bao-wei_icon.gif devon_icon.gif

Scene Title Resent
Synopsis Neither learning from past failures nor celebrating a present success can put Dr. Cong in a good mood.
Date February 18, 2019

Unknown Location

It's been a few days of quiet for Devon, and at least to his recollection this is the longest he has been awake from his 'hospital' bed. For the longest times his only company has been brief appearances of Doctor Cong or 'Joy', as she introduced herself once more.

The rest of the time has only been filled with the idle sounds and words of a tinny cassette player running old recordings. Mostly British broadcasts, one or two radioplays.

A distraction.

At one point, Devon can hear something overtaking it; a distant, long sound against the metal walls of the room. Deep and on the edge of his hearing. Somber. Muffled, but stirring nonetheless. It fades away not long after it passes by, easing out of distance like a cloud.

The next span of quiet is shorter; Doctor Cong comes through the heavy door, a faint chill moving with him. No pretense of humanhood this time. His features are multifaceted, jagged ice, head and back crested with an almost devil-like quality. A stoop to his walk, as if the spines and rows of scaling on his shoulders weighs him down. A burden he lives with.

He makes no move to regard Devon, acting purely oblivious- - or purposefully ignorant- - when he starts fussing with pieces of the lab. Mumbles of Chinese, intermingled with English. None of it makes any sense to the Hound.

"Never gets it… Mnn. Twelve, nine, thirty milliliters." Muttering, then, a mix of another tongue, passing back to English. "Like in Tonghua." A hiss of air, like a bellows. "I have to do it myself. Again." If Devon tries to get his attention, nothing does it.

The radio has been a distraction, but not company and an inaccurate measure of time in a place that has no day or night.

It’s a distraction that Devon is slowly beginning to resent.

He’s stopped listening to it. He’s tried to drown out the pompous voices by creating his own noise as much as he dares. Covering too much masks the sounds outside the cramped room that often serve as a warning to more… visits. His arms shake and twist in the shackles that hold them to the bed and the faint rattle that accompanies that movement drowns out the broadcast for a time.

For too long, maybe. It almost covers the sounds of the doors opening. He has only the inward protest of the metal portal to alert him to the following cold and the ice monster that owns it. Frustration draws his arms down against the table as the chill begins sinking into his limbs. He should be familiar with it by now, but he isn’t. Uncertainty and surprise take him both when the doctor finds his way into the makeshift lab.

Devon keeps quiet while he watches Bao-Wei. As much as he’s able to keep quiet. He shudders, the tremble presents itself in his breathing but he’s otherwise motionless.

More muttering, indistinct. Though Devon is motionless, his breath puffs at the air. The doctor pauses at his desk, a clawed hand lingering against it. He turns his head over his shoulder, pivoting to look past the coat of ice. That cyclopean eye appears puzzled to find Devon there; it focuses soon enough, clicking into place and boring at the young man.

"Ah. Awake." Jagged 'teeth' open and shut, clicking jawbones together. The cold retracts from bare skin, frosty air encircling Bao-Wei like a fog machine. Golden iris rotating, the iceman looks back to the door, then the far wall, before clicking the speakers off.

A few long seconds of silence until the sounds come again, a hollow thing that dopplers into the metal walls, a feeling of buoyancy rocking at the floor.

Since he’s found, Devon lets out a quick, short breath. He twists, bodily, as much as he’s able to move like it will gain him distance from the doctor. It doesn’t, but he tries anyway. He relaxes again, inasmuch as he stops writhing attempts to get free, when Bao-Wei turns away again. His eyes follow the ice-man, tracking movements, trying to discern what’s happening. He can’t see what’s on the desk, can’t make heads or tails of the machinery that surrounds him, but he watches all the same. Maybe something will hold in his memory.

It’s doubtful.

Tracking Bao-Wei serves a small purpose; if nothing else, Devon can see that there is a single-mindedness to how he functions. Something determined in its thoroughness, even if Devon can't understand what's around him. As the doctor moves around, so does the feeling of pressure. Devon's eardrums ache for around a minute, before it disappears.

"A pity you can't get some sun. You're looking drawn." For the first time, Cong addresses his ward directly, turning head with hands hovering over a frosted keyboard. "Supplements only do so much." Keys click under nails. Bao-Wei withdraws a rubberized thumb drive from a port and tucks it into a plastic envelope. The length of his chest cracks with a sound like rock breaking, a spiderweb forming from the center outward. He drives his free hand into the division, frost splintering away. Ice buckles and bends under pressure, peeled away with a pop pop snap.

Cong deposits the package he's made inside, other hand slipping in like fingers through gelatin, moving through the ice like nothing. When his arms fall back to his sides, Devon can see the drive through his hide, tucked safely under it. Nonchalantly, the doctor moves to the bedside to examine a digital panel, freezer air coming along and that gorge torn in his chest sealing up in a knit of moisture to ice.

The doctor's act of securing an envelope inside his chest is unnerving. Devon looks away when the doctor’s hand goes into the gap, a glance sliding over just once to confirm what it is he saw. Yes, there is an envelope secured inside a shell of ice that's also a man's chest.

