2007-08-24: Unneeded Help


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Benjamin comes to Bat Country for advice and training that he doesn't really need.

August 24th, 2007:

Unneeded Help

Bat Country Labs

In the basement, Bat Country still doesn't have the finished look that Cass would like it to have. The sign has finally been plastered up onto the wall so that it stays and looks proper. The place has an official name now. Even if it won't show up officially anywhere. The chairs have some pillows on them, there are books of many different types on the bookshelf. A quick look would show 'Activating Evolution' and various other psychology and medical texts for people to peruse should they be curious. The desk by the wall has a phone on it and a couple of folders, but not much else. Cass has her black framed glasses on, though they're perched at the end of her nose, making her look more like a librarian than a scientist. Especially since she has a couple of books laid out in front of her, post-it notes sticking out of them and lined up for use on the desk in front of her.

Benjamin shows up at the hospital on time, descending down to the labs. Apparently, there's some trust there, as he's unescorted as he makes his way to where Cass waits. Dressed normally, as if he came from the office, it's just a default look for him, he looks around the lab. Nothing as high tech as the Company facilities, but it's impressive nonetheless.

It's not even finished yet, but Cass would certainly take the compliment. Hearing Benjamin enter, the woman glances up from her books and smiles warmly. "Hello there, Benjamin. Come in, come in." There are no escorts for people coming to Bat Country. When Cass is inside, too, there is no lock or number code to punched in, either. That is, unless she's locked the door. It's both open and as secure as she could make it. Pushing her unnecessary glasses back to the bridge of her nose, she leans in her chair a bit and gestures to one of the office chairs in front of her. "Sit down, sit down. Apparently I'm on repeat today."

Benjamin smiles at Cass, now that he's done gawking.. or appearing to gawk. So far, nothing seems ominous, or threatening about the place. Maybe it's nothing for the Company to be concerned with. He walks over to her desk and settles down in the offered chair and grins. He looks better than the last time Cass saw him for sure. The bruising, the swelling, all gone. "Nice place you have here.." And his speech is back, and understandable!

"It's not done yet," Cass replies with a modest shrug. He hasn't even seen the actual lab part of what gives Bat Country the last part of it's name. "It's good to see you're feeling better. No infections or anything? I know oral surgery can be susceptible to that." Lots of germs in the mouth, after all. "You found the place alright, right? It's kind of out of the way."

"Oh no, everything healed up fine. I immediately had that steak the moment the wires came off." Give or take the time it took to reach the restaurant. Probably not wise so soon, but Ben wanted the taunting juiciness. "You may not be done yet, but so far, it's looking good. I did fine it okay, and out of the way is fine. I don't imagine that you want many people knowing about it."

There's a bit of a laugh and a shake of her head. "I'm sure your doctor wasn't too happy to hear about that." Cass slips some bookmarks into her pages and flips her books closed. Texts about genetics, DNA and the one closest to her is on sleep patterns. Looks like she's been doing her research. "And, well, I want to help whoever needs help. It's a strange predicament, you know? Don't want too many people to find out, but want the people who need it to find it. Maybe I should make a scavenger hunt." There's a tilt of her head as she studies Benjamin. "So, I've got to ask, what do you want help with? I mean, what specifically do you want to get out of this?"

"No, not really, but after a liquid diet, I didn't care!" Benjamin looks around the desk, curious about the surroundings for more than one reason. "No no, I get it. You want to help, but no advertising. People have a hard enough time coping with abilities as it is.. I know I did. Maybe in a way, I still do." Looking straight at Cass, he says, "I want better control over what I can do. I thought at first a few months ago.. that it would be enough to know I have this ability, and basic control so I'm not causing accidents.. but maybe I'm supposed to do more with it."

The grin stays on Cass' face only until Benjamin starts to explain himself. Then, it's all seriousness and thought. There's a pause and then, Cass nods. "Understandable. Knowing what you have is just half the battle. Once you've got it figured out, you've also got to know /how/ to control and what it can do. There's a reason why you have this ability, Benjamin. There's a reason why we're starting to find out about it. I can help you with control, with finding out just what you can do. I'd be happy to. First, maybe you should tell me what you already know, so we're not backtracking."

Benjamin nods his head, "Makes sense.. well.. what I remember from when I was taken earlier this year.. Your dad.. good doctor, but a lot of what he told me was over my head." He smiles apologetically, "I just understand the basics of what I can do. Not the technical terms, brain waves or any of that." Give him tax forms, he'll decipher those in a jiffy. "From what I was told, I can manipulate sleep patterns. Making people stay awake, making them sleepy, putting them to sleep.. and a possibility someday about comas."

