bao-wei_icon.gif bella_icon.gif

Scene Title Ovid
Synopsis Bella makes an incident in the Beast's west wing.
Date May 20, 2010

Staten Island Hopsital

Formerly known as Staten Island University Hospital, this facility is a two-campus, 785-bed former teaching hospital. Now the sprawling campus is patrolled by members of the Stillwater Solutions Private Military Company in accordance with their arrangements with the United States Government. The facility itself had been abandoned since the 2006 nuclear explosion on Manhattan when residents of the hospital along with staff were evacuated off of Staten Island. Today the hospital stands as renovated and fully operational, patched back in to the local power grid and ready for use. The many buildings of the Hospital campus are understaffed with only a handful of the actual buildings on the two campuses open and operational.

Access to the hospital is restricted to government personnel and the razorwire fencing surrounding the hospital has large signs warning that trespassers into the hospital will be potentially met with lethal force. With violent crime as rampant as it is on Staten Island, warnings like this in government controlled areas are not surprising.

There are many long and desolate corridors that run the length of the Staten Island Hospital. Unoccupied and unemployed by the rather centralized operation of the Institute scientists, these hallways stretch on for a seeming eternity, silent and unlit for the most part, to save the already overtaxed generator from needless labor.

Though only for the most part. One long corridor has half of its lights on, casting the hallway into twilight, and the slap, slap, slap of footfalls echoes along its considerable length, sounding like a maddening drip drip from a great enough distance. The feet responsible are Isabella Sheridan's, who is jogging at a steady pace down the corridor, the fuses of which she turned on for just this purpose. She winces as her injured leg hits the ground, but she powers through it. She's better, much better, but her leg is still weak from disuse, and she has to get it back into shape if she's going to avoid having a limp for years to come. She's dressed in sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt, and her hair is pulled up, held in place by a faded old scrunchy that just has to be from the mid nineties. She gives soft pants and grunts as she jogs, each step shooting pain through her. She can't wait for the endorphins to hit, her body's all natural painkillers.

The corner at the far end of the hall gets closer and closer, one jogging motion at a time; the lights extend a few around the bend when it gets there, but otherwise the hall is lit by the leftover light and the singular beam of white emitting from an open door midway down the second half of the wing. It's a curious thing- there should definitely not be anyone out here, but unless some dolt left the room's light on, there has to be someone there. If the metaworld knows anything, it knows that Bella Sheridan is too curious for her own good. If there is someone there, they have not heard her nor looked outside- so it seems to be up in the air. For now.

The one thing about jogging that keeps Bella from doing it for too long, or building it into much of a habit, is that it is very, very boring. There is nothing to occupy the mind save for the mind itself, and while Bella has an only child's talent for self-entertainment, she usually has the help of a book or a magazine or at least some high resin cannabis. None of these are available right now. And so her wandering mind seizes on this irregularity with vicelike force and quickness. She comes to a running stop, still keeping her heartrate up, her legs in motion, until she finally winces one last time and stops, leaning over to massage her wounded leg. Ouch.

So what the hell is going on here? Bella takes a moment to catch her breath before moving up to the door, behind which the mysterious light emanates. She doesn't announce herself and doesn't knock; there's something about the circumstance that seems to demand discretion. She slowly peeks inside…

He is not hiding, as he has had nothing to hide from. Doctor Cong assumes that he is alone, and will be remaining alone. It is in rare form that Bella finds him, tucked away in the back of this small- chemical therapy? - lab. Usually his garb offers the sight of a doctor, but at this point in time, it is only his beige colored slacks and belt that are the same. The instance is something like flicking the channel to a documentary on the personal life of the rarest critter in the world; he's wearing loafers and a dark blue tank top- which on him seems more like a curse for someone else- but hey, most men have to wear undershirts.

Cong has his back to the direction of the door while he works at something on one of the lab tables, and so rather the first thing she will notice about this is that with his streaked hair yanked back into a tie and the lack of sleeves, he looks not unlike any one of the mostly well-muscled goons that he used to employ. Right down to the expanse of elaborate tattooing over his back and shoulders, colorful and all too contrary for how he acts. Bao-Wei may be older, and he may be- well, huge- but that's not to say he doesn't look like a B.A.M.F.

