2007-06-03: The Truth Is Out There....But It's Scary

Starring:

Ryan_icon.gif Claudine_icon.gif

Summary:Ryan asks Claudine over to discuss the Evolved. He starts getting somewhere with his questions.

Date It Happened:June 3, 2007

The Truth Is Out There…But It's Scary


Ryan's Apartment

Early evening in Manhattan. The sounds of traffic rise up from the street into Ryan's apartment through the open window. but he's concentrating on reading and taking down notes in a yellow notepad. Every so often he looks up at the TV to catch a glimpse of the Giant's game, but his research has pretty much most of his attention. A quick time check tells him that Claudine should be here soon; she said that she would meet him here after her shift was done when he talked to her on the phone.

And meet him she did! There's a knocking on the door that can be heard as she's just outside it, still dressed in her usual work gear, which today consists of a white blouse and a pleated skirt with her hair tied up in a bun. She has the whole librarian thing going on today. Maybe there was a meeting of sorts? So, Claudine's just waiting outside, rocking back and forth on the soles of her shoes..

Ryan goes to the door and checks who it is before opening it up. "Hey there…" He says with a smile. He's wearing a black Giants t-shirt and baseball cap with his jeans. "Thanks for coming by, come on in…" He ushers Claudine in with a sweep of his arm.

"Hey! So you wanted me to come over..why, might I ask?" Claudine asks curiously with her brows furrowed as she steps on in and slips out of her shoes. It has to be an Asian thing..or something like that. A wry grin curls onto her lips as she looks around, whistling a little, definitely impressed. "Nice place you have here..you weren't kidding when you said you grew up..rich."

Ryan shrugs a little bit at the comment. "Yeah, well…." He seems a bit embarrassed by it, but he recovers. "Anyways, yeah, I called you here because I had some questions. Work-related questions, actually." He gestures to the couch where he was sitting. On the coffee table is the yellow note pad, pencil, a well-used copy of 'Activating Evolution' with lots of post-it tabs, and…an issue of X-Men? Ryan heads towards the kitchen, "Can I get you anything to drink?"

"Ahhh. Always work on your mind.." Claudine says with a soft chuckle as she heads on over towards the couch and flops back onto it definitely relaxing as she sighs and leans back. She closes her eyes for a few moments and responds, "Some ice water would be fine, but go on and ask I guess.." she says before opening her eyes again to peer curiously towards him.

Ryan nods and gets a glass of water for Claudine. "Well, I've been going through Dr. Suresh's book….Dr. Chandra Suresh, I mean…and I've been wondering about the abilities that he hypothesized." He hands Claudine the glass and sits in the loveseat nearby. "I'm just wondering how far reaching these abilities are and how many have popped up. Things like telepathy and time/space manipulation….I mean, theoretically, the variety of abilities could be limitless." He pauses for a bit. "Or is this stuff you can't talk about with me yet?"

Claudine hrmms for a few moments as she takes the water and sips on it and wrinkles her nose though there's some obvious distaste at the mention of telepathy. "Telepaths exist. Don't trust them..ever." she says with a firm warning before taking another sip. "As for teleporters..I've seen it, so I wouldn't be surprised by those things.."

Ryan smiles a bit. "Well, the motto you've been trying to drill into me is don't trust anyone, right?" He chuckles for a moment before becoming serious again. "I guess it's kind of frightening to think of what someone with my powers could do irresponsibly. Add in the idea of a telepath controlling someone in a position of real power…."

Again, that's one of the reasons why the Company exists, though Claudine just remains neutral at this point. "If you're just going to dwell on how dangerous you can be, then you'll never reach your full potential.." she says matter of factly.

Ryan shakes his head. "No, that's not what I meant. I want to work towards my full potential, but I also want to do it responsibly. But evolution is random. It doesn't care about if someone is responsible or moral, if they win the genetic lottery, they get the prize."

Or they could just have parents who had very likely chances of producing an evolved human. Considering there's one in her family, she knows that her older brothers could possibly have powers too, but again she keeps this mum. "Well, that's definitely one way of putting it, I guess.." Claudine says while shrugging her shoulder again. "So..what other questions do you have?"

