*Eva knocks on Darkling's house door*
*after a moment, NIkki answers the door* hey
Eva: Hi *smile* Is he still asleep?
Nikki: *smiles back* No I got him up. Hes roaming around the kitchen at the moment
Eva: Ah...are you alright?
Nikki: *opens the door* Im alright thanks... how are you?
Eva: Yeah...I had to get out of that office, though. You fancy popping out for a quick stroll?
NIkki: Ill go ask Richard *makes her way to the kitchen* Found anything yet?
*Starts to stand up, but his head is still inside the cupboard so he bangs it* OW!
Nikki: *winces* sorry, didnt mean to startle you..
Darkling: That's alright *backs up to safe distance and gets up, rubbing his head* And no...I can't find it. I'll keep looking, though. *smiles weakly*
Nikki: -rubs her arm where a band had once been* Thanks anyway.. would you ,mind if Eva and I went for a walk?
Darkling: Not at all *smiles* go right ahead. You look like you could do with a bit of fresh air...
Nikki: *hugs him lightly* I promice Ill be back before dark...
Darkling: Alright *ruffles her hair jokingly with a chuckle* Take care, and say hi for me. See you later.
Nikki: Seeya *collects jacket and heads outside* where are we going?
Eva: I figured we could just head down to the village...it's a nice day today. I couldn't let both of us waste it sat behind the screens. *chuckles*
Nikki: yeh, that gets boring after a while...
Eva: Yeah...so how's he doing, the good doctor?
NIkki: Hes surviving.. *chuckles* but I dont think hes used to living with a teenage girl...
Eva: *said good-humouredly* Oh god, what've you done to him?
Niki: *looks up innocently* nothing ... *chuckles*
Eva: *also chuckles* Go easy on him. For a thirty-five year-old who's not seen a child since school, he can't be doing too badly.
Nikki: Well we havent dont to badly. I think he tries to make up forr not knowing by pandering too my needs a little...
Eva: *pushes her shoulder a littel bit jokingly* You're going to make him spoil you rotten! *laughs*
Nikki: Damn well trying *giggles*
Eva: Oh, you're terrible...*shakes head, laughing* What about his illness? Gotten any better?
Nikki: Yes and no... he wants to take a trip to the tank in the next few weeks... guess Im not quite house trained yet
Eva: He just wants you to settle in, that's all. Who's lined up to take care of you while he's gone?
Nikki: -shruggs- I dont think hes thought of that just yet..
Eva: Well in that case, poke him in the ribs and tell him I'll do it...that is...if you want me to, Nikki...
Nikki: -thinks- Id like that... -smiles- I really would
Eva: *smiles* Alright then it's settled. Don't worry, I don't bite. And im not always this boring...I was once your age too you know
Nikki: I know you dont bite, you and Richard are the only ones I trust around here not to bite hmphs- what were you like as a teenager?
You don't wanna know...I was one of those idiots who got suckered into crowds and into doing things that deep down I didn't really wanna do...
Nikki: Wow.. youve definately changed...
Eva: Yeah. I grew up...I learned that going along with the crowd isn't always the best thing to do. The Army taught me that...and there, you've got no choice but to go along with what General Knownothing says...
Nikki: But your higher than a General arent you Eva?
Eva: Nope. I have another...*counts on fingers* three promotions to get before I hit General. I started out as a Captain anyway, so I haven't done too badly.
Nikki: I wouldnt have a clue about the Army. Sounds too strict and violent for my liking.
Eva: I have to admit it wasn't my first choice...it was the only way to get university-grade education free, though. And my family weren't loaded, so it was my only ticket out.
Nikki: WHat was your family like?
My dad was an unsuccessful car salesman, and my mom...she tried setting up her own manicurist's but she failed, too. Wouldn't have been so bad, but I had three brothers, so the green stuff was always tight.
NIkki: Wish I had a brother or a sister..
Eva: I'd disagree. Mine were a pain. We fought all the time, both with eachother and with everybody else. *Chuckles* what a childhood. At least an only kid gets to sleep without getting rancid milk poured over their bed. And that didn't happen just once, let me tell you...
Nikki* chuckles* well thats but at least you had somebody to wake up to in the morning.
That's true. The Lee Brigade, they used to call us...we might have fought, but we were a posse and, like I said, I got dragged into stuff. Oh well, you live and you learn I guess.
NIkki: Thats true.. very true..
Eva: What about yourself? Your family?
Nikki: Up until my dad had a stroke we were happy I guess. Then I started living in the hospital, well almost. They ah.. they found some tumor in his heart... one of those malignant ones... He couldnt remember my name most of the time. *coughs* we asked Nova to sponsor him, but they didnt want someone with THAT kind of problem. Instead they found me and offered to put him on top of the list all expences paid... Havent heard from them since...
Oh, God...I'm so sorry to hear that...*puts a hand on her shoulder*
Nikki: thats alright. I havent been giiven bad news. And it wouldnt be passed NOva to cut contact off with them. Probably had something to do with Jackson who knows *looks up* I miss em sometimes... but Im ok.I have Darkling and then I have you for support. Thats all I need.
Don't you want to maybe get in touch with em? I'm sure I could arrange it...even if it's only an email or a letter...
I would *smiles*
I'll see what I can do for you. I don't see how even those uncompassionate slimeballs can say no. What about your life before nova? What was it like?
