Difference between revisions of "Logs:The plans of the mind belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord."
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|The plans of the mind belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.|
"Can't 'relax' down here forever." (Set in the Blackburn Prometheus Lab.))
<PRO> Wreck Room - Blackburn Research Facility
The sign by the door says "Rec Room", but someone with a permanent marker bookended the first word with "W" and "k" at some point, and the subsequent effort to undo the vandalism was lackluster. Inside it is not usually that much of a wreck, though it might be more interesting if it were. One corner is dedicated to the reasonably sized flatscreen television mounted on the wall, with several rows of folding chairs arrayed before it. Another is centered around a set of tacky vinyl sofas bracketed by two bookshelves largely stocked with supermarket checkout paperbacks (about half James Patterson by volume, with Danielle Steel heavily represented, and there are at least six copies of Fifty Shades of Gray at any given time). The rest of the space is more modular, but usually plays host to several card tables ringed with folding chairs, supplied by a shelf of games, from playing cards to chess (with a couple of improvised pieces) to three different flavors of Monopoly.
Breakfast has recently finished, and there's not exactly a plethora of other options for What To Do down here in the labrats very enrichment-deficient cages. The Price is Right is playing on the TV, a couple of people have a poker game going on in the corner, a pair of teenage girls are attempting to build a house of cards on a side table. Leo has a table to himself, a checkers set out in front of him though -- given his lack of opponent, he's not set up the game. Just building small towers out of the checkers. Today there are small clusters of dimpled pustules pocked around his skin -- certainly looking like a horrific infection risk is perfectly common for him, by now, but it likely is no small part of what keeps some of the labrats well away from his table.
By comparison to Leo, Flicker actually looks fairly healthy -- though the bar has been set fairly low. The bruises splotched across his skin have faded mostly to yellowish, and though there are heavy shadows under his eyes some color has actually returned to his face. It would be a lie to say that he ignores Leo's appearance and heads right over to keep the man company. There's a definite hesitation after he enters the room, eyes tracking over the lesions on Leo's skin. He does ultimately cross the room and rest a hand on the back of the chair opposite Leo, though. "Were you going to play? I mean, did you want somebody. To play -- with."
Rosalyn enters a few moments after Flicker with a certain swagger, never disrespectful towards the guards or staff - you could even say she's cordial with some of them, but there's little to suggest captivity is wearing her down. She's perhaps feeling especially jaunty today as she whistles a half remembered Irish Folk tune.
She doesn't stop close enough to be intruding on the checkers game, but makes no effort to hide that she's watching. Although at six foot tall and with an amateur boxers build that's somehow improved during her time in captivity (rumour has it the medical testing labs give better quality meals. Even if there is a much higher chance of someone wanting to dissect you).
Nandini has been curled in a corner of the couch, squinting with evident (and increasing) displeasure at her copy of Rogue Warrior. She only looks up at the sound of Roslyn's whistling, and at first tries to go back to her reading. Then finally she sighs. Returns the book to the shelf. Walks toward the other woman. When she reaches Roslyn, though, she's distracted by the two men. Actually, mostly by Leo, her eyes wide as they take in the sores on his skin. She starts to step back, but then frowns and says, "I'm sorry, this is terribly rude, but do you have what it looks like you have?"
Leo runs his nearest stack of checkers through his fingertips, watching as they clack against each other. His shoulders tighten just slightly as the others near. His eyes lift, ticking from one person to the next and ultimately returning to Nandini. "I'm not contagious." His voice is quiet, and a little tired. "And I hadn't -- planned to play, but." His brows pull together, and he studies Flicker a moment. Then, uncertainly, starts to separate the red pieces from the black and set the board up. "You missed lunch yesterday."
Flicker takes the black pieces, setting them neatly on his side of the board. "They had tests to do." His eyes are fixed on the pieces; he doesn't place his last one, spinning it between his forefinger and the table's surface. "I don't imagine they'd want to give us all -- smallpox?" he ventures this kind of hesitantly. "Probably. Right?"
