He Flashed


bao-wei_icon.gif bella_icon.gif noriko_icon.gif

Scene Title He Flashed
Synopsis An experiment with the augmentation drug has fatal conclusions, and ambiguous results.
Date April 18, 2010

Staten Island Hospital

Bedridden and feverish, Noriko has been given something of a brief break, something that may appear like a mercy but is really more an observation period. As she drifts in and out of coherence, so too do orderlies drift in and out of her room, inserting a fluid IV into her arm, hooking her up to a heart monitor, routinely checking her temperature. Again, while this would appear to be a form of concern, however practical, for Noriko's health, the fact remains that each and every one of these attentions has a second purpose: the gathering of data. A zero level of the flu's progression and effects must be established for any experimental intervention to yield valid results.

All this is not much object to Noriko, whose experience of all this consists of being prodded, poked and fiddled with, as well as spoonfed by a man in a filtration mask, the image of which is somewhere between funny and horrific. But that is the whole of Noriko's experience until her door opens once more, but this time two men with a gurney appear. They transfer her, still lying down, to the wheeled bed. And then they take her away.

She's now lying in the converted O.R., once operation room, now observation room, beneath the harsh lights. The various monitoring devices have been reapplied, leaving her much as she was in her own room, only now instead of the camera's dark eye, the two way mirror overhead keeps watch.

Noriko shudders as she lays there, shivering with a fever her head having just a bit of a fuzz on it now, after a couple of days of her hair growing back after being shaved by Bao. Her eyes looking around while she struggles to try and get up into some kind of sitting position.

The doors to the operation room quiver open again, admitting the familiar form of Doctor Cong in his coat, gloves, and facemask- no glasses today, just the narrowed, mismatched eyes scouring over everything. He trails a second bed behind him, an orderly at the other end helping the next subject into the room. He's a young man, shorn like Noriko and looking just as haggard. Cong scans over a clipboard as he and the orderly bring the man to a stop nearby the hydrokinetic, and after a moment to study the paper in his grasp, Bao-Wei puts it aside to where it had been lying before. One of the orderlies moves to put a thick beaker of water parallel to Noriko, where it sits, waiting. She is allowed to sit up as far as the bed is angled, which is really just enough to make it seem more like a hospital.

"Martin Shankar, age twenty-four. Illusion generation via mental manipulation." The whirr of the bed being sat up like Noriko's fills the room; Bannon is worse for wear, but his sickly look is on a rather handsome, dark face, with spare brown stubble and coffee-colored eyes. "Shankar is natural, Amagi synthetic. Both are under the five-ten."

«I'm presuming sex is not a relevant variable,» a distorted voice growls from the speakers overhead, «Good thinking on the matter of height and body mass. I suggest a slightly increased dosage for Shankar, all the same. At your discretion, Doctor.»

Observer commentary compliments of Dr. Sheridan, who leans almost casually on her crutch as she stoops towards the microphone, up in her viewing gallery. Noriko's presence provides a consistant excuse for allowing her to remain at this distance, and thus to avoid getting her hands dirty.

«Baseline vitals established. Both subjects are varified as under the effects of total suppression due to viral infection. Are subjects coherent? Can they understand and follow instructions?»

Noriko blinks as the other person is wheeled in next to her, her head lulling on the stand as she shivers a little more. Her arms crossed at her stomach, trying desperately to comfort herself as she whimpers softly, still unaware of where she is at or why she is there.

"The information is on your role sheet- I did not feel like repeating it. They'll be getting the same initial dosage, and we will increase it as per need. I would rather not waste another quarter dose because he is not quite as small. Base doses first." Doctor Cong's tone really sounds like he should add 'trust me', but he does not. They both know it is possible both could die, but as they have a limited supply of this new drug, he would rather keep it rationed.

A gloved finger snaps abruptly in front of Noriko's face, and Bao-Wei's upper features peer diagonally down when he does so. The nurse assisting him seems to be doing the same with Shankar to check him.

"Miss Amagi. We are going to give you a drug intended to boost your ability. Once the dose is injected, we want you to proceed to attempt to use your ability." Cong points off towards that beaker of water, and the second orderly/nurse passes it over to him, and he sits it down closer to the Japanese girl. When all is said and done, aside from- you know- experimenting- the people in and out of here seem to generally be taken care of. More like hamsters than people, though. "Do you understand?"

Bella's smile is thin as Dr. Cong vocally exercises his discretionary imperative, but it's not without a touch of appreciation. She spends a great deal of time navigate people's sensitive spots, accounting for the feelings of others, making allowances - to see someone be so forthright and efficient, qualities that are more appropriate to the setting, is something she imagines she can learn from. Her silence indicates her assent.

