Log:No Excuses by Alice in Chains

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No Excuses by Alice in Chains
Characters  •   Landon Marchant  •  Morrison Lester  •  Lucas Marchant  •  Theodore Marchant  •
Location  •  Lake Havasu - Marchant House
Factions  •   Marchant Family  •  Lester Family  •
Date  •  2019-09-04
Summary  •  The twins fill Morrison and Theodore in on what Mr. Chen had to say. The adults don't want to hear it.

Mona is apparently amid faux-kidnapping Zane or whatever and driving back to teh house. No, the twins did not ride with their cousin; they stayed withteh plan, called Morrison, and waited like they agreed to." Good lads there.

They both look wiped but are amid speaking 2 word long sentances when Morrison gets there that sound a lot like: "Are you-?" "Fine. Yeah. You?" "This means-" "We'll talk to him. Is he-?" "Right there."

Twin-speak. It's its very own reality. There is no babble fish to help with this one. When the car pulls up Lucas pushes off the building and heads to the car. Together they greet, "Morrison."


"Landon, Lucas," Morrison greets them both and waits for them to get into the car. He looks them both over for a moment, assuring that all limbs are still attached, and once they are in, he begins to head out, turning the car back out onto the road.


During the ride back home, Landon is trying to devise on how to bring this all up. The invasion on the Marchant house didn't happen, but things were stirring in another part of town. Those familiar sunglasses, by now, are already slipped on and for the most part, the darker haired twin's focus is on the world outside of the vehicle.

"I wonder if Uncle Robert is upset that he paid for all that security and nothing happened that night." Turning back to the others, he adds in, "I figure he'd be relieved." That's when his gaze flickers over to Lucas' direction. "Especially since that biker cult went off to harass Esme's place that night." He's not sure whether Morrison had heard that tidbit or not.


Lucas adds tiredly with a sigh, "Well being Mona and Jaden were attacked at the damn Reed house? I'd think that's a check well written. You honestly think he's going to be pissed at the three of us or the two of them?" Slouching in his seat he murmurs, "He's talented. He might manage all of the above." His hand slides around the shotgun seat and gives Landon's shoulder a squeeze and stays there. So long as the window is down he's alright with having the back seat to himself.

Looking to Morrison he does address, voice hoarse and tired, "We found out how to get rid of the shit in our system for starters though. It got kinda weird from there." There's a pause and too casuall he asks, "How you feel about doing that five more times over five months?" His jaw tightens. He hates the timeline. They hate the timeline but it is what it is.


Morrison is vaguely listening to the conversation in the way he vaguely listens to most of their conversations while he's driving, just kind of letting it flow around him and rarely commenting unless they address him directly, or say something so fundamentally stupid he feels that he needs to say something. And so for the most part, his eyes and attention is on the road, up until Lucas mentions that they figured out how to get the drugs out of their system. "Doing what? Trapping you both in a room while you try to escape?" he asks, glancing at Lucas in the rear-view mirror. "If that's what it takes."


While Landon might not like the restrictions, personally, he knows just how anxiety-inducing this whole thing can be for Lucas. "For five months though," He's trying not to whine, but he's bringing up this fact! "Maybe the longer we go without, the less of a craving we'll have." This was just the first month without the blood. Well, the start of the first month. "Where are we gonna stay though? Will Robert Marchant continue to be alright housing us at his place?" He then remembers a thing that Robert had told them in his disappointed in the twins. "Despite what Mona'd said, the bigger Marchant house makes it harder for people to actually get outside. In a smaller room, you don't have that far to go to reach the nearest door or window."


