2009-11-16: A Little Brainwashy


Daphne_V4icon.png Cass_V4icon.png

Date: November 16th 2009


Daphne comes to Enlightenment Books to seek out Cass. Cass gives Daphne a mission.

"A Little Brainwashy"

Enlightenment Books

It's one of those average days, with people out and about, going about their daily business. And if some of that business happens to browsing novel oddities, then they're at Enlightenment, minding nothing else but what page they're on. Then, ding ding, another customer. Or, at least, the door moving. Because nobody seems to be coming in.

That's the illusion presented, because Daphne is, by then, already inside. She's got her phone in her hand, still on a recent text, and an overly wary look on her face as she spins in a slow half-circle to take in the bookstore from one of its center aisles. Contact from the owner was maybe some weeks ago, but it took time for the speedster to decide - to decide these were the only leads she had without running blind. Which is what she's been doing. She looks like it, too, with that signature messy hair and a distinct lack of motivation to primp herself up as nicely as before. But she's dressed and she doesn't smell, which is enough — and she's at the bookstore to meet a woman named Cass.

That woman named Cass is wandering the store, making sure customers are finding what they need and are generally helped. Smiling and generally friendly, she approaches Daphne slowly, studying her. For some reason this customer looks familiar, like she should know her from somewhere. The two have run into each other in random situations, but have yet to actually be introduced to each other. After a second, though, she carefully steps up, announcing her presence so as to not startle the woman. "Hi, are you finding everything? Can I help you?"

They met in two very different moments in Daphne's life, during and after Pinehearst, but when the speedster turns to acknowledge the greeting, she also has no pings of instant recognition. Instead, she just squares off— tight jaw, ready stance. It's only after a dismissive shake of her head that she can look a little more pleasant, like maybe that first expression was a fluke. But she's still a bit breezy. "Yeah. You work here? I'm looking for your—" Pause. Her head tilts one way. "Wait. Say that again?" But the question is already not needed. Cass' voice is it. "You're her, aren't you."

The head tilt is mirrored by Cass at the comment made by Daphne. The dismissive shake of the head isn't taken truthfully, and it's good that the woman doesn't start to move away because this is who she was looking for before. Or at least trying to get into contact with. "Say what again?" Then, she smiles, because the voice is starting to make everything click into place. "You're…Daphne?" That would certainly make sense, considering. "Thanks for coming."

"That'd be me," Daphne accepts, for a second like she's daring the woman to have expected more. But her defensiveness is second to her nervous habits, her tendency to keep switching what she's doing, so she's a lot less of the cold wall she might want to present. "Thanks whatever until we're doing something. You can tell me somewhere to look?" She doesn't seem to mind discussing this right out where they are, as long as it gets somewhere.

Luckily, the people here don't really listen to anyone else. Plus, it's not really out of the ordinary for people to have strange conversations. "Sort of." Cass is fuzzy on the details. "You know about Peter?" It's mostly a rhetorical question, as she was sure that the other woman did. Rebel told her to get in contact with Daphne after the helicopter text. "Well, apparently the group that's doing this all is under the supervision of Senator Wynn." Out in DC. "That may be a good place to get some information. I think I've got an idea of how to help Peter, but I need to know if he's being kept somewhere or if he's more…free roaming. It makes a difference. Anything you can find out about Wynn would really be helpful, though."

It becomes fully rhetorical when Daphne chooses not to answer, but instead casts her gaze in a different direction, perhaps to try and hide the first hint of sincere concern beyond her pushiness. "The group?" She asks, looking back when it's about someone other than Peter. "Under some senator? Doesn't that just figure." She rolls her eyes for the fate of the world, that even - or especially - its government is so full of these jerks and liars. "He's got to be kept somewhere, right?" The first earnest behavior leaks through, "Otherwise he'd be out. You don't just hold Superboy."

"They—-did something to him, though." Cass isn't sure of the details, just what she was told by Angela. "I don't know. He's changed somehow. He's not himself. They may have brainwashed him, or done something to him. I don't know what it is. It's more than them holding him." But she doesn't know what that something is. She's keeping her voice low, trying to make sure that her voice doesn't carry about the store, but this conversation is important and is receiving her full attention. "Yeah, I know, right? That group is called….Alpha Protocol." The name that Benjamin gave her the other day. "If you could find out anything about it and what they're doing with Peter, I think that may be the information we need to know how to get him out of there."