Noriko blinks as she hears that, and she nods her head a little before saying, "Okay, I think I can do that…"

"Good." Bao-Wei raises his eyebrows, glancing back to where the nurse is waiting to see into Shankar's power by putting himself there as a 'canvas' mind. For science, eh? Cong proceeds with preparing a syringe beside Noriko's bedside, going through the usual motions before lastly fetching a vial of inky black from a sitting rack along the center table. There are a few more of them, and the nurse prepares a matching needle for Martin.

"If you feel any unusual chest pain or see, feel- anything out of the ordinary, speak up." He will worry about daily side effects if she lives. Hands disarmingly nimble, Cong prepares her arm, and eventually, plunges the syringe into her vein nearly simultaneously with the man doing Shankar's.

Dr. Sheridan is torn between watching the actual bodies of the subjects, and watching the data on the monitors as they are routed up to the screens in the gallery. Her eyes perform a quick back and forth, back and forth, waiting for something remarkable to happen on either front. The last time she dared to push this sort of envelope, she stumbled across a breakthrough. Despite her desire to limit her optimism, she can't but hope for a lucky streak…

Noriko looks at the glass of water that was presented to her, and she struggles to try and make it do anything. Her body still shivering under the effects of the fever as she whimpers softly. "Can… I have a drink of water," she wonders softly.

Remarkably, Bao-Wei is less averse to playing nursemaid this time. Perhaps he is in a better mood, or perhaps he thinks it will do her better at trying to use her power- but as he waits there nearby keeping an eye on the machines, he retrives the water beaker with one hand to offer it towards Noriko's mouth with perceptive gentleness. Somewhere in there is an actual person with human empathy(he is, acter all, a doctor with a public clinic), but for the most part the way he is handling things seems very mechanical in action.

This gesture of kindness is perceived by Dr. Sheridan and, while she doesn't object, it's all rather beside the point to her. As if Bao-Wei needed any reminder, she speaks into the microphone. «I'm not noticing any change in vitals, though I'll continue to watch for a shift in body temperature or heart rate. Is there any change, any return of ability, that you're noticing but I'm missing?» She's eager for /some/ sort of reaction. Her disappointment, despite its being the result of a rather unscientific expectation, is very real.

Noriko drinks the water while she lays there, before she murmers softly, "I can't make it do anything. Please… just stop me from being sick… heal me.." She whimpers softly while she lays there on the bed.

"You'll be healed when the flu leaves, I'm sure." Bao-Wei sets the water back, observing the young woman a moment before peering across to Shankar. The nurse gives a quick shake of his head for both of the doctors. "Nothing visible. It seems as if the five-ten is a true suppression." While they may be able to engineer something to take powers- that is not entirely something they wanted to get at. "So far. Should we move on with doses in a few minutes?" He knows they should- or likely should- so this is a real test for Sheridan herself, on how to gauge such physical experimentation. He may be working, but that does not mean he cannot teach a little through experience.

No hesitation from on high. «Why wait? Apply the next round. Maybe we just need to tip the scales.»

Noriko looks at Bao as she lays there, and she continues to shudder with the fever. "I want to healed now," she whimpers softly while she lays there, eyes looking around as she struggles on the bed. To get up. To make Bao explode in a cloud of pink mist.

"If we had a healer, we may have used them by now." Cong informs Noriko, sudden and terse. "We would have endlessly healthy subjects, why would we not?" Shut up and lie down- his tone is unmistakable. He goes to fetch a half dose for himself and the nurse overseeing Shankar, preparing the second one with ease before injecting it into the woman's bloodstream.

"Second dose active, keep an eye open."

Seeing Bao blasted into a fine red mist would certainly count as a result, experimentally. 'Sudden return of full power under conditions of stress'. That's what would go in the project log, right before 'Need new brilliant senior project member'. For good or ill, though…

«Nothing.» Even through the transformation software it's possible to detect a hint of impatient in Dr. Sheridan's transmitted voice. Seconds pass, and then, «I'm detecting an increase in heart rate. More in the hydrokenetic, but that might just be distress. Anything worth noting on your end? Marginal ability resurgence?»

Noriko shudders as she lays there, struggling to still sit up. "No… I'm sick, I need medical attention. Not this," she struggles, her body shuddering with the effort to stay up, before she lets out a cry as one of her hands goes to her chest.

