2007-05-27: The Geek God's Lair


Elena_icon.gif Gene_icon.gif

Summary: Elena stops by Gene's lab at his invitation to check out the brainwave monitor he was building for her and Cass. She proposes an idea as to how to prove to him that he's an Evolved.

Date It Happened: May 27, 2007

The Geek God's Lair

Gene Kensington's Lab, Somewhere in New York City

The room is large and metallic, appearing to be the size roughly of a football field. The cold metallic steel is stainless and clean, though there are dents and scratches of various sizes to prevent a perfect and shiny paradise. At one end of the room, there is the entrance to the lab. The thick security doors have a pair of turrets near them, lodged in the twenty foot ceiling roughly ten feet from the door. They aren't pointed currently at the door, but seem ready to do so in a moment's notice.

Directly to the left is a large thirty foot by thirty-by-thirty foot grooved rubber mat, which is blocked off by the door by a thick shatterproof and perhaps bulletproof glass all that extends the length of the mat. There is no door around the corner, leaving the exposed side free for people or things to come in and out. Various current projects reside on the mat in various stages of construction or deconstruction. While the parts are often placed about seemingly randomly, a wheeled tray with gas canisters and batteries is near by. The wielding tools, the power tools, as well as the safety gear such as goggles and gloves, are almost always put away careful in their proper place, likely to ensure he can always find them and there are no accidents.

In the back left of the room, there is another black mat that is fifty feet by fifty, usually with a car or unmanned aerial craft of sorts on it. In the back left of the room, simple cubical walls mark out a 'room' of sorts where a simple twin-sized bed with silk sheets resides along with a large plasma screen TV and a wall lined with video games and DVDs. For someone going into the room they will notice something under a black tarp at almost all times. A small kitchenette to the front right provides the room with a fridge, a sink, and a microwave (but no stove), allowing someone to make the basic geek foods of Noodles in a Cup and Easy Mac.

Finally in the center of the room is a large desk, with a trio of large desktop computers on it. Three computer monitors are side by side, usually with a variety of information on them, even if there is no one around. A couple of wireless keyboards, a mouse, and a couple of unique control boards litter the desk, in a small mound along with print readouts, books, and a various knick-knacks of various sorts.

Gene's lab is a work of geek art that should be appreciated properly. At least this is what she thinks when she is led in, Elena's eyes wide as she looks around. Clad today in her usual clothing; jeans, tank top, fitted jacket, and worn sneakers, she has her backpack slung on her shoulder. She can't help it, while she knows little about mechanics and robotics, she knows how protective Gene is when it came to his projects. The fact that he was showing her -this much- spoke volumes in how much he trusted her, or at the very least how much he liked her. Sliding her hands in her pockets, she tries not to touch anything, just in case she accidentally sets something off that…well. Explodes. Or worse.

Her head turning a bit, her ponytail swinging against her shoulder, she follows Gene. "I guess Lancaster Electronics pays you pretty well, huh?" she says. This place was bigger than her family's apartment, which was premium space as it was in New York. "Wow, Gene, this is…..pretty damned overwhelming." A hand comes up to rake through her hair, and she can't help but feel like a kid in a candy store. A candy store of SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY. "This beats the robotics lab in MIT…from what I could gather from their brochures anyway." MIT, actually, had been her first choice of college. In fact, she -was- accepted there, but MIT didn't offer her a full scholarship, just a partial one, while NYU did and it was close to home, not to mention it has one of the best medical schools in the country.

o/~ This hands are small I know, but there not yours they are my own And I am never broken o/~

Over the sounds coming from the loudspeakers around the lab, a small wielder can be heard a young man works on circuits board near his computer, wearing a set of glasses that are usually used by jewelers to get a 4x view while beading or the like. He appears to be assembling something, but as he pauses to look at the board, he swiftly frowns. "Damn it, can't believe I did such shoddy work." And with that, he tosses the card aside where a couple other ruined circuit boards near a trash can.

