Dawn Of The 3rd Day


adrienne2_icon.gif yi-min_icon.gif zachery_icon.gif

Scene Title Dawn of the 3rd Day
Synopsis The architects of Adam's new biological weapon come to question their convictions.
Date January 3, 2020

Miller Residence, Providence

Nobody passing by the outside of the Miller residence would have seen any signs to indicate that, beneath its weatherbeaten, tranquil-looking facade, the rhythm of this household-cum-workplace had been fundamentally altered from what it had once been— bent into the discipline of a new pattern beneath the heel of Dr. Yeh.

In recent days, the roles of captor and captive had been flipped on their head. Adrienne had been regiven complete freedom, both physically and otherwise; Zachery, meanwhile, had been forcibly confined to life at the limits of the finger-width chain that had once been hers. Confined to the tidily-kept bed in the basement that he had once dragged down into that stark, subterranean space for her. Confined to two meals daily, at the times of choosing of either or both of the two women.

There were certain dispensations that had to be made in order to keep up appearances of normalcy to the outside world: namely the personal reception of patients (or more rarely, guests) inside his home. It was an occasional luxury that Zachery would find himself afforded under the strict condition of being monitored, through all his waking hours not spent chained in the basement, beneath the black and beady-eyed gaze of a small, ill-tempered magpie.

Zachery's new "pet," to anyone who bothered to ask.

The trio would continue their secret work, at least superficially, as though nothing had ever arisen as an interruption.

Yi-Min, of course, had a number of other ideas in mind.

Especially when compared to the precipitous events of the new year, yesterday had been unsettlingly quiet in atmosphere. Dr. Yeh had said relatively little to Dr. Miller outside the context of what needed to be said, work-wise. Though no explanation had been offered to him for why this was, it could have been Yi-Min's way of granting him the mercy of a respite in the smallest way that she could: platypus venom possessed no antivenin, and Adrienne's ability could only close the surgical incision that had been created as an injection site. Beyond this minimal relief, Zachery's foot is still an unchecked garden of distended, plum-colored flesh.

It remains quiet now, save for the loose, hollow rattling of the implements on the plastic tray that Yi-Min bears as she treads down the basement steps.


The start of a new day.

"We should try morphine," comes muttered from downstairs.

Is it a new day? Is it? Because there are no windows down here and though Zachery did, at some point, lie down, he does not particularly look like the night provided him with any much-needed sleep. He's still in his clothes, sans shoes, awkwardly curled up on his side with his face half-buried in a pillow and both hands loosely around one of his calves.

The lacerations on his foot may have been helped along into healing, but the continued discomfort caused by the venom is evident in how he holds himself. He stares blearily into the room, unmoving. He does not particularly bother to look in the direction of the stairs. He also does not particularly need to.

"Or at least a— maybe a. Drink."

"Morphine will not help."

Yi-Min's voice, calm, as the rattlings of the tray fade off into the hazy buzz of fluorescent lights above. There is no way to tell time down here from the presence or absence of sunlight, but it must be early, given that it is only her alone down here for now. Presumably, Adrienne is still enjoying her own breakfast upstairs.

The feel of a soft depression being pressed into the bed informs Zachery that the tray has been set down inside his nest of sheets, just beyond the small of his curled-up back. The bittersweet aroma of hot coffee meets his nostrils from behind.

"No analgesics will. Later, perhaps, I can bring you a drink." It's quite a big perhaps.

It's unacceptably too big. The lack of immediate movement almost makes it seem like in lieu of said drink, he's just going to lie there and stare blankly at nothing.


Maybe some coffee.

He turns, slowly, sitting up with a scrape of chain links pulled up onto the bed with him. "There's bottles, still. Upstairs." In the bedroom. "One broken." His voice is flat and hoarse - maybe it's a blessing he's been doing less and less talking when not prompted, the last few days - and he does not look for Yi-Min's face when he reaches to grab hold of the coffee. Caffeine's better than nothing.

But only barely.

"I know."

It's a response Yi-Min doesn't bother to qualify, but from the indifference of those two simple, curt words, she is already extremely well-acquainted with everything inside his room— drink-related or not. She plucks a curved, chipped mug off the tray for herself, indicating with the slightest cant of her chin that the remainder of what she had toted down here is meant for Zachery.

A faint curlicue of some herbal fragrance wafts from Yi-Min's mug, the glass of which reveals a liquid the gentle amber-gold color of tea, rather than the coffee she had brought for him. This she takes with her back to the bottom of the basement stairs, where she sits and cups it in both slender hands, legs crossed. "After the… workday is finished, if the day goes well, I shall bring one down for you."

