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North, West, and East

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GM

 

Doctor Norris North, director of W.E.S.T (World Exotic Science Taskforce) was nervous. His job of course required spinning a lot of plates, and he was not a nervous man by nature. But right now, he helped himself to a vodka. 

 

Just the one. For nerves. 

 

He was on board a Sea-plane which was descending to the cove of Dr Deoxies island. Hidden. Concealed. Remote. 

 

And by invitation. 

 

Still, even if he was invited, it was an island populated by dinousaurs and infused with radiation. He would be taking every precaution. 

 

Whilst the plane was being flown by the pilot (an experienced ex-US air force woman of stronger nerves than he), he pulled up the communication link to Doctor Deoxy. 

 

"Doctor? Doctor? Do you read me? This is North. Doctor Norris North, Director of W.E.S.T. Do we have your permission to land and...ah....where should we do so safely?" he asked, politely. 

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"ah welcome to Genesis base, Doctor North, it is a pleasure to receive you...i have used the islands defense systems to corral the most...ferocious inhabitants to the northern jungle, please feel free to land in the southern beach or the eastern clearing, i will be there to welcome you and your pilot in person...I hope you are hungry, My staff have been eagerly buzzing over cooking a meal for a guest since we arranged this meeting". he stated in his usual monotone but not unfriendly or humourless voice from the communications station as the diminuitive but highly intelligent reptillian's ran around in the corridors and facilities of the islands subterranian facilities.

 

One of the observation decks would make a most wonderful room to dine in, perhaps the canopy...or the undersea.  he pondered to himself as he stood and walked promptly from the room "Encephalo-Processing Unit please ensure that our guests remain unmolested whilst i put a few finishing touches to our meeting room. and inform me when they have disembarked"  he spoke aloud to omnipresent sub sentient intelligence "and of course add their bioscans to the authorized list, we wouldn't want any accidents with our security systems.".

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GM

 

The Sea-plane landed in due course, coming to an expert halt just by the lapping waves that danced onto the sand of the southern beach. 

 

Doctor Norris North stepped out, suitcase in hand, wearing a West Environmental Suit. Pale purple, close fitting, very effective. 

 

He did not fancy radiation poisoning. 

 

In the other hand, he consulted his field scanner. The radiation levels seemed acceptable at least. Deciding diplomacy would go better if his face was viewable, he flipped open the visor of his suit and awaited the doctor. 

 

The air, he felt, was rather pleasant, at least. 

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It was a trivial matter to adjust the bioluminescent lighting of the undersea observation deck to a low relaxing level that would also not deter the more sensative eyes of the wonderful creatures that populated the depths from drawing close to the windows and arrange for a table to be grown from the sleek silver biomechanical flooring like a rather flat topped mushroomed surrounded with rather flowerlike cup chairs all made from the same sleek silver metal veined with purple energies.

 

The droning voice of the EPU having brought his attention to his guests arrival and landing location he simply opened a spatial gate to the surface a short walk away and stepped out onto the white sand of the peaceful beach "Ah a man after my own heart, i have a love of the ocean...perhaps something to do with my british heritage or my fascination with marine life...i do appreciate you agreeing to meet me here i am...loathe to be away from my island and am grateful for your understanding in this matter...for future visits i will arrange to have a hypospray of radiation inhibiting on hand...but for now please join me in the shielded parts of my home."

giving a light bow and indicating the swirling purple portal he had just stepped out from.

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GM

 

"My pleasure" replied Doctor North. It was a pleasure, of sorts. That emotion was something of a cacophony of other emotions all swirling around his amygdala. 

 

Still, if he could get Doctor Deoxy on side, and reassure the world that this was not a threat (presuming he wasn't a threat), that would make the embryo that was W.E.S.T. more palatable. 

 

He approached through the swirling portal. 

 

"Space-time bridge, I presume?" he asked Doctor Deoxy. This wasn't really his field. He was a medical doctor by origin, but he considered himself well-rounded in science. And apparently, so had the United Nations when they asked him to set up W.E.S.T. 

 

"Easier than travelling by foot...." he muttered as he stepped through, in order to butress his resolve. 