Daphne manages to maintain a pretty good front; or she would've, if it wasn't for how her eyes widen dramatically at the mention of brainwashing. She continues to stare with some amount of skepticism the rest of the time but when it's not taken back she steps back, instead. The speedster isn't leaving, she just needs the room to throw up her hands, her nostrils flaring with the work it takes to keep all the rest of the emotions in. "Okay," she says, regrouping just as fast, her chin jutted up stubbornly. "Okay, sure. Alpha Protocol. I'll steal 'em blind till there's something." Maybe she feels obliged at the open exchange of information. Anyway, after some working of her closed lips together, she blurts out, "Maxwell Swan. That's the guy. You know that, too? He's the one who did it?"

"Be careful with that. They took Peter, they're not messing around." And Cass doesn't want to send Daphne out to get captured herself. It's not just because then all the information would be lost, but she doesn't want anyone else in harms way like that. "I'm not saying you're not good, but they're dangerous." Her own eyes narrow the mention of the name. "I didn't know that." Maxwell Swan. That's something to remember. More names to add to her arsenal of people that she needs to be on the look out for, as well as who she needs to look into. "If we can, we should find out more about him to. Someone who's able to take out Peter is someone we need to tiptoe around very carefully."

"Yeah, well, neither am I." She looks obligatorily pleased at the sideways mention of her being good at what she does, but otherwise Daphne doesn't press the issue of how dangerous this is. It's not like she's not going to do it anyway. "Or run around really quickly." She quips in offering for what should be done to Maxwell Swan. Though, if you asked her, that would probably be the nicest thing she was wishing on a certain agent right now. "So what it is, the big light-bulb idea that you need all this information for?"

Cass gives Daphne an amused smirk at her quip. The last thing that will be done to Max is simply being run around in fast circles. Moving beyond that, instead, she focuses on the important question, her light-bulb idea. "I just think it's too dangerous to send a team in to get Peter. It's too big a risk and if a mistake is made, we lose everyone who went in after him, we'd never recover. If we can get him to come to us somehow, we can control it, make sure it's only Peter we're dealing it. And then we'd have, hopefully, all the information we'd need in order to get others out. Peter's been inside, he'll know how to get past security, maybe he'd even know where they all were kept. He's the lynchpin in getting everyone else out."

That all sounds reasonable. Daphne's never been partial to huge groups of people trying to pull stuff off anyway. You get exactly what skills you need and you get out. "Huh, that doesn't sound terrible." She informs Cass with generous wryness. That's not it, however, and she adjusts her stance, finally defaulting on that tried and true pose of crossed arms. "But if he's so brain-washy, why would he want to come out? I mean, clearly nothing… nothing's been important enough for him to want to leave." Nothing and no one. That's the kicker, right? Sure, the government's messed with your head, but you'll remember everything when it comes down to those you truly care about being in trouble. It's what the movies would like you to believe … Schmucks.

"Thanks," Cass returns the compliment with a wry grin of her own. She'll take that as a compliment. "And that's what I need to know." Cass doesn't like the idea of brainwashing, of him being all twisted and everything. "I don't even know what they did to him, but I was told he may be dangerous. And if this is Peter we're talking about, the only way I can imagine that happening is if they messed with his mind somehow." He wouldn't turn dangerous without someone else doing something to him. "He's either too brainwashy to leave, or just brainwashy enough to not know that he shouldn't leave." That makes a certain amount of sense, right?

Daphne hates that this is Peter they're talking about, but with another little flurry of hand motions, she's gotten herself over it. Visibly, at least. "Alright, sweet, sure. How brainwashy is the brainwashed. This doesn't suck at all. The government should just make up its mind already if it wants to capture us or work with us." Something to consider. Meanwhile, there's a squint in the way she looks at Cass. She juts out a hip and leans forward slightly. "You know, I know you, don't I? It's not just your voice…"

The squint, the scrutiny, it makes Cass a little uncomfortable. For now she just shakes her head. "I don't know. I don't think so? I mean, you look familiar." The hair alone is a stand-out feature that should make her memorable, but the times when they met were so spread apart and wildly different that the woman is hard to place. "I don't know. Maybe you've come into the store before, or we passed each other." But, she can't quite place the speedster. Possibly, she's blocking out the bad things that happened in Pinehearst. And Meryl's wedding was too strange to pick out singular people in the midsts of for the woman.

The wedding was… okay, weird - but also almost nothing when it came to interaction. Unlike the other woman, Daphne keeps close all of her Pinehearst encounters, clinging to paranoia for the longest time that someone would come after her from there. But it's not enough, only a feeling, and the speedsters backs off simply. "Whatever. Not like it matters. I've got a government facility to storm." Don't hear that everyday in a bookstore. Unless you're EB. So they're set. "Keep up the A+ effort, Brain." She throws a little thumbs-up action in there just so they can end on a good note. Daphne's full of team spirit like that. But she's even more full of speed - the kind that takes her out the door. Wait for it … ding ding! Yup. Nobody there anymore.

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