Nicole: *Thinks for a moment* I guess you could call it plain... I was an only child who went to public school had a few close friends who I had a lot of sleepovers with, mostly tlaking about boys... and every christmas the whole family would come down for a christmas roast... I guess it was plain old life...
Eva: Would you say you wanted to go back to plain-old...or do you have a taste for adventure? Getting out there, doing stuff...travelling..that sorta thing?
Nicole: I think Id like to back to plain old life on week days and adventure on weekends and public holidays...
Eva: What would you like to do in plain-old? Job-wise, I mean
NIcole: I dont know, probably a vet... I like animals...
Eva: Well then, that's no bad thing to aim for. And I reckon you could do it.
NIcole: yeh, if I actually attended school... I havent done any real studying except for history for six months.
Eva: If you ask me, what they teach you is bullcrap anyway. You can do one of those apprenticeship things...they teach you everything you need to know on the job.
Nikki: hmm.. worth looking into...
Eva: If you want to get into it, then I'm pretty sure a course'll exist for that. There's lots of ways out, and you're still young enough to make the choices for yourself without worry. It's never too late...but when you get to my age, it becomes difficult.
Nikki: How old are you?
I'm thirty-two right now...how about you?
Nikki: WOw.. IM 15, and you definately dont look 32
*Chuckles* Thanks...I try. Shame I wasn't blessed with your good looks, though.
Nikki: What are you talkiong about.. Id kill to have your good looks when Im older...
*Blushes a little* Why thank you...I'm surprised though you haven't got the boys swarming around you.
NIkki: What boys? theres only old men around here.. besides I dont need guys..
Eva: Well, they're not ALL old men...I guess you haven't met Chance?
Eva: Yeah. He's one of my finest pupils in 'advanced thinking'...he's not much older than you. A year and a half maybe...but he's one of only a handful of males I like. Heart of gold... I reckon you'd like him.
Eva: *feels a pang of guilt* Oh, I'm not matchmaking...I meant maybe as a friend...
Nikki: -smiles- I know...
Eva: It's up to you...but I'll introduce him sometime if you like? you don't have to...but I think it might be good to give you a friend your own age...old folks like me and darkling can't play videogames, or whatever it is you like to do in your free time *smile*
Nikki: -smiles- I know... but with 'old folks'ike you and Darkling I dont have to worry about fitting in or geetting hurt I guess...
Eva: Hey...*puts an arm across her shoulders in a friendly manner* we'll both be here for you always. And I won't force you to do anything. *smiles as they reach the village, which is in fact literally just a couple of quaint houses and a several fair-sized shops dotted around* Okay...any shops in particular you want to go in?
Nikki: *shakes head* none, imparticular.
Eva: Okay...anywhere you'd like to go? I bet you could do with a coffee?*wry smile*
Nikki: *nods* Oh god yeh
Nikki: Ummm *points* Hows a tall white, no sugar sound?
Eva: If that's what you want, then by all means, honey. *to guy behind counter* one tall white, no sugar, and one mocha please.
*A few moments later the mugs are handed out to them, in rather large cups which are themselves pretty full. Eva pays the guy and they go to sit down*
*sits down at a table, sipping the coffee gingerly*
Eva: Is it ok?
Niki: Yeh, thanks... I owe you one...
Eva: Nah. It's nothing...just you keep smiling, yeah? If there's anything you ever need or want, you let me or Richard know. Or Leonard...but I don't think you've met him yet.
Nikki: No.. why.. whats he like?
Eva: He's a drill instructor...very much the Army's whipping boy, and sucked straight into their way of life in a way I wasn't. He's been to all the great holiday spots...indonesia, ICCA, and so on. Everywhere everybody wants to go *chuckles* but we got hitched and pulled out so I could be a proper pshrink and he could train the next wave...both of us got snapped up by Nova just after that. He's really stubborn, but it's funny to wake him in the morning by shouting: "Church! Ten-Hut!" *laughs*
Nikki: *smiles* why did you have to marry him?
Eva: Mostly it let us get out of active duty. It would've been easy for me to get out, but Leonard was my friend, and he was sick of frontline duty...so we made a bit of a pact, you see.
Nikki: what kinda pact?
Eva: In the Army, if a woman gets married, she automatically gets taken away from the fighting. The Army still has this thing about women on the frontline, you see. Anyway...because of my rank and everything, I was able to get him taken away, too...but that could only be done if we got married and stayed married. If we divorce, he gets shipped straight back. And so do I...
Eva: We tried to make a proper go of it, and it didn't work. So we live together, and we put up with one another, but even though we were friends, after you've lived a lie with them for so long, it kinda gets tiresome...
Nikki: Im sorry *smiles a little, not really sure what to say*
Eva: It's alright. It's quite funny to think about it, really. *chuckles, before taking a swig of her coffee* Just out of interest...how many operations have you had here..?
Nikki: One... on my bones. I know Richard dosent want me having another untill all this Jackson stuff sorted out and I get 'Proper councelling' But some of the other doctors seem to give me thumbs up.. And the higher ups are taking the latters advice.
Eva: Other doctors?
Nikki: Some guy named Benson. Vernandez and I cant remember the third ones name...
Eva: *cringes* Ugh, Benson...that guy makes my skin crawl. He's like some sort of weasel or something...
Nikki: Hes ok.. a little weird, but ok..
Eva: What did he do with you when you went to see him?
