2007-10-14: Getting Nowhere Going Somewhere


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Mohinder and Cass run into a road block when they find that the antibodies and Claire's blood does nothing to cure the virus. Dr. Aldric checks out Peter and two people decide to make a trip in order to try and find some answers.

October 14th, 2007:

Getting Nowhere Going Somewhere

Bat Country Labs

Bat Country has certainly been busy lately. What with those quarntined and visiting and checking up and trying to find a cure, the few people who knew about the place has grown exponetially in a short amount of time. Ever since obtaining blood from Claire, Cass has been trying to find some sort of combination that fights and cures the virus. Of course, she hasn't let either Mohinder or her father know where she did get the blood that turned out to be the second part of their experiments, but that's not the focus at the moment. Though still a little nervous about having two Company doctors in her place of work, she's started to get at least used to working with Mohinder over samples and test results. While Peter is given his check up (as he agreed to) with her father nearby, she and Mohinder work on the science aspect of the virus.

"Please take a deep breath. Mhmm. In… out." Dr. Aldric has his stethoscope pressed against the front of Peter's chest. He's without the white coat, since he's on loan, as it were, in his daughter's habitat — instead, he wears a simple dress shirt with subtle blue lines on it, numerous pens and a reflex hammer tucked in his pocket, and a pair of khaki pants. His face, moving only from shades of neutral to shades of stern, gives very little away as he listens. "Hmmm." The cool steel of the stethoscope is moved to the patient's back, under his shirt.

If Mohinder finds anything about some of the blood to be familiar, he says nothing. Right now, the geneticist doesn't think of himself as a Company employee.. rather just someone with the knowledge to help several people who are ill. Pulling back from looking through a microscope, he rubs at his temples. "This strain is resistant to the known antibodies. It's not responding to either treatment." There's a note of defeat to his tone, as is usual when he gets discouraged by his results, or lack thereof.

Somehow pale and flushed at the same time, Peter sits on one of the examination tables, dressed in loose pants and shirt, though nothing else at the moment. As he breaths slowly, it looks as if he's lost weight the last week or so, both muscle and otherwise, though not so much that they'll have to be worried just yet. Loss of appetite and inability to do much physical activity has taken a toll. Feverish, not sweating, but it's increased marginally the last few days— not quite in the dangerous area of a fever yet, but on the gradual rise instead of returning to normal. As instructed, he takes deep breaths, trying to stay relaxed, but he glances between the two Company doctors. When the stethoscope is put under his shirt, he makes a soft sound— it's cold and he's really not cold. At the words of Dr. Suresh, though, he glances over. "What's going to happen? What will this lead to?"

Making a frustrated sound in the back of her throat, Cass stares at the results that the two of them are looking at. This was their best shot at curing this. Of course she should have guessed that if Peter's curing blood didn't stop the virus, Claire's shouldn't have either - but there was still this hope. Clenching a fist, she tries to keep herself calm and not irrationally angry. "Maybe we're missing something. Maybe we've got the concentration wrong. If we use more of the antibody blood…maybe we're drowning it in the regenerative parts." It's a desperate, last resort sort of questioning. There's a glance over to where Peter and her father are still working. "It just means we'll try something else."

Dr. Aldric removes the stethoscope and pulls the eartips from his ears, looping it around his neck. There's a moment wherein he simply regards Peter, calculating quietly, before he touches the man's face - at his forehead - and then under his jaw, pressing in. It's a no-nonsense, professional examination, but his touch is, perhaps, surprisingly gentle, for a Company doctor. "Your body is clearing trying to fight this…" He looks over his shoulder at Cass. "Has he had a persistent fever all this time?" He glances about the lab. "Does anyone, ah… does anyone have a blade. Just… a small blade. Sterile? Yes?"

