09.02.3013: Bloodlines
Summary: Devon checks on her patient, and gives Rook some shocking and disturbing news.
Date: 01 September 2013
Related: Weaning and Hostile Relations
Devon Ithaca 

Infirmary — Volkan, The Crescent
The Infirmary of the Volkan Barracks is bright, clean, and sterile; the complete antithesis of the world above. There is a general care ward, with moveable beds in small alcoves, only granted privacy by curtains on cuved metal rods. Equipment sits in each unit for emergency treatment, and some long care treatment.

There is a surgical unit down the western hall, with three bays, for handling urgent care of soldiers severely wounded. A recovery area is at the end of the hall. Down the eastern hallway are several dogs, each leading to one of a dozen long-term care rooms. Every room is furnished with two beds and a few chairs, a bathroom, nightstands, and connections for specific equipment depending on the needs of the patient.

02 September 3013

It is early evening when Devon Grantham sweeps into the infirmary. Her pale orange hair has been piled up neatly in a succession of braids, and her simple tunic and breeches suggest a casual air. She checks in with the desk nurse and then heads to find Ithaca. She bears with her a simple tablet, and her expression is sober.

Rook looks bored. Bored bored bored. She's been in this place for days, has no tablet to mess with, and is so tired of daytime holonet broadcasts that she's taken to reading some fashion magazines, of all things, provided by a nurse. She looks up as Devon enters, and there's a spark of hopefulness in her expression that maybe she'll be let out of here. Her eyes twitch a few times from the lessening withdrawl.

Devon offers a light smile toward the woman as she looks up, and she offers a gentle nod of her head. "Good to see you more lucid today, Rook," she greets simply. She draws gathers up a chair, drawing it to the woman's bedside. She sits down, setting her tablet in her lap. She clears her throat. "How are you feeling?" She asks, her voice obviously conversational.

"Chills stopped," Rook replies, which is a good thing. "Tired. Ok." She shrugs, not having the fluidity of words to better explain herself. "Mostly bored. Holonet sucks." Daytime TV is clearly no better 1000 years into the future. She has real PJs on now, warmer than the hospital gown she'd been in.

Devon offers a bit of a thoughtful smile, and she laughs after a moment. "I could have some movies brought to you if you like," she offers. Then she clears her throat a bit. "But, perhaps my news will help alleviate your boredom," she says, almost mysteriously. She hesitates after a moment, glancing around before she looks back toward Ithaca. "Have you heard of the Hostile captive that was taken from the Khar Mordune lands?"

Rook nods a little. "Some guesses about it." She doesn't mention they were Nitrim's guesses, but leaves it at that. She scrubs a hand through her hair idly, a habit she's taken to since the weaning began, and she's been without cigarettes and beer. "Why?"

Devon intakes a deep breath, brushing her fingers across the tablet to draw up a slideshow of pictures of Sarah 113 of 158. She offers the tablet to Rook to look at. "We've been running an analysis on the Hostile's DNA… she calls herself Sarah One-One-Three of One-Five-Eight. Her DNA is an almost exact match to your ancestor, Sarah Owens… she was your twenty-two times great grandmother." She drifts into silence, letting that sink in first.

Rook takes the datapad and holds it in both hands, staring at the creature being displayed. Her eyes narrow at the words Devon says. "Huh?" is the oh so intelligent response. "Related to that?" She looks back at the pictures. "Don't even know who father is," she admits. "Just knew mother, Nysa Black. Whore." She shrugs. She could be anyone under all those layers of nothingness. "What does it mean?"

Devon gauges the woman's reaction to the news, and then she releases a slow exhale. "We have some theories… Sarah Owens was a soldier for House Orelle… she died during the Second System War. Based on the Hostile's DNA analysis, she is almost an exact match to your grandmother, save for a few genetic maladies that were repaired… her disposition to arthritis, for example." She frowns a bit. "She isn't your grandmother, but she was created from Sarah Owens's DNA."

Rook's brow furrows. "Clone?" she asks. DNA is basically mathematical in nature, and numbers are something she understands. "Hostiles made clone? Of grandma?" She blinks a few times and rubs her face. "Collectors. Collect bodies. Use the DNA?"

