Fever Pitch


isis_icon.gif kaylee_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Fever Pitch
Synopsis After a little Raven tells Richard about Zachery's extracurriclar activities, a pair of Ray siblings make a Wellness Check on a redhead.
Date August 14, 2019

Bay Ridge: Dirk & Isis’s Apartment

“You look like shit, Isis.”

While it might seem like an insult, in fact, Kaylee sounds worried. Very worried. Hands rest on hips as she studies the woman on the other side of the recently opened door. “You could have called, I would have brought you some soup or something.”

And very mom-like.

She’s changed so much from the young woman Isis knew. So much.

Kaylee glances at Richard with a flat look, like it was his fault they were bothering the poor sick girl, before turning back to her friend. “We can come back another time if you need us, too.” Though, her brother made it seem rather important he talk to Isis. So the telepath had reached out to the woman. Over text it was hard to determine something like that. The telepath shoos her friend into the residence. “Go go. Sit before you fall down.”

“Nice to see you, too.”

Isis stands with one hand on the doorknob as though debating how much effort it would take to swing it right back into the doorjamb. Too much effort for her obviously tired body. Isis turns and walks back to the sofa, her the train of her royal comforter-made-robe trailing behind her. “I’ll be fine,” the mutter comes back to the visitors from over her shoulder. She flops gracelessly onto the couch and pulls her bare legs up into the cocoon of the blankets.

The pale head above the massive blanket ball gives Kaylee a quick, twitchy smile. “Good to see you.” Her glassy, hazel gaze slides to Richard and narrows. “To what do I do the honor of your visit?” The blanket bundle twitches occasionally.

“Would you believe it’s concern for your health?”

Richard’s brows raise a little as he steps in with his sister, glancing around the room before back at the pile of blankets that’s called Isis, “Like my sister said, you look like absolute shit. Have you been to see a doctor, or anything?”

Just how they knew she was feeling poorly is another question.

Just watching Isis move, Kaylee’s concern grows. A glance goes to her brother, before nodding in agreement. “You should see someone about this.” Moving to make sure the comforter is tossed over the woman’s legs, she asks, “How long have you been like this?”

Realizing she is fussing, Kaylee murmurs, “Sorry,” under her breath and backs off a little giving her space.

The apartment is small but pristine. Dirk’s flair, Isis’s OCD. It makes for a lovely little abode. Eclectic in spots, but not uninviting. Given her state, though, there are two obvious spots of upheaval in the apartment. A door off the living room is not quite closeable, a mess of clothes and gauze wrappers peeking out through the cracked doorway. On the low coffee table before Isis is another small example of disarray: ice packs in various stages of melting, aspirin and ibuprofen, freeze popsicles, and a heating pad.

“Yes, I’m seeing a doctor.” Hazel eyes follow Kaylee’s caring motions to adjust the blanket a bit more intensely than is necessary before they close. The redhead doesn’t bother to open them again, taking a deep breath as a fresh shiver chatters her teeth and sets the blanket bundle jittering. “Mm. What day is it?” She parries Kaylee’s question with a groggy one of her own and tips her head to rest it upon her own shoulder. “Maybe a week? No-…” Her brows furrow. “Little hot two, maybe three, weeks ago.”

Her lashes pull back suddenly, hazel eyes glassy and wild. “Three. Three-three-three.” Fucking three. Her pallid complexion is shiny with sweat and she throws the blanket off her shoulders and starts shoveling ice packs towards her - into her lap, under her armpits, behind her neck. “Fucking three. If it happens. It’s going to happen this week…” she’s muttering to herself now.

A half-palm-sized portion of flesh on the elbow-crease of her left arm is wrapped in gaudy-green flex bandaging.

“If… what happens this week?” A look of concern’s slanted over to Kaylee, and then back to the clearly ill woman. When she throws off that blanket and starts grabbing for ice packs, Richard steps forward and reaches out to try and lay the back of his hand against Isis’s brow - whether or not she wants to let him do it.

“You should be in a hospital in your condition,” he points out with a growing frown, “What the hell happened to you?”

Just before Richard’s hand gets too close, Kaylee’s fingers clamp on his wrist and yanks it away from Isis’ head. “Damn fool,” she hisses at her brother. Though it doesn’t occur to her that her brother might not know about Isis’ ability or if it is even working at all. “Last thing I need is you stuck in her body. Don’t. touch.”

