Here, But Gone


cat_icon.gif niki_icon.gif rajas_icon.gif tmonk_icon.gif

Scene Title Here, But Gone
Synopsis Cat takes Niki to the hospital where things do not go according to plan and all hell breaks loose.
Date June 23, 2009

Mount Sinai Hospital

(Continued from The Photograph is Proof.)

The engine to her 2008 Dodge Neon is running, the car's color purple. Cat's in the driver's seat with the passenger door open, having posted herself here just in case Niki Sanders does what she hoped would happen: Receive the news from Elisabeth, see the photo there, and make a beeline for the door in a display of unrestrainable motherhood when a child's life is on the line.

As she spots the superstrong woman with MPD coming out, she reaches over and pushes the door open more completely. It would really suck if she, in her urgency, tore the thing off because it wasn't already open enough. For all she knows, it could be Jessica in the driver's seat of that body.

The car is in drive, Cat's foot is on the brake, all she needs do is move it slightly to the right once Miss Sanders is in the vehicle.

Well, it isn't Jessica, but Niki. There are some occasions when Jessica knows just to sit back and enjoy the ride, and it's very rarely that Niki gets fired up. Though 'fired up' is not the correct term for what she is at the moment. That would be a combination of shock, determination and anger. Shock at the news that the son she watched die is still alive. Determination that would get her to him as quickly as possible, regardless of the those who would dare to block her path. Anger at those who kept her from him. How many months has it been?

She exits the building and stops when she sees the purple car and the driver inside. Liz already warned her that Cat was going to assist, but it's a shock to see the woman already there. Jaw is clenched tight as she doesn't wait for the detective behind her as she gets into the passenger's side of the car and shuts the door. "Go." she simply says, her eyes set on the way ahead.

She doesn't need to be told. Soon as Niki's backside finds the seat and the door is being pulled shut, Cat's foot moves the short distance to the pedal on the right. The purple Neon goes into motion and into traffic, Cat watching the left side to merge in flawlessly and get underway. She glances to her right at the woman who she'd last seen for brief moments on the fourth floor of the building they're moving away from just after the Return From 2019, and before that had been right behind Helena when she got sent to West Prairieland, CO/KS/NE.

The radio is on, a classic rock station, and while she isn't driving with race car speed the tune that comes up seconds later is perfectly timed for the purpose.

Rush: Red Barchetta.

There's nothing besides the Rush tune that can be considered a sound as the car moves into motion and heads towards the hospital. Niki's face is a plethora of emotions as she moves in and out, one facial expression to the next. One might even think she's going from Niki to Jessica, but that's not the case. This one incident has sparked more emotion since the day of the bomb.

Blue eyes on the road as the car travels, she flitters her eyes from side to side, taking in different landmarks on the way. A store. A restaurant. A bus stop and a sign. Liz's words continue to ring in her brain as they probably will for days to come.

"I never, in a million years, thought I'd be able to tell you .. that Micah survived. He's alive, Niki."

"I never, in a million years, thought I'd be able to tell you .. that Micah survived. He's alive, Niki."

It repeats like an overdone chorus to a song that just won't go away long after the song has ended. Yet, it gives her some semblance of peace, the straw that holds her together admidst a flurry of turmoil that burns inside her. Through all of this, she manages a "Thank you for finding him."

"You're welcome," Cat replies quietly, as Geddy Lee sings about running a deadly race in the car his uncle kept in a country place no one knows about, from a vanished time before the Motor Law, as two alloy air cars shoot toward him two lanes wide. Laughing out loud with fear and hope, he has a desperate plan. At the one lane bridge he leaves the giants stranded by the riverside.

Manhattan landscape, and ruins, pass by as they travel to the hospital location. Soon enough Mr. Lee has raced back to the farm and is dreaming with his uncle by the fireside.

It seems that might be the extent of their bonding at this point. Thanks were offered and accepted. There is nothing further from the mother. The mother. If it's true, yes, she's a mother. She keeps her hands clenched at her lap, knuckles white, as the car moves along and as the music plays. The lyrics don't even get past her ears as her thoughts are rushing by her a mile a minute, enveloping her almost psychotically as she quietly rages, worries, rejoices and sorrows in a rainbow of emotions that seem to revolve endlessly around her.

