ArchivedLogs:Conspiracy Theories

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Conspiracy Theories
Dramatis Personae

Murphy, Jackson, Hive


Post Murphy/Lucien.


<NYC> 303 {Holland} - Village Lofts - East Village

This apartment is cheerful, in its way -- bright and airy, its floor plan open and a plethora of windows providing it with an abundance of light. The tiny entrance hall opens into a living room, small, though its sparse furniture and lack of clutter give it a more open feel. The decor is subdued and minimalist; black and white is the dominant theme, with occasional splashes of deep crimson to offset the monochrome, though of late bright coloured sealife has made its way into being painted on the wall. The couch and armchair are upholstered in black corduroy, the low wide coffee table central is black wood and glass-topped, and a few large pillowy beanbags provide additional seating by the large windows that dominate the back wall. Towards the back, a couple of doors lead off into bedrooms and bathroom, and to the right, the kitchen's tile is separated from the living room's dark hardwood floors by black countertops. Above the bedroom to one side, there is higher space; a ladder climbs up to a lofted area looking down on the living room. Standing in front of the partition between living and cooking area is a large fish tank: one lone Betta, blood-red, swims regally among several species of black and silver fish. A hallway beyond the kitchen leads further into the apartment. Another bathroom stands just into the hall and the farthest door leads to the apartment's final bedroom, the door usually kept shut to hold in the acrid fumes of turpentine and paints from within.

Murphy's arrival is punctuated first by the steady constant thrum of Murphy-brains; it's a thrum that, oddly, isn't quite as frustratingly /annoying/ as it usually is. There's something else, too. Murphy isn't - /angry/. Every time Hive's caught a whiff of that brainmeat, it's been /churning/ with rage. But now - he's not /cheerful/, but his mind doesn't taste like fucking violence.

The knock-knock-knock comes shortly after the arrival of that mind. Murphy's at the door - wearing his usual scowl. A little softer, maybe. Today, he's cleaned up; there's a whiff of cologne - shampoo - soap - still clinging to his skin. Fresh suit, freshly washed coat. A cane with an arm-brace - much better than the battered crutch he was using the other day. And a fresh shave. There's also a bit of grass clinging to his knees.

"Got news," he tells the first person who opens the door. "And a radish." He also tosses a radish at them. Gently.

It takes a moment but Hive pulls open the door. He's barefoot, in faded jeans that fray heavily at his heels where they drag on the floor. A dark t-shirt with Zelda's Link perched on Westeros's Iron Throne (though it's composed entirely of sword from various video game or fantasy media) in Eddard Stark pose. "The fuck do we want with a radish?" The radish hits him in the chest. Falls to the floor. He glares at it. "Fuck's going on with you? Must be some /good/-ass news."

Behind Hive, Jax is curled up in a beanbag. His laptop is open in front of him, his drawing tablet in his lap. He's kind of /subdued/ for him, black jeans with silver pinstripes, a half-sleeved black fishnet shirt over a sky-blue tank. His hair is electric blue, his makeup shimmery. He glances up when the door is opened, eyebrows hiking up as the radish thumps to the floor. "I am practically lousy with radishes," he informs Murphy, "our gardens have been -- there ain't a lot else to harvest this early. C'mon in, you want some --" He frowns. "Cookies?"

"Got lucky," Murphy responds to Hive. Stepping in as Jax invites him. Radish on the ground? Someone else's problem. There's a brief image uncurling in Murphy's head; a guerilla garden. But before it can crystallize into something coherent - crrrrsssssh. Static. A made-for-TV movie special. Gilligan's Island. This week, the Harlem Globetrotters have crash-landed on the island; they must combine wits with the castaways to defeat an evil global conglomerate's wicked plans to take control of the island's precious natural resources. The only way to stop them? Beat their evil corporate robots at a game of Island-styled /basketball/. Who will win? Stay tuned to find out. "Ain't /good/. Ain't /bad/. Just. News."

"Nope," Murphy tells Jax. The cane clunks as he makes his way toward the closest thing resembling a chair. Just slumping down into it. "I'm blocking your telepath because I want to protect a contact," he informs them both. "Nothing personal. He's touchy, though. Worried you might scare him off. Harlem Globetrotters win, by the way," Murphy tells Hive. "Just in case. You don't want to watch the whole thing." Then, to Jax: "Pretty sure your kids have been abducted into a mutant fight club."