The inventor's usual pile of stuff is pushed to the side, giving him enough space to work on a helmet that appears somewhat like a crash helmet. One of the computer screens show Elena, through the 'eye' of R2-D2, the droid who he used to guide Elena here as he tried to finish up his project. He accidentally messed up a part, but it should be an easy fix. Or so he thought. Elena will hear her own voice as she comes in, Gene having patched it through the loud speaker. As Gene hears a bit of echo in Elena's words, he looks up. "Oh hey… This place is likely on par with MIT, save the stuff I build to help me with my research. Which is…" Awkward pause. "…most of it."

Coughing as Gene waves Elena over, he pushes a button on a remote soon after. R2-D2 goes to the wall, where a charger is waiting. The droid plugs itself in before powering down. "Pardon me if I don't get up, but I really want to make sure I get this done tonight. I would have thought I had this done before you came, but I had a small snafu. Should be done in ten or so though." And with that, he begins to wield. "So, take it this is the first time you've been here?" He wasn't sure if this place was shown to the woman before or not. After all, Jaden might have access to this place and with Jaden would come his assistant on a tour or the like.

Hearing her own voice echo is a little strange, Elena spying that Gene is a little busy, so she doesn't approach him for now. Instead, she looks around, peering at things. She looks wide-eyed, much like a little girl's first time in an amusement park. "This is so cool…" she murmurs softly under her breath as she gives herself a tour of the open work area. She blinks at the metallic clanging, looking over her shoulder just in time to see parts and pieces sail in an arc from where Gene is sitting and go in the trash. At the 'most of it', she can't help but grin.

"It's alright, I know you're busy," she says, and walks over to where he is. She sets her backpack in a place where she's sure it won't be in a way, and she hunches over, bracing her hands on her knees as she watches him work. She can't help it, she's curious. The crucifix dangles lightly against her collarbones. "And yeah….it's pretty damned impressive," she says with a surprised laugh, as she looks around again. She can't help it. "So are these all personal projects or most of these are for the corporation, or…?" she asks. She pauses, seeing a few beads of sweat on Gene's forehead as he works, so she whips out her bandanna from the back pocket and leans forward to dab them off him gently. Like a surgical resident helping the lead surgeon in a procedure.

Gene continues his work, trying his luck on other card. He messes this board up and he'll have to go and get a few more. He doesn't speak at first as he tries to attach the needed components to the board, putting his lower lip into his mouth as if trying to suckle it and eat it at the same time. He doesn't really give Elena much mind, though he has to use some self-control to keep his mind on his work. It pays off though, as Gene sighs as the work is done. "There!" The card is soon placed within the laptop, where a few simple wields get it installed. "Just need to get the OS operating and we should be good to go," Gene points out as he turns on the laptop component of new machine. "Thanks for the assist there," he adds as he leans back into his chair. He seems a bit more pale than usual, but perhaps that's just due to the bright lights from above.

The young man glances about the room, noticing a stool near the kitchenette. It's right next to the sink, a hot pocket crisper slip on the counter. Was he eating over the sink? It would appear so. "Oh, you can pull that over if you want a seat," Gene admits as he rubs his head. "Sorry that this place is not as neat as most places, but you know… Inspiration and all that. Most of the stuff here are corporation projects. Part of my contract allows me to use the space for personal projects, but I do that on my own personal time." He finally gets up, letting the laptop do its thing. It's currently hooked up to one of the desktop machines, perhaps running some software tests or ensuring that everything is connected properly. "So, how are you doing… Need a drink or anything like that?"

"…wait, is this the…?" Elena remembers Gene mentioning a laptop component with the brain scanner, and she exhales an excited breath. "….you did it? You did it! Are you serious?!" They would have to test it of course, but her face brightens like a child's. "That's….I mean, how do we test it?" She pushes her face forward, trying to get a load of the invention in front of her. She feels like Santa Claus just paid her a visit. She could KISS him right now, she was so stoked! But then she falters, seeing Gene look a little pale. She reaches up, and runs her fingertips gently over his forehead….and the fatigue starts alleviating gradually. "You okay?" she asks. "You look a little pale."

She'll bring his color back, at least.