Nikki: We used to talk about why I was there, hed check me over, repair what Jackson had done. He told me I could tell him anything.. that he couldnt help me if I didnt tell him everything.. I couldnt...
Eva: *Shakes head* You probably did right not to. He is not somebody I would want to be around, let alone you.
Nikki: whys that ?
Eva: I just don't trust him...he's too pro-NOVA.
Nikki: Ahhhh *nods*
Eva: Don't get me wrong, I know I work for them and they pay my salary...but I wouldn't trust any of em as far as I could throw them, you know...except yourself, Chance, Leonard and Richard
Nikki:I dont think I trust most people full stop... but I guess I have my freedom back now.
Eva: I don't blame you...but I wonder what you'll do with your freedom *smiles* I can just imagine in ten years time somebody writing stories about this place when it's all long forgotten.
Nikki: thatd be one morbid story...
Eva: Would it? Or would it be one girl's struggle against all the odds, against oppression and against everything a huge organisation like NOVA could throw at 'em?
NikkiA: *laughs* only one problem...
Nikki: Well in the case of this girl.. there wont be a happy ending..
Eva: *Face twists to sympathetic* Oh, don't talk like that...what makes you think like that?
Nikki: Feeling I guess... I know that in real lifethings dont go your way, especially if your the nice guy
Eva: Don't tell me you believe in karma... Things go awry for everyone. Not just for the good folks. And actually most of the time things get better. Look at it so far. Things have been on the up over the past few days...
Eva: *Swigs at her coffee* maybe things really are on the up?
Nikki: Maybe... *smiles*
Eva: You're not saying much...
Nikki: Just thinking *shruggs* Anyway, what kinds of lessons do you teahc.. so to speak.
Eva: It's called 'advanced thinking'...it sort of teaches you to tap into parts of your brain that you don't normally use and use them to help you become smarter, or able to think faster or whatnot.
Nikki: Wow... thatd be pretty cool to know.
Eva: Well, I could teach you, but it's pretty difficult to get the hang of at first. Once you crack it, it gets easier, though.
Nikki: *laughs, quietly* Im not what would call a star pupil.. my last tutor ran out on me..
Eva: He wasn't a very good tutor for you, then...he wasn't teaching you right. First you have to actually motivate the student...get them interested...figure out how they learn...the teacher learns more than the student, more often than not.
Nikki: well, that and other things, but I guess yeh, I guess things go in good circles sometimes
Eva: Yeah...it's a very hard thing to get right, teaching. So many people get nothing out of school not because they're dumb, but because the teacher didn't give the student what they needed.
Eva: Okay...what's going on in that brain of yours? I'm not getting a lot of thoughts here... *cocks head sideways*
Nikki: *smiles* tell me something... a chemical that kills more children a year than weapons and that can with time corrode just about anything must be bad right?
Eva: *twigs on* Not if it's water...we kinda need that... *smirks*
Nikki: your one smart lady.. I'll give you that *sips coffee*
Eva: *also sips coffee with a chuckle* Well, I didn't study psychology at university for five years and not learn a thing or two about mind tricks...
Nikki: I thought thatd fall under gullibilty rather than mind tricks, but I guess its all the same...
Eva: It's been known since the mid-20th. If you dress it up right, you can make anyone believe anything. Ask 'em a leading question, and they'll even remember things they didn't see.
Nikki: Ive heard if you tell someone something long enough they create a memory of it. Is that true?
Eva: Yes and no...more often than not it's conformity. If people in authority tell you red is blue...generally you'll say the same to avoid making them mad. Which is why nobody seems to protest against genocide at the time.
Nikki: Kind of makes you wonder what the human minds capable of?
Eva: With the right outside influences...more or less anything. And that's before you get to the insane people...when people totally crack and go mad, it can be really distressing to see...
Nikki: Guess youve seen alot of that...
Eva: In camps, yes...war can drive the soldiers nuts. So can the stuff that happens to prisoners. *Shakes head* Worst, there's no mental illness that can be TOTALLY cured.
Nikki: I remember hearing about this painter of war camps. He said he gave this kid a food pack with some tinned food and tin opener and the next day, the same kid stabbed the same tin opener in another kids eye to get to his food...
Eva: *Winces* Oh God...no, I've not heard of that...I can believe it, though. They say mankind is only two missed meals away from total anarchy, and it's true. So many things can send a normal human being totally off the rails.
Nikki: not long before that becomes the norm... just look at Jackson
Eva: Well, yes, he's definitely not sane. But I think my treatment will make sure of that. Ever heard of sensory stress torture?
Nikki: Do I want to?
Eva: Well, considering that he'll be spending the next few hours hooked in an uncomfortable lean against a wall in an empty white room with nothing but strobe lights and white noise...not even a toilet...yeah, you might want to hear of it.
*shakes head* sounds fun but the least I know of what hes doing the better
Eva: Alright, fair point...I shan't say more. *Finishes her coffee and plonks it down on the desk with a slight clack*
Nikki: *takes another sip of her coffee, trying to warm her hands up*
Eva: Well...if you were to try and analyse me, what would your analysis be? I know you're not a shrink, but you have enough ideas in your head to make some sort of judgement...
Nikki: Ummmmm... I dont know.. I wouldnt know where to start I guess. You seem reasonable. Caring I guess. Your not sociopathic *chuckles* which is a good thing. and I guess your trusatworthy. And also very intelligent
Eva: *Pushes back a stray lock of hair with an embarrassed smile* Well thank you...I think you painted me a bit whiter than white though...
