Mission of Mercy (poetlore and dunruffle)

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PoetLore

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Harrison followed and made note of everything as he did so. "I think techie is a rudimentary word for what I do, but ... " he shrugged, "I make things work better, look better and feel better to the users." He was sure Sokolov would attest to that since she hadn't been back for any other problems with her eye, but he didn't mention her name. He would let his work stand on its own. He liked the idea of mentoring someone, but he knew it would be frustrating for him if they messed up something he was tinkering with while he was not there.

They went down the metal steps and his leg implants made a distinct sound on the metal. he'd spent a lot of time getting rid of the robotic sound but his implants were large and heavy so there was no way to completely eliminate the sound. He'd improved his implants a lot messing with his own, making himself the guinea pig for new tech and neural communicators. he had to know what people would experience when using what he created. He was proud of his work, and everyone here would soon realize he worked hard and diligently.

"Nice cooling system..." he said aloud as he continued to follow her. "Who will I be working with??"
 

Dunruffle

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Brunel looked around as they reached the bottom of the stairs and tapped her chin in thought.

"Lets see, I think-BRIMMEL I SWEAR TO GOD IF I SEE YOU NOT USING GLOVES ONE MORE TIME I AM SHOVING YOU IN THE TRASH COMPACTOR!!"

A short man who was cutting metal with a laser nearby jumped like he had been shocked and immediately began searching for a pair of safety gloves. Brunel sighed in irritation as she glared at several workers who had stopped working to see what was going on.

"Some days I think they are actually trying to get themselves killed just to piss me off. Now what were we talking about? Oh right you need something to do. Follow me."

Briskly walking through the maze of industrial machines, workbenches, and data monitors. Brunel guided Harrison to a young woman crouched next to a partially dismantled armored exo-suit being held upright by a system of pulleys. The girl was experimentally poking at a nest of loose wires with a screwdriver while chewing her lip in concentration.

"Sammie! I brought you some help, this is Harrison. He should have the knowledge to help you with your problem. If he can't help send him over to the furnace since they always need some muscle."

Before the girl could respond, Brunel was already walking away and barking orders at everyone around her. Looking up at Harrison like a scared puppy, the mousy girl frantically looked around as if trying to find somewhere to hide. Realizing she had nowhere to go, Sammie stared at the floor and fiddled with the screwdriver in her hands nervously.

"Umm...m-my name is Sam, or Sammie..whatever you want to say..um...you don't need to help...I-I mean if you don't want to...I think I..um can figure this o-out. J-just...um...the um...pressure sensors won't r-register on the, um, pilot feedback."

Scampering over to hide behind the thick exo-suit. Sammie busied herself by deftly dismantling the armored plating and carefully picking through the wires and conduits beneath. She peeked around the leg to look at Harrison while trying to pretend she was reaching for a nearby soldering tool.
 

PoetLore

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Harrison just followed behind and took in the place. There were a few people taking risks and he'd have done the same as Brunel had done though possibly not as explosively. He was surprised Brimmel hadn't sliced off a finger when he jumped at her reproof. They were all afraid of her it seemed and he wasn't sure what to make of that either. She led him through a minefield of equipment and though he was a big guy he moved deftly and even gracefully through it without incident.

He tipped his head when he was introduced to Sammie. Once Brunel left he smiled gently at the girl. He knew he was a big scary guy, but he didn't want her to be afraid. They'd never be able to work together if she was. He stepped closer to the suit and looked at the mess of wires and the housing. "I didn't come all the way down here to not help, Sammie."

He leaned in and followed the wires from connection to connection and from mechanism to mechanism. He frowned and looked at her, "Does it have to be done this way? Or Do you have the authority to change things?" He wasn't sure and he didn't want to cause any more problems, but it seemed to him that it was a clusterfuck of a design and he wasn't surprised it wasn't working.
 

Dunruffle

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Sammie sighed sadly as she pointed to a nearby console with several schematics on the large screen.

"I think whoever a-assembled this suit made some m-mistakes. There a-are places where the connectors s-should be but they aren't. Doctor Brunel already chewed out the assembly staff but it's up to me to fix it. I have been trying to splice some extenders in but the charge is constantly being depleted. I have spent the past two days trying to figure this out but nothing works. I do have several theories."

It seemed Sammie was more comfortable among machines than people. As Sammie worked she spouted an endless stream of theories and possible solutions. It seemed that once she started working her shyness was replaced by a never ending stream of technical chatter and conversations with herself.
 

PoetLore

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Harrison looked at the Schematics and back at the prototype and lifted a brow. "It's losing power because nothing is assembled to use it efficiently. It's not a good design, but it's put together so ...let's not discuss how it's put together..." he didn't mind her constant chatter. Doc tended to do the same thing in the OR, so he was used to it. "Will you be offended if I make a broad suggestion?" he asked, "I think this is a start from scratch situation...these wires are such a mess there isn't going to be any making this work."

He looked over at her to gauge her reaction. He could wire this in his sleep but he didn't want to step on her toes or offend her. though if she'd been working on this for two days she had to be good and frustrated with it and maybe ready for anything but what she'd already been doing. "I have devised a way of relaying power in my hand made implants that i think will work here...if you'd allow me to try it."