Ryan thinks for a bit how to best frame his next question. "What happens to the ones that don't believe in using their abilities responsibly?"

They run wild and kill people's siblings? Claudine hrmms for a few moments, definitely mulling the questions over as she sighs and shakes her head a little while rubbing her temples. "You don't want to know."

Ryan purses his lips. "I was kinda afraid that was going to be your answer." He sees Claudine rubbing her forehead. "Need some aspirin?"

"I'm allergic, so um..no thanks.." Claudine says with another shrug of her shoulders as she leans back and polishes off the glass of water. "Just..don't worry about things like that.."

Ryan nods. "I think I've got some Tylenol or Advil if you'd like some. And at any rate, I do worry about stuff like that. I worry because I see what's happening in the world because of all the secrecy and 'it's for your own good' mentality from those in power." He folds his arms and settles back in his chair. "I wonder if any of us, human or otherwise, are really ready for what these powers entail."

"Of course not. God knows I wasn't ready for my own powers, and I don't think I'm ready for it, and goodness knows that no one else is. Like I said, it's better that people don't know about people like us.." Claudine says firmly and resolutely.

Ryan nods slowly. "Yeah. But still…" He sighs a bit, then chuckles. "You know, the truth is sometimes less frightening than what your imagination can conjure up. Sometimes, it's worse than you can imagine. But good or bad, I'd still rather know the truth. If I didn't, I wouldn't ask questions and just accept everything than I'm told."

"Well, not everyone is like that, so you must be an exception to the rule.." Claudine says with a wry grin as she crosses her legs to get a tad bit more comfortable.

Ryan smirks a bit. "Well, I am evolved…" He leans forward and smiles a bit. "Well, at the very least, I have a whole new appreciation for 'Catch-22'. I can't stop asking questions that you can't answer until you trust me, and you can't trust me until I stop asking questions and accept things."

"Sometimes, it's just easier to take things the way they are, and just try to tackle the more simple things in life. Then you can tackle the big questions that you have. At least, that's how I operate anyway..doesn't mean everyone has to adhere to it.." Claudine says with a cheesy smile.

Ryan smiles back. "Yeah, well…..regardless, I'm pretty much stuck here now. So, I guess I've just got to play the cards in my hand the best I can."

Claudine mmhmms and smiles warmly once more, setting the glass of water in front of her as she lets out a soft chuckle of amusement. "Well, work with what you got, right? So is there anything else I can help you with?"

Ryan smiles weakly. "Probably nothing you could talk to me about, so don't worry about it."

"Awww, well, you just have to wait until I trust you more before you can ask those questions.." Claudine says while snickering a little as she brushes some hair from her face.

Ryan snorts a bit. "Glad I could provide you with some amusement for the day." There's a bit of a joking tone to his voice. Not much, but it's there.

It's then that Claudine checks the time and she starts to ease on up, yawning and rising from her seat. "Well, I do appreciate it. I understand your curiosity, but sometimes, it's better to leave some questions unanswered in the beginning. You might not like what you find out in the end."

Ryan smirks at that. "So, is it better when you break your arm to wait or to get the bone set immediately? Is it better to tell someone you're not interested in them, or keep things going? Sometimes, delaying only makes things worse. I'm already pretty sure I'm not going to like the answers to the questions I have, so what difference does it make if I find out now or later?" He sits back in the loveseat, pulling away from you some. "I may be naive, I may have a desire for the world to be a better place than it really is. But one thing I'm not, is stupid. I have no illusions about being able to leave all this behind without there being some kind of…consequence. So, the reality is that I *am* stuck with you and have nowhere I could go, whatever dark truths there may be."

Claudine sighs and closes her eyes, taking in a few deep breaths as she flops back down onto the loveseat next to him and peers at him curiously for a few moments. She cants her head to the side and looks him over as she wrinkles her nose and just flat out asks, "What is it that you want? And be honest with me. Just flat out say it.."

