2008-07-12: Return To Bat Country


Niki_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Cass's lab winds up becoming a refuge for the test subjects taken from Pinehearst — including Cass herself. A call for medical help brings an unexpected nurse.

Date It Happened: July 12th, 2008

Return to Bat Country

(Previously on Heroes MUSH: Phase One, It Ends Tonight)

Bat Country Labs, Seville Medical


Bat Country Labs are still a little dusty, but they're not quite as abandoned as they have been in the last months. Never mind the fact that their owner has been working elsewhere— or MIA. Never mind the fact that it's the dead of night, or that the doors are securely locked, or a million other reasons that would say, logically, that it would be empty at this moment in time.

Let's face it, Cass's lab used to be used to being thrown wrenches. Now shouldn't be any different, right? That's why there are no less than fourteen people crammed down here. A dozen are former test subjects from Pinehearst: in various states of coherency and wellness, some are dressed in hospital clothes, some grungy street clothes; some are deformed, subject to genetic mutations. One man, sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth, not touching anything, repeatedly has electricity coursing through his body. There obviously aren't enough beds for all of them.

To summarize: BCL is woefully unprepared. And then there's Niki. She paces the cozier area of BCL, clutching her cell phone. "Come on, Kory…" Eventually, she peels (violently) out of the short leather jacket she had on, making way for a cooler red halter top in the suddenly overcrowded space. Sighing, she heads for one of the five beds, peeking her head in to check the spot she last left a more familiar face. "…Cass?"

What with all that Cass has been through in past few weeks, she had been resting on one of the beds that she used to care other people with. Troubled dreams haunt her and the sound of Niki's voice calling to her falls through a fitful sleep. Clutching the blanket that had been tossed over her, the entire room feels as if it's smaller, more uneasy than it probably should. All a reminder of her own time as a Pinehearst test subject. "N-Niki? What's going on?" Somehow she feels bathed in fear and apprehension, she feels lost without knowing why.

There's a sound of movement in the hallway, then a quick slash of a keycard to get inside. Looks like whoever showed up might have legitimate access to the place. Among many of his stashed things had been access to Bat Country Labs. Peter'd worked there, practically lived there sometimes, for a few months. And since around the time he got captured and today, no one has bothered to change any of the access. Enter another wrench? Unlike the one who'd been walking around much of the last few months, this one lacks any kind of scar across his face. Hair hangs where the scar could be, though, obscuring some. "Hello?" the voice calls out, familiar, but without the maximum levels of strain that had followed the other one everywhere.

Dr. Awesome wasn't available. Nurse Awesome showed up instead.

"It's alright," Niki is quick to soothe her former boss. "We've— brought other people here. They're from Pinehearst. They were tested on by those freaks like you were." She strides to the bedside and crouches on the heels of her black boots, taking the woman's hand. All the more worried in the emotional presence of Cass, Niki is in high stress mode to the max, losing some of the focus and cool she's kept up through tonight's… adventures, and it shows in her strained eyes. "There's not enough room, and I don't… I don't know what to do for them all. Some of them are in worse shape than…" Niki freezes. She just goes absolutely, completely tense, unwittingly grabbing Cass's hand tighter.

It looks like Peter will be greeted first not by one of the ladies he knows, but by a dozen of glassy-eyed men and women sprawled over beds, on the floors, and pacing shakily around the labs. And don't forget high voltage guy rocking back and forth over there.

"Other people?" That might make sense as to why she's feeling as she is. What Peter told her in her dream was that she had some power about emotions. And what she was tested for at that insane asylum, that would confirm that. But that doesn't mean she knows how to control herself or the emotions that she's feeding off of. Gripping onto Niki's hand just as harder, her head tilts up at the entrance of Peter. It's not even that she hears him, exactly, just that she can feel something different. All the overload of stressful and maxed out emotions is making it hard for her to keep everything under control.

The first thing that greets Peter actually is the electric guy, mostly cause the noise catches him off guard. It's a familiar sound, but one he expects to see coming from a tiny blonde girl, not… and eyes shift to the rest of them, eyebrows raising, mouth dropping a little. Of all the things he'd seen in Level 5, this still takes him by surprise, especially upon seeing the obvious deformities. And it doesn't help that he's suddenly getting hit with unknown emotions. It makes him stagger backwards a bit before eyes finally fall on Niki. "What happened here? Kory told me you needed help— and that you were going to get Cass out…" Cass, who he shifts eyes to see and is suddenly moving forward, despite the way way his voice sounds as if he's suddenly getting stressed. Not for the same reasons as his future self. A burst of electricity suddenly dances off his fingertips and then up his arms, making him twitch a little. It fades as he clenches his jaw down. With everything that could go out of control briefly, it's better it started there.

