2008-06-02: What Do You Do With A Problem Like Elisabetha?


Gabriel_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif Sophie_icon.gif

Guest Starring:


Summary: A visit to Gabriel heralds discussion about what to do with regard to the Thanatos problem and the father and daughter said problem involves.

Date It Happened: June 2, 2008

What Do You Do With A Problem Like Elisabetha?

Deveaux Building

Kory catches Sophie at the door to her own apartment, whose door she is closing ever so gently and carefully. "Hey, Sophie," she greets her friend, other hand holding a thermal bag against her hip. "What's up?" Kory's hair is still blue, though it's faded some, and she looks — well, for Kory — a little tired. "I was just on my way out."

Sophie is passing by, probably headed to her own apartment. But she pauses, always willing to talk to Kory. She breaks into a warm smile, slightly sweaty, given the sort of clothes she always has to wear. "Oh, I was just trying to figure out what I wanted for dinner." she says, a hand at the back of her neck to raise her hair to try and catch a hint of coolness. "Pretty warm out there for June."

"Well, c'mon with me, then. I'm bringing dinner for Gabriel. And I mentioned you to him last time we spoke. Perhaps he won't mind a proper introduction." Kory smiles faintly. "I made stir fry. Mongolian beef." She pats the bag and heads for the elevator. "Just a sec," she tells the other woman as they wait for the lift to arrive. Her eyes go blank twice; once briefly, and once for a bit longer. "Gabriel's awake," she explains, as the doors open. The second instance of her ability goes unexplained. At least, without prompting it does.

Sophie looks over, just saying, 'That's pretty handy.' as she turns to go with you. 'Gabriel. I would like to meet most of the people we.. need to get together."

"I'm learning applications for it I never expected to need," Kory explains with a shrug as they get off on Gabriel's floor and approach his apartment. Kory knocks, in the familiar pattern she establishes it's her, leaving Gabriel a bite to eat, as usual. But she calls out, "Hi, Gabriel. It's me. And Sophie."

Sophie turns to stand by the door. "I know. I only knew one thing, at first, and it seemed pretty useless. But my.. ability, its getting more handy now.'

There's no answer at first, as usual, but Gabriel can be heard getting closer and closer to the door, as it sounds like he's talking to someone. "Not yet," he says, as he gets closer to the door. He peers through the peephole, seeing who it is, and he pulls open the door, a nod of his head telling them to enter. "By the end of the week. — Well, it's important, isn't it? I have to make sure it's done correctly." A few moments later, he hangs up the phone, turning back to Kory and Sophie. "Sorry about that. Business calls when you least expect it."

Kory gives Gabriel her typical sunny smile in greeting, though it's a bit low on the megawattage. The past couple days have been — interesting. Maybe 'harrowing'. "This is Sophie, she's on the List too," she explains gently. "And I brought dinner." She holds up the thermal bag. "Hope Mongolian's okay."

Sophie raises a hand wearing thin black gloves and long sleeves. She smiles, courteously. "Umm.. hello there."

"Oh, yeah, that's fine," Gabriel says, sliding his phone into his pocket and extending a hand to accept the dinner from Kory. "Hi," he says to Sophie, looking over at her. There's a brief smile, and then he's heading into the kitchen. (Don't worry, he just isn't used to new people!) "Your hair isn't as bad anymore," he says, this obviously directed at Kory.

"Yeah, only two hundred and forty seven washes before it started to fade," Kory acknowledges with a wry smile. "I may have my normal hair color back by the fourth of July at this rate." She shakes her head and leads the way to his table. "Of course, by then, my real hair color may very well be grey. Yeesh."

Sophie says, "Oh, I'm sure it won't be grey." comfortingly, "I'm still surprised that they couldn't cover it or something."

"I got a good bit of money from the settlement, but I'm not gonna spend it on a pricey salon. When Chris Tango gets back from Europe, he can fix it," Kory says quietly. "It's not that big a deal. I don't go out enough that it is a big deal anyway." She's blushing, though, embarrassed to be center of attention.

