Skepticism Is Expected


brennan_icon.gif cat_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif

Scene Title Skepticism Is Expected
Synopsis And skepticism is exactly what Cat finds from Doctor Brennan.
Date March 3, 2010

The Verb, Penthouse

Arriving by any of four elevators, visitors will find they open into three foot corridors facing wide double doors made from sturdy southern pine which swing outward and have the strongest locks available. The stairs lead to single doors, also outward opening, at the end of three foot corridors. Entry requires both a key and a keycard; other security measures are a video camera and voice communication terminal at all doors. The 4th Street side has floor to ceiling windows interrupted only by the access points. Cream colored curtains are normally kept closed.

This level has enough space for sixteen apartments. There is an office space with reception area, conference room, and executive office; a room for archery practice and other forms of physical exercise; a very well appointed kitchen and dining area; a music zone with an array of instruments, electronics, and amplifiers; an entertainment area with an HD set covering an entire stretch of wall from floor to ceiling; a locked room where security footage for the building is recorded and can be monitored; a laundry room; a staircase for roof access; central air and heating; the main bedroom and a few smaller guest rooms; plush deep wine carpet everywhere except the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms; and track lighting everywhere overhead. The light levels can be lowered or raised in the entire place, or selectively by segments. The overall decor suggests the occupant is a woman.

Mere minutes after Eve's departure, after moving the family portrait the seeress brought, Cat is going into action. She needs to speak with a Ferry member of the medical profession, and her thoughts turn to Kaylee Thatcher. She mentioned a name when they spoke last. Her digits are tapped into the iPhone, the send button pressed, and she waits. Thanks to earbuds, her hands remain free. They're put to use preparing things, she realizes some briefing may be necessary if she's able to arrange this meeting. Documents and photos are printed out, made ready for sharing.

The young telepath is on her way through midtown ruins when the iPhone in her pocket starts buzzing. Shifting the backpack on her shoulder, Kaylee fishes the iPhone out of her pocket, glancing at the number, half expecting it to be Peter. There is a slight raise of her brows when she sees who and flicks a thumb across it. "Hello? This is Kaylee." Her voice bright and polite over the phone, even as she squints out over the snowy ruins.

Heavy biker boots crunch through the snow, deepening some of the footprints already there. Her heavy winter coat zipped up all the way, over a gray henley knit shirt, and dark blue scarf around her neck. Blonde hair loose over her shoulders. Her breath plumes white in the sharp cold as she talks. "What can I do for you today?"

"Kaylee," Cat replies, "it's good I caught you. Last time we talked, you mentioned a Doctor Brennan. Is he with the Ferry? I need to talk with a trustworthy doctor about the 510 flu and see if he can be gotten to help with a project. I'd come out to meet with you, and him, but it's best if you come to the Verb. I don't want to draw press attention to any places that shouldn't have it." Not just the press, but Russian nazis, the unsaid part.

"I… ah… He's an associate?" Kaylee says, her words cautious, her pace slowing some. "He's been helping with the detoxing patients, but… " There is a heavy sigh and young telepath comes to a stop. "… I can ask him, but there is no guarantee he'll want to deal with Ferry stuff." One eye shut, she glances up at the sky. "He doesn't exactly think the best of me… so… that might go against getting him there."

"But… I'll ask. Tell him you want to talk about the evolved flu." Teeth bite at her lip, and Kaylee worries it a bit before asking, "Anything in particular you want me to say to him to try and get him to see you?"

"I can explain it all when we meet, Kaylee," Cat offers, "I've got material laid out to cover the angles. What I need is to check out a possibility, and I need his help. I need blood samples from people who seem to have the 510 flu."

There is a bit of a grimace on Kaylee's end that Cat doesn't see, but her voice sounds a bit strained, "Okay." The word squeaks out. What the hell is she gonna say to the doctor. There is a huff. "Okay… I'll call him. I'm going to guess as soon as the good doctor can get away?" She asks starting her travel through the snowy wasteland again.

"Oh.. and don't be surprised if his wife comes along. She's a doctor as well and helped as well. So she isn't clueless about us." It's added as an after thought, Kaylee's finger nail taps on the back of her phone in thought. "Both are really good… so I'll give them the option."

