2010-02-24: Emo'd

Starring:

Micah_V4icon.pngTracy_V4icon.png

Date: February 24, 2010

Summary:

Tracy contacts Micah.


"Emo'd"

Cyberspace / Bethseda Terrace Arch Bridge, NYC

Micah sits on a chair of the New York apartment he currently calls home. It's sparsely furnished — bare bones only, yet as always, he has a laptop (bought with the Hallis-money he's been accumulating) and his cellphone. Silently, he searches the net for more information about the Protocols and anything he can find on Jason Graham — covering his tracks as he goes.

His smartphone lies on the floor in front of him.

Incoming, Micah! You have an e-mail!

TO: moc.liamg|datrebil.leber#moc.liamg|datrebil.leber
FROM: ten.erotseb|erotscinortcelenylkoorb#ten.erotseb|erotscinortcelenylkoorb
SUBJECT: (No Subject)

REBEL,

If you're still in NY, Central Park under Bethesda Terrace Arch Bridge, 4:30 PM. Important.

TS / LJ

Blinking at the email, Micah twitches slightly. Tracy.

She died. Except…

Frantically, Micah places his hand on the computer and clamps his eyes shut. Taking a deep breath he focuses on the IP address and sure enough — a blonde woman resembling his mother is sitting at a computer in a Brooklyn Store.

He zips a quick email back:

TO: ten.erotseb|erotscinortcelenylkoorb#ten.erotseb|erotscinortcelenylkoorb
FROM: moc.liamg|datrebil.leber#moc.liamg|datrebil.leber
SUBJECT: (No Subject)

I'LL BE THERE.

REBEL

After having typed the words, Micah snaps his laptop shut, grasps his cellphone and grabs his coat before he pads to the door.

*Some Time Later*

Anxious, Micah is freakishly early to meet Tracy. He'd made sure that no camera has detected him, and he's watching the electrical devices around the Central Park area. There's no reason to be caught by a camera. With a quiet hmmm, he sits on the ground underneath the bridge. His face is nearly healed from his glass shard wounds — save for three small scars that line either cheek, but his hands aren't as fortunate, they are still healing at a shockingly slow rate.

The grandest arch in Central Park has a few visitors at the moment. Drifting in various directions, New Yorkers and perhaps a visitor or two pass above on the bridge itself and here, below, underneath the elaborate, colourful tiles. None of them are the person Micah is looking for.

But one such visitor to New York — certainly a more long-term visitor than she'd planned — does eventually appear, early as well, though not quite as in advance as Micah. Strolling between a set of arches, dressed in a black coat and well-designed jeans, is indeed Tracy Strauss. You know — the one who froze and was shot and shattered. That Tracy Strauss. She looks collected as ever, but not without an edge of anxiety, however repressed it may be, as she looks around with purpose. It doesn't take her line to change her path to stride straight to the singular familiar face.

Micah's eyes light up at the sight of her. He was convinced she was dead; he'd believed she was dead. It was like watching his mother die again. Swallowing, Micah's face flushes a little, yet he's determined not to cry. He's determined not to wear his heart on his sleeve for once. THe events of the last few months should have him in tears, but he refuses to cry now, even as the tears burn his eyes.

Swallowing hard, he stands from his stop and pads towards his aunt, determined to hold himself together. As she gets closer, he pauses before he asks cautiously, "Linda?" He's not a fool; he won't use her real name here, instead, he'll use the name he gave her when he rewrote her identity.

Good thing Micah holds it together, because Tracy doesn't seem to be in the mood for a heartfelt reunion or heartfelt celebration of being alive. That's not why she's here. Maybe it should be, but she has priorities. At the use of the name "Linda", she glances to the side as if annoyed by it as she comes to a stop in front of the teenager. "Yeah. Hey." Confirmed. "Seems like it's been a long time since anyone's called me that."

(For more than a month, it's been "Tracy" or "Strauss" or "bitch" or things to the effect of "oh god no!")

Tracy moves past Micah slowly, coming to stand near one of the pillars, hands in the pockets of her coat.

Well that's… weird. With a deep breath, Micah reminds himself that this is not his mother. No, Beta Protocol killed her. There's nothing he can do about that now, other than seek justice for her and his deceased dad. He doesn't smile, instead, his eyebrows furrow tightly. Clearly, Tracy's not thrilled about, well, anything.