“For now, I daresay we have a certain business to continue discussing.”

Zachery slowly shifts around to sit up on the bed - making sure that his swollen foot is moved as little as possible and pulling the other one up and under a knee so the chain doesn't catch on the tray. He eyes the toast and scrambled egg that's been brought over, but neither of them quite seem to inspire him to do anything but thunk his back against the cold, stone wall.

"So, talk." Zachery's answer is simple and monotonous as he brings the coffee to his mouth. "I think I've done enough of that."

Oh no, darling.

As Yi-Min ever-so-sedately blows across the steaming surface of her tea, her eyes take on a cast that is a little too sharp, a little too aloof, to just be amusement. Nonetheless, something acceptably akin to it is the gist conveyed by that fragment of silence.

"We have covered but a part of what I have desired from you. Yet at least one topic of utmost importance remains to us all, and this is the fate of the virus that we are working on. To this end, I think it is time we discuss exactly what this sample is."

That unidentified, possibly mysteriously modified sample. The one which Adrienne unequivocally believes to be a target painted on the back of the non-Evolved.

It has been Yi-Min's belief as well, but in the absence of undeniable scientific proof, there is technically a little wiggle room for equivocation from her yet.

“It's a chimera,” comes with a muted French lilt from halfway down the stairs. Not far behind Yi-Min, Adrienne makes her entrance with a modest cup of black coffee cradled in one hand. “The tissue sample.” She motions over to the equipment across the basement where new growths of the tissue sample provided by Shedda Dinu exist in petri dishes, generated from an original slice of necrotic tissue by Adrienne's power.

“We don't have the lab equipment here to prove it, but the DNA in the tissue sample is a chimera, made from multiple sources. Some was necrotic tissue, primarily skin and muscle. But there was also cerebral and nerve tissue mixed in.” Adrienne comes to stop at the bottom of the stairs, holding that small cup of coffee under her nose. “Chimeras,” she explains for what she presumes is merely Zachery’s benefit, “are organisms or tissue that have two or more sets of DNA. Whatever this is,” she gestures with a nudge of her chin to the machine, “it was tailored for this experiment. This purpose.”

"Alright. Thanks. Learn something new every day." If there existed any more light in Zachery's eye when he glances Adrienne's direction, it seems to be escaping him this moment. "… Well," he forces himself to say, "I'm not entirely convinced you needed me in the first place, and it's not like anyone's holding my family and friends."

Downing enough of his coffee to let him sliiide slowly down onto his back again, he rests the mug on his chest and adds in something barely above a mumble, "So you have fun with that." His eyelids fall.

What admirable timing.

The familiar shadow that drapes across them both from the top of the steps is met by an approving, oblique flicker of Yi-Min's gaze once the source of it draws a little closer down to the level of her side. "This is the structure of it," she murmurs after sipping from her tea, tone matter-of-fact in a way that she had heard at least some of this from Adrienne before. "But the true question is what significance this fact holds."

Zachery's passive refusal to engage does not elicit any response from Yi-Min. It is not like he has anywhere he can go, after all.

"Why would this be the thing that has been given to us? To disguise the true nature of the target vector to us three? Possible, though I somehow doubt such trouble would have been undertaken purely for our benefit. I suppose the final question to find a resolution to is, who is this meant to be for?"

“Everyone?” Adrienne muses with a shrug. “I don't know,” she adds, slipping past Yi-Min and coming to sit on the corner of the cot Zachery’s tether is anchored to. “Monroe is an animal,” she says with conviction, “he hunted my partner and I down like a dog. He has no regard for his own safety, his own life. He does not know fear because he is deathless. I saw him cut his arm off to chase me through an opening too small to fit through. He is a maniac playing at sanity.”

Sipping her coffee, Adrienne turns her attention to the lab equipment. “Look at our process. We started with a necrotic tissue sample. My ability allows for the cells to divide after death, generating new fresh samples to test on. Zachery,” she motions to him with her coffee, “can sense the ongoing biological effects intuitively, faster than lab testing. And you,” she motions to Yi-Min, “obviously, you are our Typhoid Mary or what have you. So we iterate,” she motions back to the equipment, “fast. Faster than any lab in the world could. Because there is what, a rush? A deadline?”

Adrienne huffs out a heavy sigh and cradles her coffee with both hands. “None of us know what this is for, because that is how terrorists work. Like cells? Independent, uninformed. Right hand and left hand unaware of one-another. He trusts us because we are either beholden to him, a prisoner, or something in between…” She looks down into the surface of her coffee. “We are not ideal workers,” she surmises. “We are all he has?”

