10.03.3013: Outside Turning In
Summary: Ithaca meets Sarah. They discuss choice.
Date: 17 September 2013
Related: Sarah's logs.
Sarah Ithaca 


A Cell, Orielon Watch House
The Watch House on Orielon Street is a squat, bulldog of a building admist all the chaos of the Westend. The exterior of the cuboid structure is dark grey and innocuous with luminous square windows that are kept strategically high, and it is known that the glass is reinforced. There is one public access point, with emergency exits that lead out to the neighboring alleyways. A set of double doors lead into the moderately boring entry. It is square, walls painted in a color what most reassure is eggshell. Security doors flank a high desk with reinforced glass in front of it, and there is always a Sergeant manning the desk. Visitors are required to check in before they are given access to the various hallways and bays of lifts beyond.

The rest of the building is a series of floors which contain an armory, offices for the various departments within the Watch House, and the holding cells. The latter of these are kept in the basement levels with numerous fail-safes. Each cell is contained with an electrostatic forcefield with back-up blastdoors which will seal should there be critical power failures. Most cells can hold up to three average-sized individuals, but there are small cells meant for isolation.

October 3, 3013

It has been over a month since Sarah 113 of 158 has become a captive of Haven. It has been a month since she's seen the sun, known the company of her own kind, have heard their voices in her head. She sits in that chair in the center of her cell, nursing on a nutrient pack through a translucent, silicone straw. Her bionic blue eyes stare forward, but she doesn't appear to be looking at anything. There are always two guards present outside her cell, and now a third strides casually through the labyrinth of corridors toward where the Hostile is kept.

"Authorized visitor…" the guard announces to his compatriots, handing off the clearance data to one of the other guards. She looks it over, gives a nod, and looks over to Ithaca. "If you want to speak with her inside the cell, we have to deactivate her limbs… what is your preferences? In or out?"

Ithaca Black is the only known living genetic descendant of Sarah Owens. Now her many times great grandmother's DNA is being worn like a people-suit by the Hostile detained in Landing. For someone who has had no family for most of her life, the woman known as Rook has had a sudden abundance of relatives climbing out of the woodwork. She's wearing a simple white shirt with black breeches and a jacket over it in a drab army green color.

At the question of her preference, Rook tilts her head to the side, bird-like, and looks at the guard with her dark eyes. "What does she prefer? Ask her, please."

That has the guards looking between each other and blinking, but the woman of the threesome breathes out a deep sigh and turns toward the cell. "You have a visitor. Would you prefer she visit you inside or outside?" The woman guard glances toward Ithaca and then back toward Sarah, looking a bit tired, but at least she talks to the Hostile with a sense of flat politeness.

Sarah lifts her head a bit toward Ithaca before she glances back to the guard. "Inside," she says, her shoulders rising and falling. "But remember the deal I made with the Professor… I maintain access of my left arm at all times." She narrows her bionic eyes toward the guard who pauses and then nods. The Havenite keys a code in the door, and Sarah's limbs save one all go limp and then the static field drops.

"She's all yours ,Miss Black."

Rook nods jerkily towards the guard, her behaviors probably more machine-like than the Hostile in the cell to most eyes. She steps inside, hesitantly, not because of Sarah, but because of the threat of confinement she's always had over her head as part of the Syndicate. Walking willingly into the lion's den is a bit unnerving. She stops once inside, and stands there, her hands loose at her sides, black eyes meeting the bionic blue of her ancestor. "Do you know who I am?" she asks.

Sarah tilts her head, luminous eyes scanning over her. Then she shakes her head, leaning back into her seat a bit as she lets her weight settle into the chair. "No, I do not… but I have not seen you before, so I know that my lack of knowledge is not because of a flawed memory." She tilts her head. "Is it important that I know who you are?"

"Sarah Owens great grandchild, many times removed," Ithaca's words are terse, staccato, "Or so they tell me." She glances back at where the guards are stationed. "Part of you is my great grandmother." She looks at the Hostile, trying to pick out any resemblance in their features, though with so many generations between them, it's not likely easy to see any. "Only one left," she says quietly.

Sarah actually blinks at this, and she sits up a bit straighter in her seat. Those eyes do not leave the woman now, examining her with a fluid grace of her gaze from head to toe. Then she tilts her head a bit. "Genetically speaking, I'm just over seventy-five percent part of your great grandmother… the other twenty-five percent has been altered to ensure there are no predispositions." She frowns. "Only one of what left," she asks, her voice flat.

