2020-06-13: World Of Mud


RashmiF_icon.jpg RobynF_icon.jpg

Summary: Robyn reaches out to Rashmi for help.

Date: June 13, 2020

Log Title: World of Mud

Rating: PG

The Future - The Underground - Gathering Area

Hidden in the maze of tunnels is the open area that the mutants have turned into their haven, their home. Not wanting to risk electricity being detected down here, there are battery powered and gas powered lights leaving the place dark and damp. At least three mutants are always on guard down here at the entrance to the mutant camp and secret passwords and codes are needed to get into this room. Theres a large door with a large piece of wood barricading it as those down here dont take any chances.

Rolling himself out of the meeting room, Robyn groans with pain as he feel asleep in there last night and his back is cramped. "Rashmi….I have an idea I need to talk to you about." He says before yawning as he rubs the sleep out of his eyes. He doesn't look at her as he just rolls by and fishes out some breakfast of some hot water, as they ran out of tea, and some beef jerky. "What I wouldn't do for a cookie right now, but anyway, Heather. That's our key. We cannot let anyone kill her."

Rashmi lifts her head from her own place against one of the walls; the redhead, not quite keeping watch, not quite napping, but her voice is a little fuzzy as she looks up to catch sight of Robyn. "Mmkay… That'll be a chore getting across, considering the cries of 'all Hunters must die etc etc etc pitchforks and torches' a lot of the people here tend to adopt. Double chore keeping it secret from the other side. But in any case, what do you have in mind?"

Robyn wheels over next to Rashmi as he chews on some jerky. "Well, Heather…we've never successfully deprogrammed one of the hounds but I think with her, we can't say it's not possible. The rest of the hounds…I'm sorry to say we need to do what we can to survive but with Heather, capture her. Bring her to a private location, cage her there. We can try to deprogram her. If this can all be solved with time travel…why not get her back?"

Rashmi blinks at this idea. And a second time. Eyes flicker back and forth, and finally, her head slumps down to rest on her knees, shoulders shaking in tune to a croak of not-terribly-amused laughter. "That's… a very good idea. Likely, I don't know, but very, very good. And your timing is perfect, Robyn… What d'you remember about Theo?"

"See what a genius I am when I actually get sleep?" Robyn says as he breaks off a piece of chocolate from last night and hands it to Rashmi. "Right now it's the only thing I can think of besides trying to find someone who can build us a non-existing time travel machine. Though Chloe thought Con..Volk might be able to with his powers….maybe if this works and we get Heather back the two of them together…."

Rashmi accepts the chocotale with a nod and a small smile. "…will be enough to stop this. Maybe even before it ever had a chance to start." Nibbling on the sweet, she nods slowly. "Okay. We'll need to have Theo and Jericho in the same room. That… will only be entertaining in hindsight. ….So I'll keep Theo on as short a leash as I can, I guess. Not that that means much, but…" The redhead shrugs. "He's here. He even managed to find it in him to apologize. He's got resources we don't, and wants to use them. Good enough for me."

"I just remember he…well if he's willing to help I mean it's not like we don't have other former villains here." Robyn says as he looks down at his lap and is quiet for a bit. "Hey…Rash…" He begins as his voice is a bit different, softer and quieter. "Do you ever feel like you're just trying to hold onto something solid but there's nothing there but mud?"

"Every moment I breathe," comes the quiet, tremulous response. "Every second I'm awake."

"Nothing is there Rashmi…nothing. Not all this recon is solid it's just all I can focus on lately. The only thing that makes it feel like I'm doing something. I keep wondering if every mission I send Volk on is his last. If one of us screwed up. Or the the current clone of Jordan is always the last." It's one of the rare moments when Robyn speaks his feelings but every few months it's almost always the same thing as they come out. "You know, Jono hates me now."

"I do too, Robyn. All of it. We're training Robin up now, did you know? Volk and I. We're teaching her how to fight, how to survive… How to *live.* But I keep wondering, if she's going to die, and it'll be because of us. I keep waiting for July to come back in more pieces than she can heal from. It's *so screwed up* now, all of it. But…" Lifting her head, she turns her gaze up to the wheelchair-bound mutant. "We can't stop, Robyn. Even when it's all mud and it all goes through our hands before we can get a grip. Even if everything *does* go horribly wrong, and dozens and dozens of us get killed. We just can't. Someone has to try, Robyn. Otherwise…. It was all for nothing."

Robyn nods. "Yeah…she needs to learn. And is there such thing as living anymore, can you call this living? I'm doing all this so one day ah-We can live again." Robyn eventually looks up at Rashmi and meets her eyes and it's not surprising that they're filled with hurt and pain, probably similar to hers. "Rash…I do care for you a lot and..I don't know. I just hope Heather is what we need to stop all this."

