Pledge of Support


delia_icon.gif renard_icon.gif

Scene Title Pledge of Support
Synopsis Renard catches Delia sleeping when she's supposed to be taking care of his friend.
Date August 28, 2010

St. Luke's Hospital

It's about an hour and a half into the second shift at the hospital. 7pm to 7am, the night crew. Though visiting hours will be coming to a close in the rest of the hospital, the patients in ICU get a little more leeway due to the fact that they are usually in a sleep that they don't wake up from very easily.

There is one sitter for every two patients and Delia Ryans tends to spend about a half of her shifts just sitting at bedside with them, holding their hands. For some odd reason, she always picks the patients that don't have family or friends to visit, this one is no different.

"I'd like the blinds to remain open, I like to see the stars when I sleep at night." Marina intones softly as Delia scurries about the room, doing everything the woman asks.

With a smile, she draws the curtains open to reveal the night sky. Through them, the city lights are non-existent, all that can be seen is a brilliant display of the cosmos. A few streaks of light shoot through, falling stars for her patient to make a wish on. "Tell me what you wish for," Delia smiles as she returns to the woman's bedside and takes her hand again.

"I wish to be out of this hospital," Marina says with a quiet laugh, "I wish for all the pain of the world to go away. I wish to see those that put me here so I can tell them that I forgive them."

A slight crease forms between Delia's eyebrows and she purses her lips sadly at the woman for a moment before asking, "Why?"

"Because if they know that they are forgiven, they will be at peace. I will be at peace."

The answer given puts a few tears in the student nurse's eyes and she blinks a few times before smiling at the woman again. "I have to go soon, I'll be back in a few hours."

"Please hurry, the stars always seem brighter when you are here with me." Marina's voice, pretty and gentle has an underlying sadness, something that tugs at the redhead.

"I will, I promise."

The machines beeping brings the nurse to and she squeezes the hand of the woman in the coma once before letting go. Leaning toward her, Delia brushes a few of the stray hairs that have fallen over her bandages. She's never going to see out of that eye again, she doesn't know it yet. She will if she ever wakes up, but for now, she's as beautiful as she ever was.

The austere hospital room has two unfamiliar features in it, the first being a rather handsome looking businessman. One would assume he's some kind of executive, from the extremely fine cut of his suit and the subtle but extremely expensive watch and such. He looks as if he could buy and sell the hospital and all its employees a few times over. The other man behind him is also wearing a suit, but it is a black one, and complete with a little white earpiece and spiral cord. He looks like a man that could send a person to a hospital. Very unorthodox.

"Good evening. Did you have a pleasant nap?" The dapper man speaks, and his voice is incredibly smooth and cultured. Its also accented with French, an aristocratic and educated flavor. Oh, its also very annoyed presently - the kind of annoyance that is dangerous. "I hope the health of your alleged charge did not weigh too heavy on your mind." He reaches out in a smooth motion, and snags the patient's chart.

"Ah, I see now. Right here in bold - 'Registered Evolved'. Tell me, girl, do you sleep on the job when looking over all your patients, or is it just racism that fills you with apathy?" Oh yes, his voice has gone from polite annoyance to a knife-edge. Calm, collected, but utterly ruthless. "I would like to know for my own edification, incidentally. Either way, I doubt you will long enjoy employment here, with behavior and attitudes such as this."

The young redhead jumps, her wide blue eyes full of fear. "Nnng— No! No I was just, I didn't— " Her heart stops and the name badge hooked to the pocket of her scrubs rises and falls in the irregular rhythm of quickened breath. "Please, I wasn't— " There's no way for the young woman to explain it without having to explain everything else that goes along with it. That is something she really doesn't want to do.

A quick glance is given to the woman on the bed, unresponsive to any treatment that the medical facility has been able to provide. To Delia, she's still full of life and struggling to hang on. She's unable to defend the redhead that she beseeched only moments before to return.

"I was sitting with her, that's my job." Delia's voice is shaking. Quickly, her lower lip gets caught between her teeth and she begins to chew on it nervously. "I've never had any complaints before." It's said quietly, as though it might save her from the severe reprimand that the man in the room is prepared to see her get.

The dapper man is not terribly tall or broad-shouldered, but when he takes a single casual step forward the sheer force of his dark charisma is like a rolling wave. He's been born and bred to lead, to sway crowds and drive the masses. Yet for the moment, all his attention is focused on one person. On Delia.

"You are spinning deceptions and excuses. You will not offend me further with your duplicity. Confess to me your actions for good or ill, and I shall measure them." He gestures with one hand, a smooth, flowing motion. "With honesty, even those found wanting can be granted mercy." He is focused on her, his eyes boring into hers with his controlled fury.

Cloaked in the overwhelming strength of Renard's speech, his Ability reaches out. Drawing from Delia's memory for his personal replay that which has transpired, to gauge her treatment of the girl beside, but more importantly memories she has where she professes opinions for the Evolved. Running hot as he is with offense at her actions, he can pour in the effort to examine several memories in the flash of a few stutter-filled instants.

