2007-08-14: Difficult Days Served With A Side of Easy Mac

Starring:

Gene_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif

Summary: Two men come together to discuss needs pressing to them. Ramon asks for Gene's aid in finding a possible part of New York's impending doom, Gene voices his concerns involving his teammates. All of this while the two enjoy the tasty goodness of Easy Mac. (Available in stores now!)

Date It Happened: August 14th, 2007

Difficult Days Served With A Side of Easy Mac


R & D Lab in Lancaster Electronics AKA Geek God's Lair

"I understand. Well, if you really need to talk more about it, just let me know. It's been busy lately with the war and the talks with China, but you know you're top of my list of VIPs."

The older teen looks to the computer screen for a short time, seated at his large desk. A video conversation with a older looking man, seemingly in his fifties or sixties, seems to be drawing to a close. "I do… It's just complicated, that's all. I'll talk with you later, grandfather."

"Sounds good. You do me proud, junior."

Gene pauses as he reddens faintly. "…Thanks. Talk to you later!" And with that, Gene turns off the phone call. Sighing, Gene looks to the folder he has in his hands before just tossing it into the trash can.
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Ramon would have knocked, but, he wasn't sure where to. So he sticks his head in the door, leery that something might blast it off, or maybe he'll inhale Mountain Dew vapor and he'll start turning into a nerd. "Ola?" he calls, his single eye sort of casting about in mild confusion. He's never been to the Inner Sanctum before.
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As Ramon comes in, Gene glances up. Nervously, he wonders if someone broke in or if someone's high ranking badge let them in without clearance. Considering who he sees at said door, he figures it's the second. "Mr. Gomez… I honestly didn't think I'd see you coming down here," Gene pulls away from the desk to stand. He opens his mouth to say something, but he doesn't. Mentioning the eye right away would be poor form. He tries again, this time he decides to play it business like. "This work related or about the… you know that happened a bit ago? If you want, can get you a soda or some Easy Mac."
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"Well…I did want to thank you," Ramon says, stepping into the room. "Yeah, I'm hungry, Easy Mac would be good." Unless his women feed him Ramon is helpless about food. "We never would have found her without you. I'd have done it sooner if things hadn't gone swiftly so — "Well, insane's the wrong word, but there was a lot to deal with.
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Gene moves toward the microwave as Ramon explain himself. Pulling out a couple of packages, Gene begins to prepare them… Which considering it's Easy Mac, isn't long. So it's little surprise that one is already placed in the microwave once Gene finishes. The geek almost freaks out when he realizes that Ramon might be mad that his daughter had a bug on her and that's how he found her. Then he reminds himself that he gave it to her and she agreed. Giving a sigh of relief, he glances slightly toward Ramon, but his body and head are toward the microwave. "I did what I could. I'm sure you all would have been able to find her another way… Just glad it worked out." Gene's words are slow, the kid clearly trying to choose his words carefully.
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Ramon doesn't really seem to notice, or if he does, he doesn't say anything about it. He stirs the EZ Mac and takes a bite. It never occurs to him that he might have sort of scared the kid by murdering the guy right on camera or somesuch, or that he might have a reputation as a man with a dark, nasty temper. He munches and says quietly, "I have a question for you, and also someone mentioned in passing you might have needed me for something, but I may be remembering wrong."
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"Of course, I'm here to help," Gene replies after making sure that the Easy Mac is at least agreeable to Ramon. Once his own Mac is nuking, Gene turns toward Ramon to lean against the counter. "What's up?"
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"If I gave you a date, and a location, and told you what you were looking for, and enough time," Ramon says slowly, "Would it be possible for you to get into the city's traffic cameras and try to reconstruct what happened at a location?" He pauses and says, "My wifilady has been having some disturbing visions of the future. I promised her I'd do everything I could to stop it."

