2009-11-18: Wynn's Stepford Wife



Date: November 18, 2009


Gene contacts Sydney to ask about the drug hoodie and learns she's in DC under the influence of a certain Senator.

"Wynn's Stepford Wife"

The Phone Lines

Gene Kensington works in his lab. Eric has gotten him the materials that he needs and with the help of a headset, he is able to make a few calls here and there. Taking Tracy's advice (for once), he has made his own secure line, an increasingly more important thing the more he deals with those that may be comprimised one way or another. As he does some light welding of wires he and there, he makes a call to a certain someone's cell.

Managing to get some work done remotely, Sydney has been sitting at the desk of her hotel room finalizing the last two chapters of her dissertation. Her eyebrows furrow as her cellphone, which she'd pocketed after Tracy had left rings obnoxiously with the Super Mario theme. She hums along for a second and looks at the number. It's unknown. "Tara. Again," she murmurs. Frowning, she opens the phone, "Tara, I've told you a million times, just cancel the appointments. Just do it, no one will mind. And you can tell Amy I'm still on the clock even though I'm not in session so the Centre is making a killing off of this escapade…"

The voice is not Tara's and is suddenly concerned, the welding stopping suddenly. One simple word from Gene will let Sydney know exactly who it is. "Escapade?"

Sydney's eyes narrow into small slits as her lips tweak into a very small smile, "Hi… you." She knows she's not supposed to say his name on the phone so she doesn't. "I'm doing some work out of the office and getting flack from the receptionist of the week… how are you?"

"Eric told me about what happened between you and him… I wanted to make sure you were okay," Gene states, starting to work again calmly. He can't afford to take breaks. "I was hoping we could talk about it. I'm looking into now with my stuff, but was hoping from some more information from you."

Blink. Blink. Blink. "He what?!" Sydney can feel her face flushing. "He promised he wouldn't… I can't believe…" Frown. Men can't keep their mouths shut, apparently. She sighs. "I'm fine. Just in DC. I'm not sure what there is to talk about…" Frown.

"Why would he need to promise about telling you all about the hoodie? He just made it out like you guys got high off it?" Gene swallows after the question. Eric didn't give details, but he was acting ashamed of it and Sydney was too… Gene shakes his head. These are his friends, that is NONE of his business.

But there is something else that is causing Gene's 'DANGER' sense to flaire up. He is not mad, the concern his voice rising again. There is only one reason he can think of that would take Sydney to the nation's capital and it's not the Air and Space Museum. "DC? …Please tell me you canceled the appointments, Sydney. Please."

"Oh," Sydney manages. "Huh. Yeah. That's what happened," the answer is short. "What else did you want to know? I got it from a client… she'd passed out and the hoodie with her wasn't hers. I took it with me, I put it on. I got high in the park. Eric came… touched the hoodie. Got high. That's the story…" She blinks. "Which appointments Gene? I tried to cancel my appointments for today and tomorrow… all of them. Well… for today. Probably be heading back to New York tomorrow…"

"Let's focus on the hoodie first," Gene replies, figuring that the other topic will be a little more… Emotional. The parts are puts together and the circuit boards are placed within the case. Soon he'll be able to do the coding. "Right, do you have any idea whose hoodie it might have been? I'm thinking it is a sort of drug and from what Eric claims, it is not a typical one. A synthetic of some sort."

"I really have no idea who the hoodie belonged to. Like I said— the gal who I got it from said it didn't belong to her, and honestly I can't really see her wearing something like it anyways. She called me because she couldn't remember what had happened to her that day. Like she was unconscious. And when I was there, her boyfriend was holding it and then… well… I'm not comfortable with PDA. So I left, but I took the hoodie with me because she'd treated it with such contempt." Pause. "I couldn't get away fast enough that I ran to the park and sat down. But it was cold. So I put it on." Sydney shrugs, not that Gene can see anyways. "I can't really believe what happened did, but I actually remember all of it, despite being so high." Pause. "What exactly did Eric tell you?"

