2007-04-10: Outbreak: Lockdown


Bob_icon.gif Mr-Hendrickson_icon.gif Lia_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif Samantha_icon.gif

Summary: One group of heroes is taken to the staff room for testing. Nobody is happy with this arrangement. Except perhaps the doctor that gets to go home at the end of the day.

Date It Happened: April 10, 2007

Outbreak: Lockdown

Mount Sinai Staff Room

Continued from Outbreak

Left with Melissa, the group is led down to another room - the staff room, in actual fact, though it's now been deserted by all staff. Once inside, the nurse stands by and instructs them all, in an anxious and wavering voice, to sit down wherever they can. She's not making with any explanations right away, instead opting to stand by the door, shooting glances out to the hallway every few seconds.

Nathan makes a step towards where Peter is being ushered out of the room, but inevitably, he is drawn back into the crowd he was shunted with when someone gestures for him to do so. "Damnit," he mutters, but otherwise moves without protest into the staff room. He doesn't sit down and instead hovers (not literally)— then suddenly stills, as if he's heard something. Of course, there is nothing to hear, but he suddenly looks a little grimmer and more than a little exasperated. He raises his voice to address Melissa. "Can someone explain to us what's going on?" he asks.

Lia wheels in in her wheelchair, having sat down in it hard after Jack and Yael spotted her. The girl looks curious, and quiet, and she hugs herself tightly even as she seems to play duckling as she follows Nathan up to Nurse Melissa. "I have tests that need to be done, it's why I'm here." She adds on. "No one even knows I'm here."

Mr. Hendrickson practically stalks into the room, places his coat and shoebox on a table, before making a bee-line toward the (now likely overwhelmed) nurse. He glares down at her, and smiles, metal teeth glinting in the light. It doesn't touch his eyes. "And I want answers. And I'm going to get them from /you/. Now, start talking." If Nathan wasn't bad enough, now Melissa has a tall man who looks on the verge of violence demanding answers. Poor girl.

"Perhaps we should all just calm down," Bob says, speaking up for the first time, one of those smiles he gets playing around his lips even though he is neither amused nor happy. "I'm sure the lovely and talented Melissa is just gathering her breath to tell us all about it. Right, Melissa?"

Samantha had to be called down from the lab, given that this was one of those things likely branded as the sort of emergency Sam expected to be called down for. Just because she's getting a nice juicy paycheck from Mr. Stitch doesn't mean she can't still function as an ER attending…sometimes. Before making it to the quarantine area, she attempts to grab someone's attention, even as she's suiting up to avoid bio-hazard. "Somebody tell me what's going on." she says expectantly, fitting herself into the snazzy plastic couture. All the rage on the medical health fashion runways this season.

"No one can leave," the nurse replies, doing her very best to seem somewhat imperious as she speaks to Hendrickson, holding up both hands. She fails. It's pretty obvious that she's scared, and her voice is barely a squeak, compared to the tall man's. "They've closed off this part of the hospital to stop us from leaving. W-we were exposed to something contagious, and now we all need to be tested."

Elsewhere, that 'someone' whose attention Samantha grabbed only regards her with an apologetic expression, shaking his head. "Hantavirus," he says to her, lowering his voice. "As far as I know, it's a suspicion, and this is preventative. Can't say for sure. They need you to go collect samples." Because he, for one, isn't going near those rooms.

Nathan is, in fact, pretty calm. Mostly. His tone is polite in any case. He just looks like he's having a /bad day/. He veers away from the nurse when people start to crowd her, casting a raised-eyebrow look to Bob, having not noticed the man before now. At the news of quarantine, he doesn't look surprised, just distracted, taking out his cellphone. "Hope no one minds if I call my wife, then," is his general explanation to the room, moving off the corner to make said call.

Mr. Hendrickson, on the other hand, while calm, does not look understanding of the nurse's situation at all. He continues to glare down at the nurse, just staring at her. "Then hurry up and start testing. I don't have all day to sit around and die from whatever disease you've let loose into the air ducts."

