2008-09-15: Code Red


Christa_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Niki's doctor is as special and she and Peter are. When Dr. Morris decides to show them a neat trick, all hell breaks loose.

Date It Happened: September 15th, 2008

Code Red

Mount Sinai Hospital

(Previously, on Heroes MUSH… The Right to Bear Arms)

It's not time for surgery yet. There's scheduling that has to be done, a room to be prepped. But no one's going to question a doctor pushing a patient down the hall in a hospital bed. Everyone's got their specific jobs, and most are a little too distracted with their current tasks to notice anything out of the ordinary. Eventually, Christa wheels Niki into an open room, allows Peter entrance, and then shuts the door. "Did you have any questions before the surgery?" This is directed mostly at Peter. She can't outright ask what the look was for, unfortunately, but maybe she can pry it out of him. See if he did notice anything.

Once in the new surroundings, Niki tries to sit up a little, pushing with her elbows. She might've accepted the necessity of surgery, but other worries unsettle the gunshot blonde — the least of which is whatever Peter and Dr. Morris are talking about. "I'm supposed to be home in a couple hours," she tries to interject. "Someone— someone has to call my family. They're going to wonder where I am."

"Just give me the numbers and I'll make the phonecalls for you, unless you'd rather one of the staff do it," Peter says, staying close to Niki, even as his hands settle into his pocket. He could be reaching for his phone, or making sure he still has his wallet, but he's also shrugging his shoulders and lowering his eyes away. Him having to call her family, and even needing the numbers might prove he has no real right to be there, so he glances up. After looking around the room once, his eyes settle on Christa, "Did you read my mind?" No need to pry, he might even think he's prying.

"No, I can't read minds. Don't be silly," she says, with all seriousness. As Peter tells Niki that he'll make the phone calls for her, she's quiet. "Look, I see a lot of people come through here every day. And sometimes, when they're hurt, they can't… Control…" Christa rolls her eyes. It's never easy. "I've learned to look for certain things." And without knowing about the Company, about the fact that there are Bad People in the world, she has no need to be careful. "There are people that can do things, and… I think this is gonna sound crazy if I'm wrong, but I think you know that, don't you?" There's a glance toward Niki, then back up at Peter. If she doesn't know, well, it's easy enough to make her forget… For awhile.

Niki hesitates, but only for a matter of seconds; family comes first. "The number's in…" she starts to reach for her sweater, to take out her phone before everything is taken away for her in prep for surgery. "…my phone." Did… she hear Peter and the doctor right? The woman's expression is frozen in a wary, confused pose. It's definitely not of surprise; maybe suspicion

Taking the phone, Peter doesn't scroll through the electronic phone book, not yet. But he holds onto it. He can make the phonecalls in a few minutes. Suspicion's not as strong from him, but it's there. He watches Christa closely for a moment, before nodding. "Yeah, we know that. You probably shouldn't go around making wild stabs thinking people know stuff, though. And mindreading isn't silly. I can read your mind, so I'll know if you're planning to do anything to her during surgery except remove the bullet. I don't know what you did do earlier, but I know you did something." In some ways he's bluffing. In other ways he's not, but for a moment he looks almost as stern as the man Niki got to know quite well. Almost.

"Like I said, I've learned to look for things. And I wasn't wrong. You don't have to worry about me, either." Finally, she addresses her patient. "You seemed scared, so I just boosted your confidence a little. Right?" The doctor looks… almost hopeful. She doesn't like people to distrust her. A lot of them do at first, because this whole abilities thing is one big secret. "Look, I can show you what I can do. It'll only take a second."

The news that the doctor did anything but check her health is new to Niki, and suddenly she's sitting up even more in the hospital bed, looking warily between Dr. Morris and the former nurse. "I— " Blue eyes narrow. "I guess," she starts to concede — but it's reluctant. Whatever the doctor did, it was still against her will, right? "What're you gonna do?"