His gaze angles away again, eyes even closing against the monotony of the room. His face shifts with the changing pressure, even with eyes closed he still manages to frown and shake his head at it.

The deep cold fully returning with Doctor Cong arriving at the bedside beckons the young man’s attention. He bodily shies away, as much as his restraints allow him to, while looking up at the monster. “Why are you here?”

He has gotten used to being watched. Even people who have seen other astounding things tend to pause. He stopped caring years ago. Devon's voice stirs a look sidelong, the golden eye angling his way.

"I'm here to play God, or something of that nature." Bao-Wei mumbles this to himself, not Devon.

"I'm here to run tests." Bao-Wei does not mumble this time, peering down directly. "I do so hate doing this over and over. I wish I could let you keep that much, but noooo. Must we be this tedious?!" What begins as a resigned- and apparently - repeated explanation… turns sharp and lifts into an irritated snarl, the doctor turning his back and directing it to no-one and the wall of monitors.

"But I need this, don't I. It is all that I have left… " Anger simmers. "Why do I cling."

The response, as much as the one-eyed glare, elicits withdrawal. Devon can’t escape from his predicament, but he can turn his head. It’s almost the same thing. His eyes still slide over to watch Bao-Wei, worried he’ll be caught unaware. By what, he couldn’t answer. There are no answers for this place or time.

“I don’t know.” The answer is formed before he can stop it, following a shrugging flinch when the doctor’s anger flares. He doesn’t know, that’s why he asks repeatedly.

Though the mood seems tense, Bao-Wei's broadened shoulders sag when Devon speaks. Whatever scathing look he gives the wall isn't shared. Not immediately. When he does look back, cracks have formed down his face from brow to jaw, webbing across cheekbones and spreading when that hinged mouth clenches jagged teeth. Rage bubbles.

"Of course you don't." And disappears.

"I do." The doctor tilts a vacant look away from Devon again. Ice flakes from the cracks to the floor, a sheaf of them seeming to shed from the rest in a noiseless hail. The air is still cold, and they cling to it, circulating in the vented, recycled current.

Snow. In a sense.

"You're special. You won't remember, though." Brow ridges lift towards the young man, golden eye dimming. The ice man's frame twitches. Pieces form and jut outward, spreading over like sharp icicles. Weighted downward. The stoop of his back becoming all the more inhuman. "He won't let you."

"It is hard to convince an immortal man of anything- - much less that he has made certain mistakes." Something thrashes irritably against the rail of Devon's bed. He can see it there, clacking around-

- an icy, scaled over tail. Bao-Wei's arms scrape against the floor, claws scoring thin lines in the metal tiling.

Whatever is getting to him, it isn't pretty. A deeper shift plays out in the warping of his body.

The cold causes Devon to withdraw further, for however many millimeters that might be. Probably none. He tries anyway, shivering in spite of his efforts and desire to not. “How’m I special? Why… Who…” None of the questions matter if he isn’t going to remember, but there’s a sliver of defiant hope Maybe he will.

Questions cut off, and what would be a surprised yell is more of a strangled grunt when the bed rail is crashed against. The young man twists to make more room — it’s still impossible — and cringes away from the tail.

At first it seems as if Bao-Wei may have changed his mind about a conversation. He stirs some, and his gaze is distant.

"There have been dozens before you." When he does speak it is abrupt, and he focuses unerringly and suddenly on Devon. "I've watched them turn into piles of flesh or bone, or just- - ash. Decay. I have to start over, every time." Golden eye turns away, examining the monitors nearer the young man's head. "Every time." Something like hate simmers there, but dissipates. He can't seem to really maintain it, and sounds it with a laboured sigh, more emotional than physical.

"But you? You are the first one to make it this far. So… congratulations on not becoming raspberry jam." The cold pulls closer to the doctor, the deep brow furrowing and the flaky effect clinging to him like freezerburn.

How do you even respond to that? Devon can't begin to formulate an answer. It's like his mind refuses to parse even the simplest of concepts, being that he's become a laboratory rat.

He stares at the golden eye that flares down at him until he can no longer stand its intensity. He can no longer stand the fear he's barely kept at bay. He turns, struggles to roll away. Restraints rattle with his movement, persistent but lacking force.

Gold shine dims, the ink of pupil pinning, the mirror angle of reflection tipping downward. Before Devon turns away there may be a flicker of something more, vague and distant. Disconnected. He won't notice.

"I would not want to look at me either. As precious as this form is- -" The scrape - thud of movement precludes Bao-Wei's return to Devon's vision. One plate-sized hand extends, fingers lengthening to manipulating points. He isn't actually reaching for Devon, despite appearances.

"As much as I love this form I've cursed myself with- -" Claws thread between the taut fastenings around the young man's limbs. They loosen, though only just. "I would…" The eye dims again, momentarily lost. "I would much rather have my children."

When Doctor Cong moves away, Devon's restraints will at the very least, allow him onto his sides, able to divert himself into whatever mental solitude he needs.

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