"Pretty much what you said… Without the history of the hooded sweatshirt of course." There is a pause as Gene considers what to say next. "If there is more, it's clear that you both don't want me knowing about it. Rubbing his sweat covered brow, Gene continues on. "If it was something uncomfortable, there is no reason for me to bring it up. As I said, I wanted to get all I could on the clothing's background, see if there was anything else. You said the woman that received it was unconscious… What was her symptoms? Perhaps she got a taste of the drug herself or something else."

"Well… she was unconscious. Couldn't remember anything. But not dragging like she was coming off a high. She was mostly freaked out. Probably still is. She didn't remember taking anything, but she did remember buying some shoes for someone else." Sydney's lips twitch a bit. "I think… I think it makes people feel… uninhibited. I put the sweatshirt on and everyone around me started acting like my client and her boyfriend… I just didn't care anymore." Still, no mention of what happened with Eric. She's trying to play coy.

"Eric noted that you and he didn't have a high as well…" the young man states, taking in the information. It's clear what the conclusion is now. "So you and Eric…" Gene leaves the rest unsaid. He coughs, thankfully the phone is not able to show his own blushing. "What did your client remember before she went under, buying shoes for someone? If they were a gift, maybe asking this person would be the next step."

Sydney just blushes all over. She didn't mean to tell Gene, "Um… it just seemed to make the world smile back me. I think it kind of made my ability go haywire…" She frowns as she thinks about Hallis, "My client remembered nothing. Literally. She knew she'd bought shoes, and even produced the receipt for me, but could remember nothing before that. And the only reason she deduced that they were for someone else was that they weren't her size…" She shrugs, "Sorry I can't be any more help…"

Pause. "There's something else unrelated I wanted to talk to you about. I had a very scared walk-in come to my office on Monday. She has an ability, I don't know what… thinks the MIBs are after her… we're meeting next week… what should she be doing? I don't even know how to advise her."

"It's fine, it wasn't something you meant to do," Gene states softly. "Thankfully, it was Eric. He's a… good friend." While good friends usually don't hide facts like 'I slept with the friend that you had the hots for', Gene is sure Eric didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. At least that's the reason he keeps reminding himself.

Unaware that the two topics might be linked, Gene gives a sigh. "I don't normally ask for you to break your patient confidentiality, but I can at least talk her. Would it be possible for you to at least refer her to me? If she really does have an ability though and there is the program we discussed in place… I need to talk to her. Last thing we need is more people getting caught up with the government."

Biting her bottom lip Sydney leans back in her chair and sighs, "I'm meeting her on Monday at Starbucks… the one near Hope Hearth. You're welcome to come or I can try to find out if she will let me have her contact info to forward to you." She sighs. "She wasn't forthcoming about anything. But then… neither was I. I just told her I might know people that could help. She refused to leave me any way to contact her, but did book an appointment for Monday at the coffee house." Pause. "But she was scared. And it didn't take empathic ability to see that." She shrugs.

"That's really vague. Well, New York IS a big place, but from what I've heard, some people believe Evolved people are drawn to one another. Maybe if I get her description, I might run into her." Gene gives a short yelp as he accidently cuts himself on one of the pieces of metal within the computer case. "Son of a glitch…. Anyway, if that doesn't work, I'll just have to hope she is willing to accept help from us. I don't pretend to really be an expert on this, but I'm trying my best to become one. At the least, I have friends that might be able to offer more aid than I can."

"Are you … okay?" Sydney quirks a concerned eyebrow at the yelp. "I know, she was very vague. But all things considered I can't blame her. I get to fly under the radar. Not everyone is so fortunate." Sigh. She peers around the room subtly as she yawns. It's been a busy few days, "She's got dark hair, bright blue eyes… major attitude. Looks like she has a problem with the world, but I think she gives off that air to try to maintain her facade. She's scared."

