2007-10-14: Is There A Doctor In The House?


Cass_icon.gif Evelyn_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Samantha_icon.gif


Date It Happened: October 14th, 2007

Is There A Doctor In The House?

Uptown, NYC - Mount Sinai Hospital

The man who walks into the hospital looks a little rough around the edges. Its not just the eyepatch. It's that he quickly got a change of clothes, but didn't manage to hide spots where he's covered in bandages and reeking of rubbing alcohol, like he bathed himself in it. And there's still a smudge of soot on his nose. Way to project that Board of Directors image. He stomps into the hospital and looks around. Right. Waiting nurse. "I need to talk to Dr. Samantha Applebaum."

The nurse is hard-pressed not to give him a hard time, but then he does look injured. "She's in the ER." the nurse offers politely. "I'd be happy to escort you." And if he doesn't object, she will in fact take him there, and up to the admin desk. A leery eyed paper jockey gets on the phone and pages the good doctor while Ramon waits.

And through the doors comes a short brunette who walks like she's six feet tall. Lab coat has the right name embroidered on it, and when she speaks, it's straight out of Flushing. "I'm Dr. Applebaum." she says. "Can I help you?" She takes his roughed up state in. "We don't normally bump the numbers, but I've got a curtain free if you need to be looked at."

"Huh? I already poured alcohol all over it. Its nothing," Ramon grunts. "I'm Ramon Gomez." Pause. Beat. He holds out his hand like he suddenly is figuring something out. "President, Board of Directors, EvoSoft-Lancaster. Don't mind my appearance, ma'am. My car got blown up." Its on the news by now anyway.

Samantha doesn't exactly have time to watch the news while on shift unless there's a big incoming medical emergency, but that's neither here nor there. "I'm not sure what I can do for you, Mr. Gomez?" she inquires politely and taking a step back. Is she looking at the face behind the needle gun?

Ramon rubs the back of his neck. "Well, I'm going to just handle it the blunt way. Some people at a private clinic I've got an interest in," he lowers his voice, "are discovering people with a rare strain of virus. Some thought it might have linked back to the quarantine you dealt with months ago."

Samantha lifts a brow. "If you've got a mutated strain of hentavirus on your hands, you need to alert the CDC, not just some random emergency room doctor." she tells him seriously.

"I don't know what the hell it is," Ramon says, shaking his head. "I'm just the messenger. The clinic was concerned you might be sick. They wanted you, personally, to come by. If you want to go by and deliver your CDC recommendation, by all means. All I'm asking is you go talk to them first. It'll take, what, an hour, maybe two of your time? Then you go make whatever decision is necessary." He looks down, then looks up. "My daughter, she's very sick with this," he murmurs. "So if they say you're the one to talk to, then as far as I'm concerned I'll walk the moon to talk to you. Por favor, Doctor. Just an hour or two."

Samantha lifts a brow. "One moment, please." She excuses herself, and is gone for a few minutes. That time is spent leaving a message for Namir in case two hours becomes significantly longer, and then she grabs herself a kit. "Alright, Mr. Gomez. Shall we?"

Relief creases the older man's features. "Gracias." He turns to head back out of the ER with her. And grimaces. "I'm afraid we'll have to take a cab if you don't have your car." He slides his hands back into his pockets, his face settling into stern, stoic lines that don't reveal much of anything except exhaustion.

"How did you get here?" Sam asks, but goes willingly enough to her car. "Can you tell me about the symptoms being exhibited?
"I took a cab." Ramon says. "They're flu-like, but its not the flu. Its—" Ramon's face screws up in concentration. "Its flu-like." He shrugs his shoulders helplessly as he gets into the passenger side of her car. He names the cross-streets where Bat Country is located while he's about it.

Samantha follows his instructions. "Flu like." she says. "In what way? What are her symptoms, exactly? How has she responded to the usual medications?"

Ramon closes his eye. "I don't know. She's really tired. None of her — " He shakes his head again. "She's sick. I'm a computer man. When my younger kids get sick, I just toss them at the doctor and do whatever they tell me to do. She and the others just look like Hell is all."

"How many?" Sam asks, a touch grimly.

"Three," Ramon replies, as if relieved that he gets to answer a question he knows the answer to. He can count! "One—well, two. Are high profile. Nathan Petrelli and his brother Peter are there, ill. Nathan's not exactly feeling ideal-patient like, just to warn."

