2007-02-12: Dazed And Confused Part 2

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Drake_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif

Summary: The teenagers manage to reach Eric's apartment without any further trouble. In place of trouble, however, are several unsettling discoveries.

Date It Happened: February 12th, 2007

Dazed and Confused (Part Two)


Erick Walker's Apartment, High Rise Apartments, Greenwich Village

Eric's apartment, its not in the upper crust rich area of town, but its not exactly in the poor quarters either. Its spacious enough, three rooms. Living room and kitchen in the same one, bedroom attached to that, and the other room seems to be set up as a computer room. Big TV in the living room, with all the modern game systems nice and neatly set up. The kitchen is at least clean, so are the floors, and there isn't /all/ that much in the way of trash. Its definitely a bachelor’s place though, books lie around, and boxes of knickknacks are still unpacked in one corner, odds and ends sticking out of them. At least the furniture and the clothes seem to be unpacked and in order. The is a lack though of personal effects, few family pictures, and most of those just of Eric and maybe one girl, his sister perhaps.

"…well here we are, safe enough until we can figure out what to do." He says as he glances around the place and then waves them in. "Come in, make yourself at home and all that."

"Right, safe." Drake murmurs under his breath as he heads into the apartment, and drops his bags to the ground. He takes a quick look around, then eases himself into the couch, laying back to stare upwards at the ceiling. "So, what can you do? What's yer trick?" He asks as he allows his eyes to slowly fall upon the other boy, squinting. "You mentioned you had a trick also? You're.. like me?"

"It looks like half of New York suddenly decided being like you is the 'it' thing, Drake," Elena says dryly, closing the door behind her and looking….well, not in the best of moods. Worry tightens the corner of her eyes, and she sheds off her coat. She isn't rude though, she knows she's a guest, so she hangs it up neatly in the coat rack she finds attached to the back of Eric's door, and moves inside. She blinks. For a one bedroom….this was -nice-. Manhattan sported some of the more expensive real estate bits in the world. She idly wonders just how much RTS was paying him for him to afford these dregs in the heart of the city. She stops to look around…..she half expected a dog bounding out of nowhere.

She doesn't have special gifts….at least, she doesn't think so anyway. So she takes a seat on the couch, dragging her hair up in a loose twist and securing it with a pair of chopsticks.

"I don't know where else to go," Eric replies tiredly to Drake. "…so yes, safest place I can think of." Besides his parents house, and lord help him if he takes them there. He rounds on the younger boy though when he demands a demonstration before snorting slightly. "Fine, you want a demonstration…" He had turned on the lights when he came in, and the TA raises his hand towards the nearest one. He focuses on it a moment, and suddenly it winks out, replaced by a hovering globe of darkness around the light. He concentrates harder and a second one appears around another light. Then they both change shape, turning into half cups around the lights, then disappearing again.

"So you're like what… the human Clapper?" Drake asks with a raise of his brow, watching the lights come off, examining the globes of darkness. "What is that?" He tilts his head forward to squint at it, before shifting his gaze over to Elena and gauge his reaction. "So you can control the dark or something? Or… you can control.. shadows?"

Her jaw drops as Eric does his little trick. Elena was so convinced he was pulling her leg about it being real that she hadn't expected him to do anything like that….until he does it. "…..oh my god I'm in a comic book," she groans, sinking heavily on the couch as yet another shock is introduced to her system. How? HOW? How was this even possible??? This was all supposed to be theoretical! The hard science part of her is recoiling at this new development. Does not compute. Does not compute.

"…a human…" Eric just shakes his head before giving Drake just a slight edge of a glare. The globes go away before he raises his hand again and forms just a single globe in his hand. "…darkness, I can create and control darkness." He finally says before he shakes his head. "I can change the makeup of the light photons so they absorb light. At least that’s about as far as I've tested it." A slight smirk before he lets the power go. "…I wish, I'd rather have something a bit more useful, but that’s what I can do. There." His arms cross as he looks towards Drake. "Happy?"