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"haha, indeed, though i am sure we have both spend a lot of time making X=Y" he said with a light humour as he followed behind Doctor north at a respectable distance of about 1.3 meters and stepped out with him into the undersea observation deck, just intime to see the diminutive raptor like dinosaurs finish setting up the table and skitter out of the room with light tapping of their claws against the metalic surface.

 

"Welcome to the undersea observation deck, i figured it would be a more pleasant environment for our business and dinner...the wifi code is Zygote with a capital Z." he added informatively as he welcomed the pilot into the dining room too.

 

"Please do not be alarmed by the small reptiles, I assure you they are as personable and friendly as they look and every bit as intelligent as our fellow man...though they are mute." he explained as he took a seat at the head of the table. "please take a moment to peruse the menue and get comfortable, I rather enjoy watching the local sea life myself." he gestured to the huge transparent steel observation window.

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GM

 

"Thank you for your hospitality" replied North. He had the itch to get down to business, but he admired the view and slowed his engine. Diplomacy was not achieved quickly, and he was in no rush here. It was, he felt, just his nerves getting the better of him. 

 

He thought back to his hours preparing for this. Studying all the information sent to him on Doctor Deoxy and related. Some redacted, of course, but overall, a cohesive picture had formed, and it was not malign. Probably the opposite. 

 

He looked at the sea life and recognised some specied. Not really his field, but he knew a bit. 

 

"I...suppose you know why I have come?" he started with, carefully. "The world is uneasy at your experiments, and by extention, you. They have asked me to provide assurances. Assurances, of course, I can never give. But still, it would be prudent to calm their nerves, just a little..."

 

He turned from admiring the maring life to face Doctor Deoxy. 

 

"I have other reasons for being here, myself. Your help. But I'll come on to that later!" he said, more brightly. "For now, let me introduce myself formally. Doctor Norris North, director of W.E.S.T. World Exotic Science Taskforce, operating under the umbrella of the United Nations. Our mission? Stop any number of catastrophies orginiatic from science. Which is a broad scope, but given the events of the last ten years, you can I hope grasp the philosophy..."

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"Indeed i am aware of the worlds view on me, I do retain contact with it at a distance." Doctor deoxy admitted solemnly, truely it was a shame in his eyes that what he had created to inspire wonder had seeded along side fear.

 

"I am of course willing to cooperate fully with you and your organization to alley the mistrust that some of my...passionate actions have caused." He said with a feint smile on his silver lips "including full access to my island and its facillities to yourself and others you deem acceptable."

 

"I am first and foremost a biologist, posessed of great love and compassion for the world and all the life on its surface." He added reassuringly

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GM

 

"That's very generous of you" replied North. "I'm not here to judge what you do on the island. I'm not even here to enfore laws. We are here to ensure the safety of the world. So, for the most part, if we can establish that what you do here is not going to spread, then there isn't going to be a problem..."

 

"Being on an island is a good start. A good idea, actually, and one we are going to steal" he smiled. "But before I come to that, are you the only...ah...human inhabitant on the island?" he asked. 

 

"And if you are experimenting on...ah...marine life....or avian life come to that. Is there any possibility that the life forms on this island might leave?"

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"Ah my security measures are quiet extensive i assure you doctor north." Doctor Deoxy stated as he leaned forwards and rested his elbows on the table and his head against his hands.

 

"GPS tracking devices, super sonic emitter deterents, cryogenic cannons to induce dormancy....the unique environment of the island is particularly comfortable to the modified species and as a final regrettable option....i have encoded apopstasis...programmed cell death when exposed to certain and unique energy frequencies that are harmless to unmoddified life and modified life of different species and strains." He confessed, it was nessicary precaution but he didn't like it.

 

"I am well aware of the risky my chi...creations could pose and have taken every precaution to protect the world from them and them from the world."

 

 

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GM

 

The slip did not go unnoticed. North was an astute man. 

 

He didn't answer immediately. He was also a patient man. 

