bella_icon.gif m_alex_icon.gif

Scene Title Specifics
Synopsis Bella unveils more of her plan to Alex, who is wise to ask: what's in it for him?
Date July 5, 2010

The Streets of New York

'I'll pick you up', is what she said. Like they had somewhere to go. She didn't give specifics. No destination, no particular goal in mind. Just 'I got a few things. Meet me outside the same place as last time. I'll pick you up.'

And so the assumption Bella's operating under is that Alex will be waiting for her in the wreckage of Midtown, outside the gallery they last convened at. She's trying to do her car more justice, trying to wrestle the stick shift with the appropriate mix of familiarity and aggressiveness, to work the powerful machine she's guiding along ruined streets towards her destination. As her plans, such as they are, continue to progress towards a head, she feels more at home in an insane, overpowered vehicle like this. The vehicle of a risk taker. The vehicle of someone who doesn't think the height of excitement is getting their monthly issue of the New Yorker, smoking up and reading Talk of the Town.

She pulls up in front of the gallery with a little too rapid a break, and the seatbelt catches her as she jerks forward. Yes, she's wearing a seatbelt. She's feeling reckless, not stupid.

He doesn't seem to be there yet, Alex is choosing to be fashionably late. But after about five minutes, she starts hearing something echoing through the streets. The roar of a muscle car's engine, and some sort of melody. Then, once she sees the car coming towards her's in the rear view mirror, she can finally hear the song playing: The Ace of Spades.

He's speeding like hell, the way these cars are meant to be driven in commercials, and suddenly hits the breaks as the car does a complete 180, skidding around until it's parked next to the curb, facing her's. He waves from his seat, then steps out, wearing yet another black suit with the jacket unbuttoned. "Hello, Doctor." he says while knocking on the passenger side window.

Bella slowly rolls down her window, hoping to convey in that motion the same skepticism she has written all over her face. "Alex," she states, smoothly, "As a psychologist, I'm aware that television is, in appropriate doses, just as healthy and important in the mental development of an individuals as books and games. That said, dear Alex… you have clearly watched too much TV." She opens her door, turning to grab a cardboard box from the passenger-side seat and lifting it into her arms. She shuts her car behind her with her foot, and walks around to the passenger-side door of Alex's vehicle, standing, arms full, waiting for him to open the door for her.

"There's no point in having perfect handling if you're not going to use it." Alex points out, reaching into his pocket for his 'universal' remote, then presses a button for his two doors to swing open. He heads into the driver side, slamming his door shut, then waits for her to deal with the box. "Like the car? I refurbished her when you let me out, found her in an old garage. Doesn't run on gas."

"Alex, word of advice," Bella says, her voice pricked with mostly good-natured teasing, "This is one of those show, don't tell things. I've seen the show. You don't have to tell me about it. Let 'perfect handling' handle itself. You make it less impressive when you point to it - it's like you're trying to impress me," her smile is mean, but that's actually just one of the ways Bella flirts, meanly, "Which is fine. But it's much more impressive if I can't tell you're trying to impress me."

The doctor sets her box down on the hood of the car and slides it over towards him. "Shutter-based cameras, mostly used junk, but I figured you could fix them up nicely. Also a few varieties of film, so you can decide what can capture the documents in the most detail, since a lot of them are written in smallish or even handwritten. And other odds and ends. Thank God for American Science and Surplus, hmmm?"

Alex opens the door and slips out to look up on the hood, digging through the box with silvery eyes. He seems to barely look at any of the parts for more than a few seconds, seeming like a kid, frantically digging through a box of toys. "I think I can do this. Shutter-based, but we could silence the shutter, and maybe rig the camera to take pictures in different light spectrums…"

Bella gives a small laugh. "That's entirely you're department. I'm just the instigator." She pats his car, "What has this thing got in the way of security?"

"Killer robots." is Alex's only answer to that, holding a lense up to the light of the sun, closing one eye to look through it. "They're in there, just hiding. They're all around Midtown now, actually. I build them when I get bored and anxious and I'm not working on other projects. And I released a lot of the ones I was building before. I control them through the frequencies in my remote, but their gears are constructed with set commands, like Da Vinci's work."

"I've only got a car alarm," Bella says, stepping back around his car and walking towards hers, gesturing for him to follow with her fingertips, "We're driving mine. I'll drop you back off when we're done. I want you to get a sense of the geography." She pulls open the driver's side door and slips into the seat, activating the ignition and releasing the parking break. She tips her head towards the seat beside her. "Get in. Leave the junk in your car, I want you full attention."

Alex blinks a few times, his eyes returning to normal as he slips the box into his car and slams the door. She can already see a mechanical spider or two crawl up on to the dashboard. Walking over to her car and slipping in, he closes it behind him and casually lounges back. "Why do you want me to get a sense of the geography?"