"Pretty cool. Just about as cool as mine I guess." Drake says with a slight smirk tugging over his lips as he glances over to Elena, then gives her a bit of a nudge on the shoulder. "If you're in a comic, I wonder then, what type, huh? X-Men? Teen Titans? I don't see myself as a Wolverine type of guy to be honest. I just wanna normal life." He runs his fingers back through his tangled blonde hair, pulling it up, and away from his face. "So, what do we do now?"

"I can think of plenty of ways to use darkness," Elena says, her head still in her hands. "You can obscure your features, your body. You can be invisible in the dark. You can blind someone in an enclosed space. You can use the cover to ambush someone….you can probably rob a bank in broad daylight and no one would know it was you…" It's almost disturbing how many ways she can rattle out at such a short time. As she's nudged, she looks up and grimaces. "I still say we go to RTS," she remarks stubbornly. "But if Papa's not answering his phone, and the people Eric called don't know where he is, the only alternative is searching the entire damned city for him and I wouldn't even know where to stop. And that risks exposing us—-well. Both of you. So I guess….we can just stay put."

Eric just blinks at Elena as she rattles all of that off before he shakes his head. His life of crime isn't something he wants to contemplate, especially when they already seem to be wanted by someone. He opens his mouth a moment to tell Elena something…and then shuts it again as he realizes that she already came to the same conclusion he was about to point out. "…alright then…alright…look I hate waiting too, but its almost all we got right now. Unless you want to go out and try to look up that library book." He pauses a moment. "Or you can just look up the number on the computer, it should give you at least the title." He glances then towards Drake and raises an eyebrow slightly. "…so what's you're story then?"

"I'm the chosen one." Drake mutters softly as he shifts himself to stare out the window, letting out a heavy sigh, then reaches up to rake his fingers against the back of his neck. "Those people who are after her dad, they already got me. They did stuff.. but.. I.. I can't remember anything." A look of frustration crosses over his face as he gives his hand a bit of a squeeze, curling his fingers up into a tight fist. "Nothing makes any sense. Until today, I thought I was the only one.. someone who was different. Everything is just going to fast for me. I should be home, with my mom."

"…..wait. So you can't remember either?" Elena says, looking up suddenly to focus on Drake, and then she rakes her fingers through her hair. "But…HOW? I mean….amnesia isn't exactly unheard of but it's usually accidental. Not deliberate. This is crazy….so what these people actually invented something like the flashing pens in Men in Black or something?" This was spiraling way out of the bounds of normal knowledge. Even for a budding doctor, but at Eric's suggestion, she stands up. "Do you mind if I borrow your computer then?" she asks.

"…just gimme the number, I'll get it," Eric says with a slight shrug as he turns towards the computer room, disappearing from view as the sound of cooling fans start up in the other room. LOTS of cooling fans.

The brunette nods, and hands the ISDN number to Eric when he slips into the other room to fire up his…machine? Machines? She -peers- at that direction curiously. What the hell does he have in there, a spaceship? Elena shakes her head a little bit, glancing over at Drake by the windowsill. "Look….if you're sure, I can't stop you from leaving, you know. Your mom must be really worried. It's just that….after -today- maybe it's a smarter move to stick together. Safety in numbers and all that."

Ring ring. Ring ring.

Elena picks up the phone by the first ring. "Papa! Where are you?!"

"That's not a good idea to say over the phone even in Spanish." A pause. "Are you feeling anymore lucid? Are you somewhere safe?"

Elena takes a deep breath. "I'm fine. I'm…being filled in but I don't remember any of it. But I'm…somewhere safe."

"Good. Someone showed up at my workplace. I had to run.”

"Who?"

"Hell if I know. A big man. Black guy. I mostly noticed his necklace." There's no way he'd fail to notice a strange symbol on a necklace, but his reasons are darker than Elena's.

