Who: Zoe and Ezra/”Levi” What: Leg Maintenance When: August 20th, 2019, late morning [backdated] Where: Zoe’s Lab, The Facility Rating: Low Status: Complete
Ezra’s prosthetic leg that he used most days need some maintenance and he had learned of someone who had a lab in the Facility who could take a look. He had brought two legs with him to the island - the everyday one and one for running. But the abundance of uneven ground had him being extra cautious. Now he entered the Facility, looking at signs to find his way to the Zoe’s lab.
Dressed his wide-legged track pants, a red t-shirt, ID badge, and his trainers, Ezra soon found the lab and stepped inside. “Hello?” He called out calmly as he looked around.
Her door was opened, she had no appointments that day which meant work. Zoe has been working from home, doing a lot of research, but she was at the point where she needed to build and test things. She was sitting at one of the workbenches soldering some wires into a device when her visitor came in. At first the curly blonde didn’t register him, her mind was playing back music to keep her occupied while she worked. After a moment though she registered his greeting and she mentally ‘turned off’ the memory of music and turned to see the dark haired man.
The cute dark haired man, but then again Zoe was young and found a lot of guys cute and often didn’t know how to deal with them. Yet they kept needing her help. Thankfully the protective visor was over her face so her initial blush was hidden. Zoe slowly pulled off the visor and smiled. “Hello, how can I help you?” She asked, turning off the soldering iron as she placed the visor on the bench and hopped off the stool.
Ezra soon caught sight of the young blonde-haired woman. He smiled softly as he took a couple of steps closer. It was an impressive lab. “My name’s Levi and I was told that you were the one to go to for any mechanical maintenance.”
“One of the ones.” She said with a small shrug. Sure, she had one up on the other techs with her powers, and mind, but she couldn’t believe that anyone would recommend her over someone else. Zoe nodded to a stool that sat next to a table pulled out from the wall, “Come, sit.” She walked around behind one of the racks of tools and parts and grabbed another stool and carried it to sit with him. “My name is Zoe. What maintenance are you looking for?” She asked, grabbing up a tablet to make notes. Her mind had already opened a ‘file’ on him, mentally making notes on what he told her and observations about him.
“Thank you,” Ezra smiled softly as walked over and sat on the stool. “Nice to meet you, Zoe. I’m looking to see how well the knee and ankle joints of my prosthesis are doing.” He shifted his posture on the stool.
Zoe nodded and held out her hand for the spare leg he hand to look at it first. “I’m sure I can help.” As she took the device and placed it on the table, information seemed to flood her mind. It was almost like a blue print for the prosthetic was forming itself in her head. She knew how it worked, all the small things you wouldn’t think about to allow the device to bend and flex but still be stable to support weight.
She also almost immediately started to formulate ideas on how to improve it.
“Looks like it’s in good shape.” She got up from her stool and moved to another desk and grabbed a few tools before returning. “Would you mind removing the other? I can do a once over for you, fix anything before it becomes a problem.”
Ezra nodded and watched Zoe, always thankful and amazed by those who were skilled to build and maintain the technology that allowed him to walk almost normally again.
“Good,” he smiled. And then he stilled for a moment before shifting his seating position again and pulled up his pant leg, detaching the velcro to expose the prosthetic and the lower portion of the stump of his right leg. Firmly he removed the prosthesis to reveal the black breathable mesh sock that covered the end of the stump. His weight shifted to his left leg as he sat there and handed over the device.
“Thanks.” Zoe said, not staring or even really acknowledging the absence of leg other than the fact she was working on his prothstesis. She looked it over, fingers running over its forms as she sort of ‘sensed’ what needed fixed. Sense was the wrong word, but it was always hard to explain- even to herself. Grabbing a wrench from her belt she tightened some of the connections. “It’s pretty heavy,” She mused aloud, not actually directed at him. “It could be lighter. Or even…” she shook her head. Zoe wasn’t asked to do anything extra. Even though spending the government’s money was nice if it helped people. She couldn’t just go assigning projects to herself.
“Okay… there we go.” She hefted the prosthetic back to him. “I adjusted the balance of it a little, should feel a little better.” She smiled at him brightly, hoping it actually helped him.
Ezra unconsciously rested a hand on what was left of his right leg as he watched Zoe. Then he smiled. “Yes, it is.” Then he arched an eyebrow at the young woman’s comment.
“Thank you again,” he spoke as he took the prosthetic back. Ezra put the device back on, wishing he had some better mechanisms to wear the prosthetic, but was thankful he had anything at all. The pain and discomfort could be exhausting at times. “I may ask if you have any ideas for improvements or would that be better suited for the medical staff?”
Zoe chewed her lip slightly. “I don’t know what medical would say- I don’t know a lot about how people work- well I’m learning more thanks to my job here, but like basic biology isn’t my specialty, I tend to research what I need as I need. Always understood machines better than people. Never quite get people.” She murmured at the end in a ramble. Taking in a breath, as if realizing the ramble she looked to him again. “I do have some ideas, kinda always have ideas- but it’s probably more than you’re looking for and probably will take longer than you’re hoping for. I’d have to put in orders for stuff and hope they authorize it and I wouldn’t want to promise anything and then not be able to fulfill it because I couldn’t get the right microprocessor or something.” She rambled again.
Ezra watched Zoe and shook his head a little. He was fascinated and amazed at her knowledge. Someone so young having their own lab on the island was an achievement. “It’s all right. Even a way to wear the prosthetic with more comfort or efficiency would be enough for me.”
