First, Do No Harm

August 09 2014: Jericho talks to Angelo about the N-Series situation

Avenue C Clinic

The well known, cutting edge, low cost clinic of M-Town



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It's later in the afternoon than Jeri had meant to drop by. The meeting as, it turns out, would happen later. But now he's back, in that nice X-5 Parti had given him and pulling up to the Avenue C Clinic. It's during business hours, of course, which means there are patients. Ordinarily, Jericho would come back later, not wanting to take up the good doctor's time that he could be using treating people. However…

However he's pretty sure Angelo's gonna want to hear this.


Angelo is actually in his lab, not part of the group taking patients - on Saturday, they have limited hours, but if there's a Madrox on duty, he'll take Jericho back to the lab anyway. The doctor is in his scrubs again, behind a glowing wall.

"One minute, Jeri, this is extremely dangerous. I'm making a class four biocontainment out of a class two, so you need to stay on that side of the Shield.


There's not much technical language that Jericho doesn't understand. Medical, though, is one of those. What he got out of that was mostly 'stay right over there.' Which is fine. He's already got a computer virus. He really doesn't want to add a biological one.

"Sure thing Doc. Is that related to our other project or are you messing with something else fun and lethal?" Viruses are not fun. That was a little joke y'all.


"This is the final step for the other project. I'm going to be able to test-spray tomorrow. McCoy has been administering the vaccine form, which we also need to make sure gets to the n-series. This stuff, if it works, will do the same thing, but I need to test it on a couple volunteers, make sure it won't hurt them."

He goes all light-and-feathers for a moment, then reverts to normal.

"And, that's looking good. OK, into the incubator with you," and he puts the tray of little tubes into a controlled-temperature chest and locks it. Then, blinding light again as he scours the surfaces clean. Only then the shield comes down.

"What's up, Mr. Trent?"


Jericho folds his arms. He's looking… well less upset than he's been, but very unhappy still. "Yeah about that. We have a problem. Our erstwhile friends are trying to lock the place down. I got told by Nancy yesterday morning that no outsiders were allowed in without being vetted. And some wouldn't be allowed in at all. Apparently that includes us."

Just talking about it makes his jaw set and grind again. "I've not tried to force the issue with them yet. In fact I asked Nancy to talk to the refugees to see what their stance on it was. Given that I caught her this morning going to Stark Industries with a grant proposal, I'm going to guess they didn't like it. They're pushing me out, you out, cutting Nancy out of the leadership role, faltly excluding Partisan - and say what you will about her, she did bleed for them along with the rest of us - and saying that we have to meet with their approval to be let near them. Nancy wants time to talk to the man in charge over there. I'm prepping another location in case the man in charge turns out to be unreasonable. I wanted to see where you stand on this whole thing because when it goes down those people are still going to need medical and psychological care."


"This is not acceptable. These are my patients, and they cannot simply take over without my permission, or the expressed and informed permission of my patients. I only agreed to escort them there on the condition that they would remain in my care. I've already been lining up therapists who can handle long-term kidnapping and indoctrination victims. Who made this decision and why have I not been notified by them?"

Angelo is an Italian from Long Island, and he's beginning to show that combative nature that they sometimes show. And that's a warning for him.

"OK, time to stop and breathe. I've been in and out every day since we put them there. I have been going in cloaked, so clearly they aren't seeing me or they would have said something. But that spell isn't strong enough to hold against a lawful assertion of a property threshold, magic has its rules. The moment they realize that, and make that demand, I won't be able to go in secret."


Huh. Magic has its rules. Jericho supposes that's true though his own exposure has rather suggested that it's mostly about breaking them. Of course there seem to be different kinds of magic and he has very, very little experience. So there's that.

"I don't know who made the decision although my point of contact is supposed to be Hank McCoy," Jericho snorts, making it clear what he thinks of that. "Yeah. Good luck on that one." Hank's not getting any contact from Jericho. "They've essentially ignored the opinions of the refugees on the matter, so the only contact they're going to get from me is going to be at the resolution of this thing." Which will either be 'we own this place now' or 'let my people go.' Just depends on how it falls out.

