08.17.3013: My Shadow's Shedding Skin
Summary: Some Orelleans and Arborenin interact with the captured Hostile.
Date: 17 August 2013
Related: To Catch a Hostile
Sarah Hadrian Agnes Ariana Brigham 


Holding Cell, the Netherkeep
A cell.
August 17, 3013

It has been 24 hours since the Hostile Soldier unit arrived in Khar-Mordune. It spent the first 12 hours of captivity in the secured lab of Brigham Peake. There it was stripped of its armor and weapons and given a preliminary physical. Unlike previously captive units of the Third System War, this unit has been determined about 75% organic with obvious cybernetic replacements being its lower arms and legs and eyes. None of the cybernetic units appeared to be weaponized, but precautions were still taken and the limbs were deactivated with inhibitors. Various jacks have been found all over its frame, and even inside its mouth. Once it was assured that the Hostile was mostly contained, it was escorted to one of the holding cells in the garrison of the Netherkeep.

There it has been for the last hours, accepting water but no food. It has been placed on a seat in the middle of the cell, its arms and legs limp from below the elbows and knees. It has been guarded at all times by no less than two guards, and security cameras with audio have been running in a constant stream. Multi-spectrum comm blockers have been activated to be certain that it is not transmitting any frequencies. It is isolated, it is alone. It stares forward with luminous blue cybernetic eyes, its expression blank. It has yet to speak, but reports have stated it has only been conscious for the last four hours.

Lord Doctor Hadrian Orelle had many interests. The foremost, and most recent, was the Hostile 'Infection' of their galaxy. He arrived at the secured location where the 'subject' was being kept. With ever present doctor's bag in hand the man arrived in his typical lab gear: A howie-style labcoat with light blue collar, and black buttons. Orelle colors were one so quick to notice as much. Never one for much fanfare he arrived at the agreed upon time- his request to see the subject, apparently, granted. He speaks to a guard as he arrives. "How long has it been sitting there?"

Agnes looks exhausted. She got word late last night about the loss of one niece and the terrible injuries to the other. She was in Spikka visiting Jarek, and she came back as quickly as she could to speak to her brother. She's in a surcoat over a tunic and breeches bearing the sigil of House Peake. Her eyes are haunted, but also darkly angry. She stands aside to observe the proceedings.

The guard that Hadrian speaks to looks up toward the Orellean, and she glances over her shoulder to the statuesque Hostile. "Four hours," she reports solemnly. "It doesn't have much of an option, my Lord… its cybernetics have been inhibited. It is unable to stand or walk." She then glances toward Agnes, straightening a bit as she offers the tall woman a sharp nod of her chin. "Sir."

Brigham is not pleased. He spent days preparing his lab for containment. Double layered Faraday Cages to block every conceivable transmission, titanium restraint collars, a surgical suite where, if provoked, he fully intended to remove all of the creatures limbs and leave merely a torso to deal with. He set aside a completely closed circuit computer inside the Cages so that he could use it's computational power to assist in his examination, and then, of course, there were the rigged traps on the off chance it attempted to escape. The asplodey kind. And then? Twelve hours. He got it for twelve hours. And none of them was alone. Which … may have been by order of his brother who would know better then to leave the Hostile with Brigham who now finds himself one sibling short.

Now he stands outside the cell, staring at the creature. His face is grave, quiet and distant, perhaps even cold, a calm hardness where usually there is nothing but energy and bustle. His ever present hat is missing, as is his coat, and his shirt is covered in the smeared dried blood of those he treated after the battle. He's not changed it yet. Beside him, resting on the ground, is a decidedly heavy pack, containing his medical equipment, his tech gear (the non-wireless ones), and more then a handful of custom made gadgets, tools, and random thingie-ma-bobs only Brigham would think to bring. He seems to be thinking. Hard. Like the Hostile, he's not said a word in hours.

The news of Yolanda's death continues to hang heavily in the air, even into the next day. Ariana's expression is slightly grimmer than the norm and she makes her way to the appointed cell in a brisk walk. Dressed in a white lab coat, the collar of the jacket is joined together by a silver chained clasp with the glowing cyan crest of House Larent at her throat. Her hair is neatly done up into a bun, as she always wears in these professional situations and just as with the others, she now stands before the cell, cold blue eyes watching the… creature as is sits there in silence.

