Day 033: Remarkable Specimens
Summary: The scientific elite at Mount Weather discuss weekend plans, soufflé, fireworks, and the possibility of hanging children up to be drained of their blood as human guinea pigs. Just another Friday!
Date: 1 July 2016
Related: References Station's Symphony.
Cage Salvador 


The Office of Cage Wallace
Sparse and sciencey, with a strange scribble on the wall otherwise known as 'modern art'.
IC date of RP

As the son of the President of Mount Weather… and presumably the next President himself, Cage Wallace could have an opulent office. Instead, he has a nook carved into the living rock near the security medical labs, with a desk, an ancient computer, and a variety of reference books on biology and neuroscience. He sits behind the desk, looking over medical reports from the various captured Delinquents. He called Salvador in for an update on progress, and when the man arrives, waves him into a chair. "So. You've seen the numbers. They look promising, don't they? What about the children themselves? How are they settling in?"

"The subjects?" Salvador smiles. The resident doctor renowned for his bedside manner, father of three family man and incorrigible dispenser of Dad-Jokes, is rarely seen with anything but a smile. He is a warm man with kindly eyes, and the height with which to deliver his sunny disposition; this, despite having skin which has never seen the sun itself, being cataclysmically sallow and pale to an unhealthy degree. "Remarkable specimens. I have never seen anything like it." As he strides towards Cage's desk, he sets down a laminated notebook belonging to one Tabitha Imogen Nimue Kinsey, otherwise known as Tink, and gestures for the president's son to leaf through. It contains detailed scribblings of musical compositions, and more interestingly, what the girl has managed to piece together of the Trikru language. "They are settling in rather well. A few of them have expressed an eagerness to help our projects. I expect that soon we will want to take them up on that offer."

Cage nods his head, accepting the change. "Yes, yes. The subjects." He takes the notebook curiously, paging past steam-propelled grenade launchers and music to the Grounder language pages. There, he frowns thoughtfully. "Remarkable indeed, getting the Outsiders to teach her their language." He flips through another several pages of that portion, then sets the notebook down and looks up again. "Good. The settling in. The work… that's more troublesome. But I suppose we could find them something to help with where they can't cause trouble. The gardens, the kitchens, the library." His brows furrow for a long moment. "Looking to help this soon, that is remarkable. I would have thought they would want more time to relax." Shaking that off, he laces his fingers together, leaning forward. "So. I think we're ready for the next step." Testing. "Is there someone that the subjects have gotten particularly close to? And if not, can you help arrange that?"

The clear blue-eyed man cants his head. "Close to?" Salvador muses in echo. That could mean many things. "They're used to work, on their Ark. Not terribly cultured individuals." He chuckles. "I had to explain to Ms. Kinsey what is Jazz. Jazz, Mr. Wallace."

"But they are intelligent," the good doctor continues. "Scientific. They could get close to quite a lot, very easily, and it is worrisome, given the conditions they're being kept in." Because they are not being kept in cages. "I had in mind something more useful for them to help with? Blood trials. We really are wasting time, which progress in these fields takes a lot of."

Cage smiles tightly. "And people question our dedication to culture at times. Life without music?" He shakes his head. "I think I'll pass." He's not quite being sarcastic, just a little dry. On to the topic at hand though, and he nods. "Yes. That's my concern. Something to keep them busy, but keep them out of anything… dangerous… for them to learn. While we arrange trials. Do you think they would volunteer? I was assuming that they would need more… inspiration. To save someone close to them from radiation, perhaps."

"You raise an interesting dilemma," says Dr. Montgomery, lifting a hand to rub at his jaw. "I think they will volunteer, in fact, but if they do not, then we close off our avenues to alternative forms of inspiration. Kinsey in particular strikes me as a difficult sort. You could condition them before you ask, but perhaps not ask before you condition. But —" he waves a hand Cage's way. "You are the expert." There is the mildest hint of distance there. The cultured doctor does not concern himself with the Cerberus Project, fascinating as it may be; some things exist on a need to know basis, for everyone's benefit.

"I don't wish to damage them. I'm afraid that… conditioning… would make them more difficult to control rather than less. At least with current methods. And you're quite right that we're wasting time as is." Cage shifts in his seat, "Do you have any ideas on how to speed up the timeline? Because you're also right about not getting a second chance if we ask and they refuse. At least, not a second chance short of forcing them."

