was just hoping that she'd woken up in the night. Don't worry though she's a hero, she'll be awake soon enough." Tyson said as he put a hand on Levi's shoulder for reassurance.
He let go when Renee called the group to follow her. The smoke, snow, and cat sounds emitting from the room was strange, but what wasn't in the Society? That must have been some hell of an entrance that we're missing.
The yelling in French soon after made Tyson chuckle, mostly due to how absurd the language sounded. And as expected Rent didn't like the idea of it. "Is it always like this?" Tyson asked Serdar.
Serdar looked surprised at the fact that Tyson was even speaking to him, normally keeping to the background of things. There was a pause as he figured what he could tell Tyson and what he could not, finally answering with, "It really depends on the moods of the two. Renee...always had quite a temper; usually she can let it...uh, slide though."
It seemed Tyson caught the man by surprise. Renee was such a central force, that it wouldn't have surprised him if the man was often overlooked. "To be honest I kind of expected that. As long as we aren't in the crossfire I figure we should be good." Tyson said replied back.
As soon as he finished talk, Renee called them in and handed them each a piece of candy. The room they entered had a large boardroom-esque table, surrounded by chairs, and a smaller table off to the side of the room. Tyson looked at the candy he was given suspiciously, and dropped it on the large table in the middle of the room; he took a seat in the one of chairs near Roman.
Roman himself had wavy mostly grey, with touches of dark brown and black, hair. He was wearing a grey tracksuitish type of clothing, with an exotically designed and coloured shirt underneath. He was also wearing a cape, the same one Leland wore. His face made him look like he was entering his mid-fifties and it bore a striking resemblance to Garrus'. Tyson suspected who the man was, and his suspicions were confirmed a few moments later.
The conversation between the two seemed a bit awkward, like there were pieces of it going on without them physically saying it. The exchange would have been more heartwarming, but Tyson was tired, callous, and too warn out to exactly care about it. Instead Tyson focused on what Roman had revealed to them in that short exchange before he introduced himself.
'So he's a mind reader like Leland. I don't need you to respond to that. However you should explain what the final check is. I'd also like to know if are you aware that your "bright" daughter, threats men with forcing them to have sex with her by using her powers?'
"I can tell that you all are just so anxious to get this all done and over with. Learn some patience during your stay here, please?" Roman told the Society with overly feigned impatience as he got comfortable in his chair once again. The man moved all the chairs back with a flick of the wrist, urging everyone to take a seat around the table.
Listening in on Tyson's thoughts made Roman smirk, making eye contact with his daughter who shot a smile back before looking at Tyson. "I don't really see a problem with it myself, besides that it has also yet to be acted upon. If our thoughts and threats by themselves could get us in trouble than the whole world would have to be a giant prison," Roman explained to Tyson with a cheeky grin, putting his feet up onto the table as he rocked back and forth in the chair.
"Now I'm letting you all know that this check is just going to be taking a look in your mind to make sure that your memories were not implanted in you. It will only take but a second, and you will not feel anything whatsoever for I am not an amateur at this sort of thing," he said to everyone, adding on that he also was not going to divulge anything that he found, "Just to set your minds at ease."
That's right, the Society of Justice was responsible for Roman's death, so without them around he would be still alive. But then what happened to Leland? . Despite this revelation he remained composed, by reminding himself to stay distance from the events of this universe. He also realised he was face to face with his boyhood boogieman. Though after learning the truth from Roman's family and his own father; Tommy came to realize Roman wasn't a monster, simply an individual whose only crime was living too long and becoming too powerful. Inevitably people began to fear his strength and influence. He took a step towards a chair. But this time, rather than hitting the floor and pushing forward, he right foot punched a hole clean through the floor. His next step sent him pitching forward. He catching himself with his left hand but that also punched straight through. On instinct Tommy made his body relax, and gave himself a moment to recompose himself.
"Sorry, I about that, I tripped." Tommy said. Slowly and surely Tommy pushed himself up with his right arm. Easy, now, minimum effort. He took care to pull his limbs out without make more damage, and got to his feet. Slowly but surely he let his movements relax as he got a feel for this sudden boost of strength, and the he started toward the table again. Eventually he got to the nearest chair and took a seat. Hoping to end the awkward silence. Tommy asked Roman a question, " So Mr. Arreos, you've seem come and go, how does Patriot Punch stack up against as a tyrant?" Hoping to deflect attention.
The thing about military hospitals, Joy observed, was that there were never any good magazines to read. Joy tossed aside a worn copy of the ST 31-91B Medical Handbook with a sigh. The hospital area was quiet. There was no one to even talk to except a few wandering interns, identifiable by their pastel colored uniform, carrying paperwork and trash in and out of the double doors. Most of the enlisted doctors were out getting coffee or food. For people who were supposed to be at the ready for surgery in an instant they sure did eat a lot.