"Right, if I run into a woman who looks like that, I'll see if she knows you. As for my hand, just cut it doing some work. Trying to make a machine that should be able to read the chemicals in the shirt. If I had a design to copy from, I'd likely have it done in a couple of days, but sadly people don't just put it random entire specs of stuff like that," Gene replies, speaking over the sound of running water, cleaning out the cut on his hand.

"Is it a bad cut?" Sydney winces even though she can't see the blood. She feels her face paling. "Like… lots of blood?" Frown. "I'd try to find her myself now, but like I said, I'm in DC and she's in New York… I think. Unless she left…" She narrows her dark eyes. "I suppose anyone could leave under such circumstances. It's a good thing there are people fighting the corruption. President shouldn't be allowed to do what he's doing. It's a distortion of what the Patriot Act was meant to be…"

"No… Are /you/ alright? Sounds like me talking about it is making you lose blood or something," Gene says in some confusion. "Anyway, yeah, it's a bad time due to government stuff. Speaking of that… You said you were cancelling appointments with the person I warned you about. If you're in Washington, it says to me you didn't. Unless there is /another/ reason why you are down there."

"What?" Pause. "Oh, oooooh, you mean Ivory," Sydney blushes involuntarily at the name. Her expression and tone have a dreamy disconnected way about them. Her entire tone changes as she mentions his name. It's not excited, it's otherworldly, "Weeeeellll, I wasn't going to see him again, but theeeeeen… I talked to my boss, who said I was prematurely ending therapy… and theeeeen… I suggested I refer him on, and she said I couldn't do it over the phooone. Soooo… we met one last time."

"He explained everything to me about the trains, and the errosr of his ways and he's one of the good guys, you know. He's like a-ma-zing. And he's trying to make things better for people like us. He made mistakes before, but is fixing them now, and that's like me… I made mistakes, and now I'm fixing them… and he's brilliant… and wonderful… and he said he wouldn't talk to a different therapist, not even Amy, who is way more experienced and qualified than little meeeeeee… I couldn't leave him to his own devices! He needs a conscience, and I'm very… conscientious…" She stops as she realizes she's been rambling.

Thankfully, Gene is able to fight the urge to throw the headset across the room. If it was a phone, it might already be on the floor in pieces. HE WARNED HER. There is silence as Gene does breathing exercises, even as Sydney does her speech about how wonderful and noble Ivory is. His voice is very controlled, clearly making a VERY obvious attempt to keep his tone level and civil.

"Listen to me, this is EXTREMELY important. I have had friends that have been around Ivory and while in his presence either sided with people they normally wouldn't or did things they normally didn't. If you notice that you are doing things that you would normally be totally against if it was anyone BUT Ivory, then I strongly encourage you to spend some time apart to make sure you didn't do something you may regret later. Like crossing professional boundaries, for instance."

Unfortunately before the warning Sydney already thought Ivory to be a good guy. Eyebrows are tweaked. "But I tried that earlier," she squeaks. "I kept thinking about him. And then I even told him I wasn't going to be his therapist anymore. But I just… I can't help myself," the tone is as dreamy as the last, but almost has an innocent child-like quality. "And what would Ivory think if I just abandoned him again? He was really upset when I tried to therapist-dump him. I've never had that reaction before. And I felt reeeeeally guilty." There's a pause. "Besides, the whole world seems to just smile with me today. Isn't it good to make people smile? And professional boundaries are… semi-flexible…"

There is a lot Gene could do to argue the point. But there are lot of things stopping him. First is the selfish thing that if he makes Sydney made, she won't help him with that Evolved. Second is the fact that if she isn't willing listen to him last time, what good will it do this time. Third, taking her away might cause more trouble. After all, it's a miracle that Wynn hasn't sent out the hounds after Bert. If he pulled the same tactics again, there is no telling what he'd do. For now, Ivory's won. But Gene is going to have to do something soon. After all, if this is happening to his friends, how many OTHER people are suffering? How many other people is Ivory (or whoever is doing this) are currently following Ivory solely to make him happy?

