Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Supercape

Medical Matters (IC)

Recommended Posts

24th November 2010

Slick pulled up outside Archetech in his revved up Ferrari, and stepped up, dressed in an elegant casual jacket and slacks. Male, today, he had decided, on a whim. Well, actually, it had been the flip of a coin.

It had been several decades before he had allowed any kind of medical testing on his unique physiology at all, and then only with great caution. He hadn't done any for several years - and then only at his own company.

Archetech were cutting edge. After due to consideration, he had decided it was time for another check up, and they seemed the best bet. Perhaps they could shed some more light or insight into his condition.

Share this post


Link to post

He was expected, so his trip through the large, bright lobby area didn't take long. A smiling receptionist checked him in and gave him a name badge, then pointed out the lighted arrows on the wall that would lead him to his destination. A short walk and an elevator ride later, the arrows led him into a well-appointed medical lab and work room, which seemed to combine high-end diagnostic equipment with a curious number of fabrication tools. Here and there were what looked like mechanical body parts in various stages of completion, some of them hooked up to computers and moving in repetitive patterns, wiggling fingers or flexing a knee joint over and over.

From amid the muted whirrings and chatter of electronics, a stunningly beautiful woman stepped out into the clear area at the front of the lab. Slick could recognize Miss Americana from his party, where she'd appeared on the arm of Doctor Archeville for a short time. She looked different today, having traded silk and jewels for a blue bodysuit and a labcoat, but the effect was no less intense. "Good afternoon, Slick," she said, with a smile that could've melted butter at twenty paces, "I'm so glad you could make it today. I'm Miss Americana, I look forward to working with you."

Share this post


Link to post

"Delighted to be here, ma'am" replied Slick taking her hand, and placing a kiss on it. She was quite a beauty, he recalled. She smelt of perfume and vaguely of silicon and electonics... she must be quite a scientist under all that bombshell exterior.

"Forgive me if I'm a bit nervous. Its been nearly ten years since my last check up, and I'm not fond of them. And of course, you are quite stunning, so that could make a man nervous too. "

"That lab coat really augments your beauty still further" he laughed generously "I wouldn't have believed such a feat possible, but there you have it!"

Share this post


Link to post

Not just a name, but an attitude as well, Miss A thought, even as she smiled at the praise. "You're going to turn my head," she told him with a soft laugh. "I'll try and make this as painless as possible, I promise. I left all my really pointy probes in my other lab today. Just let me turn off some of my projects here. Go on and have a seat by the desk." With a wink, she turned and began stopping some of the mechanical motion, bringing the noise in the lab to a quiet thrum. As she returned, she asked, "Anything I can get for you before we get started? A drink, a snack? Is the temperature in here comfortable for you?"

Share this post


Link to post

"Oh nothing for me thanks" replied Slick graciously and smiling back "you are too kind"

He walked smoothly over to the seat and sat down, crossing his legs and taking a long look at Miss A. "Maybe you could trouble me to look absolutely gorgeous? Oh, my my, but of course! you are doing that already!"

He took a look around the lab, taking in the various diagrams, print outs, and equipment.

"I normally prefer brunettes, but somehow, blonde suits you. "

Share this post


Link to post

"I can't take too much credit," Miss A told him easily, sitting down at the desk and crossing her own long legs. "It's the color I was born with. But I'm glad you approve." She picked up what appeared to be a heavily modified iPad and a stylus, then looked over at him. "I'd like to start by taking as much of a medical history as you're comfortable with giving me," she told him. "Everything you tell me will remain totally confidential and will go into our most secure servers, where they're not even accessible by most employees here. What can you tell me about yourself?" Her voice was soothing and competent, inviting openness.

Share this post


Link to post

"I am 70 years old, born in 1940. I'm not sure I have a body to speak of. It changes as I wish. I grow, I shrink, my skin tone and shape changes, this is just something I grew into today"

He held out his hand, palm upwards, and showed a line of oily lubricant streaking across it.

"And, I sweat out this stuff when I change. And reabsorb it. I have had it analysed, of course. Its part of my physiology. Seems to be an organic petrochemical. "

I'll leave off the gender change thing for now... he decided.

Share this post


Link to post

Miss A observed the petrochemical with interest, but didn't do anything more to analyze it, for the moment, anyway. "So you can change your entire body when you shapeshift, then? Do you assume only humanoid forms, or can you take on any shape you choose? Do you have a natural state you return to when at rest or unconscious?" She jotted a few notes on her pad without looking down, keeping all of that amazing attention totally focused on her patient.