Nikki: *smiles, finishing of her own coffee*
Eva: *looks at her watch* Oh, jeez, is that the time? I guess we aughta get you back home, I don't want Richard worried...
Nikki: *nods, slightly dissapointed*
Eva: I'm sorry...*stands up* we can pop out tomorrow same time if you want?
Nikki: *smiles* Id like that...
Eva: Alright then *smiles* I would too...come on then, *steps out from the table and waits for her*
Nikki: *does the same, and with Eva walks out the cafe* Eva... how do you tell a guy about personal problems?"
Eva: That'd depend on the guy, I guess...most guys I find like you to just come straight out and tell them...don't get too complicated. The primitive male cerebrum can't cope with that.
Nikki: I was more thinking about telling Richard... about stuf.. I will need to deal with in the near future...
Eva: *twigs* Ah...well...Richard is a doctor. He probably knows more about the female anatomy than I do just because of his job, so he's seen it all before. No need to be embarassed about girl issues around him.
Nikki: But hes a guy.. isnt he supposed to be naturally irked by the subject?
Eva: Normally, he would be. But in his profession he'll have seen a lot of women patients...I don't think a little thing like a period would faze him, honey. He'd certainly rather you tell him than find a mess somewhere, if you get my drift...
Nikki: *nods* well thats true
Eva: *puts a hand on her shoulder* You and him will be fine, don't worry...I just hope I set your mind a little at ease...
Nikki: *nods with a small smile still on her face* it did
Eva: *After a few minutes silence* So...what music you listen to? I dunno what you youngsters are into these days...*chuckles*
Nikki: Stuff I guess... I dunno, havnt listened to music since about six months ago. I guess you could say Im into anything with a good beat
Eva: Well you certainly wouldn't like what I'm into...you heard some of it the other day. Chillout's more my thing than beats.
Nikki: whys that?
Eva: It just relaxes me...stress seems to just vanish in a heartbeat and my mind's eye just sees this beach in the Carribbean or some such place...I like to unwind.
NIkki: Ahhh I getcha
*Before they know it, they're back at the house* Eva: Well...I guess I'll see you tomorrow. If you need me... *takes out a small slip of paper from her pocket and writes a phone number on it* here's my home number. Any problems...just call me. *smiles* of course in the day you can just pop into my office...
Nikki: *smiles Thanks Eva...
Eva: No problem, anytime. *smiles back*
NIkki: *hugs Eva*
Eva: *hugs her back* awww *blushes a little*
Nikki: THanks for every thing...
Eva: Hey, don't mention it, honey. That's what I'm here for.
Nikki: -eventually lets go* I guess Ill see you later
Eva: You bet *smiles, ruffling her hair a tiny bit* Same time tomorrow, if not before. Have a good evening!
NIkki: you too *smooths her hair, chuckling slightly*
Eva: *makes her way up the driveway, waving as she goes*
Nikki: *waves, walking into the house* Richard... Im home...
*There's a note telling her he's popped out because he was asked to give a statement, and that there's some tea in the fridge that she can warm up in the microwave while he gets back*
Nikki: Great... *sighs*
*Darkling returns about 40mins later, looking and sounding very flustered and agitated* Nikki!? Nikki, are you home?
*has fallen asleep under his bed and is roused by the sudden noise*
*Fears the worst* Nikki!? *starts running around house looking for her in a mad panic*
Richard *rubs her eyes*
Darkling: *hears her speak as he enters his bedroom* Oh, thank god...where are you?
Nikki: -begins to crawl out from the bottom of the bed-
Darkling: *Without warning he crouches down and hugs her tight* Oh thank God you're alright...you are alright, aren't you?
Nikki: *hugs him tight* yeh.. I got worried... I heard something.. so I hid up here...
Darkling: I was so worried for you...that statement I was supposed to give? It wasnt' a statement at all...there's this weird son of a bitch after one of my other patients...and he threatened to hurt you, so I got back as fast as I could.
Nikki: Huh? *looks extremely worried*
Darkling: I don't think you've ever met Alana Newman, have you?
Nikki: Once... that was about it...
Darkling: Well, while she was here, me and her got friendly...she left Nova because of me, and I've not heard from her in six months. Now this...Reaper or whatever the hell he said his name was...he's after her, big-time. He threatened to hurt you if I didn't tell him where she was...and I haven't a clue where she is.
Nikki: Reaper? *head starts to get a little foggy*
Darkling: *Nods* Why...do you know that name?
Nikki: *grabs her head* I.. I dont know...
Darkling: Nikki? What's wrong? *concerned, he pulls away a little to look at her*
*closes eyes shut* NO.. I dont know.... Reaper...? Do I?
Darkling: Nikki? Nikki, what is it?
Nikki: *sobs* I cant remember
Darkling: *softly* can't remember what, Nikki?
Nikki *latches onto him again head acheing* I dont know... *eyes begin to glaze over*
Darkling: *has no idea what to do, so he just koala-hugs her close to him, lifting her up and onto the bed* It's alright Nikki...just stay with me...