"There was one patient…" Dr. Montgomery cants his head, musing, "Ruth Mercer. I believe she expressed interest in medical trials, but you know how I feel about keeping things clean." The polished man's hands come to clasp in front of him, bringing to light his wedding band, and the bloodless skin around his clipped fingernails. "So long as things are under wraps from the rest of the twenty-three, I think she would be quite eager to help, and I would allow her to. Pardon for asking, but these new working conditions, are they permanent?" His tone is polite and uncontentious.

Cage pages through patient reports to find Ruth's. "You think she would volunteer to provide treatment for our people? And the others wouldn't find that a threat to them? Unless they are truly remarkable, I would think that them believing," rightly, "that the only reason we want to keep them around is to let us take back the Outside, would be detrimental to them remaining pleasant guests. Unless you think otherwise? As for the new working conditions, I don't want to tire them out. But I think that they could be presented as probationary, a way to working up to full citizenship."

As always, Dr. Montgomery smiles. He doesn't even need to be on the Red to appreciate life. "No, perhaps not," he allows. "I think that they would volunteer for experimental trials. But we have yet to inform them of why they are here in the first place, and I think that alone would, shall we say, put a dampener on things." Raises a hand horizontally to tips emphatically from side to side, he could just as easily be talking about the weather — weather they have never seen. "Which I imagine is why the President has not seen fit to tell them. Dispensing information on a need-to-know basis is simply logical. One subject." He holds up a finger. "One person informed. On basis of things which it needs to know."

"Those aren't the working conditions I was referring to," the doctor continues, lowering his hands again to straighten out his cuffs. "I meant ours, not theirs. I am glad that they are getting some exercise and adequate nutrition; as you know, some of them arrived with a fair few deficiencies. But the situation will make things difficult to work with, for my colleagues. This is also the President's decree, as I understand it?"

"Yes. Have some Security personnel present in case it becomes necessary to separate her from the group more permanently. I'll leave the… flow of information up to you as well." Cage looks back to Ruth's file. "It would be quite useful if we could simply use… boosters… to attain our goal. Requiring that the subject is fully drained like the Outsiders, or using them to flush our systems completely, would be… resource intensive." The clarification of the question causes Cage to lift his eyebrows, "Yes, the last thing that we need is subjects who are fighting the process. Until we can determine what sort of sacrifice is necessary from the subjects, I'm afraid these working conditions will continue. If we can arrange circumstances so that their contributions are entirely voluntary, of course, that will change."

Salvador's expression is sceptical when Cage Wallace mentions the possibility that the subjects' sacrifices could be entirely voluntary, but he smile all the same. "The numbers are impressive," he says, concurring with the earlier statement. "If they are impressive enough to help us attain our goal remains to be seen. I am sure that with medical trials underway, we will soon be able to get a clearer picture of things." And speaking of pictures, he casts his eyes to the side, where a contemporary Jackson Pollock piece hangs.

"We all want the same things, Mr. Wallace," he says, discluding the Sky-People themselves. "I want a better future for my sons and daughter."

Cage nods his silent agreement at the skepticism. "And that future is in our grasp, Doctor. So long as we can keep the subjects docile and agreeable until we can be sure that we can get what we need." He waves a hand toward the rooms even further back into the caverns. "Being caught up with my other projects, I'm trusting to you and the others to keep this one on track. I'm sure you'll find a way to get what we, what all of us, need."

"I'll let the harvest staff know," says Dr. Montgomery. He moves forward to retrieve Tink's notebook from Cage's desk, mentioning, "I just know my nephew would love this," before he straightens his tall posture and turns to the infirmary. "Was there anything else you needed, Mr. Wallace? I hope you're still intending to come to the lab's get-together for the Fourth of July. It is this Monday, though I understand if work is keeping you. My wife has promised her famous soufflé."

Cage nods at Salvador's words, offering up the notebook without complaint. "I'd like to see a copy of those notes on the Outsider language. It would be useful to know what they're saying." He smiles then, lips twisting into a polite grin that isn't quite natural on his face. "Of course. I wouldn't miss it. Perhaps we'll even talk my father into some real fireworks." Not inside Mount Weather, of course. "Looking forward to the soufflé though. Have a good weekend."

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