2019-09-06 - From one horror to another


Eve hunts down Morbius with an interest in helping her.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Sep 6 00:00:00 2019
Location: Michelle's Laboratory

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Theme Song



Being a detective is easier than it used to be. In the old days, you needed contacts, phone books, familiarity with the police…

These days, the Internet replaces many of those resources.
Normally, a name can be esoteric, known only to certain people. But Google takes the single name Eve knows, MORBIUS…
…and produces a wealth of information. Still have to dig through it, though, which requires the patience of a detective. But this particular person has a viable presence. Her first appearance is her enrollment in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, in Greece, at the age of 17. She graduates with a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the age of 23. She is the daughter of a shipping magnate, but she is not interested in the family business. She is dedicated, driven, and tenacious.
The next article reveals why. She is afflicted with ALAD-deficiency porphyria, a genetic disease that has no cure. She is doomed to a short lifespan, where the last few years are spent suffering seizures, loss of control of bodily functions, and disconnection from reality leading to psychosis.
She would die in great agony, and she would die in insanity.

Her next source reveals that she has climbed in the ranks, and her magnum opus, an in-depth study of the treatment of disease, is worth the Nobel Prize in science. Two years later, she has moved to America, to New York, to continue her research.

And from there…the address of the private research facility.

Ah, of course.

Such a resource is unlikely to be given up easily. That's why she's got the address, yes, having studied the available information in great detail before heading that way. She parks outside of it, gets out of her car, sits on the hood, and plays with her phone.

Sooner or later, Morbius will notice her.

She's counting on the obviousness.

Dr. Michelle Morbius is analyzing her mouth. More to the point, the sample of her saliva. It is strange. And not just the fact that is is studying herself.
The human mouth has MILLIONS of bacteria. In extreme cases, bad breath, halitosis, and even advanced gum disease. However her mouth has…almost none. There were a few collections of bacteris she introduced to the saliva sample, and the saliva…killed them.
She was still trying to process the fact she has the cleanest mouth in NYC when she looked to the computer monitor and blinked.
Is that…
She pressed a button, then said, "Harrison? Yes, could you use the intercom…?"

A few seconds later, a voice is heard from the white door to the right. More accurately, the intercom panel there. "The door will be unlocked in a few seconds. Go down the hall, take the first left, then knock on the door at the end of the short hall."
A few seconds later the latch disengages with a loud BUZZ!

Eve does what's asked of her. What else is she gonna do? /Not/ come in after going all that way?

She pushes through the now unlocked door and says, cheerfully, "So this is your secret lair?"

She's waiting to see Michelle, of course, taking a moment only to pop her neck and seem completey at ease.

Because she is.

The second door opens and…nope. Not a cobweb to be seen.
The laboratory is pristine, everything in order and color-coded. It's a fairly large lab for one person.
The one person in question stands up from the computer in the corner alcove and walks towards Eve. No latex or leather this time, unless you count the low heels in patent black leather. She is wearing a white blouse, black slacks, and a white lab coat. She is also wearing powderless nitrile gloves, which she makes no move to remove.
Her eyes are not red, but a deep glacier-ice blue, her skin a healthy pink, and when she gives a polite smile, no fangs can be seen. "Uhm…hello, Eve," Dr. Michelle Morbius says politely.

"Well, don't /you/ look positively normal. You're not, though, yeah?"

Eve folds har arms acr oss her chest. "I'm assuming you didn't find your cure yet." She rocks back onto her heels, casually observing Morbius. "Seriously, though. It's nice to see you outside the…" She gest ures vaguely at her. All of her. She probably means her clothing choices.

Michelle sighs. "And it's not a secret lair. It's…a private research facility. There's a difference." She looks around. "I tend to avoid the leather and latex attire when I am working. This isn't some CAVE, after all, and it's not like I have a James-Bond vehicle in the underground garage." She leans against the counter. "I…well, I did and i didn't. It was a situation where the cure may have been worse than the disease. I'm currently testing something that can return me to my normal physiology. So far, it's been an hour." She points to a timer on the computer screen. 61 minutes, 35 seconds and counting.

"So…why did you seek me out?" A pause. "Alisha didn't try to see you, did she?"

"…no, no she did not," says Eve, "I figured she was way more into you than she was me and, well…" She squints at the timer. "Huh. That's interesting," she adds. "And I sought you out because I hadn't seen you at any of your usual 'haunts'. That made me concerned something had happened. I'd like to make sure something didn't happen. Nothing happened, right?" Eyebrows up.

Michelle shook her head. "Well…I was having some issues, and my actual life his its own obligations. My condition does not invalidate my…hmm…current responsibilities as a scientist. I…ssssSSSSssss…" She paused. "Sorry, a little twingaaaAAAHHHHH!" Her hand suddenly grips the side of the table as she gives a low, tortured moan, and Eve can see the pink skin suddenly blanch white, her body shuddering for a few moments more before she looks up again, looking at Eve with crimson eyes, her hands now ending in sharp talons, and when she opens her mouth to swear aloud in Greek, Eve can see the fangs.
<Back to the gods-damned drawing board!> she spits out in Greek.