Mohinder shakes his head briefly as he meets Peter's gaze, "I can't say for sure. It's still far too early to tell. This is a new strain of the Shanti virus, and as it's resistant to the cures I know of.. it's just going to take more time to devise the cure. At Cass's suggestion, he looks skeptical, but at this juncture.. "Very well, try breaking the concentration down further. This time, let's target the dormant cells." Or rather, he'll tend to that if need be, should Cass be needed elsewhere. "I'm sorry Dr. Aldric, I left my medical kit back at my lab." He only brought his laptop and research materials.

"Still haven't told us what this all leads to, except losing abilities," Peter comments in a thick voice, obviously worried even if he's doing his best to stay seated upright and helpful in some way. They'll try something else. He believes that. "I've had a fever since before I came in, almost a week now," he says, looking at the more gentle of the Company doctors. During his brief stay, he had actually liked the Company, except for a few small issues here and there. Raising his hand at the request for a knife, one appears in his hand from out of nowhere, taken from the sterile scalpels in Bat Country. He did plan to work here. He knows where they are. "Here," he says, holding out the handle. Still got his abilities at least, but wasn't he supposed to be taking it easy?

"You can talk to Peter about his condition, dad. He was a nurse." So he's not clueless about his health like some other patients. Cass gives a worried look between the two of them. "I don't know, Peter. The fact that you still have use of your abilities makes what we know of the old strain hit or miss. Nothing of what Mohinder knew of the first strain seems to be working on this one. Are we sure it's a Shanti strain?" Her attention now turns to Mohinder. And while she was starting to make for the drawer for a scalpel, Peter's already on it. "Peter," she warns. He knows he's supposed to be resting. "I just want to make sure that we're not ditching something that could actually work when all we needed was to try a few different concentrations."

Dr. Aldric nods to the answers and promptly eyes the blade that mysteriously appears in Peter's hands. "…Ahh. Uh. Thank you." Taking the scalpel, he holds it, quite frankly, in the manner one holds a scalpel when they're preparing to cut into the person in front of them. "I have a theory." No, this isn't the part where he starts singing. "Hardly groundbreaking, but, ah… Peter," he nods to the fellow, "If you don't mind, I'd like to— well, for the sake of science; I don't generally like to… cut…that is, I'd like your permission to make a small incision."

Mohinder issues a noise of frustration as he pushes away from the work table, and starts to pace a little. His first instinct is to knock a few things over, but this is not his equipment. So pacing it is. "Peter.. the original strain led to death. The second strain only negates abilities. This one? I honestly can't say. It could be a happy medium between the two or a more aggressive strain." None of that is information anyone wanted to hear, but the geneticist feels up against a wall here. "Yes. I'm certain it's a strain of the Shanti virus. It has a very unique signature, as well as only targeting evolved." Tearing his hands through his hair, his pacing ends abruptly and he's back at the microscope.

Death. Loss of abilities. Peter's hands shake slightly and he puts them back down on his knees, shaking his head. Neither of the options are good, as far as he can tell. There's a long, quiet pause, before he looks at the Company doctor, eyes narrowing for a moment. A small incision is nothing in comparison to what he's been through, but… the suspicious look is there. A glance is given towards the man's daughter. Then he nods. "All right. Go ahead."

Don't even think about it Mohinder! Nathan's already been through the lab and managed to break some beakers. The last thing she needs is more destruction. There's a glare that Mohinder gets when he tells Peter that the strain leads to death and the dampening of abilities. There's a reason he doesn't know that. Though it is her lab, she's not going to go into a rage or break anything. That's just not Cass' style. Instead, she gives her father another look about cutting Peter open. She's not a fan of that idea. Even in the name of science. "Dad!" Okay, try not to sound like a little girl in your own lab, Cass. When Peter gives his consent, she frowns a little and then turns back to Mohinder. "There has to be something we're missing, then. I'm pretty sure this isn't airborne, but I don't know how else it could infect people. When I tried transfusing your blood mixed with both infected blood and regenerative blood the only thing that happened is that the virus took over. It's aggressive and I guess it's mutated enough to have a resistence to your antibodies." Angrily, she raps her knuckles against the countertop.

