2009-12-06: Lena is a Hero

Starring:

Lena_V4icon.pngMicah_V4icon.png

Date: November 6, 2009

Summary:

Lena meets a Rebel over the net.


"Lena is a Hero"

Cyberspace

The New York Public Library is not that bad, really. It's huge and quiet and offers free internet so long as you put your name on the list for it. It also provides a refuge for those wishing to avoid troubles at home. She has no illusions about what is going to happen once Tiago finds out that she was romping all over the Eastern Seaboard with a strange man, rescuing damsels who may or may not be evil. Things are going to get ugly.

That is why she is seated at an old table, in front of an even older computer, rather than back in their saviour's apartment. Research is so much simpler.

Right now, the brunette has several windows open. There's one on medical research, another containing an online drug catalogue, a Wikipedia page on Senator Ivory Wynn and finally a search engine. It's into this that she's typing, having already run various searches on "evolution", "government kidnapping", "US concentration camps" and "best new club tracks".

That last one has nothing whatsoever to do with her current problems but hey, music.

Sitting in his room in Germany, Micah is actually doing homework today. He's writing a paper drawing comparisons of his current situation (i.e. on the lam from the government) and Nazi Germany. Hopefully it'll be good. But then, while doing his own research, he gets a few flags. Eyebrows are furrowed as he tilts his head. He's been paying attention to such search terms as 'government kidnapping' in particular. Suspiciously, he tracks the IP address and manages to find the exact computer that performed the search. He glances around the room for wandering eyes, and seeing that not even Cam is tucked away, he closes his eyes and focuses.

On Lena's computer a chat box opens randomly at one of the sites. Within it is a message:

Rebel: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

As per Rebel's style, the letters are in all-caps, glaring out for the user to see.

Lena's hands fall away from the keyboard and she's left blinking at the screen several times in quick succession. Do library computers even have chat programs? They employ pop-up blockers too, don't they? If she clicks on that, is she going to get sent to a porn site? The girl straightens in her seat for a moment, sliding up to look over the monitor and then around to see if anyone's looking…say, someone in a black suit and mirror shades. Then she settles again, frowning.

After some flexing of her gloved fingers, she begins to type. 'who r u & why the fuk r u yelling at me?'

Narrowing his eyes, Micah doesn't like the question. And he's not yelling, he's typing. What is she even talking about? Frowning, he glances around his room again for wandering eyes before he types.

Rebel: I AM REBEL. I'M NOT YELLING.

Rebel: WHO ARE YOU?

The reply is: u r so yellin all caps is yelling so knok it teh fuk off okay? not tellin u who i am, i asked first. who r U? rebel is a thing not a person.

Having fired off this retort, Lena sits back in her chair and folds her arms across her chest. Her eyes are narrowed but there's a hint of a smile playing over her lips.

Moderately annoyed, Micah wrinkles his nose. Who does this person think they are? Pursing his lips together, he types again.

Rebel: I ASKED WHAT YOU WERE DOING. YOU NEVER ANSWERED MY QUESTION. I TYPE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT'S HOW I TYPE. DEAL WITH IT. IF I TYPED DIFFERENTLY MY COMRADES WOULDN'T KNOW IT WAS ME AND WOULD THINK THE IMPERIAL FORCES HAD TAKEN ME AGAIN. BESIDES GRAMMAR IS FOR CHUMPS.

There is no immediate reply. Lena is busy stretching her arms over her head, fingers laced together to make them pop. When the reply is sent, the smug is a near palpable thing.

'looks like im chattin w/ someone who has no manners, thats what im doin.' There's a pause before she continues. 'ur awful nosy, arent u? im not dealin w/ it, u messaged me first. that means u should be nicer if u wanna chat w/ me. how do i know u arent some spook runnin a trace on this right now?'

