This Is The Plan


bella_icon.gif wendy_icon.gif

Scene Title This Is The Plan
Synopsis Bella stops in with someone 'red' to check in on her friend and lay out how the whole thing, the refrain trials, are gonna go down and what her role in it is. There's also the offer of a movie and some, medicinal entertainment of the leafy kind.
Date November 11, 2009

Fort Hero - Residential Room

Took a few days to get to where she is. Short trip it was not. Sure, the tranquilizer wore off in a few hours and was out of her system by the time she should have woken up. And she had. Just, she was in clandestine Evo central. Welcome to Wendy's nightmare. Her jibberish speaking lay there like a dead body nightmare. Coming and going, so many evolveds and her own ability worked against her. She hadn't managed to tell Len the whole of it before the tranquilizer had kicked in, but one telepath later, and the answer was found and a solution come up with

There are places in Fort Hero though where there's not so many Evolveds. Wendy's room has been put there, for the woman to use while she's helping Bella out with her refrain project. A few hours there and eventually, brain reboots and wendy was there and not just watching the world going by. She has television, she has a computer with internet and half of the room has already been set up with her easel and cavanses and the faint smell of paints clings to things in the one corner as a canvas has already been attacked with a myriad of warm hues painted across it in swirls. Wendy herself is sitting down on the couch and changing the bandages on her hand for fresh ones. She won't need it soon, but she's trying to avoid looking too long at the damage, the stunted fingers from her time in HF hands.

A knock comes at the door. "Wendy?" a familiar voice calls; it's Bella, who's come a long way from her usual climes, her offices nestled in the mid-to-lower altitudes of New York City. "Would you mind having some guests?" Which is to say: Bella is not alone.

"One moment!" Called through the door as the last piece of tape is put on her finger and the trash shoved into a small trashcan and shoved under the table. Come in! Jeans, sweater, not the usual that she wears outside the doors. But this was some super secret government place. There were confidentiality agreements signed even. "Okay, come in!"

Bella does not open the door. It is instead opened for her by a very, very large man. Bella steps into Wendy's room, her metal pivoting lightly in one hand, and the deference shown to her by the towering fellow with the close shaved hair and the deep set, pale blue eyes suggests that there is a very clear superior/subordinate relationship between them. Which is a little weird to see, considering Bella's entirely familiar and warm greeting as she moves over to Wendy and loops one arm about her in an embrace. "I'm so glad you're feeling better. I wish I had thought to tell Len this might happen. But I've just been so preoccupied," she steps back, and the large man enters the room as well, hanging back a little. "Wendy, this is Dema Gataullin," she glances back at him, "I pronounced that correctly, right?" He nods, and moves towards Wendy, offering his sizeable hand to shake. "It is a pleasure," Dema says, and from the getgo his Russian accent is unmistakeable.

"It's okay Bella, really" Wendy's hair is loose, as it always is these days to hide the remnant's of her ear from view and she rises up enough to return the hug that Bella iflicts on her. "Who doesn't enjoy staring at a roof while their brain just tries to reboot like a computer stuck in a loop huh" She's teasing, really. "Mr. Gataullin, a pleasure to meet you" In more ways than one. A glance to his hand before she's closing her own around it. Pulled away mentally for a few moments, the sensation hard to place, not one that she's touched before. "I'm sorry, what is it that you do?" To the russian, not to Bella.

"I am a medical assistant," Dema replies, "Assigned to be helping Dr. Sheridan." He's not inexpressive or even stoic so much as reserved. His grip is remarkably light, perhaps the result of whatever medical training he has. He's dressed in a white button-down and black slacks, not exactly bedside garb, but his skin has the pristine feeling of someone who practices medically rigorous hygiene.

Bella weighs in, answering Wendy's real question, "He's a dream manipulator. Really more like a hypnopath, a telepath who's point of entry are altered consciousness states."

Dema shrugs, affirming Bella's statement noncommittally, like she would actually know better than him.

"Ms. Hunter is a detector, Dema. She's going to help us screen and identify subjects for our testing. We're all going to be working together," Bella says, looking between her two companions. She casts a smile at Wendy, "I don't want to rush you, but I /am/ eager to get started. You look really good, by the way. I admire your resilience, Wendy."

"Oniermancy" Wendy supplies, locking away the sensation she got off him with the title. She really hadn't met one before. New abilities were always a kick. "That'll come in handy when they take refrain, maybe. They're memories that the drug brings forth, don't rightly know if their dreams. I'd offer to let you check, but i'm kicking the habit, kicked the habit. Hopefully. Pretty sure" So far, she hadn't had a hankering. Logan's trick seemed to be working, but then she hadn't been around any so far.

'Glad to help out bella. Do something other than party and paint and attend board meetings" Do something with her life that was bigger, Len had said. "And, please, I look good in a burlap sack and two black eyes, a little two week spell at the hands of a psychotic asshole who blows my ear off, nothing" Pshaw. Not really. Bella can probably surmise such. "this gives me time to heal so that it can all be fixed and god knows, right, my ears stuck out anyways. Maybe i'll get them to pin it back when the surgeon sculpts me a new one." Silver lining!

