2009-09-28: Gene Codes



Date: September 28th, 2009


Like her sister before her, Tracy goes to Gene for answers. She gets them, along with more questions, as Gene helps her find her way to more answers. It's a cycle.

"Gene Codes"

Great Falls, Virginia

Great Falls, a city located right outside of the high priced suburbs of Alexandria City, nestled right on the border of Northern Virginia and Maryland. The path to the Kensington Manor is twisty and turning, the region hilly and woody. The first blockade to the Kensington Manor is a nature one for old money… A heavy black iron fence that surrounds the area. A few warning signs flank the large gate into the grounds, ones that speak of security systems and a large 'No Trespassing' sign. They are both made of carved wood, even the warnings are displayed with taste and tact. There are tree that are spaced among the grounds, enough so that with a bit of distance, only bits of pieces of the manor can be seen, appearing to be well within the usual price of housing in the area… two to three million dollars.

Perhaps if a visitor went to many GOP gatherings or supported Veteran Affairs they would have been to this place, John Kensington one for opening up his home like a good host for those whose causes mirrored his own. After all, most politicians in Washington rarely have housing in the area. Of course, there are no gatherings tonight, the lanterns giving a watchful light for any that visit, an intercom by the lip of the driveway, allowing people to just roll down their car to speak into it rather than having to walk up to the gate proper.

The sleek, gunmetal silver roadster is out of place in the woods, but as it winds its way closer to Kensington Manor, the car and its driver find a more familiar habitat. That of the rich. The top up, it slows at the gate, the driver's window sliding down by the intercom, the lantern light reflecting over the hood softly. "I'm looking for Gene Kensington," says the female voice inside. "If he's here, I'd appreciate it if I could visit. It's Tracy Strauss."

There is a long pause. Finally, a familiar voice comes onto the intercom. "…Miss Strauss? I didn't expect to be hearing from you again. You alone? …Oh, yeah, you are. Come on in." With that, the gate opens. The quarter mile driveway leads to the red brick building that seems like it was built at least twenty-five years ago. The loop at the end of the driveway leads to both the garage, but also to the front of the house, where Gene is waiting.

Clearly clothes he just threw on, Gene is dressed in a tight grey shirt, perhaps his newly gained muscles deeming themselves worthy of new causal wear. He wears simple blue and plaid cotton lounge wear and a pair of worn sandals. He has on his black peacoat, likely to fight off the slight chill of early fall on the Eastern Seaboard. As he watches the woman, he does say a word, just watching her from the front stoop as he gives her a causal wave of the hand.

Once the Nissan makes it the full length of the driveway, its door slams outside the residence, preceding its owner approaching. Tracy looks up at the manor with a measure of uncertainty, which is the same look she gives Gene. She doesn't want to have ventured all the way out here for nothing. The woman is dressed down on her days off in a grass green sweater with a small v-neck — cashmere, no doubt — and a pair of neatly tailored dark jeans. "Gene," she greets simply. "I wasn't expecting… to come calling, but I…" It's obviously hard for Tracy to admit this. "I didn't know where else to go. I need some answers."

This is truly not expected. Old Gene would have bragged, but thankfully, he has grown up a little. "I see. Well, um, guess you should come inside. My grandfather is out right now, so it's just me and the housekeeper." He opens up the door for Tracy, holding it open for her before heading in himself and closing the door behind him. The house is rather tradition and has a distinctly Southern flavor to it with hall looking like something right of Gone with the Wind. Thankfully, the kitchen that Gene heads into is far more modern, having the usual stuff, having opening with a counter that divides the living room from the kitchen. The whole place is spotless, but that may be from the housekeeper rather than either of the two being clean freaks.

Gene offers a seat in the dining room before moving into the kitchen. "Need anything to eat and drink? If it's something that you wish cooked, the housekeeper makes a mean omelette. And could get you some thing to drink if you wanted as well. Not sure if you're the drinking type or not, but we got a pretty stocked dry bar."

A she steps inside the remarkable home at a determined pace, Tracy hangs tightly onto the strap of the casual (but still expensive) white purse she's brought with her, as if it holds secrets of the universe that need protecting. It just might. Or maybe it's just lipgloss. The decor is given a glance over as she stands in the dining room. It's lovely, but she's distracted. "No… thank you. Actually— a glass of water. Please." She pulls out a dining room chair, taking a seat and waiting.

