The Encyclopedia Genetica


bella_icon.gif wendy_icon.gif

Scene Title The Encyclopedia Genetica
Synopsis Bella comes over for dinner to Wendy's and an impromptu art session. There's discussion about recreational drugs new drugs, old drugs and the encyclopedia genetica that Wendy seems to have in her possession.
Date August 2, 2009

Wendy's Condo

ella'd been invited over for dinner, the 'date' made sometime, daaaaays ago. Before she'd met so many others both company and non-company and before Wendy'd popped a tab of E with Peyton and gone through the womans manifestation. So when Bella makes her way up through the lobby of the upscale condo, wendy's door is open a fraction and there's music winding through the apartment and heard out in the hallway. Crazy racing classical music who's tempo and volume seems to rise and fall strings coming into play before they fade and brass chimes in.

The inside of the apartment, visible through the crack is surely a sight. There's furniture one would expect of an upscale apartment. Cold, sleek lines, lots of black and red, silver here and there. Even a hint of red. Painting in frame line walls, and abstract sculptures in corners. The sound system wired throughout the condo.

Nothing like the race-car gleam of tasteful minimalism. Bella loves a coffee table that could also serve as a jet foil. She's deferred to Coco Chanel's wisdom on the casual elegance of the little black dress, and with the silver, twirled earrings set against the red of her hair and the paleness of her skin, she looks like she could have been commissioned by the same interior designer who's vision guides Wendy's apartment. She's wearing heels, ones she plans to take off almost immediately, shoes that serve no purpose but to say 'dammit, I'm going /out/'.

The psychiatrist wraps firmly on the door, so as to be heard over the swell of strings, but then steps inside. She can't imagine that Wendy wouldn't be entirely ready and, well… if she catches the other woman off guard, she'll have a chance at one of those rare moments of observational advantage that Bella lives for. Win/win.

Boy is she catching Wendy off guard. What couldn't be seen with the door mostly closed is the sitting room, or should be sitting room that angles off the main area. Hallway to the kitchen, another to bedrooms, but the slap of somethings wet can be heard through the music and coming from the left. In there, it's bare. Bare floor with drop cloths everywhere, the walls splattered, the windows open to let a breeze in and promote circulation of air. Wendy's humming along to the music, elbow's coated in wet clay as she slap another chunk of it against a large unfinished sculpture. Some of it wet and being added to, other parts covered in cloth that's damp to retain it's moisture and prevent cracking. Arms - clay ones - seem to be coming out of a smooth central column, squat and fat. Someone lost track of time.

And so Bella gets that treat, the chance to see someone 'in their native habitat', in media res vitae. She lingers for a moment, watching Wendy work, a behavior that might come off as slightly mad or weirdly romantic if she were caught at it. But she won't risk getting caught. She smiles, leaning in the door frame, not risking her fancy ensemble to the rigors of Wendy's creative process. "Your muse and your personal planner need to have more meetings," she says, by way of hello.

Up pps Wendy's head, and a smile blossoms to life across her face. "Bella! Welcome Welcome uhhmm, Actually, they are in a meeting. I have food coming. I got inspired, something, and I needed to try and get it out" Wrinkles around her eyes dictate that she's been getting it out likely through the night and the day if the blanket and pillow on the ratty couch in there are any indication. "Lemme clean up, it should be here by then, uhh, wine in the kitchen, in the cooler, help yourself, and I'll go wash up and change!" Shouted over the music. "Just give me ten!"

"I hope you buy better Chardonnay than most of the artists I knew in college," Bella quips, smiling. She leaves Wendy to her work, respecting the passion and enthusiasm of the artist. The exultant, (mildly) self destructive impetus of inspiration is something Bella's never had first hand experience with. Work comes easy to her, but it's still always work, not Work. She slips off her heels, sets them by the door, then goes to investigate the wine situation.

