2012 02 17 Choices

Log Title:

Misty Knight and Dr. Michaels (Morbius)

IC Date:

Nightwing Restorations

Brief log summary::
Morbius visits Misty's office to apologize for wounding her. It … doesn't go well.


There is no TS in this log::

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It is late afternoon when he arrives. Fortunately, the chill winter air allows for a large hat and scarf to conceal his features. Last night, he has fed, and a dose of his serum, (another of which he also carries in a cold container in a satchel on his shoulder) keeps his 'condition' in remission for the next few hours. The man called Michael Morbius takes a deep breath before entering the foyer. He was determined to come here. He swore, no more innocents, and Misty Knight was injured - because of him. Perhaps she isn't 'innocent', exactly, but still…she didn't deserve the wounds, the hospital stay…he walks to the reception desk.

Janine, the receptionist, bears a striking resemblance to another unappreciated New York receptionist. She has the red hair and the cat glasses, the gum-chewing disaffectation. So she asks, "Do you have an appointment?" without looking up. Fortunately, the waiting room is not currently full of clients.

"I do not." the man replies, "Please tell Ms. Knight that someone is here to see her in regards to an incident several days ago." He does not take his scarf down, nor remove his dark glasses.

"Yeah, okay, have a seat. Ms. Knight's in today, so it should only be a minute." Janine picks up the phone and repeats what she was told. "No," Janine says, "He didn't give his name. No. He didn't say what incident." Janeen gives the strange man a long, measuring look over the tops of her cat glasses. "Yeah, okay." Janeen continues to stare dubiously at the mysterious visitor, but she buzzes him in. "Ms. Knight's office is the first door on the left."

The man rises, seeming a bit hesitant. Yes, yes he -does- seem suspicious, but really, this isn't his forte'. Disguise? No. -Evasion- yes, but not disguise. Better to just hide his features and get this over with. For while he is genuinely contrite, he is not patient, and this? An apology? Does -not- come easily. Another deep breath, and he heads to the office.

Misty is in her office, wearing not her usual red battle suit, but a smart Kay Cera suit. Must be a court day for her. She looks up from whatever is going on with her computer as the glass in the door shows her the approaching silhouette. "Welcome to Nightwing Restorations," she intones, head tilted slightly. "How may we be of service?" Misty is not as obviously dubious as the receptionist was, but given the man's obvious Guy Incognito fashion styling, there is a touch of curiosity floating over the suspicion.

The man's head drops a bit, and his voice is hesitant as his manner as he speaks, "Good afternoon, Ms. Knight. I-" another pause . o O (Dammit Michael, you came here to do this fool thing, so proceed!) another deep inhalation "There is no easy way to say this, but I am…responsible for the injury which so recently hospitalized you. I am also responsible for keeping that injury from killing you, but that- that does not make it right, not by any means."

The voice…it isn't the same, it couldn't be the same as that rolling, inhuman rasp, but there are similarities a detective's ear might pick up. And the dark glasses, hiding his eyes…

Misty's brows lift as the man begins to speak. She folds her arms as he pauses. He's not getting her at her most patient. The arm works again, and the gashes are healing but she's still not at top flight, and it gets on her nerves something fierce. "Are you now?" she asks, in that slow, careful tone that implies she's talking through her teeth with her jaw set. "And you came to see me to remind me?" She hasn't moved, but her eyes have gone from narrowed with suspicion to flashing with ill-concealed anger. The apology is heard, though, and she holds her temper in check — barely. Anger is better than terror, and she will not let this monster see her afraid. "Yeah, you're damn right it wasn't."

Morbius (for that is who this is) holds his ground, when several instincts are telling him to just -flee- this place, but his guilt, ah, ever-present, like an old friend, its voice is the strongest now, chiding him - <Now Michael, you actually get to apologize to -this- one, not like all those other -corpses- you've heaped up over the years.>

"I have…been through many changes as of late," he continues, explaining, "and I acted in hunger-" he corrects himself, "in -anger-, and you suffered for it. There are many extenuating circumstances, but that does not absolve me." he pauses again, "It -never- has." he states with finality, taking responsibility, "And I apologize."

