bella_icon.gif m_jack_icon.gif mortimer_icon.gif

Scene Title Fraternization
Synopsis Mortimer gets settled in his new facility quarters, while an assistant takes samples and Bella asks him relevant questions.
Date June 7, 2010

Staten Island Hospital

Mortimer's quarters.

As a guest, rather than a prisoner, Mortimer Jack has been provided with a larger room and more accoutrements than most other test subjects brought to the Project Icarus facility. Bella was there to greet him upon their arrival, all smiles and gratitude, acting like a hostess showing you around her house - a little strange considering the 'house' is a revamped hospital.

A rather nervous looking young asian woman with a small bandage on her neck knocks on Mortimer's door before peeking inside, a clipboard under her arm. "Uh… Mr. Jack?" she says, tentatively.

"Only technically, just call me Mortimer." he says as he sits on the bed in a white buttoned up shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and his biker boots. He's been rather calm lately, even when Jack's out. In truth, they're both excited at the idea of getting their ability back, though there's definitely something they need to tell Bella. "Do you need something?" he politely asks, raising an eyebrow.

This girl has been through a little too much lately. Mortimer can see from the tension in her bearing that she's actually ready to bolt. His politeness, and calmness, simultaniously disconcert her, and come as a huge relief. She smiles, a pretty sight despite the notable space between her front incisors. She enters the room with caution, but no hesitation. "Uh… hi. I'm Carla," she steps closer, and sticks out her hand, offering to shake, "I'm just here to take some samples. Director Sheridan should be here soon, though. I'll try and get out of your hair as soon as possible."

"That's fine, though you seem kind of nervous. I'm just here to get my ability back, don't worry." Mortimer tries not to make sudden movements, since she seems like she might be easily spooked, and rolls up a sleeve to offer his arm.

Carla looks grateful at Mortimer's cooperation and assurance, though also embarrassed that her nerves are so obvious. "Not every one of our… uh… participants are as… well mannered as you," Carla says, pulling a sample kit out from under her clip board, opening it, and preparing to take the necessary bits of biomatter. A swab disinfects Mortimer's inner arm, a needle raises, "Ready?"

"I'm ready, perfectly fine with needles." Mortimer is the last person who should be afraid of needles, considering one of his arms are robotic, but she's luckily spared from that sight, considering the glove on his left arm. "So, Carla, eh? I'll remember that name."

Carla's eyes flicker up to Mortimer's, and her laugh is just as nervy as one might expect. "Well, that shouldn't be hard. It's pretty common," she says, lamely attempting a joke - it's endearing in its lameness, if for no other reason. The blood drawing is, whatever the state of Carla's comfort, done with expert care and quickness. The next test is a saliva sampling, and Carla asks Mortimer to open his mouth.

Outside, in the hallway beyond the door, the clack clack of low heels approaching can be heard.

Mortimer opens his mouth for the swab, then closes it when she finishes. "Why are the other patients causing trouble? It seems like you're just trying to help to me." he shrugs, clearly not knowing the whole sum of this operation. He eyes the door, and a part of him, possibly masucline intuition, can practically sense Bella.

Carla has no more chances to be indiscreet. Bella appears at the door, smiling that warm hostess's smile, and Carla shuts right up. The psychiatrist crosses the room as Carla takes the last sample, a hair sample, clipped from the back of Mortimer's head, right down to the roots. "Mortimer," Bella says, discerning the dominant personality just from the man's bearing. She takes his hand and clasps it in hers, giving it a friendly squeeze before reaching to pluck up Carla's clipboard from the table where the assistant set it. "I'm going to need some background, about your ability, it's nature, when it manifested and when you lost it. From there we can try and figure out the appropriate programme."

"I have to tell you something before we get it back. We're going to need medication to counter the side effects, the chemical imbalance it triggers that creates the hallucinations. My mother takes the medication, she has the same ability I think, you should go to her to find out what it is." Mortimer stares at Carla for a moment, then looks up at Bella from his seat. "I'm not entirely clear on when it manifested, but I started becoming more and more interested in engineering during the last year or two of high school, which ended in me building a bomb. Things are a little hazy, which might mean Jack has the broken memories. In fact, he probably knows the most about the ability in general. But we lost it when a man stole it, a man with lots of abilities, old. I'm told he's dead now, but he just ripped it right out of me somehow…"

Bella nods, taking some quick notes on the clipboard, brisk in that way that so many doctor's have. That med school training never quite leaves you, even after a long time in different practice. Carla has finished up her work, and stands at attention. Bella regards her, gives her a small smile, and nods. She may leave. "Nice meeting you, Mortimer," the assistant says, before nodding her goodbye to the doctor and exiting the way she came.

"It would help if we understood the mechanism by which this old man took your ability," Bella admits, "Do you know if you still test positive for the Suresh Linkage Complex? We'll test to make sure, but while we're both here and I can just ask you… do you know?"

"I don't know, I've never been tested in my entire life. Well, I was taken to the hospital that one time by the police, but I broke out before I could actually be arrested. One of those shared memories from before the split." Mortimer lays across the bed completely, though keeps his feet over the edge. "I don't know who the guy was or how he took my ability, I just know he touched me, and it was like I was getting my soul ripped out…"

Bella takes note of this discription. She doesn't for a second believe in souls, but she does believe in phenotypes and replicators, and having your DNA manhandled would certainly feel like something all right. "Well, as I said, we'll test it. If you still register as having the SLC, we'll just have to undo whatever damage or foreign agent might be interfering with its expression. If you don't test positive for the complex, well," she makes a face, "We'll be in treacherous waters. But I will do everything I can."