It is better than what most artists in college consume. Most college students don't have a seat on a board of some company or a mother who regularly stocks their daughters' fridge when deigning to come in from the Hamptons. It's expensive, good. more than drinkable. Ten minutes pass and Wendy's floating in, fresh as a daisy. "Sorry about that, I get so involved. But, Dinner should be in here in a few moments"

Bella's had a very nice glass (or two) of wine to set her up, so she's just /peachy/. "No worries," she says, "Honestly, I envy you. I like my work, but I'd never say I love it. If I love anything about it it's the perks, the advantages, the position in the world it gives me, rather than the job itself, you know?" Maybe that was a little to personal. Bella looks just slightly bashful, "What should I expect, meal-wise?"

"Chicken marsala, with roasted rosemary potatoes and steamed asparagus with a lemon butter sauce. It's from a place down the street" She pours herself a glass,s wirling it around. "It's my favourite, but, as for my job. Well, I have the financial security to do this. I have the family wealth and the other job one doesn't see to keep me afloat financially. You, well, I don't know if you do. But, why do you do it then, besides the perks. What would you love to do if you have the financial freedom to do it?"

Bella doesn't have to think too hard about this, but she tries to give the impression. Because when she looks up into her own mind and searches for something that really moves her there she finds… "Nothing, really," she admits, "Nothing. I'm just… well… I'm /good/ at what I do. And that seemed close enough to me."

"I'm disappointed in you!" Wendy clucks her tongue. "you of all people I would expect to have asked yourself that question and have something better than 'nothing really' Bella" Wendy leans against the counter, wheeling back and forth on one foot. "Ever tried sculpting? working with clay or plaster?"

One thing Bella likes about her job is that she should never let them see her sweat. Right now, though, she feels close to sweating. Embarrassed, yes, coming off as a therapist who's never done her own self searching. But it remains a better excuse than the real answer: she has searched inside herself, and she can't find anything like Wendy's referring to. "I can't say I have," she says, "I took a figure drawing class though…" she offers, by way of compensation.

"Then, down that hall, second door on the right, there's a closet full of spare clothes, that friends leave. They're all clean, Maria takes care of it. Get changed, cause Chanel doesn't deserve clay on it. We can have dinner and wine, and we can make something for your office. Maybe it'll help you relax." Excellent timing cause the buzzer is ringing to notify her that food is here.

Bella looks slightly flustered at the suggestion, but she can hardly protest. It sounds fun, and Wendy just doesn't seem like the kind of person to whom you say no. Bella sets her glass of wine aside and follows Wendy's directions. She just got dressed up, and it seems strange to be suddenly dressing down, but maybe it /will/ help her relax. Maybe she was tense without realizing.

The foods been transferred to real plates, wine brought with it all into the studio. The current project has had wet cloth put over it to protect the consistency of the clay. Fresh buckets brought out, even fresh easels with paint and paint brushes, canvas laid out. She's prepared for Bella to want to take up any medium she wants. Even a box of plaster. "Welcome, properly, to my studio. I got a little of everything, whatever you might want to try. make a sculpture, make a painting, carve plaster, whatever your heart and mind think to do, we can do. Hell, we can pack this all up and I have a portion of a shop rented out by the wharf where I work with metal and weld stuff together"

Bella lifts her hands, trying to stop from being overwhelmed by options. She laughs, "Metal? Oh no, no no no, baby steps, please!" she says, "I think… oh… sheesh," she looks to Wendy, "I think that I can't make this sort of decision on an empty stomach. Let's eat first, and maybe your muse will pop over to my shoulder for at least long enough to point me in the right direction."

"My muse is in the psychiatric ward, or was, of St. lukes. Peyton Whitney" Wendy gestures to a plethora of cushions in one corner and bed tables, the kinds with fold out legs that you plunk your stuff on and put over your lap in bed. Food and wine there. "She's a friend. We were at a club and she totally manifested. Right after we had some E. And I remebered seeing all these hands reaching out for her, and I stood there, watching for a few moments before I helped her. I don't know what i'm going to call it yet though" She glances over to the shrouded figure.

"Paitning's usually good start. You just grab a brush and go" Forks and knives, cloth napkins laid out.

Bella peers at the draped statue in progress, trying to discern its contours through its disguise. She moves over to the food and, taking up a fork and knife, waits for Wendy to give the word to start, "Wait, so do you think the MDMA /triggered/ her manifestation?" she asks. This interest is clearly clinical, but she's obviously very interested.