Lucas considers this and says "Shit we'll talk to Tai if we have to. Even if Robert throws us away," not out. Away. like their dads effectivly. The bottomless spite and bitterness assumed and not delved into Lucas goes on, "Valium and a self store facility. A trunk. If I'm unconscious I won't care jsut don't tell me before hand or after or...ever. But..." He sighs leaving his hand put maybe for Landon's sake but maybe for his. or both. "But it was a good plan and... fuck I'm not happy about being a pain in teh ass. I owe you guys." That's going to haunt him for a while. "So, let's just assume this at least worked. Being apart? That worked. Maybe as time goes on but I am looking forward to not losing my damn mind like I'm in a tunnel and I can't eat my way out of it before being consumed. It... " He's dwelling on it. He cuts his words short and rests his forehead agains thte back of the fuzzy headrest. "Drugs are stupid. Oh, and apparently via Mr. Chen there's something dealing with rare genetic traits in our DNA that makes us valuable to this woman. Her cult and her politics don't have to make sense. If I was going to explain it more than thatI'll sound insane. Short story is there's shit certain people are good at and she's recruiting people to be codependant on this stuff and it has a short addiction cycle before, like meth, it owns your ass."


"We'll keep going back to the Marchant house," Morrison says. "Theo will allow it. The media room makes a good room to do it in, and if we need to, we can get some sedatives for Lucas so it's not as hard on him next time." Because he's not above drugging the shit out of his brother to get him off drugs. What? "And if for some reason he kicks us out, we'll do it at the Lester house, because dad won't fight me on it and I won't tell him. We'll just use the downstairs rec room." Which is effectively like the Marchant media room, just with lower rent couches and a big flat screen instead of theatre seating and the latest electronics. When Lucas starts going on about Mr. Chen and genetic traits though he says, "Hold up... Mr. Chen, the guy from London Arms, knows all about this cult? And knows they're after people for.. their genes? But they're fucking them up with drugs.." Okay, his suspension of disbelief is really starting to suffer here.


Landon, as always, by Lucas' presence even if the concerns he holds is only slightly masked by this look of confidence that puts forth. "You're right. It was a great plan. The," He's right about to say vampires as that's the first thing on his mind right now, but he catches himself. "The gang might not want to split up. That doesn't mean they wouldn't've come for us, but seeing how much security we had compared to the Reeds? And how many of them," The 'wine' drinkers, "Were there? They did make themselves to be a huge target."

The topic of Mr. Chen is brought up and even Landon finds the old man to be a curious one. "Yeah, that's the one. The town historian." Clearing his throat, he carefully states, "Mr. Chen supposedly has information on this cult. Hell, he has information on all of our families! About our ancestors from Europe and how they..." Okay, this part is getting wonky, "had to work together to put a stop to the cult way back then."


Lucas sighs tacking in after 'town historian', "Is a dick that didn't tell the authorities." He lets Landon do the rest filling in monosyllabic support. "Mmhmm...Yup...and that...which is weird and why people on drugs should not be allowed to run cults." He isghs and murmurs to Morrison, "It doesn't have to make sense to us. That it makes sense to her is what matters. It doesn't even need to be true, it just has to be true enough to her for her to justify her actions." Sitting back up agains to get a deep breath and just stay chilled out he murmurs, "Five months man. We can do this and in time for it to not fuck up college. It'll be close though."


Morrison takes all of this in with a look on his face that is less than pleased, and a slight shake of his head. "We're going to go talk to your cousin about this. Because this shit just keeps getting weirder. But yes, if we have to, then we'll chain you to a wall once a month for half a year until you stop tweaking." He seems more than prepared to do just that if necessary.


Theo apparently caught the tail end of whatever that was as he looks over his shoulder to three coming inside. "Half a year? You're supposed to be going off to college in five months." Well, he only sounds mildly irritated today and.. is he not wearing a tie?! It's like seeing a zebra walk by without any stripes, it's just not supposed to happen. He still has on his vest, and French cuffs with cufflinks because he would probably die before giving those up, but it seems the tie is on vacation as well. He swirls the glass of bourbon in his hand before taking a sip, shooting a flat look over the edge of the glass.