Personally, Joy thought that quite a few of the doctors were simply lazy. She picked up her only patient's chart and flipped through the numerous pages. No changes. Not even in blood sugar levels. It was frustrating, the lack of change. Especially after that strange man's healing ritual. Most of her previous patients had broken bones and were discharged the same or next day. Even the surgical cases never had the recovery time this one patient seemed to require. There was nothing she could fix or help with. All she could do was just sit...and wait.
They'd restrained the patient as a precaution during the transportation process. The light restraints were still on, which wasn't standard procedure but possibly an attempt to save time for the next transport. Of course Joy hadn't heard anything about another transport being scheduled. But then she wasn't in a position of authority here.
"Just a nurse." Joy muttered sarcastically, "no need to know here. I'm just the help." Doctors. So self-centered.
Joy sat down in one of the many high-backed built-to-be-uncomfortable chairs available. "Oh, good." Someone had managed to leave their newspaper behind. Maybe there was a new crossword.
~ Main stairway clear, continuing route ~ In Today's News a fire in the city bank - Accident or Arson? More at ~ Yeah baby, tell me what you're wearing ~ Get back in this house this instant, young man! ~
Burning. She was burning in white light. And pain. And fire. Everywhere. Make it stop make it stop make it stop.
~ Partial cloudy, two degrees cooler than ~ Sir, no sir ~ What have I told you about calling me? ~ Two cheese, one pepperoni ~ Please input your ten digit account number ~
Stop. Too much. Pain. Data. Too much. Too fast. Stop. Please.
Joy dropped her new-found newspaper to the ground and turned to stare at her patient. Was that?
"Taryn? Taryn can you hear me?" Shoving her chair out of the way Joy ran to the bedside. The monitors still read normal. "You're okay, you're in the hospital in Cabourg." Doctors, where were the doctors?
~ Anyone home? ~ Hands in the air you bastard! ~ Hear me? ~ Buy one for $19.99 and get a second FREE! ~
Inside. It was inside. It was under her skin. Make it stop. Make it stop. Get it out.
She couldn't see. She couldn't hear. She couldn't do anything but float in the haze of white, red and fire. But she could feel it moving. Not moving, burning. It was burning her up. Eating her skin. Burning her alive. She'd burn to nothing. She'd be nothing. Make it stop. Help!
Taryn jerked arms she couldn't quite feel upwards. Against the pain. With the pain. Away from the pain.
Caught! She couldn't move. She had to move. She had to!
"No, stop that you can't-Hold on!" Joy tried to capture the patient's suddenly flailing arm. For being just awakened from a coma the patient was surprisingly strong. On the second flail Joy caught the patient's wrist.
But with a harsh sound of ripping fabric the second wrist restraint tore free.
Free. She was free. Taryn clawed at her shoulders and chest. It hurt. It all hurt. She couldn't get it out. It would consume her. She had to-
~ Coming to a theater near you ~ Don't change the channel ~ Daniel, check camera two we've got ~ Stop that! You've reached the Smith's we're not ~ She wants to speak to you make it fast. ~
Focus. She couldn't. Too much. Too much. She couldn't. What was? She had to...Hurt. It hurt. Make. Stop.
~ Up next another nonstop set of the latest hits, only on ~ Hi, Daddy. ~ The home team lines up at the ten yard ~ Reach...for the sky ~
White light bled into red lines. Angry red. Followed by blessed darkness.
The patient stopped struggling and began to convulse. "Oh no." Joy scrambled to find the nearest medical tray. She tore aside the dividing curtain and yanked open the top drawer to get a fresh needle to go with the vial of Lorazepam.
The patient cried out and Joy fumbled the vial. Silently cursing interns - her scapegoat of choice - the nurse managed to get the right dosage. She emptied the drug into the IV that was miraculously still attached to the patient's arm. Then, holding her own breath, Joy counted.
"One..two...three.." At six the patient began to calm down and fall silent. The tremors changed to random twitches. At ten one of the interns burst through the hospital doors. Joy ignored the disheveled and panicked young man.
"Taryn? Can you hear me?" She needed to know.
The patient moved her head slightly but made no sound. Joy carefully laid the patient on her back again. As she did so she noticed a splotch of something on the patient's arm. Is that blood? Joy carefully pulled the patient's sleeve up.
It wasn't blood nor a rupture of any kind. It wasn't even a bruise. It was the wrong color. It wasn't even a solid color because it kept shifting. Was it the light?
