Truth And Share


bella_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif yana_icon.gif

Scene Title Truth and Share
Synopsis Independence of scientific thinkers get together, share their secrets, and establish what they will be working on. The world is not ready.
Date January 9, 2011

Dorchester Tower Apartments Yana's Apartment


Today they have a bit of a head start on their clandestine plotting, sitting around Yana's dining table with an expertly prepared calzone on each of their plates. Magnes made them of course, and there's a few herbs sprinkled on top. He's wearing a white buttoned up shirt, neatly fitting blue jeans, and black sneakers, not touching his food yet as he prepares to explain. "I'm sure I've told you quite a bit, Bella, but Doctor Blite, how much do you know about Operation Apollo? If anything at all."

There are some things that Yana has to graciously put up with. She could have very easily had her attendant cook up something that isn't a calzone. Such foods rarely touch her lips at all. Tonight she would have had Lobster pot pie prepared, which is a pretty flaky and delicate dish with a rather soothing and creamy flavor. Though since Magnes insisted on providing the meal, Yana stepped back. She isn't going to be the one to express her opinion about what was prepared, but it is pretty clear she has her reservations. After all, we're talking about a woman who is currently wearing an astounding black dress that could be used for a semi-formal dinner, easily. Stockings, possibly a corset and everything. Diamonds hanging from her ears and about her neck.. All for a meal at her place. She sits at her rather fancy table, looking at the dish in front of her, her lips lightly pursed a moment, "Operation Apollo? Mm, I can't say that I have. I've been looking into the files on Project Icarus as of late." Which she finds rather interesting.

Bella is dressed in a wool dress that hangs at mid calf, and has a knitted cap on. Feeling the chill despite the increase in temperature lately. She's made up a little more than usual, a desire for some semblance of commitment to the event, despite her often lax work ethic. She isn't starting on the calzone yet. She's a little too curious about what precisely is brewing to risk getting distracted by Magnes', admitted excellent, cooking. Of course, next to Yana she can't but look a little dowdy. Still, not bad looking for a school marm.

"What I'd like to know is why all these greek Project names? Is there just one person who makes them all up?" very to the point Bella, a very useful question. Maybe if it were at all relevant to the actual content of Project Apollo. "I can't say I know anything either," she admits, of course, with nothing really to tell. "Icarus was something of a mixed bag. Mostly it was a sack of rotten fruit, honestly. At least half lunatics." Bella claims to be part of the sane section.

"I have no idea how names these things, but Operation Apollo was a mission to stop the last of the Vanguard, a group made up of some former nazis with a plan to wipe out the Evolved. Operation Apollo was specifically to stop their 'final solution', which was a nuclear explosive meant to melt the ice caps and flood the world." Magnes crosses his arms, taking note of neither of them eating, but figuring they're possibly just interested in the story.

With a clearing of his throat, he continues. "Without getting into my personal issues, I was in the Argentina group, where we were hunted by robots who could track Evolved, built by Hector Steel. In the end we took Hector Steel himself instead of the codes to stop the nuke, and the base self destructive as we escaped and I managed to fly this… well, it's not important what I flew."

He looks a little awkward after that, shaking his head. "All three teams met up on a military ship, and we all went to Antarctica to finally stop the nuke. It all ended in a bit of a final showdown, I got to actually see the thing, which was a surreal experience, since we were minutes from the actual explosion. In the end, we couldn't stop it, but a member of our team risked his life and shrouded the entire explosion into a shadow. The reason I'm telling you both this is because it's a classified government secret that the public is not supposed to know, and probably an event that changed my life. I had to kill people on this mission, it was life or death. I want there to be no secrets between us, and me telling either of you this could get me thrown away for a very long time without any sort of trial."

One thing Yana does have is wine. An excellent Sauvignon Blanc of a good year. It is a medium bodied wine with a complex flavor which is crisp and fresh with a hint of citrus and herbs. It is not a sweet wine and it is fairly acidic in taste. Best when paired with seafood and poultry, which she planned on having this evening, but it will have to do. She takes a sip of her flute while she listens, disliking such words as 'nuclear' and 'wipe out Evolved'. These are very counterproductive to her plans. As she is taking a sip, she hesitates. "Mm." she takes a moment to clear her mouth, holding a finger to her lips while holding up a free hand to indicate a pause. "It's really funny you should mention secrets, as I am sure we all have them. I'm a little surprised you would wish to share such classified information with the both of us, but I guess we're trying to extend the branch of trust, since we're thinking of collaborating together." Still, she hasn't touched her meal. Discussion first, meal in just a second.

