2010-10-26: With A Bit Of A Mind Flip


Emma_icon.jpg Kenta_icon.jpg Mike_icon.jpg

Summary: Emma takes a peak at what's going on in Mike's head.

Date: October 26, 2010

Log Title: With A Bit Of A Mind Flip

Rating: PG-13

Tegu-Haaz - The Slaughtered Lamb

Outside the wooden sign displaying a Wolf's Head on a pike along with the name 'The Slaughtered Lamb' swings in the breeze of the run down old pub. Inside the wooden floors creak as extra weight is applied and the smells of lingering alcohol and tabacco smoke permeate the air. Oil lanterns are hung on the walls circling the pub to provide light the patrons while the walls are marked with old tally marks from games long ago played. Behind the bar are old barrels of wine and ale, an hearth for cooking up meals and a layer of dust is caked onto the dishes. Long tables that can sit at least ten people each are still sturdy but some are turned over while the chairs are scattered across the place. A second hearth with ash from long ago still sitting in it is built against one of the sidewalls for light, heat and additional cooking. If one were to search the pub they might find food that is mysteriously still edible..

In the aftermath of the destruction of the barn an farmhouse, Emma has helped keep those involved calm, sometimes forcibly so… and assisted in moving supplies from there to the central point in town in the Slaughtered Lamb. With most of the students now away, and the lingering sensation of wrongness that seems to have tainted some worse than others. Sitting just outside the place, she seems to have procured a rather elegant-looking curved blade that she is working the edge on using a sharpening stone, her concentration on it the same as one who is preparing to do something distasteful.

Stumbling out from the moors to the front of the Slaughtered Lamb wearing a pair of black jeans that are just torn and tattered into a pair of shorts, is Kenta. His shirt is missing as are his socks and shoes and there is mud smears on his arms, face and torso that cover some of his black markings. His hair is disheveled with bits of leaves and twigs stuck in it and he looks like he's barely slept. "Wow…Emma Frost, warrior woman."

The clockwork creation that was once Cleanthes Michael Drakos, now "Franklin Michael Stane", was recruited to help move things. Not terribly graceful, it's still quite effective as a beast-of-burden/wagon-puller, as long as the clockwork is kept wound. (It had to be wound three times last night.) It didn't really talk to anyone, except to ask for winding when it needed, and to ask for water for its steam tank and lamp oil for its burner. It stands, motionless, just the occasional click-ping from inside.

How the woman can endure walking around in all this when it ruins other's clothing, and yet only display the most tasteful of rips and smudges on her outfit-turned-uniform is a mystery for the ages, but as Kenta speaks, Emma replies, "I take some solace in a lesson that Logan has become adept at teaching. When words and powers fail you, sometimes steel is the best response." Taking the very sharp knife, she runs a single hair along it, the thing cutting just after a few moments. Looking towards the clockwork man and back to Kenta, Emma adds, "Enough is enough… it is time to begin unmasking the puppetteer who seems to think he can trifle with my charges. To do this, I need one of the affected students. I want to scan them from the point of their change, so I may see if the magics used left any psychic imprint upon them."

"I mostly know that Star and Mike have been changed, if it's an infection or something I'm really not sure." Sure Kenta's been hearing some things here and there but he's been staying by himself quite a bit. "Shit, I think I lost my tabacco last night." He just doesn't remember what happened. "So what is you plan to do Emma? Mike's right there, maybe you can get him up and see if he's willing to help out." Kenta says as he looks down at himself. "Christ I need a bath."

More ticking comes from the clockwork, a faster rattling and a hiss of steam as the clever mechanisms of its mechanical thought-box - Dr. Babel's Differencing Eluctor - attempt to formulate thoughts other than 'wind me up' and 'give me oil' and 'be obedient'. The mechanism somehow manages, through a truly odd device that uses the pilot light and a flask of ink, to almost be spontaneous, and the two requests merge together. It shifts, and shambles - there's really not a better word for the way the creature walks, careful but clumsy, stopping about three feet from Emma.
"Can. I. Help. You." the voice is even worse than when Mike was recording words off the radio.

Emma frowns at the thought, "Michael is a psychic entity tied nominally to this plane of existence, at least so far as his file has read, and this creates an issue… I do not know how much I can affect him in this manner." She then smiles, rather like the cheshire cat, "What I plan, Dear Kenta… is to be me. To stop all this fussing motherly politeness, and beg forgiveness when it suits me. You've a link to the Darkforce… this may become useful. I will say this howver… should the device begin to exhibit any signs of violence upon either of us, I will release you and give you permission to disable it."

As the last of her words trail off, Kenta Gilpatrick feels an ear-aching lurch as Emma's mind links to his, and pulls him free of his body, both coming to float above them in their idealized astral images. In the case of the White Queen, she is in her lingere of the Hellfire Club, to the point that individual stitchings can be made out. But here, unlike in the real world, her every feature is a pure white, to the point of it reflecting small rainbow glimmers all over. Looking down, she reaches out with one hand, and begins to 'feel' at the mechanical-psionic being before the pair.