Meanwhile...

Cass sat at the desk in her quarters and wrote the director.

Director,

I must apologize for the fiasco that was caused this morning by the hidden weapons inside the implants that my assistant Lieutenant Harrison build and applied to the members of SOG unit known as the Saints. I take full responsibility for this, as I feel I should have had the forethought to realize that such concealed weapons would not be tolerated within the compound. I assure you such an episode will not occur again.

Also, I feel bound to ask that you assess a monetary value to the costs incurred for the investigation and detainment of the men as well as myself. I will repay any amount you feel reasonable without complaint. There was much confusion and delay caused by this and it was all preventable with just a small amount of common sense and logic.

Once again, my sincerest apologies for the inconveniences of the morning.

Cassandra Brandford, MD

She sighed and sent it off not knowing in any way what the director's reaction or response would be to it. She stood and made her way back to the desk in the main hospital and checked on ray's progress. he was making remarkable strides daily and she was more than pleased. She sent Doctor Sechen an update, as she did daily, documenting the progress of their patient along with her comments and thoughts about recovery time for patients in advanced stages such as ray, but also her thoughts about the effectiveness of this treatment in patients at earlier stages of the disease.

Then she grabbed her tablet and sent messages to Erik and Dante to ask how they were and to apologize to them as well. She really did feel stupid and horrible about the whole thing. She glanced around and realized that the lace seemed empty without Harrison. She was glad he was being utilized to his fullest though and hoped he was enjoying himself.
 

Dunruffle

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Sammie snapped out of her reverie and looked up at Harrison.

"Umm...I..I think we need t-to tell Miss Brunel first."

Going over to the desk console, Sammie quickly typed out a message to Dr. Brunel. Less than a minute later, the slightly more grimy woman appeared from behind a large metal press.

"Hey Sammie, you said you needed me for something?"

Sammie nodded shyly and had Harrison explain the problem. Sighing tiredly, Nadia quickly nodded in agreement.

"Alright Harrison, do what you need to do. This exo project has been delayed enough, but Sammie made some headway so I would be grateful if you could help. Send me a complete report of all the changes you made."

From behind Nadia, the short man named Brimmel coughed loudly to get her attention. Turning around, Nadia smiled gently at the nervous man.

"Hey Brimmel, sorry for snapping at you. I don't want to send you home to your wife missing a hand. I know you like to do stuff quickly but it's the little things that screw people over."

Nodding in understanding, Brimmel nodded like a chastised schoolboy.

"Sorry boss, won't happen again. But I actually came to find ya to put my name in the raffle."

A wide and happy smile split Nadia's face as she laughed happily.

"Feelin brave now huh? Alright I will put in your name. Now go finish up your work, the drawing is tomorrow so you better hope you don't lose."

Brimmel smiled in relief and gave Nadia an enthusiastic salute.

"Will do boss!"
 

PoetLore

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Harrison explained the suit's limitations and power issues and was glad when she agreed to let him change the design to function better. He waited for Nadia to leave and glanced down at Sammie, "Raffle?" he asked wondering what that was all about.

He then looked at the exosuit. "Ok..." he turned to the plans behind them and pulled a 3D pen from his pocket and began making changes to the design so she could see the schematic and understand what he was doing. His pen, a prototype of his own making allowed him to draw in mid air in 3D and allowed you to touch the drawing to turn it and look at it from different angles. He had a detailed plan for the power of the suit and then turned it so it could face her. he didn't need to see it from the front to explain it. "See? If we put the power supply here in the back of the suit just below the shoulders we can have direct lines to all the systems without compromising the strength of the flow." he tilted the drawing up so she could look at the bottom, "This power supply is self regenerating...those little boxes there are creating a magnetic field that grows and repels against itself creating energy that can be harnessed continuously by the suit. I use those magnets in my implants so anyone who wears one of my legs or arms will not have to worry about the limb losing power. Took a long time to get it just right but it's a fully functional power supply model now. I am willing to bet it will weigh less than this one too." he said pointing to the original design. "So...what are the things you had working even with that crap power system?"
 

Dunruffle

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Sammie nodded slightly as she examined Harrison's 3d model.

"Yes, the...the raffle winner gets the m-money Doctor Brunel w-wins in her poker games. B-but a loser gets chosen as w-well...and they have to do the m-monthly cleaning of t-the base septic systems. E-even in a full biohazard s-suit you smell absolutely disgusting for days afterwords."

After committing the designs to memory, Sammie began stripping large power coils from the back of the suit.

"I w-was able to get the helmet display, tertiary coolant systems, glove motors....and umm..and music player working.."
 

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Harrison chuckled a bit at the results of the bet. "Seems fair." Even though he was't one to ever participate in such things, he could see where people would find it amusing. He had enough craziness in his life without risking the losing side of that whole thing. "So what you are saying though is that Brunel always wins..." That thought seemed a bit off to him. No one ALWAYS wins as that was statistically impossible unless of course they were a very gifted cheater. He shrugged it off though and went to work on his power supply.

