Come to Hades Talk
Posted on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 @ 12:38pm by Cameo Somerset aka "Camille Locke"
Location: Tower 2.0 - Wizard Island
The observation room over the surgery suite was eerily quiet. Cam fiddled with the tourniquet silently, making no sound of pain as she tightened it back down then looked up at Jon. Her voice was soft, not disturbing the stillness. "I know you're worried about her, but I promise you if she can be saved and whole, it's those two who will. The girl was top in her class at nursing school with specialties in surgery and ED work, and the boy, however young he looks, can see inside her body and know what's wrong and how to fix it."
"So...she’s a nurse, and not even a doctor?" Jon said, eyes locked on the forms below them. "That makes me confident," he said dryly. He watched them carefully, however. They seemed to know what they were doing. Jon had just enough field medicine to handle most things, but he wasn’t a doctor or medic. Jon hated this, not being able to do anything to help Bethany, forced to stand and watch, just as he’d been forced to stand and watch while Cecily was placed in an asylum.
"What about you?" Jon said, looking to the attractive older woman. "You need that properly cleaned and bandaged," he told her, nodding to the wound on her leg. "You can’t keep a tourniquet on it or you’ll lose it."
"That's why I'm letting it up once a minute," Cam said. "It will need vascular repair. Once they have finished with Bethany it will be my turn. I have resources she doesn't and should be fine. But that brings me around to the point we need to discuss." Her tone changed from soft and calm to something with a little more of an edge, not anger, not yet, but she was close. "You have a lot of strong opinions, and are very used to being the biggest badass in the room. You've threatened and belittled my people and their skills and all around treated us like subclass citizens. We need to get a few things straight before I can allow you to stay here."
Jon frowned. "I wake up in the middle of the desert with my head feeling like a cotton ball, up in the air in some chav’s arms," he pointed out. "I find a person I care deeply about damn near dead. What am I supposed to think, luv?" he asked Cam. "It’s not about being a badass, it’s about protecting her." He looked down at Bethany on the surgical table again. "And who says we’re staying?"
"She won't be able to be moved for at least a week." Cam pointed to a monitor the doctor was looking at. "She's shredded a portion of her lung and he's having to graft new tissue on to it. And she will need us even after she heals. Don't play dumb, soldier. I've spoken with Iris too. As for how you woke up, that's one thing, but you knew what was happening before the girl drugged you. She drugged you. She went in on her own. As soon as Iris saw this she alerted us and we came to help. Since waking, we have offered you no threat or harm and only ask that you wear those," she motioned to the manacles, "after you tried to hurt one of my people."
Jon looked down at the manacles and flexed his arms. He took a drink from the bottle of water near him. He was still dehydrated. "He wasn’t hurt," Jon reminded. "I needed time to assess the situation." The fact that Bethany had drugged him hurt more than he was willing to admit, and he shoved it aside into that dark box his feelings went when he needed to stay focused. "And I haven’t threatened anyone since," he pointed out.
Cam raised a brow at that. "But you have belittled and talked down to them." She cocked her head to the side. "Are you a racist? Because now that I think about it, it's been Aquata every time." She motioned to the nurse in the other room.
"Aquata?" He looked at the black Asian girl. "What kind of name is that? And it has nothing to do with her being black," he said. "Or Asian. Why would that matter? But she’s barely...wot? Twenty?" he asked. "And she’s got her hands all inside of Bethany like she knows wot she’s doing. Sorry, luv, if I don’t like the idea of leaving Bethany’s fate in the hands of a girl who’s brain isn’t even fully developed yet."
"Aquata obviously isn't her real name, as Shade is not mine. Seeing as Nexus wants us both dead, it's safer if you don't know our real names…yet. Aquata is a mer-person. When immersed in water she changes form. Thus, the name. And she may only be 22, but she's saved your friend's life at least three times today. You might start by being grateful rather than rude." Cam took a deep breath and looked back out at the surgical bay. "We have a choice to make here, and as the closest thing she has to next of kin after the massacre back there, you will have to make it. My medical staff will make sure that she is stabilized and on the mend. but then she can either stay here, as Iris had hoped, or I can transfer her, and you, to a 'real' hospital with older doctors. But," she tapped a monitor on the wall next to the observation window, "this is her blood work." A DNA strand opened up and then zoomed in. "This is her X-gene. She is a mutant. And the law requires that they report that to Nexus. You will both be incarcerated."
Jon studied the image on the screen and frowned. They could be lying, but that woman in the cave, Iris, had seemed to indicate this, as well. "That doesn’t leave us much choice," he murmured. "How did Nexus even know she was going to be there? We’ve been off the grid for nearly six months." He pushed a hand through his hair. "She shouldn’t have left me behind," he muttered angrily. "If she pulls through, I’ll be grateful," Jon said. "Until then, sorry if I’m a grouch, luv. Not a lot of people in my life I care about."
