Logs:Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

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Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

cn: murder

Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Spencer, Harm, NegaStark, Nanami, Kelawini, Marcus, Sera, Zeke, Gaétan, Marinov, Steve, Vector, Timeslip, Matt

december 5-10

"Cheeeee hu we goin' home!"


Across the Rift, and at home

saturday. 5 december. 11:50 pm.

It's hard to say for sure whether Spence came through the basement first, tonight, but it's a good bet since he's shoeless when he appears in the Tessiers' kitchen now. For once he isn't raiding the refrigerator -- to judge by his face he's feeling kind of sick anyway, his arms wrapped around his midsection. A moment later vanishes --

-- to reappear into the living room. Finding it empty, he does not take so much as a single step before he's gone again --

-- into the study. "Sorry," he mumbles at his feet. There's a hole in the toe of his left sock. "Sorry. It's urgent." His voice is flat and inflectionless. "We -- we liberated Shippenville but they've shut the borders. We got like 90 people who need safe places to go. Some of them are kids...from another dimension? Who need to go home." He is still staring at the floor. "Oh and my pa is dead."

Lucien has been at his desk, a half-empty bottle of gin and squat crystal glass stationed beside his mouse. He's just been reaching for the glass when Spencer appears; his eyes snap up, hand freezing in place until he takes in the boy's appearance. His words. He completes the motion, pulling the glass in for a long drink. "Shippenville." It's very soft, as is the breath he draws in. He starts to rise, starts to reach toward Spencer, but then just drops heavily back into his seat. He refills the glass, nudges it silently in Spence's direction. "I'll make some calls."


sunday. 6 december. 5:25 am.

It's early morning, though the sun won't be up for a while yet. The bowling alley isn't completely quiet, with this many people crowded in and plenty of them not sleeping, or at least not sleeping well. Harm is wrapped in a blanket and sitting in a corner alone, shivering though perhaps not as much from cold as the waves of sobbing they try and try to keep quiet. They catch a stream of tears along one shaky index finger and trace a symbol on the wall beside them -- a triangle? It's hard to say. Their whispered words are likewise between them and whatever gods or spirits they're bargaining with, and shortly after they slump back down, if not to sleep then at least exhausted rest.


monday. 7 december. 12:45 pm.

"-- disaster. Can't keep Shippenville secure, how can we be trusted to keep anyone safe." That Tony Stark has been drinking is hardly a surprise. This particular bottle was opened long before Lucien got here. His eyes haven't been much on his assistant, fixed instead on the wall of monitors -- most of which are tuned to various talking heads railing about the recent prison break, a few of which are monitoring the financial hit Stark Industries' stock has taken in the wake of it.

Lucien has been weathering the tirade quiet and stonefaced, tucked at a side table where he's been scrolling through a tablet of his own and ignoring the overlapping streams of news. "Shippenville won't be the only problem we have, soon. There was a group of children in the escape who'd come from across the rift. Among them, the younger sibling of the other Matthieu Tessier. I expect on that side, they'll -- want them returned." His eyes lift, a very brief flick to Tony and then back down. "Last I heard, they were in company with Vector. This --" His fingers unfurl gracefully towards the bank of screens, "was a mistake, but catching him?"

"My God. How many of you are there?" It's a rhetorical question; Tony isn't waiting for Lucien to answer it. His eyes have trained on the other man, though, at the mention of The Other Matt. "If you're telling me you can deliver that man --" The hitch in his words is brief enough most would likely not notice it, given the usual staccato cadence of his voice. "Not gonna ask how. May even thank you after."

"Mmm." Lucien's hum is mild. "The world will thank you, though."


tuesday. 8 december. 10:45 pm.

Even with the crowd in the makeshift shelter slowly (slowly) trickling away, there's still so many mouths to feed, so many damaged bodies and souls to care for. Nanami has been helping to organize the cache of toiletries and medical supplies when the news first comes in -- she races top speed across the length of the bowling alley with a high-pitched squeal, eyes wide and boxes of bandages still in her arms. "Ohmygod ohmygod you hear? Hear dis? We going home for real."

Kelawini is sitting cross-legged on a blanket, sorting a pile of clothing for distribution, but looks up at her sister's voice. For a moment her breath just stops, her eyes wide and wondering. "Nani?!" She scrambles to her feet, upsetting the stack of sweatshirts in front of her as she rushes to throw her arms around Nanami. The moment their powers latch on to each other, though, she's pushing back against it, hastily pulling away again. None of this diminishes her jubilation as she gushes to anyone and everyone nearby, "Cheeeee hu we goin' home!"

Still seated back on his heels, kneeling in the pile of mismatched clothes, Marcus only looks up with a slow blink. A slow setting of his jaw. His large eyes skim slowly around the bustle of the room, shoulders squaring tight as he bows his head deliberately back to the work. He seems to shrink back among the pile, hunched down into it as he folding the clothes into neat size-sorted stacks steady and methodical.


wednesday. 9 december. 7:15 am.

