Winter's Harvest



Scene Title Winter's Harvest
Synopsis Kind deeds and charitable gestures are just masks for cruel intentions. Grow.. GROW my lovies!
Date December 16


I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside

I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside

As the holiday draws nearer, most people gather closer together to their families to share a little bit of warmth and love, and give thanks for the blessings that they have. The night streets of Soho are frosty and cold, nipping the noses of individuals that are not dressed for this type of weather. Large soft, wet flakes of white flutter from the sky to cover the ground in its winter blanket. From the inside looking out, it almost looks warm and fuzzy.

There is a type of silence with this night. The comfortable quiet that comes without very many blistering winds, an evening’s calm filled with a romantic atmosphere. It is very poetic in a way, this night. It is a thing of beauty, and a muse to anyone with a sense of creativity.

This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in

So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice

Ahh, the night streets of Soho. For Michael Kettering, these used to be his stage. He was on top of the world with: the perfect job, the perfect wife, the perfect lifestyle. For years, he and his beautiful wife Maureen had dinner at one of the various restaurants on their favorite strip. His name was well known amidst the waiters and hosts which would seat you as their ‘greatest pleasure’. He was a reasonable tipper and an appreciative consumer of the chef’s preparations.

Weekly, they would dress up in the finest of tails and make a night of it, tasting exotic wines, having exotic specials, partaking in the ambiance of a table by candlelight, and discussing their perfect life.

Yes, from Michael’s perspective, his life was pure bliss and security…

So he thought.

In truth, his wife was not satisfied. She had an affair with a man that was very close to her husband. His boss, a head executive at the office, which is where all of his troubles began. It was just shortly before the events of November 8th when he received notice that he was no longer an employee of his company. Moves were made to have him removed, as his boss sought to pluck Maureen from Michael’s life through plan. The riots of the 8th just happened to coincidentally worsen that plan.

His home, gone in a fire and Maureen gone into the life of another. Michael was a handsome man, smart, hard worker. This was perhaps something he could bounce back from. His broken spirit kept him homeless and on the streets. As he walked down the strip in nostalgia, the same waiters and hosts had developed amnesia to his name and face. Not a friendly wave or hello in recognition, just a disgusted look at yet another bum stalking the night. Gone. All of it, so quickly; without a sliver of hope in sight.

My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what's your hurry

My father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar

So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry…

“Beautiful evening…”

The voice filled his ears like the clear ring of a crystal bell: Soft, angelic and kind over his shoulder. It was like a dream calling out to him, and then a vision of grace dominated his attention as he turned to gaze at the source.

She was mysterious and alluring, dark flowing hair and large beautiful eyes. As she rose up out of the black limousine, assisted by the tall, blocky man who is obviously her driver who took her hand and became her brace for getting to the black stilettos that adorned her feet. With her at her full height, he could see the way the little black dress clung to her curves nicely, with a low cut neck, exposing both of her smooth shoulders, and a hem ending well past her knees.

She had class, he could tell. The diamond encrusted choker she wore, with the matching hanging earrings cinched that perspective of her. Reaching in the vehicle, her driver pulled an expensive looking grey fur shawl with black spots, and draped it around her shoulders while she waited expectantly, as if it were routine. All the while, she watched Michael with a beautiful smile on her face.

With a bow from the tall driver, the woman finally stepped away from him and the vehicle, leaving him to close the door and run back around to the driver’s side, getting back in. The mysterious woman adjusted her shawl and took a few steps towards the slack jawed Michael, flipping the ends of her fur over her shoulders.

“Generally, when being addressed, it is customary to respond, lest you seem rude. Wouldn’t you agree?” Her tone was very mixed. On one hand, it sounded as if she were chastising him, yet on the other it was so sweet and so harmonious that it guised her condescending intent.

Finally, Michael summoned the willpower to shake off the stun she caused him, his lips moving a few unintelligible times. He couldn’t believe that this woman was speaking to him. Sure, he wasn’t as bad off. He was wearing a suit, it was just a little on the ruffled side. He could probably use a shower, but it was still pretty undetectable unless one was very close, and he could certainly use a shave. But still, she gave him the eye. Michael had brown hair, blue eyes, a strong jaw, and a youthful appearance for someone in his late 30’s, so perhaps his disheveled appearance was overshadowed by his good looks. Whatever it was, she made him feel lucky.
“Um… Uh… Y—yeah—Yes. Yes it is.” Michael managed uneasily. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t quite sure that you were speaking to me.” The man tried to save a bit of face with the woman, reaching up to adjust his tie after clearing his throat.

“Nonsense, let’s be honest, you weren’t sure why I was speaking to you.” In her hands, she clutched a small purse that went well with her outfit. She walked with such grace and poise as she approached and started to pass him. “I prefer not to dine alone, Mr. Kettering, and you already seem to be dressed for dinner, so perhaps you would do me the honor of accompanying me? I happen to be famished, and you look like you could use the company yourself.” She spoke as she stood before the doors of L’Ecole, a French cuisine restaurant, awaiting with expectation.

“Um… Uh… You know who I am? And—And you want to have dinner? How do you know my name, I—I can’t really treat you to dinner at the moment. I.. uh…” Michael was reminded of his predicament, assuming that this beautiful woman was expecting him to pay for dinner at an establishment as fine as L’Ecole. But who was she? How did she know him and furthermore… Why was he holding the door open for her?

“In due time, Mr. Kettering, in due time. Conversation begins once we are seated. Thank you.” The woman nodded politely to him as she entered the threshold of the establishment, under the gentleman gesture given by the taller man. He was curious, and furthermore he was hungry. If she was offering a free meal, he could at least swallow his pride and accept. He had very little of that these days, what with his broken spirit.