"You did good to get that much working," he said impressed by her tenacity. "With my power supply we will have the whole suit operational in no time and it will be lighter...we might be able to add a few features to it as well..." his brain was already thinking of things, "Do you know they plan to implement this? When it will be used and for what purpose? If I know that, I can add features that will be of help to the wearer. Otherwise we have to just put generic stuff in here...and that bored the hell out of me to be honest."

Meawhile back on homeworld Earth:

Senator Edwards was sitting in a jail cell contemplating his options. How had things come to this? He had no way of getting any kind of message to his son to let him know that he was on his own and no help would be coming. he was worried sick about Marcus and his wife as well. Even though they didn't have the greatest of marriages and he'd strayed often, she was still one of the very few people he actually trusted. They'd sen a lot together and she always had his back. he'd assumed she would come to visit and he'd be able to help Marcus through her, but she hadn't. So now he was worried what might have happened to her as a result of his rash call to that blasted director. He rarely sat for more than a few moment before the pacing of the cell ensued as was the case today.

Jocelyn Edwards hadn't come to visit her husband because she too was sitting in a jail cell. She was very confused and worried. She knew her husband had MANY political enemies, but this was a class one frame job. Someone had gone to a LOT of trouble to plant evidence, create videos of her and her husband meeting with enemies of the federation of planets and engaged in all manner of death penalty activities. her own fate was in the hands of a judge, who had to decide if she was a co-conspirator or merely dragged along by her husband. She held out little hope for that decision since she was seen alone in one clip negotiating with a known terrorist faction from Vega 6, someone she had never actually seen in her life. But, there was no way to prove that, even though she vehemently denied knowing him. No, they were as good as dead.


Back at the facility:

Marcus Edwards attempted to contact his father and mother, but for the fourth straight day he got no reply. So he called a friend of his father, Senator Avery.

"Thank you for calling Senator Avery, how may I help you?" The secretary's clear voice rang through the connection and her impeccable face smiled at the video screen.

"I am Marcus Edwards, I would like to speak to the senator, please."

The secretary's face went pale but the smile was almost glued to her face, "Just a moment."

Senator Avery's face was the next to be seen. "Marcus, you cannot contact me ever again. Do you understand me? I cannot have any connection to your family at all. If you were wise you would disappear before someone finds out where you are." With those words the screen went black.

"What the hell??" he frowned. He strode out of his room and over to the desk where Cassandra was sitting. "Would you please contact home world and find out what happened to my parents?? I can't reach them and it's not like them to be unavailable for so long. I am genuinely worried."

Cass looked up and lifted a brow. She had no real love for his family as his father was the reason she was CONSTANTLY saddled with Marcus and his uselessness but she could not believe even Marcus was capable of that level of panic artificially. She was about to comply and check on the Edwards family when she received a summons to the director's office. "I will call when i return, I have to go right now." She offered a slightly genuine apologetic smile and grabbed her tablet and headed for the director's office. Hopefully he'd received her apology. She sat in the office waiting for be called in tapping at her tablet making notes and sending data to Doctor Sechen about Ray who was almost ready to be returned to his duties or released to retire, whichever he chose. It was quite beyond remarkable, and she was even now requesting another such patient to see if the results could be confirmed with other patients of different sex and age.
 

Dunruffle

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Sammie shrugged as she looked at Harrison's design again. "S-she just plays a lot. Statistically speaking she wins 63% of the time. But she n-never keeps the money, just puts it a-aside for the next raffle. I t-think it's because she doesn't w-want to force anyone t-to be part of the cleaning. S-so if you want your money back y-you run the risk of cleaning the septic s-system. So far nobody has c-complained. As f-for the suit, I would guess it is designed to be used for b-boarding enemy ships. L-lots of frontal armor, magnetic plates in the boots, and an airtight seal w-with what looks like a mounting system for oxygen tanks."

While Cassandra waited in the lobby, several people of various ranks and positions went in and out of the Director's office. After about twenty minutes, the secretary called for Cassandra and she was allowed into the office. Sitting behind his massive wooden desk, Director Valentine watched a holographic projection of a major news network.

"-as you can see Bob, Senator Edwards and his wife have still not been released from police custody. As for their son Marcus Edwards, his whereabouts are still unknown. Many are speculating that he has already fled to Confederate space to provide his medical skills to the enemy. The charges have still not been officially announced, but several sources have indicated that it is highly probable that the entire family has been colluding with Confederate spies ever since the war broke out. We will keep you updated as the story progre-"

The Director muted the newscast and turned to Cassandra.

"Doctor Sechen has been speaking very highly of you Doctor Brandford, a remarkable feat considering how..eccentric he is. From what he has told me, Mister Otranto will be ready to go home in a few days. Once he has left and all the data has been compiled, I will let you and Doctor Sechen decide on your next joint endeavor. While you will have control over the majority of the project, Doctor Sechen is still your supervisor. He reports directly to me so I expect your full cooperation."

Pausing to take a drink of water from a glass on his desk, Director Valentine coughed somewhat awkwardly.

"As for the...security incident. The two soldiers involved have been temporarily seperated from the general populace."

As if already predicting Cassandra's outburst of questions. The stern man held up a hand placatingly.

