Elijah nodded and headed out. He took out some gum, believing it would help him think as he moved around the town. He wasn't afraid of the sick homeless who walked around. Barely any of them could walk for long once they contracted the virus. The way it worked caused excruciating pain, which left most victims immobilized.
He decided to pay a visit to Kyle and her family, to see if he could help her progress with her research on his other condition. She was definitely a backup if Leyla couldn't break the curse. Kyle had to find something someday.
Leyla spent her morning in the computer work room, researching anything about curses that she could find. The information that came back was mostly just outdated children's tales, or stories intended to frighten children into behaving. Ridiculous. Doubtlessly, Elijah had already done all of this, but Leyla had to catch up. When her first results gave her nothing, she moved on, searching for anything about his specific 'curse'- maybe it wasn't a curse after all, but an illness, a virus... She didn't know how a virus could do that, but she would look around.
Elijah knew he was being followed. That was a given whenever he wandered out late into the night. Of course, he wasn't afraid. Even though he'd reverted back to his younger self, he was more than capable of taking on an attacker. He remained calm and indifferent as he walked to the front door to his safehouse. He took out a smoke stick as he walked in and dropped it, leaving the door open longer than it needed to be.
Once he picked it up and moved inside, the door closed. Just as the floor slid open to reveal the stairs, he jumped out of the way, sending his follower crashing down the stairs into the control room.
Elijah calmly walked down and stepped on his attacker's crotch as the guy laid there helpless, groaning. He wore some sort of sneak-suit that worked as camouflage anywhere, and a strange helmet - no, mask? - covered his face. He was dressed like one of the government dogs, yet a g-dog wouldn't have been so careless and taken down so easily. "Who the hell are you?"
The man held up his hands in surrender as Elijah pressed his gun to the man's head.
Leyla stood up from the computer screen, having been snapped out of her work, and walked silently over to the man Eli had sent to the floor. She stepped on one of his hands, pinning it to the ground, and then grabbed the other one. Neatly, she snapped a pair of electronic cuffs onto his wrists. She liked to keep a pair on her on the off chance they were necessary.
They wouldn't open without a number of ID scans from Leyla herself.
"We don't much like trespassers, with or without an intent to harm," she told the stranger, deft fingers already working at his mask. "You're lucky he didn't shoot already." She would have.
Elijah sighed, shaking his head. What a fool, to have tried to catch him off guard. He watched the man struggle against Leyla. "Hey, don't touch the mask, it'll-" But it seemed to be too late as it sent a quick electric shock into Leyla's hand to keep her away.
Eli stared at the man. "Before I shoot you, tell me why you decided to follow me here. I might have mercy on you and take out a kneecap instead."
The man shook his head frantically. "Don't, please! I have a good reason!" He he was breathing rapidly. "I heard you had medicine. I think I'm sick."
Cursing quietly, Leyla tugged her hand back, shaking it out before she stood up, looking at Eli flatly. "Your medicines, your call," she said briefly. "If you ask me, he has a stupid way of going about getting it, if you're apparently already distributing it." And that was what Eli had said he was doing, wasn't it? "I'm getting a pair of rubber gloves. I don't like masks." She let Elijah wear his only because she had seen his face.
This intruder wouldn't get the luxury of clinging to his, not without a very good reason.
"No! It's for protection!" The man pleaded as he struggled in the handcuffs, weak from his illness. Elijah sighed before he called Kyle. He wasn't giving out medicine if the guy was just faking it. He wanted to know that he was really sick. So he called her quickly before he stood in front of the masked man.
"Protection from what?" He asked, tilting his head to the side as he kept his gun raised.
"From the sun." The man curled up and groaned in pain.
"You might not have noticed, but you're not in the sun," Leyla sighed, pulling a set of electrician's gloves out of a drawer, which had been helpfully labeled. "You're indoors, underground. At night." He couldn't get much further from the sun than that, so he wouldn't be needing the mask. He would need to come up with a better excuse than that.
Elijah put a hand on Leyla's shoulder to stop her. "If he wants to hide his face, so be it. We're going to give him some medicine, and then he'll be gone." But he never lowered his own weapon. The gun was trained on the masked man.
The familiar sound of Kyle's quick footsteps echoed throughout the room as she walked toward them, medical case in hand. She walked right up to the masked man and gave him an x-ray. "You don't have the virus. You've got appendicits, and indigestion."
Leyla glanced at Eli, then frowned back down at the man on the floor, even as Kyle walked in and diagnosed him. Leyla's father had taught her not to trust anyone, at least not immediately, and it was harder than usual to trust someone who wouldn't even show their face. "Treat him and get him the hell out," she murmured. The quicker, the better, in her opinion.
Kyle and Elijah lifted the man back up and took him to the only medical room. They placed him down on the bed, and Kyle went right to opening his suit so that the machine that came down from the ceiling could start the surgery. They didn't have any anesthesia, so the man just had to endure.
The surgery didn't take too long, thank goodness for his high-tech machines. Worth every penny. His screams rang in Elijah's ears, but it didn't bother him too much.
Even throughout the sugery, the mask stayed on. Eli wasn't as disturbed by it as Leyla seemed to be. And he found it amusing that she was so frazzled, so he allowed the man to keep his face hidden.
After Kyle had stuffed some medicine into the man to help with the indigestion, Eli found himself with another man on his team. At least a potential.
"I can help you." The drugged masked man slurred. "I can't go back out there. I can be a valuable asset."
"I don't like it." Leyla frowned, staring at Elijah across the desk she had claimed in the main work room. Eli seemed to think that this stranger was going to be a member of their team, and she wasn't happy about it. "He snuck in. For all we know, he's a spy, or a thief." Or worse. Her men went through a series of rigorous background checks before she let them in, and she didn't know why Eli was so trusting.
The masked man shook his head frantically as he looked at Leyla before turning to Eli, who seeemed to be the only one with mercy in his soul. "I'm not a spy or a thief. My name is Ravid. I am an exile." He still slurred his words and swayed a bit. Kyle had to hold onto him so he wouldn't fall over. "I have skills..." He almost fell forward onto the floor.
Elijah sized him up, taking out a smoke stick so he could make his decision. Once the smoke was in his lungs, he nodded slightly. "I'll pass judgment once you can stand on your own two feet."
Exiled from where? For what? What skills? Leyla hated the unknown. Still, Ravid seemed harmless enough when he was so drugged, and she moved forward, pressing her fingers against small scan pads on the cuffs he was still wearing, then tugging a necklace from around her neck and scanning the barcode on the pendant through the cuffs as well, shoving them back into her pocket.
"Come on," she muttered, taking his arm to help him stand upright. "I'm going to find him a place to lie down," she told Elijah. Someplace where she could lock the door and not worry about having her throat slit in the middle of the night- she had every intention of going to bed.
Ravid swayed, but kept up with Leyla as he was guided away from his savior. "Thank you..." He slurred before his hand shot up to his mask. "I think I'm going to be sick." All the painkillers and the stress from the surgery, as well as the indigestion, made him feel as if he'd lose all his lunch and dinner. He needed to lie down quick.
Elijah let Leyla take care of that. Looking down at Kyle, he nodded. "Take what you need from her account. You know what to do."