2007-02-18: Truths Hidden From

Starring:

Jenny_icon.gif Benjamin_icon.gif

Summary: Benji finds another familiar face within the hospital confines.

Date It Happened: February 18th, 2007

Log Title Truths Hidden From


Private Hospital outside New York City

It's been a long day, a very long day. It's felt longer than a day should honestly feel. True enough to Dr. Aldric's word the previous day, they've gotten Benjamin started on testing his abilities. In itself, it doesn't sound that tiring, particularly when they had him working with animals. However the man has very little control, so it was a lot of work. He comes down the hallway, walking with an orderly at his side, heading for his room. Benjamin isn't quite leaning on the wall for support, but almost. "I haven't felt this exhausted since college, cramming for exams," he says to the orderly, who nods and murmurs back. Like with any guest under Company care, he's dressed in the standard issue pajama pants, undershirt and slippers.

Jenny Hawking is coming down the hall from the opposite direction. She's wearing a t-shirt with a kitten hanging from a branch on the front, and the slogan, 'Hang in there!' underneath, as well as cut-off jean shorts. Her legs have a couple gauze pads on each, where she was injected with some stuff to help her leg muscles heal. Not dressed very professionally, perhaps, but… Uhh… Fie on you, dress code! FIIIIIIEEEEE!
Jenny is looking over a stack of papers as she walks, concerning Mohinder Suresh, who she is supposed to be keeping an eye on. Poly-fibrous paper is rare. Suresh might be able to find the samples that were… Misplaced.
She pauses when she hears Benjamin's voice, wondering why it seems familiar. Looking at him, she tries to place where she's seen him before. Then her eyes widen, her hand whips up to point, and she grins as she announces, "Squirrels!"

Benjamin's slippered feet skid to a halt and he looks around, "Squirrels?" Bewildered, he looks in Jenny's direction and it takes him a moment to place the woman. "Oh.. I saw you in the park.. I'm starting to think I'm running into half of New York here." He looks surprised, and well, maybe a little unnerved about running into someone else he had a chance encounter with here. "I'm fine," he assures the orderly, who shrugs and goes off to tend to their next patient. "What are you doing here?"

Jenny shrugs and says, "It's New York. You run into everyone, sooner or later." She then sighs and says, "Just looking over some papers." She waves the sheaf of papers indicatively. "There's someone working with the Company who may have his own agenda in helping to track down… Err… Certain people. I'm just making sure he's not going behind anyone's back. He seems to be on the up-and-up though." Then she notices Benjamin's clothes, and frowns slightly. "Oh. I guess they nabbed you. Didn't realize you were 'special', when I met you."
She shifts uncomfortably, and then asks, "Have they been treating you alright, at least? You look pretty tired." Then she walks up to Benjamin and slips an arm around him, as she turns to face the same way he is. "Where are you headed? I'll help you get there without falling down." Jenny smiles.

"So I'm finding out, which is really bizarre in a city this size," Benjamin says as he lifts a hand to rub at the back of his neck. Which provokes a winces. The back of his head's still tender. "Huh?" His head snaps up, ow, to stare at Jenny, "You work for these guys too? Yeah, they did. The same night I met you in the park." He tenses at the arm around him, not that he objects to pretty women, it's just, well, he's not the type to provoke such a response. "More or less, I didn't like getting hit upside the head and brought here against my will. Aside from a few issues I have with the whole science experiment treatment, I'd say yes." The smile he gives Jenny is nervous and unsure, "Just back to my room.. I was working most of the day with my abilities."

Jenny frowns at that as she tries to help Benjamin to his room. "Hitting people on the head… Taking them against their will… I really wish I hadn't gotten involved with the Company sometimes, but… I'm not working for them because of their goals. I don't really believe in what they're doing. They say they just want to help people with special abilities, but their methods aren't so great. I'm only here because they said they could prove I hadn't cheated to win at the Olympics, back in '04. So far, all they've done is do lots of tests and make me run around doing various jobs."
Jenny goes quiet for a bit, as, presumably, she and Benjamin make their way down the hall, to wherever his room is.

Benjamin turns to look at Jenny, "I'm starting to see that this is par for the course. I told them I was coming in, but I guess they got impatient. I can't really blame them." He falls quiet at Jenny's explanation, his eyes closing briefly. There's a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach that reflects in his expression. He gestures his room is two doors down. "That's not comforting information. I've been told they want to study my abilities, help me use them and then I can go home." Still not feeling any warm fuzzies about his situation, he turns to look at Jenny, really look at her. "Huh. I thought you looked familiar then. What was the charge again? Steroid and performance enhancers?"