As Spirit Of Radio plays out, Mr. Lee singing about the sounds of the profits being written on the studio wall, concert hall, Cat pulls into a parking space outside the medical center and opens her door. She turns the car off, takes the keys, and steps out. It's a lawyer's clothes she's still in, lawyer casual at that, and three steps are taken toward the building. She doesn't presume to need telling Niki they arrived. She considers beginning to explain what she read on Micah's chart, but the doctor will be doing that soon enough. Over her shoulder she glances to see if Niki is on her heels or trailing farther behind, it being Cat's plan to enter the place and head straight for the elevators without signing in.

It wouldn't be hard to do, given the chaos outside of the hospital. Two ambulances parked by the emergency room entrance for this particular building, a handful of reporters and journalists outside with camera crews and vans. An accident had to have happened for there to be this much pandemonium at Mount Sinai.

A thin drizzling rain falls down over the street, the throngs of reporters and their sea of umbrellas keeping newscasters from the inclement weather. A low, quiet rumble of thunder peals across the clouded skies, and a light wind drives the rain, pattering down on Niki's side of the parked car, rain sliding off in sheets down the front window, turning tail lights of passing cars into ruby stars that streak across the glass.

Niki still in a white t-shirt and jeans, with sneakers exits the vehicle as soon as it comes to a stop. She waits only long enough for Cat to reach the rear of the car before she keeps pace. If Niki were any closer, she'd be in Cat's heels, as opposed to on them. She knows that Cat will probably smooth the way for her to get to her son. Of course, if she isn't able to, Niki is fully capable and willing to find a different route to get inside. As they reach the entrance to the hospital the doors open and Niki's level of apprehension rises significantly, though she doesn't show it on her cool exterior. She can already feel her heart racing, thudding hard against her chest. She swallows as she stays near Cat, letting her do her thing, at least for the moment.

Right for the elevators she goes, and steps into the first one that opens. She places one hand in the doorway and keeps them from closing, the other hand pressing a button for the sixth floor. "618," she says simply, as the device carries them upward.

Once it reaches that floor and lets her out, she steps forth onto the floor and heads for the room mentioned so recently, sticking her head inside to look for Doctor Benson and/or the nurse she spoke with earlier.

When the door to room 618 opens into the sterile white walls, it is a noticably quieter room than it was just the other day. Fresh linens have been dressed on an unoccupied bed, no respirators or devices designed to monitor the life of a person are here, just empty white furnishings and cream-colored blinds drawn partly closed, letting diffuse gray sheets of light through.

The halls here, six floors up from the chaos of the emergency room and waiting rooms, are far more quiet, far more subdued. A pair of orderlies walk past, one discussing what to do for lunch with the other, a nurse several paces behind them, a familiar nurse to Catherine, the one who as of only yesterday tended this very room.

As Niki steps into the room, this is not what she expected to see. Not at all. She takes a deep breath as she looks around the room. Maybe they just moved him to another room. Maybe they've taken him to do test. There could be a hundred reasons he's not in this room. So the most direct question she could possibly ask is, "Where is my son?" Her voice is calm, with just enough edge that if she doesn't get the answer she likes.. Well.

She doesn't have answers to those questions, but she knows who to get them from. Cat pulls back out and walks after the nurse she'd spoken with before, asking a very direct and terse question. "Miss, where is Garibed Bashur?"

The nurse turns, jerkily as Cat announces herself so abruptly, fumbling with her clipboard as her expression begins to sour. Eyes casting aside, the young woman glances down to the floor, then back up to Cat with furrowed brows. "I— I'm sorry I— You're his attorney, aren't you?" Those concerned brows crease together, teeth tugging on her lower lip. "I'm— Doctor Benson tried to get in touch with you. He— the Linderman Group said that Garabed Bashur had no private attorney, they— I'm so sorry."

Glancing over to Niki for a moment, the nurse isn't sure what to say, she only turns back to Cat a moment later with her lower jaw trembling. "He, the boy— Garabed? A few hours after you left, he— I'm sorry. He had been on life support for so long, it— doctor Benson did everything he could. I— I'm— I shouldn't be the one breaking this news to you, I— he passed away at roughly six in the evening."



