2020-02-26 - Roll-Upgrades


Roni visits Posse in a German hospital and brings her a gift to help get her back out of bed. Hank visits too - he brings drinks.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: 2020-02-26
Location: RESCUE Campus

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With a slight grimace of annoyance, the door to the examination room opens and Dr. Veronica Kelsey rolls in, complete with lab coat, tablet, a paper chart - archaic! - and her Starkphone resting a bit ostentatiously in her labcoat breast pocket. The reason why becomes apparently as she starts speaking, as the phone then starts repeating her words - translated into German - which she quickly pauses with a flush of moderate embarrassment.

"It's finally here, and we — " Roni stops here, pausing the phone's auto-translation feature. " — Sorry about that. Anyway, your chair is finally here. I am really sorry it took this long. I contacted them from the plane, but for some reason they decided NOT to take me seriously until I called them from the hospital's landline."

Right at about that point - because it is dramatically appropriate - the door opens again, and an orderly comes walking in pushing another wheelchair. This one the orderly rolls up beside the bed in which Ava is resting, and then pushes just one lever to activate both wheel brakes. There are visibly a few telltales to show the 'transmission' built into the unit; everything on this chair is built to operate from a single right arm and hand, with a single switch for both main wheel brakes, as well as a transmission to distribute effort delivered by that right hand to not just the right wheel, but the left as well, with tiny toggles to allow adjusting that distribution or cutting it off entirely to one wheel or the other.

"Thank you." Veronica offers. And then remembers to reactivate her phone and repeat it, so the phone offers it in German. The orderly then nods and departs, having already been informed that the patient will not only not need his help, but will likely aggressively not want it. Then Roni turns the auto-translate back off and continues. "OK. So, now you have your chair and you're not stuck in the darned bed all the time like an invalid." Yes. She hates that Ava has been stuck here, just as she herself would have hated it. They understand one another.

Stuck in bed she might be but laying around is far from Ava's nature. Still wearing her skintight black suit as freely as if it were a full outfit, the disassembled cyborg looks over from her work when the familiar brunette rolls in. Somehow the eye-patched veteran acquired a clipboard and a pen, and was evidently diagramming something while sitting up in bed until the interruption.

The orderly receives a moment's eye contact and an affirming nod as he leaves, giving that much more assurance that his help isn't desired. Besides she's controlled a cutting-edge whole-body bionic prosthesis /with her mind/. How hard can a chair be?

Resting her hand on the bed and leaning casually into it, Ava chuckles. "I could swear my condition bothers you more than me. How'd ya find this thing?"

"My avocation, Ava, is helping those who are physically disadvantaged to overcome those disadvantages by any and every means possible." Veronica answers, with a smirk. "I've done my research. I just had to find someone who had one for sale in Germany and get it here as fast as possible." Don't ask what Roni paid for the damned thing. "I wanted to retrofit it with soft-wheels and a standing rotation system, but that would have taken too long. So I sent the designs to a fabricator who is building one and will bring it to the hangar as soon as it is completed. You may only need it until we can get home and get backups in place, but then we will have one, and will make sure to have it on hand at all times."

And after a few moments, Veronica nods in affirmation. "And for the record, yes: your condition bothers me. You are a strong, capable woman, rendered less than you should be because of my oversight and screwup." Guilt. A mighty motivator.

"On the upside, the wait means we have back the results of your MRI series, and I have already uploaded the raw scans and the processed images to the Wellspring systems. Initial evaluation says that you do not seem to have sustained any protracted deficit or damage from the EMP, or its overload of the stentrode electronics. Minor burns, as already noted, at contact points. But with the attenuation from your suit's shielding, the effects were minimal. Little worse than some sunburn, really. So there should be no major delay in fitting you with the old backup units once we get home." Veronica offers, giving Ava the rest results she knows her friend and teammate has been anxiously - even maybe worriedly - awaiting.

A deep breath leaves the cyborg's system, speaking for her stoicism as she gives the doctor a dry smile. "What I got from that is 'stable' and 'not a retard'," she summarizes with a relief that isn't quite hidden, not from someone who's been her doctor for years. "You'd better not have burned extra funds to get me this chair early. You know I'll just be sittin on the flight anyway," she cautions, eyeing the slightly miraculous acquisition beside her bed before her cycloptic green gaze returns to Veronica, firm and lightly chiding. "And guilt trip on your own time, doc. S*** happens and we move on. And there's a whole stinkpot full of blame to go places besides you."