Jenny nods and she continues helping Benjamin along, and says, "Not everyone in the Company is a bad person… In fact, most of them aren't. They have friends, and family, and care about their fellow man, and all that. It's just, that from their point of view, we aren't among their fellow man. They work with us because it's a necessity, not because they trust us, or see us as their equals. I probably shouldn't even be talking about this… But they might let you go home, if you cooperate and all that. But if they think you're dangerous, or it's deemed 'necessary' to keep you around, then they'll do it without a second thought. I just nod my head, and smile, and pretend not to care, and they let me be, for the most part." When they reach Benjamin's room, she stops, pulls a keycard out of her shirt, attached to a string around her neck, and runs it through the thing by the door. Unless it's just a normal door. In which case she lets Ben open it, if he wants.
Her expression darkens a bit at the question. "They took so many blood samples, and other samples from me that I felt like a pincushion, but they didn't find anything out of the ordinary. Only sign of anything wrong was the fact my legs and hips were nearly useless. Was on crutches for a year, had to go through physical rehab… All of that. They couldn't charge me with anything without evidence, but the media played it up so that even without evidence, people think I cheated." She sighs. Then shrugs. "I'm not sure if I'll ever convince most people that I didn't cheat. And I sure don't expect to convince /everyone/. Because people are stupid. They'll believe something because they want to believe it is true, or because they are afraid that it is true. And people would rather explain away what I did by saying I cheated, than accept that human beings are capable of things that make them uncomfortable."

Benjamin's room is a normal one and he does reach out a hand to open the door. "I was really beginning to feel that. I don't know anything about science, evolution or Darwin's theories beyond what I studied in school and that's been over twenty years ago. Did they tag you like an animal too?" He stands in the doorway, bracing a hand against the frame to support himself, so that he's not leaning against Jenny. "..Until I learn control, I am dangerous. I.. can make people fall asleep, but Dr. Aldric is convinced I can do more than that. I just don't understand why I - we - are getting treated less than human. I'm coming to terms with having this ability, but I'm still a human being." When Jenny goes on to discuss her issue with the Olympics, he falls quiet, listening attentively. "Now I definitely remember hearing about you in the news. So.. your ability.. is physical? As in athletics?"

Jenny shakes her head in response to the question about being tagged. "No, I joined willingly, so they left me alone, mostly. And I think that the people in the Company have been somewhat brainwashed… Whoever is running it wants to control people with special abilities. So they indoctrinate people into believing that we're not quite human, and so it's okay to treat us differently." A shrug. "Racism never makes sense."
"My ability involves kinetic energy. I can multiply it or reduce it, in anything that is moving, by touch. So I can pump energy into my body to enhance my rate of movement, or increase the length and height of my jumps… Or I can throw a quarter as fast as a bullet. The reverse is also true. If I was about to be hit by a car, and had time to react, all I would have to do is stick out an arm, and concentrate, and the moment I touched the car, it would slow down dramatically. Depending on how fast it was moving, I could just be knocked to the ground, or sent flying, or get a broken arm. But I wouldn't be dead. Bullets and things like that are even harder to stop or slow down, but if I'm prepared… I can save my life, by slowing them down at the moment of impact, so that they don't penetrate as deeply. Stuff like that."
She then crosses her arms over her chest and says, "Not trying to make your stay here hard by depressing you. Sorry if I'm giving you too much to think about. I just feel that honesty is a better policy than all this Men In Black bullshit."

Benjamin's expression falls, "I told them I would come willingly and they did it anyway." What Jenny's saying, it just boggles the man's mind, clashing with what he's already been told, and assured by other people. He trusted Dr. Eames! (Okay, so he paid the man, so of course he'll seem trustworthy.) ".. I see.." he says dully, looking past Jenny, at the security on the floor that keeps the Company patients segregated from the rest of the hospital population. ".. How do you begin to deal with this? I just don't know /how/." Oh how he wishes he were normal John Doe out on the street. He leans heavily, and wearily, against the doorframe, a hand coming up to rub against his face. Even if it doesn't look it, he is listening to Jenny, taking in every word about her ability. "That would definitely explain why you did so well in the Olympics, and then what you went through afterwards." His gaze settles back on Jenny, and he shakes his head sadly, "It's alright. I guess it was too much to hope for that they'd just let me go home and try to be normal. I've been here a whole week now and.. I appreciate your honesty and your view on these people."

Jenny nods and says, "I deal with it by remembering that no matter how cloak and dagger the Company acts, it doesn't control everything. The world doesn't belong to them. There are people out there who are fighting back. One of my jobs is to guard against those people, but a few have been able to 'escape' over the years… Completely under their own power, of course." She smirks.
"Learn how to control your powers, let them think you're cooperating because you believe them, and if they don't let you go home… Maybe you can overpower me and escape," Jenny says innocently, as she winks. Looking more serious, she offers, "Also, there's a man named Mohinder Suresh working with the Company. His father wrote a book called Activating Evolution… And he's the guy I was talking about before. The one who might have his own agenda. I think he actually cares about special people, and seriously wants to help them. If you can get in contact with him, he might be able to make your stay here more tolerable, and help you out in other ways too."