Once inside Mike's mind along with Emma, Kenta looks like a younger version of himself, as if he was around ten years younger and the dark force markings no longer adorn his body. It's how he sees himself in his own mind. "I just want to also remind you that this being is also Mike and by telling me to disable it, you're telling me to disable Mike. I will not use more force than needed on a student."
The machine … sits is too graceful a word, but 'throws itself to the ground' is too violent. With one hand bracing against a wall, it slumps to a seated position on the step. That's apparently intentional.
If Emma ever had the opportunity to look at Mike from the Astral side of things, it was probably a bit confusing at first. Having a sense for four spacial dimensions as a root of his power, he had a self-image that was part machine, part wasp, and part human. Mike's mind is currently nothing like that. It's a room full of clockwork gears, like the mechanism of Big Ben or one of the grand Swiss clockworks.
Inside that room, there's a leyden jar, with clockwork gears rather than electrical connections. Inside the jar is the image of a clockwork youth, about fifteen or sixteen, entirely constructed from gears and cogs and having no metal skin. A mechanical arm reaches from the top of the jar into its head.

Pursing her lips in thought, Emma turns her imaged head to Kenta's and he hears as much as her lips move, "This is not good at all… whatever this is has completely superimposed itself upon Mister Drakos' mental landscape… think of it like a blackberry bush… only every time that blackberry bush finds another plant, it too becomes a blackberry… until everything in your yard is one giant thorny mess." Moving forwards towards the small clockwork boy, looking around the chamber, "The disadvantage to our adversary in this case is that this mental landscape works in our favor. Victorian era clocks function on a winding spring that must be continually wound to turn the central gear system, and thus run the clock. See if you can spot this, Mister Gilpatrick."
As she speaks, she focuses in on not the small one himself, but rather the 'link' between the smaller form and the outer 'room' construct, her slender mental fingers touching and caressing as she probes deeper at the link, to see if there are any other subtle signs of whomever has done this.

"Have you ever been in MIke's mind before? Is there anything the same or familar in here?" Kenta asks as he takes a few paces around Mike's mindscape to see if there's anythign to spot. He's not really a mind kinda guy and he's not use to the mindscape so this is all new to him. "Okay so just a central cog or something?" He tries to find a central source for everything to function.

Some of this clockwork makes NO sense whatsoever, of course. The boy in the jar says "Hello" in a normal-for-Mike voice. He watches the others moving around, and asks, "What are you doing? Are you here to fix it? When is it time to wake up?"

Standing back up, Emma walks over to where Kenta is, and puts a hand on his shoulder, "Watch the landscape… things are about the get… interesting." And leaving the young teacher to his distraction, the White Queen returns to the small boy in the bottle. Holding out her hand to the ether, she creates an icepick, long and slender and rather dangerous looking. Approaching the bottled form, she kneels down before him and looks him in his little eyes, "Understand me, young man… hate is merely a short-term response." And with that ominous phrasing, she lances the mental construct through the glass and into the heart of the Clockwork Drakos! Squeezing the grip, she twists, as Emma Frost brings her full mental force to bear, working to try and find the small seperation of the original Mike and the overlaid version that is seen now, to feel the fingerprints of the magic or energy that has done this.

As this is his mindscape, things warp a bit, but something pulls them back into shape before the gears can become Dali-esque melted things. Perhaps something could be revealed to Kenta's watchful gaze, something hidden in shadows behind things. Perhaps not, as Kenta has his own 'injury' from this place.
In Mike's mind, unfiltered by the mental imagery, there are two histories equally valid, one where he grew up in London as the son of a carriage-wright and a nursemaid, working for the Lovelace family; he was a gardener, trained for a bit as a valet but had no gift, was there when Lady Ada recieved the visitor from Germany, was the carriage driver when they broke a wheel crossing the railway, was struggling to get the carriage free when the steam locomotive struck. He woke having been restored to a kind of life by the work of her visitor and the Lady. His mother and father were grateful that he had been saved, however strange the method, but then he woke here in this strange town.
And there alongside that is his original memory, similar in many ways but very different. There isn't so much a line as a shade of grey — His 'mad subconscious' is there, still trying to sort his 'real' memories from what he thinks is this terrible magical dream, but overwhelmed at the task. At first he fights back using the tricks that were taught to all the students during the time when Addison was teaching them mental defenses. Mike's aren't strong at all but they're very confusing and clever. And then stops abruptly, deliberately allowing the exploration.
There is only one mind here. There are two histories, like a mirror reflection. But which is real? Break the glass and both will likely shatter.

