1965-09-19 - De-Cyphering Solutions
Summary: The scooby gang tries to pool ideas together to figure out how to help Doug
Related: None
Theme Song: None
jay jebediah elmo maximus kaleb 

|ROLL| Maximus +rolls 1d20 for: 18

Kaleb actually suggest people over since the apartment was empy this afternoon but for a Kaleb and Max staying over who, honestly, Kaleb was absolutely using to ground himself so he could keep a handle on things and stay grounded and it was working well. Oddly while people were fretting over Doug to sonic did what oddly came second-nature to him: Bossing people around. THey'll call it 'leadership skills' someday, but he was bossy in such a way to oversee his people getting what they needed… if only he could figure that out. Hey, he was learning too. There was food and there was also some Dusty Springfield on because it was the perfect album to lament some shit to.

Maximus is not lamenting. He doesn't even remember meeting Doug, if he ever has. Probably. A some point. But, its not sunk in. He is nearby Kaleb, keeping a steel eye on the man for signs that he might need to be placed in a deprevation chamber. He is seated on the couch, leaned forwards with his elbows on his spread knees, hands dangling between them. His hair is left wild today, in curled ringlets. "So, does he have allies that could make stopping him difficult?"

Elmo has shown up to be present for Jay, lend his intellectual support, and hadn't expected to get bossed around but is taking it with a reasonable amount of good humor. At least it's bossing with food? He's used to that. For once, however, he is not the smartest guy in the room and that's a little weird. He's feeling outclassed in the brains department. Kaleb and Max together are…well, 'formidable' is putting it lightly. Elmo might be a tiny bit cranky about it. He's perched near wherever Jay is and fiddling with a bit of mechanism, listening to the questions and replies as they go around.

Jay is immune to Kaleb's bossing in the manner that he is unfailing compliant without needing to lower himself in any fashion; instead, he rises above it and is simply helpful because that's who he is. But that's one of the many themes in his and Kaleb's relationship, anyway. The difference here becomes the lack of easy serenity that Jay has grown to hold onto, and instead he's threatening the distant, distracted aggitation of old. It's a struggle to stay present and moment of idleness increase it. "This guy doesn't, no. Or. Not the same ones Doug has." Jay winces and starts over again. "The allies he has wouldn't join him. But he could go out there an' grab any number of psychos he needs because he knows where to go t'find 'em. Not exactly hard to find impressionable, angry people."

Kaleb was not pacing (finally) but laying on his back in the floor of the conversation pit. This was apparently brainstorming mode. "Yooooou can stop talking about me like I'm not here." Oh, dry humor? Yes it was still present. Glass blue eyes on the vaulted ceiling as if calculating non-euclidean angles. "I mean… you're not wrong." He sighed and looked back to Max, appreciative of him lending his brainpower to this solution making process. "Seriously he got his brain scrambled in Limbo. What do we know about that place?"

"Nothing." Max says softly. "Does he have any ability to block mental assaults? He has…language powers, right? I feel like this cannot be too terrible of a villain. Or, does he have other abilities?" Max arches his brows and then straightens and leans back. He eyes Jay a moment, then Elmo, and doesn't seem overly threatening, really. Just…like the older guy in the room.

"He mentioned somebody did somethin' to him in there, N'Astirh." Elmo doesn't look back at Max, avoiding eye contact. Instead he's messing with the little configuration of gears and wires he's holding. "Look, maybe he's not fast or strong or got crazy powers like some mutants, but he's real, real smart and he can read anything. And you didn't see him. He's scary."

"That Magik dragged him there. She's like…some…entry point or somethin' fer it. It's a kooky realm all its own." Jay recites, then nods to Elmo's point. "An' some asshole called N'astirh got something to do with it." Jay murmurs to answer Kaleb as he hops up and plants his butt on the counter, bare feet dangling. "That he /exposed/ Doug t'this. Somethin' about…rotten code from a, what, former life? Reality? Something. Ah still want to know what the hell Siege Perilous is, too. He said that if we ever figured out what it was, or found someone who knew what it was, that they wouldn't help us, anyway." Jay licks his lower lip slowly, brows knitting together as he leans forward, wings anxiously held high and away from his shoulders.

Jay's eyes settle on Elmo. "You said it was somethin' from King Arthur. You remember that guy who talked t'me at Purim? Billy's dad. Y'think he might know? He's supposed to be all kinds of goofy." Jesus, Jay…I don't think that Mr. Billy's Dad got his PhD in Goofy Stuff.

