Becoming A Monster


bao-wei_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif

Scene Title Becoming A Monster
Synopsis In one month, Gillian Childs has been through a lot, including the sight of Bao-Wei Cong transforming into something very, very different.
Date July 12, 2010

Staten Island Hospital

Formerly known as Staten Island University Hospital, this facility is a two-campus, 785-bed former teaching hospital. Now the sprawling campus is patrolled by members of the Stillwater Solutions Private Military Company in accordance with their arrangements with the United States Government. The facility itself had been abandoned since the 2006 nuclear explosion on Manhattan when residents of the hospital along with staff were evacuated off of Staten Island. Today the hospital stands as renovated and fully operational, patched back in to the local power grid and ready for use. The many buildings of the Hospital campus are understaffed with only a handful of the actual buildings on the two campuses open and operational.

Access to the hospital is restricted to government personnel and the razorwire fencing surrounding the hospital has large signs warning that tresspassers into the hospital will be potentially met with lethal force. With violent crime as rampant as it is on Staten Island, warnings like this in government controlled areas are not surprising.

One Month Ago

"They told me about what you can do when they brought you in." Doctor Bao-Wei Cong has his eyes on the flat, crisp surface of a clipboard home to various papers; he faces the pane class of a holding cell. There are two women inside. One is Gillian Childs. The second is a woman a decade her senior, with bright hazel eyes and wheat colored hair. Cong, on the opposite side of the glass, lifts his eyes to examine both of them. "Miss Childs, this is miss Whitcomb. She can manipulate her body' keratin. I will make this as simple for you as possible. Do what we ask, and we will not have to force you to do it. The more you cooperate, the less hurtful it will be when we are through."

"I want you to use your ability on miss Whitcomb for as long as you can. She cannot hurt you." In the talk of useless powers, this is king- though when it comes to testing such things, invaluable.

The last few days have had a dramatic effect on the young woman. The augmentation of days before, and the addition of Amp into her bloodstream make her shiver in her holding cell, looking over at the woman who can't possibly harm her— Gillian shakes her head, though, dark hair falling into her eyes. "You already made me use my ability once and I'm not doing it again." An experiment that made her see something that's haunted the sleep she got in the days following.

"Go to hell," she growls under her breath, picturing the knot in the back of her mind that cuts off the flow of her ability. She moves away from the other woman as much as she can, pushed up against the wall as she looks toward the source of the voice.

Doctor Cong watches her move across the cell, watches Whitcomb wrap her arms around herself. He frowns, looking back over his shoulder to one of his aides and motioning for them to get inside. To make her cooperate. After, he turns back, deliberate voice into the microphone. "Did you not see the sign on the way in? We are already here. The building is even shaped like a swastika, so I doubt your mulish way of doing things will be well received."

The cell door opens a second later, admitting several men in white uniforms and facemasks. Two move for Gillian to subdue her, while the other readies a syringe of clear liquid. "Administer the adrenaline, we will get our results soon enough." Cong recites to the men inside.

"No, I didn't see the sign, because I was unconscious," Gillian yells back, moving away from the opening doors and the admited men, looking a little like a cornered cat about to get descended upon. She kicks against the grabbing hands, and scratches, fighting against the syringe that she doesn't recognize as much as she can, even letting out a yell or two, as she finally gets pushed against the wall, to give them access. "So I'm in a nazi camp, is that it? Explains a fucking lot," she yells, just before her voice is cut off with a yell, as the needle is buried into her skin. The clear fluid disappears into her body as the plunger is depressed. Her eyes roll up and she sinks down to the floor.

The men have enough time to get outside, before the knot in the back of her head completely untangles and energy starts pouring out. The glow springs up, a dark purple, around her hands, around her furious eyes, as her breathing goes nuts. It's as if she's suddenly running a race, or getting mugged, and everything is racing. The energy pours into the closest person that it can— Miss Whitcomb.

Three Weeks Ago

Gillian has not had an easy time of being here with the Institute doctors. Though her freedoms are not completely limited, they find themselves continually fighting with the young woman, no matter what. They cannot expect much else, yet somehow do. Today, Doctor Cong has her all to himself. So to speak. He has had her moved to a mostly empty lab, and hooked her to various monitors while she lies braced to a hospital bed. His coat is far from pristine, the wear and tear and blood spatter of the afternoon across hems and sleeves. His mask, however, is brand new, covering his face underneath of his mirror-like glasses.

"Today's test is not as difficult, and nowhere near as long. But it will certainly hurt more. Thanks for the warning.

