2007-07-16: Not All Aliens And Cows

Starring:

Meryl_icon.gif Megan_icon.gif

Summary:

Meryl visits Megan bearing gifts to make her stay easier. While still distrusting of everything Company, the Scot warms a little to Meryl and her guinea pig.

July 16th, 2007:

Not All Aliens and Cows


Primatech Paper Company, Hartsdale NY - Cell

Late in the morning - close enough to noon so that it could be considered lunchtime, Meryl is heading toward a certain woman's cell, with several thinks in hand. First, a cupholder from McDonald's. It's got a couple milkshakes in it, one for her, one for the 'guest.' She's also got an extra blanket and a couple bags over her shoulder; one of said bags is green and has black webbing on it, and is dotted with pink pawprints.

She tries to visit whomever she can, mostly those who really don't have any idea what's happening to them. The Company has… rough methods at times, to say the least, and, seriously, there are some people out there who just need to know that not everyone is /bad./ Sure, it doesn't work all the time, and there was this one instance that /no one is allowed to talk about ever/ where Meryl had severe abdominal problems for the greater part of a month, but that's beside the point.

She knocks on Megan's door, unlocks it, and opens it. Peeking her head in, she states, "You could use an interior decorator."

—-

There's not really much to mark time in a cell somewhere underground with no outside windows and no clock. For all Megan knows, it's midnight on the moon. As has been her standard position for most of her stay, she's lying on her bed and staring at the ceiling. Mohinder promised her books and something to read, but she's yet to accept either the books or the offer to help her train her so-called powers. Fainting really isn't anything she could consider powerful. Luckily for Meryl, most of the physical fight was knocked out of her at her capture. Now all she has is stubbornness and bad words. "Could use a lotta things," she replies with a frown, only glancing over at what looks like a disembodied head.

—-

"Yeah, that's true. Like a couch, or, you know. A water feature? Maybe a— Ah, can I come in?" She steps inside the door, setting one of the bags down with a /thump,/ the other much more gently. "Brought you a shake. D'you prefer chocolate or vanilla? 'cuz I got both, I wasn't sure which you'd want. And here's a blanket." Meryl steps a little closer to Megan's bed, trying to look friendly. She knows it's hard for someone to see you as a friend when they're being held captive, but… "I thought maybe I could answer a few of your questions… The ones I'm allowed to answer, anyway, like 'why do cats purr' and 'are possums really marsupials,' and maybe 'why are you guys so horrible' and stuff like that. So… You're Megan. I'm Meryl."

—-

This is quite a strange sequence of events. Eyeing the friendly features of Meryl, Megan slowly pulls herself up into a sitting position. She still doesn't trust anyone here, especially the friendly people. "S'it poisoned or somethin'? S'it gonna make me pass out again?" It's a valid concern. Most of her time here has involved being tranq'd into submission. The blanket, also, could carry smallpox. Isn't that what early Americans did to the Native Americans? "Lotsa people seem to say they're here to answer m'questions, Meryl. So far none of them look like they really mean it." There's a distinct pause and a bit of confusion. "Wai'…possums aren't marsupials, are they?"

—-

"Well, I'm letting you pick first, n' I'm going to drink the other one 'cuz I haven't had lunch yet, so if they're poisoned, I think I'm pretty much going down with you." She sets the cupholder and the blanket on the bed. It smells like it's just been through the laundry, and it also has stars all over it and otherwise doesn't look particularly smallpox-like. Then she returns to the door to bring the bags over to the bed, and takes a seat on the floor next to it. "Was gonna bring you coffee, but I figured then you might get it in your head to throw it at me, and I look /awful/ with burns all over my face. Looking over her shoulder, Meryl smiles, then goes rifling through her bag, and pulls out a book. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. "This is for you, too."

—-

"Well, I'm letting you pick first, n' I'm going to drink the other one 'cuz I haven't had lunch yet, so if they're poisoned, I think I'm pretty much going down with you." She sets the cupholder and the blanket on the bed. It smells like it's just been through the laundry, and it also has stars all over it and otherwise doesn't look particularly smallpox-like. Then she returns to the door to bring the bags over to the bed, and takes a seat on the floor next to it. "Was gonna bring you coffee, but I figured then you might get it in your head to throw it at me, and I look /awful/ with burns all over my face. Looking over her shoulder, Meryl smiles, then goes rifling through her bag, and pulls out a book. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. "This is for you, too."

The questions about possums is met with some thought. "Yeah, possums have pouches like kangaroos. I learned that from the Animaniacs. The WHEEL OF MORALITY. Also things like 'Do not back up, severe tire damage.' It was a great show.