Joy looked up but the ceiling lights were as steady as they always were. No flickering there. "So what..." She looked back down. Whatever it was was getting...brighter? It was a glow. A glow inside the skin. "...in the..." And spreading, whatever it was was spreading. "...world." Holding the patient's sleeve in place Joy reached down with her free hand-
"Ow!" -only to jerk her whole arm back as something flared bright and heat rushed through her hand. Joy blinked against the sudden afterimage. Her formerly pristine and sterile glove was ruined - bisected across the back of her hand by an uneven scorch mark. The fingertips of her glove were melted, the fingers themselves slightly tingly. Paresthesia - her mind unhelpfully supplied. All of these things Joy noticed and dismissed in seconds. There were more important things to worry about. Like that glow that...
...had vanished. Joy tugged the flimsy cotton sleeve up again but there wasn't anything there. Nothing... But it had been something. It had been something. She didn't just get shocked by a nothing.
The patient whimpered and Joy flinched from sound. She dropped the sleeve and focused on the patient's face. Sweat covered the patient's forehead. Remembering the machines Joy turned to see that the heartbeat monitor was working once again and reporting only a slight elevation. Every other machine blinked only partial numbers. Useless, they were now useless.
Thermometer. She needed a handheld thermometer. Joy turned to look for the closest cart of supplies.
Joy turned back around to see the patient's body began to thrash again. Oh no. Joy dropped the thermometer on the bed and stood up to brace the patient's body. The patient convulsed again, rattling the frame of the bed. The heart rate monitors beeped twice and began to sounds a shrill alarm. No no no no!
Spotting the frozen intern Joy yelled in his direction. "Don't just stand there, help me!" she demanded. The intern nodded rapidly and rushed to the other side of the gurney.
Between the two of them they managed to get the patient on a backboard and prepped. When the intern's hands were too shaky to hold the defibrillator paddles Joy grabbed them from the man. Protocol be damned she wasn't about to have her only patient die.
"Charge to 200." Joy waited for the quiet hum before placing the paddles on the patient's chest. "Clear!"
The next thing Joy knew was darkness. Darkness and someone yelling at her. Someone with an unfamiliar but rather annoying voice that made her headache that much worse. She opened her eyes and bad upgraded to really bad.
The twitchy intern was on the opposite side of the room. Joy squinted to see him through the dimmed lights and cloudy vision. Backup power. They were on backup power. That's why the lights weren't all on. But why?
"What happened?" Joy asked as she shakily stood. She brushed a hand through her hair and came away with a handful of dust. Or dirt. Or something.
"I-I don't know. There was a-an explosion? Or s-something." Twitchy was shifting anxiously. Now that she was upright Joy saw that he was holding his arm against his body and the shoulder of his lab coat was bloody.
"There was a what?" Joy rubbed her eyes in an attempt to clear her vision. She had a concussion. She had to. It explained the wall she was using for support and why she was twenty feet away from where she'd been standing. Where she'd been... The patient!
Shoving off from the wall Joy stumbled forward.
There was chaos in the center of the room. The lights that weren't broken were shattered, glass liberally coated the floor and trays. All the medical equipment was smoking or giving off sparks. Trays and instruments were strewn across the floor. There were black marks on the floor and ceiling creating a uneven circle around the bed. The useless defibrillator paddles were hanging off of the frame.
And the patient. Her patient. Her patient was glowing.
"Go get Sergeant Hadley" Joy whispered.
"What?" The intern whose name she still didn't know turned to stare. He may have stopped breathing. Joy didn't care.
"Go. Get. Sergeant Hadley. NOW!"
"It's Mr. Claidt now, Thomas. I have not used the Arreos name in, oh I'd say around thirty-five years now if I can remember that correctly," Roman told Tommy, completely unfazed by the young man's strange ways. Garrus, meanwhile, went from being all down and mopey to looking like he was about to die from embarrassment.
"As far as how I would rate Smith on the dictator scale, I would only put him at a seven or eight personally. He has proven himself to be more humane than most cruel leaders because of the simple fact that he does not kill any of his own people if he can help it. No, he is smart enough to realize that keeping someone alive in United America means that that is just one more person he can control and use against his enemies," Roman explained to everyone in the room, following it up by stating, "If you guys want to ask me questions while I do the checks, feel free to do so."
With that said, he started to go through the Society members one by one. "You are good, though I knew you would be," he told Garrus, pointing from him to Ethan. "Interesting. I am going to talk to you later about that. No, not that. That," Roman said to Ethan, giving him a look before moving on. "Moving on. Mind cleared. You remind me of your dad, Thomas. Next."
