Misdirection and Gravity


peter_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Misdirection and Gravity
Synopsis Peter manages to make invisibility noticeable, and gets followed into Dani's room
Date September 14, 2008

St. Luke's Hospital

St. Luke's Hospital is known for its high-quality care and its contributions to medical research. Its staff place an emphasis on compassion for and sensitivity to the needs of their patients and the communities they serve. In addition to nearby Columbia University, the hospital collaborates with several community groups, churches, and programs at local high schools. The associated Roosevelt Hospital offers a special wing of rooms and suites with more amenities than the standard hospital environment; they wouldn't seem out of place in a top-rated hotel. That said, a hospital is a hospital — every corridor and room still smells faintly of antiseptic.

There are fleeting days towards the end of summer, when it feels like the hottest months of the year are reaching forward from the past, clawing and scraping their way towards autumn as if in denial of the cooler seasons. With the sky filled with a patchwork of white clouds on azure blue, today is one of those days. The heat in the city has risen to an uncomfortable eighty degrees, and because of the rain that has fallen over the last few days prior the humidity gives the outdoors a suffocating thickness. Those who are out on the streets today cannot even seek shelter in the shade from the oppressive heat due to this fact, it has made it a miserable day to be outside.

In this misery though, is plenty of company. The necessity of travel in the city is often met by the evil of traveling on foot, espescially since many of the major thouroughways that cut through the city have still yet to be repaired from the devastation suffered two years prior. The sounds of the city carry that with it, the sounds of construction crews working long hours under that battering sun in the crushing humidity, ripping up portions of broken sidewalk to lay new infrastructure in the "big push" towards midtown. Flashing lights, police officers directing traffic, the droning noise of a thousand different conversations. The streets are filled with life and people on the approach to St. Luke's hospital.

Out front of the emergency room entrance, a flock of pigeons scatter, circling up to the awning over the entrance as an ambulance pulls up slowly. The back doors open, and a group of paramedics begin to emerge with a man on a gerney, one of them holding up an IV bag. A casual bystander on the street pauses to let them move ahead of him. His appearance contrasts against theirs; dressed head to toe in black, hair swept back in a perpetually wet look, a jagged scar cutting across his face. He affords them a nod, watching the patient as he's wheeled in through the automatic doors. A thoughtful look crosses the man's face, and he looks up to the pigeons, then back to the doors as if debating whether or not to go inside.

On the surface, it seems like any other day…

Accompanied by the swish of narrow wheels across tarmac, another figure clad wholly in black swings to a halt before the entrance. The new arrival, however, is female and clad in the second-skin lycra of a serious cyclist. Currently sporting a breathing mask and wrap-around shades as well as her helmet, she presents a rather alien visage, eyes reflecting the world as she glances around before swinging easily off her bike. Wheeling her vehicle towards a rack, she crouches down to set about locking it in place - apparently quite un-selfconscious about her daring attire or any attention she might be receiving.

With his hands sliding into the pockets of his jacket, the black-clad man begins walking towards the building, the sleeves of his button-down black shirt rolled up to his forearms, trying to catch some relief from the heat. As he walks, his focus is so singularly wrapped up in his own thoughts that he doesn't notice the cyclist bent down to chain up her bicycle. His brow tenses, some errant thought flitting about his thoughts, causing him mild discomfort.

Footsteps pass directly behind the woman in lycra, the heavy footfalls of thick-soled boots. She can see out of her periphery a man walking past, and then as he approaches the doors, the outline of his body grows indistinct and ephemeral, as if made of smoke, and then in that instant he simply fades away in an unseen haze, like a mirage on hot pavement. The sound of his footsteps still carries though, while he's close, soon devoured by the echo of jackhammers and sirens from the city beyond. The only proof of his existance is the swoosh of the automatic doors opening as he steps on the pressure pad, headed through the doors of the hospital.

Ygraine part-turned her head to keep an eye on the footsteps, lest they brought trouble with them. Instead of having to defend herself or her bike, however, she now gapes at the air into which the stranger faded. After blinking twice, she manages to close her mouth, swallow, and snap shut the lock before rising and hurrying after him, scanning to and fro for any sign - such as a door opening without apparent reason - of his presence.

Once inside the hospital, it becomes difficult to follow the sound of heavy footsteps. The emergency room is buzzing with activity, and Ygraine can see the man on the gurney being wheeled past where she stands towards one of the branching halls, "I couldn't wake him," One of the men says, a middle-aged doctor soon approaching the pair, looking down at the elderly man as he's moved. "BP is eighty-five over sixty. Tachy at one twenty-two. Ms.Sullivan said he hadn't eaten anything in a couple days."

