2007-07-26: Superior Scientist

Starring:

Max_icon.gif Mohinder_icon.gif

Summary: Max tries to lure Mohinder down the dark path! (They have cookies.)

Date It Happened: July 26th, 2007

Log Title Superior Scientist


Kirby Plaza

Working diligently, Mohinder is seated at a workstation. His interest is divided between a computer screen, a microscope and a medical chart in front of him. Oblivious to much of anything around him, he's doing his usual thing of getting lost in his work. Quite possibly just because this is normal, or he's trying to keep his mind occupied.

Max has a way of not waiting to fully recover from one beating before he staggers his way into another. The pressure cut across his cheek has finally healed to a neat, pink line, but he's sporting a partially healed black eye and a heavy, welted bruise along one side of his jaw. He's smiling, though. When he steps through the door to the research area, he closes it behind himself just a little harder than is needed, making his presence known. "Hello, Doctor Suresh. How's business?" he queries.

Mohinder's pencil scrawls across the page in an irregular line as he's disrupted from his thoughts. Eyes are narrowed briefly as he looks up, then relax as he nods to Max. "Mr. Swan, still getting into trouble I see." It's not a question. "Are you taking tins of catfood from little old ladies?"

Swan smirks as he shrugs a lab coat on over his slim-tailored black suit. "Hardly," he replies. "Now that I've been given a little more freedom of movement, I've been getting reacquainted with an old friend." He stifles a yawn into the back of his hand as he crosses the room to stand beside Mohinder. "Pardon me. I've been keeping late nights. May I?" He gestures to the microscope to indicate his curiosity. Although he's technically a field agent, Max's interests lie just as much in the lab as they do on the proverbial battleground.

"Reacquainted, I see, either this is a very bad friendship or a very good one." But it's not giving Mohinder cause to pry. At the request to look into the microscope, he steps away and gestures for Max to help himself. "I've been attempting to assist Mara with her ability. I have managed to devise a drug that allows her to remain conscious during visions. However, her ocular nerves appear to be hindered when she is having her visions. I am attempting to determine if this is due to her ability or the drug. Findings and other case studies are however pointing to the former."

"Mmmm," Max replies neutrally, preferring to reserve judgment until after he's had a look at the results for himself. "I'm assuming you're using a standard combination of neural and physical stimulants?" That would seem to be a given, but with the resources the Company has access to, one never knows what sort of new drugs or tech they may have access to. "She could be reacting to one of the neural agents, if that's the case. This bloodwork is a mess."

Mohinder inclines his head in a nod. "I am. I based my formula off initial testing that I performed during her visions and subsequent blackouts. "That's what I thought as well.. but when you look at testing and documentation on other subjects with powers that revolve around seeing the future, the past, precognition, they are subject to spells where they have a full blackout."

"Blind or unconscious… ?" The self-taught scientist muses. He hunches his large, muscular body a bit lower over the microscope and refocuses the eyepiece for another look. "I can't say which I'd choose. Blind, probably. Even without my eyes, I like to think I'd still be a handful." He leans his head back to shoot a wink and a grin over at Mohinder. The doctor got to experience for himself how much of a handful Max could be during the sociopath's days in a Primatech cell. "The subject's spells of blindness began after you administered the experimental drug?" There's no harshness to the query. Far from it. Max has developed his share of experimental serums and compounds, often with far less success.

"That is correct. Before, it was a full period of unconsciousness that varied depending on how strong the vision was." Mohinder opens Mara's file and flips to some of the more violent visions he subjected her to. One of the paintbrushes used to pin down Isaac, things of that nature, down to having her touch some of Molly's toys. "She would fall unconcious for a few minutes to an hour as you see.. and Mr. Swan, you being a handful, that I fear is a gross understatement." He folds his arms across his chest, just waiting to hear out Max's take on the matter.

Surpremely unoffended, Max lets out a low chuckle and leans back from the 'scope. "You like me, Doctor. Admit it. Scientifically, we're two sides of the same coin. We seek the same answers to the same questions." He lets out a sigh and rubs his fingertips against his jaw through his beard, wincing slightly when he contacts the bruised side. "As far as answers go, I'd say you're on the right track. Blind is better than unconscious, yes? Have you considered electrical stimulation of the optic nerve? Though my equipment was crude, I have been able to produce promising results using electricity in the past." Applying electricity with crude, improvised equipment? Yummy.

"Guilty as charged," Mohinder says in a mildly amused tone. "That's what I think as well. I want to bring usage of this drug to a halt, but she won't hear of it. With the studying I've done, I do have to think that the temporary blindness during a vision would be an effect she would eventually work up to." He looks mildly intrigued, but put off slightly by testing with crude equipment that is possibly jury rigged.