"Thank you." Even as he gives his gratitude, Dr. Aldric is distracted. He's focused, already, on the task at hand - that task being making sure the scalpel is clean, disinfecting it with a nearby solution. Step two, eye Peter. Step three, eye Cass. "It's fine, Cassandra." Step four, carefully take the man's forearm in an attempt to turn it over. Dr. Aldric opens his free hand, spreading his palm in a gesture he means for Peter to mimic. The final step is to cut into the layers of thick, superficial palmar skin, just a small, clean, neat line. "I'm sorry if that stings. Keep your hand open just a minute. Hold still, please."

"… I can't argue there. We are missing something, and unfortunately all access to the information on that hantavirus is restricted." Not that working blind is anything new to Mohinder. It's just frustrating when you feel like you're working against the clock. "Generally speaking, this virus is not airborne. Not from what we've been able to determine. Yet, everyone who was quarantined at Mt. Sinai for the hantavirus contracted it." He looks towards Peter and asks, "The lot of you breathed the same air for a short time. Beyond that, was anything else shared? Inhaled? Ingested? I attempted to look into the information on the quarantined, but the access was restricted. Well beyond my security level." There's more information that he has, but he's not sure if he should share too much about it. What little there is.

"It'll be fine," Peter repeats too, for the sake of his boss. He's obviously watching carefully. Physically weak or not, he did demonstrate he still has enough abilities to cause a problem if he needs to. That might have actually been the point, even if the ability demonstrated might have seemed relatively harmless and helpful. He flinches visibly, and even inhales sharply when the cut is made, looking down and watching it. Even Cass, who's seen him heal before, would notice it's slower than usual. "We breathed the same air, but some of us were shuffled off into different rooms. I don't know if we ate anything similar. But they tested all of our blood before we left and cleared us. It took all night." The wound hasn't even healed all the way by the time he finishes saying this. "This taking longer than usual," he adds, stating the obvious. "And you might want to check on one of your bosses. Bishop was in the quarantine too."

Dr. Aldric watches the wound close - or not close, as it turns out - with the focus of a hawk. "Your other ability wasn't impaired," he notes. "This one is." He sets the knife aside on a cloth. "It may be working beyond its normal capabilities." He nods to Peter and strides over to Cass and Mohinder. "Your… ah, patients should have full work-ups if we want any hope of narrowing this down. I'm not sure you have the facilities here; upstairs? I'll be back. I'd like to speak to Mr. Bishop." And he's off, grabbing his coat on the way.

Though Cass knows it will be fine, just because Peter can heal doesn't mean that it's okay to just cut him for the sake of science. Though she makes an unhappy sound in the back of her throat in response to her father, she makes no other protest. Instead, she keeps an attentive ear to their conversation while turning back to Mohinder. "The woman from the ER, right? She was missing. There were posters up everywhere at the time." There's a look that she gives Mohinder, at least now knowing that the Company did have something to do with this. "We need to find her. The last time I tried to track her down she was in Texas. We're running out of ideas, and I don't want to waste any time." Seeing her father quickly make for the door, she blinks. "Wait, Dad—!" But he's gone. "Dammit. I don't want the head of your Company to know about this. Or at least who I have here." Meaning Peter.

"I see," Mohinder says in a dark tone. "Shuffled into different rooms.. for examination, or treatments of any sort? Were any of those who were quarantined injected that you are aware of?" If this quarantine was a coverup for some sick experiment.. Suresh's expression darkens as this thought clouds his mind for several moments. "How many people in all were quarantined? I have a source.. that I think I need to go to for further assistance in unraveling this mystery. I was hoping I could avoid the delay travel would bring into play… Cass.. I think that's a little late. If Bishop was there.. I.." He pauses and glances between Peter and Cass before speaking again. "I think they might have something to do with this."

