The Bargaining Stage


bao-wei2_icon.gif gregor_icon.gif noriko_icon.gif

Scene Title The Bargaining Stage
Synopsis Doctor Gregor makes an attempt to garner favor with Bao-Wei through bribery and take secrets to the success of his formula, only to find that Bao-Wei was displeased by Gregor's lack of faith.
Date July 27, 2010

Staten Island Hospital

Certain cocktails of psychoactive drugs can have a myriad of effects on the human mind. One specifically damaged by psychological trauma and physical scarring like Noriko Amagi's mind is at heightened risk when exposed to mind-altering chemicals designed to induce states of compliance in otherwise resistant minds. The psychotic breakdown Noriko experienced just a few short days ago was the last step in a plan Gregor thought he knew all the ins and outs of.

Unfortunately, last night's revelation of Bao-Wei's true form put everything on a different perspective. Drugged into a hazy stupor and laden down with heavy clothign that had been stored at the hospital for the harsh winter that passed, both Noriko Amagi and Doctor Dmitri Gregor venture — brazenly — into the frozen depths of the hospital. Restrained with something as crude as plastic zip ties around her wrists and the ability negation neuro-toxin coursing thorugh her system, there's little the dark-haired lab rat can do in pose of threat.

Down on entrance to the morgue level, there is a palpable chill radiating thorugh the metal door, frost coating the exterior and Gregor looks shaken by the touch of the cold. He seems bulkier, today, than he has in recent days, thicker around the middle even beyond what his fur-lined parka would adds.

A serrated bone saw is his tool of choice for chipping the ice off of this basement door, clearing away the sheets of hoarfrost that have gathered on the metal. Coughing, wetly, Gregor's blue eyes flick to Noriko after the noisy exertion needed to de-ice the locks. "You finally have a purpose," Gregor hisses to Noriko, and in the dim lightning of the stairwell, she can see spiderweb blue veins spread up one side of his neck. He doesn't look very good, this cold isn't helping either.

Noriko is almost unrecognizable in the clothing that she has on, as she looks around the frozen parts of the hospital. Her pupils are dilated, and she doesn't have much of a feeling at all as to what is going. Everything seems new to her within the space of a few minutes. Her eyes looking at the bone saw for a moment, before they slowly look over at Gregor while she stands, "A purpose," she murmers.

"It came to me in a moment of divine— inspiration," though what Gregor's wheezing voice doesn't explain, is that the inspiration came from a towering monster of living ice that now has taken up residence in the basement. Pushing down on the latch that opens one side of the double doors, Gregor curls his fingers into the collar of Noriko's jacket to keep her steady, bone saw clutched in his other hand as he bumps against the door with his shoulder to force it open the rest of the way.

Ice scrapes across the floor in a quarter-circle arc where the bottom of the door meets a risen layer of frost. Cold vapor clings to the floor in here, ice crusts over ventillation ducts and electricity seems to be down in the entire wing. Pushing Noriko into the foyer of the morgure, Gregor follows behind, one gloved hand curled around the handle of the bone saw, breath shuddering already from the cold.

"He— he will have use for you. Water, ice, it is all s-so similar." More so than Gregor is aware of, with the other Ye Sibling Bao-Wei lost, and with Noriko's Antarctic adventure revealing an augmented use of her ability. "Go on, walk— walk ahead." Withdrawing a small flashlight from his pocket with his free hand, Gregor shines it down the icy corridor ahead. "That way."

Noriko looks around herself for a moment as her mind goes blank before she sees the beam of the flashlight and begins to follow that, her mind struggling to figure out what is happening through the haze of drugs that Gregor has her on. Her body shivering in the cold of the morgue, looking to see perhaps what is happening and why is she here.

The time before, Bao-Wei had time to prepare in being accosted- Bella's yelling, her clumsy footsteps over everything. Perhaps it was his unfaithfulness in Gregor that made him certain that he may return sooner, rather than later. As Noriko follows the light shining down the hall, a familiar scraping of ice on tile can be heard coming from the west wing- the left turn in the fork that they are preparing to pass.