"Give him my number if he has questions, Kaylee," Cat recommends, "and thank you. Part of what I'm going to brief him on is that virus we stopped a year ago." She ends the call and leaves Kaylee to her task, hoping it soon brings her around with the good doctor. She makes arrangements to have enough food for three from Piccoli's delivered and repairs to the camera monitoring room so she can see when they arrive.

When the call ends, Kaylee lets out a long sigh. "Okay…" She says to no one in particular. She stares at the phone for a moment before flipping through names finding the doctors number. Tucking the phone up under her hair, the telepath glances back behind her.

When it picks up, Kaylee turns back around. "Doctor Brennan. I have some one who needs your opinion…"

Sometime, and a few bus rides, later Kaylee steps off the elevator with Brennan, after meeting down stairs, giving the doctor a small smile she says, "Catherine Chesterfield is good people. I don't know what about the new virus she wants to talk about, but — " She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, shoulders giving a shrug. "Thanks for coming along though." Relief colors her voice when she says that last.

Everything would have to wait till the Medical group was closed and he'd finished his writing up of the casefiles for the day. Crossing T's and dotting I's but he promised Kaylee he'd stop by wherever he wanted her to after work since it wasn't an emergency. A call to Michelle to say not to hold dinner, and the good doctor was off in his car searching out a parking place and eventually beside Kaylee in the elevator. "No problem at all. It's on my way home really. I'll get back in time to tuck the girls in and watch a movie with Marlena."

Being expected, they find the access panel hiding buttons for floors above four is open, and the double doors across from it once they reach the sixth floor are also open. Cat's waiting there just inside, having come out to meet the pair when she saw them arriving. Piccoli's food ordered earlier was stored in the refrigerator for consumption another time, probably by herself or Helena, having long since gotten cold.

"Kaylee, Doctor Brennan, thanks for coming. I've got things set up in the entertainment room." The brunette in the Clash t-shirt and jeans is slightly less tall than Kaylee."

"Cat." A nod of greeting and a bright smile is given to the other woman, Kaylee steps out of the way for the two to introduce each other. "Sorry, it wasn't sooner… but the whole work thing, on both counts." Since she was able to get back to work recently. The backpack slung on her shoulder is slid off and hangs at her side. "I'm curious what this is about. You mentioned that new 510 flu, which is a concern considering how many evolved we deal with."

Cat Chesterfield. If the news broadcasts don't serve him wrong, he's looking at the daughter of the late Jennifer Chesterfield. "You're welcome, Doctor Chesterfield. I have to admit, I'm a bit confused as to why you need me with regards to this all. I'm afraid I really don't know much about the new Flu that's going around." He eases off the elevator, taller than both women and glances back and forth while moving for the entertainment room in their wake.

Her demeanor is somber, showing concern, as the business of the encounter is embarked upon. She closes the doors leading out to the elevator, letting security folks at the front desk handle closing the upper floors access panel, and turns back to her guests so she can lead into the entertainment room. "Would you like something to drink?" is asked, she pausing next to the small refrigerator.

The wall length HD set opposite the entrance to that room is on, showing the starfield screen saver. Her laptop rests on an end table next to a comfortable recliner. "This is, Doctor Brennan, about all of us learning more on the 510 virus."

"Just a bottle of water… ah… if you have it." The young blonde says, following the others. Her eyes going to room as she enters it, dropping her backpack on the floor out of the way of everything and unzipping her heavy winter jacket. She's silent mostly since she isn't a doctor, but she's curious.

"I'm fine, Dr. Chesterfield," Brennan replies, a lift of his hand to wave away any offer of refreshment. "So there's going to be a slideshow?" It's a joke, really, and it has him curious. "Listen, Dr. Chesterfield, not that I don't appreciate a most likely riveting power point presentation, my time is short and I do have a family to get home to. I've got files on patients for tomorrow that I have to look over as well, so if we could cut to the chase without any… theatrics. No offense intended and likely to come off that same way. Do you know something about the new influenza virus that's making it's round?"

