bella_icon.gif m_alex_icon.gif

Scene Title Longitudinal
Synopsis Alex makes final arrangements before departing the hospital, and the doctor that restored his ability.
Date June 26, 2010

Staten Island Hospital

Project Icarus facilities.

Alex has been hard at work, if one could call it that. These past few days he's just been building and building, and with his immune system back up, it's a few days overdue for him to be out of containment. There's lots of little clockwork robots crawling around, spiders clicking to the walls and ceiling, smaller beatles and roaches, a few mouse-like robots, things just crawling around as he sharpens his skills. But right now he's just laying back, after requesting a meeting with Bella to discuss the future, and to finally let him out.

Bella makes Alex wait a little. It's not that she didn't actually have anything else to do, but she could reschedule without too much trouble. She doesn't, however, want to seem at his beck and call. Alex is a new personality, and thus it may take time for her to construct the appropriately advantageous relation towards him. She arrives after letting him wait, not long, but a little, her white lab coat draped over her shoulders. She knocks on the door, then enters. Her eyes immediately move about, seeing these strange clockwork minions in person for the first time.

"Very impressive," Bella says, smiling at Alex, "And your latest routine check suggests you're fully recovered."

The machines seem to have set functions by virtue of their complex gear programming, but it's clear from watching them long enough that they have some sort of pattern. "Hello, Doctor. And good, that means we can work out an arrangement." He digs into his pocket, then pulls out a remote, pressing a button as the bed seems to walk over, then stop behind him so he can sit down. It's hard to tell what's under that bed, but even with the blanket covering things, it's obvious the thing is walking on legs. "I thought about leaving without saying anything, to meet certain obligations we have, but I thought I'd find out what you want me to do first."

"I'm glad you stuck around at least long enough to say goodbye," Bella says, walking into the room with no clear sign of concern or caution. He's been taking his meds, she trusts, so she's unlikely to be eviscerated… right? "I'd have been a bit hurt if you'd just disappeared," her head tilts, "Indeed? Well, I admit I hadn't thought of that. You're your own person, Alex. Or persons. In any case, I did what I promised I'd do - I restored your ability. You've advanced my standing here. I can't think to ask more of you."

Alex stands again, walking over and reaching to place a finger under her chin, peering down into her eyes. "If the government needs me, you let them know that I won't work without your permission. It'll raise your standing as a therapist and make it so we can work together. But for now, I have a job interview I'm a few months late for."

He types a few buttons on the remote that seems to have various electronics thrown together, then the bugs all seem to head for the door with him. "They'll follow my radio frequency. Where are my clothes?"

"You can reclaim them at the quartering office," Bella says, stepping aside to let the little creatures pass, "May I walk with you? I'm curious as to what you might mean… us working together? I didn't expect this to become an extended relationship."

"I told you the other day, both Mortimer and Jack lack ambition, something I'm bursting with. You're one of my resources, one of the few people who understand my situation, and you're infinitely valuable to my credibility and continued existence." Who knows what Alex is walking about, walking through the halls with his mass of tiny robots following him on the floor, walls, and ceiling. "The first issue I'll overcome is Jack's lack of use for money. Fortunately my ability turns me into a cash cow."

That's an interesting self-designation. "Again, while I appreciate being viewed as this valuable, and would happily act as your informed medical and psychological advocate should the needs arise, I'm not quite certain what you're getting at," Bella says, strolling amidst the clockwork scuttle, "And I'd also hope not to be seen as a traitor to either Jack or Mortimer, ambition or no. It's them I struck the initial deal with. I would want to prove as trustworthy to them as I hope to with you."

"They're not coming back out, this is going to be permanent. Why would I share this body when they've been wasting it? They can scratch and claw at my skull as much as they want, but they're not coming back." Alex says with full confidence in his statement, looking back at her with a slight smile. "That means the Locos, Lola, and any therapists I may desire, are mine and mine alone."

Lola? That name is familiar, and too much so for Bella not to take mental note. She's learned the hard way not to dismiss common names and potential connections. What a small city this is. She's quiet for a moment, needing some time to think of what to say. "I'd endorse a more democratic arrangement," she says, "But it's not my mind. Please, relay my apologies to Mortimer and Jack. I wish them both well. For now, though… I've a sense you've something in mind, Alex."

"I do, unfortunately that's a bit of a secret. I already have a potential government job lined up, and with my ability back, my value's probably sky rocketed." Alex stops outside of the office door, the mini robots stopping as well. "Are you with the government?"

As the question is asked, there's a bit of a battle going on in his head. No longer hallucinating due to the drags, there's still two people he can see by virtue of entirely different mental issues. "I think he's going to tell her. He's an idiot just like you, going to spill our secrets and spoil our job." Jack complains, unknown to Bella, his imaginary form leaning against the door of the office.

Meanwhile, Mortimer's imaginary figure is leaning against the wall behind Alex, shaking his head. "He could ruin both our lives at this rate, he's dangerous, but what the hell are we supposed to do? Hokuto's gone, is there even anyone else like her?"

"I am not sure, actually," Bella admits with a small laugh, "It sounds crazy, I know, but I'm not sure if we're officially funded by the government. I know we receive government money, and that our first results will likely end up in the hands of the state, but I imagine there's a great desire for plausible deniability on the part of the powers that be. Evolved are a very hot political topic."

"I'll tell you where I'm going to attempt work if it's tactically viable." Alex heads into the office to collect his clothes, pushing those imaginary people aside in his mind. "Is there anything you need to say to me before I leave? I don't know when we'll see eachother again."

Bella stands, considering this question carefully. Is there anything she needs to say? To ask, maybe? Finally, she shakes her head, "I trust you'll contact me at whatever point you think best," she says, "And remember, if anything irregular happens with your health, please let me know. You are our only subject available for the longitudinal study of the treatment you underwent."

"I won't let you down, you'd be the only person I trust in this matter anyway." Alex slips the medical clothing off, and finally starts getting dressed, yawning slightly. "I have a long day ahead of me. I better find an abandoned car and put together some sort of self-generating electricity engine."

Bella hesitates. She has something in mind, but… this is neither the place nor the time. Definitely not the place. "When next we speak," she says, settling on allusion, "I'm sure I'll have some thoughts worth discussing with you." She offers her hand, to shake, "It's been a pleasure, Alex. Thank you for all your help, and your patience."

Alex takes her hand, then leans down to gently kiss the back of it. "I thank you for my freedom." Fully dressed, he begins buttoning his heavy coat, unaware that it's now pretty hot outside. "Well then, Doctor, this is it. I'm almost reluctant to go out into the world alone."

Bella receives the courtly gesture with grace and an appreciative smile. "I think you'll find it much as you left it, quite a mess. Not quite the mess you left, but a mess all the same. That you can almost always count upon."

"I'll see you later, Doctor." Alex gives her a wave, keeping his remote in his pocket, those little machines following him all the way out. He'll make them go somewhere more discreet when they get outside.

And so ends another chapter of Mortimer Jack's life.

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