He has questions and so, with his new-found justice-obsessed persona he observes, "You were dead." Glancing around Bethseda he murmurs, "Glad you're alive." Nothing like heartfelt sentiment expressed in a single sentence. After pursing his lips together he asks, "You wanted to meet?"

Turned away from Micah, Tracy listens. "Turns out I'm harder to kill than your mom." Perhaps not the best choice of a response, but she's a little bitter about the whole being shot and melting ordeal. Still, after a pause, she turns around with a look of frustration — at the artful tiles above, if the direction of her eyes is any indication — and shakes her head in some manner of apology, her icy edge softening by an increment. " —I'm glad you got away okay," she manages, sincere despite the prelude. "I need … a favour, Micah."

The quip about his mom is met with a flinch as Micah turns around and begins trudging away. "You don't even know what you're talking about," he hisses as he takes a couple of steps away from Tracy; she doesn't get it. Obviously. But he stops at the notion of a favour. He doesn't face her as he says, "I drove a car. Twice." Like that explains the entire escape. Pursing his lips together he runs a hand through his hair and shakes his head; he doesn't have time for favours, not really. He's seeking justice. And he needs to save Jason Graham. Clearly Tracy isn't a person to ask for a favour — she'll just throw it back in his face. But despite himself he asks, "What do you need?" He's still not facing her, he refuses to.

Tracy chooses her words carefully; she tackles one thing at a time. While Micah distances herself, she stays precisely where she is. Her voice carries well enough in the empty space. "I need you to find out who Christopher Pyle is," she says. "And Baker— Cody Baker. She's an agent… you remember my friend Erin— " Obviously. "Welll she's been … missing. But before she disappeared, she said some things. Said some names."

"Fine. I'll look into them," Micah says blandly as he stops in his tracks again. "I won't have time for a day or two, maybe more with how things are going." Too much going on. "Look, the Alpha Protocol is just the beginning. I was wrong, this isn't some gather them and kill them plan." He blinks before he falls silent; Tracy isn't interested in his problems, she only wants him to resolve hers — polar opposite of his mom.

As she suspected, her choice of subject matter gets the young Rebel's attention back, even if it's only a little. Tracy walks a bit closer, holding a hand out in gesture as she approaches. "I know," she says quietly, a bit pained, a bit sympathetic. This new information about AP— it affects them both. It affects everyone like them. "Weapons… right? I was trying to find out if it was true," she says, adding bitterly, "I guess it is."

"Y-yeah," Micah says quietly as his gave turns to the ground. "The protocols are about weapons — trading them, I think. There's a protocol to collect people, a protocol to track people, a protocol to control them, and then one to… trade them — I think." He swallows hard. "And there's another one… it… it's a test of some kind. Beta Protocol. I think… I think it's a test of the human weapons. It made a building fall down on some people in Las Vegas." Yes, Micah's been piecing this together thanks to Wireless, Dee, and Medusa.

"I can't say I'm surprised. I kinda figured there was more going on." When you find out the Secretary of Homeland Security invaded your mind, one starts to wonder. Surprised or not, Tracy's features grow stony as she tries to suppress her further sparked anger at the Protocol… or Protocols, as it may be. It doesn't work. There's no concerning her feelings on the matter. "They don't have the right. But I guess they're long past taking it away." Pause. "The names I gave you. They might have information, or… look, I don't really know. Just that they're connected to all this."

"Don't have the right and won't succeed. There's a woman on the inside — I know her only as Medusa. We shared information a few days ago; almost thinks there's no hope." Micah cringes at the word he'd valued so much just months before. "I'll get in touch with Baker and Pyle — or, at least, do some research." He swallows before adding, "I'm not sure… I'm not… I'm trying something risky, but the payout is going to be worth the risk. There's a man who has been developing a formula to control us. He's succeeded, but has been feeding his boss fake information. I — we — are going to try to rescue him. Without it, they can't make anyone do anything." Beat. "I don't think."

