1964-10-12 - Astra IV: Ghosts of Utopia III
Summary: Where Maximus Boltagon apologizes, Kaleb heals up post surgery, and now? Now we wait.
Related: Astra IV: Ghosts of Utopia I, & Astra IV: Ghosts of Utopia II, & Maximus' Public Address
Theme Song: None
maximus kaleb 

Max retreats from his heart-thumping speech to go check on Kaleb and see if he's awake yet. He is currently stowed in one of the more internal rooms, just to keep the sound at a minimum.

The wait was still long. Things beeped. Monitoring seemed to be reporting evenly for quite a time. Technology was advanced, Mutants were advanced, and yet… we wait for natural biology to catch up.



The Inhuman who was conscripted with rock ability sat quietly in the vicinity until Maximus dispersed him. It wasn’t until an hour of sitting after Maximus’ impassioned speech that he spoke. “Thank you for fixing the system. We were trapped in the mines for a while. I told my son it would work out. It did.” He didn’t know if it was welcome, but when would a miner have opportunity to talk to a Royal again?!

Max looked up at the miner. It took him a moment to remember that he wasn't in charge of that brain and it could speak on its own. He nods faintly. "I shall have to…see what I can do to bring your son's…chance for the mists nearer. I would dare to guarantee it, upon review, but…the Council has been hesitant." Sure…pretty like them to deny Maximus any of his requests for people that might actually like him. Still, with the father having this power, the son may have a better chance than most.

The miner nodded. Was he under control? Was he ever? Was he here willingly because it was the decent thing to do? “It's a shame this happened. Reflects bad all over. I do appreciate you putting a good word in for my son. He's a good kid. He deserves better than what I can give him.”

On the cot fingers twitched. The beeping stopped. The monitors should be going, but the persistent sound of the beeps ceased.

Max looked sharply over to the table when the beeping stopped, steel eyes darting across the figure and pondering if the man laying there will still be up for dating a madman when he wakes up. He lifts his hand to his head and rubs his temples, "I think the sentiments will change, and people will turn in such traitors before they ever have the chance, moving forward."

The man lying on the table was still for a while, but that infernal redundant noise had stopped. How long had it been? Well any downtime should have been unnecessary to begin with. On the upshot the odds of kaleb feeling much of anything right now were thankfully very low. Yay medical advancements! After a longer period of time fingers twitched into a loose fist on and off and eyes barely squint open.

There were machines. Many machines he didn’t immediately recognize. He was connected.. To things. He couldn’t feel most of his body and again, senses felt affected. The taste of adrenaline was on his tongue as he woke out of that twilight sleep.

The lights and technical readouts went from placid to spiking wildly and rapidly throwing several things into the red skyrocketing his monitored heart rate

Echo sat bolt upright gasping for air, eyes wide and immediately trying to grab things and rip. Them. OUT!! Outoutoutoutout NOW!

Max immediately tries to grab onto his mind, to immediately get him to stop, before he starts bleeding out all over the place. He also does yell, "Stop! Stop!" His eyes flash a glowing blue, but he's just not focused on Kaleb's wild mind, because he's also actually worried. He reaches out to try to grab his shoulders, and all that beeping should get the others in here, rapidly, at least.

Some people cry and hide when they are scared. In true Kaleb manner he fought like hell. Panic mode didn’t reach logic and reason mode, and it was by some virtue alone that Max was very fortunate not to be cause in some reflex sonic blast at close range splitting glass, blood vessels, and minds asunder. And then?

He hug there frozen, eyes vacant and everything was still as Maximus arrested his will and pinned him to the table. So much noise was in his head unfiltered when Maximus shut all of his mental switches in his senses from full on to off.

The machines started beeping again with great urgency.

Kaleb lay pinned to the table staring wide eyes at the ceiling, tears crawling out of the corners of his eyes towards the table while his heart raced in panic trying to catch up with everything.

Footsteps in the hall immediately answered to the demands of the system.

