ribs_grow_back: (It's time for your operation.)
RED Medic ([personal profile] ribs_grow_back) wrote in [community profile] bakerstreet2014-02-20 11:37 am

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines...

THE TEST DRIVE MEME


 
The meme for people who want to pick up a new muse or work the kinks out of a newish one.
 

How to:


1. Post a comment with your character. Include their name, canon, and preferences for the scene if you wish.
2. Leave the comment blank or set the scene, it's totally up to you.
3. Pick a scene type, get creative, then tag whoever you like!
4. Have fun!

Scenario:

1) ACTION: Fight? Car chase? Shoot-out? This scenario is for all your ass-kicking needs.
2) ANGST: Dealing with depression? A break-up? Maybe you're just sad? Here there be saddening scenes.
3) FLUFF: Just want to play out something adorable? Look no further!
4) ROMANCE: Looking for a ship to play out? Want to thread out a date? You got it all and more here.
5) CRACK: Why bother being serious when you can be over-the-top and ridiculous?
6) GENERAL: Got something that's similar to what's listed here, but not the same? Play it out anyway!
7) DO IT YOURSELF: Don't see anything here you like? Get creative!
yourmove: (045)

typos

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-16 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
Finally. Alex verified Norton was drinking again, listening to the doctor fumbling the cap off. “Of course. More arrests need to be made, starting tomorrow.”

He left it at that, assuming – not hoping – Dennett Norton would be ready.

* * *


They brought Alex back in pieces today: he was online, conscious, but between this morning and this afternoon, he somehow managed to lose a chunk of his leg and arm. High-speed pursuit, high-speed crash. The suspect was hospitalized. Alex, on the other hand, had the foresight to limp to the crash site and locate his foot amid the wreckage of the armored Hummer and his C-2 bike, ignoring the news helicopters circling overhead. Cameras were rolling on the crash, the flames licking, the tower of smoke, and (more importantly), the black figure lurching away at an almost leisurely pace. It was already on the news by the time he arrived back at the station.

Alex was still holding the foot when they brought him back, his face impassive behind the mask of bloody gashes and chunks of glass imbedded in his cheek, skin blackened in places from ash. The squad car was hanging so low he could hear the suspension protesting as he ducked his head to get out.

“Thank you for your concern, but I don’t require assistance,” Alex said to Officer Lewis. Again. The man required unnecessary reassurances. It was unclear if it was because they used to be partners or if it was concern about his ability to perform arrests. Alex stood there minus some key body parts, unfazed, the other side of his face raw from a spectacular road rash. “What I do require is repairs. Please locate Dr. Norton.”

He’ll be waiting right here. The hand hadn’t been salvageable, but scanning the foot and damage to his ankle told him it was a different case with the damage there. Alex was confident Norton could fix this.
Edited 2014-03-16 01:54 (UTC)
biomechatronic: (is that the 'weird science' theme?)

my god, Alex, it's like you're trying to give Dennett a nervous breakdown

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-16 02:07 am (UTC)(link)
Dennett had thought that, now that he was back in Detroit, he could start up the Foundation's work again: help others, building on the wave of success. After the work he'd put into Alex, a hand replacement, a prosthetic leg, seemed almost blessedly simple.

He'd looked forward to it--and then he'd gotten the call. And he was hardly a reckless driver--he was the kind that used his turn signals even in dedicated turn only lanes--but he was fairly sure Alex would have a citation or two for him if he'd seen his driving, including the sliiiightly illegal double parking job he did. All Sergeant Lewis had said was there was some sort of accident with Alex, and the dire word 'pieces'.

He was looking, of course, at eye level, scanning the tangle of cars and the DCPD officers waving traffic through. "Alex! Sergeant Lewis!" Right, that didn't sound frantic at all.
yourmove: (043)

Dennett can never get a break.

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-16 10:12 am (UTC)(link)
Alex’s visor was still down as he scanned the crowd, listening for Norton’s voice while he updated today’s damage assessment log. He spotted the doctor’s gray head before Lewis did, already limping forward as what was left of his leg dragged against the ground, graphene scrapping along the asphalt with a screech. Officers cleared a path for them once they registered his uneven tread and that big black shape towering over them. Alex drew a few stares, less at the ankle and more at the face, like they were surprised to see he could still bleed.