Sera sits cross-legged on the futon in Lucien's room, her bright green eyes glassy as she processes what her brother has just told her. Fear, guilt, and anguish roll off of her in physically palpable waves to pass through him--jarring, perhaps, in how much they feel like his own even to his fine-tuned senses, and yet are not. She ultimately holds back her tears as she lifts her gaze to him. "{That--that's the best choice, I think,}" she agrees softly. "{I don't want--I don't want to stay and endanger you all. I cannot keep hiding this, not for long, and there...I won't need to.}" She slumps, clasping her hands together. Her fear grows stronger, heavy and suffocating. "{You are sure they--the other us--will have me?}"

Lucien has been sitting at his desk across from her, leaning forward with elbows propped on his knees and hands clasped in mirror of his sister's. His breaths come slow, strained through teeth and waves of fear that are only partially borrowed. "{I've made so many gambles, Sera, but not with your life.}" His words have been quiet and his voice steady through this conversation, but his eyes are far too bright as well when he finally does get up, moving to the futon to sit beside her and gather her tight into his arms. "{Have you? Give them time, and they will love you. How could they not.}"


wednesday. 9 december. 10:35 am.

Where there had been no Spencer just a moment ago in the bland, inoffensive surrounds of the Service Canada waiting room, there is suddenly a Spencer. He appears beside Zeke, blinking in the light and looking distinctly out of place in his many tattered layers, his unruly hair, and his tense carriage, looking for all the world ready to bolt again at a moment's notice. He orients himself quickly, though, and stretches out a hand -- cold, clad in threadbare fingerless gloves -- to Zeke. "Come with me," he says, obviously trying to sound smooth and grown-up, "we're sending you and your people home."

Zeke flinches a bit—his only reaction to Spence’s sudden appearance. He had been sitting in the beige sterile waiting room for so long, that his frayed nerves had almost recovered from the shock of the past few weeks in Riftworld...almost. “Guess that means everything turned out alright,” Zeke states—his tone as plain as their surroundings. His eyes remain forward, fixed on a painting on the wall across from them. It’s an inoffensive mass-produced piece painted in dark blue and gold and brown; it’s the type of painting one could find in waiting rooms and offices all over the world—either world apparently. “I ‘sppose our worlds really ain’t that different, huh?” Zeke looks at Spence for the first time since his recent arrival then gestures his head towards the painting. “Wonder how things’ll be when we get back home,” Zeke sighs wearily then grabs Spence’s outstretched hand. “Alright. Beam me up, Scotty.”


wednesday. 9 december. 1:45 pm.

As weary as the remaining Shippenville rescuees are, Spencer's arrival with an additional person only raises a few eyebrows. This Sera Tessier is much taller and healthier than the one Gaétan remembers, though still slight beside her teleporting escort. She's dressed warmly in a hunter green duffle coat with an iridescent purple backpack over one shoulder, her brown hair in a slightly boyish pixie cut. Waves of unease, grief, and sinking fear ripple through those nearby as she walks through the bowling alley, though it's perhaps not immediately obvious to all that she is the source.

Her wide green eyes pick Gaétan easily out of the crowd and remain fixed on him for a long moment. Coasting to a stop, she wraps her arms tight around Spencer, rising up onto the tip-toes of her gray boots to plant a kiss on his cheek. She's slow to pull her hand from his grasp as she turns resolutely to approach the boy who looks so much like--yet is not--her brother. Her fear intensifies as they come face to face, her head tipping back to gaze up at him. "Hi," she says quietly, her slender hands twisting together. "I--I'm supposed to go with you." It isn't a question, but her intonation wavers enough to make it sound uncertain.

Gaétan has been tugging on a warmer sweater, finishing up the last of a granola bar -- these tasks haven't mingled well and he's just brushing crumbs off the sweater as Sera approaches. He freezes, wide eyes locked on her and his mouth agape for a solid several seconds before he pulls it closed. Even then he doesn't find words, immediately. Just stares, fingers scrunched into the thick wool. He exhales slow as he unclenches his fist, nods numbly. "Right. That's -- right. He told me you were coming home."


wednesday. 9 december. 3:55 pm.

Marinov had steeled themself for the potential disorientation, the weirdness of dimensional travel, but nothing could have prepared them for how dull and normal it is passing through the rift. Their pupils are dilated, their tail curls around their leg and their ears twitch and swivel while taking in what changes they notice. "Am I-- is that it? Am I really back?" They pull at the oversized sweater they are wearing. Awkward, hopeful and a little bit fearful, they venture: "No murder robots hunting me down here, yet?"

On the other side of the underwhelming interdimensional journey, like some kind of outdated consolation prize, is Steve. At least he's dressed up in his red, white, and blue Captain America uniform, his iconic star-and-concentric-stripes shield slung across his back. His eyes go just a touch wide when Marinov appears, but he manages to keep his smile firmly in place. "No, you're safe now," he insists earnestly. Something in his expression softens as he waves the teenager and all those who follow them along. "Welcome home."


wednesday. 9 december. 4:35 pm.