"Before you ask they are both fine. They both have been cleared of any wrongdoing and have not been harmed. They are simply under guard as a formality while the paperwork is being finished. As for the implants themselves, I am sure your assistant will be contacted within the next few days to provide instructions to the technicians on how to properly remove the implants. Please remind your staff that in the future any related incidents might not be handled as carefully as it was this time."
 

PoetLore

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Harrison nodded. "Might be good to add some actual physical claws to the hands a feet in case the ship has an antimagnetic protection on the hull. There is a way to recycle oxygen as well so the tanks can last longer...I can add that system to the filtration system..." he noted absently as he thought through it out loud.

"I suppose it's as fair a system as any...though extra pay or privilege might work just as well..." he grinned slightly. They had a very democratic way of handling such tasks at the hospital. There were 4 of them, and each one took a turn...He figured since Edwards was new to the group that made this week HIS turn. The thought of mister high and mighty dealing with the medical waste amused him to the point of a half chuckle escaping his lips. "So...Sammy...how long have you been working here?"

Cassandra watched people come and go and worked quietly as she waited. When she was called to enter she did so and sat hearing the broadcast as she did so. Oh dear, that was not good. She immediately wondered if it were true. She wouldn't doubt it for a second if the right amount of money were involved. She wasn't at all sure Marcus was clever enough for such subterfuge but then again, he was an exceptionally good liar, so perhaps he was. That broadcast had saved her the time and effort of calling homeworld, since she now knew what was going on with his parents.

"I am exceptionally pleased with my Ortranto's recovery, director." she said with a smile. "I have very high hopes for the future of that procedure and the prognosis for other patients suffering the same ailment." He informed her there would be more projects and she nodded, "I would be delighted to work with Doctor Sechen again." She was glad he seemed in a civil mood, and that this was not a summons to be scolded.

He then of course mentioned the incident and her face reddened. "I assure you it will never happen again. It should not have happened this time." She said honestly. "Harrison is going to be helping in R&D a few days a week to keep that side of his brain happy. Thank you for allowing his abilities to be utilized to their fullest. He really is quite brilliant."

Her attention perked up when he mentioned Dante and Erik. Separated. Horrible word but she figured they were both accepting it gracefully. Probably both feeling the same level of stupid as she did for not realizing the ramifications of the implants before they went out the hospital's doors. "Thank you for that information. I know Harrison has been worried about possible improper removal of those weapons or the implants themselves. he will be very relieved."

She waited a second before she lifted a brow in his direction, "I have gone through you records." She said without inflection. "When were you exposed to that gas that has damaged your lungs?" she asked. She waited for a reply but them held up her hand to stay him from it, "Nevermind...it really is irrelevant at this point, however...I believe Doctor Sechen's work on artificially grown organs may be the answer to your problem, at least that part of it at any rate. I, myself have developed an artificial tissue that I use to graft to healthy tissue in the body after removing damaged or dead tissues." She looked at him intently, "It is the procedure I used to heal the guard of rotlung, which I assume you know of since you have so graciously provided them with improved protection. Thank you for that, by the way. Those guards are amazing people. Anyway, if you would like me to prove Doctor Sechen's tissues more fully before you use them on yourself, I can easily understand that. Let me know when you feel comfortable and we will proceed."

Reaching for her tablet, "The other matter...in your brain. I am qualified to perform that procedure, but I feel obligated to inform you that I cannot guarantee you would come out of it the same. I have had too many variants of result to give any kind of definitive prognosis for long term profitability. However, I would like you to have another scan done, to be sure it is stable and not increasing in size. It would only take ten minutes." She gave him a grin, "I'm sure you are aware of my implants. Yes, I can scan you and have been, however...that does not provide me with a means for comparison." She stood then, "Anything else??"
 

Dunruffle

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Sammie nodded in agreement with Harrison's suggestions and began typing out notes on the nearby console. "I h-have been here for a-almost a year. I m-might be the youngest p-person here...but that could be j-just everyone t-teasing me."


Director Valentine simply listened silently as Cassandra gave a progress report. Upon hearing Harrison was being shared with the other division, he sighed softly and rubbed his chin. "I assume you have had the...pleasure of talking with Doctor Brunel. I will admit she is probably the most talented engineer and weapon designer I have ever met. But her personality is often a problem. Her habit of solving arguments with sparring matches is unorthodox and honestly quite annoying. Before you were transferred here she was the most troublesome division leader on base. I can appreciate her no-nonsense attitude, but when she violently assaults other staff who insulted her..." He shook his head in annoyance and cleared his throat. "Hopefully your assistant stays on her good side."

When Cassandra mentioned the guards, Director Valentine simply shrugged. "I am a history enthusiast and being able to win the trust of a planet's population is crucial if one plans to convince them to assist. I was able to discover some pre-expansion relics and the locals were able to recover some lost history. A win-win situation as some say. It would have been easy to decieve and exploit them, but given enough time anyone will eventually see the truth. I am sure you can imagine what a bloodbath it would be if the locals revolted. Even with our weapons and equipment, we are no match physically and they have the advantage of knowing the territory. Anyways we are getting off topic."