Then Kaylee turns to Isis, with that concerned look. “He’s right, you need something. Antibiotics or something.” There is suspicion ticking at the back of her mind, especially at her rambling. “What did you get yourself into, Isis?”

Those wide, reflective eyes lock with the reaching hand. Her sharp nose wrinkles up, twitchy like a feral cat's, but somewhere something deep inside her has an even more unbridled reaction…

Isis's body bucks - sternum pulling forward, shoulders drawn back. Her conciousness, wild with fear, lunges at the chance to escape the fever, the sickness, the delirium. Self-preservation, survival - it is what manifested her ability all those year ago and seems present in its core still.

As Kaylee's hand catches her brother’s wrist, Isis gasps and catches the arm and back of the sofa with claw-like hands. Shivering, she slowly sinks back into the couch, unsteady gaze jumping between the siblings. "If I die. It'll be this week," Her voice is a carefully controlled and quiet hum over her chattering teeth. Controlled? Yes. More sensical? That's up for debate. "If I die, it'll be this week. Three's. Everything bad always happens in threes."

With a jarring finality, her gaze stops on Kaylee. "I don't think the doctors can help. Antibiotics either." There's a popping, crackling, scratching - her nails dragging along the textured fabric of the sofa until she can curl into herself. "I tried to find a way to beat it - The End. And now It is coming to get me." She glances towards the door and then back to Kaylee. “You should go.”

THWUMP. Isis tips and thumps onto her side, still in ball formation, on the sofa.

As his hand is caught, Richard shoots his sister a bemused look before pulling the rest of the way back, the instinctive reaction of the sick woman on the sofa observed with an increasing amount of concern writ upon his face. Even with the sunglasses, it shows through.

“…right,” he clears his throat, “Kaylee, make her comfortable, I’m going to call someone.”

His phone’s pulled out, and he taps it with his thumb to life, waiting for the connection to GhostNet to become steady before he taps through to a phone number.

Isis’ reaction is exactly a bit jarring and it takes a moment for her to register what Cardinal says. “What?” Kaylee gives a shake of her head to clear it. “Uh, yeah, sure.”

The blonde watches her brother for a moment, before turning her full attention back to Isis. Brows furrow and she settles on the edge of the coffee table, after pushing a couple of things out of the way. “Spill it.” The words more of a demand then gentle. “You got yourself into something and the only way we can ensure that you maybe live is to know what happened.”

Kaylee starts to lean forward, but stops herself, “Isis… you need to trust us.” If it was one thing Raytech had, it was resources.
“I accepted something that doesn’t belong to me…I want to live… I-wantoliveforeve-…” Blink. “Trust you…?” Isis’s gaze slides to the corner of her eye, taking in Kaylee from under a few sweat-greased strings of crimson. Blink. “Why are you even here?”

Blink. Snap. That sharp, narrowed gaze is on Richard’s back across the room. “Who is he calling?” It starts as a suspicious hiss, paired with a slithery motion of Isis’s shoulders wriggling uncomfortably. She starts to move; rise; slink. Up, over the arm of the sofa, prowling around along the wall. It’s an aimless direction - intent only on getting up of the couch and away from the siblings. “Who are you calling?” she calls out a bit louder than intended towards Richard, but just as quickly shakes her head and repeats to Kaylee. “You really should go.”

Richard's phone, meanwhile, connects with ease to another. After a moment of silence, the speaker pops to life with the background hum of an older car's engine, and the somewhat louder voice that rises above it to say, "This is -" Zachery Miller, though his name is not, in fact, said. "Which… phone is this, hello?"


“Doctor Miller,” Richard greets, his tone somewhat dry as he faces away from the couch and ignores the suspicious behavior of Isis, “Your patient seems to be doing somewhat poorly. You might want to get over here and check up on her, because I have a feeling that bringing her to the hospital would be a poor choice without further information as to her diagnosis.”

He glances over his head, “…okay, now Isis is hissing and crawling around. Yeah, you should probably get over here. Now.”

When Isis starts moving, caution has Kaylee shifting away and to her feet. Keeping furniture between her and the clearly disturbed woman.

