2009-12-07: True Character

Starring:

Tracy_V4icon.pngMicah_V4icon.png

Date: December 7th, 2009

Summary:

After Tracy gets in touch with Ivory (yes you read that right) following his resignation, Rebel helps her stay under the radar and aunt and nephew have a lengthy conversation online. Very different types of wisdom are exchanged.


"True Character"

Upper West Side

New York City

The apartment may be familiar to Peter, but it's a blank slate to Tracy. It's in the living area that she sits on one of the few pieces of furniture, a single chair at a table, resting her chin on her hand while she gazes at the laptop open in front of her — a piece of technology that flew all the way from D.C. with her. Yesterday's newspaper is on the table beside it, folded over but nevertheless displaying the headline about Ivory's resignation. Wherever Peter is, it's not here, or at least not in sight, which suits her just fine. It's quiet here; empty and strangely calm, but Tracy is far from at peace.

On the screen in front of the woman is a fully typed e-mail.

* * *

Ivory,

I'm not sure how much you know about what happened and why I'm gone.

You did something to me. You changed me. I've been sick getting you out of my head.

Despite everything, I'm sorry to see you resign. Coward. I'm guessing that you're out of the inner circle now. Where does that leave me? Erin? Micah? Cam?

Have a good life. I don't want to see you ever again.

Tracy

* * *

Finally — decisively — she hits send. Her vengeful expression doesn't last long, vindication fading faster than she thought it would, and for a moment she eyes the Rebel.Libertad e-mail address in her inbox. Though she sends no message yet, she clicks it.

Micah's supposed to be sleeping. He's supposed to be in bed like the rest of the orphans in his German location. But he's not. He can't sleep. There's too much to think on and about. With Danko calling for his surrender, and a short timeline by which to operate, the one known as Rebel is beyond confused, and consequently, he can't sleep. Fortunately, he's not interrupting Cam's rem cycle by sitting in the bathroom tub, fully clothed, laptop resting on his lap as he madly tries to find information on Danko, self-sacrifice, or anything rebellion related.

When Tracy clicks the email from the Rebel, it calls Micah to attention. The sound of the technology saying his name peaks his attention. With widened eyes he opens a chat box on Tracy's laptop,

Rebel: TRACY! ARE YOU OKAY? MULAN TOLD ME THAT YOU WERE HURT BY IVORY. IS IT TRUE?

He doesn't want to believe it because if it's true where does that put the rebellion on the political front?

Tracy lifts herself up and stops leaning on her hand when the message pops up. She's surprised by its suddenness, and its content makes her glower. Not to mention…

'Hello Rebel.' she sends. 'A Disney Princess told you?'

Micah realizes how crazy that must've sounded, but he goes with it anyways, despite the frown spreading across his lips:

Rebel: WELL. SHE CALLED HERSELF MULAN. SO YES, I GUESS? I KNOW IT SOUNDS CRAZY, I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE ALRIGHT.

Pause.

Rebel: YOU ARE ALRIGHT?

'I think I know her by different names.' Now that that's out of the way, there is a significant delay before Tracy answers Micah's question. At the table, she sets her jaw and eyes the newspaper sitting nearby, the smiling face of Ivory Wynn amidst the print.

What she eventually forms as a reply is this: 'Not something I can answer.' Alright isn't a definition that suits Tracy especially well at this particular juncture in the slightest. 'It's true. He had some kind of power over me. It's gone now.'

Frown. How is Micah supposed to process that? It's hard to think about. Impossible, even. He drums his fingers on the laptop and shakes his head. This nonsense needs to end for his mom-look-alike-aunt-that-is-Tracy. There has to be a way to do that.

Rebel: I'M GLAD THE POWER IS GONE NOW. BUT WITH IVORY GONE… ARE YOU VULNERABLE? DO YOU NEED MY HELP? I MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP YOU. I'M VERY RESOURCEFUL.

The frown continues as the same thoughts weigh on his mind.

Tracy doesn't know the reaches of her nephew's resourcefulness. Narrow-eyed, she keeps her reply a simple one, curt even, as her answer is quick; she doesn't so much as acknowledge half of what Micah sent her. 'How?'

This question fills Micah with a sense of pride. The things he can do are amazing, and he likes showing them off from time to time.