Nikki: Dont make me forget again... dont... dont.. I dont.. dont want to be her again... *shakes head*
Nikki: *babbles something incoherent before letting out a blood curdling scream*
Darkling: *now VERY panicked as he covers his ear until the scream subsides* Jesus Christ, Nikki...what happened to you? What've those bastards done? *tries to check her pulse and her forehead*
*babbles on some more untill she finally becomes calm*
Darkling: *snaps his fingers* Nikki, come back to me, Nikki
*almost imediately does so* Huh?
Darkling: Can you hear me?
Nikki: *gives him an odd look* course I can hear you Richard *looks around* what happened?
Darkling: You went crazy on me...saying something about not being able to remember something...then you just started babbling and screaming...*hugs her tight* God, I was worried there...I don't know what just happened there, but I'm taking you to the hospital tomorrow for a blood test...that sure as hell wasn't natural.
Nikki: *gulps but hugs him* why a blood test.. im fine... other than the fact i cant remember what the hell your talking about.
Darkling: believe me...it happened...I was really scared...and I know for a fact that what just happened wasn't natural...I want to see if I can find something physically wrong with you...like a chemical.
Nikki: Dont say you think I take drugs...
Darkling: No, not at all...I just don't know what that was, and I want to see if there's anything abnormal going on.
Nikki: *gulps* well.. if you want to know the truth its not the first time Ive blanked out.
Darkling: How many times has it happened, and when did it start happening?
Nikki: Once when Jackson was going to shoot this guy , the next time at the doctors office then now...
Darkling: Very odd...did all three happen the same?
Nikki: Not really... this time I had a headache...
Darkling: Yeah you were writhing about a bit, too...are you feeling okay now?
Nikki: Im fine now, and no I wasnt...
Darkling: Ah...I thought you said you couldn't remember?
Nikki: I cant. Im saying that before I completely zone out, theres been a difference, the first and second time I just remember being there one moment and on a bed the next. This was different...
Darkling: Different how?
Nikki: This time my head felt like it was gpoing to explode then the next thing I know Im on a bed.
Darkling: Yeah...I carried you onto it rather than having you flipping out on the floor...this is too strange.
Darkling: It's not your fault, Nikki...I just want to make sure you're okay
NIkki: *Hugs Richard* Im not schitzophrenic am I?
Darkling: *hugs her* I don't know...I don't know what's going on, but that didn't look like a schizo attack to me...I still think it was caused by some substance...there's too much weird stuff happening at once...
Darkling: It'll be okay...I'll take care of everything.
Nikki: I hope so *squeezes*
Darkling: *wants to try to let the subject rest for now* On a lighter note...how did your walk with Eva go?
Nikki: Good... peacefull.
Darkling: That's good to hear...I'll need to talk with her myself later about something. How are you feeling in yourself?
Nikki Good thank you... how are you? still freaked about that interview staterment thing/
Darkling: Yeah, I am a little...that's why I'm going to talk to Eva. Maybe she knows something about that freak...she's higher up the ladder than I am, so she might be privy to something I'm not.
Nikki *smiles encourageingly* they didnt hurt you did they?
Darkling: No, they didn't. But I'm not liking where it's going, though...
Nikki: Wheres it going?
Darkling: Well put it this way, when he threatens your safety, things aren't going well from what I see...I think he's systematically going through people who know Lana...which means we need someone who doesn't, but who's connected...we need Eva...
Nikki: ahi see *takes a peice of paper from her pocket* this might come in handy then...
Darkling: *out of the blue, kisses her forehead* You're a gem...we'd better both get her on the case. This is pretty serious.
Nikki: but will she be in danger too?
Darkling: I doubt it. He won't know of her...she doesnt' know Lana. And we can call up all happy like 'would you like to come over?' and talk to her in person.
Nikki: I dont know about that part.. isnt that kind of like lying?
Darkling: No. If they were able to see my journal and know I'd been in touch, they can damn sure tap a phone. I want to make sure we aren't listened in on...for Eva's sake.
Nikki: your right.. should I ring though.. since theyd be listening for you to talk
Darkling: *nods* good idea. Just say you'd like her to come round for tea...if she says no, tell her...tell her there's something on your mind that you want to talk with her privately about.
Nikki: *nods* so wheres the phone...
*opens the top drawer of a bedside chest and takes it out* Saves clutter...
Nikki: good idea.. *smiles before dialing the number and waiting*
*A man with a gruff southern accent answers*
Church: Hello? This is Church...
Nikki: *guilps* Hi my names Nicole, I was wondering if Eva's there?
Church: Uh? Yeah, she's here *he calls to Eva, saying that there's a girl named Nicole on the line. After a few moments Eva picks up the phone*
Eva: Hi, Nikki, what is it?
Nikki: Eva... can I ask you a big favor.... theres something I want to talk to you about.. Its a girlyish problem.. And Richard... Well.. hes busy at the moment.. and I kinda need someone...to talk to.
Eva: Sure honey...do you want me to come over?
Nikki: Yeh.. If you could... please... Its not really something I want to try to say over the phone...
Eva: Okay. Give me five minutes and I'll be on my way...see you shortly
Nikki: Thanks Eva.. I owe you one...
Eva: Don't mention it...see you soon. *hangs up*
Nikki *hangs up and smiles at Darkling* shes comming soon... can I quickly have a shower?
Darkling: Sure, go ahead *smiles* I'll get some coffees ready...this could take a while.
