XII - Trahison
“Alright?” Nemesis echoed, tilting his head. “I’m disappointed, Tempeste. I expected more resistance.”
Revenant shrugged. “You have no more enemies, Manu, no reason to continue.” She watched him chalk up his hands, pushing herself to say what was truly on her mind. “Dissolution seems a bit much, though.”
“You think so?”
Revenant shoved her hands in her jacket pockets. “You could just step down, let me or Cyclops take your place.”
A look of surprise washed over Nemesis’ face. Revenant surmised that her Russian friend hadn’t thought of the possibility of a succession, since his mind was clearly focused on his return to sport. His mouth thinned into a line and he shook his head. “It is a lot to take on, Tempeste. I won’t be financing-”
“Money isn’t an issue.”
“I still have what the French government gave me and Cyclops…” she trailed off. “Well, he has his ways of acquiring money.”
Nemesis looked over her shoulder briefly, perhaps his coach was getting impatient, but then he promised, “I am not opposed to it. You just need to know what you’re getting yourself into.”
Her Russian friend was summoned back to training by the impatient, beckoning clapping from his coach, leaving Revenant to deal with this new information by herself. She hoped that everything she had worked for was not about to end so suddenly, just because Manu was no longer interested in their ‘mutual’ mission of vengeance, but since Cyclops still had his reasons to remain part of the group, informing him of their possible newfound positions was next on her list of things to do.
Ethan seemed a little surprised to see her so soon, but the signature smirk dropped from his face when she told him the news. He said nothing as a flock of nurses went past the bay, but as soon as he considered them out of earshot, he said what Revenant had wanted to say to Manu.
“What the fuck do you mean he wants to dissolve the group? Is he out of his mind?”
Revenant shrugged. “New priorities. All who wish him harm are dead, he has no reason to continue. I told him that instead of that… drastic option, that there was an alternative.”
“You and I could continue without him, or simply replace him. Finances won’t be an issue, I have money and you can borrow it.”
Cyclops leant back, green hair stark against the white pillow. “I mean yeah, we can do that. I hope we can do that. I much prefer this subzero base to a life on the run.”
“You and me both.”
“Oh please, at least you had your little biker ghosts, I was on my own!”
Revenant was about to correct him on that, when a throat was cleared behind them. She whirled, finding Alexios at the threshold.
“Tempeste, can I speak with you for a moment, please?”
Revenant glanced back at Cyclops, who simply waved her away, “We’ll discuss more later when he lets me leave this prison.”
“Oh, I can’t wait to discuss things of great importance with you when you’re higher than the sky.”
She left Ethan chuckling, walking away with Alexios, the doctor leading her to a quieter part of the infirmary where they wouldn’t be overheard.
“Did you see Immanuil today?”
“Ah, good. Well, if you see him again, would you mind passing on a message?”
Revenant shrugged. “What is the message?”
“More of a request. For more medical staff to be hired,” Alexios explained. “Jules, Martin and I are overworked, to put it mildly. I would have passed the message on to him myself, but I couldn’t find him anywhere…”
“Don’t worry, I will see what I can do,” Revenant promised, noticing the confusion arise on his face. “I will be taking care of hiring new staff from now on.”
“Ah, I’d heard about the possibility of leadership changes,” Alexios nodded. “There is something else, something more pressing.”
“It’s about your father.”
Revenant stilled. “How do you know about him?”
“Immanuil,” Alexios explained. “Before the gymnastics returned to his life, we had been speaking of the meeting that myself and Einar were invited to attend. About you.”
“Invited by who?”
“That leader of the counter-terrorism group, I forget his name,” Alexios waved it off. “I am to attend this meeting in a week’s time, once Ethan is better recovered. Immanuil and I had been going over what I should and should not say.”
Revenant leaned in closer. “And what are you going to say?”
“That I know you only from the prosthetics trials and that I haven’t seen you in many months,” Alexios shrugged. “Revealing my true occupation here would jeopardize my entire career, my friendships, and not to mention how it’d make you feel.”
Revenant scoffed. “When is the meeting?”
“Next Thursday, eight in the morning, at their facility.”
“You should still go ahead with the meeting.”
Alexios still seemed unsure. “Tempeste, if they suspect anything… I’m not the best liar.”
Revenant put on a reassuring smile, patting her stingers, drawing his gaze down to her arm momentarily before her speaking made him look up once more. “Not to worry, doctor. I will be in there with you.”
I would like to call in that favour you owe me
And here I was, thinking you had forgotten about me, kleiner Geist
Are you working
Not anything concrete, just my little hunts
Well, I have a need for a doctor, to put it lightly
If you are in need of medical attention, I would recommend going to a hospital. I’m in Argentina at the moment.
How about I call you and explain everything, Severin
Gustave had just arrived at the medical wing when Six called. Expecting an emergency of some kind, he was on high alert upon picking up the phone, but instead he was met with cheery pleasantries. It wasn’t an incident that Six wanted him to attend, it was an interview. Other than expressing his wish for Gustave to attend said interview, Six did not give any more details over the phone, only that the interviewee was already on the premises and ready to begin.
Pouring his freshly-brewed coffee out of his favourite large mug and into a travel flask, Doc made his way to Six’s office. He was welcomed in by Harry’s enthusiastic voice when he knocked, making his way inside with some professional confidence that disappeared upon sighting the interviewee.
“Gustave!” Dr Alexios Rhexenor exclaimed, standing from his seat opposite Six.