"You young lady, are good to go. Later you must tell me about that boy of mine," Roman told Katie before clearing Brian and Rowan. "All of you are cleared," he told Jason with a smirk, moving onto Levi and telling him that he was a welcomed sight ("Mainly because you are not evil like your counterpart."). He jokingly said that Renee and Serdar were clearly spies before finishing up with checking Tyson.
What he found during the mind was certainly something a bit more out of the ordinary. There were other people with split personalities or other separate consciousness in their minds, but nothing quite like this. "Interesting. You are certainly cleared, but I think this is something that needs to be discussed now. For the safety of all of us here now, I won't let you leave here until this is dealt with," Roman said to Tyson, still keeping most of his lightheartedness while making such a threat.
Tyson didn't like that Roman was going to be looking into his mind in the slightest. He might not be able to tell, but Vesper could be an entirely different story. There could be no time to ease his mind as he tried to bar down his mental defenses for what was about to come.
It came fast and sudden. Tyson didn't even know it had happened until the torrent of Vesper's rage lashed out in his mind for control. Tyson was fighting to stop, trying to hold it back, dragging his heels as it pushed forward. And as Roman finished his last sentence Tyson lost all control. His vision turned to black and white, and started to refresh from the sound as it echoed across the room.
Tyson's eyes turned pitch black and an explosive sound wave was released from his mouth. All the glass in the room shattered, the electronics in the room seized to function, and all the objects in the room, including the room itself began to shake. In the next instant Vesper was out of his chair and flying across the table. Vesper was going right for the throat; it wanted a clear fast kill. Tyson watched the images appear one after the other; his hands were out in front of him, his fingers were bent and primed to tear, Roman's throat was just an instant away, and a slight smile crossed Roman's face.
The next thing Tyson saw was a snowy forest. Vesper turned around completely and the sound wave it produced turned into an angry wail. The trees shook, snow fell off of the branches, and soon the piths of the surrounding trees exploded outward in shower of splinters.
The phone had been placed down in front of Lieutenant Colonel Dylan Roberts over ten minutes ago, and the officer had still yet to pick it up. He had reached out for it a few times, before deciding to stall further. 'I just need to get this over with. The sooner it is done the better for me.'
Taking a deep breath, he mustered up the bit of courage he needed and picked up the phone. Roberts brought out a long list of names and numbers, finding the one he needed and dialing it. It rang a few times before the click of the other person answering was heard, and Roberts started by saying, "This is Lieutenant Colonel Roberts. I'm here to talk about your recent demotion."
Bishop heard his phone start to ring and woke up. He looked at the clock on the wall and rechecked the time on the phone as he answered and heard it was Lieutenant Colonel Roberts. "It's four AM asshole! If you're going to kick me out of the resistance do so at a decent hour!" Bishop yelled into the phone, clearly still a little drunk from his afterhours refreshment.
Such contempt to another military member, especially one of higher rank, would have landed Bishop into a discharge right quick in almost every circumstance. 'Does he know he's being protected right now? Is that why he is doing this?' Roberts thought angrily, keeping himself composed as he replied, "Look. The time doesn't matter when it comes to your official commander calling you. Last I checked, you can be called upon at any time. Chastising you for your horrible attitude and disrespect is not what I'm calling you for this morning. It is about your recent demotion though." The next few words were hard for Roberts to say, the man taking a generous pause before saying, "You are not being demoted."
"You never get tired of fucking around do you? First you demote me for a bullshit reason and now you reinstate my rank. Now let's be frank here, she got to you didn't she? She said she would, and she doesn't stop until she gets what she wants; that bitch. So how bad did she fuck you? God knows how bad she fucks me." Bishop said having completely stopped giving a fuck. At this point Renee had done her work and Roberts was pinned. It didn't matter if this didn't make the two of them friends or enemies.
"It doesn't really matter how it got to this point, does it now Bishop? I'm just doing what I was told to do by someone above me. Just be happy it didn't turn out another way!" Roberts spat back, the insult from Bishop breaking through his prepared calmness. Even if they were both being played by the same person, it didn't suddenly make them anything more than what they.
If anything, it just made Roberts even more angry. "Look, accept this bit of kindness and the other things in the terms. You'll be reinstated, and you are to be given a pay grade promotion when we can get it done. I hope you understand the importance of something like that, though there is the very probably chance that someone as young and arrogant as you won't," Roberts told Bishop, adding in an angry grumble, "You are also to be given some additional leave for your...services in the Resistance, or something to that affect."
Bishop chuckled. "Roberts put aside your rank and pull your head out of your ass for a minute. Our resistance isn't based on ranks or orders anymore. Our whole opposing tower is based on success. Success gets us funding, gets us weapons, gets us vehicles, and gets us more people to fight for our side. No one wants to give money to a losing cause, no one wants to supply weapons and vehicles to a losing cause, and no one wants to fight for a losing cause. Success keeps our resistance a float above all else.
