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Aberrant: 2011 - The Best Three Out of Three

Evan-Happy Scientist

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Round One

The woman’s name was Athena Boyd. She was an up and comer in the Internal Affairs Division and this was one of the parts of the job she enjoyed. A nova had overstepped his bounds, thinking not of the Project, but only of himself. She was here to see just how rotten he was at his core. Rooting out the corrupt was what she lived for.

“Come in, Dr. Sigmar. Have a seat,” she began. The tall, good looking physician took the seat opposite her. He had a mildly confused look on his face. Boyd could tell he was also favoring his left side, confirming rumors of the wound he took.

“I don’t like doing this,” she lied. “In fact, it’s the least favorite part of the job, but it has to be done.” She was laying it on thick, per company policy.

“I am going to answer you some questions and I need you to answer them truthfully.”

Her mind accessed one of her quantum gifts to make sure he was telling the truth.

“Of course,” Caduceus responded eagerly. He still wasn’t all that sure why he was even here.

“On Friday, March 28th, did you attend a party at the Blackburn Hotel?”

Evan blinked for a moment before responding.

“Yes,” he answered nervously. “Yes, I did. Is this what all the trouble is about?”

Athena’s look fully expressed to him that she would be the one asking the questions here.

“Even though you knew this as rumored to be a Teragen hotspot?”

“I didn’t know,” Evan answered truthfully. “Frankly, I knew nothing about the place. All that I found out, I learned from the Project’s own search engines.”

Now he was getting a bit indignant.

“And this lack of information didn’t set off any alarm bells, Dr. Sigmar? You didn’t find it odd that information on this vile den was edited? Come on now. You wanted to walk on the darker side and get away with it. You did know it was a novas-only club, though.”

She got him on the last one.

“Yes, I knew it was a novas-only night, but all I wanted to do was meet some other novas and talk, maybe have a dance or two. I don’t get out much.”

Athena Boyd eyed him over the last comment. It was painfully true from all that the Project had known about him was that he was a painfully awkward, but incredibly competent jobsworth in the lab. This change in behavior, so soon after his eruption was what had to be put into check.

“Fine, since you weren’t able to find out enough on the Blackburn here, why you didn’t use other sources of information? You didn’t even log your trip the Blackburn. Why?”

“I … I didn’t log in my trip to the Blackburn because I felt that my higher ups wouldn’t approve of going to a club with a Novas-Only night. I thought I would get away with it.”

Athena blinked only once, but she was taken back by his honesty.

“Fine then, you are going to be reprimanded for your actions. Not just for going to a club that only exists because Project Utopia can not yet prove a link to the Teragen terrorist front, but because you showed poor judgment in planning to go.”

Caduceus only nodded. At his core, he was a team player and believed in the cause.

“When you leave these walls,” she continued, “you are a walking, talking representative of Project Utopia. You need to keep these things in mind at all times.”

Again, Evan only nodded. Something about his face was disconcerting to her. It was his openness and honesty. She almost felt guilty about using her quantum to double check everything he said.

She slid a letter over to him.

“This letter details the events of the past 48 hours along with the mutually approved actions we are going to take to rectify you lack of critical thinking in this matter.”

Evan looked over the form.

“You are not to leave the Venice complex unless on official business. You are going to take follow-up courses on Teragen profiling and Public Relations activity. Your training to lead an ERT will be put on hold for the two weeks while you take this extra training. You will sign here,” Athena indicated the line, “and we will make three copies. One will go in your permanent file, one to IAD, one to your direct supervisor and one to the Head of S&T.”

Evan signed and nodded. He was speechless. There was nothing he could think to say.

“Any questions, Dr. Sigmar?”

He shook his head in the negative.

“Okay. You are dismissed.”

The interview hadn’t been all that satisfying. The physician had overstepped himself, but owned up to it. He was penitent, but now cowed. She made preparations to copy the document and readied herself for her next case.

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Round Two (April 14th)

‘Back,’ she thought, ‘and so soon.’

Athena Boyd was waiting for Evan Sigmar as he tramped back into his office. Evan’s executive assistant had warned him, but his fatigued clouded mind barely registered it. When Caduceus saw her, he managed a wry grin and slumped into one of the chairs in front of his desk.

“You’ve wandered off the reservation, Doctor,” Athena began. “I believed we had an agreement, but now you’ve violated that trust.”

Evan straightened up to face her. All he had to do was recall the ruin that was Kara and the video of the woman who had made her that way. This time, there was no doubt in his mind about his actions. There had been evil and he had done what he could to confront it. Defiantly, he took out the permission letter he had gotten before leaving for Paris. He threw the letter in front of Boyd, who eyed it speculatively, if not with surprise.

“I’m already aware of this … note,” she said with a hint of derision. “Your supervisor’s lack of courage doesn’t supersede your earlier letter of Reprimand. You left on unofficial business.”

The man across the table was very different from the one she had faced earlier. He was grim, angry, and defiant. His will was set against hers and for the moment she had some doubt.

“Ms. Boyd. I’m a doctor. Someone needed a great deal of aid, so I went. If you want to make a case about this, be my guest. Tonight, frankly I don’t care. For the first time since I came to Project Utopia I had no doubt about the necessity of my actions … to do good … to do what was right.”

“That shows the same particular lack of judgment you showed earlier, Doctor.”

“No,” Evan growled. “You just don’t like the fact I went to save a porn star. Screw that! I saved a human being and that was the right thing to do. No spouting about what’s good for the Project and critical and proper judgment is going to change that.”

She tried to speak, but he wasn’t done yet.

“Before joining the Project, I took another oath first. Until this moment, I didn’t think that the one would ever interfere with the other, but you are certainly pushing me in that direction … and screw that. I’m not going there.”

Athena stared at him. There were further penalties waiting for him. Far more severe ones than existed already, but she could tell that talking to Dr. Sigmar wasn’t going to go anywhere tonight. More to the point, the man wasn’t open to negotiation and was surprisingly fearless. Had she cared more for what he had actually done, she would have called it righteous fury.

“This isn’t over, Sigmar,” she said. “There are consequences to your actions. Severe consequences.”

Caduceus nodded and ran a hand through his hair. He was already nodding off as Athena Boyd left.

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