"She seems to have some cardiac distress, I'm going to stop the girl's." Bao-Wei motions one of the nurses over to immediately treat Noriko's chest pains with a face-size oxygen mask, while he moves over to Shankar. It seems like the man's numbers are simply stressed at first, but suddenly they do a hop skip and jump- his heart rate pumps wildly up, and the man himself seems to be in much more pain than his bedfellow.

"No power response on Shankar? No? Delayed distress- you- get him the mask." It doesn't look good very quickly, however.

If only this were scientifically interesting. But it's only what they've been told to expect from higher doses of the drug. Dr. Sheridan can see the cardiac distress even before Bao-Wei calls it out, though she is looking so hard for something experimentally salient that she doesn't recognize the distress /as/ distress until Bao-Wei names it. Her eyes dart back up to the window, to the actual bodies down there. "Jesus…" she mutters, to herself. There's a part of her, a well trained part, that wants to get down there and lend a hand. But, even if her identity weren't a necessary secret, her leg would prevent her from getting there in time. Things are bad for Shankar, and getting worse fast.

Noriko looks over at the man next to her, as he moves in her bed, "What's going on." She moves, struggling to get up with feet that don't really like to obey her still after their bought of paralysis.

For what it is worth, Doctor Cong's ability when it comes to emergency medicine is above average; though Shankar is in relatively good hands, there is little that they are able to do when he moves into arrest, other than to administer a jump to his chest in an attempt to reset his hiccuping heart. Though Cong and the assistant are fully capable, sometimes the experiment simply ends on a sour note.

The flatlining sound of his heart rate echoes, a stolid ring in the ear and a bright green horizontal failure.

"/Shit/," Bella hisses. This is not what she wanted. Risks, sure. Discomfort, sure. Alternative ethics, absolutely. But this seems… like such a waste. They've learned only negatives. At least she thinks so. Taking her eyes away from that deathly green horizon she speaks into the microphone. «Before his death, did the subject display even a momentary sign of ability restoration?» Let this not be for nothing.

Noriko looks at the man that just died beside, her eyes wide with horror while she lays there in the bed, scooting away as she shakes her head before she goes into a coughing fit. Leaning over the side of the bed as red begins to spatter the floor from her coughs, the hydrokinetic unable to stop.

There's a male nurse- who may actually seem to care a little- that moves to help Noriko. Bao-Wei, on the other hand, is standing over Shankar's fresh corpse, watching it tentatively and drawing down the facemask on his mouth with one hand. He is heavily considering something- perhaps what to say, perhaps something he glimpsed. In fact, both.

"He flashed. For a moment. The operation room was visibly ablaze."

There are two separate lines of thought running through Bella's head right now. One part of her is grimly satisfied that, at least, there was something to show for their efforts, and for Shankar's death. That the practical use of this discovery is rather limited is not such a disappointment, since a large enough collection of impractical knowledge can lead to some very practical results. Her second line of thought is that which is concerned with Noriko's welfare; the asian woman is faring not well at all. Bella fiddles with her intercom, rerouting her voice over to where some project staff watch over the pharmaceuticals. «I need a bottle of dextromethorphan in the observation room.» She doesn't explain the reason, but she doesn't have to. She's the boss, dammit. She informs Bao-Wei that she's asked for some cough suppressant for Subject Amagi, though he finds out soon enough as nurse arrives. It's easy enough for him to spot the person the suppressant is for. He crosses over to Noriko, unscrewing the bottle, and presses her back against the bed, setting the bottle to her lips. A small, clinical kindness.

«Record your findings, Doctor,» Bella intones, as relief is forced upon Noriko, «I think this test is over.»

Noriko can't do much but drink the bottle that is offered to her as she lays back in the bed, still coughing gently as the flu continus to roil through the other woman, her hands clenched to her chest while she whimpers softly, eyes looking around the room.

Bao-Wei is quick to order the body moved, taking the board from the toe of Shankar's bed to begin notating things into the chart. After a time of this and observing the nurse treat Noriko as much as he is able, he motions for the man to move her out after Shankar's bed. "Get her on as much flu medication as you can, keep her on ability suppressants. I want her healthy before we run the next full test. Dry runs in the labs with the solutions for the next few days, give her time to fight the five-ten." Cong offers her his clinical kindness in tandem. "I hope the proposed is satisfactory." His mismatched eyes glint upward to the mirror's reflection of the room, and the sound of him suggests that he is only asking out of obligation rather than his actually checking.

Again, silence must be read as assent. Bella has already turned from the window, and begun to make her limping way towards the stairs. There are implications to this, she is sure. That such a startlingly powerful drug should do /nothing/… such results must carry some value, however deeply buried.

Perhaps Dr. Cong will have some better idea of what that value might be.

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