2007-10-08: Self-Imposed Quarantine


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Summary: After spending a couple days feeling very under the weather, Peter finally breaks down and steps into the clinic to find out exactly what he is suffering from. Bad news is, he doesn't go home.

Date It Happened: October 08, 2007

Self-Imposed Quarantine

Bat Country Labs

After her conversation with her father, Cass didn't go back to her apartment. Instead, she went straight to Bat Country. There are so many ideas percolating in her head from that conversation that she has to get them out, has to put this all together. Determined, that's what she is. Back in the lab, there's no music playing other than the sound of a few machines going. Cass is furiously writing things down and flipping through printed out test results. Her hair has started to get longer than it's pixie cut and she's been forced to pull it back into a little puff of a pony tail at the nape of her neck in order to keep it out of her face. The glasses she normally wears in the labs are off and resting upside down next to the machine she's currently at, highlighting relevant information.

Though it's generally quiet around Bat Country, someone does end up knocking lightly on the door frame before stepping inside. At first glance, Peter's easily recognizable as himself, but there's a few major changes. For the first part, his hair is much shorter than the last time she saw him. It's really short, even shorter than it'd been the first time they met. Almost an army cut, but not quite. Second… he's pale. And looking physically tired. "Cass?" He asks as soon as he sees her. There she is. "Are you available right now?" His voice even sounds hoarse.

Staring so long at strings of letters and numbers an varying sorts of shapes, Cass is rubbing at her eyes in frustration. The knock and Peter's voice snaps her out of it. Not having even bothered with a lab coat, she's just rolled up the sleeves of her sweater. Taking in his appearance and his pale features, the brunette goes a bit pale herself. She's starting to think everyone who has abilities around her is sick. "Peter?" Immediately she's walking toward him an taking in his hair cut and how tired he looks. "What's wrong, are you okay? Of course I'm available. Come in. Sit down." Though a lab stool isn't as comfortable as the chairs out in the main room, it's closer to the medical equipment.

There's also a hint that he's shivering as Peter moves closer and sits down on the lab stool. A hint of a cough follows, and if she touches his skin at all, he's definitely warm to the touch, feverish. "I was feeling pretty sick yesterday, tired and shaky— and I was coughing a little too, but I thought it was just because I was using my abilities too often— there was an incident a few days ago where… a lot happened, but it's… I've got a lot of rest and Elena's tried to fix me, but I'm not…" His voice trails off for a minute and he hesitates. Whatever he's about to say, he doesn't really like it. "I think this is more than just my abilities."

Shivering? Feverish? Oh God. Shouldn't Peter be able to regenerate through most sickness? "I'll be right back. Stay there." Briskly walking to the next room, she grabs a blanket and comes back to wrap it around him. Grabbing the thermometer she used for Nathan out of the jar of disinfectant, she comes back to give it to Peter to put under his tongue. As his blood is the one she's been working on for most of the rest of the day, she already knows that it has some of the virus, but this is much more advanced than she'd seen even in Nathan's or Evelyn's. "You've got whatever Evelyn has, too, Peter. I was just going through the results from the blood sample you gave me." Maybe this is just the flu. Please just be the flu. "Talk to me about your regeneration, does that work for sickness, too? Flus, colds, chicken pox, you shouldn't get any of those, should you?"

The thermometer is put into his mouth. Depending on how long it will take, his fever isn't life threatening or immediately hospitalizing, but it's definitely a couple degrees higher than it should be. Peter grimaces at the mention of it being the same as Evelyn's, but he does nod. There's really nothing he can do about that now, can he? He doesn't try to talk at first, just shaking his head, only answering when she can remove the thermometer, "I don't know. I only had regeneration for a year. I've never exactly tested it out like that." He takes in a slow breath, running his hands over his face for a moment. "So Evelyn definitely has it? This is different from the dream. I wasn't in a hospital bed in that… I don't…" He trails off. "What about Nathan? Did Nathan come to see you?"

There's a reason Cass purposefully left Nathan's name out of the people she knows has this anomaly. Because she knows what Peter is going to be like about it. "Well, she definitely has an anomaly in her blood," she answers that question first. Then, she doesn't say anything immediately about Nathan, instead she just checks his temperature and frowns at the numbers. Just like she suspected. Scribbling down the numbers on a file, she finally looks up at Peter. "He has it, too," she says quietly. "I don't really know what it means yet, Peter," she adds quickly to try and calm him down just in case. "It could just be an Evolved Flu." Frowning, she starts to write a few more things down. "You said you felt tired? Cold?" She's got to figure this out. "But you didn't get sick? You know who you got regeneration from, don't you?" This is a major problem to her theory of helping to use Peter's blood to cure others if he has the virus and his own blood isn't fixing anything. Maybe it needs to be joined with Mohinder's first for the antibodies? "Would that person know?"