"You can boost people's confidence," Peter repeats quietly, even getting a little thoughtful for the moment. A confidence boost would be a good thing to use on people. Harmless, and in some ways a mental manipulation, which would explain the momentary feedback response. Close to telepathy, but not. There's a moment, where his eyes shift out of focus, his head even twinges a moment. There's no feedback, but no sign of deception. She genuinely wants them to trust her, and for good reasons. "I think— she isn't trying to hurt you, or me either. I think we can trust he. She isn't thinking about doing anything harmful. Though I don't know exactly what she's planning, either." Telepathy isn't absolute.

"More than that." Some people just can't resist showing off. Besides, this one really gets 'em, and it'll only last a second before she fixes things. Coming around to stand next to Peter, she touches the back of his neck, then reaches toward Niki, doing the same for her. "Close your eyes. It'll help a bit with the disorientation," is the only warning she gives before …

There's really no feeling - no buzzing, no vertigo. It's just that one moment, they're themselves, and the next, Peter will find himself on the bed - in some pain, considering that shot-up knee - and Niki will find herself standing. "That's it," she says. "I have this talent with memories. Figured it out awhile ago, and this is just one of those things, you know? It's fun. Not that I really use it a lot outside helping people in the ER, so when an opportunity comes along…" …Essentially, it's like a toy she only gets to play with once in a great while. "Pretty neat, huh?"

It's like night and day. Niki instantly by Peter's deductions about the doctor — it's as if he used a boost of confidence on her. When she looks at Christa this time, most of her wariness is gone. She closes her eyes.

That's when everything changes. Completely and totally shocked by the sudden change of— of everything, seeing from Peter's point of view — stumbles back… or rather, the Petrelli's body does. Previously healthy skin on the man's face starts to show light scarring as the control Peter had slips away. He has so much control — so much power over so many abilities all inside at once — it's unlike anything Niki has ever experienced. It's too much. She does the one thing she shouldn't do: she panics. Disoriented, hands rise and dark eyes widen, staring at them as a sudden surge of alarm prompts blue sparks of electricity to arc between them.

Maybe it's because they're in a hospital. Maybe it's because, outside of this sterile room, there are zillions of viruses writhing around in the bodies of hundreds of patients, all leading up to one very bad herald: "P-Peter— " Peter's own voice says with an unusual inflection a split second before those dark eyes gain a bright, blue glow and squeeze violently shut, forcing down a shout.

It's all extremely disorienting. There's things missing. And there's new things present. And that's just the pain and the lack of some awareness due to drugs. The boost in confidence might have helped clear her head, but Peter's suddenly going from a place of focused control to— "What— ?" He starts, a voice not his own croaking out of lips not his own. And then eyes come into focus and… he's looking at himself. He's cloned himself before, but he's laying on a bed, and…

It doesn't take him too long to figure out that something is very wrong here. There's a blanket on him, his knee hurts— it's not his knee? It's a different kind of pain than he'd grown used to, and there's… other emotions.

Tears spring up in eyes not his and he starts to sit up, shifting across the moving bed and reaching out for himself, panicked, worried, "What did you do?" Why is he looking at himself losing control? Why is— these are Niki's hands. His body is saying his— "You have to stop."

This isn't what usually happens. In fact, it's usually pretty peaceful - a lot of 'what the hells' and 'whoa, that's pretty cool,' but never this. "Hang on a second, I'll— " Reaching forward, Christa finds that she's very weak, and the rapid acceleration of the symptoms is nothing short of incapacitating. Her chest hurts, like she's got pneumonia, but when she coughs, it's just dry and painful.

And she's so warm. Like someone turned the head up on high — and there's the floor. She hadn't remembered in being inches from her face a moment before, so she must have fallen. At least the floor is a lot cooler, and she doesn't really mind that a million people have been sick all over it when she lays her cheek down on it. Still, the discomfort persists. "I just…" but that's all she's able to get out.

Peter's face is forced into an expression of acute stress they're both familiar with. Under a deeply lined brow, those eyes are reluctant to open. When they do, Niki finds herself staring down at the fallen body of Dr. Morris, which prompts a choked sound. In other words: crap. Just as — if not more — unsettling is staring at herself a second later. Strangely, it's not the first time she's looked across at someone who was the mirror image of her; but this … this is a world of different. "Peter?" Desperation. "I can't— it's too much. Stay back!" a hand flies out as if to say get away! — she doesn't want to hurt Peter. Or, you know, herself. What she's not counting on is her intent sending the hospital bed sailing along the floor.