Rolling his eyes, Micah would scoff the reply if he was saying it. NO MANNERS? I'M A HERO. I HELPED PEOPLE. MANNERS OR NOT, I DID WHAT I COULD TO HELP THEM. Pause. BESIDES CAPS ARE EASIER TO USE WHEN I'M COMMUNICATING THIS WAY. IT'S EITHER ALL CAPS OR NO CAPS. AND IT'S NOT LACK OF MANNERS. I HAD A TUBE IN MY NOSE LAST MONTH. AND YOU'RE THE ONE OPERATING ON A PUBLIC COMPUTER IN A LIBRARY… DON'T WORRY, NO ONE ELSE CAN TELL OR TRACK YOU. JUST ME.

'wut, so if i become a hero i can forget about manners? sweet deal! but srsly dude u never heard about the all caps rule?'

Lena by now is grinning openly, seeming to enjoy tweaking this stranger's nose. After a moment of admiring her response though, she does sigh and glance around again. The public library. There's no denying the accuracy of this Rebel's counterpoints. When she replies again, it's in a far more serious tone.

'good 2 kno. kinda short on funds right now and lost all my shit when we had 2 go on teh run. cant afford a fancy rig altho my friends r workin on that. or will be when i ask em 2. u got away from the nazis?'

Micah smirks a bit at the comment about manners and just shakes his head. The comments about his manners are left on the shelf for now. SHORT ON FUNDS? SO DO YOU HAVE AN ABILITY THEN? THE GOVERNMENT ISN'T BEING GOOD TO PEOPLE LIKE US. :(

He narrows his eyes about being short on funds and knows he might be able to fix that. At least temporarily. And then maybe Bert can help in person. YOU HAVE FRIENDS HELPING YOU THEN? MY FRIENDS WERE THE ONES THAT FREED ME FROM THE GOVERNMENT. OH AND IVORY WYNN. HE GOT MY BROTHER AND I MOVED FROM A PRISON TO A HOTEL. IT REALLY DID HELP US.

Whatever Lena might have said is swept away by the intrusion of a name that has become very, very familiar to the young woman. Her eyebrows knit together, the frown severe (and entirely invisible to Rebel). The silence from her end drags out to the point of paranoia. But finally, a short reply is sent.

'wtf ur w/ Wynn?'

Someone really needs to watch the news more often.

'look dude dunno what ur smokin but Wynn is srsly a bad guy. he hurt a friend of mine like u dont even kno. she might not ever get over it. maybe he helped u but…i had 2 clean up 3 of his messes w/ wut i can do, plz dont tell me ur #4. already caught enough shit for teh last one.'

But, Ivory's one of the good guys, right? Micah can't help but frown before his eyebrows furrow, "I'M NOT WITH ANYONE, REALLY. EXCEPT MY FRIENDS. I'M ME. I'M REBEL. I HELPED EMPTY THE TRAINS. I HELPED FREE PEOPLE. AND I GOT CAUGHT. IVORY HELPED FREE US WHEN HE FOUND OUT…" That they're kids.

"WHAT DID HE DO THAT WAS SO BAD? PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES. IT'S WHAT WE DO AFTER THEM THAT DEFINES US. HE WAS PART OF THE WHOLE PLOT TO PUT US IN TRAINS, BUT HE KNOWS BETTER NOW. MY BROTHER AND I DIDN'T WANT TO HURT ANYONE WE WANTED TO RESCUE A FRIEND FROM THE AP."

"YOU COULDN'T HELP ME ANYWAY. I'M A WORLD AWAY FROM WHERE YOU ARE. AND MY FRIENDS HERE DON'T SEEM WILLING TO LET ME GO HOME ANYTIME SOON…"

'u helped empty teh trains? ur one of those?' Huh. Lena tilts her head, considering a moment before she begins to bang away again at the keyboard. Seeing as she has no idea that she's speaking with a fourteen year old, she doesn't pull any punches with the answer about to be given. 'wynn's a rapist. he uses wut he can do 2 make women do wut he wants even if they normally wuldnt. not just women either. dont think he sexed up this other guy i kno but teh guy helped people escape 2 then wuz workin w/ the government after he got caught and hed like never do that. u maybe wanna think about why u like wynn so much cuz thats how his power works, dude. even if he did help u.'

Pause.

'wait i thought u said u werent w/ anyone but ur friends. why wont they let u go?'