Through the distractions, Ygraine can see one of the doors to the hospital wards push open, despite no one coming or going from that side of the hospital. "Has he had any fluids?" The doctor asks in Ygraine's ear-shot still, speaking with the paramedics, "He could be encephelopathic from liver failure…" Finally those voices fade, and all she can see are those two doors swinging back closed, it was the most likely course of direction. No one else seems any wiser to his presence here.

Ygraine bites her lip, glancing around again - then opts to set off through that mysteriously-swinging door. En route to it, she unclips her breathing mask and removes her shades and helmet, so as to look (and feel) a touch less out of place within the building. For the time being, her intended visit can wait…
Through the doors, Ygraine makes he way down the hall chasing ghosts, finding her way down the wide corridor past hospital staff. Whoever he is, he's done a fine job of weaving through the crowd of people coming and going without bumping into anyone. A nurse pushing a crash-cart past whistles something that sounds like the Girl from Ipanema, it catches Ygraine's attention for a moment, eyes catching sights and sounds of doctors conversing from one of the rooms nearby. "Pressure's eighty-five after two liters…" She keeps following the direction of the hall, no moving doors yet, and still the sounds of the hospital pervade her senses.

"Up the dopamine to twelve mics." She catches more conversations from around her, barely able to hear the stacatto thump of heavy footfalls further down the hall over them, "Hemacue fourteen point one." Another set of double doors open, without anyone leaving or entering from that direction. "Right advexa normal. Left side… there's a mass of free fluid."
Biting her lip once more, Ygraine pursues the unseen presence, hoping that it won't guide her into trouble. As she walks, she attaches her accoutrements to her backpack, but leaves her reinforced gloves in place - just in case that trouble manifests. Her own footsteps are quiet, save for the occasional squeak of soft soles on the often-washed floor.

Just through the doorway, it's clear another door has immediately closed. It's not to a hall, but rather to a patient's room. The hallway up ahead is obstructed on one side by an empty gerney and a pair of orderlies, and a doctor talking to a distraught man in a tweed jacket. It was unlikely for Ygraine's ghost to have made it between them without causing himself to be noticed. Through the narrow window that views into the patient's room, sunlight can be seen filtering through halfway closed blinds. In one of the two beds in the room, partly obscured by a partition curtain, it is made evident the room is occupied…

Ygraine glances around, dithers a moment, then - biting her lip more firmly than before - tries the handle of that patient's room, intending to step inside and see if there's any sign of any foul play underway….

The beep of an EKG echoes in the otherwise silent hospital room. Only one patient occupies it, settled into the bed furthest from the door, partly concealed by the privacy curtain. Then, however, something catches Ygraine's attention. First it's the book seated on the foot of the unoccupied bed, a familiar copy of "Grey's Anatomy."

Then, once the door clicks closed, a voice calls out from behind Ygraine, quiet yet unmistakeably firm and untrusting. "Why are you following me?" It comes from behind where the door had covered when it was open, followed by the familiar sound of heavy footfalls. Whoever it is, he seems not to want to disturb the patient.

Ygraine starts, quite visibly, turning quickly to face the voice - only to find herself frowning at apparently-empty air. "Because I've never seen anyone fade out of sight before… and because I was just a _little_ dubious about the intentions of anyone sneaking into a hospital, then making his way unseen to a patient's room." Her voice clearly identifies her as being from the other side of the Pond, carrying some nervousness with her usual educated tones.

The air shimmers, distorting like a heat-mirage, before revealing the black-clad man from before. His face was easier to see now that it wasn't in periphery, the scar his most prominent feature, deeply cutting from above his right brow down through his left cheek. At first he looks upset, jaw tensed and posture rigid. But, there's a certain deflating as he listens to Ygraine's words, all of that discontent venting out as he steps around her slowly, making his way towards the bed on the other side of the room. "I'm not here to hurt anyone," He says in an undertone, walking to the foot of the sleeping patient's bed, sliding out her charts as he flips the cover sheet back, studying them. "And I don't like to announce my presence to everyone." He looks side-long at the stranger, "I'd appreciate it if you didn't call security."

Ygraine stiffens, but keeps her nerve well enough to avoid backing away as the man reappears. She keeps a distinctly wary eye on him, but spares a momentary glance for the patient in question, before frowningly studying her unexpected companion. "You're a regular at the Wench, aren't you?", she asks abruptly.

Peter hesitates, looking over his shoulder with one brow raised, "Excuse me?" Then, after thinking about what she said for a moment, "Oh, oh…" His eyes close and he shakes his head. "Kind've…" He flips to the second page of the charts, eyes wandering across the writing before folding the pages closed and sliding it back down into the pocket at the foot of the bed. When Ygraine doesn't immediately make a break for the door or the emergency call button by the unoccupied bed, Peter relaxes. "Do I know you?" His brow begins to raise, questioningly.

