2007-11-14: Finding A Doctor

Starring:

Peter_icon.gif Samantha_icon.gif

Summary: After talking with Cass and getting the blood samples tested, Peter goes to Mt. Sinai to find Dr. Applebaum, because the time has come to call in some authorities on this topic, specifically the CDC. Only he ends up donating blood to the cause, again, and taking on another mission to talk to someone and make things happen.

Date It Happened: November 14th, 2007

Finding a Doctor


Mt. Sinai Hospital

Another day, another dolla. So it goes at Mount Sinai, where the most exciting thing Sam's dealt with all day is Mrs. Goldschraber's gall bladder stones. She got sent up to surgery. Otherwise it's been the usual accidents, the occaisional brawl, and bizarre home improvement mishaps. Yawn.

It's moving into the evening hours, which might explain the yawning. The young man walking up to the nurse's station isn't yawning, though. Peter's carrying a small case, like something that samples might be kept in, and he asks the nurse to please call Dr. Applebaum. "Tell her Peter Petrelli needs to speak with her as soon as possible. It's urgent." Everything in a hospital is urgent, so hopefully she's not still in surgery…

She's an ER doc, not a surge, so she's able to be called to the front within about fifteen minutes. "Peter." she blinks in surprise when she sees him. "What are you doing here?" She slides a chart back on the hangers, creeping an eye at the clock. Almost finished!

Moving closer, Peter keeps his voice down, especially since— any loud voices around her could end up shattering glass if he isn't careful. "It's about the virus," he says. There's one thing easily recognizable since the last time she'd seen him. He isn't sick. There's no sign of fever, he doesn't look tired at all, and he's even regained some of his weight that he'd lost. "I'm not sick anymore, but if we don't do something fast, a lot of people will be."

Samantha peers at him a moment, somewhat hawk-nosed and eyes boring into him. Then she curves her hand around his wrist and all but hauls him into the breakroom. At the moment it's empty and she closes the door behind her. "Talk." she instructs.

Hauled away, Peter takes a deep breath once they're inside the breakroom alone, putting the case on a table and opening it. "I have one more sample for proof. And according to her a lot of the workers at a meatpacking factory in the city, Gemine Meats, are exibiting similar symptoms. I haven't gotten a test on them yet, but… we could have a serious problem if it's spreading now. The Lab doesn't really have the connections to call in the CDC and have them do something quickly enough, but I figured you might. Or you might know someone who could. It's you or my brother, but you have the medical connections."

Hauled away, Peter takes a deep breath once they're inside the breakroom alone, putting the case on a table and opening it. "I have one more sample for proof. It comes from an in-home nurse who works with the widow a man who recently died of kidney failure, which— we think— might have been the virus. And according to her a lot of the workers at a meatpacking factory in the city, Gemine Meats, are exibiting similar symptoms. I haven't gotten a test on them yet, but… we could have a serious problem if it's spreading now. The Lab doesn't really have the connections to call in the CDC and have them do something quickly enough, but I figured you might. Or you might know someone who could. It's you or my brother, but you have the medical connections."

Samantha cocks her head. "How many samples have been analyzed so far? How many have been reported ill? I can call the CDC, but I need to be able to give them more then just one man being sick and some shared symptoms. The virus you and the others at Bat Country contracted share similar symptoms with many illnesses, and the defining factor was your power loss. And speaking of which, how come /you/ got better?"

"Then we'll have to call Gemini Meats up— as well as the two I've confirmed with Cass already," Peter says, knowing that it may take even longer than he'd like, but managing to stay calm, if stressed. There's a clinch in his jaw. "We'll have to find out how many of their workers are sick, who they are— and check a lot of them, their families… I don't know what kidney failure has to do with lessened abilities— but as far as I know, these people were normal. No abilities at all." There's a pause. "I'm the only one who's been healed so far, but I can't really explain why— what helped me can't help a lot of people." His jaw tightens again, eyes dropping as if guilty, before he looks back up, determined. "We have six confirmed cases. One of which is already dead. If the CDC needs more, then… we have some calls to make."

Samantha lifts. "Can't or won't?" she asks frankly. "You know my rules, Peter. You want me to help you, you better explain to me why I shouldn't stick a syringe in you and start putting your blood in the spinner to see if something can be made of it. The only thing you've managed to convince me of is that a lot of people are coming down sick - not that it's all from the virus you and the Bat Country folks got."

