bella_icon.gif lynette_icon.gif

Scene Title Cooperation
Synopsis Lynette is finally taken before the hidden eyes of Dr. Sheridan, and gives as good as she gets.
Date June 4, 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.

Here yesterday, gone today. Lynette has had little means by which to count her hours since she was whisked away in the van, pulled off the street and borne to God knows where. Lynette's room, a cell really, has no windows, and only the routine of the florescent lights going on and off, the routine offering of food three times a day, slid through a slot in the bottom of her cell door. Day and night, breakfast, lunch and dinner - these guiding stars of routine are ripped from all exterior certainty. She can only trust that her captors, unnamed, have a clock to set this by.

Lynette herself wears a drab institutional outfit, of the sort given to inmates at a psych ward. On her first day, completely dazed on tranquilizers and her power thoroughly suppressed, she was stripped, scrubbed and deloused. And then they took her hair. Shaved it right off her head. Now, days later, she has gained back a length equal to the fine fuzz cat's ear, fecklessly blonde.

Still, no one has asked her any questions. No demands have been made, no intentions explained. She has seen no one.

Until today.

There is a sharp rap rap rap against her door, and a gruff male voice sounds from the other side, muffled by intelligible. "Kneel on the ground with your hands over your head," it orders, "No sudden movements, no funny business, or this gets mean. Knock once if you understand."

She tried to keep a count of days passing. Hours. Minutes. What else is there to do in a situation like this? But she lost count more times than she can really remember. But, in her mind, there's a rough estimation of how long she's been gone. It's wide of the mark, but it's there, serving as some sort of odd comfort, knowing which day it is.

The clothes they've put her in, they're an insult. They're bland and frumpy and don't show off her figure in the slightest and damnit, that's a real crime. Which is probably along the lines of what she babbled at her captors when they were putting it on her. But the real blow came when they took her hair. She didn't have snappy comments then, not witticisms or flippantly tossed off jokes. In fact, she even cried.

And now they're back making their demands again. Lynette stands at the knock, her chin lifted. She does knock in return, and her hands do go behind her head, but she doesn't kneel. It seems, she's trying to salvage some sort of dignity.

The door unbolts, and slides sideways into the wall. There was one voice, but there are two men, both wearing bulky suits and thick insulating gloves. Since the first shot in the van, Lynette's power has not been suppressed, though up 'til now she's only had her cot, portasan and overhead lights to fry, all of which would make life even less pleasant in her captivity. It appears her captors are taking no chances after what happened to Jake. There is a moment of surprise behind the goggled eyes of one of the men - Lynette's standing, contrary to instructions. But her lifted arms seem to be submission enough. He motions for her to walk out on her own.

And Lynette isn't attacking anyone! Not just now, anyway. But she does give their suits a once over, a smirk coming to her face. "Don't worry, boys, I limit myself to Fried Coward once a month," she says as she steps forward to walk out of the cell. She's being good! She doesn't even hit them, although one of them does get a wink. Sassy.

Her sassiness does get a reaction out of one of the men, who actually cracks a thin smile. His companion, however, is unamused. They take their places at either side of her, and begin to walk with her (as long as she's walking) down the hallway, past rows of doors similar to Lynette's own. She must not be alone. As they walk, the grimmer of the two men speaks in curt sentences.

"This will be your first exam. You'll get to have some questions answered. We'll also take some samples: blood, skin, saliva. Cooperate and you'll earn privileges. Make trouble, and there will be consequences. Understand?"

The guard that smiles gets a bit of an extra looking over, but Lynette does walk along with them. She's not fighting, she's observing. How many doors? How are they locked? Can she hear anything beyond them? It's all taken in.

"Exam?" That gets her attention, as well as the description of what they're going to take, a frown coming to her lips. "Oh, believe me. I understand. As the one being escorted around a prison, I understand the consequences."

"Not a prison," the somber man corrects. Lynette counts over a dozen doors, in staggered rows. All are maglocked. All are numbered. Not a prison? Yeah right. They reach the end of the hall, where large, reinforced double doors block passage. The less grim of the two men swipes his ID, inputs a code, his body blocking Lynette's view. This isn't amateur hour, from the looks of it. Beyond the doors is another hallway, with doors bearing conventional locks. The smell of ammonia and the very color of the linoleum tip Lynette off to what must be confirmed by the gurney she sees some way to her right - this place is, or was once, a hospital.

They turn left, away from the gurney, and proceed down the hallway until they reach a another set of reinforced double doors, above which are letters and numbers 'OR 02'. Operating room. Another swipe, another code, and the doors swing open. It's clear Lynette's to go inside.

"Yeah, what do you guys call it?" Lynette asks, as if out of genuine curiosity. She pays attention, but does seem to be trying not to ruffle feathers. Well, that is until they get to the doors of the operating room. And that's when she takes her first step back, her hands falling away from her so recently shaved head. She doesn't say anything, but the sound of her shoes hitting linoleum as she turns to bolt, perhaps, says enough.

"A facility," the man who smiled says. His tone is notably less clipped than that of his companion. He seems to appreciate Lynette's poise, despite her circumstances. He's led too many angry, defiant or simply sad people. The blonde, with her head held high, is something of a breath of fresh air.

But Lynette's sudden move to flight still demands action, and the smiling man's appreciation delays him where it does not his dour companion. As soon as Lynette makes to bolt, the grim man bears down on her, arms reaching to catch her up in a very convincing bear hug - this guy likely took lessons on how to subdue resistant subjects.