"Why would your hair be gray?" Gabriel inquires as he exits the kitchen, moving to lean up against the wall in his normal leaning against the wall spot. "Have you been getting into… well, more trouble with that one man?"

Sophie is quiet, to let Kory answer. She does pull off her gloves briefly, to wipe her sweaty hands on the sides of her jeans.

"No, no. I've been thinking carefully about my next move. Our next move. So we've got her a teacher. To teach her, properly." Kory paces thoughtfully as she speaks. "With Sophie's help. Still in dreams, but not alone. So the bastard can't keep warping her mind. Next step is to encourage her to use her body, too. He has her so weak she can't resist even if she wants. She has no strength."

"Tell me, why aren't we getting rid of this guy?" Gabriel says, looking back and forth between them. And this time, he isn't using a nice little euphemism. Whether it's kill him, throw him into the ocean, or just get this girl away from him, in Gabriel's eyes, it doesn't really matter which option they take.

Kory can't help but flinch at Gabriel's vehement response. "Because that's not what we were assembled to do," she says, unable to meet his eyes. "And because we are supposed to save the world. Be heroes. Heroes don't just annihilate whatever's in their way. We take the better way. We take the high road." And now, she's found the strength to look Gabriel in the eye. "No matter how hard it is."

Sophie looks puzzled at the euphemism, then enlightenment strikes and she winces, biting her lip. She shakes her head, "I.. hate having to think that way. But what she showed me, the way he thinks? It scares me. That he works for Pinehearst, it can't be that much of a coincidence. But we can't become what we're fighting."

"That's why people like me are here," Gabriel says with a slight shrug of his shoulders. This probably isn't the warm welcome Kory was expecting for Sophie. "Sometimes," he continues, pushing himself off of the wall and heading into the living area, taking a seat in one of the overstuffed chairs as he indicates they're welcome to sit as well, "you have to do things you don't want to do. Take the low road, so to speak." He sighs slightly, shaking his head. "It's gruesome, I know, but I'll be highly surprised if whatever we're going to do to Pinehearst goes off without any injuries or deaths."

"Maybe," Kory says, looking away from Gabriel. "But that doesn't mean it's the first path we turn to. Maybe Peter picked me because I'm the dreamwalker, and I can touch people while they're sleeping and vulnerable, and see the truth. But maybe he also picked me because I'm not a warrior. Because I balance out…?" she offers, hopefully, then turns in surprise as there is a knock at the door. "…were you expecting company?" she asks.

Sophie is about to say something, then turns, in surprise. But, of course, this is Gabriel's house. She says, though, "I'm not exactly a fighter either. Not that I'm saying what I can do can't be turned.." taking a breath, "I would hate to have to do that, though."

"That might be why I'm on this list," Gabriel says, but he seems to be saying it more to himself than he does the two women. At the sound of the knock, Gabriel frowns, his forehead creasing slightly. "No, I wasn't," he answers, pushing himself up from the couch and opening the door, so the three of them can see who it is.

As the door opens, Randall is hanging back in the hallway, squinting into the light. "Hi. Uh, is Kory here? She left a note." There's an unopened box of Zombie Fluxx cards stuffed into his back pocket; he was planning to offer Kory an excuse for a break from chasing down the people on The List, but now that things have diverted, he's waiting to see which way they're going first.

"Randall!" Kory's face lights up. Because although she's awake when Randall's schedule finally opens up, so many things have been happening she hasn't always been around when his schedule has freed up. She bobs her head at Gabriel. "'Scuse me a sec. I always leave him a note when I pop out." She pops out of the chair and springs sprightly across the room to take Randall by the hand and invite him in with her. "Just discussing List stuff," she offers, voice implying 'like always.' "This is Gabriel. Gabriel, my boyfriend Randall. He's on the List too." Well, Kory added him as a write-in.