"I'll let you take my blood," Peter says almost immediately. "I want this thing cured as much as anyone does. But I really can't tell you. There's things that aren't mine to tell, and this is one of them." There's a hint of stubborness in his voice, but he does pull something else out of the medal containers, some paper work. Mostly handwritten. "I found out about Mr. Brunstein dying at the end of last month. He worked at the meatpacking factory— and from the sounds of it continued to work even while sick. Right up until the day he died at home. Another doctor working on this ran an autopsy and found that he did have the virus, just as we suspected— our version of it. He was in the quarantine with us back in April, but we didn't think that made any sense— we had no connection to him, that we knew of." There's a pause. "Turns out he got sick before any of us started showing symptoms, back in early September, after his sister's birthday party. His sister and her boyfriend are one of the ones we'll need to check out too. But that's where the connection is. She lives in my apartment building."

Samantha scowls. "I'm getting damn tired of you and your brother acting like you expect people to pull miracles out of their asses while you self-righteously withhold like you've got some kind of commodity on what it might take to beat this. Wait right here." She marches out of the breakroom, returning back a few minutes later with the equipment for a blood draw. She slaps on a pair of gloves. Now she'll have stuck both the Petrelli brothers! "The analysis we did at the lab couldn't determine any form of contagion, not airborn, not contact. Were the people infected here during the original hantavirus scare?"

While she goes to get supplies, Peter sheds his coat and hangs it up, unbuttoning his cuff and rolling up his sleeve. "I already told you that what cured me won't work for a lot of people. It was an ability. And it nearly put the person who did it in a coma. Even if the two of us went through and cured everyone one at a time— which might have been an option back when there were only three more— but now it's not. It would take us months if there's a lot of people with this. And if Mr. Burnstein died a month after showing symptoms, they don't have months." There's an indication that he's just as frustrated as her, but he holds out his arm to allow her to take his blood. "Mr. Burnstein was in the quarantine with us, his wife and the nurse weren't, though." There's a pause. "Well, I know his wife wasn't. Unless the nurse happened to be doing a night shift in the ER here that night, she wasn't on the list either."

"So despite the fact that we clearly outlined a virus which acted in opposite of its definition for how its spread and what it required to activate, people who aren't even connected to its origin source nor viably in contact with whatever magical random contagion factor it has have suddenly begun showing symptoms. Do I have that about right?" Samantha sighs. "I - I don't know what to tell you, Peter. It doesn't behave like a virus, it doesn't follow anything resembling viral contagion patterns, and even super-viruses obey those rules."

"I don't know what to tell you, Dr. Applebaum," Peter says, still keeping with the formality even if he doesn't work with her anymore— not technically. "The only connection that Mr. Burnstein had with us— is through a woman that I don't even think I've touched, much less seen. But she lives in my apartment building. And he got sick after— just after I got back from the future." There's a pause, that hint of guilt— he doesn't seem to be able to make eyecontact for a moment. "I think that somehow my travelling through time caused the mutation. That's why it's my fault. And maybe that's why it's acting strange. I don't know."

Samantha grits her teeth. "It sounds lik we need a physicist, not a doctor. Have you been in contact with Dr. Suresh?"

"Not for a while, no," Peter says, still holding his arm out, though he's not very relaxed, even cured as he might be. "I honestly don't trust him, but if you'd rather go through him, we can." There's a pause. "If we knew why it damages the kidneys we might figure out more about it. All the symptoms I had could have been boiled down to kidney failure, but I didn't realize it cause they overlap with a lot of other things as well. It's what the doctor's decided Mr. Burnstein died of that surprised me— and that's what Mrs. Burnstein's doctor mentioned too— that her kidneys were failing."

"The virus is an attack on the genetic level." Sam begins the procedure of drawing Peter's blood. "And Dr. Suresh is the only other scientist I know of who knows anything about working with the Evolved gene. So if you can get in touch with him, that would be helpful."

Taking in a slow breath, Peter nods, watching her do the blood drawing and trying to relax his arm— as well as all his nerves. He learned his lesson raising his voice around her the last time. Best way to avoid it is to not get too tense. "I'll contact him any way I can. Tonight if I can."

Samantha nods, takes the sample. "Let me know. You can have the management at the meatpackers call the Department of Health or CDC and ask them to send a rep to investigate. They'll decide if it's quarantine level."

"What if he doesn't believe that it's a problem? They've been dismissing it so far," Peter says softly, watching the tiny puncture wound heal over once the needle is out, though he still accepts a cotton ball to wipe up the blood drop left behind.

Samantha frowns a little bit. "I didn't realize that. Who else do you have working on this beside me? Where are you basing out from?"

"Cass at Bat Country, and her father, a Dr. Aldric— I'm not sure where he's officially based at," Peter says softly, not exactly lying, because— he doesn't know. "There can't be too many Dr. Aldric's in the city. You might be able to get a number for him. But he works with Mohinder, more or less." There's a pause. "I'll go to the factory in person. I can convince the manager to take it serious."

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