“Doctor,” Alex announced his presence, aware Norton preferred him to do that – he’d mentioned something about getting a heart attack if he didn’t and at the man’s more…advanced age, that was a very real risk. Best to play it safe. “Maintenance is required. I’ve salvaged enough for partial repair of the right leg, but wasn’t able to salvage the rest. My apologies.”

He had enough of Lewis at his peripheral to see the sergeant’s face go carefully blank, his mouth thinned into a line as if he didn’t approve of something. Unclear if it was because of the damage taken or because he had hospitalized the suspect in his approach. It was unclear if the suspect would survive.

Alex’s eyes slid back to Norton, still hidden beneath that angry red glare of his visor. That visor, by the way, was the one reason he wasn’t splattered all over the street: Sellars would say it was an excellent reminder of the importance of helmets.
biomechatronic: (underlit nerd)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-16 02:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Dennett may have a heart attack, Alex's manners or not. He'd thought--all right, hoped beyond common sense--that this was just a glitching servo or a depressurized piston or something, you know, that didn't look like Alex walked off the set of a horror movie.

He cleared his throat, coughing over his concern, latching onto Alex's words pedantically. "Repairs. Maintenance is to maintain. This is not maintenance." He was barely maintaining his composure, his watery blue eyes peering up through his glasses at Alex's face, reaching to wipe at the blood, trying to find the source of it.

Dennett could feel Sergeant Lewis's glare on his back, but right now, he had larger concerns, well over six feet of concerns. "Don't apologize." And since he was already in lecture mode...., "And don't endanger yourself trying to salvage parts. We have replacements here." That should be the last of Alex's concerns.

"Do I want to know what happened?" Probably not, and he wished Alex would bend down just a little to help examine his face, maybe retract the visor, too. "Optical feed is all right?"

"How 'bout we trade story hour for later?" Lewis cut in, arms folded over his chest.
yourmove: (059)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-16 06:30 pm (UTC)(link)
“The suspect wasn’t in a position to retaliate – I wasn’t in danger.” Alex tilted his chin down, aware of Norton inspecting cosmetic damage to the lower half of his face that hadn’t been covered by the visor. It wasn’t the face Alex was concerned about, although he did register discomfort as fingers brushed up against places where glass was still embedded, the skin raw and weeping. It didn’t occur to him to wince. “Optical feed is functioning fine.”

Lewis shifted his weight from one foot to the other, a warning sign Alex should’ve recognized as classic Jack Lewis-brand agitation. His face, if anything, had become even more flat and not Alex’s current brand, either: it was the kind of face someone got when they were trying hard, very hard, to reign in anger. To stop from knocking some skulls together, when it occurred to people like Lewis that, again, this wasn’t the same man he used to share greasy lunches with. Not even a shadow of that man. Just what did this guy do to him?

Alex’s visor tilted to Lewis, then to Norton. “You’re right. We should take this inside, Sergeant.”

He turned and started staggering to the doors, his normally smooth gait looking jerky, animatronic-wrong now. Something was wrong with the stabilizers, too. Exchanging a cool stare with Norton, Lewis hurried over to take Alex’s elbow, trying to prop him up even though he outweighed him, easily. The flash of cameras came from the left as the media caught up: like it or not, Norton was going to end up plastered on some web page (again), his face lined and harried and looking positively overwhelmed.
biomechatronic: (am I judging you or just confused?)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-16 11:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Dennett watched Alex move off, watched Lewis shoot him a look that was more dangerous in its way than Sellars's 'your job depends on this', and try to take up Alex's weight. He studied the stride, frowning, then hurrying to catch up, pulling his handheld out of his pocket, already pulling up inventory.

"What did you do? Stand off against a city bus?" Because that was...some impressive damage, Alex. And it's not really a joke, because that's about the only thing he could imagine that could do that kind of damage. The tone is much more 'whatever you did do not do that again if you want Dennett to not implode'.

"Thought you said story time was later," Lewis scowled over his shoulder. "If he says he wasn't in danger, that's all you need to know."

yourmove: (040)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-17 04:25 am (UTC)(link)
Alex had Lewis's back as much as Norton's.

"Hummer," he said at the same time. "Registered stolen several years ago. As I said, I wasn't in life-threatening danger. Unfortunately the Hummer was in no state to be impounded."

Lewis made a sound then, blowing out air through gritted teeth, nose flaring, and muttering something under his breath that Alex's enhanced hearing picked up as Jesus Christ, Alex. The sergeant stepped forward to help with the doors, his shoulders rigid, as Alex accessed his audio/visual logs of the impact and came back with the same conclusion: damaging but nowhere near threatening to his critical systems, even if he’d hit that Hummer faster than he actually did. It was a calculated risk.