"Staff haven't got me healing smallpox off any o' them," Rose pipes up in a lilting Irish accent. "And if we could get it they could too... Well I bloody hope so anyway." She laughs. "I'd offer you a little relief from yah suffering but..." She gestures around the room as if to indicate the power dampening fields.
Nandini looks skeptical, but she does not flee. Too curious, perhaps? "It looks like," she says, nodding at Flicker, "but it's not like I've ever actually seen a case in person. I'd seen you presenting with other illnesses that really should have..." She sucks in a breath through her teeth and doesn't finish the sentence. "Sorry. I'm sure you get enough of that from them." She looks over at Roslyn, eyes wide all over again. "Wait, you can cure smallpox?"
"Why couldn't she cure smallpox? It's just a virus. It's not -- special." Leo's eyes have focused on the spinning of the small black disc under Flicker's finger. "I mean, it scares people. And it should. But it's still just a disease." His shoulders have tightened further, his arm curling in against his stomach as if he might hide some of the pustules. "They don't let me down here while I'm contagious. I doubt they want an outbreak in the guards. I don't imagine they trust me to --" He shakes his head slowly, and turns a very small smile up to Rose. "I appreciate the offer, though."
"The risks they're taking with exposing you to --" A faint flush rises to Flicker's cheeks. "I'm sorry. I'm sure you -- have thought through that way more than me. Just every time I think I've wrapped my head around how unethical they are here, I -- have to recalibrate." His thumb flicks at the disc, spinning it again. "But -- you could though, right? When you're up there. Make the guards -- sick."
"I uh...haven't really known that many healers." Nandini folds her arms across her chest, hugging herself. "Okay, I haven't known any healers. And for some toally illogical reason the idea of someone laying on hands for a cut or bruise or fracture was easier for me to imagine than just...disposing of an infection?" Her shoulders lift in a small shrug. By comparison she doesn't seem the least surprised by the revelation that Roslyn's healing is conditional. But her eyes are still huge and round. Much more quietly now, awed, "So you can be...selectively contagious? Intentionally?
"Did they decapitate someone just to see if you could reattach it?" Leo seems -- less shocked by this possibility than maybe he ought to be, but his eyes have widened just slightly. He looks down at his hands, thumb brushing against a small hard bump on one finger in time with a faint shiver. "I can --" His brows pinch. "Dispose of infection." He echoes Nandini's words a little stiltedly. "Or give them. Selectively, yes." Only now does the smallest twitch of smile creep onto his face. He straightens somewhat fussily at the checkers in front of him, situating them more precisely in the centers of their squares. "I'm not sure Flicker's heard even half the rumors about him. Did you know the one about shooting lasers from his hand is true?"
"It's not technically a laser." Flicker's cheeks darken further. "And I guess it's not technically a hand, either, the arm that can do that looks more like a -- tentacle. Has a claw instead of --" He catches himself with a sheepish dip of his head, his teeth gnawing at the inside of his cheek. "I guess that's not really relevant." He finally places his last checker piece on the board, though his attention is mostly just fixed on Leo. "Are you good at what you do?"
Rosalyn shrugs, looking around the room to keep an eye out for anyone that might be listening in. "No clue. Think it was an accident or maybe an escape attempt but... they didn't exactly have a lot of time to explain the details. Or they didn't want anyone getting ideas," she smirks. "Might be a little late for that here though, no?" She lowers her voice. "If any o' you overhear about any staff with dying loved ones I'd be very... interested to find out."
Nandini's brown eyes just keep getting wider. "You have tentacles that shoot lasers? On top of the super speed and flying?" She's studying Flicker closely now, as if expecting clawed limbs to burst forth at any moment. Then looks at Leo, then at Roslyn. Maybe also expecting tentacles and lasers now. Her jaw looks likely to continue being slack. "Wow. All I can do is give myself insomnia and maybe make other people sleepy."
