2008-01-27: An Army Behind Me

Starring:

Charlotte_icon.gif Mohinder_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif

Summary: Mohinder, reassured that Niki is doing fine and convinced to continue to help her, becomes one step closer yet again to being tempted by Pinehearst.

Date It Happened: January 27th, 2008

An Army Behind Me


Pinehearst Research

Fort Lee, NJ

Through phonecalls and room-mate conversations, a meeting was arranged at Pinehearst labs for Mohinder, Niki and Charlotte. Later in the day, of course. Even while Nathan Petrelli hasn't been seen today, Charlotte is still wary. The man who didn't mention why Niki was memory-less…well she hasn't had a chance to talk to him yet. It must be an oversight. Until then, though…

Charlotte is waiting in the lobby. She only got there a few minutes ago, wearing a pink blouse and black slacks. Her hair is wet, having just showered at the gym after her self-defense class. A badge is clipped to her breast pocket, and a visitor's tag is in her hand. She's waiting for Mohinder Suresh to lead him down into the shiny place.

Mohinder arrives promptly at Pinehearst with his files on Niki in his messenger bag. They're extensive and well organized. As with before, he stands outside the building, staring up at it with some wariness. He reminds himself that he's here to help Niki, and that's all. He has his own lab parked in a secret location. A lab that he's been thinking about using more and more. The building is looked up at for a moment longer before he enters the lobby. Seeing Charlotte there waiting, has him smile a little as he heads in her direction. "Thank you for speaking with Niki and letting me have a chance to fix what I've done."

Charlotte smiles a dimpled smile as she turns to see Suresh. She's almost relieved to see him. Now she can get him /out of sight/. "It's I who should be thanking you, Dr. Suresh." She says, turning and expecting him to follow her towards the elevators. "I just want Niki better, or at the very least make it so she can't get any worse." As they walk, the smaller brunette hand the Indian his visitor's badge. "I told her to meet me downstairs. I do hope you remember my request as well; please don't guilt her into going back to her old life, or drop hints unless she asks for them. She knows all about her family and where they are, and I still want the choice to be hers." Elevator time!

Mohinder takes the badge and clips it to his coat front as he follows after Charlotte. "I had a feeling that last dosage might have been damaging. I still think someone must have injected her with it by accident." He glances aside at Charlotte over her request, "And I can't promise that I won't do so unintentionally. If she still wants to stay away from her family, I'll respect that. I'll see to it that there is an eye out on Micah."

Charlotte smirks as the elevator door closes. She watches as the floors ding away and they move down. "You're an intelligent man, Dr. Suresh. I'm sure there won't be any mistakes if you put your mind to it." It takes them some time to get down to the labs. Once they're downstairs, Charlotte misses one turn and almost makes a wrong turn a second time. Still, they manage to get to the glassed labs, each bed area separated by just that - glass. And then there's other glass rooms to observe, with the highest-caliber of scientific…stuff. "Sorry, I don't come down here much now that Niki and Senator Petrelli aren't here anymore."

Mohinder's steps slow some as he follows Charlotte, not really caring about the few near wrong turns. His eyes are looking at as much as he can conceivably take in on the journey. "It's quite alright.. Has the Senator returned to his home?" He's curious. He's heard more on Niki, but not on Petrelli. The setup here isn't too different from what he's used to, however, there is the insane curiosity yearning to take a look at the research being tended to.

Charlotte pushes the glass door open after a swipe with her ID badge. She steps back to allow the good Doctor in, holding the door for him. "He has." She answers with a dimpled smile. The smile widens as she notes for a look on Mohinder's face at the lab. "Dr. Aldric has just begun her new research, I believe."

From one of the hospital-like rooms, Niki's voice drifts, recognizably hers. "What do you want me to do?" she's saying, apparently to herself. She hasn't been waiting here long, but she's settled down into a seat, facing ever-so-slightly away from the door. She's dressed similarly to Charlotte, black pants and a feminine blouse that's a shade of vivid blue instead of pink, an ID badge clipped to it. "Sure, of course," she says politely. It should become evident that she's talking on the phone, now — a cell phone is pressed to her ear. "It's not a problem. I'll be there, thank you." Flipping the phone shut, the blonde turns in her seat to face the approaching pair, a friendly smile already in place. She especially watches Mohinder, expectant and curious. "Hi, you must be Dr. Suresh."