"Which, by the way Dr. Sheridan, I completely agree with your concern for the naming of projects. Clearly these people have no imagination." A casual lady-like flip gesture of her hand, with her slightly cold smile. "Anyway, I believe we're all in for sharing this evening? And I have been considering the option of revealing mine.. And believe me, it is rather substantial." With raised brows, the woman looks from Magnes to Bella, pondering how best to proceed. "The registration. Naturally, being evolved, I decided to follow the law, as not to rouse any problems. I'm registered as having what is called Weakness Detection, which means, I am supposed to be able to see things in people: defects, infections, symptoms. A tier 0 power at best really." A hesitation, and a thoughtful look.

"Well, the true nature of my power would surely have the government lock me away in some hole for the rest of my life, which I surely cannot have, you understand. So, I actually embellished a little, held back you might say on exactly what I can do…" She leaves the dramatic moment in the air, watching both to gauge their reactions.

"It's not easy to get by without a little checkering in one's past," Bella concedes, giving a helpless shrug. So she did some bad things. She feels bad, honest. It really didn't pan out. "I presume we're not going to do anything terrifically drastic without giving it a great deal of thought, and approaching it as people of reason, right? The problem isn't the scientists or even the science, but the ideologues and the fanatics." An enlightenment soul, this one.

"I'd certainly like to know your full capabilities, Yana, and everything I've done you can likely access at your level of clearance," Bella says, motioning towards the other woman. She's not drinking either. All business for the moment. "Magnes, you already know what I've done. I think we share a quite formidable trust. And I think it's very wise to air out our closets, show off our skeletons. If we're in this together."

"That's why I want you to help us, Bella. Not only are you one of the most intelligent people that I know, but you're also someone who can keep our heads clear, so we don't end up creating Lovecraftian horrors. I don't suppose either of you have heard of Doctor Gregor? A man whose resume includes dismembering my regenerating ex and torturing her, then attaching four brains to himself. We recently killed him when he started experimenting on and killing our friends in that Institute facility that went to hell before we even got there." The one that went on lockdown and was exploded because Gregor is batshit insane even by institute standards…

There's a look to Yana, nodding. "I wasn't completely honest on my registration either. But what is your real ability?"

For her next part, she needs to take another sip of wine. She savors the flavor of it across her tongue, as the words that will leave her mouth next are rarely spoken aloud in the presence of others. There is only one person living now that knows the true nature of Yana's ability. He has the night off. "As we speak, I contain oh.." she squints her eyes to a narrow, looking at the space directly in front of her and focusing on nothing. She is counting.. on the inside. Using her ability to take a head count of the particles inside of her, "Precisely 50 particles each of: Influenza, Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1, and Herpes Simplex Virus Type II.." Another pause, letting that soak in. She gives herself a second sip of wine.

"Harmlessly, mind you. I'm not infected with them or anything, they're just.. waiting. You see," Yana reaches out, setting her glass down on the table, "I have the ability to control virion particles. That is to say, I have a deep personal connection with them. Not only can I look into a person, and see the details of an infection that they may already possess, but I can control aspects of that viral infection, such as: removing it, increasing replication rate, making symptoms that are more rare become non-rare, putting the illness into a dormant state, or transferring it from one person to the next." she lifts her hand and flitters her index and middle fingers back and forth between each other, "This isn't limited to just any set types of viruses. We're talking… all viruses.." She looks at Bella as she says this and raises her eyes a bit wide to extenuate her point.

"Which is a shame I wasn't around for Project Icarus, Dr. Sheridan. My insight to viruses could have been rather useful. Considering I can actually rewrite their innate programming a bit, ontop of my other talents. So naturally, you can see why I keep this under wraps. Surely, the government would wrongfully put me away for having an ability that I had no control over having."

