Introducing Doctors van Dyne and Wu


bao-wei3_icon.gif bella_icon.gif

Scene Title Introducing Doctors Van Dyne and Wu
Synopsis Bella and Bao get a new clubhouse.
Date October 15, 2010

North Jersey - Maxwell Facility #5

At a secret lab, owned by the Maxwell Corporation…

Head down, pedal to the metal. Heat cranked to the max.

By the end of the forty five minute drive, Bella still ends up feeling like she might have frost bite.

The silver of her sports car, that ever uncharacteristic automobile, streaks southward over the southern border into the gentle arms of New Jersey. It's a two seater, so Bao-Wei must sit shotgun. Bella stops being able to feel her right ear about fifteen minutes in. And she remembered to wear a winter cap.

The facility is hidden, apparently, under a temporary truck storage stop. Privately owned by the corporation of course. Shipments can come in and out, innocent and anything, and no on is the wiser. Bella has made preparations for their arrival, and she's stopped by the security checkpoint only briefly before being ushered past the gates. Bella pulls up in a parking spot that is easily four times the length of the car, and escapes the frigid interior of the car. It got harrowing at the end there, going that fast and with the windows constantly fogging and - nearer to Bao-Wei - even frosting. The redhead actually hops up and down and beats her hands against her arms, trying to restore her circulation.

"Next time, do us both a favor and bring a truck…" Doctor Cong can appreciate a ride somewhere, but in a two-seater, struggling as he is to stay decently human? There were various issues that made the drive a pain, but perhaps the one that he was least comfortable with was the fact she drives a two-door sports car. He can live with fogging windows and making the atmosphere frigid. The doctor leans out of the door of the car virtually when it stops and he pops it open, his leather gloves leaving faint crusts of cold on surfaces that he touches. It's been a long time since he forced himself back- the drive, while quick, was still rather long to keep down something like his ability.

Bao-Wei brushes a coat of ice from his sleeves, the fine layer of the same on his face likely a bizarre form of perspiration. He takes a look around where they have parked, peering warily past the brim of his hat. "What next?"

She's one step ahead, already tugging off her winter things and tossing them into the car before tugging her purse from under her seat and popping out out. She extracts three things - two badges and a blonde wig. One of the badges she sets on the car's roof and sends sliding over to Bao-Wei. It's an ID badge, with an impressive sounding security clearance level, and no picture - it would be hard to impersonate Bao-Wei to anyone who'd actually met him. Emblazoned in large dark letters is his chosen alias, wheedled out of him for undisclosed reasons by Bella earlier. Dr. Xuan Wu

Bella's hair was already pulled up under her cap, so it's no great task to set the wig atop her head. Dr. Sheridan is now a blonde, just a shade or two away from platinum, and, with her face so framed, another change in her features jumps out prominently. She's got green eyes, clear and almost a little luminously verdant. Contacts, and not the most subtle ones. Still, her appearance here matches the photo on her ID, which also has the alias she has picked out for herself. *Dr. Joelle Van Dyne*

The badge is pinned to her jacket pocket and she begins to walk towards a building marked with a large red '3'. Bella motions for Bao-Wei to follow, tracing a path towards the great metal hanger where trucks ostensibly find shelter from the harsh elements. In through a maintenance door, its maglock deactivated with a swipe of Bella's badge, they enter a small room with an somewhat dingy looking elevator. Another badge swipe against some sensor hidding underneath the unlit elevator call button (it looks like it only goes 'up', if it goes at all) and the dingy doors slide open to reveal a strikingly clean and well lit interior, all brushed steel, with a metal railing. Bella steps inside. This is what's next, apparently.

Nobody here knows him, so perhaps Doctor Wu- haha- has always been, forgive me, frigid. He takes the badge off the car with a mote of hesitance, examining it and clipping it onto his own coat. He has somehow managed to not look entirely homeless today, it so happens. But there is still something ragged about him- the hollows of his eyes, the somewhat awkward gait, the jerky motions of his shoulders. Bao-Wei peers aside to her badge when she pins it on, his expression mostly unreadable, save for a faint 'really?'. The green eyes are suddenly more distracting than a disguise should allow.

Doctor Cong follows her at a decent clip, his shoes and coat trailing frost over the autumn-dampened asphalt. For the most part, he simply watches, likely memorizing bit by bit as she leads him to the elevator. Just what he needs- another confined space. At the very least, he makes a renewed effort to quell his cold, the biting on the inside of his bones and muscles stinging like a thousand more hornets.

Bella has reasons that reason does not know. The elevator doors slide shut before them. Not buttons, no level display. Just a maintenance panel that doesn't look like the sort of thing you casually open. The elevator seems to know where it's going anyways. It coasts downwards, and Bella edges away from Bao because… it's not like she needs to lose her ear just out of politeness.