Now I'll take back my rank and I'll accept that additional promotion. Not because I want to, but because people like you with their heads up their asses don't see the big picture past their rank. You can tell Renee that she can shove that leave up her ass. I won't take a break until United America waves a resistance flag from coast to coast. Now you have two choices; you can either hate me and continue to get in my way, or you can hate me and get behind a perfect record." Bishop honestly had nothing more to say. At this point he could only see it as this way up or the rock below him crumbled.
Roberts also had nothing more to say to Bishop; hitting the button to hang up on the call before slamming it down onto the table in front of him.
Bishop didn't know what position the man was going to take. Right then and there it didn't matter; he'd know soon enough.
Briān woke up slowly. The plane ride over had taken more out of him than he thought. It was one thing to do the Montreal-Washington hop, but it was another to go across the ocean like that.
There were a couple of things that made it better. One was landing in an area where he could speak his natural language and be understood. No choking out the Anglo words of the oppressors. He looked over at the other thing. Catherine was still asleep on a separate cot in the room. She looked like an angel in her slumber. Briān sighed and sat up, starting to throw his clothes back on. He debated on waking Catherine up since it was likely that the other worlders would be getting prepared by the resistance forces, but he decided against it. I will let 'er dream, just a leetle wile longer...
The mind scanning was a little creepy, but at least it was brief. The man didn't make any remarks to Brian before or after it occurred, only to tell him that his memories were his own. I guess that's good. It was once he got to Tyson when things started going from a little creepy to man in a suit made of possum skins foamily staring at you creepy. He didn't know what was going on, but it looked like the sound expert was taking it more harshly than the others so far. By more harshly, that meant psychotically. Glass shattering. More noise than a million screeching Bieber fans. He leapt at the man conducting the screenings and then suddenly he was gone. In an instant.
Brian's body loosened after being so tense during that exchange. "Uh....does that mean he didn't pass there?"
Roman's reach into Jason's mind was about as uncomfortable and invasive as Renee's. Even if the man's words claimed that his abilities wouldn't be noticed, Jason's own mingling made outside forces that much more apparent within the folds of his psyche. Yet, Jason kept his opinions to himself, not that it mattered. The telepathic probably heard them anyway. The scan also made his heart skip a beat, that quiet thought of fear floated through him ever since Roman announced the act. Even with the defenses he's formed, he always imagined someone from the outside just waltzing into his mind and finding out (and possibly unlocking) everything he's been keeping at bay.
"All of you are cleared." Roman smirked at the Keyholder as a confirmation. Jason nodded neutrally.
All?! What was with that smirk?!" He retorted in thought, clearly alarmed.
"I'm sure he was referring to 'All' as 'Me and You'. Calm down." Erebus replied with confidence. Jason began to heed Erebus' words, only to visibly jump after Tyson lunged at Roman. And then vanished into thin air. Jason could only assume it was the
work of the master magician. He wanted to ask of where his teammate might've turned up, but he had other questions. Besides, along with Brian's dry quip, he was quite sure someone else would've shown the same concerns.
"So, I'm guessing one of the reasons we've come all this way was to see you? Are you the allied forces' Ace in the Hole? Or is there more? Do the UA forces have a magic user on their side (other than say, their Lieutenant Colonel from what I heard) that just stops you from taking what you want? I mean, you clearly just made our resident cynic disappear with a blink of an eye, surely you can't do the same to evil Patriot Punch!. Forgive me if I sound too curious." He asked bluntly, and fairly unenthusiastically.
"Don't worry though she's a hero, she'll be awake soon enough."
Levi frowned. "I hope so, anyway," he replied. The heavy silence that followed was lifted Renee called for everyone to follow her. If it got them closer to getting the hell out of this universe, he was completely fine with it. In an odd gesture, Renee handed him a piece of candy. Given his past experience with Renee, he was reluctant to eat it.
They were then brought into - surprise - another room with chairs. Seated at the other side of the room was an oddly dressed man. Something seemed familiar about him. His outfit, that cape, his demeanor...
Garrus broke down into tears and embraced the man, who comforted him before directing him to a seat. Levi took this as a cue to take a seat as well. 'Wait...could that be-'
"I am Roman, father of these two bright adults here."
Roman Arreos. Or, rather, Claidt, as the man corrected. Levi had only a passing knowledge of the family history, but he knew enough to understand that Roman being alive in this universe had a few unfortunate implications in this one.
"Now I'm letting you all know that this check is just going to be taking a look in your mind to make sure that your memories were not implanted in you."