"Wonderful. Just what I need, a lot of pain," Gillian says with a grumble under her breath as closes her eyes and consentrates on the knot. They've found many ways to get it to fall apart, and pain is always a good one, one that she knows they'll continue to abuse as long as they can… It's the easiest way. It's the way that has caused the most trouble…

"That woman isn't here today— what exactly are you planning on testing, Fat Man?" With no face, all she has to judge him by is his body and his coat. "Sorry. Doctor Fat Man."

"We are going to test if your augmentation loses power the longer you use it with no channel." What Cong learned long ago was to never make it personal- the same cannot be said for subjects or patients, and so in these terms he has simply developed a thick shell. "Perhaps you shall even build up. That is what we are planning on looking at." If anything, he has always been very honest about what they're putting her through. In some ways- most- it is a cold, cruel thing to know.

"How you gonna hurt me this time?" Gillian asks, as she tightens her jaw in preperation for what they will undoutably do to her— she knows it will hurt, that much he was honest and clear on, but different pains are different pains. She used to have tattoos all over most of her body, she's been mauled by dogs, she's been shot to the point she nearly died, twice, she's been electricuted…

"What if nothing happens? How will you even know I'm augmenting if there's no one around? I might manage to hold it all in. The more you do this the more I'm going to get used to it!" This is all tough talk, and she knows it.

By now, she knows the visual that comes with prepping an adrenaline shot. "We have ways of monitoring your energy output." Bao-Wei motions one hand to the various nodes stuck to her- and into her. "Steady electrocution- it should feel like being inside of a jellyfish, I would think…"

There is no fanfare when he preps an area of already bruised skin to administer the syringe.

Two Weeks Ago

There's tears running down her cheeks, despite herself. Gillian reaches up with her hands to wipe them away furiously, looking across the room toward the man. She's still conscious— this wasn't a test that would make her pass out, instead it's seeing how much energy she can expend without going unconscious. There's blood dripping down from her nose, and she's pale— she's not left her cell as so many others have been allowed, and instead has stubbornly chosen to remain with her own cell, refusing to speak with any of the other "prisoners".

"When I get out of this place… I'm going to fucking kill you." It's a threat she's made before, but it's not one she's likely to follow through on. Wrapping her arms around herself, she tries to retreat away. "You're a monster." And this is coming from someone who slept with one other people would call the same thing…

"You are not the first to want to." Though Doctor Cong has essentially finished his tests, he remains lingering outside of her cell even after shoving her in and slamming the door back against its frame. The electronic lock whirrs and clicks into place, putting Gillian alone inside of the cell. When the slat opens, it does show the mismatched eyes of one of her more constant tormentors.

"Though in time you may come to thank me. We shall see."

"If you're going to keep me here longer…" Gillian says quietly, as she tries to steady her breathing a bit. "I'd like a notepad and some pencils… I'm used to keep journals. If you really want me to thank you… then you'll do me that favor. All right, Doctor Fat Man?" This has been her nickname for him for some time, now, and it's not going away— perhaps if she knew his real name, she'd call him something else…

Then again, after what he's put her through, maybe not.

The Present

Doctor Cong did not come to Gillian for two weeks now, after that day he told her ward to give her some(safe to use) supplies. They will have no utensil violence. Eventually it will become the least of anyone's worries.

When he finally does appear, there is zero prelude. No technicians in to see to her, no aides to say that he is going to need her. By all means, when the door abruptly clicks and hisses in being freed from its lock- the call is unofficial. Completely off of the record. Though when Doctor Cong puts himself through the opening door to find the young woman drawing in that notebook- perhaps it is obvious as to why this is off the record.

He looks dead. Not in the sense that his little Grinch heart tells of- but physically. He is the shade of someone dead- a ghastly pallet of pale skin and white blotches. Some parts of his jaw seem bruised, blackened, the hollows of his eyes beginning to look skeletal. His hands are gloved, his coat over layer upon layer of clothing. As he moves, he sounds as if he is creaking- crackling- a light, brittle noise, snipping and snapping under his layers, under the gloves on his hands. As Bao-Wei enters so suddenly, he holds his breath.

When he is inside, it comes out of him as a sigh of air, and a crisp, foggy plume of air from his mouth and nose.

There's a jump from where Gillian scribbles in her notebook. It may as well be a crayon the softness of the utencil. Dark against the soft paper, the most she could do is poke someone, or give them a paper cut. She's never attempted to do any of that, perhaps the paper she's been given is the only thing she's actually afraid they might take away at this point. The face drawn into the page is a child's face, a cherub of sorts, young and chubby cheeked, with sad eyes. "What the— where are your drones?" she asks, pushing the piece of paper down so that the face isn't visible to him, the soft utencil laid down with it as she moves away. "You're Doctor Fat Man, aren't you?" It's different than she's used to having seen him, though, a lot different…

And not just because he looks like… hell frozen over.

