Isolation Lab 6


isis_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Isolation Lab 6
Synopsis Caged animals run through the gamut of emotions, but mostly just mean.
Date August 15, 2019

NYCSZ: Raytech

Isolation Lab 6

It’s a very white room.

The floor and walls are sterile white, the bedframe and its sheets are white, and even the casings of the medical equipment beside the bed are white. It’s more comfortable than a hospital bed, at least, although the condition the patient is in and the IV running to her better-off arm probably off-set that a bit. Electrodes are placed carefully on neck and wrist to monitor vitals, although given her ability nobody tried to get her out of their clothes and into a hospital gown or anything.

Getting trapped in her body is more dangerous than it once was, after all.

Just outside the broad glass window on one side of the room, Richard’s leaning against the glass flipping through his phone. The specialists said she should be awake soon, but he knew that was never an exact science.

”Balance the button on your finger. Yeah, there’s a good girl. Just like that. Now, look there and…”
A little redhead girl, maybe three years old, looks towards a young brunette seated in a chair beside the examination table while a nurse helps the tiny, delicate child balance a tack on the soft, fleshy pad of her index finger. The child’s pale cheeks round up beneath a few speckled freckles as she begins to smile proudly when … The nurse suddenly presses on the medical thumbtack.
The little girl wails.

Isis whimpers in her sleep and rolls over, revealing a garish purple bruise beneath her right eye. Her freckled face gives a twitch of discomfort as her movements jostle the IV wedged invasively into the crook of her good arm. There's a grumbled moan of annoyance before she begins to blink, lashes trying to sweep away the bleary quality that lingers as a haze over the harsh white surround. White. Everywhere.

The monitors pick up her accelerated heart rate with an incessant chirping.

Beep-beep-beep. Oh, so she is alive. Well, that's a start.

Squinting, groaning, she looks around. "Zach?"

“Unfortunately,” Richard says, glancing up after a moment with a rueful smile and shutting the phone down, sliding it into a pocket, “Doctor Miller decided to go on a sudden vacation as soon as my back was turned. Take it slow, you’re not in the best of shape and I’ve been having some trouble getting in touch with someone to put you back together.”

A pause to let that sink in, “How are you feeling?”

Sharp, etched wrinkles of pressure form around her eyes as she clamps them back shut. Her throat works hard to manage the simple task of swallowing. "Oh gods," she mutters almost imperceptibly. "He fucking left me here?" It comes out as barely more than a squeak.

"Where is here?" Her IV-laden arm twitches suddenly and she chokes back a sob. "Oh gods." She keeps saying that, but can any of them hear her here? "There's something in my arm." Which arm? "Is this a hospital?" She's never wanted to be in a hospital more in her life.

"I don't… feel so good. I think I might hurl," she finally answers. Well, at least we have coherent sentences, the intravenous fluids doing what they can to combat the fever-induced dehydration and pain. Her eyes remain steadfastly shut. If you can't see it, it isn't there - right?

“Easy,” Richard says, holding up a hand palm first towards the glass, “Relax. You’re in Raytech, that’s an IV that’s feeding you fluids— you aren’t drugged, or anything. The only reason that you’re in there instead of somewhere less, uh, terrifying is because we don’t have any adynomine on hand and I’m not sure exactly how much control over your ability you have at the moment. You are not being held captive or used as a lab rat or anything.”

He clears his throat now that he’s established that, adding, “I’ll even get you to the hospital if you really want, but I can tell you that there’s not a lot of chance they can help you, whereas we might be able to here.”

A sliver of hazel appears between dark lashes. Just a sliver. It peers up suspiciously at the bag draining - drip-drip-drip - into the long tube that eventually connects with her arm. Her gaze doesn't dare travel it all the way to where the needle is taped into her skin. Isis groans. With an obvious effort, she blindly pats and reaches around to yank the starchy white blanket up and cover her IV-laden arm. There.

She opens her eyes - sparkley and almost entirely gold with nerves. The machine still beeps quietly and flashes automaton concerns regarding the BMPs at the other end of its sensors. Isis searches the unnervingly white, flat walls until she finds the glass - and Richard's glossed image therein. "Why do you want to help me now?" Now. Not then, when she asked. Now.

The question brings one eyebrow upwards, and Richard’s chin dips down a bit as he looks at her over the edge of darkened sunglasses— shadow-hued eyes regarding her bemusedly. “Because you’re dying? Contrary to whatever you might think,” he says in dry tones, “I like to think I’m one of the good guys, and abandoning someone to— what you’re going through would be a pretty shitty thing to do. I mean, plus you’re a friend of my sister’s.”

“And while I’m sure some of my contemporaries would love to study the progress of what you’ve done to yourself,” he adds with a snort, “I’d rather ensure you live through this.”

