Logs:Off the Record

From X-Men: rEvolution
Off the Record
Dramatis Personae

B, Skye

2020-09-21


"I sent Shane a roach. Not half so cheerful."

Location

<NYC> Rikers Island Jail Complex - The Bronx


This massive, sprawling facility consists of a dozen aging buildings on an island in the East River, and can hold over 15,000 prisoners. Though in theory only intended for temporary holding, in practice inmates can end up here for years, and some die here.

This solitary confinement wing of Otis Bantum Correctional Center has in recent years been heavily used for (male) mutant prisoners the staff don't know where to put, and it's grown noticeably more populated these last few weeks. Over the past weekend, one blue shark has been exchanged here for another, and it's a sign of someone's twisted sense of humor that B has in fact been placed in the same cell her brother recently vacated.

It's after lights out, although not very late yet, when a ladybug makes its way into the wing. It's actually very large, for a ladybug, though still quite small by drone standards. The complexity of the electronics ingeniously packed into its metal carapace would amaze many roboticists, though not the one it is making its way to visit. After a quick turn in the hallway it's flying down, the ladybug descends and inserts itself through the meal slot on the door.

"B?" the ladybug whispers in Skye's voice.

B is not sleeping when the tiny intruder enters, though she is lying on the bed, hands resting on her chest and her large eyes fixed up on the ceiling. Her gills flutter once at the sound of Skye's voice, and she starts to sit up -- but catches herself, lying back down just as before. "Oh, that's way better." Her voice is very quiet. "I sent Shane a roach. Not half so cheerful."

The mechanical bug scales skitters along the edge of the room and climbs up onto the bed, right next to B's pillow. "That probably would have been smarter, if anyone had seen," Skye admits. She must be using professional audio recording and processing equipment on the other end, because the ladybug's tiny speakers transmit even her soft huff of laughter with minimal noise. "I just like this one best. This is probably a dumb question, but how are you feeling?"

B pulls her sheets higher up over herself, incidentally covering the small robot as well. "Itchy, mostly." She plucks a little restlessly at the front of her pajama shirt, claws briefly sticking in the material. "Showering in here is --" She shakes her head quickly. "Have you seen him at all?"

"Ugh, itchy is terrible. I guess there's no helping that, way things are?" The ladybug moves out of the pillow's shadow now that the sheet has been drawn over it, though it's still only a dim hemispherical shape in the darkness. "I haven't seen him yet. I know it's been a lot -- and anyway everyone wants to see him, I figured I can take my turn. I can help get him on bugphone, too, though. If you both want. Anyone you wanna talk with off the record, honestly, though..." The ladybug waves its forelimbs. "If it's a lot of people, I might have to get creative about where I park the van."

"Yeah, I guess he's got -- a lot to catch up on." There's a brief pause, B's gills fluttering; her voice is a little unsteadier when she speaks again. "Don't want to talk to anyone. Just want him to be alright." Her eyes close, claws pressing in against the opposite arms. "Have you seen Ryan's new place? He has an entire parking spot. Height of luxury. I bet you could use it."

"Don't think he's gonna be alright as long as you're in there," Skye says gently. "Any more than you were when it was him. This whole thing is just so fucked." There's a pause. "Yeah, I've been there. It's nice! I guess I don't always have to deliver the bug to the riverside. Should trust your hardware better, but also I just...wanted to be nearby." It's a longer pause this time, the ladybug fidgeting with its own jointed limbs. "I can go if you don't wanna talk right now. I'll check back."

"I might be a while longer than he was. I just wish it hadn't messed up so much --" A soft frustrated noise catches in B's throat. "He was supposed to be on tour, and all this --" She blinks rapidly, shaking her head sharp and quick. "Maybe it's better, with Spence --" Again her words falter. She swallows and wraps her arms tighter around her chest. "Don't go. Please."

"It wasn't you that messed anything up," Skye says, her voice tight with anger. "It was the fucking pigs and the chickenshit DA. There'd be a whole lot of lead engineers in jail if they arrested one every time shit got hacked." The ladybug scoots a little closer, its tiny head swiveling to get a better look at B. "He can still work something out with Ryan, I'm sure. The whole thing with Spence -- that's harder, but I'm sure the two of them can talk it out, too." The drone trundles over and presses its smooth carapace against B's hand. "Hey. I'm ready to stay up all night if you want. I got books I can read you. Oh! Or I can narrate my Bloodborne playthrough like some kind of unholy offspring between a Twitch stream and a Podcast."

B's hesitation is audible, but when she speaks she's a lot calmer than Skye's controlled anger. "I prefer the snack bar at work, but this method does also give kind of an incentive to do your job right." Here, she actually laughs, thumb brushing over the cool metal shell. "I'd like that. Are we sure Bloodborne is the best choice, though? You might forget yourself and start cursing too loud after the tenth death in a row."

"I have a personal conspiracy theory you turned yourself in to avoid having to look at these Oscorp Guardians, which actually look like the creepy murderbots that sci-fi has been promising us for decades." Skye's laughter is quiet. "I was about to say you have too little faith in my skills, but you're totally right. How about Breath of the Wild? Bonus, you can tell me what to cook." There's a small muffled shuffling noise as she adjusts her headset. "Alright, here we we go. The tale of Link Going Everywhere But Where He's Supposed To, part one of question mark."