Enter The Dragon


bao-wei2_icon.gif bella_icon.gif yana_icon.gif

Scene Title Enter the Dragon
Synopsis An introduction to Bella's mysterious friend, a shocking discovery as to the nature of this creature which leads to adding yet another to the circle of scientists and their great goals.
Date January 10, 2011

Prospect Park

Prospect Park is a 585-acre public park sitting square in the heart of Brooklyn. While the borough around this verdant region of lush foliage, tall trees and rolling hills is prospering, Prospect Park has become something of a ghetto within the city's bowels. Brooklyn has grown steadily following the destruction of Midtown, but not everyone in New York City can afford to live in Brooklyn, and those that cant have resorted to vagrancy across the city. Some brave the southern edge of Central Park on Manhattan, but the lion's share of mainland New York's homeless are here in Prospect Park.

Where once was a blossoming park pulling itself up from a nadir of abandonment and disuse in the seventies, Prospect Park has sunken back down into a state of disrepair and squalor. Tracts of forested land are laden with blue tarp tents, fire pits and makeshift shanty towns. The park is no longer officially maintained by the state of New York due to budget constraints, so the park's once pristine boat house and other facilities have been made into a makeshift homeless community, such as they are.
The Prospect Park Zoo, which once featured over seven hundred animals, was closed shortly after the bomb and the facility rests in decay in the park behind rusting iron gates and sturdy fence.

It's fair to say that Dr. Sheridan has been a little weird about this foray. She explained to Dr. Blite only that they are to meet a potential research associate, the one previously mentioned, the one about which she has been remarkably tight lipped, particularly considering how verbose the psychiatrist can be on subjects of interest to her.

One should not interpret her reticence as catty. However frustratingly young and troublingly good looking Dr. Blite may be, and however nonplussed Bella was to find that when Yana offered to drive them there, it wasn't Yana herself that was going to do the driving, no, no rather it would be a paid chauffeur in a sleek limo, no, however many factors might point to such motives, Isabella Sheridan will not brook jealousy over small things like that. Solidarity, both sisterly and scientific, is bigger than that, no matter how unfortunate it may be that Bella must take the bus from her shithole in Chelsea.

The redheaded practitioner has them stop the car a good block or two away from their destination. Low heels and high clacking at their seperate registers on the badly maintained sidewalk, the pair of women make their way towards the entrance gates to the dilapidated sprawl of the Prospect Park Zoo. Bella glances back, making sure the driver stays put, not leaving but, more importantly, not coming any closer. "My friend is a private individual, you have to understand," Dr. Sheridan informs her colleague.

In truth, Yana looks down upon many. Her nose can be pointed high into the air at the best of times. However, for those she respects and admires, she can be an entirely different person, and forgive most things she would normally snub in others. Mistaken attitude included. She doesn't take offense to Bella's secrecy, because she herself has things that she cannot fully tell. For now she shall follow her lead, and at least provide a comfortable, stylish ride to the location that they designated this meeting. Probably further testing Bella's resistance to not harbor any jealousy, Yana said something akin to 'Oh, you took a bus here? Dear, you should have called, I'd have had Christopher come retrieve you.' as if it were nothing at all.

Yana, as the vehicle is stopped, has the doors opened by her driver who speeds around and helps the ladies out of the vehicle. Her shoes are much higher than her companion's. An expensive set of pumps that make her stockinged legs look even more fabulous than they are. "Oh, of course." she looks around at the area with a small but of scrutiny. "Though the choice of locales has me questioning one or two things." But she'll put up with it.

It's the privilege of she who does not have means of transit otherwise to act like taking the bus is a choice and thus a virtue. "Oh no," Bella replied, in turn, "I don't like to lose touch with the people." Like she's a blue blood herself. Not so, of course. The Sheridans are perfectly nice and perfectly upper middle class, but are nothing like the upper crust. Quite thoroughly bourgeois.