Upon listening to Cassandra's suggestion to a brain scan, Director Valentine eyed her suspiciously. "Even if I do believe what you are saying, I am not taking the risk of lowering my security simply for practically. If you absolutely need my brain scanned there will be several restrictions. First, any equipment needed will be brought to this office by my personal security team. Secondly, only you will be allowed to operate the equipment, nobody else from your team will be allowed in. Third, any collected data and research will be stored in this office. All notes will be on physical copies only, no electronic storage. If you need to study or review your notes, you will be allowed to do so under strict observation. My greatest concern is your artificial eye. It has data transfer capabilities as well as storage for data. It is also equipped with failsafe devices and protocols so any attempts of my security to view the stored data is limited. Therefore I only see one option. If you agree to all these restrictions, any time you plan to work in this office your artificial eye will need to be removed to ensure operational security. I have not survived this long by being relaxed when it comes to security."
 

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Harrison frowned, "Teasing? About what?" he asked cautiously. She'd never have trouble while he was around, he'd see to it. He wasn't generally a man to get into a fight, but he knew how to defend himself and anyone with him. He saw her adding his suggestions to the design and was pleased. He didn't want to run roughshod over her, but he was glad she was willing to incorporate his ideas so readily. "I hope you know that just because I am suggesting different things doesn't mean I thought your original ideas weren't good. This design was flawed and you did a good job of getting it as far as you did." He leaned a little closer and lowered his voice, "When you see something is crap..don't be afraid to change it and make it work...you have talent...let them see it." He straightened and went back to work building his power supply and compressor.

Cassandra had the grace to blush, "I apologize for the trouble I've caused. I have been rather spoiled before coming here and given almost free reign, so I am having to adapt my methods. I assure you I will take your penchant for tight security into consideration in future and hopefully Doctor Brunel can regain her title." There was a slight smile on her face as she said it, because she figured they were both aware that it may never happen. "We did have the pleasure of a visit from Doctor Brunel. She seems extremely self-assured and capable, if not a bit crass. I prefer straight forward communication so I did not mind." She had, but she wasn't about to say as much at this point. Her personal preferences for decorum and speech weren't something to impose on others, especially those who were not part of her personnel.

He spoke of being a history enthusiast and she smiled at him. A genuine smile that altered her features quite a bit and was rarely seen. "You know director, I do believe under different circumstances you and I could be great friends...who knows..it may happen in spite of our mutually stubborn personalities." She found him to be unyielding and harsh, but she did have a good deal of respect for him. "Definitely a win win, but I applaud your willingness to take a mutually beneficial approach instead of a ruthless one. Many in your shoes would not have done so. Your wisdom has benefited everyone, and since you gave the guards those additional masks, I have not had a patient complaining of the rotlung. So again that was a profitable decision as well." His methods might be harsh but he obviously cared about the people in the facility at least on some level.

He gave her the low down on what would be required to do the scan and she tipped her head as she listened and made notes on her tablet, so she wouldn't forget anything. "I can agree to all of that except for removing my eye. It cannot be removed, but I can wear a cover that nullifies the scanning and still enables me to see. I can provide you with the specs of the apparatus for your people to clear it. It was implanted in such a way that removing it will damage my brain, which I am very sure the Doctor who implanted it did purposely to keep me tethered to his research. I did not know this was the case until I met Harrison and he wanted to enhance it." She sighed, "I cannot complain overmuch since having it implanted paid for my schooling but it is what it is. Harrison created the mechanism that nullifies the scanning. It sends sleep feedback through my feed." Sadly that was necessary, since there was also a component to her eye that put her in great pain if she attempted to bypass the information exchange. "Harrison and I have been working on a way to get around all of Doctor Haser's fail safe components, but to this point we have been unsuccessful." She tipped her head down and looked at her tablet for a moment, "I can agree to everything else if you can agree to the patch. You didn't answer about the lung issue...I will admit you could manage a year or so without doing anything about that, but performing a procedure now would spare you a great deal of pain. I could bring a containment unit up here and perform that procedure in the same way as the scan if you wish. You would only be unconscious for three hours." She looked up from the tablet where she was gathering that information from, "Think about it and let me know."
 

Dunruffle

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Sammie shrugged indifferently as she rummaged around in a toolbox. "I t-think it's because p-people like to have someone t-to mentor. Everyone here p-pretty much see me as a little sister. The teasing is t-their way of being n-nice...I think...Lots of p-parents that work here l-like to baby me. B-but I like w-working. The guards a-are really...um..big...one of t-them keeps trying to get m-me to ride on his s-shoulders. Something about his d-daughter I think."

When Harrison complimented her work and have some helpful advice, Sammie blushed and gave a small smile. "T-thanks H-harrison. C-could you show me how to splice the connectors t-together?"

Director Valentine steepled his fingers together as Cassandra praised his care of the locals. "The rebreather masks are a temporary solution. I have has hastily constructed filtration units built for their homes and families, but that is only delaying the inevitable. Your task of identifying the source of the gas and creating a solution is still very much incomplete."