"You know me so well." Bao-Wei makes sure the door is closed tightly behind him, glancing back, sharp-eyed, before turning them to her. On the lines of his face are those same blackened bits of skin, frosted with white. Literally.

"My drones are of no more use to me." He does not seem to want to look at her artwork, lips thinning, chapped, cracked, split and never a hint of blood. "But you, miss Childs, on the other hand- you remain of use to me." His voice's pitch is somewhat hollow as he speaks, a faint rasp from his throat.

"I'm not something you can just use," Gillian says, getting to her feet and moving away toward the edge of the room, not liking the look of him at all, but more than aware that something is very, very wrong with him… "What the fuck happened to you? When you tested me… You weren't Evolved. But now either you've been fucked with by an Evolved, or…"

Or something else has happened. "I'm not going to help you. I've already made that clear. You'll have to hurt me if you want me to do anything, cause you're not getting it any other way." Her stubborness is the source of almost all of her pain. The Great Buddha would have a lot to say about this.

Bao-Wei smiles. He hardly ever does. But like this- the bones of his teeth are visible through blue and black gums. It seems that he has either figured something out- or that possibly he is on his last nodes of reason. "I have new ways to make you comply. But it would help you to indulge my curiosity."

"Let's just say- there's a chance you could kill me, if you would try it on me. Would you take the chance?"

Of all the incentives he could have given… Gillian's eyebrows raise, and she stops moving away from him as she looks at his teeth, and the blue and black gums. It makes him look like something out of a zombie movie. "Well when you put it that way…" She says, before doing something she's yet to ever do since she got her— she unravels the knot willingly, opening up the flow of energy.

Touch may be stronger than range, but she pushes the energy at him from a distance, flooding him with it. Her eyes turn violet, rather than the dark purple that has shown up most of the time in their experiments.

Whatever Doctor Cong thought he was ready for, this wasn't it.

He may have spoken like it, but when the pain comes- it is not what he had hoped for. If anything, hoping it would make it increase so fast that whatever this was doing to him- would run its course and do it quickly. Bao-Wei snarls in immediate, almost doubling pain, the frozen fibers of his muscles growing colder and harder, his nerves at a constant vibration of reaction. One paw-like hand grasps at the chest of his coat. When he pitches back into the wall of his own accord, it seems to shake the air from his lungs. It comes out as a cloud of white. The air in the cell, so comfortable before, quickly dries, becoming the atmosphere of a freezer in more passing seconds. The moisture in the air virtually disappears, and reappears seconds later on Bao-Wei's visible skin; however, even under his gloves and sleeves, something seems to be straining against the fabric. Until that too, begins to freeze over.

One thing that took little time to learn was to never reveal your true weakness- and though the lack of glasses makes visible the pain on his face- he does not scream, yell- in fact his teeth are clamped shut in a grimace that only grows as his facial features become blackened with frostbite and tighten over his skull. He grunts once, pulling hard at the frozen sleeves and gloves. They give way more easily than he may have intended, and shatter over the floor. One arm, so frostbitten that parts of bone in his forearm show, clutches at the other. Those hints of bone are no longer getting whiter- they have gotten so bleached in color that they are beginning to be translucent, fogged. The other arm, in a similar state, seems to have worse luck soon enough.

The moisture from the air and the temperatures generated from inside him have not only made it damaged. It seems to have literally frozen in place, his fingers struggling to move, his joints there as rigid as metal pins.

When the room gets plunged into freezing temperatures, Gillian keeps her arms around her body to try and conserve warmth, but she can see her breath, and it's uncomfortable. But at the same time it's… a kind of revenge. For everything that he watched happen to her, everything he did to her himself. Electric shock. Adrenaline shots. All of it.

The flow of energy stays open, continuing to pour out of her, and she doesn't try to move away too much. "This is useful to you? What the fuck did you do to yourself? Is that what you're doing here? Trying to make abilities? Well, congratu-fucking-lations. You just made yourself a freak. A real monster. At least now you look on the outside how you do on the inside."

The only hint that Doctor Cong can hear her over the screaming and drilling in his head is when his skeletal eye sockets shift- one eye, the darker of the two, seems to have frozen shut, a layer of ice coasting over his face. The other, his left, seems untouched when its stark amber-hazel color finds her across the cell. In a way, he agrees with everything she says.

His right arm is nearly frozen solid now, growing into what it may look like if he had stuck it in dry ice and then frozen it in water. She can see the arm, only that it has covered most of itself in a hackneyed, weighty crust.