He limped-scrapped his way down the hall, resigned that Lewis was going to be glued to his arm whether or not he needed the assistance, and from the tone of Norton’s voice, he had the impression he was less than pleased with his performance.
biomechatronic: (safe distance this time)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-17 04:36 am (UTC)(link)
Dennett has no one's back, because he is too old and too removed from the mean streets for slang. All he cares about is keeping Alex intact. It wasn't even about Sellars's insistence of getting him out there doing 'big aspirational' things. It was about the promise he'd made to Alex's wife, in the midst of all the lies they'd made him tell. He would give her her husband back.

Which would be harder to pull off if he kept playing chicken (he knows that expression: it's old) with motor vehicles. Which, now that he thought about it, Sellars would be dancing in his chair when it hit the news. This was just the kind of thing he lived for.

"There are other ways to stop a vehicle, Alex. I-I don't know: Shoot the tires or...something!" He's not a cop, but it seems to him that's what they do in movies. In other words, he and Jack Lewis, whether they like it or not, are on the same wavelength, the frequency called 'Jesus Christ, Alex.'.

The lab door opened: Dennett had remote-unlocked it, and as they entered, he swung to the right, to where he kept most of the tools, hoping Alex would move to the cradle. And hoping--in vain--that Sergeant Lewis would see his way out.

Instead, Lewis gripped Alex's arm, giving a flat mouthed nod. "Gonna have a little word with your boy over here."

'Your boy' being grey-haired and currently digging in a box of spare actuators.
Edited (clarity?) 2014-03-17 04:40 (UTC)
yourmove: (030)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-17 05:18 am (UTC)(link)
To his credit, Alex did start to pull toward the cradle out of habit, the hold on his arm applying enough pressure that he stopped and turned to look down at Lewis. The sergeant’s face reflected back at him in the scuffed glass of the visor. “Of course. I’ll wait here.”

Searching that visor and wishing he’d retract the damn thing already because it was giving him the creeps, Lewis gave up and turned toward Norton, steeling himself. This wasn’t how Alex was supposed to come back to work – he’d pictured (maybe) a badass prosthetic or two. Maybe some downtime to get used to it. Not this. Definitely not this. He had the unfair thought that he wanted his partner back even as he glanced over his shoulder and saw the man’s face tilted to the side, as if listening to something only he could hear. Shaking his head, he stalked over to Norton. The guy had that look that said he was just doing his job, his head bowed.

“Seriously, is he always gonna be like this?” Jack hissed as he moved to stand across from Norton, the box between them. He struggled to keep his shoulders squared, hands loose instead of tensed, keeping his voice low. “That’s not Alex. That’s not who he’s supposed to be.”

It was and it wasn’t and everyone in the station knew it. Clara had to know it and he knew her, knew she couldn’t be okay with this. Seeing her husband plastered all over the news and those godawful billboards they started putting up with the OmniCorp logo.
biomechatronic: (this is serious)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-17 01:34 pm (UTC)(link)
"Sergeant." That was a bold, frazzled start, but it fizzled quickly. There were a thousand reasons Dennett didn't need to talk to Lewis: patient confidentiality, OmniCorp intellectual property as the top two. But it was mix, perhaps, of his own conscience and the fact that someone needed to hear the truth, and a thin hope that if he did, maybe Lewis would understand how precarious the situation was.

Sellars didn't view Alex as human. He'd made that clear in China. 'A machine that thinks it's Alex Murphy' said it all: Alex could get the plug pulled any time he ceased to be useful.

He looked over at Alex, inclining his head toward the cradle. It wasn't that much further away, but perhaps Alex's footsteps would cover the sound of his words.

"Sergeant, there was a...complication. He was seizing. I had to so something to make him functional."

Dennett had moved on to First Aid supplies, finding an irrigator for the glass shards, pulling out telfa and betadyne, a butterfly clip, just in case it was needed.

"It's...temporary. Hopefully." He knew how thin that 'hopefully' was. After a few weeks, when he was stabilized, when Sellars wasn't watching RoboCop's public profile like a raptor, Dennett would have some wiggle room, could take him offline, back off the dopamine suppression. Right now, it was too risky. "You have to understand."
yourmove: (025)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-17 05:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Lewis’s eyebrows knitted together. “What do you mean, ‘something’? All I gotta understand is he’ll get himself killed at the rate he’s going.”