Misty cocks her hip to one side, and her chin lifts as her head tilts to the other. "You're apologizing," she says in a voice that has disbelief falling off it due to the coldness of her tone. "And that means what? I'm supposed to forgive you? We share a hug, you promise never to do it again?" She makes a disdainful sound through her nose. "I know for a fact that'd be a damn lie." The slow seethe is moving toward a simmer. He knows, since he's the one who inflicted them, that she's got no shot at taking him down or in. She barely had one when she was at the top of her game. At least, as far as she knows, he's still the monster under all that schtick.

And that notion…she is going to be swiftly disabused of as he pulls off his winter gloves, revealing perfectly normal hands, hands which go into his satchel and come up with a soft-sheened metal case which clicks open, a bit of condensation drifting from it. "My condition has changed…and this…this is the catalyst." He retrieves a small syringe, like the sort a diabetic might use for insulin, filled with translucent purple fluid, "But there are certain physiological conditions that must be met for this to work." a very polite way of saying he still has to kill people and drink their blood, isn't it? But he's revealed a great deal here.

Misty's eyes widen at the sight of ordinary human hands. "…Meaning?" she asks, still staring at him with folded arms. It's not the protective covering of the breasts as much as it is an indication of her attitude. "Are you actually … asking for my /help/?" She won't even speak his name, and now it's shock arcing its way through her cold tone. "Speak plain or get the hell out. I don't have time to put up with this crap."

The Living Vampire (such as he is just now) is quiet for a long moment, then it all comes out in a rush, controlled, but a rush nonetheless, "I can control - treat - my condition. Martine…my fiancee', Martine Bankroft, she found a researcher, Stephen Langford, and attempted to find a cure for me. She had the Ghost Rider and an…associate of his," he does not speak John Blaze's name, protecting his privacy, "captured me in a feral state. But it was all a lie. Langford was an agent of one Dr. Paine, a monster who performs illicit medical experiments. He wanted my research, and with me dead…Langford's work was meant to poison me and make it look like an attempted cure. It…changed me. Sent my mutation into flux. Martine found out, and Langford…he-…" the man cannot go on for a moment, the wound so very raw, "I found her, and she died in my arms…and then I-…I-" still, he cannot say it, only a soft exclamation, "God help me…"

His manner is that of a man who is crushed utterly as goes on softly, "I decide then I would end it all, I could not face…but Langford and Paine's cronies stumbled across me, he begged for his life, but I had no mercy to give. The lab was trapped, an explosion, the Rider saved the serum, and I worked with it until I and…a friend, managed to come up with a workable solution."

That's it, so much in only a few sentences, a man's life, his love gone, the -awful- thing he implied he did…
Misty closes her eyes, and clenches her teeth. "God fucking damn it," she mutters. It's a play for her sympathy, she suspects, but maybe it's feminine intuition. Or the not-quite-superhuman sense she has from all her martial arts and meditation training. But, "Okay. So that's a very sad story," she allows, voice warming just a degree above kelvin. "You're telling me you are tryin' to swear off the 'grr argh'? Is that the message I'm supposed to be gettin' along with your apology? Because I am not the nurturing, sympathetic type. And you know damn well that I can't let you run around my city rippin' people's throats out."

"I am afraid that is a necessity." Morbius explains, "This can only return me to human form when I have fed." the complex physiological details he doesn't bother to explain, "But I made a vox to only drink the blood of the guilty, of those who deserve death. If you had seen what Paine had done…the experiments on homeless people, you might understand. And he not the only one."

"Miss me with that bullshit," Misty snaps. "Nobody died and made you God. Reprehensible activities or not, you don't get to decide who deserves to live." Her hands have dropped to her sides, balled into fists. "You are tryin' to rationalize it to make it palatable to yourself that you are nothin' more than a serial killer. No better than the ones you are condemning with your oh-so-noble vow. Even if you can put on a human face for a few hours every day."

"Don't talk to me about God!" the mutated scientist snaps, "You think I don't know what I am? You think I don't know full well what I am responsible for?" His own fists have closed in anger by now, and he points at you, driving a point home, "The -only- reason I still live at all is because I would not do the -one- unforgivable thing in His eyes!"