Samantha snorts. "I've been Mr. Petrelli's doctor before. He'll manage. I know of Peter in passing but haven't really met him. Anyone else? Have you isolated everyone who's ill?"

"Ok, ma'am, for me it went down like this. I get a voicemail from my daughter saying 'don't panic', which nearly always means I should be bracing for my next heart attack. She says she's sick. I bust into the room. She's there, and the Petrelli boys are there, and the clinician, Cass Aldric, is testing her for the disease. She tests me, I'm fine. People start tossing out ideas, many way over my head, and I finally ask what I can do, and Cass says: go get Samantha Applebaum, that would be helpful, because of the whole hentavirus thing months ago. And I say yes ma'am, take a brief detour when my ride gets inconvenienced—" when they pull up the clean up crew will still be hauling the shrapnel of that 'inconvenience' away…"and come do exactly as she says. Nobody's left. I had my whole family send their blood over. I don't know yet what the results are."

"If she could test you, why couldn't she test them?" Samantha asks, frowning as she makes a turn when indicated. "What made them jump to the conclusion that this could be a mutation of the hentavirus?"

"She did test them. They're sick," Ramon says. "And I don't know. I told you, most of it flew over my head." His mouth twists into a sour scowl. "I'm not a smart man, Doctor. Not in that way. You'll have to talk to Cass if you want intelligent answers to these questions. As far as I know they're the only sick people. As far as they know too."

"Fair enough." she says. "Call ahead and confirm that they're isolated from others. And ask that they get a bathroom set up for me, I'm going to need to scrub like hell."

Ramon looks relieved again for something he knows how to do. He picks up the phone and dials Cass, closing his eye again.

There's a pause from Cass as she's obviously stopped whatever she was doing at the time and is trying to process this. "R-right now?" There's some shuffling of paper. "Well, they're quarantined for now, but they're most likely going to be moved soon to some place that they can actually sleep in better in. There's certainly a bathroom for her. Did you ask her if she was feeling any of the symptoms? Does she know anything of the woman who had the hantavirus?"

"She doesn't seem to be feeling sick," Ramon grunts. "And she told me if it was hantavirus we ought to be calling CDC. She wants to know how we came up with hantavirus. I don't remember. People were doing an awful lot of talking."

"It's not the hantavirus," Cass tells Ramon simply and surely. "We've already pinpointed what it may be and it's something that I've never seen before." There's a pause. "I'd certainly like to talk to her about it. You said you're on the way here?" She can handle that. "But the woman who we think first exposed everyone to this, at the quarantine, we were told that she had the hantavirus."

"Oh," Ramon says. "Hold on." He puts his hand over the phone. "She says its not hantavirus, and the woman who she thinks first exposed everyone to this at the quarantine was the reason, cause they were told she had hantavirus."

Samantha blinks. "We never were able to determine exactly what she had. Until those test results come back, the only thing we can do is treat symptoms." She frowns a little bit. "And keep the sick isolated, even if it's not airborne."

"She says they didn't know what the Hell it was, so I guess they just told people hantavirus," Ramon says, into the phone once more. "She says she doesn't care if it's airborne, isolation is what is good. And she also says that until the … do you just want to talk to her?"

"Driving!" chirps Sam. "Are we going to be somewhere I can actually get to work, soon?"

"They're as isolated as they're going to get here," Cass tells Ramon. There's finally a bit of smile in her voice as she tells Ramon, "No, it's fine. You guys will hopefully be here soon and I'll talk to you both then, okay?"

"Yes," Ramon tells Samantha. "Yes," Ramon tells Cass. And he seems to take that as the end of the conversation, because as is typical for him, he just…hangs up the phone. They'll be there soon. "Turn here."

[{>::::::::::::::::::::::{Brooklyn - Bat Country Labs}:::::::::::::::::::::::<}]

Welcome to Bat Country! At least, that's what the large sign attached to the wall says. Bat Country Labs spans across five rooms in the basement of Seville Medical Center. The main room looks very little like a lab. The concrete floors have been covered in colorful mosaic carpets and the walls have pictures and colorful drawings right on the cinderblocks done in different styles with different materials - as if it was done by many hands. Instead of scientific equipment, the room is cluttered with comfy chairs, pillows, couches and, yes, even a couple bean bags. A bookshelf sits against the wall with various reading material. Right from the first viewing, the room is meant to put the entrant at ease.
The door to the right leads off into the actual lab that gives the space it's name. It's a much smaller room filled with everything one would expect an area called a lab to have - computer, microscopes and various other scientific equipment is neatly arranged on shelves and tables for easy access.
The other three rooms are a supply closet, an office with a desk and cot for those staying late nights, and a smaller room that can be used for miscellaneous purposes.