Bella can't but look a little frumpy in comparison, honestly, bustling in her green peacoat and black beret, hands folded into her sleeves. She takes a glance down at Yana's legs, you know, as long as they're on display. There is maybe the faintest bit of meanness that flickers in her as she realizes that she failed, through simple lack of foresight she swears!, to suggest Yana dress for the cold. Which if it isn't right now…
The lock on the door of Prospect park has been shattered by some agency beyond simple bolt cutters. Dr. Sheridan seems imperturbed by this, however, pushing open the gate and holding it ajar for Yana. "It will all make perfect sense soon enough," Bella promises, "unless he chooses not to show up and thus make a total ass of me."

A woman such as Yana is used to being admired. She actually expects it on some small degree. Moreso on a grander scale from certain people. She she doesn't really take too much notice to Bella's attempt, because it isn't one of the details she is actually looking for consciously. She is actually given a fur lined coat to drape around her otherwise bare shoulders, black with grey fur, shrouding her beautifully as she wanders along with Bella. As she moves, she is careful to avoid spot that are a bit dirtier than others, not wishing to mar her step with such.. muck.

"I trust you, Doctor." she says simply. "I expect to return from here in one piece, and not be thrust into some dark trunk, carted off to god knows where, trussed up and stuffed to be some human doll for some madman." she is of course joking as she steps past the opened gate, and her small smile would indicate so. "Besides, I am interested to meet this associate of yours."

The signs of winter have been first to cover the grounds in a white blanket, thinner on the sidewalks and in fluffy, bulbous piles along the dead gardens and between overgrown trees. The faint marks of life come only in the worn tracks of animals, and the slips of one set of human tracks long covered over, dips in thin snow that trace from one end of the horizon to the other. The tall, majestic exhibit in the distance, that was once a daytime home for sea lions- is somehow in less disrepair than everything around it. Perhaps that is simply because it is a giant boulder in the middle of a large pond.

Closer to it, there is a fresh set of tracks- though frankly, it looks more like somebody in a four-wheeler plow rambled through the plant debris and across the courtyard. The trail goes on towards the old sea lion exhibit, now overgrown in brackish moss and filled with murky runoff and rainfall. Bella knows as well as anyone that a trail like that can only be made by something big- and she knows exactly what- who- it was.

Bella seems content, if Yana is wondering, to let the other doctor wonder. Rather that than ruin what might otherwise be a very impressive entrance on the part of her erstwhile colleague. Walking without fear or hesitation, feeling, in effect, rather protected in this space, Dr. Sheridan presses on towards the great boulder in the midst of the defunct pool. A veritable natural altar. Bella's strides are rather long, wanting to get there, to prove that she's not leading Yana on a merry chase, and a hand with neatly trimmed but otherwise untreated nails lifts to usher Dr. Blite with her.

Yana only hesitated when she got out of the car. Only because the location was a bit of an affront to the very delicacy of her nature. But she got over that, and placed her trust in Dr. Sheridan. Yana isn't one to lead, surprisingly enough, even though she seems to be doing so now for a ways into the park. Yana wants to rule, not lead. There is a big difference. There are other members in her family who are more suitable for that position. There is the sharp click of Yana's expensive heels as she follows along, her hair pulled neatly back out of her face, down into a ponytail that spills down the back of her coat. She looks at the exhibit, wondering just why she never came to this place when it was alive and open. Probably much too busy with work at the time, or school. "Should I have brought a gift?" she comments, "I feel somehow like I should have."

There is nothing that he needs, save for perhaps an offering in the vein of appeasement. Even then, as Warren Ray once found out, he'll not always be pleased. Bao-Wei Cong has always been and will always remain a fickle creature. Their approach is the only sound they hear, for the moment, heels on stone and breath puffing in translucent clouds. Maybe a bird, maybe a far off car horn. It is the city, if a more wild and less comely part.

The exhibit's water is murky, though it seems more out of some kind of muddiness that has been tracked in. The plowed snow is littered with dirt and discolored ice. On closer inspection, there is indeed, something in the exhibit, down on the bottom of the pool, whirring about and sloshing out the dirtied water in slow, continuous undulations that spill over the edge and down into the manmade chasm around it. A fish too big for its bowl, sloshing out the muck in the most tedious of ways.