"I think there were about ten people in my room, no idea how many were in the other," Peter says, watching as Dr. Aldric leaves and flinching a little. His hand has healed finally, he grips it into a fist and then looks back at her. "Sorry— I just thought they might take it a little more seriously if it was affecting their people too…" he trails off, then looks at Mohinder as he says that. What. "You think that— but why would he risk infecting himself with something? And I was still dating his daughter at the…" he trails off. No. That actually made him a bigger target, honestly. He looks down, then back up at them. "And if they did do this, they'd already have records of everyone who was in there, wouldn't they? If they're covering it up, then…" They'd already know everyone who was in there, as well as the results of their blood tests.

"Injected?" Cass gives Peter a worried look. He wouldn't have been injected with something, would he? He would have told her that by now. "A source? Who?" She turns her attention back to Mohinder, brow furrowing. She's already getting exponentially more worried about this as time goes on. "Wait. If Bishop is infected too…" She shakes her head. "This makes no sense!" Smacking her hand down on the surface in frustration, she runs a hand through her hair. "I don't know what else to do. I already tried calling them over the phone, tried to get any information I could on how her, but they wouldn't give me anything. We're running out of options, Mohinder. If we can't find anything here, I don't know what else to do." She's slowly getting desperate.

Mohinder laughs hollowly at Peter's words, and Cass's concern. "I think it's a little late for that. With the records being sealed up under high security clearance, Bishop's presence during the quarantine, I think we can safely surmise some involvement in the situation." He shrugs at Cass's questioning of injections. "They could have been injected with the virus under the guise of being innoculated. Under a quarantine, who is really going to question it? The Company created strain that I am familiar with was injected and could not be contracted any other way." He hangs his head in exhaustion as he settles onto a stool. "No. It doesn't exactly make sense why someone would deliberately create a virus. The second strain, designed to safely negate the usage of abilities, with a reversal. This strain? If they did create it, why? Is this the effect that was intended? Those can be questions for later, I hope we can find a cure and soon." Cass is looked at again and he asks, "Who are you trying to contact at Mt. Sinai.. and what was the missing nurse's name?" So many clues.. so little answers.

"I don't remember being given anything— an injection, pills— any of it. All they did was take blood, but I suppose they could have contaminated the needles with something." Peter's a nurse and he had paid attention to that sort of thing as much as he could. "There is one thing…" He glances between Suresh and Cass and then says, "I went to the future. I don't know how much about my trip your Company knows right now, so I'll just say this… an outbreak like this? I don't think it ever happened in the future I went to. At least not noticable. It could be the symptoms will go away in a week— they're worse in me than anyone else and this is almost exactly what happens to be when I overuse my abilities. I figured that's what it was for the first two days. And I might've been…" he trails off, shaking his head and looking down at his hand, with some blood still on his palm. "It probably did happen in the future I went to, because it was well after what happened in Sinai— and I know that still happened…"

The more that Cass hears about what the Company is capable of doing and what is entirely plausible - even to a member of it's own - only serves to anger Cass further. Clenching her fists a little at what Mohinder describes, she shakes her head. "If the Company is responsible for this…" she trails off, closes her eyes and gathers herself again. "Contacting at Mt. Sinai?" She gives Mohinder a strange look. "What do you mean? I didn't mention anything about that." Even if she is trying to contact someone at Mt. Sinai. And locate that missing nurse. As for what happened in the future, she thinks for a moment. "If it didn't happen in the future…" There's more to think about. "Hm. I don't know what happened then. But whatever it was, if it didn't happen in the future, something has changed. And if it did…then we just have to find out why no one knew about it." And all signs seem to point to the Company.

