Seeking the Keys

Pt. VII: Weird Science


Cowboy Ghostie

The instant the Stranger's hands touched his corpus, Will felt a deep shock akin to not only rage but also despair seep through him as he reflexively steadied the man. He was vaguely aware of the fellow's papers scattered from his briefcase whipping about traffic.

A Proctor.... Will thought as he looked into those dazed eyes. A Lawbreaker, using a power forbidden to the restless on pain of Forging....

You're Jealous.... An amused whisper that only Enraged Will further.

Shut up, Casper!

But the laughing voice continued. You just want to cross back over, you want that power!

"Keep quiet and come with me." Jess' tone brooked no argument as Jess grabbed them both by the arms and just took off, pulling them forcefully with him, heading hurriedly down the street.

Will blinked, somewhat startled but still perfectly willing to go. He glanced suspiciously at the Proctor, then spared a glance over his shoulder at the accident scene. There was a Legion patrol walking by, looking suspiciously at the freaking-out Skins.

He looked back just in time to be yanked around a corner, down an alley and directly through a steel basement door. He lost cohesion for a moment, feeling the material sting through his corpus -Jess practically threw them both forward.

He stumbled and then caught his balance and turn to face them, stepping back a bit and looking at them both quietly - his posture only partially-faked uncertainty. He opened his mouth to say something, then thought better of it and stayed silent, looking quietly from one to the other and fading into the background as much as it was possible for him to do.

"Now you," Jess glared down at the stranger, who was in turns looking grateful and scared out of his mind: "What in Hell had you in so much of a goddamned hurry that you'd risk being discovered like that?"

"I... I... j-just-" The fellow stuttered to a stop and looked down, swallowing: "I can't tell you that. I'm sorry. It was... business. I should have been more careful."

Will tried to fade into the background a little more, but Casper was nagging at him. C'mon, say something... He'd make a good contact... The voice was vaguely lonely and more than a little annoying.

Have I not mentioned, shut up. Will growled mentally at Casper, but something must have showed on his face because Jess looked at him funny for a second.

The scientist sighed, and then looked from one to the other of them, his gaze softening considerably: "Alright... alright... They're not going to look here anyways, so make yourselves comfortable."

Jess shook his head and turned away, walking to a desk with yellowed ,old papers and what seemed an odd antique contraption with a pendulum and paper...

Maybe it was a lie detector tester? Will wasn't sure, as he wasn't well -ersed in such things. He peered at it a moment ,then glanced over at the Proctor, who still looked rather shaken.

Oh, just say something to him... Poor guy's scared out of his mind! Casper muttered at him. What the heck is his name?

Will wondered briefly at Casper's sudden burst of sanity and sighed, dropping his eyes for a long moment. His other half was right, for once... better an ally than an enemy.

He lifted his eyes to the fellow, still shaken, banged-up and dirty from the pavement.

"Hey..." Will kept his voice quiet: "Relax man, what's your name anyways...?"

"Sam, Samuel... W-whichever... " The fellow swallowed and ran a hand through his hair, his blue eyes flicking around the room without really seeing it.

"Sam, then... I'm Ray." Will offered him a hand, putting a slight smile on his lips for the other's benefit.

Sam hesitated, then took the hand, his grip firm but his hands shaky: "Sorry about that. I- I... Damn I just really screwed things up, didn't I?" A hand went to his temple.

Will simply smirked and shook his head, letting go: "A bit... did you lose anything important?"

"I, uh... probably, but it doesn't matter now, I just hope they don't find me because of this." Sam's eyes meet Will's, then drifted over towards Jesse, who had sat down and was sorting through papers. The Proctor looked so lost it was almost funny - almost.

Jesse apparently had some sort of radar for it because he looked up after a moment and met Sam's eyes: "Yes?" he asked.

"Er, nothing really... I just, don't know who I should be thanking here... Sir?"

Jesse measured him for a long moment, his gaze analytical, then he tilted his head. "Professor Jesse Rentel, and you're currently in my lab."

Will blinked. He's a Professor? News to me. Cloudy green eyes drifted over the one he'd first thought a dreamer, and a smile touched his lips. Jesse was a good choice indeed, apparently... He might even enjoy this.

Sam's eyes kinda got big for a second, apparently he knew something Will didn't, not that he was going to ask right then.

Sam started. "Professor Rentel... are you-"

"Yes, the one working on the Discord Theory." Jesse said simply, interrupting Sam before he could finish what he started to ask: "The crazy fellow that nobody bothers kicking out of town because I don't do anything worse than run tests, stare at the sky, and ask really odd questions of the Doomslayers I can get to talk to me... Yes, Yes, Yes... I know." Jesse let go a sigh, and shook his head.

"You've... got me wrong, Professor... "

"Do I, now?" The scientist's eyes flicked briefly towards Sam.

"Yes. I respect your work, wish I could help out... But... I wouldn't be much good... honestly..." Sam hesitated to a halt.

Will watched him, impassive before his eyes flicked to Jesse, trying to remain as neutral as possible, perhaps even looking a little confused.

"You want to help?" Jesse turned, flipped the chair around and sat on it backwards, his arms crossed over the backrest as he studied the disheveled Proctor. After a long moment he tilted his head: "Do you mean that?"

"Y-yes," Sam nodded, fidgeted a little more, pretending to only now notice a tear in the fabric of his sleeve...

"I see." Jesse frowned slightly: "Could you perhaps do something for me... So I don't have to use other means."

Sam looked a little uncomfortable, but nodded: "Whatever you need."

Jesse turned his eyes to Will: "What about you, made up your mind yet?"

Will wasn't phased by this in the least, but it would be in character to act a little startled, so he did. "Uhm... If you'll tell me about this theory of yours... I just might."

He gave a shy smile, seeming a little curious, but hopefully hiding just how curious he really was.

"Alright then, would you consider giving Sam here a hand with what I want him to do?"

Will blinked, well, he certainly wasted no time. He blinked, shut up a moment, then glanced at the Proctor then the scientist: "What's he going to be doing?"

Jesse smiled, amused: "Well... getting me some supplies."