"Descendants. Legacy. Yours, Sarah's," Ithaca replies. She settles down cross-legged on the floor of the cell. "What parts were altered?" she asks, curiously, her head tilting to study the Hostile as deeply as she is being studied.

Sarah drops her gaze down toward the young Havenite woman as she sits. The barest hint of a frown touches the corners of her lips, and her the bright centers of her cybernetic eyes telescope around themselves as if she is focusing all the better on Ithaca. "Predispositions to myopia, marfan syndrome, schizophrenia, as well as improved growth rate of bone and musculature, reducing synapses sensitivity…" She tilts her head, gauging Ithaca's reaction.

Rook listens curiously. "You sure? Eyes are 20/20. No marfan." Clearly, as she's barely 5'4". She ponders a moment. "Didn't need to tamper with genes." She shrugs. "Have any of her memories?" She reaches for her cigarettes, then looks at the guards and calculates that no scenario exists where lighting up in here would end well for her. She sets her hands on her knees instead.

"It is possible that through continuous breeding that the genetic errors were weeded out. Probability would suggest that you have your own predispositions," Sarah offers in her usual flat alto. There is a longer pause before she answers the next question. "Organic material does not contain memories," she says simply. "I have my own memories."

"So, no memory of what happened to Sarah Owens on Fifth World?" Ithaca asks. She seems disappointed in that, as if she wanted to learn a little bit about her relative. She leans forward, resting her forearms on her thighs and jonesing for a cigarette. "Are there 157 more of you wearing my grandma like a suit?" she asks, in reference to the 158 in her name. "Or are you model 113 of 158?"

Sarah slumps back in her seat now, her gaze going unfocused once more. "I'm the one-hundred-and-thirteenth Sarah alive of one-hundred and fifty-eight." There is a beat pause. "To suggest that we wear your ancestor like a suit is a bit ill-informed."

It takes Ithaca a long time to respond, as she has to think hard to formulate what she wants to say, not used to spewing so many words. "You took DNA, but no memories, no soul, no personality — who she was. So it's accurate," Rook points out. "Wearing her genes, 158 of you, like a cheap suit off a sale rack."

Sarah drops into silence, merely staring into the empty space between them with those luminous blue eyes. She is unmoving for a long moment, and then her shoulders rise and fall with a well-paced breath. Then she refocuses her gaze back on Ithaca. "I have my own memories, my own soul, my own personality… you wear fifty percent of your father's genes, and fifty percent of your mother's… does that mean your suit has two sides?"

"Parents chose to donate their DNA," Ithaca replies. "Mother chose to birth me." She stares into those blue eyes, focused, mathematical in her logic. "Did Sarah Owens have choices? Did you? Do you? Life, real life, is choice."

"Your logic is flawed… you are looking at a mere piece of the equation and attempting to solve it while disregarding the pieces you don't understand," Sarah says in that plain, flat voice. "Question after question, accusation after accusation, illogical assumption after illogical assumption…" She tilts her head. "What did you come here to find?"

"You overcomplicate things. Answer with questions, avoid truths, assume assumptions," Rook shrugs. "I came here because someone told me to. Came to see if Sarah Owens was in there somewhere. Talk to her. You aren't her. You are result of her choice being taken away from her." She cocks her head to one side. "I gave you a choice today. To let me inside, and lose three limbs, or leave me at arm's length and have your function. You made a choice. How did that feel?"

"You do not complicate things enough," the Hostile retorts. Though there is something in her words that gives her pause. "Do you believe that is not within my capability to make choices?" Sarah asks, a touch of something in her tone — surprise, perhaps?

"Some, maybe. But when the others tell you what to do, is there a choice for you?" Ithaca asks. "Could you choose not to kill a Havenite if ordered to? Even our soldiers have a choice to obey or disobey orders. Do you have choices from your superiors? If you have those." She unfolds herself back to standing and begins heading for the cell door.

"Your ignorance is quite infuriating," Sarah says in that flat voice once more. Even while her luminous eyes track the movements of the dark woman, she speaks onward. "Yes," she replies to her sequence of questioning. "If I decided that allowing an Inner Worlder to live was the optimal choice, then I would make that choice." Then she flashes white teeth in a fierce expression. "So far, that has proven to be suboptimal."

Rook glances back once over her shoulder. "Think what will happen when we're all dead? No more fresh DNA," she points out. She taps on the cell to be let out. "That math doesn't track."

"As you Inner Worlders say," Sarah says, her luminous eyes still locked on the retreating Havenite, "That is above my paygrade."

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