"I'm good at cooperating, just not lying or playing along," Benjamin admits. "No, the world doesn't belong to them, and they don't have the right to act like some nanny group. 'This is for your own good, cooperate and you get a treat'." There's some scorn creeping into his town, as Anders's treatment yesterday still burns a little. "I'm so stupid for thinking everything would be as cut and dried as it was presented." He looks ready to bang his head against the doorframe, but it's already taken enough abuse lately. What has him looking up and in puzzlement, is the mentioning of that book and Dr. Suresh. "Hey.. I started reading that book. I was told about what happened to Dr. Suresh, but this is the first I've heard about his son."

Jenny nods and says, "He's a geneticist too. Picked up where his father left off, trying to find Evolved individuals, and help them… Protect them, even. There was someone named Sylar that was running around killing people with special powers and stealing them for his own use. Super powered serial killer, essentially. I'm not sure what happened to him. I was told he was killed, but that doesn't mean Dr. Suresh is content to let things lie. When he says he's doing something for the good of humanity — all of humanity — he means it. He's not just saying it as an excuse. I haven't had the chance to talk to him in person, but everyone I've talked to who has, and all the evidence I've encountered has led me to believe he is a very compassionate individual. And a smart one too. If anyone can help us… All of us… I think it would be him."

"I was told about Sylar too," Benjamin says, suppressing a shudder. He looks up at the ceiling, swallowing, perhaps choking back the urge to act like a little girl and cry at the situation. Or not. "Hearing that, it does give some hope. It's only been a week, but I can't help but feel I'm never seeing my family again." In retrospect, this does liven up the dull life he was leading, but at the same time, he's gone from one sort of prison to another.

Jenny thinks, and says, "I'm not exactly high-ranking in the Company, but I've never caused problems, or given anyone reason to think I'm a threat. I could ask if your family could be allowed to visit. They'd probably want limitations, and someone to watch you, and all that, but until you get out of here for good, having some contact is better than none." She puts a hand on Benjamin's shoulder gently, and asks, "Right?"

Benjamin raises a hand to pinch at the bridge of his nose and nods. But he looks up when Jenny offers to get his family permission to visit, "NO! I mean.. no.. I don't want them to come here. I.. y'know.. didn't.. tell them anything about this place.." It's a lie, sort of. But the thought of Rose or his mother coming up here? Rose would be walking into the lion's den and his mother… well.. let's not go there. "Thanks for the offer, but, I don't.. It's not a good idea. I was already told there would be absolutely no contact.. security reasons.."

Jenny's hand pulls back slightly at the reaction, but then she smiles as Ben explains. "I understand. I knew it was against regulations, but I'm just overly optimistic, I guess." She pats Benjamin's shoulder and then drops her hands to her sides. "In lieu of your family, I'll try to spend time with you whenever I can. I work as a model, in addition to the exercising and Company business, so I can't be here all the time, but having someone to talk to might make things easier."

"I thought I was being overly optimistic." Benjamin's tone is sober, and just a little on the depressed side. ".. Thanks.. I think I'm about to talk Miss Sanders's ear off." He gestures towards Niki's room. "And.. I'm not much of a talker, hard to tell huh?" He does look grateful for Jenny's offer however. "It really does help. Aside from talking to Miss Sanders, I've talked to Angie.. Alvarez a few times, but I haven't seen her since the Hartsdale incident last week. I'm sure she's being kept busy, bringing in more walking trouble magnets into custody."

Jenny smiles and says, "No problem. What are friends for, right?" Then she looks around the hall. "I have an early day tomorrow. Swimsuit shoot during winter." She rolls her eyes. "I'd ask if you wanted to invite me in, but… If we keep standing around here talking, eventually some paranoid jerk is going to wonder what we're talking about. Tell you what, though: how about I have dinner with you sometime? I can clue you into more of what's going on, what other sorts of special people are out there, or we can just talk about our 'normal' lives, outside of the crazy stuff. Family, hobbies, that sort of thing. Sound good?"

Benjamin smiles just a little at Jenny and nods as he pushes himself off the doorframe. "Yeah, I think they start getting suspicious if the inmates talk too much. Never know what kind of plot we're trying to hatch to overthrow the man." In other words, what he's trying to say is, "Thanks. I'd like that. Friendly faces are definitely welcome. Well, I won't keep you.. go get some rest and.. good luck on the swimsuit shoot." He takes a few steps back into his room, one hand on the doorknob, the other raised in a slight wave.

Jenny waves back and grins. "Take care of yourself! We'll talk again soon. And next time I'll even tickle-torture you so they think I'm trying to get information out of you, or something." She giggles, then heads off down the hall, giving one last look over her shoulder, before returning to facing forward. Maybe she'll edit this report on Mohinder a bit more. Just to make sure that no one suspects him of anything.

It boggles the mind really, pretty model, threatening to tickle torture, or even really giving someone like Benjamin the time of day. Face it, he's not the most attractive of men. As Jenny takes off, he pokes his head out the door to watch her leave.

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