"Then we have a problem. If you continue as you have been there are a number of my people that are shoot first types. I only just kept one of them from shooting you earlier. While those manacles will hold you for the time being, with enough leisure time I am confident that you will be able to remove them." Cam loosened the tourniquet, again without flinching or making a single pain sound as she tightened it back up. "As I am assuming you will want to stay with Bethany and won't be content in a cell, I will have to have one of our medical bays converted." She nodded as she thought to herself then looked at him, raising one eyebrow. "I will have to have the chair in there converted to work with a set of magnetic manacles that will be sealed around your wrists and ankles at the atomic level. They will fit like snug bracelets, but unless you feel like removing your hands or feet won't be able to be picked or slipped. Within the room they will do nothing, but should you try to leave without an escort they will bind together and to the floor. When my people need to enter the room the manacles will lock to the chair in the same method. Once she is awake we can reassess."
Jon gave this Hades woman a look. "Seems overkill," he said. "You’ve taken my weapons. You have me in shackles. And you’re all a bunch of badass mutants," he reminded. "What possible threat could I really be? I’m just human." Jon’s attention went back to Bethany. "If I worry you that much, why don’t you just...disappear me? It’s not like there is anyone that would miss me."
Cam laughed, a cold and very bitter laugh. "We aren't Nexus, child." She called him this not because if his age -- he was most likely older than she -- but because of the way he thought, because no matter what he had seen or done it could not match what she and the others here had been through. "They make people disappear. They kill without mercy or reason. They offer no choices, no freedom. They strip you of your humanity and leave nothing but a monster behind. We do not. And while I have the ability to break every bone in your body and then tear your soul from your chest and send it to unending torment in Tartarus without ever leaving this wheelchair, not everyone here has such abilities." She waved a hand towards the monitor, bringing up a picture of Maggie. "My sixteen-year-old daughter." With a swipe it changed to a little girl of about seven. "My ward." She kept flicking, cycling through the refugees and their children. Most of the faces were blurred, but it still made her point. "This is our home, the only place in the world safe from those that would kill us, or worse. They are not combatants, they cannot protect themselves.
"From this. This is what Nexus does." The anger had leached out of her voice as she flicked the screen one more time and brought up one final picture. It was not the image of what Abby looked like when she came to them. No, this was one of the photos Nico had recovered when he gained access to her file and scrubbed it from their system. The image looked like something out of a very twisted fairy tale or, worse, fantasy medical journal. The girl, who he could see was the same as the nurse now working to save his friend, lay bound in a shallow container of water. Beneath her was a grid with measurements to show her length and width, and to measure the bones of her tail. The scales and flesh had been filleted open, the fish-like bones on display and the webbing between her fingers and on the fins of her tail had been sliced, the bones and cartilage splayed out over the grid. Someone had laid a white towel over her breasts, but beneath it she looked starved and thin, the gills that cut across flared open with tubes going through them. But it was her face, pristine and untouched, that showed the true horror. Abby was awake, and tear tracks showed on the dry parts of her face.
"So you see, not only did we leave the safety of our home to rescue you and your friend," Cam said, her voice still soft, "that girl down there faced her nightmares. That was Aquata six months ago, half starved from being forced to change back and forth over and over before they trapped her in her other form and started cutting. She has no great power out of the water and precious little in it. Though we are teaching her, she would have no hope of protecting herself against a trained soldier."
Cam sighed and cleared the screen with a wave. "I am offering you both more and less freedom. Within the confines of her room you will be allowed to move around freely. You will have TV and an e-reader with any books you would like. You will only be allowed to leave the room with an escort for bathing. The medical suites do not have showers, though they have restrooms. Meals will be brought to you, or you can be escorted to the dining hall if you would like to eat with the other students, though your hands will be bound. Once she is awake and has made her decision about whether she wishes to stay or not we can look at other options for you. It is either that or a cell until I can return you to the city of your choice."
Jon stared at the screen of the tortured mutant and felt sick. During his low point, while he was awaiting trial for the murder of his wife and best friend, he’d been approached by an agent who said he was from an organization called Nexus. He’d said they needed people like Jon. He had considered the offer. After all, wasn’t he just a monster? And they were offering a way to avoid prison. In the end, though, it just hadn’t...felt right. Something was off. And now Jon knew. He may be a monster, but even he couldn’t do something like that to someone.
Jon took a breath. He was actually a bit pale, this man who had seen mass graves and victims of suicide bombings. "Bethany needs someone there to keep her calm and reassure her when she awakens," he said. "She could get hurt, or, more likely, your fish girl there would get hurt. So I accept your terms," he told this Hades woman. "I will leave it to Bethany what you do with me after."
"We are not holding her prisoner. When she is well enough she may leave and take you with her. We will provide whatever supplies she needs if she so chooses," Cam assured. "Now, lets go get you settled into your new room."
"A chair in Bethany’s room is just fine," Jon assured her, though stood to follow the attractive younger woman.
NPC Xander Carlisle