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25 July 2006 @ 07:55 pm
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Two people pinpoint into the entrance to the Nexus labs, and immediately both look very surprised to be standing in a couple inches of water. One of the people is Schreber, and he has Orwell on his shoulder and is leaning on a cane, but the other person is a stranger to the labs. She is a woman probably a little younger than him.
"It... ah... it usually isn't... like this." Schreber gives her a very apologetic look and smiles weakly.
Current Mood: nervousnervous
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 12:15 am (UTC)
Sarah's wearing her nicest black dress for the occasion, looking ready more for a night of dinner and dancing than a trip to Nexus labs. She yelps, surprised, and reflexively lifts up a foot. "What's with all the water?" she asks, looking at one of her evening shoes in dismay.
dr_schreber: annoyeddr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 12:24 am (UTC)
"I... don't know. But it can't... be good." He limps over to the big map that is by the entrance and rests a hand on it, frowning and looking for any suspicious changes. The original map was made by Foxy, but it's changed some since then. There's nothing that gives him any idea why it's flooded though, and he's not sure he wants to take Sarah to meet Osborn right away, especially if he might not be... looking human today. Orwell is fidgeting a little on his shoulder. "I don't know. It's... only a few inches." He heads for his room slowly, feeling very awkward and apologetic, but also used to the weirdness of the Nexus. Flooding is better than some horrible virus.
He should have talked her into less formal clothes.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 12:30 am (UTC)
Sarah follows along, staring at the map as they pass. "That's okay. It's just an old wives' tale that you can catch a cold with wet feet." Her smile has returned -- she's outside the city! -- and a few inches of water aren't going to ruin her good mood.

She probably could have been talked out of wearing such a nice dress, but she never got a chance to wear nice things lately, and she wanted to make a good first impression.
dr_schreber: archway to shell beachdr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 12:42 am (UTC)
Schreber is out of breath by the time they get to his room because limping through water is harder. He leans on the doorway and hesitates a little, worried that something bad is going on in the labs. The door is never locked, and it doesn't have a seal or anything so there's water in his rooms, too. The couch was moved to the beach house, and there's a kind of hospital bed in it's place. Tables line the opposite wall, covered in chemistry equipment and the computer and the tiny fridge, and the desk chairs are scattered in the room. Luckily Schreber doesn't keep anything on the floor that could get damaged by the water.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
Sarah steps inside, looking all around. The computer catches her attention, because it is so unfamiliar to her, but then she looks over at the chemistry equipment. "This is your research?" she asks, curious.

She wonders briefly why he preferred to live here, when he could have lived anywhere in the multiverse.
dr_schreber: go where?!?dr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 12:58 am (UTC)
He winces just a little, because he's afraid of what she'll think when she learns the details about what he did and does. "It's... ah... well I don't do much, these days. Originally John sent... me out to research other places to... find where we came from. I used the Nexus as... a central point and explored other worlds, and came... here to sleep and compile my research." He limp-wades in and leans on the railing of the bed. He doesn't like the bed at all, but at least this means his comfy beat up couch is clean and safe.
Orwell climbs down to the railing and looks confused. He doesn't like the bed either.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)
Her expression changes for just a moment. Find where we came from? She knows the city is isolated, but why would it be so hard to figure out their origins?

She sits on the bed and looks up at Schreber. "I don't understand... I remember where I came from. Why can't you use the pinpoint to go there? I know John said that it's nearly impossible to get back to where we're from through normal means, but..." Something is tugging at the back of her thoughts, like a missing puzzle piece that would explain everything if she could just find it.
dr_schreber: Home in your Headdr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
He's said too much. The walk and the labs flooding make him tired and distracted, and he's slipped and said too much. "It's hard to find where... you come from when you can't... remember it..." He smiles weakly, twitchy and ndervous now. He'd really like to sit down, but the bed reminds him too much of the hospital so he struggles over to the closest chair.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
"But..." But I remember home, she wants to say, but she holds her tongue. She doesn't want to ruin their time away from the city. She watches him head for a chair and absently bounces a little on the bed. "Miss your couch, huh?" she asks. She looks back over at the computer. "What's that, if you don't mind me asking?"
dr_schreber: warydr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 01:20 am (UTC)
"I've only been... in a bed like that once that I... can remember." He shivers and is happy to change the subject. "It's... a larger version of Byte. Only without... the personality." He stops to lean on the back of the chair, but doesn't sit. He peers at the computer, worried about the power cord, but where it's plugged in is still a little above water. He rolls the chair over closer, because it's one of the wheeled ones, and turns the computer on really cautiously. It seems to be working okay.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 01:27 am (UTC)
She gets up quickly, intrigued. "This one doesn't talk, then?" When the monitor lights up, she blinks. "What do you use it for?" she asks, amazed.
dr_schreber: the good doctordr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
"To communicate with people. It... can access the Nexus. Sometimes it... just seemed like too far to walk." He's embarrassed to admit that. It isn't that far really. Now that he's really starting to recover, he's beginning to realize how bad his health was getting before. He's still tired from wading though, and he gestures for her to sit in the chair that's pulled up to the computer while he sits in the wheeled one he's pulled over with him. "The little thing with the cord on... the right is called a mouse..."
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 01:37 am (UTC)
She sits down at the offered chair, absently smoothing out her dress as she does. "How do you communicate with them? Can you see them?" She looks down at the mouse, then puts her hand on it. "A mouse... that's a funny name for a-- oh!" As she moves the mouse, she can see the arrow moving about the screen. "Oh! Oh, look at that!"
dr_schreber: technical difficultiesdr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
Her learning the mouse gets a real smile, but then the chair tries to roll while he's sitting down and he almost falls. The floor is slippery and he's having a hard time with this. Schreber catches himself with the edge of the table and his cane and winces, and sits down very carefully. "It's like a very ad...vanced typewriter. With pictures."
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
Sarah turns quickly, arm out to help brace Schreber should he fall. "Daniel, are you all right?" She watches him, worriedly, until he's safely seated, and only then looks back at the computer screen.