Bob frowns faintly, but he finds a spot to sit down and wait. It has not been Bob's day. He crosses his arms, but he's not going to make a fuss over something reasonable. But something else does cross his mind — there are people here who know him as Bob, and as he had to come to this hospital he gave them Martin Stitch's information, and that could be a problem. He decides to cross that bridge if he comes to it.

"Hantavirus?" Samantha repeats incredulously. "How the hell could there be exposure to hantavirus in the middle of New York city? There have been less then five hundred cases documented, and all of those were four corner states or West Coast." It's pretty clear Sam thinks that the hantavirus explanation is a crock, but she puts the top on, checks the seals, and picks up the kit. "Drawing blood, like any first year nursing student couldn't do it." Irritatedly, "What makes you think it's hantaviral? Anyone exhibiting stage signs? Abdominal and back pain, fever, malaise? Headaches? Renal failure?"

"Whoa, doctor, I'm just telling you what I heard," he replies to Samantha, shaking his head. "I'm not the one who made the call, and I didn't ask questions. They say hantavirus, I take it seriously. Take it up with the chief." That said, the other doctor simply stands back, a vaguely self-satisfied smirk on his face. This is Samantha's show now.

Down in the staff room, poor Melissa is looking cowed. "It— it could take a while," she stammers out apologetically, wincing as the words pass her lips. "They have to test everyone who might have been exposed. There are vending machines, a-and I can go get some pillows, but you're going to have to be… patient."

"I know, it's a pain, but I'm okay," Nathan is saying into his phone, should anyone overhear. Perhaps Heidi happens to ask a difficult question, like why exactly he's at a hospital, because he glances towards the nurse and says, "I'll call you back," snapping the cell shut. "Hey," he says, a little louder, directed to Hendrickson. "No one wants to be here. Let's relax and be nice to the people who probably want us out of here too." Right, because he was Mr. Congeniality before. But maybe he can score brownie points and get tested first.

Mr. Hendrickson scowls, and /almost/ looks like he's about to attack the poor nurse before he turns around, stalking back over to the table and taking a seat in a nearby chair, angrily reaching into his jacket to pull out… A GU-newspaper. Which he unfolds, and begins to read to read about the Exciting World of Events.

"Telling me what you heard. Wow, that's…thorough. Are you a med student, or just really lazy?" With that, Sam breaches the seals on the quarantine area, sealing it behind her and announcing, "Okay, folks. I'm Dr. Applebaum. I appreciate your patience, and I hope we can get this resolved promptly. First thing's first, I'd like all the medical personnel including the floor nurse to gather up on me now." And when they do, watch out, because here comes Sergeant Sam. "Someone better be prepared to present right now on this hantavirus diagnosis that some pseudo doctor schmuck outside told me is the case. I want to see who you suspect is patient zero and their chart, but I want details on how this came about yesterday, people. Melissa, get on the horn and tell Virology they better be on standby, and tell admin that we're going to need nurses suited up to come in and assist with the blood draws. I am NOT sticking this entire ER by myself."

When Lia starts to cry, Melissa can't help but sympathize. "Oh, sweetie," she says, circling around Hendrickson (with a very wary look) to approach the disabled girl, "I'm sure you're going to be fine. This kind of thing is usually a 'just in case' situation. I'm sure we're all going to be fine." She lets out a sudden relieved breath when Samantha appears, quick to follow the woman's orders. "Yes, ma'am," she quips and bounds off to make the call requested of her. Samantha's in for a surprise: Melissa was the only nurse in charge of this group. Now it's just Samantha!

Mr. Hendrickson sits and reads his newspaper. FOR NOW. Also, the sandwich in the box is laced with thallium. He won't let anyone eat it, nor eat it himself. NO SANDWICH FOR YOU.

