1964-08-08 - Test for Echo
Summary: After being abducted, experimented on Echo holed up to heal in Black Bolt's old room in Attilan. Maximus takes Echo to see the sights and sounds of what might be the world's oldest graveyard and find his friend means to get back up on his feet.
Related: None
Theme Song: Rush - "Test for Echo"
kaleb maximus 

Its the evening here in Attilan and Maximus comes to the silent place, doesn't bother to knock, but waves a hand until Kaleb notices him. Then he mimes the nearly universal 'come here' gesture; with a scoop of his hand outwards, then back towards himself. He is wearing a snug and somewhat sterile-seeming body suit, with a trench coat over top of it that is open in the front and black and white. His ringlets are loose, instead of plastered to his head.

Kaleb has been in that soundproof room for… maybe too long. It was a parade of subtle emotion from tears of relief to ease, to a nap, to a nihilistic zen, to it being too quiet, and tears of rage and despair, to screaming to absolutely no avail, to some resignation. The funny thing about noise is one is alone with everyone's thoughts. When it was perfectly quiet one has to be alone with their own.

It hurt.

His failures,
His successes,
His flaws,
His pain,
and worst, trying to figure out what he really wanted.

When Maximus started doing interpretive semaphore the young man known as Echo was in part relieved to have the distraction. He put the wads of cotton in his ears and made his way to the floor hatch, pushed the button, and climbed down into the hall beneath and stopped. Noise again. It was like being hit by cold water, but also being amphibious. There was a moment to adjust so he didn't just fall over from the strange vertigo. He left one hand on the wall as he emerged from the hall looking around tentatively. Blue eyes found Maximus again. Still, there was that space of solace and damnation behind him that was safe and perhaps too safe, but he wouldn't leave Maximus standing there.

Kaleb walked to him and dipped his head in a nod. He winced faintly when he spoke; he'd yelled louder than he thought apparently. "Hey." His eyebrows lifted not in shock, but it'd been a while since he heard the sound of his own voice. huh. Still he offered to be the first to break the silence. Somehow seemed fitting.

Maximus smiled faintly in return to Kaleb, then just nodded. Used to a silent brother, he spoke softly, "I feel…if you are in the room too long, you will not heal or manage at all. Its best to still expose yourself…then again into the room. Stress and relief. I want to show you something of Attilan. I believe you will find this peaceful too. I do." He arches a brow, a liiiiiittle mischief in there as he does it, and then turns to lead the way, expecting the injured sonic to follow.

Kaleb arched an eyebrow and looked around and then back to Maximus. In the end he never expected anyone to care for his well being because it moved them to do so. Kellan, sure, but that was the benevolent part of his psyche. Outside form that it seemed to catch him off guard still. The corners of his mouth picked up a scant bit and he worked to bend the sound waves a bit away from himself but also in an effort to try to split them again causing his voice to yield two octaves instead of one. There was an admonished grin and, or course, he did follow. "You might have a point."

His fingers combed through his longer hair. He hadn't put himself entirely back together but it wasn't too bad. The hint of mischief in the grin offered to him seemed to light some mischief of his own in his eyes happy for the distraction from his own thoughts a while.

The former king leads, though, after a while, he doesn't need to lead anymore. The city is not a maze. It is organized, and thoughtful, and often linear. So when they come to an open area, there is only one way to go and that is forwards. So instead of leading, he falls back to walk beside the other man instead. "This is the promenade." he says in reference to an area with columns and open air, which is brisk. Then, A bit later. "This is the Small Forum." In reference to a place currently empty, but clearly set up to allow for an audience, and people on the small stage. Political, perhaps. They come along to a spot with many passages and there is strange writing on a street sign. "It says 'Old Way'." He translates, then gestures to the right, taking them deeper into the mountain. There are, eventually, some guards down this way, but they part for Maximus and allow him down steps that are narrow and even treacherous. However, what they lead to is amazing…and very very quiet. Deep in the mountain, it is cold and moist, and a large cavern has been carved out…probably by one of Maximus' kind, but clearly long ago. There is another whole town down here, lifeless, full of buildings, old and dying, and darkness, lit dimly from above by pulsing greenish light that is trapped in orbs. It is both super spooky, and also about as threatening as a graveyard, for surely they are the only two there. "This was our city when first we came to this place. But…people cannot live underground forever. As our protections grew, we moved from here. None are allowed here now."

Kaleb walked quietly, seeming to make the effort to fall in tempo with the build of the city. That it was less cacophonous than New York was a blessing all its own. That he was not of this place was likewise felt as there was zero deference given to him as he was used to among 'his own people' which he really thought of loosely as they were also the same persons that would sell him out to a lab or exploit him. He almost preferred people here minding their directive. He at least knew what the score was.

An eyebrow arched and like his brother, slowly, a hundred questions started forming. It was a nice change from lamenting the things he couldn't change through will alone.