He threw a glance over his shoulder. If Alex was listening – and suddenly he was wondering if he could hear from that far away, if maybe he had some super hearing thing implanted in him or whatever – he wasn’t giving any indication it bothered him and it looked like he hadn’t moved, like he was some big cyborg statue waiting for orders. Definitely not Alex. Alex wasn’t the kind of guy to sit around like that: he’d been always pacing, moving, even just something as simple as cracking his knuckles because more time in the station was less time trying to track down Vallon and it killed him no one seemed to take it as seriously as he did. If it wasn’t for that human jaw peeking out, splotched with blood, he could’ve even mistaken Alex for one of those damn drone things.

He turned back to Norton, his arms crossing over his chest, his eyes flicking down to watch the doctor collecting supplies. He was used to getting in deep with Alex, playing muscle to his muscle out in places the other cops avoided, unless they went in groups. The only cop he wanted to watch his back was Alex and that man wasn’t here right now. This doctor was. Some guy he didn’t even know if he could trust. If he cared about Alex or just about the big fat OmniCorp paycheck.

“He’s not seizing now. Put him back the way he was.”
biomechatronic: (am I judging you or just confused?)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-17 06:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Alex was listening: Dennett was sure of it. Alex hadn't moved, hadn't picked up the sign Dennett had made for him to move to the station for repairs. He was listening. What he was making of it, well, that, Dennett couldn't tell.

It wasn't the first time Alex had ignored a request. It likely wouldn't be the last. It was fascinating, in a way, that despite the neurosuppression, Alex was still not a blindly obedient robot.

"Maybe you can talk to him about it. Maybe he'll listen to you." Because God knows he didn't listen to Dennett.

He looked up from where he was laying out basic surgical tools, alongside the microplanes and tools for mechanical repair. "Sergeant. There's too much at stake right now. I-I can't. If it didn't kill him, well." He bridled, "Let's just say this is the better alternative."
yourmove: (063)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-17 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Lewis snorted. “You know what he calls me? Sergeant Lewis.”

He came to the conclusion this Norton was gonna be useless. Sure, he could talk to Alex, but he doubted he’d have any luck with him: from the few conversations (if they could even be called that) they’d had, he didn’t distinguish him from any other cop in the DCPD. Nothing about all those days and nights getting closer and closer to Vallon. The way they went from partners to friends to planning out joint retirements together over stale coffee. So this “Sergeant” thing bugged the crap out of him because it was like the man forgot his first name. Forgot everything that didn’t relate to the job.

Lewis stood there feeling like a third wheel as he watched the doctor laying out whatever he needed to repair Alex: a lot of it looked like the stuff you’d see in a mechanic’s garage, his throat tightening up as he stared at what, honest to God, looked like a damn screwdriver from Home Depot.

“Just hurry up,” Lewis said, turning from the table.

He paused to stop by Alex, who was still standing there on one leg, the other’s…stump resting on the tile. There wasn’t any wobbling or bracing himself, like a normal man, just this unnatural stillness nobody should have.

“You and me, we need some words when you’re done. Okay?”

“Understood, Sergeant.”

Lewis searched that face but all he got was scuff marks and that creepy red-slit. Muttering under his breath, he stalked out of the lab, leaving Alex to finally make his way to the cradle. His stump screeched against the floor, scratching the tiles as he closed in on Norton, automatically checking his biometrics as he reached out and set the salvaged foot on the tray.

“Tensions seem to be still high,” Alex remarked.
Edited (icon change, added to post.) 2014-03-17 22:14 (UTC)
biomechatronic: (this is my science face)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-17 10:29 pm (UTC)(link)
It took a moment to process why he's upset: Sergeant Lewis was what was on the name badge Dennett can see, and he was too occupied bouncing back and forth between what damage he'd already seen on Alex and what he needed to repair it.

What did he want Dennett to do? Kill him, risk him? Alex's body could be repaired, but if his brain was damaged, even by his own neurochemical splay, it was the end. He shook his head, mutely, wanting to explain for his own absolution, and knowing he'd never get it anyway.

Maybe he didn't deserve it.

But Alex needed repairs. He deserved repairs, so Dennett took the snarled 'do your best' with a bowed head, because everything else was just delay, everything else was just Alex needing work done.

