Food For Thought


brennan_icon.gif delia_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title Food For Thought
Synopsis After getting up the nerve to follow through on her talk with Amato, Delia's mixed signals get her caught in the Suresh Center and almost tested.
Date August 23, 2010

Suresh Center

Since her confession with the priest, Delia's been waffling about actually going to the Suresh Center for the guidance he thought she might need. It's location is, conveniently enough, near her second job and although she rides past it nearly every day today has been the only one that she's paused. For an hour now, her bike has been locked up on a nearby post and she's been standing on the end of the walk staring at the doors.

Her garb is the same simple fare that she's favored for years, old faded jeans, a t-shirt, graying tennis shoes, and a lightweight gray hoodie. If people didn't know any better, they might begin to think she's something akin to the unibomber. The expression on her face is hardened, her lips down-turned due to a mix of fear and frustration. Breathing deep and even, as though she's trying to psych herself up to do something.

Finally, she jams her hands into her pockets and marches straight for the doors. All the air is expelled from her lungs as she steps over the threshold and looks around wide eyed. The security guard at the information booth is bypassed in favor of looking around the lobby. The only thing she can hear apart from the general din of a busy day is her own breathing, it's shaking with fear.

Megan happens through the lobby not too many moments later, just about the time the guard's about to approach the young woman. Meg waves him off to handle it herself. She's a tall redhead in her early 40s with a no-nonsense demeanor. She's wearing a pair of blue scrub pants and a multicolored scrubs top, her copper hair caught up in a twist. "Hello," she greets gentle. "Can I help you find anything?" Because a lot of people come in here with that look.

Delia hadn't noticed the guard stepping up to her, she'd been too busy staring at the different placards on the walls, designating which room is what. When Megan steps up and addresses her, Delia flicks her head toward her, the whites clearly surrounding her blue irises with a bit of fear. "N- I— " That's when she trembles a little, although plainly trying to stop herself. Her breath quickens to a point where any trained medical professional might suspect hyperventilation. "I— " she begins again, trying to force the words out of her mouth. "A priest sent me here," she finally blurts, "to find out."

Megan puts a hand out to gentle the girl's shoulder. "I see. It's all right. What's your name?" she asks, her tone easy. "I'm Megan." She gently nudges Delia toward a small seating area, just so they can talk.

At the touch, Delia flinches as though in preparation of pain. When she's not burned, frozen, shocked, or otherwise harmed in any way, she relaxes enough to nod quickly and skulk to where she's being guided. She keeps her head down, her curly red hair hiding most of her face to anyone looking their way.

When they reach the chairs, Delia's legs give out and she practically collapses into one of them. Her hands quickly move from her pockets to clasp together and get tucked between her knees. Her wild eyes flit in several different directions before they finally settle on Megan. Then she attempts a small twitch of a smile.

She's not the first person to come through the door terrified. She won't be the last. "Since everyone, Evo and Non alike have to be registered, it frankly doesn't matter much one way or the other which you are," Megan begins gently. "So before you go get the test — which is just a simply finger stick for a blood test and that's it — why don't you tell me what makes you think you might be Evolved?" She keeps her voice low, allowing both a private conversation without boxing the girl into a room. If she bolts, Meg wants her to have plenty of room.

If her eyes weren't wide enough already, they expand to the size of saucers when she's so quickly outed by the woman she's barely spoken to. Delia's jaw drops open a little and then with a click of clashing teeth, she closes her mouth again and licks her lips. The young redhead shrinks, hunching her shoulders to hover low over her knees and then she clears her throat. "Home evo tests…" she utters, her voice barely a whisper. "And my dad… My dad."

Megan chuckles softly. "Don't take it wrong — but the only people who come in sweating the test like this generally suspect they are." She is very sympathetic but there's still the streak of pragmatism. "So you've already taken a home test then? All right. Do you have any idea what it is that you can do?" She's clearly perfectly willing to sit here and let Delia calm down before they go anywhere. The sitting area is far enough from where everyone is that no one will bother them — can't even hear them. And the redhead's making sure no one approaches too. "Have you spoken to your father about your suspicions?"

