I Think I Might Be An Idiot
Roleplaying Log: I Think I Might Be An Idiot
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Doug asks Warlock for something he has no right to demand. Domino tries to talk him out of it. Warlock puts his own twist on things.

Other Characters Referenced: Moonstar Shadowcat Sunspot
IC Date: May 02, 2019
IC Location: Xavier's School, Westchester
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 03 May 2019 13:14
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Thu May 02 21:06:01 2019 *

* * *

Doug has been… pensive, for the last few days. Thinking about something, deep in thought about it.

"Warlock." He says, finally, one day, hailing his friend in the hallway. "I need to talk to you for a second. Are you busy?"

He's dressed in socks and pajama pants and a t-shirt with a picture of the Death Star on it that says 'Ceci nest pas un lune' in cursive.

* * *

"Never too busy for Soulfriend Doug," Warlock answers, literally peeling himself away from a wall-mounted console. With the More Sensitive Areas totally relocated, he's been considerably less shy about getting familiar with the local computer systems.

"Self has all the time you need."

* * *

Is it too early for coffee or too late for coffee? Eh, whatever. Domino just happens to be walking through the area with a mug in hand which clearly has 'Coffee: Because punching people is frowned upon' printed across the front. Lost within her own twisted little world she makes it right past the other two and nearly around the corner when she stops short and slooowly backs right back up…

Then she's staring at Warlock with the most -puzzled- expression the albino lady can muster. One hand silently comes up, hesitates, then twitches in something of a wave. That Doug also happens to be here at the moment seems inconsequential because -look at this guy!!-

* * *

Doug looks up, and then says, "Oh. Hello, Domino." He runs his hand through his hair, and then says, "This is Warlock." He looks up to the alien, and then says, casually, "Warlock is my soul mate." …Huh.

Then Doug reaches into his pocket, and holds a device up to Warlock. "…Warren gave me this. It's a Shi'ar bio-monitor and transponder, that lets the X-Men track my location and vital signs if I leave. But… they know and I know that if I wanted to, I could spoof this, and make it show whatever I wanted. I need the freedom to get my life back. I need something more drastic, at least until I can prove I'm trustworthy."

He squares his shoulders, knowing how much this might upset the alien. "Warlock, I need you to put a kill-switch in me. Something I *can't* tamper with."

* * *

The BIG GIANT CARTOON SMILE and very friendly wave and "HELLO!" to Domino in response to Doug's introduction is, in short order, a distant memory.

"Soulfriend Doug, none of those designates would believe for an instant that anything Self would do to you would put you in any kind of life-threatening danger."

This sounds very close to 'No', but the way Warlock leaves it sort of hanging allows plenty of space for further explanations or planning to be offered.

* * *

"Waaarlock…" Domino almost cautiously repeats as her chin slowly inclines and that wide-eyed stare holds true. The huge smile from the alien doesn't help matters any! "I've heard that name before." Blink. "Hi."

It isn't until Doug mengions the kill-switch that she finally snaps out of it, one hand held palm forward as she squints and shakes her head once. "Wait. Hold up a sec here, kiddo. I did NOT just hear you say that. Listen, that is not a road you want to be going down!"

* * *

Doug glances to Domino, and holds up a hand. "Hear me out; I've thought this through."

He takes a moment to sort out his thoughts. "If you turn a piece of yourself into a transponder and implant it here," He puts his hand on his chest, "Against my heart. It'll allow you to track me, and I won't be able to hack into it and manipulate the signal. More to the point, you can use it to— stun me, or, failing that, to kill me."

"They might not believe you would do it, Warlock. *I* know that if the alternative was worse, if you didn't think you had *any* other choice, you would — because I asked you to."

* * *

Clearly Domino doesn't look convinced the way she cocks her head to one side and narrows both eyes at Doug. "Alright. Spill. People don't just ask friends to install tracker-slash-kill switches against their -hearts- without a very good reason. What's yours?"

With the question asked she returns her attention to 'soul-friend' Warlock. He doesn't seem so into this plan as well. That's a point in his favor. Though if these two DO go through with this plan would that make Domino an accessory to premeditated murder..? Darnit, why did she have to walk in on this?!