As Cassandra explained the details behind her implanted eye, Director Valentine arched an eyebrow curiously. "Interesting, our files had no information about your debt to this Doctor Haser." Activating his holographic desk display, the middle aged man called his secretary. "I want a full dossier on Doctor Haser by the end of the day and ideas for neutralization." The quiet woman simply nodded and the call was ended. Turning back to Cassandra, Director Valentine rubbed his knuckles absentmindedly. "We will discuss the medical procedure at a later date. You are dismissed."

Cassandra was escorted out of the office by the hulking native bodyguard and found herself in the empty lobby with the secretary dutifully typing away on her console.
 

PoetLore

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Harrison listened and looked at her. She was a little bit of nothing, and had to be very young. Still...she was bright and hard working and that should be acknowledged and appreciated. He'd seen people give Cassandra a skeptical look and dismiss her because of her gender and her size, but once they saw her outwork entire teams of doctors single handed they usually shut up. He intended to make sure they all saw her talent. He could well understand the thought of parenting her, but his idea of parenting involved allowing her to blossom and shine not take care of her like she was incapable.

He waved her over, "This small box is going to house the power supply and keep all the conduits separate and in a tight array." He laid it down and showed her how the wires to the oxygen intake motor and the other components were each given a separate entrance into the box, but all were routed in a circular array inside to keep the power constantly moving in one direction throughout it. "The speed of the energy flow actually feeds off of itself and grows. I stumbled upon this one day...by accident but it works so well I've been using it on purpose ever since." He didn't know everything. And she'd probably soon realize he had no formal education, just a lot of ingenuity and a very unusual brain. "And hey Sammie...don't let them knock you because you're small...they've done the same to me for being big...thinking that equals stupid. We're going to show them all though...you just watch."

He looked up and saw Doctor Brunel and nodded to her. "Thank you again for allowing me to work here. You chose a good partner for me as well."


Cassandra nodded, "We have not stopped trying to isolate the agent. It's very obviously and airborne contaminant. Once I have the exact cause, I can create a vaccine that will help their bodies fight it, but the masks and filters are good precautions as well, and will more than likely still be necessary."

He hadn't known about her constant information feed. that was interesting. how had that not been included in her files? She wondered if Doctor Haser had redacted that and how he'd managed to keep such a thing from becoming part of her military files. Her brow furrowed. "Forgive me Director. I thought you were aware of all of this." She could see how her eye was a definite security risk, not in the medical bay, but everywhere else, it was. She felt a bit panicked even, that she might be endangering people, friends, the natives. She was dismissed and hadn't even heard him ask his secretary for Doctor Haser's info. She'd been too busy flying to the worst possible scenario of what could happen if the wrong information was transmitted through her eye. Or if someone was watching the feed and learning about the facility. She felt sick to her stomach as she was ushered out of the room. She held onto the guard's arm for a second as she steadied herself, "Sorry...I felt dizzy for a moment. Thank you for lending your arm." She stayed still for a moment longer and then walked to the lift and waited for the doors to slide shut before she closed her eyes and felt tears stinging. The ride down seemed to take forever.

She glanced at the tram, but decided that she needed to run. She wanted to cover the eye but she didn't have the means with her, so she kept her gaze focused on the edge of the track the tram rode on and ran along side it until she reached the hospital bay. She stepped inside and waved at Point who popped her head out. "Just me," she said as she went to the desk and grabbed the device that Harrison had created and slid it over her head. No more easy way until she was sure it was safe. She was immediately able to breathe easier, until Marcus came barreling out of his room and up to her desk.

"Well...did you call? Did you find out what happened??"

"I did not call but I know where they are," she admitted.

"Where are they? Oh wait..are they on their way here?" he pondered thinking such a move was so like his father.

"No. They are not on their way here." She drew in a breath and plowed ahead, "They are in jail. Accused of Aiding the enemy. Both of your parents."

"WHAT?!?!?" The vein on Marcu's forehead bulged a bit as he yelled in his outrage and disbelief. "THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE CASSIE...NO ONE WOULD EVER BELIEVE SUCH A THING."

"I saw the news report."

Marcus looked at her and his face was a mask of fury and hatred. He turned without another word and went to his quarters and grabbed the one thing he knew was completely undetectable and strode out of the hospital. He took the tram to the director's complex and went up in the lift. He had not lost one shred of his anger and he leveled it all at the secretary. "IS HE IN?" He asked, "OF COURSE HE IS...HE NEVER GOES ANYWHERE...TELL THAT NO GOOD S.O.B. I WANT TO SEE HIM RIGHT NOW!" He paced like a caged lion around the office waiting area not even giving the guards a second's thought. This was going to end right now. This man was going to pay for what he'd done.
 

Dunruffle

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Brunel smiled as she walked by and nodded. "Figured Sammie could use a little help and you seem like you have a good head on your shoulders. But don't expect me to go easy on you. Sammie wants the same expectations as everyone else so that means if the project isn't done in time your monthly pay gets reduced. You two have four days to get this prototype operational. The armor plates are coming in tomorrow, but after that it is all about the internals." Giving the pair a stern nod, Doctor Brunel picked up an oversized blowtorch and stomped off to a different part of the factory floor.