Well, that's really quite scary. Bella retains an outward mien of pleasant interest, as if Yana has just explained she's a practicing Buddhist, and how interesting, Bella wasn't familiar with their beliefs, thank you Yana for sharing. The younger woman's mix of carelessness and gravity makes her a little uneasy, to be frank, but she gets the sense that Dr. Blite isn't someone you should show weakness or squeamishness to. Good thing Bella has a good poker face. "That is utterly remarkable," Bella says, "I would love to hear more about what it feels like, how it is you know, how you identify the particles. That's quite incredible," she glances to Magnes, "I feel rather outclassed. Both your tiers are frankly sort of intimidating. I have nothing by my homo sapiens clever monkey brain to recommend me."

"Controlling gravity isn't going to make me any better at science. Sure doesn't help me at physics. I understand gravity in a way that physics can't even explain." Magnes listens to Yana intently, brows furrowing a few times. Herpes… he wants to sleep with someone who has herpes. Dorment or not, herpes! "I see… well, I guess that explains why you have a predisposition toward viruses. So, now we're all out in the open, we have to decide what we're doing together, then I can present it to my father."

It gets even creepier, the answers to Bella's inquiry. How it feels, how she knows, how she identifies. A little known fact about the internal struggle within Yana that has manifested over the years. There has been genesis forming within her, increasing over time; a separation between Yana and Dr. Blite. It hasn't quite yet reached the point to where she is consciously aware, or to where she has had conversation with her inner self, but it is approaching that point. "Mother." Yana offers out the single explanation with a small smile. "That's.. kind of what it feels like. I'd place it up there with the relationship of a queen ant to her colony, only a little more intimate and unconditional as far as emotions." Did she just reference that viruses might have emotions? Perhaps.. with her or something. Hard to tell where her madness begins.

"I'm sure there are people who would worry that I would infect the world with some type of fast acting, deadly virus like the Evo flu or Ebola or something, but I assure you that I would do nothing of the sort. Even if it is within my ability." No, she wants something like the Advent Virus. Or perhaps the Advent virus itself. Perhaps with a few motherly modifications…

"Oh, don't worry, Bella, I fully intend to see that you can benefit from my ability in some way." She has already promised to make Christopher Evolved when she discovers how. Though perhaps that isn't what she means for Bella. But think of the breakthroughs she could achieve, and the experiments that could be performed! "I've shared this information with only one other person. Even my own family isn't aware of my true capabilities. I figured it best that way."

She lifts her lips in a smile to Magnes, "Hm. Yes, I suppose that is true. And also, you should understand, considering our past altercations, how restrained I am in using my ability." she lifts her fingers and rhythmically flitters them slowly in the air, "One touch, and you could very well have one of the three infections I have stocked within me coursing through your veins. Nevermind the normal vectors of the virus, a touch from me is all it takes." Just think of the times he has probably escaped her Blite Touch. "But yes, we should decided what it is we wish to work on…" her eyes come to narrow, "We should also consider tossing out the notion of ice dragons, living in the sewer, Magnes?" she raises a brow at him, "Please tell me that you've given up such preposterousness?"

Bella's smile is just a little tight. "I think we should all agree not to infect anyone with anything without express permission," she suggests, trying to keep this suggestion cordial but emphatic, "and I'm sure we'll all maintain totally professional relations, respecting each other's boundaries and wishes." She does not want to get caught in the fallout that would occur between these two.

Oh, and about ice dragons. Bella keeps a straight face, eyes cutting over to Yana. "That… certainly is a tale," she says, with only the slightest falter. She is not eager to volunteer information about her erstwhile colleague, "but you know… stranger things have come into the world lately." A brief pause. "If we are combining minds, we may benefit from a fourth member. His contributions would have to be kept anonymous, though, likely. Or published pseudonymously. I don't want him getting involved with the Institute."

"I understand that you could have given me herpes without any of the fun lead up, yes." Magnes says a bit uneasily with a hand rubbing the back of his neck. But his smile returns when they move on to the subject of dragons, and he shakes his head. "I agree that if you have someone in mind, I'm certainly open to it. But as far as ice dragons go, it was not a dragon, it just kind of looked like one. But it couldn't have been a simple ice manipulator or illusionist either. This was something living, it had these yellow eyes… ice doesn't work that way. Besides, as I said, it's not that strange that it could have been a person, I know someone who turns into fire and someone who turns into a shadow."

But then there's something else that needs addressing as he places his wrists on the edge of the table. "You both have a good idea of my intelligence, Bella more from the psychological side of things, and Doctor Blite more from the academic and having actually taught me. That said, I'm not on par with either of you when it comes to these things, I should be seen as, at best, a gifted intern. I plan to learn from you two and follow instructions, adding my input when I can, and perhaps being useful in getting funding from my father."