"No, she took the E, and like five minutes later BAM, there she was manifesting her clairvoyance. I think it was clairvoyance. She kept saying something about seeing wrong and the sensation I got from her all the time, pretty much said the same thing. I could be wrong" Wendy sets in to her food, the go sign given to consume calories. "Nothing happened to me, besides, from what I've read, really emotional circumstances, tend to trigger manifestations when the time is right yes?"

Bella nods. The sharpness of her attention suggests that maybe there is some sort of passion to her work, albeit less exultant and more precise and relentless. "Some have suggested a link to adrenal levels. But if the MDMA assisted, it means there could be a serotonin relationship as well," she smiles, ruefully, "It's a shame it's so hard to secure clinical trials of MDMA. It used to be used in couples therapy very frequently, until they made it schedule one."

"Maybe you could start the trial? Write up your proposal" Wendy nudges verbally between bites. "I'm sure, that when the availability of public testing is.. available, that there'd be people who, after testing positive but haven't yet manifested would be willing to g through the trials to give a better understanding of manifestation and abilities"

Bella smirks, spearing some chicken with her fork and slicing the tender meat free. "What, put up signs saying 'Free E, all you need to do is join this study?'." She pops the chicken in her mouth, chews. Her ironic expression disappears as she savors the delicious food. She nods her approval, before switching back into snarky mode, "We'd get tons of applicants, I'm sure, but the demographics would be somewhat skewed."

"I've seen the ads in the backs of papers. Case study's needed for experimental medication. They don't tell you what it is until you're in there and you've passed your physical. I don't presume to say that I'm the expert on this, but I'm sure a medical Trial would be allowed, if you did the research and put forth your suppositions, and how the drug works in conjunction with the Suresh Linkage Gene"

Bella quirks her lips as she considers Wendy's encouraging words. She taps the side of her wineglass with the tip of a nail, causing it to tink very softly. Finally she smiles, "I'll write up a proposal straight away. I hope, though, that my sudden application will cause any trouble for Peyton. I don't want to draw undue attention to her. She should be able to register privately, even as such a public figure."

"When I find out where she's hiding, and if she plans to register, I'll probably ask cops to come to some place discreet, so she can register in privacy, instead of down at the station." But Wendy seems utterly satisfied with the promise to work up the proposal. "you do have a passion Bella, by the way. Evolveds. Discovering abilities, what they do, how they discovered them, what event triggered it. I think maybe you just don't quite realize it" She lifts her wine glass, pointing it at the other woman.

This feels comforting to Bella. She smiles, a certain color rising into her cheeks. She looks halfway between blushing and flustered. "I suppose… I suppose I do," she says, wine clearly robbing her of some of her usually practiced cool, "I don't know. I just feel… different sometimes. Like I'm from Mars or something. Heinland. Stranger in a Strange Land."

"Why so, because you don't have an ability?" Wendy inquires.

Bella shakes her head, "It's not about being Evolved or not," she says, "It's everyone. Doing these little dances. And do one too, the ones my parents did, but it's not me feeling any music, it's me practicing steps…" she trails off, looking embarrassed. "Sorry, the wine's getting me irritatingly existential."

"I hear alcohol tends to do that to people" Wendy quips with a grin. "Stay here, just a moment" Her almost finished glass of red is put down and the artist flits off, out the door and off to other parts of her house proper. It's three minutes and she's coming back through he door. Colorful suede covered notebooks in hand - three in total - are handed off to Bella. "Everyone I've touched. Top one is still being filled. But it's the first names, if I get names, of the people I've touched, and their abilities. Where I've met them. I wasn't kidding when I said I was on a scavenger hunt. I have hundreds maybe well over a thousand in there. Europe, Africa, Australia, China everywhere."

Bella stares bluntly at the wealth Wendy has just set before her. A full record, a list like few, a vast catalog of the Evolved, many still secret, unregistered. She is careful not to behave too reverently as she turns the pages, and her tries to keep her look from getting greedy. Maybe Wendy would think it was her passion kicking up. God knew, maybe it was. "This is remarkable!" she looks up at the other woman, "You're remarkable!"