The man has just, in his anger, overtly admitted to suicidal urges. He goes on, "To deny what I must do is to choose death, how -else- am I to go on!? I have come to my senses over too many innocent corpses. -One- was too many!"

Misty drops her arms from their folded-over-her-chest position. The thin line of her mouth is unmoved, but she raises one eybrow at the sudden intensifying of his tone. She looks down at the finger, then back up at the sunglasses. "So let me get this straight," she says, voice sharpening to a knife edge. "You have to kill." The warmth that had started to thaw her attitude for him has vanished; he's back in the permafrost as far as she's concerned. "And I repeat: bullshit. Killing is a choice. A choice, doctor. There are all kinds of other options you could take." She doesn't bother naming them; as someone not closely associated with the high-tech and science fields, she'd probably miss a few.

Sarcasm is the only thing blunting her anger now, and her eyes are bright as her gaze fixes on those dodgy sunglasses. "You are choosing to kill, rather than taking, say, a bite here and a bite there, or, I don't know, looking up a hematologist to fix your problem."

"Bottom line," Misty says, through clenched teeth, "Is that you're a serial killer because at some level? Deep down? You don't want to find another way. And you're fucking out of control on top of that, because getting between you and your juiceboxes is a dangerous prospect. But oh, your little sad story and apology are supposed to make that all better?"

The man is almost shocked into disbelief, "I -am- a hematologist!" He adds quietly, "among other disciplines…". He turns to the side, not looking directly at you, "I have tried…and tried…so have others. For years. There has been no cure, and few remissions." It's a tired litany now, "I have reached this current stage -only- with help,"

He pauses, looking sidelong at you, "and I will -not- say from whom. He is a good man and does not deserve the attention. He knows what I do. His father -" he hesitates, unsure if he is breaking a confidence, instead, he changes directions, "I am -not- some creature from a movie…I am -not- supernatural. My fangs are weapons, a neat little wound into an artery is -hardly- a potential solution…not in the quantities I require."
His head falls, black hair drifting down from the hat, "I can't…I can't even rely on banked blood. Too many chemicals. Toxic in the amounts I need." There is such despair there, as if fate itself had conspired to ensure there was no other way out."

"When…when I went into remission…I retained an attourney, I was tried, I went to prison. I -wanted- to accept responsibility, I wanted…to be punished." His head tips back, dark humour surfacing, "I was ruled 'clinically insane'. Ha! Sentenced to three years, paroled early for good behavior. I had my -life- back, I helped the Avengers…and it…it didn't -take-. I relapsed, my mind all but lost."

He stops speaking, taking a deep breath, "When my mind was mine, I have wanted to die. God help me, I hoped someone or something would kill me. -Stop- me. But when injured, my instincts…I don't even remember…" quietly, "I don't -want- to remember…"

He turns back to face you, "I've been so terribly injured, and I do not die…I'd…I'd ask you to, you have more than enough right, but I'm not certain you -could-.

Misty listens, leaning back against her desk again. While he is an impassioned speaker, he has not presented himself toward her as a threat, not yet. And she has provoked him. So he is capable of control at some point. "So what you're telling me is that you're not clinically insane, and every solution either fails or eventually wears off. You can't just take a bite here or a bite there. And even the Avengers can't do anything for you. What, exactly, am I supposed to say to that?"

"Kill you? I could do that." At the moment, because she's still in her civilian attire, the right hand she raises looks normal and human.

God help him, he looks like he's -considering- it. It would be so good, perhaps, just to end it all, just to be -free- of this terrible curse, "This is all, ultimately, my fault. I just wanted to live, to find a cure for the blood condition that was killing me. I never meant for…-this-. If I'd known, I'd have tried something else. And if I'd failed, at least I'd have kept trying 'till the end."

A deep sigh escapes him, "Do you think I haven't heard these same words, over and over again? I've been offered cures, and lies, and…even immortality." he says that last with a healthy dose of contempt.
"If there had been -any- other way out, I've have accepted it long ago." he then scoffs, "If my mind were capable of processing the offer at the time."