When Hendrickson goes to glare at the newspaper rather than the nurse, Nathan shrugs and turns away. A glance to cast to Lia, but otherwise… he stays away from the tearful girl. Nothing he could say would probably make it better at then she'll just cry more. He moves to find himself a spot when Samantha comes in. It takes a few seconds to recognise her voice, as she's pretty obscured in the quarantine suit, but recognise it he does. He just chuckles, though the amusement in it is lacking. "Just do what you gotta do, doc," he says.

Finished her phone call, Melissa shuffles across the room, back to Samantha. "Okay. They're sending help down to take care of the other groups, and Virology is on standby," she confirms, nodding decisively. It's about the most confident she's looked all evening, with this group of people. "I— I don't know about Patient Zero. A patient came in presenting flu-like symptoms, if that helps. But she mighta just had the flu. I didn't call for quarantine. I'm not sure who did."

Samantha blinks at Melissa through the plexiglass face mask of her biohazard suit. "Who exactly is 'she'? I want a name, I want a chart, and better yet, I want to see this patient, now." She looks around. "Folks, once more I apologize, until I find out if this is absolutely necessary, I'd rather not start up with blood samples just yet. She looks back to Melissa. "Find me someone who knows /exactly/ what's going on, while you're at it." Seriously, she's starting to wonder if the entire ER and maybe most of the hospital staff woke up today and decided to leave their common sense at home.

Nathan sits in a chair off to the side, already bored. He looks as if he's listening for something, as well, but apparently he's having no luck in that arena. Bringing a hand up to rub wearily at his face, Nathan then turns his attention to the conversation amongst hospital staff, the dissension catching his attention. At Samantha's announcement, he looks a little disbelieving. "Someone called for quarantine," he says, voice raising so she can notice him in the semi-crowded room. "/Someone/ thought it was absolutely necessary. I don't care if you end up sticking me with a needle for no reason, but I'd rather get it done." So he gave up on earning brownie points. He usually does.

Someone who knows exactly what's going on? They're in short supply. Melissa might be eager to impress the doctor, but she doesn't have nearly enough information. Luckily, one of the other staff with Samantha does, and the slightly older nurse steps forward. Flipping through the sheets on the board in her hand, she murmurs to herself before finally saying, "Cara Hayes. Thirty six years old. Complaining of abdominal and back pain, persistent cough—" And it goes on. Evidently, there are more than a few symptoms, and the patient was, in fact, traveling recently.

Melissa, meanwhile, looks to Nathan apologetically. "I'm under quarantine, too, or I'd do it for you," she says, shaking her head. "I d-don't want to be here any more than you do."

"Bring me the chart, please." Momentarily, Sam does not acknowledge Nathan - admittedly not the most prudent thing to do, but once she actually gets a history and some information beyond 'someone said quarantine'. Sam inspects the chart, the history, the treatment, the doctor who signed off on the diagnoses and presumably called the quarantine in. There's been a thing about phony doctors waltzing in and causing a fuss lately, and this is unusual enough for Samantha to take a moment and see if she recognizes the name. Then, "Mr. Petrelli, waiting ten minutes to get proper information is likely to get you out more quickly then just walking in and taking samples and waiting for each one to be tested. If you can't wait ten minutes for me to verify the status of this quarantine and confirm it - while not breaking the quarantine stricture, I might add - then I'm afraid that's too bad." She smoothes the chart over briskly and says, "Alright. I'd like people to line up over here…" she indicates one of the chairs, "Children first. Another station should be set up shortly, I'm expecting nurses once they're suited up who can also take samples." And Samantha sets up the kit, waiting for the first in line.

Nathan raises an eyebrow at the small lecture he receives, but just nods to Sam. He's not the doctor here, after all. "Fine by me, doc. You're doing a stand up job." There's sarcasm there, though she's certainly not doing a bad job - in fact, Nathan ends with just snark simply because she seems to be the only one knowing what's happening. He shares a glance at Melissa, sort of a half smile. "Get me something sharp and I'll help out," he quips, as the lines are organised. Nathan gets from his seat to walk over as directed. It's like the Titanic! Women and children get it easy.

