2009-11-02: Where Democracy Has Failed



Date: November 2nd, 2009


When Tracy and Micah both wake up in Building 26, estranged aunt and nephew have a chance to talk.

"Where Democracy Has Failed"

Human Resources - Building 26

Washington, D.C.

A blurry and excessively bright light veers woozily to the right.

As Tracy wakes up and her eyes slowly start to focus, she realizes that it's an overhead light she's looking at, and that she's lying flat on her back on something cold and metal. "Mnhnn," she groans quietly. Waking up, yes, clear-headed, no. The first thing she tries to do is push herself up— but straps across her body prevents her from going even an inch, causing a heightened sense of alarm.

She looks to her left— and sees shapes. Others. Micah— and beyond him must be Cam. What's more, turning her head to the side tugs on the slender, plastic tube that's been taped underneath Tracy's nose, feeding sedatives into her system, and she screws her face up against the sensation. "Micah?"

Sedative sleep isn't particularly restful, but it's what Micah's had these last few hours, but the sound of his name in that voice causes his eyes to drift open wearily, "Mom?" Nothing's in focus yet, but as his eyes are open for several seconds he realizes where he is, and automatically tries to sit up, but it's futile. He too is strapped down to a metallic bed. Shaking his head a bit, he turns to glance at her, "Oh. Tracy." He closes his eyes again and groans before muttering, "This was not my most thought-out plan."

Sedated, hazy eyes look across at Micah half-lidded. Tracy's pale hair is a mess, a static-charged curtain over half her face, probably from the hood in transit. "…I'm sorry," she croaks. Her voice is a little slurred from the drugs (and being tasered no less than four times in the recent past, which given the situation might not have been overkill). Even if the apology is heartfelt, her voice is dulled. "I'm not your mom." She turns her head to stare upward, closing her eyes against the light shining down like a harsh spotlight. "I led you right to them."

"I know," Micah answers gruffly, his eyes closed again. "Now." He groans again at the pounding sedated feeling in his head. He runs his tongue over his chapped lips; his mouth extremely dry. With a cough he woozily opens his eyes again as he turns to look at Tracy once more. After a few seconds he croaks, "Why did you do it?"

Tracy moistens her own lips before answering. She doesn't look at Micah this time; her eyes stay shut. "I thought… that you were a threat. Rebel…" she trails off; at her side, her hand curls into a fist. It crinkles— she's been made to wear some kind of insulated gloves, even sedated. "I didn't know that it was you," she says yet again. "This operation. It's not all bad." It's hard to say that while strapped to a metal table, but there it is.

Blinking several times, Micah tries to process Tracy's thoughts. "How is this not all bad?" He coughs again and wrinkles his nose uncomfortable while shifting his gaze to the ceiling. "I don't… I don't understand. They're hurting people. I'm not a terrorist, Tracy. I'm not. And the people I help aren't either. We're just different than everyone else. And so are you." He coughs again and wrinkles his nose around the tube inside it. Lazily he clamps his eyes shut.

"Not everything is black and white," Tracy answers with a helping of cynicism; a contrast to her next words. "Ivory'll make this go away. He'll let us go. He's trying to make things better. A better— country." Determination and hopefulness blur together somewhere along the line, tied to this table. She lolls her head back to face Micah through bleary eyes. "This rebellion you've been planning? It's hurt people too. How'd you pull it off, anyway? Last I checked, they didn't teach Rebel Leadership 101 in junior high."

Sniffling loudly around his tube, Micah just causes himself to cough some more. "He's just one of them. One of those people who hate people like us." He sighs. "The rebellion is to protect people like us. I saw the list, Tracy. Men came after Cam and I and then I snooped and found out what I did. They'd taken a baby. How can a baby even be a terrorist? It's not democracy. When people get taken for no reason other than who they are… democracy has failed. It's to-totali…" he can't say the word through his groggy state, "undemocratic." He shakes his head slightly again, "I didn't take a class or anything." He frowns, "I just care about people enough to help them."

There is very little that Micah says which Tracy can argue. Her face simply hardens against the words. The struggle to sort out fact from fiction never used to be so difficult. "Totalitarian," she manages to say slowly through a groggy state of her own. "Ivory's not a dictator. He's following orders… and… maybe I don't know them all, but I know he doesn't hate us," she insists. "The baby… the kids… you, he didn't know." She has to believe that. The glimmer of imploring, however scarce, in her eyes says that she truly does.

"Know or not, it's all true. They took us, didn't they?" Micah mutters as he manages to sneeze once around his tube. With another sigh he shakes his head again, "I did what I could to help. I just…" he glances at her and then back at the ceiling "…trusted the wrong people." A deep frown curls his lips downwards, "I thought I knew you. I thought… I thought you'd be like her. Like she was." He swallows and stiffens uncomfortably on the table, "She's really gone, isn't she?" He's secretly been holding out hope this whole time.