He points to you again, less harshly, "And yet, here I am again. Innocent blood on my hands, if not my fangs. If you think you can end this…then perhaps…I shouldn't stop you."

"I'm not killin' you, man," Misty says quietly. "If you really wanted that way out, there are people you can pay to do it for you." She shakes her head. "The fact that I can't see your face means that as far as I can tell, you're just some nutjob who saw me in the paper and decided to come screw around with my mind." True, she probably recognizes the accent if not the voice itself, but that alone is not enough to count with any authority. "So if you were the thing that broke my arm, I have no actual way of knowing or proving that. At the moment." And it is eating her alive. Legality as hobble is a royal pain. "My name may actually be Mercedes but you will note I did not pick 'Mercy' to go by. You still have a way out if you want it. In fact, I know someone who could be hired for your purpose." Is it a challenge? Yes — because she just pointed out that he could've been dead a long time ago rather than his current existence. Has she considered that it might still count as suicide? Yes, but there are ways around that too.

"Playing semantic games, Ms. Knight?" the pseudo-vampire asks wryly. "Hiring an executioner isn't exactly a way around that sin, and I think you know that quite well." he adds, "I could have let Paine vivisect me a few weeks ago as well. If that wouldn't have led to more innocent people suffering and dying."
His next words are hesitant, "I am…sorry about the arm as well. I cannot make that right. And I am in disguise because…" he almost speaks, stops, then steels himself, "I am practicing medicine again. I am helping people. I have saved lives for the first time in…far too long. And you are a detective, and showing you what i look like now would jeapardize that." His voice actually seems to 'smile a bit' as he adds, "and I know what a horrifying thought that must be to you. The Living Vampire working the ER, hm?"

"It's only semantics if you care more about the state of your own soul than the fact that you're a murderer, and killin' you seems to be the only way to stop you permanent-like," Misty replies evenly.

"You're — " she stops. Short. And straightens up again. "Horrifyin' ain't the word I would use. Unethical? Yes. Dangerous? Again, yes. For you and for your 'patients'. Because this condition of yours, it's not communiciable, after all the tweakin' of it you and your umpteen other people have done to try and fix it? Is that why I should just calmly take you tellin' me this? You are a manipulative bastard, and you need to get the hell out of my office."

His voice is quiet, deathly so, as Morbius responds, "I won't spit in His face. I won't take the life I have been given. I am damned, Ms. Knight. I -know- this as surely as I know anything. You can take comfort in that, if nothing else."

His stance shifts, and he looks towards the door, "I am…not certain why I came here. Not to seek absolution. There is none for me. I wanted to try…" his hands clasp the air, fruitlessly searching, "I have done so much harm for which I can never apologize or make amends. So many lives destroyed. I wanted to try and make something -right- for a change." he straights up, his pride raked over the coals, he stands a bit unsteadily, "But it seems I cannot even do that."

"And there's that whole 'crazy' thing," Misty snarls. "You keep talking about not spitting in God's face. What do you think you're doing every fucking time you kill someone?"

"You can't make what you did to me right with words. The actual doctors at Bellview did that for me, and my friends at Stark Labs did the rest. You can't make right what you did to those muggers. You can't make right the nightmares you caused those two kids who were just on their way home from a night on the town. And you won't stop. Because you're using your religion to justify not stopping. And trying to use sympathy an' guilt to justify it to people who won't buy into your religious justification. Fuck that noise. If you want to stop so bad, go back to prison and stay there while they work on your cure, but don't come in here with a meaningless apology and full intent to go right back to killing the minute your human face falls off again."
"What do I think I'm doing? Protecting the innocent from them! Like someone -should- have done with ME!" Morbius snaps back, and there it is…displacement, to some extent. Maybe that's not all it is, but it's there.

"And now we're back to 'who do you think you are'," Misty replies, calmly, even as the disguised monster snaps at her. "I could sit here and quote Bible verses at you, and you'd find a way to talk your way around every one, I bet. The fact of the matter is that God is the one who decides who needs killin', and the law decides how they get punished. You are rationalizing so you feel less like a monster." She glances around in an exaggerated manner. "Oh, sorry, there. Seem to have misplaced my fucking violin."