Rebel: WELL. I CAN GET YOU MONEY. ALL OF THE MONEY FROM YOUR FORMER ACCOUNTS CAN BE TRANSFERRED TO SOMETHING CONFIDENTIAL AND NEW. I CAN GET YOU A NEW IDENTITY IF YOU NEED IT. NEW IDENTIFICATION. NEW PASSPORT EVEN. I CAN CREATE YOU A NEW BIRTH CERTIFICATE. NEW DRIVERS LICENSE. WITH THE NEW ID WE CAN PROBABLY GET YOU NEW HOUSING AND I CAN MAKE SURE YOUR APPLICATION FOR ANY APARTMENT IS PUT AT THE TOP OF THE LIST. I CAN DELETE VIDEO FOOTAGE OF YOU, ERASE YOU IF YOU WANT… I TALK TO TECHNOLOGY. THERE'S A LOT I CAN DO. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT, AUNT TRACY.

Of all the kids to have in the family she didn't know she had. Tracy stares at the screen, her eyes skimming over the grand list of possibilities with a kind of wonder; it's a critical wonder, verging on skeptical.

'You can really do all that Micah? I don't want to hide. I can't go back to Washington. Too many people know my face. I want a life.'

Her own life. A fabricated one might not be enough, but maybe it's better than hiding. Right?

The grin broadens as Micah nods at the screen. He likes to help. He's good at it when he's not making random videos exposing them to the world.

Rebel: YEAH. I CAN DO ALL OF THAT AND MORE. EVERYTHING HAS GONE DIGITAL AND THIS MEANS I HAVE ACCESS TO THINGS. JUST TELL ME WHERE YOU WANT THE DOCUMENTS SENT.

There's a pause for several moments before Micah adds something else.

Rebel: IF YOU'D LIKE ME TO DO THIS FOR YOU, PLEASE LET ME KNOW SOONER THAN LATER. JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HAS IN STORE.

Or maybe he does. It just depends on his decision.

When Tracy pauses before replying, it's because she's forced to slide from her spot on the chair and wander to the door of the apartment. Why? To unlock it and look at the number; the strange of staying in a place she was not conscious arriving to is that she doesn't know where she is in the building, precisely. The building itself, she knows. Sitting back down, she types.

'ASAP. 210 Central Park West' she sends, along with the apartment number. 'Peter believes it's safe. He's AWOL from AP too.'

Micah nods. This will give him something to work on while he thinks. Furrowing his eyebrows he tilts his head,

Rebel: DOES PETER NEED NEW DOCS TOO?

And even as he asks the question, he's already started thinking about a new identity for Tracy; a new name. Something good.

Rebel: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE DOING? I CAN MAKE FAKE DEGREES AND CREDENTIALS TOO.
Not ethical, but he can do it if necessary. They've been backed into a corner, right? This is justified to Micah, anyways.

This is not how Tracy expected her day to go, hiding out in the apartment. A smile even manages to flash across her features; even though Micah can't see it, he's managed to stir the topic of their last conversation. Hope.

'Ask him.' she answers first in regards to Peter. Who knows. 'I want my old job back.' Not with Ivory. That should go unspoken, but just incase, she adds: 'Just not with Ivory. But that brings me inside the Beltway again.' Tracy doesn't pause to think if the thirteen-year-old catches her Washington reference. He seems like a knowledgeable kid. 'I don't know what else I can do. My career is all I know.'

As soon as she sends the IM, she receives an e-mail. It's from Ivory Wynn's personal account, re: <no subject>. After a moment of hesitation, she clicks it open.

* * *

Not to worry. Your secrets will be taken to my grave.

Goodbye.

~ Ivory.

* * *

Micah nods a little. He's chosen a name and has already found Tracy's old school records from her Ivy League college and is replicating him for this new identity: Linda Johnson (one of the most common names in the USA).

Rebel: OKAY. I HACKED INTO YOUR COLLEGE RECORDS AND CREATED A PERSONA. THEN I EMAILED THEM WITH A REQUEST; THEY'RE MAILING OUT A REPLACEMENT DEGREE FOR LINDA JOHNSON — HERS BURNED IN A FIRE. THIS SHOULD SATISFY ANYONE YOU WANT TO WORK FOR. ALSO, IF THEY WANT YOUR STUDENT RECORDS, SHE RECEIVED THE SAME GRADES YOU DID — I JUST COPIED THEM IN FROM YOUR DIGITAL TRANSCRIPT.

There's a few more moments as Micah communicates with the registry system, adding Linda Johnson to New York's birth accounts (there already were four on the list which only makes Micah happier), and he puts in another request.

Rebel: JUST REQUESTED A NEW YORK BIRTH CERTIFICATE TO REPLACE THE ONE THAT 'BURNED' FOR LINDA. HER PARENTS ARE BOTH DECEASED AND I WILL TRY TO GET THEIR DEATH INFORMATION IN THE SYSTEM. I'D MAKE HER FROM CALIFORNIA, BUT SHE CAN'T BE TOO MUCH LIKE YOU OR IT'S SUSPICIOUS…

While Rebel works his magic, Tracy leans her head into her hand, elbow upon the table, and closes her eyes as though she has a headache. She wasn't expecting him to succeed quite so fast, blinking once she looks back to the screen. First things first, she deletes the read message from Ivory in a bout of vindictiveness before seeing what Micah has accomplished.