Ygraine shakes her head, still eyeing Peter with dubiously wary interest. "I doubt it. You seemed to have eyes pretty much solely for a certain performer, each time I saw you. But I've seen you there a few times. And she was in mind, since I… this wouldn't be her friend, would it? I made a delivery to her, here, yesterday."

Peter's expression becomes soured as Ygraine speaks, not at her though, but at something he seems to be considering. He shifts his eyes over to Ygraine, as if a warning, and then walks to the side of the bed, checking the fluid IV on the side with the studied intent of someone who knows what they're looking at. Then, after a moment, he looks back, "Her name's Dani." He takes a moment to look down at the brunette in the bed, brushing a lock of hair from her face before walking back around towards where Ygraine is. "So you know Cat, then?" He relaxes even more, "Yeah, yeah this is her friend." He turns to look back over his shoulder at her, "I just wanted to check up on her, make sure she's doing alright…" A worried look now clouds his face where once it was tempered by internal frustration.

Ygraine glances to the object at the foot of the bed. "That might well be one of the books I delivered yesterday. I can't claim to know Cat - but we talked for a few minutes after I handed over the packages. Told me that a friend of hers was in here, and she was reading up as a result…"

Cracking a smile, Peter's eyes fall to that book, "Sounds like her," He says quietly, "She's kind've a brain." His tone turns moderately teasing as he turns from Ygraine, walking back to the foot of Danielle's bed, his arms folded and focus shifted to her sleeping form. "So," He looks side-long to Ygraine, "Now what?" His gaze turns expectant, "You found your ghost."
"Well…", says Ygraine dubiously, "I admit that I wasn't quite sure what the next step would be. I've seen you with Cat, and this would seem to fit together… save for the whole sneaking in invisibly thing. Are you in trouble with the law? Or just… having fun with being Evolved?"

Peter shakes his head, looking from Ygraine to Danielle, "Something like that," He says in a quiet tone of voice. Then, for a time, Peter doesn't say anything, eyes closed and head down, as if listening to something as he faces Danielle. "At least she's sleeping peacefully," He mumbles, then looks back up to Ygraine. "Like I said, I don't like to announce my presence. The fact that you managed to follow me means I'm getting sloppy."

Ygraine nods, pursing her lips. "It's not as if I was hiding… but perhaps you were watching the staff, or just had your thoughts elsewhere. Either way - I'm observant, but I'm not exactly trained in surveillance techniques." She shrugs, expression turning awkward. "'Course, I'm not even meant to be in this room myself - but I didn't think that I should knowingly let someone skulk around wholly unobserved…"

"It happens more than you probably want to know." Peter says with a shrug, turning from the bed to walk over to the one next to it, idly picking up the copy of Gray's Anatomy, leafing through it with a reminiscent look. "Did you come here for a delivery?" His eyes upturn from the book, watching Ygraine curiously, "Or to come see Cat?" At that statement, Peter's brow very briefly tenses, and his eyes dart over to the empty chair in the corner of the room, gaze wandering. Apparently he only now realized Cat isn't in here, and seems to be mulling over the why's.

Ygraine pauses before answering, distracted by Peter's abruptly pensive look. "I'm working as a courier. A colleague's in here at the moment. I'm intending to drop off a few things with him… but there's no rush. And if I'd known where to find Cat, I might well have come looking for her. Look… with the rudeness a stranger might be able to get away with: your mind seems to be all over the place. Want to grab a coffee and gather your thoughts?"

Peter looks up from the floor, wathing Ygraine closely, "I don't really think that'd be a good idea." He sets the thick book down on the foot of Danielle's bed without looking, "Like I said, I don't like to announce my presence." There is a distinctly secretive, almost shy demeanor about the dark-haired man, "Go see your friend, I should…" He closes his eyes, "Stay here, maybe." What Peter doesn't notice, is that the book he laid down on the corner of the bed missed it by almost the entire length. Instead, it balances on its corner, the length of the thick volume extending out all but an inch, beyond the capability of mere fortunate balance. It teeters, as if set upright on its narrow side, balancing in a manner incongruent with gravity.

Ygraine once again finds herself blink-blinking as a result of one of Peter's seemingly-casual actions. "Ahhhhh. I thought that Evolved were meant to have just the one trick up their sleeve?", she asks with a tight voice.

