2010-01-09: Niki Reborn

Starring:

Lena_V4icon.pngMicah_V4icon.png

Date: January 9th, 2010

Summary:

Rebel contacts Lena to get more information, before new identities can be set up. Warning: Netspeak ahead.


"Niki Reborn"

Text Messages

With things in motion for another plan, Micah is feeling extremely haggard, but then he'd promised Mulan that he'd be in touch. And so he texts the girl he knows only as a cartoon character as discretely as possible. He can't draw attention to himself; lest people learn his real plans right now. Wearily, he pulls the phone out of his pocket and texts Mulan.

«REBEL: MULAN. I HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOUR REQUEST. JUST BEEN TIED UP WITH OTHER STUFF. YOU OKAY? HADN'T HEARD FROM YOU FOR AWHILE.

It's been a hell of a day. Lena goes out for her first unchaperoned trip into the real world, post-rescue, and ends up running into someone pretending to be an agent of Alpha Protocol, necessitating a quick rendezvous with Peter and a teleport back to the safehouse.

She's never leaving again. Ever.

She's in Jade's room when the phone buzzes. It isn't hers, technically, but…hey, the other girl isn't around. Lena sets her guitar aside, leaning across the bed to pluck the gadget from the floor and flips it open. Her nose wrinkles.

«u dont have 2 say sry lil dude. i kno its bad out there rite now n u said u wer busy. im ok mostly. u ok? still safe?»

Micah nods at the phone before he texts,

«REBEL: MOSTLY OKAY? THINGS ARE OKAY HERE. JUST PLANNING SOME STUFF. AND BUILDING STUFF. LOTS OF WORK TO DO. LOTS DONE. AND I'M TRYING TO REST UP FOR IT.

Rescuing Monica is a daunting task, and it's taking a lot more planning than the little genius had anticipated.

«REBEL: I REALIZE THAT I NEED ID INFO FOR YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS TO BE ABLE TO CREATE NEW IDENTITY. I REWRITE RECORDS, ETC. AND IT'S EASIER IF I KNOW WHO I'M DOING THAT FOR…

«im somewhere safe w/ people who care. ill b ok eventlly. didnt xactly get teh tube in teh nose treatment in there u kno?» Tubes would have been preferable. Lena catches her lower lip between her teeth and considers the rest of Rebel's message. Her answer is slow in coming.

«nythin i can do 2 help? n shit i didnt think of that. so u need our names n stuff? ok. im caroline grey aka lena from miami fl. nice 2 meet u. but they already have all my files. n u need diff pix i changed my hair n eyes. then theres jade. jade marie eastly. forget where shes from, shes a drifter»

Frowning, Micah shakes his head,

«REBEL: NO TUBES? WHAT DID THEY DO? MULAN, YOU GOTTA TELL ME.

He may need to have move up their mission. Molly would be able to find Monica in the building. It can work, but he needs to know what they're up against.

«REBEL: NICE TO MEET YOU, LENA. I'M MICAH SANDERS. THEY KNOW MY NAME TOO. AND HAVE ALL OF MY FILES.

Lena leans back against the wall, drawing her knees up and frowning openly at the phone's window now. Tell a fourteen year old what happened in there? She doesn't think so.

«ur a sweet guy micah even if u talk in all caps like a n00b. dont think i wanna give u nightmares ok? bad enough i got em when pete's busy. but its bad in there so if i can help any u just tell me. i cant do much but im w/ teh folks who wanna stop em»

There's a brief pause before she adds «so uh will a cameraphone pic b ok?»

«REBEL: I NEED TO KNOW. I JUST DO.

Uh-huh. And… him and two other very young Rebel friends are planning something. It just might happen sooner than expected.

«REBEL: I DON'T MEAN TO BRING UP THE PAST. I'M SORRY, BUT I NEED TO KNOW. IT WILL HELP ME.

Help him do what exactly? That's left alone.

«REBEL: ALRIGHT, A CAMERAPHONE PIC MIGHT BE OKAY. IT'S NOT THE BEST. I CAN TRY TO FOCUS IT SO IT LOOKS LIKE A REALLY BAD ID PHOTO. I KNOW MY DAD'S WAS REALLY BAD BACK

He stops typing mid message. The first part goes through, but then: nothing for a good thirty seconds.

«REBEL: BAD PHOTOS EXIST.

Pauses aren't a bad thing. It gives Lena an opportunity to debate with herself: ruin a kid's sleep or share necessary information with someone working to stop this nightmare?

In the end, the realistic demands of their world wins.

«ok they beat teh shit out of me then used electric shock when we wuldnt give em the info they wanted. names places powers. they were gonna execute us too i think but they didnt get teh chance. or maybe not cuz we started talkin»

Having sent that message, Lena takes a break from communicating to try to figure out the picture aspect of the phone. It's a long pause, needless to say, filled with several attempts and just as many poorly shot pictures. The final attempt isn't great either, it's slightly off center and at an angle but it's something. Then it takes another few minutes to try to figure out how to send it directly to the boy on the other end.

«bad is ok im not gonna win any contests. u get it? jade still looks teh same can prolly use a file pic for her»

Micah twitches at the contents of the next text. What else is there to say? He curses quietly to himself (and is relieved there are no adults around to hear).

«REBEL: YOU'RE OKAY NOW? IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO? I'M SO SORRY! IF I KNEW WHERE THE BUILDING WAS I COULD'VE CUT THE POWER.

«REBEL: I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU'RE STAYING WITH, BUT MAKE SURE THEY KNOW TO STAY HIDDEN. THE NEW IDENTITIES WON'T PROTECT YOU FROM FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE, BUT I CAN MORPH YOUR FACES IN AP FILES. THAT WILL AT LEAST SLOW THEM DOWN FROM YOUR TRAILS.

