No Purusha Yet


hana_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title No Purusha Yet
Synopsis When Hana doesn't reappear in GCT on her usual exercise schedule, one of her keepers comes out looking.
Date February 21, 2010

Derelict Subway Station

The derelict station is a ways down from GCT; far enough that jogging, or even walking, down here is demanding for Hana's still-recovering muscles. She was a long time down, and longer still in a small room with no space for aerobic activity; the woman hasn't been this badly out of shape… well, perhaps since she was ten.

That isn't why Hana has chosen to linger here, however; to sit at the edge of the glare from fluorescent lights stuck on, their artificially white illumination the leaking blood of a gutted and broken subway car. The green glow of her own chemiluminescent stick is sickly and pale in comparison; neither of them do much to illuminate Hana beyond making of her a not-quite-distinct silhouette, picked out more because the curve of muscle and skin is highly out of place in this abandoned station.

She sits on the edge of the platform, feet suspended over the tracks, hand folded under her chin and gaze directed towards the train's slowly-rusting carcass in a contemplative fashion.

Though she's got her hands full at the Terminal, there is one patient that Megan tends to keep a closer than usual eye on. Hana's exercise regimen is watched with a circumspect eye — she'll push herself too hard, too fast. It's in her nature. And when she doesn't come back in what Meg deems a 'reasonable' amount of time, the redhead strips off her gloves, leaves a couple of volunteers handling her patients, and sets out down the tunnel to see if the Israeli woman has gotten herself into trouble.

Her footsteps are unhurried, quiet but with no sneakiness attached. Megan's dark-adjusted eyes catch sight of the chemlight and she crunches down the gravel next to the tracks toward it. "Penny for 'em," she offers from below Hana's sitting position. "You've been out here a while this time."

No trouble, unless reflection counts as such — sometimes, it might. Hana listens to Megan's approach, distracted long enough from her reverie to count: one person's measured strides, vaguely familiar. The voice is what she identifies, and what leaves the woman seated in her place, allowing the medic to close. "Chasing dreams," Hana replies, the words spoken quietly; spoken at all because they're out at the tail end of nowhere. "Nightmares, perhaps, half-remembered at most. Images that almost piece together."

"Normally I'd say don't push it too hard… that it would come. Or not. But in your case, I'm pretty much flying blind," Megan admits candidly. "Sometimes what happens in a coma does come clear — can't exactly presume to treat yours the same, given what you were actually doing." She's comfortable enough in the darkness with the technopath. "Are you having any luck pulling the strands together?"

"Only one," Hana replies. Then she falls silent, a statue in the shadows; dark hair, dark clothes, skin gone pale from lack of sun. It's easy to miss the rise and fall of her breath in the wan illumination, easy to forget that her eyelids blink; she could be painted stone, glazed ceramic. Until she moves, spine straightening, torso twisting so the Israeli can directly face her companion. Her hands fall, fingers curling over the rough lip of concrete shelf. "I died," Hana states, the words stark and uncompromising in their brevity; spoken bluntly, perhaps to surprise, unbalance, reflexive push away from the personal that lies beneath. And a redirection, curious inquiry: "What do you think I was doing?"

The tone doesn't push Megan away. She leans back against the raised platform, standing three or four feet from where Hana's feet dangle over, and shoves her hands in her pockets. Leaning her head back against the tiles, the redhead considers the flat words and the query that follows. "Something outside your body," she finally says. "You weren't comatose in the standard sense. You just weren't there. Your body was a shell. Even when you first got here, it was still something of the same situation." She pauses and considers, then asks quietly, "Can you really die? I mean…. not in the physical sense, because obviously you live in a human body, that can die. But I wonder… if you weren't inhabiting it when it happened, would you really be dead? Or would you be forever part of the digital plane that exists out there now?" She looks up toward Hana. "And if you don't think I feel weird asking that question," she says wryly, letting it trail off.

The Israeli woman glances sideways at Megan, then returns her regard to the broken and crumpled subway train; in profile, a thin, wry smile shapes her features. "I haven't died yet," she says, "so I don't exactly know. But — after." She pauses; and if the subject is weird, Hana shows no indication of this. For her, it isn't really. "Mm — Monk uses the word purusha. Bodiless self, pure consciousness, true identity. I can exist without a body." Her fingers pull up off the concrete, curling into loose fists; her tone tightens. "And that, too, can die."

The sense that Hana almost said something else… some other name… exists, but Megan chooses not to follow that train of thought. In and of itself, it's not as important to the nurse as the well-being of the woman herself. "Well, you're definitely adept at the cryptic," Meg replies mildly. "You died. You haven't died yet." She pauses. "I don't want to push you too hard, but I'm not going to just leave you alone to deal with it, either, Hana."