"They've been informed of our arrival, and our oversight," Bella explains in the ever-more-freezer-like confines of the elevator, "the other scientists working here. Most of them are, I'm taken to understand, ethically discredited and otherwise in need of a job that doesn't really exist. No so much loyal as left with few other options. We should announce ourselves, then take a quick tour. I checked, and I believe this facility has an excellent biotech floor. I imagine that's were you'll be directing your attention?"

The elevator's deceleration is smooth but still felt by its passengers. It comes to a stop, and there is a brief delay before the doors slide open.

"So yet again, we're with others just like us? Where have we not learned by now?" Bao-Wei starts out talking at her, and somehow, ends up talking to himself. Possibly a by-product of how he's been living, though it is not clear. He removes the hat on his head, fingers digging into the brim as he hangs it at his side. In the light- true light- he looks terrible. Literally undead.

"As directed as it can be, yes." He does not immediately look at her when he responds, mismatched eyes flickering over a second later, and back to the doors when they whirr and slide open.

Talking to yourself is something Bella can get behind. It's hard, otherwise, to find an interlocutor whose intelligence equals your own. Though it can be tough to live with yourself sometimes. Bella isn't sure how good company Bao-Wei is for himself, but she does think getting out a little never hurt anyone. Even if it means getting out to Jersey.

"These people work for us. And while we're here we work for no one," Bella states, as if this makes all the difference in the world. She certainly thinks it does. "We direct the project as we see fit. Given, our budget is smaller and our legal parameters somewhat more stringent," no more kidnapping Triad members, at least not with automatic governmental blessing, "but no one can step in and tell us our line of thinking isn't in the interests of some goddamn shadow government."

The doors open on a middle sized foyer. The black bulbs of security cameras stare down at them with blank suspicion as the faux-blonde and the frozen corpse step into the New Jersey branch of the Maxwell Corporation's off-the-books experimental science division. Only way to compete in a world with mutants and secret societies.

It's not long before a white coated man, short, plump faced, skin a Mediterranean olive, arrives through the only doors, on the other side of the room. He speaks with precision, voice clipped, though there is a certain softness to his accent. Lebanese… maybe Syrian. "Dr. Wu, Dr. Van Dyne. You could have warned us. It is Friday. Jean wearing mentality. Not good for presentation."

"As long as the work is getting done, I frankly don't give a damn." Bao-Wei's answer is perhaps more curt than it should be, with this man he's just met- but that just means he is back in his element, so to speak. "My body is being ripped apart from the inside, and my skin falls off if I am idle too long. I think that jeans are the least important problem here, mm?" Just saying.

Bao-Wei looks to Bella, Wu to Van Dyne. This may take some getting used to, but there is an obvious mix of mirth and congratulations on his face. "Well. Shall we have a proper look?"
ORDER: It is now your pose.

"Dr. al-Shuja," the plump man says, offering his hand to Bella, who shakes it firmly if quickly. Something about this man makes her feel like she shouldn't do anything too time consuming when he's around. He has an aura of bustle. Bao's comments (something he'd better get used to) draw a blank, uncomprehending gaze. However blank, though, this look makes Dr. al-Shuja examine Bao-Wei more closely. To perceive, more entirely, his condition. He was given some warning ('skin condition' is how Bella relayed it) but… some things have to be seen to be believed.

"Anything we can do? For you comfort?" al-Shuja inquires, hands clasped before him in a 'let's get started' gesture, "This is not an expansive facility. Still, we make good use of the space. First stops? Necessary orientations? Medical needs?" Does Bao need to put on some moisturizer?

Bella returns Bao's look, noting the strange way his amusement manifests on his frozen features. She would like to smile in return but… this is a little too weird, even for her. "My colleague will need, I think, a good section of the biotech lab to himself. Is the equipment cold resistant? Piping may need to be insulted."

"I will need an emergency exit designated for my use down here…" Among Bella's other suggestions. The last thing he needs to do is accidentally the whole lab that he has so graciously been given half-ownership of. "I would like to see if it would be possible for the lab to get negation drugs, for the record. If I am to stay here personally at length, I may need to test its capabilities with my …condition." He hesitates to call it such a thing.

It is not so much a condition at this point- lifestyle, perhaps.

And one shouldn't judge another's lifestyle. Bao did choose to test his formula on himself. He just wasn't aware how full time a job it would be. Bella gives 'Dr. Wu' a bit of a smile. Now that they aren't at each other's throats, she sort of appreciates his gruff affect. She can just imagine it being said by an adorable dragon. It makes it all much funnier.

"Very well," Dr. al-Shuja says, nodding curtly, "there are evacuation stairs at every level of the facility. I think that should accommodate your needs. Though if it is in frequent use we may have to think of something. We cannot have alarms going off all the time." This man seems unintimidated, his helpfulness not so much hostile as extremely precise and distant. "Follow me, please. The staff should be assembled. After we introduce you I will show you directly to the biotech level." The small man turns and begins to walk, briskly, through the door and down the hallway beyond. On either side of him are windows, though at this angle they reveal little but the reflections of the lights overhead.