"I'm sure your good manners and sparkling wit will suffice," Bella says, maybe just the slightest hint teasing, as she moves up to the outer rail of the sea lion exhibit. A hand goes up to briefly adjust her hat, as if her colleague would care about such small details. A nervous tic, then, a fidget. Not much more.

"Dr. Wu!" Bella calls down, using his pseudonym rather than invite Dr. Blite into knowledge of every detail, all at once. Bella respects Bao's privacy, to a fault even. Her own insistence on his safety, as if such a creature needed protection. "I've brought a visitor. Someone with a proposal."

Ha. Those things she has in great abundance when she wants to, which is usually all of the time. She'll take Bella's remark accordingly. A simple suggestion, but not a requirement, giving her the option to be cordial, or suspicious at her own leisure. Yana can appreciate that at least. "Hm. Sounds like an exquisite gentleman. I'll expect to be impressed." She expects a lot of things, really. She does seem to take note of Bella adjusting her affects, however. Deducing that perhaps there is something more personal than business between these two. A woman doesn't adjust like that for just anyone.

Approaching the exhibit, Yana sees the swirling of the water and makes quite sure to step back away from the spilling water. She doesn't see any use in getting her shoes dirty, or anything else for that matter. Her dark brows raise up on her head when Bella starts beckoning her friend by name, making the woman peer into the exhibit a little closer. What is that?

It is those many little things, such as hiding names, that tend to count in the end. The churning water and the filtered white sunlight through winter clouds offers little reflection on the surface, and little transparency to the bottom of the bowl. When the women get to the edge of the fence, however, it promptly stops, and the turning water slowly comes to a rest. There is something down there, that both of them can see; mostly a serpentine shape, all limbs and spines and-

A nose? The shape lifts up to the surface like a buoy dunked into water. A crocodilian head, made of familiary ridges and spines of ice, picks itself up out of the water like some demented swan, curling up with a long neck below, rattling bits of ice flaking off into the pool, which Bella can assume is roughly the temperature of an arctic pool. It looks like Keagan, Anna and Magnes were all right. It looks like Yana was wrong. Dead wrong.

Out of two dark, pitted sockets, only his left one has an eye; a golden disc, disturbingly alive, compared to the icy construct of birdlike neck and bony head, the spray of brittle whiskers and jagged, sharp teeth.

Of the- uh- 'men' in Bella's life, Bao is probably the most accomplished, but that speaks more about the company Dr. Sheridan keeps than the *obviously budding romance* that is going on here. It's budding like crazy, you don't even know. Fucking week before the Cherry Blossom Festival up in here. Pink petals gonna be all over the place, any minute.

But back to reality. And its ice monsters.

Bella dips her head respectfully to the creature that has emerged from the carved deep, having long since learned not to get smart with Bao. She can take some liberties perhaps, some familiarities, or any familiar at all, really, but there is still a formality due. It is, also, something Bella likes to think may help keep Dr. Cong human. Ish.

"Dr. Elvira Blite… my friend and former colleague, Dr. Xuan Wu."

Yana? Wrong? Not if she can help it. This is preposterous, an ice dragon. Even her own eyes seeing it, she rationalizes it away. Once the initial shock hits her, and the thought starts to bubble in her mind, 'They were r— boulderdash! No, this is simply an ice manipulating Evolved, a construct like was decided. Ice dragon indeed!' Yana's thoughts steel her resolve to keep from acting hysterically. Bao is probably used to people initially reacting to him with a look of shock or fear, which Yana does but just for a split second before her lips purse and her brows lower. Forget that, she's not wrong. But the good doctor is not getting too close to the reptilian head emerging from the water.

She keeps her composure, and allows herself to eye him just enough to not appear rude while letting Bella do the formalities. She wonders what to say to this creature, as her time to speak is coming up. What does one say to.. well whatever Bao is. It comes to her rather naturally, "Dr. Wu, I have heard good things, though I hadn't expected anything this fascinating or impressive. You're already starting to live up to the short reputation that has been presented. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." Yana, proper and respectful, raised right, bred well. She is versed in etiquette, and it is proper to bow when introduced. She has encountered her father's Asian associates at parties, so she makes the proper gestures, judging from his name and all. Her hands neatly placed in her unmade lap, and then a small dip forward.