"Control us…?" That notion makes Tracy decidedly unsettled. That can't happen. No more than it already has with de Souza. She seems considering for a moment — a long moment, given she has a hurdle of uncertainty over Micah's plan to overcome before she replies. "Do you…" Venturing into unfamiliar territory here, the woman's brows inch upward into something like… hopefulness. She gives Micah a tenuous smile. "…need help?"

Micah wasn't expecting the offer, especially after the rather cool greeting. "I…" he wrinkles his nose; he hasn't been asking for much from anyone lately, he's been too busy planning. Finally turning around now he faces Tracy before nodding. "I don't know how hard it'll be — it could be… really hard. Video and electronic surveillance I can deal with. We have a team in place. We can use another pair of hands though — I'm hoping to do a simple take. Just like they did to us… but I think he'll come easier — he doesn't want to do what they want him to…"

Doesn't want him to do what they want him to do. He wasn't the only one. And she…

Tracy shifts from foot to foot once in unease and focuses on the here and now. "I've learned a few tricks since you saw me last." Which she can't reveal here in public, even though the passerbys are few and far between now. Too risky. "Just tell me when."

She pauses. "Look, I— there's— there's more." Tracy steps closer, toying idly with her hands. "The identity that you made for me…. the accounts. I can't be sure those're safe… and…" she trails off. In other words: she's running out of money. It's not easy for Tracy to say, even if it's her own funds she can't get to. Tight-lipped, she looks down before her gaze returns, evenly but uncharacteristically forlorn, to Micah. "I don't know where to go."

Eyes are narrowed at Tracy, but Micah nods with a semi-reluctant sigh. The quip about his mom still lingers in his mind, but he is a hero. Heroes don't leave other people behind, despite their own feelings. With a somewhat strained and forced smile he nods, "I'll work on the accounts. I can fix it — even if Linda Johnson isn't safe, I can get the money out and into something new." Micah is capable.

"Y-you can come with me maybe." He cringes just a little. "Mr. Gray," yes, he still calls Gabriel that — seems like a good idea to show respect to a man that can cut his head open, "and I are in an apartment. I don't really know…" what Gabriel would say, "…but you could probably stay there for awhile until we can figure something else out… I can put in an application for another apartment, but it'll take awhile to process…"

Tracy gives an accepting nod of her gratitude. "Mr. Gray?" Who? Tracy takes a moment to give Micah a skeptical look. Regardless, she moves on. "I'm, um… I'm not alone. I'm looking out for this girl … she's about your age. She's like us." How's that for a surprise twist: Tracy is looking after a kid.

Micah's eyebrows furrow further. "Mr. Gray. The guy from the rooftop. He looked after me after the accident and saved me from them at the hospital." He nods at this fact. "The girl could come with us too. It's not a big apartment, but…" He shrugs. "Like I said, I think I can figure something out, but it might take time and this is a solution for now. I mean, it's a place to be, right?" Justice or not, Micah hasn't lost his heroic tendency to help people in need, no matter the cost.

Micah is staying with the man who held him hostage? Sure, the guy seemed to switch goals at the last minute, but Tracy's look only grows more skeptical. Maybe she shouldn't judge, though. "As long as it's safe." It doesn't sound especially ideal to her, but Micah is right: it's a solution. As tired as she is of temporary solutions, it could be a place to be. A place that isn't Taine's. "I'll contact you?" she suggests, starting to back away.

"Yeah. Just text or email me. Or type Rebel in a search engine and I'll find you." Micah's lips curl into a small smile as he chuckles. Sometimes he feels paranoid looking for that name over the internet, but then, a tiny Rebel can never be too safe. "Contact me if I don't contact you first. I have a feeling this rescue mission is going to happen sooner than later."

"All right." Tracy gives Micah another smile, tight and half-hearted, under the circumstances. Fugitives and … rescue missions. Not things Tracy would have thought to become relevant topics to her life. "Take care," she adds, pitched slightly with question before she starts to stroll away, back the way she came between the arches into the vast Central Park.

Micah's smile grows at the words as he turns around. It reminds him of his mom in a way — always worried about his determination to be a hero. The smile fades some as he reflects on his mission and begins to step away, but he's confident of one thing: Somewhere in heaven, at this moment, his parents are feeling proud, even if they fear for his life, he's doing something he was always meant to.

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