Attention swimming briefly in Max's direction, Jay's gaze touches him, then leaves to land instead on Kaleb's prone person. Slowly, he nods again to Elmo's point. "Language is everythin' so he can understand everythin'. Body language, animals, codes, computers, music, magic, symbols…" Jay drifts off after a few of those listed examples. Expression turning pained and eyes closing as he rubs a hand over his face. "Ah once saw him kick the shit out of someone because he knew what he was gonna do b'fore he did it. Trickin' him is…not easy. Ah also don't want nobody scramblin' his brain, thank you. We're tryin' to /help him/."

Kaleb was watching the ceiling and said with a sigh, "No promises on that. But… you have my word if I scramble it it's to make it factory reset." Looking to Max he answered, "Dunno bout resistant shielding but we also want a permanent fix. I was thinking maybe, since suggestion turned something on maybe we can… I dunno guide it." Looking back up his eyes closed and Echo admitted, "Remember last year when I came out swinging and I was hell bent on breaking everything because I'm just mother fucking tired of how m-…our people are treated? He's there and… he's unfocused. Sharp mind. I like em but his ideas only work with an actual plan and IF he is the one steering and it sounds like… I dunno. More? " Looking back over to Elmo he asked, "Yeah what's the deal with King Arthur? I'll be honest I'm a math econ guy, not an English Lit guy."

"I have no intention of scrambling someone's mind. But if his mind has been corrupted by something that is physically in his body, then taking control of him until it could be filtered out seems logical enough, to me. Siege Perilous just…an empty seat…in that legend. So, I have no idea how that applies to this situation, unless he's trying to be a knight." Maximus draws up to his feet and squints his eyes. "I was a knight once…like…in a dream. But it was also real."

Elmo looks at Jay, eyebrows cocked up in some concern. "He said it's a virus. A virus overwrites a cell's machinery, right? Turns it into a factory to make more of itself. And it's not alive, like. It's just some information floating around. Got put together in a certain way. Since information can't be destroyed, his real stuff's gotta still be in there, even if it really is scrambled right now. Rearranged into a different machine. But it's all the same parts. If he was an engine I'd break it down and rebuild it."

He tips his head at Max. "Yeah it's the empty seat at the Round Table. Believe me, boss," he adds to Kaleb, "I ain't a lit guy, I just….you know, read through the entire school library." Elmo shrugs a little, embarrassed. "It's meant for the knight who finds the Holy Grail. I'm guessin' that's not what this thing is, whatever it is. Doug said no mage with ethics would help us out," he continues with a sigh, "so it's …well, hey, I kinda know a mage without ethics, but…anyway, yeah, the Doc is actually a real big shot in the wizard world. We definitely oughta go to him, even if he maybe won't actually do anything. He could probably tell us what the Siege Perilous is."

Jay falls silent and solemn as Kaleb expertly flexes atrophied empathy muscles and draws a parallel between himself and Doug. He'll be proud later. Feathers slowly rise up on end, the kitchen light behind him casting a slight, crimson halo around him as it filters through. "Ah remember. Ah also remember talkin' you down, but Ah've tried with Dougie, an' he just keeps repeatin' the loop when Ah think Ah'm makin' progress." Jay's head bows as he leans forward, picking at his nailbeds aggressively. "He's stuck in a loop. What he thinks he remembers from this other…/him/ was terrible enough that he ain't movin'." Jay explains, a hint quieter, trying to keep hold on his dignity, but the situation does visibly effect him. "He keeps comin' back, like he wants help, but he hits that loop again an' starts over." The third Guthrie lifts his head slightly, eyes following Max briefly until he starts talking about dreams. They fall again and turn back toward his cuticles. "Why's there an empty chair?" Attention shifting toward Elmo when he explains. Brows dipping together, trying to unpack whatever symbolism might be there that he's missing. "It might be nothin', but Dougie underlined it in his book. That book was the last bit of—of /him/ Ah saw."

Kaleb lay there in the pit, knees draws up and waving faintly. "Jay, that's a brilliant question." He hadn't thought about why too many chairs though at the notion of stripping the car down and rebuilding from the parts he looked to Max and had a long, silent conversation in that glance. "Last resort. Hmmmmm Jay remember that one time we went to the future and I had to kill Logan and there was Earth Wind and Fire- the band not an apocalypse- and there was all that crazy stuff with Mutant-possession shit going on. You think he saw something like That in Limbo or he give us something to go on?" Looking back to Max though there was a rare, faint grin that dimpled up on his face, "You don't still have the amour at home do you?" Oh those were different plans for a different time. Focus, Miller!