Renard is treated to the conversation that just transpired between the young woman and her nurse. There is a difference, this Marina looks much better, untouched by the abuse the one in the bed has received. He is privy to her wishes and the sad tone in Delia's voice as she talks to the middle eastern woman and the promise that was made. His vision in the memory is obscured momentarily, just as the redhead was making her goodbyes, a few blinks clear the watery blur before waking.

There are more. For the past two weekends her hours are filled with patients, all in comas. Every visit is at night, though sometimes the patients are treated to the sun, the sunset, the sunrise, whatever their preference. No matter what the time of day.

The young woman's view of the evolved themselves is still evolving. From unknown to hatred over the loss of a mother. That hatred carried until the first patient she ever spoke to, an old man that gave her a second chance. She knew he was evolved and though her opinion of the people as a whole hadn't changed at that point, she stayed with him and talked to him when no one else would.

"I wasn't hurting her, I was sitting with her…" Delia protests, completely unaware of the invasion of her memory. Her voice is still trembling with fear. She's easily intimidated, stemming from a fear of being hurt, physically or otherwise.

The dapper man maintains the terrifying aspect for a moment, leaving Delia on the knife's edge. Will he scold her further? Threaten her job with his obvious wealth? Just beat her? Then, as suddenly and ferociously as it began, it ends. He seems to fold back into himself, and with a single closing and reopening of his eyes he has changed completely. Well, he hasn't changed physically of course.

It is amazing, however, that with just a few adjustments to stance, posture, weight distribution, head-tilt, and tonality a man can all but remake himself from cruel arbiter-king to something a lot more harmless. When he speaks again, his voice is much kinder, and practically soothing. "Forgive me. I am rather upset about this tragedy. I was wrong to take it out on you, miss. Please, allow me to apologize for my wrongdoing." He offers a hand, a very soft-looking hand, for her to take into her own. His nails are well manicured.

"My name is Renard Delacroix, and I happen to be a friend of hers. I had to come over the moment I had heard about the tragedy. I have worked closely with Marina in the past, on many projects. It breaks my heart to see her like this."

It's a trembling hand that finds its way into Renard's. Delia, uncertain of the sudden change of heart toward the apparent neglectful treatment of the woman in the bed. "D-Delia Ryans," she says quietly and quite apologetically, almost as though she expects her name to give him offense. She says nothing further in introduction, no 'pleased to meet you' or any other vapid social graces that are usually exchanged.

Eying him suspiciously, she moves closer to the bed and straightens the woman's pillow. She's careful not to jostle her before taking the blanket and pulling it up over the woman's chest to tuck her in. "She seems like a nice lady," she finally emits, still quiet and rather timid. "I… I read her chart, she does good things for people."

There's no mention of the conversations that the two women have had, no indication given whatsoever that the sitter has any knowledge outside of the papers clipped to the board. "I— I should leave you to visit with her before curfew." Then one thing, a common phrase used by medical staff to reassure grieving patients, but this time it's spoken with honesty and conviction. "She can hear you. If you talk to her, I mean… She'll know you're there. It'll make her feel good to know you came."

The hand that takes Delia's is warm, the grip firm but not painful. He makes eye contact with a small smile. "Charmed." He says, and with that triggered, his Ability cycles up again. Delving into Delia's mind to excise the recent memory of her horrible scolding. SNIP! Gone. A New, fresh, edited memory is put in its place, a much more pleasant one.

Delia wakes from her dream-state to the beeping of machinery. Renard is standing there in the room.

Renard: Oh, forgive me. I'm here to visit Marina. I didn't mean to disturb you Ms…..

The dapper executive leans forward and reads from her nametag.

Renard: ….Ms. Ryans.

Delia stands up, and her movements are slightly flustered at being caught.

Delia: Oh, I was just, uh…watching her….

Renard smiles knowingly, and nods, seeming to understand completely.

Renard: Thank you for being so kind as to stay with her. I'm a friend of hers. Renard Delacroix is my name.

His Ability is a seamless editor, subtly re-writing her life experience to the moment they shook hands. The previous experience of fear leading to suspicion is wiped clean, gone in a flash of effort and a warm smile.

The moment the memory is rewritten, Delia's smile grows wide and genuine. Upon withdrawing her hand, she turns toward the bed and once again straightens the pillow and blanket, tucking the woman in for a good night's sleep for a second time. There's no moment of deja vu, no wondering why it already looks done. It's her job to make the woman comfortable, no matter how recently the task looks to have been done.

Turning to the dapper gentleman again, her smile wanes to a more subtle one but still pleasant. "Is there anything you wanted to know about her condition? Or how she's doing?" The fact that he already looked at her chart is lost on the young redhead. Her eyes flit back to the woman again and a small crease forms between her eyebrows before turning back to Renard. "I think you're the first visitor she's had in the room… Most people just look at her through the window."

The dapper man takes a single step back - as if to make space for her to do her work. When she is not looking, a concerned look flickers across his face - but she never sees it. "I spoke with her doctor before coming up to the room. I understand her condition is not good, which is why I've arranged for a specialist to come and see her very soon now." He speaks softly, soothingly as he steps closer, to gently brush some hair off of Marina's face.

