Logs:Of Care and Community (Or, Shut the Fuck Up)
|Of Care and Community (Or, Shut the Fuck Up)
"What are we trying to do?"
The staff calls them "rooms", but they're prison cells. This is a standard one, small though not claustrophobic, and the door with its single narrow reinforced glass window locks from the outside. The walls are off-white and the floor is the same multi-gray linoleum that plagues the rest of the facility, at least the parts the subjects get to see. There are two small desks with attached shelves, two twin XL beds, and a stainless steel sink/toilet combo in the center of the far wall. The inset overhead lights are cool white LEDs that make everything look kind of sterile and washed out, and are controlled by the staff from outside.
It's a standard double occupancy "room", currently only single-occupied. Spence hasn't had much time to make the space his own, and perhaps not much interest, either. He's hunched at one of the desks, writing feverishly, wearing the same scrubs issued to all of Lassiter's subjects now. The clothes look even more ridiculous on him because the size that fits his height hangs quite loose on his skinny frame. He has, however, been allowed to keep his
The boy currently trailing into Spence's cell is not familiar, but his attitude is, wandering in here as if he belongs and dropping himself casually down on the edge of Spencer's bed. His scrubs, though rumpled, fit fine on his lanky-lean frame, and he's watching Spencer -- or, rather, his writing -- curiously from behind half-rim spectacles. "Are you in a very big hurry?" There is a thick South Indian accent to his words, eyes lifting from desk to the teen sitting at it.
Behind this intruder, a much more familiar face. Gaétan leans a shoulder against the doorway, watching Kavalam drop himself into the room. "Sorry," he offers unapologetically from the entrance, "He hasn't used manners in years."
At the first sign of movement, Spence sits up and quite naturally shifts his arm to -- incidentally! -- cover what he's writing. "Hello," he says, not sounding offended so much as just confused. "Are you my new cellmate? I thought they didn't want me fraternizing too much." He brightens when Gaétan speaks. "Hey! How are you holding up?" Glances from his friend to Kavalam and back. "Years?" There's a significant delay here, but Spence's mental calculations evidently do not yield any satisfactory answers, because he finally also asks, "How do you know each other?'
"I need a bed," Kavalam explains, "And Gaétan told me that unfortunately you had an empty one. I have used," he isn't saying this with much offense, just very matter-of-fact, "several manners. Just not with everybody." But now he's considering this situation with a very small frown. A very small hff that turns into a slightly chagrined furrow of brows.
"He's been on the cross-country team with us since freshman year." Gaétan ambles further into the room now, sitting down on the spare desk. "He hasn't exactly been assigned a cell. Or gone through intake. They don't really know he's here. Do you think there's anything we could -- do with that?"
"Unfortunately?" Spence frowns, stuck on that momentarily, though he moves on with a small shake of his head. "I'm so sorry, but I don't...remember? You?" This probably wasn't intended to be a question, but his brows are furrowing deep again. "And how could they -- oh!" He snaps his fingers, suddenly excited. "Are you invisible? Normally, I mean. Without the suppression. Is that why you haven't been processed?" He shuffles his papers aside and turns in his chair to face the other boys more fully. "We might be able to do something with that. It means you wouldn't be missed during an inspection, or any other cause for a head count." He chews on his lower lip. "It also means you won't get taken up for testing, though, and that's kinda where the opportunities are gonna be, mostly."
"Have they never seen an invisible person before? I thought they were used to mutants?" Kavalam looks almost disappointed at this thought. "I am something else than invisible. Very unmemorable. People just forget I am there. And then -- forget everything else, too. I think probably if they did process me it would not matter." He tips his head thoughtfully to one side. "-- would that be better, then? To get processed. I would be on the computer, then. The computer would remember. Do the tests happen on a schedule, or -- assigned by -- hand?"
"He thought you were kind of annoying. He mostly only makes people remember him once he likes them. I think it takes a lot of work?" Gaétan looks to Kavalam as if for confirmation. "But he's not invisible, he's more -- unnoticeable." Gaétan leans forward, elbows on knees and hands clasped loose. "Probably shouldn't do anything until we figure out a little more -- plan of a plan. Besides, how would you even get yourself out of here and -- in... took? The doors are pretty locked and your whole not noticed deal is pretty tanked."
