2007-06-23: Trade Secrets


Max_icon.gif Mohinder_icon.gif

Summary: Mohinder comes to check on Max in his cell and ends up trading theories. And planning a sneaky trick with fake pills that probably won't get him killed.

Date It Happened: June 23, 2007

Log Title Trade Secrets

Location Hartsdale, NY - Primatech - Cells

Overall, being captured has not been a pleasant experience for Max. It took him more than a day to regain conciousness after being drugged and experiencing a power overload simultaneously. He still hasn't fully recovered. He's alert, though. Perched on the edge of the bed with his hands resting lightly on his thighs, his eyes are closed and he appears lost in thought. He's been cleaned up and dressed in the standard white trousers and t-shirt issued to all the Company's 'guests,' and his shoes have been switched in favor of slippers.

Taking someone's shoes sends a not-so-subtle message. Get comfy. You're going to be here for a while.

There are two pills sitting on the desk in a small, sterile plastic cup. Next to them is a disposable glass of water. The former is untouched, but Max appears to have sparingly sipped from the second. After all, there would be little point in poisoning him /after/ he's been captured.

Being captured like an animal in the wild is never a pleasant experience. This is a process that Mohinder Suresh heartily disagrees with. Unless you're Sylar or Kellie. Then, the gloves are off, no holds barred, do what it takes to subdue. It's this latest 'guest', such a sanitized term, that Mohinder is on his way to visit. Clipboard in hand, lab coat worn over his civvies, he's hardly imposing a figure as he approaches the door that is the way in and out of Max's cell. He raises a hand and raps lightly at the door, "Mr. Maxwell Swan?" It's politeness that has the man knocking. He knows he's well within his rights to simply barge in, but he maintains a sense of propriety in this place.

Max turns his head slightly toward the door and blinks his eyes open. "Please, come in." He may be a borderline sociopath and megalomaniac, but Max is nothing if not well-mannered. His voice is a little thick, though. Sluggish sounding. Residual effects of the tranquilizers, perhaps. He sucks a slow, deep breath in through his nose, holds it for several seconds, then expels it between his lips.

Mohinder does take note of the status of Maxwell's voice as normal, all things considered. With security detail behind him, the doctor gets them to wait outside the door while he enters the cell. He smiles pleasantly, despite being part of the operation that is holding this man captive. "Good afternoon Mr. Swan, I'm Dr. Mohinder Suresh. I've been asked to come check on you. How are you feeling?" His demeanor is cordial, friendly and seems to be taking a genuine interest in the man's welfare.

"I've been better, Doctor Suresh. But I thank you very much for asking." Max's voice grows steadier as it gets a bit more use. "What are those?" The query is punctuated by a gesture toward the (Haitian)pills. Though bloodshot and slightly unfocused, his gaze meets Mohinder's unwaveringly.

Mohinder inclines his head in a nod as he takes out a pen and jots down a few notes on the paper he's holding. So far, the physical state of Max is to be expected. "I would like to check your vitals as well. Just to make sure you are recovering normally from the sedation." At the question, his gaze settles onto the pills before traveling back to Max. "An unfortunate necessity that we ask you to take." Ask of course being the easy way of doing things.. "They will prevent you from using your ability so that we can better help you. It's a more civil solution for everyone involved. I hope that you understand."

Max's eyes narrow briefly, and there's a minuscule out-thrusting of his chin before he nods, accepting the answer. "I assume that if I don't take them, there are less pleasant ways of administering the same treatment." It isn't a question. He abruptly stands, unlimbering his large, muscular body and stretching in an almost catlike fashion. He takes the medication without any outward reluctance, then turns to offer an arm to the Doctor. "I feel none the worse for wear, considering the circumstances, but you're welcome to check what you wish."

"Unfortunately.. that is the policy." Clearly, not one he agrees with in most cases. Suresh takes a step back, reflexively of course, as Max stands. He relaxes as the man takes the medication then approaches to take a quick check of vitals. Pulse, heartbeat, checking the eyes. "Thank you for your cooperation, it always makes things smoother for all parties. I was going over your file before coming in. You have a fascinating ability. You are the first person that I've met who can manipulate the magnetic fields of metallic substances."

When Dr. Suresh is finished, Max inclines his head respectfully in response to the statement. He retreats to an unassuming distance, then clasps both hands behind his back in a loose imitation of the military 'at east' posture. "Thank you," he replies demurely. "I find it to be simultaneously strenuous and rewarding. One could say the same of any worthwhile scientific pursuit. If you give me some Percocet, I would be happy to tell you more about my gift." In an honest offer. Max is an addict who is willing to exchange goods for services. Despite being unable to use his ability, his body still hurts.

"I do apologize, but we ran some tests when you were brought in. Purely procedural, of course. I noticed immediately from your blood work that you have a heavy trace of the prescribed medication Percocet in your system." Mohinder says this conversationally as he steps back, writing on the chart as he speaks. "We detected no injuries to your body. Is there a reason you're taking Percocet?" Then wait, blink, he spoke too soon.. A frown creases the man's forehead as he takes another look at Max, then flips through the papers on his clipboard. "I see.. using your ability causes a physical reaction of pain in your body?" Interesting. Now the doctor wonders if this is because of a mental addiction that formed.. There are ways to test this of course. "That is an interesting aspect to study. Some individuals do experience a physical side effect of using their abilities. It is the body's way of coping, or its way of saying that it's being pushed too far."

