Rest and Heal

November 10, 2017:

Exergy and Neuromancer reach one of Cyberforce hideouts and talk before he finally gets some rest.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Dr. Corben, Ripclaw


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It would be incorrect to say Exergy is tired. He has not been physically tired since… he is not sure, years. Sleepy? Somewhat. Mostly he is not feeling well. In pain. His brain is suffering from low blood pressure and sleep deprivation. He is possibly immune to visual hallucinations, but not aural ones, and New York is full of strange noises. Ideas and concepts associate strangely, too, something that his more analytical mind finds amusing and disturbing.

Case to example. Babbling. "I remember I thought replacing my eyes with weapons was a good idea. What was I thinking? Why did you help them?" Pause. "One of your eyes is artificial too, why?" He is limping into the safehouse, checking it is… yes, a Faraday Cage. He can relax a little. No trackers will work from here out.

Lucia's silent for most of the trip, watching him, listening to him. She doesn't need to keep her hands actively on him once he's been 'infected' with her nanites, not that they're exactly efficient at the job, she didn't really intend for them to be 'multi-platform' so to speak. Maybe there's some discomfort there, among the others, but not surprise, nor is there surprise from Lucia, either, apparently her time as a lab tech at least isn't a hidden secret among them.

"Corneal damage." is what she responds numbly to the question with the barest shake of her head,"I don't… remember, you, exactly… I'm sorry. But I didn't install weapons in anyone that I know of. Our intentions were repair, not destruction." which either makes her a liar or she genuinely doesn't realize, granted, there's more sympathy in that expression of hers than she likely ever displayed in the lab.

"Our?" Replies the young man. "I doubt the intentions of Cyberdata are anything less than profit. "You don't remember, hmm? Well, I remember too much, but only of the five last years. What I remember before makes no sense. False memories, they are not even good fakes." He does sound bitter. But mostly tired.

The nanites show his cybernetic systems are working properly, although he has holes in the subdermal plates on his right torso, corresponding with a couple armor-piercing bullets that got through the armor. One is fragmented in half a dozen razor sharp shards. Neither went deep enough to hit vital organs, but there has been considerable blood loss.

Exergy lacks lungs, instead he has some kind of super-tech battery array with enough stored electrical charge to fry a hundred mutants. Somehow he keeps it contained.

Her nanites are limited to repairing the meat portions, the electronics beyond their capacity's,"Me and Doctor Co…" there, that bare frown, it's fleeting but there. Granted, information for the doctor is highly conflicting; Cyberforce knows he's been 'free' for almost 4 years now, but to Lucia, she was working with him mere weeks ago. Where he falls on the spectrum, who knows,"I can't… argue with you about that. I also can't pretend I knew what was… happening, until recently. Sorry. I don't… expect you to trust me at my word, but… well, I'm at least trying to do what I can to help."

The good news is that Exergy's cybernetic parts already have advanced self-repairing systems. It is the meat that needs patching up. Apparently the SHOC handlers were fine with him getting injured. That gave them excuses to replace more flesh with metal.

But Paul rarely got injured. He was careful, until last week.

"Corben, I have heard that name somewhere," he muses. Tossing his coat aside, finding a place to sit down and flopping down with pained groan. Then he starts removing the armor. It looks like standard Cyberdata gear for combat operations, but he has erased (burned out) all the corporate signs and rank identifiers.

Lucia at least doesn't need to keep her hands on for the nanites to do their thing, finding a spot to lean up against as she watches him. There's the press of her lips together in thought but she doesn't opt to mention it aloud, instead nodding in his vague direction,"So why did you decide to take off? Or was it, something else?" She elects to enquire as she folds her arms before her, cautious, one might say, all things considered.

The armored man slowly opens the magnetic locks of his armor, removing shoulder plates first, then the cracked breastplate. It has bullet holes at his right side, that plate will have to be replaced. Blood-soaked black t-shirt underneath, and likewise bandages, poorly set. Obviously he tried to stop the flow of blood himself and in a hurry.

The nanites can start repair the damage flesh, but those bullet fragments need to be broken down into harmless pieces and pulled out. Too much metal to be just assimilated by a normal human body.