The weight of the mountain started to bury all of the typical sounds, and even the air stirred less where they walked. "There's another language too. That is so far out. How many can you speak? How long did it take you to learn? Did you learn that one first?" He kept his voice down but then again he always had and willed the sound where he wanted it to go. He could have a private conversation from across the room if he really tried. For now it was a matter of not being fantastic controlling the nuisanced waves as they seemed amplified to him.

The city was asleep in history as they approached it and without actually realizing it Kaleb had been holding his breath. SO. MANY. THINGS. If only he could take them all in at once. Were there another person here he'd reckon he'd hear them in any normal circumstance. The words Max used broke his reverie, even as all the trepidation that came with a graveyard in the heart of a mountain would bring. "They can't? Are-"

He caught himself and furrowed his brow looking to Maximus. Kaleb was shit with people, but he was fluent in building and the care of things. If his own weren't allowed here he was truly stepping foot in a place this structure's ancestors didn't even get to see? "This is … amazing. An honour. Truly. What… what do you call it?" The words were kept small in volume and he practiced to not let them travel past Maximus for now lest he disturb the sleeping city…or break it.

"Just…the subterrain. Well, some people can come here. But, we do not wish for people to live here. There are trips here, as children, with the school, and so on. The council comes here for meetings, sometimes. But, mostly, it is an abandoned place. Kaleb…tell me…what is happening to you?" Maximus looks over at the man with his steel blue eyes, curious and slightly narrowed.

Kaleb watched. Aaah that… that made more sense. There was a slow nod venturing in the isolated place to carefully, and reverently let his fingers trace the contours of the stone. He shouldn't in theory be able to hear the grooves of his fingerprints catching the stone, but somehow he did. Maximus' words were quiet but loud as day even with the cotton in. The question made his arrest all motion which is how he stood for a long moment.

He let out the breath he was holding and finally admitted to his friend, "I dunno. They um… this guy did a diagnostic on me. Pendergast, or whomever he represented did something in the two days I was unconscious. They had…" It was hard for him to parse emotion from fact. He was allergic to being afraid or out of control of his environment and didn't like admitting the reality that he was at the mercy of something else. Still, he wasn't one to lie either. "I woke up with some chemical thing in one of them baggie things going into my arm. I couldn't feel, like… anything. Couldn't sense anything and then when I got home and the blockers wore off" He shook his head.

His eyes picked up and caught Max's. "I can sense everything. I can … I dunno feel sound. But there's so much more of it like I never heard before and I can't mitigate it all at once. I can't tell if they were trying to test for genetic compliance, quash it, or boost it but I've never processed volume like this before…I don't want to go deaf again, Max. I don't want to lose my mind from never getting rest again either."

"Sometimes…the way out…is in. Deeper into the crevasse." Maximus moves to a building that would be a temple, if there were any indication of any religion here. There's none. Its all science. But this spot, with an arched doorway, bears the closest resemblance to that space on that island…and the hooded figure, with tentacles, with the open hands, except that this one is not holding anything. "Perhaps what you are experiencing is…like that moment before an orgasm, when nothing is tolerable and all you want is to find release. But to do that, you have to…go beyond, go past all that strange discomfort first. And then you are free, with a gasp and a moan."

Kaleb took a deep breath and arched an eyebrow following. He had to give Maximus that one. His math worked on paper. "The last time that happened someone got… very hurt." He paused and held up a finger to clarify, "Last time I let my ability take over, not last time I got laid." As a point of clarification, though he paused as if there might be semantic argument there but moved on.

"Seems to be a theme don't it That happens I want it to be because I intend to do that, not some reckless premature detonation." His cheek hollowed as he bit the inside thoughtfully. "Last time I did that entirely a kid… died and I went deaf in one ear and I was in a coma for a couple days. I don't know what's happening to me. I dunno what they did. I don''t… like… people doing things to me without fucking asking first." Anger. A resigned anger at the very least. "Still both are rather elegant and satisfying if not utterly violent I suppose." He looked up to Max and admitted, "Men like us can't afford to have weakness or our assets suffer losses. I'm scared as hell, but what good's that do Kellan? Jay? Me? Shit you for that matter? There's no time."

Maximus lifts his hand and makes a casual gesture. "You are different now. And I have weaknesses…I just frame them right. You can't live like this. Its an unworkable situation. So, you either commit to 5 years of intense training inside the silent room, or…you figure out another way. You could try, here. Protect yourself, first, then unleash at some building." Maximus mildly suggests, not to argue, but simply to offer a safe space to experiment with..sonic orgasm.

Kaleb blinked "You want me to hurt a building?" Heavens forbid we hurt the buildings. He looked around and furrowed his brow, "I have two days, not five years. As grand as your company is. Should I fail I mean I might take you up on that. If I could shield my hearing and vent it up when I need it to be that'd save a huge world of pain. Still." He walked over and looked for something small, eventually fishing a coin out of his pocket. He watched it thoughtfully and then arched an eyebrow to Maximus. "Could… in theory do this without putting you at risk. Less exciting, I know."

"Yes…hahaha…I will move if you are going to use your powers. I have no interest in finishing off my sanity entirely." Maximus grins lightly. "Two days then. That is a lot of work and if you manage it, you will be a better sonic than my brother."

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