If Cass feeds off emotions, she's about to get a hell of a lot of fodder. Cautiously, Niki lets go of her hand and slowly stands up at the side of the bed. She chances a glance over her shoulder, keeping the image of Peter just barely in the corner of her eye. Turning around takes even longer. She's braced and stern-faced when she faces Peter. "Peter…" Niki's conflicting emotions (and surprise) result in one thing — that is, to the naked eye only. She looks angry. "I wasn't… expecting…" Forced words. "…these people, they're… from… they're test subjects. Some kinda experiments."

What with all the conflicting emotions, anger, fear, confusion, love, sadness, Cass doesn't really know what exactly is going on. While she attempts to stand with Niki, the sudden appearance of Peter just makes the room spin all the more. If she wasn't, she may have noticed that this isn't the Peter of the Future, this is the Peter she knows. There's not much that she really manages to comprehend with all the emotions crushing down upon her. Her knees buckle before long and she starts to topple forward.

From the look of things, Peter isn't sure if Niki is angry at him or not. It isn't until Cass buckles and topples forward that he rushes the distance between them, unaware of the possible danger. That's when a sudden wave of emotion rushes over him, and he barely makes it another few steps before he stumbles and then ends up suddenly flying up into the ceiling, hitting his back, not his head, and then falling face first on the floor, with quite a heavy sound. What the hell was that? There's a dent in the ceiling, too.

Niki realizes Cass moving beside her, but she's not fast enough to stop her topple completely. Worriedly, she rushes to help too, holding around the woman with both arms and stopping her from falling on her face, at least, with. What she can't stop, or anticipate in the slightest — because what the hell was that? — is Peter flying up into the ceiling. Since 'are you okay' seems like a dumb question after someone crashes into the ceiling, she goes with the next best thing. She stares.

Luckily there are people there to catch her. It's a momentary loss of balance and while everything is still pressing down upon her, she attempts to stay where she is and closes her eyes. Maybe if she can only focus on one singular emotion, everything will stop spinning. She works on confusion. That seems to be the most prevalent and the closest to what she's actually feeling. Even if that's hard to figure out any more. "Peter?"

Confusion is a good one. Peter's not moving from where he landed for a couple seconds, then groans quietly and starts to push himself up. Flight isn't an ability he's used to losing control of, but there's an exception for everything. Pushing himself off the floor, with a slight reddish mark on the side of his face where he impacted, he looks up at the two women. "Did— did someone need healing?" he asks, that confusion carrying in his tone with a little sheepishness. Trying to use an ability might not be the best idea, but at the moment there's no random power fritzes. He shifts his eyes away to the worst off of the patients. "Maybe— maybe we can hook some of them up to the same stuff we used to keep Gabriel here when he was recovering…"

"And m-maybe— you should give Cass some distance," Niki suggests cautiously. She doesn't fully understand what's going on with Cass and her newfound ability, but thanks to Peter of the Future, she's not completely in the dark. Halfway assured that Cass isn't going to fall down, she reluctantly lets her stand on her own, but not before a reassuring squeeze to the shoulder. "A couple of them seem to be in pain, but mostly they're just … messed up. Out of it. I don't know how to help them," Niki says, a tension in her voice that makes her words a little curt and impatient. "Tell me what to do and I'll do it."

"The Curare?" Cass finally manages to say something useful, though the room is still spinning. Never having left the room yet, Cass isn't sure of what is going on outside. Standing on her own two feet now that she's trying to focus on just one emotion as opposed to being assaulted with tons of them, she's managed to not collapse again. Frowning, she wants to help, but she's not sure if she really will be able to. "Th-they went through the same thing?" That means that she should help.

Little do they know, Peter's having the same issues. Only thanks to a now distant memory of another time, he has a coping mechanism. Something that makes his eyes turn a little green as he focuses everything on one ability he'd once practiced quite a bit. As shaky as it might be now, it helps. If only he'd been out of Level Five longer. "I— Cass went through that?" he asks warily, looking back out at the beds where, focusing for a moment on the man surgeing with electricity. Is that why he should stay away from her? Rubbing the side of his face, he nods, "Yeah, the curare. What they had where they kept me might help too. I could call my mother and see if she can't send someone over with a couple dozen doses." As he speaks, he takes steps away from the woman whose emotions influence his, even if he has no idea what's happening with it. "I'll go check and see how stocked we are," he adds, as he turns to begin moving towards the storage rooms. He's not been here in months…

Niki looks back at Cass, ever-concerned for her. A certain amount of guilt tends to go along with anything she says to the woman, too. She nods, reluctantly confirming for her: these people were through the same thing. "You should sit down," she says gently and gives the brunette a small smile before slowly heading in the direction Peter went off in. She follows toward the storage rooms, but keeps her distance. Arms folded, she speaks in quiet tones. "Cass… she has some kind of ability now. Thanks to whatever they did to her. That formula. It… has something to do with feelings."

Though she doesn't have much else to say to Peter and Niki at the moment, Cass sits down on the bed for just a moment. However, she can't just sit there when she knows that other people are outside suffering and going through what she did. Gingerly, she stands up again and moves toward the other room. Niki and Peter have already moved on to the storage room, so she is with the other test subjects by herself. Kneeling down, by the one closest to her room, she attempts to go through her doctoring. "Where does it hurt?"