Nikki: *nods and hugs Darkling again quickly*
Darkling: *hugs her back before heading off down to make the coffee and allow Nikki privacy*
Nikki *quickly pics up a set of clean pyjamas and heds for the bathroom*
*After the shower and coffees are made, a knock at the door signifies Eva's arrival*
Nikki: Ill get it *runs to the door*
*As door opens*
Eva: Hi...you wanted to see me? *smiles warmly, hoping it's not too bad*
Nikki:*jumps and hugs* mmhmmmm...
Eva: *chuckles a little as she hugs her back, almost losing balance but stepping off the step to correct* Heyy...okay, I'm here...come on, let's go inside and you can tell me all about it, okay?
Nikki: *nods and holds the door open*
Eva: *comes in and takes her shoes off, leaving them by the inside of the door*
Nikki: *closes the door before entering the kitchen*
Eva: *follows her* What is it...?
*Darkling is in the kitchen* Ahh..hi, Eva. Coffee?
Eva: Um...what's going on? Is something the matter?
Nikki: Welll its not as simple as it sounded on the phone... we didnt want any more added attention
Eva: Okay...*takes a coffee cup* So, what's going on?
Darkling: *explains about the 'statement', about Lana, and not mentioning the fact he threatened to put Nikki back with Jackson because Nikki is present*
Eva: Jesus...so, who is this Reaper after now?
Darkling: Well...I think he's after Bill. Nikki, you know bill, don't you?
Nikki: Yeh.. I stole his apple one time.. hes a hermit isnt he?
Darkling and Eva at the same time: A...what?
Nikki: You know... a social recluse...
Darkling: Yeah...I guess he is...anyway, Eva, do you have any ideas?
Eva: Well...if we know where his next target is, we'll know where to net him. Leonard's men will probably be able to help.
Eva: Well, from what Richard just said, the cops won't be able to do shit. And by the sounds of this guy, he's not a cop, either. If you ask me, Nova's putting the squeeze on their own organisation. Well, two can play at that game...
Nikki: THis is going way above my head
Eva: Okay. I think this Reaper's some Nova operative...he's going outside the Nova rules to try and find this Lana...that's what makes me think he isn't any regular Nova grunt...and Leonard trains the SuperNova soldiers. I could give them a job to do in tracking this guy down before he does any more damage...
Nikki: Ahhh.. now I get it..
Darkling: But what if this Reaper fellow is SuperNova?
Eva: Well, that's even better. It means that a) Leonard will know the guy, so he'll be even easier to track down, and b) he'll know the guy's tactics.
Darkling: Not that wearing a giant freaky face mask makes it any easier to spot the guy...*rolls eyes*
Nikki: are we sure Nova would do something so novelty
Eva: Nova's willing to do anything to get it's ten-million-per-SuperNova-soldier. Why Lana's so important is anybody's guess, though.
Nikki: Well I guess you wouldnt wanna loose all that money and equiptment
Eva: I know, but to send some sort of vigilante after her, putting the squeeze on everyone she knows? That seems odd...I mean, Nova will more than recoup the loss. They just recently made a big sale to the Indo-Chinese...40 units, if I remember right.
Nikki: Why.. how much is 40 units worth?
Eva: At ten million a head, four hundred million big ones. I'm surprised the Commies have that kind of cash to blow on forty soldiers, but hey...
Nikki: Woah... I dunno, maybe they are trying to make ALana intoa new model worth twice that much. And I guess thatd be worth the risk,
Eva: *turns the computer on and lets it load, as Darkling begins to cough again*
Nikki: *finishes her coffee, and puts it on the sink* whats on his journal?
Eva: He warns Lana and Bill to stay away...but that Reaper guy posted...totally crazy post, though. And that picture looks like a friggin' tree. You don't think he looks like that do you? *raises eyebrow*
Nikki: *shruggs* who knows....
Eva: Guardian..? Weird. Seems we have a split personality thing going on here...
Nikki: *suddenly goes ridgid*
Eva: *looks at her* Nikki...?
Nikki: *shakes her head* hmm?
Eva: Are you okay? You went all spaced-out for a moment there...
Nikki: Uhh... yeh.. fine...
Darkling: Yeah...she seemed to have a bit of an...episode earlier tonight. She started babbling incoherently and stuff...do you remember any of it?
Nikki: Only the headache...
Eva: Very odd...very odd indeed. *Sucks gums in thought*
Nikki: What *looks worried*
Eva: Well...I never noticed anything like that while you were out with me. It's odd...if anything more comes back to you, please tell us...in the meantime I'll keep scanning and try to get Leonard's guys on the case.
Nikki: Well I was fine up untill Richard came home and started talking about Guardian
Darkling: I didn't...I said Reaper. Eva said Guardian...
NikkI: *goes a bit zombieish* either one...
Eva: Are you sure you're alright? You don't sound so good...
Nikki: Im fine...
Eva: *looks at darkling, then back at Nikki* you sound...distant...
Nikki: Not distant...
Eva: You are...you're certainly not yourself...
Nikki: Not myself?
Eva: You don't normally talk like that. Something's wrong..
Nikki: No... *looks to Richard* can I go to bed now *turns head quickly facing down, muttering a few words, before looking back up at Richard* Please?
Darkling: What was that you muttered? I didn't catch it...
Nikki: I didnt mutter anything *looks downmuttering* tell him *looks up * What? *looks down* think think think think. *Looks back up* I dont feel so good Im going to go back upstairs...
