<NYC> Mendel Clinic - Lower East Side
With its sharp crystalline edges and sleek lines knifing up into the sky, this building is one of the most distinctive new additions to the neighborhood. An angular structure in glass and steel, the tall tower has a deceptively slender look to it that is belied by the heavy security as soon as you enter the doors. The front doors are frosted with the Clinic's logo -- a rising sun over a rod of Asclepius -- a motif echoed in many places throughout the building.
Visitors to the clinic must first pass through a small mantrap, guarded by some of the Clinic's security guards; once they make it through the metal detector and airlock's double doors they emerge into the much more hospitable lobby. With dark wood floors underneath and comfortable black and red couches at its edges, the high windows give the room an airy feel. A bank of elevators to one side carry visitors to the many destination floors, while the wide welcome desk at the other side is manned by a security guard ready to help point visitors in the right direction.
Jax has been pacing Ryan's totally-not-actually-a-patient-room. Restless, quick, his fingers plucking unhappily at the sleeve of his black and red uniform. His repetitive circuit takes him repeatedly by the door -- open out to the deserted empty nighttime Clinic, it is currently the only spot in the power-dampened room where he pauses, looks a touch more relaxed, gains a touch of /colour/ back in his pale skin. "-- an' it's small things, every time. But it don't matter how small, we overlook just that one thing and --" He shakes his head, a shiver passing through him. There's a brighter glow of light coalescing around one of his hands that vanishes as he paces back away from the door.
In contrast, Flicker is very still. He sits in a chair by Ryan's bedside, one hand resting in his lap and his tentacle limb draped loosely over the arm of the chair. He's determinedly /not/ watching Jax's pacing. "One thing is all it takes."
Propped up on several pillows in his bed, Ryan is looking paler and than he should. Scruffier. Thinner. None of this is helped along by the current worry etched across his face. He /does/ track Jax's pacing, following after the photokinetic with a constant tic of shadowed eyes. "It's too much." He gives a small shake of his head, his fingers twitching against his sheets. "With the team split -- you can't track that all. Not even with Hive. What if you set someone else to do it?"
Matt sits at the foot of Ryan's bed, one foot hooked in the lowered guardrail and the other dangling down. His hair is slightly damp and actually still neat, his face not quite so pale as either Jax or Ryan, though there's weariness enough there. He's wearing a red t-shirt with a graphic of Calvin and Hobbes riding on the Millennium Falcon, black cargo shorts that have long since faded to gray, and well-loved black athletic sandals. He hasn't spoken in a while, his eyes only tracking Jax when the man passes directly across his field of vision, fixed on a glass of water by Ryan's bedside the rest of the time. "Mmm." His nod is minute, easy to miss. "Either that, or do it as one large team, which would mean scrapping our /entire/ strategy."
"I've thought about it." Jax curls his arm around his chest as the light fades from around it, his shoulders tightening back up as he walks nearer Ryan's bed -- further into the room's suppression field. "But doing it together would be -- it don't seem feasible we could get in and out fast enough, they'll almost certainly have reinforcements there quicker'n we could manage and we been lookin' at it every which way. It'd be good to have someone directing the other block but --" The lift of his shoulder is a little jerky. "This close in? Who?"
One of Flicker's eyes twitches. His teeth grind slowly. He says nothing -- just closes his eyes, settling back more comfortably in the chair and resting a foot on the bed's railing as well.
Ryan is slow to reply. His eyes turn to watch the glass of water, too, focused on it intently. Maybe he's trying to levitate it towards himself. "One large team could work, if you had --" His fingers curl into a fist, bunching the bedsheets up tight. The water in the glass stays decidedly still. He exhales a sharp hiss. Eyes closing, his next breath is calmer. Slower. "Ion," he answers, looking back up and squarely at Jax.