"He knows… he works for HomeSec," Delia says quietly. She blinks rapidly and purses her lips together before they turn downward and her chin quivers a little. A long sniffle is taken and her eyes find Megan's and she just stares for a moment. "I— My dad called it dream walking." She swallows quite audibly, trying to gather whatever courage she can. "You're not going to test me here, are you? I— " She seems to have a small problem with stuttering and actually getting her words out. Finally, leaning forward, she lowers her eyes to the ground and whispers, "I don't want to register. I don't want everyone to know."

Well, hell. Megan glances around and says, "Of course we wouldn't test you here. Come, let's get you situated in a room, okay?" She puts a hand out to guide Delia upstairs. "You still haven't told me your name," she prompts gently. They'll talk about the rest of that once they're behind closed doors.

Shaking her head quickly, Delia waffles actually getting out of her chair and just looks at Megan. "A room? I have to stay? I thought. The priest said. He said that someone would talk to me, that's all…" Her voice cracks and stops before she clears it loudly, trying to get whatever is stuck in there out. "I have to go to school, I have jobs. I can't stay, the hospital.. They need me. I think." She doesn't take too many shifts there anymore, but the ones she does are hard to fill. Overnights on weekends, no one wants those.

"No of course you don't have to stay," Megan replies tartly. "If you want me to do the blood test out here, we can. But you'll have to give me a clearer signal here, kiddo," she says mildly, her voice remaining low. "You said you wanted to know; that requires the test." And legally speaking, even talking to this girl about not registering could get her license pulled, at minimum. Megan says quietly, "I think we'd better talk about the rest of this where no one's likely to walk in, okay?"

Nodding quickly Delia gets up out of her chair and jams her hands in her pockets again, following Megan to the second floor. "I want to know about evolved people…" she utters stubbornly, bristling a little at Megan's tone. "Before this… The only thing I knew was from what I learned from Humanis First." She gives the other redhead a sidelong glance but keeps walking with her until they reach a room. "And… the bomb."

Megan escorts Delia into one of the exam rooms, closing the door gentle behind her. "That's what we're here for — to answer questions and foster a better understanding," the redhead replies. "Humanis First definitely not a source of reasonable information," she adds in a tone of disgust. "You said your father works for the government. There are any number of Evos and non-Evos alike who probably work with him. You probably go to school with kids who, like you, have an ability. Everyone's afraid of what they don't understand, and the more we don't talk about it, the worse it gets. Do you feel any different just because you can walk in dreams?"

She raises a hand to scratch at the side of her nose, her face pointed downward in shame, but her eyes lifted to look at Megan's face. "He does, but he never talks about it. He didn't tell me what he did for a living until— " Delia pauses for a half a breath, obviously trying to expell her guilt. "— we stopped talking for a long time. My sister was, still is, really mad at him." She swallows again and takes a breath before issuing the other woman a very weak smile, "I wrecked his garden. I got mad. I just— " Again she pauses to consider her words very carefully. "My sister feels like he's lied to us our whole lives. He says he was trying to protect us. I don't know what I think. I haven't told my sister anything."

The exam room is marked as having a patient, which means that a doctor would be expected shortly. In the meantime, Megan is slipping gloves on to do the blood test for the young woman. "Finding out one way or the other isn't going to solve all your problems, you know," she offers gently. "The fact of the matter is that by showing up here to have your blood officially tested, we're required by law to report that we've done it." Whether Megan agrees or not, by staying in her chosen field she has to abide by this law. "We have a lot of classes and support groups here, though, that can help you settle in. Or.. you can just have the test done, fill out the papers, and not worry about it. Based on your description, I'd figure you'd wind up on Tier-0, which means your ability is of no threat to anyone and so it's merely a matter of form."

Delia keeps her hands jammed into her pockets, eying Megan as she puts the gloves on. "Th— Then I don't want the test. I don't." She shakes her head quickly and glances around the room wildly. "I don't want to get put on a list." Her voice quivers and she swallows hard, scrambling back a step or two. "If I get put on a list, I'll get hunted. The visions… I want to wait until they— " and she cuts herself off again, clenching her jaw tightly and pressing her lips into a very thin line.