Up in the waiting room, the unflappable secretary wiped some spittle off of her desk and sighed emotionlessly. "Any appointments with the Director must be scheduled ahead of time. Please fill out the request form." A few seconds later, the elevator doors opened and three security officers emerged bearing pistols and shock batons. Approaching Marcus, the leader nodded respectfully to the native guards stationed nearby and laid a hand on his holstered pistol. "Sir I am asking that you calm down and stop acting aggressive. Do what the lady says and go back to your office and fill out a form. If you continue being aggressive I will be forced to restrain you." The two security guards slowly spread out to either side of Marcus with their fingers resting on the activation buttons of their shock batons. Meanwhile the native guards were simply watching in amusement as the weak looking doctor raged like a deranged animal.
 

PoetLore

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Harrison listened and nodded. He knew it would be operational tomorrow, but he didn't say as much. He thought of things like this as puzzles and he never could put a puzzle away until it was totally done. He was the same with this type of work. His mind could not rest until it was completely finished and operational. Though, he'd have to stop, because they would make him. It would irritate the daylights out of him, but he'd comply. He'd caused enough trouble for one day at this facility. He would not bring any more grief to Cassandra's door. He watched Brunel walk away suddenly realizing why he recognized her. She'd been the woman in the dining area the first time he'd been up there. His mind reeled as he prayed silently that she hadn't noticed his terror upon seeing the glass floor. He had a feeling she was the kind of woman who would capitalize on such knowledge. She looked totally different in her work attire than she had that first day he'd seen her. "SHE cleans up nice," he said without thinking and then cleared his throat when he saw Sammie looking at him oddly, "Um...nevermind that...and not to worry... this will be fully functional tomorrow. You did most of the secondary work already. This power supply will make it all functional and we can put it into the armor and it will be lighter and more versatile...and then we can play around for the next few days adding fun stuff...like the claws." He winked at her and went back to showing her how to arrange and weld all the circuits and conduits inside the box and showing her why the unit built on it's internal flow.

Marcus was about to lay into the secretary when the elevator doors slid open. "Just what do you goons think you're going to do with those? Do you have any idea who I am?? What kind of trouble you will be in if you so much as tap one of those on my little pinkie finger?" He looked at them like they were maggots, "You will never see the light of day as long as you live...no one messes with an Edwards." He saw they were surrounding him and he didn't care. he thought they were just bluffing. "WHAT'S THE MATTER DIRECTOR?? AFRAID TO FACE ME?? ARE YOU ADMITTING DEFEAT SO SOON?? I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN YOU WERE A TOTAL BLOWHARD WHO THINKS HIS LITTLE HOLE IN THE WALL ENTITLES HIM TO BE MISTER ARROGANT ASSHOLE!! FOUND OUT DIFFERENTLY DIDN'T YOU????" He knew the director could see or hear him on the cameras in the room, so he let his venom fly, hoping it would get him into the office.

Cassandra was only mildly worried about what Marcus was doing. She hoped, dearly hoped that the Director would acknowledge the fact that Marcus Edwards was not someone she valued or trusted and that his actions were not at all condoned by her in any way. God, she hoped so. Her head fell to the desk as she felt the weight of the world see to crash down on her. She pulled up the specs on her eye and studied them for the thousandth time. She almost growled at what she saw but she opened her mail and began a new email to Doctor Sechen.

Doctor Sechen

I am sending you the schematics and records of an implant. If you would be so kind as to look over this case and let me know if you can see any method of removal that would not endanger the patient's life, or cognitive abilities after removal I would be in your debt.

Cassandra Brandford


She sent the message and then went back to work. She looked up as ray and his nurse returned from their walk. He was looking stronger and more graceful every day. "Looking very well Ray. I think I am going to allow you to leave the hospital tomorrow. I bet you're looking forward to sleeping in your own bed in your own room." She smiled.

Point peeked out, "I'll miss you guys though... but so glad you're doing so well."
 

Dunruffle

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As Marcus began ranting and raving the unflappable secretary simply rolled her eyes as the security guards activated their shock batons. As the batons crackled with electricity menacingly, the lead officer nodded to his cohorts. With practiced precision the two baton wielding guards went to work.

First, Marcus recieved a blow to the knee. The second he hit the ground, it was followed up by a stab to the lower back. As the electricity wracked his body and made his muscles spasm, the two guards sheathed their batons and began a remorseless beating with boots and fists. It only lasted for less than two minutes. But like everyone stationed on base, the guards were ruthlessly efficient. Blows to the jaw, wrist wrenched out of place, nose smashed into the floor repeatedly, cracked ribs from heavy combat boots, an eye bleeding profusely from a well aimed punch, and the guards had not even broke a sweat. As Marcus lay on the floor in a bloody and broken mess, the secretary looked up and motioned to the security leader. "Director Valentine wants him brought inside his office."

Looking down at the beaten Marcus, the muscly officer sneered and nodded to his subordinates. A few moments later, Marcus was dragged into the spacious office and dropped into a heap in front of the massive desk. Looking up from his paperwork, Director Valentine peeked over his desk. "Ah Doctor Edwards, sorry for the delay I needed to finish up some paperwork. How can I help you?"
 
