The Apple


adrienne_icon.gif kravid_icon.gif kyle_icon.gif taylor_icon.gif

Scene Title The Apple
Synopsis Recovered from her injury, Erica Kravid sets important business into motion.
Date May 1, 2018

You claw, you fight, you lose

Got a doll that looks just like you

Music pumps through the internal speaker system of a sterile, white-walled lab. Cabinets, shelves, and tables are bare and coated in a thin layer of dust, save for a few handprints that have pawed up the pristine abandonment on display. Sneakered feet squeak and scuff across the polished floor, tracing a heel-toe tapping beat across a red trimmed in gold on the floor. The rapid guitar rhythm and electronic drum beat keeps those feet moving, knees bent, hips swinging from side to side, arms up, dark and curly hair swinging from side to side.

Remember when we used to say

"I love you" almost every day

I saw the light in you

The young woman listening to the music hops backwards, throws out an arm and slings her shoulders forward with the motion. One sneakered toe taps the floor, she swings a leg up and pirouettes around and then stamps a heel behind her to reaffirm her balance and stop the turn. Curly locks of dark hair bounce across her face, eyes closed, head down. She doesn't notice one side of the double doors leading into the room slowly opening, or the fingers curling around the door's edge.

Going out as I close our window

You never liked me anyway

Her hands clench, and she bounces up and down on the balls of her feet. Then, with a hop-step forward, she throws her body from side to side, arms up and then down, hands flexing open and closed. She moves to the rhythm of the song, not noticing the blonde woman slipping in through the open door, a faint smile crossing her lips. The blonde watches the younger brunette, the badge clipped to her jacket clearly reading Doctor Adrienne Allen in bold faced text, with The Commonwealth Institute below it. Doctor Allen's steps take on a little rhythm too as she moves over to where a battered, old iPod sits in a docking station.

Aye yeah, aye yeah

Aye, I don't see the light I saw in you before

And no, I don't

And no, I don't

And no, I don't care anym

With a tap of a finger Doctor Allen turns off the music, and the brunette comes to a sudden squeaking stop on the floor. She looks up, at first surprised and then indignant. "Hey! What the hell, French? I was listening to that!" The young woman storms over, gesturing wildly at her sides as she quickly closes the distance to Doctor Allen, only to have the blonde Frenchwoman blink a look over to the door where a woman older than both stands, arms crossed over her chest and brows furrowed. Erica Kravid. "Mom," the brunette states, withdrawing with an anxious expression.

"Taylor," Erica sourly notes, one brow raised. "I'm pretty sure this isn't where you're supposed to be right now." Taylor wraps her arms around herself and takes a few steps back, reaching around Adrienne to snatch up her iPod and tuck it into a back pocket. Kravid's eyes follow her daughter's movements, then settle on Adrienne. "But, if you're going to disregard my instructions, we can do it here." Kravid's eyes settle on Adrienne. "Doctor Allen…"

Taylor immediately looks to Adrienne accusingly and takes a step back. "No! I don't want to! This is stupid, I feel fine!" Erica rolls her eyes, beginning to pace the room with one hand at her forehead and eyes slowly shutting. Adrienne starts to approach Taylor, but the young woman jerks away from her. "Fuck you! No, don't you touch me! I feel fine!" Adrienne turns to Kravid, helplessly, her hands spread at her side and brows raised with worry. Erica looks up across the palm of her hand, first to Adrienne and then to Taylor.

"Don't make me do this, Taylor. For fuck's sake." There's no patience in Erica's voice, and Taylor is backing toward the corner of the room in staunch defiance. "You feel fine because it's working! Unless you want to wind up like— "

"You're lying!" Taylor screams, hands balled into fists at her side. "There's nothing wrong with me! You're just— you're just trying to keep me here!" Panicked, Taylor's eyes flick from Adrienne to Kravid and back again. "You're afraid I'll tell everyone about the sick shit you do here!" That's all it takes for Erica to storm across the room to her daughter's side and smack her across the face with an open hand. The slap is so hard Taylor stumbles backwards and falls, landing on her backside with one hand reflexively raised to her stinging cheek.

Adrienne covers her mouth with one hand and looks at Erica, then Taylor, frozen in awkward panic. Kravid looks back to Adrienne, one brow raised. "Do your fucking job, Doctor Allen." Taylor hasn't moved since being slapped and a small split in her lip dribbles blood down her chin. Adrienns hurries over, withdrawing a syringe from the front pocket of her labcoat. She looks up at Erica, then slowly takes a knee beside Taylor. Though Adrienne is gentle, Taylor still fights. She swats at Adrienne's hand, grabs at her wrist, but all ultimately fitful but without real force behind them. Eventually she stops, and Adrienne's expression is at once apologetic and somber. After readying the needle with a flick, she brings it up and slides it into the corner of Taylor's eye. The young woman lets out a pained keening noise, and the needle is held there until Adrienne finishes administering the compound within the syringe. Then, slowly, the needle is withdraw from her eye again.

Erica looks down at Taylor, breathing in deeply and looking both haunted and regretful. Taylor brings a hand up to her eye, daubing away a droplet of blood as Doctor Allen slowly stands. It's then that Adrienne notices they're not alone in the room, and a lanky platinum-blonde man stands wordlessly at the lab entrance. She nods, for Erica's benefit, to the new arrival and Erica reluctantly breaks herself away from Taylor.

"Kyle," Kravid notes in a measured tone. "Can it wait? I'm in the middle of something."

"Sorry Erica, but I've made it to Arkansas." Though the man in front of her is ostensibly Kyle Renautas, it isn't Kyle's manner of speaking, isn't his tone, even if it is his voice that she hears. Erica flattens her smile and looks back over her shoulder to her daughter, soundlessly crying into one hand and trying to daub away the blood at her eye. Then to Adrienne, who looks down at Taylor with a piteous expression tinged with remorse. For a moment, Erica is overwhelmed, and it takes a few beats for her to stuff herself into a more composed presence and address Kyle.

"Yes, yes." Erica exhales, briefly looking at Taylor one last time before walking away. She can't spend the time she wants to, soothing her daughter's bruised pride and heart. Work calls, and those who don't answer tend to find themselves with nothing left to lose.

"I'll be right with you, Mr. Cardinal."

And Erica Kravid still has something left.

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