Perhaps they have already, and that grating noise is now behind them. It is not long before something else follows it, dire in tone, a bellow in volume.


To Gregor's credit, he doesn't drop the flashlight this time. Turnign around with crunching bootfalls impact frost underfoot as he stumbles backwards away from the booming, cavernous voice that rumbles from the darkness. One gloves hand lashes out, grabbing a hold of Noriko's shoulder gently to turn her around. Gregor is, visibly, afraid.

"D— Doctor Cong," comes out as a wheezing whisper, and Gregor slinks like some sort of cowardly vermin behind Noriko, nudging her forward back towards the way they'd come in, even as his flashlight's small beam tries to search the dark for Bao-Wei's monstrous form. Unfortunately, everything is sheathed in just as much ice as he is, natural camouflage and asymmetircal body lending to elusiveness.

"I— I brought you something," sounds more foreboding than it really is for Noriko, and more lucid thoughts whisper at the back of her mind that something isn't right about this frozen, ice-crusted and hazy place she's in. Even if her head feels like its swimming, this still feels wrong.

Noriko looks around while she stansd there again, even while she gets that hazy feeling of something being wrong, her mind struggling to filter out what it is. Her thoughts no longer on the fact that Gregor is afraid, or that he doesnt' really look like he's doing too well. Her hands wrapping around herself while she shivers more than a little, "What," she says in a quiet voice, voice explaining what her mind is thinking.
'What' is exactly right. The flashlight skims over nothing but rock hard slabs and formations of ice along the walls, and that mount of ceiling that seems to have been knocked out and onto the floor below. It is only to block the route- and so far it has seemed to work. Perhaps he should have barricaded the door more properly.

"Amagi?" The voice coming from the west filters out as if thrugh a tunnel, the dull echo only seeming to add to the distressing fact that Cong is there- and Gregor cannot find him. "What use do I have for her? This is no storybook. I do not eat pr-"

"I do not desire sacrifices."

"N— No," is what Gregor whispers, ducking his head down sheepishly as he gives Noriko another nudge forward towards the booming voice in the dark. "Not— not a sacrifice, nothing— no— we are men of science." Gregor's cold blue eyes peer over Noriko's shoulder, brows scrunched together as he tries to find that one thing he knows differentiates the rest of the ice from Bao-Wei — his singular cyclopean eye.

"She— she is a hydrokinetic," Gregor wheezes, his hands shaking with anticipation, "she— she is— think of what her ability and yours could do together." There's a trembling hand that reaches inside of Gregor's parka and withdraws a syringe filled with black liquid. "This," he notes with a shaky hand, "Amp, and her. I— I just… you were successful, Doctor Cong." There is reverence, if not amazement in Gregor's voice.

"I— I searched your lab, I could not find your notes," andin that is Gregor's dismay and his bargaining here. "I— I must know how you did it. She— this one this— this woman! I do not need her anymore, but— with you— with her— " ghosts of Song and Liu drift in this conversation, subconscious allusions to the siblings that Bao-Wei helped raise from youth, siblings who's abilities worked together like wind and rain.

"I propose a— trade," is Gregor's sniveling and wheezing request.

Noriko looks behind her at Gregor for now, as she is nudged forward towards the tunnel. Her eyes looking at him while she stands there, "I'm not something to be bargained with," she murmers. Her eyes going to the tunnel, as she tries to take a couple of steps back and away from it, voice hazy from the drugs.
The difference here is that Song Ye was not this. Liu was not this. They were human in the sincerest sense of the word. Doctor Cong is certainly not. Not anymore. A plume of fog comes rolling out over the floor, cold as it hits the air near them.

"You underestimate my lone potential." He does not need her, either. He could use her- but there are so many variables. "She is too weak to keep down here, surely you realize." She would die before he would get any use out of her, especially in this temperature. A moment skips past, and Gregor's seemingly futile search for something in the dusky winter horrorland is rewarded when the single beam glimmers over the golem's jutting lower tusks, coming into place somewhere just under the ceiling where the light has gone out.