Inside the computer room, there is a setup and a pair of machines, big towers and bigger flat panel monitors there that he definitely couldn't afford with his RTS salary. Well…maybe he could, as he doesn’t have lots of kids to feed. However Eric seems to be happily typing away at them, trying to get the thing researched.

Elena sighs. "Are -you- in someplace safe?" she asks.

Ramon says, gruffly, "Don't worry about me. Don't go home though." He has no idea what to do. "You wanna tell me what the Hell happened to you?"

Elena sighs softly. "….I don't know. My coworker who's with us says something crazy went down at the coffee shop today, but all I remember is waking up at the backroom from an accidental nap and walking outside to see cops pulling up the sidewalk, and Mr. Marx having words with a big black man."

"Big black man." Ramon still sounds flat. "Alright, chiquita. Please don't go by Cass' either. Not until I tell you its safe. Is Eric there?"

"…..okay Dad. I won't. We were going to go by RTS to find you but when we can't reach you and Eric said the RTS guys haven't seen you, there didn't seem to be any point. And yes, he's here. He's looking something up for me. When I woke up, I had a note in my hand. It's not my writing. It's an ISDN number, so we're trying to match it up with a book using the Internet."

There's a long, long pause. "Let me know as soon as you find something." He pauses. "I'm trying to do the best I can to keep you and the family safe, honey. I hope I'm making the right decisions." Its as close as he's going to come to burdening her with his problems. But he wants her to know he hasn't gone off the deep end and forgotten the family entirely.

"….I know, Papa. I'll call with what I find. I love you, and I trust you. Stay safe."

He wishes he trusted himself. "I love you too, chiquita. Let me talk to the young man."

When Eric enters the ISDN number, a title will pop out from a list of Google searches. The ISDN number matches a book called 'Squaring the Circle'. It seems to be a book about, of all things, Alchemy.

The brunette is still watching Drake, who is silent against the windowsill, when a distinctive ringtone catches her attention. She whips her cell phone up before the first ring ends. "Papa! Where are you?!" After a pause, she turns around, and fires back in rapid Spanish. At the last words from her father, she sighs, and glances to her coworker, holding a hand on the mouthpiece. "I'll be back," she tells him, and goes to Eric's computer room, knocking on the door softly. "Eric," she murmurs urgently. "It's Papa. He wants to talk to you."

Glancing over his shoulder at the pair of them, Drake watches the interaction between the two, tilting his head to one side. With a soft breath, he slumps down into the cushions of the couch, tucking an arm back behind his head. "So.. what is the deal with your father?" He asks Elena. "What does he do for a living?"

"…Squaring the Circle…" Eric murmurs as he leans back in his chair and stares curiously at the screen. "…what the hell…why would anyone give you something about Alchemy…" His voice raises as he addresses the question towards Elena. A pause then though as he blinks. "The boss? He's alright?" He asks quickly before he stands up and reaches for the phone to pluck it gently from her fingers. "Hello? Boss?"

"He's an IT guy. He gets sent out by this company that's owned by Lancaster Electronics," Elena tells Drake, once she manages to relinquish the phone to Eric. She sinks down on the couch near him, rubbing her face. "He said someone was waiting for him at his work, and he had to run. A big black man with a weird necklace." She looks over at Drake. "He won't tell me where he is because he thinks it's not safe. He's with someone I know right now." She buries her face in her hands. She was so tired. She doesn't know what's on Eric's screen at the moment, but if she saw the picture on the book, she'll probably flip.

"Yeah, the same black man that wiped your memory out at the Starbucks. You said that your father can read minds and that he was attacked by a woman who created poison air, and that he was on the run." Drake says in a bitter tone as he gives his hand another squeeze. "They're gonna track him down, and then they are gonna tag him." He says in a fatalistic tone.