Devon nods. "That is our theory. The Hostile does not see it like that… it — she — she is a clone, but… she values herself as an individual." She frowns a bit. "If I was to hazard a guess… they need genetic material to maintain population diversity." She shrugs her shoulders a bit. "If estimates are correct, Fifth World only had about five to seven thousand people on it when it fell out of communication. Hardly enough to create an entire civilization."

"That's what happened? To Fifth?" Rook asks, her blank expression becoming a grimace. "Harvested? Used to make more?" She blanches a bit at the idea of being turned onto one of those mechanical monstrosities. "Not good." Understatement of the millennium.

"Yes," Devon says after a heartbeat. "That is what we believed happen, based on Sarah One-One-Three's statements… it was always a theory, but it now seems more likely than the Hostiles being original Fifth World inhabitants." She steadies herself a bit. "The Hostiles are… Havenites."

"Or invaded," Rook says quietly. "Either became them, or were invaded from somewhere else. Not far-fetched. We invaded this place too," she points out. She frowns. "Why tell me?" she asks, looking up at Devon with her eyes still red from the last continually reduced dose of drugs.

That question weighs on the Ash Witch for a few moments, and then she shrugs her shoulders. "I thought… I would have wanted to know." She folds her fingers together in her lap. "You don't have to talk to her, don't even have to register she exists beyond this conversation… but… she's family." Kinda. "In case that meant something…"

"I could talk to her?" Rook asks, surprised. From all she's heard the security around the Hostile is crazy high. She didn't even dare hack into the infosphere data on it. "Family. Just beginning to mean something. Recently. Brother found me," she confesses to Devon.

Devon shrugs a bit. "Sir Victor has some access, and I'm sure that I can arrange a short visitation if you wanted the opportunity." There is another short pause before she glances around the room as if to see if there are any curious ears eavesdropping this conversation. "Nitrim has also been to see her."

Rook nods. She knows Nitrim has. "Want to see her. Family. Should see her," she agrees. Even if it's just to look her ancestor into the genetically similar face and remind herself what she should never become.

Devon inclines her head. "I will ask Victor if it is possible from his perspective." Then she flashes her teeth a bit. "And if he says no, we can ask Nitrim." Because Six knows he wouldn't turn down the opportunity.

Rook reaches out a hand to touch Devon's very briefly. It's something she doesn't do often, or to many people, but it's a sign of gratitude. "Thank you. For telling me."

Devon offers her a sudden smile at the gentle touch, and she inclines her head as she rests her hand across her own. "You're welcome, Rook…" She gives her hand a squeeze.

Rook ponders if it's her father or mother's side that she's related to Sarah on. But she doesn't voice that. She lays back against the pillows and purses her lips in thought. "Others?" she asks. Who are related to the creature.

Devon shakes her head. "You were the only match. It was a maternal match, not paternal. There were a few outliers, but she is directly up your family tree… a maternal mitochrondrial match."

Rook lets out a breath at that. One relative is enough to try and deal with right now. She's bad at being family. "Ok." That lack of conversational skill would be a primary reason for that.

The Ash Witch offers her a gentle smile before she stands slowly from her chair. She taps the tablet that Ithaca still has in her possession. "You can keep that…" She then gives her hand another squeeze. "You're almost ready to come out of the infirmary. Just another couple of days."

Rook takes the tablet happily. She's been stuck away from her research for too long. "Thanks." She seems equally happy about being let out soon. "Baths?" she asks. Nitrim mentioned she'd probably like the Baths. She has no idea they're semi-public mind you.

And Devon isn't about to share that detail with her. That's half the fun. "Of course," she says with a bit of a smile. "I can ask one of the nurses to escort you there whenever you'd like. They would be good to relax you." She hesitates. "Get some rest, Rook… you're almost out of the woods."

Rook nods her head and lies back to tap away on the datapad. This is rest for her. It calms the numbers in her head when she can organize them into code.

Devon steps away from the woman's bed, pausing once to talk with the desk nurse, and then heads out to return to the Blackspyre.

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