Megan holds up her hand. "Calm down. I'm not going to force you into this," she tells the girl. She proceeds to strip the gloves right back off. "Tell me what it is that you do need. Laws of Registration aside, leaving all that outside this door…. what is it that you want to know?" It will be difficult for her to tout the benefits of being registered, but that's also part of her job description here. One that she skirts the edges of regularly, though now that the laws are in place for everyone, not just Evos, it's going to be a ton harder.

Speaking of tier 0's and abilities of no threat to anyone, there's one outside the door. The thunk of a chart being dumped into a holder outside the adjacent room, none for the one he's heading into. Familiar sounds for any place medical. It's followed by a soft knock on the door, knuckles rapping against the wood that serves as the barrier between Megan and Delia. That's the warning given as the lever is turned and the door inches open.

"Good morning Exam room…" He pauses to look. "Four! How are we this day Miss…" Brennan's head precede's his body, dark hair with silver at the temple, tall and broad shouldered. GQ quite possibly and a known face in the media and around here with regards to things evolved. His hand remains on the doorknob, letting his words die out as the panicked Delia is seen and Megan with the gloves coming off. "Well." he glance between the two and listens. "Isn't this… just.. Hi. I'm Doctor Brennan, I see you met Megan"

"I just wanted to know what they— " Then the door opens and once again Delia is scrambling backward and eying the familiar face of the doctor. A small whine escapes the girls lips and she slumps a little against the opposite wall. "Great, a city with ten kajillion people and I walk into the one place with a familiar face." A long breath escapes her lips in a puff and something of a scowl forms on her features. "Hello Doctor Brennan…" is the prepared reply to the doctor, then she glances toward Megan and attempts another weak smile. "I want to know why everyone is being registered, is it because of the visions? Because something really bad is going to happen?"

Megan's brows shoot up. "Oh! No, actually….. everyone is registered because it's legislation they've been pushing through for months. And they managed to get it through because by making it everyone has to get registered — Evo and Non — it's a non-discriminatory bill." Megan's tone is carefully neutral over that, much as she'd like to *cough*bullshit!*cough*. "The visions…. they're still not entirely sure of the source of, though they claim they're studying them."

"Miss Ryans. I see you've made it through fairly unscathed. Stepped foot back in a grocery store yet?" The door closes, moving away from it so that if the girl really wants to bolt, she can. He pulls over a rolling stool, sitting down in it, inviting her to sit in one of the others and for Megan to do the same.

"No one will poke anyone. Sit down. I won't and I'm fairly certain that Nurse young here won't be doing an.." he looks over. "Evolved test. Come on, I don't bite"

Megans reply to Delia though, leaves some to be desired. "They couldn't get an accurate count of the evolved population, and it was discriminatory. Relied on volunteering up information and was flawed. It still is flawed, but with the across the board registration, it makes it easier, like a census, and helps folks to identify whether they are evolved or not and to seek help and education, should they need it so that they don't become a liability to others, themselves or their families should they loose control of their abilities."

Brennan leans his elbows on her knee's, hand loosely clasped together. "Many people have come to find that they're evolved through the new amendment to the Linderman Act and have been coming here to gain a better understanding of this new aspect of their lives and how to continue on as normal everyday Americans who just have a specialized talent" A still friendly look on his face, the man tries to calm the other girl. "Through control, through education and awareness, one can hope that eventually the population will come to see the positive aspects and individuals who bear the SLC gene and maybe, through work by many parties, the Lidnerman act can be made a voluntary registration instead of mandatory. For now though.." For now it's mandatory.

"Want to see mine?" Brennan shifts then, leaning to one side so he can dig out his wallet and produce his registration card and pass it over.

"Y-You're one of them?" Delia still separates herself from the group itself, and that causes a little twitch in her eyebrows. Carefully, she reaches forward and takes the card, examining it carefully and tilting it to expose any hidden holographs. After careful consideration of the card, she passes it back and places her hands in her pockets again. "When I found out— When I found out for sure," the young redhead begins quietly, "I was in my dad's head, in his guilt. It happened once before, when I was taking care of a patient at the hospital. He, uhm, he died, the sound of him flatlining woke me up. I didn't know, I thought he did it all. I told my dad about it a month or so later. I think that's when he figured it out. I didn't want to talk about it."