—-

Though stubborn and not always polite, Megan is finding it hard to stay angry with Meryl. Not just because she came bearing presents, but because she isn't trying to attack her, tag her, or preaching science she doesn't understand at her. However, as friendly as the other woman is, she's still part of the whole program that attacked and kidnapped her. So, this must be some sort of front. She can take advantage of it for now, though. "Yer smart enough on tha' call," she says sourly about the coffee before picking a random McDonald's cup. Chocolate, it turns out. She doesn't sip from it immediately. True to form, she waits for Meryl and a little while after to to make sure she isn't about to keel over. Eyebrow raising at the book, she gives an almost humorless laugh. "Now isn' tha' appropriate?" It's a book that she doesn't seem to be very familiar with, however just the title sounds about right.

"Animaniacs?" Somehow that cartoon slipped by her. "Wheel of morality?" It all sounds pretty strange, even if a little informative.

—-

"See? They say I'm dumb, just 'cuz I didn't go to school." She's not. She's just… Well, okay, sometimes she comes across as dense, but she is a /GENIUS./ Of something. Perhaps quilting.

Once Megan has her shake, Meryl pulls the lid off the remaining one so she can gulp it down that way - and she does. Who needs a straw? "See? I'll even trade if you want, but I might have West Nile or something 'cuz there's a lot of mosquitos, so. I wouldn't.

"Tha's one of my favourites from when I was little. It's a good read. 'bout a kid who thinks everything's better in Australia. It's not, I could tell 'im that, but— " Turning around, Meryl leans her arms on the bed, green eyes looking upward at Megan. "I figure you're here, an' you don't wanna be. So if you want me to tell you make take on it, I will. Just a warning. It's preeeetty much a well-rehearsed propaganda-esque speech I've been doing for years, but it might help. I 'unno."

—-

Megan would never be one to assume someone is stupid because they didn't go to school. She thinks Lachlan is smart (at least in his own way) and he barely finished high school. If he ever did finish it. However, bringing up her brother in a place like this is a huge no-no. If they knew about /her/ who knows what they might know about him.

While daintier in that respect, Megan isn't about to ask for a straw, so she pulls the lid off of her milkshake and kind of swirls it around in it's cup for a little while. Still not about to drink it right away, but she'll stare at it moodily. "Tha's all'd need. A virus t'go along with everythin' else."

"Never been t'Australia. But I can bet s'better than here." No, she's not bitter. Not at all. "'Ve already heard the propaganda speech. S'fer my own good. Wanted me to check to make sure I wasna dangerous, ye could train me to use my whatever it s. S'all bullocks."

—-

Damn, they always get to give the speech before she does. What Meryl says next is something she can say only because she's assuming Megan's going to leave here with no memory. "I was born in Australia. 'Round the age of nine, a couple'o people with abilities broke into our house and messed my parents up. S'when they brought me here, so I've been in long enough to develop my own theories."

/DO/ they know about Lachlan? Well. That /is/ classified.

"Any'ow, you know how they require a permit in this country t'carry a firearm? It's kinda like that, if you want to look at it that way. Means we know who can do things, who can't. Who might be dangerous. We can't just take away these abilities, though. And, I mean, they're cool anyway, usually. I mean, there was this one guy we brought in who could make himself smell like dead fish, so that wasn't so cool. Where was I—? It's not really for /your own good/ so much as it's for mutual safety. I know you didn't ask for what you can do, but…"

She stands for a second before plunking herself down on the bed. "Imagine if we went n' posted notices that all people with powers had to come and register themselves. Not only izzat a civil rights issue, but then you have all kinds of panic from people who don't get it. And if I were to, say, walk up to you on the street and be all, 'Hey, can I stick this needle in your neck - don't worry, it's cool!' you'd kick me." She knows it sounds really shady, and it is. "You with me so far?"

—-

So far, Megan's gotten a lot of speeches. Also, people drawing lewd things on her cast. Oh, and being shot with a tranquilizer dart. The story that she's given is sad and whoever these people who took them in are made to look like the good guys, but she's not sure if she can trust it. Theories, shakes or no. However, it /is/ something that she takes at face value without knowing she will probably have her memory wiped before being released.

"Yeh, well, people go out t'buy a gun. Never went out t'buy what ye think I can do." She'll stay mostly neutral on whether she admits what she can do to start out with. This way she can make her /own/ theories up. "And ye shouldna have to register people jus' because they're differen'." She's right, the whole thing does sound shady. Thoughtfully, she takes a small, experimental sip of her milkshake and edges just a bit away from Meryl. Just so that if the woman tries to grab her, she would have a head-start in getting away. She can't help still not trusting her. "I ge' wha' yer sayin', but I dinna think it's righ'."