"But none of the rest of that stinkpot put you out of commission and unable to act, nor is keeping you there, Ava." Veronica responds, firmly. "And as much as I care about and respect you, I will spend my company's money as I see fit." But she does shrug and roll her shoulders, roking against the tension built there. "What I get from these results is that while the stentrode itself - the part inside your skull that enables you to interface with your bionics - is fried, it did not take any of your brain cells with it, and the MRI has had no lasting effects we can find on your neurology. Which, according to my research on the plane, seems to be as expected. I was concerned the failure of the stentrode might have increased that risk substantially for you. But my dumb ass lucked out, in this case."

"The upshot of all of this is that once we can complete an improved design for your stentrode, eye, and limbs, we can move ahead with implantation and trials. And using the biofeedback data we have on file, the adaptation time on the replacements should be minimal." Because Veronica is going to be rather ferocious about doing this work as fast as it can possibly be done, so help her and every other brain she can latch her proverbial - rather than literal - claws into. "And with Nadia's help, my hope is that implantation will be a matter of hours, rather than days, with near-zero recovery time."

"That sounds magic," Ava considers, one wide eye denoting her surprise. She's been under the knife enough times to have a sense of scale. "We could use more microscopic surgeons on the payroll." Glancing back to her new wheelchair, the cyborg moves her clipboard off her lap and slides to the edge of the bed, lining herself up with the seat while balancing her weight against one arm.

Veronica nods to Ava. "Precisely why she is so special to us. So long as the new unit is the same size as the old unit, she can replace in-kind with zero further alterations to your biology." Which means recovery time is basically zero. "You want a grab bar?" she asks of Ava, knowing 'a hand' will not be accepted, but a chance to hoist herself up and drop down into the chair straight instead of at the angle from the bed could be handy.

"Sure or a hand. You've been my left one for a few years already," the white-haired cyborg actually accepts, looking backwards for either a bar or an arm.

Veronica glances to the side, and decides it would be more work to move the grab bar rig than to roll herself over and help. So, she rolls over and turns sideways, raising her arms to help the other woman over the edge of the bed and into the chair without it scooting away or catching her somewhere painful. Years of experience with the things herself helps, definitely.

Ava waits for the doctor to move into position, then begins the awkward process of shifting, sliding, and shimmying herself off the bed and into the wheelchair. The partial cyborg planes out to make herself easier to support and doesn't seem at all shy about using Veronica's offered help. Owing more to the brunette's expertise than the snowy vet's athleticism, it's not nearly as frustrating a process as it could be.

Once she's settled in, Ava shifts a little on her cushion and rests her elbow on the arm-rest. "Thanks doc'," she says with a fond casualness, seeming amused at being eye-level with the ever-seated PhD-MD-Heroine.

Veronica waits until she is sure Ava is settled, and then she rolls out from behind to beside her, offering a little smile. "Happy to help, Ava. Now, we're done with your tests. If you grab your gear, soldier, we'll get rolling on out of here." Without Veronica's modified paraplegic-capatible van, though, someone else is going to be driving. And currently Roni does not know who. But she is hitting dial on her phone.

Having finished up with some of the heavy lifting, Hank gets cleaned up and makes a point of visiting the hospital where Ava and Roni presently work on getting the injured cyborg better, or at least mobile. Just as Roni dials there comes a knocking at the door, and a rather large, rather blue fuzzy fellow looming outside. He won't come in unless invited of course, wouldn't want to embarrass anyone! (Like himself, for example!) "May I come in?" Rumbles a very cultured, very bass voice known to both women.

Ava smirks at her doctor, the puns deserve no less, then turns her head with her hand on the wheel as she hears the knock. A few seconds are spent testing her controls, rolling forward and back, then pivoting on one wheel to face the door. "Enter!" the black-suited cyborg calls back.