"Locking us up in a room is just fine." Landon starts to say, more in defense of his own brother, "No need to tie us up." Though Lucas' anxiety would be flared up from both options. And then comes Theo and the twins' posture straightens a touch, despite how crappy they still feel until nightfall. "That's what we're told." It's hard to touch on this other part without it sounding terrible fantastical and something only kids would believe. "Anyway, um.. the Painkiller cult might have," mortal, "people assisting them, doing their day-to-day activities since the rest of the cult are nocturnal." That's the ticket! "And do most of their business at night. So got us thinking." And here he shares a look with Lucas, "Would be good to know about who else is helping them. Maybe keeping tabs on us or... running their business," In the daytime hours. "Who is helping to support them. If we find that out, maybe we can do something about it."


Lucas trudges in shoulder to shoulder with Landon. He stops and his eyes don't focus on Theodore but the glass in his hand. It's telling. Quietly he says, tired, hoarse, "And we'll be going. Come hell or whatever we're going." There's a pause and hiss weight shifts to one foot having him bump Landon's arm maybe in the casual lookit or not. He promptly stops wobbling as fidgeting is a weakness. THey know better. "Hey, um, thanks for what you did for us last night and... all, Theodore. Sorry for this being a pain in the ass." They don't swear in front of the family hierarchy. OFten. Theodore also doesn't drink. Often. Looking to Landon he nods in agreement.


"Five months," Morrison says, "Almost half a year," in answer to Theo as they come walking in. Usually he just drops the twins off and leaves. That's been his usual M.O. during this whole endeavor, but since they're still discussing what's going on and he didn't feel like sitting in the driveway, he came in with them. Someone would eventually probably kick the Lester out for bringing down the property values but until then, he didn't seem to be going anywhere. "The only thing we need to be doing is keeping you two safe, and off the shit you're hooked on. Leave investigating crazy ass cults to the cops."


Theodore is also not on vacation often. The man is a workaholic and no doubt he has no idea what to do with himself, and while a nightcap isn't uncommon for him, bourbon before the sun is even down is.. not. That flat and generally displeased look is perfectly in working order though. "Good, you better be." More and more he's taken the twins as his own personal project and he'll be damned if that goes to hell. Though the mention of investigating gets an arched brow from him. "Isn't investigating that damned cult how you got into this mess in the first place? Do I have to put Tanner on you to tail you when Morrison can't?" There's a genuine note of worry in his tone. Buried deep, but for those that know him it can be picked out. He pinches the bridge of his nose with his free hand and sighs.


"I didn't say that we were gonna do it." Landon protests when the adults in the room shoot the idea down, "I'm just saying someone /should/ do it. They've had uh... servants, possibly people who want to join into the cult who would care for them and tend to their needs. If we know who in the community those people are, we might be able to use them against the cult." He's trying not to sound overly excitable about this whole thing, though he does his best to refrain from fidgeting as well. He was exhausted and if he had difficulty sleeping in the past, since his addiction, things have been worse. "We have to find a cop who is willing to listen." He then adds, almost reluctantly, "Mr. Silvio Bloomquist our newspaper mentor was there when the Reed house was attacked. Could try to convince him to talk to the police."


Lucas holds up both hands, swaying slightly but they've had a long day, "First, no....outsource this...." They're doing that thing again making anyone trying to maintain eyecontact dizzy just by listening. He doesn't ask though but push-shoves Landon gently towards the nearest place to sit. Aww isn't that thoughtflu? Or maybe it's to kic his feet up and have ahuman pillow. Nearly all of his motives are self-beneficial. He was raised well. "-If the police will listen to him." He looks up and around curious, "Should see if Mona and Zane are back yet." He finds himself a seat. "So the historian, Mr. Chen at london Arms, turns out to have been doing some research since we last ran into him. Now why he's not told the police? I don't..." It makes him draw a deep breath. "Why are old grown ups so fast to dismiss actual problems or sit and do nothing about them?"


"Yes, he should go and talk to the cops. And there's a detective I met that I can put him in touch with," Morrison says, which is surprising perhaps since Lesters aren't real fond of the cops. But Morrison doesn't want to deal with them -- he just wants someone else to deal with them and let them do their jobs. He has no interest in chasing after cults or trying to rescue the twins from taking on a whole cult.