—-

Hmhh. "We're not all bad," is what she says first. "It's — well, look, let's just say someone who had your ability really hurt someone, Megan. Tried to put the blame on you? We could figure out /easily/ that it wasn't you judging by where you were at the time. It doesn't seem fair, I know. Sometimes I double-u-tee-eff about it, 'cuz— " At this point, a scratching sound comes from the green bag with the pawprints on it. " —cuz it's… ah, bugger.

"It's happening, there are reasons for it, so here's the thing. Would you rather feel singled out? Would you rather people /knew/ you were here and why? There are a lot of morons out there who don't realise that you are /just like me./ Like /they/ are. We're all just people, right? 'Til some mob comes along with pitchforks and torches and — you know that scene in Beauty and the Beast where they're all RAAARGH?" …This last 'word' is pretty much shouted. "That's… what we're trying to prevent. At least this way, no one else has to know. You're safe, we know who you are, we can /keep you safe./ Do you like animals?"

—-

"Yeh, bu' yer still kidnappin' people and makin' /us/—" Quickly she corrects herself, "the people you take, feel like the criminals. Doubt ye were ever chloroformed an' woke up in a cell 'cause of somethin' ye /migh'/ do someday. Unless ye can do somethin', too." Also possible, since possibly other people can do things, too. The scratching sound directs Megan's attention over that way and it keeps her focus there. Wh-what is that? And why is it scratching?

"Was doin' jus' fine before my arm go' broken." That's her reply to that, as stubborn and perhaps wrong as it is. The all but shouted 'rargh' snaps Megan's attention back to Meryl and she blinks, withdrawing even further from her. That's before she realizes it's all part of her speech and she relaxes slightly. "It…depend's onna animal, I guess."

—-

"Ah, well, I'm not authorised to tell you that my co-workers are assholes." … … "You'll… pretend I didn't say that?" They aren't /all,/ but, jeez, breaking the girl's arm!? Harsh. "Nah, I can't do anything. And, I mean, y'already told me that you'd throw hot coffee at me if I gave you the chance, so, ah… Look, I don't think you're a criminal. But I also don't think you'd just let yourself be taken, you know? It's…"

Right, the bag. Smiling, Meryl crouches down to open it and pulls out a LION. Only it's actually a really hairy guinea pig. "This is Basil. Like I said, I thought you could use a little cheering up, and Basil can cheer anyone up. I know, I trained him." And, should Megan not RUN AWAY AT THE SITE OF THE RODENT, Meryl will drop the little critter on her lap, who will promptly fall asleep there, making little 'pig noises.

—-

"If they hear me repeatin' tha', m'no' about to tell 'em it was from ye." Megan has no problem at all telling her coworkers that they're assholes. Though she hasn't exactly used that exact term as of yet. It looks like she'll have time to do so, though. "Said tha' before ye were nice," she adds, suspiciously. "Wasna exactly my choice to come here. One of yer agents was followin' me around, weasled his way in and then some other guy chloroformed me b'fore I could do anythin'." While she's feisty with her words, she's not very strong.

The lion/guinea pig is given a startled look and before she knows it, it's asleep in her lap. Wh-/what/? Evil little ball of fluff being all cute and sleepy in her lap. It is kind of comforting. Damn it. "Oh, er, Basil. Righ'." For now, she just kind of keeps her arms up and away from the little pig. If she gets attached, she might find something she /likes/ here. And that just won't do.

—-

Well, good, at least they have that understanding. Even as Meryl smiles, she can't help imagining that this could have turned out a lot worse. They have to bring those with abilities in /by any means necessary…/ That goes unsaid, though. For now, they're not exactly on warring sides here, and besides, Megan has her guinea pig.

"I dunno 'bout that," she says. Megan wasn't her assignment. She's just here to make sure the girl feels a little less like crap on someone's shoe, so the hows and whys of the capture are a little fuzzy, and she's not even one hundred percent certain on what her ability is— just that she has one, if she's here.

—-

Well, good, at least they have that understanding. Even as Meryl smiles, she can't help imagining that this could have turned out a lot worse. They have to bring those with abilities in /by any means necessary…/ That goes unsaid, though. For now, they're not exactly on warring sides here, and besides, Megan has her guinea pig.

"I dunno 'bout that," she says. Megan wasn't her assignment. She's just here to make sure the girl feels a little less like crap on someone's shoe, so the hows and whys of the capture are a little fuzzy, and she's not even one hundred percent certain on what her ability is— just that she has one, if she's here. "Anyway, if you want, you can keep Basil here for awhile, n' I'll pick him up later. Mostly, he just sleeps, to be honest. Just… figured you could use a little company." Megan looks like she's scared of the little thing! He's so cute, though, and… "He likes his ears scratched."