"You didn't…" Peter seems to recognize that his question hadn't been answered, but her lets her fluidly change the subject, even if it visibly bothers him. "Tired, weak, cold chills… headaches… I was walking around invisible yesterday and it failed on me— right in front of someone. I think they saw an outline of me before I finally let it drop all together." He shakes his head a little, before adding, "But a lot of it is similar to what happened when I'd overuse my abilities. I thought it was just that." But now he's not so sure. No coma, he's tried to spend most of the day resting, and now… "Yeah— I know who I got regeneration from. I could call and ask her, see if she's ever gotten sick before, but I don't…" He trails off again, looking down toward his hands, before he looks back up at her. "What about Nathan?"

Writing that down, it's all consistent with what Nathan told her his symptoms were. Hopefully it's just a flu the two caught from each other? The key is to talk to Evelyn. "He came to see me." This time, Cass speaks louder, so that Peter can hear her over the machines. "He has it, too. Whatever it is." There's a frown. "It may just be a residue of overusing your abilities, it could just be the flu." As much as she panicked when she was with her father, she'll try to strike a calmer tone with Peter. "I just…I need all the information I can get, Peter. If you're not supposed to be able to get sick because of your ability, than whatever is in your blood is actually shutting that down. And that's bad."

"I'll give her a call, but— we don't even know if regeneration could've handled this anyway. I've only had the ability for a year." Peter explains, thinking back to the year before. Almost to the day… not quite, but almost. "Do you need another blood test? Now that I'm showing symptoms?" he asks, already beginning to roll up his sleeve. There's a chance that she might be able to get more now, but… "Have you found anything out about it? Anything at all?" There's a hint to his voice that he's not worried about himself in this whole thing, as much as he is worried about his brother. "…have you told him yet?"

"If regeneration is handled by accelerating cellular growth in order to grow back skin and organs and cells in the face of injury, then it should work for sickness as well." Cass isn't actually positive about that, but she's willing to hazard a guess. "A virus is just an injury to cells, modifying them in one way or another. Regeneration should fix them, return them to normal. I think. But I can't be sure unless we talk to who would know better." Claire, in this case. "It couldn't hurt, I don't think," she adds, going for the needle. Something for another comparison. "I talked to my father about it. He mentioned a virus that only a few others had. It was curable through someone's blood that carries the antibodies when mixed with blood that's regenerative." Like Peter's and Claire's. "However…if your blood isn't actively fighting the virus properly, I'm not sure if that will work. I'm not even sure if this is that virus. It could be a different strain. It could be something else entirely." As she takes Peter's blood, she shakes her head to his last question. "Not yet. I just finished the test results earlier."

There's a long moment where Peter nods, not as indepth in his scientific training as she is. "I know that my healing doesn't work on colds— the one I use on other people," he suddenly says. "While we were in the hospital, back in June, I tried to heal a few sick people… it only worked on the ones who were there because of trauma. Didn't cure cancer or fix anything flu-like." Of course that would be something he'd test— it's one of the few abilities he actually enjoys using, because it benifits others besides himself. "I don't know if regeneration is the same as that, but…" he braces himself as she takes the blood, watching her carefully. "Have you had your father compare what we're seeing with the virus they knew of? If it's a different strain of it or something else entirely…" But then he adds. "If Nathan and I have it, and Evelyn does too… do you think we got it back in April? In Sinai? All of us were there. Nathan was kept in another area, but Evelyn was in the same area as I was. I recognized her." Then, suddenly. "Jack and Elena were there too."

"Then, I'm not sure. However, it's possible that healing others and healing yourself are two different things and working with two totally different set of conditions." Just like all abilities seem to have the possibility of. Cass doesn't even move to refrigerate the blood, instead, she moves to put it in a machine and from there she'll put it under a microscope and start to investigate. "Not yet. He's not the one that's the expert in that strain of virus. I'll be meeting with the one who is later to try and get him to answer my questions." A man that she knows Peter doesn't trust. An who she doesn't, either. "Hopefully I'll be able to figure more out from that." When Peter makes the connection to Mt. Sinai, the woman's eyes flicker upwards to search Peter's face. That would be missing link. How all of them could have gotten it when they didn't seem to have anything else in common other than having abilities. "I'm going to need Elena and Jack's blood, too, then. To compare. That may be it." However. If they got it from just being in the same room as each other then…that's an entirely different picture than was painted for her by her father. That means…that means it could be airborne. "Where you were…did you all touch anything that was the same? Drink from the same glass? Anything like that?"

