2007-11-03: Hippocratic Theory


Mohinder_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif

Summary: Mohinder learns more about his new "employer" and his needs.

Date It Happened: November 3rd, 2007

Location: Jack's mobile laboratory.

Jack spreads his feet slightly against the deck of the semi's cargo area and sways to absorb the momentum of the driver's too-fast turn. Though the cab and the hold are separated by a stout steel wall, he thumps on it several times in a vaguely disapproving fashion.

This area has been fitted with some of the finest research technology that a man can steal, all bolted to tables and shelves which are in turn bolted to the bare walls and floor. Everything from microscopes and specimen trays to a centrifuge and chill area are present.

After giving his surroundings a final, critical glance, the Irishman kneels down beside the unconscious form of Dr. Mohinder Suresh and injects him with a stimulant. "Perky-perky, no more jerky. Time to wake up, Doc."

It doesn't take the stimulant long to work its magic. What was that? Pure adrenaline? The geneticist jerks awake and upright, and the pain in his head reminds him that moving so quickly is a bad idea. "Who the Hell are you and where are we?," Mohinder demands with a wince as he squints his eyes, staring in Jack's direction. They are obviously in a moving vehicle, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Fighting the urge to vomit from the smack he took upside the head, he looks around the interior of the hold at the equipment. "If you had work you wanted to recruit me for, you only had to ask," he states rather sourly as his heart hammers away from the stimulant.

"We're in motion," Jack replies through the same cotton surgical mask he was wearing when he picked Mohinder up. A hint of a smirk is visible through it; the corners of his mouth are upturned and one brow is raised slightly. "And I didn't ask because employers like yours don't take kindly to having their researchers 'borrowed.'" A few feet away, he drops into a loose, easy crouch and studies his captive's face. "You appear none the worse for wear."

"Really. I never would have guessed that," Mohinder says with the driest of sarcasm in his voice. The geneticist stays put on the floor, not feeling horribly inclined towards getting up or moving too much in his current state. "And I don't know about other researchers, but I don't take kindly to being kidnapped. Especially in the middle of a crisis, an illness affecting several people. If you're lucky, I'm not a carrier for it."

The kidnapper's eyes narrow to thin, dangerous slits and he leans uncomfortably close. "Unfortunately, I am not your friend. I don't care about your problems, and I'm not worried about you getting me sick," he hisses. "At best, I'm your new employer. Do as I ask, I'll bring you back to your little girl safe and sound. You have my word." He inhales audibly through his nose in a feral, animalistic fashion. "The first time you balk, I'll bite one of your fingers off. You also have my word on that."

As Jack leans in, Mohinder backs away best he can, his own eyes narrowing. "Obviously not, seeing as you kidnapped me, when lives hang in the balance." Suresh's gaze darts from his kidnapper to his surroundings. There's got to be a way out of here. If not right this second, then in the near future. Whether Jack realizes it or not, he gave Mohinder an arsenal of things he can use in an attempt to break free. "Does that mean you'll pay a matching salary? And I have to warn you, if you do give into such a base threat, it will make it difficult to work."

Like a coiled snake, Jack strikes with uncanny speed and precision. First a blow to the throat, then the masked man straddles the doctor and pushes his thumbs into the soft hollows of his temples. "I always wanted to try this," he growls. Then, with all his might, he bears down and grinds his thumbs in. "When your brain presses against your skull, it feels like this."

Mohinder has nothing further to say in sarcasm or a smart nature, owing to the fact that he's now gagging from the blow to the throat. The sort of gagging that threatens unpleasant results if one isn't too careful. Despite this, the geneticist isn't going to take this sort of situation laying down.. without a struggle. The attempt at fighting off Jack is laughable, but it's made nonetheless.

Jack weaves his body around Mohinder's flailing, avoiding the wild blows without loosening his grip. Then he does ease up for a fraction of a second, just long enough for blood and sensation to return to the area before he presses in again, this time wiggling his thumbs back and forth. "You have a gifted mind, Doctor. It would be a shame if I popped your head like a zit and sprayed it all over the wall." Squeeze. "Do I have your attention?"

Jack has Mohinder's attention. "It would be a shame if you defeated your own purpose in kidnapping me," the geneticist says, pantingly in a hoarse voice. The struggling ceases and instead, he turns his thoughts inwards. Mentally evaluating the reactions of his body and calculating just what it was he got injected with, weighing the pros and cons. The side effects. Suresh's newfound silence is probably not a good thing.

The pressure is maintained for several more seconds before the doctor is released. Shaking his aching hands, Jack comes to his feet and towers over him. "Believe it or not, I didn't enjoy that. Now shut up. Unless you're not the least bit curious as to why I've brought you here?" He crosses his arms over his chest and stares down impassively.

Mohinder remains quiet as he regains his breath, a hand rising to massage at his throat. The pain lingering in his temples is just as unpleasant, but he finds it in him to glower up at Jack. "Very well then," he rasps, "Let's get this over with. What the hell do you want?" The sooner this is done, the sooner he can get back to the real crisis.

