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Scene Title Lazarus
Synopsis Claire Bennet's blood is used to bring back someone from an eternal state of near death by the machinations of the mad Doctor Gregor.
Date December 21, 2009

Muspelheim Bunker, Gregor's Lab

Antananarivo, Madagascar

If Claire Bennet woke up where she went to sleep just once it would be a miracle.

Miracles are in short order in Madagascar.

The hiss-click of an artificial lung comes clear into her senses as sleep begins to peel back like an oily gauze from her eyes. Blurry vision focuses on a halo of lights shining bright down upon her head. Once more she finds herself restrained, but thankfully intact of all her constituent body parts. But this is the lab of Doctor Gregor, and she can hear his wheezing breath and murmurings as her ears begin to pick up sounds other than a respirator's mechanical exhalations and inhalations.

Standing with his back to her, Gregor hunches over an operating table next to where Claire is laid out. Thin lines of blood mark her bare skin where it looks like she may have been opened up earlier,before coming conscious again. Six IVs are plugged into her left arm, crimson red tubing corkscrewing through the air and into a machine that looks like a reel-to-reel player, wheels spinning on the top. Out the other side, tubes coil out and go down to what has to be a corpse laying on the other table.

The body is withered looking, shrunken and dessicated with grayed flesh and no hair on its head. Frame and build alone identify it as a woman, though it looks more like the body of a mummy. Her lips have peeled back to reveal bone white teeth, and the mask of a respirator is covering her face. That, couples with a rise of her chest from a breath, indicates that somehow this creature is still alive.

Gregor has hooked up IV tubes into plugs at her throat, directly feeding Claire's blood into the artery at her neck; she can't recall what it's name is. "You're looking better today…" Gregor whispers to her, one gloved hand stroking across her grayed and ashen brow. "You've got some of your color back…"

Eyes squint against the bright lights as Claire slowly wakes, though she already wishes she wasn't awake as she already feels that squirming behind her eye. While Gregor surprisingly doesn't bother her as much as most of the people in that hell hole.. He was still creepy and weird…. not to mention crazy. Turning her head slowly to glance over to where the doctor is standing, it take a moment for her gaze to focus and really process what is there. It's like her mind doesn't want to accept what's there, but slowly realization dawns on her.

Eyes widen slightly at the figure on the table. "Who.." Her voice catches and she has to clear it before she can try again. "Who is that? She's… alive?" She asks softly, blue eyes move from the corpe-like woman to Gregor's back.

Everything about Gregor comes to a halt when he hears Claire's voice; his words stop, his hands cease their moving, even his breathing seems to arrest. Slowly, he turns his head to look at her with brows furrowed and eyes narrow behind the light reflecting off his glasses. "Her name— is Etana." The doctor states as he slowly turns to face Claire, gloved hands folding behind her back. "She's been a long-term experiment of mine, something of a pet project…" The doctor's shoes click quietly ont he concrete floor as he approaches Claire's table, one hand moving to unfasten the soft leather straps that keep her bound to the table top, walking from the head of the table to the foot. "She— is something of an oracle," he admits with reluctance, "a powerful one at that, but one who's oracular nature displeased a very powerful and spiteful man."

After loosening her leg straps, Gregor moves away from the table to pick up folded clothing and sets a fresh suit of fatigues down on the table at her feet. "Rasoul's former master, the late Kazimir Volken was displeased by one of her visions, and so he lashed out at her, putting her— in the state you see here." Gregor's eyes turn back to Etana, watching the blood flowing into her.

"I— have been keeping her alive all these years." A sharp flick of his pale blue stare is sent back to Claire. "Now, I am going to see if— running your blood through a dialysis machine can— rejuvinate her, without infecting her."

"I met Kazimir once.." Claire murmurs as she waits for him to unstrap her from the table, eyes still on the woman. "He withered my friends away to dust right in front of me." Her voice trails off softly, caught up for a moment in the memory of it. A shudder goes through her and she gives herself a shake. "His ability didn't work on me though. Which he was pleased about."

Once freed Claire slowly sits up, pulling her eyes away from the withered woman to the clothing next to her, without thinking she offers a, "Thanks." Mom's influence for sure. "A part of Kazimer is still alive though.. I've seen it." She drags the black ribbed tanktop to her and shakes it out before pulling it on. "It's in my uncle." She tugs the tank top in place before sliding off the table grabbing underwear to tug on… She is getting use to this, no blushing or shyness… can't be a good sign.