"If father hasn't set about completely destroying him for letting you two do that investigation in the first place. He did threaten that, remember." And if there's one person in town Theo thinks is fully capable of destroying someone's reputation, it's his father. "And I doubt Chief Thistle is listening to her family among your number? You can't tell me there aren't Thistles involved, there's always Thistles involved." He squints slightly. "David Chen? For Christ's sake.." There's a shake of his head but he doesn't go any further on that topic. "Tell him to talk to Detective Cross, and that I suggested it. That's the detective looking into Brenda's disappearance, and maybe the police will think the two are linked a look a little harder if the tip off comes via myself."


"I'm not sure if Mr. Bloomquist needs any help with that," Landon says of the advice columnist's reputation and unreliability, "But he was there during that attack, so he'll have the other kids to back him up." Though when Captain Thistle is brought up, he can't help but lift a hand to scratch at his chin, "I know that Silver said she spoke to to grandmother already. As the cops didn't show up at the Reed's or anywhere, not sure if anything came of it, but!" And he adds emphasis here, "Now maybe after the Reed house was attacked, maybe they'll listen." He has his doubts for whatever reason.

On Mr. Chen, he brings up the point again, "As for Mr. Chen, he said it was dangerous if the cult knew he was telling us this. But as he'd said before, all five of the family's affected by this now," And he runs them down out loud, now that they have a better picture of it, "The Marchants, Lesters, Bloomquists, Thistle and Freelands, they'd banded together and put a stop to this cult before and for whatever reason, Francine," He uses the woman's full first name, "Thinks that she needs us, the descendants of those five families to do..." There's a lift of his shoulders, "Whatever crazy thing she wants to do. That's why she's after us."


Lucas blinks looking up trying not to be a little hopeful there, "He'd destroy Mr. Silvio for hurting his assets?" He looks to Landon with a shrug." Back to Theodore he squints and confirms with that him of disappointment, "Silver Thistle was afflicted with the three of us on that investigation. The rest were all at that party." Also not shocking as Silver seems to be a perminant recurrin dramatic persona in the twins' social circle. "But, she already told her grandmother and got pat on teh head. And Silver had evidence that I remember." The rest? He doesn't want to remember. At all.


"Dad has likely crushed quite a bit more than one newspaper reporter to protect his assets." Theo's tone hints at perhaps knowing a bit of that, but just hints. It's perhaps odd where Theo draws his lines of belief and disbelief, but those five families working together to crush some cult obvious beggars belief. He just shakes his head and sets his drink aside on a corner table. "With them actually attacking the Reed house though.. might be enough to finally get some to take this threat of yours more seriously, but not if the lot of you keep spouting Chen's nonsense. What have I told you about negotiation? What you hold back is just as important as what you share."


When it seems that the adults make light of what some crazy old Asian man had said, Landon nods slowly, his mind trying to come up with other ideas. "I hope you're right about the police listening because the Reeds were attacked. There were a lot of witnesses there. Mona and Jade can fill us in with further details. Especially since this might continue for another five months unfortunately."


Lucas listens, not afraid, really, but inspired. Hey he's been practicing on his classmates. Tiredly he's careful to inform not protest to Theodore with his fingers elevated off his forehead for a moment, "Look I'm filtering out a lot of the parts that do not actually make sense. That's the rule right? Present your argument withthe evidence you think your target can handle? Well," he pauses and sighs, "Cousin, we are trying here. This is an unreasonable situation. It's threatening to us, a burend to you both and the family and we are trying to unweave our thread from this quilt without breaking it." He pauses and looks to Landon admitting, "I read ahead in some of our English Lit homework." Not his metaphor, sadly. "You rather we not give you all the data we're getting to sift through it"


"Even filtered it strains credulity. We adults that you like to complain about so much don't like it when the world doesn't make sense. Part of being an adult is feeling like you have control, and when it's pointed out you don't.. well.." He waves a hand slightly. "Let's just say that's also an excellent negotiating tactic. Throws people off balance, makes them defensive, and sloppy." He steeples his fingers in front of him and leans back in the chair. "My suggestion for now is to stay out of things, keep your noses clean, build your reputation back up with your uncle. Morrison and I will do what we can at our ends, but in some ways there /must/ be business as usual."