Ryan leans forward and looks at you with complete sincerity. "I want the truth. All of it. How many of us do we know about? What abilities do we have? What happens if one of us manifests and doesn't want to come in to be helped? What are the bad things out there that may be trying to hurt me? What is the facility really all about? Those and maybe a dozen other questions."

Claudine sighs once more and shakes her head, just rubbing at her temples for a few moments before she takes a deep breath. "If that's all you really want to know, you might as well ask someone else. I've been burned way too many times, and I'm not going to risk my neck for someone whom I've only known for a few days.."

"And I'm not taking a risk, here?" Ryan asks. "I'm not taking the risk of asking you these questions just so you can turn around and tell the powers that be about my doubts and they can decide that things might be better off if I were the victim of some circumstantial random street crime? Because for all I know and suspect, that's exactly what's going to happen."

"Why do you think that something will happen to you? You're already suspicious of what we do there, so I don't see why I should give you proprietary information. We are a company, Ryan. Nothing more, nothing less. If you honestly think that you'll disappear just because you're asking me questions I shouldn't answer, then you need to fix your view of reality. I think I'm done here.." Claudine says, simply annoyed as she knows there's enough whackjobs out there who think something crazy is going on. She knows the truth of course, but why would people all of a sudden assume that? Oh well.

Ryan sighs in frustration. "Jeeze it's hard to talk to you. You deflect questions away and turn it back on the questioner. I mean, you can't even give me a straight answer if you have a boyfriend or not…" He throws up his hands and flops back into the loveseat. "I'm sorry….I didn't mean to get up in your face about all this. I just want someone to give me some straight answers.”

Thank her training for that. Subterfuge at it's best..or worst..or whatever it is. Claudine sighs and closes her eyes, rubbing at her temples a little as she takes a deep breath and looks towards him once more. "Well, first off, you never flat out asked if I had one. And the answer is..well..it's complicated right now for me. And that, is the honest answer."

"Actually, I did. You ignored the question." Ryan replies flatly. "I assumed it was something you didn't want to talk about so I let it slide. Not because I was wanting to get you in the sack. Because I wanted a friend. Because I'm alone here and feeling more isolated because I can't get any answers. Only bits of advice from you to not trust anyone, yourself included, and to stop asking questions because I might not like the answers. Not exactly confidence inspiring." He claps his hands on his knees. "So. Here I am. Alone in my apartment with nothing but baseball and my questions to keep me company."

Oh, she's definitely a sucker for a guilty trip and so she sighs once more and shakes her head, before taking a deep breath. "Anything I say here does not leave this room. Ever.." Claudine says firmly and resolutely. "I'm going to go out on a limb here and trust you.."

Ryan nods quietly. He doesn't say anything that could ruin this moment.

"Out there, there's a man named Sylar. Incredibly dangerous. He kills other evolved..as to why? I don't know. Also..what other powers out there a exist? A LOT of them. I know that in my own family, at least one other person manifested, and that was my younger sister. Why do I use it in past tense?" And that's where she pauses, chewing on her bottom lip as the ground starts to rumble a little and she takes a deep breath to calm herself down. A few moments pass and the mini-earthquake stops. Hopefully the neighbors wont complain about that. "Because he killed her.."

Ryan closes his eyes. He's not angry about having to pry this info out that there may be a threat to his existence; at least, not outwardly. He leans forward and puts a comforting hand on your arm and quietly says, "I'm sorry." No guilt, no accusations, just sympathy.

"He's not the only threat out there. There's another guy, Max. He's hot, charming, smooth, seductive. I had the biggest crush on him for a while, until he tried to kill me. As to why he did it? I have no fucking clue.." And then she untucks her blouse and lifts up a little, revealing a scar on her stomach, and then she pulls up her sleeves, revealing multiple scars on her arms. "Got these from fighting for my life..he's a regular Magneto.."

Ryan nods slowly, looking at you. "Magnetic powers, then?"

Claudine mmhmms and simply nods as she pulls down her blouse and rerolls her sleeves down her arm. "Yup."