Maximus folds his hands behind his back and paces in a circuit around the couch. "Its…" he knits his brows, looking distant as he dredges up a dream life. "Its on hold for a hero." A glance to Elmo. "Is that right? I was not that one. I was…Agravaine." He makes a humming sound, then. A lidding of his eyes leads his gaze to Kaleb as he asks about his armor. "No, but…I can remember what it looked like. It was…definitely all magical, that experience. We had to thwart evil…just in these other forms. "I can remember I had a gorgeous, blue feather plume." His lips crack a smile. "So, he's stuck in a loop, asking for help, trying to get you to notice somethhing." He directs towards Jay. "It seems the chair is our clue, but as far as I know, its a long way away in another dimension, where there may or may not be a villainess called Morgan."

"There's a couple few guys after it," Elmo answers Max, "but, well, the Holy Grail's kind of a horrible thing. Everybody wants it because it has amazing powers, but King Arthur wasn't such a nice guy all the time. He mighta done anything with it. It's a superweapon. Arthur tells everybody he wants it because it's a relic of Christ, but thaaat's not really what he wants. This is a guy who tried to burn his own queen at the stake because she was sleeping with his boyfriend. Which tracks with what Doug said. If it's really like that…ain't nobody should touch it, ever, and it's on the other side of a thousand deadly quests anyway." Elmo talks, sort of rambling, while fidgeting with his bit of machinery. At the distress in Jay's voice, he looks up at him, worried, and leans into his shoulder, dipping his forehead against him. "Sorry," he murmurs to him.

Head still mostly angled down, Jay looks up toward Kaleb, nodding once while he tries to carve a small indentation in his cuticle with his thumbnail. "Ah remember. Music was good. Happenin's were less good. He said he came from a future where he went ahead an' tried t'make a better world an' got it thrown back. Which, y'know, is basically bullshit tyrant speak fer 'Ah took it over an' people took it back', like they /always/ do." Because, of course. "That all that was left was…somethin' that lived in Limbo. An' this guy went an' exposed him to /himself/, so he got re-wrote." He licks his lower lip and squints at Kaleb. "Didn't they warn us not t'try to find ourselves because somethin' not-good could happen? You think this is the not-good?"

Jay gets about as far as 'Agravaine' and slips off the counter again, giving Elmo a consoling pat on the shoulder as he shoves back to his feet. Strolling about to vanish into the kitchen for a few moments. The refrigerator opens. And closes. His voice is quiet, but it cuts through the air crystal clear in a manipulation only Kaleb would really be able to detect and pull apart. "Arthur sounds like a prick."

Kaleb continued to lay there on the ground, wheels within wheels spinning. "I think maybe, Jay. Jean warned us finding yourself does shit to your psyche. Like… something recursive in the brain making one unable to process being in two places at once which… I dunno I don't get." He grew up with an identical twin who was abole to co-locate in replication though and share a conscienceness. Kaleb and Kellan might be the rare and strange exception to that rule weirdly.

Eyes drift bak to Max falling into fugue of thought. One hand dropped to the side to rest on Max's foot. An anchor to remind him he was there, so he didn't drift too far away into his thoughts. THen? Then there was a wry grin, "Yeah Jay… this is truth. So he'slooking for something tooooo fix mutant oppression? Cool. It is deployed like a circus mallet instead of a scalpel aaaand hell breaks lose and people get upset because… sloppy and indiscriminate." Max are you taking notes here? "Soooo" He mused adding the intel together, "He's looking for knowledge. This grail is means and opportunity and likely not a cup. Cups historically for art history purposes almost always are indicitive of either a collective or a vagina in the feminine mysteries. I'm going to guess it's likely the former and less the latter. I mean I could be wrong and he could have gone into Limbo, saw himself, got upset, went and got mad laid and is a changed man for the weird. We. Don't. Know."

Elmo's eyes track Jay as he walks off, focused on him. He looks even more worried. "Arthur is a prick," he mutters, half to himself. "Kings are always pricks." A nervous flick of a glance at Max. "No offense. …Doug…did meet himself, kinda, where the other him was just a string of information, hangin' out looking for a cell to infect." He scowls then, looking at Kaleb. "Man, that's my family you're talkin' about, with the mallet. That's just about every Jew in New York." Elmo doesn't have any trouble translating exactly what Kaleb means. "Can we talk about it NOT like we're ants that might get plowed over for construction?"

