I take my usual path through the hospital, having made the journey many times. In fact, I have made it almost daily for the last year and a bit.
None of the staff get in the way and a few even give me quick greetings due to knowing me after I have spent so much time at the hospital. I reach Joan’s room just as a nurse attending to her exits it.
Joan has a private room that her family has paid for, complete with en suite bathroom that Joan has been unable to use for a while. Not on her own at least.
I enter the room with a smile on my face and clear my throat. Joan looks up at me from her bed and her face instantly brightens.
Joan Elizabeth Fowler is neither beautiful or impressive. Not even pretty, but looks don’t matter to me. Even outside of people, I have always preferred function over form.
That said, Joan has lousy function.
Her mind is still strong and sharp and that is what counts.
Even that might slipping.
We have no proof of that yet.
Her hair is short, a faded, soft brownish red and a total mess while she also has complete heterochromia iridis with her right eye being green whilst the other is grey. Her skin is pale and dulled and, despite her best efforts, Joan’s body has been atrophying due to her inability to use it.
And on top of it all, she has to wear glasses due to poor eyesight that is also slowly getting worse.
Joan is also wearing a blue patient’s dress, her only choice of clothing for far too long.
“Hello dear,” I greet her as go to her bedside, “I have come as expected.”
“Any reason you wouldn’t have?” replies Joan jokingly.
I lean closer and whisper, “I did get a bit distracted working on a designing a space elevator. So that might have caused to be a bit later if Heart hadn’t reminded me.”
Don’t forget to turn on the privacy field. We don’t want anybody over hearing us.
That is true I admit to myself as I follow Iron’s advice and turn on the small handheld gadget that stops people from hearing any sound within its range if they’re not within its range. It can also jam any electronic devices to various degrees, but beyond jamming any unregistered devices in room, I have left that function off as would attract undue attention.
“So how is that coming along?” inquires Joan in a quiet voice.
“Poorly,” I admit, also in a quiet voice, “It isn’t so much as actually designing the space elevator that is a problem as I can use kinetic energy projectors or magnetic rails, but rather it is finding the resources to make it work. And I don’t mean acquiring enough resources, but rather finding one that can do what it is needed to in the first place. But how is your work coming along?”
Despite being trapped in this room, Joan has enrolled at my school and is taking her course online. And despite us picking to do different subjects, I have been helping her with her learning due to Joan lacking a teacher to help her.
Even before my powers made me a full on genius, I was still pretty smart and one of the most intelligent people at school.
And since I got my powers, I have been helping her so much more in multiple ways. For starters, I’m much smarter so I can help better with her school work. Another is that I have added a piece of software to her laptop so that it will write down her words if she speaks them out loud, something that she has found particularly useful as it also proofreads her work for her.
Unbeknownst to Joan, I call that software Jaylyn. The AI was ecstatic at the opportunity to help her ‘mother’.
She is a helpful little darling.
I won’t disagree with that.
Not only that, but I have been slipping her some food, generally tasteless gruel or bland pills, that I have created to help her body recover by stimulating the sensors and muscles and manipulating her body into doing things that will help make itself better.
And it has being showing as time has progressed, much to the shock of those caring for her. I smile as I remember the look on Doctor Henderson’s face as realised that Joan’s condition had not only stopped deteriorating, but had made some meagre and subtle improvements.
Downright shocked would be an understatement.
“I’m doing great,” answers Joan, “But that isn’t what I want to do right now. I wanted you to watch Trinity’s session with me.”
“The Trinity,” I repeat blankly, “Who are the Trinity?”
“The leaders of the Heroes Union,” explains Joan, “Atlas, Lightbringer and the Mentalist. You know those guys.”
“I did do my research on them,” I admit since I did do my best to acquire any scrap of information on every known super, “But I thought the Department of Superhuman Affairs was in charge of the Heroes Union.”
“Technically, but the Trinity are heroes that are leading them,” says Joan, “It think it’s cool, especially since Secretary Scott decided to allow members of the Heroes Union to have secret identities.”
Sounds like a PR stunt given how it conflicts with my data.
And it seems to be working considering what Joan thinks is going on.
“It was the best option,” I say, “Even some people do make a fuss, the option of having a secret identity would be attractive to many supers who would otherwise wouldn’t join.”
“Shhh,” says Joan excitedly as she unmutes the TV in her room, “It’s starting.”