A bottle of water is taken out and handed to Kaylee, then she gets a half-liter Pepsi for herself and moves toward the recliner. Fingers tap the mousepad and kill the screensaver, changing the immense HD screen to a display of all the Rebel exhibits she has. "You may find this hard to believe, Doctor Brennan, but just over a year ago someone tried to release a depopulating virus. Some friends and I, with the help of a scientist from MIT, stopped that from happening. The virus in question," she asserts while settling the mouse pointer on the image Rebel placed on their website, "was this one and another in combination. The virus shown here is lethal enough on its own." Her eyes sweep across the pair, observing their reactions to what she's laying out.

"This virus arose from an original which my information says only infected people with the SLC. That agent's lethality is unknown, only one patient was cited as having been infected with the disease. During the course of research, it mutated into the strain shown here. It may be simple coincidence, of course," Cat allows, "but prudence dictates investigation, especially since Rebel chose to warn the world of some things." Her hand gestures toward the other items.

"What I plan to do is cajole someone at Mt. Sinai to share images of the 510 virus with me so I can compare them against this. I would also like to get blood samples from patients believed to have the 510 virus and get them photo'd under a microscope so we can also compare those with what I get from Mount Sinai researchers."

Oh Christ, more of this stuff. Moab, conspiracy theory, more of this stuff. Brennan closes his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose after looking at the screen and the images projected from it. The more he did things with these people the more he heard.

The more he thought that a great deal of them were fear mongering and a smaller few, delusional. "Where exactly do I play into this, Dr Chesterfield? Why exactly did you ask for me? To draw blood? Because if that's the reason, you have Megan, and there's no need to bring me into this. You should be forwarding this to the CDC instead of sitting on it if it's real." Which he's unsure of. He and Michelle sat looking at the files that were hidden behind one of the pictures up on the screen.

A 'thanks' is murmured as she takes the bottle, moving to look at the screen, brows furrowing at what she's looking at. Her head tilts a bit at the image as she gives the bottle a twist, cracking the seal. Cat gets a glance at the mention of the MIT scientist, before letting her gaze wander back up at the screen.

"So… you think this new virus sweeping the city is like the one you all stopped?" The telepath asks, brows furrowing some in thought. Eyes flicking over at Brennan, not really surprised.

Skepticism is expected. It doesn't faze Cat. "You're the doctor," she replies, "and as such will be supervising treatment of persons having the 510 virus, also involved in diagnoses of it as opposed to other varieties of flu, though it's true today's Times says diagnosis will be fairly easy. SLC patients with flu and loss of their abilities. The CDC, meanwhile, would be a viable option if it isn't corrupted. Infiltrated. They've already attempted to stonewall inquiries at multiple points, and are a Federal agency. Do you not find it suspicious, beyond mere conspiracy theory, that first these exhibits are distributed by Rebel and later we see the very things they speak of starting to happen? A Nazi-sounding mayor who made her prejudice against people with the SLC no secret during the campaign calling a meeting to discuss quarantine procedures? I've also done research independent of Rebel's claims, and found people with the SLC have indeed disappeared after visiting innoculation centers. Some in Texas, and one from Staten Island. Do you recall the Ferry rumor about someone being taken away, in late November?" She takes a short drink of her cola.

"I have to wonder, given the things I've seen, if this 510 flu isn't the result of a direct attempt to engineer a plague against us, for extermination or other reasons."

"No, Dr. Chesterfield, I don't, I'm not Ferrymen. Megan brings children to me that need medical attention. Kaylee asked me to come help to properly detox individuals which she liberated from some secret government Refrain drug camp. I don't get… regular flyers about the Ferry potluck happening next Friday." Okay, a little heavy on the sarcasm. "But really, what are you expecting me to do? See pictures of what you think may be the H5N10 influenza? Just knock out the conspiracy crap, I'm not here to play the game of what the government may or may not be doing. I came because I was told you had something for me, and I assume seeing this, that you want me to do something. So what is it? If it's to try and scare me into believing truly what some of your more seasoned members have told me, then you'll have to try that another day."