The interruption of the glass does little to diminish the weight of her gaze. "I could blame you-…" But, they both know it would be an infinitesimal fraction of the truth. It takes too much effort to glare so effectively and Isis lets her head fall back into the crispy pillows. She takes a deep breath, balling up all the resentment she holds for the man on the other side of the protective window and throws it away on a long, exasperated sigh.

She'd forgotten why it was better to be angry. Without anger, all that's left is fear… "Don't send me to the hospital. I don't want to die…"

“Blame me? And what exactly did I do…?” Richard’s honestly confused there, his brow wrinkling in a furrowed line, “I gave you everything I had the last time I saw you. What, did I run over your dog in a past life?”

“Maybe the other Richard did? A lot of people seem to hold a shit-ton of resentment against me for things that man did, and if that’s it, not much I can do about it. I murdered the sonuvabitch.”

"Everything?" There's only a hint of incredulousness to Isis's questioning retort. "Perhaps I overestimated what you could have offered, then." There's a brief, sharp twitch to the right corner of her chapped, pale lips. The twinge of her black eye makes the expression all the more fleeting. Ah, that's right. Pain. Pain overrides fear. The BPMs drop a tick. She lets her gaze slide back to the bland ceiling overhead. "Forget it," she summarizes.

"I don't know another Richard. I barely know you with your big business and your fancy suits and your sunglasses indoors…" Fingers twitch with the intention of a gesture, but stop short and instead curl in a white-knuckled manner around the spongy edge of the mattress. "So, did the doc leave any instructions?" Pause. "A note?" Damn, that sounded more pathetically hopeful than she'd intended. She clears her throat. "What's the plan? Because all of mine have turned to shit."

“Trust me, I wish I knew where to find Monroe, the slippery immortal bastard’s still eluding me,” Richard observes with a shrug of one shoulder, “Honestly, what I gave you is more than only a handful of people still alive know about him. I get the feeling that you had more luck than I did in tracking him down, though…”

He chuckles briefly at the comment of his suits, his sunglasses, then shakes his head. “No. He didn’t leave anything, so— if we’re going to keep you alive— do you think you can tell me exactly what the hell you put into yourself?”

He didn't leave anything. Isis's gaze ices over in its pinpointed focus on the ceiling overhead. He didn't leave anything. He left her. Here. Her head lolls back to where she can look back to Richard and the door framed off to the side. "If I got up and checked, would that door be locked?" Twitch. Crack. Disassociating - it starts with a deep, sinking feeling in the stomach. Like one self trying to drown the other.

Blink. Her gaze sharpens back to his shaded dark eyes on the other side of the glass. "I don't know what it was, exactly. A derivative of Adam? A sample of something too far removed from him I think. Plasma? Spun out of someone else who must have received his 'help', maybe?"

“Of course it’d be locked, I’m not going to let you hurt yourself,” notes Richard with a brow’s arch, “Or give in to temptation and try and grab someone’s body— in extremis we’ll find you one if we have to. You’re only leaving there under three circumstances— you’re out of danger of dying, you ask us to get a medical team here to bring you to the hospital, or.” He doesn’t elaborate on or.

“What— where did you get it,” he asks, rubbing a hand over his face, “Christ. It wasn’t even a direct sample of Monroe?”

"… Oh." She looks at the door again. Blankly.

Twitch. Crack. Isis laughs. Her head tips, spine coming up slightly from the mattress, as a full-bellied laugh gurgles up from that drowning self and echoes coarsely in the room around her. "We'd find one? You have those just lying around? Living ones, yeah? Someone you just wanna stuff in here to wither away? Crumble and flake and ooze to-…" Death. She chokes on the word and shakes her head roughly until her back realigns with the bedding.

Her gaze lolls lazily back his way. "I got it from you. Not directly, of course. But, you have another little lab rat , don't you? Maybe its door isn't locked quite so well." She bobs her brows, revealing a fresh, glinting dapple of sweat upon them.

It takes Richard a moment to catch on, and then he sighs… his head tilting forward to rest his brow against the glass, eyes closing behind his shades. “Jesus Christ,” he mutters under his breath, “That fucking idiot.”

After a moment he leans back, “You’re lucky. The result of most experiments along these lines end in complete neural degeneration and shutdown. What you have is bad enough, but I think we can save you, still.”

“And no. We’re not the Company, or the Institute,” he observes flatly, “We don’t lock people up and experiment on them.”

Gold-green eyes shift jaggedly to the black, peeling, dead mass of flesh on the soft, vulnerable inside of her left arm. Watching it, holding her arm up and out awkwardly on display, Isis sits up and slowly turns. Her bare feet dangle off the bed, short stature giving the childlike quality to little feet not quite reaching the floor. The starchy white blanket across her lap wrinkles up and falls away from the IV in the other arm, but she doesn't seem to notice as she turns her pale countenance on the man beyond the glass.