Sophie smiles a little wistfully, as she pulls on her gloves once more. You never know what will happen. She gives a bright smile and nods. "Good to see you, Randall. Its been a while."

Stepping back slightly so he's not in Kory's way, Gabriel moves back into the living room, passing by Sophie and offering her another smile. He hasn't exactly been the most welcoming host— maybe they caught him on a bad day or something. At the mention of his name, Gabriel gives Randall a nod. "Hello," he says, taking his seat up in the chair once again.

Randall smiles, stepping forward and slipping an arm round Kory's waist for just long enough to be properly affectionate but not obnoxious. "At least it seems to finally be getting somewhere, huh? Hi, Sophie. —Hi, Gabriel," he adds, offering a hand. He's heard the name mentioned a few times before, but only as (a) the superintendent and (b) aware of what the List is all about; to work out more than that, he'd have to recognize a picture from _9th Wonders!_. And even if there was one, the man in the chair probably doesn't look much the same any more.

"Gabriel was offering his opinion on Papa Thanatos," Kory explains, and then follows that with, "Peter hasn't come back, has he? He really shouldn't be up walking around yet." She glances to Gabriel. "Future Peter. The one with the scar. I think he pushed himself too hard the other day." See what she means about how stuff keeps coming up? She blows a wisp of blue hair out of her eyes.

Sophie shivers at the memory. "That was a little creepy, I admit. It was like.. either she had an actual other person in her, or maybe another personality?"

Standing up out of his seat far enough to shake Randall's hand, Gabriel plops back down into the overstuffed chair once again. He watches Kory, Randall, and Sophie as they all talk amongst each other, not having much to add to the conversation right now. His gaze slowly shifts to look out of the window, giving the appearance of something weighing on his mind, but whether it's related to the current proceedings or not is anyone's guess.

Randall glances back to Kory, silently repeating the new code name as it's brought up. "I take it we're not talking about Baron Samedi," he offers, reaching one arm over his head to scratch idly at the other side. "And is 'she' the mama or the daughter? Sounds like a messy combination, either way."

"I was thinking of her dad, since he's the one who threatened me," is Kory's sort of relutant admission. "She wants to live rather than exist. He wants to hold her back. And he doesn't like me doing it. So I'm not gonna. Lee is." She isn't quite triumphat in the smile that fleets across her features in accompaniment to that announcement. "He's actually a real, accredited teacher. I'm just the vehicle he uses to commute to his student."

Sophie nods, "It was wonderful. I went to Lee, and, well, he wasn't interested at all." she smiles self deprecatingly, "But I'm not all that persuasive. But he changed his mind, and he's willing to do it. He wasn't too happy, not being able to do it face to face. I don't think he understands how dangerous that could be, at first."

"Hmm." Randall shrugs and sits down next to Kory; no real names have been named, but for all he knows, that could be for the best. "Do either of them have to do with Pinehearst, or are they just happening to show up at around the same time? They sounded like they had some sort of global plan in mind… this one sounds awfully individual."

Kory gives Sophie a stern look. "Sophie, please do not measure your persuasive power by Lee's reaction to anything. The man lives to be contrary, difficult, and infuriating. And no. No, he doesn't. He has convinced himself that anything abilities related is just schlock." She shakes her head and drags her hands through her hair in frustration.

Gabriel gets an awkward, embarrassed look, before she turns to answer Randall. "Professor Garibaldi works for Pinehearst. He thinks he needs their facilities to develop a drug called Thanatos. So he can get Elisabetha's powers turned way up…so she can fulfill her destiny." She actually gets up. "Gabriel, we can take this upstairs. I'll tell Peter he should pop down and say hello if he gets a chance."

Sophie says, "I think, frankly, it could end up being a terrible coincidence that turns out to expedite things, even if it isn't deliberate. His desires and that of Pinehearst, they mesh somewhat." thoughtfully. "Different angles to the same question, controlling powers such as we have. Either to create, or to amp them up. I can see how each could end up helping the other's research goals, and we don't really want either one to be successful." Sophie adds, abashedly, "Oh, I'm sorry. This isn't much of a social call." nodding to Kory's idea.