[{>::::::::::::::::::::::::::::{Available Exits}:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::<}]
Seville Medical Cent <SMC> Seville Medical Center


Bat Country is still a bustle of activity. Having decided that she needs to put even more of a rush on the many blood tests that she got from Ramon in order to make sure everything is squared away with his family before turning another family over to the Petrelli Mansion. She'd like to make sure they're completely clean, too, before deciding one way or another. Of course, it may be easier if everyone was just sick, but that's not what she wants. After getting off the phone with Ramon, she pulls a few more results and goes to make sure that the door will open for Ramon and Samantha.

Ramon will hold open the doors for Samantha. Because that's the kind of gentleman he is. He's gone back to being silent, grim, and stoic, having done his job here. He's also got soot on his nose and reeks of rubbing alcohol, but that's a different story.

Samantha is used to the rubbing alcohol, and while elder Hispanic men are a force in their own right, they're nothing against the seige engine of Jewish mothers. She is of course, unable to keep from eyeing the state of the clinic with a bit of an critical eye, but almost as soon as there's someone to talk to she asks, "Where are they keeping everyone?"

Since leaving the labs, Peter went to go talk to some people, just as he said he would. Unfortunately, he found both Nathan and Elena to be sound asleep, and he didn't have the heart to wake them. Which left one more person to track down and find, a young girl with violet eyes who can control the wind. Moving along the halls of the back rooms, he's checking for the young girl, hoping she didn't decide to slip out today and get fresh air. Where is everyone being kept? Half are in beds, sound asleep, one's roaming the halls in the back looking for the last of the four.

Evelyn counts as one of the half, although she isn't asleep — she's reading, as she often does when she's down in these rooms. Peter's entrance to 'her' room breaks her attention only belatedly, the girl looking over a shoulder at him, sliding an index card between the pages. "Hey, Peter? What's up?"

Moving into the main room, Cass has just enough time to find Samantha and Ramon entering. Eyeing the soot and the rubbing alcohol scent, she decides not to ask yet. Instead, she decides to answer Samantha. "The back rooms for now. This place isn't really set up for long term stay or anything. Half of them are still sleeping." Smiling at Samantha, she gestures for her to come in further. "Hi. Cass," she says as a refresher, putting a hand on her chest. "Maybe we should do a quick debriefer before we wake anyone up."

"I'd appreciate that." Sam says sincerely. "Sam. I know we've met, but forgive me if I'm a bit blank right now. I brought some supplies based on what I was told, but if you could present, I'd really appreciate it."

"There you are, sorry," Peter says, now remembering to knock on the doorframe of the room he just entered. A little late now, she's already seen him. "I was just talking to Cass. We're probably going to get to leave soon— a day or two at least. But she wants us to stay together if possible. I'm going to try to talk to my brother and see if we can use the house in town— if not we can probably find a hotel suite, or something similar. But it's probably best we stick close together— in case your symptoms get worse, so we can keep an eye on each other." There's a hint of a smile, even as he's grasping the doorframe to stay upright. "And I imagine you'll be glad to at least have a window, right?"

"Lots," Evelyn admits with a relieved expression. "Though, I… don't really know how long I can put Mom off for," she continues, glancing down. "This is already longer than I told her I'd be, originally." Setting the book aside, the girl rubs idly at her wrists. "But somewhere else will be good. Tomorrow?"

"I can give you what I know so far. It's not as much as I'd like, but." That's all she has. Smiling at Samantha, also gives a nod. "Nice to meet you again." It's a lot easier to talk to her when her fiancee isn't whining over lollipops. Even if the circumstances are more dire. "The people I have here started exhibiting signs of a virus. The symptoms are much like the flu - fever, feeling cold, exhaustion - however the bloodwork shows something totally different. Something I've never seen before. And while I haven't seen much actual hospital work or doctor work, I've been looking over books and managed to talk to someone who is kind of an expert on the subject. So far we haven't been able to find a cure and I've been trying to track down all the information I can on the people who were in the quarantine because everyone who was there is most likely infected. I was told that you had been there as a doctor, which is why I asked Ramon to speak with you." It's a bit of a long and involved speech, but that's the way it has to go. "So far I've just been making sure they drink enough, sleep some and treating their symptoms. But there's only so much I can do here."