There are only a few children in this group - Lia, for one, who is first in line - and the patients are so very tired of being cooped up in this room that they get into line quickly, quietly, and without incident. Well, without major incident, anyway. There is one moment where a tall, surly man attempts to cut into line ahead of where he ought to be. Someone thinks of defying him for about two seconds - after which they think better of it, and Hendrickson is allowed to cut ahead without argument.

The nurses arrive, looking frazzled and concerned, in their suits and ready to go. Melissa, now off-duty and acting as a patient under quarantine, nudges Nathan's elbow and motions to the on-duty medical staff. "Somehow, I… I think they might have a problem with that," she jokes back to him, shaking her head. She offers him a nervous smile, then breaks off and goes to begin another line.

Samantha takes samples, labelling them with names and phone numbers as well as a code designation only hospital folk might recognize. She takes time to reassure the few children who come her way, but still tries to move with efficient speed. Finally, Nathan is in front of her, and reaches for an LOP tourniquet - a wide rubber band, really - to tie off his upper arm. "You picked an interesting day to come to the ER, Mr. Petrelli." She ties it in place. "Flex your fist for me." She flicks slightly below the curve of his inner arm to produce a vein and once satisfied, reaches for a fresh syringe.

Nathan is a good patient, rolling up his sleeve efficiently and baring his arm for the testing. Much like his face and the rest of him, there's not a single burn scar, but at this point, there's really nothing he can do about that. "Well I like to fit some excitement into my life," he says, blandly, watching her prepare the needle before peering at her through the face mask. "How serious is this, anyway?" …he says, to the woman suited up in quarantine-protection gear. Well they could just be overcautious, who knows.

Melissa, meanwhile, is in her own line, having her blood taken. Despite her nerves, she's doing her best to remain positive, and once her blood is taken, she returns to Lia's side to try and cheer up the scared little girl.

The needle is inputted with only the tiniest sliver of hurt and Nathan's blood swirls into the vial. As it's filling, Samantha says conversationally, "It can be fatal. It usually takes two to four weeks to incubate, and then progresses in stages which initially resemble the flu, but can progress into tachycardia and eventually renal failure and death." She sounds almost chirpy. "On the bright side, the blood tests will determine if you've been infected well before incubation since this would be your initial exposure, and it can be treated quite readily before you even so much as get a sniffle." The job finished, she labels the vial, puts a tiny circular bandaid over the insertion point (the bandaid's a fetching shade of fuschia, probably Sam's tiny revenge for getting in her grill), and gives Nathan a weary smile before announcing, "Alright, next in line, please."

Sleeve goes back over the very fabulous fuschia bandaid, Sam getting a pointed but actually amused look from Nathan. "Glad to be in your capable hands, Doctor Applebaum," he says, before the next patient is called. Do they serve straight whiskey from those vending machines? Doubtful. Nathan manages to find a magazine for himself and sets about not reading it. It's one of those medical sciencey kinds anyway.

"Damn right you are." Sam replies blithely, and moves on to the next patient. The good news is, it's all done in an organized fashion; the bad news is, it's going to take overnight for them to confirm the status of the ER. Samantha for her part stays as long as she can, but those biohazard suits have a limited tolerance. Still, it's the wee hours before she gets to unsuit, shower, and go home. Petty revenge part deux, Sam gets a comfy bed, and Nathan gets a cot.

The quarantine lasts for several hours as hospital staff run around madly, testing samples and trying to minimize potential contamination. The groups of unfortunate hospital patients are kept in their small rooms overnight, forced to survive on vending machine snacks and bottled water. For these two groups, the entire ordeal passes without incident - so calmly, in fact, that it seems less like a quarantine than a prison. No one becomes sick.

In the late morning, the patients are allowed to leave, after providing medical information to the hospital, to get back to their real lives. All told, the quarantine lasted for over twelve hours. Twelve hours with the same people, in the same tiny room. They're bound to remember this.

At Radiology

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