Brennan's hand comes up from his hip, running against his jaw and the stubble there. "You really need to send this to the CDC regardless of whether you think they're stonewalling. Ever occur that they're stonewalling maybe because they don't know? They don't know and to come out and say 'Hello, evolved plague, wipe out the population with the SLC genetic sequence' that that might instill state or even country wide panic? That those who aren't possessing of the gene, might turn on those who do? Have you heard the news today Dr. Chesterfield? Because I have and it's ugly. Will I come into contact with this? Yes, they're already offering masks at the Suresh Center to those who are in want of them when they come in. " Brennan lifts his hand towards the pictures then drops them. "So what exactly are you asking of me Dr. Chesterfield? Really, cut to the chase."

Kaylee is staying silent really, she finds it safer at the moment. Though the mention of the abduction, she gives a short nod. "Staten Island… something about vans, guys in hazmat suits and a coffin like box?" She asks, glance at Dr Brennan giving him a tight lipped apologetic smile, before glancing at the floor. "Actually, I can't see how with all this out there the CDC doesn't have it."

Eyes go to the screen and she nods at it, "If that's on the website.. then I can't imagine they don't know." There is a softness to her tone, a touch of nervousness as she offers the opinion. "I mean, they might not know the connection to the thing Cat's talking about. I don't know. I wasn't around for all that."

"Consider this, Dr. Brennan," Cat replies dryly as she uses the mouse pointer to indicate the letters CDC at the bottom of the viral image from Rebel's site, "when you ask about the CDC knowing things. It is possible, depending on what I find, I may contact them. My larger concern was having someone knowing the full story involved with trying to find a curative for this disease working with Ferry patients who opt not to enter traditional medical facilities lest they be exposed. The disease is, among other possible things, an SLC test." Another short drink of her cola is taken.

"I'm not asking anything of you, Doctor Brennan. I might have, but you're not mentally prepared to assist. Your mind isn't open enough to consider me other than insane. Thank you for coming, and do have a pleasant evening." Just like that, Doctor Brennan has been dismissed. Attention shifts to Kaylee, to whom she nods. "Exactly that. Vans, suits, the box."

Brennan nods at Kaylee. "Precisely." An approving albeit still dour glance her way. "If the fact that you all stopped a lethal virus the first time is true, who's to say they don't have that?" But he's dismissed and there's a nod from Brennan. "If that's how you see it, Dr. Chesterfield. Kaylee, good seeing you again." He takes one last look at the images before turning, heading back through the apartment from where he came and presumably to the elevator.

Eyes close and Kaylee's head drops forward, hair hiding the pained look at Cat's words. "Cat…" The name is softly whined. There is a soft sigh, a hand lifts in farewell to Brennan. "Take care, sir. Give Michelle my best. I'm —- sorry." The hand drops and the glances back to the lawyer. "He's seen a lot… should read his books." She comments softly. "But… maybe Megan can get the blood you need. Maybe I can check with Doctor Filitov see if he knows a way to get it looked at?"

"Anyhow.." Another glance goes to the way Brennan disappeared too. "That was back in January right? Do you think is started that far back?" There is a thoughtful look as she studies a screen. "Hopefully, the seniors will get the word out with the masks. There are… so many safe houses out there."

"So many places concentrated with evolved people."

She is silent until the penthouse doors are closed again behind Dr. Brennan, leaning her head out of the entertainment room where the display is until she sees him leave. Only then does Cat return in full and speak. Her voice is quiet, the eyes close. "That was unfortunate. I had hoped he, even if skeptical, would keep that subdued and consent to gathering evidence which might establish things one way or another. I've little patience to argue things with him, and I doubt he'd be willing to truly hear in any case. The will not to believe," she murmurs, "is often stronger than reason." She pauses, collecting her thoughts to move forward.

"So we'll find another way. The situation Rebel indicates began in mid-November last year. It is, at this point, neither proven nor disproven if there's any link between the virus used to create what we stopped from release and the 510 virus. What we have is Rebel drawing attention to that source virus and possible government activities, the fact 510 virus is specific to people with the SLC, and Mayor Lockheart's intent to confer about emergency quarantine procedures. What we need is to prove or disprove the association between this virus," she again indicates the viral image, "and 510. I'm also looking into a few scientists who may be in Federal hands having links to this. A thing I wouldn't speak to Doctor Brennan about, given his refusal to open his mind for even what little I showed him." The bottle is once more tilted to her lips, cola imbibed from it.

