Posted May 4, 2021, 11:57 p.m. by Lieutenant Dr. Solomon Kane (Medical Research & Development) (James Sinclair)
Posted by Lieutenant Alexis Bonner (Scientist, Medical Researcher) in Peace Offerings
Posted by Lieutenant Dr. Solomon Kane (Medical Research & Development) in Peace Offerings
Posted by Lieutenant Alexis Bonner (Scientist, Medical Researcher) in Peace Offerings
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻
3 days. That’s how long it was before Alexis reappeared in the lab. Technically two of those days were her days off. But Alexis didn’t take days off. She was hiding, in other labs, doing other work. The fourth day she was back at her work station, early as always, first one in the lab. The music playing softly only above her section. She was tinkering with something. Four small devices to be exact. Alexis had no hope that Borchek would stop his inane chatter and so she’d developed a solution based of hearing implants. They would filter out all outside noise but would respond to the comm system and the ship announcements. It could be set to filter in anything she actually wanted to hear. A note explaining them along with a small case holding two of the devices was placed on Kane’s work table before he arrived. It was peace offering. They had to work together, and he appeared to be as annoyed by the mans chatter as she was.
She put the set she’d made for herself in and then got to work with her samples.
Kane came in and looked at Alexis. She had been gone from the lab the last few days, ever since their… ‘card game’. He saw her immersed as usual and noted the devices in her ears. He nodded to himself… guess he had his answer.
He went to his work station and saw the box and looked at it suspiciously. But a read of the note and he nodded again, but this time with a bit less negativity. He put them in and activated them. Then he looked at Alexis. I wonder… he thought and then said loudly “Hey, Bonner!”
Luckily for Kane his voice was of a loud enough register for the ear pieces to allow the noise in. If there was an emergency they would need to know if everyone was shouting. She looked up quickly removing the pods as she did so, but saw no emergency. She turned to look at him. Still nothing…she noted he had the pods in and nodded. She was not going to get into a shouting match just to be heard. That defeated the purpose of having them for quiet. She stepped around her table closer but not too close. “Yes?”
Kane looked at her and nodded once. “Just… thanks. Appreciate the thought. Maybe these will keep me from gluing Borchek’s mouth shut. I… just… yeah. Thanks.” and he glanced away and let the hair fall over his face.
She felt a little awkward. “Oh, well…your..your welcome. It’s a good thing you yelled. I wouldn’t have heard you. They’re set to recognize each voice in the lab and their normal decible level. So anyone who ‘shouts’ will be heard.” She shrugged. But she just admitted she’d spent hours listening to recordings of him talking or she had a very exact memory and was able to recall it in order to program the pods. “Next time just use your combadge.” Her face suddenly broke out into a smile, a real one, as something clicked. She walked the rest of the way over to his table and leaned forward against it. Her voice low, not wanting to get anyone else’s attention. “You, Solomon Kane, have a double standard. Gluing his mouth shut would harm him, but I put him in a containment field to save him from chemical burns and I get yelled at?”
Kane leaned forward and put his face just inches from her, his green eyes looking into hers. “No, not a double standard. I honestly don’t care that you put him in a containment field. I care that Talky-McChatterbox over there is going to whimper and whine about how mean and cruel we are to someone who may actually listen and then they will come in here and ruin what could be a very nice… quiet…” and he smiled slightly, “… and uninterrupted space. Thats what I was worried about. Someone ruining a…” and he leaned back and looked at her with a mischievous grin,
”… really good thing.”
She nodded, then turned red, looking away as his meaning sank in. Forcing her self to think she conceded that interference from higher ups could be an issue, but it was of no concern. “That won’t happen, everything was filed correctly. In fact he might not be quieter but he might be more careful.” She shrugged, at least Borchek’s work was confined to his space, or so it seemed. He wasn’t there yet. “So your good thin....I hope they help.” She returned to her table and her work. She replaced the pods and set the music to filter softly through them, today was ancient Earth European epics. She hummed quietly to some of them, but so low that the pods wouldn’t pick it up. At the end of her shift, having skipped any meal, she cleaned her space, securing her samples and her files. Nothing classified today. She removed the pods and put them back in the box setting them near her monitor before leaving the lab.
Kane watched her leave… and the earbuds. Another wicked grin and he moved swiftly to her station and snagged the box. He took them back to his station and spent thirty minutes… ‘modifying’… them without interfering with Alexis’ delicate work. He reboxed them and set them back as he found them, and then left the lab till tomorrow.
Alexis walked in, 0430, the lab was quiet. She set her music, the same as the day before, and put the pods in. They seemed to do the trick. Borchek and the rest could chatter away and she could work uninterrupted. Frigga was in their quarters, a day off for the working dog. Alexis was working on a 3-d model oblivious to everything and everyone else in the lab. She didn’t even look up as the door opened and Kane and the rest arrived. She was taking notes on the model and referring to slides under a microscope, and making sketches on actual paper using an old fashioned pencil. Then she looked at another slide and back at the model, then quickly to her computer pulling up information in the library medical archives. A grin spread across her face and she started manipulating the 3-D model pulling in new pieces discarding old and moving pieces around.
Kane looked at her as he came in and he put his buds in. When the smile spread across her face, he whispered “Nice smile, Bonner. Glad to see the experiment is working out.” without looking up.
