Paranoia Is Like A Virus


delia_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif

Scene Title Paranoia Is Like A Virus
Synopsis Delia and Melissa meet for the second time, and have a lot to discuss before Delia flees.
Date September 18, 2010

The Nite Owl

To say Melissa was surprised to hear from Delia today, would be understating it a great deal. Especially after speaking about the girl just the evening before. But she agreed to meet in an hour, and when that hour is up, she's sitting at a booth in the Nite Owl, sipping at a cup of coffee and completely ignoring the plate of fries in front of her. She's brought nothing with her but her car keys, her cell phones left in the car. It probably won't keep Rebel from listening in, not with other people in here, people who no doubt have phones of their own, but it's something. She hopes.

Dressed in clothing that's been donated, Delia's presence out in the city without a comfortable escort is a rare sight indeed. Dressed in an oversized hoodie, ball cap to hide her vibrant hair, and a pair of loose fitting jeans, the young woman stalks into the diner with her head down. She may look conspucuous to some, but in her own mind, she's practically invisible.

Finding Melissa is easy enough, the young woman sticks out among the crowd just from the black streaks in her hair. She looks quite a bit different than the last time Delia saw her.

Slipping into the booth opposite the woman, the redhead gives her an uneasy smile and laces her fingers together on the table top. "Hey… How've you been?"

Delia's noticed before she's taken more than a few steps into the diner. No, invisible she's not, but Melissa doesn't do anything to draw attention to the redhead either. She shrugs a little at the question. "Better than you have, from what I read. Dammit, girl. I told you to come to me. I could've helped you without you ending up being forced into the very thing you were trying to avoid." Despite the words, and the tone that might be expected to accompany them, her voice is even and quiet.

"Yeah well… Things sort of happened to fall into place that way…" Delia says quietly, not offering any excuses or reasons as to why she did what she did. Chewing on the inside of her cheek, she keeps her eyes averted from Melissa's and knits her eyebrows together. "It doesn't matter much anyway, I— I had to go away before it was all done." To where, why, none of that is explained further. It's already been all over the news, the young woman's father is a wanted fugitive.

A small tick of a smile is offered before Delia lifts her eyes to finally meet the other woman's. "I mean, I got the DNA test… but I couldn't follow through with the rest of it. Now— Now I don't want to even consider it. Not after some of the things I found out."

Brows lift and Melissa's head cocks slightly. "What sort of things? There are a lot of things regarding those tests and Registration, so you'll have to narrow it down a bit," she says before sipping at her coffee. "incidentally, I was surprised to hear from you after so long and I saw your name in the paper. Would the phone call have anything to do with these other things you've found out?"

Nodding her head, Delia's eyes flit around them and she chews on her lip for a while before answering verbally. "Uhm.. yeah.. They do. I found out some stuff, that the people who are after the fugutives… They do some terrible things." Saying it out loud is something that the young woman is having a little trouble with, telltale by the stammered reply.

"They— Someone I know— " Not in real life, but in dreams. "They kept her locked in a cell and got her hooked on Refrain so they could study her. She said they did it to a bunch of other people too. They're looking for my .." The next words are whispered ina lower tone than even before, "… they're looking for my dad and he thinks they're going to try to use me and my sister to find him."

Melissa nods. "Yeah, they're horrible people. Which is why I offered my help. I know a couple of people who were taken, and I don't want to see that happen to anyone else. Even someone I've only met once," she says with a faint smile. The next bit of news has Melissa falling silent for a moment, her head tilting. "Do you have someplace safe to hide? You and your family?"

Nodding quickly Delia turns her cup over when the waitress comes by with the pot. Not to order anything would be rude, even if it's just a coffee, there's at least a tip in it. "Yeah, my Dad adn me at least. My sister's still missing." Letting loose a long sigh, the redhead tries to smile at the other woman, unsuccessfully. "She was in France when everything went down. We haven't been able to find her since."

"Hell, if she's in France, then she's probably safer than either you or your father," Melissa says, trying for a reassuring smile. "But I'm not exactly sure why you called me. Did you want me to help find your sister or something? Or just wanted a sympathetic ear?"

"Well, she's not okay but Dad has some people looking into it. If she was okay, she'd answer her phone or try to return our messages or something." Dumping a few packets of sugar and little pots of cream into her cup, Delia stirs it until it's a light sandy color, too weak to actually be real coffee. It's more like the poor man's version of a latte. The amount of creamers used in the cup seem to make the waitress a little perturbed, just because of the constant need for more. "I called, because I wanted to know more about them… The Institute… I want to know if they can find the people that they've held whenever they want. Because if they can, the lady I know might be in a lot of trouble."

Leaning back Melissa studies Delia for a long moment. "Truthfully, I don't know. I'm not sure how they found the people they took in the first place. It could've been random, or they could've used some means of locating the ones they wanted. But what makes you think I would know anything about them? I'm sure as hell not Institute. I despise the bastards. Each and every one of them. They're worse than Humanis First. They just hate us." Then she shakes her head, looking mildly disgusted. Who knew she'd ever call Humanis First the lesser of two evils?