* * *

Doug runs his fingers through his hair, and lets out a slow sigh. "I spent four years brainwashed by Hydra, working as an agent for them. I did a lot of—terrible things. And there's still lingering mistrust over it — justifiably so."

* * *

"And?"

The look from the albino is no less expectant. "That's when you can expect to get punched in the face, not have your heart blown up by an implant. You've been watching too many action movies, Doug."

* * *

Doug looks down at himself. "I am, when I choose to be, or need to be, *incredibly* slippery. I've discovered I have a talent for it. It seems like I'm *built* for intelligence work. Even though the LAST thing I want to be is a spy." He huffs out his cheeks, and quietly notes how silent Warlock's become.

* * *

While Doug and Domino discuss, Warlock has gone quiet. Contemplative, even - it's a little unnerving for someone generally a sentient cartoon. And then Doug's looking at him, right on queue.

"Self gave a tracker to Chieffriend when he went traveling, Self understands how much the concerns of others can weigh."

Warlock reaches out, putting a fingertip on Doug's chest, "Self can implant you with the sort of device you are requesting, but there is another danger Self is not convinced Soulfriend has taken into account: Self's Technarch technology. Left inside Soulfriend for any length of time…Self may not be able to protect you from transmode virus. This is a different risk than when merging."

* * *

Dom isn't sure whether to roll her eyes here or sigh. "You're ..what, a few years younger than I am? This is -totally- …"

Ridiculous?

The pale lady stops herself with a slow breath, lightly pinching the bridge of her nose. And now Warlock seems to be going along with the idea?? "Whatever. Your decision. Just..remember that …thing… we had talked about before." About watching each other's backs. Clearly Doug still doesn't trust himself. Perhaps less than ever, though she doesn't know what might have changed.

Maybe she wants no part in all of this. And yet..she can't make herself walk away. Not just yet.

Wait, did Warlock just mention a -virus?-

* * *

Doug looks up at Domino. "Warlock is, if you hadn't guessed, an alien. He's an omnimorphic techno-organic lifeform, and instead of consuming organic material, his species consumes energy. The most efficient way for them to do that is to infect living beings with a techno-organic virus that replicates itself and converts them into techno-organic lifeforms, that a technarch can harvest."

"You don't have to worry about catching the virus by being near Warlock, you don't even have to worry about catching it by coming into physical contact with him. He would have to — interface with you directly to infect you with it."

Doug gives Warlock a sheepish look. "Warlock and I are on occasion a singular entity. Not *often* — he puts a very high stock on our individuality." …Which means Doug, less so.

* * *

"Prolonged contact with Technarch matter can also cause it. Self *cannot* always prevent transmission," Warlock corrects Doug. He's not worried about Domino worrying - better that she should!

"Friend Domino, Soulfriend is prone to carelessness in regards to himself with frustrating frequency." Warlock hasn't moved his finger from Doug's chest, though.

"Friend Domino… if Self is correctly informed, your mutant abilities affect cascading probability waves, do they not?"

* * *

"He's overstating the danger." Doug interjects. "There has *never* been a case of accidental Transmode infection around Warlock." He gives Warlock a look. "Not even when he kissed you-know-who." He's taking the piss out of the alien there… just a little bit.

* * *

Back to Doug, Domino says "Yeah, I kinda pieced that together on my own." At least the 'alien' part. Everything else that Doug says is completely new and had been completely unknown to her. Her mouth opens slightly then closes, suddenly not having a single clue of what to say!

Um. 'Interface.' Yeah..no. She's not asking that question.

What she does wind up asking is "And Warren's okay with this?"

Whether that question can be answered or not she's now suddenly right back to staring at Warlock. Again it's a question which comes up before an answer, "Who told you that?" Then, "Something kinda like that. I think."

Back to Doug, "Hey. Just because something hasn't happened before doesn't mean that it -couldn't- happen. Let's listen to the expert on this one," she motions to Warlock.

* * *

Warlock makes a nigh-Looney Tunesian face at Doug, even approximating a big wagging red tongue.

Then it's business again, though. Domino's response leaves him visibly a bit crestfallen, but he doesn't totally lose whatever thought-thread he was pursuing. "Is it controllable? If you could mitigate the factors, Self would feel far more comfortable with acquiescing to Soulfriend Doug's understandable if misguided request." Though, after a moment he DOES add, "It is his body, he needs no permission to do what he wishes with it."