When she's caught, Lynette lets out a frustrated sigh and turns to try to look at the man holding her. "This is really messed up, you've got to know that," she says, matter of factly, her voice still even. They could be discussing traffic for all the passion she puts in it. "Look, I'm not… any different than you. We're the same. We're just people…"

"Follow instructions, and you won't be harmed. Fail to, and well…" In that case the man holding her can make no such promises. The bad cop keeps a firm grip, while the good cop holds the door open. "It's just an exam. You're valuable, okay? You won't be hurt."

The bad cop just gets a narrow-eyed glare, "Really. You and the threats, it gets old. Just an observation." It's only when the good cop speaks up that Lynette seems to relax. "I've never liked hospitals," she notes, as if as an explanation, a soft, crooked smile on her face. "Think you can convince the big guy here to let me go?"

Good only goes so far. The man is apologetic, but his answer is accompanied with the shake of his head. "That's not up to either of us. It's not our call. Please… this is going to happen one way or another. Let's just try and get it over with."

"Well, I can't walk anywhere, stuck like this. Unless you're planning to carry me around?" Lynette turns her head to look at the grimier man, "I usually don't let men throw me over their shoulder on the first date."

The grim man gives a 'humph' and, after a moment, sets Lynette down. His better mannered companion draws open the door further. Inside Lynette can see an operating table, lit by a large overhanging light, as well as a great sheet mirror where the observation window ought to be. Chances are, it's a two-way mirror.

When she's set down, Lynette takes a moment to straighten her jumpsuit before she walks toward the doors. She does pause to smile up at the good cop, her hand moving to touch his arm. It seems to be a kind gesture. Perhaps even with a hint of intimacy. But it's just a passing moment before she steps into the room, letting out a breath before she walks over toward the mirror to lean a hip against the wall. And perhaps to frown at the hairless visage that looks back at her in that mirror.

She catches the look in the gentler of her escorts' eyes. She's had an effect, though to what extent is unclear. She's not followed in. The doors close behind her with a finality that a macabre mind might describe as sepulchral. She's alone.

And then speakers, set above the mirror, click into life. A voice is heard, filtered through the same kind of voice transformation software used for witness protection. A distorted, barely human sound that takes the form of language. «Thank you for your cooperation, Lynette. I'd like to make this all as painless as possible. Allow me to apologize ahead of time for the manner of your acquisition. Subtlty is not everyone's strong suit.»

From the other side of the mirror, Dr. Sheridan speaks into her microphone, the politeness of her words preserved even if the nuance of her tone is mangled by the voice transformer. White coated and smiling a mild, satisfied smile, she looks back at Lynette through the reflection of the captive's own eyes.

Lynette steps back from the mirror then, looking up toward the speakers, then back at the mirror with a more stoic expression. "I can't say your people have given me much of a choice, as far as cooperation. I'd rather not be bald /and/ bruised, too, if I can manage it." Her hands move to her hips and she looks at her reflection, "They said I could get some questions answered."

She's talking, that's good. Dr. Sheridan prefers talkative subjects. They are much better at coping with the rigors of captivity, and much easier to cut deals with. Coersion and force are not the good doctor's cup of tea.

«Yes, but I'll tell you straight off that you won't find many of the answers satisfying,» the speakers growl, «I'll do what I can, however. Afterwards, we'll be taking some samples. Nothing more than you would if you went to your own doctor for a full physical.»

"Believe me, the last thing I expect is the answers being satisfying," Lynette says, her mouth still turned down in a frown. "How long until I get to go home?" This, apparently, is the biggest priority. "I'm assuming you won't answer things like 'who are you' and 'where am I', at least, you won't if you ever plan on letting me out. And I would prefer to go home. As soon as possible."

«Assuming full cooperation? It's my hope to release you just as soon as our goals are achieved,» the voice replies, with no explanation, of course, as to what those goals might be, «This may take some time, I'm afraid. Months, perhaps. I can give no hard and fast figures. But we'll improve your conditions again, under the strict conditions of your full cooperation.»

"Months? You've got to be kidding me." Lynette rolls her eyes and turns to pace the room a little, just starting to get the look of a caged animal about her. Just a little. "I can't promise full cooperation unless I know what I'm being thrust into here. Full disclosure… full cooperation."

«I admire your desire to negotiate,» the voice continues, and behind the glass, Bella does seem genuinely appreciative, «But those aren't your terms to set. I can tell you this: you are involved in a research program of no small importance, in which you will be asked to demonstrate the ranges of your ability, and provide certain biological and neurological data. Not all these tests will be pleasant, and some will have side effects, but your health and welbeing will be attended to the best of our abilities.»

"They way I see it, we each have something the other wants. I want my freedom and you want to know about my ability. So. I have every right to set terms, since you won't see hint /one/ of my ability if I don't want you to. I've spent years hiding this, even under stress." Lynette moves over to sit on the operating table, looking back over to the mirror with a more relaxed expression. "I want to know whose research program. And what the purpose is, if you are even high enough on the food chain to know yourself. If not, find me someone who is. All I want is information, and then we can do this nice and easy."

Lynette is a persuasive woman. Bella is forced to pause, to consider what Lynette has said. What she asks for… Bella cannot give it to her. Bella can, therefore, do one of two things: stonewall, or lie. Neither appeal to her. Both tend to backfire. «I will have to get back to you on that,» is her ultimate reply, «Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to get those samples. Please, while you think about it, think of the books you might like sent to your room. I'd like to give you something to keep you occupied between tests.»

"Alright. You get back to me." Lynette does seem willing to go through with the samples, at least, as she crosses a leg over the other there on the table and pushes her sleeve up. "The Count of Monte Cristo and Shawshank Redemption come to mind," she says with a crooked smile on her lips, "But I'll give it some more thought."

«Please do,» Bella says, after waiting for a spell of laughter to pass, «I look forward to a harmonious working relationship, Lynette.»

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