"Because, in an ideal world, I won't have to make the drop off myself at all," Bella says, shifting the car into drive and depressing the accelerator, causing the silver sports car to peel off onto the road, heading, eventually, for the bridge to Queens. "In an ideal world, your little contraption will carry itself to the location, reducing any possible suspicion on my person."

"Are you saying you want it turned into a robot? Because I can do that. Robot camera, remote controlled. Give it a little lock pick and an electromagnet to open file cabinets with…" Alex is still brainstorming, even without the silver of his eyes. He still gets ideas, even when he's not using his ability to actualize them.

As they rise up onto the bridge and its adjoining overpass, Bella's hand leaves the wheel to point out towards Staten Island. "You know the facility's location," she says, "What you build needs to get from there," her hand returns to the wheel, and she nods as they leave the overpass and slide on down into Queens, "To a middle location I'm taking us to. Whatever you make, I need to be able to smuggle it in and out, as they've got the place locked down tight as a drum. Something that can fit in a purse or briefcase."

"With high security, we could do a camera that looks like something other than a camera, like, say, a pocket mirror to check your makeup, and a container of lipstick that controls the shutter while you're applying it." Alex grins, crossing his arms as he continues to brainstorm. "I'm trying to impress you again, by the way."

Bella's lips prick in a smile as she shifts gears down, slowing to street-level speeds. "I actually couldn't tell. Which explains why I was genuinely impressed. Though," she is forced to stop at a light, so she takes the chance to glance across at Alex, "Why just feminine products? Don't I look like the kind of girl that might carry, I don't know… a leatherman?" The light turns green, and Bella hits the accelerator rather too hard, jetting them forward towards her eventual destination: the Brooklyn Public Library off of Prospect Park.

"The concern isn't your progressive image." Alex answers in a casually challenging tone, eyes turning to look up and down her when she asks what kind of girl she looks like. "No one would suspect a woman going into a private room to apply makeup while she checks files."

"Matter of principle," Bella answers, briskly, "But if sexism will serve as a blind spot, I suppose I'm not above it. A two stage machine, then? One smaller, modular component I can use to take the pictures, another, larger chassis, to serve as transport once I get outside the facility?"

"The mirror itself will be the camera, the lipstick will take a picture using a hidden button, sending a closed frequency to the camera. The mirror will be large enough to hold the film." Alex drops his seat back a bit, apparently making himself home in the car.

"I defer to your technical expertise," is Bella's official position.

Green flashes next to them as they pass alongside Prospect Park. Bella pulls them up alongside the Brooklyn Public Library, it's great dark doors decorated with golden figures. She nods at it. "I want the film taken here. Dropped somewhere in the psychology section, where it can't be easily seen, but can be retrieved without difficulty by someone who knows it's there." She turns to Alex. "This is something we can do?"

"I'm going to need one of those clapper lights. I'll rig the clapper mechanism to one of my spider bots, then when you clap in the correct rhythm, it'll come out of hiding." Alex suggests, his eyes full blown silver again while he thinks of these things now.

"Again, I leave those details up to you," Bella says, "I'll have an accomplice to assist with the pickup. All I need from you is the tech." She gazes at the building for a long moment. "Once I get everything you need, how long before we can begin?"

"If I start working as soon as I get back, without stopping… come pick up what you need in the morning. For the spider, it'll take a simple modification, and for the camera, it's just a matter of putting the parts in the right places." Alex crosses his arms, still sitting back, and finally says, "You've yet to say what I get out of this. Granted, I do owe you for getting my ability back, we both know you did it for your benefit."

"I'm willing to negotiate remuneration," Bella says, looking at Alex with a forthright gaze. Game face on. "Care to open?"

"I want to watch your doctors, I want to learn about the human body and how it works, inside, out, and psychologically. I want to know everything you and your people can teach me." Alex reaches over to place a hand on her's. "If you can give me that, I can give you anything."

Bella was expecting more of a 'figures and numbers' type discussion. Correction: she was prepared for a 'figures and numbers' type discussion. This… "Could you be a little more specific? I'd be happy to give you what you're looking for, if you could better explain what it is you mean?"

"I need a working professional understanding of the human body and mind, I'd like to be a part of your research team so I can learn, and integrate machines into the human body more accurately." Alex holds up his gloved left hand, the one she knows to be mechanical.

Bella frowns. How is she supposed to answer him? "I think you may misapprehend what it is my team is doing. We're working on a microbiological level. Genes, viruses, alleles and amino acids. What you're talking about - prothesis and integration - that is a whole different field." Then something occurs to her. "I may be able to give you access to information and facilities, however, that could satisfy your requirements. I'll have to double check, first."

"I'm patient, do what you have to do, but I'm still willing to help your research however I can. I'm aware that genetic research requires machines." Alex points out, taking his hand back to cross his arms again. "Let's get back so I can start working."

"We have all the machines we need," Bella explains, "All the real work you would find very unstimulating." Her voice goes very dry, "Trust me." She knows. She finds it boring as hell much of the time. She pulls the car out into the street again, and sets their tires back to their original meeting spot. Time's a'wastin'.

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