Equipped with two waters and no longer wearing his peacoat (which is placed on the countertop with little regard to its proper place), one with ice and one with no ice, Gene makes his way into the dining room. He offers both, letting Tracy take her pick before he takes the other and seats himself across from her. "I'd ask if everything was alright, but I guess if you're here, I already know the answer to that," Gene offers with a sad smile before he drinks from his water.

Tracy takes the glass of water with no ice. It's a decisive choice. She sets it close to her on the table, but otherwise doesn't touch it. She takes a moment to begin with her reason for being here, but once she does, it's with determined purpose, leaning ahead over the table with focused eyes on Gene. The only thing out of place with Tracy now is that those eyes hold a hint of ill-suited desperation.

"I spent the last year trying to forget… this— thing… that I can do. Whatever it is, this ability." And now, something has clearly changed. Gene's correct: everything is not alright. Tracy hesitates for a quick moment before reaching out to wrap her hand around the glass. She focuses on it, and in seconds, there's a layer of frost on the glass and the water has started to solidify. She lets go quickly. It scares her; horrifies her. "I just need to know why. Why… me?"

The Geek God watches the choice in cups, but says nothing on it. He doesn't have any malice or frustration in his expression, as was the case when conversations with the political advisor would run their course, but the openness from the young woman definitely changes everything. Calmly, Gene watches as Tracy uses her gift. While normally he would be fascinated by the show of talent, the young man is calm and even gentle in his words before he sits up to take the glass and place it within his hand. "The same reason your eyes are blue. Your hair is blond. The reason why I'm a genius. A gene code, either real or artificial, was placed within you. I'm not really into the gene side of things like some people I know, but I can tell you the basics."

Sighing, Gene looks to the frozen glass in his hand, letting his thumb run over it despite the chill that is almost painful to him. "Usually, for powers like you, it's a time of heightened stress or emotion that triggers it. When someone is scared, nervous, or in danger, powers like your own often come out. That's why I tried to explain why it was important to understand your powers. So you'd understand they were a gift and not a burden." His blue eyes rest upon Tracy's, concern the first emotion visible. He appears ready to say something else, but he closes his mouth again, figuring that he's already said enough.

Too bad Tracy didn't take Gene's advice the first time. She takes in everything Gene is saying, but even though she asked for it, that doesn't necessarily mean she wants to hear it. Those genetically blue eyes of hers widen as the undercurrent of anger to this whole visit starts to show itself. "These powers? Aren't a gift." She leans in over the table further, flattening her hand on the table. "I have to find some way to get rid of them. What did you mean, 'artificial' code?"

"I've shared all I can for the time being. The rest I really don't know for certain." Besides, he has no idea what will happen if Tracy figures out what Gene knows or the mere fact that Gene knows. After all, she works with the government, the people he's been paranoid for since his grandfather instilled it into him. "As there are many Evolved in the world, the one that could take abilities… The only one that I knew of is dead," Gene states as he places the cup down. Purposefully, Gene only addresses one of Tracy's concerns before going into one of his own. "What happened?"

Tracy's brows raise a little — it's not that she doesn't believe Gene, almost anything seems possible when you can freeze things by touching them, but it's still hard to accept at first. Many people who are "evolved"? Someone who could take away abilities? The woman's expression immediately hardens up after Gene's last question and she looks down. "I…" Nope. Not happening. "I can't." She looks up as though hoping the young genius will understand.

"Look— " Tracy tries to change the subject, but not only for the sake of evading the question; she purposefully starts to hunt through her purse, whipping out a few pieces of paper. "You're the only person I know besides Niki Sanders who knows about these … powers. If there is someone who knows how to help, I have to find them." She plants the papers on the table. Forms. Records. "If Niki Sanders is…. like me, too, then maybe this doctor who signed both our birth records is that person. His name is Dr. Zimmerman. What can you find out about him?"

A dismissive hand waves off the papers, the genius not needing them. "I've already looked into him before. For your sister, unsurprisingly. Considering we got along as well as you and I did, I gave her the information and let her handle it as she saw fit. We had a rather… awkward way of seeing things out. Now that I've had time to see it through, I understand that I was used. She always asked, I always gave, but it was never enough, merely because I was the ugly little duckling… Not that you care about that much, mind you, but this bring me to the important part of things."

