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Brains & Brawn & Sandwiches (IC)

Dr Archeville

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Date: September 17th, 2009

Following the unexpected beatdown Dr. Archeville received from Captain Knievel and Emperor, Atlas carried the super-scientist back to his home in Hanover. It was not hard to find -- Atlas did know vaguely where it was, due to Archeville's own celebrity status -- but once there it still odd to see that he appeared to live in a simple, gray two-story house with garden gnomes on the lawn.

Lawn gnomes whose eyes gleamed with a red light, eyes that tracked him as he walked to the door.

Archeville reached out to open the door himself, and when Atlas squeezed himself in, he was perhaps a bit surprised to see the inside of the building was far, far bigger than the outside indicated.

Big... red... man... transfer his strength... into us... or our mind... into him... such power...

Mad schemes later... healing tank now....

"Down there", he said, pointing to the second of three hallways, "freight elevator can... take us to... mein laboratory..."

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Atlas found it weird to be inside a house while transformed, he had never done so before. He had always been outside while transformed and had plenty of room to stomp around. Now however, he had to walk down the hallways sideways because he practically too broad to walk down them normally. He would have pretty much tip-toed through the house, but Doc wasn't doing so hot so Atlas figured that if he saved his life, he would overlook the overturned coffee table, and the broken mouse/vacuum thing.

Altas got into the freight elevator and after checking the weight capacity, hit the button with his pinky, the only one of his fingers small enough to hit more than one button at once. When the elevator reached the laboratory level, Atlas froze momentarily. Not only was it because the sheer majesty of the place, but Atlas also had no idea what he was looking for, and he also knew that Doc would be pissed if he broke anything down here.

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Dammit... this lummox crushed the... cleaning 'bot I... put a Class IV Laser in.

Why... did you put a... Class IV Laser... in a... vacuum-bot?

......... for... really... tough... stains?

Once they entered the massive laboratory, Archeville said something in German, and one section of the room sprung to life. A large tank rose from the floor, and was filling with a blueish liquid from hoses connected at the bottom. Archeville pointed towards it, and as they approached, Atlas saw several palm-sized spider-like robots floating in the fluid-filling tank. "Put me in... they vill do de rest...."

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Atlas took quite a bit more care down here as he made his way over to the tank. "In you go." Said Atlas as he lifted Doc over the lip on the tank and gently placed him inside. Once Doc was in the blue liquid it seemed as if a visible weight was lifted off of Atlas' shoulders. He scanned the area, but seeing nothing that looked like a chair, he just sat down on the ground. "How long will this take?"

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As soon as Archeville's body touched the liquid, two of the spider-bots crawled up his body and wrapped around the lower half of his face. Tubes extended from their backs and connected to nozzles along the side of the tank, and Atlas could see they formed a type of breathing mask for Archeville. As those two robots did that, others were swarming around him, removing his clothing and tending to his wounds.

In almost no time, Atlas could see definite improvement in Archeville's condition. He was fully alert, manipulating controls on the interior of the tank, and after a few moments the blueish fluid began draining away.

Ah, much better! Right, lets shoo the ox out and start work on plans to crush Knievel and that 'Emp-' HUNGRY!

Yes, those biochemical baths are draining, and we need to 'refuel'.

The tank opened and retracted back into its recessed holding area, leaving him dripping wet... and completely nude, though there was enough random laboratory equipment to obscure Atlas' vision. "Dank you so much for bringing me here instead of a hospital -- I vould be laid up for days mit dose injuries under conventional care. But now, I must eat; von side-effect of de process is extreme metabolic-" He paused abruptly, then began again, "Vould you like to join me for a sandvich?"

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Atlas was quite relieved when Doc was out and about apparently much better now. He averted his gaze while Doc found himself some pants. He sat pretty quietly while Doc when off on his techno-babble rant, mostly because he had no idea what he was going on about. When he put it in simple terms, Atlas chuckled "Yeah that sounds good." Atlas then started to stand up from his sitting position, but suddenly stopped and let out a pained grunt.

Muscle fibers retracted, his skin loosed, bones were heard readjusting in place and he apparently lost a good 700 pounds of muscle mass easily. When Atlas stood up again, he looked like a normal human again. Like his other form, this one was very well muscled, but not nearly as jacked as his other form. It could be assumed that he still retained some of his superhuman strength and endurance in human form. Altas rolled his head around on his neck for a moment, while he adjusted a rather elastic section on the waist of his pants. "Oww. Not as pleasant as it sounds. Do you have a spare shirt Doctor? I seem to be in need of one. Also, I am called Samael; Samael Natorvich."