Micah's lips curl down into a very angry frown. "IVORY… DID THAT? :(" Major sad face. In fact there's a good amount of time that passes before Micah types anything else. "BUT HE HELPED US. BOTH OF US. WAIT." He blinks. "WAS THE OTHER GUY PETER? MY AUNT TOLD ME THAT PETER WAS WORKING FOR THEM AND I SAW HIM GET HIT BY THE HELICOPTER DURING THE RESCUE." Micah winces a bit to think of Peter working for the government, but then, if he's not anymore, that's a good thing, right?

"MY FRIENDS WON'T LET ME LEAVE BECAUSE THEY DON'T THINK I'M SAFE ON MY OWN, OR EVEN IN THE COMPANY OF MY BROTHER." There's a significant pause in the conversation as Micah realizes he still doesn't know who he's talking to. "WHAT IS YOUR NAME?"

'maybe he helped u but hes been a shit 2 my friends AND he was in charge of shippin us off. so official bad guy, dude. sorry if teh truth hurts.'

But Lena is not entirely without sympathy. A moment after, a new message pops up. 'and i really am sorry if u liked him. thats teh problem, c? hes a likeable kinda guy cuz he wants 2 be.' Pause. 'yeah peter. hes clean now and running 2, i think. cant remember shit of the last 3 years tho. thinks the helicopter did that.'

There is an even longer pause while she debates the merits of giving her real name. Gene had mentioned this; no names, no numbers. And if this guy is calling himself Rebel, well…she can go with an alias too, right?
'call me mulan'

Wrinkling his nose at the code name, Micah shakes his head. "FINE. MULAN IT IS." He presses his lips together and then nods at the screen about Peter, "YES, IT'S GOOD THAT PETER'S RECOVERED SOMEWHAT. BRUTAL ABOUT HIS MEMORY THOUGH. :(" With a cluck of his tongue he decides not to talk further about Ivory; he'll ask his aunt later, unless she's a victim! Now this is problematic. MY AUNT MIGHT BE UNDER IVORY'S INFLUENCE IF HE'S AS YOU SAY HE IS… CAN YOU CONTACT PETER TO RESCUE HER? TRACY STRAUSS! PLEASE. I CAN'T DO MUCH, I'M NOT IN THE US AND IF THERE REALLY IS SOMETHING WITH IVORY… AND I REALLY CAN'T LEAVE. IF I DO MY FRIENDS WILL JUST RETRIEVE ME AND I'LL GET INTO MORE TROUBLE THAN I AM NOW." Charlotte had been very angry about his trek to the US and his communication with the outside world. And his video. It seems Micah's list of sins is growing.

Oh. Shit.

Lena settles back in her chair and just stares at the screen for a full minute. "What the hell?" she mutters under her breath. The smallness of the world is worrisome at times. Taking a deep breath, she returns to typing, expression set in grim lines.

'yeah already done, dude. why u think im in trouble rite now? she wuz teh last one i cleaned up & my friends kinda pissed at me for goin off 2 do it. but ur aunts gonna b okay now so i guess thats good. petes w/ her or he wuz when i took off. dunno where they r now.'

"GOOD. I'M GLAD TRACY'S OKAY. SHE'S IMPORTANT TO ME, EVEN THOUGH I BARELY KNOW HER." Micah sighs with relief as he relaxes in his bed. "I'M SORRY YOUR FRIENDS ARE MAD. MINE ARE MAD AT ME FOR HELPING OTHERS, GETTING CAUGHT, AND OVERALL NOT TELLING THEM ABOUT WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING. BUT SOMETIMES IT'S BETTER THEY DON'T KNOW, YOU KNOW? LIKE IF THEY KNEW, THEY'D WORRY MORE. AND THEN WHERE WOULD I BE?"

Now Micah knows why his friends worry. He's not even fourteen, but tilting his head he asks, "WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR FRIENDS WORRY WHEN YOU DO THINGS LIKE THAT WITHOUT TELLING THEM?" Aren't adults supposed to be able to do whatever they want whenever they want?