He sighed, sagging, almost, as the door closed after Lewis, shaking his head to clear it. He needed to put all that aside, concentrate on what was in front of him, try to find a spot to begin.

And trying to find a spot to begin with his words, as well. He tugged Alex's good wrist toward the cradle. It would be so much easier if he wasn't hurting his back reaching up. Or down.

And it bought some time. But eventually, he had to answer Alex's observation. "He cares about you, Alex, and he's worried." He turned for the first aid equipment. First, the face, just in case Alex could feel pain. "You were very close, weren't you?" And then the clinician took over. "Does this hurt?"
yourmove: (053)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-17 10:45 pm (UTC)(link)
The doctor’s back appeared to be acting up again – he would advise him to rest, again, perhaps take a prescribed dosage of the painkillers he knew were on the shelf to the right. There was a 60% chance he would insist he was “fine”, however. For a doctor, Norton didn’t seem to apply the same care to himself as he did his patients.

Miraculously, Alex’s good hand seemed to have come out of the car crash better than the rest of him. Aside from a few bruises and minor scraps, it looked as good as new, the skin still warm to the touch. His head tilted back as he settled himself into the cradle that was, literally, molded to his body. Try to stick another cyborg in there – if they ever got around to it – and s/he wouldn’t fit. With a hiss, the visor retreated to reveal his face, showing a clear patch of skin that started from his nose and went up to his eyes where the glass had protected him from the impact and the fire. His eyes were focused on Dennett now, studying him, appraising that posture of his.

“There are negligible amounts of discomfort,” Alex said, remarkably calm for someone who had a thumb-sized chunk of glass sticking out his cheek. “I remember we were. Partners have to be: much better success rate if there is mutual trust.”

He seemed to be incapable of the word “friend”, Alex lapsing into silence. All that mattered was he knew Sergeant Lewis was a good cop and he could be trusted to do his job. The same couldn't be said for some of the others in the station.
biomechatronic: (let's talk like reasonable men)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-18 03:02 am (UTC)(link)
Well, no one had consulted Dennett's physical comfort in deciding their cyborg needed to top out at well over six feet tall. They'd paid barest lip service to his emotional comfort at the time and, see how far that had gotten them.

He gives a quiet sigh, moving to pull the glass from Alex's cheek, using a small bottle of sterile saline to sluice out any smaller shards. "Try not to move for a moment." It wasn't quite as bad as it looked, but then again, that wasn't saying much. He was just going to silently pray that Clara Murphy didn't show up right now to see her husband's face dripping with blood. He used the small butterfly clips, after one last wash of betadyne, before sitting back. "I can give you something for the pain in a moment, if you want."

He was aware he was hiding behind his job, little duties an ER nurse could do, rather than avoid the larger issues. He toyed with one of the small screwdrivers he'd need to lift off the top layer of armor. "Do you have that now with him? Do you want to be partners again with him?"
yourmove: (054)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-18 03:22 am (UTC)(link)
Alex went stock still, easy when you were incapable of flinching these days. Blood trickled down his jaw as he held still, blood that he would’ve been weirdly pleased to note was still red instead of motor oil black. Norton worked quietly. The occasional tink of glass hitting the steel tray broke the silence as the doctor removed shard after shard. Alex didn’t argue about the pain-killers – he didn’t believe they would be necessary for cosmetic damage, but Norton would likely give it to him anyway. The outcome would be the same whether he said yes or no.

Alex turned his head a few centimeters to watch Norton fidgeting with the screwdriver, working it between his fingers in another nervous tic. The list of nervous tics he had was longer than the average person’s, he noted. It seemed to be a coping mechanism from the daily stresses of his job.

“No. Lewis wants a man who no longer exists. The trust isn’t there anymore.” Alex shifted to his original position, staring forward, expecting Norton to do what he did best: fix people. Or partial-people, in this case. “Being partners with him isn’t efficient. He would be a liability.”

Not that Sergeant Lewis wasn’t a good cop – he was – but he was still flesh-and-blood and that meant there would always be a part of Alex obligated to protect him. Without a partner, he could devote all of his resources to crime prevention.
biomechatronic: (let's talk like reasonable men)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-18 04:33 am (UTC)(link)
"If we're careful, it won't scar." It was the voice of experience, of a man who'd spent hours and hours fussing over skin grafts and the like, trying to repair the burns on Alex's face. He'd told Sellars again and again that their cyborg should look as, well, attractive as possible, and a mass of cheloid burn scars, Sellars had agreed, was completely unacceptable.