"Who the fuck are the fucking Harlem Globetrotters." Hive kicks the radish at the door. And then leaves it, locking the door and following Murphy back inside. He leans against the BACK of the chair Murphy claims, arms folding against it. "... mutant fight club." His eyes narrow. He looks over at Jax. "You for fucking real?"

"They -- play sportsball," Jackson answers with a note of distraction. Distraction that shows itself outwardly as a faint creasing of his brow; inwardly as a /spike/ of hard clenching anger. "-- Abducted into what?" He sets his tablet aside. "Wherewhat? By -- who? ... why?" His internal monologue is pretty much exactly the same as his external, with an added undercurrent of: /going to kill them/.

Crrrsh. Channel changes to a Harlem Globetrotter game. Somebody's whistling that tune in the background as a bunch of basketball players crowd around the court, making bizarre trickshots and pulling off ridiculous stunts. Meanwhile, Murphy's fishing in his jacket, hunting for a pack of crumpled smokes. "Remember: I said /pretty/ sure. You're gonna have to bare with--Nngh. Sorry. Fuck. I could have started this conversation better," Murphy admits. And then he just launches right into it:

"Been hearing a lot of talk on the streets about a place where mutants are being made to fight each other," Murphy tells them. "Been filing it under the 'Probably Bullshit' pile, because -- yeah, it sounds like /bullshit/. But today, had a chat with someone. 'Nother mutant. About -- listen, I can't read minds, but I can read /people/ pretty damn fucking well. And if this guy's just fucking with me -- he is the goddamn mother-fucking Rembrandt of fucking with people. And -- after we had this little chat. Things started making sense."

"I think," Murphy continues, "some corrupt cops are the muscle. They got access to police records -- arrest records. They know the streets. Where mutants hide. Which mutants nobody'll miss. And they got the tools and training to snatch 'em. Hell, most people won't fight a cop. Flash a badge, tell them they're under arrest, whatever - then instead of taking them down to the precinct, taze 'em and sell 'em. It explains -- Sloan Harper. /That/ one's been bothering me. Th'fuck these people thinking, snagging her? Her mother's screaming her head off looking for her. Thing is? She's a /fight/ instructor." Then, after this very long diatribe, Murphy holds out the crumpled pack of cigarettes: "Either of you mind?"

"He minds. Fire escape." Hive nods towards the window behind where Jax is sitting. "The fuck you get this shit from?" If he's sharing Jax's angerspike it doesn't show, he's pretty much just his default sort of gruff. << Cops. Mngh. Eric -- better get back to us soon. >> His fingers curl against the crooks of his elbow, skinny weight leaning down against his forearms. "It occur to anyone that this sounds like the script to a gorram movie?"

Jax lifts a hand, reaching up to unlock the windows, and push one of them open out onto the fire escape. The hammering not-quite-panic anger in him has not stopped churning, but it quiets as he takes a breath. He taps his fingers against his knee. "... it don't hardly seem real prudent," he allows, "stealing folks with families that care about them. For -- for a /fight/ ring?" There's a note of incredulity in his tone. His fingers scuff through his hair. "We talked t'our cop-friend, he said he looked into the webshooters and the guy who checked 'em in was a cop he knew so -- he's gonna talk to the guy. But. It didn't seem like --" His brow furrows. "I don't know what about this makes /sense/," he admits to Murphy. "It /does/ kinda all sound -- /where'd/ you hear this?"

The pack of cigarettes disappear. "Thinking about quitting anyway," Murphy replies. "So does secret government bases that kidnap kids and dissect them. But I'll admit," Murphy adds, "that my script has got some /massive/ fucking plot holes. If this is true? Taking Jax's kids," Murphy gestures to him, "was a mistake of fucking /monumental/ proportion. Fact is, a lot of cops in this city /know/ who the fuck you are. I'm betting some of them know two of your kids are blue. I got some patchwork theories for that, but none of them are pretty."

Instead of the cigarettes, Murphy produces - his lighter. Brass, fitted with a Marine Corps logo. With a steady FLNKT, he begins to twirl it. As he answers Hive /and/ Jax's question: "High-end hooker. /Real/ high-end. Kind you need a checkbook for. Somebody he gives a shit about went missing. We had a 'moment'." This sounds. Almost self-depreciating. It's accompanied with much baring of teeth. "He's finagling an invitation to one of the fights. Two. One for him, one for me. So I guess I'll find out, one way or another."