Regardless of what they show, Bao-Wei gives the windows a glimpse, eyes following the olive-skinned doctor. He considers some words, yet somehow he bites them back. Something about there not being enough expected of alarms going off. If al-Shuja knew what went on- well- me may feel differently. He moves to follow behind the veritable stranger.

"How many is the staff here? As an estimate?" Cong gives Bella a glance, sheepish in his forgetfulness if she has already told him. Some things can escape if he isn't looking right at them, these days. "As an aside, I suggest we at least notify them that should they still have any equipment from last winter-" You know, the deep freeze kind. "-to keep it here. My control is not perfect, I digress, and I would rather not have anyone working under me losing limbs. Or, worse." What a waste it would be.

Lab technicians work twice as slow when they only have one arm. And those idiots take their sweet time anyways. Lousy interns. Bella looks to Dr. al-Shuja with interest, waiting for his answer to Bao's question. If she did tell him, or knows, she's not going to make him lose face over it. She acts, and quite possibly is, uncertain of the answer.

"About twenty seven permanent staff. Some twenty more who are in and out. To other labs, of course, we have the strictest security here." Dr. al-Shuja replies, the information sounding quite ready to his mind. As they walk past the windows, Dr. van Dyne and Dr. Wu can see what looks like a testing floor. Concrete walls and floors, reinforced by the looks. The doors, too, are bolted and reinforced, and it's clear from the refraction index of the light filtering into the hallway - walkway, really, soaring over the room above - that the windows are made of bulletproof plexiglass.

"He means it," Bella says, referring to the security, "we should be quite safe from government interference here. They've operated in secret for quite some time, I'm taken to understands."

"Almost all of our staff have some dark mark in their books," Dr. al-Shuja states, about as banal sounding as if he were talking about a new shipment of bunsen burners, "Maxwell Corporation doesn't think a few mistakes should get in the way of a brilliant mind's important work."

"This was what I expected out of the last lab." Doctor Cong says this only to Bella, looking aside to her, the air wafting chill around him. "Hopefully it turns out better than the last time." Surely she agrees. His gaze moves to inspect the testing floor.

The doors beyond open up into a large room with a double stairway running down from a central platform, onto which they have just walked. The staff has, it seems, assembled. Nearly fifty people, most in white coats and all wearing ID badges, stand on the floor below, looking up at them. It's a nearly dictatorial position. Maxwell Corp's architect must have known the company brass would like a certain grandiosity in their visits.

Bella finds it a little unnerving, frankly, all those eyes on her. She feels suddenly very nervous about her wig not being on straight. But she can't check now, that would give it away for sure. Dr. al-Shuja gives her a small nod and steps aside. The floor is theirs. Bella steps forward.

"Good afternoon, everyone," the faux-blonde says, hands set to the railing, looking down at the people who are now, for all intends and purposes, her subordinates. Some part of her finds this just a little cool. "I am Dr. van Dyne, and this is Dr. Wu. We are, as of today, provisional directors of this facility. We will be performing research here, and may require your assistance on our projects. We will try, however, not to take too much time away from your current projects, at least not until they reach culmination and you are properly reassigned. I don't wish to disrupt procedures here. I'm not here to make waves, and I trust this isn't a 'new sheriff in town' situation. I look forward to working with you. Thank you."

She steps back and nods to Bao-Wei. She was good cop. Now it's time for bad cop. At least, that's what she sort of expects.

Bella does a very good job of making this takeover as benign as possible- Bao-Wei has little to add on the matter, as she has largely been informational with these dozens of people. He has had his own hand on the railing, and it is not until he half-opens his mouth to speak does he notice that the metal has frosted. He promptly removes his palm, hands meeting behind his back.

"Once your current projects finish, any new projects should- and will be- put through a more stringent application process than they have been before now." He runs his tongue over the backs of his teeth, unseen. His tone is utterly serious, all but dire, and his hallowed baritone echoes light across the floor below. "On a more personal note…"

"If you cross me in any way, I will turn you into golem fodder. I trust that nobody wants to truly find out what that entails. I will leave it at that." Well, if he had social issues before- they seem worse now. Possibly a little- crazy.

I will not make a joke about the temperature of the room dropping.
What's great about this is that now Bao will be bother much less by the staff. All the inane question about permissions and further details will go directly to Bella. Nice work. Bella's smile is a little thin as she turns her expression towards the ice creature. Well played, Dr. Wu. Well played.

Dr. al-Shuja steps forward and claps his hands, which evidently means 'back to work'. Tight ship, though it just got tighter. "I am looking forward," the little man says, turning to Bao and Bella, though mostly the former, "to your influence and project goals," someone approves of an iron fist, it looks like, "Now…"

"Allow me to show you your facility."

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