Jay stays holed up in the kitchen for a few extra seconds than necessary. Kaleb can undoubtedly hear that he's just…standing there for a time. No rhyme or reason from the tiny tattle tail sounds that bounce around the space and run off to tell the sound mote what's going on. "You don't gotta 'get it' fer it to not be true," the angel-imposter reminds quietly. Takes a few extra seconds. Then returns to the living room to stand next to Elmo while he fidgets and scowls. Jay's attention fixed ahead, on Kaleb while he leans his hips backward against the counter. "The way he was talkin', it didn't sound like he wanted us t'find whatever the siege perilous is, because it had a solution. But. Not a great one?" He squints slightly, quizzical, then frowns and shakes his head. A hand reaches over to clamp down, firmly, on Elmo's forearm. "Ah maght be lookin' too hard, but it keeps feelin' like he's still /tryin'/ to help, but we ain't catchin' everything he's layin' down." Frustration picks up in his voice, as taut as a violin string. "So /we/ need more information. On whatever Siege Perilous maght be, an' if anyone knows who this prick Dougie mentioned is. In the meanwhile, Ah mean…Ah don't know what he's doin', but it can't be nothin' good."

Kaleb picked his head up and arched an eyebrow, not angry, towards Elmo leaving the words in his ear alone, "There's a Royal in teh room. Might want to be cautious on being too general." His head dropped back down and laid the ugly facts out, "Elmo, there's a Mutant Registration Act they're trying to push through so they can round us up a la McCarthy. If you don't think they're not looking at us like ants in a magnifying glass you're diluting yourself. Now, that said? If we can just accept that and move on to the issue that is right now? Yeah." He shrugged weirdly willing to leave his soapbox behind, "What I mean is if we're going to change that mentality, as much as I might even endorse things like some utopia where the baseline has shifted? THe fact remains a- it's not practical, and b- wars only get people hurt and our goal is or help our people not see us ground to dust beneath the many hooves of our enemies. SO… in order to harmoniously find equlibrium? We need a scalpel and nto a mallet."

Eyes were darting across the ceiling as if he were reading…something. "…Jay… I need to spend some time with him." He held up a hand as if to abate the concerns of Jay's smaller, younger feathers, "Relax, I'm not going to try to take over anything. You'll make the face, I'll feel shitty, and it won't be any fun." As if fun ever was a motivator, but still teh talkthrough in dry matter-of-fact satire had everything to do with, I want to see if I can understand the plan he's driving at from up close.

"They are. You ain't them. Don't talk like them." Elmo growls it under his breath—not that Kaleb won't hear it, he's just trying not to yell. "No, I ain't never gonna accept it." There's definitely more going on with him than just discussing how to deal with Doug right now. Like the whole thing is reminding him uncomfortably of why his family fled Europe. Jay grips his arm and he closes his eyes to take a deep breath. "Okay. Sorry. Look, I agree. If he's trying to tell us something we have gotta listen to everything he's got to say. Aaaand maybe we oughta try to block him from whatever he's doing in the meantime. What is he doing, we know?"

"Stop it," Jay puts his foot down, losing some of his cool in a rather tight deathgrip, looking up between both Elmo and Kaleb with a straightforwardness unlike himself. He doesn't raise his voice any higher than conversational levels, but the demand is iron clad. "Ah don't care about theories behind oppressing people, what's worked in the past, or what'll happen in the future. Ah. Don't. Care. Not raght now. Raght now what Ah care about is fixin' a good man who has been hijacked by some fucked up, broken version of himself, an' makin' sure he don't fuck up our present, too." His hand on Elmo's arm squeezes tighter, shaking slightly while he stares the other three down, speaking tightly. "So y'all can have yer headbuttin' contest some other time about yer conflictin' ideals, hell, Ah'll even buy the drinks, but considerin' Ah'm the only fuckin' one here who even LOOKS like a goddamn mutant an' Ah don't give a good god damn, Ah say we can all shut up about what might happen an' focus on what is."

Jay's been due a freak out. He's been calm. He's been focused. He's been action oriented. But his cool is cracking now and after a moment, he realizes his grip on Elmo's arm and suddenly releases it, yanking his hand away emphatically as he swallows, sudden self-consciousness dripping into his expression while tightly held wings tremble. "Ahyeah. No. Ah, uh, don't know what he's doin'. Specifically. Not raght now. Ah…yeah." He swallows again and starts walking across the room, toward his own. "We need more inf'rmation. Ah know. Ah'scuse me…"