There's a strange garbled sound that comes from the mother's throat as she stands there, hand on the doorknob to Micah's hospital room. Her fingers tighten on it and the scream that comes from her is accompanied by the tearing off of the door by its hinges as she uses as much rage within her to push that door back inside the room, as it slams against the made bed and tumbles over it smashing into the shatterproof window behind it, and.. well, shattering it. She turns her angry ice-blue stare to the nurse as she rushes forward and picking up a chair and looking like she's going to bash her over the skull. "Where's my SON!?" she demands in a rage, chair poised to strike . This is not Jessica. It doesn't have to be.

In a stern tone, Cat addresses the nurse. She glances back at Niki with that chair, then eyes the nurse again. The words come slowly and clearly, a command rather than a request. "Go. Get. Me. Doctor. Benson. Now!" And she's moving to follow her wherever she goes. Two things are in play here, possibly both. The child died, or Linderman had him moved when he was tipped off. Now that he's been moved, the likelihood of both is stronger. She's plainly livid.

"O— oh my god!" The nurse shrieks, scrambling back into a fall to land on her backside, eyes wide and clipboard falling to the tile beneath her, bouncing twice before clattering to a stop. The explosive sound of the window shattering jerks attention from all across the sixth floor of the hospital. Crawling back on her hands and heels, the young nurse stares up with wide-eyed terror at Niki. "He— he died! I— I told you he— I'm so sorry! I— he died!"

In the midst of all of this chaos, the pandemonium of death and denial, there is a buzzing in Cat's pocket, the vibrating purr of a cell phone set to airplane mode, a familiar rumble tucked snug against her chest inside of her jacket. "I— I swear to God, I— he— I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!" Tears well up in the nurse's eyes, back pressed against the wall of the hallway between the elevators. She can hear Cat's order, but the terrified look in her eyes at the raised chair and the woman strong enough to rip doors off hinges.

Doctors and orderlies on the floor step out of rooms to see what's going on, and while Niki may be blind to their frantic cries, Catherine most assuredly is not. "S— Someone call security! Oh my God!" People scatter like cockroaches to a rapidly flicked on light as they watch Niki raise the chair, and only a pair of hospital orderlies dare approach, both hands out in franticly dissuading gestures. "Calm down miss, put the chair down, please!"

The blood rushes to the woman's face as she rages, burning with anger. Security is going to be called, and Niki doesn't give a damn. She had nothing and they gave her something. Hope. Now, they've taken it away again. She shrieks and the chair is hurled down the long hall, smashing through the window at the far end and who knows where that chair will land several blocks away. Niki falls to her hands and knees, the tears starting to fall as they reach the tiled floor. "I want to see him." As she looks down her hair curtains down around her face, blocking view of her face as it contorts with conflicting emotions. The drops begin to form a puddle beneath her as she tilts her head up and with renewed anger she begins to crawl towards the nurse, Cat's request either unheard or disregarded as she continues her murderous advance. "I want to see my son." Dead or alive.

She pulls the device from her pocket and looks at the screen to see who's calling, or the text message it holds, whichever might be the case, though she has a solid idea who it is. Cat's eyes are on the nurse who cowers, as if they might burn holes through her body. "Miss, I said go get Doctor Benson. Get up off your backside and do it. Now." But she's not much expecting the nurse to do so, her eyes scan for the doctor briefly before lowering to the iPhone screen again.

R.Ajas» Tell her to stop. Please.

The message comes across clear as day on Cat's screen, a familiar name of a seemingly missing technopath, missing enough that T.Monk had to make his appointments for him over the last few days. Immediately, another message pops up, pushing the previous one higher on the screen.

R.Ajas» Please, just— tell her it's me. I'm— tell her it's alright. I'm here.

The nurse is panicked, one hand covering her mouth, eyes wide in terror at the strength Niki possesses. The pair of orderlies at one end of the hall are dumbstruck when they see the hole in the window the chair made, now they too begin to back away slowly, their hands raised as if to indicate they mean no harm, and please don't kill me is written across their faces. Then, abruptly, another name joins the mix, pushing R.Ajas message up on the queue of texts.