The air shivers with a fresh cold now, nipping at skin and causing the puffs of breath to turn into smoky funnels. Its eye trained on Bella, the head sways on its joints, casting faintly to the side in the return of her small gesture. The plumes from the long gash of a mouth curl up around his face. After its casual slant towards Bella, the burning disc pivots around to look down towards the other woman, the unfamiliar one.

Already, he studies her manner, and that forcible composure in the face of the absurd. Craggy features remain largely impassive during Yana's beseeching little cue, strikingly familiar in the ways that only a statue can be. He does not actually breathe, the smoky cold coming at awkward intervals, so it is hard to judge when he is shifting between the subtle sway of whiskery head on the bevel of neck. Bella may find Blite's words perhaps too much in the way of brown-nosing, but to Cong it is some due respect that he has not had from strangers in a long time.

"My, how rumors precede me. All of them seemingly good." The rumbling voice from an unnecessary hinging of mouth is a rasping thing, picking carefully along the words. He does not make an obvious show of being appreciative of Yana's speech. Instead, he offers her a second canting of his head.

No, Bella gets it. It's usually good to show proper decorum with a terrifying monster. It's not brown nosing to admit you respect a force of nature. Her aforementioned familiarity is one she feels was earned. "The only rumors, Dr. Wu," Bella says, "came from I don't know where. I told Dr. Blite nothing about you before arranging this meeting. But I wanted you to have an opportunity. One that could further your previous work."

She inclines her head towards Dr. Blite. The virologist ought to explain the goals of a project dealing with the viral.

He can speak! Intelligently! Not that she believed Bella was lying, it is just actually surprising to actually hear it with her own ears. Fascinating.. She can obviously see why Keagan and Magnes mistook him for an ice dragon, but he is so obviously not. Yana is quite sure if she took a genetic sample from him right now, she would find lots of interesting things, but dragon DNA wouldn't be one of them. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE MYTHICAL! But that doesn't mean she cannot appreciate the creature that Bao is. She has to wonder if he is actually a reptile. And if he is, do the same viruses that affect reptiles affect him? Or/and to human viruses affect him, if any at all. Oh.. wait. Could be a problem.. Not him persay, but others like him, with an ability such as his. Hmm.. Her world is starting to look smaller and smaller if she cannot find a way around these little problems. Of course.. she has no issue with simply removing people who don't fit. That just means less people to bow to her majesty. Sacrifices…

As for her behavior, one could call it a gift. Yana is observant, and she rather observes the fact that Bao obviously cannot walk around in public normally, so he more than likely gets treated like some terrible monster. People pointing and screaming and running away. Not much conversation or praise. So she feeds his social need with what she says. Might seem corny to some, but it is how it comes across to Bao that is the only important thing. "Oh now, Bella, come now. You spoke highly of Dr. Wu without even speaking his name. Mentioning his vast intelligence, and offering up your respect for him. That alone speaks very highly of the Dr. But this.." she gestures to him with a graceful motion of her hand, "I doubt there is anything else more remarkable, and the fact that he must remain secret to the world is nothing short of a crime. He is obviously quite superior to most, so his place is actually among them, or even above them in my opinion." Yana can relate to such a notion. She feels that she belongs somewhere other than where she is. Up high.

"But I digress." she smiles pleasantly. "Dr. Wu, I am going to trust you with a rather powerful secret, which I hope is a gesture of respect towards you. You are looking at an Evolved with the ability to exact control over virion particles. Detailed control. Down to the innate programming of the material. One of my goals is to somehow engineer a virus- possibly derived from research of the Evo flu- which can add a bit of control to the Evolved factor. With my power, I have an intimate understanding of viruses, down to the question of if they are a living organism or no. To make a virus which can instill or remove Evolved abilities, to give people a choice on how they wish to live their lives. It could put a stop to this chaotic struggle that is happening in the world."