"Don't dismiss the idea so quickly, Doctor," Max urges. "This is a fully equipped facility. We've no need to hook stun guns to soldering wire to produce the effect we need." More food for thought. Quickly, he forages on, excited as always to be confronted by a new scientific conundrum related to the Evolved human condition. "Mild electrical stimulation accompanied by the proper mix of medications is a viable alternative to a semi-comatose state, I think."

"Of course not." Mohinder states simply. He's not one to give up too easily. Even with his moments. Although his brows do raise quizzically, "I presume you are speaking from experience?" He then shakes his head dismissively, "I will continue to pursue this line of study. Mara may be desperate, but I am not." Not at this stage. Shifting from one topic completely to another, he asks, "When you and Agent Armstrong brought in Miss Deatley, did she attempt to use her ability on you?"

A slight raising of eyebrows is Agent Swan's only show of surprise at the abrupt change in topics. "No," he replies simply. "But I believe she instinctively attempted to use it on Agent Armstrong just before the chloroform took effect. It's difficult to tell." He smirks, and the scar at the corner of his mouth twitches in a fashion that's nothing so much as sinister. "I would keep my gloves on around her if I were you."

Mohinder hmmms as he slides onto a stool. "I see.. I ask as I am curious. She's a very difficult woman to speak with. Not that I blame her for being angry. We have yet to be able to test her ability in a practical and controlled environment." He reaches for Megan's file, preparing to add further notes. "Gloves you say? Her ability is initiated through physical contact?"

Max shrugs his broad shoulders and lets out a low sigh. "It seems very likely. She did attempt to grab Agent Armstrong. I can't see anybody putting a hand on her unless they thought it would get them somewhere." His smirk grows broader. Someone has a secret. "There are other possibilities," he continues. "Visual contact. Knowing a target's name or face may even be enough. If you'd authorize the use of sodium pentathol…" Glare. "…we would know more. I bet HR is having a field day trying to liase with you about that."

"Indeed, and you wouldn't be wrong about that. I would rather have her cooperation rather than coercing her." Mohinder seems stubborn on this point. It seems his altruistic nature hasn't completely fled. "Visual contact, makes sense, as well as knowing your target. Distance could play a factor as well."

Agent Swan rolls his eyes. Goody-goodies and their morals. Still, he agrees with the doctor. "Certainly. If it's visually-based, I'm curious as to wether she'd be able to use her ability through a filter. Like a camera or a mirror. Of course, since she won't cooperate willingly, we'll likely never know. You need to loosen up, Doctor Suresh. Stop thinking locally and start thinking globally." Unflinchingly, he makes eye contact. "Your morality is admirable, but it restrains you. It's your crutch. Imagine what you could accomplish without it slowing you down."

Mohinder's shoulders square and tense. He won't become soulless for the sake of science. No. "Without it, I could be come a monster, and that will not happen. I appreciate your candor Mr. Swan." And he truly does. The man has a remarkable mind, if frightening at times. "I will continue to work with Miss Deatley, to try and win her cooperation. I feel it will be far more rewarding."

"And I feel like I hope shut up. Whiner." The words are gently teasing. There's no real heat to them. "Monsters serve a purpose, Doctor. We do the things that you heroes can't. And really, do you think you're on the angels' side in this fight?" He spreads his arms wide, a gesture meant to indicate not only the lab, but the whole facility and the Company that runs it. "To hold to your ideals even for this long… Your strength of will must be impressive, to say the least."

Mohinder is a stubborn man who is clinging tenaciously to his ideals. For the sake of his own soul and that of Molly's. "Perhaps.. perhaps not." Peter's words ring through his head and he thinks of Molly.. He thinks of what he's had to do recently, and is not proud of them. "I do what I can, to help, to further genetic study of humans and evolved. Not to experiment."

"Experimentation is at the heart of proper research, Doctor Suresh. Using humans instead of rats doesn't change that." Max clasps his hands behind his back in a loose imitation of the military 'at ease' posture. "That's a fact you would do well to remember. You may be better trained. You may even be more intelligent." This is a grudging admission, and even then he doesn't look entirely convinced. "But until you've freed yourself from your obligations to societal rules and regulations, I will be the superior scientist."

"Let me rephrase.. blind or needless experimentation." Mohinder's lips purse in silent disapproval of Max's words and thought process. Silently, the geneticist thinks that he'll be fine with being the lesser man if that's the case. "I do remember, quite well, I simply won't experiment needlessly or without consent on human subjects."

"And while you're in charge of the medical and research facilities in New York, neither will I," Max concedes. "I hope that one day we're able to see eye to eye. On that day we'll do great things, Doctor." He smiles a small, indulgent smile. "Until then, I will content myself with mediocre achievements. Your detective's temporary blindness, for example."

Mohinder inclines his head in a grateful nod to Max's words. "Speaking of which.. shall we get back to researching?" It's sort of a peace pipe, despite the difference of views.. and a way to tell Swan he appreciates the man's input.

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