2007-08-21: DF: The Blood Of Tyrants And Patriots

Starring:

DFNathanReal_icon.gif DFCyprus_icon.gif

Summary: Revolutions. Easy as A, B, C.

Dark Future Date: August 21st, 2009

The Blood Of Tyrants And Patriots


Upstate New York - A Hospital

Even against doctor's orders, Cyprus does not seem to have stopped working. For the moment, he sits in a chair, staring out a window which overlooks the idyllic countryside of upstate New York. There's a stack of folders next to him, and he appears to be reading them with glasses on. Usually, he wears contacts, but for now, it seems he's back to his old glasses. He flips through the manilla folder slowly, reading it carefully. Eventually, he finishes it, signs something in it, and sets it aside. And he starts in on another folder from off of the larger stack. Thick bandages wrap his chest, and it's not hard to make the prognosis… severely bruised and cracked ribs from being shot at close range. Some even say he was lucky the kevlar held.

For now, Cyprus just reads and gets work done.

Unlike Cyprus, there isn't a bandage on Nathan. One might think there'd have to be, but one would be forgetting the personal resource of a healer. The missing finger is healed over, still in its own right disturbing but no longer messy and ragged. This hand is clenched at his side as he approaches the door, barely brushing his knuckles against it to knock before letting himself inside. No secret service agents are following him - it seems that whatever this facility is is a secured one, if highly monitored - and so he has no one to order to remain outside as he quietly clicks the door behind him. Nathan says nothing, just simply strolls inside, glancing casually towards the paperwork laid out in front of his political aide. Logan's political aide.

Cyprus doesn't look up from the paperwork, not at first. But, he does stop in his work, pausing as Nathan closes the door behind him. The look of recognition, without turning to see the President, is obvious. For a moment, the aide closes his eyes, and takes a deep breath. The pain it causes him is obvious, but he fights it down. When he opens his eyes again, he goes back to working. This time, there's more than a little bit of anger there, as he flips through the pages and signs what needs to be signed. He does his job. He's good at his job. And he'll be damned if he's the one who speaks first.

Fair enough. Nathan hides both hands in his pockets, as he's getting used to doing. He waits a few more moments, a few more page turns, before speaking up. "They'd shot the lights to hell before invading the plant," he says, watching Cyprus even if he's not watched in return. "Middle of the night, anonymous body armor and masks, makes it hard to figure who's the bad guy and who isn't. Add that to the fact I was in a traumatic terrorist situation and it all can get very confused, very fast. Clearly I didn't know who I was shooting at." Nathan doesn't say all of this like an explanation - more like a pitch, the way they had spun stories before.

Cyprus closes his eyes for a moment, then finally closes the folder. He sets it aside carefully, and pushes himself to his feet with a wince. He stares out the window for a long moment, and frowns. "You're not that good of a liar," he says simply. "You never have been. As for me…" There's a faint, bitter smile there, on Cyprus's lips. "I was never at that facility. So it's impossible for the President to have shot the person who came to rescue him. Intentionally, or accidentally. I mean, if you'd killed me… well… that's an easy coverup. But leaving me alive? No. No, I was never there. I was just in a car accident. They happen, after all." And he keeps staring out the window.

"And that's why you were hired," Nathan says, with a rueful, mirthless chuckle. "Shoulda figured you'd've been all over it." There's a distinct lack of compliment in this statement, and he moves further into the room, allowing Cyprus the window as he stands just off to the side, gaze now focusing upon the spread out papers. It's his four fingered hand that he uses to shift a few things aside to see what's underneath. "So if I'm not that good of a liar, what do you figure happened, Cyprus?"

"You shot me," says Cyprus simply. Cut and dried. "I'm not entirely sure yet if you intended to kill me when you did so, but you shot me. Deliberately. Without any real hesitation. And if I hadn't called for the medevac, you were going to shoot me again." The papers are just the usual. Requisition forms. Personnel forms. Things that need to be read and signed, and filed back so people know they have the permission to do the things that need to get done. In this case, it's supply forms for the camps. Full normal funding. "Jaspers is in recovery, but Schmidt is still touch and go. If he dies, I have the letter already prepared. His wife will be compensated, of course, to the best of our ability." Just in case he cares.

He cares, and for a moment, there's an uncharacteristic (of Logan, anyway) flicker of uncertain regret in Nathan's features, frown deepening. But then, he says rather calmly, "And the terrorist Derex is in recovery as well. Seemed they kept him alive no matter what, for interrogation purposes. Those of which I'll be handling personally, he can be considered otherwise off-limits." A beat, then he says, "I wouldn't have killed you."

And that is when Cyprus turns and looks directly at Nathan. There is accusation in those eyes, and visible pain. Finally, he quietly asks, "Who the hell are you?" Because there is recognition there, something familiar. Something unseen in years, and it's obvious Cyprus blames it for his current state. There is something more there, however. Some kind of deeper betrayal.