"Maybe make them sleepy? Are you -- not sure?" Leo's finger traces against the edge of the checkerboard. "I don't know how to tell. "Good". I didn't even know I was a mutant until they brought me here. I guess -- I've had a lot of practice since, though." He looks briefly to Rosalyn -- then to the yellowing bruising dotted along Flicker's arm. Though his next reply is clearly in answer to Rosalyn's question, it's Flicker his eyes stay focused on when he talks. "That guard -- Covey. His kid is very sick." Though it's already quite neat, he nudges one of the checkers just fractionally within its square. Then edges it right back to where it started. "And, um," his eyes lower to the board, "Olivia says she has your arm."
"I don't have a -- it's just a prosthesis. Since I lost my --" The abortive twitch of motion at Flicker's side probably would be a shrug, if he had much of a shoulder there. At the mention of Ansel his fingers curl tightly into a fist; he takes a slow breath, forcing his hand to relax. "Can you give other people insomnia?" He's picked one of his pieces back up. Not to play it, just to spin it restlessly against the table again. "Who's Olivia?"
"Covey huh? I'll keep that in mind. Lot of things people will do to help their kids out," Rosalyn muses quietly, rolling her shoulders and then leaning back against the wall. "Doubt it takes much work to make folks sleepy in a dump like this. I've even been talked into reading the copy of Fifty Shades that's doing the rounds."
"I -- that, same." Nandini waves a hand in Leo's direction. "I just thought I had a sleep disorder." Frown. "Ok, well, I do have a sleep disorder, it just happens to be X-gene-mediated. But I didn't even realize it was something I could control until a few weeks ago, and --" Her shoulders hunch inward and she shakes her head. "I really have no idea if I can give someone insomnia. For all know I've already done it with without realizing." Eyes go slightly wider again. "Oh, I didn't realize -- I mean, I've seen you with a prosthesis, but it was always ah...arm-shaped. Granted, I also didn't know you were a...superhero." She looks between Leo and Roslyn, eyebrows arching. "Is this a..." Her eyes dart left and right, confirming the location of the guards. Then she drops her voice low, "...you know. Plan?"
"Around here, that Fifty Shades is the height of entertainment." Leo's eyes track to the guards as well, but only briefly. "I'm sure you'll see her around eventually. Curly brown hair, about so high --" He indicates a middling average woman's height with one hand, "tries to pretend to be your friend? I heard she's actually a mutant but -- a kapo who works in the labs now." His jaw tightens for a moment. "-- She said she was in your lab with you when you were rescued. I guess she didn't get out then, though."
Flicker has finally picked his piece back up, and moved to set the disc down on the board, at long length making a first move. His hand freezes above it right as he lays it down, though. "Olivia? With -- the tentacles? But she was --" His brow creases deeply, his eyes opening wider. He swallows hard, and stands kind of abruptly. "I don't know yet," he tells Nandini, very quietly. "I think it's going to be. Sorry, I need to --" He shakes his head hard, leaving the game where it is as he hurries for the door.
Rosalyn taps her foot a few times. "Can't say I blame anyone for trying to get by," she decides. "Although.. From the way he upped and ran just now I get the impression this Olivia's a real charmer..?" She never directly turns to look at any of the guards, except for a brief moment when she's watching Flicker leave, but they're never out of her peripheral vision. She fixes Nandini with a sly grin and voice low adds "Well, I don't know 'bout you two but I've got things I need to get done on the outside. Can't 'relax' down here forever."
Nandini's eyes have gone wide-wide. "What is it with tentacles, today?" she mutters to herself. Shakes her head, suddenly looks back at Leo. "I'd heard rumors about mutants who work with them, but..." She wrings her hands, finally just shakes her head. Answers Rosalyn with a small shrug. "I've never met her, and I'm guessing I don't want to. Um...good luck, then?" She offers, uncertainly.
Leo's sigh is very small, and very quiet, when Flicker flees the table. He gives the barely-touched checkerboard a regretful look, and starts stacking the checkers back into small neat towers. "I'm pretty sure after some of the things they've exposed me to they'd much rather I die than get out of here." His thumb runs lightly against one rash-stippled side of his finger. "But it'd still be nice to see daylight again, all the same."