At the sound of his name, Gabriel snaps out of his reverie, turning his eyes back to the three in front of him. "I'm sorry," he says, shaking his head and pulling himself back into the room. "A lot on my mind with everything that's been going on lately. You're more than welcome to stay, if you want. There's food in the kitchen, drinks in the refridgerator." His phone begins to ring, a dull, plain ringing noise filling the apartment.

Randall sighs, leaning back. Why can't things ever go smoothly? "Oh, great… I've never seen any of our abilities turned up to eleven, but I bet it works about as well as it does with speakers. Either this Professor doesn't realize that, or he does… but either way, I think the technical term is 'whacko'?"

"I have," Kory gets a faint nostalgic glow. "That's how I met peter. Sasha turned mine up to eleven…and that's how his power linked mine, and I realized I could dreamlink multiple dreamers." She shrugs faintly. "So not necessarily all bad. But we already know for a fact that this can only end in tears." The proof was upstairs yesterday but sneaked out of the apartment while she was in the shower, and she's rather miffed with him about that.

Sophie nods as she sighs, "And giving them indiscriminately to anyone? I mean, do these guys never watch the Sci Fi channel?" Ok, so she doesn't read comics…

Randall offers Kory a grin, but the expression doesn't reach his eyes like it normally does. "Turning mine up would probably just give me a headache. It depends, what sort of ability does she have?" Absently, he waves to Gabriel, adding a half-voiced 'thanks' as he heads off to deal with the call. Probably something exciting, like Mrs. Jones in 437 complaining about the neighbor's stereo again.

"Sasha's ability is turning abilities up," Kory explains. "That's how I met Peter. She did it to everybody in the room. So I dreamlinked all of us because I could, couldn't have not done it if I wanted because I hadn't known I could until that moment!" She glances at Gabriel taking the call in the kitchen. "How's about we take this up to my place so Gabriel can take his call in peace?" She ventures as far as the kitchen to give his elbow a brief squeeze so he knows they're bailing.

Sophie ohhs, then she stares, 'I wonder if that happened… I had this episode in an arcade once..' then catching the hint, she moves toward the door.

And one elevator ride later…

"You'll have to warn me if we ever meet, then." Randall is first to step out of the elevator, but turns back to hold the door for the other two. Sasha's name is unfamiliar to him - he did see a picture of her once, the same day he almost met Kory for the first time, but the Missing poster said 'Aleksandra'. "I was asking about the daughter, though - I assume they're two different people?" Apart from the possible case of MPD that was mentioned earlier.

"I don't think that's going to be an issue," Kory tells Randall. "Her folks are being careful to keep her and folks like us apart so there aren't any more accidents." She blinks a second, trying to keep up with Randall's topic shifts. "The daughter says Thanatos is the part of her ability she can't fight. Professor Garibaldi says Thanatos is the drug he wants to use to make mega-Elisabetha or whatever." She shakes her head. "I know. It is as confusing as it is nuts. It probably makes sense to no one but him."

Sophie frowns a bit, thinking, "I wonder.. if he hasn't used that name for the drug around her, it would be one really eerie coincidence that she names the bad thing in her dream that."

Randall shrugs. "He could easily have mentioned it, even if he didn't say what it was. Or they might just have similar tastes in the classics— Thanatos is the Greek god of death or something, right? Using that name for either thing is some seriously bad mojo, never mind both." He glances toward the entrance to the panic room, flight response unconsciously manifesting: as if the mysterious power can only reach what it can see.