 

Dr Deoxy had a moment to study North in return. In his fifties, at a guess. No athelete, but he had not let a life of academia turn his body to fat. He wore glasses and a well groomed moustache. A studious man with a kind but firm face, neither handsome nor plain. Careful in his manner. Dr Deoxy got the impression of a clever man who neither shied from decisions, nor recklessly jumped onto them. An introvert, by his estimation, but not a shy one, quite at home with social discource even if he might prefer his own company in general. 

 

"I would like to see those precautions, if you will. Ah...you will also be aware of the risk of other biological contaminants, microbes and viral. If I could see your laboratories that would be excellent" he explained. "I used to work for the W.H.O, as you might be aware" he added, wondering if Doctor Deoxy had done his homework. "So that's a particular issue I like to cast my eye over..."

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"Ah of course, Im certain we should have time before the meal is ready, im afraid that creating spatial gates is rather intensive on my metabolism so we shall have to walk, the control room is not to far from here though there we can see the diagnostics of the various safety measures and from there carry on to the lab." he said rather matter of factly as he rose to stand.

 

"if you'll follow me." and with that he began the slow walk through the labarynthine network of techno-organic tunnels walls of screens bearing various enviromental data and notifications flaring to life as he and his guest walked through them.

 

"I find myself rather absent minded as of late, it helps me to keep track of things." he explained unbidden as he walked "as For W.H.O....I have heard many things, though i would like to hear your account." shortly theycame to the heavy and unmarked door behind which lay the control room and the EPU, perhaps his most controversial creation among his detractors, but he cared not, his creations were glorious and he was only to happy to show them off.

 

"Doctor Nathaniel Anderson And Guest, Clearance Code: Deoxy." he said aloud to the door and after a few beeps and scanning sweeps it receeded like the valves of a heart to reveal the literal nerve centre of his base.

 

"Wecome to the control room, where housed is the Encephalo Processing unit that oversees the day to day operations of my facilities...ECU Bring up Safeguard diagnostics for Modified Lifeforms on the island and sterilization measures." and as bidden the huge silvery brain pulsated in response, projecting a thin holographic display on its case relaying the information in an easily digestible form.

 

"Simply tap on a display to expand into more detailed outputs." he added nonechallantly

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

North thanked the Doctor and tapped on the screens, studying the data carefully. He asked technical questions now and again, and demonstrated an impressive grasp of the subject. North knew his biochemistry and genetics, although his expertise was clearly microbiology. Whatever else North was, he was a master of his subject. 

 

Still, he seemed satisfied with the data. 

 

"This all seems in order" he said. "Not without risk, but not risky either. I congratulate you on your procedures and scientific methodology, Doctor" he added earnestly. "But sterile as this all is, there is the issue of one of your creations leaving by air or water...do you have contingencies in place?" he asked. 

 

"Ill explain a bit more about W.E.S.T. once the inspection is complete, if that suits you. I rather suspect that you can help us..."

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"My islands defenses are set to disable escaping subjects by land sea and air as much as invaders and poachers." he explained as he lead doctor north through the control room towards another door leading to a gyroscopic transport sphere.

 

"We'll take the high speed transport to the laboratory facilities." Deoxy stated as he stepped into the metalic compartment "please take a seat."

 

"On the matter of avian, marine and microbiotic life and its containment i intend to finish construction of a force barrier around my islands perimeter before releasing them from observation to prevent cross contamination with indigenous life forms...and to keep uninvited guests from tresspassing and stealing from me...i have recived several rathet clandestine offers from trophy hunters requesting all manner of creatures, velociraptors and sabretooth tigers least amongst them." He mentioned off handedly as the sphere rocketed down the tunnels like a bullet through a barrel.

 

"They did not respond well to my refusal."

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GM

 

North enjoyed the sphere ride. Better than walking, and safer too, I would imagine. It gave him time to collect his thoughts. He had not anticipated trouble (despite his nerves), but it was still going better than he had expected. 

 

I hope he can be helpful as well as reassuring!

 

"I daresay" he responded a little dryly as they travelled through the island. "However, I was more worried about your specimins leaving on their own volition. What if a megaladon reached the ocean and started breeding? Or a Pterodactylus flew to the mainland?" he inquired. "Are your defence mechanisms as suitable protection against that?"

