2019-12-01 - Probing Questions


Kamala and Koriand'r both drop round GIRL to see Nadia. Kamala ends up taking a tour while Kori volunteers for some medical tests.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Dec 1 23:50:38 2019
Location: RP Room 6

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Theme Song



Sitting just far enough outside New York for the science and retail parks but within walking distance for the train the G.I.R.L building looks fairly unremarkable from the outside. Moderately sized the building has the insect winged logo above double glass doors that lead into a little reception area that's currently empty and has a single sturdy looking double internal door leading out.

Both the outer reception door and the inner door are unlocked to allow walk in visits. Although there's obvious security cameras in place to discourage anyone from trying to steal anything.

The inside is perhaps unlike any science lab most people typically imagine. Two floors of open plan space with the logo proudly painted on the far back wall. Each side wall is lined with college dorm style bedrooms. The nearby corners have a break area with couches and a big tv plus a little kitchen that has a stack of pizza boxes that smell as if they contain some freshly ordered pizzas and a hastily cobbled together coffee machine made almost entirely out of things from a chemistry lab.

But it's the middle that looks the most impressive. A huge scifi doorway dominates the middle of the room. While a dozen workbenches are covered in various projects ranging from biotech to robotics.

At this time on a Sunday it's quiet at G.I.R.L with most members visiting family or busy with college stuff. But an electronic sign up in the reception area says 'Come on in' in big friendly letters.

Koriand'r lands outside the entrance to GIRL in a blaze, as is her wont, wearing the purple latex monokini she's arguably most famous for. She strides through the doors confidently, but has her confidence slightly wrecked by the electronic sign she has to back up and squint at to make out the words on (screens on Earth are so low-res she can hardly make out the images from any closer than across a street), lips moving silently until she's certain she understands it. Well, at least there was no one around to see her struggle! She tosses her hair and takes the sign at its word, just walking into the complex as if that's where she belongs.

So the first time she met Nadia didn't go so great. It was downright embarassing really. And it led to the grand debate of whether or not she was ever going to show her face here. Or if she would as Ms. Marvel. Or as Kamala. She debated and fretted over the idea until she finally decided to just show up. As the taxi drops her off, since she can't fly and didn't want to be the fifty foot tall Mala that wandered New York.

Arriving at GIRL, she has to put on her glasses for a moment to read, and lets out a breath. "Okay." she tries to assure herself. "You totally flaked out the first time you did this.. why can't you just shake it off." Giving a little wobble to clear her head, she notices the alien woman and she feels the heat rush into his cheeks, but raises her hand. "Koriand'r!" she calls out, hoping to get her attention. "Hey."

"Hey make yourself at home!" A tiny yet remarkably loud voice calls out from somewhere within the lab. "There's food in the break area, along with a bunch of hot and cold drinks… I didn't know what you would like or be biochemically okay to consume." The voice is certainly Nadia's although quite where she is right now is harder to pin down.

A keen observer might just notice a few sparks from inside one of the larger bits of lab equipment. The flash of light from a tiny figure welding perhaps?

"I tried ensure a nice variety of pizza toppings and sides. Don't worry if nothing appeals if we don't eat it now someone will finish it tomorrow!"

Koriand'r waves cheerfully and greets, "Hello, friend Kamala! I am here for the purpose of medical study. What is the purpose for which you are present?" But before she can get an answer, a tiny voice speaks up. Koriand'r, whose people can see like a hawk, spots the tiny woman quickly, but decides it would be gauche to draw attention to whatever's going on over there. She just calls back, "That is very well, thank you. I will excuse myself to the area thus designated. Will you accompany me, Kamala?"

A swift smile is offered to Koriand'r. "Coincidence, I think? I got the flier from that.. thing that happened at the pharmacy and was just curious." Kamala responds, about to say more to Kori when Nadia speaks up, "Oh. Okay, uh, Sure!" she finally manages after a moment of fidgetting. Dressed in her civilian clothing, she's wearing a warm sweater and jeans, the sweater oversized enough to swallow most of her frame as she returns her attention to Koriand'r. "Okay." she agrees to acompanying her, moving to follow her.