He'd thought it would help Alex, help him adjust, adapt, to be able to recognize himself in the mirror, spare him from the horror of fourth degree burns.

Dennett paused, fingers motionless for a moment, before leaning over, taking up a square of gauze to wipe the line of blood, where it was pooling against the black line of the cowling around his face.

"He trusts you, Alex. He wants to talk to you later." Sorry, but it was his lab and Lewis wasn't exactly a master of the inside voice. He bent over Alex's damaged arm, taking a moment to use the screwdriver to release the armor, exposing the complicated system of actuators and pistons beneath. And maybe Alex couldn't feel it, but he could. Maybe it was his conscience more than anything, but he paused, one hand still tracing along a damaged strut, trying to locate the end of the damage, where the metal was still viable.

"Do you have any questions? About what he and I talked about?" There. Cat, as out of the bag as Dennett could make it. Because Alex deserved that much, at least.
yourmove: (062)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-18 08:02 am (UTC)(link)
There was that “we” again, the one he noticed Norton sometimes used even though it was all his work – all Alex needed to do was lie there and report anything popping up on his HUD. The majority of the work was the doctor, however, and so he didn’t feel that “we” of his was necessary.

Alex thought about the question. Of course he heard the conversation between the two men: he would have had to make an effort not to, what with his enhanced hearing. “You mentioned having to take drastic measures. What was it?”

It was, at best, a detached curiosity. If Norton was searching for judgment in his voice, an opinion at all, he wouldn’t get it.

Instead of bone and muscle and tendons, there were gleaming pistons running along his forearm, silver instead of that matte-black Raymond Sellars favored. It was a sight that used to throw him off in a bad way back in China, when Alex would glance down and see…that and quickly look away, his teeth on edge, his jaw tensed. Trying to pretend he was still okay whenever Norton checked in. It’d gotten easier by the time they arrived in Detroit, so easy, in fact, that he could look down today and see just a chassis that needed repairing instead of a stump. Glancing down, he registered cosmetic burns and the deeper ones, the ones that had actually damaged some wiring, lubricant still lazily leaking out.

He noted some of it had dripped onto Norton's shoes.
Edited (icon change, slight post change) 2014-03-18 08:29 (UTC)
biomechatronic: (You wouldn't guilt trip a guy with glass)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-18 01:37 pm (UTC)(link)
If pressed, Dennett would argue that the 'we' meant Dennett should do his job cleaning a wound, and Alex could do his best not to, well, get more injured. It was turning out to be a harder task than advertised, apparently.

Ah. That. Well, Dennett. Here's your chance, though it was a moral question for philosophers if apologizing to someone who couldn't feel emotions counted.

He nodded, more of a distracted head bob, turning back to the injured arm, because it was easier, at least to start, not to have to look Alex in the eye. Besides, there was something he'd always found soothing about mechanics, the efficient design, all shining steel, straight lines. It would be something to repair this, at least, even if he couldn't repair the damage he was probably about to do with his words. And right now, the last thing on his mind was the feeble spatter of hydraulic fluid on the hem of his lab coat.

"You remember, when we uploaded the database into your memory." He remembered, probably the worst fear he'd felt in his life, the only time he'd had to shut Alex down, his strength no match for the dead weight of steel and graphene.

"We had to...." He stopped, shaking his head. No hiding from it behind a 'we'. Or in your work. He turned his head, forcing himself to meet Alex's gaze. "I lowered your neurochemicals, your ability to feel. I had to, Alex. It's why you're like....this."

His mouth worked, unhappily. "'I'm sorry' doesn't even begin to cover it."
yourmove: (066)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-18 06:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Alex remembered, like he remembered getting married and finding out Clara was pregnant and what it felt like to sit there, waiting to find out when he could visit Sergeant Lewis in the hospital. The logs were there. The connection, though, was behind subroutines and analysis programs and incidentally it made him a better cop, in his opinion, then he ever was before. For a moment, a brief flash, something sparked in the back of his mind, a ripple of betrayal that faded almost as soon as it formed, collapsing into a familiar flat-line.

“Oh,” Alex said.

He gazed at Norton, observing the distress, the way his mouth turned down and his wrinkles became even more pronounced to make him look older than he was. The press conference, then. There were blank spots in his logs, periods where only his life support was active and the rest was safely offline. So that was the when. And the why – the seizures in the cradle, a surge of panic choking him being the last thing he ever felt, before he couldn’t feel anything at all. Alex met Norton’s stare, a little rheumy with age, blinking behind the corrective lens because he didn’t like contacts.