«REBEL: ALRIGHT. I FOUND YOUR PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL RECORDS AND DELETED YOU. I'VE PUT YOU IN DIFFERENT HIGH SCHOOLS. YOU HAVE NOW BOTH GROWN UP IN KANSAS. NAME IDEAS?

«yeah found out about that face thing today. but its ok. im with pete n prometheus is gonna help me learn more selfdefense shit. teh place was in NYC but i dunno where.»

The matter of names is far preferable to what occurred during her captivity, so Lena latches onto it with massive enthusiasm. «what just like that? damn boy ur fast. r we gonna be sisters? cuz wed like that. jade wants to be vanessa anne. i dunno about me. so long as im like 21+ u kno? julia sara marie nicole andrea whatevr. this is why im nvr gonna have kids dunno what teh hell id name em» Pause. «that n teh whole body made out of drugs thing 2 lol»

«REBEL: GOOD. LEARN THE SELF DEFENSE. IT'S IMPORTANT. I DON'T KNOW ANY. MY COUSIN IS GOOD AT IT THOUGH. WHENEVER SHE SEES SOMETHING SHE CAN MIMIC IT. SHE'S LIKE AN ULTRA-FAST LEARNER.

Monica is on Micah's brain. Twitching a bit he shakes her out of his thoughts and refocuses.

«REBEL: YOUR NAME IS NOW NICOLE (NIKI) HAWKING. YOUR FRIEND WILL BE TRACY HAWKING.

No, Micah's not feeling particularly original tonight. «REBEL: WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER FRIEND? YOU MENTIONED THREE IN YOUR EMAIL?

«srsly? damnit how cum every1 else gets teh cool powers n i get teh b a drug lab? not fair!»

Indignation only lasts so long though as new names come pouring in. Lena blinks a little (the boy really is fast) before her fingers fly over the tiny keyboard again.

«awesome thx» And then, in a separate message. «um yah my ex. he left after we got rescued i dunno where n i dont have ne pix of him»

«REBEL: MY COUSIN'S BEEN MISSING FOR AWHILE. HAVEN'T HEARD FROM HER.

But Micah knows where she is thanks to Molly. His cheeks flush as he thinks on Molly, but there are more important things at hand than teenage crusshes.

«REBEL: WELL, IF YOU HEAR FROM HIM YOU CAN ALWAYS MESSAGE ME. I'M WILLING TO DO WHAT IT TAKES. PEOPLE ARE RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES. I'M GLAD YOU GOT OUT. IT'S A CRAZY PLACE TO BE.

The misery of others is an excellent distraction from her own. Lena, who had sunk into a slouch with a gloomy look on her face, is drawn out of it by the boy's next message. «ur cousin? u think they got her? omg have u told prometheus? he got me out he can get her out 2!!! u need 2 go tell him ok?»

Gene may not appreciate the additional workload but that's beside the point.

«i will if he cums back but i dunno if he will. wwe broke up i pissed him off. but yeah i got out n thats the important thing rite? now just gotta stay out. thx for all of this. its really gonna help. niki…i guess i can be a niki.»

Frowning Micah shakes his head. Prometheus would just tell them not to do their rescue. Maybe.

«REBEL: SHE'S FINE. I'M SURE. A FRIEND FOUND HER WITH HER ABILITY AND MY COUSIN'S ALIVE. DON'T TELL PROMETHEUS, HE'LL JUST WORRY.

In completely unrelated news….

«REBEL: I MAY BE OUT OF CONTACT FOR AWHILE. DON'T WORRY ABOUT ME, I'M FINE. JUST DEALING WITH MY STUFF. LIKE I SAID EARLIER.

At the mention of being Niki, Micah smiles,

«REBEL: IT'S A REALLY GOOD NAME AND I WOULDN'T LET JUST ANYONE HAVE IT. I KNEW SOMEONE WITH THAT NAME AND SHE WAS THE STRONGEST PERSON I WILL EVER KNOW.

Literally.

«ok ill try not 2 worry but no promises lil man. u check in when u can n maybe i wont spaz out n get my friends after u.» Lena pauses, tilting her head to the side. An unwilling smile settles on her lips. «yeah? thx evn more then. ur pretty cool dude. im kinda a wuss but ill work at teh bein strong thing. no time 2 b weak now i guess. not 4 any of us. u message me if u need ne help okay?»

«REBEL: I WILL. I PROMISE. JUST REMEMBER THAT THE WOMAN THAT HAD THAT NAME WAS A HERO. SHE WASN'T WHAT PEOPLE NORMALLY THINK OF AS A HERO. A STRIPPER. PEOPLE CALLED HER TRASH. BUT SHE WAS AMAZING. SHE SAVED PEOPLE. LOTS OF PEOPLE BECAUSE SHE KNEW THAT WITH POWER COMES RESPONSIBILITY. WE HAVE THE GIFTS WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING GREAT. THAT'S WHY I DO WHAT I DO.

Wistfully he glances at the computer. She was a hero for Micah in a lot of ways. A hero because he needed her to be. His lips twitch before he messages again.

«REBEL: I'LL BE IN TOUCH. AND I'LL LET YOU KNOW IF I NEED ANYTHING. TAKE CARE. AND HAVE HOPE.

That said, the fourteen year old Rebel turns off his phone and snaps his laptop shut. He needs some quiet time to reflect on the hero that was his mother.

Wait, what? Lena got the stripper's name?

She stares at the phone for a long, long moment, trying to digest the dichotomy of the person Micah has just described. In the end, remembering that she is speaking to an extremely idealistic fourteen year old boy…

Lena just rolls with it. «ill try 2 live up 2 her name. thx lil man. u be good stay safe. ill b around if u need me»

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