"Naturally." Yana smiles pleasantly to Bella, "It wouldn't do to go around infecting people. Least of all, colleagues. It would draw too much attention." And as yet, she really hasn't gathered together a strong backing that would make her difficult to touch. Biding her time, she is. Someday, her chance will come. "However, I do carry the viruses that I contain currently for both defensive and research purposes." What a way to send the ultimate 'up yours'. Infect your attacker with a deadly virus. "Which is also why, I would like to get my hands on a sample of the Evo flu." she looks back to Magnes, referencing an earlier conversation they both had. It should make sense to him now, how she spoke of being able to help him, should he contract it himself.

She has also probably given him a bit more of a reason to give his crush on her a bit more thought. And let's not discuss her former husband. A man who died of a deadly virus that she could have totally purged from his system. With the knowledge of what she can do, the fact that she didn't do it, is in itself a little peculiar. The actual truth of the matter is even more terrifying. "Mm. When you put it like that, it makes more sense. Someone who can become ice, taking on the appearance of that creature." This.. could be no good for her plans. There are a few types of evolved that Dr. Blite foresees trouble with. Telepaths for starters.. they can get her secrets from her head. They have to go. Negators, for obvious reasons. They have no place in her world either. And then there are people like her nephew Keagan. The boy can pass through and become other objects, therefore purging viruses from his system. This has to be worked around, or they must all be eradicated.

"Really? A fourth?" she arches a brow at Bella, paying attention to her hesitation, but not prying on it. "Well, I suppose if you trust him, and believe he would be helpful, I can agree to accept his help." she nods her head. "We'll do what we can to keep him from getting involved with The Institute." Reasonable request.

"Oh, Magnes, dear. If you follow me, I'll be sure to teach you everything that I know. Mostly.. I don't think I could express my connection to viruses in a way that anyone could completely understand. But I will say this… My focus is on Evolved abilities. The various factors of them, as well as the.. possibilities that could come from viral applications."

Bella gives Yana a level look. "Dr. Blite, I'd like to make myself clear. I want to have a relationship of trust and mutual respect between myself and my colleagues. I'd like to know you'd not infect us on principle, as a gesture of dare I call it scientific solidarity? Can we establish that? We are the true power in our organizations, and we need to afford to trust each other, so as not to be divided and conquered by politicians and purse string pullers.

"As for the potential fourth, I'll have to contact him and ask his opinion. And I should know just what we are working on if I am to ask for his help or interest. So..," Bella looks from Yana to Magnes and back, "What are our project goals? Determine the mechanism by which the Evo-flu operates? Determine how we might usefully repurpose it, oce we achieve a more full understanding? Maybe reverse engineer a cure? That is the direction my previous work was pointed in."

"I look forward to learning absolutely everything you have to teach me." Magnes somehow manages to not make this sound like double entandre, keeping a straight face as Bella begins to discuss what their goals are. "It's my understanding that Doctor Blite is very interested in finding a way to use the flu to find its potential for inducing abilities in people. Personally I always thought the idea of some sort of formula to be catastrophic, but if we learned to control it and who has access to it, I think it could have potential. I know for a fact that a formula does exist, I just have no way of ever finding out who made it and where to get it. There was also a point where I had an ability amplification drug injected into me, but I'm afraid it might be gone from my system by now."

"No no, you're right, of course, of course." Yana offers to Bella. It goes back to the separation she is going through, an almost Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde thing, without the physical changes. It is a small internal struggle for her to not consider someone as a possible subject for testing. It is a touch of madness that she has to overcome, which she realizes. She raises a finger up to rub the bridge of her nose, as if the willpower to beat back the conflict were taxing upon her stress levels. "I perfectly understand. In fact, I'll do you one better. You can count on me to keep any natural viruses that you might contract elsewhere from staying in your system as well." she offers to the pair, "Though, I wouldn't recommend running out and trying to catch something or going careless, thinking that I'll just remove them. You're still at risk of things bacterial or otherwise. I have no control over those." Just a warning to not go hog wild. She does have her limitations.