* * *

Doug gives Warlock a flat stare. He is silent for a long time.

"…When did you learn sarcasm?"

* * *

"That was creepy," Domino mutters under a breath at Warlock's doofy tongue-waggling expression.

To Doug regarding Warlock's sarcasm, she points out "He's living at the Institute. It was only a matter of time."

Of more importance, however… When she next looks to the alien her eyes are narrowed. Confused. Suspicious. Warlock asks about her power and whether she can control it. Now this?

"In a manner of speaking..yeah. But you're gonna have to explain this one in a way that leaves nothing left to question, Warlock. What exactly are you asking of me here?"

* * *

The question of Sarcasm goes *utterly* unanswered. More important things are afoot!

Warlock spells it out as plainly as he can, with all the earnestness of a kindergartener asking the teacher to hold their hand: "Can you use your power to affect the 'luck' of this procedure so that Self does not infect Soulfriend Doug?"

* * *

Doug absent-mindedly scuffs one socked foot against the hardwood floor of the hallway. "I'm not worried about it, but he is." Then he jerks his chin up at Warlock in a tic, and says, "This is a necessary step. I'm asking you because I trust you — and because I want you to give devices to control it to Kitty, Dani, and Bobby. Maybe it'll help show them how serious I am if I literally put my life in their hands." He's overdoing it. He knows he is. But the boy is stubborn.

* * *

See, this is why Domino needed the clarification. The way her mind works she had assumed that Warlock somehow wanted her to hold the detonator to this kill-switch! The albino honestly looks relieved despite how Warlock is explaining it all to her.

Although the question is kind of an unusual one. It's also one which she isn't sure she can answer.

"I usually don't discuss my powers without dinner and a movie first," she deadpans, "but I see what you're getting at, and..it's a smart play. Really. That's some real out of the box thinking. But my power doesn't quite work that way. Not that I know of. If you really wanted my luck then I'd have to be the one to …uh… 'install' this device."

* * *

"That is doable," Warlock says - probably all too quickly. He *STILL* hasn't taken his finger from Doug's chest. Domino has explained the parameters to Warlock's satisfaction, so now he raises a finger on his other hand to Doug.

"Self will not allow the device to kill Soulfriend. Track, monitor, disable - yes. Agreed. But not kill, never kill. If Soulfriend MUST die, someone else must do that. Self cannot, do not ask. Self *cannot.*"

* * *

Doug gives Warlock another long look. He reaches up to take the hand that's been jabbing him in the chest, and then he moves to grip it in his own. "You can."

"And I'd prefer it if you did, before I fell back into Hydra's clutches. It isn't something I WANT you to do Selfsoulfriend," He says, his eyes widening at Warlock a touch. "But I would rather die before I ever hurt any of you again. Do you understand?"

* * *

Another dumbstruck blink is all that it takes before Domino comes to realize that she just told Warlock how to do this, which does indeed make her an accessory to the entire ordeal. It's only a small comfort that it won't involve Doug's requested kill-switch, but she still may not be off of that hook. After Doug and her had their talk a while ago, if he DID need to be put down it could well still be her pulling the trigger. In a more literal sense, at that. If it seriously got to such a point and Warlock couldn't do it…

Always have a Plan B.

"Oh my god there is -not enough coffee for this level of crazy,-" she groans into a hand.

Sometime soon she should have a one on one with Warlock so she can teach him some quick and effective non-lethal takedown maneuvers.

* * *

"Self would sooner merge with you and attempt to purge malicious code, even risk being unable to separate again, before permanently terminating your life functions," Warlock says quietly, vehemently.

"Self *told* you Self cannot *spare* you. You are irreplaceable."

Doug wasn't kidding even a little bit when he said 'Soulmates.'

"*Please* don't make Self promise this."

* * *

Doug looks away, and his eyes are shrouded in darkness, his mouth compressed into a thin line. His fingers squeeze into Warlock's hand. The struggle is real. "…I can't make you." He says. "All I can do is *ask* you to see things my way."

See, Warlock is not Doug's pet — they disagree. They even argue. Theirs is a meeting of equals.

It might also become apparent that Doug is reaching, trying to rush something that can only really be healed with time — though he has his reasons.

* * *

"Doug."

