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Jake not Tommy

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archaic:
Grace reacts oddly when introduced to Jake and Norm, like she's only just found out she didn't get Tommy. Which is odd, given that Jake has been on route for several years.
So here's my best guess at what may have happened before that scene .....
Be advised, Grace uses a selection of curse words!

SpoilerGrace Augustine was minutely inspecting a plant, one of a row of near identical plants. A slim paintbrush in one hand, sample pot in the other. She lifted a leaf, looked at it closely, then moved on to the next, a few leaves later she found what she was hunting and swept it into captivity with the well practiced precision of an artist.
"Grace."
"Max, hi."  Grace saw his expression, "What's up?"
"Today we welcome our new recruits."
"Norman Spellman and Thomas Sully, I read the reports."
Max's expression remained.
"Err, both exceptional students, some of the best performing rookies yet, Thomas in particular, scoring the highest over all grade in the final assessment, the best of friends, and they ..... What is it?"
"Ah, yeah, well, it seems, it looks like, we, we didn't get Tommy." Max squirmed.
"What do you mean 'didn't get Tommy' ? "
"Looks like got his brother."
"I saw two amnio tanks unloaded. I looked over the fence."
"Yeah, they sent both Avatars, but ..... "
"That makes no sense, a brother can't link with the avatar, there just isn't the sympathetic neural phase resonance. Not unless the brother's a twin, and a monozygotic twin at that."
Max shrugged expansively, his palms up. "I guess we can take it as red that he is, as a working hypothesis. At least pro tem."  
"Do we have a name?"
"I haven't been advised of it yet, but possibly Jack Sully."
"Jack. He has a background in Pandoran research?"
"Doesn't appear so."
Grace looked at him but said nothing.
"I looked him up, there's no mention of him in anything relevant."
"Can we at least assume he has a scientific background?"
"Ex-marine."
"Biologist?"
"Err, no, the other kind."
"Max, old friend, if this is some sort of joke, the punch line needs to be spectacularly good."
"It isn't."
"Oh crap." face palm, after a moment Grace began massaging her temples contemplatively with her finger tips "Why wasn't I told. What else do we know?"
"That we got a replacement Sully, but the personnel file they sent is still for Thomas Edward Sully."
"So why wasn't I told?"
"Same reason I wasn't?"
"It slip their minds?"
"They've had seven years of monthly reports and updates from me, it's not a lot to ask that they keep me in the loop about s*** like this. I mean, is it?"
"If it makes you feel any better, they didn't tell anyone else either, not Hell's Gate HR, med team, the administration team. Or even me."
"No offense Max, but as head of the Avatar Program, I should have been told, then, as my number two, I would of course inform you. That's how it works."
"Yeah, I know."
"I bet Selfridge knew, he did didn't he?"
Max shrugged.
"I bet that slimy, weaselly, interfering, good for nothing, son of a b**** knew."
Grace's knuckles went white as she tensed up.
"Why couldn't that piece a s*** just god damn tell me?"
"Grace, we've known each other how long? Fifteen years?"
"There abouts, what's your point?" Grace snapped back.
"Grace, Doctor Augustine, you know I value you as a friend, colleague, respect you for your work, your commitment, drive, raw energy, passionate dedication and admire you for ..... "
"Just get to the point Max."
"Well, you see, there are those who find you, err, intimidating."
"Intimidating."
"For reasons beyond my grasp, some people appear to have the wildly ludicrous notion that you don't react well to non-fortuitous utterance."
"I see." there was a dangerous tone creeping rapidly into Dr. Ausustine's voice.
"And, inexplicably, that you ..... never mind."
"No Max, I want to hear this."
"Maybe later."
"Max."
"That you are unreasonable and care more about your work than about anything else."
"Including the feelings of those I intimidate and go nuts at when I throw tantrums at when I don't get my own way."
"Err." Max felt like a deer in a cars headlamps. "That's not quite what I said."
"Unreasonable, hmmph. Anyway, if I am, it's only coz I care, about the forest, the Na'vi, about the benefits we might bring to our own race. Cures and treatments for who knows what may lay out there. And yes I do care about my work. Yes I would love a Nobel Prize for discovering something, the recognition, the fame, but mostly it'd be handy leverage in getting the funding we so desperately need. You know as well as I do, we need of way more researchers, if we are going to make a dent in the search for useful compounds. There's a whole world out there. How many species lie just the other side of that fence? Millions? Billions? How many have we cataloged?"
"Almost thirty thousand."
"How many have we really studied?"
"Err ..... one, the Na'vi."
"Exactly. And right under our probosces, this little critter, now happily munching through our avatar's entire food supply." Grace gestured broadly, encompassing the entire patch of cultivation. "Look, just stall them, show 'em around, introduce them to anyone and everyone, get them to make their first log entries, anything. I'll come turn on the charm when I have enough of these to make a start on a study." Grace didn't sound like someone likely to 'turn on the charm' any time soon. She went back to the the plants.
"Err, Grace ..... " Max wasn't looking forward to the next part of the conversation.
"What?" Grace was beginning to get annoyed.
" ..... there's just one more thing."
"There is, is there."
"Umm, yeah."
"This needs be good."
"I think I understood this correctly ..... "
"What, no let me guess, Norm's recently had a lobotomy? Is suffering from amnesia and has forgotten everything he ever knew? Very recently suffered repeated violent head trauma with a blunt instrument?" a thinly veiled threat not so hidden there.
" ..... the brother's in a wheelchair ..... paraplegic."
"Tell me you're fricking joking." Grace had switched from aggression to despair.
Max smiled weakly.
"I'm going to need a cigarette."
"Thought you quit."
"Yeah." Grace sounded real bitter "So did I."

Please, feel free to leave comment.   ::) :D

Niri Te:
  I like it. Are you going to keep it up?

archaic:
I hadn't planned to.
It's a not very polished amalgam of musings on Graces reaction to meeting Jake, and as such was intended to sit just before Norm and Jake wandered into the bio-lab for the first time.

Kind of a micro sidequel or a faux deleted scene.

Niri Te:
 We need more FanFic writers. Right now, it is for the most part, just my wife Ateyo, and I doing any writing with our two FanFics.

archaic:
Maybe I should complete my httyd/avatar fanfic? :-\


 

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