Rubbing the wound with a cotton ball, Peter lifts it up to watch it heal, noticing that it hurts just a little longer than before. He takes a slow breath, wanting to stand up, but then he changes his mind and just watches from his stool. "Nathan was in a different room than me, but I think Elena, Jack and I might have shared a glass or something," he visibly thinks back on this. "I had a bottle of V8, it was the first time I used Jack's abilities. And gatorade— also called with Jack's abilities. They brought us something to eat after a while, but… but I don't remember getting close enough to Evelyn to even talk to her, much less share anything with her— I just remember her from sight. And actually she remembered me before I remembered her." He'd had a 'do we know each other?' moment, and she verified… "Nathan was in a completely different area. They wouldn't let me join him when I asked."

Lots of possibilities are running through Cass' head right now. What it means if the virus is airborne, how to find out who else has it, who they can check for to see if other people may have it. How fast it's course runs before the ultimate symptom - death - rears it's ugly head. "Okay." There's not much she can elaborate on with all of that other than her internal calculations. "I think I need to go find the woman they brought in. Who went missing." She'd tried before, but it ended up dead ends everywhere. "Maybe we can get more information from this if we start at the beginning." If that's the beginning at all. "And then I can have more perspective when I talk to Mohinder." Yes, that's who she's going to have to have a meeting with to try and solve this.

In another situation, Peter might've been obviously bothered by the possibility of her meeting Mohinder, but it would seem things have changed a little. "How will this progress? If it's the same thing that your father knew about?" It's important to him, to have an idea of what will happen— how it will affect things. It's not just him involved— he might as well not be from the way he sounds. It's the other people involve that worry him more, even as he shivers in his seat. "Is it… is it contagious?" There's a grimace as he asks this, as it's obvious he's not wanting to sit around and do nothing, if that's what he's forced to do when this all comes down.

It seems like necessity is winning over apprehension for the both of them. "I'm not totally sure, Peter." Cass frowns and moves to pick up her charts and print outs again. "My father said it attacks the nervous system. Mostly flu-like symptoms to start out with. In between, I can't be sure. It was rare. Only three documented cases, so they can't be sure of how it actually attacks anything." That's as much information as she has at the moment. Frustratingly little, but she's working to expand that. "The virus that those three had wasn't. But…if you actually did get this from that quarantine, then, yes, I'd say it is contagious." Seeing him try to stand and shiver, she frowns. "You need to take it easy over the next couple of days, Peter. If this is just the flu, then you'll need it anyway. But if it's something more…you can't overtax yourself. You seem to have symptoms that are far more accelerated than Nathan." Whatever the reason that may be.

A disease that attacks the nervous system. Peter nods slowly, but doesn't look completely pleased at what he's hearing. Tension lines his jaw and forehead, and then he rubs his hands over his face and starts to stand up, "I need to make a few phone calls— talk to some people, get information… and have someone take care of my dog. Do you have a room I can stay here? I can't risk exposing anyone else to this, not if it's going to get bad— not if it's already spreading." And thinking back… he's already exposed so many people. "You might want to check Sharon, your trainer— I went to visit her yesterday. I was already coughing. But see Suresh. If he has answers to this then…"

It's not exactly a good prognosis. Viruses that attack the nervous system can't be all that good. Cass watches Peter try to stand, restraining herself from moving to make him sit own again. "Don't…don't jump to any conclusions, Peter." God, she's using her father's words and it feels weird, but at the same time it is good advice. "We don't know what exactly this is yet." There's a frown. "We'll probably be meeting here. So I have some security that they won't try to brainwipe me after they give me information." Or after they totally refuse to give her information. Either way. "Of course you're welcome to stay here, but…I don't it will be a huge problem for you to stay in your apartment. I'll get a blood sample from Elena, from Jack…from anyone else you can think of that was in that hospital room and I'll figure this out." She sighs. "He's got answers to at least one virus problem. I just hope it's related to ours."