As Eric is talking quietly to Ramon, looking rather surprised by something that was said on the phone, the young man frowns slightly. Idly he sets the printer to kick out a description of the book and the name of it all as he turns to concentrate on the phone, only half listening to the other two.

"But…HOW is that even POSSIBLE? How can someone just—" Elena takes a deep breath. "Alright. I probably can't relate because I'm not like any of you." She sighs and leans back against the couch, closing her eyes. "If Papa's gotten this far they'll never catch him," she says determinedly. "NOBODY knows my father as well as I do. When backed into a corner, he fights harder. Fights smarter." At least, that's what she believes. "And if he can read minds, that only doubles his advantage." Except she doesn't know that the Haitian can neutralize people's gifts. "Alright, say there's…a group of these crazy people kidnapping people like you. -Why- did they return you? I mean, you have your usual conspiracy theories on alien abductions, right? Experiments, never to be heard from again….but you told me you woke up on your own bed soon after. If they're not after using you as a test subject or a guinea pig….then what? Why did they let you go?"

"I don't know, maybe they figured I was a small fry, maybe I'm just a bit experiment. Maybe they're tracking me." Drake says with a shrug of his shoulders. "I dunno.. all I know is that these people don't seem to be the type that just go away, and give up. They have gifts like I do, and they obviously know how to use them better. Probably been doing it for years, or longer. Maybe it's a government thing. You should have your father tell us where he is, so we can fish 'em out."

"He's Papa. The man of the house. He's not going to let me come after him, not when he knows for sure that they're after him. He already lost Mama. He had my other siblings leave for my grandmother's. All he has left in New York is me. I can't blame him. If I was in his shoes, I'd be keeping away from him to to keep me safe." She watches Eric converse with her father from the other room, and she shakes her head, standing up. "Well. He said make ourselves at home, right? I'm gonna get something to drink. You want anything?" She starts heading for the kitchen.

"Maybe we should go after him anyways. Maybe I can help.." Drake says as he rises up to his feet, following after her. Giving his arms a bit of a rolling flex outwards, he pops a few joints in his spine, letting out a soft sigh from his lips. He glances over to Eric, before heading into the kitchen after Elena, pausing, and leaning into the doorway. "I dunno.. water.. I guess."

"We don't know where he is. Our best bet is to wait until he contacts us with a plan," Elena says. "I can't do anything without information, and right now he's the one holding the cards on that. Searching -all- of New York City in one night is going to get us nothing." She looks over at him. "And if you've gone through this before….." She leaves the rest unsaid, and she pulls open the fridge's door to grab a bottled water, and a can of soda. She tosses the bottled water to Drake in a light, underhand toss.

Reaching out, Drake snags the bottle in mid air, catching it sideways. "That's right, if I've gone through this before, then I need answers, and I need to know what happened to me, before it happens to others, since there seems to be others." He tilts his chin upwards slightly, speaking with conviction in his voice. "I can't help but think that maybe there's some sort of plan set in motion for all of us. That maybe this isn't a coincidence."

"Yeah…" Elena says, cracking the soda can open and taking a long swig. She didn't realize how thirsty she was. Leaning against the fridge, she exhales softly. "Well, for you guys anyway. I'm just guilty by association," she tells Drake with a hint of a smirk. She glances over at the doorway leading out of the kitchen and toward the living room. What the hell were they talking about anyway? It can't be about work stuff. The FURTHEST THING from their minds right now ought to be RTS business. Super-powered human being alien things are a more serious problem!

"Right…goodbye," Eric says as he hangs up the phone before he takes a deep sigh. He rubs a hand over his face before he sighs and sags back against the wall. What the hell is he supposed to do /now/ he thinks to himself before he shakes his head and starts to stroll into the other room. He pauses though to snag the printout before he walks into the other room. "Here, this is your book…" He says as he hands the paper to Elena.