"This is *nothing* like a typewriter," she grins, "Except for the keyboard." She moves the mouse again, touching the arrow to several of the icons on the screen. "What are these things?"
dr_schreber: the good doctordr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 01:53 am (UTC)
"Sorry, the floor's slip...pery." He's thinking he maybe picked the wrong chair to sit in, because he's going to have trouble getting up again. "The blue one there, if you press... the left half of the mouse while the arrow is... on it, that will let you see the Nexus. In text." He doesn't know all the technical terms very well, but he's good at using it."
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 01:58 am (UTC)
Sarah briefly eyes Schreber's chair. She's thinking the same thing. When he stands again, she'll be quick to keep the chair from rolling.

She clicks on the blue icon as indicated, and lo and behold, the internet browser opens with Dear Multiverse displayed. "Oh... wow!" She stares, amazed. "They're all asking questions... and, oh..." she skims the text. "There seems to be a lot more water there. See?"
dr_schreber: whimperdr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 02:03 am (UTC)
"Oh dear." He rolls closer awkwardly and peers at the screen. "Ah... Nexus LOL? At least it isn't... something wrong with Mr. Osborn. Maybe we're... safer here. I wonder if the Sanctu...ary is damp too." He fidgets with the head of the cane.
raven_orwell on July 26th, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)
Orwell decides it's lunchtime and flies over to the fridge, and taps on the door with his beak. The water on the floor doesn't really bother him, and this room is still home too.
Sarah Branigansarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 02:11 am (UTC)
Sarah looks at Schreber blankly. "Nexus what?" She turns back to the screen. "There's enough water for a ship!"

It's hard for her to turn her attention from the computer, but she can see Orwell out of the corner of her eye and she doesn't want Schreber to get up and slosh around in the water. "Do you have food in there for him?" she asks. "Wait, hasn't it been a while since... oh, well he likes rotten lunchmeat, I suppose it wouldn't matter."
dr_schreber: technical difficultiesdr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 02:18 am (UTC)
"I'm not sure. I think my al...ternate has been staying here off... and on, but I don't know. I... I should make tea." He starts to try to get up again, but the chair just rolls backwards a little and it doesn't really work. "Ah... Um." He tries to reach for the tables to pull himself up.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
Sarah stands and gently braces the back of Schreber's chair. "Why don't you tell me a little more about Nexus... loll? and I'll make some tea. And feed Orwell." She's halfway to the tiny fridge before Schreber can protest. "Your alternate stayed here? That must have been convenient."
dr_schreber: tired/blank lookdr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
He gets up while she's bracing the chair, but then she's moving across the room already and he ends up just leaning on the table. "I... hope it was. His own city isn't a safe... place for him." He frowns a little, and worries. He's been so tired since he came back from getting his alternate to the clinics, he hasn't really kept up with what's happened since. He hopes his alternate is doing okay, and feels guilty for avoiding him.
There is a bunsen burner with a teakettle over it, and a pot, and some mugs. If Sarah looks too close at what he keeps in the kitchen she will figure out really quick that he lives off tea and soup and sandwiches when he's on his own. Bachelor cooking. There probably isn't much in the fridge. What's left in there is pretty old now.
"L.O.L. It stands for laugh... out loud, I think. But what it really stands... for is the idea that you have to laugh at the... things that happen in the Nexus, because the alter...native is... well, it's best to just laugh and let... it all pass."
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
Sarah looks back at Schreber, mirroring his frown. "Are the aliens still in his city?" she asks. The full implication of alternates is just now starting to dawn on her.

She returns her attention to filling the teakettle and turning on the bunsen burner. This is about as bachelor -- bachelor scientist, even -- that it gets, she muses. When she opens the fridge, her nose wrinkles reflexively. "I don't think he's been here in a little while. Unless your alternate likes to eat mold." She gingerly takes out an old and sweaty package of luncheon meat and places it on a nearby tabletop. "Here you go, Orwell."