"It would be helpful to have blood samples from patients as they occur, but not necessary. I can persuade Mt. Sinai researchers to share photos with me, and compare them with this image. Diagnosis of 510 flu, according to today's Times, will be quite easy. It causes ability negation. The first step remains to establish just what virus we're facing. If it turns out these are the same or related viruses, word will be spread and steps taken."

"Yeah, I heard about that negation stuff." Kaylee says softly, frowning slightly. "That… worries me. I mean, getting a cold is one thing, having what makes us who we are blocked…" There is a slow shake of her head.

Pacing behind Cat's chair, Kaylee takes a sip of her water, blue eyes on the screen. "It's only a matter of time before the Ferry ends up with it's share. So I think it'll be easy to get the blood. Need to get in contact with all the non-evolved medical staff to collect it."

Stopping, she turns towards Cat, brows dropping a bit. "Scientists in federal hands? Why is that not surprising?" Her tone turning a touch bland.

"The blood will have uses other than for photos to see if the virus is the same," Cat provides, "it can also be worked with to see about cures. Camps and quarantine plans are worrisome too. Given Mayor Lockheart's rhetoric, I'd not be surprised to see her advocate quarantining anyone with the SLC out of hand because we might become infected. If you would, please keep this between you and I until I tell you what I learn from people at Mt. Sinai. It's not something that should be widely spread without proof."

From here she changes subjects. "Molly came to see me. Thank you for arranging that. She was helpful, an address was found for one person, the other was placed somewhere in the Bronx. A raid happened, but the targets got away. There will be others."

Making a motion of zipping her lips, Kaylee gives Cat a lop-sided smirk, "That is not a problem. I'll keep silent on this, just don't wait to long to tell Scott or Grace and them." Her gaze flicks over the screen and she moves to get closer to the screen as if it holds all the answers.

"You're welcome on Molly." Offered softly as she turns to Cat, giving her a small smile. "I just showed her a memory of you, told her you were good people and to go see you if she wanted to." There is a brief flash of teeth as she talks about the teenager, but it fades slowly. "She offered to look for my father, I'm — thinking about taking her up on it."

There is a soft sigh, "I wasn't going to, but… I need to know. I can't keep hiding from the truth. If he's dead… he's dead." Though Kaylee doesn't look happy at the idea.

"She says if I want her to help again, I can contact her through you. I will, those people are still out there, but not yet," Cat replies. "It'd be more involved than one act of locating," she explains. "Pinning down a place doesn't mean the target will still be present when a strike team arrives, and even than surveillance is needed. Getting intel on whether or not others are present, finding and sealing off escape routes…" She trails off for a time, letting that subject go to take up another.

"That's your choice," she advises. "All four of my parents are dead. Two I never met were murdered by Arthur. The third sacrificed himself preventing Pinehearst's reactor from melting down. And the fourth, well, the story's very public."

"I'm sorry to hear that, Cat… I really am." Kaylee says with a small smile. "I can't imagine what that's like. I mean, partially… when I thought my father had died in Midtown." There is a soft sound of frustration at the back of her throat.

"I think I will." She says after a long moment of thought, Kaylee glances back at Cat. "Sorry… yeah, if you need Molly… contact me. I can get a hold of her if that makes her more comfortable."

She's silent, choosing not to expound upon or even speak of her understanding at first hand what it is to discover most of what she understood about her origins and her parents was a lie. That they'd been Company agents instead of an insurance CEO and corporate wife, along with the revelation she'd been inserted into the identity of the deceased infant Catherine Chesterfield after Arthur had the Forrests murdered along with the other Formula workers. That her memory came from that original serum. Stoicism is instead secured into place as she slowly drinks from the cola bottle.

"Thanks for coming, Kaylee," she eventually offers somberly. "I'll be in touch."

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