2010-01-03: Turning Chi Into Che

Starring:

Sydney_V4icon.pngTiago_V4icon.png

Date: January 3, 2010

Summary:

The pair catch up and discuss methods of dealing with the government, with one particular foreigner adopting revolutionary tendencies.


"Turning Chi Into Che"

Over the Phone

One night. One full night of freedom, and Tiago's found that the doom and gloom of his recent stint in captivity is not so easily shaken. In the dingy motel room he woke with the idea that the escape had all been a dream, and that he would have to return to his usual routine of torture. Needless to say, the sleeping form of his girlfriend alerted him to the reality of the situation. Since that alarming morning revelation, the man has been pacing back and forward, attempting to cope.

It is not a simple task.

Finally, he has cracked. And the easiest way for him to cope is to work - work on warning and speaking to all those he must. Lena is left to sleep, for the poor girl had been exhausted, while Tiago grabs the hotel's phone and drags it into the bathroom. After a few attempts (for he had messed up the number a couple of times), he finally dials the number to Sydney's number, waiting with bated breath as he listens to the dial tone.

"I just don't understand why you're still staying here," Amy explains as she hands Sydney a cup of coffee and shakes her head. "I know it was rough on you, but Bryce has been gone for awhile and you have to go home sometime."

Sighing Sydney forces a very very strained smile, "I just don't want to be alone right now. But if you want me to leave I honestly can stay in my office — I'm on forced leave —"

"Of course you can stay as long as you need. But you need to talk to someone. It's for your own good and you know it," Amy quips as she walks towards the door. "I'm running out for a bit, but I'll be back." That said, she disappears into the hallway.

And then Sydney's phone rings. She glances at the number on the phone before opening it skeptically, "Hello, you've reached Dr. Falkland —"

At the formal introduction, Tiago can't help but let out a half-hearted sort of laugh. The first he's managed since being captured. The moment is monumental. "Hey, Syd." And that's all he offers, in that familiar accented slur, thick and hoarse thanks to the early morning and lack of extended use. "How're you doin', Dr. Blondie?"

Eyes are narrowed as the caller on the other end semi-laughs, but they widen at the sound of the voice on the other end. "OHMIGOSH! CHI? Chi, is that you?" She leans forward on the couch. "Are you okay?! Seriously! I've been freakin' worried sick! This guy left me a message telling me to be careful and stuff and that I needed to watch my back! I haven't been to the townhouse in ages — staying elsewhere! Are you okay?! Seriously, if you lie to me I will kick your ass…" The threat isn't said in a threatening way however.

"Did you - did you jus' say ass?" You can practically see the wane smile on Tiago's face as he speaks, bemusement lacing his tone. "You jus' cussed. An' threatened ta beat me. Nah, I musta gotten the wrong number, you aint the girl I know." But then, with a clearing of his throat, he sets the kidding aside. "Yeah. It's me, Syd. An' Lena's sleepin' in the next room. We're alrigh'…well. We're alive. And in one piece. We're goin' ta /be/ alrigh'." He assures her, kindly. "Gene got us out. The government kidnapped us an' tortured us ta get information. I guess the important bit is that you can't stay at the townhouse. No one can. An'…an, you might need ta change your name." Beat. "Listen…I told about the townhouse, an' how it was registered under your name. I had ta, they were goin' ta kill Lena. But I'm sorry. They don't know you're someone with powers, but…If they think you're connected in any way, they might do bad shit ta you. We gotta relocate. Maybe outside of New York. Should be outside of New York. So…don't go back ta the townhouse." Beat. "Do you have JD?"

"Thank God!" Sydney exasperates. "I was looking everywhere for you guys! I contacted that guy that Lena knows over email and he was going to look for you too. He told me not to go back there. So I didn't… but I wasn't staying there right away anyways — Hallis put me up in a hotel right after the hospi… but when I couldn't reach you guys I didn't stay there long. Only a couple of nights…" She purses her lips. "I have JD with me here. Amy was pretty confused that I have a kitten though." She smirks slightly only to frown again. "Chi, Bryce is dead. He was murdered… his body was chopped into a snowman and built outside a battered women's shelter…" The tinge of regret eats at her insides. She didn't want to see him again, but certainly didn't want him murdered.