Zachery's attempt to pretend he's going to just simply sleep now, despite the conversation happening around him, is cut short by Adrienne's retelling of the chase.

His nose wrinkles, and a thoughtful glance travels between others present. "Why don't we just ask Garza? Not—" he pauses, as if realising that he'd just tried to bow out of participation, and lifts his coffee before pushing an elbow into the mattress to prop himself up a little. "Not if we're all he has, I feel like that's asking for a few too many cards, but what we're actually making. What's he going to do, kill your partner and lose us and the product due to distrust? He's a politician, but he's smarter than that."

Asking Garza is, while not innately the most promising idea, not the worst one either. Yi-Min returns Zachery's glance for a moment. "Asking for clarity would, I suppose, be one option," she says softly. "I imagine the worst we would get is an answer that is no clearer than the ones we have."

A maniac or an animal Adam might be, but he was still rational enough to create this infuriating skein they were all wound up in. Silently, almost imperceptibly, Yi-Min casts her gaze back down to her tea. "None of this makes any sense. No, we are not all Adam has, at least not in the greater sense. Imagine what the three of us could achieve with our abilities in a proper lab environment, with the proper backing of technology. Adam has access to all of the state-of-the-art facilities of Praxis. Instead, he has us huddled in this tiny basement in the countryside like rats. To what end? The only logical conclusion I keep settling on is some overwhelming need to keep this all secret. Even from his own peers."

And if his peers included the likes of Garza, and the likes of Shedda Dinu— well, what did Garza know? The answer seems, suddenly, like it might be incredibly important.

Adrienne drifts away from the conversation like a dandelion puff on the wind, up and off Zachery’s cot in a smooth motion, pacing the floor with a thoughtful wander of her eyes. “That may rouse suspicion, if we ask too early?” She isn’t sure enough to not make it sound like a question. “If they leave someone here to supervise us, it… changes things. Our dynamic,” she flicks a look at Zachery’s current predicament, then back to Yi-Min, “our goals.

Shaking her head, Adrienne turns and rests her back up against the concrete wall of the basement, shoulders curving forward some as she rolls the drugs of her coffee around in the bottom of the mug. “If we’re not careful we could wind up dead,” as opposed to however much of humanity Adam is targeting with this bioweapon.

“How much do you trust… Garza?” Adrienne isn’t as familiar with the name as she’d like, given the sudden immediacy of his involvement in this. “Would he tell you what you want to hear?” Which suddenly brings a new question to the forefront of her mind. “Actually— is he like us? Do those Shedda Dinu people have a telepath?” Paranoia rises to the fore now, more so than ever.

Where Adrienne moves away, Zachery stays lethargically listening. He lifts his coffee to drink from it again, but before he manages, he wearily chuckles against the rim of the mug when he's asked about trust. "I don't know about a telepath. It wouldn't surprise me if they had one on their payroll, but if Garza's the paranoid sort - he's spending that energy elsewhere. He took me on, after all." One of his shoulders come up in a half shrug, hand angling. "So, do I trust him? Absolutely not. Like I said, politician. But does he trust me?"

Lifting the mug to his mouth, he lifts an arm to sweep it lazily out into the rest of the room only to end it in a halfhearted point at Adrienne directly, as if he deems that that answer enough.

Despite herself, Yi-Min has to let out a small, somewhat bright-sounding laugh.

"It is true. He did take you on." Whatever that says about Zachery, or alternately about Garza— well. She doesn’t need to comment. "At any rate, Adrienne might be correct. It may not be wise to bank on his trust of you alone, especially not when possible risk versus reward for this seems so… skewed."

Yi-Min appears to savor the next drink she takes of her tea. When she sets it back into her lap, the look in her eyes is steady. "But he is also not the only avenue we have for eventually getting answers, fortunately. To this end, I propose that we devise multiple strains of the virus. It would not be much extra work, nor would it be difficult, given the rather small amount of variation involved for what I have in mind." To anyone looking in, it is also a fairly suspicion-free plan. Creating multiple strains would have been a perfectly natural precaution for them all to take anyway, in order to circumvent the inevitable immunities to a singular strain.

One of Adrienne’s brows slowly rise as Yi-Min clearly begins the formulation of not only a plan, but an exit strategy for this entire situation. She flicks a look over to Zachery, then back to Yi-Min and slowly approaches her. There’s a buy-in paid for with desperation in Adrienne’s eyes. She would have accepted any plan that earned her true freedom, a true escape from this prison her life has become for the last several years.

“Let’s hear it,” is all Adrienne needs to say and says it with the conviction of a woman without any other recourse.

Because what other choice do any of them have?

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