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worthington

The Interview (Part Three)

Posted by pan_left on 2006.01.25 at 23:47
Mark returns the look with one that clearly reads. “What did I do?”



“I'm afraid we may have to cut this interview short- nothing personal, I assure you—“ Worthington starts, but Mark cuts him off,

“What government piece.” Warren looks at him, clearly annoyed at being interrupted, but humoring the filmmaker after casting a glance at the camera to ensure the absence of the red light.s

“An expose I had a few of my people run when I came across a few non-disclosure cases the government used to cover up issues of mutant discrimination and assaults. The information was released to the press in the past, but the government paid them off not to run the piece. All of the papers accepted the bribe, and continued to publish anti-mutant sentiments as the government dictated.”

Mark knows he’s not welcome any longer. Packing his stuff he heads for the door. “So tell me, are the pictures real?”

Worthington clenches his hands, and then holds one up. It seems as though he’s come to some sort of internal decision. “Hold on. Let's continue.”

Mark turns around and nearly drops his tripod. “What?”

Worthington now seems to be talking to himself. “I'm not going to just hide from this.” He looks back up at Mark and gestures for him to sit back down. “Let's continue the interview, and I encourage you to bring up the pictures incase they're released.”

“Alright.” He resumes his seat and pulls the camera back out. “Where would you like to start?” He can sense that whatever Worthington has to say will be a breakthrough for them both.

Worthington shrugs, still lost in self-reflection. “Wherever you see fit.”

Mark gives him a half smile and turns the camera on, this time forgoing the tripod for one of his signature hand-held shots. “Close-up on Warren Worthington the Third, Heir to the Worthington fortune. Mr. Worthington, what do you have to say about the allegations that you're part of the Mutant Community?”

Worthington adjusts himself to sit up a little straighter, his public-enchanting smile replaced by a clenched jaw and clearly displeased glare. “I find it a surprisingly new low for the media. The accusation and the truth or falsity notwithstanding, the news has no place in the private lives of anyone. I find it outrageous and offensive that something like this would be released with the sheer intent of discrediting me with something that is completely irrelevant to my work.”

Maybe it’s the feeling of the camera in his hands, but Mark feels something as he films this. “But this has occurred in our society before, don't you think? This happened in the mid 90s with the AIDS crisis. People were being accused of carrying a supposedly airborne disease, which with further research was found to only be transferable through very few sources. Both your associates, Dr. McCoy and Dr. Grey, have compared AIDS to Mutation. Do you agree?”

“I agree in the effects it has the society around it, more in the social than health implications. Both are being used as a device for fear by the government and news agencies, in order to bend the public to their will, depending on who they like from week to week.”

“Do you feel that its right for you to be called a mutant because of the friends you keep?”

“Not at all. It's rather ridiculous.”

“Its been speculated that if you had a mutation it would have developed because of your relationship with Jean Grey”

“Mutation cannot 'develop' by interacting with someone any more than you can get blue eyes by looking at a blue-eyed person. It's genetically impossible. Mutation is caused by a gene that is either present at birth, or not. People have no choice in it.”

Mark smiles. “I see you've committed a lot to the research of this topic.”

Worthington shakes his head. “All the knowledge I've expressed so far is easily attainable by anyone who wants to know the truth of the subject. It's just not very well publicized.”

“Have you read Xavier's Theory of Evolution?” Mark says, recalling the large red book Collins left on their kitchen counter a few weeks prior.

“I can't say I'm very familiar with it.”

Mark is surprised. “Its a re-examination of Darwin's theory to include the new research about Homo Sapien Superior. Dr. McCoy is listed as a contributor as well as Dr. Grey, I'm surprised that you haven't heard of it.”

Worthington backtracks. “I didn't say I haven't heard of it. I'm just not incredibly familiar with it.”

“I'm sorry, I just assumed that being such an advocate on the topic that you would have read what is called the most important essay on this topic.”

Worthington levels Mark with a fierce glare, and Mark wonder how many business have balked under that look. “You seem rather interested in the subject yourself, Mr. Cohen ”

“I just know that when something catches my interest, I read everything I can get my hands on, positive and negative. And please, call me Mark, Mr. Cohen is my father.”

Worthington is still looking directly at him, and not at the camera. “Well, Mark,” he says. ”What's your take on the current mutant uprising? You've expressed your interest and involvement in other issues. ”

"I don't know much, just what my friend has told me. I do understand that it's DNA passed on or evolved. I know it's not contagious and very rarely effects more than someone's outward appearence--“ he pauses. “I understand that people are afraid of 'mutants' walking though walls or killing them with a look, but I don't find them anymore threatening than if they had a gun or a heroine needle."

Worthington nods at him to continue.

“If you're asking if you know the science behind it, or the theories, I don't. I'm just a filmmaker. I understand that everyday, some kid wakes up different, having changed into something they can't control, but I guess...I guess it's like having a big banner saying I'm GAY superglued to you so you can never hide it.”

“Another 'Big Bad' that has a nasty habit of just showing up on people's doorsteps.” Worthington murmurs.

This boils Mark’s blood as images of Angel flicker behind his eyes. “Being Gay shouldn't change anything.”

“It changes your sexual prefrence. Or at least brings it out to air.”

Mark shakes his head. “I live in the East Village, in Alphabet City. Everyone is gay.”

Worthington smiles at him coyly. “ I grew up in London. Everyone was closeted.”