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Good thing we always keep some spare clothes in the laboratory.

Aww, we can't strut around naked as the day we were born? I needs my freedoms! And FOOD!

Doc had put on a pair of khaki pants and a plain white t-shirt. Rather than black rubber workboots, he slipped into a pair of soft deerskin slippers.

When Sam asked for a shirt, the Doktor pointed to a nearby coat rack, which held five more identical sets of khaki pants and white dress and t-shirts. "Dey may be a bit tight on you, but I can have de tailor let it out if you need. Though ve may vant to vait on dat until after ve eat!"

Doc lead Samael back upstairs, past a large and well-stocked gymnasium and and through a well-stocked beer/wine cellar staffed by dozens of tiny robots. "Please, help yourself to a bottle or three!"

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"Ah thank you." Samael grabbed on of the shirts on the rack and threw it on. It was indeed a bit too small, so Samael could only button a few buttons, but it was a heck of a lot better than nothing. Now that he didn't really have to worry about stepping on anything, Samael let his eyes wander as he was lead through the house, which was truly a sight to behold. At several points, Samael stopped dead in his tracks without even noticing has he looked at the various things in the house.

"Please, help yourself to a bottle or three!"

Samael had to laugh at this. <"The poor man has no idea what he's just done."> he said in Russian before continuing in English "You are a good man Doctor!" while he helped himself to a bottle of Jack and a bottle of Absolut, he had the intention of finishing the both of them before the night was through. "Lead on!" said Samael, bottles now in hand with a jovial smile on his face.

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Archeville replied in Russian.

The vodka I would expect, but the Jack is a surprise.

So he has good taste. He's gonna eat all my food!

Doc lead Sam up a flight of stairs to a cozy kitchen, "do you haff a preference for food? Any allergies?"

As Sam looked around, he noticed something: this was the first room in Archeville's home which had no robots scuttling about, or at least none he could see.

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Samael nearly dropped the bottles when Doc responded in Russian. Samael stared at him for a moment when the bottles were safely in hand before laughing again "I should be careful not to underestimate you Doctor!" He jovially followed Doc through through the rest of the house. Upon entering the kitchen, he nodded appreciatively apparently giving his seal of approval and set his two bottles down on the counter. "Dead and cooked is good enough for me Doc. Though I do love a good sandwich. Got any glasses around?" he adds while motioning to his two bottles.

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You'd better watch us!

Oh, stop.

"Ja, right up-" Doc began to say, then paused, as if disappointed at something not happening which he had expected to happen. Then he snapped his finger and a grin broke across his face, "ah, silly me, I forgot to put mein Gravimetric Belt back on." He opened one of the cabinets and reached up to retrieve two glasses, and placed them on the counter before Sam.

"So," he began as he opened the fridge and began retrieving things, "tell me a bit about yourself? I vould prefer to eat mit an friend dan a stranger." Though the door to the fridge opened so that he could not see into it, Sam could see that Archeville appeared to be reaching deep into it, and pulling out a wide variety of items.

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Samael chuckled a bit as Doc failed to open up the cabinet. "Caught you with your pants down Doctor. Thanks." he added when Doc had placed the glasses on the counter. While Doc dug in the fridge, Samael poured in a generous portion of Jack into one of the glasses. He was in the process of draining the entire contents when he noticed how deep inside the fridge Doc was going, and proceeded to stop and cock an eyebrow. He then looked intently at the contents of his glass, as he swirled his drink around. After a moment's contemplation he shrugged and downed the rest of the drink.

Samael then began pouring his second drink, vodka this time, in a smaller portion as he answered. "From Russia originally. You knew that. Wasn't all that bright, but I worked hard and got through. After the collapse, I leave Russia. Travel a bit and wind up in Freedom. I got myself a deli shop down in Fens, and I live above it. Me and my special somebody." Samael pulls a picture out of his wallet, and slides it along the counter to Doc. It's a picture of a Siamese cat curled up on a pillow of a bed. If Doc squints, he can make out the word "Sprinkles" on its heart shaped collar.

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Hunh, that is a surprise.

Oh, she's so cute!

"A deli? In de Fens?" Doc said, pausing momentarily i his retrievals to make sure he'd heard correctly. "I had hard most all de delis dere are money laundering spots for de Mafia." He bent back to retrieve a few more things from the refrigerator, then did a double-take back at Sam, "is dere a big Mafiya presence down dere? I'm sure dey've tried to snatch you up, if so."