'VA. MD. CT. NY. NY.' she lists some plausible possibilities. She's not sure yet how she'll make this work, but it doesn't go unappreciated in the least. 'Thank you. You're doing a lot for me & I can't remember besides these messages.'

Rebel: I DO MY BEST. AND LIKE IT OR NOT, YOU'RE GENETICALLY THE SAME AS MY MOM. I WANT TO HELP. ;)

The response is quick before Micah has everything in place that's needed. He logs onto the government page and sets up Linda some former employment with a recently-deceased senator who can neither confirm or deny her involvement in his office, but then, it's on record, right? And government people keep excellent records. With a smirk he explains to Tracy what he's done.

Rebel: I MADE RECORD OF LINDA WORKING FOR SENATOR WILLIAM GERTZ. HE DIED OF A HEART ATTACK A MONTH OR TWO BACK. IT SHOULD BE ENOUGH TO HELP BOLSTER YOU EMPLOYMENT SOMEWHERE ELSE. YOU CAN COME UP WITH DETAILS OF THE JOB AS JOB TITLES ARE BASICALLY USELESS ANYWAYS. THIS SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET YOU ONTO SOMEONE ELSE'S STAFF. TRY TO STAY OUT OF THE LIMELIGHT AS BEST YOU CAN THOUGH. NO PICTURES OR SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF WHOEVER YOU WORK FOR. I CAN'T STOP THEIR FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE.

He hmms to himself before typing again.

Rebel: I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'LL BE TALKING TO ME AGAIN FOR SOME TIME. I JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU'RE A GOOD PERSON AND I KNOW IT. I KNOW I TOLD YOU — BEFORE YOU FORGOT — THAT WE'RE NOT DEFINED BY OUR PAST, BUT BY WHAT WE DO IN OUR PRESENT. REMEMBER THAT. AND DON'T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF. WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. BUT WHEN WE STRIVE TO DO BETTER — THAT'S OUR TRUE CHARACTER.

'I'd like to believe that.' Tracy replies. Maybe she's a good person and maybe she's not. Maybe her actions in the present will define that, but whatever the case may be, she's bolstered by the special young teenager's help and, to some extent, his words. A determined smile settles firmly on her lips.

'It's hard to believe you're just a kid. You must've had quite a life.' Pause. She might not be talking to him for some time? Tracy can read between the lines and, squinting faintly at the screen, her manicured nails continue to tap over the keys. 'Are you going somewhere?'

Micah just smiles at the response as he nods. "I hope she believes it someday," he murmurs to the walls as he half-smirks.

Rebel: LIFE HASN'T BEEN PARTICULARLY EASY FOR ME, BUT I KNOW MY PARENTS LOVED ME AND EACH OTHER. THEY LOVED CAM. AND THEY FOUGHT FOR WHAT WAS RIGHT EVEN IF THEY MISSED THE MARK SOMETIMES. I'M THEIR LEGACY.

The smirk fades, however, at the question of his leaving and there's a fairly long pregnant pause before he decides to respond.

Rebel: I HAVEN'T DECIDED WHAT I'M DOING YET. I FEEL LIKE WE NEED TO PUT A STOP TO THE GOVERNMENT ANY WAY WE CAN… I JUST HAVEN'T DECIDED WHAT THIS ENTAILS FOR ME. OR WHAT THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION IS ON MY PART.

'Agreed it has to stop. What you're doing is helping those who can't help themselves but help yourself too. People need you & you deserve a life after rebellion.' Tracy sends. 'Before you go - I need you to look out for a friend of mine. Someone Ivory was protecting too. Erin McCarty.'

Micah tilts his head and nods he frowns as he tries to find information on her as best he can, reaching out with his ability he finds several hits — all related to Afterlife (it even seems she has some very psychotic fans out there, one of which who believes he's dating her character). Shaking his head Micah refocuses again.

Rebel: ERIN IS HARD. IT'D BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR HER TO PASS OTHER PEOPLE WITHOUT BEING RECOGNIZED. CELEBRITIES UNFORTUNATELY HAVE THIS PROBLEM. GIVING HER NEW ID PROBABLY WOULDN'T HELP MUCH… IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE I CAN DO MAYBE?