"Excellent." Hadrian says as he approaches the captive, coming to stand near Brigham. He gives a nod towards his fellow 'scientist'. From the pocket of his coat he pulls out a small HUD and attaches it to his ear. It has a sort of lens that covers one eye. All signals out, of course, are jammed. That doesn't mean he can't record to physical medium. "Subject's limbs have been rendered to a non-functioning status via cybernetic inhibitor. Reports state water has drank, but other sustenance refused. This is subject at hour four. With me are others interested in the Hostile menace, and a final cure for the disease infecting our galaxy."

Agnes watches, unable to bring herself to meet her nephew's eyes. She should have been there to protect them all. She pinches the bridge of her nose a moment to refocus.

The static forcefield that remains active over the door gives a sense that the Hostile is an animal in a zoo cage, spectators watching through a window, noses presses to the glass. There is the slightest change in its expression. A sparse eyebrow lifts slightly, its cybernetic scanning over the slowly growing line up of Havenites outside of its cell. Its gaze does not linger on either of them for long, sweeping from right to left and then back again. Then its eyes return forward and it shifts just slightly on the seat. "Your ability to stare has been noted," it says finally, its voice a flat alto — or tenor depending on gender assumptions. Then it looks back toward Hadrian.

Brigham reaches down to grip his bag and shoulders it firmly before nodding at the shield, the motion small but clear. Drop the shield. The shield goes down and Brigham walks through the cavity left in it's place and moves purposefully over to the restrained creature. When he's a couple of feet away he stops and reaches into the pack, pulling out what looks like a fairly large book. This he begins to unfold, and once it's opened enough, he simply seems to shake it once and four pegs extend downward, the flat section unfolding further and locking in place. A portable table, all shiney and aluminum one would guess since it didn't seem to be to heavy. Then he begins turns back to the pack and begins to rummage around. Still, he says nothing.

Ariana is also recording this conversation as well as adding her own personal notes to a tablet which she carries with her. Turning slightly in Hadrian's direction to regard the man when the Hostile addresses him with her eyes, she looks very much as if she wished to say something in return. Chin lifted gently, she draws in a deep breath, waiting to see if Brigham has anything to bring up before she inquires of things herself. And then… Brigham requests that the shield be deactivated and immediately, she turns, first, to look upon Hadrian and then towards Agnes where she stands. Slowly, she steps forward, more out of curiosity, but the steps taken are done with caution.

Although known for being rather 'odd', Hadrian is not known for assumptive thinking. "Subject displays sarcastic wit. Inferred ability for conscious and independent thought." The Orelle Doctor states, "Your ability to sit silently has also been noted. Your communicative abilities, now documented, leaves you in a rather unique position: Are you willing to answer questions?" Hadrian states, shifting from simply talking his notes out-loud to questioning the subject as if they were part of the same endeavor. With the force-field down he follows behind Brigham, coolly watching as he begins to set up some equipment. "Pardon me, Lord." Hadrian begins. "Given the wishes of the Crown at this time, I must ask your intended action." He keeps himself well out of arm's reach- his focus mostly on the 'Subject'. "It would be best if we, as scientists, worked in a unified way…."

Hadrian pauses as a thought comes to him. "Note: Request permission to take biological samples of Crown Council for further testing. Blood, tissue, and cybernetic samples. Ensure testing equipment on hand for immediate use to ensure lack of degradation of previously stated samples." He turns then simply to the Subject. "Do you have a name, or other designation?" He simply asks these questions, regardless of the Subject's reply or not to previous inquiries.

Agnes doesn't enter the cell. She continues to watch from a distance. She doesn't trust herself to come any closer to the Hostile and not tear it apart, research be damned. There is a twitch at the corner of her left eye as a vein throbs in her forehead.

The Hostile's gaze continues to track the movements of the Havenites. Those circuit-covered oculars trace from Hadrian to Brigham. The interior iris, almost unseen across the entire luminosity, seems to rotate around the bright center of its pupil — almost similar to a zoom function. Then it turns its head toward the others who enter its cell, and then it turns its gaze forward once more. There is a twitch at the corner of its mouth at Hadrian's words, but its gaze remains forward. "A question that must be asked in reciprocal," it says. "Are you willing to answer questions?" There is a pause before it replies. "Yes, I do have a name or other designation."

Brigham wordlessly reaches down into his heavy pack and pulls out the largest device in the heavy pack, it rather loosely resembles a stove, but unfolded twice it's obvious that is also possesses a centrifuge on it, and a highly sensitive and remarkably small mass spectrometer, capable of taking small samples but nothing overly large. It's a portable frikkin' lab. Sure, it's not like it would give deep tissue scans or anything, but for chemical, biological, hell even metalurgical samplings it's every bit as good as using a big machine in a full lab. Brigham eyes Hadrian with the same cold distant look he's had since he spent a good portion of the last day patching up the people he could, and for the one he could not, preparing her for her funeral. Apparently he's thought ahead.