“Alexios,” Doc responded, beyond surprised to see an old MSF colleague standing before him. They shook hands. “It has certainly been a while.”
“Indeed it has. I heard you were in Madagascar not too long ago…”
Gustave nodded. “I returned early. Some pressing matters here.”
“Mr. Pandey has been telling me a little about the problems-”
“Please, call me Harry,” Six interjected.
Alexios smiled. “Yes, well, I finally found myself with enough free time to come here. I know it’s been a little over two months since you originally asked me to sit down for this interview, Harry, but if there’s anything I can do to help, I’ll be more than happy to.”
“Well, we have hit a dead end, so to speak, in recent weeks,” Six admitted, inviting both of them to sit. “What I would like to discuss with you, Dr Rhexenor, concerns the prosthetic replacement trials you co-oversaw with Dr Einar Veturshvisla…” Harry shook his head. “Forgive my pronunciation. I digress - it is a particular patient of those trials I wish to inquire about.”
Alexios had been nodding along. “Alright.”
Gustave was failing to see why Six would want him to be present in this interview, and-
“Do you remember patient 37 of the trials?”
“I do, actually.”
“And her name?”
Gustave felt a kick of nervousness set in. Six was right, this suspect in their case of vigilantism had left no trails in recent weeks. He had to remain professional in this environment, but the old questions he had pondered on began to rise to the surface, the screaming matches he’d had with Aurelie played back in his mind…
He blocked it all by listening to the interview.
“How was Ms. Bisset as a patient?”
“Extremely difficult and volatile.”
“And yet you still allowed her to take part in the trials?”
Alexios looked confused. “Haven’t you read into her past? Don’t you know what she has gone through?”
“It would seem that you have.”
Gustave’s friend gestured openly. “Of course. Her tragic past was plagued with medical conditions arising from the torture she endured. I wasn’t about to take away her second chance at a normal life just because she was rude and distrustful of us. I could understand from her side. I don’t know the details of what she went through; all I know is that she suffered at the hands of terrorists and the French state did the bare minimum to help her.”
“You seem to have a grudge against the French government.”
“I don’t hold grudges. Not in my profession. I despise unnecessary suffering,” Alexios corrected Six, who continued to write away at his desk whilst keeping the audio recorder on. “Do you have any relevant questions?”
Gustave noticed the change in Alexios’ mood almost immediately. It seemed that this line of questioning was not sitting well with the trauma surgeon. When he glanced his way, Gustave offered a warm smile of comfort. Alexios’ frown did not go away.
“My apologies, Dr Rhexenor,” Six replied, a finger tapping at his chin. “I wasn’t aware of your apparent rush to leave.”
“I have work to do.”
“And what work might that be?”
Gustave stepped in. “Six, is this really necessary…?”
Harry stopped his words with a simple raise of his hand. “Who do you work for, Dr Rhexenor?”
“The University of Oxford.”
“The same university you have not stepped foot in for over four months?”
Six leant back in his chair. “Do you have any other employers?”
“I am a reservist in the French Foreign Legion.”
“A noble cause indeed,” Six patted a hand against a file on his desk. “I have read of your military career. An injury in Mali sent you from the front lines, did it not?” He hummed when Alexios nodded. “What about any more recent occupations?”
“Nothing stable at the moment.”
“What do you classify as ‘stable’?”
“A hospital job. Private practice. One day perhaps.”
Six tapped his pen against his hand. “So what have you been doing in the meantime?”
“I do not see how it is relevant to your investigation of Tempeste Bisset…”
“Humour me, then.”
Gustave noticed Alexios tense up, his mouth flatten into a line. Still, the trauma surgeon sighed and admitted, “I have been helping those who are in need of medical treatment but cannot afford it.”
“A selfless humanitarian mission! What have you accomplished so far?”
“You know of the trials, there were a handful of patients from those with follow-ups,” Alexios said. “And I was volunteering with MSF.”
“Follow-ups you say? Did Tempeste Bisset attend any of these?”
Alexios sat back, looking upwards as if to encourage his memory to come to him. “To one, yes. An early one. I haven’t seen her in over six months.”
That would put their last meeting way prior to the first sighting of ‘Revenant’, if that was Tempeste Bisset in the recordings.
“Thank you for your time, Dr Rhexenor, I believe I have no further questions at this present time,” Six concluded the interview, offering his hand to Alexios. After a brief pause, the Greek accepted the gesture. Harry glanced toward Doc once more. “Gustave, since you are old friends, would you mind escorting Alexios from the base? I’m sure you two have a lot to catch up on.”
“D’accord,” Gustave replied.
I thought we were past the ‘still reading my texts’ part of our friendship
Awww we’re friends :D
Don’t make me rescind that
Ok but who’s Severin tho
An old friend
I thought you didn't have friends
You being in the hospital won't stop me from kicking your ass
Yeah but Alexios will be mad... what did you guys talk about :)
Come on Revs if we’re gonna be partners in crime ur gonna have to tell me about the people you hire, like what's his last name???
Frenzel. I hired him, that’s the important part
What’s he like?
Well… a mix of me and Alexios
That’s scary af lmao, lemme look him up :P
Yeah I had to learn from somebody
He’s ex-GSG9?!?! Ok yeah I like this guy as a recruit
Not a recruit, I’m thinking something a little more higher up
Ooooh tell me more mon ami!! But in person, you never know who's watching ;)