BLink. Blink.

Eve stares for a long moment. Seeing something like this, especially outy of nowhere, is going to be disconcerting to most. Even Eve, of course, is going to get somewhat startled. And she is. Her eyes are wide and staring as the changes overtake the normal appearance that Michelle is bearing at the moment.

On the other hand, Eve is someone who can do all these things to herself.

"OI," she lets out a breath. "That looks like it was decidedly unpleasent. Do you need anything? Any help?"

Michelle holds up a hand, warding off Eve. "Just…wait. Don't come close…" She backed up, then headed for a miniature fridge under the alcove desk, pulling out a bottle of what is obviously blood.
She puts the bottle down with a hollow THUNK, and takes a deep breath. "All right….I'm better now. Gods above and below, it was like the first time, the Thirst hitting me all at once." She rubs her face. Eyes are still red, fangs are still there, but shorter, not so pronounced.

"…dare I ask who that belonged to?" asks Eve, observing her as she downs the blood all at once like that. She clears her throat, hands going together behind her back. You know, remarkably chill with all of this for the moment.

Michelle looks at her, then sighs. "A medical requisition from the local blood banks, for all the recently-expired blood they cannot use anymore. Told them it was for my research. Expensive…but going without would be MORE expensive." She sighs. "Tastes like freezer burn. It's fuel…but little more than that. Fresh blood is…intoxicating. A little TOO intoxicating."

"…remind me not to have any open wounds around you," mutters Eve.

"Right," she continues, "So I presume you've got funding. And that funding is going to run out at some point?" She's looking for potential troubles that can get Michelle in a bind down the line. "So you're on the clock. AM I right or wrong?"

Michelle nods. "Which is why I'm trying to find away to cure myself of this new…variation of the disease. I thought that serum would be able to counteract it, but itlasted for…" She looks at the computer. "Sixty-three minutes. Not much of a cure. But I have to keep going. I can't quit. I cannot simply…continue like this, even if I may have effectively become immortal." She points to some stacks of paper on one desk. "Weeks of analysis…testing…and all I got was 63 minutes. So…onward."

"Sixty minutes is a /start/," agrees Eve, "and it will at least present you some limited possiblities. Clearly, I need to put some bandages on your face, a hat, and call you Darkman." It's unlikely Morbius will get what it is that she's referring to but it seems to make the goth smile anyway.

"Sou. You were working. That's good. But you can't blame me for being a LITTLE concerne dabout the silence, given what I know."

Michelle looks as contrite as a woman with red eyes, pale skin, and fangs CAN look. "I truly am sorry. I will not make excuses for my behavior. I will only vow to keep it from happening again."

"I'm not asking you to apologize. I just want you to keep me in the loop, or if not me, you need to have SOMEONE watching you who can get help if needed," says Eve, "because nobody wants you to wind up a hunter monster less than I do, okay? And it'd be a really easy small series of steps to get you there before you knew it." She tugs on one of the tails of her hair.

Michelle sighs. "Tell me about it. I had been accosted by some thugs and I had to go for the blood cache I had in the car before some plainclothes detective started looking too close to me. I am NEVER going to Staten Island again without some sort of support network.

"I wonder if my blood would make a good substitute. I'm not sure. We could try, but it's not entirely normal either," muses Eve, thoughtfully. She's considering this, it seems. "REally only one way to find out, I suppose. I don't /think/ it would have any negative consequences." What is she even talking about?


Type "+thelp" for help.

Michelle peers at Eve, looking somewhat puzzled. "What abnormalities do you have that might make it an issue?" she asks, trying to stay polite but is unable to completely hide her curiosity. She can't help it. She is always curious once her own diagnosis was handed down, like the deathwatch it had become…

"Mn. It's probably a bad idea. But you eating people is an even /worse/ idea." She glances down at herself. "And when did you ever get the idea that I was /normal/, anyway? Normal people don't step into dark alleys to confront rapists and hang around with a lady with sharp teeth. Is it because I'm Goth?" she sounds amused, then lets out a sigh. "It's not something I much like talking about, anyway, but my blood could suffice. It also might not. Get a syringe and take a sample? I've never actually had it scientifically studied."

The docotr eyes her, then nods. "All right, then. As long as I have your permission. There is a certain code of ethics to follow with this sort of thing."
She takes out a sealed package with a surgical needle at one end, a short tube of clear plastic, which lead to a blunter-looking needle at the opposite end inside a short plastic tube. She takes out alcohol wipes, a rubber-stoppered vial, and an elastic strap. "Have a seat in this chair, and I can take a sample."

Eve does so, of course.

"JUst be careful," she tells her. Maybe she deosn't like needles. She gets comfortable in the chair thereaft er, rolling up the sleeve of her t-shirt.

It's odd to see the Living Vampire act like who she is when the fangs and red eyes go away. She wrap the elastic strap tight around Eve's upper arm, checks for a vein, then slowly injects the needle. She slides the vial into the other needle to accept the blood coming from Eve's vein.

Everything is going well so far.

Eve lets it complete and then leans back to wait. She's gonna let Michelle put it under the microscope for now.