Maximus whispered, "I'm sorry." Something he sure doesn't say often. He leaned over Kaleb on the table and ran his fingers through his hair to smooth it back again. "You're safe. You're alive and you are safe. We are in Attilan, in the healing rooms. I'm here. It’s Max and I am right here. I am going to let go now…try…to stay calm, so that you do not damage yourself. Mmm? " Then, he eased off and his eyes returned to normal, staring at Kaleb.

Hands worked efficiently to replace only necessary things now that the patient was able to awaken on his own. In truth they were used to dealing with Gorgon on occasion, so one 135# mutant was the least of their worries.

It took a few moments but the numbers slowly started coming down. Heart rate slowed , and released from being a meat puppet, which reasonably fell into his ‘in case of emergency break protocol’ agreement between them, Echo took a deep breath. His eyes locked to Max’s, then the other, and then examined all of the features of his face before sighing with a flinch of discomfort. His hand on the unaffected side lifted and swat-swatted at whoever was trying to help him to just let him have his damn hand so he could wipe the tears from his temple where it dampened his hair. He looked slightly confused, but it was relief he muttered, “You’re okay.” Well that was something good to wake up to at least.

Max just continues to stare at him until he’s finally ready to speak. Then he nods. “Yes. I know you did not do it on purpose, but, you did save my life. And I am grateful for it. And…sorry…for it. I would never want you to be my shield like that.”

If anyone could understand the strictly rationing apologies Kaleb Marshall Miller was at the very top of that list. Not only did he not issue them but he would just stare at a person until they just accept that one was not coming and to move on with life. He would amend a situation, and perhaps critique it but apology was even further off the forefront of things that occurred to him to do even beyond things like making physical contact with someone or using words like ‘please, can, or may’. He respected Maximus for embracing a habit of being entirely apologetic. It was because of these traits that the words used twice carried significant weight to them.

Kaleb watched the proud Royal struggle with the responsibilities of sincere regret. His better hand reached out and grabbed Max’s and wrapped around it holding it fast. He was tired and Max was on a roll so he let him go. It was a beautiful sight really.

Kaleb, aside from being entirely standoffish to others was also notoriously terrible with words, emotions, and words when he felt… hell anything. Finally he gathered up a few cobbled together and spoke, as his had was thrumming and he was still trying to make the metallic beeps. Stop. bugging him. “Maximus, if I ever thought you considered me expendable?” An eyebrow arched as he took a slow deep breath. “I wouldn’t have come. And I am… glad you’re alright. I-” His brow furrowed as too many options could follow that I statement right now. It was like a Black Friday rush on thoughts and feelings right now and the proverbial store was barely open. “I’m not mad. Not at you.”He squeezed the hand. There. That was a good start.

Max drops the deathly serious emotional regret with an exhale. "Oh, well, if you are mad at the perpetrator, rest assured whenever we find that murderous traitor, that I will be happy to apply the full measure of the law against whoever it is, so that they spend the rest of their years working the /sewers/." He does glance to Rock Guy. "This man carried you, shielded you. What is your name?" he asks of the man.

The instantaneous transition from fainting couch to war throne was one of the many endearing traits Maximus had. The sonic didn’t let go of the hand though. He was calm but this whole being shot business was scary as hell. He could have lost Max, the person that wanted this to happen was out there, and he was terribly and painfully inconvenienced. He glanced over, “Ah yeah? Yeah. I remember you.”

“Gneiss, My Lord.” was the answer. He was trying to just let the people that operated above his paygrade have a moment. But he wasn’t excused, and whether it was fear or respect or all the above he stayed put.

"If you wish a different job than the one you have, come speak with me after you see to your family." Which sounds like a dismissal enough. Max turns back to Kaleb and grins, checking his eyes, his face, his wounds to make sure they hadn’t started bleeding again. "We have better medical help here, than in New York. You will certainly heal faster than home." He tries to assure. "But, perhaps we get you your own Attilan clothing, as nice as you looked in mine."

Kaleb hasn’t started to bleed again. The medics did a great job with repairs and synth skin and the spot stitching and cauterizing. As an additional feature the medics at the palace tended to put care into making things look as cosmetically restored. His thumb rubbed the knuckle on the back of Max’s thumb. Yup. Okay, still nervous. He'd never, ever admit this. “Gneiss? Thank you.” He learned a new word today!

