||[Feb. 11th, 2005|04:32 pm]
Players: Vincent and Rebecca
Rating: G (It's Vincent, man.)
Vincent was whistling a classical piece by the great 20th century composer, John Williams. The 'Star Wars Opening Theme' was a very particular and very specific favourite of his, reserved for times when he was in full creative overdrive and capering about his workspace like Luke Skywalker in a lab coat. A culture vat of something that smelled like biology was open, and he was busy micropipetting samples of the contents onto a tray of skin administration patches.
Rebecca walked with a heavier hit to her step than normal. Almost a clomp. Clomp, clomp. The beat of Rebecca's feet indicated an anger. A restrained rage, perhaps. Not the same rage fueled by the roses, but a related rage. She stopped inside the door way, hands on her hips, upper body inclined forward. "Vincent. I need to talk to you."
Dum de de dum DUM, dum-diddy-DUM-DUM. Williams was whistled onwards. It was fortunate that a micropipette could only dispense a set amount of content, or Vincent's sudden startle reflex at the sound of Rebecca's voice would have resulted in biochemicals all over the floor. "Rebecca!!" he jumped to attention, the whistling ceased as if it had never been. "You've come to see my work? It's been -ages- since I got to do any biochem stuff, and I'm actually getting to help the community! Or... a community. A community of one. But it's help!"
"About that community of one," Rebecca said, ignoring Vincent's enthusiasm as irrelevent. "Who is he and how did he get in here?"
"Oh, him?" Vincent, demonstratably, couldn't understand the consept of discretion if it had been explained in 20 foot high holo-projection. "His name's Sascha," he explained cheerily, squirting solution onto another patch and smiling with goofy pride as it integrated with the delivery membrane. "He's a -transgenic-, and his mum used to be a scientist and give him meds to control some of his defects, but then she died."
"His mom used to be a scientist. Did she create him?" Rebecca wasn't going to worry about tact when the subject wasn't present. Of course, if he was present, she still probably wouldn't worry over much. "How much he is paying you for this?"
"I don't know," Vincent shrugged amiably, finishing with his patches and then sliding them into a warming oven to heat seal properly. "But you should see his genetic structure, Becca-- er, Rebecca." he hastily corrected himself. Becca had been permissible only as pillow talk endearment, and would likely get him slapped now. "I think one of his parents was part of that Russian experiment to make the human brain think faster. And he's not paying me anything..." Here he trailed off and looked concerned. "Should he be? He seemed so nice,"
Snort. Nice. Because you're male and innocent as a really /stupid/ puppy, sweetie. Rebecca struggled to hide a grimace. Especially at the Becca. Especially at the not paying anything. Especially altogether. "Vincent. Drugs are not free. Neither is research. Neither do you have more than a vague inkling of where he comes from and, apparently, neither is he paying you. Does it ever occur to you this sort of thing might not be a good idea?"
"Well, it's not like I can't afford to cover it out of my own pocket," Vincent replied, sounding a little stung. "Honestly, Rebecca, it's not like I really have to scrimp and pinch with the salary we're on, and I'm not ripping off the Institute, if that's what you're asking." Science was a goddess even more worshipped than the beloved Rebecca, and the Institute, as her temple, was a sanctuary inviolable. "Does it matter where he comes from? He needs help, and I can help him."
"You help one and your . . . reputation will spread further. He won't be the last to come to you for help. Vincent. This Sascha isn't one of those street beggers that asks for mercy. He carries himself with experience. For all you know, this is a ruse. For all you know, he's trying to figure out exactly what you can do." Rebecca folded her arms. "Vincent. You're very talented. You're very naive. People will use that. Especially transgens who are mostly outside of the law already."
VIncent looked distinctly uneasy at the tack of the conversation, not because of any chance that he was actually being swayed by Rebecca's words, but because his goddess of the genome was voicing sentiments disturbingly contrary to his own. "Rebecca...!" There was a hint of the frantic, and a hint of confused whine in his tone. "I never thought you were a genetic bigot...! And it's not ruse. I've got full scans of his genes, his neurochem, his MRI and CT.... he can't fake this. And we're supposed to -help- the transgens, that's what they said when I joined the Institute. That we'd help everyone."
"Not a genetic bigot," Rebecca said, more exasperated than angry. This was, after all, Vincent. "I'm speaking of a very specific kind of transgen as embodied by that young man. It's the same very specific kind of Basic human or Enchanced human that would walk right into an Institute laboratory and a little swagger and expect free treatment doctored for him and only him. These people are outside of the law in the sense that they honestly don't give a damn about anything but their own skin. You should think about that. You should compare them to the needy who go through the correct channels and in so doing, help everyone. Do you understand?"
"Then why don't you say a specific kind of transgen?" Vincent huffed, experiencing the strange and heretical sensation of being angry with Rebecca. (Of course, anger in Vincent would probably equate to anyone else's pet peeve.) "You know what, Rebecca? I think you're just... just... just... He liked my roses!!" Vincent burst out, huffing and pacing like a skinny, messy-haired bull.
He is. A. Scuzzball. A little of this liably showed on Rebecca's face. She frowned sharply. "He liked your roses. Or he saw your roses as what they are. A lower rung on the stepladder to more dangerous things. Watch out, Vincent." She began to withdraw. "I'll be watching out for you. But I can't hold your hand."
"I'm not asking you to." Vincent huffed a little more, although this one was a patently false sort of huff, and the look on his face before he turned away to check on his drug patches indicated that he knew it. "I'm... I'm a grown man, Rebecca. If I want to help somebody, then... then... I'm darn well going to help them! It's better than him going to some back-alley hack and ending up dead!"
"Yes. But one day, Vincent, I'm telling you, it's not going to be an urchin in need. Grown as you are, you know remarkably little about people. About their motives. About their drives. About what they might do or who they might trample to get what they want as well as need." Rebecca, of course, knew all about that. Yes. "Work through the right channels. Lobby for better help for the transgens. But going out into the streets yourself . . . will only end in you being the one dead and no use to anyone."
"Well, that's why I invited him here." replied Vincent with unaccustomed shortness. "I'm not an idiot, Rebecca. And I have work to do. Please leave now."
Rebecca nodded and left. She'd made her point.