2007-11-14: Holding Back


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Cass and Peter have a short phone conversation about plans to make the meat factory call the CDC. Feelings are still bruised.

November 14th, 2007:

Holding Back

Bat Country Labs and The Street

Still in the lab, Cass has taken another injection of caffeine - the last remnants with it being the mug at her elbow. Having grabbed a dry erase board, she's decided to do this like the police does. Writing everything down with arrows and samples and who got what from where (if known) and how they all connect with each other. Her fastly growing hair is pulled back into a short pony tail and she has one colored marker in her mouth and is currently drawing lines with another color. The phone on the table starts to ring as she does so and blindly, she reaches behind her, picks it up to answer it. "'Ewwo?" She had forgotten the marker in her mouth and she spits it out. "Er, hello?"

"It's me," Peter responds almost immediately. The tension from before remains in his voice. "I talked to Dr. Applebaum. I don't think she wants to call the CDC herself— but she suggested that the packing plant do it instead— and I think that might be the best course. But I don't think it'll work over the phone, so I'm going to try to meet with the manager of the plant at the earliest possible time— convince him to report the disease in his workers, make them investigate it."

"Hey." There's no need for Peter to tell her who he is. She knows him by his voice by now. "Okay. That makes sense." Stepping back from her dry erase board, she sounds a little distracted, but turns away from it to give Peter her full attention. The pause before convince already alerts her to what it is that he wants to try with the manager. And it takes her a moment before she says anything. "I'd…talk to him first. Try it without convincing him. Use it as a last resort." At least that way they gave him a choice at free will and to do the right thing.

"Of course I'm using it as a last resort, Cass," Peter says, tension turning to frustration over the phone for a moment. "You know better than most how I feel about that ability." That doesn't mean she jumped to the wrong conclusion, though. "There's other ways to convince him, but without any evidence to show him— because we both know I can't just give him the name of a disease or a doctor to call up— it might just be the only option. If I can come up with something else to tell him before that to convince him, I will."

"You can use me," Cass replies almost immediately. Of course, she doesn't mean that literally. "You can tell him I'm a doctor and that we're suspicious of an outbreak that has occurred that has been linked to the meat from his factory. I can inundate whoever the manager is with medical jargon and make him want to investigate. Hopefully he'll actually care about what happens to other people and if he doesn't, then we'll threaten to sue him if he doesn't investigate and call the CDC." That's the way they can do it without using his powers. She doesn't think ill of him, but she always wants to keep him in check. Just in case. Like a Jiminy Cricket.

"All right," Peter says in the same 'not arguing about this' tone. Even though that pretty much just means he's not going to argue it and may stubbornly stick to what he'd already decided might be necessary. "Maybe you should be the one to go and talk to him, then," he adds on, from the sound of his voice actually making an effort to get rid of the tone. As much as he can, at least. "If you can't convince him, then you can call me in."

It's a tone that Cass certainly recognizes and one she definitely does not want to hear when they're trying to solve this whole thing. Or at least call in the CDC on an entire factory. The phone shuffles and the woman takes a deep breath, biting down the annoyed snap that she wants to deliver to her friend about being stubborn and childish about it. Especially since it sounds like he's trying to not sound pouty. "No, what do you think we should do, Peter? I'll follow your lead on this one. We shouldn't wait to have to call someone else in if it fails. You're able to troubleshoot and use the last resort if he doesn't agree. I can't do that."

"I think I should go talk to him," Peter says plainly, still sounding as if he's controlling his tone of voice a little too much. One must wonder if he's glaring at some unsuspecting passerby, because it sounds very much like he's walking while on the phone. "I'll try it your way, but I'll do whatever I have to to make sure he calls them. And hope that the CDC doesn't take too long trying to help out with this." He doesn't sound as hopeful as he would probably like. "I'll let you get back to work."

Cass wouldn't doubt it if that's what Peter was doing and it just makes her close her eyes and take a few more deep breaths. Why does he have to be so difficult sometimes? Her own tone is a little strained, especially since all she replies is, "Okay." Though not dealing with hope or not, she does have to deal with her friends anger. "Do it whichever way you want. You can call me if you need any help." That's certainly something she doesn't sound hopeful of his doing, either. "Thanks for calling."

"I'll call," Peter says, hinting towards defensive for a moment, before it fades into a more normal tone as he adds on, "Get some sleep tonight, Cass. Staring at paperwork until your eyes blur isn't going to get the answers any faster." With that says, he hangs up and ends the phonecall.

"Alright." Cass can't think of anything else to say there, so she decides not to go on. Perhaps it's best to just not say anything at all at the moment. "I'm onto dry erase boards," she makes a weak joke, but there's no real humor behind her voice. "I'll try." Since it's hard for to sleep when she knows that there is still no cure out there. After Peter hangs up, she puts her phone back down on the table and goes back to her dry erase board to finish drawing in the lines.

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