"It's not remarkable. It's just.. Some people keep diaries. I keep… a running tally. I've touched 12 telepaths in my known manifestation. I only started recording it all when I have a name to go with the feelings. and I mean, not all the ones I sense are in there, only the ones I touch" there's quite a few "unknowns" scattered through out the pages. Name, date, where, ability. A few unknowns there as well though she later probably came to know what they were. "It's what I do. I catalog them all. I have to add Peyton to there, and there's this technopath I found. Brand spanking new. Gosh, quite a few, i've fallen behind lately" She shakes her head, grabbing up green bound one and flipping through.

Bella tilts her head, giving Wendy a searching look. How do you tell a woman of independent wealth that she thinks she's has a job she'd be good at? The psychiatrist smiles, shaking her head in amazement. "This is… near professional. Do you think of it as a hobby? Or is it more like… I dunno… something meaningful, like some people work on a novel?"

"It's…" what is it. "It's…" She flips through the pages looking at all the names and abilities that she's written down on the pages in varied inks. "I don't know what you'd call it. I guess it's like the guy who builds a house out of pennies, or yeah, like someone who's plunked away here and there on a novel that they're going to publish. It has meaning. To me, I like to look at it and see who's i've touch, what flavors of evolveds there are. Gosh, I wish I could do better even. Like, here, This pyro and that pryo. different kinds of flames. Hers, they produce white. it was so hot when she showed me but that one, she could only manipulate it. But once she had posession, she could turn the heat of the heat up"

Wendy flips through pages, picking out various ones that she remembers, where it happened, what was she doing, what little idiosyncrasies that the individual had with regards to their abilities. "It's like.. a personal census slash encyclopedia Genetica of Abilities"

The question is simple, straightforward, "Do you ever plan to make it public?"

Wendy's brows furrow. "I never really thought about that. This has always been more of a personal project. Occasionally I share it with friends, others. It's a point of pride with me"

Bella nods, "And I'm honored. Plus there's the privacy of those people to consider. They really all should register… but you wouldn't want to expose them until they feel comfortable. That would give the wrong impression of registration entirely."

There's a column there that list an R for those who are registered, those who aren't are either an N, or a question mark. "I'm sure that those in charge of the Linderman act would delight in getting their hands on this" Wendy points to one enter, an 'Erin Waterson - Hyrdokenesis' written down. "She's only three years old. She came right up and shook my hand. She the youngest I've really gotten anything from. I try to not touch the kids, cause, well… Hey, did you know your kid is evo and can manipulate minds. Not something you want to tell mommy in the park"

"Well, it'll make skipping curfew easier," Bella says, with a sly smile. She lifts her hand to her lips, "I'm sorry. I can me really bitchy sometimes. Not a side of me I like to indulge, but one I can't deny is there!"

"we're female Bella. We're born with an inner Bitch" The book is closed, put to the side with great care. "You think I should make them public?" The wine bottle picked up, Wendy tops off her own glass and offers to top off Bella's.

Bella extends a ready arm, with a half-full glass, welcoming some more wine. "I wouldn't unless you wanted to make a slew of powered enemies!" she says, "You'd want, if you were going to do it, to work through an agency that would permit your anonymity."

The red liquid flows from the neck of the dark bottle. "heh, the Hunters Guide To The Evolved Species. Like a birdwatching book, only it's comprised of Evolveds." Wendy lifts the corner of her mouth up in a smile. "Hey. I have … a question. You ever do drugs, recreationally?"

Bella laughs, "Drug use amongst doctors is sky high, do you think I'm an exception?" she says, then takes a drink of wine, "Sorry. In all seriousness? Yes. I'm with the Californians on the matter of canniboid merits. I haven't done anything more serious since med school, but I always try to stay stocked with a little green. I wish I could prescribe it, but…" she makes a face, "Imagine having to live in LA."