“That's what my friend, Collins, always says.” Mark starts before he can stop himself. “ He was going to move there before---“ he stops short, lost in a sudden tidal wave of memories.

“Before...?” prompts Worthington.

He’s not even really aware of what he’s saying. “Before he met the love of his life right here...”

“How fortunate for him.”

“It was. When they met, he had just been mugged and was bleeding to death in some alleyway---“ he smiles again and shakes his head slightly. “But we’re getting off topic. Where were we?”

“I'm not entirely sure.” he pauses. “ We were discussing the so-called 'photographs’.”

“Right. The one this I noticed was how personal they looked. I mean it would be one thing to show an image of you at a press conference, but these...”

“Well I suppose if you're going to launch an attack on someone you should do it on as much of a personal and convincing level as possible. if if it were to show me at a press conference, people would hardly believe them as much as they would with these candid shots.”

“So are these actually your personal photos?”

Worthington nods.

“So this isn't only an attack on your image, but on your privacy as well.” Mark says.

“As I said, I find this appaling and offensive.”

“Who do you think could have gotten a hold of such private property?”

“Unfortunatly I would assume it was someone close to me, and I assure you I will find them. I have no doubt in that.” He says, leaning ever so slightly closer to the camera.

“Will you press charges?”

“Yes, heavily. Not only against whoever submitted and manipulated these photos, but against the media that runs them. Consider that my public statement on the matter.”

“Do you feel that it was ever a mistake to make your relationships with Dr. McCoy and Dr. Grey public?”

“It was not entirely my choice to make the matters public. As you've witnessed, the media seems to have its nose in all aspects of my personal and professional life. I do not regret it though, both of them are talented, intelligent individuals that I'm proud to call friends.”

Mark turns the camera off. “Alright, I think I have enough.”

Worthington smiles. "I'm glad.” He buttons his suit jacket as he stands, faltering slightly, which forces him to quickly put a hand down on the desk infront of him with a small grimace. He recovers quickly and makes to move round the desk to shake Mark's hand. "Thank you."

Mark, use to people collapsing around him, rushes to close the space between them and lend a hand. "Are you alright?"

Worthington tries to stand. “Yes, I'm fine, is there anything else you need for your piece?"

“I don't think so. I have to tell you, you're one of the more eloquent interviews I've had the 'pleasure' of doing while at Buzzline.”

”Thank you. Well you have my number, feel free to call if there's anything else.” He gestures to the door with an arm which only raises about 45 degrees from his side.

Mark looks at him suspiciously. "Are you sure you're alright, I have some extra-strength Advil in my bag.”

“No- thank you.” Worthington insists. “ I appreciate the concern, but I'm just a little stiff from sitting for most of the the day. Would you like to so you the way out?"

'No, I think I can find it." He turns to leave again, checking his watch. "I hate to ask again, but can I use your phone?"

“Yes of course." Worthington extends the phone having turned his whole body to the side instead of turning his shoulder.

Mark says nothing and dials the loft again, hoping this time they will pick up. Once again it rings through to the answering machine. “Hey Collins, it's me. I finished up here earlier than I expected. If you still want to swing by the cemetary and put fresh roses on the grave, I should be there to come with you in 40 minutes. Roger, if you're there, LEAVE, or you'll be late. And Mimi make sure you call your mother...” he trails off and hangs up the phone, handing it back. “I really should get myself one of those.”

“Wait until it's buzzing every three minutes. Do you need a ride anywhere?” Mark is taken aback by the offer.

“No, I was just going to bike back to the Lower East Side...”

“Are you sure? ” Worthington suddenly pauses to consider something. ”Mr. Cohen--- Mark, I have a proposition for you.” he pauses again. “How attacheded are you to working at Buzzline?”

“About as attached as someone is to a leech sucking thier blood. I do it to pay the rent.”

“Excellent!” Worthington says. "Well," he walks back over to his desk, opening a locked drawer and pulling out two pieces of paper and a pen, pushing them towards Mark. "I'd like you to make me a documentary.”

Mark blinks. “A...what?” followed by, “But you haven’t seen my work!”

“A documentary.” Worthington repeats. “I've been a part of your work and that's enough for me as it stands. It's you interests and viewpoint that caught my attention.” He gestures towards the papers again. “If you're interested, I can have you working for me within the hour.”

“What would I be making it on?”

“I would pay you to make an expose on the governments exploitation of mutants. If I'm pleased with it, I'll give you all the funding you need to make and market a documentary on the impact of Aids in our society. And of course, I'll pay you for your work. ”

“I--um should call my lawyer.” Mark stutters, dazed.

“Feel free.”

“She works around here...in Coporate America.”

“Perhaps you would like to read the terms of your empolyment?" Worthington suggests, pushing the documents towards Mark.

”Yes, reading good. I should call Joanne.” Mark says again.

“Ah, well I'm sorry to tell you this, but if you agree, I'll be providing you with a new lawyer.”

“Oh, that's okay, I don't pay her. ”

Worthington smiles, obviously amused, “Would you like to call her from my office, to save everyone the trip by her coming here?"

“This isn't your office...?”

“No, not at all. This is one of our private boardrooms. This way please.” Worthington opens the door and herds Mark out into the expansive hall and down to the very end, where there is large wooden door with a gold plate baring his name. ”My office.” he says, gesturing as he opens the door to reveal a space slightly bigger than Mark's loft, with a large ornate desk, backed by a wall full of bay windows overlooking the city, and contemporary art pieces lining the actual walls, along with a few tasteful marble statues...

To Be Continued…

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