Nathan trains his gaze down on the mundane paperwork. Camps. Bills. Supply lists. Locations. His stomach turns, just a little, and it's easier to meet Cyprus's eyes than to look at those any longer. "Nathan," he says simply, and it could almost be flippant, sarcastic, if not for the weight and importance he puts on this name. "Not the man you've been taking orders from since the war, just Nathan." He almost looks bewildered. "Your turn. How could you?"

"Because I believed in you," replies Cyprus quietly. And there is the root of the betrayal. The seed of the hurt. "Because I saw in you… what I saw in your father. I believed in you, Nathan. And then you went and turned the world into this." And he gestures towards the papers about the camps. "I doubted, then. But I decided that… if this was truly necessary… I've come up with a dozen excuses, but they're all lies. In the end, I believed in you. And I followed you on this road to Hell." He places both of his palms down, flat against the bottom of the windowledge and stares out into the scenery. "You were either our Stalin, or our Caesar. And whether you liked it or not, your actions have shaped the next century of this world. I'm just a footnote."

What Nathan wouldn't give to be just a footnote. No matter what happens, it's his name that will be written down in history books alongside those that Mohinder Suresh used to spit at Logan. That's some legacy to leave the world with. Some road to lead Cyprus down. "Then you're wrong about me being a bad liar," he states, flatly. He touches his fingers again to the pages that Cyprus gestures to, not to shift aside, just to indicate. "You know this better than I do," he says, gentler, and doesn't explain how that's possible. "Can it be fixed?"

"What was done cannot be undone," says Cyprus mildly. "And it will not be resolved without blood. Revolutions never are. Thomas Jefferson once wrote that he prayed to never see twenty years without a revolution. That the tree of liberty must be watered at times with the blood of tyrants and patriots. He also personally executed a traitor on the White House's lawn." There is a faint shrug, and he glances a moment at Nathan. "We can try reintegration, but I do not think they're ready for that. I was working on… segregation. Moving them away from us. Then letting nature take its course. The camps, moved away from the source of power, revolt. It spreads like wildfire. But there would be a nation of Evolved to meet them. Led by people whose hands are cleaner. Clean enough to still do some good, at least. It will not be easy, but there could be a chance for peaceful coexistence." Long pause. "And then there's plan B."

Fixing it. Not bloodlessly. Nathan moves around Cyprus as he talks to stand beside him at the window. The faint reflection in the glass holds only him, thanks to the drug still in his system that he'd injected with just prior. Logan can't be allowed to talk to this man, so he took that precaution. "Will I like plan B?" he has to ask, as meanwhile, his mind chases after this concept Cyprus has just thrown at him. And he really hopes he'll like plan B.

"No," says Cyprus simply. He closes the folder. "Plan B is the real revolution. Led by an Evolved, bringing humans and Evolved together to strike us down. They'd need a charismatic leader, and a coterie of like minded people. They'd engage our forces, break free a few detainment camps, and then lead the revolution. The government is restored, as much as it can be salvaged, and Evolved and humans come together to destroy us." There's a pause there. "Several key party members would commit suicide, but those seen as the architects, essential to what happened… We'd have to be put on trial. For crimes against humanity, or something equally righteous. And we'll be found guilty, and more than likely executed. Myself, more than you, I'd wager."

Then there's plan C. Open the window and fly away. Let everyone else deal with the debris as it all comes crumbling down. How tempted he's been to follow that one, but something is keeping him tethered. A sense of duty, a friend in the basement of a maximum security facility, or something less tangible. Nathan lets out a very weary chuckle as Cyprus sums up this particular outcome. "At least in that scenario, America can feel like it still has a sense of justice," he says, bitterly. He doesn't say what plan he favors, just glances sidelong at the schemer beside him. "You started changing things while I was away. Camps opened in the west, names switched around, people fired or worse. Like chess moves towards a final win, it's impressive. You believed in me, Cyprus, but you're not stupid. You took an opportunity." There's another accusation there, almost a question.

"Tyrants have an unfortunate tendency to die suddenly," replies Cyprus, lowering his head slightly. "I couldn't just assume you'd come back. Or… the one who's been running the show would come back. I had to act. I moved towards Plan A. Give our people, all Evolved, a homeland. A place that is ours." He shakes his head. "Plan B was just the contingency… I didn't want to bank on dying." For Cyprus, there is no Plan C.

"You shouldn't," Nathan says, shaking his head for a moment. The one who's been running the show. Typical that those remaining loyal to his name would catch on with only the barest of explanations. "For now, plan A is yours to lose. You know what has to be done, so, do it." Like it's that easy. "If and when the real revolution comes, know I'll be hanging beside you. But I'm stepping down as soon as I know I can get Jack out of this alive." No more masks, it seems. Two good liars only really need honesty between them.

For a time, Cyprus just turns to look at Nathan. Finally, he nods. "It's good to have you back, sir," he finally says, quietly. With that, he moves towards the stack of folders, and begins sorting them. He's going to be very, very busy.

"It's nice to be back," Nathan replies, without enthusiasm, though a shade of a smile is visible. He moves out of the room, shutting the door behind him almost noiselessly, leaving fate in more capable hands.

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