Eva: Nikki, honey, wait...*gets up from computer chair* Who were you talking to?
NikkiL Not talking to anyone...*blinks and starts up stairs stopping at last stair* shes talking to me *slams his door shut*
Darkling: What the f---?
Eva: Sounds like multiple personality disorder...I'd better go see if I can find anything else out...*goes upstairs* Nikki? Who is 'she'? Who was talking to you?
Nikki: Go away...
Eva: Nikki...you're not well. I want to help you.
Nikki: *sits on window seal* Im not sick... *smiles for a second, before shaking her head*
Eva: No, but you're not yourself. Something's the matter, and I want to find out what it is...
Nikki: I cant.. Im not supposed to remember,,, *begins muttering to 'shut up'
Eva: Apparently not...but you DO remember...and since you do, you can help everyone by telling me what's wrong...
Nikki: No... I cant.. cant.. cant... *begins tapping the sill with her index finger*
Eva: *goes closer to her, speaking very softly* Nicole...listen to me. It's alright. You can tell me...it's important, if you want to get better.
Nikki: *taps more furiously, whispering something about nova and obeying and guardian.'*
Eva: *Is listening intently as she shuffles closer, not making any sudden moves*
Nikki: *suddenly, stops tapping and she looks straight into Evas Eyes* what do you want?
Eva: I want to help you. You're definitely not well...something's happened, and RIchard and I need to know what...
Eva: Don't what? *takes a step closer, slightly anxious, but ready for anything*
Nikki: *blinks* dont help... I dont need your help...
Eva: *Knowing something's screwy here* What's your name?
Nikki: Im not allowed to tell you.. *puts a finger to her lips* shh
Eva: Well...in that case...*swiftly leaps forward to grab her arm, with an eye to stopping her leaping from the window and getting her into a restraint position*
???: *tries to fight of the restrainment with no avail* And what do you plan to do now?
Eva: What I do best...you're coming with me.
Eva: Because I said so. *Hoists her up, holding her tight by the wrists in such a way that if she resisted, it would be painful* Now, are you gonna give me the name of whoever's inside Nicole Jones' body, or do I have to get nasty?
???: Nasty? *smiles* I dont think Ive felt nasty. But your not authorised o know that information.. Im sorry.
Eva: *Plays along...for now* Well then, who do I go to for authorisation?
???: Stop it... Stop it... I know what your playing at...
Eva: You didn't answer my question. All I want's a name. Yours, or whoever I go to to get authorisation. It's THAT simple.
???: Lets see, you twisting my arm, or Guardian smashing my head on the table top again... hmmm *bites lip* Go fuck yourself...
Eva: Ahh, so you're somehow connected to Guardian, eh? *twists a little harder* Care to elaborate?
???: Break it then *begins to cry* Break it break it break it break it....
Eva: *Releases it a little bit, muttering the word 'damn' to herself between her teeth* Listen. If you don't want Guardian to go berserk on you...you're gonna have to answer me some questions. Otherwise, you're on your own. Deal?
Eva: Is that you, or your boss? Hmm?
Brooklyn: Thats my name
Eva: Hello, Brooklyn. So...how exactly did you come to be in my good friend Nicole's head?
Brooklyn: She wanted me in it... perhaps?
Eva: I doubt it, somehow. It's hard to do pull a stunt like multiple personalities...when did it happen, huh?
Brooklyn: Oh about the time we came here,,, dont worry, my personality as you so call what I am, will go away soon.. happy?
Eva: Only if you don't come back. Ever.
Brooklyn: awwwwee... I wouldve liked you as a friend. Oh well... your not my problem... I will be back. And if they get their way Nicole wont be comming back...
Eva: Who's 'they'? Nova?
Brooklyn: More a select group love...
Eva: *Mind flicks back to Jackosn saying 'love' a lot* And who are this 'select group'? I'd like to meet them...
Brooklyn: To bad... they dont want to meet you...
Eva: Maybe, maybe not...a name would still be good.
Brooklyn: I already gave you a name Eva...
Eva: *sarcastic* Oh, aren't you helpful? *serious, but also rather snidey* What d'you want, Brooklyn, a pat on the head and a cookie? Come on, what are you? Who put you there?
Brooklyn: Your not authorised to know.
Eva: Then tell me how to get authorisation...we've been through this once, but if you don't tell me we'll just keep going.
Brooklyn: THats ok, Ill be gone soon... for now anyway...
Eva: Then I'll be waiting, Brooklyn.
Brooklyn: Wait all you want sweet heart. Then next time you see me, Nicole wont be herself anymore... this is only a temporary dose... got knows what happens 24/7
Eva: Dose, eh? Of what?
Brooklyn: fucking self esteem...
Eva: Hilarious. Oh well, I'm sure there are other ways to get the info I want... *glances up to see Darkling. Brooklyn/Nikki can't as the view is obscured by the bed, but Darkling has been listening in, and heard about the 'dose', so he goes for an empty syringe from a medicine kit in the bottom drawer of the chest, and brings it to take a blood sample from Nikki's lower leg*
Brooklyn: *feels a sharp stab at her leg, and screams, thrashing about*
Darkling: *Pins her leg down hard to stop her thrashing, and extracts the blood sample, before retreating from the room, telling Eva he's got it, and heading off downstairs. Eva then, strangely, releases her.*
Thanks, Brookie. You've just given us a nice chunk of intel, there. Now, whether I'm authorised to or not, I'll ask again. Who's your boss? Who gave you that dose?