Zoe smiled, she loved when she could actually help someone. “Okay. We can see what we can do… umm. I will need to get measurements.” She said a bit nervously. “Unless you happen to know offhand the circumference of your leg and distance to the ground.”
“I may have those measurements in my journal. But I don’t have it with me right now.” Ezra smiled. He was a bit nervous to have someone measure and touch that area. There were still phantom pains. And it was just a bit personal and intimate in his own mind to see what was left along with the scars in the recovering tissues.
What she’d see was the farthest thing from Zoe’s mind. It was the whole, touching a guy and in an area that wasn’t on the arm or head- those she’d gotten used to. Sometimes she had to put contacts at the top of someone’s chest and when it was a guy she got real shy. “Good.” She said with a small smile, blushing a little at just the thought of measuring him- and where her mind went.
As if he could read her thoughts she hopped off the stood and moved to one of the desks and noted some information for him with a small diagram to specify the measurements she needed from both legs- that way they could match as best as possible. “Here.” She said, handing him the list. “And if you don’t have any written..” she trailed off and went to a rack and grabbed a soft measuring tape from a bin. The way she moved around was as if she knew exactly where something was- no aspect of ‘searching’. It was because she knew. “Here.” Zoe handed him the tape.
He hadn’t been intimate with anyone since the explosion. Ezra was not comfortable with anything beyond a hug or handhold. It was a tricky thing to lose one’s confidence and self-esteem. When people looked at him, they didn’t always recognize that he only had one whole leg. His walking was pretty good with only the slightest limp. He never wanted to be put in the position of discomfort or have another person as well.
“Thank you,” he nodded as he took the list and soon the tape. It was interesting how well she knew where to find things. Ezra wondered how long Zoe had been on the island.
She shook her head. “Nah, it’s nothing. I mean, it gives me something to do- not that I don’t have stuff to do. But, this is something I don’t have to completely start from scratch. Not like trying to help someone control their powers. This is something I know how to do.” A lot of what she’d used when she made Juane’s legs she could replicate in a larger fashion. Zoe tucked a curly blonde lock behind her ear. “So I guess I should be the one thanking you.” She giggled slightly and almost immediately blushed. God that was corny. Turning around she moved back to her desk to hide the red in her cheeks. Kyrie was so lucky that she had her tattooed guy.
“Oh? I didn’t know there was someone helping people with their powers.” Ezra blinked. It was interesting. He wondered if there was someone with the ability to help him with his memories. Perhaps not. He shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “Something to do, I can understand. It is terrible to be bored or feel helpless.”
“There’s always something to fix, so thankfully I’m not bored.” Zoe smirked with a shrug. “Lonely maybe. But yea,” She continued quickly, not having intended to say that last part out loud. “They don’t want people hurting themselves, or each other. So, I do what I can. It’s not an exact science, but I try to do what I can.” She said. “Everyone is a different puzzle to figure out, so that’s kinda nice.” Even if some of them- Zoe squinted slightly as the memory of the mutant destroying her lab came back, even more so as she was almost in the exact spot she’d been when the shard of metal had flown past her head, a hair’s breath from hitting her. She tried not to let it be obvious that she was seeing the memory of current reality, but her fist clenched slightly as she tried to use a breathing technique she’d read about to push the memory aside. “Your puzzle won’t be as hard.” She said, quickly adding. “I mean the puzzle of your prosthesis, not that you’re a puzzle.”
Ezra raised an eyebrow at that ‘lonely’ comment. He wondered if Zoe was a telepath or empath. “Thank you for trying. It’s better than punishing them for what they can’t or couldn’t control.” He offered. Ezra often felt alone since he was able to get out on his own after rehabilitation. “Puzzles can be good. Oh?” he smiled. “Good. But I think everyone is a puzzle.”
“Yea, nah. I’m more results oriented.” She replied. “Think more with the mind, less with the gut. Kinda can’t help it.”
Zoe giggled a little. “Yea, I mean I agree. I just didn’t want you to think that I was going to be puzzling you out or anything.” Even though she couldn’t help but do just that. “Or insinuate that any puzzle you are is easy.” Was she just making it worse. “Because you don’t strike me as easy. I mean in a history, puzzle sort of way.” She was making it worse. Her cheeks were red and she pursed her lips slightly. “I’m just gonna stop now.”
“Good,” he nodded. “Mmm,” he hummed. Thinking with the gut or the heart was what he relied on lately. Perhaps once he remembered more of his life before the I.E.D., he could think more with his mind.
Ezra turned away for a moment. That giggle was a tell. “Oh,” he smiled as he looked back at Zoe. “I was afraid the majority of us on the island were mind-readers. It’s okay.” He waved her off. Wow.. Ezra blushed a little. “It’s okay,” he nodded as he slipped off the stool to stand.
“Oh god, I have enough trouble remembering everything I’ve done or thought. I would hate to have others thoughts in my head too.” Zoe shook her head. “Definitely not a mind reader.” Which might actually make social interactions in a non-work way easier for her. “Well, get me the measurements and I’ll get to working on stuff. I may need you to come in for testing maybe, but I’ll let you know.” She said, walking him to the door. “And if anything gets damaged or something, feel free to text me. I can come over or we can meet or you can come here or whatever and I can fix it. But you should be good to go for a little while.” She smiled.
“Okay. Good. Very disconcerting to be read by one,” he nodded as he picked up his spare leg. “I will, I will. I appreciate it.” Ezra followed over to the door. “Thanks. I’m glad I won’t be hobbling about.” He offered Zoe his free hand.
Zoe looked a this hand for a moment before shaking it. Come on, be professional. “I’ll be in touch.” She nodded. “It was nice to meet you.”