The spread on the counter before Sam was quite impressive, almost as varied as what he had in his deli! The amounts were smaller, of course, but the sheer variety was unusual for one person's home. And not just meats -- there were cheeses and mustards and other condiments, and almost a dozen different types of bread.

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Samael took the picture back and put it back in his wallet. "You heard right. They didn't take to kindly to me refusing their offers. They got down right pissed when I started beating up the thugs and cleaning off my street." Samael swilled his drink and took another sip. "So one day, they decided to teach me a lesson. They beat to an inch of my life, and then shot me. ... And then I got back up. That was when I was Atlas for first time. Scared me half to death - did a more to them though." Samael added darkly.

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Ahh, now there's some useful information.

Yes - that he was attacked by the Mafiya when he would not agree to help them in their criminal activities. Such conviction he has!

Well, depending on what he did to those guys, he might should be a convict. Or do two wrongs make a right?

He was backed into a corner! He should not have just fled, he should have stood up! And he did!

"Fascinating," was Archeville's reply. He seemed to have either not picked up on, or was completely ignoring, the darker tone of Samael's last words, "vhat did it feel like, de change? Do you change due to outside stimuli, such as pain, or anger? Or is it a conscious act?" Though he seemed genuinely excited about talking to Samael about his powers, Sam noted that Archeville's hands were busy assembling a ham on rye sandwich, "is it an all-or-nothing change? You said you haff a time limit on how long you can be in de other form; is dere a limit for how long you must stay in it? Dat is, if you change, is dere some minimum amount of time dat must pass before you can shift back? Oh, after your first change, even vhen in your, er, 'normal' form, do you possess any abilities, perhaps at a lesser intensity, as in your 'hulked out' form? Are you, say, stronger now dan you vere before de first change, even in your current form?"

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"Ya pretty much got it down pat Doc." replied Samael as he got to making his own sandwich. "The first time, it was accident. Is like first time you stand. You don't know why or how, you just do. Now it is like spring. You take big metal spring, and compact it down. So long as you hold it, it stays like that. When you stop, it happen all at once. So tranforming can happen when I purposely let go of spring. It is like conscious lack of control if that makes any sense.

Once I am Atlas, I am Atlas. No control over how long, but usually last like 10 to 15 minute. When it is done, I have to compact spring again. That take time. But every time I change, it not last as long as before. Little less each time. But now, I am much stronger as Samael than I have ever been. When I go to gym, I used to bench 100 kilogram.; I am close to 300 now. I think maybe there is time when I won't change back."

Samael finishes his little speech by taking a big bite out of his completed sandwich, a rather amazing feat considering all the stuff that went on it. Turkey, salami, roast beef, ham, bologna, swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and barbecue sauce. Apparently, he wasn't kidding about the deli business.

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Oh, now that is interesting. Think of the experiments we could do on him!

While I am sure there is much useful data we could get from assorted non-invasive experiments... I am also sure those are not the sorts of experiments you have in mind!

Aww, you know me so well.

Yes, and that is the problem!

"An interesting analogy," Archeville replied, "since, if a spring is compressed for a long enough time, it vill not spring back vonce released. However...." he paused to take a bite from a kosher pickle, "if you are getting stronger in dis form, it might be possible dat your body is adjusting more und more to de power mitin you, und eventually your current form vill be as powerful, or nearly so, as your other form. I- oh..." he paused again, stroked his chin, then realized he was doing so with the kosher pickle. "You do not suffer any negative effects from de change, do you?" He wiped his chin with a napkin from a coiled wire napkin holder, "A decrease in mental faculties, or a shortened temper vhile changed?"

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"Not so much no. I do feel bit tired after it zough. Not too much. It is at stage vere you are not out of breath, but neizer is it normal breathing, somevere in the middle. Like you run a mile, zen take 5 minute to rest. Maybe tired, but vorst is behind you da?

But most of "Big Russian guy vith Big Punching" is act. Most people do not zink zat I can not be big and not be dumb at same time. So I let people underestimate me. It vould be lie if I said I do not solve many problem vith punching, but brain has good use. But ven I say zings like - 'Atlas crush little, tiny, itsy, bitsy men!' it is just act... most of time." Samael smirks quite a bit at the last line before taking another chomp out of his sandwhich.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like the big red ape & I aren't so different.

The bellowing? The chest-thumping?

No, fool! The-

Yes, yes, I know.

"Fascinating!," Archeville said between bites. "Mit transmogrifications such as yours, dere is usually a loss of something, but you..."

Archeville set his half-eaten sandwich down, and looked Samael straight in the eye, "Dis may be an odd qvestion, but... vould you mind -- after ve haff eaten, of course -- if I ran some scans und tests on you? It could be beneficial to you," he quickly added, "as I have exercise ekvipment you vill not find in any ordinary gymnasium!"