 

"I am reminded of the Great Wall of China. Constructed more to keep the population inside, that barbarians out...."

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"They are of course not foolproof, naught is but if the worse should come to pass the Apophasis genes should be genetically inhereted and a simple flick of a switch should induce rapid cellular degeneration...there is however a limited range over which the kill command can be sent and it may be possible for others to chemically inhibit or should enough generations be born mutation to occur." He conceded  as the sphere rolled frictionlessly down the tunnel.

 

"I have a faint suspicion you are waiting to make a point or perhaps an offer however so please feel free." If his patience was wearing thin it didnt show on his voice.

 

"We will be arriving at the primary laboritory facility shortly."

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

"Nothing is fool proof" agreed North. "But the safeguards are certainly prudent"

 

"You are astute, doctor. But before I make my point, as you say, I should perhaps explain W.E.S.T. We should have time before we reach your laboratory"

 

"I suppose you are aware of the World Health Orginisation, and the United Nations" he started, hoping the Doctor was at least starting from that position. "Essentially, the WHO was set up by, and is run by, the United Nations on the premise that certain health risks are a risk to the entire world. HIV, the Ebola Virus, these things do not respect borders. At least, for the most part. The world needs to be aware of, and respond to, global health risks" he explained. 

 

"And I imagine you are aware of some of the things that have happened over the last decade and more. The Terminus invasion, the problems with Dr Archeville. You might even have heard of the Darwin-X virus, or the problems with Neutron Industries last year. Such threats are not confined to one border. What if a dimensional rift opened into Sagitarius A? Or a Comsic Energy Bomb was unleashed by Overthrow? What if a grey goo spread across the globe, or a Self Replicated Prion destroyed the worlds crops? The number of potential catastrophes are growing exponentially..." he explained, grim and glum. 

 

"WEST is the World Exotic Science Taskforce. Set up on the same prinicples of the WHO. To monitor global threats from, well, exotic science...."

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"A noble pursuit indeed." he answered with a light tone of admiration in his voice "I was indeed aware of your organization, part of my negotiations with the less...lax parts of AEGIS to avoid hostilities was that i would submit to such a group for peer review and monitoring as im sure you have been told." he said rather amusedly by the memory.

 

"Indeed it is why i chose this location, I would never have been able to pull it off under a more strictly organized and less corrupt branchs gaze...however i accepted that negotiations would soon need to follow once the rest of the world caught wind and have made several compromises to assure that i give the world no reason to be hostile towards my work." he explained as he examined his hands.

 

"Extreme as it is....I must confess that this particular sticking point is one i didn't mind conceding too...i rather enjoy collaborating with other scientists and my expertise is rather limited you see...my automatons are rather primitive as you will see when we reach my lab and workshop facilities." he explained "So hopefully we can come to some arrangement to manage the potential dangers of my island of wonders and reassure the world that i am not here cooking up super viruses and Meta-parasitic lifeforms with dreams of conquest and anihillation and i will for my part recive expertise from fields outside my own and oppertunities to collaborate with other great thinkers like ourselves."

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

"I will see what I can do" said North, neutrally. 

 

The truth was, of course, that WEST was embryonic. It did not have much clout, yet, and whilst it had a database of interested scientists, and was training field agents, it was not the best forum for research. Or at least, collaboration. It was not, however, the worst. And there might be an angle - a stamp of approval from WEST would at least partially dissolve many scientists reluctance to work with the Doctor. 

 

"A good word, here and their" he added, to refine his statement. 

 

"WEST isn't really a research organisation. At least, that is not its focus. But it could certainly do with your expertise, particularly when it comes to biological threats" he said, sounding the Doctor out. 

 

"If that is something you would be interested in. Saving the world, that is. Not always glamourous, but always vital!"