"Yeah well…huh?" Tiago is confused. Tiago /sounds/ confused, and the rustling that follows can only be attributed to the lad scratching the side of his head. "I - uhh…that's it?" It's almost comical, his reaction. For this is not how he expected Sydney to react to the news that her identity has been compromised, or even to the knowledge that her former roommates had been captured and tortured for weeks at a time. Instead, he tries to keep up with the rapidly changing conversation with grace, but the stint in prison had robbed him of his social prowess so he's rather awkward. "…Yeah? That's…weird." Beat. "I guess its one less abuser in the streets though. It's a good thing." He's been hardened, made stoic. Besides that, Bryce had his second and third chances, and he still hadn't changed - he deserved his end.

"That's not it. I…" Sydney hmmms quietly on the other end. She hasn't caught up to life yet, not really. So much to process. "Seriously. Chi. I thought the worst. I thought you were both dead in a ditch somewhere — I literally started looking anywhere I could think of." On purpose. "I kept calling your phones. Constantly. I drew a giant target on myself, and I didn't know if you'd gotten picked up or were offed by someone. Honestly. I'm glad you're both alive… although…. what did they use to torture…? How did they — " the therapist in her begs to ask the question, but instead she interrupts herself, shaking her head on the other side of the phone " — no. Don't tell me. I can't know. I'm sorry I wasn't more surprised about any of it. This Peter-guy contacted me and I don't know him, but he said you were both caught or something… and tortured… and warned me…" She lifts her hand to her forehead.

Tiago shakes his head slightly, curling his lips into a wry little smile. "Hey, it's cool, man. I'm havin' a…a bit o' trouble gettin' used to it too. I thought it was a dream, yesterday…when I woke up, I thought I was back in my cell. An' if I stayed any longer, I really would've been offed. They were goin' ta kill us. I was ready ta die." He pauses once again as the subject of Peter comes up, falling into a contemplative silence. "So…they weren't jus' dreams. Okay. Okay, yeah, that makes sense. Anyway. Where are you? We're at the New York Motel, righ' now. D'you know what happened ta everyone? What's been goin' on out here, other'n Bryce's death?"

"I'm sorry all of this happened to you both — how did they find you in the first place? I thought everything was so careful…" Sydney furrows her eyebrows as she reaches into her purse and extracts her credit cards, glancing at each. She'll have to cut them later. "I'm glad you're both okay. Seriously. "Um. I don't really know what's going on. I cut out to my office shortly after I went to the townhouse with Gene. And then my boss found me there and insisted I head home with her. I'm afraid I've gained more notoriety than I wanted. With Bryce murdered, my name's been in the paper. So I stayed in my office, only to have Amy, my boss, find me there. I told her I was too freaked to stay at home with Bryce murdered. I'm staying with her now, but she's getting suspicious — starting to suspect there's some other reason why I won't go home…"

"I fucked up." Tiago admits without hesitation, quite calm about it. He has internalized his guilt, no longer does it haunt him, now it's just another fact that he has to work with. "They were lookin' for me since I killed those agents, an' I jus' wanted a way out so bad I fell right into their trap. I shoulda known that no Canadian agents would give a fuck 'bout America." With a tragic, worn sigh, he shakes his head faintly, having forgotten that he had never admitted his manslaughter to the blonde. Therefore, he is unaware that this is something she might take hard. "Well. We jus' need ta find a new home ta find. Maybe…maybe we should get a trailer. Since we seem ta move 'round so much anyway. It'll be cramped, but we wont have to move our shit - jus' the home."

"Wait! What?! I thought Dex was responsible for that," Sydney runs her hand through her blonde locks before clearing her throat. Gene had told her that he felt the death of the agents had put the government on the pair's trail. "Chi, what happened? W-why? What did they do?" She goes silent on the other side of the phone before agreeing, "A trailer might be okay." Beat. "But this is ridiculous, people can't just run forever, can they?"

"What? Oh. Right. I didn't…" Tiago trails off here, brows furrowing darkly. It's rather difficult, coming up with a way to explain to someone you care for that you're a murderer over the phone. "It was Dex. Kind of. I ran into her, and she was being followed. They tried to kidnap her, she fought back, and then they were firin' their bullets. So I hid an' fired back. I think they…I dunno what happened ta them, but no one was movin' when we left. There was no other way, no choice. The cornered us, Syd." Beat. Cue a pregnant pause. "I didn't want to tell anyone. I aint never had…you know. That was my first time…but I told Gene. And no. We can't just run forever. We've got to /fight/. We've got to end this, and soon." With the zeal of a revolutionary fighter, Tiago hisses the last bit out.