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Samael frowned a little bit and looked as if he wasn't really seeing Doctor Archeville, but rather looking past him. Samael chewed slowly and thoughtfully as he mulled the issue over. "Da. Let's do it." said Samael with a curt nod which was immediately followed by Samael popping the rest of his sandwich in his mouth. Halfway through chewing he gives a weird sort of muffled grunt and hold up his finger saying he's got something to say.

"Four zings. Nozing sharp, needles are ok, so long as zey stay in ze arm. Not too late, I have early morning. I need ride back home, it vill take too long for me to be Atlas again. And do tests quick, ve don't have much time."

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What are you so happy about?


... yes, well, behave or he will not come back.

"Needles only in de arm," Archeville repeated, "dat is fine. I vould also like some hair und fingernail samples, vhich will do no harm to you, und some skin samples. A swab from inside your cheek should do," he quickly added, lest Atlas think he meant to try and cut off a pound of flesh. "Not too late, dat is acceptable, too... if you vill come back later for more tests. Und sandviches. As for transportation back home, I vill be glad to arrange someding for you. But... vhat do you mean by 've don't haff much time'? Do you haff a hot date?" he asked, smirking.

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Samael looks a little put off when Doc starts prattiling off standard things. "I vas talking about ze limited time I can stay as Atlas. I vas zinking you vould be testing my strength and such, not doing zis standard stuff. Vat else do you have planned, beside ze samples?" Perhaps he could spur the Doctor into action with a well placed blow to his pride. "No offense Doctor, but I could get zat stuff done at any hospital. Vat do you offer zat is unique?"

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What? How dare he!

Now, now, I am sure he is just teasing.

Yeah? Well, maybe I'll tease back...

Well, as long as it is gentle and good-natur-

... tease back the folds his temporal lobes as I go in for his amygdala!

... no! No surgeries!

"Oh, I haff much, much more dan dat in mind, Herr Nitorvich," Archeville replied, seeming almost giddy at the prospect. "But before I can do anything in-depth, I vill of course need to establish a baseline, see vhat your blood pressure und hormone levels und all dat are vhen you are 'resting', and how dey change vhen you are active, in both forms." He began work on a second sandwich, "besides, I doubt just any hospital vould have de ekvipment necessary to puncture your altered hide in order to draw blood. De hospitals here in Freedom might, true, due to all de Metahumans around, but you may be too tough even for dem to handle. Und I doubt deir rehabilitation gymnasiums have veights dat go up to 200 tons... but I do. Und you haff heard of de combat simulators de Freedom League has? I haff something like dat here, too, vhich ve could run you through."

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It appears Samael had completely forgotten about needed to create a benchmark. He lowers his head a little and rubs the back of his neck. "Oh.... vell zen... TO SCIENCE!" shouts Samael suddenly as he seizes his glass off the table, holds it aloft in the air and then promptly downs the contents. "OK. So now, I need moar sandvich - to keep ve strength up da?" asks Samael with a smile as he goes to town making himself a new sandwich.

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To Science!

To Science!

"To Science!," Archeville repeated as he clinked his glass to the bottom of Samael's as the beefy Russian drained his.

After a second round of sandwiches were made and eaten, and everything was put back in the fridge -- despite Archeville claiming to have robots that would do it, Samael's deli work ethic insisted he see everything was put up by hand -- the Doktor lead the large Russian back to the laboratories several floors down. He lead him to near where the giant tank was he'd been floating in earlier, on the east side of the massive laboratory, and instructed Samael to first stand on a set of scales, then sit in what appeared to be a simple reclining chair, and to relax. This was made a tad bit difficult by the flickering fluorescent light directly overhead.

The first few tests were almost embarrassingly simple: weight, height, blood pressure, reflex test via the tiny rubber mallet to the knee, some blood drawn from the forearm -- as Samael had teased, nothing any routine doctor couldn't do.

Then Samael noticed that Archeville was looking at the wall behind them, studying it intently. Turning around, he saw the was a large screen, showing a highly detailed scan of his own body, in real-time as he lay on the reclining chair. "Er, just a moment, let me... dere." At the push of a few buttons, Archeville 'rewound' the image to when Sam had been lying still on the chair, then froze it so his guest could come up and see it with him. A bit more manipulation removed the image's clothes, then skin to reveal the musculature underneath, then some of the muscles to reveal the circulatory systems, then more to reveal organs, and finally everything to expose the skeletal structure.

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