Share this post


Link to post

"I don't really have a natural state" replied Slick. "I just grow very fast, into one form or another. Quite what qualifies as my natural state at this point, I don't know. I'm not sure I would want to know, either. Probably just goop. "

I really don't want to be just goop he conceded to himself.

"And as its just growing, or shrinking, this way and that, its only humanoid forms. My muscles, bones, and organs all shift around, bits grow or shrink, and I look different. But that's as far as it goes. I can't turn into a chair, for instance, I still have four limbs, lungs, heart, and so on. At best I could take on a slightly wooden complexion, or wooden personality!"

"Or you could sit on me?" he laughed, winked and patted his knee.

Share this post


Link to post

"Sorry, never on a first date," she told him with a smile and just a hint of an eyeroll before returning to consummate professionalism. "Let's go back to your health history for a moment. You were born in 1940, right around the dawn of the first large wave of metahumans. Do you know if either of your parents were metahumans or potentials, or if they were exposed to any substance known to spark powers?"

Share this post


Link to post

Slick became a little touchy, and it showed. He mumbled a German curse under his breath before regaining his composure, or at least some measure of it.

"Pardon me, madam, but it's... sensitive. I didn't know my parents, and unless you have access to time travel I doubt anyone will. "

Gazing around Archetech it seemed time travel might be within the realms of possibility: although he shuddered at the thought of travelling to that period.

"From what my adoptive father told me, I was experimented on by the Nazi regime. Not many records survived, however. There is some reference to me being exposed to some experimental rocket fuel. A few other suggestive scrawls. Not much. "

Not much I can face looking at anyway. There were indeed a couple of badly preserved, and in some cases, burnt, files at his mansion under heavy lock and key. The words and photographs were not pretty.

He sighed and almost shrugged in an apologetic way. "I'm sorry, it was a difficult time. It haunts me still".

Share this post


Link to post

"That's all right," Miss A told him, her manner softening with sympathy. "I understand completely. We can just skip past the family health history questions, then." She tapped the pad with her stylus, clearing away a page. "Do you remember ever getting sick as a child?" she asked instead. "Colds, flu, chicken pox, any other more serious diseases? Did you see a doctor or a dentist regularly during your childhood?" It was somewhat hard to believe that the youngish looking man in front of her was old enough to have grown up before regular pediatric checkups, but she of all people knew how looks could deceive.

Share this post


Link to post

"On occasion, yes. No serious illnesses. At a few points I have experienced some major auto immune responses which have required treatment. Well, not required, but its pretty painful without them, I can assure you. Lasts a few days, nobody quite understands why I get them. Its not allergic as far as we can tell. I get the flare up maybe once a year at most. "

"Otherwise, I do get the odd cough and cold, but not as often as other people. And I shake them off quickly. Overall, my health is superb. Better than human, really. "

Share this post


Link to post

Miss A nodded, jotting notes on her pad. "So you are susceptible to normal human diseases, interesting. Have you felt any of the effects of aging in your body?" she asked, looking up again. "I must say you look fantastic for a man your age. Or should I say, person your age. I assume that part of your shapeshifting is the ability to assume different gender, age and ethnic background as you see fit?" she asked. "Can you change your body mass in those transformations?"

Share this post


Link to post

"Aging? no. Other than becoming more proficient with sliding my organs and muscles around. In many ways, i'm in better shape now than ever. "

"As for mass, no that stays the same. I'm quite heavy, dense I guess, but not significantly so. If I shrink in size I get a bit more dense, if I grow, I get a little more hollow. And that's probably the reason why there are limits to how tall or short I can get. "

Share this post


Link to post

"Yes, of course, you wouldn't want to shed any of your body mass just to shrink down temporarily. Have you ever deliberately put on or lost weight the normal way in order to be more suited to a shape?" she asked curiously, going off the script for her own curiosity. "Does your mass even work that way? Do you still need to eat?" She jotted down more notes, her pen moving faster now that her interest was piqued.

Share this post


Link to post

"Yeah, I still eat" smiled Slick, who knew he was in great shape. Not that it was difficult for him, of course. "I'll take you out to dinner one day and show you!"

"My weight goes up and down pretty much at my own control, within the limits of Newtonian physics of course. But I can pretty much control most aspects of my physiological functioning".

"I've had a look at my DNA and cells, of course. Pretty complex stuff. Best guess is that my cells aren't differentiated. They can all perform any physiological function, given time. "

Share this post


Link to post

Miss A jotted that down as well. "Have you ever tried to separate any part of your mass from your body entirely?" she asked, thinking of another recent patient and his amazing wandering hands. "Either through a shapeshifting amputation, or simply by having cell samples taken? It would be interesting to see whether your cells retain their amazing properties once separated from your body. "And is that oily secretion a cellular waste product?"

