2007-02-22: Testing A Theory

Starring:

Elle_icon.gif Ed_icon.gif Orion_icon.gif Paige_icon.gif

Summary: Elle yanks Paige out of her room late at night to test a theory. And get a little glee out of watching Paige get used as a guinea pig, let's be honest.

Date It Happened: February 22nd, 2007

Testing a Theory


Kirby Plaza

It's late in the night when Paige's door is opened. The girl likely has little time to do or say anything as Elle barges inside and grabbing her arm painfully, drags her from her bed and out into the hall. A nurse in light pink scrubs trails along after the two, a frown on her face, but she doesn't say anything. They travel down several hallways til they appear to be in the hospital ward. "You're going to help us tonight, Paigey. See, we have this theory about your blood. We think it might heal other people and see, we got this guy… one of our minions who is hurt real bad. You getting the picture yet?" She manhandles the girl into Orion's room, just so she can get a good look at the pus and sores that is the man currently.

Orion is laid out on a hospital bed in the burn ward of the hospital wing. Most of his body is covered in horrible electrical burns, pus and intercellular fluid leaking steadily. Fortunately, you can't really see most of that nastiness since the typical treatment for burns is to cover as much of the burns as possible with cadaverous flesh to prevent airborne illness from getting in and making the person even sicker.

The smell of burnt flesh, blood, and dead/decaying flesh is pungent in the air. Only the steady beeps, whooshes, and hisses of the various monitoring and life-support systems in the rooms offers some distraction from the malodorous nastiness of the scene. Hope Paige doesn't squick easily.

There's little struggling coming from Paige, though she doesn't make it easy for Elle to direct her through the hallways. Indeed, while she doesn't try to pull away, she's also making it necessary for the other girl to drag her a little. She says very little, at first, though the glower and disgruntled expression certainly speak volumes. "I'm not your blood bank," she snaps at Elle just before they turn into Orion's room, but whatever biting remark she was about to add is cut off when her eyes fall on Orion.

She doesn't squick easily, no. There's a brief flash of distaste, but it's gone, existing for no more than a second. The way she looks at Orion is something between pity and smug satisfaction. She's torn. "Wow. Who'd he piss off?"

"Tonight you are. Now pop a vein and let's get on with it," Elle says, shoving Paige one last time. Then she gives a Significant Look to the nurse, who wheels in a small tray with everything she needs to take some blood. Only as the nurse is prepping Paige's arm (if she lets her), does the blonde say, "He didn't piss off anybody. He was somewhere he shouldn't have been. I did that to him. Accidentally. So now you have to fix it, if you can. You got it? Otherwise it'd be more humane to kill him." Something flashes across her features. It might just be guilt. It could also be a hint of apology. "He doesn't deserve that. He's not a bad man."

The look of guilt doesn't go unnoticed by Paige, although it doesn't seem terribly believable to the little brunette, who makes a fairly obvious scoffing sound at the notion. "Smooth," she mutters beneath her breath, all but rolling her eyes at Elle's mistake. She drops into a chair, pulling up the sleeve of her blue top to give the nurse access to her elbow, her forearm resting on her knee. With one last cursory glance out of the corner of her eye to the injured man lying in the bed nearby, she quips, "Could've fooled me."

"Look. Believe what you want, but if you could heal him, would you really hold out while he died?" Elle posits to Paige. "How about it girl… do you have it in you to kill somebody? Are you a murderer?" She stares at the girl, hard-eyed.

For the record, Orion was where he needed to be. He was waiting to intercept Elle as she left the sandwich shop so that he could return her to the Company without incident. Incident such as the one that has left him in a pharmacological coma, laying on a bed, wrapped in gauze and cadaver skin.

Yeah, yeah. Play to Paige's weak spot. Play the hero card. There's a look of pure hatred on her face as she stares Elle down for approximately five seconds… and then she makes a sound. It's childish, but she makes that kind of grumbly-growl sound that teenagers often make at their parents. When the nurse is just standing there looking at her curiously, Paige reaches out and takes the end of the feed. "I'll do it," she says, glancing again to Orion; in the next instant, before anyone can protest, she's pressing the needle into a vein. The IV is connected directly from her to Orion, and it doesn't take long for the IV to fill with blood. High risk, high gain?

"Good. Maybe you aren't the waste of skin I thought you were, girlie," Elle says with thin-lipped expression, moving past Paige to watch over Orion. "You know. All I wanted was a damned sandwich. And fresh air. I didn't want anyone to get hurt. But I bump into one of the Company's most wanted and this guy? He's waiting around to bring me back in. Catches one of my stray shots. How's that for luck? Get sent to bring me back, a milk run and end up barely clinging to life."

"Maybe you shouldn't have so many stray shots," Paige quips, flicking a glance back to Elle as she speaks. "Or you shouldn't have left in the first place." She may have agreed to do this, but her tone makes it obvious that she still blames Elle for this - even if she doesn't blame herself. "This isn't going to work," she adds, turning her attention to the IV, tracking the line from her elbow to Orion's. Not that she has any reason to know; it's not like she's gone around hooking herself up to people in times of need.