“Apologies aren’t necessary, Dr. Norton,” Alex couldn’t find it in himself to be angry, his voice quiet, calm as always. He reviewed the incident and came back with: “You improved my functionality.”

It might’ve been meant to be encouraging. But mostly it was just statement of fact as Alex Murphy these days saw it, no anger, no closure, nothing personal or clouded by blind opinion.
biomechatronic: (this is my science face)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-18 07:18 pm (UTC)(link)
This was the man who had choked him when he'd first woken him up, as Dennett had been trying to explain how he'd saved his life. So to go from that, to that one, simple 'oh' felt like something falling from a great height and Dennett had to pause a moment, to let it hit bottom.

He saw--or thought he saw--some flicker, something in the pull of the corners of Alex's eyes, just for a moment, some flicker of emotion, and it took everything he had not to look over his shoulder at the screens that were constantly transmitting Alex's metadata.

"They are necessary, Alex. You can't tell me you're happier like this." Sort of a redundant statement. Alex can't feel happiness, at all. "Life is about more than being 'functional'."
yourmove: (044)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-18 08:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Alex blinked, the motion slow, mechanical. “I can save more lives by being functional.”

Now he knew why Norton seemed to be preoccupied with his mental state, why there were multiple instances of him asking if he was okay, if he was fine. If he was happy. Unhappy. It should bother him, but it didn’t. Knowing the details didn’t change the outcome: Norton had done Detroit a service by ensuring he was more efficient, that he wasn’t seizing or delaying reaction times by inappropriate emotional responses. The silence from Alex’s end went on for a few minutes as he listened to Norton working on the arm. The lubricant leak stopped. A few notifications blipped on his HUD. It would’ve been either relaxing or nerve-wrecking, depending on pre-neurosuppression Alex’s mental state at the time.

“I could tell Sergeant Lewis that,” Alex said from the cradle. “He would have to understand where I’m coming from.”

It’s reasonable, he debated adding. Then again, a lot of things people did – real people, not whatever he was – wasn’t exactly…reasonable.
biomechatronic: (Default)

[personal profile] biomechatronic 2014-03-18 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Dennett had turned to repairs because at least it was something he could do, and something a little better than staring at Alex, trying to make words. He can at least see progress there, stripping out the heat-damaged parts, dropping them into a bin he'd moved over on the floor, clamping off the leaking lines and hoses. It was useful work, but it didn't occupy enough of his mind.

Finally, there was nothing left to do to prepare the replacement. All he had to do was get up, pull the replacement out of storage. Sellars's generosity, at least, couldn't be faulted, though the spares spoke to the fact that RC-2000 downtime was a thing to be kept at an absolute minimum, and certainly not because of OmniCorp parsimony.

He sat back, taking a moment to wipe down his hands. Buying time, again. "I think Sergeant Lewis would rather you be happy, honestly. And Clara. Alex. There's more to life than efficiency."

It was not at all with a sense of hypocritical nervousness that he pushed his stool back, ducking his head and heading to find the replacement parts.
yourmove: (039)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-19 05:18 am (UTC)(link)
Alex didn’t reply at first, replaying those last few words of Norton’s: as he tilted his head to track the doctor, another window opened on his HUD outlined in red and detailing decibel levels, filtering out what little white noise is in the room (not much). I think Sergeant Lewis would rather you be happy, honestly. And Clara. Alex. There's more to life than efficiency played. rewound, played again. He studied the angles, the way Norton paused and took two seconds too long to wipe his hands clean. [ REWIND PLAYBACK ]

Alex’s eyes shifted to watch as Norton came back with a replacement hand, that same stealth-bomber black that Sellars was so fond of. There hadn’t been enough to salvage back at the crash site, but he assumed OmniCorp would be going in and cleaning it up, making sure anything he left behind couldn’t get picked up by their competitors. As Norton settled back down, Alex paused playback on - to life than efficiency.

“This isn’t life.” Alex couldn’t muster up that upset tremble in his voice, the one he had when he first saw what was left of his body. “Not in the conventional sense. I believe we’ll need to agree to disagree.”

Happiness really didn’t have anything to do with it. Having a life like he remembered, like they happened to someone else, didn’t apply to him these days. Alex existed and that worked out for him, upon review.

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sounds perfect!

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