Shiitake Shakedown

Summary:
May 18 2014: With the spore infection almost fully contained cleanup efforts turn toward the one person that helped spread it. (Language and graphic textual imagery.)

Providence

A tattered tropical island built out of the remains of the Greymalkin space station.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
None


Herein lies the remains of Greymalkin, the shattered and ruined remains of a once mighty spacestation from the future now reduced to an empty husk of an island called Providence. It's one of the more isolated locations upon the globe, kept within the tropical climate. These days it's quiet, desolate, and utterly alone.

It's perfect.

It was a bodyslide which brought Domino here. Under the bright sun she's clearly looking green, the darkened coloration having returned to her veins. This becomes all the more apparent when she tenderly peels herself out of armor and hardware, still wet from her submersion into the New York harbor. It should dry quicker in the sun, though the toll of the last week's antics is written in stark contrast all over her. Heavy, dark bruises and welts and assorted cuts and scrapes intermingle with the damage of the spore infection spreading within her, looking like a mossy-covered and broken China Doll rather than the usual porcelain warrioress.

"Finally, some damn vacation time," she sighs with a careful roll of slender shoulders.

*

It's the -one- spot in the world where Nate truly knows he won't be bothered, won't be interrupted. And it's the one place where he's not bristling with weaponry or is locked in place to the monitors. The building in which the pair finds themselves is made mostly of glass, sparsely decorated in that it has the few things truly necessary. Bank of computers and a hospital bed, the likes not seen outside Xavier's are present, but not much else in the way of amenities. (It's still being worked on. Important stuff first!)

Nate is looking a little worn, a touch more… silver when he finally catches Domino and brings her 'home'. The cuts, scrapes, bruises.. all the injuries and insults to that alabaster skin are noted in a single, lingering glance before he's pushing it all out to the back of his mind.

"It's a balmy 80 degrees, with a UV index of 'stay the hell out of the sun'. Sorry I don't have a cabana boy hired yet to make it a vacation to remember."

Standing beside the hospital bed, the machines that surround it are quiet for the moment. "Unless, of course, it's too late, and I have to go plant you by the palm tree. If you're really lucky, I'll put a hammock on you." Nate's voice is completely even; deadpanning for effect, but it's not hard for someone who's been around him to 'get' his humour. (Which isn't much of a sense of humour, but it's his.)

"Glad the mission was a success."

*

"I don't like 'em that young," Domino deadpans in turn. "And memories and I tend to not be on speaking terms." To the remark about being planted she sneers back at the much bigger mutant. "Mushroom, not tree. Cool and dark is where it's at." A little humor goes a long way today, she knows this isn't going to be an enjoyable visit. Not until she's well on the road to recovery. Knowing Cable that might be only fifteen minutes from now, but the other fourteen minutes and change are likely going to wind up being a living Hell.

Just another day in paradise.

"Of course it was," she easily replies while wandering closer to the Timejumper. "I was spearheading it." This time, in a complete reversal, it's her hand which reaches up to grace the side of his face. There's concern within her eyes but it's buried deep, past the stern expression now rigidly locked into place. "Nate…" she practically scolds in a softer tone. "You can't keep doing this to yourself. Not for anyone. What you lose you don't get back. You know this."

She'd sooner deliver herself to SHIELD's front door than let Nate do more harm to himself in trying to help -her.-

(You are what you eat. At this rate I'd think he's turning into a refrigerator.)

*

"Guess I'm lucky I'm not as young as I used to be."

Cable's hand rises to rest upon hers, as it lies there upon the side of his face. "You're one of those things I don't want to lose, Neena," comes quietly back before he takes a deep breath, his shoulders rising with the action. There's a moment when he lets the silence fill the void, and once it's passed, he reaches to take hold of the diminuative merc to put her gently up onto the diagnostic bed so she can sit and be, well, as comfortable as she possibly can.