"I'm just finishing a last minute repair to something. I'll be right with you," Nadia calls out from inside the machine. "Ethical medical tests. Well really I wanted to run through things first, no point planning out a load of tests for things and discovering they're culturally offensive or medically dangerous for you."

There's a full selection of snacks and junk food to please the most varied tastes. All the things you'd expect from a well funded science lab run by teenagers. There's also a dance floor and plenty of comfortable couches.

"How're you both doing?" she muses as she flits out of a slot in the side of the hardware. Wings buzzing with increasing intensity as she reverts to normal size. Dressed in her full Wasp costume complete with her wrist mounted energy weapons. "Been involved in any crime fighting capers?" She lands on the ground and the insect styled wings still. "Don't worry it's safe to talk here. We run regular bug sweeps and it's just us three and security in the building right now."

Koriand'r, permanently warm on this planet regardless of clothing, observes the food without much interest. She just hasn't been feeling Earth food lately, though the pizza is a little tempting. Once she's catalogued it in her mind, she turns her attention back to Kamala, the more interesting subject in the break room. "It is pleasant to see you again. Your company has been missed." She nods at Nadia seriously. "I have not, but that is not unusual. I believe capes are currently out of fashion, so I would not expect to fight crime with a caper these days."

"I've put together a list of all the sorts of tests I'd like to run Kori," Nadia notes as she heads over and begins pouring a mug of tea. "We don't have to talk about it right now while Kamala is here if you'd prefer." She tilts her head. "I can print it out or set it to display on a screen, whichever you'd find easier. I don't really know how your eyes work so I'm insure what'd be better. So if there are any colours you perceive differently to humans…"

She blushes a little. "I may have got a little carried away thinking up things so there's a lot to read through. I hope you don't mind it's aliens are a pretty big deal here."

"Hm? I am not opposed to discussing the tests, but I have difficulty reading the fidelity of your screens. It would be better if you were to print it, or to just tell me if that would be quicker. I trust you, friend Nadia," Koriand'r says simply.

"Black and white printing work okay?" Nadia wonders, already moving over to a computer that's near a cluster of printers. "I've listed everything in order of how dangerous each test could possibly be. And I've marked everything Humans might find culturally uncomfortable or embarrasing… There's a simple pictographic key. But if anything doesn't make sense be sure to ask!"

The printer fires into life. "Nothing is mandatory and I want you to be comfortable that you understand everything before hand. We have very strict ethical guidelines here. Plus I'll be sure to store the data in a way that's exceptionally secure. So you don't have to worry about anyone else looking at your info without your consent."

"Oh yes, black and white will be fine, thank you," Koriand'r avers, following Nadia over to the computer where the printing will presumably occur. "What dangers do you believe will be presented?"

"Oh it depends really. Ideally I want to do some x-rays and magnetic scans," Nadia's head tilts to one side. "Also I can't really be sure what, if any, Earth biochemistry you might be allergic to. So that's always a risk. So I made sure to list all the chemical components of… well everything and a reference guide you can look them up in."

"I also came up with some probes that would be safe to swallow for a Human but I have no clue how or what you consume." She motions towards the active printer. "Honestly it'd be quicker to list all the things I /do/ know about you." She lowers her voice slightly so it won't be overheard. "Which is why a lot of the tests I listed would be culturally awkward even on Earth. So please don't be offended that I'm curious! I just.. well I don't know how long you'll be on Earth but if you do ever need medical help I thought it might be sensible for someone to know."

Koriand'r nods sagely. "I agree with the wisdom your reasoning is full of," she promises, gripping Nadia's shoulder for emphasis. "Let us conduct your tests. I am most intrigued to learn the answers, and I am pleased to spend the time with a scholar such as yourself." She smiles guilelessly down at Nadia.

Nadia Van Dyne hands over the first pages of an increasingly substantial volume of tests. "So are there any cultural things I should know about first?" she wonders. "Things it would be rude of me to ask about, places it'd be embarrasing to record or anything of that nature?" She beams a reassuring smile. "I just have to check you see. Oh and I'd love it if you'd consider recording whatever day to day trivia regarding your people and your homeworld you care to share. It doesn't have to be scientific in nature. Anything from songs or stories to a rough idea how important cultural events generally proceed. Like do you have weddings?"