"Probably," Matt agrees, shrugging on shoulder as he rests his weight more fully on the other arm, propped up against the mattress. "At least with so little time to rehearse a new approach." At Jax's question he puts his index finger to the tip of his nose, brows wrinkling faintly in thought as he, presumably, contemplates the options. Drops his hand to the slim silver thermos at his side and raises it for a sip. Then freezes, mid-drink, peering at Ryan down the length of the metallic cylinder. The lift of his eyebrows is slight but skeptical. He swallows, caps the thermos again, and tucks it between his knees. "Ion?" he echoes, his tone level.
Jax's pacing stops halfway back to the door. He turns on a heel to face Ryan's bed, both his brows lifting, too. He studies Ryan for only a cursory moment before exhaling quickly, throwing a hand up in mild exasperation. "Yeah, okay, sure, but really who could do it? We don't hardly got time."
Flicker does not open his eyes. His shoulders tense. Jaw clenching harder, the slow grind of his teeth creaking more audibly. For a moment his foot bounces against the guardrail, rapid and jittery, then goes still. The grinding of his teeth continues a second longer, then -- "... I think," his eyes are squeezing tighter shut, his hand lifting to rub against the side of his head, "he's serious."
Ryan's fingers clench tighter. He struggles a little more upright, grimacing as he settles in against the pillows. "Do you think I'd joke about something like this? I don't have time for that. You sure as hell don't have time for that. Who do you think would be better than Ion, tell me who. No, tell me /why/?"
"We haven't got a /large/ pool of candidates," Matt allows, only a touch reluctantly. He leans forward, propping one elbow on his upraised knee and then propping his chin in the palm of that hand. "Certainly Ion is a strong and reliable fighter, but I'm not so sure about his tactical judgment."
"Ion's --" Jax opens his mouth. Snaps it back shut, his shoulders unclenching as, instead, his brows pull into a thoughtful frown. He resumes his pacing, arms folding, fingers drumming at the inside crook of his arm. "He's just. A little bit of a wild card. I just ain't sure if -- putting him in /charge/ of --" His head tips towards Matt in an acknowledging echo of his words.
"In charge of our lives?" Now Flicker does open his eyes. If only to look up at the ceiling. Eyes fixed steadily there. "I mean sure, why not, a week out, a man short, seems like a perfect time for. Whatever kind of experiment this is."
Ryan's gaze flits between the others, lingering the longest on Flicker. "Experiment." The word comes out in a sharp puff of breath. A sharp shake of his head. "You think I'd play games with all your lives? /I/ shouldn't be leading shit if that's the case." His hand spreads flat on the sheet; he suppresses a grimace as he shifts in bed again. "Ion has a lot of experience leading his crew. In the thick of things, he's focused. He pays damn good attention to his teammates, he's going to know where you're strong and where you're struggling. And if shit gets really ugly --" His eyes shift back to Matt. Up to the ceiling. "I trust him to try and minimize the casualties. /All/ the casualties."
Matt takes another slow sip of tea and listens to the others speak. His expression is impassive, his posture casual but oddly still. His eyes narrow slightly at Ryan's explanation. His head tilts, noncommittal. "I am still unsure about his tactical abilities, /but.../" He turns the palm of one hand upward, fingers splayed loosely. "...in the chaos of the moment, anybody can- and probably /will/--make the wrong call." Bright green eyes track back to Ryan. "What /you/ want is someone who will get us out of it alive if things go sideways."
Jax exhales hard. He wanders back towards the door, leaning against the doorframe and closing his eyes as a slow trickle of light begins to seep toward him again. "In the middle of things, we all --" He shakes his head, gesturing with a small flick of fingers toward Matt. "And if I'm trying to do everything at once, /my/ judgment ain't what it needs to be for you all. It hasn't been." His hand lifts, digging knuckles in against his eyes. "I'll ask him." He sounds mostly just heavy, about this. "Ask all of them. Training tomorrow, I guess we'll see."
"Leading a gang of criminals isn't /exactly/ the same." Flicker's teeth have just set back to grinding, again. His arm wraps hard against his chest, fingers squeezing at his side. The bounce of his leg quiets, his eyes slipping half-lidded. "Sure. We'll see."