'Are you fucking kidding me?' The fourth interrogation he'd been through since arriving here, and the third that involved mind-reading and other mental manipulations! Tyson seemed to be as enthusiastic as Levi was about another mental probing. His unease was palpable and Levi had a good guess as to why. 'I know you can hear me, Roman,' he thought. And we don't take kindly to intrusions in our-
"You are a welcome sight," Roman said to him, with what looked like an amused smirk. "Mainly because you are not evil like your counterpart." While Levi was processing that his mind was so easily read, Roman turned and regarded Tyson for a moment. "Interesting. You are certainly cleared, but I think this is something that needs to be discussed now," he said, his gaze still focused on Tyson. "For the safety of all of us here now, I won't let you leave here until this is dealt with."
If Roman was referring to what Levi thought he was referring to, things were about to get tense. But before Roman's last words had the chance to sink in, Tyson's eyes turned pitch black and he unleashed a primal screech that shattered glass and shook the room. The pierced Levi's eardrums and pain instantly shot through his head. He lurched forward, falling to his knees and clutching his head. He looked up just in time to see Tyson leap from his seat, aiming straight for Roman. Like a beast lunging at its prey.
"Tyson!" Levi shouted, hardly able to hear the sound of his own voice.
And then, Tyson vanished into thin air. Without any effort at all, Roman had made Tyson disappear. Just like Leland's teleportation. If it was teleportation, then where did he send Tyson? The sound blast left Levi disoriented, but he rose to his feet and glared angrily at Roman.
"What did you just do?" he asked incredulously. His hearing was beginning to clear; sounds slowly came into focus once again. "What in the hell did you just do to our teammate?" he reiterated, with increasing agitation.
"Now I'm letting you all know that this check is just going to be taking a look in your mind to make sure that your memories were not implanted in you."
"No! I refuse to be subjected to this!" Katie began vehemently as Roman's gaze turned to her. She tried to steel herself mentally in an attempt to shut him out -
"You young lady, are good to go. Later you must tell me about that boy of mine." It was over within a second.
Katie's face twisted into an expression of severe discontent. More and more people seemed to just easily dash aside any complaints the Society had. It was enough to drive a girl up the wall and back again. "At least he has the decency to respect someone's wishes," she snapped before Roman moved on.
Rowan paid no attention to Roman's poking about in his head. Spoon had likely done it without him noticing back before the flight, and so it was just becoming a standard procedure. He had nothing to hide... except maybe some private memories, which he hoped would just be glanced over or ignored.
Shortly afterwards, Roman spoke to Tyson about... something that needed to be dealt with. Both Katie and Rowan recoiled in pain, the former issuing a short scream, when Tyson went berserk and tried to attack Roman, only to vanish entirely.
The shapeshifter had the easier time of recovering from the sound-wave: he just turned into the first thing that came to mind and back again, repairing the damage done by the piercing screech. Katie, however, could feel blood trickling out of her ears, and she clapped a gloved hand to the side of her head, weaving the Bimini into the palm from memory.
It took her a while to recover from the effects of Tyson's flipping out. She caught the tail-end of Levi asking Roman what was going on.
"I'd like to know the same thing," she spat, now entirely pissed at Roman. "You have some serious explaining to do. What the fuck did you do to cause that?" If Roman didn't explain it, then Tyson would have to do so himself. Katie was liking the Society's situation less and less. Everyone getting into her head, people taking charge of situations when they shouldn't have been, being captured by hostile forces within minutes of arrival...
And more that she hadn't been a part of. What the hell had happened to Taryn during the stay at Catherine's base? Katie had seen her being lifted onto the plane before the flight, accompanied by a nurse.
Soon after Briān got up and began to dress, Catherine stirred, woke and rolled over onto her back, her sleep-heavy eyelids easing open. She too got up and began to collect the clothes she had discarded the night before, when she remembered with whom she was sharing a room.
"Good morning..." she murmured to Briān, running a hand through her hair to get rid of the knots. "Did you sleep alright?" It would be a better morning were it not for the affliction cursing you... would that I could defeat it myself. But not everything could be solved with an army of clones, nor the mindset of a soldier.
"Everyone just needs to take a moment and calm down. I know that all of you are frustrated with the recent events, but being moody, little toddlers about it will not 'elp," Renee spat while keeping her attention on her phone.
"I can handle this Renee. I know a thing or two about dealing with moody, little toddlers," Roman said, trying to keep the situation from turning into anything volatile. His daughter didn't say anything in reply, only gave him an unamused look before going back to her phone. With that settled, Roman turned to the Society to answers their questions.