"Cass, I was a nurse. I know when it's best to stay away from the public. Who knows how many people I've already exposed to this as it is," Peter says with a shake of his head. He may be tired and weak, but he can still stand up, and he's refusing to let himself be pushed down again— which is good because she restrained herself anyway. "If Elena doesn't have it, I'm not going to risk exposing her to it again." But there's a grimace, as if he knows good and well that he probably already exposed her to it, in more ways than one. "If you have a room here— one with a bed, I'll stay the night. At least until you can talk to Suresh— I'll even be here if you want me to be— if you need an example to show him. The Company already knows about me, and maybe if I'm here they won't… I dunno."

"I know." The Petrellis are a stubborn bunch. Even more so if they actually know what they're talking about. "It's fine for you to stay here. I do have a bed you can sleep on." She just is worried about him. Though, really, sleeping in the basement of a hospital when you're sick is probably the best thing you can do. "I don't want to give them anything they don't already know," she shakes her head. "You're a nurse, like you said, if they try anything, I want to make sure that someone who can understand some of this still remembers enough that we can piece things back together." Just because she arranged a meeting with Mohinder and he father doesn't mean she trusts them implicitly. "And they're not above taking you into custody if they think it's going to be for the 'greater good'." Something she's not about to allow. "My dad promised that he wouldn't let them alter my memory, but he didn't promise he wouldn't try to take my patients." Something she'd like to avoid at all costs. "And if this virus is affecting you, I don't want to strain you at all. I'll be careful."

There's a pause, Peter looks around the room for a moment, then says, "You have security cameras. Can you set up a direct feed to go to the room I'm in? With sound, if possible? That way I can take notes and pay attention— so if they wipe your memory and take the tapes, they might not know about me." And if they DO wipe her memory and he's watching, he could run for it and try to get away with what he has… But that's the most he can really offer in terms of help and security. If she doesn't want him there… he can't force her to let him be, especially when he doesn't want to get carried off to the Company hospital.

"Um." There's something about hooking up security cameras to computers with sound and while Cass understands what he's asking, she has no idea how it's possible. "We can try? I honestly have no idea how to do any of that." And she feels bad about asking Gene for more help after all he's given her. "If you know how, though, we can try it. It'd be good to have back up ready, just in case." And a second set of ears listening to what she may learn just in case she misses something.

"I don't think I can," Peter admits with a shake of his head, thinking on it for a minute. "I can try to figure it out while I can stay awake— if we got time. I won't be going anywhere, at least." He might at least be able to set it up so it shows video in another room— but they may be out of luck with sound. "Show me where I'm staying, then I'll make a few phone calls." He might have to ask Nathan to join him, too, but he's not sure if his brother will agree to it.

"Hm." Moving for the door, Cass starts walking toward one of the spare rooms. One of them is set up with a cot, blankets an sheets already there. It's spartan, but some place to sleep. "Don't stay up too late or work too hard on it. You've got to let your body rest. If we just have to rely on me shouting or the like, we'll do it that way." Gesturing at the cot, she sighs. "I'm sorry. I know I sound like a mom. I'm just…worried." Obviously, they're all worried. "We'll figure this out, Peter." They have to.

The room doesn't bother him too much. Peter glances around and then sits down on the bed. He's sure the hospital will have some one-size-for-all clothes for him if he asks, so he's not too worried about things like clothes, or anything of the like. He pulls out his cellphone. "I'm worried too— so it's all right." He pauses, looking over at her for a moment before asking, "Did you check your own blood? Just in case?"

"That's next." Cass tells Peter. She already has a vial of it ready to study. She was just so worried about Nathan's and Peter's results that she hasn't had a chance to go through her own. "If you want me to go and get you a bag of clothes or anything you need from your apartment, I can do that," she tells him. Elena could probably pack it. She feels almost like it's her fault that he's under his own sort of quarantine here.

"Yeah— a bag of clothes would be nice," Peter says softly, a hint of a smile. "I'm going to make a few phone calls. I'll see if Gene can get Evelyn to come here— as well as talk to Nathan and Elena— probably Heidi too. I'll need someone to take care of Snowy while I'm… here." And since he's not sure how long that will be… he's just going to have to suffer through it. "Let me know what's going on with you, if you can," he adds, looking at her with concern.

"Of course." It's the least she can do. "Okay," she nods, moving for the doorway again to give him some privacy to make those calls. "I'm sure Lachlan wouldn't mind taking care of another dog if you can't find anyone," she smiles as an offer, just in case. Hopefully he'll only be here for a couple days. Maybe even just a day before she straps Mohinder down and takes his blood - forcibly if needed - so she can see if it cures Peter. "I will." Though she tries to give him a reassuring smile, there's just too much to worry about to give it any real power. "I'll be right in the other room if you need anything."

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