One by one, a pair of taloned feet swim up to break the film of ice now forming on the surface of the pool; both of them clutch at the rim, a heavy bumping sound coming as the ice drifts and bumps into the bowl walls, sheets crackling against the boulders. The hefting it takes to lift himself upwards is of a great scale, almost unknown because he seems to make it so fluid. Keeping his gaze trained like a bird of prey, Yana's voice seems to echo tinnily off of his presence. The baring of a closed mouth towards Bella may be construed as a smile, if a primal and very base one. As an animal might, for just a second. Maybe he is grateful for Bella bringing him a strange little damsel to eat to listen to.

Bao-Wei hoists himself a second time, as Yana turns into 'digress'. While she speaks, the icy construct slinks up and out of the pool, feet lifting up to close around a part of the fence. Judging by the sheer cold he brings with him, they had best step back. Far back. His head stays disturbingly still, eye on Yana, even while the rest of him coils up out of the water. The water itself swims with some muddy debris, and incidentally, most of the creature is clean. Looks like he was keeping up appearances this time.

It takes a long time for him to respond, perched with two feet on the fence, ice frozen over it, hind legs on the other end of him clacking around at the pool rim. Yes, there's a tail down there too. A crude, yet effective thing.

"I went down a similar road, you know." The mouth opens and closes with a loud snap, but his tone is not angry. More cautious than that. "I can appreciate your desires, and I know your dreams. I will let you in on something of mine. Perhaps she has told you…"

"For all intensive purposes, I am project Icarus, doctor Blite. Watch your step on such a road. Lest you end up like me." A warning, from one scientist to another. He decidedly leaves out the part where he did this to himself.

Yana is probably the very first one to step back, due to the increase in the cold coming to wash over the both of them. She is currently wishing for warmer attire at this point, as she didn't account for Evolved cold ability. Though she keeps her covering to a minimal, as not to seem too rude and make it blatant that she is shielding herself further due to Bao. She'll endure it, just to show manners. Even though she feels a hint of alarm when she sees how dirty he is, Yana does not allow it to show through expression nor gesture. Only occasionally looking over to Bella with a quick glance.

"Really?" Yana's interest rises. She allows her eye to shift, changing itself to look like the green reflecting from a feline's eye as she checks him over for the presence of a virus of some sort. "I was not told that at all. From what I have read of Project Icarus, if I had my hands on the project, the results would have been more favorable. I do understand the risks and precautions that should be taken, but I really feel that I can fill in the gaps of what was done in the past. Perhaps even accomplishing enough as to allow you to walk as free as you wish, where you wish without adversity from anyone. In fact, people would honor your name for being apart of the solution." she holds up a hand, gestureing for a pause, "You don't have to answer right away. I'll give Dr. Sheridan notes on my ability and some of my ideals so you can look them over. If anything you could offer up some further wisdom on how best to proceed."

On how to best proceed? His first thought is along the lines of 'don't', but that is not the kind of answer that Blite expects from this. Nor, as he recalls, does he want to avoid making allies in his personal war. The creature hunkers down onto his forelegs, ice scraping and knocking together. For Yana, there is nothing to see. Nothing but solid, living ice. No viruses, no blood, no flesh, no nothing. Nothing to find, nowhere to plant.

"Who has said that I wish to personally have a solution?" Surely not him. He, as of ages ago, has seen no desire in him to go back to the way he was before. Perhaps he could go for being able to turn back for more than certain lengths of time, but to go back to a mortal life? A lone, mortal life? No. This- what he is- he is not going to simply give it up. Test the solution on somebody else, miss Blite.

"Project Icarus was a success, and a failure, and I would not wish to impart its half-wisdoms and inaccuracies onto this new project, unless, of course, it seemed pertinent to do so."

Okay, yes, maybe some distance is necessary. Bella treads backwards a bit, her outfit hardly arctic gear. She doesn't feel any satisfaction at Yana's retreat. It was the briefest of daggers; at this point she's mostly feeling bad for the woman. She knows how tough a nut Dr. Cong is to crack. "Dr. Wu," the redhead interjects, "I wouldn't have brought this to your attention if I didn't think it might benefit you in some regard. Obviously no on knows your secrets but you, but it wouldn't hurt to at least view our preliminary work. To cast your mind in its direction. I had hoped to work with you again. I hope you'll at least consider it."

