Adapt Or Die


bella_icon.gif bao-wei_icon.gif harper_icon.gif

Scene Title Adapt or Die
Synopsis Coming to collect Bella Sheridan's retro-virus for the Institute, Desmond Harper also drops off some bad news for Doctor Cong.
Date July 4, 2010

Staten Island Hospital

It has only half of a day since Bao-Wei Cong's run-in with an old face; he had since left Ling to the control of others, preferring to move onward with the reason that he had ventured back to the skeleton clinic in the first place. He has been able to transfer his personal project- so to speak- into a new containment unit at the Institute hospital. The sheer amount of raw information that came with Song Ye to the labs there has been extremely helpful- possibly as Cong's research with her was uninfluenced by outside sources- back then, he was able to look at the gene objectively. An outside eye, completely without the new inclinations of this one. The corpse- Song Ye herself- rests in eternal silence inside of her new unit, frozen. Though her cranium has a telltale, wire thin line around it, otherwise she seems nearly untouched. Perhaps he respected that much-

Or perhaps Cong is simply an excellent mortician.

Bao-Wei has shut himself inside of the lab she resides in for some short spans of time during the day, in and out. He has been carting the various failed serums from point to point- making new ones- continuous- each variant being put to a new use with the old information that he has brought in from his research with Song. No doubt, he intends to test them tonight.

Bella has noticed the, uh, new arrival. There wasn't exactly fanfare, but it was a significant acquisition and Dr. Cong's fixation could not help to draw Dr. Sheridan's attention. She's had enough to keep her occupied and out of Bao's hair for the first while, but as soon as she is able to grab a spare moment, curiosity prevails. She coasts down the hallways towards the point of Bao's inevitable return, and when she arrives at the door, she delivers a quick series of knocks. Protocol to be strictly observed, a mediation for her relations with Bao-Wei, something she considers a safety net.

"Come in." Granted, Doctor Cong is in a good mood. This is likely why he is suddenly being so very welcoming to complete strangers behind doors. Though he has no such ability to tell, he has already guessed it to either be one of the techs he has sent out, or one of his primary colleagues.

Song's stasis has her attached to the left wall; his main workspace just so happens to be nearby.

Bella steps into the room, glancing about it quickly to locate everything of interest, mostly being the Doctor, his work, and his recent acquisition. All are conveniently clustered. "Thank you," Bella says, closing the door behind her as she moves into the lab, skirting a table but otherwise making a direct line to this convergence. She turns to face the stasis cell, regarding it with her cool gaze.

"Who is she?" is her first question. Of course. Bella's a people person.

Bao-Wei's answer is inrerrupted by an uninvited guest pushing the door to the lab open just behind Bella's wake.Neither fish nor fowl, Desmond Harper's presence in the treshold of the lab is an unfamiliar one. Short and dark hair is swept forward down his brow, a fitted black jacket lies unbuttoned, an inky shade darker than his gray clothing. A blue light emits from an LED on his earpiece headset, and Harper's attentive stare is focused not on the back of Bella Sheridan, but across the laboratory at Doctor Cong.

"There you are," Desmond notes with a flash of a smile and arms held out, as if welcoming an old friend from a long trip. "Doctor Cong," he proceeds to enunciate, marching right past Bella with a click of his heels on the tiled floor, pace hastened and brows knit. "You know I was looking all over the Hospital for you, I'm not much of an intercom kind've guy, too impersonal, too embarrassing. It'd be like being called down to the Principal's office in High School."

Pausing halfway between Bella and Bao-Wei, Harper stops with a rustle of his long jacket and turns to offer a look over his shoulder to Bella, as if he only just noticed her. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" Harper turns around, offering a look to Bao-Wei. "I'm interrupting."

Of course that is what she wanted to know. He figured as much when she strode so boldly in, watching her over one shoulder. "She is-"

But, no such answers for Bella quite yet. Instead, the insertion of Desmond Harper into the otherwise sterile and inanimate lab provides both of them with a distraction in the clearest sense of the word. It is much like tossing a chattering monkey into the quiet serenity of an aquarium. Squawk, squawk- and all the fish do is stare at it.

"I don't think that I like you." Cong intones, glancing past Harper towards Bella and back again, eyes sharpening and looking him over carefully. "What is it?"