There was no reaction from her at all. Her hands kept moving her gaze riveted to what she was looking at. After several more minutes she paused, stepped back, turning the model to different perspectives. She tapped the screen and swiped and another 3D model appeared, this one a neuron cell. She expanded it and took the other model and set it inside the neuron model and began manipulating DNA strands. Her hands danced through the double helix, flittering around it like playing a piano. After an hour she stepped back rolling her shoulders, tipping her head from side to side, glaring at it. She tapped a finger against her side, head tipped to the side. She turned the model again. She went back to the computer flicking through articles and data. She wasn’t aware of it, but he could hear her muttering about regeneration rates and lack of lasting damage. And then something about the possibility of forcing the creation of new neuron cells.
Kane thought perhaps he hadn’t connected something right, but he kept an eye on her throughout the hour. As she stood and muttered to herself, he knew that the buds were working, so he decided to up the gamble a bit.
“Hey, Alexis. We should get that dinner tonight. Can’t create new neurons on an empty stomach.”
She blinked, her focus coming off the screen and looking around, but purposely not at him. People loved gossip, and that comment would certainly get attention, but no one seemed to notice, so it wasn’t that he raised his voice, so how did the pods pick up the sound. She hadn’t been speaking loudly either, so…she finally met his gaze, he’d modified them. She turned back to her work, she didn’t say anything to his comment. But after several minutes, “I’m still thinking.” She zoomed out on the model and brought in a new model, a chemical composition, the model of the neuron she took and pulled up the chemical composition of it and ran the models side by side…suddenly she merged the two and they overlapped, matching up. She turned back to the computer having it run simulations and check her calculations. She sat down rubbing the back of her neck, waiting for what she already knew was a positive result.
“Your brain works too fast for that. You’re not thinking.. you’re stalling.” and he sighed. “You either want to, which is great; or you don’t, and that’s fine too. Like I said, whenever.” and he looked up at her but kept whispering.
She was looking at her screen, but shook her head in the negative to his words. She was thinking, but this analytical and the risk seemed to big to her.
“Look under your spare sample case.”
It was a handful of minutes before she did. She was watching something on her screen, and though she’d heard him it didn’t take immediate attention from the numbers, but she nodded that she’d heard him. Then whatever she’d been watching seemed to no longer matter and she opened the cabinet next to her right leg and looked inside.
Under the case was a drawing on paper and done with pencil. Two hands of cards held, one each, in a feminine hand and a heavily tattooed hand. In the tattooed hand: 9 of Spades, 10 or spades, jack of spades, king of spades…
And the queen of hearts.
In the feminine hand: 9 of diamonds, 10 of diamonds, jack of diamonds, queen of diamonds…
And the king of hearts.
The drawing was exquisite, beautiful. But instead of being moved towards flattery, she felt her throat squeeze tightly, and she made herself swallow. He was messing with her. That was all. It was a cruel joke. She put it face down on the table.
On the back of the paper was a hand written note.
‘Lounge, tonight, 7 pm. I’ll be in the far back corner table. Hope to see you there.’
The doors to the lab slid open and closed behind Kane, who had got up and left as she looked at the picture.
She stared at the writing, picked it up and looked at him, but he was gone and the pods were his work table. She was tempted to run out after him and ask him why, but she couldn’t leave the simulations and she had to set up the samples to run the next day. Her work had to come first, it was all she had. Her work and Frigga. She worked through the rest of the shift. But at 1900 she appeared in the lounge, despite her better judgement, Frigga walking beside her, glancing up at Alexis frequently. Oddly enough she was in jeans and knit sweater and not in uniform. She glanced around spotted him at the table and hesitated, but she was already there. She didn’t sit down but placed the drawing on the table. “Why are you doing this?” Her voice cracked and she wasn’t proud of it, but there wasn’t much she could about it. “Is it really that funny to try and humiliate me?” She’d played nice, hadn’t she?
Kane was dressed in jeans and green v-neck shirt with a worn leather jacket over it. Oddly, his hair was brushed back and tied at the base of his skull with a silver clasp with some kind of engraving on it. When she spoke, his face clouded. He sat back and looked up at her, his fingers drumming on top of the picture. For almost a minute, he just looked at her, his green pupils burning between narrowed eye lids.
“Humiliate you, huh? So thats why you dragged your feet? Because having a dinner with me would be humiliating for you?” His question was delivered quietly, but there was an edge to his voice that caused his words to sound like an growl.
She blinked, well it was but not because she felt he was less, the other way around. She’d been told often she was not catch, she was too weird, too smart, but not too pretty. “No…that’s not…”
“I’m so sorry I didn’t go to the Academy at 17 and become the poster child for theoretical experimentation by 22. Some of us actually had to work to get where we are.” Kane stood up and looked down at Alexis. “I thought you were different, that’s why I asked you to dinner. And I don’t play games with people’s heads. Thats for cowards.” He looked back at the table. On it sat a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a PaDD.
She opened her mouth and closed it. She was wrong. Her body went so hot she was cold, and her ears were ringing. She misunderstood.
“Enjoy the wine. I won’t bother you again. And don’t worry. I’ll say you are playing nice if they ask. Wont be the first time I’ve lied to ‘em.” and he moved past her and towards the exit.
She touched his hand, barely as he moved past. “I’m sorry. I misunderstood. I…was afraid it was like before. I was young…” She didn’t think he’d let her explain but she had to apologize, he deserved it. She didn’t deserve to explain, “I’m sorry.” She wiped her face, where she’d started crying. Solis’ mocking laughter rang in her ears.
Kane stopped when her hand touched his and his head whipped around, the scowl on his face more than apparent. When he saw her tears, his scowl deepened, but it wasn’t anger based then… it was confusion.
“Before? Before wh-…” and he cut himself off and simply jutted his chin towards the table. “Sit. You don’t want to walk through here like that.” and he guided her to the table and took a seat. He handed her a napkin and said “Here. Now take a second and then maybe you can let me know what the hell is going on.”
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