Orion continues to lay on his hospital bed, wrapped up in gauze and cadaverous flesh. Dimly visible under it all are the pus-filled sores, occasional blots of blackened flesh, and, more prominently, bloody and glistening muscle. An IV tube is running into his arm from Paige, apparently she is providing a transfusion to the unconscious man.

"I don't /miss/. This guy was fast." Elle gives Paige a dark look and says, "You'd better hope this works, or we're running out of reasons to keep you around." She strikes up a lean then by the window of the room, crossing her arms as she watches Orion intently.

"Oh, please." Paige doesn't bother looking to Elle, this time. Her eyes are transfixed on the man in the hospital bed, watching him closely. "They're not going to get rid of me. Sorry to burst your bubble." She sounds quite sure of what she says, though there isn't anything overtly pleased about the remark. "Who was the guy?"

Right about now is when Orion will begin to notice a change. Well, he would, if he weren't unconscious. His body is still working, however, and with the help of the transfusion, it's beginning to repair itself. All told, it's a fairly quick process, at least compared to the recovery time he was looking at before. When the internal injuries are repaired, his more obvious wounds begin to heal.

A second man, dressed in the same boring old cheap suit, stands outside. Really, at some point, he decided to sort of casually lean against the doorframe. When the hell did that happen? Eddie Boone watches the proceedings, the same shit-eating scowl on his face as usual, his arms crossed in apparent irritation. He does not look like a happy sort of man, even if Orion is busy getting himself knit back together.

"Some guy pretending to be Magneto. Dangerous as hell, too. He was flinging around knives and kicking this woman in the face. I was trying to neutralize him when the human lightning rod here… well, look at him." Pause. "Wait. Look at him!" Elle steps out of her lean and goes to Orion's bedside, not quite touching him since he's still gross. "Maybe you don't suck as much I thought you did."

Granger's internal injuries are surprisingly not severe, considering the prodigious and aggregious injury his epidermis and muscles suffered. The most severely damaged internal organs were his lungs, gastro-intestinal tract, and his spleen. Areas with high concentrations of internal air mostly, although his spleen just had the misfortune of being chock full of ruined blood cells and their accompanyingly high iron count.

All of a sudden his eyes open up wide, brown irises seemingly focusing quite intently on Elle as she appears at his bedside. For an instant metal seems to seep out of his muscles themselves before suddenly retreating back into the depths of his body. His heart monitor spikes for several seconds before he apparently passes out again, his heart rhythm returning to a resting state. Damaged muscle and skin will start healing up in another minute or so, no doubt.

No matter how many times she's seen herself do the same thing, watching Orion's body heal its wounds still makes an impression on Paige. It's just that… no one ever said it was a good impression. She seems to slump against her chair, her eyes falling to the floor at her feet, toes turning inward. "Yeah," is all she says to Elle, a frown marking her otherwise sullen face. You'd think she'd be happier about potentially saving someone's life, but, well. She isn't. Suffice it to say that she doesn't take note of the observer in the doorway.

"So, let me get this one straight," Ed says, waiting at the door. "You guys started a fight with an Evolved in a fucking sandwich join in the middle of Manhattan, and when, I don't know, shooting people and flashing badges wasn't enough you decide to start throwing /lightning/? Not to mention that you weren't supposed to leave the premises in the first place. /Either/ of you." Somebody noticed that Paige's room was curiously unoccupied, it appears. "Do you have any idea what it's going to cost to fix that? We'll be lucky if the Haitian doesn't slip into a coma."

Who said Orion wasn't allowed to leave the premises? He was dispatched to recover Elle. Presumably the thinking was that she would happily accompany a strange, but handsome man anywhere. Or perhaps no one took into account the mixture of metal and electrokinesis.

Elle leans down and gives the newly healed man a kiss on his newly un-damaged lips. It's a tender little thing and then she's straightening up, hackles rising as Ed enters and starts in on them. "He took out three capture teams prior to us grabbing him, randomly, in that sandwich shop. You're saying we should have risked losing him again? You may be Rainer's buttboy, but I don't take orders from you. You got that?" And then, impossible of impossibles, she defends Paige. "Don't talk to her like that. She's just tired of being cooped up. And so am /I/."

The look that Paige casts to Ed is not a kind one, but being that she's a teenager who's only barely over five feet tall, it's not like she's particularly threatening. "I had /nothing/ to do with this," she retorts, though she doesn't deny that she left the premises. "She" There's a gesture made to Elle. "just dragged me out of my room to be some kind of guinea pig in her experiment." …which is about when what Elle said really sinks in, and Paige looks to Elle with a baffled look on her face. "I don't need you to fight my battles for me." So much for gratitude.

"/She's/ cooped up because nobody trusts her, and that's not her fault, it's her old man's." Ed says. "Not that I trust her, or anything. /You're/ cooped up because whenever you go outside something explodes." Ed watches Orion come around. Well, that's nice, at least. "We've got protocols for dealing with magneticists. Playing Star Wars in the middle of Midtown isn't on the list."

Ed shrugs, staring at Orion's body. "You might be Daddy's Little Girl, Elle, but I'm not going to let you get good agents killed just because you're the boss's daughter and you've a military-grade weapon in your brain."