"Dex," Sydney sighs with a headshake. "I know she's crazy, but I didn't think she was murderous. At least I can take satisfaction in that." Beat. "So they opened fire first? With real bullets not tranquilizers? That's self-defence then. Not murder." She purses her lips together and shakes her head. "This is the United States. The United States! When does our government resort to shooting first and asking questions later?! To torturing its own citizens for information?! This is not okay!" She'd found her resolve only days earlier. "Yes. We need to fight. But how? And who? Who is responsible for this?"

"Whatever you call it, I killed someone. There aint no pussy-footin' 'round that. At first…at first, I was real messed up 'cause of it." Tiago admits, voice dangerously low and thoughtful. This is not the Tiago Sydney knows. This is a whole new man, lacking in that fun, whimsical quality the boy possessed. That boy has grown up into something much darker then originally intended. "But it'll make things easier for me now that I've got the first kill out of the way." Beat. "Whatever this is, Sydney, it is not acceptable. An' the only thing ta do is tear it down from the top. It's the only way ta save all these lives from this backwater bullshit. We need ta take out the people on top. An if it means killin' the president an' all his bullshit officials, alrigh'. Ima take this fuckin' country by force, if I gotta. Ima make this world better for everyone even if I have to do it myself. It's what I have ta do - the only way I can be forgiven."

"Chi… they're making people run for their lives. People on the run don't have the luxury of trusting the law. Or the process. You said they were going to execute you — there was never a trial! No due process. No justice. This is garbage and they can't be allowed to carry on." Sydney balks some at the notion of killing the President of all people. "That blonde kid on television last month tried to expose us to the world to make things better. Few believed it. I don't know if anyone" Other than George "on our side politically. And if they're torturing people… this can't carry on…"

Tiago is not used to this, but he is being reminded rapidly why it is he was always confused pre-capture. Because women are weird. He's put his incendiary and quite radical revolutionary ideals in favor of blinking not once, but twice. "I - err - yeah, I know, Syd. That's…that's kinda what I was sayin', y'know? You're preachin' ta the converted…" Here he trails off, before clearing his throat. "Yeah. We got no one ta trust. So we eliminate everyone up there, makin' these fucked up choices. Like…like that thing the french did. Coup-de-somethin'. An' when it's all done, we put people who are good an upstandin' up there. That's the only way to go."

"But they have guns and ways of hurting us. And I know they need to pay, but killing… maybe there's another way…?" Sydney winces. "I don't disagree with you though — people who let this happen in a democratic country can't be in power." She hmmms quietly. "You want a coup d'etat, but maybe we can make this happen without blood spill." With a swallow she mentions, "There's this girl. She terrifies me, but she possesses people's bodies. What if… what if she took over the President? Or… do we know who's in charge of the protocol? Maybe she could dismantle it without… without the killing."

"Freedom aint free, Sydney." Tiago intones solemnly, closing his eyes and running his hand down the side of his wearied face. "Blood's gotta be spilled ta make a real change. I…I respect Gene. Alot. I think he's a better man then I've ever seen, but he's naive. The truth is…the truth is, revolution comes with death. Look at history, Syd. I aint even smart an' I know that. This is a civil war. An American war. An' we've got ta take a stand, right /now/, so that our kids don't gotta live through this bullshit too." Another sigh escapes him. "So the president is done. What about the other assholes that want this? 'Cause Wynn was gotten rid of, wasn't he? An' the government are still snatchin' people. We've got ta replace everyone, 'cause they're all corrupt bastards."

"Not everyone is corrupt. There has to be someone we can enlist as an ally. Like George Dawson. He's not on their side. I know he's not on their side." Or at least, Sydney is pretty sure considering the pair's conversation. "Maybe we can usurp them. And yes, I know revolution often happens with bloodshed, but there could be another way. A legal way." She sighs at the notion of Wynn. "But Ivo — Wynn had been on one side and then switched. And. And now he's committed suicide, apparently. Last week." Beat. She can feel the guilt gnawing at her insides again. "I'm the worst therapist ever. Thank God I have malpractice insurance."

