Log Title: Whistling a Jaunty Tune
Location: White House Situation Room - White House
Date: March 01, 2017
As logged by Mindbender - Wednesday, March 01, 2017, 7:58 PM
White House Situation Room - White House
- The White House Situation Room, officially known as the John F. Kennedy Conference Room, is a 5,525-square-foot (513.3 m^2) conference room and intelligence management center in the basement of the West Wing of the White House. It is run by the National Security Council staff for the use of the President of the United States and their advisors (including the National Security Advisor, the Homeland Security Advisor and the White House Chief of Staff) to monitor and deal with crises at home and abroad and to conduct secure communications with outside (often overseas) persons. The Situation Room is equipped with secure, advanced communications equipment for the President to maintain command and control of U.S. forces around the world.
Dr. Mindbender has had X bring in his portable BWS, which he has set up in the White House Situation Room. He now has Angel strapped to it, and he's wired it to the several monitors in the conference area. Looking over the connectors, Mindbender smiles, and then begins whistling a jaunty tune. Turning a few dials, he tests the calibrations before finally feeling ready. At last, he powers on the Scanner.
Angel hates the Brainwave Scanner, even if he doesn't know why. He doesn't remember it being used on him, but some part of him does. He knew what Mindbender was looking for - his memories of the fight with Lowdown. So he concentrates on those, trying to recall the dialogue differently. He didn't want Mindbender to know he hesitated. To know he didn't want to kill the Joe on sight.
GAME: Mindbender PASSES a TECHNICAL roll of High difficulty.
Dr. Mindbender scans Angel's memories, pulling them up and projecting them on one of the screens. He turns up the volume to listen to the conversation between Angel and Lowdown, and slowly smiles as he sees the memory flicker and change. His patient is fighting him! Interesting. Mindbender plays back the memory, notes the differences, and scans it again. Slowly he gets a feel for what's been changed and why. "Thought-provoking," he mutters to himself.
GAME: Mindbender PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.
Angel has no idea how or if he's actually succeeding in his endeavor, but he keeps resisting in a way he hasn't before. Lowdown had spared him, but why? And why did he keep calling him kid, like he knew him? Angel knew there had to be a reason the Joe's actions didn't line up with everything he'd been told. /How much are they lying to me? What are they hiding? What was in my memories they're afraid of...?/
Dr. Mindbender hms as Angel's mind grapples with what Mindbender has done and tries to work out why. "Ah, ah, ah," Mindbender says reproachfully. He gives Angel another dose of his special chemical cocktail, and increases the energy of the scanner. Stepping over to his keyboard, Mindbender enters a series of commands to reinforce Angel's programming overtop this silly self-examination business.
GAME: Angel PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Very High difficulty.
Angel struggles, his mind suddenly racing. Something was clawing burning at his mind... /Hate, hate them. They will kill you/ whispered to him. No, he realized with a clear sudden clarity. No, it was a lie! That Joe hadn't killed him, even with a gun pointed at him! Why, when he was the enemy...? /I remember... The two of us together. A broken city, mechanical monsters all around... We're covering each other... Friends?/
Dr. Mindbender frowns as alternative memories flash on screen. Oh, no, no -- those are no good. Mindbender takes off his monocle and puts on his VR helmet, projecting himself into Angel's memories. In the memory, Mindbender aims his pistol and fires at dream-Lowdown, trying to kill him and the memories associated with him as well.
GAME: Mindbender PASSES an AGILITY roll of Average difficulty.
GAME: Angel FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.
Angel recoils, shaking violently. /NO! Not real!! But what is real?!/ He reach out for the dream, feeling a sudden longing - Was that man family> Friend? Enemy? Who was he, exactly? /Who am I...? Real, or not real...?/ He cries out, screaming.
In the real world, Mindbender smiles, as VR-Mindbender goes on a killing spree through Angel's memories, destroying their connections to one another and limiting Angel's access to them. He carefully replaces them with alternate memories of Lowdown hunting Angel, and Angel having to escape -- nightmares in which Lowdown is the monster, implacably chasing Angel at every step. Satisfied of his work, Mindbender withdraws from the VR.
GAME: Mindbender PASSES a TECHNICAL roll of High difficulty.
GAME: Angel PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.
/Real, not real? Real, Not real?!/ Angel's consciousness of self begins to tatter, as he loses sight of what he knows happened. He runs from Lowdown, but something whispers to him /notreal/. He could feel himself forgetting - and the memory of that he hides away, carefully. /I have to remember I forgot. Have... to... let them know.../
In his transition from VR to the real world, Mindbender missed Angel stashing away that little meta-memory, remembering that he forgot. So, still swelled with pride at what he mistakenly thinks was a perfect brainscan, Mindbender turns to Angel's physical wounds. Tsk tsking at what he considers sub-par work, Mindbender reattaches his monocle and sees to Angel's dressings. "Don't I have people for this?" he asks himself, but doesn't actually mind getting his hands dirty with such an interesting patient.
>> Mindbender heals the injuries to Angel. <<
Angel is unconscious now, it seems, or at least unaware. He's murmuring to himself. "Real... Not Real?" over an over, some last figment of his ordeal hanging over.
Mindbender hrms with amused interest. He finishes redressing Angel's wounds, and then slowly unstraps him and removes him from the scanner. He shuts down the scanner and unplugs it from the monitors, folding it and stashing it away unseen. "Vakey vakey," he says quietly, only then bringing Angel up out of his unconscious state.
Angel wakes slowly, blinking as if dealing with a migraine. "oww..." He looks at Mindbender, eyes unfocused. /He made you forget! He made you forget./ "...Sir." he states numbly.
Mindbender smiles warmly, although the kindness doesn't reach his eyes. "Are you alright? You seem to have passed out again. How are your injures?" Mindbender gently probes and prods Angel's wounds, not enough to really hurt, but enough to test Angel's responses.
Angel flinches at the pressings, and from more than just pain. /He made you forget!/ repeats in his mind, burying itself in deep. He didn't want to keep forgetting. "That... Joe, really let me have it." he states dully, no emotion in his voice.
"He did, didn't he?" Mindbender says carefully, watching Angel's reactions. "Why do you think he spared you?" he asks, eye narrowing behind his monocle. "Surely there was no reason to let you live, was there?"
/What did I forget...?/ "No clue... My mask fell off before I engaged, maybe that was part of it?" Angel hypothesizes, his voice still devoid of any real emotion. /What did you make me forget? That man... is he important?/
Mindbender hms. "And you think he had some sympathy for you, was that it?" His tone changes. "He shot you, and broke your jaw -- you're lucky you can even talk!"
"I look like my brother, don't I?" Angel replies, feeling his jaw with a wince. "Maybe he couldn't bring himself to kill his teammate's brother?" /Is that why? That would be reasonable... But, what have I forgotten? It was important./
Mindbender's dark eyes narrow. "Yes," he says flatly. "Well, that will be a subject to discuss later. In the meantime, you are restricted to non-combat duty until your wounds are healed. I want you here daily for checkups until I am certain you are without infection. Do you understand?"
Angel shudders. To Mindbender it just looks like disappointment and unhappiness at being cooped inside - he still had claustrophobia, after all. But there's more to it then that. /He made you forget./ Angel closes his eyes, sighing. "Yes, Sir." /Write it down somewhere they won't find. Write it down so they can't steal it away./
Good," Mindbender snaps, looking much less happy than before. "Dismissed." Mindbender waves one hand, shooing Angel out of the situation room.