Share this post


Link to post

"That sounds rather painful" replied Slick, cautiously, looking around the room more anxiously now. No saws or scalpels. That he could see.

"I suppose if I really tried, I could autoamputate. And I suppose, with a lot of effort I could regrow the limb. Iv'e never had cause to try, and I hope never to have need too. It would be rather painful I imagine, plus I would be without a limb for a while, perhaps permanently. "

"Having cell samples taken is another matter entirely, that's easy enough. They seem to retain their properties, at least for a time, after extraction. "

Share this post


Link to post

Miss A followed his gaze around the room, then gave him a reassuring smile. "Don't worry," she told him, "I'm not going to try any radical experiments on you. Your limbs are entirely your own. Would you be willing to provide a small cell sample though, for analysis? It would be very helpful to us in analyzing your metahuman physiology. Have you ever reproduced?" she asked, avoiding the more conversational question about children. Not all children were biological, but she wasn't particularly interested in any of that variety.

Share this post


Link to post

"Certainly" replied Slick, rolling up his sleeve. "Left or Righty?" he paused "I guess if tried really hard I could grow another limb, but that feels rather... unpleasant. " he screwed up his face.

"I would need assurances on its destruction after analysis, and what exactly you would be using the analysis for. Sorry, force of habit of mine, and forgive my paranoia regarding these things. You must understand that the events of the war have left quite a mark on me, a heritage, if you will. "

Share this post


Link to post

"Of course, I understand perfectly," Miss A assured him. "I wouldn't work with ArcheTech myself if I weren't convinced of their absolute dedication to the privacy of everyone who works for or with them. I can provide you with a detailed copy of our policies and procedures for data protection, as well as for the storage and disposal of organic materials. The short version is that all the information I'm gathering about your today, all the readings I take, and the results of any tests we do will be stored electronically in a heavily encrypted database that is available only on a need to know basis even to trusted employees of the company. We will not ever release any information about you without your consent or, should it ever become necessary, the consent of your estate. All biological samples you provide will be kept for five years in a state of the art secure facility, accessible only to trusted scientists on the metahuman research project. After that, they will be destroyed."

Miss A set her pad aside, steepling her fingers so that the perfect french-tipped nails barely brushed together. "As for what the analysis will be used for, part of that will depend on what we find. Every piece of data collected from metahumans is valuable because of the information it gives us about the nature and origin of metahuman ability. Understanding this will allow us to assist new metahumans in gaining control of their power, or established heroes in maximizing their ability. It also contributes to the body of knowledge that may one day let us use metahuman-inspired technology to cure disease, prolong life, and improve conditions for everyone on Earth." She smiled. "We don't think small here."

Share this post


Link to post

"Noble aspirations" replied Slick. If he sweated, he would be sweating now.

"Forgive my sensitivity on the subject. I am basically the product of human experimentation. For me, the end never justifies the means. And I get... nervous... about these kind of things. "

He looked around, visibly anxious now. He forced himself to take some deep slow breaths.

"It has taken me several years to pluck up the courage for today, you know..."

Share this post


Link to post

"Mister Slick," Miss A murmured, her voice quiet but full of sincerity, "no one is going to be hurt by the experiments we do here today. I will not allow anything to happen that is going to injure you in any way. I want the control of this process to be in your hands. If you decide that you don't wish any of the results of any of these tests to be used for future research projects, I will make sure that it happens that way. Today is primarily for your benefit and your edification. I believe we should all know everything we can about ourselves as metahumans, and if beyond that, you want to throw those test results in the trash, then we will do that."

She spread her hands. "I didn't mean to say anything to make you uneasy about anything we do here at ArcheTech. You'll have to forgive me if sometimes my enthusiasm carries me away. You see, my focus is primarily in medical prostheses and transplantables, and one of the primary problems we have is that the body will reject a part that is not sufficiently familiar. If something in the research we do were to reveal a single gene that would make cells that tiny bit more adaptable, it could save many lives. But I'm not willing to sacrifice anyone for that goal."

Share this post


Link to post

"Noble" replied Slick "and reassuring".

He calmed down a bit "very well then, you may proceed, although I would like copies of the results. " he rolled up his right arm sleeve and started pumping his fist, making the veins more visible.

"I wouldn't like to think my reticence would be the cause of missing out on a cure for cancer, for instance. " he chuckled "although that is probably unduly wishful thinking".

"Oh and if you could find any way to stop me burning up next to a candle, that would be nice. I have a slight tendency to self-ignite. "

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×