"What is wrong with me?" She asks as Claire picks up her camo pants. "I mean.. you mentioned not wanting to infect her, so obviously something is wrong with me."

A studying stare is afforded from Gregor to Claire, one brow raised. "He…" the supposition is swallowed back, Gregor waves one hand in front of himself, then looks around ot the open concrete doorways that lead into this damp laboratory. "I would keep such— fantasies to yourself." A gloved finger wags near Claire's mouth. "Speak not of the late Volken in front of the General, he fancies himself the new leader of what once was, and he would brook no— treason." It's a warning quality that Gregor's stare contains as he moves away from where Claire is getting dressed.

"To answer a more— relevent question, yes you are sick." A gloved hand lightly touches the dialysis machine, and the doctor turns with a marionette's grace to look back at the young blonde. "You were— infected with Malaria during your journey here. Your natural immune system did not fight off the infection, but rather it— fostered the parasites. Typical Malarial medication has proven to be a suppressant when your blood is filtered to others, but the regenerative properties are hardly worth noting."

Looking from the withered old woman back to Claire, Gregor frowns. "You are breeding a Malarial infection in your blood that— if not properly screened could kill people who take your blood. The screening process, unfortunately, limits its healing capabilities. As you can see; a difficult situation to handle."

Claire's head pulls back from the wagging finger, she looks like she's close to saying something else like.. It's not a fantasy… but something in the way he reacts, makes her mouth snap shut and she's left frowning as he continues. Fully dressed by now, Claire moves to hop up to sit on her table again.

"So…." The word draws out as she looks at her hands flexing them slowly. "What does that mean for Candy? You've been healing her with my stuff.. Does this mean without the drugs… she's toast?" She looks slightly confused, since she's never done all that well in Science she has to grasp at meanings. "Does this mean I'm infected for life?" Not a very pretty prospect.

"Candace is a surprising resiliant young woman," Gregor notes with a raise of his brows, gloved hands folding behind his back. "She has been on a heightened dose of anti-malarial prophylactic drugs, which I fear may have adverse side-effects that have yet to… reveal themselves. The results could prove fatal, but I'm not certain, and that is— exciting." As he speaks, the Doctor's focus is settled squarely on the old weathered woman laying on the table; Etana. It's hard to notice at first, but there is a softening of her skin, a smoothing of wrinkles and a regeneration of the degeneration that Kazimir Volken must have forced upon her.

"Barring some medical miracle," Gregor finally answers Claire, "yes, you're a carrier of Malaria for life. I fear in time the parasites may come to be totally resilient to the anti-malarial medication due to their synthesis of your blood in your system." A look is offered towards Claire, one brow raised. "I imagine that this exact circumstance is— highly unlikely. A literal one in a billion chance." His lips crook up into a smile. "You're very— fortunate."

"Oh, you're fine, remarkably. Your body seems to be suffering no ill effects that you'll notice from the Malarial infection." Gregor watches the change come through the old woman's skin, hair beginning to grow back in thick and dark, but the look of age never truly leaves her, even if the corpse-like shallowness to her cheeks and sunken, withered eyes begin to take on their sight again. "I wouldn't be giving anyone a transfusion without a dialysis machine and proper anti-malarial medications, that's for certain…" He pauses, missing the point until he looks over his shoulder to her, a bit taken aback.

"It— nn— nothing like that will harm anyone." Gregor admits uncomfortable, wringing his gloved hands together. Clearing his throat, he looks back to the old woman, offering a mild smile to her. "I do enjoy my work, however… I enjoy operating without— restrictions." There's a nod of his head, sharply, to that word. It's true, inhumane experiments like the ones Gregor performs would never be allowed in a civilized country.

"If you would— " Gregor waves a hand behind himself to Claire, slowly turning, "wait here for a moment?" It's an awful trusting gesture. "I must— gather some more sedatives. If you would just kindly wait here in the lab.." a wave is made to her table. "I— would not want the guards to— think you were trying to escape."

There is a small nod of her head and Claire can't help but chuckle dryly at the irony. "Where am I going to go? Especially with whatever is wiggling around behind my eye.. I think you all have a pretty good hold on me." The words are edged with bitterness, but she seems content to sit on the table.