"Clearly your reflection shines a bit different on that side of the window…" She tips her head, cheek almost to her shoulder, stringy waves of garnet interjecting across her gaze. "It would appear I've been experimented on. Willingly or otherwise. And, if I'm not mistaken, I've been locked up. For the safety of others." Her expression placid as her gaze angles over up and down over him as far as the windowpane permits.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Not really." A quick glance at the locked door handle suggests there's some wiggle room there, but her attention corrects quickly back to Richard. "But, you might want to clean off that bathroom mirror before you take another good look, Mister Raytech. I'm sure the Company and the Institute thought their intentions were good too. Ends, means, roads, hell, and all."

She takes a deep breath and lowers her necrotic-kissed arm. "I hope you can save me," Isis says cooly. "If I can’t have what I want - need, even…" She shrugs. "I'm not prepared to spend the rest of my life as a mere…" Her soft, clammy features wrinkle up in the pause meant to find the right word. Mortal? No, that's not right? "Normal? Non-Evo." She gives a careless, flippant wriggle of her fingers at the word. "I can't go back out there unarmed."

“Alright, then,” Richard shrugs, his hands spreading slightly in a ‘what can you do’ sort of gesture, “If that’s how you feel, Isis. I’ll have you transferred to Elmhurst promptly. Hopefully they’ll be able to help you there.”

Turning away from the glass, he steps away from it and starts to walk down the hall, pulling a phone back from his jacket as he does so.

Pale brows creep up slowly as his shadowed image turns away from the glass. They crawl higher still as he glides out of view. iT's an expression of calculated intrigue even as the machine starts to beep out a hurried pattern. "Struck a chord, did I?!" She calls at the blank sheet of transparent glass. Isis tangles her fingers in the bedding and leans back, mumbling to herself: "Thought you had thicker skin. Little constructive criticism never hurt any-" She glances over at the place where the intravenous needle is taped down into her arm and curls forward, gagging out something that sounds like "Oh fuck."

Isis straightens with one hand covering her mouth and stares wide-eyed at the window. "It was just an observation. If you feel judged, that's your conscience, not me," she calls out, wincing at the echo of her voice in solitary lab.

"Sending me away won't make that go away."

The edge of an unamused smile tugs up at the corner of Richard’s lips as he pauses, glancing back to the glass just before he steps out of frame so to speak. “I brought you here as a favor,” he states dryly, “After you injected yourself with a stolen biological sample from my adopted son, I’ve risked myself and gone out of my way to try and help you for no profit of my own.”

He motions a bit with the glass towards her, “If you’re going to sit there and insist I have some sort of nefarious purposes, I don’t have to fucking deal with that. I have enough people declaring that I’m some kind of fucking Satan because I’m trying to help.”

Isis raises her hand, just one, in a show of surrender. "I never said I was innocent…" Pause. "Your son?" She shudders. "What happened to him?" It's equal measures curiosity and concern that color her voice.

Her little hand, tremoring though it is, mirrors Richard's brushing motion towards the glass. "Again, I'm not judging. You're not my Satan. Just…" Again, her gaze wanders his glossy image. "A guy." She bites the tip of her tongue visibly between a subtle parting of her pale lips.

“Really? Because you were sitting there a minute ago essentially accusing me of being some kind of monster,” is Richard’s flat response, one brow making its appearance up over the edge of his shades, “That sounds like judging to me. Like I said, you’re not a prisoner here. You don’t want my help, so I’ll get you someone else’s.”

He shrugs, “If you’ll excuse me, I have to go hunt down your doctor.”

Isis squints. "You're very stubborn, hm? I merely pointed out the facts of our little - my little predicament here. The similarities are striking, even if the intentions are vastly different." She smiles, a little twinge tweaking the soft purple skin around her bruised eyed. She makes a delicate sweep to permit Richard on his way, though clearly he wasn't asking. And then, loudly in the way afterthoughts are generally blurted, "No more needles…"

The white laminate is cold on her bare feet and she has to steady herself with a hand on the bed still. Her head tips back heavily, stringy sanguine locks a curtain behind her. Her molten-green eyes dart side to side as she considers the blank, empty whiteness overhead. Her voice levels to a carefully calculated alto, a thin layer ice that suggests cracks of instability around the edges. "Have them wear gloves. Or-or… just let me go with a friend. Either way, I'm not your problem. The results are the same, right? I die, or some stranger in my body does, yeah? You won’t know the difference."

“I’m not keeping you captive, Isis, for the— fine, fine,” Richard brings his shoulder up in a shrug, surrendering to her requests, “I’ll get some people to escort you out, then. They’ll have a phone to call someone to pick you up. If my sister gets pissed off because you ended up dead, well— I fucking tried at least.”

Then he’s gone, off down the hall to get some security personnel in full Aegis coverage to do just that for her.

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