2013-05-08: Do Not Disturb


Cloud_icon.jpg Echo_icon.jpg

Summary: Echo is obligated to tell Cloud that he presents a flawed strategy.

Date: May 8, 2013

Log Title: Do Not Disturb

Rating: PG

Barnes Academy - Medical Center

The name medical 'office' rather undersells what his, in essence, a state of the art, high-tech and extremely well stocked medical bay and treatment center. There are always orderies and nurses in attendance to handle minor injuries and a doctor is always on call for more serious problems. In addition to a locked medicine storage facility, there are modules for isolating patients, a (hopefully never used) cryogenic storage and stasis module for preserving life (or bodies) when the local team can't stabilize a patient and a pair of ten bed infirmary modules attached to the main area. Each bed and exam table is equipped with the latest Stark-tech diagnostics gear.

Cloud is finally getting used to the routine in this place but that still doesn't make him any less exausted. Searching though those boxes he picked up yesterday after class he managed to cut his hand on a broken picture frame. Dressed in his Barnes uniform he enters the medbay and looks around for a first aid kit, "Any one about at all?".

"No," comes a deadpan voice from a still corner of the room. Panels of glass separate the small area entirely in an airtight isolation chamber. Isolated in said chamber is a dark haired woman dressed only in hospital scrubs. She's seated on the examination table, hands folded in her lap, completely still.

Cloud heads over in the direction of the voice until he reaches the glass, "This some sort of quaritine? do you want me to go fetch someone?", he frowns, something is a little off about the woman behind the glass but he can't quite put his finger on what it is, seeminly he's forgotten about the cut on his hand for now.

As Cloud approaches the glass, the woman there lifts her head to look at him. For one thing, she appears to only have one eye. The other is obviously an empty socket beneath the eyelids that don't quite meet. "If I needed anything," she says, tilting her head slightly to one side to regard Cloud with her one steel-grey eye. "There are cameras recording me at all times. If you need anything, however, there is an emergency button over there."

As Echo moves Cloud realises what was odd about the woman, how still she was a second ago, it wasn't normal. "Your eye… are they not treating you?", usually for an eye injury like that there'd be some for of bandage in place or at least a patch until it's can be healed the best it can, "Emergency? no errm first aid kit?"

"The injury's old. In fact, the removal of the damaged eye has been most beneficial." With a fluid grace, the woman slips off the edge of the examination table and approaches the glass. She stops just short of it, gaze flicking up and down Cloud in a way that feels cold and clinical before answering his question. "Your hand," is all she says. Slowly she lifts a hand and curls a finger toward a white plastic box with a red cross on it, bolted to the wall just by the entrance.

Cloud frowns the way the woman talks adding to her eerieness, rather than going for the first aid kit he forgets about his cut again and instead takes a breath and lets his eyes go out of focus. They flash white and when it fades leaves his blue/grey eyes bright green, while the energy waves can't get out he can still 'see' them, where's he seen that signiture before…

Formerly expressionless, the dark haired woman narrows her one good eye suspiciously and scowls. All around the woman is the soft buzz of electrons humming through wires and circuits, heavy concentrations of electromagnetic radiation from certain places around her body. Not the typical bioelectric fields that surround living things. A machine.

Cloud smiles, "Huh, that almost looked like an expression there", he's figured now that the woman is a machine and theres an odd satisfaction from pissing off a machine and he's still a little childish, "Is there a problem?"

With the glass between them, Cloud might feel safe. But there's a still tension about the woman, as if the barrier weren't there, there might be some serious trouble. Hopefully it's quite strong glass. Hopefully… "What did you do?" she finally asks.

Please, one touch and Cloud can put Echo into permenant shut-down, let her try something. "Why do you want to know?", either way he's shrugs, "I can see you now", is his honest responce to Echo's question, "Why are they keeping you here?", his only real knowledge of robots is Mike and he's not actually a robot.

Stony silence greets both of Cloud's questions, the woman folding her arms across the dark grey material of her hospital scrub shirt.

Cloud shrugs and turns to grab the first aid kit and finally deal with the cut on his hand, unwrapping the cloth he was using to stop the blood flow he opens the box and pulls out some disinfectant wipes to clean the cut. "Where's a purifier when you need one?", he could just drain one and the cut will heal.