Early though it is, the sun is already beginning to set, shadows creeping long between the buildings. For the terrorfamily it's been a productive day, a whole cadre of children shipped off to their dimension, several refugees settled in safehouses -- perhaps it's the glow of a job well done that gives Vector some greater level of appetite. Though he's currently perched in the very unappetizing environs of On A Crate Next To A Dumpster he's making his way with relish through a carton of curly fries heavily loaded with many different toppings. "-- not know how far west you usually get," he's just saying to Spencer. "But last I heard Chicago could also use some help."

Timeslip has been nearby, peering through her clear goggles, also devouring some similarly over-topped curly fries, her foot up against the wall in a picture perfect imitation of a no loitering sign. Then there is a sudden shift in her stance, and the fries fly up in the air in a sudden movement as she zips closer to the others. While otherwise she has treated her speaker with great care, this time when she grips it, it is with messy hands and an intense expression. "Spence! Get out! Go!"

"I go wherever I'm needed," Spence is telling Vector earnestly and maybe just a bit smugly where he's perched cross-legged on a messy stack of exploded cardboard boxes, working on his sandwich. "A lot of my contacts are on the coast, but --" His eyes widen at Timeslip's warning and his face registers first confusion, then terror. "No!" comes out an anguished cry as he vanishes --

-- leaving Vector to scramble to his feet beside Timeslip. "You can still --" he's starting to urge her as his eyes sweep the neighboring building, but the sentence hasn't even finished before the blank-faced silhouette of a looming Mark V Sentinel gives it lie. His eyes meet Timeslip's and then lower, hand clenching at his side to curl fingers tight around the rosary ting on his thumb. The soft patter of his remaining fries falling to the pavement is drowned beneath the skittering wave of clicking metallic feet pouring down into the alley.


wednesday. 10 december. 2:20 pm.

Lucien is slumped in his chair, nursing a Scotch -- not his first, though he works his way through it with more care now that the alcohol has started to leech his usual tightly regimented neurochemical control. He has one knee braced against the desk, chair rocking idly in time with the strains of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". "{They are probably throwing that switch as we speak. I suppose,}" his voice is mild, but the chaotic churn within his mind betrays him all the same, "{it is a bit too late to ask what we have done.}"

Matt is stretched across the futon on his side, head propped up in one hand and the other cradling his own squat glass of Scotch against his chest. His power sinks seamlessly into Lucien's, gently bolstering its compromised efficiency as well as its reach. "{We did what we had to, no?}" This does not sound nearly as rhetorical as he perhaps meant it. "{She is not our sister--not really. I don't know if I can...}" He swallows, the flutter of his oddly distant horror sensible now even as he raises his eyes to meet his brother's. "{Gods, but I have already failed one Sera.}"

"{You don't have to be her brother to do right by her.}" Lucien's words come softly. "{It's a choice you can make. A choice you can keep making. And when it's a hard one --}" Where his power threads back through Matt's his touch is delicate, a gentle steadying influence against that detached whisper of horror. He doesn't try to quell it, only bolsters it against his own carefully constructed calm. "{You won't be making it alone.}"


wednesday. 10 december. 2:20 pm.

Matt's power coils out ahead of him, deceptively gentle even as it steals Lucien's control of his own. Deceptively gentle, too, the comforting routine sounds of entry as he returns to the house. He invades the study without any preamble, quiet footsteps falling just briefly in time to Rufus Wainwright's wounded crooning of "Hallelujah". "{You betrayed me.}" Even this accusation is soft, though there's a fierce light blazing in his eyes. "{That is fair enough, but to send Sera away--into his clutches? My gods, you know what he's capable of.}"

Alone in the study Lucien has been rocking his chair rhythmically in time with the song. He arrests this motion abruptly in time with Matt's entrance, one hand bracing against the edge of the desk to still himself even as the clockwork ticking of his mental organization tumbles from his own conscious control into Matt's. "{I'm not certain I do.}" He presses the heel of his hand harder against the edge of the desk, slowly lifts his eyes to meet his brother's steadily. "{But I know what you're capable of. And I am her brother, too.}"

Matt strides across the room, looming over his brother. "{If you knew that, you might have chosen a more pleasant way out.}" His cold fury looks little different from his calm dismay a moment ago. He lifts one hand to Lucien's cheek--the touch itself is delicate, but through it he lets the jagged torrent of his anger tear into other man, twisting it with more enthusiasm than skill into raw but not quite all-consuming agony. He bends to press a small kiss to his brother's forehead, a swell of wistful regret there and gone as he starts methodically shutting down Lucien's vital functions--like a man turning out the lights before he leaves a house. "{Goodbye, my darling.}"