His eyes then travel over to Ariana, "They confiscated my plasma cutter." he says flatly, "Laser cutter, the hack saw from the Willem's maintenance shed, two containers of fluorosulfuric acid." he informs her, the first words he's spoken in so long his voice is unnaturally deep and gravely now that it's finally used. He turns back to his work, pulling out a few more tools, sampling kit among them, and waves Hadrian at the lot of it in invitation. He can take all the samples he wants. Brigham would suggest he do it with something large and pointy that preferably hadn't been cleaned in a long forever or two. He then pulls out a small handheld device and a matching pair of occular readers, similar looking to goggles that just seal to his skin around his eyes genterly. He then walks over and flicks on a switch on the side of the device, a laser pattern emitting from it. He starts at the creature's toes, fearlessly leaning close over it to allow maximum resolution for the scan. This cold detachment from the usually overly excited Brigham is more then a little disconcerting. "I plan to strip this thing of it's secrets. Among other things. Eventually." he adds almost as an after thought to Hadrian.

Ariana has never, personally, heard a Hostile speak before and especially not in the same language as all of Haven. So when the thing speaks in its odd voice, it comes off as a bit unnerving. Of course, the young scientist's focus will always remain on their captive. It doesn't matter if the thing is bound or supposedly deactivated, Ariana's mind is always on the idea that, yes, this thing will eventually make its escape. Just like the last one on the Ring. Still, a concerned look is given to Brigham and his pack, but soon her voice speaks up in an inquiring tone in regards to the conversation at hand. "Are you free to tell us your name?" She asks the Hostile, but then Brigham finally speaks and when he does so, he pulls out an arsenal of science equipment… which she almost finds surprising that they all could fit into that one bag.

Hadrian just looks to the Hostile. His own eyes cold. Calculating. "I am willing to hear your questions." Hadrian replies simply, "As I am sure the others are, as well. As for answers- that is what this is all about. Answers. What then, do you prefer to be called?" he wonders of the capture Hostile, as he reaches up himself to fiddle with his recording device. "We have similar aims, My Lord. I would, again, suggest we of the scientific community work in concert." He does take a moment to look over Brigham's basket of goodies, "Lovely instruments. And since you've offered." He looks to the Subject, and he opens his own bag. Inside, his own sets of scientific scanning gear. Nothing invasive, just yet- MEdical, chemical, biological all wrapped into an easy to use package. "I would suggest you begin taking food." he offers to the Subject. "I so hate inserting feeding tubes, and knowing my luck it would be I who this task was demanded of." He starts his own scans.

When the thing speaks, Agnes' teeth grind in her skull. She folds her arms over her chest to keep her hands from curling into fists. Her grief is worn like a cloak, radiating off her.

When the equipment is brought out, it seems unphased. It stares forward, its limp wrists and hands resting on its thighs. At the follow-up questions, the entity does give a small pause. "I recommend that if you expect explicit answers, you should find alternative methods to assert your inquiries. Your failure to be unequivocal has resulted in a less than optimal answer," the Hostile says in that flat alto, though there is a perceptible hint of a patronizing tone. Then it finally answers, prompted by Ariana and Hadrian's follow-ups, "Yes, I am free to tell you my name. I am Sarah One-One-Three of One-Five-Eight." Still, those luminous eyes remain fixed forward. If it is tracing the movements around it, it does so through other means. "Then I am similarly acquiescent to hear your questions, but I will determine if I will answer them." Pause. "Your sustenance is poorly formulated."

Brigham's face remains impassive as he works, slowly moving over a calf 'muscle' and towards the knee. "What is your age figured by years as measured by this planets revolutions?" he asks, being extremely explicit in his questions. "What is your primary purpose? Will you offer a complete translation of your native language or languages for our scholars to better increase the accuracy of comminication between our species? How does your coding system differ from our own? Do you possess a prefered or favorite color, if so what is it? Do you experience pain physical or emotional?" he asks all of this as if they were stream of consciousness questions. He doesn't look up from the knee his lasers are currently pouring over.

Once all of Brigham's equipment is brought out and stragetically placed about the room in some organized fashion, Ariana takes another few steps closer to assist in getting some of the equipment set up and monitoring the output. However, she turns slowly, her eyes lift to regard the thing seated there before them, all at the mention of the Hostile's name. The name itself is a curious one. Sarah? All of this is noted into her tablet once her hands are free. It seems that the once silent Brigham has now opened up and out of him spills all of the questions that is on everyone's mind.. and then some. So as she does her own scan readings, moving in closer, finally, to get a better look at their captive, she simply waits for the thing… creature… whatever it is to respond and when the mention of sustenance is made, while her brow arches as if knowing something or other regarding this, she does not say a word.