She looks over at the stool, and she reaches out to squeeze his shoulder. "I'll get it. What's your poison?" she asks, pulling away from the workstation to move over to the kitchenette. Clearing off some items, she wrinkles her nose at the hot pocket crisper slip and deposits that in the trash. "You really should eat something more substantial than Hot Pockets, you know," she chastizes. She can't help it. Tucking the stool under one arm, she opens the refrigerator….and takes a couple of whatever he's got in there. She moves back towards Gene, and offers him one of the cans/bottles. "And I'm doing….okay. A little tired." She pauses. "Cass got shot a couple of nights ago."

"Yeah, this is it. I'll run the tests to check it out… Don't worry about it, you'll be here to see it. As for me, I'm okay. Just a little under the weather the last couple of weeks and…" Gene stops as he feels the nice touch. Is she doing something to make him feel better? Oddly enough, he seems ready to jerk away at any second from Elena's efforts. Close friend or not, Gene appears to still be a bit on the skittish side at times. "Just get me a Mountain Dew." Gene's reply is simple and softly stated, perhaps feeling a bit embarressed or reserved due to the touch.

Of course, whatever Gene's feeling is quickly replaced with concern after he gets the report. There is Dr. Pepper, Coke, Mountain Dew, bottled water, and of course, Red Bull. Whatever Elena gets, Gene pauses for a moment, just holding the cold can in his hand as he gets the news. "What?" he asks, clearly surprised by the information.

"Gene if you're feeling sick you ought to go to a doctor," Elena says with furrowed brows. She puts the stool down and takes a seat on it, having brought him some Mountain Dew. She isn't a Dr. Pepper fan, so she's got a can of Coke for herself. She busies herself cracking the tab open, and takes a sip. "Honestly, Gene….I've had too many friends keel over this week to head for the hospital already. I'd like for you not to be added into that number you know?" She scrutinizes his face…he did look a little ill. Her face scrunches up a touch in concern.

When he asks about Cass, she takes a deep breath - and tells the story. She dropped by Enlightenment Books over the closing hours, and came across a bloody Bonnie, Lachlan and Cass's dog. Running around the alley, she saw Cass shot three times, and Lachlan trying to keep her awake. She had Lachlan call an ambulance while she tried to keep Cass alive, who had been dying considering the bullets punched vital organs. While in Beth Israel, she called Peter, and the three of them waited for word on the operation, and they had been allowed in an observation room. Cass flatlined a few times, but Peter managed to use several of his abilities to keep her stable enough for the operation to be a success. Then, -he- overloaded, and was put in a coma. All in the space of one night and the wee hours of the morning.

Finishing the story, she sighs, cradling the can in her hands. "I haven't had much sleep," she confesses.

A short silence fills the air as Gene opens his mouth slightly, but no words comes. Sounds like a rather stressful pair of days, that's for sure. The struggle of getting his machine to work and dealing with forward women seems to pale in comparison to Elena's issues. While he's considered about Cass as well, he is able to distance himself a bit from the situation, more so considering that he wasn't at ground zero when all this happened. Peter's powers are a topic for another time as Gene figures there are more important things to discuss.

"Believe me, Elena… If something serious involving my safety is going on, I'd know about it and look into it. Remember who you're talking about here," Gene points out confidently. After all, he's pretty sure that he's just been pushing himself too hard or not getting enough sleep. After the device is done, he'll just try and get some rest and that should be that. Or so he hopes. He tries to reach out to put a hand on Elena's shoulder, squeezing it lightly as if to try and give reassurance. "At least she's stable… We should be thankful of that. Any idea on whose responsible for happened, or we waiting for Cass to get better in order to find out?"

She looks over at Gene, with a hint of a smile on her face as Gene focuses on her with a concerned look. "Hey, don't look at me like that, I'm not the one in a coma," she jests with a laugh, though it's a little strained, and reaches up to squeeze the hand on her shoulder lightly, before dropping it back against her knee. "But yeah, she's stable. She's weak, but she'll survive. Lachlan's taking care of her, and she has a lot of flowers waiting for her when she wakes up. She'll be back in no time. As for who's responsible…I have no idea. Lachlan would probably know more. He was there before I was."