Spence gives a jerky shrug that isn't quite as nonchalant as he probably wants to come off. "I guess I am pretty annoying." He stands up and paces the length of the room slowly. What he was writing before is now visible to the nosy with good eyesight and better skill at deciphering bad handwriting:
"Scheduling's a mix, but the routine assessments are automatic." He coasts to a stop and chews on his lower lip. "So you don't have to get processed" He turns to study Kavalam, as if still willing himself to recognize him somehow. "You just have to get on the schedule, and I bet they don't know what Kelawini actually does yet. They wouldn't let any of us near a computer with Internet access, but they have their own internal networks and I think that's all she would need."
Kavalam's eyes lower at Spencer's shrug. "It is a lot of work, yes." It isn't quite as nonchalant as he probably wants to come off. He swipes the papers from the desk, brows pinching thoughtfully as he looks over them. "Roscoe. He is one prisoner here -- some time now. He knows this facility quite well -- if you can trust him, that I don't know, but I am sure he could tell you many things." His brows are scrunching deeper. "Avi can keep many people in good spirits -- Remi, wellness --" His eyes flick up to Spencer with a brief, are you kidding me sort of incredulity before dropping again. "What do we do about the mind control?"
Gaétan gets up from the desk to cross over and look down at the notes Kavalam is holding. His brows furrow, too. He drops down beside Kavalam, chewing uncertainly on the side of his lower lip. "-- guess you'd be pretty good for recon, if we could get you out." He presses his palms to his knees, his shoulders tense. "-- I don't know if they'll let me see my mom at all, but if they do, maybe -- there'll be something I can learn from her." He's looking at the header on the paper, now. Then up at Spencer. "What's the end goal, here? I -- don't think we're going to." He stops short, mouth twisting briefly to the side. "What are we trying to do?"
"Roscoe," Spence repeats the name seriously. "Thanks, I'll talk to him. Remi has rad nursing skills, and anyway, what we really need here is community. That means caring for one another, even the ones we don't like, and I think Remi can do that." He looks directly at Kavalam, his smile thin and uncertain but his wide-eyed gaze achingly earnest. "I think you can, too. But that doesn't mean you have to do recon, which will be dangerous no matter how we get you out." He sort of starts to pace again, then stops and lets out a slow breath. "The mind control is mind control. If you've taken psionic self-defense..." His chuckle isn't totally humorless. "...it's still mind control. But they only have so many telepaths to go around, and they're less likely to use them on cooperative labrats with low-risk powers."
He hugs himself, fingers fluttering rapidly along opposite arms. Then almost immediately stops and crosses his arms instead, businesslike, hands tucked firmly away. "Find out what you can, if they let you see her, but don't tell her anything. For our safety and hers." He looks down at the paper in Kavalam's hand. "This is just me trying to keep us safe and keep our options open. What we actually do with those options should be a collective decision, but personally." He's very still for a moment, and though it seems to take an effort for him to look back up at his companions, his smile is bright and confident when he does. "I think we should make enough noise to be heard, and be ready to help the raid team when they come for us. And they will come for us."
Kavalam does not look in the least convinced by Spencer's confidence, but he doesn't argue. He sets the paper back on the desk and lies back, propping his elbows on the mattress behind him. "I think you have far too much faith. The suppressors keep Harm's ability at bay, we have no first aid supplies. Remi has not met someone else's problem yet that he will not make about himself, which is not what you need when people are stressed and upset. I certainly am not --" His fingers curl in, tighter, against the thin bedsheets, his eyes lowering as his breath pushes out slowly. "It has been," he says, a too-steady care to each word, "some little while. Since I. Was in a community. I do not think I --" He pauses mid-sentence, eyes fixed ahead like he's lost his train of thought here, but then just looks up, turns his hand up. "Recon I can do, yah? Until your people come."
Gaétan's eyes flick between Spencer's fluttering fingers, Kavalam's clenching ones. "Hey. Thing about community is, you don't have to build it alone." He's probably not settled back to his default level of composed when he pushes himself off the bed, squeezes Spencer's shoulder, but his affect has. "I'm still Luci's brother, I know when to keep a secret." His eyes flick down to his name on Spencer's list. "-- And when to spread one."