T.Monk» A call has been placed to NYPD-Scout from this location, Catherine. Response time is estimated at four minutes. Please head to the emergency exit at the far end of the hall, I will begin clearing a passage for you.

The second that message appears, the sprinklers suddenly explode to life, showering water down inside of the hospital as the fire alarms sound. If there was fear before, there is panic now as klaxons blare and lights flash in strobing fashion, creating — after a fashion — a diversion.

«Mom!» Micha's voice breaks the silence from Cat's cell phone, just a touch older than she remembers him sounding. «Mom— it's me!» Barely heard over the sound of the fire alarms and the panicked noises of the hospital staff and patients on the sixth floor.

It's not the water, or Cat or anyone else around that stops Niki's approach. As she remains on her hands and knees with water sprinkling down on her she hears the voice. It's faint, but she hears it as she looks up with her bangs plastered to her forhead and whips her head around towards the sound of the voice and she pushes herself up and reaches for the device trying to snatch it, slipping on the wet floor and thudding back onto her knees. "Micah?" she talks as she tries to see it's really him. "Oh God, Micah? Where are you?"

It isn't necessary to snatch the device, Cat simply hands it to her, this makes things so much easier. As Niki begins to speak to Micah, formerly known as R.Ajas, she's glancing at the exit indicated by T.Monk. Then her eyes fall on the nurse, she shakes her head with contempt. "I said tell no one I was here, that was made very clear to Doctor Benson, and he told Linderman anyway. When we find where Linderman moved him, if he's dead because he was moved…" She doesn't finish the sentence, choosing instead to let the full scope of it sink in, as she turns back to Niki. "This way," she urges, moving toward the designated exit.

«I'm right here… I— I'm //here, I'm— I'm everywhere. I never left you.//» The voice crackles and pops over Cat's phone at Niki's ear, even as the poor young nurse just sits in a panicked stupud against the wall, her hands trembling and hair matting down atop her head from the spraying water.

«Mom, I— I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't— didn't tell you sooner. I'm gone, but I'm here. I— I'm going to be okay… but you've got to follow Cat, and you have to listen to my friend… please.» At that comment by Micah, a text message pope up on the phone.

T.Monk» Descend to the third floor by the emergency stairs, then take your immediate right and follow it to the entrance of the parking garage. All of the cameras in the vicinity have been disabled and the doors are unlocked. You have three minutes and twenty-six seconds until NYPD-Scout arrives on the scene.

In the panic of the fire alarms going off, the orderlies have lost track of what Niki and Cat are doing, instead they've found themselves rushing to help patients out of their rooms, following the emergency procedure for hospital evacuation in the event of a fire.

"Wait. No. No. I don't understand." she talks into the phone. To Micah. She sits back on her legs tucked under her staring down at the device in her hands as it gets sprinkled with water, along with her. Soaked to the bone, her white t-shirt clings to her now as it seems to take forever for the words of her son to sink in. The second part, at least, as she raises blue eyes up to look at Cat with a sudden lost expression, understanding gone and only confusion remains as she stands and is prepared to follow, though the device remains firmly in her hands as she cradles it to her chest. The fight inside her is gone, for the moment.

After a few steps, she looks back to see if Niki is following, and when she sees her just standing at that moment she reaches back to take one of the woman's arms and give her a light tug of encouragement. It all seems fairly clear to Cat, she begins to explain in a voice of quiet urgency. "We have to go… Micah, he's a technopath. He can control and communicate through machines. I'd say when he realized his body wouldn't sustain his mind, he left it and entered the mechanical world to survive. He's not the only one to do this." Then she's moving again, toward the exit T.Monk marked. "Ask them where Linderman had him moved to when plants in this hospital told him Micah'd been found."

T.Monk» In the parking garage, there will be an elevator. Take it down to street level and exit the building. You should be safe to return to your vehicle, I am currently monitoring all traffic lights from here to the nearest NY{D precinct, I will do my best to delay their arrival. You currently have two minutes and fifty-two seconds before their scheduled arrival.