"Maybe you can be like our side kick." Drake says with a teasing smirk over to Elena, hooking his thumbs into his pockets as he rocks along the balls of his feet. "What book? The DNA one?" He asks, lifting his brow as he turns to regard Eric. "Is it supposed to help us or something?" He looks back to Elena, then shifts himself to lean against the doorframe.

"A SIDEKICK? Psh. Excuse you~!" Elena huffs, tossing a lock of hair over her shoulder and planting her hands on her hips. "No way! I'm not going to wear tights and my underwear right outside it! If anything, I'm going to be one of those awesome, recurring characters that people tend to like better than the actual protagonists. So there." She maintains a huffy expression, before she grins, reaching a hand up to rub it into Drake's blonde hair. "God. Remind me never to be that geeky while in company again," she tells him, just before Eric strolls into the kitchen. "What is it? What did Papa say?" she asks, taking the printout. Before she looks at it, she glances at her coworker. "No, not that. The DNA one is my textbook for class. I woke up at the backroom with a note tucked into my fingers. It wasn't in my handwriting so I thought someone left a note for me while I was out. It's an ISDN number - what they assign to books when they're published."

She looks at the printout, and her eyes lock on the image of the book entitled 'Squaring the Circle.' Her cheerful expression fades. Her face slowly drains of color.

"I don't think she's quite sidekick material," Eric says as he pops in on the conversation, though something seems to be distracting him. He's no where near as amused as he should be by all of this. "He said sit tight and stay safe and he would be working something out." However at the look on her face he blinks and worry again enters her eyes. "What? What is it?"

"I already got a costume made, waiting in my closet." Drake says with a wry grin on his face as he blows a strand of hair from his face, once she ruffles it up. "Sides, I bet you'd look good in spandex." His eyes give her a quick look over, before asking. "What's that book about? Sounds like a Wiccan thing or something." With a hop upon his feet to loosen up his ankles.

"It's…it's about Alchemy," Elena says, forcing herself to focus on the summary that Eric had printed out with a picture of the book cover. "It's about….the…" She lifts her hand to her face, willing it to stop shaking. Questions slam into her head. How. WHEN? And who planted the number on her?? She makes her way dazedly away from the boys, back to the living room, and sinking down on the chair, the paper dangling loosely in her hand.

"…Alchemy?" Eric blinks once in some surprise. "What does that have to do with your studies…wait…" He blinks as she staggers into the other room, eyes widening. "Where did you get that note? Did it have anything /else/ on it?" He asks with wide eyes, then he shakes his head slightly. "No…don't worry about it…get your bearing back." The young man says before he nods, trying to step close to help her steadily sit down.

"Like turning iron into gold? What is going on?" Drake says with an exasperated sigh as the dramatics continue on. He rubs a fist against his eyes, then follows after them once more into the living room. "What note? What is going on?" He looks agitated, frustrated with all the mystery surrounding the entire day.

She is quiet, but she's only quiet because she's trying very, very hard not to lose it. Drake hasn't SEEN dramatic yet. The urge to break something was high.

Elena is only, barely aware of Eric walking over to help her sit down on the couch, her body feels so numb. Tingly, like every muscle in her being had decided to fall asleep. When she speaks up again, it's slow. "I told you guys earlier. In the subway. I woke up with a piece of paper in my hand. I thought some librarian gave it to me earlier in the day, I visit the library a lot on campus. It wasn't in my handwriting. It's an ISDN number, like I said." She hands the printout back to Eric. "According to Google, the ISDN belongs to a book called 'Squaring the Circle'. The summary at the bottom says it's about alchemy. Yeah. Like turning iron into gold."

She glances down at her fingers. "Three years ago, Papa picked us all up from school," she says. "It was the fifteenth of November. I was a sophomore in high school. We…" She takes a deep breath. "We were a little late getting home because 'Nita wanted to surprise Mama with her favorite chocolate cake, so we stopped to get some and when we came back…."