The hospital bed flies away. The tips of Niki's fingers try to stay hanging on, until it's too late. She falls short of the bed, ending up on the floor with a yell and a groan. She even hit her knee. But it's not Niki that feels any of that, of course, but Peter. Eyes clench shut, the blonde woman rolls onto her back, looking up at the ceiling. "You have to calm down. You have to— think of the happiest moment in your life, think of your son. Think of when you were married. Think of… bunny rabbits… puppies… kittens…" While Niki's voice speaks of this, her hand reaches out across the floor. She can't quite get back up, not yet, but she can reach out. Even if it would be much safer to get away.

And now she's cold.

Planting her hands against the floor, she looks up at Niki, who seems to be losing control of whatever ability Peter had. Okay, this is Christa's fault. She'll have to try to fix it, even if she can't reach them both.

Peter's the one who's having the problem. Peter's body, rather. Maybe it's too much to deal with all at once. Pushing herself to her feet, Christa reaches for Peter's neck. If she contacts it, it'll just be a quick second before she causes Niki to calm down. It's about the same thing she did before, only, with any luck, this will last a little longer. Now would be the time to think about those kittens!

Falling ahead onto the floor after the table skids away, Peter seems to manage to get a singular moment of focus with one arm outstretched. It's Niki, of course, who hangs onto that shred of focus, but it's not what was asked; there's an almost sinister slant to the borrowed face, a darkly fascinated stare at the hospital bed. It snaps away and Peter presses his palms into the floor, breathing heavily. A sudden flash of protective energy surges out from Peter's body: Trina's force fields. Not that Niki even knows Trina has force fields. It's shoddy, coming and going; it might push away one woman, not the other. Christa touches Peter's neck. Calm. Calm… "I'm trying." Breathe. "I'm— I'm trying."

The forcefield, which Peter recognizes, causes his eyes to widen. He knows the emotions that trigger most of his abilities, which is why he told her to think of small cute animals and happy thoughts. As well as her husband. Instead… the spotty forcefield pushes against her own body, pushing the blonde woman away and against the wall with a groan. It's hurting the leg even more. Blood starts to flow again, spotty more than heavy, but bleeding. Hands touch the floor, the blonde woman pushes herself up, and back onto legs. Legs she probably shouldn't be standing on. Peter's grown as used to pain as she has, but it doesn't stop it from happening. The shot knee gets far more support on it. God damnit he should have healed her as soon as they got into the room.

Crazy people head toward sound.

He was supposed to be tied down, weaponless, under the care of doctors and under the guard of police officers, but somewhere in the mix, he managed to get free.

He's the reason no one's barged into the room yet to demand what the hell is going on, because all the personnel are looking for him.

He's bleeding badly, the tourniqutte around his leg coming loose by degrees. If he lives, he'll almost certainly lose that leg now. Curiosity, though, makes him seek out the source of the crashing sounds that are coming from this room.

The gun's been taken from him, but that doesn't mean he hasn't gotten hold of something else he can use, all in the name of defending himself. Really - all defensive. It's a large retractor, because the little scissors were just too small.

"Calm. It's okay," Christa's voice says, her hand still on the back of Niki-Peter's neck. "I can fix this, just…"

That's when the gunman shoulders open the door. Eyes wide, he only manages a "HOLY SHIT, ALIENS!" before lunching at the closest person - Christa - and plunging the retractor between her ribs.

Niki knows she has to get a grip. Peter's words (with her voice) helped, and Christa's touches solidify them, although everything is so overwhelmingly vivid and chaotic in her mind that she barely realizes the doctor's intervention at all. Niki is strong-willed; she knows she's strong, capable, and she's known it for a long time. Breathing more steadily, deeply, determinedly, the abilities stop firing off.

Until someone bursts through the door and tries to massacre the doctor.

"No— !" Peter's voice shouts and his eyes, with Niki staring out of them, flare with green. The dark-haired man gets to his feet and lunges at the one wielding the surgical weapon while it's — hopefully — still in Christa. Niki doggedly tries to hone in on the one ability she does know how to use: her own.