"Beyond that I have to prepare for potential resistance from them. I'd rather not shoot this out if I don't have to. Not unless this goes really sideways. I've got surveillance on the place now, though and I'm preparing to make this rather messily public if they kick up a fuss. But that's neither here nor there. I presume you find this about is idiotic as I do?"


"I find this suicidal for what I understand the Xavier School to be. If I'm forced to bring charges for kidnapping, the facts of the matter will become public record and the SRD will be down on them like wild dogs on an injured deer."

Angelo shakes his head. "I can't believe that they're being so utterly high-handed."


"You would think," Jeri agrees. "That they might be a little more intelligent in their arrogance. Frankly, Doc, the whole thing pisses me off and I don't know where they get off like this. That's just… ugh…" Jericho throws his hands up and looks off to his left, fuming again for a moment before he brings himself under control.

"Outsiders… really. The entire rescue team was composed of outsiders. Do they have so little faith in us that they'd shut us out even after we helped them?"


"If I'm going to be generous, I'm going to think that someone is either going off on a moral crusade, without bothering to look at all that happened, or they're going off in a self-defensive panic. Frankly, I suspect that the problem is that somehow they heard about Partisan murdering the Hydra doctors, and you already know my opinion on that action. I can see them refusing her access, just as I can see them refusing someone like Magneto or the Punisher access."

Angelo shakes his head in irritation. "I'm going to have to hear their side of things. I'm also going to be prepared with legal action in the event that they either won't tell me or they continue to attempt to keep me from my patients."


Jericho nods, hitching one shoulder in a half shrug. "Sounds good. Nancy is, as I said, going to talk to the man in charge over there. If he won't see reason then we're simply going to move the patients. And if they want to try and stop that…" The hacker's eyes go hard. "Let them."


"I'll wait for that. But I'm going to continue to visit my patients," Angelo says. "I'm sure we can come to an agreement that doesn't include them making prisoners of the people we just freed."

"I hope for their sake we can," Jericho nods, finally managing to relax a bit. "But I'm done working with these people. Unless I get a point of contact that doesn't feel inclined to stab me in the back and not bother to inform me about it, that is. So far I'm not seeing that. They're a pretty secretive lot. I wonder if that isn't part of the problem."


"So, they're like SHIELD," Angelo says, "Or the Freemasons."


"Nah be nice to the Freemasons. They haven't pissed me off yet." Jericho winks. "Alright, well that's that. There anything I can do for you before I go?"


"Yeah, how's the cyber doing? Any new burns or weirdness?" Ange asks, as he washes his hands. He uses a paper towel to dry with.


"Peachy." By Jeri's tone, it's not peachy. "One of Nan's friends is a technomancer. I had a conversation with him today. He tells me that A) The traces can't be removed without killing me B) They're pursuing further integration because of the malware I can't remove and C) They've started using demonic as a coding language." Good thing he's learning it.


"Really?" Ange's eyes go glowy white. "Huh. They've completely fused with your nervous system. At least they're working to protect you from whatever it is. Any idea why they're using demonic?" As if he didn't know the latter one.


"Couldn't tell you. Well, I could make some educated guesses but I wasn't the one talking to them. Nan's friend said that it was utilizing it as a defense against the virus. So… I guess that's good." Jericho sighs. He doesn't mind the demonic, really, but he's going to have to relearn a lot of his coding now. Ah well.


"Well, if you ever decide to try to balance your energies," Ange takes a plastic box out of his cupboard, about the size and thickness of a cellphone. "Two feathers. Use 'em as a self-heal if you get burned like the other night, or use 'em to off-set the hell-power you're building up."

He really hopes Jeri will do the latter, because the odor of demon is about the same pong as the 'male chauvinist pig' cologne he was given as a gag (literally) when he was a kid.


"Thanks, Doc." Jericho seems to mean it. It also alleviates some of the suspicion of having 'Seraph' do it. "If I need it, I will. I get the feeling events will lead to me building it up a bit faster than I'm used to. Not really my place to say why, though, but it's not… any more dangerous than usual for me." Actually in the death and dismemberment front, it's probably a lot less.

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