Peter looks at Ygraine intently, "Excuse me?" He takes a step towards her, not having noticed her area of focus. His head tilts to the side, brows lowering untrustingly in an expression of frustration. But as he finally notices that the courier's eyes aren't directed at him, but at the bed, he turns to look over one shoulder, seeing the book balancing as it does on the corner of the bed. "W-what?" Peter takes a step back, away from Ygraine, and eyes the book as it slowly teeters back and forth. He looks to the courier, then the book, then back again. "How did — " His gaze finally determines to settle on her, looking at Ygraine in an entirely different manner now.

Ygraine frowns pensively at the book, though she took a step back to maintain her distance from Peter. "Actually, that makes sense", she muses, half to herself. "True invisibility requires the bending of the light, which is… hmmm. You're a gravity-manipulator, aren't you? Not just invisibility."

Peter looks to the book, then to Ygraine, "No, I'm not." He walks over to the book, snatching it up from where it was settled, running his fingers across the cover as if to make certain it is exactly what it seems to be, even so much as flipping through a few pages before closing it and shifting his focus back to Ygraine. "Is this what you do?" His tone is almost accusing, motioning with the book for emphasis. He seems somewhat startled, and wary now, "You're like me, aren't you?" He borders on aggressively curious.

"Invisible and mystierious?" Asks Ygraine with an arched brow. "No. Not unless I've been doing things without noticing. And it was _you_ who did that to the book just now…"

Peter looks over to Danielle at Ygraine's dismissive comment, studying her more intently now, "No way…" Peter sets the book down, carefully this time, on the table near Danielle's bed and walks around her. "No, that wasn't me — " He corrects himself with a wince, "I mean, it was, but it wasn't. I can't do that…" He shakes his head, "Well, I couldn't before now. It must've been Dani…" The way he talks almost makes him sound a bit schizophrenic, "I wonder if she even knows…" Now he's more talking to himself than anyone else.

Yet another surprised blink from Ygraine, then she laughs softly and shakes her head. "So she did it in her sleep?", she asks, with evident interest in the theory. "And… you're the Invisible Man?"

"No, it's…" Peter clicks his tongue, "It's not like that." Leaning in to inspect Danielle, Peter's focus shifts to the young woman, his head tilted to the side and eyes closing. Then, after a moment he straightens up. "When I set the book down, I was thinking about keeping it from sliding off of the bed, so it didn't hit the floor and make a noise. I thought I just balanced it right," His eyes slowly drift back to Ygraine, "I do what other people do, sometimes without even knowing it." He simplifies it enough, "If Dani's Evolved, I might've picked up what she can do, and did it unconsciously…"

Ygraine can't help but blink again, taking a deep breath before nodding slowly. "And… you do this wholly without noticing? Just whatever's around? So… there was someone else who was invisible near the entrance?"

Peter eyes Ygraine, "No." He states simply, without any further elaboration, turning to look down towards Dani with an inspecting stare, "They stay with me." He adds after a long and heavy moment of silence, "All of them."

Ygraine worriedly bites her lip, studying Peter rather intently for a few moments. "All…? Oh. I… wow. So… that's your… your ability? Collecting others?"

Peter doesn't say anything, just watches Danielle with a thoughtful expression. For a time, it's just silence and the beep of the EKG, and then as he upturns his brown eyes to Ygraine, he nods solemnly, as if that answer was more of a burden to him than anything. "Gift, curse…" She rolls his shoulders, "Maybe you can see why I value my privacy."

Ygraine nods pensively, expression worried. "Are… are you Registered? Have you been… recruited by anyone? I can imagine that someone who could… effectively catalogue abilities…." Her voice trails off.

Peter looks back up to Ygraine, giving her a silent, piercing stare. Watching her in silence for a few moments, Peter leans back and away from where Danielle sleeps. He doesn't answer Ygraine's question, and it seems for the time he's satisfied with his friend's condition. In that silence, Peter lowers his head, his brow tensing as he seems to focus on something. Then, in an abrupt instant, he vanishes from sight with the sound of air rushing to fill the void where he once was, a palpable change in the air pressure of the room resulting from his disappearance. It leaves Ygraine alone now, with the silence of her thoughts and the beep of the EKG… and her question answerd by a that silent stare.

Ygraine sighs heavily, peering about worriedly as if in search of the now-absent Peter. Then she snorts, chuckles softly, and shakes her head. "And THAT could be a gravitic effect, too, you know", she mutters, turning to slip out the door….

There should have been police on duty outside Dani's door. Oops. It seems that they got called away (or wandered off) temporarily….

September 14th: Come Out - Part 2

Previously in this storyline…
I Want to Ride my Bicycle

Next in this storyline…
Worst Case for Dani

September 15th: Worst Case for Dani
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