Koriand'r scans the paper too quickly to be really reading it, apparently less interested in the disclaimers than the beginnings. At the question, she looks up, brows reaching for one another in confusion. "Places it would be embarrassing to record? Like a laboratory?"

"Oh Humans would /generally/ find it culturally taboo if they were undressed and filmed. Or to have tests carried out on bodyparts handling waste products or reproduction. Or any samples from those areas come to think about it.." Nadia explains with a grin. "Some of which might sound extremely silly to you. But that's why I have to ask. One species normal is weird for another."

"But like I said we don't have to do any tests you don't want. We can always leave Kamala on a robotic tour while we get started if you want?" She taps a few things into her computer. "A lot of the samples are things you could take yourself in private if that would make you more comfortable. The actual medical labs are all downstairs for added privacy and safety."

Koriand'r nods wisely. "Ah, you mean modesty. I comprehend but do not share that trait. To my people, the shame would only come from being forced into the position, not from agreeing to it with my own will. I am happy to continue, friend Nadia."

"Modesty is a big part of it," Nadia agrees. "One of the things I'm curious about is range of motion. Which is a lot easier to see without anything in the way. I don't even really know if you pass waste like we do, but that would be culturally taboo for other reasons. It's considered 'dirty' because it kind of is." She sets up the tour for Kamala and then shows Kori to the stairs leading to the basement labs. "Humans have micro-organisms in the body you see. They can cause diseases and personally I think our cultural taboos about the subject are a sort of cultural anti-infection precaution. Keeps people alway from a thing that could make them sick."

"I'm unsure if your people have any similar symbiotic lifeforms but I thought it best to be sure. Who knows what might happen if alien microbes began to spread unchecked in a new biosphere!"

She stops by a door that is labelled 'Xenobiology' with a temporary sign. Inside is a full MRI machine, X-rays, cameras and all the top of the line medical equipment human science can provide. "At first I figure we'll start with the basics. Just get an idea how you compare to the Human baseline. See how your senses work, physical strength and agility. All that stuff."

Koriand'r walks beside Nadia, arm chummily around the smaller human's shoulders. "I assume we are most similar," she observes. "I consume food and void waste. I have not become ill from any of your proteins or vitamins or minerals, though I do not seem to enjoy the same arrangements of flavor your people do. My body's shape seems to be nearly identical to yours, though you are a rather small people. Beyond these things, well, I am certain you will discover many interesting answers."

Nadia Van Dyne heads into the lab and reaches for a labcoat. "We come in a range of sizes but you do seem taller than Human average," she admits with a giggle. "Personally I find my size is very variable but then I'm not an average Human in that regard. It /is/ understandable you don't enjoy the exact same foods. Biology here is going to be very different so it makes sense the proteins aren't exactly the same. I prepared some samples of things Humans experience as specific tastes, like bitter and sweet, at differing concentrations for you to experience. Knowing what we consider pleasant and how it's described should let you better select things here you like to eat."

The room itself is bigger than you might expect. With an open area in the middle and enough space to keep all the delicate electronics far enough apart to not bother each other. One wall has a projector screen that currently displays an eye test chart.

Koriand'r withdraws her summer-hot arm from Nadia's shoulders and looks around the room she's now in. As a member of a scientifically advanced culture, she can definitely confirm that it is a room of some sort. "I am not the usual for my people either. It is a state that makes me even more interested in answers. I do not know if what I knew of myself a year ago would be true today."

"I guess it'll be a voyage of discover for us both then? But it couldn't hurt to know what you remember your baseline being!" Nadia offers re-assuringly. "I'll just put all the electronic bits of my costume in a shielded box. Is there anything you have on you which is metallic or electronic in nature?" She blinks a few times. "Or anything at all which could be damaged by the tests. Usually for medical tests people wear a hospital gown or something of that nature. So depending on what your outfit is made of you can always borrow something else to wear if needed."

She begins putting bits of her Wasp kit into a locker on the wall. Helmet, blasters, equipment belt and all the random things like cellphones a teenage scientist keeps in her pockets. "Could you always fly? Or glow? We can always just chat for a bit if there is any information you think I'd need to know."