"If you require a different nutrient base, I'd suggest informing me." Hadrian replies in that same cool tone. "I can ensure at least that. In fact, I'd be all too happy to personally formulate this for you." he offers. "I am called Hadrian." he replies simply, leaving last names and lordly titles to the side. Its not as if he was Lord of anything to a Hostile. "Despite the situation, you cannot not know how pleased I am to meet you, Sarah One-One-Three of One-Five-Eight." The Doctor, indeed, sounds quite pleased. He even smiles ever so slightly. "I am sure that our relationship will be very… informative." he continues as his non-invasive scans continue. The device chirping cheerfully as various information points appear on the screen.

"What do you call yourselves?" Hadrian wonders to the captive. "And what do you call us?" The Lord Doctor adds to Brigham's questions. Although some of Brigam's questions receive a raised eyebrow from the Orelle.

Agnes can't deal with this any more. She shakes her head and departs to go comfort her brother and the new heir of Peake. If she stayed, she'd end up popping the thing's, no Sarah 113 of 158's head off like a daisy. She goes before she can't help herself any more.

It turns its head toward Brigham at his question. The interior iris rotates once more as he starts to touch its unresponsive limbs. It answers one of his questions, the others left consciously unanswered per their assumed agreement. "Your people have referred to my engineered purpose as a Soldier Unit, which is an accurate description." Then it looks over toward Ariana, and its gaze moves in a vertical sweep up and down the woman's frame before she turns her gaze forward once more. "Release me and you will not have to concern yourself with my nutrient base, Hadrian of the Inner Worlds… release me, and I will inform the Others that those of your desired quadrant have proven their intellect and they will be spared." There is a pause as it seems to consider the Orellean's other questions. "I have given you my designation, but if you desire a more diminutive name, you may refer to me as Sarah." It does not look at the others once more. The muscles in its jaw give the slightest flex — an aggressive gesture. "You are formally referred to as the Inner Worlders," it says, its voice losing some of that even flatness.

Brigham notes the lack of answers for his other questions and he doesn't comment. That's fine. It can play hard to get all it wants, Brigham has all the time in the world to find out the secrets he desires. He's made it to the hip now, the laser scanner recording it's findings as it goes. "So your favorite color is classified. Understood." he states wryly. Hey… that was almost a joke. Maybe he's starting to lighten up. Sure. Why not.

Moving from her position at Brigham's side, Ariana crosses the room to step up close to Hadrian when she informs the man, "We have samples of their rations. It shouldn't be too difficult to duplicate." Returning to her own readings, her gaze lifts from her scanner to look directly into Sarah 113 of 158's eyes, she then asks, "And will the Others listen to your statement and your suggestion of 'sparing' us?" Somehow, the Larent has her doubts and there is a clear look of skepticism on her features.

"Most interesting." Hadrian states as his scanner chirps, and he looks at the results. He takes a step away from the Hostile, nodding to Ariana. "Excellent. Please have some delivered to me. I'll go about replicating an appropriate amount to be kept on hand. It would be rather untoward to allow a captive to starve."

"I'm going to take some small tissue samples." Hadrian states to Sarah, ever the professional. "Would you be so kind as to open your mouth?" he wonders of her as he takes another something from his bag: a scraping device for the gathering of samples on the inner cheek. "My colleague has a point." he says towards Sarah. "You are, as you said a Soldier Unit. Soldiers, in most military organizations are not the decision makers and ultimately carry little sway."

Hadrian steps aside a moment to speak out loud, more notes it would seem. "Subject designated Sarah One One Three of One Five eight. Preliminary scans show organ placement, size and function to be identical to that of humans. Scans show it to be primarily organic with minimal cybernetic enhancement, or replacement apart from its limbs. Said limbs are intensively attached to a humanoid skeletal structure."

Those cybernetic eyes stare directly back into Ariana's, irises rotating once more. "You won't know until you release me." It does not drop its gaze from the Larent's. It disregards Hadrian's request for a long moment, the predatory moment held with the woman for as long as it deems necessary. Then she turns her head toward Hadrian. "Your Knight Commander is a Soldier," it replies flatly. Then it opens its mouth to him so that he may swab its cheek. There are cybernetic receptors in its mouth, on its inner cheeks. It says nothing when Hadrian determines its humanity.