"He is a good doctor." Cass' voice holds some warmth there, but also some reservation. Her father /is/ a good doctor. Just…for the wrong ideals. "That's fine. The basics are what you're supposed to worry about. I'll figure out the technicalities." Flipping open a waiting pad of paper, she slides open a drawer and pulls out a pen. "If it's okay with you, I'd like to be able to test what you can do. Hook you and another person up to a brain wave monitor to see what part of both your and their brain you affect when you use your ability." Scribbling down some illegible notes, she thinks some more. "Then, we'll see how it all puts together. I'm not sure if we'll be able to test anything having to do with comas since I don't want to put anyone in the danger of being put in a coma that they can't come back from. We'll have to handle that once I've gotten a better grasp on what you can do and what your limits are."

"Uhm.. okay.." Benjamin shifts a little in his seat. "Can we start with animals instead?" He clearly doesn't want to harm anyone. "Forget about the coma thing, cause, I have a hard time controlling what I'm doing now, let alone even thinking about trying that." He's been pressed aggressively by the Company lately with testing, but that's still something beyond his current capabilities.

Frowning, Cass stops writing for a moment and looks over the frames of her glasses at Benjamin. "We could try, but it's not going to have the same results that human brainwaves are going to have. Honestly, I think it would be better to work with humans. It's what you're used to using. Figuring out what the threshold for when you can make a /cat/ goes to sleep is not going to be as useful as finding out when a human being. Unless you're suddenly attacked by a horde of rabid cats. So, well, no, that's not helping my point. Anyway, a cat can't say what they're feeling like a person can. And there will be safeties involved. I'm not going to let you make someone into Sleeping Beauty, okay?"

".. Alright.. all consentual.. right?" Benjamin hasn't exactly felt right about being told to practice on people who weren't given a say in the matter. (Although, orders are orders.) "I see your point though. Okay. I can do this." He offers up a smile to Cass. "I appreciate this.. I really do. I just wasn't sure there was any place to really get help from."

Blinking, Cass gives Benjamin a startled look. The idea of using someone who had /not/ agreed to help never even crossed her mind. "Of course. I would never…" she shakes her head, remembering that Benjamin had been taken by the Company. His thought process works differently. "If no one else agrees, I'll do it with someone standing by." That's the way it goes. She smiles back at him, finally. "I know you can." Suddenly, her face is serious again, though there's the hint of that warmth still visible. "I'm just glad you came to me. I know it's scary and that sometimes you have no idea where to go, or who you can trust." There may be some sort of double meaning here, but she's not letting that show on her face. "But…I want you to know…you can come to me for help with anything, Benjamin. I really would love to help you."

Benjamin is used to not having a say in things. Dating back to his marriage, the Company. Do this, or do that. Either way, wind up at the same place. "Right.. because the only people I know of.. well… I don't really like their methods." He nods his head, exhaling audibly, as if in relief. "I'm .. thanks.. I mean it.."

"Not that I can blame you." Cass flips her notepad shut and smoothes down the papers, capping her pen. It looks like the information session of this meeting is just about over. "Me neither." Which is why she opened this place. Though she's not sure that her meaning got across, she's also not sure that there's any meaning for him to receive. Hence why she sort of veiled it in strange doublespeak. Either way, she does mean it. She does want to help him. "You're welcome, Benjamin. Any time. I mean it, too."

Benjamin nods his head, then rises from his seat. "Just.. let me know when's good to come by. Like I was saying before and to Ramon, I can adjust my hours these days. Makes things nicer. The flexibility. It's taking some getting used to, I just don't know why I didn't think about a slight career shift sooner." Maybe it was just the way his life was going then, and the way he's been pushed. "The change.. it feels good. Maybe I'm starting to live a little since all this happened."

"Of course." Cass leans back in her chair and pushes her glasses up again. They have the tendency to keep slipping. Maybe it's because she's not used to wearing them. Who knows. "I'm glad you're enjoying your new lifestyle," she smiles. She's unsure, though, if she really means that. Because he may be involved in something far over his head. Whether it be the mob or the Company or who knows what. "It's always good to have some free time. Mine has mostly evaporated. But, I don't actually mind at all." If she did, she wouldn't be starting all this.

Benjamin laughs. "I'd like to still be able to spend more time with Rose, but with her schooling, she's busy. So I take what time I can get with her. I'm glad she doesn't have to worry so much about tuition costs now that I can help her more." In fact, he's footing the whole bill now. Thanks Bob! "I won't take up any more of your time today.. I can be reached on my cell or email. Thanks again Cass." The man is in over his head, and it's not a comfortable feeling. Another smile given, he turns and leaves the labs.

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