She pauses, and looks over at the machine, and then at Gene. "I figured out how to test you," she tells him. "But I'm not going to, until you feel better. It's….the method is a little odd." She pauses. "But I need to talk to you about it anyway before I attempt it. And if you don't want to, I'll find out another way."

"I guess so… The way you make it seem though, it sounds like it happens to Peter a bit," the young man replies before he moves back to his machine. It looks like the long battery of tests are done, as Gene is unhooking the machine now. The lengthy story was enough to let the diagnostics work its magic. "Well, you can test me whenever. I know you're a busy person… I'm busy too, but I can work whenever I damn well feel like it, so I'm a bit more flexible." Talking about the perks of his job causes Gene to give a bit of a grin before he puts the laptop away. The reader gets placed in what seems to be a special bag, the cords wound up carefully and placed within the helmet for transportation. If it wasn't for the special lining on the inside and the small box-like molding on the back where it connects to the laptop, it would seem ready for a human cannonball trip. Finally, he has the instructions, which seems to be about thirty pages front and back. As usual, Gene has most things thought already. "If you have any issues with it, troubleshoot first, then give me a call." Elena's a smart girl, so he figures if she troubleshoots with it, it will actually be serious problem with the machine.

Glancing toward R2-D2, Gene hrms. "Well, if there is anything I can to do help with Cass and Peter, let me know. I suppose until we get information about what happens, we'll be waiting for what the next move will be." Move? Like most things in life, Gene looks at this situation tactically, as if life was planning against him. "Anything I else I can do to help you though?" Gene offers as he zips the laptop carrying case followed by the bag for the helmet.

"It's….his body's way of making sure he doesn't go over a certain limit. Consider it like…a built in surge protector," Elena says. "Or how a computer shuts down when it's overheated to save the hard drive. Things like that. At least…that's my theory with what I know of him. So in this case it could actually be seen as a -good- thing, or just a thing, not necessarily a bad thing. Even if I know comas generally get a bad rap in the medical community." She smirks a little bit at that, but she does smile, watching Gene grin. He….really loves his job. She can't help but smile as she observes it. But the instructions, she nods, watching him pack up the stuff. "Thanks….I'll test it, see what jives and what doesn't. Might….be awesome to show Cass whenever she's out of the hospital too." She beams at him. "Maybe we can treat her to a demonstration? Cheer her up a bit? She was really enthusiastic when she heard about this one, maybe she'll brighten up when she sees it in action."

When he offers to help out Cass and Peter, Elena smiles. "You could visit Cass. I'm sure she'll love to know you care enough to. She's in Beth Israel's ICU. Her last name is Aldric." She pauses…. and she shakes her head. "I'm okay, Gene. Despite everything I don't really need a lot of looking after." She crosses her legs by the knee.

"…what I was planning is….I managed to get access to pills." She hesitates, and continues. "Pills that can…supress what's termed an anomalistic ability. You see, it's easy to test other abilities with outer effects. Telepathy. Electrokinesis. Invisibility. But when it's internal, like what I suspect yours is….it's harder to test. I think the only way we know for sure whether yours is an actual, 'special' ability is to suppress it somehow, and see if you can still do what you do so well."

It's more than just a love Gene's ability with machines is his job, his purpose, his identity. When people accept that, praise him for it, it's easy to see why he'd love it. Then when your work is more like play half the time, why wouldn't he enjoy it? The genius nods in agreement at the mention of showing Cass. As usual, he points out a qualifier, "We'll have to wait until she's out of course. I don't want people seeing this that don't need to. The perk of this thing being mobile is that you can take it and do it in someone's house or something without drawing too much attention. Giving a momentary glance toward Elena as she crosses the Legs, Gene pauses his thoughts for a moment. Hey, he's male, cut him some slack. He hrms at the pill talk as he looks back up. He doubts that Elena made those, or else she would have mentioned the research prior. The only group that she's mentioned that would be able to do this would be "The Company? You didn't get into any trouble getting these, did you?" Caution flags go up yet again.