"I'm supposed to be smart. Turns out I'm stupid. And gullible. And stupid." He sighs again, "And now Cam's caught because of me. I can control technology, but I can't think right."

"…I heard… what happened. When I met Cass she told me. I am sorry, Micah. I can't imagine…" Tracy struggles to form words, blinking heavily through the cloud of sedatives. "how…unsettling… this must be for you. I look so much like your mom. But you're right. I'm not her. I hardly knew her." Or what Niki would've done differently. The woman's mouth works into a frown during the time she pauses, watching the very young man closely. "You were trying to play Spartacus for people like us but— you were in over your head. You were optimistic." Optimistic, not stupid. It's spoken rather dismally, but not quite as an insult. Despite her clinging belief to some validity of this cause because of Senator Wynn, optimism is a scarce sentiment for Tracy in this day and age. It's not a bad thing that some people have optimism. She looks on the younger captive with something not unlike respect.

Micah frowns deeply as Tracy talks about his parents. He'd cry, but what's the point? He's strapped to a table in a prison of sorts being accused of terrorism. Instead he coughs. This time quite on purpose. "I was in over my head weeks ago when I watched the train rescue. I couldn't sleep for days," he admits, his frown deepening. "So many people shot… Peter with a helicopter blown up on him…" He furrows his eyebrows unhappily. "But I was the one who could coordinate all of this. So many people can't do what I do, and I do it easily compared to a normal hacker." He sighs. "We have gifts; we need to use them for good. Mom and dad tried to. Most of the time. I needed to do something for their memory."

Not immune to the emotion she sees in Micah, Tracy presses her lips together in a reserved frown. "Gifts? Yeah. You definitely are optimistic." She seriously decimated part of Max and she's still been taken here and strapped down. What kind of gift is that? "Peter seems pretty happy to be here for someone who got hit by a helicopter." She sighs slowly, once more facing the ceiling of the dark holding room, stiffening with tension, as much as she can against the sedation. "You know they call this room 'Human Resources'." Tracy laughs at the absurdity; it's a dry sound, lacklustre.

"We make mistakes, but that doesn't make us monsters," Micah observes as he bites his lower lip. "They're gifts. I've learned to control my ability, and hopefully am learning when to use it. I've used it badly before, but I do better. Everyday I do better." He wrinkles his nose, "What? They hurt Peter! I saw it! I saw it on the satellite feed!" However he does smirk at the notion of the room being Human Resources, "Yeah, that's us. Resources that happen to be semi-human."

A smile fights its way unexpectedly to Tracy's lips, barely existent and bittersweet, but there. A flicker. However small, it's certainly the first smile Micah would have seen coming from Tracy. She shakes her head against the unaccommodating table. How is it that this teenager, her thirteen-year-old nephew, is more judicious than she is? "…Something happened to him. He doesn't remember. He's here, he's working for Alpha Protocol and he's eager to do it."

Tracy's smile is reflected in Micah's own. Involuntarily his curl upwards until Tracy explains. Micah's features turn downwards, "That's… that's really not good. Peter can do what everyone else can. I don't know him well, but I know he's not a guy we want against us." With a sigh he asks, "How did they manage that? Like getting him eager to help them? Does he know what they're doing?"

All traces of Tracy's smile disappear. She becomes reluctant to say anything at all, the look she gives Micah turning regretful. "…I was on board with this operation too Micah," she reminds him, knowing full well it's not what he wants to hear. Neither is what she has to say about Peter. "I think he knows as much as I did."

Micah continues to frown. "I know." His lips twitch a bit as he considers something. "I'm sorry, I should've told you who I was. All of this cloak and daggers stuff probably brought me more trouble than good. I just didn't think anyone would listen to a thirteen year old. Even if he could access secret government files." He sighs again, "I also thought it was for my own good. Didn't help much, did it?"

Before Tracy can respond — if she could respond — the door to Human Resources jars open. It doesn't let in much more light; the hallway beyond is drab, like that of an office. An agent in a suit enters the room, walking purposefully to the empty rows of waiting "beds" to the three that aren't empty. He stops at the end — at Tracy — and, at her head, takes the IV stand feeding into her nose. He starts to push the table. Like a stretcher, it rolls.

Tracy gives a sudden hey of protest under her breath. "Where're you taking me?!" She can't quite force as much demand into her voice as she'd like. "Are you letting me go? Hey!" No answer. Apparently, this guy isn't allowed to speak to prisoners. As she's wheeled toward the open door, she cranes her neck as far back at she can toward Micah and the sedated Cam. "You will get out've here, Rebel."

While the man takes Tracy, Micah, cranes his neck as far as he can to give a protest of his own, "L-Leave her alone! Don't hurt her!" It's at this time another black figure walks to his IV and plays with his dosage. Woozily, Micah's eyes begin to shut, but the last thing his conscious self hears are Tracy's words. He mumbles back sleepily in response, "I hope so." And then he's asleep.

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