"Because… you said to call if I needed help. I don't have anyone else to ask." Melissa's answer puts a rather bleak expression of helplessness on the the redhead's face. Lowering her head, Delia takes a wraps both of her hands around her cup to warm them. It's not that she really needs it, it's more of a comfort. "The woman that I want to help, it's a slow process. She keeps telling me that if she tries to quit they'll just give her more. To do that, they need to find her… To find her, they must have some kind of tracking device."

Brow furrowing, Melissa nods slowly. "So she's addicted to it? Still, I mean? But…" She pauses, closes her eyes, and shakes her head. "Delia, I think in order to help, I need more details. I know why you're being vague, and I commend you for it. It's a smart thing to do. But I happen to know personally several people who were taken, and I can be discreet." In fact, of both women she knows who were taken, one's been to her house a few times and one was in Vegas on vacation with her.

"Yeah, still… I'd like to give you more details but she's a patient. I can't tell you anything that might identify her." Not because she could get in trouble with the law, because it's just not the right thing to do when you're trying to help someone. "How long ago were they taken? Are they functioning addicts or did they stop using altogether? I have so many questions and I can't ask her. Maybe… maybe if they get me too, I'll know what to expect." Pursing her lips, Delia takes another long drink of her white coffee and continues to hug the mug in both hands.

"They won't get you," Melissa says, going from sympathetic and soothing to cool and authoritative in an instant. "As for your questions, I hadn't heard of any of the captives being addicted to Refrain, but I'll do some asking about. Not necessarily about the captives, but Refrain addiction. I know a couple of medical type people, they might have an answer."

"The withdrawals, I can help her through that, I know what to do. It's easing her fear that they're just going to do it again. She said she's quit already and they got her hooked again." Finishing the rest of the coffee in her cup, Delia shrugs helplessly and looks over at the other woman. She catches her lower lip between her teeth and knits her eyebrows together in a frown. "And about them not getting me… This is only the second time I've been outside since Dad and I ran off. I feel sort of stupid for doing it alone, but …" Another lift of the shoulders only has them dropping quickly.

"How did they get her hooked on it a second time? If she quit…they wouldn't have let her. Which makes it sound like she was their 'guest' twice," Melissa says, frowning a bit as she tries to sort that out. "As for wandering around? Probably not the wisest decision, no. I'd say something nice and comforting like I wouldn't let they take you, but they have negation gas, which isn't fun stuff."

Another sip of her coffee, then she admits, "I was actually talking about you last night to a close friend of mine. Not by name," she assures the girl, "but by ability. I was actually hoping you could explain it a little more to me. What is it you do, specifically."

"I think she might have been there twice, from the way she talked about it… Maybe more, I don't know. She just seems so… Like she's given up on getting better, so she just tries to keep it together as best she can." The cup is set to the side with a spoon placed over it, to signal that the redhead doesn't want a refill. She's already had more than enough and she's likely going to drink another pot or two while working overnight.

Angling her head rather curiously, Delia frowns a little in confusion when Melissa continues. "What I do… Well… My dad calls it dreamwalking. Doctor Brennan called it something else… I can't remember. When I'm asleep, I can go into other people's dreams. I'm not very good."

"That'll come. No one's very good when they first start using their ability," Melissa assures her. "When you're in those dreams though…do you just see whatever they happen to be dreaming about, or can you control it at all? Like, say, could you use a dream to help them recall things? Or to see how they recall them in their subconscious or whatever?"

"I can control them, as long as the person isn't a mind reader or anything. I can't force anyone to show me things they don't want to very well yet, but I can move them and create my own space in their minds…" Delia's voice drifts a little and she glances to the side to see who might be looking at them or listening. Satisfied that the other patrons and the staff are too busy with their own affairs, the young woman turns back to Melissa with a sort of sheepish smile. "Do you know someone that's trying to remember something? I think I can help… No.. No, I know I can help."

Melissa smiles and nods as she says, "No I don't." That can't be right. She nodded, but said no. Bizarre. "At least not offhand. I just like knowing what people can do so that if the need arises, I'll know who to go to in order to ask for help." Then she mouths silently "We'll talk later". Someone certainly is paranoid!

Realization isn't too slow in dawning in Delia's mind. Paranoia is like a virus, it infects one person and then spreads quickly, causing others to react exponentially to the original host's fears. In this case, Melissa's fear of being heard and or caught is captured by the redhead and she in turn panics. "I… yeah… Anytime." Her voice is shaky and her wide blue eyes drift wildly around them before she gives Melissa that look of 'what is going on?!'

"Listen, I'd better get a move on, okay? I mean… I don't want to get … I'm expecting some company this afternoon. Uhm… Patient… coming… in… Yeah! That's it. Patient coming in!" Delia's not very good at being subversive, it just isn't in her skill set.

Melissa gives Delia a look that's part amusement, part exasperation, and part understanding. "'Course. You go deal with your patients. Give me a call if you have anymore questions, and I'll give you a call when I have some answers." A few bills are tugged out of a pocket and dropped on the table, and Delia gets a (hopefully) calming smile before Mel watches as she runs out the door. Flee!

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