“What do you mean, something not yours?”, Kaylee says worried and a little bit freaked out to be honest. She looks at Richard with worry. This was not like Isis I'm her mind. “Whoever that is better hurry down.”

Moving to stand next to Richard, the telepath lowers her voice, even though she keeps an eye on the body snatcher. “I’ll step out til he gets here, you have an escape route.” He can slip into the shadows if need be. “Just don't let her touch you.”

“Not my heartblood. Not my ability,” Isis mumbles as slides around the border of the room until she’s got the corner at her back, hands resting with splayed fingers on adjacent walls. On her right are the windows, blinds drawn down but knocking gently from the breeze sneaking in from the other side. On her left is the cracked door to her chaos-strewn bedroom. She stills, but only for a moment. Shivers win over a battle of wills, breaking her otherwise gargoyle-esque pose in the corner of the room.

As Kaylee mutters about leaving, Isis’s probing gaze lingers on Richard. Confusion and paranoia vie for prominence on her clammy, alabaster features. Your patient, he’d said. How do they know? Do they know? What do they know?! What do they want?!

“Get out. Get-out. Getout,” Isis mutters, but what with the way she looks around jerkily it is unclear if she’s talking to the pair of ‘concerned’ intruders or herself.

For a little while, Zachery's end of the line is silent, save for the sounds of the car he's in. It's a good thing exasperated looks of panic don't transmit through audio. After a few seconds of making sure his tone is his best attempt at concerned and not guilty, his voice sounds again. "I… 15 minutes, 20 at most. She's not - 'my patient', though," he says firmly, "she asked for my help and then didn't want anyone to know she was sick," not technically untrue, just out of context, "has she — told you how she ended up like this?"

“Twenty,” says Richard, “At most.”

Then he hangs up the phone, tucking it into his jacket and turning back to look to Isis with a worried frown wrinkling his brow. “Isis, just relax. We’re here to help— what happened to you? Who did this to you? Was this something Miller did, or… wait, did she say she never wanted to die?”

He looks to Kaylee, then back to Isis, “You didn’t— is that why you were looking for Monroe?”

“She and I used to work for him,” Kaylee points out from behind her brother’s back, a hand on the door handle ready to duck out. “It’s how she and I know each other. If it was, can you blame her?” Admittedly, her thoughts went there, too… even if the idea grosses her out some.

“No,” Kaylee says after a moment of looking at Isis. “I don’t think that is why. I think her reason was close to mine. To know where we stood.” Kaylee gives a shrug of a shoulder. For her it was more, to see if he could be reasoned with and to get his help with other matters.

Everything stops.

The shivers. The twitches. Her breathing. The Earth. Time. It feels like it all stops with that one pointed question. Her hazel eyes, glossy and without end, mirrored in his shades - reflecting him, reflecting her - over and over and over. Eternal. Eternity.

I was so close, Isis’s thought slips away. Too late to catch it. Her gaze follows the ripple towards where Kaylee lays out such a nice, thoughtful defense.

Twitch. There’s nothing to throw at him. Nothing in arms reach. But, the intent is there in the twitch - in the way her glassy nails claw across the walls and back in towards herself. Arms crossing over her chest as though she’s been laid to rest in a coffin, she looks back to Richard. “Miller didn’t do anything to me,” she hisses quietly through clenched teeth. Hushed, carefully, painstakingly controlled again: “Fear did this. I did this.” The waves of paranoia overriding meticulous self-control broil around her like a mental hurricane, but it doesn’t take a telepath to read roller-coaster effect in her body language.

But, that question still looms in the air. “You don’t know what you’re asking…” Her voice splinters, but just as quickly sharpens to a bitter, icy shield. “And it doesn’t fucking matter anymore!” She reaches down and starts yanking on the flex bandage, unveiling the area of necrotic tissue like a morbid present out of The Nightmare Before Christmas. “It won’t work! It doesn’t work any more! I couldn’t reach the shadows…”

“I get the feeling she changed her mind about her reasons,” is Richard’s deadpan response, chin tilting forward a bit so that dark eyes can regard Isis over the edge of his shades as she starts to angrily respond to his question, unmoved by her apparent emotion.

At least until the bandage is jerked away from her skin, and those midnight-black eyes widen.

