Host of Horrors


cat_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif

Scene Title Host Of Horrors
Synopsis An infirmary visit becomes a learning experience.
Date January 7, 2009

USS George Washington

Things are far quieter now on Marion Island, after the routing of the Vanguardites stationed there. The search of facilities is ongoing, and will be for some time, but there are opportunities to come and go from the carrier. On such a trip, after partaking of Navy food in the mess hall, Cat detours to the infirmary rather than immediately heading back to the island.

Clad in a Marine combat uniform minus identifying marks, her hair tied back to match military regulations for wear of the uniform, she quietly approaches the avian telepath's bedside. Eyes study Eileen to determine the extent of visible injuries, and to determine whether she's awake or sleeps.

There's not a lot of reading material aboard the ship, but Eileen has managed to scrounge up some of what's been made available to those confined to the infirmary. She sits in bed, a pillow propped under the small of her back, with a copy of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre in her hands and a pair of borrowed reading glasses on the bridge of her nose. Although they're a little too large for the shape of her face, they get the job done and to someone as pragmatic as the dark-haired Briton is, this is really all that matters.

Gray-green eyes flick from the bottom of the page to Cat's approaching form rather than jumping to the top of the next. The book folds, place held by one pale finger positioned along the hinge. If she was hoping her visitor was someone else, her disappointment doesn't show in her relaxed expression.

"I'd not have imagined you one to wear glasses, Eileen," Cat remarks by way of greeting. "The book is good. I remember it very well." An understatement, or an attempt at humor? Maybe both. Nothing else is said for the moment, she remains stationary at the bedside except for eyes seeking out a chair and noting the location of her patient chart. Continued conversation is left to the injured woman's discretion.

"You make it sound as though I have some sort of choice," says Eileen, and maybe with some of the surgeries that are available in this day and age, she does. She reaches up with her free hand, wrist in a splint, removes the glasses from her face and folds the bows. Beneath her white hospital gown and the woolen blanket draped across her lower half, she is undoubtedly suffering from injures that Cat cannot casually observe without scrutinizing the chart at the foot of her cot. At the same time, they can't be very serious — not only is she awake, but she's also alert and lucid, her gaze sharp, feline. "Can I help you with something?"

"Choices can be provided," Cat remarks quietly, "other books could be brought." While speaking, her feet drift toward the end of the bed and the chart there. It's a tempting thing, to take and read it, but she stops herself from doing so as eyes return to settle on the patient. "I'm certain you could help me, but I didn't come to ask for anything. I'm simply relieved the mission didn't kill you, Eileen. And I'm not one to fail in paying a visit."

There's a moment where Eileen isn't sure if she should be taking Cat's words as a threat. Gabriel didn't tell her very much about the last year, and even if he had, she realizes how unlikely it is that he'd know the full extent of her relationships with other people. "I'm told that Teo went back to New York City," is what she eventually deems a suitable response; neutral and quiet. "Do you know who else is with him?"

"He returned along with Abigail," Cat replies easily. While it may not be certain to Eileen if the words she speaks are threatening, there isn't anything to indicate hostility in her demeanor. In fact, it's a shade warmer than her normal businesslike presentation, perhaps indicating a status of things somewhere short of friendship, but most likely civil allies or the like.

"Francois Allègre is aboard the ship," Cat adds. In speaking of the Frenchman, she reveals probably not being aware of the memory deficit.

"Ethan, too. Peter." Eileen closes the book the rest of the way and sets it down in her lap along with the reading glasses. "You and Gabriel are the only two who've come to see me," she says. "I don't even know if my other teammates are alive. Sanderson, Allard, Huruma, Bennet." Unlike Francois Allègre, these are all name that she knows. More importantly, they're names she expects Cat to be at least somewhat familiar with — if she can steer their conversation back into more comfortable territory, she will. "You've met the man in the sunglasses? Goes by the King of Pentacles. Bit of a prick."

"They're all alive, Eileen," Cat supplies, "Captain Sanderson, Claire, Huruma… Candy Allard decided to start calling herself Noriko after she got here. There's probably an interesting story behind that. I was recently with each of them, and will see them again soon on Marion Island, at the Midgard Bunker. We found the Verano, and are searching the place for whatever we can find. I believe our destination is Antarctic ice, but what's needed is confirmation and a more specific spot on the icepack."

But her brow furrows, she doesn't recall a man with sunglasses. "There's a man who lost an eye," she relates, "which would get in the way of sunglasses. I spoke with him once. A bit of an angry type, yes?"