Jack draws a pen injector from an inside pocket and tosses it into Mohinder's lap. The construction resembles that of an EpiPen, save for it is flat white with heavy, red lettering in a foreign language. "I need you to figure out what's in th and what it's for. If I don't take it, I'll die. I need to know why. If you can't figure that out, you'll have to make more. A lot more."

Mohinder's brow knits as he catches the injector and carefully turns it over in his hands. "Where did you get this.. hold on a moment. You'll need to start at the beginning. How do you know if you don't take this you'll die?" He feels like he started reading a book somewhere in the middle. He's also torn between wondering why should he care about this man, but the scientist in him is already intrigued by the puzzle.

"I got it from a Swiss research facility. There was a man there…" Jack averts his eyes and grimaces. Reaching up, he tears away the flesh-colored bandage that's pasted across one side of neck. It conceals a welt that's the size of a man's fingertip with a tiny, protruding lump in the middle. "He injected me with something. Said it was a nerve toxin. Those—" he points to the pen injectors. "Have some sort of antidote, I'm told. If I don't take it, I throw up, I get splitting headaches, sweats and chills. I can't breathe. Sometimes my nose bleeds."

"This is no antidote," Mohinder says, his gaze dropping back to the injector. "This only worsens things overall. When the bandage is pulled away, Suresh's eyes drift towards the welt. He pushes himself up from the floor of the truck and with some difficulty, gets onto his feet so that he can get a closer look. "And you let him inject you?" It's a rhetorical question for the most part. "Where are the surgical gloves?," he asks in a demanding tone as he tears his gaze away to start looking through the lab on wheels.

Jack extends one long-fingered hand to point at a supply cabinet. "Yeah, this was all my idea. Dumbass. Gloves are in there. How do you know it's not an antidote, anyway? You haven't even tested it yet." Puzzled, he furrows his brow and studies Suresh intently.

Mohinder finds the gloves and pulls on a pair with an audible snap. "No. I haven't tested it or the contents, but I'm willing to wager it contains a medication similar what is found in an EpiPen used in cases of anaphylactic shock." Gloves on, he advances on Jack, carefully probing at the welt. "We'll start with first things first. Roll up your sleeve, we'll get the testing under way and the sooner we can get this sorted out and I can go back to stopping a viral epidemic."

"If you need samples, it's all in there." Jack shifts to point at the cold storage. "Blood. Urine. Poo. There should be plenty of everything." Not the least bit embarassed, he crosses his arms over his chest again and peers at his captive with keen grey eyes. "If there's anything else you need, I can bring it next time I visit. Samples, equipment, supplies. Whatever you need."

Mohinder gives Jack a dark look and says dryly, "Thank you for your consideration, but a fresh blood sample is what I need." So that he knows it came from Jack and not some other person. Not that he should probably care, all things considered. "Irrational, masked one, I would prefer to work out of my own lab, but as you saw it necessary to take rather than ask.. This equipment will have to do." Finding a few other things he needs, like a sterile wipe and needle, he turns back to Jack, "Roll up your sleeve."

"No," Jack answers shortly. "This isn't a negotiation. I say, you do. The samples are fresh enough for you to work with. Anyway, if you think I'm letting you stab me with a needle, you're taking the piss." The denial is punctuated by a brief headshake. "There's a blood bag in there marked 'control.' I went as long as I could between injections when I drew it. Everything else is full of the mystery cocktail. You'll have to make do with that."

Mohinder sets his syringe aside. He can play stubborn too. "Eventually, I will need to inject you if you want to be cured. Otherwise. This is not going to work." He's more than a little displeased with this entire situation. For the moment, he relents. "How long has it been since you were injected with this toxin?"

Jack quirks an eyebrow. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. As for the toxin, that was about six weeks ago. When they first did it, it was the worst thing I've ever been through. My eyes bled, for Christ's sake." Showing uncertainty for the first time since his arrival in Mohinder's apartment the night before, Jack curls his arms around his own torso and hugs himself protectively. "The pain comes back if I go more than a couple hours without an injection. I started at one a day. Now I'm taking four."

"At this rate, you'll become addicted to the contents if you haven't already by now," Mohinder says, frowning as he moves to check out the samples that have already been so generously provided. He tells himself he's worked under worse situations. Kidnapped by Sylar and Kellie for one. So if the geneticist doesn't show a proper amount of fear, this would be why. "I do this, and help you," unwillingly, "I go back home, unscathed, and I don't press charges."

"I'd love nothing more," Jack agrees. "I respect you, Doctor. I respect what your mind is capable of. Put it at my disposal, do this thing for me, and you have my word that I'll let you go."

If Mohinder was truly respected, he wouldn't have been kidnapped. But the geneticist doesn't go there. Instead he gets to work with running tests on the samples, and trying to discern what Jack was injected with and what is wrecking his body.

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