Brooklyn: He... hes going to kill me... *begins to sob*
Nikki: *feeling a sadness but not knowing where its come from backs into the wall visably shaking*
Eva: *softly* No, he's not going to kill you...not if you tell us who he is, so we can catch him first. *moves closer to put a hand on her shoulder*
Nicole: *looks up* Eva?
Eva: Nikki..? Is that you? Or am I still talking to Brooklyn..?
Nikki: Brooklyn? Who... whos that?
Eva: *comes and crouches down in front of her, holding her shoulder comfortingly* We've figured out what those blackouts were, honey...
Nikki: wh... what ? *goes in for a hug*
Eva: *Hugs her* It's okay...now we know, we can do something about it...Darkling was right. It was substance-induced...it seems to bring out a different persona somehow. Darkling took a blood sample from your leg, so he should be able to analyse it...find out what it is, and maybe from that who did it to you.
Nikki: *looks down at her leg which has left a spot of blood on her pyjama pants, but feels slightly relieved*
Eva: Can you remember any of what happened, Nikki?
Nikki: I *Tries to get up* I remember having a headache... then I think you telling me to shut up... now im up here I guess...
Eva: No...I'd never tell you to shut up...*helps her to her feet, still hugging her* Its okay...you're okay...
Think I need to *mmanages to run into the bathroom, and begins to puke*
Eva: *Follows her out as far as the landing, but gives her a little space, sitting down on the carpet and allowing Nikki time to recover*
Nikki: *after finally, finishing up and washing her mouth out, makes her way outside of the toilets*
Eva: *Stands up, opening her arms to let Nikki get a hug*
Nikki: *hugs Eva* my arms hurt...
Eva: I'm so sorry...that's my fault...I thought she was gonna jump out of the window with your body, so I had to keep her from doing that, or lashing out...please forgive me...
Nikki: Thats ok... Im sorry If I said or did anything that hurt you...
Eva: No, that's alright...I know it wasn't you who was driving...*squeezes a little*
Nikki: *smiles slightly* Well I suppose we should go see how Richards doing...
Eva: Yes, good thought...are you okay walking on that leg? Brooklyn was thrashing it about a bit when Richard took the sample...
Nikki: Ill be fine *smiles and begins to walk, the muscle hurting slightly but nothing she cant live with, walking downstairs* Hi Richard *blushes, embarrased*
*Darkling has transferred the blood sample into a sterile vial ready for analysis*
Darkling: Hi...*smile* Nice to have you back with us *puts vial safely on a table and comes over to her*
Darkling: Nikki, you have nothing to be sorry for. *Hugs her* You've done nothing wrong at all.
Nikki: Well Im sorry for the way she acted...
Darkling: I didn't see much of her, actually...Eva kept her under control...but everything'll be fine, ok?
Eva: Just one question...how many doctors have you been to see in the past six months?
Nicole: Darkling... Benson and this lady, but I cant remember her name...
Eva: Well in that case, I think Benson will be our next target...he might know something. Darkling, find out what that chemical was...and I'll deal with that Guardian guy. But for now...I think we all need to have a drink and relax a little.
Darkling: Agreed also...what do you both fancy?
NIkki: Right now Id drink just about anything.
Eva: Same here...
*Darkling returns with three tall glasses of OJ, not wanting to risk anything alcohol given Nikki's fragile mental state...even though she's underage he would've given her some* Come on, let's all go sit down and chill for a bit.
Nikki : Finds the closest armchair and checks out the needle mark on her leg*
Darkling: Uhm, yeah...that might be sore for an hour or two...
Nikki: Thats alright *pokes it with a thumb* how much blood did you get?
Darkling: Enough...it filled the syringe. Sorry if it's painful, but it had to be done...
Nikki: can I have a bandaid? *sips orange juice*
Darkling: Yeah sure...*goes and gets one from a first-aid kit, and helps apply it, after making sure the wound is sterile with a little dab of antiseptic* There we go...that should keep it covered. *smiles encouragingly as he looks at her*
Nikki: *chuckles* your the doc, doc...
Darkling: *chuckles as well* Well, I just hope you're alright, yeah?
Nikki: yeah *sits back and enjoys orange juice*
Eva: *Enjoys hers too, but all too soon has finished, and decides she ought to call it a night* Leonard'll think I'm sleeping around or something...*chuckles*
Nikki: he sounds very gruff
Eva: He's a drill sergeant...so it kinda comes with the job. *Shrugs* You take care of yourself, though, okay?
Nikki: *finishes off orange juice* I will. if you do
Eva: *Smiles warmly* I will. See you tomorrow evening, then?
Nikki: *nods* Bye Eva
Eva: *Gives her yet another warm hug before heading out of the door, waving as she makes her way to the car*
Nikki: *waves from the door, before shutting it*
Darkling: *With a smile* Early night for both of us, I think...
Nikki: *rubs her eyes* yeh... I tend to agree
Darkling: Okay then...*finishes OJ* I'll let you go up first and let you brush your teeth and stuff.
Nikki: *hugs him very quickly, before going upstairs, brushing her teeth, and almost practically falls head first on the bed.
Darkling: *Decides to do his sleeping-bag trick tonight just in case...sleeping on the floor blocking the door*
Nikki: *starts snoring once more, ever so lightly*