Veronica glances up at the knock to the door, still waiting as her call is routed. "Hello, Henry." she answers. Then the call connects. "Toni, it's Roni. Did you send Henry to … Oh. OK. Well then, no further act needed. We're about done here. We'll leave with him. Leaving the tracker on my phone so you'll know where we are until we're there."

That done, when Ava calls clear, Veronica echoes it. "All clear, Henry. Come in." And inside is now not one RESCUE teammate in a wheelchair, but two, as Posse is now in a one-arm (right) wheelchair with a transmission and gearing system that allows it to be driven, controlled, braked, etc. all with one hand. Because Roni is that determined.

The invites from both parties given, Hank enters the room with a toothy smile. The smile slips a bit when he sees just how badly the lost cybergear affected Ava. "Well, I brought some candy, and a bottle of single malt I got at Aldi, rated the best Scotch in the world just last year." He enters and studies the improved wheelchair and nods approvingly, eyes of yellow bright. Since gathering her gear and steering both at the same time might be challenging, Hank just sort of non-chalantly takes ownership of Ava's bag o'stuff, tucking the whiskey and candy box inside.

"So…did I arrive at a good time?" After all, not like know what stage of the testing they were on. "Nice work on the chair." He murmurs to Roni. And then to Ava. "You okay?"

Down an arm, a leg-and-a-half, but up an eyepatch and wheelchair, the cyborg offers a light wave to the towering blue scientist and her green gaze flits to the bottle. "Thirsty, but I'm mobile," Ava assures with the same even confidence as ever before reaching over to collect her clipboard from the exam bed beside her. That goes with her it seems. "You found the best Scotch in the world at an Aldi's?" she asks skeptically.

Veronica almost — almost — objects to the alcohol. It's a habit built up over quite a while. But she holds it in. Barely. "You did arrive in good time. You can drive us back to the hangar to join everyone else. We are done with our tests. I can go over the results with you later, if Ava approves." If anything were actually wrong, Roni would not be in a good mood, so chances are everything has worked out OK. Miraculously. They still have a lot of work to do before Ava is back in tip top shape, but progress has been made. "I appreciate the ride." Roni murmurs; what she hates is that she couldn't get a paraplegic-controls van on short notice. But at least she managed the wheelchair!

Hopefully Roni won't object to the two cases Hank picked up of that Aldi brand whiskey, he's paid all the appropriate taxes and tariffs of course. Hank looks to Roni. "Only if your doctor approves." After all, he's not an MD - sure, he could build a person from scratch, but he can't legally write a prescription. If Roni gives the go ahead, Hank will pour when it is opportune and safe. "It actually won an award, less than twenty dollars US per bottle too."

Hank takes comfort in Roni's calm, he knows how upset she'd be. "Happy to review them, yes." Hank states to the test results offer. "Oh, I was out and about anyway, I'm just happy the trip back is made easier by my arriving." He'd even push old school wheelchairs had it been needed, so this is not even close to an inconvenience.

Even if the push would help, Ava at least starts by looking over to her controls and shifting herself into drive. It's evident whether she likes it or not that the controls her still new to her even if the wheel itself is easy to work.

"Before you ask I'll drink in moderation," she assures with a glance to Roni, knowing what's in the doctor's head even if she doesn't voice it. "And sure, share away."

Veronica nods. "Keep it moderate, and I'm fine. Just remember, you have to be bone dry for your operation. Bad interactions with anesthesia." she admonishes Ava, but with a tiny smile; they know each other well, and this is a dance to which they know the steps - even when neither one of them can walk. Then Roni heads off following Hank, but taking it slow to make sure Ava can get herself adjusted and follow as well. "It's been a while since you had to drive one of these."

Hank is not going to push, nope, thing has motors for a reason! He would have though, were it needed. Hank inclines his head in thanks to Ava for her permission. "Well then, once in the van, I'll pour you a small libation to celebrate the test results." Which he hasn't seen, then again it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Roni's mood was a good a 'tell' as a twitching eye in a round of Five Card Stud.

In truth the pace Hank sets isn't even close to grueling, he strides along at a sedate pace, and will be very careful to make sure that both ladies are secured once in the van, double checking all the safety measures are in place and secure.

And yes, he pours the libation he promised, he even has three tin cups, so everyone can have one!

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