"You changed the subject," Hana remarks by way of reply, glancing over at Megan. Her fingers uncurl, settle over the less-cold concrete once more. "I died in a dream. At my own hands. It's the last thing I remember before waking up." Finding the taste of blood on her tongue but no concordant hole in her throat, no blade's tip grinding on vertebrae. Not a memory she's likely to forget any time soon. The technopath raises a hand into the light streaming from a broken window, wiggles her fingers back and forth. "But clearly, I'm no purusha yet." Her lips thin, dark gaze considering Megan's final statement. "When it comes to it, Young, we're all alone." A thought, there, that jolts out another piece of half-remembered dream. Hana frowns, a shift in her posture mirroring the skip of attention.

She doesn't notice the irony inherent in that statement coming from the woman who is perennially connected to the majority of people in the world.

Megan quirks a half smile at the accusation. She didn't really change the subject — or didn't mean to. But her smile fades as she listens. She's quiet for a time, and she says softly, "There are philosophies in the world that say when you die in a dream you do die in life. That if you ever get to the end of the dream of falling, where you hit the ground, your brain wouldn't be able to tell the difference between reality and the dream." The redhead shakes her head a little. "I have to admit to being grateful that whatever it was that happened to you, it wasn't quite that."

Absently, Meg bounces her heel on the toe of her other foot while she leans there. "Can't really dispute that," she admits to the being alone part. "You can be alone in a crowd just as easily as you can be alone in a room by yourself. Maybe even more easily." She considers. "You're spending a lot of time thinking through all that you can remember of what you went through… does reliving it have a goal, in your mind?" Because obviously the outcome won't change.

"Not quite," Hana agrees, so quietly that she may not realize she even spoke. Silence ensues on the heels of Megan's final question, an eerily complete and total lack of sound; there is no wind, here, no birds, no functioning vehicles, and not even any rustling rats; what scraps and crumbs were once hidden in the rubble have long-since been picked over in their entirety. The rustle of fabric against concrete, the stamp of boots into gravel, breaks that silence: Hana drops from the platform to stand in the pit.

"It's better than listening to the endless patter of inane IMs," the technopath observes. "Counting divots in the terminal ceiling. Or, for that matter, the difference between how many seconds the return trip will take and how many it should." She steps around Megan to start the walk back, glowstick in hand, letting her feet make all other noise. The superficial reply, complaints of an ill-humored patient chafing at unaccustomed incapability, lets the meaningful one remain buried — at least for the time being.

Shoving off the wall, Megan falls into step with the technopath. "If you're feeling up to the task, I'm sure I can find you a bit of work to occupy your hands; keep you from being quite as bored," the redhead offers quietly. "There are plenty of mundane things that need doing." There are always things that need doing. Though for the most part, she has been giving Hana space, there is a watchfulness to the nurse when she's around the technopath. "You asked me what I thought you were doing out there. Scuttlebutt has it that you were fighting, you know. And from what you've said so far — and what you've not said — I'd venture to say they're not wrong."

Her boots scuff a bit as they walk, Megan not in any hurry to rush Hana down the tunnel and keeping to the other woman's pace. "Coming back from all that, I don't really have to tell you, is complicated. I know I can't entirely understand what you've been through, Hana… but if you want to talk, I'm here." She glances at the Israeli. "I promise not to be shocked or appalled or even terribly surprised by anything you say." She shrugs. "A lot of people choose to just deal with the aftermath entirely alone…. and a lot of it has to be done that way. But not all of it."

"No," Hana says, without looking back towards Megan. "They're not wrong." But it's not a difficult guess, either; not for anyone who knows Wireless even a little, takes in her attitude and demeanor. The pace she sets is unhurried, for all that it's stiff; rapid enough to push the edges of her limitation, but not so much that Hana's going to wipe herself out. For all that she loathes the slow road of recovery, she's being smart about it. So far. "You'll be waiting a long, long time, Young," the Israeli observes, no rancor in her statement, no heat; it's a statement of implacable fact.

Megan just laughs quietly. "As if that is news to me?" she asks with an amused note. "You're one of the single most self-contained people I know, Gitelman," she comments without censure. "It's one of the things I admire most about you and at the same time, in this instance, one of the ones that I worry most about." She shrugs. "The offer will always be on the table if you need it. No obligation, no expectation." As they walk, she notes the way Hana moves, her practiced eye making mental notes on a chart so as to let Brennan know how their patient is coming along. So far, it looks as if Hana's not pushing hard enough to cause setbacks, and that's really all the nurse can ask for.

There are quite a few responses Hana could make to that; she already made most of them when she was ten, eleven, twelve. Maybe it's because Megan isn't being intrusive and demanding that the Israeli woman simply looks to her, gaze measuring, and dips her head once in a simple nod. All the same, she seems inclined to leave that offer sitting untouched on the figurative table; Hana turns her attention forward, towards the path her feet pick out along the tracks. There isn't much to watch out for here, except the rails themselves — but there will be later. It's a long road back to Grand Central Terminal.

One foot in front of the other; progress, one step at a time.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License