Bella would obviously be disturbing something if she were to intrude at this moment. However, this realization alone is not enough to deter her. It only delays further advances. She examines those tattoos, a feature she did not know of nor expect… though he did say he once worked for the Triads. Honestly, Bella knows little of organized crime. The Yakuza have back tattoos, right? But the Yakuza are Japanese. Maybe they borrowed the practice from the Chinese? Damned if she knows. She is left wondering, and Bella does not like to be left in such a state.

So curiosity of a dangerously feline nature brings her into the room proper. She hesitates. She should announce herself, certainly. Sneaking up on a man of Bao-Wei's dimensions, particularly while he's up to some secretive project, is just asking for a shattered nose, if not worse. She settles for that most cliched of attention grabbing methods: the clearing of her throat.

As Cong works there in silence, there is a second tattoo visible on one forearm; before they had to heat the place, he simply never rolled up his sleeves while working with Bella. The ink over his arm is black, shaped like one of those familiar lion-dogs she might see in any Chinatown- the Fu dog is one thing- but the ink on his back is far more complex. The shape seems to be a dragon, however upon closer inspection of any sort, the shape itself appears to be made of smaller designs and subjects. Fittingly, the beast itself is a pot-bellied, monstrous, maned creature.

Whatever he is doing, it involves a syringe. He is picking one out of a drawer near him when Bella clears her throat behind him, and the man tenses up like a piece of wire strung taut. One of two things could happen here- he could A) turn around and give her a piece of his …fist, perhaps, or B) take it in stride and tolerate her presence for only so long.

He goes with C) A bit of both.

Bao-Wei turns around, in one hand clutched a metal and glass pan to one of the many strange machines lining the walls. It flies, crashing against the wall just past Bella's head and shattering a glass lid onto the floor, metal ringing as it lands, circling with metallic clanks as it slows.

Doctor Cong will give her that- a warning- a purposeful miss. His face is contorted, livid, white around the edges out of shock and at the same time- embarrassment. She will be able to tell- it is her forte to read others.

"What are you- doing here?" The first words boom and rumble, thunderous in the small lab, before they crawl slow, the man's jaw tight around them and mismatched eyes visibly glinting even without his glasses.

Well /shit/. Bella cringes as the contraption whizzes past her, detonating into glass splinters behind her. Her arms lift in an automatic but rather pointless defense, her cheeks paling in fright. However cool and collected Dr. Sheridan endeavors to be, particularly around the imposing Dr. Cong, this outburst is far more than her self control is able to compensate for. She feels an urge to bolt for the door, held in check more by her deer in the headlights fear than anything resembling courage.

"I- I'm- jogging…" Bella stammers, "Physical th- therapy. For my leg." This is true, generally, but it's not likely that her physical therapy routine involves spying on her colleagues. She realizes this explanation is absolutely too poor on its own, so she performs the classic reversal. "An- and what are you doing? Some sideline research?" Bella tries to hitch up a brow to convey skepticism, the kind of emotion that might work well to pin someone caught in the act, which he evidently was, "If so, it's something I should know about."

Bao-Wei's initial response is a mighty sneer, the Beast in response to Belle in the West Wing. His empty hand flexes shut, fist kneading forearm into a knot. His opposite hand is curled still around the empty syringe. Cong's head jerks to the side, eyes roaming over his shoulder and back to the woman intruding on him. "It has nothing to do with the research we are working on. Nothing to do with you." The Chinese man virtually barks at her, pivoting back to what he had been doing, though his voice continues to growl out.

"It's none of your business, otherwise. I am attending to my personal needs." The faint sound of his teeth clicking shut make a way through his jaw. The empty syringe is not so empty now, as he tests it with a miniature squirt of translucent liquid and a patiently tapping finger landing in succession to the contents. Overall, his affronted stature, and his manner of almost finding the ability to ignore her there- this is something that Bella should know by now she was not meant to be around for.