Gneiss looked between them and seemed a little surprised? Concerned? Whelmed. Certainly whelmed. He seemed to understand the subtlety of this, but wasn’t without gratitude. The mines were heard and he was there no doubt because the air quality was less harsh on him. With little interruption and brief thanks he left.

Kaleb looked back to Max and waited for him to sort through all those…feelng things and waited for people to just - GO. “I dunno. The plan seems to be working. You’re fine.” He winked with a tired half grin

Maximus pursed his lips and lidded his eyes at Kaleb. "You…are .." He rubs his hand on his face. "You know that sometimes you seem like you could not possibly have a mushy bone in your body for anyone and then you go and say things that suggest you'd just…throw down your life. I hope you are not saying these things around…Vic…and Kellan. You realize that they would /never/ let it go." He shakes his head, but his eyes are a soft sort of bewilderment. Then he leans in to kiss him softly. Once people are gone.

Kaleb had a faintly… faintly admonished look. It wasn’t guilt. He didn’t do guilt, regret…courtesy…consideration for most people… hell it was a long list. He did have that look of being caught though. He ran his tongue over his bottom lip. It was chapped and that didn’t help right now. His good shoulder shrugged. Yes. Yes he did do these things. Weirdly he never really sought credit for it and almost prefered the anonymity of it. He didn’t deny it and frankly said, keeping a casual tone, because casual meant things were okay right? And they really needed to be okay right now dammit. “Oh I never fucking clear my plans with them. They’d never approve them and get hurt because sentiment. Bleeding hearts the bunch of em.” Fact, not a criticism. Really? He respected that. DId he plan that this might happen? Apparently he had all along, or was at least aware of the possibilities when he borrowed Max’s clothes when they got here. “And I know… you wouldn’t let me for … four reasons that I came up with so I’m sure there were like six. Just… I will take care of what is mine… so…yeah.” The kiss was welcomed and that, after a second, just helped him reconcile the shock his body was trying to get rid of.

Maximus smiled and then chuckled. "That's not what I meant. I mean…if you reveal how much you care about me…they'll tease you for being hard on Vic and Kellan's obvious affection. I am certain they will have something to say about injury, but…that will diminish. Kay-leb…I have had attempts on my life before. Do you know what the last view of the last guard who took the shot for me was?"

Kaleb chuckled and thought about it. “I don’t think I’ve ever criticized Vic and Kell’s relationship, Max. It means my brother’s happy. I want him to be happy. I see it as a mark of me being successful in achieving that.” He looked down at Max’s hand still gripped in his and closed his eyes. “Kellan knew before I knew that you do realize this, right?” Yeah yeah, his twin was right but he understood more about feelings and his habits than Kaleb did. He thought about the question though and sa still letting the serum of whatever finally kick in to make everything less uncomfortable and rehydrate him. “Small framed person. I think they might have been invisible or fast or camouflaged? I didn’t really get time to look. I just noticed sonar was picking up someone elevated and crouching. I didn’t move fast enough, but 5’5? 5’4?”

Max arches his brows. Then he lightly lays his free hand on Kaleb's chest. "You are barely awake from nearly dying and …yet you remember your assailant that you could not even see? You are an impressive man. I sent Scarlett after the person. Hopefully she has found the murderous traitor. I gave a speech, earlier, let everyone know that they harmed an innocent man. I may have exaggerated some details, but…it was mostly true."

Echo sighed and murmured, still eyes closed taking respite in this. “Funny enough, everything was very clear. I also might be wrong. They were crouching. Just… tiny. Can’t tell you gender. Just tiny… and rude. Very rude.” Way to undersell this one. He furrowed his brow, “‘zaggerated? Like the part about me being innocent?” He smirked. His people mundanely, found it easy to blame him for anything awful. This was new. He suspected for Max much of this was for him as well. “They clap for ya?” It wasn’t snide. He liked Max actually getting credit when he did things. Unlike Kaleb, Max seemed to like getting credit for things. All the things. Even things he didn't do. Politicians were an odd breed, but he didn't mind.

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