As it turns out, her name was Elvira Blite, and she fancied herself as a bit of a caregiver at times, having seen him in the restaurant several times before with his lovely wife. She had gotten wind of his situation, and just happened to catch him on her way to dinner. While she couldn’t offer him much, she could at least offer him a nice meal, a friendly face, and spring for him to have a warm place to stay at least for one evening.

She hoped that the gesture would warm his spirits enough to jump start him back to getting his life on track. She believed that he had the potential to pick up the pieces of his broken world. The woman was charming, though she did seem to demand a certain compliance with the rules of etiquette, offering her hand to him with her palm down, expecting him to kiss the back of her knuckles. He obliged her, of course, and even pulled her chair out for her when they were seated.

What he didn’t know, is that it had begun. The moment he touched her, the sickness was introduced into his body. People’s hands can contain all kinds of germs that are communicable through touch, spreading sickness because they don’t properly sanitize. But the truth is, Yana’s hands were impeccably clean. The influenza particles that were introduced into his system were intentionally planted there, bypassing the normal vector of infection and transferred by skin to skin contact.

These virions were placed, and they were given orders to do what they do best, but at an accelerated rate. Seeking out his epithelial cells in his lungs, throat and nose, fusing inside where the virus core disassembles and starts forcing the cell into halting its initial function and begin the process of making various copies of itself to release and start doing the same to other cells.

Under normal conditions, this type of infection would take a day or so for symptoms to begin to show. But within the first few minutes of their conversation, he already had the flu. Michael felt a little tickle in his throat. This wasn’t really odd to him, his throat was a little dry for one thing, and he had been in the cold for the past few days, so he might be catching a little something. No sense in letting it ruin a nice evening, as he gets so few of those anymore.

She continued to be flattering and kind to him, the two of them conversing and even sharing a few moments of laughter together. It was nice to laugh, even if his developed a little bit of a cough in the end. He was also starting to feel a little… off. Yana seemed to watch him, with interest, which he simply wrote off as her hanging onto the story of his tragedy.

Michael Kettering, Subject 286. Non-Evolved, of good health, recent state of homelessness possibly only compromising immune system a minimal amount. After factoring in depression, and exposure to the cold, he has about as average as a chance as anyone else. She had selected him after having him watched for the past few days. The first of a chain of experiments to determine and compare if there is a difference between the immune system of Evolved and Non-Evolved, as well as the current scope of her ability. She was getting better daily, and it was imperative that she have the most current data of her progress.

Poor Michael was complaining about not feeling so well by the time their food had arrived. Yana was very understanding, and kind enough to have their dinner wrapped up and taken to go, escorting him to her vehicle, driving him to a reasonably priced hotel where she paid cash to rent him in for the evening. She even saw him up, and helped him get tucked into bed.

Michael had developed severe chills, and cold sweats within the course of a few hours. His cough was dry, and he felt like his head was ready to explode. How did this flu come on so fast and so hard? He wasn’t sure, but he was thankful that Yana had been there to rescue him, and see to it that he was placed somewhere warm. Left in the cold with physical conditions like he was having now would surely have meant his death.

“Now you just rest, and focus on getting better tonight.” The woman told him, pulling the covers of the bed up to his neck, a gentle hand reaching to smooth his hair back on his head affectionately. She even placed a motherly kiss upon his forehead. She was so nice. Like an angel, rescuing him in his hour of need.

You've really been grand - I thrill when you touch my hand

But don't you see - How can you do this thing to me?

“If you’re still feeling bad in the morning, check yourself into a hospital? Hm? But hopefully, this is just one of those 24 hour bugs that’ll blow over by morning. Given your situation, it isn’t any wonder you would get sick.” She was lying through her teeth. Yana could see the viral build up in his system, and she could see the damage that has already been caused. If she stopped or slowed the virus back down to its normal rate, it was highly likely he could recover naturally. But at its augmented state, and without the proper care… “I’d feel better, knowing that you are on the road to recovery.” Not so. He was a cultivator. He was now a vessel for her to harvest new virus particles from. With all good hopes, he would mutate a different strain of the flu, making her research that much more rich. Mmmm… the delight of unpredictably.

There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Think of my life long sorrow

At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died

“Thank you, Yana… For everything.” Michael smiled weakly to her while the woman strolled over to retrieve her purse and her fur. Yana hesitated there, hanging in the door to set her eyes upon him. She returned his smile with one of her own. Delicate and filled with honey. “I’d ask you to maybe stick around, but I wouldn’t want to get you sick or anything. You’ve done… so much for me already. You’re like a saint, a miracle. More people should be like you.”

“Oh stop.” The woman chuckled modestly a hand going to clutch at just below her neck, she even gave a modest blush, “I would love to stay and take care of you, but I am afraid I have duties to attend to. You’ve helped me in ways you can’t possibly imagine, Michael, and I appreciate that. Keep your chin up, mm? It’s always darkest before the dawn. We’ll see each other again…” And she would. After all, she needed to harvest him at some point.

I really can't stay - Get over that hold out

Ahh, but it's cold outside

And with that, she left. Closing the door behind her and hanging the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the knob. As she stepped through the hallways, she shone a satisfied, smug smile, passing a small child in the hallway. The boy, playing with his action figures looked up at the statuesque woman sauntering down the corridor.

It was blissful, conducting experiments. She could almost compare it to the climax of lovemaking in a way. Right now, she could use a cigarette. She will record her findings in the car.

And as that bright eyed youth stared up at her, Yana smiled to him sweetly, and stroked her hand back through his hair. He reminded her of her nephew, waiting at him. Perhaps she should pick up a gift on her way back. A good deed to fill in the cracks of the one she just performed.

Baby it's cold outside…

The worst foe, lies within the self…

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