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"it is why i became a scientist in the first place." he answered softly as he reclined into his chair "Boyish dreams of saving the world from hunger, disease, extinction and war." he added with a soft sigh "I am loathe to be far from my island for extended periods of time, there have been poachers...none successful of course, i would've raised the alarm if there were wild  carnivorous dinosaurs wandering around unsupervised.." he spoke plainly "If you would be willing to help me arrange some manner of caretakers whilst i was away i would be more than happy to leave it in their care.of course....maybe one of the local super heroes from emerald city."

 

"I understand that your organizations purpose is not that of a research group but i find that any people who spend a great deal of time together will wind up talking about their interests, be it croquet or Molecular biology." he said as the sphere at last slowed to a halt and clanked into its magnetic docking

 

"It seems we have arrived."

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

"That is a fair point" agreed North. "Plenty of discourse around the water dispenser"

 

North got out of the sphere carefully. He could not resist a quick check of his scanner, just to ensure the radiation levels were normal. Or at least close to normal. 

 

He wasn't exactly sure who could caretake the island. Several heroes had expressed interest in WEST, and some, like Replica or Gossamer had even helped WEST with some investigations. But he couldn't see any of them caretaking an island of dinosaurs. 

 

Still, you never knew...

 

"There is something else I would like to ask. The running of this island. How do you find it?"

 

 

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"I find it quite cathartic....I am somewhere on the Autistic spectrum so Making this place has given me a quiet controlable environment away from the world." A plain and honest answer for a plain and honest question as he stepped out of the sphere along side doctor north and into the state of the art and slightly Art-Deco laboratory floor, starkly contrasting the up until now rather Art-Nouveau construction.

 

"I do miss conversation now and again mind, sociable as my more intelligent creations are they remain mute." He added as an after thought.

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GM

 

North nodded attentively. He didn't know an awful lot about autism, but it was part of his medical training. He could understand that solitude, or at least sanctuary, would be desirable. He was not entirely sure the island was optimal for the job. 

 

"We are considering where to build the Headquarters of WEST" he explained. "We will need small offices in most areas of the world, clearly. We have already set one up next to Astro labs, after cutting through all the normal diplomatic vexations. But if we are to study dangerous science, or contain it, we don't want anywhere near populated land. In fact, as far as way as possible..."

 

"We are looking at Rapa Nui. With appropriate investment and diplomatic balms, of course. One of the most remote islands on the world. And, as many have commented, its old name was Easter Island....a little poetry there. WEST based in EAST..."

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"Ah....fascinating place, i have always ment to visit." He stated earnestly as he walked through the labs inviting doctor north to test and use the equipment as he pleased.

 

"And you are of course, Doctor North, Head of west, soon to be based out of east! Delightful." This humoured him enough for a smile.

 

"Ah yes....funding and beaurocracy the two great enemies of scientists....Perhaps a donation from myself as a show of goodwill can help aliviate some of those woes, I am quite wealthy from my pharmaceutical contributions." He humbly bragged "we can discuss it over dinner if you wish."

 

"And of course i Open my home for your use as well until your own is ready....i take issue only with trigger happy AEGIS agents...they injured one of my creations in their earliest visits." His brow furrowing for a moment "though i understand it is a nessicary precaution, my home is as wild as it is wonderous..."

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GM

 

"Dinner would be good" noted North, although he was going to try and scan the dish for microbes before he ate. Or at least, for harmful microbes. 

 

"As for donations, I thank you for the offer but I we cannot accept. It would stain our public perception...we do not want to be seen to be beholden to any one individual. It is tricky enough with states" he said diplomatically. 

 

And image aside, it would behold us to Doctor Deoxy...he reasoned. If WEST was going to survive, let alone prosper, they had to be diplomats and politicians as well as scientists. The political landscape was a quagmire. But best trudge through that quagmire than have nothing at all. 

 

"But your own island may well be of use. Ill pencil you in!" he said, more brightly. "As for AEGIS, well, we do work with them, in principle" he explained "but they deal with superheroes, we don't. Or rather, we do, but incidentally rather than it being our remit" he said, shrugging his hands. It was indeed a messy business. "And we certainly are not trigger happy. You don't pull the trigger on the stuff we are dealing with. Not unless we are absolutely sure a trigger needs to be pulled. Might well do more harm than good!"

 

 

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