“Jesus Christ,” he expels in shock, “What the hell did you do to yourself, Isis? Your arm is fucking rotting, I— Christ, I don’t care what Miller says when he gets here, we may have no choice but to get her to the hospital, Kaylee. If that gets much worse we’re looking at an amputation— “

Isis!” Kaylee blurts out in shock and disgust at the sight of her friends arm. “The hell did you do?!?” It takes everything in the telepath not to try and find out the answer, since she doesn’t know much about what Isis does, but just that she does it.

Kaylee couldn’t risk the woman’s ability using the psychic link to jump ship.

Of course, Richard makes his suggestion and his sister grimaces. “Yeah, great,” Kaylee starts with deep sarcasm at the idea of Isis losing her arm. “How do you propose we get her there? Do you have negation drugs?” Her hands spread with her own question. ”Cause she is a bodyswapper Richard, we are gonna need some.”

At this point, Kaylee’s tone holds a touch of panic. What the hell is going on?!?! She doesn’t know. It’s gone from a friendly check-in to a shit show pretty quick.

“I’m right fucking //here/!”

Isis’s shout reverberates off the walls, her hands coming up away from her arms shoulders with angry, red claw marks left in their wake. She thows the bandage at them - it flutters harmlessly to the ground barely more than a foot in front of her. She looks down at it accusingly. “This was only ever supposed to be Plan B,” she mumbles at the inanimate tangle of bandaging. And then slowwwly back up at the brother-sister duo.

She tips her head to the side. Her left eye twitches up into a squint. They’re afraid. For her? Or of her? She worries her lower lip between her teeth, pinched tier turning white under the pressure. Her right leg fidgets, bouncing rapidly, unconsciously on her toes. Finally, she nudges her chin at Richard in a ‘bring-it-on’ fashion. “You’re not taking my fucking arm.”

And just like that all the fidgeting, all the tension, releases as a sudden spring into action… a reaction.
Into the most mature and reasonable reaction possible…

She runs into her room, kicking things out of the way, and slams the door.

“Well, look what you did now…”

Kaylee quipps in irritation in that momentary silence that ensues afterwards. Their job just got harder.

“Kaylee, she’s gonna die,” Richard observes, one hand sweeping to point towards Isis… where Isis… was. The door slams, and he stares at it for a moment before swearing, one hand coming up to rub over his face. “Ambulances carry adynomine, you know, Kaylee.”

He looks at the door, then back, “Okay, well, at least we know where she is?”

“We know where she is, but we have lost an advantage,” Kaylee comments blandly, rubbing thumb and fingers over her eyes. She could feel a headache coming on. “She’s desperate.” He saw that. “Opening that door….” she shakes her head and her hand drops away to look at the door. “Know what, doesn’t matter… cause your right. Doing nothing means she dies.”

The only response is a sudden THUD on the door at the mention of the ambulance. That’s one vote for ‘no’.

Wouldn't you know it, nineteen and a half minutes after the phone call with Zachery, there's a knock at the front door. Or rather, a duller thump, thump, and then a, "It's me! I've brought some - things." Then, somewhat more quietly and a little confused,, "… Is this the right door."

The door is promptly pulled open, revealing Richard standing on the other side. “Yes,” he replies dryly, “It is the right door. Get your ass in here pronto.”

One hand sweeps in demanding invitation, and he adds in flat tones, “She’s locked herself in the bedroom. Care to explain to me, exactly, why her arm is rotting off, Miller, and why she’s convinced it had something to do with her trying to live forever?”

With her back to the door, Kaylee is gently talking through it, attempting to get Isis out of there. “You don’t want to die, but you are willing to die, just so you don’t lose the arm?” There is the slightest edge of irritation in the telepath’s voice, even though she is speaking calmly.

Finally, Kaylee sighs and turns towards Richard, “You might have to…. “ Then the telepath sees Zachery.


Kaylee stares at the guy for the first time since the world fair, lips pressed into a fine line. “I hope to hell you are a better doctor.” He was shitty as a team mate. Waving a hand at the door and moving away from it to keep distance between him and her, she says blandly, “Have at it, Doc.”

It’s easier to talk to a plank of wood than two lurking, conspiring siblings. Isis’s voice is muffled by the door, “I can’t lose my arm, Kaylee. Besides, if this doesn’t work then it doesn’t matter; my ability is br-…” The sound of Zach’s arrival triggers a hurried shuffling noise from the other side of the bedroom door.