Kaleb looked to Elmo and answered calmly, his hand idling atop Max's foot letting the math work itself out from a hundred thousand angles and hopefull ynot resulting in dismantling the coffee pot…again… again. Getting up he looked to Elmo and answered, "I can tell you exactly what Doug is doing. He's trying to save our people best way he knows how. So… either we need to deconstruct the reason it needs to happen or find a better way." It was a hard road but for what it was worth, he was willing to believe in deescalating the need over raizing and burning. He willing to give constructive solution a chance. At least Jay's year of trying to bring him off the ledge was paying off in small increments. He tapped Max's shoulder to get his awareness and bring him with. "Jay," He stood stoll and said calmly having decision made, "Mo one's takin you, or me agian, or anybody. We're going to find our friend, and try to understand the nature of this." Kaleb flinched and closed his eyes putting everythign on continuing to bury his own experiences and trying not to think in terms of enemies and allies. "If we're going to resolve it we have to understand what caused it and what that perception is. Then we can intercept, alter, and rerout the code going to him and break that loop." he turned to his room and said quietly, "chair… loop… the chair… what's in…. the loop…" And so went the process to dwell on for a while.

Elmo makes a tiny squeak of pain in his throat when Jay's hand clamps on his arm. "Jayl," he hisses - then Jay lets him go and he sags in relief, rubbing at his arm. He shoves his gadget in a pocket and stands from where he was leaning, saying urgently, "Sweetheart - please - let me…" Let him what? He raises both hands, pleading. Lets them drop. He doesn't know what to say or what to do. "I'm sorry."

The two friends separate to their bedrooms, one followed by his assorted brand of lover while the other flees toward the safety of his bedroom, shaking his head, barely seen over the ruffled up rise of his feathered wings. "It's okay. Y'didn't do anything. It's okay. M'sorry." He speaks rapidly, quickly deteriorating and trying to put enough distance between himself and the public zone of his apartment he shares with three other people.

Elmo makes a decision, whether it's a good one or not: he follows. He doesn't touch, he doesn't even say anything. He just follows Jay to his room, mulishly refusing to let him break down alone. It works for JP. Maybe it'll work for Jay.

Good, bad, or other, Jay doesn't seem to oppose the decision Elmo makes. He's very firmly planted in the realm of trying to control himself after that short outburst; pressing that hard spike of emotion into a hard little ball. He's not very good at it, honestly. At least he isn't right now. His wings are pulled away from his body and mantled out to either side in a defensive posture while he stands in the middle-back of his room, near the glass sliding door to the balcony. An exit. A place to flee if he needs to. His back to Elmo, Jay focuses best he can to keep it together better than he just did. His voice very measured. "Ah'm sorry. Is yer arm okay?"

Elmo doesn't need to be an expert in bird language to read that one. Jay's ready to fly. And he still doesn't try to stop him or do anything except exist. "Yeah. S'fine." It's a little not fine, throbbing with a forming bruise, but whatever, it's fine. He hesitates a second, studying those mantled wings. "Go fly. If you gotta. Whatever you gotta do. Do it."

"You gon' stay here or go back home?" Jay rejoinders, stepping on the heels of Elmo's kind understanding. The question sure feels like a test though he doesn't exactly tell which way is the 'correct' one as he stands still as stone except for the digging of his bare toes into the plush carpet.

"You want me to stay?" Elmo asks a question in reply to a question, Jewish style. "I will. You don't? I won't." Breaking it down to a matter of binary logic. Letting Jay pick one, because Elmo doesn't know the answer. Only Jay knows the answer. And if Jay needs him to be able to guess right…well. Elmo's not the right guy for that.

Whether or not it's the best way to go about it, Jay makes it pretty easy and it already nodding after the first question, and just keeps on nodding all the way through in a repetative motion loop. Hands clenched together in front of himself, one hand holding the fist of the other until his pale knuckles turn red, Jay doesn't trust his voice enough to respond verbally.

Elmo says, soft, but with that same urgency, "Okay." He swallows, gestures at Jay as if to wave him off like a real bird. "Go. I'll be here." Then his hands go back into his pockets, clenched into fists.

Jay pauses that repeating motion for a moment. Then nods again. Slower this time. Inhaling a deep breath, some small nuance of muscle fiber may actually relax by some small amount. Relaxed slightly by the knowledge that at least Elmo isn't going anywhere. At least he will be there. Right there. Right. There.

Without turning back around for a glance or word, Jay unballs his hand from the other enough to reach for the sliding door and pulls it open slowly. Much like a shooed bird, however, the moment he steps foot outside, he practically runs for the railing, planting a foot on it and leaping off the edge with an audible rush of his wings spreading wide and beating a very harried retreat.

Leaving Elmo alone in his personal space. So. At least there's trust?

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