That accounts for everyone, save Emile Danko, and Eileen hasn't had high hopes for him since Team Bravo's raid on the airfield. "If you see him again, would you tell him that I'd like to talk about the offer he made me at Mandritsara?" she asks, noting that furrowed brow with a slight twitch of something at the corner of her mouth. "I haven't been authorized to leave the infirmary," or the bed, for that matter, "but I imagine they'll have me turning over rocks with the rest of you in the next day or two."

"I can do that," Cat replies, becoming curious with the twitch at the corner of her mouth. "What offer did he make you. Eileen?" Her stance shifts, backside coming to rest on the bed's edge without much decreasing the occupant's space. "Word from others who were ashore with you is of a host of horrors." She doesn't elaborate, doesn't ask. The manipulator of avians will share, or not. Cat won't press.

"It's personal," Eileen says of the offer and leaves it at that. Madagascar doesn't receive much elaboration, either. At least not at first. "We were on the ground for a little more than a month. A lot of us got sick. Malaria. The country's in bad shape, worse than the States is. It'll be years before people can live comfortably in Antananarivo again. Mandritsara's a lost cause." She pauses, then, studying Cat with eyes veiled by thick lashes, face haggard, gaunt and made largely unattractive by several weeks of malnourishment. "Rasoul had scientists working on research related to the Evolved. Nerve gas designed to suppress our abilities. Pregnancy farms. I don't know what else, but an entire wing of the Muspelheim bunker was devoted to it. Something about Pinehearst."

"I saw Antananarivo during the extraction," Cat shares with a souring expression settling onto her face, "it's an image that would be seared into my brain even if I didn't have what I do. Something like that never goes away." From there it just gets worse. Evolved research, nerve gas, pregnancy farms…

And suddenly there's a shocked stare, eyes locking onto Eileen's face and her own visual organs. "Pinehearst? There's a connection between Madagascar and Pinehearst? Arthur fucking Petrelli…"

"Sanderson received orders from her superiors to bring back a sample of the gas from the production facility," Eileen continues. "I'm starting to wonder whether your government ever believed that Munin was hidden there, or if they sent us in to kill Rasoul so they could take the research for themselves. Either way, I don't doubt they've picked Muspelheim's bones clean by now."

"Did Sanderson follow those orders?" Cat inquires darkly. There's anger settling into her eyes, visible on her face, which suggests there will soon be a less than pleasant conversation with a recently promoted Marine officer. "They had a version of Doctor Mengele I understand was captured," she allows. "What exactly was the involvement of Pinehearst in all this?" She knows all too well the partnership between Autumn and Arthur, to pad the ranks of Frontline.

"There was a computer lab. Blue and green helix logos on the screen. Big glass cylinders that glowed in the dark. Gabriel may have gotten a better look than I did." Eileen looks over Cat's shoulder at the divider that separates her cot from the others in the infirmary, and seeing no silhouettes lurking behind it, returns her attention to the woman in front of her. "That doctor told us that Rasoul was working with a government-sponsored pharmaceutical company that contacted him for clinical research on a Project Icarus. They gave them samples of the suppression drug that's being used in America, which is what they used to develop the nerve gas."

She too glances behind when Eileen does, and after assuring herself no one seems close by turns attention back to the bedridden Briton. "The glass cylinders that glowed, what color was the glow?" Pieces are coming together, she only knows of one such chemical associated with Pinehearst. At the same time, confusion settles in. Eileen knows about Pinehearst. She was there. Why is she mentioning it as a government-sponsored company?

"Have you ever seen those logos before, heard of that company before you encountered their work in Madagascar?" she quietly asks.

Eileen is silent. When she does answer Cat's question, it's with a very terse, "Blue." Uncertainty knits her brow and presses her lips into a flat line. "Whether I've heard of it before or not doesn't matter," she says. "What matters is that you don't pass along what I've told you to Kershner or any of the people working under her. Pentacles didn't know what was going on, but there's a chance she did."

"Yes," Cat agrees in whispered sharpness, "be very careful who knows you're aware of this. If Kershner or anyone like her finds out you know, they may well undertake to edit your memories or worse. Some secrets I don't believe they'll be content to leave in people's heads with the threat of consequences for revealing classified information." From there she's quiet, a stretch of speculative silence.

Breaking it, she moves to stand erect. "Among other things," Cat mutters, "Rasoul helped Pinehearst make Refrain. What the hell is the connection of Refrain to other elements of research?" That last she doesn't seem to know the answer to, it's followed by a statement. "I need to get back to Marion Island, and there will be questions to ask of others." Including Sanderson. "We'll talk again soon, Eileen. Rest and recover well."

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