The one word is spoken in a low tone which is saturated with meaning and edged with darkened hues. Arctic blue eyes stare at the other mutant. The albino behind them is perfectly motionless.

Warlock may be an alien and have a very strange way of speaking his mind but Domino absolutely knows what he's saying. If Doug wants this kill-switch so badly then he needs to find someone else to ask. Having such a burdeon seems like it could break Warlock. It's a hell of a thing to ask of another. Even if she might have hinted at doing something like this over a month ago she still doesn't want it to happen.

The way he keeps pushing the matter? She's considering removing the offer from the table. Keeping people safe is one thing. When it sounds like a deathwish, it's something completely different.

Time for a conversational redirect. "Let's go back to that tracker idea you were talking about."

* * *

"Self can make the device do anything, Friend Domino," Warlock states mostly for her benefit. "Soulfriend wants Self to be the one who kills him, and he is failing to understand that Self *cannot.* Self has only killed once, and it did not agree with Self." He *hated* it, and he won't do it again. Won't.

"Self will not, can not, kill Soulfriend. Will not, can not. Anathema. Bad programming. Would effectively be killing Self as well as killing Soulfriend."

"Self understands that Soulfriend is in a crisis. We have talked deeply, often, on this subject. NO, Soulfriend. Self will track you, watch you, *communicate* with you if it helps. Self will even commit to forcibly restraining you. Self *will not* stop your functions permanently."

* * *

Doug lets Warlock's hand go, and then quietly pinches the bridge of his nose between his thumb and his forefinger.

"I need to go think this through again, I see." He looks to Domino, and then says, "I'm sorry you're seeing me when I'm not at my best. This sounded so *right* in my head. Like it would solve my dilemma and let me get to work rebuilding my life."

"It just goes to show other people won't always see things the same way you do, I guess." He starts to walk away, a step at a time.

* * *

"Yeaaah..okay," Domino rather lamely cuts in. "You two obviously have some stuff to work out, so I'm gonna…" she hooks a thumb over the back of her shoulder but before she can spin about on a heel and start to mosey on elsewhere Doug starts to take the initiative.

"There was a time not that long ago that you saw me not at my best," she reminds him with a fairly gentle tone. "Get it sorted, Doug. But remember you aren't alone around here."

As he starts to depart she glances back to Warlock with a slight 'what can you do?' shrug. "We'll figure it out."

As she turns with a sip of cooled coffee, she calls back "Good talk, people."

* * *

"Stop, stop," Warlock calls out to Doug, even sighing. "Stop, Soulfriend. Don't walk away, please."

This might very well kill him, but he'll at least entertain the possibility. "Why? You know how Self feels about this, help Self to understand why it must be. Self knows you'll just figure out some other way to do this without him, and Self can't bear that either. Please, talk. Explain. Please?"

* * *

Doug… stops, and he turns, to look back. He turns, slowly.

"Because I'd rather *die* than hurt any of you again, Warlock. *I'd rather die*. And everything I've tried to do to convince people of my sincerity has, I think… failed at least in part. Maybe I haven't even completely convinced myself. I don't know. I'm *desperate* and nobody will bother to see it. So maybe if I literally lay my life in someone's hands, they'll finally understand. I didn't WANT to put you through this—but I don't know WHAT I'm supposed to do."

* * *

This is agonizing. It's a horrible decision. A terrible weight.

"If this is a weight that MUST be borne, then… Soulfriend truly leaves Self no option. If this is what you need, if this is truly the only way you can see to begin to self-repair…"

Warlock shakes his head. He already regrets this. "Self accepts."

* * *

Doug exhales. "Okay." He says. He looks… a little ashamed of himself. He knows what he's doing to Warlock. How agonizing this is. But he is… "…I'll compromise with you. It doesn't have to be lethal. But it does have to be able to *stop* me, okay? And… three devices. One for Bobby, one for Dani, and one for Kitty. Give one to each of them."

* * *

"Done." In a *heartbeat*, much easier to agree to, this. "Agreed." Warlock surges forward to embrace Doug. "Self is sorry it came to this."

Domino has wandered off, and while he wishes they had worked this out before that happened he can't afford to wait and get her back - his nerve will dissolve.