"Me? Well…" Exergy seems to consider the answer carefully. "It was a few days ago. Suddenly I realized what I was doing was completely insane. Made no sense. I was… killing people. For money? I couldn't remember how I started. I couldn't remember… a number of things I should have remembered. It was like waking up for a nightmare that didn't even felt like a nightmare up to them."

The nanite are doing what they can, though there's elements of it she knows that Corben's going to have to deal with once Ripclaw and the others dredge him out of whatever bottle he's crawled into. Still, for now, her purpose is simple. Help make sure he doesn't bleed to death, learn what she can. She closes her left eye briefly to get the read out from the nanite, grunting an acknowledgment for his words.

"That's… consistent. Did you suffer a headwound recently?" she asks quietly.

Overall, she's always too lean, too… normal, for a trooper at least, for all that there's plenty beneath the surface that's not as real as it looks. At least there's no team of surgeons coming in to 'fix' him.

"No headwound," replies the young man. "But I was electrocuted in the last operation. I usually can metabolize electricity, but it was too much, I blacked out. Some systems went offline for almost a minute. Yes, I suspect it broke something, or triggered something."

So here he is. Awkward minute.

"What about you?" He asks back. "I had not heard you had escaped. It would have caused a ruckus, I am sure. But you were not sent to combat often anyway, right?"

There's a neutral sound regarding the no headwound, just electricity, normally she'd talk to Corben about it, but… there's that purse of her lips again, the glance briefly in the direction of the door. Hopefully the old man is sober enough that he'll be worth consulting. There's just things she doesn't like to mess with alone. Still there's a brief nod of her head in acknowledgment.

Lips part then, but it's forestalled by his final words,"You've got me mistaken for someone else. I worked in the lab, that's all. Things like your eyes, I helped design, but I'm not… like you and the others. But to answer the question, yes, it did, and if not for the others a lot more people would have died as a result. You seemed to recognize Ripclaw, in the subway… where do you know him from?"

@emit Exergy eyes narrow faintly at her statement. But she might be right, his memory is not reliable. And maybe it is not his business. He came looking for Ripclaw, really. “Ripclaw is famous. He was one of the S.H.O.C. best operatives. And he deserted, and attacked Cyberdata. Greatest traitor ever, except he wasn’t. I think we are the ones that got betrayed, Neuromancer. You too. Why did you leave?”

"Famous." Lucia repeats with some vague, dry amusement,"Don't tell him that or he'll never fit in the van again." well, okay, probably he would anyways, but still. There's a slight nod of her head and then roll of her shoulders,"I don't know what prompted the others to leave. They only picked me up a few days ago. As to why… they started cutting my access. My projects. I'd seen that before in ones who supposedly left for other jobs… but I hadn't applied for anything, so I… knew. They sent the Deadliner's after me…" the sadomasochists of Cyberdata. Boogeymen of the boogeymen, religious fanatics in their own twisted way,"But I was fortunate. Ripclaw and his people were nearby when they caught up to me."

The Deadliners. But they were just a rumor for Exergy. Not like Killjoy or Ripclaw. Those were real warrior. Famous. Infamous. Feared and envied by all good and proper S.H.O.C. soldiers. For reasons Paul no longer can understand.

He leans back, then looks at his wounds. They have stopped bleeding at last? "Did you do something? It is not hurting so much. I thought we were waiting for the others to bring some medical supplies." Or maybe they are talking about what to do with him. He is too far gone to care anymore.

"I've infected you with my nanites, they're doing the internal work until the doctor gets here. They're not designed for your systems so they're… struggling, but you wont bleed to death, at least. Your augments seem to be mostly operational, but once you're stabilized and healed we can take a look at what might need to be repaired there. At least, whatever you might be willing to allow me to work on. I understand that for you and some of the other troops that might be akin to Doctor Mengele offering to perform surgery, but it's one of the ways in which I can actually… help earn my keep. You were fortunate, tonight. Cyberdata's augments have a particular signature, electronically, and when we were passing the station I identified the signatures there so we came to investigate." tehre's a slight shrug of her shoulders.

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