Kenta is watching as Emma does her thing and as he watches things don't seem right to him. "Emma! Stop!" He says to her as he looks around. "I don't know if a mind is supposed to look like this but…it's like there's something ontop of something here." He says looking around and trying to figure things out. "This…maybe I should take some classes that train in the mind."

"NO." Emma all but barks out as she twists the pick, and begins to focus in on the one unnamed figure in the grey-shade drama of the 'boy' from this world, "Watch the shadows, intuit the subtle shades Kenta! Stop thinking, and feel… your mind is connected to the Darkforce. It's nature has always been considered mystical, and not mutative. I need your focus. There IS something here, and we WILL find it… and god forgive me for any consequences." The last muttered under her breath as she splits her focus, one part into beginning to use small mental fingers to pluck at the hooks holding the two straining histories together on a single personality… while the other twists the pick harder, stabs deeper, forcing that mystery image to where it can be seen more properly, "If I can stomach Wyngarde and his idiotic posturings and mental apery of Shakespeare… I can dissemble this blasted Lovecraftian oubliette."

The common point of the histories is death. Mike Drakos died in the train accident, his body essentially destroyed, and in a spasm of refusal, solidified his link to an alternate body. Mike Stane died when his body was crushed by a train, but the German doctor sucked his spirit, his vital essence, into a jar like it were a bug into a bottle of chloroform. Mike finally fell asleep after he was attacked by gremlins, his sense of solidity and integrity injured, and in the immediate nightmare was torn apart again by gremlins then rebuilt. In the nightmare he died a third time.
And the next day, fighting to keep his SELF from fading into what he was rebuilt as, he made a rosary and began praying. He was able to hold onto that much alone, because it wasn't a part of his machine-self. It's the only part of him that isn't clockwork.
There are no hooks as such. Merely meshing gears. Pressing hard on one small gear causes intense pain, as the sections on both sides of the gear begin to flicker, jam, rust. Destroying the linkages between the two will, in effect, destroy the entire machine. Except that machine is a living mind.

"You don't get it Emma, I don't know anything about magic or any of that shit. Holy fucking cheeseballs your destroying the kid!" Kenta shouts as he is watching and he's trying to focus but all he sees is the destruction she might be doing. "And it's not god you should be asking forgiveness from." Kenta says as he runs towards Emma and tries to pull her off of the child in the center. "Look at him, look at your student. You're not curing him you're killing him!" Says Kenta as he watches what happens to the gears grind againt eachother.

Emma withdraws the probe to the original level, the mental icepick being removed and leaving it all nominally intact, the hands of the skilled psychic soothing over the young man's mental wounds before she rounds angrily on Kenta, pointing the same device at him, "Ask yourself this, would you… would any of them… choose to live like this. Trapped with two memories at war, being overwritten and turned into a mockery of yourself. You wish pain? He turned to God, he turned to everything trick he could to try and stave this off… and in the end it all failed him. FAILED. Now, he's someone who believes the lie, and the truth is lost in ticks of a clock. TICK-TOCK, Kenta. We do not know how much time they have left, or we do before this place starts on us."

Moving back to reposition herself, "You are too much like Robert, Kenta Gilpatrick… you have such a vastly untapped potential that sometimes it sickens me to know how you waste it. You could stand level to Magneto, or even the Phoenix if you realized what you could do… but you are also wise in this… the powers you access are known to corrupt the mind and spirit. This also speaks highly of your willpower. That will… that resourcefulness… that survival instinct you have… he needs. Michael Drakos needs a fighter here to help him win free of the madness. I am not a fighter… I am a manipulator. But I can help you help him."

The clockwork boy collapses in the jar, with oil leaking from its eyes. He asks, and from the lack of emotion it's likely Mike's mad unconscious genius speaking, "Please stop. Not the right tool. If you break me and I die you will both hate yourself. Find the right tools."

"I'm also a Father Emma and I can see when a child is hurting." Kenta says as his voice breaks a bit as Mike starts to speak. "We don't know Emma, we don't, but I do know one thing, you keep this up, and his time here is definately shortened." He puts a hand on the jar and looks at the boy in there. "I know you want me to fill the holes that are created with my powers but as soon as I leave there will be holes, and what will happen to those holes? This is magic Emma, I don't know magic."

There's an almost amusement around Emma as she replies, "And the irony is… we have the perfect person on staff to deal with just this sort of thing… too bad she's not here. For once, Selene's unique skillset could be used for something more than her own machinations." She look at Kenta for a long moment and then back at the little Mike, "His mind is not just being invaded… it is being overwritten. The longer this magic remains, the less of the original Michael remains for us to save. Once it is complete… I am unsure if we will be able to bring him back…"
As she relents, the psychic clockwork fades away, leaving both standing there, with Emma rubbing at one eye. Turning away from the pair, she says softly, "Make sure he is comfortable… as much as he can be." A brittleness to her voice as the woman walks away several paces and takes a deep breath.

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