"What's a purifier?" the mechanical woman asks, suddenly willing to talk again as long as she's the one getting answers. She relaxes her stance a little, one hip rising as she shifts her weight. To get comfortable?

Cloud looks at the cut it's not deep enough to need stitches he thinks, "Anti-mutant group, with the weapons and numbers to back their cause up", with the cut clean he places a gauze pad over it then wraps a bandage round taping it into place, "You had access to the news lately? they were popping up a lot a couple of months back".

"I used to listen to the radio," the woman says. Past tense. Seems they're keeping her on fairly tight information security. "Why do you need a purifier? Are there mutants that need to be neutralized?" No emotion in it. 'Neutralized'.

"I can drain life-force from a living thing to heal myself and a purifier seems like the best choice, I heal, no innocents are harmed", Cloud's hand tightens to a fist at Echo's words and while he tries to keep his voice steady but Echo might note a touch of anger in his voice, "I am a mutant".

"No innocents," Echo repeats, staring at Cloud without blinking her one eye.

"There are a lot of innocents in the world, no matter what kind of programming you have that can't be denied", Cloud saved a little boy in Mutant town about a year and a half ago who has now been adopted by his parents, you can't tell him that little boy isn't innocent.

"You're at war with the purifiers?" Echo asks, cocking an eyebrow in clear curiosity. "They kill mutants, and you kill them." So matter-of-fact, almost approving. "They must be powerful if SHIELD hasn't been able to eliminate them."

"SHIELD aren't getting involved and they have the CoH backing them", Cloud knows he's lucky to be here so he hasn't questioned any Barnes staff about the issue, "And technicly I'm not allowed to kill purifiers", he's actually only killed one and he can still feel the man at the back of his head, be nic if people just shut up, it's getting loud.

"Ahh," breathes the woman in the chamber. It's a sound of understanding and… sympathy, maybe? She leans against the glass, turning her eye upward to find the small smoked glass dome of a camera placed just outside it. If everything she says is being recorded, then so is everything Cloud says. "You want to be, though."

Opposed to Cloud's reputation, he isn't in fact an idiot, Echo told him right at the begining that she was being watched and he's in a building run by and intelligance agency, "If I do or don't doesn't matter, I'm not allowed to use my powers in that way, I'll protect my people when it comes to it but without spilling any blood", and as such he won't spill any.

"What *are* your powers?" Echo inquires bluntly. "My experience with mutants is limited," she offers with a shrug. "And confusing."

"If you were to define my powers you'd call them something along the line of 'the absorbtion and replication of energy and/or matter' with a secondry mutation manifesting in an energy sight or sense", not that that really explains anything but that's what you'll find written in Cloud's file.

Whether the android understands or doesn't, there's no reaction beyond a curt nod. "And because of that, you're at war with the purifiers." Not that SHIELD is at war. Just Cloud.

Cloud shakes his head, "Not just me, the purifier's will attack any mutant, they kidnapped four kids to use in a public execution a few months ago, they see us as wrong and want to wipe us out", he wiggles his finger satisfied with the bandage, "We protect ourselves, they're waging war, mutants are just defending", he puts the box back, "Why do you ask?"

"I used to listen to the radio," Echo repeats from earlier in the conversation. The repetition is pitch-perfect. She finally changes her stance again, arms loosening to rest on her hips instead. "Defending is a losing strategy."

"If mutants changes from defensive to offensive the purifiers would be wiped out and would make everything they say about mutants true, people fear what we can do, why throw more wood on the fire?", is he really trying to explain morality to a machine?

Echo just shakes her head. Superior morality doesn't seem to mean much. "Morally superior," she says appreciatively. "But ultimately extinct."

"People always hate someone, different races, different sexualities and now mutants, it sucks but that's life, we protect ourselves but thats it", Cloud frowns again, what kind of war machine have SHIELD got down here??#

The woman leans forward, lifting a hand to press her palm against the glass. She smiles just a little, a Mona Lisa smile, and drums her fingertips against the isolation barrier. "Suit yourself." The machine slinks away from the glass, returning to her seat (more like perch) on the examination table without ever turning her back on Cloud.

Cloud sighs having maybe just lost an argument with a glorified toaster, "Yeah it does thanks, enjoy your room", tidying up he then turns to head on out.

Echo's single eye follows Cloud on his way out but she makes no move or noise to stop him. After the doors close behind him, alone again, the android draws a breath and exhales. Very much like a sigh.

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