Mohinder walks in the door, smiling broadly at Niki, relief flooding his features. Yet, as Charlotte mentions Aldric, he doubletakes sharply, staring at her in surprise. "Cassandra Aldric?" This.. just might not go very well. "I see," he says as he works to regain his composure, removing his messenger back from around his neck and over his shoulder. There's an attempt to bring that smile back for Niki, "Please, just call me Mohinder. I know you don't remember much of anything, but we're past formalities Niki."

Charlotte smiles as she reaches Niki, and her own smile is much more friendly. However at Mohinder's double-take, she looks over at him curiously, one eyebrow slightly raised. "I believe her name is Cassandra, yes." She watches a moment to see how he reacts, but soon her eyes will return to Niki. "Hey sweetheart. Everything alright?" She asks, leaning around one of the glass dividers to flip on another light switch, bringing more brightness into the room. Most have gone home by now, anyway.

"Sorry," Niki apologizes, smiling all the more. She gets up from her chair, unsure of what, exactly, they're meant to be doing. Once she leaves her phone on one of the small tables by the bed area, her hands wring in front of her, a gesture of restlessness more than nervousness. "Yeah, no problems. Everything's fine," she reassures Charlotte. "So, uhm— " Blue eyes, brighter, perhaps, than usual with inquisitiveness, search out Mohinder again. "You were treating me."

There aren't many Aldrics in this field that Mohinder can name. One works at Primatech, the other is freelance, but not so much these days it seems. "I've worked with Miss Aldric before on a few things, her father as well," he says before turning his attention back to Niki, "I'm glad that you've consented to meet with me," an incline of his head accompanies his words. It's easy for his smile to return again at seeing Niki safe and sound. "I was. I cannot begin to express my apologies at the turn the treatment took. It was one of the risks we had discussed."

Charlotte glances her doe-brown eyes over Mohinder's face once more, before returning to Niki. Everyone loves Niki! She goes quiet, stepping back a bit to let them talk. But she's also still in the room, listening. After all, for all she knows this is a risk. But if it'll make sure Niki doesn't get worse..

"So you took my memory?" It just comes out, and the instant it's out of her mouth, Niki realizes how accusing she sounds. Her eyes shut regretfully and she blindly aims a close-lipped smile at Mohinder. "I'm … sorry, that's not what I— " But it is what she meant. "I'm sure it was an accident." The woman's eyes open to show her sincerity, no more accusation.

Mohinder shakes his head, showing he takes no offense. "No. It's quite alright. As with pharmaceuticals and clinical trials.. we had no way of knowing for sure what side effects would emerge until we began testing." He doesn't withdraw the papers from his bag, not yet. "It was a risk, one you were willing to take. You were that desperate. Other treatments had failed, or they worked, but they left you unable to function."

Charlotte glances down, breathing a deep breath. She smells the musky African perfume that she seems to be permanently adorned with, the smell of flowers and fruits. The glance only lasts a moment, however, before she looks towards the door from which they entered. Why does she feel nervous about this? Why does one little slip of the tongue make her feel so on-edge?

Niki nods vaguely in understanding. It's all she can really do. Mohinder might as well be talking about someone else entirely. "So it's just a … side effect of some drug?" she asks, eyebrows lifted; she can't hide the hint of incredulity in her voice. All this over some pharmaceutical trial. "The doctors here said the damage was done, that— it wasn't going to get any worse," she says, as if prompting Mohinder to agree or disagree.

"I don't think that it will get worse, now that the injections have stopped." This is going to lead to a lovely bout of arguments with Cass, Mohinder can see this already. "Now the dilemma is how to try and reverse the damage. Without further study, I can't begin to guess as to how to proceed with that." Now he pulls out his files on Niki, flipping through them, "The drug.. its purpose and intent was to put an end to your severe multiple personality disorder. I believe that because of your evolved genetics, this disorder is far worse. Instead of simply believing yourself to be someone else, you really were."