Samantha nods. "Can I see the labs?" she asks. "And your sample under the microscope, if you still have it? It'll help a lot if I understand the viral structure and how it's attacking the body." She gives a little shrug. "I've done some work with tropical diseases while I was in Columbia, but it's not my main field of expertise. I'll do what I can."

"Hopefully tomorrow, yeah." Peter still leans against the wall, looking across at her quietly. "What excuse did you use? If we can't think of a way to extend it, maybe we… can have a doctor explain the situation to her at least a little more, so she'll know what's going on." Reaching up, he runs a hand over his hair and takes in a slow breath. "Guess you can't make it a school trip, or anything— not when you'll be hanging out with three people who definitely aren't in high school."

"Yeah, no. She knows all of those ahead of time, anyway." Evelyn shakes her head. "Though it's not like she has to ever meet any of you." …Right? Hopefully. The girl pauses for a moment, considering that. "But, yeah. I told her it was, like, a camp-type thing. Not with the school. I can stretch it out a bit more…" She shrugs, and smiles crookedly at Peter. "…since I guess I have to… I just probably won't be going anywhere for the rest of the year or so."

Almost as Samantha is saying it, Cass is leading the way. Someone else - not Company - who is an expert on viruses to take a look at this is certainly a welcome find. The lab is smaller, but certainly professional. There's a microscope with another sample from Peter's blood still in place from when she and Mohinder were studying it earlier. "It's right this way. It'd be great to have your opinion. Any help I can find on this would be very much appreciated." Grabbing some files, she lays them open for Samantha to also see. The one chart flips backwards and she can point out the virus in the blood. "From what I can tell, there are two parts of the virus. It's best laid out here. There's the regular virus, here, which doesn't seem to have any affect on anyone. It was in this patients blood for at least a few months. Until this happened." Letting the pages fall back, it shows the virus in an active state, another part of it attached - a protein coat - that starts to attack the cells. "And that's when we started to get theese people coming in sick."

Samantha peers at the sample for a long time, and flips through the labs with a frown. "It's piggy-backing." she says. "From what you can tell, are the two viral strains staying succinct from each other, or are they mutating?" It may be important in developing any sort of cure. She also looks to see what specifically the virus is attacking, and how so.

"Well, do you have any interest in medical stuff— you could always say it's some kind of medical experience camp. And it sort of is," Peter shrugs his shoulders a bit. He's a nurse, he's not really qualified to teach her much beyond that. "If we can't get you home soon, I'll try to think of something." This whole 'stealing a teenager from her home' isn't part of his list of things he knows how to do. "Maybe we can go ask Cass for advice before she starts getting ready to head out and try and cure this. Want to join me? Might be able to go for a walk afterwards— get some fresh air." After their last conversation, he's aware she might need this. And fresh air probably wouldn't hurt him either. He hasn't stepped outside since he came in.

Evelyn considers that for a moment, and shrugs. "Not… really. I mean, kinda — but I skipped the 'I want to be a doctor' stage entirely," she concludes with a rueful smile. And as for joining Peter — virtually anything that isn't in here is good in her book. "Sure. If you're up to it." Because he's been hit so much harder than she by the bug. But that doesn't stop Evelyn from sliding off the bed and approaching the doorway.

"It seems like they've mutated together but that's as far as it's gone in that direction," Cass tells Samantha, from what she can tell. "It's like two halves that somehow finally fit together into some viral puzzle piece. Once they're introduced to each other, they immediately attach." She frowns at the test results she has in front of her and just watches Samantha as she peers into the microscope. "I can go and see if someone's awake so you can see for yourself what it's like." That might be just as helpful as looking in the microscope.

"Hunh." is Sam's succinct reply. "I do want to see this in action, and I'm going to need a breakdown on the blood components." she says. "This is…going to take me a while. And I might not even be the best you can get." She pinches the bridge of her nose. Bekah might be able to do something with this.

"Politician camp, then," Peter teases a little, though he doesn't picture her as being into the political field either— maybe he's wrong. He doesn't exactly know her well. "I'll be fine. I can still walk," he adds to her concerns, though she'll see him drag his hand along the wall a little more than he probably needs to as he makes his way towards the front of the clinic, where the scientist is meeting with a doctor, unknown to him. "Cass?" he asks as he opens the door to the main areas, still using the wall as a brace.

Cont'd in It's All My Fault

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