I hope you enjoy this week’s episode of Renee and Frei.
As I’m unable to read out again, enjoy trying Susan’s accent which is a refined surgeon’s tone with some scatty inflections!
Susan reached across her desk and tugged a new pack of chips from the box. Jessie had sent them to her as “brain food” while she was helping out Frei. Susan wasn’t sure how flavored chunks of cooked potato were good for her brain or her cholesterol level but they did have an addictiveness to them… and her brain needed something to thaw it.
She rubbed at her aching head massaging the cranial fissures hoping it would decongest her befuddled thoughts. Alanna Lavelle was the case perplexing her. She needed Renee and Frei to get a sample for her but so far she had little to work off but her brain was whirring like it knew better.
She turned to the chair which was a wooden chair of some description with spindles for a backrest. It wasn’t very comfortable but it listened.
“Alanna has sudden changes of personality or memory… possibly medication related… Her bone structure from pictures appears late thirties however her eyes, namely the…” Susan told the chair then clicked her fingers to herself. What was the word…? ugh. “The corners of her eyes, I suppose it’s better to use layman’s terms anyway. Medical jargon confuses non-medical people. And I’m sure you’ve never been to school at all.”
The chair merely held its silence. It was very good of it to allow her to speak so openly.
“So, the corners of your eyes tend to show your age, well, people’s ages, I’m not sure about chairs.” Susan nodded and tried for a warm smile hoping the chair wouldn’t be too offended. “Alanna’s eyes say that she’s older, possibly ten or so years older.” She tapped her lip and scribbled it down. “And I can’t find evidence of Botox injections although her skin carries the artificial tan color.”
The chair seemed to find that interesting by the focus it gave her.
“People varnish themselves sometimes too.” Susan pulled open the chips and chomped on a few. “It’s hard for me to assess what could possibly be causing her fluctuation.”
The chair wasn’t moved.
“I know most neurologists would go for functional reasons here and think about psychological causes but I do have suspicions that if Doctor Bison is involved then he may well be experimenting on her.” Susan waved her packet around. “I mean it, we know how difficult it was to find the traces of the experimental testing in Serenity.”
The chair didn’t seem to know and said nothing.
“Do keep up. My father, Doctor Gossett, experimented on women in Serenity Hills Institution when I was a young girl. He changed their personalities and one inmate in particular called Pacemaker became very angry and unhinged. Then we left and I forget why.” Susan rolled her eyes. She had a whole file on this that she’d taken the trouble to pen and place for people to read. Never mind, some chairs clearly had lack of access to technology. “Short version is that I went there, Ursula got me to investigate… I don’t know why… I’ve forgotten that part too… anyway, Ursula had me investigate Bison who was abusing patients and was there when my father was; I gave her evidence and he ran, then I discovered Aeron was being experimented on.”
She chomped on more chips while the chair digested her words. Chairs sometimes took a while to work it through. They seemed less able to keep up than her desk lamp which was very bright.
“You’d like Aeron, she’s very kind.” Susan chewed on her chips. Pickle flavored. She and Jessie really liked Pickle flavored. “Bison misinformed me and told me Aeron was vicious.” She chuckled and held up her hand. “I know, I know… I sort of believed him until I realized she’s not… her friend Tiz was.” Susan shuddered. “So I discover they have strange traces in their blood; Aeron becomes very unwell and was very closed off… I find her blood mixed with water helps although I really had issues with the machines.” She chomped more chips. “Electrics kept going. They really had a lot of electrical shorts when Aeron was having scans. Odd.”
The chair didn’t have a lot to say about that.
“In essence, I discovered someone was using my father’s previous work to experiment on the girls so I had to experiment on them to cure them. Which I did to the best degree.” Susan chewed on her lip. “Just not quite as well with Aeron.”
The chair looked shocked into stillness.
“I’ve been providing her with help… a maintenance dose if you will… but…” Susan sighed and lowered her packet. “She needs doses and I need to keep working to find a way to fix her problems… only it helps when your patient doesn’t run up mountains and use energy then go AWOL… it’s very inconvenient.”
“It is,” Frei said from behind her and sat in the chair. “Renee is going with Alanna to see Doctor Bison.”
“How is Alanna so trusting?” Susan crumpled up her pack. “I know she’s good at making friends, or so you tell me, but medical appointments are very personal.”
Frei nodded, took the pack from her, and smiled. “Jessie is keeping you in junk food?”
“Brain food.” Susan looked down at her notes. “My hand thinks Alanna needs several tests involving a toxin and B12?”
Frei touched her hand to her ear. “Location?”
“In my office chair?” Susan mumbled and handed Frei a packet.
Frei chuckled and her icy blue eyes twinkled. “Renee’s location,” she said and gave Susan’s hand a squeeze. “Send it through.”
Susan opened the pack and waved a chip at Frei. “I should pretend I have an earpiece in. It would help when your mother peers at me.”
“She’s peering at you because I want you at their wedding and she’s not sure if you’ll talk to the furniture.” Frei opened her mouth and took the chip then tapped her earpiece again. “As expected.”
She turned to Susan’s laptop which said Susan’s laptop on it and pulled up blood profiles. “Renee will bring the physical vials with her but she thought these would keep you busy.”
Susan cocked her head at the screen. “Liver abnormalities, Bilirubin is far too high… kidney function is terrible… even the chair is doing better…” She peered at the results. “Lipids are unremarkable, malabsorption present with those levels…” She fed more chips to Frei. “Aeron has a profile similar.”
“I know.” Frei leaned her fist to her chin still chomping on her pickle chips. “Would Aeron’s antidote help?”
“I’d need to see her… tests are only guides…” Susan shook her head. “I wouldn’t administer treatment unless I examined her.”
Frei tapped her earpiece. “Black, did you get that?”
Susan heard the crackly mutterings of someone. Voice sounded very familiar. Like she knew Renee too. Odd when they’d never met.
“Lorelei would only be mad if she knew what you were doing,” Frei muttered back, her mouth thin but she was laughing through her eyes. Renee or the mention of her tended to show that lovely warmth in her eyes.
“Why would Aeron be mad?” Susan asked feeding Frei more chips.
“They love each other but, as Aeron would say, they’re dimwits.” Frei chomped on her chips with a smirk. “She doesn’t like Renee seducing other people.”
“I’m with her.” Susan pulled her chips away and chomped on them herself.
“It’s her cover. She’s not really seducing them. She uses vials.” Frei shrugged, grabbed Susan’s hand and chomped the chip between her fingers. “Aeron doesn’t like her doing it.”
“I’m with her.” Susan narrowed her eyes. “What type of vials… are they safe?”
Frei nodded. “Certified safe… and you’ve double checked it.”
Susan pursed her lips. “Either way, I need Alanna conscious when I examine her, please.”
Frei touched her earpiece. “You get that?” She nodded to Susan. “Stop scowling at me.”
“I’m unimpressed you medicate people into thinking they’re having a relationship with you.” Susan wagged her packet. “Are you doing that with me?”
“No, I’m her boss. I yell at people and do paperwork. Renee uses the vials.” Frei got up and kissed her on the cheek. “And I know I’m about to be shooed so you can enjoy pickles and test results.”
Susan grasped Frei’s hand and kissed her on the lips. “You know how to win a girl over.”
Frei raised her eyebrows then touched her lips.
“I’m mad but you are still very attractive.” Susan handed over her half-eaten packet. “Shoo.”
Frei kissed her on the cheek again and strode out. Susan turned to the chair and shrugged. “What, she is attractive… so anyway… Back to the experiments. There was this psychiatrist called Doctor Serena Llys…”