The subject closest to Cass, resting against a wall, is a scruffy-faced and shaky man in his forties. His answer is simple, hoarse, and pained. He clenches his chest, wheezing. "Everywhere."

Rummage, rummage. Peter gathers up supplies in the form of pills and injectables, and readies an IV drip, but that's going to wait. When he walks back he returns with gloves on and a couple things put into a kit. A thing of pills is held out to Niki. "This is for the ones who are in the least amount of pain and can swallow. They're tranquilizers, but it'll take a while to take effect, and depending on what they do— I can speed up the process a little, maybe. We got some morphine, and I can give that to the ones in more pain. A little curare for the worst ones…" Injectable variety, even. "For him…" he nods to the one electricuting himself… "I might have to do something else. You take care of the ones who can take pills."

And with that he clamps his teeth together, puts the kit down close to Cass, and walks over to the electric eel of a man.

Silently, Niki nods and takes the pills. She gives the label a quick glance, but trusts they'll do what Peter says regardless. A rattle of the pill bottle in her wake, she goes about attending to the impromptu patients. A kind encouraging word there, a reassuring hand there, help with the cups of water they've already been given. "…this will help you. It's gonna be okay, just take this, alright? You'll feel better…" Just maybe, it's a glimpse into a future that could have been. Taking care of the pained and powered addicts.

The electric eel of a man sees Peter coming and throws up his hands. "C-c-c-c-careful— I can't— I can't stop— G-g-god it won't stop— "

When Peter puts the kit down by Cass, she nods at him, but her attention is really for the man in front of her. His pain is overwhelming, enough so that when she tries to put a reassuring hand on him, it almost causes her to faint. But, she closes her eyes, tries to focus on something else and in a moment, she reaches out her other hand to put on the medical kit. Taking out one of the shots and a vial of painkiller, she starts to pat him before giving him the shot.

"It's okay— I understand, believe me… We'll help you," Peter says, not stopping in his stubborn walk forward, even with the gestures to go away. The pain that will happen in a moment will just have to be delt with, cause physical contact is needed. Reaching out with both hands, he grabs at the flailing man. The same ability he'd been holding onto twists around to move outward instead of inward, trying to lessen the man's pain to try and let his body relax. Don't mind the twitches, spasms and gritted teeth as he takes some of the electricity into himself. How the hell did they get this man here anyway?

A lot of trouble, that's how. It's a funny story. The man gasps for breath, having a rough time catching one that's steady. He doesn't resist Peter, although his body does, the surges of electricity getting more frantic and powerful— until they start to slow to a mild snap, crackle and pop. The man starts to calm.

Holding the knee of a bedraggled young woman who rests up against some cupboards, Niki waits until the pill is down before she gets up. The rest of them are either in too much pain or unconscious, so she moseys to lean against a counter. She takes her cell phone out of her back pocket, but doesn't use it; instead, she watches Cass and Peter. Eventually, lost in thought and all manner of stress, she's watching only the latter — in fact, she's staring more or less unblinkingly straight at him.

Staying with the one man that she's helping, Cass waits until the medicine starts to take effect. Since it's a shot, it shouldn't take too long, moving immediately into the blood stream. While Peter and Niki may be able to help multiple people, it seems that the bookstore owner is content to only help the one of them. It's all she can think she can manage.

That should last for a few moments. The gloves offered very little protection from the surges of electricity that make him twitch slight as he steps back. There's slow inhales, unsteady, before he turns back to Niki. Peter doesn't quite seem to recognize what's coming off of her, not completely— there's so much to shut out still. "That should hold for a few minutes… but he's going to need some painkillers." And he looks like he may need to sit down, but he peals off partially melted gloves, tosses them into a trashcan, ignoring the redness and the tearing and burns and goes to the supplies he left near Cass, "Hey, Cass— I'll stay here and make sure he's comfortable— Why don't you go inject the man I just helped, get him comfortable."

The man who Cass is content to help becomes one less person to weigh on her mind. His nervous system settles down and he slumps slightly. "Th …nk you," he manages to say, just barely.

Meanwhile, the man who Peter helped is so exhausted from electrocuting himself over and over again that he just about passes out on the floor. Still awake and definitely in need of Cass's assistance.

Niki breaks her gaze away with a dark look in her eye, fidgeting with her phone until she eventually dials a number. It's brought to her ear, but all she does is wait. Whoever she's calling isn't picking up. While it rings, she holds it away from her mouth and says to the others, "Do you think they can stay here? I know there's not a lot of room, but— until they're okay…? I didn't know where else to go."

"You're welcome." Once that man is somehow better - or a least a little better than he was, Cass moves over toward the man who kept electrocuting himself. Preparing another shot, she puts a reassuring hand on his cheek before giving it to him. "There isn't enough beds for them, but they can stay here. There's some extra blankets." She frowns. "I don't know if they're ever going to be okay."

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