Of course, as soon as he's out of the room, Claire slides off the table and slowly inches her way over to the woman on the table, curious of the slowly healing woman. She leans her hip on the table and tuck hair behind her ear.

The ex-cheerleader doesn't know if the woman would hear her, but Claire started to talk softly to her. "So you were a victim and survived." She doesn't hide the pity for the woman. "I wonder what you said that got him so worked up enough to do this to you."

Dark eyes snap open the moment Claire addresses the old woman on the table, and a dark hand shoots out — unrestrained — and clamps on to Claire's wrist with a strength unbecoming of an old woman. Her eyes stare sharply up at the blonde, and the wheezing hiss of the respirator is the only sound she makes, mechanical and terrifying as her fingernails bite into pale skin.

"They all die in'a cold" The words don't — can't — come out from the old woman's mouth, given that she has a tube down her throat. They echo and roar in the back of Claire's mind, a psychic scream that comes with a throbbing headache. "//The water comes, washes away the world— //" The white around her eyes stands out so sharp against the dark, and the howling of screams of thousands come echoing in to the old woman's voice buried deep in Claire's mind.

"If you do not go to the land of eternal ice, Peter Petrelli will die." Her hand lets go, fingers slipping from around Claire's wrist, and there is a sharp, jerking spasm of the old woman's body as her arm falls limp down at her side, eyes staring up blankly at Claire now, drifting in their focus the way a dead person's does, but the heart-rate monitor she is hooked up to continues to beep steadily.

Claire's first reaction is to yank her hand away from the woman and she almost does, but the memory of her friends crumbling to dust stops her cold. Instead she tries to pry the fingers gently off her arm. She can only stare wide-eyed at this frail woman with a strong grip, and just as soon as she tries to pry the fingers away, the bite of nails ignored quickly as someone is suddenly screaming in her head.

There is a gasp and a hiss as the scream rips through her mind painfully, her free hand reaching up to press to her head, shoulders hunching as if she can protect herself from it. Eyes screw shut against the headache as she tries to hear the words.

"Wait.. how do you know Peter? What do you mean he will die?" Claire feels the sharp pang of panic, her hand moving to grip the woman's gently, fighting everything in her to keep from crushing the frail thing. "And how do I do that.. I can't even get out of here." She's…. helpless… Especially with whatever it is in her.

The silent old woman says nothing, her eyes glassed over, hand still and breathing regulated by the respirator. She remains with those vacant eyes as Claire's dawning panic begins to grow. It's not much longer before footsteps approach the lab, returning Gregor — and a plastic case — back into the laboratory. Strumming his fingers on the top of the case, he eyes his test subject and the position of her arm, then looks up to Claire. Hastily, the case is set down and Gregor is making a fast approach to the two.

"What did she say?" The Doctor hisses out as he arrives at the table the old woman is laid out on, slamming one gloved hand down on the side. "What did she say!?" Suddenly Gregor is animated, a sharp tone to his voice and nasally breathing hissing in and out in rhythm with the respirator.

It's a side of the doctor that Claire has not seen yet, a side of him that shows less restraint and more tempestuous emotion. "She has been brain dead for months! What did she say to you!?"

Claire glances up, the panic still clear on her face as Gregor shows up in the room again. Then she blinks realizing he's coming at her and rather irate. Quickly, her fingers unwind from the woman's ashen hand as she takes a few steps back, hip sliding along the table, from this less gentle version of the Doctor, lifting that hand to ward him off. "She — she didn't say anything. She's got that tube in her throat." Which is the truth, but she also doesn't want him mad at her, so she adds. "She screamed in my head that I need to get out of this place." Part of her hopes like hell that he is happy with that much information.

Gregor tenses up, eyes narrowed as he stares at her flatly behind the round lenses of his glasses. There's a staunch defiance in his posture when he hears what Claire reveals, looking down to the old woman. "Etana said that?" There's a look from the old woman to Claire, followed by a slow shake of his head. "Well that I am forced to disagree with her on that point, very clearly." Apparently Gregor isn't surprised at all that she spoke into Claire's mind.

Looking over to the case he set down, Gregor scowls and then turns back to Claire. "Get back on the table," he instructs with a point of one gloved finger. "You're going under for another round of— harvesting." His hissed and nasally voice clearly indicates that there is no escape for Claire, there is no freedom to find from this torment.

Maybe the others aren't coming after all.

Maybe she really is helpless.

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