"Given how he 'educates' her, that's a logical conclusion," Kory agrees, settling onto the "new" sofa. When did that arrive? Within the past day or two; it wasn't here for the luncheon with Ian. "And yeah, it's bad mojo. And if his work with Pinehearst is what helps them refine the formula, we have to do something. I just don't want to go as drastic as Gabriel thinks we should is all. Peter says where he comes from I really am the Muse. He said I had to keep my soul bright. That's not the way to do it." She shakes her head, eyes going a little determined. "I can always try talking to him in his dreams where he doesn't have the advantage…"

Sophie nods as she says, "I wonder if its just a dream, or if she's somehow.. separated her power from herself, and sort of endowed it with a name and personality." she shakes her head, "That's a bad thing. Its still there, it can still do what it does, but without conscious assent, and without the informing of her conscience."

The obvious drastic measure is Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him, to which Randall narrows his eyes: one more thing he knows about Gabriel, and not such a good one. "Then again, if she broke the link, then she might be able to reconnect it. Or - depending - she might be able to impose her authority on it, her morals, without feeling like she was blaming herself for something."

"She's afraid of it," Kory says thoughtfully, shuddering slightly in remembrance of her visit to Elisabetha's dream. "She bailed out of the dream the other way even as it shoved me out, trying to get me to shut up about life and living." She steps over to the bookcase that hides the panic room entrance, and stretches, reaching for the ceiling. "We have to keep showing her that. So she understands how much good there is in life, and that it's not all futile because we're all gonna die someday anyway. I got through to her a little. She liked the sun on her face. And the feeling of fish swimming past her. It's a start, anyway."

Sophie nods, "She's so tightly controlled.. do you think that in dreams will work?"

Randall rests his hands in his lap, leaning back and letting his eyes unfocus. "It might be one of the few things that can, actually. Dreams are so uncontrolled, compared to most things… As long as she doesn't dismiss it as 'not real'. Does she seem to understand that someone else's ability is at work?"

"I'm not sure she does, but I can make her remember the dream as strongly as any other memory," Kory shrugs. "And if need be, I can tell her that dream or not, the experiences are still worth trying. And savoring." She grins crookedly. "Is it getting late for you two?" she asks, gently. "I am out of the habit of keeping track of the time again since my own ability got kickstarted again."

Sophie is just covering a yawn, and blushes, "Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I should be heading home."

Randall glances over toward Sophie. Her too, eh? "Same here, I guess… I've been easing back into some night shifts lately. At least I haven't been doing too many, otherwise I'd probably be sacked out already."

"Tomorrow, Soph, we're going shopping to find you a lightweight summer wardrobe before you melt away to nothing," is Kory's determined remark. "You shouldn't be walking around in heavy fabric all the time." She offers her friend an embrace, careful to keep their cheeks from touching. "And maybe a bookstore visit might be a good idea. Meditation techniques or something, to help you control what you can do." Randall gets an arm around his waist; the curlytop is invited to stay a bit longer. "Sound like a plan? We could probably use a day of not stressing out about the stuff we're trying to get done."

Sophie nods as she takes a breath, waving her hand toward her face. "I would appreciate that. I don't know.. if anything will help, since its like, well, activated by touch. But it can't hurt to try." she smiles, "I would LOVE to have a day of not worrying about things."

"I don't suppose they make sunscreen with a high enough SPF," Randall offers, dryly. "At least there ought to be fabrics that let more air through— I remember I had a sweater once that might as well have been tissue paper once the wind picked up enough."

Sophie nods as she chuckles, rising, "I'll look for something sheer that still covers. But I should get now, I have to get up early." as she moves toward the door.

"Okay. Sleep well. Sweeet dreams." Kory winks; it's no mere platitude from her lips. "Call me when you feel like hitting the mall," she adds, calling to Sophie before the elevator doors close.

"Since this place has become the Xavier Mansion, and my place in particular has turned into partial crash space for random friends in odd circumstances," Kory muses, once she's shut the door and locked all seven of the locks on it, "It's like Grand Central Station." And now Peter will have to knock to get back in. Kory drifts back over to Randall and embraces him, resting her cheek against his chest. "And the busier it gets, the harder it gets to steal a minute with you. A state of affairs I'm not too cool with, but it's an easy problem to solve.

"How about I come back with you to your place, and we can pack up and move you in here with me?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License