Bella smiles warmly. "Way to think positive," she says, "You are indomitable." She nods to the couch, "May we sit? I want to lay it all out, get us all on the same page."

"Oh fuck, pardon my manners. Sure, please, sit. Not my couch, they just gave me this room, said there's not many people around it that are gonna set me off. Can't really go running into the center of wherever this is, but I'll be fine enough. Please, sit" She shuffles, over, making room for the other pair and a gesture to the love seat at right angles to the one she's on. 'Be good, to know. What exactly is going on. Agent denton when he picked me up, said it was good, helping you out. Do something with my life more than party and paint"

Bella takes her seat next to Wendy, while Dema settles in the loveseat, which scales to about normal seat size when he's in it. He sets his hands on his knees, which slant outwards slightly, a posture that suggests not so much laziness as energies held in reserve. Bella nestles her cane between her leg and the arm of the couch.

"The project has a lot of angles," she says, "Part of it's going to be a Refrain recovery program, something that offers far-gone addicts who can't survive full withdrawal a way to ease off under controlled circumstances. Because the drug is scheduled, normal programs can't offer them what they need, and there isn't a methadone equivalent yet, so our project is really the only option these people will have. While we treat them, help them get back on their feet, we'll also be gathering data, doing brain scans and, if my assumption is correct, Dema here will be able to get a first hand look at the actual memories Refrain pulls up."

"I have confidence," Dema interjects, "That I can do this thing. I have before been able to see inside fever dreams and also drug visions. I think the Refrain will be no different."

"Yes, well, that's the hope at least," Bella says, who doesn't seem to share Dema's level of confidence, or at least is allowing for the possibility of failure, "Your job is to help figure out which /types/ of Evolved we're helping, and specifically what subtypes. I know your ability lets you sense differences in abilities, and it's that differentiation I really want you to look into. If there's some interplay between Refrain's effect and the abilities of those who are using it, we need to know. It could tell us a great deal both about the drug, and about principles of Evolved neurochemistry."

"Just remember, I can't tell the difference between a pyro who has control over flame as opposed to one who can produce flame. They're all pyro's to me" But a refrain twelve step. Wendy's brows furrow, fine lines appearing on her forehead as she does so. "I don't know if any specific kind of evolved reacts different. I know Peyton, when she took it, was worried she wouldn't have control over her own ability because it was new. It had no impact on my own. When you take it, it's pretty much lights out. It's like.. what I was day before yesterday. You don't move, you can't really hear or see. You can feel, you can tell if someone's moving you but it's like a fog or a pane of glass between you and the rest of the world, even at the lowest dose. Bad trips were the same, though I only had about.. two bad trips ever. Think it might have something to do with your mood when you take it or the circumstances around you taking it"

"Set and setting," Bella recites, words plucked from her somewhat liberal drug vocabulary, "That's something else we want to look into. And your personal experience is going to be invaluable. I, obviously, can't have a Refrain experience, and Dema, well," she glances to the man.

"I do not partake. Too many medics, taking morphine every day. Why create a temptation to fight?" Dema says, sounding almost philosophical about the matter, "I am interested, though, to see without feeling it. If you could, Miss Hunter, tell me what the memory is like? I wish to know what to expect."

"Like you were there. It's not a dream. It's like, going back, to a time in your life, a good time in your life, usually, and it's vivid and real. You feel as if you really are touching your dad's arm, or the wind goign through your hair when riding in your first car up the coast. It's real, it's there. You are there" Wendy supplies with the fervor that only someone who's taken it knows. "And a bad trip is the same. So very much the same. I felt the pain that I felt my first and only time in rehab, going through my withdrawal when I did. Like every molecule was just screaming. And the feeling lingers,the emotions, that youg et from partaking of it, linger for a bit. Someone I know, it could be good memories, but they're melancholy for a while after, because it reminds them of what they lost"

Bella's expression is one of those classic professional listener looks, one that she lapses into without realizing it now. It's troubling, because it makes it difficult to tell if she's /actually/ listening, like a friend to a friend, or whether her technique of therapeutic listening has colonized her normal social interactions.

Dema, in contrast, has a look of intent concentration as he listens to Wendy's description, and one gets the sense that he's using an almost Method-actor like trick of calling up the very kind of experience she's describing. His nod at the end is slow, ponderous. "Is it like the theatre? Like a film? You are in it but it is already told? Ah…" he pauses, trying to pick his words, his English not bad but not always up to expressing complex ideas, "I mean to ask, can you do in the memory what you did not do? Can you perhaps turn this car around, stop it and look at the sea even if you did not do this?"