Mohinder frowns as he looks to Peter. They drew blood.. Still.. could be standard procedure to screen for infections. "Oh.. so you're the one that went to the future." Word spread around the grapevine, yes. "You're right. This very well could be a flu-like strain of the virus.. yet.. I'm not convinced of it." At Cass's strange look, he counters with one of confusion, "I thought you sai.. Nevermind. I misunderstood what you were saying." Which is easy to do at this stage of being overworked. "You mentioned you were calling, trying to get information on someone.." He trails off as he pushes up from the stool, "I should get to Texas, find this Miss Hayes and speak with her."

"Yeah, that was me," Peter says, shaking his head a little as he does. "Changing something isn't bad— it's why I went there, but I'll just hope this doesn't get worse." Because if death and loss of power are the way these things go… then that's a bad direction. Not for him so much as for the people he cares about, the whole world. When Mohinder speaks up, he says, "You shouldn't go alone. Especially since you don't even trust your own Company on this." And from the sound of it, he doesn't blame him for lacking in trust.

"Of course he's not going alone. If he even goes at all." Cass gives Mohinder a hard look. "I was planning on going to Texas if this cure didn't work out. And who knows what he'll deem is 'too classified' for us when it could actually help solve this." No matter how much he's helpin with this particular case, she's not going to forget who he actually works for. Of course, as he's actually Company it may be pretty handy to have him along to try get in where she alone may not be able to. "Everything changes. From what I've heard, the future's already been changed a time or two." If they keep changing the future and things just keep getting worse, maybe they should just let things happen as they may.

"Can you blame me? I never trusted them to begin with." But he got a sweet deal on funding, and Mohinder's a generally gullible and naive sort. Suresh's eyes narrow just slightly when Cass mentions she's going to Texas. He'll quiz her further on that later. "Then it's settled. We'll go together." He moves over to his laptop to start logging in the day's results, there's also his audio recorder for notes too. "It has. You saw the mural on the floor of my lab. The future.. it is not set. Some events might be unavoidable, but time is fluid. One pebble in the stream can change the course. It is the past that should not be tampered with. Going forward? That is another story."

"I knew it could change, that's why I went," Peter says, shaking his head a little. Since the examination has ended, he slides off the table, using his notbloody hand to brace himself upright, and then begins a slow unsteady gait across to a sink, so he can wash his hand off. "If you're going to Texas— what do you want us to do? I'm just a nurse— I don't have the medical knowledge to handle things here, or test new samples, and there's…" He glances towards Mohinder, then closes his mouth. "Should we go home and just try to stay inside, avoid the public?" Be further useless, which is pretty much how he feels right now. "I should be going with you— or hunting down those killers that are loose— something." It's obvious he's frustrated at not being able to do anything about this, or for this. It takes a lot of effort just to walk over to the sink, to stay awake, to eat— he still has his abilities, but even they're possibly going to fail him. Leaning over the sink, he closes his eyes, tension visible through the shirt on his back.

"I can't say I blame you." For not trusting them. "I have no interest in changing the past." Cass shakes her head again. When Peter starts questioning, there's a guilty look that crosses her face. It's easy to see. "May father knows what he's doing. He's a much better doctor than I ever will be." It's not just her saying that, either. Instead of pacing or smashing her hand against the counter any more, she moves forward to put her hands on Peter's arm if he'll allow it. It's a gentle touch, though, so she doesn't startle him. She doesn't worry about getting sick, she just doesn't know what else to do. "I don't know what I can do for you here without finding some sort of cure, Peter. I don't think the virus is airborne, but I don't know how people can contract it. I'm going to say that you and the others can go home, but keep a very close watch on your health. But what I'm providing for you here is something you can get from anyone. And I'm sure you guys would prefer to be at home." Her tone is soft as she contines, "What you need to do is focus on getting better. Keep an eye on everyone for me. We'll only be gone a day or two." It's not too long of a flight to Texas.