Landon would have things to say about this, but he stills his tongue and obediently nods. "This whole mess isn't preventing us from doing what we normally do," Aside from taking the day off from school today... "We'll meet our obligations, ace our tests. The only thing that it does hinder is our afterschool extracurricular activities and actually doing some of the footwork for the school paper." They are mostly editors anyway. Breathing in a heavy breath, he follows up with, "So during each full moon we see whether Uncle Robert allows us to bunker down here or else we take shelter in the Lester basement. And we just keep doing what we're doing." He then quickly adds, "You might want to speak to Mr. Bloomquist. See what information he's got to pass on and what he'd witnessed over at that side of things. Maybe he'll see about printing about it in the paper. That will drum up interest."


Lucas tips over on the couch and sprawls a bit putting his head back on Landon's leg for a human pillow. There's the other half of that caretaking where he gets something out of it. Win win. He could argue, but he's taking notes on how to win from someone far more experienced at it than they are.

Feeling the tension he cracks an eye, "It might not be fair but he's not wrong. It's letting us know the rules of the game so we can use em to win." It might be good he decided to switch his vocation. Drawing a deep breath he murmurs, "If he published what Mona and Dev-Jaden saw? They're going to take that man's job. Even with injuries." There's a long pause and he says inspired, "I think we need to get Spear a video camera." Looking to Theodore and MOrrison and back to theodore he says exhausted but curious, "Evidence helps right?"


"I have never found a ponderosity of evidence to be a bad thing. Unless it's evidence against me." Theo reaches for his drink, wrinling his nose as he finds it empty and instead goes to the liquor cabinet to top it off. "I never intend for my advice not to help you. You may not always like what I am saying, but I am always trying to keep your best interests in mind." He smiles ever so slightly. "Lawyer's duty. We may be assholes, but our advice is always meant to help."


"Just Spear?" Landon asks with a raised brow, a glance cast down at Lucas when his brother rests his head upon his lap. "I think we need to give the entire newspaper team cameras." That's when his eyes narrow now, "Silver never goes anywhere without one." His posture shifts, but he doesn't get up. Lucas' head is like a cat on his lap! He's only idly looking to where the phone is located, "We can check and see if she did get pictures. And whether her flash worked or not. Is she did, we wait for them to be developed. But you're right a camcorder would also come in handy." He knows that they promised not to go snooping, but they had a whole newspaper team that probably will.

Regarding Silvio, however, he states, "You mean what he, Mona and Jaden saw. Remember, Mr. Bloomquist was there too." The only adult to have seen... which doesn't help due to the man's reputation of. "We should probably speak to Mr. Bloomquist. And the others. And if he reports anything, I'm sure it'll be gang related." Because why not?? Though these words hint that it may be something else, but then again they've thrown around the world cult. "But it will bring it up to everyone's attention now."


Lucas cats. Inertly. He's too comfy. Mail will need to be rerouted to this couch. He watches Theodore processing what's said, and then up to Landon. "Point. All of the staff. We can call her and get that information." He pauses and says, "Pretty damn sure Mr. Bloomquist will let the news team use all the all the film we want prolly." Not...incorrect.

He stays silent and for a time safe having all of the things he needs fixed where he can find them. Damn compulsion tried to make him run out. He never for the rest of his life wanted to do that to Landon again. Ever.

"Hey, Theodore? Can we... talk about that later?" He's spoken about it to Landon but has been bandying it around in his head for a day. "Been thinking about changing off going to school for business finance. Maybe sometime after dinner this week we can talk about college career path? Could use your advice on that."