"I am wearing some jewelry, and the settings that hold the gems in my clothes are metallic. I believe my body contains several metals, such as iron in my blood. Are any of those things problems?" Koriand'r asks. "But yes, all of my people can fly unless they are born with certain birth defects, and even those can mostly be corrected through genetic resequencing. I only began to glow fairly recently, when my people's ability to store ultraviolet radiation was tampered with." She spreads her hands helplessly. "I do not resent speaking to you, but I also do not know enough to guess what you would need to know, for which I am apologetic."

Nadia Van Dyne bites her lip. "Well.. For a start you said someone tampered with you.. That could have left emotional trauma or distress," she notes with a touch of sadness in her voice. "The metal in your body should be okay if it's part of organic molecules but I'll run a metal detector just to be sure. The MRI uses very strong magnets you see." This room seems to already have a pre-printed copy of the complete experiment guideline book. Including the appendix that explains all the scientific equipment and how it works in the easiest to understand format possible. "Jewelry and metal settings would be a problem though. Anything like that is best put in the locker here. You'll find gowns inside.. uh.. if you want to use them."

"Once you're happy for me to begin recording," she motions at each of the rooms numerous sensors in turn. "I'll push the button and everything will be stored on an encrypted crystal drive. And after we're done that'll be put into a room only I can access."

Koriand'r looks curiously at Nadia's repeated waffling on the topic of gowns. There's obviously a hint being dropped there, but she can't even guess which direction it's going in, so she decides to test the waters by just plucking out her earrings and starting to peel out of her monokini. Whatever Nadia says next will be her guide. In the meantime, while she strips (an act that's purely matter of fact for Koriand'r, not a show to put on), she says, "Yes, please, begin your recording when necessary. How is it that only you can access the room in question? Is the room very very small, as you were very very small moments ago?"

It might be a shock but Nadia doesn't seem in the least bit bothered by Koriand'r undressing. The Red Room bunker wasn't exactly big on privacy after all. But it /is/ important that she at least makes the offer for ethics reasons. "That's actually /exactly/ it," she says brightly. "I did some tinkering of my own not so long ago. And now I can shrink down so small I can slip into another dimension entirely which is… not quite as fun as it sounds."

She scoops up the discarded clothing and jewelry and puts them safelty in a locker, then turns on the recording equipment. An obvious warning light on the wall turns on to indicate that testing is underway. "If you can stand on the spot over there," she points at a lit up point on the floor. "Sensors will record your height and weight, then silhouettes will come up and perform some calisthenics. If you can copy them as best you can it'll show range of motion. Then some equipment will raise up to test grip strength, lifting ability and as many other physical attributes as possible."

At some point Nadia has collected a tablet computer she's using like a clipboard and making notes. "Once that's done I'll do some swabbing for samples. Then we can move on to X-rays, Ultrasound and MRI scans. To finish off it'll be sense tests. Hearing, taste, smell and sight." She's certainly staring but not in the way Koriand'r is used to Humans staring. Focused but very much on the work. "If appropriate points come up for taking other samples we can do those as needed."

The petite scientist chews at her lip. "I /do/ have various endoscopes for looking down the mouth and… uhm ones for other places too but honestly I have no idea if they are durable enough. Probably something to try another time. Oh! I did put together a similar dossier full of 'how Humans biomechanically work' info for you. In case you were still working that out."

Koriand'r smiles proudly. She's not as dumb as her naivety and her weird take on English diction make her seem, but she's been getting treated dumb for long enough that it feels like a victory to make a pretty simple logical jump. "What is the dimension's name?" she asks as she floats over to the point on the floor, landing gently. She lets the machine scan her, slightly amused human technology needs such a bulky machine for such a simple task, but it is kinda cute. "Taste? How does one measure taste?" she asks, immediately interested.