Thank God. Someone has put it in words that will allow Megan to keep doing her job. Seriously. After the past week, she has been unable to. She says softly to Delia, "It's frightening to realize that you have a talent that other people don't. Any talent. Especially one that you don't have full control of. It can also be a blessing, too, though…. I've heard of dream manipulators being able to help — just as an example — people suffering from post-traumatic stress. Being able to ease their nightmares." She pauses. "That was the original intent of the Registry. For people who needed the particular help that could be found in the talents available to be able to find it."

"I am indeed one of them. I found out, about… three years ago? My wife Michelle, she's a atmokinetic. Means she can control the weather. She's really good at temperature control. But man, you get her upset and boom, there's a foot of snow. She's had it for about 12 years, best as we can figure. I think it's why we both survived a hurricane out in Honduras where we met. Then there's my girls. Marlena, you met her" He gestures to his ears. "She's not. The odd one out in our family. But my twins, they tested positive. Leaves us wondering what they'll do, but when they do manifest, we'll be there for them. Better, I think, to know and be prepared, than to be all surprise! at the dinner table right?"

The card is taken back, tucked away into his wallet and put away.

"Oniermancer hmm" THe more clinical and scientific name offered up than Megan's dream manipulator. "Not many of those. Not too tough to practice with either. Megans right, many useful ways to help people with it"

Elbows back on his knee's, he tilts his head to the side. "Do you think, that with your patient who passed on, that you helped him with what you did? What happened while you were in his dream?"

Brennan's question actually causes Delia's eyes to water a bit. No tears fall, all thanks to some rapid eye blinking and a deep shuddering breath. She looks down at her feet and clears her throat softly, "He saved my life, that's why he died. He was found in the snow, when the temperatures got so low. He was in a coma. He tested positive and not many people wanted to just sit with him." She raises her head just enough to look over at Megan and twist her lips into another tentative smile. "We were going to do a crossword, or play a game. I didn't even know I was in his head. I didn't know I fell asleep while I was watching him." Her eyes shift over to the doctor and she breathes in quickly through her nose, resulting in a long sniffle. "He was a healer, I guess, that's what dad called it. He died of a brain tumor that he took out of my head."

"What do you think, that you gave him in return?" Brennan's voice low, shifting to move when Megan gets up, her called over the loudspeakers in the Center. Likely one of her patient with belly filled with child needing her in a panic.

"I didn't give him anything," the redhead says in a low tone. She doesn't believe that she did. She was nice to him, she talked to him, she listened, but anything past that… As Megan exits the room, Delia waits and watches until the door clicks shut. "I opened the windows so he could see the sun, he said he missed the sun." Another series of rapid blinks has her sniffling a little before looking over at Brennan again. "When I was in my dad's head, there was a woman there. She used to work with my dad, she said that not everyone was on a list."

"You gave him the sun Delia" He points out, tone soft. "In his mind, yes, but you gave him the sun. If he was in a coma, if he was locked in his head, think how long he'd been waiting for someone to open that window and give him the sun"

Brennan shifts, enough to grab at a box of tissues and hold them out, no other move yet made to comfort the other woman.

"What do you think she meant by that?"

"I think," she leans over to take one of the tissues. Instead of using it, she wrinkles it in her hand as a sort of security blanket. "I thought she was telling me that I didn't have to register." Blue eyes lift again to find the doctor's and her lips twitch up at one side. The look lasts for only a moment before she flits her eyes downward again, somewhat ashamed. "I was always the one that followed the rules, my sister's the rebel… But I don't feel good about registering. Since the visions, did you have a vision?" The question switches the focus of the topic rather suddenly and with it the young woman scrutinizes the doctor carefully.

"I did. It was very confusing. I was with someone who was washing blood off a sidewalk really early in the morning and I was coming out of my home, telling her that it was early enough, no one would see. I pointed to something small beneath a blue tarp" Brennan leans back, slouching in his seat and crossing his arms across his chest, hands tucked between chest and forearm. "What do you make of that Delia?"