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PoetLore

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Marcus had no time to prepare himself for the onslaught that in his arrogance he did not believe would occur. The whole thing was a hazy, [painful blur and the next thing he knew, he was deposited on the floor in front of Valentine's desk. He reached up and grabbed the front of the desk and with the practiced precision that only a very adept pickpocket could pull off, placed a small adhesive circle on the overhang of the desk as he attempted to stand erect. Normally this would have been a show, but his injuries were such that no actual pretend show of pain was necessary. He'd done such things many times, and it was one of his preferred methods of revenge. The little plastic circle would slowly seep a toxin into the air in the room as the toxin ate at its containment.

He eventually stood and glared at the director out of the eye that was not bleeding. "Cassie...Doctor Brandford...says she saw some news feed that spoke of my parents being in jail for treason. If you had anything to do with that...you are a dead man" Obviously Marcus Edwards was a slow learner.
 

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As Marcus uttered his threat, director Valentine's bodyguard moved before he could be stopped. Picking up Marcus by his injured arm like he was a toy, the massive brute roared into Marcus' face then threw him against the wall. As the bodyguard raised his weapon to crush Marcus the Director's voice rang out. "Brutus halt!" Like someone flipped a switch, the ogre-like bodyguard meekly turned around went back to standing protectively near Director Valentine. Sighing like a disappointed parent, the black ops director gave Brutus a stern glare before walking over to Marcus.

"I apologize for Brutus overreacting, he is a bit protective of me. As for your parents we can just turn on the news and see for ourselves." Taking a small remote out of his jacket pocket, Director Valentine turned on a massive wall videoscreen. A commercial advertising energy drinks ended and was replaced by a male and female news anchor.

"Welcome back to PlanetScope News, I am Phil Williams and my co-host is Mary Billam. Continuing from yesterday's broadcast we will be covering the latest developments from Senator Edwards and his charges of corruption and treason. It has been a week since the charges were made public but no court date has been set. Our judiciary sources say that the highest levels of law enforcement are conducting probes and investigating any possible accomplices involved with Senator Edwards. Just a few hours ago it was revealed that horrible actions run in the family. Marcus Edwards, Senator Edwards' son, is presumed to have fled to Confederation space. Evidence and eyewitness testimonies paint a chilling picture of how depraved Marcus Edwards was behind closed doors. He was a ringleader of a human trafficking operation that sold women and children as...pets...to paying clients. He has also been accused of several rape charges that were previously covered up by his father. One of the victims was only sixteen years old. One can only imagine what other sickening acts Marcus Edwards performed under the protection of his father." Phil shook his head in disgust and straightened his suit as he turned to his partner. "Mary, you used to be a journalist on the judicial circuit. What would you expect to happen to the Edwards family? While Mrs. Edwards is still in custody she has not been publicly charged with any crimes, your thoughts?" Clearing her throat softly, the female anchor turned directly to the camera. "From my experience, there are two ways Mrs. Edwards might be involved. She was a prominent leader in financial practices before marrying. She could be the one in charge of covering up any financial evidence. Though personally I believe she was an unwilling accomplice. She might be in protective custody should her husband or son send any associates to silence her before she testifies. This evidence of corruption in the Alliance has shaken many and tensions are running high. I predict that Marcus Edwards is going to try to assume a new identity and flee to Confe-"

Director Valentine turned off the broadcast and looked down at Marcus with no emotion. "If you and your father had not tried to bully your way into my home none of this would have happened. I am a necessary evil that allows civilians like you to live a free life. What is the phrase? Let a sleeping dog lie? You were warned but you believed you were untouchable, a flaw that was easily exploited. My only regret is that your fall from power did not happen sooner. Your life is over and you belong to me now, I suggest you learn how behave."

Walking back to his high quality leather chair, the greying man nodded to the security staff. "Drop him off at the medical wing." With crisp salutes the guards left with Marcus in tow.

Awhile later, the doors to the hospital opened to admit Marcus and his escort. Spotting Point at her reception desk, the guard officer walked over and smiled pleasantly. "Hello miss, we are dropping off someone in need of medical assistance." Marcus was shoved forward by the guard duo and the officer looked at the bloody doctor in disdain. "He tried to assault the Director's secretary. We tried to arrest him peacefully but he fought till his body gave out. Its a miracle none of us were hurt, I suggest restraining him at all times." Anyone could see that the officer was blatantly lying, the guards did not have a single scratch while Marcus was barely able to walk. It was clear that he had been beaten on the way to the hospital as fresh wounds were oozing blood and several broken teeth jutted out of Marcus' lip. Turning to one of his goons, the officer motioned towards Point. "To prevent this nurse from being assaulted by this animal we need to sedate him." Nodding in understanding, the guard drew his shock baton as it sparked to life. He then slammed it into the base of Marcus' neck, delivering a large jolt of electricity and leaving him spasming on the floor. Nodding in satisfaction, the officer gave Point a friendly wave. "You ever need help restraining him give us a call." The officer then walked out of the hospital with his goons in tow, making sure to not walk in the splatters of blood on the floor.
 
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