"No offense Syd, but you've been safe an' sound here. You don't know how they work - what they /do/ to people. You're just as naive as Gene is." Tiago is unrelenting on this point, voice hard and emotionless. "And if you think we've got the fuckin' time ta replace the government of the fuckin' united states in a /legal/ way? You've got ta be bullshittin' me. You need to understand. They're everywhere. We have no one we can trust. No politicians, no police, no nothin'. An' yeah, they have guns, but you lot have powers. /Powers/. We can beat them. But it's got ta be quick, an' it's gotta be decisive. They've already had their second chance, when the kid released the video, to change. An' they're not. They know what they're doin', and are doin' it anyway."

Silence. "Gene was arrested," Sydney says quietly, but she doesn't know any details about said arrest. "And I may be naive as to what they're doing to us, but I'm not naive in general." She frowns at the comment. "But some people like us are dangerous, the government's just gone too far." Silently she crosses her arms over her chest, "What about Lena's online friend? He's government. And George is government." And probably has an ability of his own. She hmmms quietly, "And even with powers, I don't know how we can really defeat them. Like, I have an ability, but it's useless in war. I just make people feel what I feel or I feel what they feel. And yes, maybe some people are more able than me, but… hmmm."

"Gene also looks for the best in people. He also thinks the world is fair, an' that he can survive playin' fair when no one else does. What he doesn't realize is that the enemy isn't like the ones in those fuckin' comic books. They don't give a /fuck/ who they hurt - they don't care if they have ta lie, an' cheat, an' steal ta get what they want. News flash, in the real world, things aint so simple." Tiago pauses, searching for an example. "They used Lena against me, you know? I was supposed ta be arrested, not her. Once they got the info on her power, they were s'posed ta let her go. But because…they saw how much I cared for her. So they kept her locked up and nearly killed her so that I would speak. If this was a fair world, a fair war, they'd let her go 'cause she was innocent. But they don't. They're fuckin' terrorists, Syd."

With that said and done, he shakes his head a little. "Guess what? Normal people are dangerous too. I'm dangerous. So, how come they aint roundin' up every normal person too? It don't make anything they do right, the fact that some evolveds are bad. An' Pete? He was workin' for the AP, under Wynn's mind fuck thing. I don't think he's workin' for them anymore, seein' as he's part of the one that got us out. An' George? I dunno who the fuck he is, an' I don't care, because if he is in the government then he's not doin' a goddamned thing to stop this, which makes him just as bad, in my books. /You/ might not be powerful 'nough, but there are others who can. That…pete, for example. He can do a shitload of things. That chick that made the earthquake. If we can get powers like that…there's no way ta lose."

"Maybe no one knows what the government's doing," Sydney postulates. She wants to believe that if people knew that things would be different, that things wouldn't be allowed to continue. "Alex, might be able to help us," she agrees. "Although I'm not sure how comfortable she would be with bloody revolution." Although she had helped with the trains. But freeing people and actively overthrowing the government are two different things. "Maybe if we all put our heads together we can come up with another way… I don't want you to mistake me, Chi. I know something needs to be done, I just wish… " she frowns.

"There are lots of people who could help. I'm sure Gene knows more evolveds than both of us combined. And Eric…" her stomach goes into knots at the sound of his name on her tongue. "We need to gather ranks, even if it doesn't come down to war. More heads means more information. And more ideas. I just think we need to think. We've been reacting too much… I think we need to plan instead…"

"I think I've been waitin' for everyone else to do things an' hopin' it would all fix itself. I think we can't afford ta wait on Gene, an' I think it's not fair for us ta look to him for a miracle." You'd think, what with the blasphemy he's spewing, Tiago would be passionate and incensed. It's surprising that this is the most logical that he's ever really been. There is another, a tired, tragic sort of sigh, before his voice adopts a distant quality. He is burdened with a weight that no man should shoulder alone. "I'm goin' ta fix things. In fact, I'd kinda prefer it if y'didn't get involved - one less person for me ta worry about. You jus' help out Gene, an' I'll do my bit. One of us…one of us will win. The government cant stand ta be attacked on both fronts." Beat. "I'm goin' ta go now, Syd. I'll see you soon, okay? I'm goin' ta check on Lena, make sure she eats somethin'. Bye." And with that, he hangs up.

"Chi —" Sydney begins but is cut off by that infamous click of the phone. "Dammit," she murmurs to herself and the kitten that's curled up next to her. "Going rogue won't do anyone good," she says to JD as she clutches him in her arms. "No, we need to do something else… you and I will do something, won't we JD? Yes. We will." She offers the kitten a quick pet before padding into another room to get dressed.

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