So, while they hug, Doug may well feel more than just the warm tingle of affection stirring in his heart: There's definitely something growing there that wasn't there before. But soon it … blends? It definitely becomes less noticeable as it 'settles.'

* * *

"That is the weirdest sensation." Doug says. He thumps on his chest with a closed fist. "So it's in there? And you'll be able to make uh… call them Doug-trollers like I asked you? One you'll give to each of them." One wonders why Doug's not the one who's going to do it. Probably because he doesn't want to face down their horrified expressions.

* * *

As Warlock pulls out of the hug, he … drops a device into Doug's hands. "You will give Friend Kitty hers. Self will give FriendBobby and Chieffriend hers. But Self thinks Friend Kitty deserves to get this from Soulfriend directly."

Yeah, he took the *easy* ones himself.

* * *

Doug looks at the device, and then up at Warlock, and the look he gives him says that this is gonna turn into a whole thing, isn't it? He pushes the widget at him. "I always wanted you to get to know Kitty better." Nuh-uh.

* * *

SIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH. "Fine, Soufriend." Warlock holds a finger out, a finger that shifts into something that looks like a USB drive. "Then you give this to Chieffriend? It will update the tracking device she has for self into the device for… this."

* * *

"You know, you're doing a GREAT job of making this sound like a dumb idea without really trying. Well done." Doug says, before he reaches out to uh, take Warlock's finger. Then he says, "…Thank you, Selfsoulfriend, for understanding me. I feel like this is the right choice — if a little drastic. But then again, sometimes you have to be drastic." He thumbs one of the devices. "…I wonder what it feels like."

* * *

Warlock frowns. "Self hopes you never have to find out." Which means it's probably not pleasant, like, at all. At least as he thinks of it.

"You, Selfsoulfriend, are a constant source of joy. Even pained, as you are, it is better to have you than to lack you. Self wishes you understood that."

* * *

He's gonna try it. When nobody's around, and he thinks nobody's going to look. It's like the cinnamon challenge. You know what's going to happen, but you just have to do that dumbass freaking thing.

The wheels turn in Doug's head.

"I don't know who I am, Warlock. I never got a chance to find out. You're so *certain* about who I am… and I'm not." He leans into Warlock, lightly.

* * *

"Self can only express what you are to Self, Soulfriend. Your definition as Self can see it, experience it, understand it. No matter how much processing power it takes, no matter how many runtime errors it causes, no matter how many conflicting programs we express…"

Warlock squeezes gently, "Self knows what life is like without you. Self prefers it greatly that you are here."

* * *

Doug sighs, and nods, once, briefly. "Hopefully someday I'll see me the way you do, Selfsoulfriend. Hopefully…"

…Later, when he's alone in his room, he looks at one of those little fobs, and, looking around to make sure he's alone, he presses the button.

* * *

There is pain, and for those of normal faculties that would be all that was needed. But Doug's mind is a special case, and not only are tremors played across the heart - there's an echoing sensation in the entire nervous system, like a body-wide seizure that prevents coherent thought. Whatever mechanical pattern it might have is completely randomized. There is pain, and paralysis… and enough awareness to be certain that there is life. But it's an ongoing, horrific thing, no stillness, no relief.

Warlock doesn't allow it to go on for more than it takes to put a monofilament tendril through his friend and reset it manually.

He looms, watching over him, but saying *nothing.*

* * *

Doug looks up, and opens his mouth to say something, but all that comes out is gasped nonsense syllables. He twitches on the floor, and then says "Couldn't it have just *shocked* me?"

He looks up at Warlock and slurs, "Go ahead. Say it." He's just gonna lie here for awhile.

* * *

"Self knew you would be tempted, Soulfriend. If the device did anything short, or sharp, or *kind*… Self worried you would keep it and use it for the wrong reasons. Self *hopes* that is sufficient field testing for you."

Warlock is obviously worried it isn't.

* * *

"That was awful. And I've *died* before." Doug says, before he grabs his bed, bodily hauls himself onto it, and drops there. "I'm just gonna lie here…" He says. "Consider me not tempted."

* * *

"Good." Warlock actually pats Doug on the face, and then goes off to do whatever it is he does while Doug sleeps and he doesn't feel like being a cat.

* * *

Doug stares after Warlock, and then rolls onto his back, and stares at the ceiling. "I think I might be an idiot."

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