"You've been enough of a pain in the NYPD's ass already," Hive says this with a snort as he looks at Jax. "How fucking stupid'd they have to be to steal the twins, shit." His fingers run through his hair. "You. Had a moment." His eyebrows raise. He looks actually kind of amused. "How'd you /afford/ time for that moment, you don't look like the job's been treating you all /that/ good. -- When do you have this, ah, date?"

"High end hooker?" Jax's eyebrows raise, Lucien's face immediately swimming to mind as the one of those he knows best. "-- I mean, if you're, um, /going/, then I guess we'll -- find out soon -- um. /When/ are you going, is that even -- if that /is/ true it hardly sounds safe. You should -- let someone know. When. Where. In case you -- in case --" Frown.

"Gave me a freebie," Murphy responds to Hive. "Few hours ago. As for the twins -- /maybe/ these guys /are/ idiots," he offers. But then: "That's the--nngh," and now Murphy's other hand reaches up to /scratch/ through his hair. Scratch, scratch. Lighter flnking. "I don't want to shrivel up your cocks needlessly. Maybe this /is/ bullshit. I don't think so -- some of the shit I've seen. I think it fits. But I've been wrong before. Maybe I'm wrong again. But, if I'm not --" he eyes Jax. "If I'm right? And they're just /that/ dumb? The moment they wise up to who your kids /are/?" He doesn't finish that thought.

"Either way," Murphy says, "It'll be safe. Fuck, hardly anyone /knows/ I'm a mutant. Just a face in the crowd next to some pretty boy. And I /am/ letting someone know. Right now. When I got a time and place, I'll tell you that, too. Which reminds me. I need your fuckin' phone number. Also, in the interests of full disclosure," he adds, spreading his arms out to the room. "My mutant power is that I don't forget. /Anything/. So, if this is legit? I'll be able to tell you every fucking thing about this place. Number of guards, exits, et-fucking-cetera." Jesus Christ. Whoever this hooker is, he must do /magnificent/ work.

"Jegus, not that fucking dude," Hive grumbles aloud to Jax's mental image, "he /is/ the goddamn mother-fucking Rembrandt of fucking with people." Although this statement makes his eyes narrow slightly. "Your head's different." This comes as an /accusation/. His fingers tighten against his arm again.

Jax just shrugs. There are only so many high-end hookers he knows! "Good," he says to Murphy, though his expression is kind of troubled. "-- I mean, not good. But good that -- wait, /nothing/? Nothing ever?" He /was/ reaching for a pad of paper to write his number down, but instead he just tells Murphy his number. "If the /cops/ are the muscle who -- are they the muscle /for/?" This is niggling-bothering at him, a deepening frown on his face. "I mean, this kinda thing sounds like an organized crime problem and they're -- /that'll/ be embarrassing."

The lighter flnking promptly stops; Murphy's head tilts back. /Eyeing/ Hive. "/Who's/ the mother-fucking Rembrandt of fucking with people?" he asks, followed by: "Yeah, it is. What /of/ it?"

Murphy's head bobs down to look back to Jax. "Nothing. /Ever/," he agrees. Making no move to write that number down. Like it's just been secured in a lockbox. "I'm thinkin' a handful of corrupt cops are just the /street/ muscle. Pull the muties in, sell 'em to organized crime. Otherwise, they'd keep their distance. If this was actually /run/ by cops...? Enrgh," Murphy says, and then he reaches to just -- /massage/ his nose. "If /cops/ are runnin' this show? We might as well just all move to fucking Canada. We'd be /fucked/."

"If this shit's actually run by cops --" Hive's exhalation is sharp. "I'm just gonna go ahead and hope your hooker-friend was feeding you a giant pile of bullshit because what the fuck. I like my head /not/ caved in by batons, thanks. The fucking /NYPD/ --" His eyes scrunch shut. "I'll take the mob, thanks. -- And yeah nothing fucking /ever/, dude, his brain is like a million fucking fingernails on a million fucking chalkboards. All the time." Except right now. Which draws a faint frown and a thoughtful look down at Murphy. "Hooker. Ridiculous expensive one. Kinda an asshole. Fucks with heads." His fingers flick downwards. Towards Murphy's /brain/.

"Pretty. Blonde. French --" There's an uncertain beat of pause, "-- Canadian?" This is the explanation Jax overlaps with Hive's, although he tacks on: "The /prettiest/ green eyes," kiiind of wistfully. Only kind of. His fingers are scrunching through his hair. "The cops couldn't -- they wouldn't -- I mean, that'd just be /stupid/, if that came out --" His head shakes, sharply. "If your guy's getting you tickets are we talking like. Tomorrow or next /week/ or next --" << month >>, which he actually doesn't want to think about much. Because Lord only knows what could happen to the twins by a month from now.