"Your teammate is fine. I just had to send him to a place to cool off you can say," he started, slightly chuckling at the little joke he made, "I'll bring him back in a few minutes; though I'll have to keep an eye on him during your stay here. I do think you are all taking this a bit in the wrong way. We are all on the same side here, as my reading just proved. No one here is going to do anything to harm you; no sense hurting allies, right? We'll do our best to get you back to your own universe, but some things are a bit more important on our plate than that, you have to understand."
"Now that we have got this understanding going on, I'll answer that question of yours Jason. While I may be strong, there are still things I cannot surpass. Whether it be artifacts or spells older than even myself. United America invaded New Eldorado many years back, and since then they've had ways to stop anyone magical in their lands. Magic does not exist anymore in that land. Everyone magical has fled to their own cities, where they have been hiding instead of preparing themselves for the war they are going to be dragged into. The damn mage council makes me ashamed I ever was one with how they currently govern things nowadays," Roman stated, his tone changing to a serious one talking about what has happened to the magical world.
"There are some that are helping out in their own ways though; being product where there brethren are not. I, myself, am an ambassador to the magical world; not that it seems to make them listen anymore," he added, remembering a certain someone and sending a thought about what is going on there way.
"Once I finish clearing all of you, I believe the plan is to get you into a permanent lodging in Paris. From there it will be meeting some of the people who might be able to help you here, and see if there is anything you can do for us," Roman said after the pause to send his little thought email to his friend, about to continue his train of thought before a phone could be heard ringing.
Serdar sighed as he took it out of his pocket, handing it straight over to Renee as the two got up and left the room.
"I am assuming this means you got the promotion," Renee said smugly, leaning up against the hallway wall as Serdar started to wander around pretending he wasn't listening in.
"Yes I got the promotion. No I'm not going to take that leave time, or any leave time until the corpses of the leaders of United America are buried in the ground. Now it's four in the morning over here and I have a lot of planning to do, so can you just give me the information about the mech you want?" Bishop answered Renee, not even bothering to beat round the bush about why he was calling.
"Of course. Outside of Columbus is a national forest that Patriot has yet to tear down for some odd reason. Past that is a small town named Athens, which is practically in the middle of nowhere. If you 'ead south to thirty-nine point one four, negative eighty-two point one four you'll find a nice bunker that is currently 'olding an A.A. mech. They are still trying to get it to work if my sources are correct. I'd expect nothing less from those United American scientists," Renee told Bishop, having memorized all the info she had been given beforehand.
"If you need more precise coordinates I shall 'ave them sent to you today once we start moving the group over to Paris," she added.
Bishop flipped through a book of tactical maps, before finding one that contained the area around, and including, Athens, Ohio. He traced his finger across the coordinates until he found the rough area of where the bunker was supposed to be. He grabbed another book and looked for the military bases in Ohio and made a large circle outside of Dayton, Ohio. A wicked grin grew on Bishop's face.
"No that will be enough information. I'm sure our local members can me the final destination. Although I should inform you, that this one is going to go down in the record books. I know exactly what I'm going to do and it's going reset the scale for large scale resistance operations. I'm also going to need to put in a very large order in the next few days." Bishop stopped talking and swore at himself in his head. He just put himself in another bad position again, due to his cockiness.
"Consider the supplies paid for and sent," Renee replied giddily, looking forward to such an endeavor that this mission could be. The transport of the stolen mech to the European Union would be a difficult process, but that would have to be something figured out once the mech was in the Resistance's hands. "While you are busy retrieving the fine piece of machinery, I will do my best to figure out ways to pilot such a complicated machine. I think my one chance of getting the information might be coming up soon," she told Bishop, thinking about the ambassador the Asiatic Alliance was supposed to be sending in a few weeks time.
Bishop's blood melted and ran warm again. It seems like she wants this mech more than me. I might be clear for a little while longer. "This goes a little bit beyond supplies. I'm going to need some specially trained personnel. In addition to them I'm going to need my double from another universe. Speaking of which, if you're nearby could you put him on the phone?" Bishop asked as he started to scribble down a list of things he'd need and an immediate plan of action.
"I would, but 'e is currently indisposed. Not in a bad way or anything like that. Not sure what is entirely going on with 'im, but my father sent 'im away to calm down before 'e shall bring 'im back. Supposedly it is bad enough that my father actually plans on keeping an eye on 'im during 'is stay 'ere," Renee replied, not particularly liking that she couldn't give an exact explanation for what had happened.
"You were correct on your judgment on this group. They are who they say they are; which means quite a few things. We'll be moving on soon enough, but once your 'double' is brought back I'll be sure to let the two of you speak about this. 'Onestly I much prefer you over your own counterpart. You don't turn all crazy and yell in such an inhuman way like 'e does."