Theo watches the pair in silence for a moment as he holds his drink by his chest. "Making calls and trying to guide things from the safety of the manor doesn't seem like a completely horrible thing to try your hand at. If anything it's good practice, just don't go out chasing things." His attention fixes on Lucas for a moment. "Well, I can tell you from personal experience, there is a narrow category of majors your uncle would approve of, but.. just don't say theater and I'll see what strings I can pull. If I have any pull left." He looks sourly down at his drink. "I need to make some phonecalls, we'll talk after dinner."


Giving people orders sounds about right for what they do and here Landon murmurs to Lucas in a passing thought, "Influence, see. That's what our family has a ton of." He's talking about these family traits that Chen brought up and wellll, some of the family share that anyway. The Triplets seem far more happy-go-lucky that anyone's boss. This does come to mind when Theo brings up the whole theater thing. But money talks.

"Thanks for the talk, Theodore." Landon calls out to their cousin as he still works to piece things together on how to approach their problem. It's only once Theo leaves and Morrison as well that Landon will say, "We're going to need to amp out the direness of our situation. I didn't want to throw Amy under the bus, not with Morrison around, about fighting one of those things. But she said some of them were scared of her. So that's a thing."


Lucas blinks and looks to Theodore and there's a trace grin he's trying to bury when their cousin tries to bring up theatre. Uhhh no. An eyebrow arches and he looks to Landon first and then back to Theodore, "Nah, zero worries there. I'll bring notes." Never make a choice without being able to back it up right? He watches Theo leave but doesn't get up.

When Theo leaves he says, "It's hers to tell him for now. We should... talk to Amy first before we do that though. And Georgia." There's the sigh, "You saw what They did... They're afraid of Amy. That might ac tually make her a target. People do dumb things when they're afraid." Rolling to his back, fingers resting in his sternum drumming thenm he asks, "I think... I think I really ant to switch over to contract law. Before you remind me how hot I am on graduating I think... " He's tired of other people making the rules. "I don't like this feeling Lan. I wnat to make the rules or use them to win." He'd be a shit point guard if he wasn't always sharking the big W. He watches his twin's face for the unspoken opinion. "And I can use that to help us get what we want so people can't take it." Taking a deep breath he wonders, "Wish we could see that binding agreement thing and have Theo peel through it."


"Would there be an actual contract?" Landon asks, curious about this now. "I mean, this is some pretty ancient shit, but... even in ye olden times did they write contracts of sorts." Letting out a heavy sigh, he murmurs, "If they think that Mr. Chen is feeding crazy to us, then they might not let us go and meet with him. However, if anyone knows about the contract and where to find it, IF it exists, it'd be him." While he has doubts, he'll still say, "It might be at the museum. Or maybe it's the evil stone. Could be anything, Lucas."

He will add, "I agree though. I mean, there are rumors that even the Devil makes deals right?" He will murmurs, "You don't hear about that much from the other team." Heaven. "We'll talk with Amy and George and Lennon. Morrison might just lock THEM up in the Lester basement if he can't bring them here."


Lucas points out listening, "Well Amy and George are clean. Not that you're wrong, just that it's a thing." As far as does he think there's a contract he smiles tiredly, "There's rules. Rules are written down. even if it's not a Faust paper contract? There's something. They didn't go up to him and say get in the rock cause we said so and he didn't just go 'well, yeah I guess that's fair. Gimme ten miles tho?" "Eeeeh sure" He blinks letting the concept marinate. Yawning, he mentions, "The way to protect loopholes in the contract is to not let anyone see the actual rules so they cannot find it" His pale face squnches up. "Nap?" he wants a damn name. It's three hours until damn dark. "I can't think anymore half awake." Is he going to move to do this? Okay he's gonna move. Too bright down here. "Let's go sack out and rest up and see what we come up with and maybe? maybe in the gaps between they'll leave us alone. I'm going to go with caution and say I doubt it. Bet Esme can draft us a calender." The implication being Landon can ask her. Alway arming him with opportunitythere. In case.