Ryan leans back again, nodding. "Thank you. You know that I want to know more, but I won't push you. Ever again. I can see why you don't trust many people, if any. But I want you to know, I'm not going to be another person to abuse and betray you. And I'm going to trust you…that you'll let me know about threats like those. And that you'll tell me things in your own time."

She seems to be put at ease by his words, and so Claudine finally relaxes a little as she definitely tensed up during their conversation. She forces a smile to her lips and nods, "Thank you..even if it took all this to get you to realize why I don't really talk much about this sort of thing."

Ryan nods. "Yeah. And I hope you can understand why I needed to know." He reaches out to pat your hand. "You need some more water or anything?" There's a lot of sympathy and concern in his voice and in his eyes now.

"No. Not really. I honestly liked my life a LOT more when I didn't know all the stuff I do know now.." Claudine admits ruefully, and perhaps even in a slightly bitter fashion, though she relaxes a bit more when he reaches out to pat her hand. "And yeah..some more water would be nice."

Ryan nods and gets up to refill the glass. "Well, at least you have one good thing to come out of all this…."

"And that is?" Claudine asks curiously, not really sure what that would be by the looks of it.

Ryan chuckles as he hands Claudine the glass of water. "You don't have to listen to me nag and whine about needing to get answers any more."

Claudine snickers a little as she nods in agreement. "I guess that's true.." laughing heartily afterwards. "Thank GOD.."

Ryan smiles and settles back in to the love seat. "And since you have a boyfriend….even if it's complicated…If you don't want to get together Saturday, that's fine."

There's a slight hesitation, and she hrmms for a few moments. "No..I still want to get together on Saturday. I did say yes after all.." she says with a warm smile.

Ryan smiles and nods. He holds out his hand to you. "Okay. As friends, then?"

"We'll see.." Claudine quips with a sly little smirk as she extends out her hand towards him.

Ryan shakes Claudine's hand. "Hey, if your boyfriend is crazy/stupid enough to let you get away, more power to him." He gives her a smile. "In all seriousness though, If you love him, try to make it work. I'm the kind of guy that can be just friends and not try to make something more out of it."

"Well..that's good to know." Claudine says with a bright smile, definitely at ease now as she yawns and stretches her arms into the air. "If you pass by Kirby again you might meet him." Oh, her beau works there? In what capacity? Who knows..

Ryan smirks a bit. "Ah. So, is he the kind of guy that would break my nose for taking you out for coffee, dancing, the occasional ball game? Or is he more the disintegration type with powers to zap me with?"

"Neither. He's really a nice guy. Complete boy scout, and he trusts me, so it'll be good.." Claudine says with a warm smile as she runs her fingers idly through her hair.

Ryan chuckles. "Well, I think the question isn't if he trusts you. It's if he trusts me."

"Well, I dunno. I think Orion's generally comfortable when I talk to other guys. He knows that my study buddy is another guy..and he didn't seem to have a problem with it.." Claudine admits ruefully.

Ryan quirks an eyebrow. "You wish he did have a problem with it?"

"No. I don't want him to have a problem with stuff, but well..ever since my sister..well..it's been kind of strained..to say the least.." Claudine admits softly while chewing on her bottom lip. "Or maybe I'm just reading into things too much."

Ryan nods. "You probably are reading too much into it. Tell you what. Talk things over with him. If you decide you don't want to hang out with me, let me know. I'm glad for the friendship and company, but I'd rather not screw up your life, if possible."

"I doubt you'd be capable of such a thing.." Considering how screwed up things are now for her. But Claudine nods and eases on up, smiling warmly the entire time, "Well I guess I should get going home..lest the roomie will wonder where I am.."

Ryan nods. "Sure." He gets up to show you to the door. "You take care of yourself, Claudine. I'll talk to you later." He smirks. "Probably about more questions I have about the powers, but no pressure."

Claudine nods and heads on towards the door. Before she leaves though, she gives Ryan a friendly and squeezy hug before sighing a little. "There better be no pressure.." she says with a raised brow and with that, she departs.

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