"Just keep thinking about Wynn then," Gene offers, lasping in control and letting his voice become more tired and defeated. "Just be careful, okay? Let me know when you get any more information on that Evolved. …Thanks, Sydney."

Sydney sighs heavily twice. And then something strange happens. A moment of clarity. Complete and total clarity. "I don't want to think about Wynn," the unusually emotionless voice says through the phone. "He does something to me that I can't understand it. I don't trust him. He looks out for himself alone." Pause. Still emotionless, she continues, "In fact, he makes me feel… violated," the last word gains an emotional edge, choking on some pent up unexpressed feelings. The clarity is slipping.

"Sydney?" Gene offers, almost choking on her response. What happened? How did it? "If you feel that way, just come back to New York. Say that you got the swine flu, you need to stay away… If you need, I can come get you." He could offer hope by mentioning Elena should be able to cure Sydney, but he doesn't want to mention her over the phone. The last thing he wants is Elena to be seen as a direct threat to Wynn's power.

"I think I need help," Sydney counters robotically. "I don't know what's wrong. I don't sleep with clients. I'm not myself." And neither is anyone around Sydney. "I'm… trapped," the last word has that same emotion to it. That same discontent she'd expressed with the word violated. "I don't think I can stay away."

"Trust me, Sydney, I'll come down and help as soon as I can," Gene offers, running a hand through his hair. This is definitely more unsettling than when she was singing Ivory's praises like a Stepford Wife. He paces in his lab, trying to figure out what to do. "If you want help, I'll be down there soon. I can't tell you when and where… Just in case, but I'll help you. Promise. I never turn my back on people in need."

"Thank you," Sydney answers equally robotically. "If I'm not myself, don't be angry. I'm still in my head. I need help. Something is wrong." She's not begging, or pleading. In this state she feels nothing. Which gives her clarity, if only for now.

"Right, I'll see what I can do. Until then, just be careful. Other people might be feeling the same way as well. I know my friend said that she attacked someone because of it. I don't want you getting hurt. As soon as I handle this Evolved up here, I'll be trying to come down there in some fashion." If there is someone making drugs in New York City, no telling who could be in danger… "Stay strong and know that I'm not going to abandon you, okay?" He wants to go down there tonight, but Gene knows he can't. The Buddy system must be kept in check.

"I'll try," is Sydney's robotic reply. "Thank you." She nods a bit as something shifts in her brain, and then dreamily she quips, "I would never attack anyone. Just not in my nature. Not a hit back kind of gal." Smile. Oh yes. The clarity is gone, even forgotten by Sydney, replaced by Ivory adoration once again.

"I know, you're a special kinda girl," Gene states in a slightly distant tone before slumping down into a chair. "Listen, I've got to get going and I know you have stuff you need to work on, but I'll see you soon, okay?"
"Okay! I'll see you soon," Sydney chimes happily before she hangs up the phone, still smiling. And she sits back at her desk, scribbling on her dissertation to finish before the new year.

The phone is hung up and Gene puts it down. Taking a few deep breaths, he moves toward a wall. It has a big box with red trim on it. On the front it says in red letters in bold caps:


Gene opens the door and pulls out the emergency equipment: A pair of Hulk Smash Hands. Giving a loud cry, Gene starts punching walls and the floor, random destruction noises coming from the gloves. "GENE SMASH!" Tears stream down his face and even with the padded gloves, his hands hurt a bit when he gets the call on his cell. He moves to pick it up, wiping his face off as he does. After one failed attempt, he actually takes off the glove.

"Yeah, Eric, I'm here… No, I'm fine, just a little tired from the work. Yeah, there is something you could do. I need to get some air, some time to think… Bring the vader costume, I'll wear that. …Yeah, sure, if Bert wants to come too, that's fine. You'll be here in a hour or two? That works by me." And with that, Gene hangs up a second time before he removes the gloves, and places them back into the box. Now that he's gotten that out of his system, he's got some work to do.

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