Gene leans forward, a small frown entering his face. "I do not wish to go down this road again. So I will ask you one simple question… Is this a road you are trying to take me down again, or is there an assurance that things will be different?"

With a slowly furrowing brow, Tracy listens to the young Mr. Kensington. "I'm … not so sure your question is as simple as you think it is," she points out slowly. "What're asking of me? That I make sure to say thanks?" She swipes the papers back off the table.

"I'm not sure what this assurance is," Gene replies swiftly, his tone still gentle like before. "Only that I feel that it must be made."

Tracy seems to consider Gene and his request of "assurances", quiet and guardedly thoughtful for a long moment, papers frozen in hand (not literally). Like a light turning on — or off, as the case may be — she makes a decision. "I shouldn't've come," she says, swiftly standing up and tucking the documents away in her purse. "Thank you… for the information. Really. But I shouldn't drag you into this," she says, back to her clear-thinking self. "I'll just go to this doctor and find out for myself."

To say that Gene has things easy would be laughable, more so in situations like this. "Trust me, Tracy… I'm involved already. Even if you don't know it yet. You are scared, you clearly did something that brought you here out of fear and desperation. Clearly, you don't want to tell me, because you fear I'll do what you've seen in your line of work. People trying to force things upon you, using blackmail, sex, or whatever they can to control. But if I really want to help people… help you, I suppose I should give that aid, even with the knowledge that I will not get anything in return. That is the love that changes the world, not the love that expects to be loved back."

With that, Gene moves toward a cable jack and pulls out a Blackberry phone of sorts, hooking it up to the seemingly custom made jack. "You have reminded me of how far I need to go to be the person I should be. For that, I shall give you the information and with an apology." Typing a bit on the device, he pulls out a pin and paper from a sidetable close to the wall, writing down some information. With that, the post-it note is handed to Tracy. "You came to me in need… It was wrong for me to try and take advantage of that. I'm sorry."

Tracy doesn't know exactly what to think of Gene, a sentiment she seemed to have shared with her sister — all she does is watch him perceptively, however. Holding onto the strap of her purse, she takes the post-it with her free hand, immediately skimming over the information. "Reseda," she reads off the note. It's possible that Gene is overestimating the intentions of Ms. Strauss, but she's not going to be the one to tell him. When she smiles, though, it's sincerely grateful. "Thank you."

"When you find him, tell him he needs to move and then contact the number I've written on the bottom. I have some questions myself." And Gene wants to make sure that Tracy doesn't get the man arrested or killed. After all, for all their similarities, Tracy is NOT her sister. "No problem… Unless you have something else you wish to talk about, you likely want to head over to speak to the doctor as soon as possible. If you do, I recommend taking the bus."

Tracy was about to turn away, but Gene's paranoia — which is what is sounds like to her — causes her to pause. She gives the kitchen a questioning stare before the same probing look is turned over her shoulder to Gene. "Why on earth would I do that?" Please. She was already planning on flying first class. "…And why would I tell him to move?" Skeptical but … apprehensive, she gives a small laugh. "Gene. What do you think's going to happen?"

"You've done nothing to make me think that you didn't do something serious with your ability. If that's so, flying is a sure way to be on the radar. I'd rent a car to be really safe, but I doubt you'd be willing to do that." Of what? She knows. The second question just causes him to pause for awhile. Clearly he doesn't know exactly what to say on the matter. It is a tricky one after all. "Not sure, but it never hurts to be careful right?" At least that wasn't a full lie.

Gene might have a point. It's certainly got Tracy thinking. Not missing a thing, she watches him carefully. She saw that pause and knows there were gears turning in that smart brain of his. He's leaving something out. "I'm always careful," she aims to reassure Gene as she turns to stride through the lovely manner toward the front door, hurrying. Like Gene said, she has to speak to that doctor as soon as possible. Tracy got what she wanted, she even said thanks, so she's leaving.

Watching Tracy as she leaves as he is single(?) and male, Gene catches himself and moves to get the door for her. "Have a good evening," he replies, closing the door before making sure she leaves from one of the side windows. Sighing, he moves up to the stairs and moves toward his bedroom. It would seem he may have a long night ahead of him.

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