His temper rising for a moment, the monster does indeed reply, "You cannot -possibly- know what it's been like. A physiological need, a hunger that drives -all- else away. It's never been about -willpower-, but neurochemistry…" slyly, the beast coiled beneath the man asks, "And you have never taken a life?"

"Man, I have been a police officer before I did this." She stalks across the room, closing the distance with him. "In the line of duty? Hell, yes, I have taken a life. And possibly others even when I wasn't trying to. " And some of those haunt her nightmares. "In the name of protecting others. But I was — and am — an agent of the law. You're a goddamn loose cannon. So don't think you can try to play all superior by drawing lines of comparison between us. Because you have options you can take, but killing is your preference. You can lie to yourself, but I am not havin' it!"

For an instant, he almost yells back at this challenge, but the truth is, with his physiology stabilized, any such outburst would be purely his to own, and in a moment, he realizes it, "You'd be shocked at what 'the law' has asked of me, Ms. Knight. I am…not unknown to certain personnel in the CIA and S.H.I.E.L.D.." his voice registeres a bit of disgust at the notion, "But you're right, it's -not- an excuse. It is…I have coped with this as best I could for as long as I have."

He turns from your gaze again, "I am…afraid. Not just for myself. As I said, if I knew they would just kill me…or let me rot, maybe that I could accept, especially now that Martine is dead." The words hit him like a brick and he stops for a moment, his breath shuddering, but all his tears have been shed, and no new ones will fall, "Be thankful you don't know about the superhuman weapons studies. You think I'd just be left in a cell? You think someone wouldn't want my expertise in science and the supernatural?"

"Maybe you're right, maybe that's just another excuse. I'm not sure I can say anymore…"

Misty holds up the right hand again. "You think I don't know about superhuman weapons? It was a PR move, and I'm grateful to not be crippled, but come on, son, you know as well as I do that I am a weapon from a certain standpoint." Just lucky that for the time being, at least, there aren't people with scads of disposable income to buy bionic arms, and that Tony's got at least enough scruples to not give them to anybody who already has two working arms. "You also know as well as I do that not everybody who works on the side of the law is corrupt." Her mouth twists, because she knows well how deep the blight of decency goes in the NYPD. It's the reason she's chosen a location down the block from her old precinct. It's one of the clean ones. "I don't know what else you can say either, because you're not changin' my mind." And she's clearly not swaying his opinion either.

The fight has gone out of him, was this a mistake? Perhaps, but he tried, and perhaps he had needed someone to point out his own hypocrisy, "I don't believe I can, no." Morbius notes, "But you have given me a great deal to think about. And that is more that I owe you, though I know you won't accept anything from me." He turns to go, "Nor, I suppose, should you." He opens the door and, not looking back, says, "Please, don't try to find me. I am doing some unmitigated good at the hospital, and if our paths should cross under other circumstances, I'm afraid you cannot countenance what I will continue to do."
He did not say 'must'.

"According to what I was told at the hospital, I only made it there alive because someone triaged me. I'm guessin' that was you, because as crazy as this city is, there is no way that someone would walk on a blooded multiple kill scene to help until the paramedics arrive. I'd say thank you, but you were only cleanin' up your own damn mess." Misty watches him, calmly staring at him. His own fault for wearing cheaters. "Your unmitigated good in the hospital is mitigated by what you do at night. Sleep on that." She follows him to the door, holding it ready to slam once he steps through. "If I see you again, I will treat you like the threat you are. No matter what face you are wearing. You feel me?"

"I am quite sure you will, Ms. Knight." Morbius says evenly, "And I suppose I will deserve it. You owe me nothing, I am fully aware of that. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I am sorry to have upset you further." That, at least seems entirely sincere.

Misty sighs and rolls her eyes skyward. He 'supposes' he will deserve it. Still dodging. "I hope you make the right choice," is all she offers him, as she has already repeatedly made clear her opinion and position on his 'protecting innocents/saving lives' embraced delusion.
The man in hat and dark glasses does not contest Misty's final remark. He simply walks out without another word, and she slams the door with her left hand. Even so, it rattles in the frame.

"Janine?" she says, to the intercom. "That guy is banned."

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