His explanation of LOL gives her pause. "Um... I take it a lot of strange things happen in the Nexus?"
dr_schreber: tuning in minddr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)
"No, no, I... I don't think I could stand to let... things lie if I met an alternate in... that situation." He frowns, and for a minute there's an expression of anger and resolve and determination that seems almost un-Schreberlike. There must be some alternates like that, somewhere. But if they ever came to the Nexus they might not go back at all.
"Strange... Ah, well, strange for the nexus is a completely... different thing than strange anywhere... else. I've only been turned into a din...osaur once, but I've been relatively lucky." He smirks just a little, and remembers John running stopsigns and red lights. Hopefully Sarah won't burn herself or anything.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 26th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
Sarah nods soberly. "Good." Aliens using the dead as their vessels nonwithstanding, the thought of an alternate of Daniel out there, continuing to suffer at the hands of his tormentors, deeply upsets her.

She's just found the tea when Schreber announces he was once a dinosaur. She stares at him for a few moments, then starts giggling, then laughing rather heartily (and futiley attempting to stifle it with her hand). "A dinosaur?! Oh... Oh, I'm sorry, but... a dinosaur?!" Maybe this is why it's called Nexus LOL? "Oh my goodness.. what was it like? And what kind of dinosaur?"
dr_schreber: smirkdr_schreber on July 26th, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC)
This is a much better reaction, and he smiles a little. "I'm not sure, I couldn't see my...self. My glasses fell off and someone... bigger stepped on them. Orwell turned into some...thing too. Sort of feathered but... toothy. I had to get Djehuty to turn... him back, because the cure they offered in... the Nexus only worked on humanoids."
raven_orwell on July 26th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
Orwell didn't mind being a dinosaur, because he was bigger but not all that different otherwise. He already eats meat and the teeth were kind of nice.
He's also very happy with old lunchmeant from the fridge, but the smell might make Sarah not want tea so much. He tears the package up happily.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 27th, 2006 12:25 am (UTC)
Sarah continues to giggle as she prepares two mugs for tea. "That's a shame you couldn't see yourself. And Orwell was a dinosaur too?" She glances at the raven and shakes her head a little. "I think I prefer him this size."
dr_schreber: warydr_schreber on July 27th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC)
"So do I. He was heavy." He peers at the computer screen and sits in the chair Sarah was in before, since it won't roll out from under him. What he sees makes him frown and go quiet. It's also really obvious he knows what he's doing when he operates the computer, and he scrolls through screens quickly. "I don't... think this is a good thing. Things like... this usually don't affect the Nexus on such a big scale."
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 27th, 2006 12:58 am (UTC)
The teakettle whistles and Sarah pours the hot water into the two mugs and carefully carries them over. She hands one to Schreber before seating herself. She has a lot less trouble in the rolling chair, although at this point she would have preferred some galoshes to high heels.

"Oh?" She watches the computer screening, reading what she can. "They're all there in... the meeting hall place? It sounds like the water has been rising steadily for a while." She blinks and peers closer. "Are... are some of those people sea creatures?"
dr_schreber: thinking in spiralsdr_schreber on July 27th, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
"Some... of them are. Some of them that usually aren't sea... monsters are." He fidgets a little bit with the teacup. "Maybe we should go to the Sanc...tuary just to find out what's going on..."
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 27th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
"All right. Hopefully it's a little drier there..." She seems reluctant to leave the computer, but it's probably for the best to get to the bottom of things.
dr_schreber: Nervousdr_schreber on July 27th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
((I'm on AIM...))

He sips his tea and looks really worried, still reading bits and pieces of what's on the screen. "We... should be safe there, but please try not to... be too alarmed if anyone has an... unusual appearance." He's really not sure if there's any way for somebody to brace themselves for meeting nexus people.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 27th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)
"Like a dinosaur?" Sarah smiles, to hide her nervousness. "I'll be alright, Daniel. I know I haven't seen aliens or talking animals or whatnot, but I have seen some strange and frightening things in the hospital."
dr_schreber: Nervous smile Tod artdr_schreber on July 27th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
"Hopefully. That was pretty safe in... the end, and easy to cure." He nods and looks apologetic, because maybe he's worrying too much. She's taken everything really well so far.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 28th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC)
Sarah's gaze returns to the computer screen. "Will you show me how to use your computer more... another time? It's absolutely fascinating." She's surprised he doesn't have more technological advances in his laboratory.
dr_schreber: tired/blank lookdr_schreber on July 30th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC)
"Of course... yes..." He's a little distracted checking the most important links, because he's getting worried now. "Byte works much the... same way, on a smaller scale, and... it works from the city, this... wouldn't." His expression is definitely troubled, partly because her asking makes him remember Foxy teaching him how to use the computer, and partly because it looks like people all over the Nexus are turning into sea monsters. He doesn't have more technological advances because he's never really thought of it.
Sarah Branigan: pic#49656330sarah_branigan on July 30th, 2006 03:21 am (UTC)
Sarah watches him click away with the mouse, trying to figure out what he's doing. What's this 'livejournal' thing on the top, anyway? "Well, maybe you can show me how to do some of this stuff on Byte sometime?" She can't help but notice the pattern of calamities on the screen and quietly curses her choice of footwear.

((This is probably a good place to end the thread. Not really on tonight, anyway. ^_^ I'll write up a post for Sarah tomorrow... is Schreber taking advantage of being in the Nexus ;) There are giant kraken there now! Eep!))