"Sometimes it's called the Quantum realm and others the Microverse. Depends on which of perhaps four people on the planet you talk to! There seem to be things living there and I have no clue what they call it. I've only ever been there very briefly and have so far avoided making contact," Nadia explains cheerfully. "A very good question. So I have a whole selection of different extracts and samples of varying concentrations. Take sweetness as an example. I have a few different sweet things, some natural and some artificial, which you can try. They range from barely perceptable by a Human up to too strong to be pleasant. By comparing where you are on each scale we can get a rough approximation of how your palette differs from ours."

She pauses and frowns.

"Now that I think about it.. Although you do share a similar physical form we can't really assume everything serves the same function. So we better go through that at some point too. Gosh I must seem quite silly… I get a little carried away with my work sometimes…"

Koriand'r nods along as she listens, which may or may not screw up whatever measurements Nadia is taking. "Let us assume that the tests you conduct will determine what I perceive as well as how I perceive them," she suggests blithely. After all, why wouldn't they, right?

Nadia Van Dyne laughs. "Oh I know we can't test exactly what's going on inside your mind," she assures. Although she's certainly going to /try/ find out. "But for something like taste we can at least get an idea of what you like and dislike, right? And if you're staying in a strange new land it's that sort of little detail that'll make all the difference with how happy your stay is. Hearing range should be pretty simple. Sight is a little trickier but thankfully light is still light on other planets. So we can work off wavelengths and go from there."

The testing itself is robust enough that Kori can move to her hearts content. After all the idea was for her to move around copying shapes on a screen at some point.

"Oh! Here's a thought. Would you be happy naming each bit of your anatomy in your language and then in English? I'd love to hear even a little of your language and it'll be a good way to know we're on the same page about what does what."

"That would be acceptable," Koriand'r agrees, assuming the scanning is done and turning to face Nadia. "Does this begin now, or after you have done some deeper scan to identify my organs? Because I must confess I do not know all of them by name. I was a warrior, not a physicker."

"I think at some point I'd love to just hear every word you know," Nadia muses distractedly, glancing constantly between her tablet and the assorted lab gear. "Lets start with the outside for now. At least then I'll have a vague idea what does what. Which'll help me be suitably careful around anything that's delicate."

"It's funny you mention that," she admits. "The being a warrior thing. I had some combat training growing up too. But I found learning science and medicine made me more effective at it. People tend to underestimate young women but with the right training you don't need brute force to cause harm. A little pressure on say an artery and a Human will pass out." She points at a point on her own neck to illustrate. "I get the feeling your species is a little more durable than mine though."

"We would seem to be," Koriand'r agrees. "Though I think the throat is an effective target in any species that possesses one. At least, I cannot recall a species whose throat is not a vulnerable area."

"Airways, senses, circulatory systems and reproductive organs would be my guesses for the most universal weak points. Although the last one depends a /lot/ on how the species procreates… I grew up in a fairly isolated part of the world so in some ways popular culture is as strange to me as you but… there is an Earth movie quote which goes something like 'If it bleeds we can kill it'," Nadia rambles on, leading Koriand'r through the fairly simple calisthenics tests before some more heavy duty strength checking gear deploys. "We do have a lot of variations. Mutants and metahumans can have drastically different abilities, so please don't assume there is nothing on the planet which could hurt you!"

Koriand'r nods. "I have been hurt here," she says quietly. Her glow dims somewhat as she says it. She either does not think of getting her clothes on or assumes nudity is necessary for the testing process, because she makes no effort to go to the locker containing her outfit. "I only mean your people seem to have less strength and stamina than mine, though it is hard to measure, with my new strength."

Nadia Van Dyne winces with sympathy. "Fingers crossed once we're done I'll have a good enough idea how everything works that if you are hurt again in the future I can probably fix the damage. Being able to shrink lets me deal with medical situations that are generally impossible for standard Earth medical treatment." The machines for testing physical strength seem to have upper limits well beyond anything a standard Human could achieve. They may well even exceed what Koriand'r can lift. It'd certainly be enough to work up a sweat. Assuming that's biologically possible of course.

"Even at my strongest I can only lift about ten tons. At least when I increase my size and mass," she shares. "Next I'll just need to take a few biological samples, unless you want me to talk you through doing yourself, and that might tickle a little. Then it's just a matter of laying still while the more powerful machines use magnets, sound and what should be a harmless level of radiation to look at your internal organs."

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