Oh god. There it is. She could feel the tears. She hadn't cried about it for a while now, but she stamps down on the urge hard. She takes a deep breath, and exhales slowly. "Mama was dead. She was on the couch. Dr. Phil was on TV. There was a knife in her chest, her fingers on the handle. It went right through her heart. The symbol on the cover of the book….the same one was on her body. It was metal. Black and rough. My father still has it. Police called it a suicide. But Papa doesn't believe it, and neither do I. Mama is catholic. A devout Catholic. She would never kill herself. She wouldn't wear symbols like that. Hell she wouldn't even use birth control because the Pope said it was wrong to use it."

"…Elena…I'm sorry," Eric's eyes are wide as he puts one hand on her shoulder. "I didn't know…I wouldn't have…I mean I…" He clamps down on the urge to babble. Its not what she needs right now, lots of babbling. He shakes his head though, one hand still comfortingly resting on her shoulder, his eyes wide before he shakes his head. However he thinks that perhaps…going to find this book will be the best thing to do.

Furrowing his brows, Drake listens to the conversation going on before him, shifting a bit uncomfortably on his feet. With a soft sigh, he murmurs, "I need some fresh air." This obviously isn't his type of scene. He's already uncomfortable enough. Before anyone can sneak in a protest, or a word in edge wise, his body becomes a blur, practically rubbing itself out of the room. Followed by the thud of the front door a half second later.

She doesn't say anything to Drake when he leaves to get some air. She continues on, as if she'll lose the train if she stopped talking. "Whoever….-planted- the paper on me in the break room knows something," Elena continues, as if not hearing Eric. "I couldn't have come up with this…this -crap- by myself! I'm a Biology major, I'm not into this mumbo-jumbo bull! I wouldn't even know that thing had something to do with Alchemy, I was born in the -twentieth century-." She stands up abruptly and looks at Eric. "Someone knows. Someone -knows-."

At the rate she's going, she's not going to be able to sleep.

"We need to find a copy of that book."

"Yes," Eric agrees with her, a firm nod towards the distraught woman. His eyes glance up to find that Drake has left the room, and he just blinks once. Well that’s a good trick that is. He shakes his head though before he frowns. "Do you still have the paper?" He asks curiously before he nods again. "I know, I know…this is just to weird for words, it can't be your book, it has to be planted. Who do you think did it? That black guy that Drake said took you into the back?"

"I do," Elena says, digging out the scrap of paper that was tucked into her hand, and shows it to him. "The ISDN number you recognize. But there's something else, to. Initials. 'E B'. I don't know what those mean. Maybe we'll find out if we read the book?" she wonders, looking over at him. "And….I don't know. I don't remember even talking to him. All I remember is that he was talking to the lawyer when I stepped out of the break room."

"…we'll have to get the book then," Eric says with a slight nod before he sighs. "This whole amnesia thing is getting mildly annoying." He says with a slight smirk on his face. He shakes his head slightly though before he hrmms a moment. "I think you need to be the one that gets the book though. I'll leave you a spare key to this place while I go try to get another place to stay if you like. I can…talk to some people. They might be able to fix us up with something."

Some people? What did he mean 'some people'? Her dark eyes gape at him uncomprehendingly, until she nods slowly. "Alright. Um….." Elena glances around. "Sorry. For putting you out. I don't know what Papa said to convince you, but….thanks a lot, Eric. For helping us." She rubs the back of her neck. "While we're figuring that out, do you mind if I use your bathroom? I've had a REALLY long day."

He told me that he had NO clue what to do. That’s not something Eric would say though and he just shakes his head, sighing slightly. "I'm one of those crazy people that it doesn’t take much to convince me, besides I'm as deep in all this as you are. You’re welcome Elena…" He pauses a moment. "…some friends of mine I mean. Not just some people…" Family. Friends. Same thing right? "…and sure, its over that way. Hope its clean enough for you."

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