"I don't know… It sounds like something was killed on the sidewalk. Under the tarp, it could be the body of an animal or maybe a little kid." She doesn't mince words, even though he has children of his own. There's a rather grave expression on Delia's face and her eyes drift to one of the far corners of the room. "In mine, I was on a boat. There were a lot of people and they waited for one woman to get on. She'd been shot and a man was yelling about how she'd been shot trying to help kids and that they shot at kids." She stops, stops breathing, stops focusing on anything for a minute before looking back up to him. "That's why I don't want to register, not until after the visions are supposed to happen. If I'm on a list and they're shooting people… It'll be easier to find me."

"You realize that what was seen, might not come to pass Delia, right? That by seeing it, the people who experienced what they did, if they didn't like it, would and could actively seek to not have it happen." Ankles crossed, he tilts his head to the other side, then back again as if weighing something.

"Here's your choices, i'll just lay them out. You can register, we can do it for you today. You get the little jab on the finger as if you were a diabetic who is taking their sugar. Sure, you already know that it will turn Red. That's a given, but it's a formality. We get an appointment all sorted out with homeland so that they can have you demonstrate for them. I can even go with you if you like, free of charge, someone whom is a familiar face" Forefinger goes up on one hand that he's unpinned.

"Second choice, you can not register. Hope that the authorities don't need to stop you for something like a broken tail light or something of the sort. IF you do get caught, there's court dates, heavy fines, community service or possibly jail time."

There goes the second finger up. "You can wait till November, but there's the chance of number two happening and really, it's a complete pain in the ass, let me tell you. More pain than it's worth and if you think that what you saw is going to happen come November, how do you think things will be registration wise post that occurrence? So you could register and come November, actively avoid being in a situation where you'll be near the water, near boats and near children"

Letting loose a soft sigh, Delia glances down at the floor for a moment or two before looking up at the doctor again. "I want to talk to my dad first, before I do it," she says slowly. One of her hands comes up to rub at the back of her neck and tangle in the curly hair behind her head. "I get it, I know, I have to and I know that in theory it's a good idea. I just— I'm scared that the list is going to be used to get rid of— us." It's a weak argument, for sure, but she's not completely convinced, not without her father's counsel on the matter. "Thanks doctor, you've given me a lot of reason to do it. Instead of just trying to get around it."

"If I at all, Delia, thought that it would be used, to eliminate the population of those who are evolved, I would never have registered. It's flawed, but it's changing, for the better I like to think." Brennan pulls from out of his slouch, standing up and offering his hand out to Delia to help her up. "In the end, it's up to you and what you want to do. I can only hope that you choose registration over not. Be a shame to see you show up in a court room some day. The only change that will come, with regards to the Linderman act will be from within, and not from without"

Placing her hand in Brennan's, Delia stands and then gives him a friendly parting shake. A rather worried expression passes over her features when she finally releases the hand. "Can— You won't tell anyone— I mean, you won't tell anyone that I was here, or anything that I told you. Will you?" The young woman is uncertain whether doctor patient confidentiality extends to something such as this. "I just want to talk to my dad first. See what he thinks, I mean, he works for HomeSec…" Her voice drifts off before she can give any more hypothesis on what her father may or may not believe on the matter.

"Pretty sure Delia, that I'm in a heap of trouble if I talk about what happened in here between you, myself and Megan." A humble smile on his face, he claps a hand gently down on her shoulder and gives it a squeeze. "I won't say a word, and I can only hope that you choose to register. If you have anymore questions…" Out comes the wallet again, a business card for a private practice, and a pen scribbling a cell number along the back. "Call Delia. Anytime, day or night. Maybe you might want to talk to Michelle, I encourage you to talk with others, get their thoughts and make an informed decision"

The business card is taken and Delia actually lifts her chin to give the doctor a genuine smile. "I will, I'll call, and I'll make sure to come here to get registered if— when I do." She turns on her heel and places the card carefully in her pocket before reaching for the doorknob and opening the door. There she pauses and turns slightly toward him. "I wanted to be a doctor, I was going to quit at the hospital because I thought my life was over when this happened. Thanks… for everything." Then she's out the door and hurrying down the hall without another word.

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