"Rest as you would with a normal bout of influenza. Stay hydrated as well. Do not tax yourself." Mohinder glances towards Peter with concern, watching the younger Petrelli for a few moments. "You shouldn't have to shoulder every burden of the world, Peter Petrelli. Rest for now, and hopefully soon we'll have you back to your full health." He nods just a little as it seems he and Cass are on the same page about Peter's state of well being.

Yeah, telling Peter Petrelli that he should carry the weight of the world on his shoulders is like telling someone not to breathe. That's just not who he is. At least Sylar's not loose. So he doesn't have to worry so much about him. "I'll let everyone know we can all head home— though I might try to talk some of them into staying close to me, just in case." Probably Evelyn and Elena— they could all stay at the Petrelli Mansion. It's got rooms. If the boys can't catch it, then it should be all right. He actually leans into her touch, nodding a bit. "Give me your father's number before you go. At least then I can call him if there's an emergency. And— I know a few doctors I can call too." Ones who aren't Company. Though he's not going to explain everything to them, most likely.

"Not hopefully, you will feel better soon." Positive thinking. Cass is all about that and it's going to keep her going through a plane ride to Texas. They have to find something soon. "If you all could stay close to each other, in the same house, that's even better. Keep an eye on each other, make sure you all doing better." Now that she has Peter's, not going to let him go so easily. Especially when she's trying to comfort the man. He takes so much upon himeslf. "I will. I still have a few things I need to clear up here before I can go." And she's not exactly looking forward to a business trip with Mohinder.

Mohinder inclines his head in a nod. "Stick together then. Your home has the room for it." Seeing as he dumped Peter's dead body at the mansion once. He packs his things up in preparation to leave the lab. "You still have my number Cass? I need to make arrangements with Matt about Molly while I'm gone. Even if it's for a couple of days." That also gives them time to load up on beef and get it out of the apartment before he returns.

"I'll have to check with my family. Since we still don't know how this thing spreads, I don't want to expose them to it— especially if it might get worse," Peter says, shaking his head a bit. With his hands finally washed off, he dries them and turns around, a serious look in his eyes, before he says, "I'll go make a phone call or two…" He says, beginning the slow gait toward the door out.

"It's not airborne, though," Cass reassures Peter. "Just be careful with what you drink and eat out of. Don't share with anyone. You know how to stop the spread of disease." He was a nurse, after all. And she trusts him to know what to do in most situations. "Actually, if and when you go to the Petrelli mansion, I'll go with you." She needs to gather samples from Heidi and Monty and Simon so she can test them. To Mohinder, she just nods and steps away from Peter, letting her arms drop to the side. "That's fine. It'll take me a day or two to be ready to go anyway. Hopefully we'll only be gone for two days at the most." Optimistic, sure. But what about Cass isn't optimistic?

"Perfectly understandable," Mohinder says to Peter as he finishes packing up his things. He nods to Cass, "I'll stay in touch with you with on the status of how soon I can leave." Ditching work is not a problem. Screw the Company right now. "I'll speak with you both later." Then with his things in hand, he leaves the lab.

As Mohinder moves ahead of him, Peter stops at the door and waits, watching him go, "Thanks, Suresh…" There's a hint he wants to say more, but chooses not to. Once he's out of the lab, he glances back at Cass and nods, "I'll let you know. If I can get us all at the Mansion— it has enough room at least. We can avoid eating with anyone not infected— use different bathrooms, all that. Lessen the likelyhood of exposure." At least for the children. But with that, he does open the door and head out, not smiling at the optimistic scientist, though he might like to.

"We'll be in touch, Mohinder." Obviously. Especially if they're going to be traveling somewhere together soon. Even if his attitude is different for now, Cass is not sure she can trust him still. As soon as he's out the door, she nods at Peter. "Talk to Nathan. I still need to check Monty, Simon and Heidi so you might want to wait before you all move. But as soon as I get them cleared."

"I'll talk to him," Peter says, before he closes the door behind him and leaves, possibly to go find his brother and pass on this information to him. There's so much that still needs to be figured out.

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