"I am afraid her family is overseas, along with the rest of her team. You see, I'm the president of a charity she works for. Fields of Peace, an anti-landmine organization dedicated to removing these weapons of war from under the feet of innocents. To think that someone would beat this woman like this, just because she is different. It breaks my heart." He does seem truly upset.

"That— that'll be good for her," Delia doesn't say much more than that to try to convince the man that the doctors here are very good at their jobs. Knowing that there are better, more able people who can help her. "Do you know how they found out? That she— " Her voice drifts off, the silence filling in what she was going to say, she likely doesn't need to voice it out loud.

Placing her hands in her pockets, the young woman just looks up at the man and gives him a rather frightened smile. "I've heard that there are people afraid of registering because they're afraid of being found or tracked like that." It's her own fear. Depending on how astute the man is, he might pick up on it.

Her hair is gently tucked back, and in a way that makes it clear that he didn't just employ this woman - no, Renard knew her as a friend. "She followed the law. She Registered, and the Registry is freely available online, with her name, photo, and address. The government created any bigot's hitlist, available from any computer or smartphone." He frowns, and his voice is heavy with regret. "She obeyed the law, she kept her end of the social contract. What did it get her? Government-assisted violence."

He turns to her, and nods sagely. "Those people have well founded fears. I do not wish to sound melodramatic, but the Registry system is no different from the Yellow Stars forced on the Jews under the regime of the Reich. The entire system is nothing more than a prelude to something darker and more evil than most can imagine. A systematic campaign of violence and discrimination that is based wholly in fear and xenophobia." He sighs, and seems long suffering.

"Her tormentors will be found. Justice will fall on them, but it is unjust that she was ever set upon for this reason. This never should have happened." He takes a seat, or rather seems to sink into one, as if weighed down heavily. Painting himself in a sympathetic light to match Marina's, in order to empower his rhetoric.

A very audible gulp is heard from the redhead and a blush taints her cheeks a dark pink. "I— I talked to a doctor that told me the reason everyone has to register now is because it's unbiased. That it'll help people find what they need, like … healers and things." Her voice dies off again and she takes the seat on the opposite side of the woman's bed.

"She wants to forgive them." That bit of information is volunteered as the young woman tests the waters of trust with the man sitting on the other side. "I wonder what she's going to think when she wakes up, if she'll feel any differently." She takes the woman's hand again and slides her chair a little closer in order to cradle the limp appendage with her two strong ones.

A thin smile play across the mogul's lips, a bitter smile. "What is the government created a list of all Jews, and put it online for anyone to access? All homosexuals? By its very construction it has bias." He takes a breath, and then the woman's other hand to give it a squeeze. "As for finding healers, or people with useful Abilities a Registry is unnecessary. If people want to use their gifts, whether it be a talent for medicine, art, or science, they would let it be known under their own power. If they did not, then telling the whole world they can will do nothing but send all manner of annoyance their way. 'Write my lover a sonnet!' 'Heal my child's leg!' 'Carve for me a crystal rose!' Like could quickly become unbearable. Of course, one could just force them to use their talents - but it is immoral to hold a gun to a doctor's head, do you not think? No, that second reason is spurious as well. I have heard no justification for the Registry that rings true, or bodes well for humanity."

He gives her hand a squeeze, and lapses into silence. In his own way, he lends her strength and feels her pain, accessing her memory. After a moment, he continues. "I know she does. She has it in her heart such tenderness - I wish you could have seen her, the way she would comfort the children. The smile she would wear when we left a village better than we found it. She would forgive them because they are ignorant, and manipulated by forces beyond themselves. She would not, however, wish this pain on anyone else."

Lowering her head, Delia releases the hand that she's holding and folds it across Marina's chest gently, taking great care to not disturb the various tubes running into her. "I— I have another patient to look in on," she says softly, there's a hint of apology in the young woman's voice but not enough to get her to stay. "If— " She stops short and ducks her hands into her pockets again, clenching her fists tightly.

"There's more, just like Miss Marina, in this ward. I know you're probably a busy man but I think they'd like visitors too. Maybe your security men could talk to them?" The student isn't exactly bashful about begging for visitors for the others, it's an effort that's well worth her time. "Mister Koblonski in the next room likes the sports section read to him, so he can hear who won the ball games. He's been to every Yankee home game since he was six. Missus Frederickson likes to watch One Life to Live every day at one, but I'm usually not here then." It's a strong hint.

Marina's hand is tucked lovingly back on the bed, and patted gently. Renard stands up, and a subtle motion of his hand prompts his security goon to offer Delia a card. Renard has very nice cards. "I know that you are busy. Please, if you ever feel that you need to talk, for any reason, do not hesitate to call that number there. You'll reach me with a minimum of fuss." He has a bittersweet smile on his face, as if glad to meet her, but sad at the circumstance.

He chuckles, very softly. "There is no need to plead. You've convinced me to pour a very handsome amount of support into St. Luke's. I'm sure you'll see that before the month is out staffing and care will have increased." He nods to his goon, who opens the door. "I cannot be everywhere, but I can reach far. I hope you have a good night, Ms. Ryans."

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