"That is correct. I envision the abilities of Evolved humans as a muscle. When stretched and exercised, it will strengthen. When overused, it will strain or even tear." Max's tone is equally friendly. He seems pleased that Mohinder so readily followed the line of reasoning to what he believes is a natural conclusion. "The creation and manipulation of magnetic fields is a particularly stressful activity. More than a decade of experimentation have left me a bit on the worn side, to put it delicately. I experience chronic pain, among other side effects. May I have something for it?" It's a polite request, but there is a measure of urgency to it. He has been alone in the cell with nothing but his aches to keep him company for several hours.

"That is a very apt way of looking at this Mr. Swan," Mohinder is already suspecting and correctly so, that Max is an addict. "We can help you with your ability, so that hopefully you will no longer need to use a painkiller." He continues to listen to Max, nodding his head when appropriate, yet he is concerned that the man has pushed himself too far. "I see.. we can do a full physical on you to see what sort of .. wear and tear.. you have brought on yourself. It might be repairable.. or at least treatable. As for the chronic pain.. I think that we can accomodate you. There should not be a problem with this." Of course, Mohinder would like to try a placebo first.. to see if this is all mental on Max's part.

Max nods again, apparently satisfied with this arrangement. After all, he's been promised pills. "I appreciate your understanding," he replies evenly. "As promised, I would be happy to discuss my theories with you in greater detail. Normally I'd never give away trade secrets, but you appear to have a remarkably insightful mind." He grins, showing a flash of white teeth.

Mohinder smiles broadly at Max. "As I said, I'm certain we can accomodate your needs while here. I don't anticipate that there would be a problem." Of course on the chart, he notates start with a placebo, then try something more mild than Percocet. Like Celebrex. "I would very much like to discuss this more at length with you. I'm a geneticist, and I've made it my life's work to study the abilities and evolution of humans. It was my father's work as well."

Though he's still somewhat groggy, Max's alertness is rapidly steadying. Stimuli will do that to a person. He twists his neck slowly to the left and right, producing a tight, deliberate series of pops as muscles and vertebrae loosen. When he settles back onto the edge of the bed, he does so somewhat gingerly. "I know. I've read your father's book. I imagine he was a very interesting man. He was certainly a pioneer in the scientific community. I was sorry to hear of his death." There is genuine compassion in Max's voice, and he bows his head briefly before continuing. "I am pleased to see you carrying on his work, though you might have picked a more tasteful venue."

Mohinder offers a nod in acceptance for Max's condolences. "Thank you.. it.. was a horrid circumstance." Something that still stings to this day. Perhaps owing to the fact that Sylar STILL remains at large. "Sometimes.. we do what we have to, in order to see things done. Like my father, I found ridicule in the scientific circles and a severe lack of funding for research. This opportunity presented me with such, as well as situations like there. Where I can help those who may need it." The audible noises coming off of Max as he twists his neck are noted. Definitely not the sound of a healthy neck. "I hope that we can assist you with your ability so that it no longer pains you." Always there is that hope. He moves to lean against the wall, clipboard tucked under his arm. "Tell me… when was it you first noticed a physical ache or pain when using your power?"

"The first time I used it. I lifted a few pounds of steel, and afterward I experienced a dizzying array of side effects." As he counts them off, Max ticks each bit of unpleasantness on a finger. "Headache, joint and muscular pain, nosebleed, vomiting, and finally unconsciousness. Over time my stamina has increased dramatically. However, I have had seizures on several occasions when the exertion was particularly extreme."

Mohinder's brows lift and he makes a not so encouraging hrm sound. "Mr. Swan.. I would like to see you in a controlled environment, carefully monitored of course, while you use your ability. These effects that you list are quite worrying. It is only with your consent that I will try to help you find a way to combat these effects. Again.. only with your consent and if you want to find another way."

Max lifts one eyebrow curiously, then shrugs his shoulders. "If it will get me out of this cell, I happily consent. Perhaps we'll even make some progress. I have experimented with my gift at length, but never with the benefit of another mind and another set of eyes."

Mohinder smiles gratefully at Max for this opportunity. "Very well then. I have been working with another person to help them combat their side effects as well. With a good degree of success. I think in your case, it could be as simple as an athlete managing their body in training. The other scientists and doctors on staff here are very knowledgeable in their fields, I have faith that we can assist you. Now.. is there anything we can send down here to help alleviate your boredom in the meantime?"

"Something to read would be lovely. The morning paper, and anything you have lying around that might be pertinent to our discussion." Max wets his lips with the tip of his tongue. "And something to eat, please."

"Reasonable requests of course," Mohinder says with a smile. A few newspapers can be dredged up, as well as books. All delivered with a meal. "I'll go see to this immediately for you Mr. Swan. I shall also check in with you later on." And when lunch is delivered.. There'll also be placebo disguised as Percocet. Sneaky doctor is sneaky.

Max nods, then resumes the posture he was maintaining when the doctor arrived. Eyes closed, hands on his thighs, breath slow and even. "Thank you, Dr. Suresh. I look forward to our next encounter."

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