Though he first stands baffled in the doorway, Zachery steps forward and into the apartment with a hurry. He's just about to respond to Richard when he sees Kaylee, and abruptly freezes with a swing of the leather briefcase he's got in one hand. And, it should be noted, considerably less in his left eye socket than there usually is. There's just some darkness under slanted eyelid, while his remaining eye darts between looking at Richard and Kaylee.

"Haa-…" He starts, but never finishes, mouth open as his grip on the briefcase tightens. Ignoring the handful of coincidences currently at play as he starts slowly moving toward both Kaylee and the bedroom door, he says quietly, "If I was offering people the means to live forever, do you think I'd still have a job? I'd be swimming in cash." Then, immediately afterwards he adds in a much louder, sing-song voice, "Jitters? You're going to need to open the door for a second, I've got something for you."

“You in no way answered any of those questions,” is Richard’s deadpan observation, and he closes the door behind Zachery with just enough strength that the noise it makes is noticable//. There may be a hint of temper at play here. He regards the doctor flatly as he approaches the bedroom, then looks over to his sister with a single brow’s raise.

Lucky for him, Kaylee isn’t like other telepaths out there, as much as the woman is suspicious. This one isn’t going to jump him and dig through his head, even if there is a severe temptation to do so.

By time Zachery reaches the bedroom door, Kaylee is standing by her brother again, eyes narrowing at this… Doctor.

Unfortunately for Richard, something her is thinking catches Kaylee’s attention and she straightens. Blonde hair whips as her head snaps around to stare at her brother. “He works for us?” Yes, Zachery… she said us. A hand presses to the side of her head, before fingers comb through her hair.

“Jeezus, it’s Bella all over again,” Kaylee murmurs under her breath. Maybe it’s good that she’s working NYPD now.

There is a twitch of Zachery's shoulders at the front door shutting, a breath of a nervous chuckle leaving him - but without the amusement on his face to go with it, it seems more of a reflex than choice. He puts his hand on the door, but pauses instead, turning halfway around to look at Richard again.

After a pause and wince that suggests he might be processing the 'us' mentioned, and a lingering look at Kaylee, he says, "I don't know — why this is happening." Not a lie, again, not all the way. He sounds genuinely distressed, fingertips curling inward on the paneling of the door as his eyebrows slant upward. "I haven't seen her in days, she hasn't been answering her… phone or…" He turns to the door once more, mid-sentence, and tries again. "Isis. Please."

"Don't let them in here, 'kay?" For all her thirty years of age, the voice that comes from the other side of the locked bedroom door sounds pitifully younger for the sense of plea it carries. And then, "They want to take my fucking arm."

The door cracks open and admits Zachery into the dim, messy confines on the other side. Isis's disembodied voice comes from behind the door as it starts to close. "Woah, dude. Where's your eyeball? I'm glad you're comfortable and all but that's reall gro-…"

CLICK-THUMP - The door latch hits the frame plate and something emits a muffled, succinct thump through the clothing-covered floor on the other side.

Shhct, shhct. - There's the sound of shuffling alongside Zachery's voice too muffled to be understood properly.

“Yes, he works for us.” Your sister sent him, is Richard’s response— in word and thought— as he watches Zachery approach the door, both arms folding over his broad chest and lips pursing in a thin line. “And we don’t want to take your arm, we want to make sure that they don’t need to take your— “

Then the door’s closed, and he rolls dark eyes behind sunglasses, giving a could you listen in look over his sunglasses to his sister. She’s familiar with that look!

“Valerie?” Is Kaylee’s reaction to the thought. There is a glance to the door and back to Richard. “I know for a fact, Valerie has better taste then that.”

Kaylee leaves and even her sister has gone crazy it seems.

The request to listen in gets a shake of her head. A worried look goes to the door, her voice lowering to a level below the hearing of those in the other room. “I don't know exactly how Isis’ ability works. I only know about the touch. To listen I have to basically link up with them. I don't know if she can take advantage of that.”

Kaylee’s head nods towards the door, her own brow lifting. «I saw a lot of clothes on the floor, you could sneak in there yourself, shadow man.»

But it turns out there is no need for further bickering about whose turn it is to spy. There is one more thump, and then a brief silence before the door opens once more.