"I mean more than a nice batch of Mary Jane. There's something new on the streets. They're calling it Refrain. Makes you relive your good memories. Like really/ good memories. I got my hands on some but I don't know whether I want to actually //try it yet. Never did anything harder than pills. Even then, until Peyton, I hadn't really done anything worse than Marijuana."

"I think MDMA should be used for PTSD treatment, personally. The FDA are ignoramuses," Bella says, seeing how many acronyms she can fit into a single short rant, "But that's besides the point. Refrain? I mean… that would make sense, a chemical used to induce memory relapse. But memory's so mutable… is there a distortion factor? Might the drug not change the memories it recalls, color them?"

"Just heightens them, makes them countless times more enjoyable. Slight chance for it to do the opposite and enhance terrifying memories, but supposedly, a 2 percent margin. Other than that" Wendy shrugs. "I have a syringe tucked away. Debating whether I try it or not. I mean, it's not heroin" She never did Heroin.

"I know I sound like such a stick in the mud, but have there been any clinical trials of this stuff?" Bella asks, "Who makes it, where does it come from? Any longitudinal studies? I've seen too many drugs developed and designed to trust anything that doesn't have a credible provenance."

"I asked. Some Dr. Cong. He was on Larry King. Says it's not his but he's done the requisite testing" Supposedly. "Here's the kicker. Only works on those with the Suresh Linkage gene" Which is odd, she supposes, in and of itself. "Was thinking of trying it out tonight, after you leave. Maybe it will provide more inspiration for - " there's a gesture towards the multi armed piece hidden under damp cloths.

Bella frowns, "Really? Now that is /very/ interesting," she says, "This should have appeared in reputable journals already. Agh, it's so frustrating how slow the institution can be in reacting to change!" she lifts a spear of asparagus with the tines of her fork and chomps off the leafy head. She peers again at the draped work-in-progress, "What /is/ it?" she asks, "I mean, as in… what do you want it to evoke?"

"It's going to end up being an upside down U with arms and hands coming out of it. I'm going to call it 'Manifestation'. All the hands that were reaching out to help Peyton, and the hands on the outside, reaching away were all the ones that were disgusted, or turning away from her. The help and hindrance of society on an evolved as they come into their being"

Bella chuckles, "I admire your aspirations," she says, "Social commentary is daring stuff. It's like trying to speak the unspoken thoughts of millions, trying to embody the ghostly conscience of a society. Something that, in America, we don't like to pretend is necessary. All our problems should already be solved."

"they're not always social commentary's. I'll probably give it to Peyton, she can stick it somewhere. IT's made because of her after all" wendy shrugs, still looking over at the art piece in the making. "Done yet? So we can get you dirty and making something."

Bella's eaten at a fairly steady rate, and at Wendy's prompting she looks down at her plate, assessing her progress. It seems acceptable to her. She nods. "I think it's due time I got something gritty under my nails," she says, setting her wine to the side and getting up, "Lead the way."

Bigger fatter grin, corners of her eyes crinkling. "Paint I think. Easier. Can always do Clay another time" There's a gesture to the corner with the stretched canvas. "Time to let your inner artist free Bella. Just… exist. Make your own social commentary for your office, or your home" The plates are put away, off to the side to be cleaned up later likely by someone who does that for a living. For now, the focus is the paints as she gestures to one canvas and starts to squirt paints onto a large tray, brushes in multitude laid out. "Time for some relaxation"

Bella settles herself on the stool before the canvas in the corner. She watches the hues and pigments arranged in proper processional order, looking maybe just a bit less than relaxed, heck maybe even somewhat nervous. She wrinkles her nose, then closes her eyes, lips quirking to the side. "I'm trying to visualize something… something to paint."

"Fuck visualizing" Wendy snorts. "Too bad you're not Evo, or I could dose you with the refrain and then watch you paint" Wendy laughs. "Just grab a brush, dig in the paint and let it… move across the canvas. Fuck visualizing. Half the time I never visualize, I just close my eyes and let the brush go as it will"

Bella gives Wendy a bashful grin. "All right, all right, sheesh!" she says, with a small laugh. She opens her eyes and takes up a brush of middling size. The hovers over several paints, then dips into a bright red. She starts to paint, forming an oblong on the canvas.

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