"So when do we start? And uh, should I let you talk to Jack? He's convinced he knows more about our ability than me, but won't actually tell me why." Mortimer rolls his eyes, but smiles at Bella, looking her up and down once, then makes eye contact. It's clear what thought just went through his mind, as if he just remembered she wasn't just a doctor.

Bella doesn't miss the look. She reaches out and cups Mortimer's cheek with her hand, thumb brushing his cheekbone. "We'll start as soon as we get the tests back," she says, "And yes, I'd be happy to speak to Jack. But let him know I'll want you back on before I go, all right?" Her hand withdraws. Just the one little touch, trying to deftly secure her influence.

"Alright…" Mortimer's voice and gaze seem to get a bit hazy, like a high school girl in the presence of a football captain. But after a short pause, he grins widely and slides his hands behind his head, staring up at her with deviant amusement. "I spoke to a little girl, a genius girl. Her brain was like an Evolved database, and I learned my ability is similar to that Sylar guy. Only, it just works on machines, intuitive mechanical aptitude or something…"

Bella starts to take notes again. Her affect around Jack is rather different than the one she employs around Mortimer. Less doting, more sardonic. "Charming comparison," she says, "Between yourself and a mass murderer. Anything else you can tell me about the ability? Any and every detail may help."

"My eyes turn silvery when I use it, like a mirror," Jack points up to one of his eyes. "It's like liquid mercury when it does that. When I'm using my ability, it's like… I understand things, I can see the potential in a mass of parts, beautiful, really. And then I can see the things, true sight. Like the eye and the tentacles that watch us from the sky, the little imps you see causing accidents. I can't see them anymore, but they were there… And don't arouse Mortimer before you bring me out, the only woman for me is my Southern Belle. I don't care what he does, but leave me out of it."

Bella gives a little laugh, "If that's all it takes to excite Mortimer, the poor man needs more frequent release," she says, "So, these visions you have, the imps, the eyes and the tentacles, do they feel like part of the process of understanding? Do the visions help you while you work, or do they just happen?"

"They're just there, they make me lose focus a lot, and sometimes things seem one way but are actually another. It's hard to tell what's real sometimes." The way Jack speaks is occasionally a little confusing, at least for one who isn't a therapist. It's clear he slips in and out of acknowledging the visions as reality and hallucination, so it's hard to tell which he truly believes, if he does indeed believe one over the other. "He certainly likes you, I'm just glad you made him stop whining about Hokuto."

Bella doesn't comment further on Mortimer's like. It's useful for her to keep alive in some small way, but it would never, ever, do for her to really cultivate it. She just keeps making her notes, seeming pleasantly unperturbed. "Well," she says, "The tests will take a while to finish, particularly the hair analysis, but we should be able to start working by tomorrow. We have two major mechanisms at our disposal: an amplification drug, and the H5n10 virus. The former enhances already present abilities, but can't really bring back nullified abilities, and the latter, well, it just nullifies and in some cases permanently suppresses abilities. So we're looking at a lot of reverse engineering and mutual interaction. The ampflication drug has side effects, so we have to be careful with it. I will, of course, be very responsible. Is there anything you want to know, right now?"

"Right now? Well… no questions, but I'd like to say we're willing to do anything if it means we'll get our ability, short of permanent destruction of our minds." Then, Jack points a finger at the door. "And I want you to send Carla, for Mortimer. We don't want him too hung up on you, now do we?"

Bella's brows arch, "Jack, are you suggesting I serve that poor, sweet girl up like a morsel?"

Jack's smile grows very wide at that, then he offers an innocent shrug. "I'm simply suggesting that you nudge her in here, and I'll let Mortimer do the rest. He's a smooth operator, since he's me after all.

Bella's lips are thin, and she gives a sigh, "I would really rather him not fraternize with the staff. That can cause difficulties," she pauses, "However, I'll keep Carla on - she could use the rest, frankly, and at the end of the day I actually trust her to keep her head." She nods, "If that's all, I'll leave you for the day. If you need me, of course, you can buzz me. Don't cry wolf, though."

"I have a city to run." And with that, there's another of those short pauses, and Mortimer holds his head with a slight wince. "Hey, I hope you actually learned something. I know sometimes he just wants to mess with people, and I've gotta take his word for it…"

"I trust that, if nothing else, he wants me to succeed," Bella says, tucking the clip board under her arm, "I need to tend to the other participants, Mortimer, but I'll be back tomorrow. Buzz me if you need me." She starts to step back, then pauses, "Also, try not to be too dashing, alright? I don't need you distracting my underlings." A three pronged attack, this: it's a flirty compliment, a glancing suggestion that he could appeal to Carla, and an explicit request that he not pursue her.

Mortimer gives Bella a brief nod, smiling softly before closing his eyes. He apparently has nothing better to do, so he may as well get a bit of sleep. "I think I'll read a book later…"

"Make a list, and we'll send you what we can find," Bella says, backing towards the door, "Thanks so much for doing this, Mortimer. Really. I deeply appreciate it. Rest well!" And she's gone.

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