'All we can do is warn her if they're on her tail. I'll talk to her. W/o paparazzi if I'm lucky.' …hopefully Micah won't come across a certain tabloid featuring the soap star's purported love affair with a blonde who looks mysteriously like his aunt and mother while he searches.

'Can you just watch her?' Until or unless he disappears. Tracy frowns briefly, sitting up straighter at the laptop.
With a sigh, Micah nods and hesitates before he types.

Rebel: I'LL WATCH HER UNTIL I CAN'T. I DON'T THINK I'LL BE ALLOWED IF I GO. BUT I HAVEN'T MADE ANY DECISIONS. IF I STAY WHERE I AM, I'LL KEEP WATCHING HER. IF I DON'T… I WON'T BE ABLE TO.

Micah swallows as he takes a deep breath.

Rebel: TRACY, DO YOU BELIEVE IN SELF-SACRIFICE FOR THE GREATER GOOD? EVEN IF IT MIGHT NOT TURN OUT? BUT LIKE IF THERE'S A POSSIBILITY THAT IT BENEFITS PEOPLE, THEN IT'S GOOD, RIGHT?

He frowns a little.

It's a tough question to answer, and Tracy doesn't like where this subject is headed. Lips purse and here brows draw together faintly as she studies the screen. "What're you up to, Rebel," she murmurs out loud under her breath.
'In theory. You could risk everything and win nothing. I think you're asking the wrong girl. How would YOU sacrificing yourself help anyone?'

Micah already knows what Tracy would think of this plan; she's the one that told him explicitly not to give himself up. Explaining now wouldn't exactly be helpful, but then, maybe he can make her understand?

Rebel: DANKO.

The word is simple. It's clear enough. And Micah has been negotiating with the devil. That's how much he craves freedom for their people.

Rebel: IF I TURN MYSELF IN HE AGREED TO TALK ABOUT ONLY PURSUING DANGEROUS EVOLVED… AND RIGHT NOW I'M IN A BARGAINING POSITION.

Danko. Oh Micah. While Tracy isn't beyond making deals with the devil herself, nothing about this sits right with her in the slightest. She considers how to best make Micah understand. The brutal truth seems like the straightest route.

'I'm dangerous.'

Oh. Oh no. Micah gets that terrible sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach that gnaws angrily on his insides. He frowns deeply and shakes his head, "Your not, Tracy. I know you're not.. Danko doesn't…" Frown. Maybe this is a bad idea. But the hope that he could end it all still tugs on Micah's conscience. Finally he types again.

Rebel: DOES DANKO THINK YOU'RE DANGEROUS?

Tracy types swiftly: 'Yes. He's out for blood. Pref. mine when I'm dead. DO NOT TRUST DANKO.'

Rebel: BUT WHAT IF IT SAVES PEOPLE? I JUST WANT ALL OF THIS TO END. MY CAPTURE WOULDN'T HURT ANYONE. MOM AND DAD ARE DEAD. CAM HAS SUPPORT. AND WHAT IF MY SURRENDER PROTECTS HIM? AND MOLLY. AND YOU. WHAT IF ALL OF THIS RESOLVES OUR PROBLEMS? IS IT WORTH TRYING?

Micah still has reached no conclusions.

Rebel: HE PROMISED HE WOULDN'T PUT A TUBE IN MY NOSE THIS TIME… ARE YOU SURE HE'S ONE OF THE BAD GUYS?

Like that would make captivity that much better.

While Micah seemed so adult before, this is one of the times Tracy can see through the veil of the internet and see his naiveté. Shaking her had, she power types.

'He made it very clear that he hates us. There are worse things than being drugged. They've lied before. Trust me. It's like politics with even fewer morals. I know how this works. You're not that important to AP that they wouldn't break their promise as soon as you're out of their way.'

With a sigh, Micah continues to frown. Between Prometheus and Tracy this idea is sounding worse and worse. And he doesn't really want to reenter captivity either… strangely, the all caps are gone, replaced with all lowercase letters.
Rebel: fine. i won't do anything. i'll leave it alone for now. but tracy, he said he'll find me. they're leaving stuff out of their files. information that used to be there is missing. they know we're on to them.

Tracy honestly doesn't know what to tell Micah, at this point. She settles on: 'Then don't let them find you. You're good at hiding right? Stay safe.'

Rebel: alright tracy. i'll work on it. your stuff should be arriving in the mail in the next day or so. take care of yourself. rebel, out.

That said, Micah snaps his laptop shut and lays down further in the bathtub, closing his eyes to reflect on everything going on.

Tracy shuts her laptop as well once Rebel has signed off, similarly reflective but less stationary; she eyes the NYC landscape across the living room through the window before bolting to her feet to pace elsewhere.

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