Which may provide a huge dose of insight as to why, two years later, the man turns into the coldest bastard imaginable, because in his mind, it is all his fault. His lady charges him with stopping it, and he doesn't.
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If Gene knows about Desiree, he likely either forgot, or just doesn't know that he met her already. While he did see her on the cameras, the vision part of things part of things hasn't been made known to Gene. Like most things in Gene's life, there is a lot Gene knows, but there are clear and important holes in what he's aware of. Elena told him about Sylar and how he was dangerous, but not what he's capable of. He was told about some people in the Company, but not how to stop them or what their purpose was. He was told about Elena's friends, but rarely of what they can do.

"I could try… It depends on what you want me to do. I could try breaking into the traffic system and get feeds of stuff. If you wanted past surveillance logs, could try and hack into their database. Both those things are illegal." Gene has a feeling that Ramon won't be daunted by the law, after all, Elena wasn't when she asked him to hack into the hospital. "I take it your friend has the ability to see into the future or something like that?"
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"Yeah, but she doesn't have real good control," Ramon says, gingerly picking a place to sit down. "So the stuff we've gotten is vague. Bits and pieces. But something she saw terrified her so badly that she can't even remember it anymore." He looks grim. He seems ready to be free with his information though, so long as he's prompted with questions. "As for illegal—well. Senator Petrelli has agreed to help join forces with us, so any legal consequences EvoSoft's money can't clean up, Petrelli's can."
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"The last time I worked with Mr. Petrelli, I had to handle his mess, not the other way around." For the first time in this conversation, Gene cracks a small smile which develops into a grin. "As long as we do things according to a reasonable plan that we ACTUALLY FOLLOW, we should all be fine." Seems like Gene has had some issue with past operations. "As for the woman, perhaps there's a way we could work out a system for her then, to help her with her visions. Sure Elena's is on it already if she's aware of it. And you are as well since you have the" Gene points to his head. There is a short pause as Gene slowly slides a hand to his desk drawer. "Tin foil hats, they don't stop you right?"

Realizing he's off topic, Gene just closes the desk drawer, figuring that putting on the foil hat would be seen as a sign of distrust anyway. "So, what seems to be your plan and what are we trying to stop again? Elena might have told me it before, but she told me a lot when she thought I was 'Evolved'." Looks like Gene still believes he's just a really smart human.
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Ramon blinks slowly. "Tin foil…hats…" He pauses and says, "I suppose we could run the experiment, but I don't think so. I just don't go barging into the heads of friends without permission. Honor is not flimsy like tinfoil is." He pauses and says, "There's a storm. And then things happen. That's all I know. I found a newspaper article…" he digs it out, showing about a freak storm in New York months ago. "We went down there. There was apparently a very pretty teenager who spent a lot of time looking at it. My guess is this. Some storm producing Evolved goes ape with her powers and tears the crap out of New York, and the crisis sets some pretty awful events into motion. If destroying two buildings in 9-11 could renovate our country as much as it has, how much so most of the city?"
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The young inventor considers the idea as he takes out the Easy Mac, which has cooled a bit in the microwave. The world is changed by a hurricane? That seems a bit off. It would have to be something that would level most of the city to do that. Before he tackles saving the world, he discusses the mental powers. "Well, I wasn't sure if it was something you could turn on and off. Usually X-Men comics have them struggling with it for awhile. I guess you already did that when you were in high school or something." Moving back into his chair, he considers what Ramon is saying. "So, you want me to track down this random person you think might destroy the city using the traffic lights?" As he waits for an answer, he begins to eat his food swiftly.
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"Traffic cameras, yeah," Ramon grunts. He grimaces. "Elena wouldn't leave me alone till I did it. And if you had 90 very loud, happy Hispanic relatives who like to cram into rooms with you, making you faint a lot, you'd get a grip on it pretty quick too." He scowls, sourly. Then he says, "Anyway, they do this all the time on 24." Ramon is a big fan of television. And Jack Bauer? He approves of Jack Bauer. "The girl, Chloe, she's always hacking into traffic cameras and moving them around and looking at stuff."
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"To find one girl? You aware how LONG it would take me to find someone in New York using camera? I suppose I could try and use some imaging capturing stuff, but I don't know much about it. It would take me a couple of weeks to learn the stuff… Maybe another week or two to modify it. The problem with the cameras is that the angles are different. They would have to search from above and at a horrid angle to find her. Because like HELL am I spending ten hours a week reviewing old and live footage trying to find a girl." Gene might not have a social life, but even HE has standards. Sighing, he begins to work on his computer, the Vader vs. Yoda screensaver giving away to a flood of applications. "Could try and use the Internet to find her. If you could get a picture or a name, could make a program to get into stuff and sniff her out. I'd have to do a bit of research on hacking I'm sure to do to spyware that advanced… But that's pretty easy stuff to look up if you have the time."