—-

Understanding of something. While the friendliest visit she's had so far, it's also kind of the strangest. At least there's no drawings or apples involved. And while she's not quite knowing what all their orders are, she's quite sure they have no problems with hurting her or threatening to kill her. It's all happened before. "Tha's wha' happened." Even if Meryl may not be sure, Megan was there. She knows what happened to her. "I, uh." Having something to do would be nice. And it's /really/ hard to say no to the adorable little sleeping creature in her lap. However, it's /also/ hard to be properly broodish and angry when she has a fuzzy little creature asleep in her lap. Choices, choices. "Thank ye." While the milkshake may be melting in it's cup, Basil does get his ears scratched. Tentatively, as if she's sure it's going to wake up and just bite her fingers off. It'd fit in with this place like that.

—-

Meryl can be a little strange. Part of that comes from being a part of the Company since before she was even a decade old. It's all she really knows… Her early life is kind of blurry in retrospect, and she imagines she'll be in the Company until she's killed in action or dies of old age. She doesn't mind much.

"Well, your arm 'ad to get broken somehow, right? Coulda been that. Coulda been aliens, or cows." Because there are a ton of cows roaming around New York City.

"I got more stuff, too. Wasn't sure what you liked. Here's…" Going back to the bag, she pulls out a few more things - a box of 24 coloured pencils, some paper, a dictionary, three randomly-chosen volumes from the Baby Sitter's Club series, and a dollar romance novel. "I mean, I guess it gives you something. And this, too." A bag of treats for Basil. "D'you want anything else?"

—-

Strange or otherwise, Meryl's given Megan a guinea pig and some coloring books. It's a little like the woman is being treated like she's in first grade, but it sure beats staring at the ceiling. And it doesn't come from someone patronizing or apologizing for something he thinks he did or didn't do. That's something. Even if she /still/ would like to be stubborn and unmoving about what happened to her.

"Yeh. Think mebbe she was an alien." The woman who broke her arm. "Bu', if no', she definitely was a cow." Nice? No. But the woman is still bitter. The proverbial mother load of things for her to do now, she watches as thing after thing is pulled out. "I…no. Thank ye. S'more than I had before. More'n I thought I'd get."

—-

The thing is… Meryl might as well be in first grade. Okay, not quite, but sometimes it seems as if she could be, what with the affinity to shiny objects and all that. So the stuff she brought is totally stuff she'd like if she were imprisoned in a boring cell against her will, with no one to keep her company but roaches and maybe ants.

Well, now Megan has a guinea pig. At least 'til Meryl comes and takes him home later.

"Ah— I'll make sure I don't relay that." Pause. "Unless you want me to. I mean, I wouldn't even say you said it. I could just call her a cow and see what happens." She'll have to figure out who broke Megan's arm, of course, but walking up to someone and calling them a cow out of the blue is always good for entertainment. Hello! You're a cow.

"A'right, well, I'll be around. Somewhere. And I'll stop by later. D'you like pizza? I can bring pizza."

—-

Though Megan went to college and doesn't think like a first grader, having all of these things is infinitely more enjoyable than her former companion - the ceiling. The snoozing guinea pig gets a few more scratches behind the ears, absently, as if she's not even realizing she's doing it. "Nah. Ye dunna have to. S'more fun if I get to do it." It will probably be less entertaining than Meryl calling Nova a cow for seemingly no reason, but it will certainly carry more meaning. "But…I do like pizza." It's better than the random things she's been fed lately. That's more like cafeteria food.

—-

Aw, no calling Nova a cow!? Well, at least that means she doesn't have to do research into the most offensive way to call a co-worker a cow. Oh, well. "Suit yourself!" is offered cheerfully, as she picks up her bag - leaving the green guinea pig carrier just in case Megan wants to put him to bed for a little while. There's a little baby blanket in there for him, and food scattered around the bottom, and a little water bottle strapped to the side. Very cozy. Heading back for the door, Meryl waves. She really hates to have to lock Megan up again, but this all really is necessary, for the good of everyone - were there another way… "Right, Pizza Hut it is. See y'later, Megan."

—-

Were Meryl to actually call Nova a cow or any variation of such, Megan wouldn't feel any love lost. After all, there's no real love there at all. Impossible to lose it. "Ye can call her an alien, though. 'Ve got no claim on tha' one." The more abuse Nova gets, the better, as far as the Scot is concerned. It's unlikely that little Basil will see the inside of his cage before Meryl comes back to claim him and bring pizza. It's lonely in those cells with the only company being strangers and threatening people. And, strangely enough, an agent who delivers. Pizza. And Guinea Pigs.

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