"You will never get it from me. I think that it is karma enough for the lack of faith in me, from our babysitters and yourself."

Denial, it sends a chill down Gregor's spine, to know that the answer is so close and yet is so drastically far. Shaking his head, there's a spluttering noise from the scientist as he takes a few stumbling steps forward, eyes wide and breath coming out in a huffed cloud. "She— she could— you— " Gregor's shaky hand puts the amplification syringe back into his pocket. "Give it to me!" There's a bit of a spine in him, even if it's probably not his own, "give— " a wheezing, hacking cough interrupts Gregor's words as he clutches one gloved hand over his mouth and staggers back slowly.

Blue eyes glare up to the sound of the voice, glove pulled away to reveal a red glistening on the palm. "T— Take her and give it— give me the r-research…" Trembling hands are from oxygen deprivation, the cold is already killing him from the inside out, again, and no amount of warm-weather gear can fix that. "You— please, Doctor Cong… I— I was wrong. We were all wrong, but I— I must know how you did it… p-please, take Amagi!"

Noriko shudders in the cold of the morgue, looking up at the tusks that are illuminated from the flashlight and she blinks more than a little. Has she wandered into some kind of fantasy land. Her eyes going to Gregor and then to the form that is being identified as Bao. Her eyebrows knitting together. Fortunately, she is drugged up, or she would be tearing into Gregor's insides right about now.

An undignified clunk resounds off of ceiling when the hulk moves forward into the flickering, pale light from the ceiling in the first corridor. Splotches of red mottle the ice of his left limb. Amber Mitchell- or whatever is left of her- is still being recycled, it seems. Frost scrapes from above as one of the two cresting horns drags over it; Bao-Wei only lowers his head when it seems that he notices the flakes of white drifting down onto his jagged face. That one golden eye zeroes in on Gregor, passing over Noriko for but a second of chilly regard.

"Hindsight is twenty-twenty. You should have had faith in me." Rumbling words crescendo into a hiss of air through the lines of his makeshift jawbone, which appears to at least be opening and closing with effort. "She may be useful to me, but she is no use to me frozen alive."

Bargaining turns to anger when Bao-Wei rebukes Gregor's offer, and his hand holding the flashlight trembles shakily. He breathes out through his nose, wetly, and a dribble of blood tracks down his upper lip. Too much more time in this cold, and he'll surely be dead. Wiping the blood away, Gregor looks to Bao-Wei and downturns his lips into a scowl, then takes Noriko by the upper arm with his free hand.

"I will discover your— secret, on my own then Doctor Cong. You cannot be more of a genius than— my ancestry or those I have— studied." Wheezy, wet breaths come with that challenge. For all that Bao-Wei has seemingly discovered immortality, Dmitri Gregor is finding his own sadly lacking.

"I will— find, what you did, and when I do I will eclipse your— discoveries, with my own." Rivalry between brilliant, damaged minds. He is obsessed now, obsessed with becoming like Bao-Wei is, obsessed with becoming what others would call a monster.

"Come, Noriko…" Gregor wheezes out the other as he tugs her arm, looking at her as though she were some sort of prized possession. "Back to the— labs."

Noriko's attention turns towards Gregor as he tugs on her arm and she begins to follow him, looking over her shoulder at the rust coloured splotches on Bao's arm. "That looks like blood," she murmers while she is tugged along after Gregor.

Seen or not, the jagged edges on Cong's face fold down, clinking and scraping into the more familiar visage of a nose, lips, chin- though that tangle of icy mane still sits there around his shoulders and chest. The mottled limb, claws and all lifts up and latches into the wall, and those more human features sneer out to Dmitri. A heave of his arm in a pull breaks free the ice from the wall near him, crashing it down behind them and piling on top of that first mound of debris from the ceiling's gaping hole. A simple answer can be heard grunting out above the din.

"You can try!"

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