Standing in the doorway is Zachery, rattling out a distressed breath, brow knit and mouth pulled into a straight line. "She passed out." And he sounds severely unhappy about it. In his arms, Isis, wrapped up in a blanket, her face barely visible from between the folds. Zachery angles his head to search Kaylee's expression, but after a hard, dry swallow, his attention resettles on Richard. "You shouldn't have left her," leaves him in a grim accusation. "How do you even know her?"

“She’s an acquaintance of my sister’s, here,” is Richard’s dry response, arms folded across his chest still and a single brow arching above his sunglasses, “And she wasn’t exactly being a cooperative patient. We did call you just about as soon as we got here. In her condition she should be in a hospital, Miller— what exactly happened to her, and give it to me straight, none of this runaround bullshit. I’ll find out the truth regardless.”

“I always do. It’s what I do. You should know that by now.”

Isis is … just there. A cocoon. With a flush of red across what little of her nose and cheekbone is visible.

It is tempting for the telepath to move towards Isis to check on her. “She and I used to work for the same man,” Kaylee explains further. “We were doing some research together, but I haven’t seen her in forever.”

Brows furrow, eyes dropping to the sleeping woman in his arms. The worry is there, Kaylee is very worried about the woman. It is still there when she finally looks up at Zachery in concern, the irritation having bled out of her. “Did she tell you what she did? We have resources, but we can’t use them if we don’t know what we are up against.”

No immediate answer comes forth from Zachery, his stare back into Richard's face unrelenting. It's not quite a 'fuck you', but it's awfully close. His breathing seems to stop, an eyelid twitches his jaw sets. There is a tightening of the grasp on Isis in her blanket, and she is pulled a little closer even if adrenaline is doing more than its part in helping him carry her.

It isn't until someone else speaks that he seems to snap back to reality, his brow knitting. "She…" He releases the breath he was holding, focusing now on Kaylee, worry both in his voice and his face. And, as far as she can tell, the worry is genuine and bright. His voice is somewhat strained when he continues, "… She said something about someone's blood, an injection. Next thing I know, she shows up with a rash and a fever, then drops off the radar, and now —" Here she is. He hoists Isis' body up in his arms up again, readjustment as much as a gesture.

"I'm sorry. I — told you already," he pleads to Kaylee, this time, voice steady - though not for lack of visible effort on his part. "I don't know what's happening to her. Now, can we stop bickering and can you get her somewhere she might not lose that arm?"

“You said someone’s blood? She…” Richard’s steady gaze sweeps back over to the unmoving form of Isis, and behind his sunglasses his eyes widen. “Oh. Oh, no, no, Isis, you— god damn it.”

One hand comes up, thumb and forefinger sliding under his shades, rubbing at his eyes. “She says she wanted to live forever. She was looking for Monroe. She got some blood from him and injected herself with it, because of the regenerative— Kaylee, she doesn’t know about Project Hydra.”

His hand drops down and sweeps towards her, “She’s probably suffering from Hydra Syndrome because that wasn’t the Prime Adam she got the blood from. Miller, I don’t know if we can save her, can you tell how far the intruding cells have gone?”

There is a loud clap that echoes off the walls of the apartment. Sharp and piercing.

Kaylee looks at both men her hands still together. She looks rather irritated. “Less talking, more getting her somewhere for help. You guys can talk on the way.” At least that had an idea of what was happening. “Lets see if we can get her stable… or… I dunno, slow her death.”

"I'm not magic, I'd need to study wh… it doesn't just translate to -"

Anything more Zachery may have said vanishes with the clap, and he tenses up with a start. Fortunately, he pulls the bundle of blanket and body closer rather than drop it.

"… I know someone who might be able to help." He finally admits, or realises, or both, starting to move forward. "But first — hospital, lab, what?" He throws a glance to Richard on his way to the front door, as if apparently that choice is up to him. "I arrived here in a hearse, let's not let her leave in one."

“Get her— “ Richard brings a hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose as his sister interrupts them, “Get her to the labs for now, the hospital would have too many questions. If your— contact can’t help, I have someone who probably can save her. Or there’s plan C, but let’s not jump right to plan C if we can at all help it.”

He turns towards the door, moving to open it for the doctor and his burden.

And Isis.

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