Smiling in a way that implies sarcastic intention, Harper holds his arms out expecting a hug, then lets his hands fall to his side as Bella makes her hasty exit, looking over his shoulder to catch the silhouette of the redhead slipping out of the laboratory door. Grimacing, Harper turns to look back to Bao-Wei, taking slow and meandering strides over towards where the doctor is working. "I actually got sent here by Doctor Luis," Harper offers that up with a bow of his head into a nod.

"We got the test results back from your, uh, I guess clinical trials would be sort've pushing the envelope on what is science and what is creative manslaughter…" Lifting a hand up to rub fingers across his brow, Harper looks down to one of the lab tables, then up to Bao-Wei.

"You need to stop," is the last thing Bao-Wei wants to hear from Harper's smirking mouth. "Whatever line of testing you're doing? It's over. It's not a request, or a suggestion, it's an order. You're getting nowhere with the formula you're working on, and frankly you're starting to burn thorugh human resources." Literally.

"Doctor Luis wants you to start over, from scratch, with Doctor Gregor assisting. He's the closest link we have to functioning SLC synthesis right now and what you've got… the retro-virus Sheridan made is great, and I'm bringing that back to the central labs this weekend. But… this?" Harper motions around the lab. "Scrap it, Cong."
Whatever it may be that Harper says after 'stop', Doctor Cong barely hears above the rushing of angry blood in his eardrums and the twisting knot of his little black heart in his throat. "I was brought in for the purpose of testing. To do whatever it took. Are you in these labs, every day? Slaving away? You have no idea what is really going on. I've seen your name on sign-offs for funding- equipment- but I will be damned if I have ever seen you down here doing the work." What begins as a hiss turns into a growl, Bao-Wei's voice becoming increasingly filled to the brim with what anyone would see as a threat.

"I've got the retroviral, I've got Gregor-" Bao-Wei jabs a paw towards Song, behind Harper in her containment. "And now I have her. I am nearly there, and you want for me to back down?" Never. Not from the singular thing that he has left to strive towards- his paranoia and raw, unrealized fear of dying does not help matters. Cong never seemed the type of man to take no for an answer- did Harper really expect this to go well?

Flashing a faint smile to Bao-Wei, Harper's head shakes slowly, hands folding behind his back. "I have a different job," he opines with a bit of sarcasm in his tone, "but I don't want anything. Luis wants results, Director Broome wants them faster than what you're producing. They're the ones who're shutting this," he gestures over to Song's cryonic containment case, "whole mess down and having you start over. Luis and Broome both think the Advent emulation route is a dead end. It didn't work for Doctor Meier and I don't think— outside of Sheridan's results — that you can cut it."

He doesn't think Bao-Wei can cut it.

"So, close this research down. You can keep your girlscicle, I figure no need to waste that. But this thing you're doing that is turning people into boneless taffy? It ends here, Luis suggests utilizing the augmentor we left with you in your next line of research. End of story."
"Do you all really think I am not? Not using an augmenter is sheer stupidity- after she was put with us I would be a fool not to-" He waves his hand at the air in front of himself, planting it palm down on the table if just so that he does not pop Desmond Harper in the teeth. Or perhaps he should.

"It did not work for Meier because she had barely half of what we have now. If Broome and Luis are so displeased, they can do better than to send a lapdog to me. I can 'cut it'- time is a variable that must be respected." Rome was not built in a day, in so many words.

"Woof woof," Harper emotes with a little paw-forward motion beneath his chin and a quirk of his head to the side. "Sorry Cong, but you either change gears like has been requested, or we cut you out of the research, and I don't think you'll much like our severance pay." Cracking a smile at that, Harper takes a slow, swaggering step back and glances around the lap, then lifts his brows and shrugs in a what can you do motion.

"It's your call, Cong. Adapt or die, it's all really kind've Darwinian concept, right? You should totally be able to hook your brain onto that." One hand comes up as Harper turns to offer his profile to Bao-Wei, waving that hand dismissively in farewell. "It isn't up for discussion, You had a good run with this but now you're trying something new."

Rather than say something anew, Doctor Cong seethes as Harper turns himself to seemingly go. He has been severed before. From his education- from his life- from the triad- the people he grew attached to ending up nothing more than disfigured skeletons and corpses in frozen bins. But this time- this time he cannot afford to be severed from this- this research and this hospital- the Institute.

Though he cannot allow himself to sever his hard work, either. He has to seem to cooperate in order to operate. Even then, he cannot do so for very long. He needs it yesterday- he needs the secret yesterday, before he finished off the last test subject he had in the wing.

"Adapt or die- it is the story of my life."

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