"Yeah. Bogarted Company property." Elena smirks faintly. It was small payback, honestly, considering what they had done to Jane and Drake and whoever else over the course of the years. "No one knows I have it, except Cass and Peter - and Peter was the one who managed to get ahold of them in the first place. He was checked in one of their facilities, and he was fed these pills to keep his powers in check. When he decided not to…..use them anymore, the doses meant for him were hidden away by someone who helped him escape. But it has to be a regular dose….he had to take them every day to make sure the effects would hold. They're temporary. As I said….they're working on a more permanent measure. These ones are temporary. I was thinking of administering just half or just a quarter of a dose, so…if you do have an anomalistic ability, it will come back in the same day. I don't want you to be without it for any significant length of time if you do rely on it for your work."

The idea of taking away powers permanently seems like a dual-edged sword to Gene. After all, while it would mean people like himself were at risk, people like Elle wouldn't have the powerful tools of suffering at their disposal. Would it be worth the positive to get rid of the negative? Something to think about another day. "I see…" Gene offers in response, hiding most of his thoughts on the matter. "Well, if you think it'll work and it has no nasty side effects, we can give it a go sometime. But as you said, now likely isn't the best time."

Rubbing his forehead, Gene wonders why he has a headache. Then he realizes he still has those glasses on. No wonder the glance at Elena was so detailed. Blushing faintly, Gene puts the glasses down and sips his soda.

"Well, I suppose that's that for the testing and the machine. I'd offer for you to stay around and I'd show you a few things here and there, but I figure you've got places to go and people to see." Gene puts down his soda and rises slowly, using a firm hand on the desk to help himself up as he figures that Elena's likely gunna be heading out. Pessimistic outlook from Gene? Not really, Gene just knows Elena's got family, friends, AND her job on top of her personal interests.

She wasn't here to use people. Gene was a friend. Elena nods, getting his permission. "Gene if you're not comfortable with it, just say so, okay? You're my friend, not an experiment," she tells him simply. "And no, it's not - you look tired, and you said you haven't been feeling your best."

She watches him put down his glasses, and takes a sip of his soda. Looking around the lab, she can't help but smile. What she sees was the product of a mind that….well. It was one in a million. She couldn't help but feel a surge of protectiveness. And the fact that his past circumstances was….well. She couldn't help it.

"I did, but." Elena stands up. "I already dropped by the hospital earlier today, and I told Papa I was going to see a friend today….in case you missed it, that's you. So!" She walks over to the backpack, and pulls out a couple of DVDs. "I figured you can show me around -and- we can stay in. I'm 19, I don't have a curfew anymore," she jests. "Soooooooooooooooooooooo pizza's on me. Or we can have Indian too, Chinese, whatever you like, my treat." She shows him the DVDs. "I got The Matrix, Equilibrium, Bad Boys, and the Die Hard Trilogy."

First, Karoliina started trying to kiss him a day or two ago and now Elena is offering to stay the night. While Gene knows the young woman means in merely a 'hang out' status, the young inventor is flabbergasted. Is Gene a late bloomer like his grandfather claimed? Is it that Gene is being used by Elena and she's just really good at covering her tracks? If it was the second, Gene would oddly enough be comfortable with that. After all, if she was using him, which would mean that he was needed and necessary even if friendship failed for the many reasons it can. Still, genuine friend or not, Gene is happy to have Elena around.

"Well, first rule here… if something is covered, it has to stay covered. While working with EvoSoft means it isn't AS big a deal you coming in here, we still have company secrets and if I'm working on a defense contract Well, no need to say more on that. The lab is recorded with camera twenty-four seven save the cubical that's my room of sorts Oh, and the bathroom, but that's expected. Second rule, no touching the equipment unless I give permission. Thirdly, no touching the computers," Gene points out as he points to the cubical in the corner. "You can order what you want… I'm in the mood for Jello after the big lunch I had," he says with a goofy grin. "J-E-L-L-O!" No sense telling her he feels like crap after working on the machine. "That a movie that's good on the big screen?" he asks, merely pressing a button on a remote. On cue, R2-D2 moves toward the center of the room. Its 'eye' lights up and a large projection appears on the wall. After all, if there is a Artoo that can show movies with 'regular' tech, there's no way that he wouldn't make sure that his could do it too That's just the way the Geek God works.

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