Hrm.. This is not quite going how she anticipated. She didn't expect him to be this resistant to her ideas. That and the cold is perhaps starting to get to her a bit, stinging her skin with it's bite, making her the least bit physically uncomfortable. "Mm, of course not." Yana answers him, "I don't really with to recreate Project Icarus, but learn from it, check it over with a fine toothed comb, and see if, in it's failure, how to best proceed with my own research." It is really the best explanation she has to offer. Perhaps.." Yana begins with a thought, "If I were to give you an example.. a display of my power and the control I have, it might convinced you, or spark your interest." No, not on Bella of course, but another target.

Dr. Blite is greatful for the help of Bella speaking up on her behalf, and lets her go on in hopes to hook the Doctor to the cause. She simply nods her head to her words, politely letting her speak. "Perhaps, starting research on one thing, could possibly send us down a different direction entirely. It is a shame to let such an intellect go to wasted, Dr." she is of course speaking of Bao, "The world should know of your brilliance in some way. You really deserve more than just a nightmare told to children, or an urban legend."

Oh, right. Bella is here, thankfully, to soothe the Beast before he chooses to just clamp his mouth over Yana. It takes a moment for the name to sink in, and the construct turns its face to peer after the redhead. The bristling response does seem to quell from her interruption.

"I have been recognized before, it only put me into their sight." But, he doesn't stop there, looking begrdgingly between the two. His stare rests unblinkingly onto Bella before something comes out again. "I will look over your work. But I will not hand over my Icarus files. I will impress my knowledge from them, though only as-needed. As for the work with nothing to do with it… I do not see why I cannot impart onto that regardless." A tough nut, but even a nut wants to sprout.

"Lesser things have sparked my interest."

Not much of a geneticist, not much, even, of an evil scientist, gifted with dumb luck and slither survival rather than grand ambition or powerful genius, Isabella Sheridan is, at least, a people person. If all she can do is serve as mediator, keeping relations between parties cordial. Maybe this is why they need a psychiatrist around in the first place.

"Thank you for your time, Dr. Wu," Bella says, keeping things just a little bit more formal than she might otherwise. There's company here; Yana's presence changes the dynamic and Bella is trying to keep things businesslike. And possibly brief. Get personalities this large too close and you can have real trouble.

"We'll be in touch?"

Ahh, that is a much better answer than she initially got. Thank you Dr. Sheridan. Her influence over the creature is nothing short of impressive. Yana finds that she must do her best to mask her smile. The red head woman isn't really pulling puppet string, but it is a bit like that, from what she observes. She also takes what she can get, following Bella's lead in accepting Bao's agreement to look over the project. A second bow is given from Dr. Blite, "Excellent, thank you, Dr. Wu. Your consideration is most appreciated. I will of course see to it that you receive everything shortly." Which means, she'll have to conduct an experiment as a display. Oh joy! Oh rapture, she feels like a yummy little girl again Glee spreads over her at the thought of conducting her unethical research once more. "Thank you, once again. Dr. Wu." she offers and she steps back with Bella, to give the creature his space and privacy once again.
Hm.. now for a good test subject..

The ice that makes Bao-Wei's form begins to pull in on itself, chunk by chunk, noisily clipping inward and rejoining itself from the inside. It happens from the back end upwards, ice squealing together and forming an ungainly thing that slowly swallows up the rest. By the time it ends, the ice is gathering itself into a mound along the fence, and slowly but surely, a formation begins to push its way out of it. Cyclopean eye first, followed by the shape that Bella herself is far more used to. The hunchbacked, horned figure, roughly bruin in height, all crag and misshapen, pendulous arms.

His attention is on her, rather than Blite, for the time being- and he only dares lumber a step or two nearer. "You need to watch what I cannot. Do not let this happen again." What begins as a grumble ends in a half-lament. Don't let it happen again, make it work, or make it fail. Nothing in-between, nothing halfway.
"Doctor," Bella says, lifting her head to view the beast perched on the fence, using only the title as she doesn't wish to use either his name, giving it away, or the false one, lifting it as barrier. She wants him to know she understands, despite Yana's presence. "I promise, for your sake as well as my own, that I will display every vigilance. And you will be able to help me do just that, I'm certain."

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