Murphy tilts his head back up to look at Hive. Then down at Jax. Back up to Hive; back down to Jax. And then Hive's fingers flick across the rim of Murphy's temples. His temples /wrinkle/ in response; his nose scrunches. /So/ hard. "You've got to be fucking with me. /Seriously/?" And then he's up, stomping with that cane to the (hopefully still open!) window, clumsily shoving himself out it onto the fire-escape. *FLNKT. FLNKT*. "Fuck quitting," he says, voice carrying back inside the apartment. "I'm doubling my quota."

Once Murphy's got the cigarette to burn, he starts up again: "He didn't give me a date. He's looking into it. Look, if the guy's squirrelly -- there ain't no goddamn /angle/ here. Either way, I'm just tellin' you what I got so far. In case you learn something that jives with it. Or breaks it." And then: "If it's true, the police can't be running the show. The universe can't hate you sorry mother-fuckers /that/ much."

"Seriously?" Hive looks actually incredulous at this. "You can't be fucking -- shit." His fingers scuff upwards, tracing a path against the side of his head. He trails after Murphy, leaning against the still-closed window adjacent to the one Murphy left through. "... I mean. Fucking with people's one thing but he wouldn't have any /reason/ to make shit like this -- well." For a brief moment he smiles. "-- I mean, it's /this asshole/," his thumb jerks towards Murphy, "that we're talking about, why would you /not/ want to fuck with him?"

But the smile fades. He is clearly not /actually/ dismissing the idea all that quickly. "... I dunno, man, the universe has hated us a /whole/ fucking lot, why should it stop now?"

"Eric's talking to his person. After that maybe we'll know -- well, something. A little bit more something. But until then I guess there's not much but --" Jax shrugs a shoulder. Quick and jerky. "I wouldn't underestimate the universe. But. Until we know more I'm -- gonna hold out for this thing being them all setting up an elaborate practical /joke/ on us." His knuckles dig against his eye.

Hive's asshole jib doesn't seem to bother Murphy. He just takes a few extra puffs, /absorbing/ the information. "Alright," he responds to Jax. "While you're gettin' Sutton to sniff around the pig-pen, I'll kick up a few more leads. Nothing promising, but maybe I'll get lucky. And Hive -- do me a favor? Don't go right to prodding the hooker about this. I don't -- engh. I don't want him thinkin' I /outed/ him." Despite having just lit it a few seconds ago, Murphy's already stubbing his cigarette out against the wall. SCRRCH. And stepping back inside.

"I met your kids," Murphy tells Jax. "On the rooftop. While back." He shuffles with the cane, toward Jax. Pausing in front of the bean-bag. Reaching, suddenly. To clamp a big, thick hand on one of his shoulders. "Struck me as tough little SOBs. If someone can pull through this shit, they can."

Hive holds up his hands palms-out in surrender. "I'll leave your dude alone. Not really into your sloppy seconds anyway." He watches Murphy shuffle towards Jax, eyes droopily half-lidding. Though still /watching/, as evidenced by his small twitch of smile. "Careful, bro," he says absently, "think you might be getting some feels, there."

Though so might he, given that his next gruffer sentence is: "They're all fucking tough. Not the only tough ones, though. He'll --" He stops. Quiets. Doesn't actually continue this, or elucidate on the he. "We'll let you know whatever we hear," he says instead.

Beneath Murphy's hand, Jax's shoulder is /fiercely/ hot. Uncomfortably so. The smile he twitches up at Murphy is quick, crooked but bright; he lifts a hand to rest his fingertips just briefly on the back of Murphy's hand before dropping his arm back down again. "Oh, yeah. They're -- they're strong." He glances across to Hive. "They'll all get through this. We all always do."

That 'He'll' gets Murphy's attention. He is not the sort of man who misses. /Anything/, really. But beyond a brief flick of his eyes up at Hive, he doesn't respond to it. "Thanks," he tells him.

That ferocious heat underneath Jackson's shoulder is noted, too. Catalogued. Filed. No comment. Murphy retracts his hand, moving toward the door - pausing only to scoop up that poor, forgotten radish. Right back into his pocket. "I'll keep in touch," he adds, before heading out.