Once she's there, the machines that surround the bed begin to humm to life, the lights pulsing to the cadence of her different systems. "The presence of the other spores gave yours a bit of a kick forward," he begins with something of a more clinical tenor to his voice. It's a dead giveaway that business has arrived, and he's a bound and determined soul. "I'm willing to bet you were feeling it."

*

"And yet you're also too damn stubborn to age," the albino counters with a thin smirk.

"You still lose me if you lose yourself, Nate," Domino reminds the guy as she's effortlessly relocated onto the medical table. Then, reluctantly, she turns to lie back proper as her expression shifts toward something a little more grim. (Gotta hurt some more before the hurt can go away. Just like pulling buckshot, girl. You got this.)

Like flipping a switch both of their moods and demeanors have changed. Back to the dark and gritty. Back to their format of reality.

"Feels kinda like having a chest cold all over. I'm just fortunate to have fewer coughing fits than the others." A by-product of being biologically engineered, perhaps? She couldn't say. "Nevermind that, tell me what I want to hear. Can you rip this shit out of me or not?" she asks while finding some part of the bed that will allow her to really sink her fingers in for a solid handhold. Something tells her she's going to need it.

*

"Yeah, but at least you're still okay after it all." Which, to Nate, is the most important part. "Besides, if you're gone, who'll say nice things about me?"

As the matter at hand turns fully to what -needs- to be done, Cable gets quiet as he takes in all the little lines, soft beeps and numbers that the machines are telling him. But, when all is said and done, while technology is great, he truly relies upon what he can -see-, and not just with his eyes. Eye. Either of them.

The question, as a result, isn't answered immediately. Instead, he nods seemingly distractedly at the response; it hasn't migrated to her lungs fully. He's too busy on the inside, as it were. He can -feel- the oxygen pumping through her blood, -feel- each cell as its fed, and can virtually reach out and touch that which is so very wrong to pluck it from her body before it does any more damage… because he can see and feel that too.

Now, instead of speaking, there's a gentle touch that lingers right in the front of her mind. It doesn't speak, but it does emote… and it's warmth. The touch of a soothing compress before the sudden tearing that she undoubtedly feels deep within her soul. It's a pulling, a rending in the very molecules that make up her being; Rather, its those interlopers that simply do not wish to leave that seem to be holding on with every fibre of their being.

*

"I'm sure you could persuade Ship to cover that for ya," Domino suggests with another slight grin. Greymalkin itself may be no more but its artificial intelligence, adoringly called 'Ship,' still exists. In some fashion or another.

As is the norm in these situations she's only so aware of what the powerful telekinetic is doing. He's at work, he's doing -something,- though it isn't until the main event starts that she's going to have any sense of awareness. She cannot begin to guess just how mentally entrenched he is within her very cells.

There really are no secrets with a psychic around.

That warmth within her thoughts, though… She's experienced this before. It's a tell, a calm before the storm, enough to prompt a single "Nate…" which fails to mask both a sense of urgency and a note of concern upon her voice.

She'd much rather be pulling bullets. A freshly cracked bottle of vodka, a flashlight caught in the molars, and a needle-nosed pliers from the nearest hardware store. At that point -she's- in control. She knows what's happening, what's coming, and what the endgame's going to be.

Ripping the foreign matter out of the woman also serves to rip a sudden, soulful yell of agony from her lungs, fingers getting a deathgrip on the bed as her head mashes back into the padding and her spine curls away from the fabric. It's like being run through a paper shredder from the inside out, she can almost feel, almost -hear- the tearing as bonded cells are pried apart from all over.

Just another day in paradise.

*

There really aren't any secrets left, at least for poor Domino. While he's not walking with jackboots through her head at the moment, he does have the capacity at any time, really, to rewind her memories to watch it on the large screen. It's the memories of those cells within her body, now, that Nate is a great deal more interested in. That he needs to pay attention to; and to fix the 'wiring' at virtually a genetic level.