Guiding Niki to the emergency stairwell, she and Cat begin melding with handfuls of hospital staff and patients evacuating the upper floors. The sea of people will make it difficult for anyone — let alone a traumatized nurse and a pair of orderlies — to find them in the crowd.

«I— I can hear you Cat. It— it didn't happen like that. I— my body just gave out. I didn't want Monk to get anyone involved, I didn't— I didn't want anyone to know. But he told you behind my back, I— I didn't want to upset anyone, to hurt anyone. I'm not Micah anymore, I— this isn't what I wanted.» Sounding out over the speakerphone, it's hard to truly hear Micah beyond a few feet, thanks to the noise of the crowded hall and the hospital staff trying to get everyone who is mobile and able to evacuate themselves out of the hospital as fast and orderly as possible.

«I'm… No one knew anything, Cat. I watched, I— I felt what was happening, so I came back to watch. My— my body just couldn't hold out any longer. The doctors did everything they could, and— when my body finally died, they contacted mister Linderman — since he was the only one listed as Garabed Bashur's contact information. Doctor Benson tried to get in touch with you there to let you know I had died— that— that my body had died. I'm— I knew this was going to happen, I— I'm so sorry.»

Monk, notably, does not respond again after his directions have been made. He has put his hand into tihs affair enough, and the result is obviously far and beyond what he had hoped for. No matter how much he wishes to believe that a purely digital mind such as his is infalliable, there is nothing here in this tragic reunion that means anything other than failure to him.

This was never his business.

Niki is led out to the parking lot through the large crowd of nurses, hospital workers, doctors, patients and family members. She continues to clutch that PDA to her as she listens, tears mingling into the sprinkler water that clings to her hair and runs down her face. "I don't understand what any of this means." There may be more time to explain to her later, but she's going to cling to this device for as long as she possibly can. It may not hit her now. It may not hit her tomorrow. But soon, it'll hit her exactly what her son has said. And when that time comes, someone will have a price to pay. Linderman.

Down the stairs she goes, out the door, and into the car with Niki. Cat turns the key, starts the engine, and proceeds to drive away in a manner which doesn't attract attention to them as fleeing persons. It's only then, as she makes her way out in the vehicle, that she speaks again. "It is what it is," she intones. "Linderman has plenty to pay for, no matter his role in this. The man is so stained no individual inkblot would be noticeable." Silence then, for a stretch of seconds, as she moves thoughts forward to the next operational step. "Can video records of us having been there be removed, guys? If so, please do. The name Sanders isn't attached to anything there, if there's no video record nothing may lead back to Niki. I don't think Detective Harrison will give them that link. And I doubt Linderman wants to share his ties to all this, the truth of it."

"But if she is linked to this event, she won't be able to return to her apartment. Other lodgings would be needed for her." To Cat, as well as T.Monk, it's a sideways mission through and through. But there remains one thing to cling to.

She got out and for once didn't have to leave anyone she came with behind.

«Monk says he's already on it. The— video footage. The nurse, I don't know— we can't do anything about her, but here's only a handful of witnesses. I think, overall, you did the best you could. I— this is exactly why I didn't want either of you going there. I— I'm so sorry, this— this is all my fault.» Micah's voice, her son's voice continues to come over the phone as though he were right by her side.

As Cat's car pulls away from the building, the pandemonium outside doesn't seem to be dying down at all. What started as a press event for some sort of accident has now become a full evacuation of the hospital, the perfect cover for their escape, even as blue lights whip past Cat's car going in the direction of Mount Sinai Hospital.

«I'm sorry… mom. I— I've been going by the name Rajas. I was hurt, really badly hurt after the bomb. Dad— dad saved me, but I don't know what happened to him. I was— I was at the hospital when Monk found me, he knew what I was, what I could do. He saved me. If— if it weren't for him, I'd be gone. Now— now I'm— I'm gone, but I'm here.»

The voice echoes far more clearly in the car, the youthful voice Cat has come to know as R.Ajas for so long, has always been Niki's son. Now, like the mysterious Robin Hood and T.Monk, Micah — R.Ajas — has joined the ranks of the purusha as he called them. The bodiless.

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