"Your father?" Bishop replied with a pause. "Given what he told me before he left I shouldn't exactly be surprised. Alright just make sure he contacts me once he isn't as indisposed. You should also try and get along with him better, sounds a destructive; and when you aren't acting like an omnipotent dictator you can be a bit cute and endearing. I'll talk to you later, bye." Bishop said as he hung up the phone. He had a lot of planning and calls to make for what he was try and pull off.
"Understood," Renee muttered as the line went dead, tossing the phone back to Serdar. "It is certainly going to be busy the next couple of weeks."
"More than normal, you mean?" he asked jokingly, looking over his shoulder at the sound of some hurried steps behind him. Sergeant Hadley was coming up to the two of them, a concerned look on his face. "Sergeant."
"Pleasantries can be after. The one who was brought with that group and put into the medical ward has awoken. She was unstable when I was last informed. The nurse said to let you know, and to have someone named Levi sent," Sergeant Hadley told the two, watching Serdar go back into the conference room to grab Levi.
"You are needed," he told Levi quietly, putting a hand on his shoulder to make sure he understood that this wasn't just a simple matter.
"Everyone just needs to take a moment and calm down. I know that all of you are frustrated with the recent events, but being moody, little toddlers about it will not 'elp."
"So only a toddler should be upset when his friend turns into a black-eyed psycho, pops everyone's ear-drums, and then disappears, I guess this happens more than I thought." Tommy spat back at Renee. Like everyone else Tyson's episode had snapped what little patience he had left for this process. He then said to Roman, "So you took a problem and teleported far-far away, I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." Recalling the number of times Leland solved a problem either by teleporting everyone away or moving the threat.
"Once I finish clearing all of you, I believe the plan is to get you into a permanent lodging in Paris. From there it will be meeting some of the people who might be able to help you here, and see if there is anything you can do for us."
" Roman, I apologize but I won't take a step towards Paris until you explain some things. You are in the middle of war with the UA and yet you're willing to put aside vital resources to help us return home when that wouldn't help you in anyway. Now I'm stupid, but I'm not so stupid as to think you're doing this out the goodness of your heart, not when those resources could be saving the lives of your men and women." Tommy was willing to accept his old Boogieman could be good, but that didn't wash away the warnings his father had given him. " I'll tell you know, I have no interest in fighting your war. I will not be your soldier. So tell us Roman, what do you seek to gain by helping us? You wouldn't make us go through this utterly insane vetting process unless you had plans."
In an office in Paris, a tall, slim, and dark-eyed man was reading through a stack of interrogation reports. His name was Dustin, and the office was part of the one-bedroom apartment where he lived alone. His reading was interrupted when he received a mental message from his employer, Roman. The message relayed the events that were happening in the conference room, in particular Roman told him about a man name Tommy who claimed to be Dustin's son. His response was brief.
Concerning Bishop's double. It's a well known fact that incredible power often comes with mental complications, it's difficult to have a normal mind when you're body is that powerful. I'd say you should know better than to poke around the mind of someone like that so casually, but of course you're brazen as ever.
Dustin returned to his reports, redoubling his focus so that he wouldn't look at the picture of his wife.
"I suppose I should have just let the teammate who clearly has a gigantic problem only two of you knew about be handled by all of you. Now does this happen before, or after he rips out my throat?" Roman asked Tommy in a mocking tone, adding that he doubt they would be able to handle Tyson even if they had managed to restrain him. "You have to factor in all the injuries everyone would have, and how you all planned to have him change back if you managed to get him tied down. I think I have a bit more experience in things such as this than you, no offense. I am keeping track of him now, waiting until he has calmed down enough and reverted back before I bring him back here."
"And believe me when I say that, if it were completely up to me, I would make this like a vacation for all of you where you can all just relax here. However that is not within my power. I will do my best to make you all not have to do much though. I have some influence there that can hopefully help out," he said, eating another piece of toffee before continuing, "I know you won't want to hear this, but you will be put to some work. I believe the things will be played to your strengths though; which I suppose makes it better. Renee will tell you more about it once she comes back."
'You know me well, buddy. Haven't died yet from my brazen ways though,' Roman responded to Dustin's brief reply.
"And what if we refuse?" Katie shot back at Roman, ignoring Renee's barbed comment about the Society behaving like children. "Oh, wait, you'll just drop us somewhere in the Arctic or something. People keep saying 'it's not up to me'. I'd like to know who is in charge. 'Cause for God's sake I hope it's someone who we can talk to to get this mess straightened out, without any more god-damn mind-probing or forcing people to do as they say. Fucking sick of it all."
Her piece spoken, she sat back in her chair and glared at Roman, entirely unimpressed with the recent events.