'enh its ok. i guess its just cuz they care. which is kinda freaky so TOTALLY not used 2 havin folks worrying bout me. better than no one carin tho, rite?' Pause. 'still, gonna be soooo glad when this blows over. still gotta tell my boyfriend and hes gonna explode.' Another pause. 'maybe break up w/ me :('

At that point, Lena has to take another break in order to breathe out slowly.

'but yeah i didnt tell cuz i just knew theyd freak out. he wouldnt have let me go at all, not even with someone else. but like how are u supposed 2 help if ur stuck hidin, 2 scared 2 stick ur head out, rite?'

"EXACTLY. WE CAN'T AVOID LIFE JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE AFTER US. MY FRIENDS THINK THEY'RE PROTECTING ME BY KEEPING ME HERE, BUT I CAN'T STOP HELPING. IF I STOP SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO SOMEONE I CARE ABOUT. AND HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO STOP THEM IF WE JUST HIDE?" Micah and Lena have something in common it seems.

"IF YOUR BOYFRIEND LOVES YOU, HE WON'T BREAK UP WITH YOU OVER THIS. MY PARENTS WENT THROUGH WAY WORSE. MY DAD WAS IN PRISON FOR A LONG WHILE AND MOM MADE MONEY AS A STRIPPER" Micah doesn't divulge any other details about his mothers unsavoury employment "MY MOM HAD THIS OTHER PERSONALITY WHO TRIED TO KILL ME AND DAD. DAD ENDED UP IN SING-SING PRISON FOR AWHILE. AND THEY STAYED TOGETHER THROUGH IT ALL. IF IT'S LOVE, IT WORKS OUT." On the other side of the screen, he sniffles and glances at the door. There's no one there to seem him so he opens the bed and snuggles under the covers. It's safe there.

Lena's answer is short, sweet and to the point.

'jesus fuckin christ, dude, i thought my life was harsh.' Her forehead rumples as she watches the screen, awaiting an answer. But before one can pop up, she reaches out and taps in an addendum. 'how old r u btw? no offense or anythin but im just wonderin. i like turn 20 in a couple of weeks. dunno how chi is gonna be when he finds out…i kinda get caught in a lot of trouble. dunno why it just seems 2 find me u know?'

Micah hmms at the age thing and tilts his head. "MY LIFE ISN'T HARSH. I JUST WISH… THEY WERE STILL ALIVE. WE WERE A FAMILY FOR ALMOST A YEAR: MY BROTHER, MOM, DAD, AND ME. THEY DIED SAVING US." Underneath the covers he swallows to choke back the tears and finally he can't any longer.

Fortunately there's no one to see him cry. Minutes pass as he recollects himself and replies. "AS FAR AS CHI (NAMED AFTER TEA?) GOES, HE'LL UNDERSTAND. HE CARES ABOUT YOU AND KNOWS YOU." There's another pause and then he types, "I'LL BE FOURTEEN NEXT WEEK."

'hey…hey u still there? im sorry bout ur parents, dude. srsly. thats a hard thing. id totally hug u if i coudl. :('

That message is waiting for Micah following his crying jag. When he returns, Lena's reply is almost immediate.

'wtf 14? u fuckin w/ me?' Pause. 'uh sry bout teh cussin. yeah forget i said that ok? dont talk like i do, its bad. chi is short for tiago, hes from brazil. i prolly shuld get goin my time on this comp is gonna be up soon and hes gonna be wonderin where i am. but u can email me if u want, kid. im at moc.liamg|09lrigeidooh#moc.liamg|09lrigeidooh i check it once a week 2 keep up w/ folks.'

"YEAH, I'M 14. I'LL BE IN TOUCH, MULAN. STAY SAFE, AND JUST REMEMBER THAT HE'LL UNDERSTAND. DON'T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF. YOU'RE DOING WHAT YOU CAN TO HELP. AND WHILE WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES ALONG THE WAY, YOU'RE ONE OF US. YOU'RE A HERO." That said, Micah closes the chat box and then his laptop. He shoves the laptop under the bed and covers his head with his comforter. He needs to shut out the world for awhile.

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