Rashmi's lips turn up at the corners, bobbing her head in understanding. "I do too," she says, voice surprisingly thick with emotion. "But even if she isn't… Getting her away from Ahab means no more time travel for him. So… That's kind of a big something." Running her fingers through her hair, the redhead sighs shakily. "No… we're not living. We're surviving. But that's not a bad thing, right? Better to survive in the hopes we can live, than too dead to care."

"Yeah…it's not a bad thing." Robyn says as he timidly out stretches a hand to Rashmi. "Sometimes I feel like you and Volk are all I have left. Jordan but…he's not solid." Robyn says no pun intended about the phaser. Sure he still loves Jordan but it's hard when so much you've experienced with a person was never experienced by them. "Also if we can find a way to de-Hound Heather, we can do it with others. Just…we can't tell people that, they'll go soft."

"Yeah," Rashmi says quietly, speculatively. "Yeah… Or they'll get furious at us for holding them back." Shaking her head, she reaches out, taking hold of Robyn's hand. "We're not all there is, Robyn… You know that. We're just… the only ones too stubborn to turn around, knowing that you're doing the same thing to yourself Robin was." The look in her eye, earnest, serious. When Rashmi gets that set to her face, it's been made clear time and again, no amount of temporizing or guilt tripping will make her back down.

"Let them get furious, we're asking for one Hound to be captured, I'm sorry to Cam and in the memory of what a giving guy he was back at Xavier's but we can't exclude anyone else from that list." Robyn says as he rubs one of his arms that has been covered by tattoos over the years. "What's that? Not sleeping and just going out there and seeing what I can find? I did sleep last night."

"And when was the last time you took two days in a row off to *rest?* Not just sleep, but actual *rest.* You know there's some kids down in the living area, they try to get stories and dancing going every now and again? Why not just have Jordan take you down there, sit with him, and just *listen?" Rising to her feet, Rashmi looks down at Robyn, real concern on her face. "I tell my girls to take breaks, maybe every couple weeks. *Scourge* is always on us about turning our equipment in to keep it up. You're not any different, Robyn… And if you think Jono hates you, it's probably just that he's tired of seeing someone he cares about running himself into the ground when he doesn't have to be."

Robyn grips the side of the chair and looks down at his lap, obviously hiding his face as when his voice comes out it's shaky and quiet. "What choice do I have Rashmi? No one else can go where I can. If I take one day off that could be the day I miss something important. Stories and dancing Rashmi….what good am I at telling stories when they want to hear the excitement about fights not what I do. I'm already in the ground Rash…I need to do what I do. It's the only thing that makes it feel like I'm not….like this. This…I…" He reaches up his arms to hug them to himself, hands on his shoulders. "It's like when the accident first happened ten years ago." That same helpless feeling. "Though, the loss is worse."

Rashmi leans down, placing her hands on Robyn's shoulders, bringing her head in close to force him to meet her eyes. "*Wrong,* Robyn. You are *not* in the ground until you are *dead.* And I will *not* accept anything less out of you. You think just because you're too injured to move like anyone else, makes you less of a *person?*" Shaking her head slowly, her eyes narrow slightly. "You forgot where we came from. Who built the place where we learned what *choices* we had with our lives, Robyn. And if he managed to get better, well." One shoulder lifts up in a shrug. "You could do a lot worse to have anything in common with, than the Professor. And he made something great. You could too… if you let yourself live that long."

Robyn tries to avoid her look but with her being that close, it's impossible and she's be able to notices the tears mixing with the dirt on his face, leaving trails down his face. "Look at what I've done Rashmi. I'm not a nice person anymore. This wasn't the world we believed in when we went there. And it's not just the legs that bother me, it's an excuse." Robyn's long since gotten used to life in the wheelchair. "It's that I'm afraid that everything I'm choosing is the wrong choice, but I make them because honestly, we can't live like this forever we need to do what we can to make sure they don't win. It's easier to give into the dirty stuff, the bad ideas, when you don't feel and shut down but nothing is still there." Eventually though he does lean in and rests his head on her shoulder. "I do love you Rashmi…like a friend, like a very close friend and I'll never forget it was you who saved me life." He whispers to her.

Rashmi reaches up, cupping Robyn's cheeks in her hands. "Then *stop killing yourself,*" she says softly. "D'you know what it's like, saving the life of someone you care about just to watch them die by inches?" Sighing, she lifts her head to press her lips to his forehead. "I know. Almost none of us are clean, anymore. We've hurt and killed and destroyed too much. But we don't have a choice. If we want to survive, we'll just have to do what we need to do. When there's a world to live in again… yeah. We're going to pay for what we do, now. But we have to make it so we're *able* to pay, first. Then when it's over, we can decide to do the right thing, stand up in front of God and the world and say 'I accept my punishment because what I did was wrong.' Then we can start scraping the tarnish off our souls…. But we have to get there, first."