Oh no. He doesn't get off that easy. With her own fear having passed over and through her, she is left in its path, and she's left with the suspicion that it is /he/ that is at the disadvantage here. Bella imagines her advantage, and presses it, skirting around to slip back into Dr. Cong's line of sight, and bringing his work into hers.

"This kind of secrecy is no good for a working relationship," Bella presses, "And I am professionally discreet. The cards are on the table, Dr. Cong. You should at least let me know what you are doing. If you're using Institute resources, I can back whatever inventory fudging you need to perform to retain your privacy."

Cong looks over at her, chin dipped and eyes peering up as if he were still wearing his glasses. Both eyebrows are lowered heavy on his forehead, the sneer on his face jarred into a displeasured frown as he watches Bella sidle around into his vision. The look down at her is a warning in of itself, partly a dare to press.

"Professionally." His scoff is loud and gruff. "Hospital resources. There is a decided difference. I do not need funding, I am simply unable to return home. Chinatown is under snow."

Bella leans on the lab table, fingers lacing together, returning his glare with a sharp gaze of her own. "So's the whole city. What's so special in Chinatown that you need to cook things up on the sly here?" she arches a brow, "The cat's out of the bag, Dr. Cong. Tell me what's so pressing, and I promise I'll hold my peace. I just need to know /what/ it is I'm keeping to myself." First assurances, then alliance, now a bargain. Bella is flipping through tactics at a swift pace.

Bella Sheridan needs several more levels before she can hope to pass this boss. Bao-Wei makes an unceremonious moment of picking up a tourniquet from the table and looping it above one sturdy elbow, the arm the one without presence of Fu dog. He all but ignores her, mouth set in a deep frown and brows the same.

Ignoring her will not, contrary to popular wisdom, make her go away. Bella remains perched at the edge of the table, her pale blue eyes staring at Bao-Wei with unabashed watchfulness. The kind of stare designed explicitly to make its target /feel/ watched. She doesn't speak. The more she talks, it seems, the quieter he gets.

Any other man might blink twice- or even once- at a beautiful woman standing there watching them, no matter how sweaty she may be and no matter how insistent he may be on getting her to stop bothering him. Doctor Cong, obviously, is no other man. Whereas usually she may get even the faintest appraisal- he just does not care. Not for her presence, nor her questions. The questions get neither facetime or vocal response. Bao-Wei keeps his poker face on quite well, going through the motions of injecting himself with whatever is inside of the syringe he has prepared.

Bella's observation continues thus unaugmented but unimpeded. She is bearing witness to the event he tried to keep secret. That's a start, as far as she's concerned. She watches the injection with quite literally clinical interest, eyes moving up to his face to observe his reaction to whatever concoction he has just self-administered.

What Bella gets is Bao-Wei Cong staring out of the corners of his eyes at her, watching, when she looks up from observing his hands and arm. Gaze reptilian, his eyelids narrow. Inwardly, he is considering something, however on the outside it only appears as if he is being his usual creepy self.

Bella catches Bao-Wei's eyes and offers her colleague a small smile. 'Don't mind me' it says. 'Carry on' it says. 'Just act like you naturally do when injecting yourself with strange brews' it says.
Bao-Wei remembers, remotely, the feeling that he felt seemingly ages ago, when a little black-haired girl appeared on his shoulders in a dreamscape. At first, he did not want Hokuto around either. That changed. But this won't. Not right now.

"Go away." Simple, clear. Demand.

Oddly enough, this kind of reticence is really something of a comfort to Bella. She has seen it over and over. She speaks the variation on what she always says. "If you ever want to talk about it," the shrink suggests, "I promise your words will fall on safe ears." A last lingering now, to see if this offer, however unlikely it may be, will bear fruit. Persistence is a virtue in the eyes of some.

Perhaps it is because Sheridan is a therapist, or because she reminds him of Hokuto- of someone he actually had come to trust only to lose. Before she quite lingers away from him, Doctor Cong turns to peer at her again over his shoulder. She is very persistent, and he knows personally that it is a virtue for people like them. He would have done the same as she, only far less courteously.

"Metamorphoses, book six, three hundred thirty-nine, book nine, six hundred forty-eight." That is all she will get out of him.

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