The Hyper Geek Mode has just activated.
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"How the hell do I get a picture on 'dark hair' and 'pretty eyes?'," Ramon asks. "I was hoping /you/ could get me a picture. What /about/ satellite? What about a live satellite feed of that day? Surely someone stored it somewhere. I can look at my own house on Google, so why not that?"
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While Gene is ready to go into the possibilities for how they could get a picture made with profiling software and then put into the computer, he doubts it's a line of conversation Ramon's willing to entertain. "Well, I suppose if YOU want to go through the traffic footage, I could get it of the time and day, try and track her down as much as I can. If it happened in New York, she had to get on buses or a cab at sometime. Take it that is what you wanted me to do for you?"
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"Yes, I'm more than willing to go through the footage myself," Ramon agrees. "I was an IT guy, but hacking is beyond me. I understand how to secure against a hacker, but I don't know how to do it myself, and I'm not skilled enough to go into government property. You are. If you can give me a place to do it, well, I will do it. It may be a long shot, but…" he shrugs. "It's my responsibility."
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It's mostly Gene's programming skills that allows him to be a hacker. After all, if you write the programs, it's easy to see where the security holes are and how to take advantage. Granted it wasn't until recently that he actually used them though. "I'll see what I can do. I've done something similar to this for your daughter when it came to researching some virus, I suppose I can do it for you." Gene glances away. This will be the second time he's broken federal crimes for the Gomez troop. "We'll work out a time and I'll see if I can pull the stuff out. This is file extraction, so its gunna be a little riskier, but I'll see what I can do. Then once we get the files, I can hand them over to you to look through. Once you have a picture, you should have the leads you need. If not, let me know."
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"Alright," Ramon says. He's pretty far gone on the broken-law scale by this point, enough to just no longer notice. "Thank you." A pause,a beat. "Now was I right in hearing the rumor that you were looking for me for some reason, too?"
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"Yeah, it was about what happened to Elena and the warehouse." Gene decides to look toward the computer screen before going on. Like most timid souls, the young man avoids eye contact when it comes to confrontation. It takes Gene getting really have him disagree eye to eye. "Part of me wants to apologize about your eye, that I'm sorry that I didn't do more to ensure the team's safety. The other part wants to let you know that if you or your people ever act that irresponsible again, I'll never work with you again."
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"Why would the eye be your fault?" Ramon asks, genuinely confused. And then he says, "Irresponsibly?" He seems content to listen to what the young man has to say. He rubs his forehead, putting the EZ Mac aside. He lets his eye drift shut. Nothing about that day is a good memory. He reasoned out what he could—then ran on pure emotion.
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Gene doesn't speak for a few seconds, the click clack of keys and the light hum of machinery the one things to break the silence. Finally, he figures out what he wants to say. "While you personally quested to stop this Doomsday, I have a much simpler task I gave myself. Keeping Eric, Elena, Jaden, and the rest of my friends…" Which are few and far between. "…From dying horribly. You, Lachlan, Peter, Elena You all just rush into things. I understand, lives are at stake. But one day, the dice are gunna turn on you and unless you have a good plan to rely on, it's gunna end badly for all involved. I tried to get wireless communication, didn't use that" And that's it, that's what he considers the factor for responsible vs. non-responsible? Sadly, while Gene is a super-genius, there are still parts of him that are still quite young. "When big stuff happens, we need to learn how to work as a powerful team with the people we trust. After all, I'm sure the bad guys are doing just that."
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Ramon nods his head slowly. "You are right. I relied on my telepathy, and Peter's, and didn't stop to think that at any moment either of us could be too occupied to use it." He scratches at his beard thoughtfully. "I am good at plans on the ground. So is Elena. Seeing the bigger picture—that eludes us. It sure eluded me." He expels a hot breath. "I have nothing to say in my defense, so I apologize, Gene. From now on I, at least, will consult your wiser mind before rushing in, unless there is no other way." He looks to the side. "I couldn't think of anything except that he had her. Everything else was just reaction. He had her, he was going to do something to her, it was all going to happen again, only this time I'd lose a child. I'd maybe just lost Manuel…I cannot be relied upon to stay level headed in such a situation." He looks up and points a finger at Gene. "You have the balls to say something now, and I respect you for that. Have the balls to say it in the future, when rage has me in its grip."
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"I'm not… wiser," Gene offers awkwardly, not expecting an apology. Swiftly, he gains speed though, going into his Never Too Safe style rhetoric. "I just think that we need to look to tomorrow. The reason why Elena had that GPS is because I learned that after her incident with Elle, she could be at risk. This isn't going to be the only time we are going to be at risk. We are messing with forces we don't understand. Governments, organizations, the possibility of powers that defy human logic. We can't prepare for it all, but we can do the best that we can." Paranoid? Of course, Gene is. As Ramon has learned though, it isn't always a bad thing. "I understand what you did. A lot of people cared deeply for Elena, high emotions are expected. Still, we need to look back see what we can do better; see how we can avoid it in the future-"