Brigham's scan continues, slower then Hadrian's, but also more detailed and less about organic components then The Other Stuff. "Are you cloned or bred?" he asks, trying to keep his questions snort and explict still.

An uneasiness begins to wash over Ariana the longer contact is made with the Hostile's gaze, but soon that contact is broken and the young scientist turns, offering Hadrian a nod. "I shall do that right away. Our guest has already been without food for long enough." Pivoting on her heels, she makes her way out of the cell to a location where open communication is once more established. Speaking on her comm she orders, "I will need those ration samples from the Arborenin Hostile pod sent to Dr. Hadrian Orelle. Immediately."

"She is of breeding age, and has mature ovum." Hadrian states blandly over towards his fellow researcher as he carefully scrapes the inside of Sarah's cheek. "It suggests that, like ourselves, the Cybernetic enhancements are added later." He offers as the sample is placed in a secure and sterile container. "I will be using field rations to ensure you a proper supply of food. Apart from reactivating your limbs, as I am afraid security procedure will unlikely allow it, is there something I can do to make your stay more comfortable?" he wonders of the prisoner.

"I don't understand the question," Sarah says to Brigham. Then it looks over toward Hadrian as he speaks of her ovum, though her expression remains unreadable. "If you will not release me, not allow me to return to my people, then there is nothing you can do to make me comfortable." Then she turns her gaze forward once more.

Brigham's scanner moves up to the creature's head, doing it's last few sweeps, "Your organic material, was it cloned or bred into existence?" he asks idly.

"Is that so? I noticed you had a rather serious wound to your chest." Hadrian continues. "Perhaps you would let me treat it." It was a simple statement. "I am a Doctor, and although it will heal with minimal issue I imagine that the quality of the medicine you've received thusly has been… lacking. It is undoubtedly causing you discomfort." He moves then again to his bag, and removes a slightly more invasive testing item: A syringe. "I will be taking a blood sample, as well." he informs the subject. However, Brigham's question again comes up. Hadrian remains quiet, waiting for Brigham's test to complete.

The Hostile fixes Brigham with those luminous blue eyes, and her expression becomes even more haughty. It appears this is a question she will not be answering as she looks forward once more and decends into silence. She doesn't even regard Hadrian at his offer to treat her injuries.

Brigham eyes the woman for a long moment, then shrugs. There are bodies he can search, DNA testing could prove one way or another given he can find another of the Sarah's. He doesn't seem concerned. "My scans are complete. I'm going to begin work. Summon me when the bans on invasive scanning are lifted." he turns to go and pauses at the shield wall, then walks through once it comes down, "See to it my lab equipment is packed away at some point." he informs a guard, who looks a little pale at the suggestion, "But do not remove it from the room until I can decontaminate it." he then turns to walk on, lifting the occular readers from his eyes and beginning to prep the scanning device for a break down. If he spent any more time in that room he was going to break off a piece of his equipment and starts carving out the creature's various and interesting organs. With a shiv.

"I'd prefer to have your permission, Sarah." Hadrian states simply. "But I do intend to ensure your health and safety as far as I am able." And until her living usefulness has passed. This, of course, remains unsaid. "Or, you can be stubborn. Of all those who have so far interacted with you, only I have offered you any succor." He has waited, of course, until Brigham has left.

"You may depart now," Sarah says to Hadrian simply. "My injuries have been seen to. I do not need further assistance."

"Very well." The Doctor replies, "I will go after I take my blood sample." Hadrian is quick and efficient in his taking. Sarah is not really in any place to deny him, clearly. "I will leave my contact information with the Guard, and you should receive sustenance chemically and biologically suitable for you shortly. Should you change your mind, simply ask for Hadrian." The man turns at that and begins towards the door. The Forcefield is undoubtedly re-engaged as he steps out. "It has been a pleasure meeting you, Sarah One One Three of One Five Eight. It has been enlightening. I do hope we have another meeting soon…" He pauses before he leaves. "Rations are often rather plain. Is there something I could add to the formulation to make them slightly more appetizing?" A single final question/

Sarah lifts her eyes toward his, and she stares with that almost predatory gaze at his. "We do not require additives, Hadrian of the Inner Worlds. I will inform you if the formula needs adjustments." Then she closes her eyes, relaxing her frame back as if she intends to rest — or at least to fake it — for a while.

Hadrian smirks ever so slightly as he leaves. "Contact me should something change. You should receive the first shipment of rations shortly." With that, the Doctor leaves the prisoner and goes on his way, bag in hand. He leaves nothing behind.

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