"And as for what we're working on. Yes, that will work for starters." she agrees with Bella. "But what really fascinates me, is how the Evo flu can wipe away someone's ability. That, right there, has me thinking about other things that could be done involving evolved abilities. I mean.. Sure, I could easily be the cure for any virus you could throw at me, but that would require patients having to actually come to see me. I'd have people knocking down my door, begging to be cured. That is far too much of a burden for anyone to take on. Now if we could develop a cure that could be distributed, alright, sure." She isn't ready for that kind of stardom just yet.

"And Magnes is correct. I'd like to be able to give people a choice. Possibly developing a successful virus that can induce abilities, or suppress them indefinitely. Perhaps this whole struggle will ease up a bit, if having evolved abilities was less of a random factor, and could become a choice, even a right." It makes perfect sense in her mind. It also adds up to a bit more in the personality of Dr. Blite. "Mm. Not a formula. A virus." she says, "I don't have any control over a formula, but a virus, yes. I can keep certain things from actually going wrong with the agent."

"I'm sure we can deal with it like a vaccination, with a sensible, controlled vector," Bella says, "obviously we can't have you be Christ, with lepers and cripples crowding around you, Yana." She finally turns to the calzone, beginning to eat. She takes a bite, nods her approval. "Delicious as always, Magnes." Credit where credit is due. "We'll need that sample of the Evo-flu first, though. Do you think your father would be able to provide us with a sample, Magnes?"

"It's possible, if he's as high up as I hear. Do you think one of you could write up a proposal that I could offer him, so that he knows I'm taking this seriously? I presume Doctor Blite would prefer the honor." Magnes smiles and gestures in Yana's direction, then grabs a fork and a knive to start cutting into his calzone. He's trying to his etiquette, and Bella should know when he's acting differently.

Yana has not been fortunate enough to encounter the Evo flu in her daily ventures. She hasn't been able to 'communicate' with the virus to get an understanding of how it works. Just lack of luck on her part, really. "I'm sure we could develop a vaccination for that particular strain. Once I come into contact with it, I know how it works, inside and out. Not to mention, I'm in no danger of contracting it myself." Yeah, she would be one of the safe ones in the event of a massive viral outbreak. "This is of course how I also discovered the vaccines for the viruses I got credit for back in grad school." It really wasn't cheating, she just has a talent, a skill, a tool that she used.

Finally, since everyone else is eating, Yana decides to pick up a fork and knife, and begin herself. "Mm." she comments to the Jesus thing, "Yet another reason for not revealing my ability publicly. I'm sure some part of me would find the reference titillating, though I doubt I could tolerate it for too long." Yana crosses her legs under the table in the other direction, after having been sitting that way since they began. "And yes, I can write up a proposal to your father. Explain to him the legitimacy of your actions and requests. I'm sure he'll be thrilled."

"I believe Dr. Blite is easily the most qualified," Bella concurs, "being a virologist. I can't imagine they hand out a dangerous pathogen like that out like Halloween candy. And while I have some previous experience, a psychiatrist I remain. Everything else is, admittedly, dabbling." So don't expect profound or systemic understanding. Yana can take care of that for them.

"Since we've discussed all of the important things, should we think of a team name?" Magnes asks before sliding a piece of calzone into his mouth, finally noticing Yana beginning to eat. "Do you like it? I know it's not exactly… up to par with your usual standard of dishes, but I like to think I cook better than your average pizza boy with my years of experience under a professional."

There is a pause from Yana, "A team name?" she looks from Magnes, over to Bella to ensure that he is speaking seriously. "The term team seems a bit…" Yana narrows her eyes thoughtfully, trying to find the right words, "I'm not quite sure.. It just doesn't roll off the tongue well when we're talking about what we're working towards. Though I guess I see where you are going with it. It is probably best to just see where things go from here, and let this come naturally." She doesn't really want to jump directly into identifying themselves so quickly. "Wouldn't you agree, Bella?" She is sure the woman will see her point of view. Working in the secrecy of their own little group for a while before marking them with a title.

"And no, it isn't bad. You're correct, it isn't quite what I am used to, but it works." That is as good of a compliment as he might get on it. Her graciousness just isn't exactly with her this evening.

"We are an interdependence of scientific thinkers," Bella says, making a palliative, compromising motion, "that agreed, I think we can eschew a formal title for now. We are Blite, Sheridan and Varlane. Research partners. Equals. One of the few circumstances of true egalitarianism." At least that's Bella's ideal, communities of reason.

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