Suddenly processing the second part of Ramon's words, Gene pauses as he appears rather confused. "Wait… I thought Pete's ability was healing. That's what he did in the car when he got all shot up and bled all over my seats." The mention of Gene's balls are put on hold for the time being.
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"Peter's ability is anything he gets close enough to, apparently," Ramon says. "I had the same reaction. But so far I've counted healing, telepathy like mine, telekinesis, the ability to fly, and the ability to paint the future. Those are just the ones I know about. He's like some massive sponge. And if you want to put a GPS in my stuff, by all means."
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"That's really…" Gene just mulls over Ramon's information for a few seconds, putting his elbows on his desk and placing his chin behind his hands as they fold together. That's some incredible stuff he just heard. Just like having an Ability was all that, this goes above and beyond that. "…With all that, surprised that Sylar guy is even a problem. Just have Pete take him down." Finally, he shakes his head, freeing himself from thoughts that he likely shouldn't be thinking. "As for your stuff, I suppose I could create a tracker watch for you as well."
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"I don't know," Ramon says, shaking his head. "I'm sure we could throw him at that guy, if anyone knew where he was. I can't think of anything else that could match except, as you said, a focused powerful team working together. That can take out a multitude of problems."
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"Maybe after I get done with this project, I'll see what I can do about the team. If I knew what Sylar could do… Maybe I could make something to stop him." Gene doubts a thing is possible, but if he could, that would be really really cool. "Well, unless there was anything else you wanted to talk about, Mr. Gomez, I think we've covered everything you and I wanted to talk about…" Gene puts the last bit of Easy Mac in his mouth, talking with a semi-full mouth. "Right?"
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Ramon grunts. Yep. Conversation sharing time over. "Let me know when that stuff's ready for me." He stands up, throws away the EZ-Mac container, offers a handshake, and then just leaves. Genius wants to go back to Geniusing. He can respect this.
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Gene takes the handshake and gives it a weak shake in return, just surprised that the talk went as well as it did. Maybe his grandfather was right and he IS starting to become a respectable man. Or maybe everyone's just nice because they get stuff from him. Stealing his own joy like many do in this world, Gene watches Ramon go off. Only when the doors are finally closed does Gene crack his knuckles. "Time to get to work." And with that, Gene begins a long night which likely will end when people start clocking in tomorrow for work.

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