Michelleslides the needle out, placing a white gauze pad on the tiny hole. "Hold that there for a few minutes, please." She tosses everything but the viel in the biohazard bin, marking it with a thin grease pen. She walks it over to the electron microscope, then extracts a few drops with a hypo, putting it on a thin slide before sliding it into the slot and closing the cover. "Okay…" She brings the slide up at 100x to start, letting the mass spec have a go at another sample while she works here.

One is sure that Michelle would like to think that a lesser microbiologist would not have seen it, but in truth, it's her enhanced senses that let her see it.

Eve's cells are predatory in nature. When squeezed between the slides, it's almost like they're /tasting/ it, seeking something. Drinking this would probably be an absolutely, monstrously terrible idea.

The goth girl sitting in the chair over there who offered her blood is every big the predator, down to the basic building blocks that compose her body.

Michelle actually recoils from the screen. <Gods above and below…> she whispers in horrified Greek. She looks from the screen to Eve, trying to comprehend what she is looking at. She takes a deep breath, then chooses her next words carefully.

"What…ARE you, Eve?"

"…well, /that's/ unfortuante," says Eve with a sigh. "I'm gonna guess that's a no-go, then." Her face screws up. "My blood regenerates quickly, so I was thinking I might be able to offer you a relatively endless supply free and clear, but since I'm not exactly fully human," or human AT ALL below her surface layer if her blood is to be believed, "I knew there was a chance that it would turn out to be undoable. I'll pursue a different option." That doesn't immediately answer Michelle's question, of course.

Michelle points to the screen. "Your cells are functioning as fully-independent units. Each capable of movement, response…and independent activity. But…somehow you can control them all. You have to, or the city…the entire PLANET, perhaps…would have been overrun by them."

"…ahahahahahhaa," says Eve, clearing her throat aft4er that nervous laughter. "WELL THIS IS AKWARD," she says, "Yeah, well. I'm human, but not quite human. My body obeys my commands. Bring me that slide, would you?" She holds a hand out for it. "Don't worry about me. I'm not overruning the planet." That ship sailed decades ago.

Michelle eyes Eve, but has to smirk a LITTLE. "Well, if you were planning to, I think you would have been quite successful." She hands over the slide. After a moment, she hands over the vial, as well. The contents are inarguably Eve's property.

"Naw," says Eve, "trust me when I tell you that there are some people smarter than either of us, to say nothing of the magical might types, that would just burn it all down or figure out some way to deal with it. The stuff that nearly ends the world happens alllll the time." She lets out a breath. "Well, there goes that idea." She takes the slide, opens it up, and her blood is simply…absorbed back into her through her fingers. "Anyway, that's all of it, so you have nothing to worry about."

Morbius looks at Eve oddly. "I must confess to having a keen interest in the analysis of your body's processes, but I strongly doubt you would consent to any research, or any papers written as a result. It's just…" She paused, then asked, "Is it…difficult? Maintaining control?"

"Well, yes and no. Most of the time, not really. I've got decades," DECADES, "of practice at staying in control, but there are specific circumstances that can be trying." She clears her throat.

Decades…she has no idea. That might change if the results are consistent, but… "Are you lonely, Eve?"

"Aren't we all from time to time?" says Eve, giving her a weird look.

Michelle opens her mouth…then closes it. She does have a point. Heaven knows she had isolated herself, not wanting others to see the lesions, the damage, the seizures. "I…suppose I am talking outside my mouth again. I am sorry." She sighs. "

Michelle Morbius says, "I…have some trouble with human interaction…and now, I have no choice.""

"No, it's fine. You're fine, really," says Eve, assuringly, "I get where you 're going to be going and where you're coming from, so that's why I'm here to help. You're in trouble. You've got hungers and needs that are alien to who you used to be, and you're in all sorts of situations you don't want to be and don't know how to deal with them. I took a job where I could use my abilities for good purpose that pays well. I occasionally deal with problems ro play at superheroing. It keeps me busy and I do good things. I got comfortable. It's not a bad life. My hope is that you'll find a cure, and failing that, find a way to live with it all that won't hurt anyone else. It's the last one you're going to have to work on."

Michelle sits down in her desk chair. "I…some nights I wonder what I'm going to become. What I've already become. But I am worried that…it will progress in some way I don't understand yet. When I see something like when those men were trying to attack me and rob me, I saw red. Literally. The world…red-shifted for me. If it's not the thirst…it's the power. I'm not sure which frightens me more."

"You're still frightened," replies Eve, "so that's good. The day it stops scaring you is the day someone will need to stop you. So hold on to that. Stay afraid." It's not exactly warm advice, but it seems Eve is speaking from her own personal experience.

Michelle nods, understanding what Eve is saying. Healthy fear as opposed to simply being afraid of everything. "I should…probably walk you out. I have a lot to consider…and I need some solitude. I hope you understand."

"Right," agrees Eve, "That makes sense." She rises to her feet. "I'll be in touch, okay?" She glances over her shoulder at her.

Michelle looks at Eve with a touch of fondness. "Listen…I appreciate the thought, even if it didn't work out." She walks past Eve to the door, then opens it for her.

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