"No. You can't change it. it is what it is and it's you, you're reliving firsthand, what it was, that you went through" Wendy fill sin, pulling feet up so that she can sit cross legged on the couch and face the two of them. Her palms curl in her lap, bandaged on in healthy one, getting comfortable on the couch. Getting comfortable with strangers has never been an issue. "You know what's going to happen, you can anticipate, but.. you can't change it. Trust me, if I could have changed it, I would have been out of the rehab facility and getting a hit, to make the pain go away. I was not a happy person when I woke up"

"Hrm," Bella says. This news is sort of expected, but isn't exactly what she'd hoped for. "Dema, we're going to have to test the flexibility of the Refrain state. I know you said you can sort of nudge things in certain ways. One of the first things I want you to do after the preliminary tests is to see if you can influence the altered state. If not, you'll be watching a lot of sappy home movies," she grins wolfishly at the man, and while he nods his assent, he doesn't laugh or anything. Instead he seems to still be considering the implications of what Wendy said.

"I am happy to be working with you, Miss Hunter," Dema states, "I would like to ask more questions to you, some other time. I want to have… eh…" another word search, and then, for the first time in their acquaintance, a smile, revealing slightly crooked but otherwise healthy teeth, "Good intelligence."

This joke is a tit for tat, since he didn't laugh at hers and she sort of lifts her brows at his. "Dema was in the Red Army," she explains, "You'll find this place just chocked full of diversity. Very unlike board meetings, I'm guessing."

"Government facility far in the middle of nowhere?" Though where, is questionable, as Wendy wasn't awake for the transportation. 'of course there's be diversity. You have a shrink, a sculptress, a cowboy and a former officer in the red army. I'd say, it's pretty diverse right now. But you're welcome to come question me any time Mr. Gataullin" trying to pronounce it properly. "I sense I will have a lot of free time and besides exploring my boundaries here until someone comes across me laying on the floor. There's uhh, there's rumors about… squirrels here?" This last aimed at Bella. "Really unnatural squirrels?"

"Preternaturally hungry and acquisitive squirrels at least," Bella says, making a face, "I have to keep my files here locked tight in metal cabinets. Little pestilential bastards have a particular taste for medical records, and apparently find psych evaluations the finest lining for their creepy little nests," the psychiatrist gives a shiver, "I've heard rumors about their sort of Houdini-esque talent for getting where they shouldn't, but until I see something really weird myself, I'm just chalking it up to standard issue tree-rat craftiness." Not a big fan of squirrels, Isabella Sheridan.

Dema weighs in on the issue. "I have not seen, but I believe these rumors could be true. Stranger things, like it is said, no? When men fly and women walk through walls, who can say what is impossible?"

Bella's smile is tight enough to prevent her from saying anything snide in reply, though God knows she's tempted.

"Wonder if one can be domesticated" God knows she'll have the time. "I already know there's places I'm not allowed to go. Sensitive information and activities" Whatever, she'll respect that. Good hand reaches up and over to scratch at her ear beneath her curtain of hair. "Any other questions from the both of you? or am I allowed to go back to painting. Trying to learn to hold my palette all over again. Fuckinn Emile Danko"

"All I want to know," Bella says, "Is when you think you'll be free so I can steal a projector from one of the rec centers and we can watch a movie in big screen, thrown up on the wall of some big abandoned room. There's more space than we precisely know what to do with, and I say we make some entertaining inroads," she lifts a hand to tap her jacket, indicating the spot corresponding to the interior pocket. "I can even bring a few entertainment enhancers, if your actual physician thinks you can handle it. If there's any doubt, I'm happy to give a second opinion, too." She grins.

It's just a bit odd that, for the space of this suggestion, Bella acts more or less like Dema isn't there, despite the rather insistent and undeniable physical reality of his presence. One gets the impression that Bella might not be the world's best boss. One also gets the impression that she's still a lot better than some of the people Dema's worked for, because he doesn't bat an eye at Bella's de facto rudeness.

"Ooooooh" She perks. "Anytime, really. So far, I'm only being used by you. There's been no peering in and seeing who the new evovled on the block is. Save for one of the medics making sure I'm not imitating a fish out of water. But, Yes, I should be able to partake of that" In a place where, you know, no one with authority is going to stumble across them and try to fine them for doing it. it'd be medicinal! Really it would! "I could do with a rest for sure though. I"m just really tired it's all new and I've been through actually a lot the last few days"

Bella places a hand on Wendy's shoulder and squeezes. "I'll leave you to convalesce, then," she says, and rises to her feet with the help of her cane.

Dema gets up moments after, and gives Wendy a small bow. "Again, a pleasure." He moves to the door and opens it for Bella

While his back is turned, Bella gives Wendy a half confused, half exasperated look and mouths 'I don't know why he does that' at her, before smiling at her friend. "I'll see you soon, Wendy. Try and think of some decent films in the meantime. And rest up!" The redhead turns and limps through the open door.

Dema gives Wendy a final nod farewell, and exits, closing the door after himself.

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