Robyn just looks in Rashmi's face and sniffs lightly. "I'm honestly not trying to kill myself cause I really don't want to die. I don't want you or Volk or Luke or anyone else too. So many people come in here injured or near death that it makes me want to fight harder, do what I do harder. It's a cycle Rash, a horrible horrible cycle. And this puzzle, what's going on, it's drilled itself into my head and I can't not stop thinking about it." It's been driving him crazy. "Rash…we gotta find a bottle of something sometime, lock ourselves in the meeting you, you, me, Volk, anyone, and just get hammered and forget for a few druken moments." He shakes his head as he knows it's just a hope, a wish, something he can't count on and will probably be a distant idea of a suggestion in an hour. "Hearing Volk's voice last night….it scared me."

"I know… He's locked himself away for so long… He's afraid to come back out again. Personally… I hoped for a second, he'd be ready to come back for good." Folding Robyn's shoulders into a hug for a moment, she stands back up, sighing heavily. "I can't stop thinking either, you know… Even right now. Plans and movements and maybes and what ifs and how to stop things and how to keep things going. It almost drove me crazy, for awhile, in the first years." Shaking her head, she lifts a shoulder. "Then I realized, sometimes it's enough to work on the pieces you've got, without grabbing for more. That's part of what we're doing to Robin, forcing her to keep off scouting for a little bit, so she can remember what to do with herself when she's not out there."

The hug gets returned briefly, but it's tight and almost desperate. Scouting and gathering information isn't almost driving Robyn crazy, it kind of has. He's obsessed and he can't fight it easily. "I look at the pieces I have and then realize there are just too many holes that I can't put together." He then looks away and looks over at the wall. "I guess it's a name sake thing with us." Robyn says in regards to the other Robin being way to into her scouting. "Can I tell you something and you can promise not to let Volk or Luke know?"

"Start at the edges," Rashmi says quietly. "That's always how you get anything done on a puzzle… starting with the edges first, and going in." Lowering herself to a crouch in front of Robyn's chair, she nods quietly, silently assuring him she'll keep his secret."

"I know who the handler for Tooth is and I'm going to go talk to him as soon as I'm rested enough. I have to see him again. I can't explain it but I have to confront the bastard." Robyn says as he knows though that none has the right to hate James as much as Rashmi and Lucas do. "I can't let him get away with what he did to you and I have to confront him…so you can get your revenge. All of you."

Rashmi blinks sharply, a deep line forming between her eyebrows. "…Okay," she says after a long moment. "I'll keep your secret, and not argue… But on one condition. I want a name, Robyn. Just in case you don't make it, and I know who to turn into people juice."

"Okay, though I don't have the name. I just know that I -can- get into their mind as they are a soldier whose schedule is clockwork. I just can't tell Volk or Luke I'm doing this, they'd want a where, when, why, who but I need to do this first to make sure I can set up a meeting for them on even ground." And to punch that bastard in the face if he can, Robyn was always close to James as a friend so for a good friend to go down that path…"There's just some stuff I have to find out. I want you to turn whoever you have to into people juice." Robyn says with anger and bitterness in his voice. He hates the fact of what happened to Rashmi's daughter.

Rashmi narrows her eyes. "…I don't like this, Robyn," she says, shaking her head. "It's one thing to go on a meet, but another entirely to not have any backup or alternatives or even a chance to scrub the meet if it looks wrong."

"It's at the Hunters Den in Salem. I'll give you the times and everything, I'll let you see every file I got and you can go over it if you wish. I won't hold anything out on you, I just need to act fast before…it gets a lot worse. Tooth….James…he's not our friend anymore he's become a monster. My friends is long dead it's just, the shell is still there. I guess, a part of me needs to know what happened. What made him decided to turn." Robyn says as he reaches a hand forward to brush back some of Rashmi's hair. "Besides, I'll just pull out of the Hunter's head as soon as it looks wrong. I promise."

Rashmi closes her eyes, letting out a soft breath. "…All right. I'm *worried,* but…" Opening her eyes, she looks up and shrugs, smirking weakly. "We all put ourselves on the line for this, right…? Just… be safe. Don't get twigged to."

Robyn leans in and gives Rashmi one last display of friendly affection as he might not be able to again after this with the way he handles himself, he gives her a friendly peck on the check. "You've always been there for me Rash, sorry if I'm a wreck. I'll be careful, this isn't something I can go about recklessly, I have to take more caution then I've done before. How about we set a time limit like one or two hours. If I'm not back in that time, that means there is a problem."

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