"Better than the pain of being a man-" Bao-Wei's own voice startles him; for the fact that it speaks, and for the fact that it now sounds grating and hollow on top of its growling. There is a spike in activity all of a sudden, and somewhat literally. The weight of his arm has been leaning his torso sideways- there is a pause before the spreading ice climbs outward, a construct clawing at the air moments before it pulls his limb to the ground. Though heavy, it has become brittle because of the sudden cold.

Thunk. Covered fist hits floor.

Crick, crick. Hairline fractures spider up his arm, reaching his elbow. Doctor Cong barely has time to register them. Next thing either of them know, the cracks expand into jagged splits, and the doctor's arm simply shatters into fist-sized pieces. On the plus side, it is not so heavy anymore.

Anyone else that Gillian might sympathy vomit— but with him, it's just a shocked look of surprise across her face, before she takes quick steps back. The more distance between the two of them, the less the energy pours into him. The less she pushes against it to make it flow heavier. It's still there, a gnawing flow of power, but it's not as strong, or as constant.

The disgust on her face is covered by a hand over her mouth, her eyes shifting away from the chunks of fist sized frozen flesh. It takes a few moments before she can speak, without feeling ill, her voice as cold as the room.

"You should go get that looked at."

That- That is not right at all. Doctor Cong looks puzzledly at his now weightless right elbow for what feels like a long time.

"No- come back-" But, he has no time to explain to her. While he still has that influence from Gillian, he will gladly take the chance to distract from his missing limb and test something else. Unabashed, he grabs up the biggest piece of his frozen forearm, a look in his eye that becomes increasingly strained, his frozen mouth gritting once. As he holds onto it, the ice begins to subside from the piece of him- into his other hand. Frost shimmers its way up his arm, as he not only drains the ice, but whatever fluids had been inside of his flesh. Redness tints the ice in his hand. Like a madman with a dropped purse, he gathers up the rest of the pieces, leaving Gillian to watch.

With each piece he takes back, inches of ice freeze into place where the raw, frostbitten stump of elbow is. The form it is making is that of a new limb, however jagged looking or potentially crab-like.

The move he works on fixing himself, the move Gillian moves away, until she's pressed against the cold window that people would once watch her through. Spinning, she slams her first against it, "Help!! Someone get me the fuck out of here!" she yells, punching at it though her fists take more damage than the windows ever would be able to. The flow of energy continues, less focused and more dispersed, but still there to help him piece his arm back together into a grotesque shape.

"Someone help me! Fucking let me out of here!" This isn't the first time she's done such a thing, her hands have been bruised and bleeding from punching the wall and door and mirrored window, but this time she just wants out of the room.

"There is nobody down here." Bao-Wei's voice rumbles and croaks behind her. "Not a soul. Save for the others- like you." There is a loud scraping sound next, as he shifts to step closer. The arm he has tried to form looks more like a stalagmite, with the faint lumps of fingers curled into a fist.

"I shall have to tell Bella to stop her work- I do not think this is killing me." Doctor Cong says this dully at first, stifling a somewhat mad little chuckle. His black lips twitch up under sunken cheeks and hollowed eyes. "Much the opposite." As if Gillian wants to know all of this.

"You're insane," Gillian says, looking back at him finaly, only to look away again. The arm looks like something out of a science fiction film, or an alien movie. Disgusting and horrifying all at once. And so very cold. The breath collects in small clouds in front of her mouth as she exhales, "I hope your fucking head falls off next. Then we'll see if you can put that back on." Bella. Their work— in many ways, she probably hopes it will kill him…

At least now she has something to draw with her crayons.

A monstereous humanoid made of frost, with strange eyes, and a crab-like arm.

"Get out," she adds on, finally wrapping up the flow of energy, in an attempt to deny him what he wanted. When it seemed to hurt him, she liked it, but as he drinks it in, she doesn't want to give it to him.

"Possibly." His answer is as ominous as his voice, even as her amplification subsides. "Perhaps I shall see you again." And if that is going to happen, he will have to be as reasonable as he can. When he lifts his new hand, it is with a small heft of his shoulder, the form coming into more of a limb shape. The weighted, scraping noises that accompany his walking towards the door are strange all by themselves. His gait is off-center, and the ice under his frozen clothing clicks and cracks. When the door opens, the hot air meets him and fogs both the cell and the hall outside. A glance back at Gillian offers her a rotating view of his face turning away, that one strangely colored eye gleaming.

"Sweet dreams." The cell door closes, heavy and loud before the familiar clicks of the locks.

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