And it's not something he does without cost to himself. Even now, he can feel his own disease encroaching upon places that had been shielded from it as shortly as only an hour ago. But there's nothing for it. Not right now.

Nate's vast ability is focussed competely upon the prone woman, the one who now probably feels as if her soul is being ripped from her physical body. It's bit by bit, cell by cell, corpuscle by corpuscle, that he checks.. as if looking under mossy rocks for hints of a creature to catch and confine.. and to free. Elsewhere. It's in every beat of her heart, every *whoosh* of blood that moves through her arteries and veins.. every time a muscle moves to draw air into the lungs. The disease that she's got is insidious. If each spore isn't contained, isn't destroyed, in the dark it will begin anew.

Soon after beginning, dark matter begins to pull through her pores, drip from her skin, forming droplets on the edge of the table and fall to the floor in small but distinct puddles.

*

This process isn't for the weak, that's for damn sure. Domino's willpower may well be the only thing that permits her to survive this form of surgery, though everything does have its toll. She's bounced back from so much during her time. This one's going to require some extra time on the bench for her to recover from. Parts of her body were no longer considered her own, the infectious spores staking their claim of her piece by piece. It might take extra time simply for her brain to rediscover what had been lost and consider it part of the overall whole once more.

That her insides haven't come to harbor billions of weightless spores is a definite blessing, with things still being in the 'liquid goo' phase of transformation it simply bleeds out of her like heavily used motor oil.

Fortunately she's way too far down Blinding Agony Street to notice the accompanying smell. Like decaying plant matter mixed with vomit.

She's also not aware of where one scream ends and the next one begins, her lungs somehow capable of holding loud and sustained notes without any perception of breathing in between.

Second by grueling second more of the pale whiteness of her skin returns, awash with the dark slime on the outside rather than injected by it from within.

*

The screams penetrate Cable's soul, and it's through his own determination, his own firm, unshakable belief that once he is done, things will be all better that he doesn't stop. He doesn't hesitate. Call it a flaw, a weakness, but he believes completely in his ability and his 'knowledge' and very little can shake that.

It's a matter of minutes that -feels- like hours before the stricken merc is freed of the virus, the decaying vegetative matter glooping on the floor, drying under the lights of the room.

Finally… finally, Nate is done. It's tiring for him as well as her, and he has to take a physical step back away from her before he fully disengages from her, pulling his contact from his patient. Now, he can take the opportunity to breathe, to fill his own lungs before he uses his telekenetic power to lift the dark, dank essence from the floor and into a vial to be studied at a later date.

"Neena.." Cable's voice is just above a whisper, "I'll let you sleep." Because right now, a safe and secure place to sleep is probably the best thing for her. And it'll give him a chance to lie down and find out what sort of toll it's taken on him beyond the obvious.

*

Everything comes to an end eventually. For Dom this current thing couldn't possibly happen soon enough. There's nothing for her to do but endure, and rip the fabric atop of the medical bed some.

Once the ordeal stops there's little left of her to respond with, eyes wet from forced tears and skin aglow with sweat which, fortunately, is no longer off-colored like the goop on the floor.

"I'm just..I'm gonna..n-need a few… Nn…"

Shock, fatigue, and a body and mind both in dire need of some time to rebuild themselves finally takes its toll. After the week she's had, having somewhere safe to let go of it all is indeed the only thing in the world which she truly desires.

*

Nate doesn't lie down immediately. He's pulled up a chair to sit heavily down, his head rolling back, eyes shut as he faces the ceiling. At first he thought to watch over her sleep, to guard her dreams, to protect her from her nightmares, but— he's drained. Fatigued to the point of needing that time to put himself back together. If it had gone a day longer, it would have been out of his ability, and having no way to go back to 'his' time, he'd have been fated to a slow, agonizing death as the TO virus took over.

Thankfully, Nate -is- able to catch it, and to rework that which has gone wrong, to restore that which had succumbed to the metallic virus.

It's not without sleep, however… and the only one left that will watch over their sleep is the loyal Ship.


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