Charlotte decides it's time to step in here. "Dr. Suresh." She speaks up, her voice soft now. "I think I should tell you, Niki explained to me this morning that there was an incident last night in which she may have accessed her ability." It's a simple fact, that. "She can tell you more about it, I'm sure, but I'd been keeping my eyes open." She then goes quiet again, checking her phone. A few more minutes and she'll have to find Gene again…

Niki glances back and forth between the two others, a touch surprised by both of them. "I know… about… being two people— " although by the way she struggles through the words, it's easy to tell that she's still dealing wrapping her head around the reality of it. " — but I'm…" Blue eyes narrow on Charlotte, confused, and drag back to Mohinder looking for answers. "I'm not sure what you're getting at."

Mohinder glances over his shoulder at Charlotte. His expression might be a little difficult to read. The results are not perfect. He's a genius, but it can only go so far with the variables. ".. I see." He looks back down at his papers, at his original notations, "That was something we did discuss. Suppressing the brain's knowledge and advancement. If her ability was tied in with her personality disorder, one might not be removed without the other. I'm glad your ability has not been impacted, Niki… it wasn't just two people Niki." He taps the file in hand, "There are numerable personalities that have been documented by myself and others." Realizing he must be overwhelming Niki, he closes up his folder. "My apologies. Sometimes I get a bit carried away.. These personalities.. they were causing a serious problem in your life. You had no control over them. Treatment was sought from traditional methods to medications developed by my associates. Needless to say, none worked. You came to me for help."

Charlotte glances over Mohinder's reaction. She flushes. She really doesn't like being disliked, particularly when she tries so hard to make sure everyone gets exactly what they want. But that's the way it goes somehow. "I'll be back in ten minutes." She informs them both, taking one long look at Mohinder before she turns to depart. If he should try anything…well it's impossible for him to get out of here. The brunette turns and moves to exit, feeling rather awkward by the whole situation quite suddenly.

Numerable? Niki watches Charlotte go before turning back, firmly, to Mohinder. "Problems like murder," she hazards. "…But it— " she starts to smile, a twinge here and there trying to work its way up, resulting in a nervous, prompting expression. "It doesn't matter anymore, right? I'm— fine," she ventures, a statement of reassurance that nevertheless has questioning behind it.

Mohinder's smile is guarded as he nods. "I see they let you know about that." The files are slipped back into his bag. "I hope so," he says as reassuringly as he can manage. "That's why I want to work with the doctors here. I feel that your condition is my responsibility. I want to help you through this situation with your memory loss, help make sure you're cured of your personality disorder.. I know it sounds impossible, but I think it can be accomplished."

"Ever since I got here, the doctors've been nothing but helpful," Niki says, thinking highly of the Pinehearst staff. "I'm sure they'd love to have you onboard too, Doctor— Mohinder," she corrects herself at the last second. "Thank you. For wanting to help. I feel like I have an army behind me."

"In a way you do Niki," Mohinder says, smiling widely and more freely than before. "I'd like to speak with some of your other doctors, go over their notes and test results. The brain is so delicate and complex. With all of my education and study, even I dare not presume to know everything there is to know. No one does. I want to proceed with caution, to avoid causing further damage."

Niki wanders through the small space, coming to stand against the wall just left of the door. "Does this mean you're going to work for Pinehearst?" she has to ask. There's something faintly hopeful in her tone.

Mohinder looks slightly taken aback at the question and he appears conflicted. "That I don't know Niki. I'm just taking it one day at a time for now." Although now would make for an excellent time to defect from Primatech. His chances of slipping away unnoticed are fairly high. "I did ask Charlotte for the chance to help work on your situation. Then I would make my decision."

Niki gives a small shrug of one shoulder, the blonde hair that rests on it spilling over. "I just know that the labs are pretty secure, you know? Sensitive research, I guess. You can't get anywhere without an ID card." She glances to the door. "Which means … I should probably walk you out. Come on," she offers, slipping into the hall.

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