"Niki," comes a pained voice, her own voice, actually. Peter's gotten to her feet. Luckily someone had removed any shoes, so feet are bare, making standing as easy as standing can be with a shot knee. A hand braces her body against the wall, only one of the legs are really supporting much of her weight, and teeth grit as she moves closer. It's a shuffle, and she may not make it far— she doesn't even make it two steps. Niki can handle the gunman. But Doctor Morris… "Doctor Morris!?"

The guy really has no idea what's going on, only that he somehow must have caused all this. The upset is something he thrives on, and there's so much of it here that he might as well already be in heaven. It's chaos - it's beautiful. And, oh! There's the freight train, right on schedule—

He's slammed into the wall by Niki, and summarily feels a good number of his bones just snap. Yeah, that's not so beautiful anymore, and the cry that follows certainly isn't very befitting of a would-be murderer. He sinks to the floor, his fate currently unknown.

"I think… I'm okay…" Christa says, wide brown eyes looking up into the blonde woman's face. She's got her hands clasped around her middle, and there's a whole lot of red coming from between her fingers. "Doesn't— D—doesn't hurt, so I think — He musta missed…" As soon as she says that, though, there's a definite stab of pain, causing her to wince. One hand leaves her side, grabbing at Niki-Peter's arm. It's a lot of blood - Christa knows that's not a good sign.

Slam. She remembers being over there by the doctor and now this guy's on the floor. So sudden. Arms that look stronger than Niki's and, by the looks of the gunman, certainly did pack a wallop, are held up in surrender mode. Niki steps Peter back away from the now indented wall and moves to the other side of Dr. Morris at a distance, looking down at the bleeding woman.

"This is a nightmare," comes Peter's voice through a thick fusion of mystified horror. How did so much go wrong in such a short window of time tonight? "Is she— " Gulp. "I don't— I don't know how much longer I can keep this up." Calm, no. Focused, yeah— but that green flare keeps shining in Peter's eyes, hard-set and fixed on the Peter that looks like her. Still— "You should hit me! Just knock me out until we can fix this disaster so I can't do anymore damage! Use my strength."

Did his voice just ask him to hit himse— this is so confusing. The blonde woman looks on in surprise, recognizing the blood and everything else going on. "What's to stop you from waking up in a hospital bed, panicking and destroying half the building? You need to learn how to control it right now." Peter says in Niki's voice, limping to Christa and putting his hand against her wound. Damnit. "Listen, my abilities are based on emotions. Panic is the worst possible thing you can feel. You can not panic." …And what if she has Gabriel's real power too? "You can feel suspicion, jealousy, even anger, but panic is… dangerous." Panic leads to one ability that could kill everyone in the city— Or at least a couple blocks. "I can knock you out, but…" How will he make sure she stays—

There's a pause. "I'll be right back," he says to the doctor, getting back onto one of the legs that aren't her own. She's going to wake up somewhere she won't like, but he has no other options. "Sorry," he says, before he aims a fist (her first) and his own face (the face she's wearing right now). In many ways this is wrong.

Christa's breaths are coming in short gasps as she starts to realise just how badly she's hurt. Panic starts to set in, along with shock. Where are the other doctors? Why is everything moving so slow? Why isn't anyone…


Her head hits the floor again. With the disease still in her system and the rapid loss of blood, she's not going to be awake much longer.

For now, Niki isn't panicking, but what if something else bursts through that door? They need to buy time. That's why, up until her own fist slams into her— Peter's face— she's determined. Soon after Christa's head hits the floor again, so does Peter's, the force of the blow sending his body down 'til it falls next to the doctor. Unconscious and safe — for now.

And this… this would be a big 'son of a bitch' moment. Peter, no matter what body he's in, dropping down to a knee, with a clench of pain, he finds the phone that Niki had handed him earlier and then slides across the floor back over to Christa. One hand applies pressure as he says, "You're going to be okay." The voice isn't his own. It would be more soothing if it wasn't in so much pain. "Need help in here! HELP!" he yells, hoping someone hears the woman's voice screaming down the hall. With the hand not applying pressure, he tries to dial a number he knows by heart. To get through this, they're going to need help… Help that a normal hospital can't provide.


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