A few moments after Elle kisses him, Orion lets out a groggy groan of what might be discontent. One of his hands flexes experimentally, although he keeps his eyes closed.

"I'm sorry… I guess I mistook your super-regeneration powers for super-doormat powers and felt the need to speak up. It won't happen again, I promise," Elle fires back at Paige, glaring at the girl. She takes a step back from the hospital bed and eyes Ed now, turning her ire completely back on him. "You keep talking, but all I hear is Rainer's butt this, Rainer's butt that. This was a freaking accident. You can blame it on me all you want, but maybe next time you'd think of sending a guy who's power wasn't EXTREMELY CONDUCTIVE METAL SKIN to fetch me back, if you want me to stay around here so bad. If he'd died? It would have been on your head."

"… Ghh… You could have… Nn… Could have just ignored him… And let the other… Nnnngh… Woman do her thing," gurgles Granger. He slowly works himself to a seated position on the bed, eyes still closed as he tries to recompose himself.

Elle reiterates, "He's taken out three of our capture teams before. And she had no powers."

The nurse finally steps in to remove the IV feed from Paige's arm, holding a cotton swab over the puncture and covering it with a round bandage out of habit. (The girl herself just rolls her eyes, but she doesn't immediately take the band-aid off.) Orion, too, is disconnected from the IV. While Ed and Elle have it out, however, Paige keeps her eyes fixed firmly on the floor. She's waiting to be dismissed, it would appear. Even if the remark about her father has her hands clenched so tightly into little fists that her knuckles are turning white.

"We're professionals. Or 'we' as in Granger and I," Ed says. "If we wanted mindless guns, we'd invest in more bazookas. If you'd either followed orders and stayed in your room, he wouldn't have *had* to go out and fetch you. If we wanted you to stick around here so bad, we've got plenty of cells. And you know what, Barbie?" Ed says, and steps away from the door, taking a couple of steps into the room. "If you'd cooked Granger to death, it wouldn't have been on my head. Because not Bob and not God Himself could keep you them from sticking an IV in your arm and keeping you in a happy little coma 'till your hair turned gray," he says, coldly and bluntly. "I'd tell you to watch yourself, but nothing gets through that blonde skull of yours. So, instead, just remember. /I'll/ be watching you."

Elle stares into Ed's face, unblinking. "So, let me get this straight. Professionals… sit on their asses behind desks and chase after girl's who violate their daddy's curfew. Maybe I don't want to be a professional then. The way I see it, my unprofessionality just bagged us a guy we've been trying to get for years." At this, she smiles smugly. "So maybe, you should watch yourself." She looks to Paige then and says, "Let's go. This guy is such a mook."

Granger bites his tongue to hold off on his almost snarky, yet sincerely asked question. Technically, he did score the last blow on Max, isn't that his bagging? It doesn't matter, he commands himself, because he doesn't need to get electrocuted again. He's content to just let Elle and Paige go, although he offers the latter a small smile and a soft, "Thanks."

"Finally," Paige says as she scrambles up from the chair, all too eager to follow after… Elle? Maybe because she knows that this is inevitably leading to her being left alone in her room again, which has got to be better than hanging out with a bunch of Evolved agents with the mentality of a pack of twelve year olds. She looks back to Orion, and for a second, something in her demeanor shifts. She offers him the slightest hint of a smile, the corner of her mouth just barely turning up. But she says nothing, and instead turns back to the door.

"Get out of here, Skipper," Ed says — to Paige. Is he calling Elle "Barbie" and Paige "Skipper"? Somewhere in the cockles of his cold, empty heart, he may perhaps feel a little bit of joy. Maybe. As Elle starts to leave, he turns around, his demeanor suddenly bright and cheery. "Oh, by the way, Elle. You don't have a non-Evolved handler, do you? I've already put in a request to have you assigned to me. Somebody's got to babysit you. So get used to this mook."

"If you think you can handle me," Elle says without looking back at the man, "You're welcome to try." She doesn't deathgrip Paige like she did to get the girl down here. No. She walks at her side instead, matching pace. It's only after they're out of earshot of the boys that she offers a quiet, "Thank you."

Orion slowly opens his eyes to stare at Ed… Or maybe Elle's backside as she steps out of the room. Only Parkman will ever know for sure. The tall man squints a bit, the light apparently disagreeing with him, though he waits for Ed to say something. He knows something is coming.

After Barbie and Skipper are out of earshot, Ed turns to Orion and shakes his head, scowling. "Women," he says, derisively.

As soon as she's out of the room, Paige pulls the band-aid off her arm. Normal people don't even need these things after having blood taken. "I didn't do it for you," she replies, though at least most of the disdain is gone from her voice. Now she's just faintly remorseful. She makes no attempt to match her pace to Elle's; if she slips ahead a few steps, well, all the better.

"No, you didn't." Elle stops at the elevator instead of following after Paige. "That's why you're a hero. And I'm just crazy Elle." She thumbs the button, stepping in when it opens. "Sleep tight, princess."

Granger squints at Ed for a while before shrugging. "How long was I out?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License