Suppression Is Total


bao-wei_icon.gif bella_icon.gif noriko_icon.gif

Scene Title Suppression Is Total
Synopsis A very sick Noriko endures a series of painful tests at the hands of Doctors Cong and Sheridan.
Date April 11, 2010

Staten Island Hospital

In the Institute's fortified testing facility.

When Noriko regains consciousness, she is alone. Since her capture, much has happened, unbeknownst to the unconscious hydrokenetic. For one, she is wearing new clothes; not even so much clothes as a pale green institutional outfit, something an in-patient at a psych ward would wear. Her hair feels damp, though not from the snow outside - the light abrations on her body suggest she was sprayed down and scrubbled, all while unconscious. Last, her eyes feel itchy, and an examination of her nails reveal the presence of a fine white power that smells strongly of chemicals. As a former prison inmate, she may recognize it as delousing powder. She has, in short, been processed, then deposited in small room with a cot and a bedpan. At the foot of the cot lies folded a white terrycloth bathrobe, the last missing piece in the psych ward inmate uniform.

There is also a surveillance camera, hanging high in the corner of the room, staring down at her with an impassive black eye.

The enigma of what has happened to her, who has taken her and to where, may puzzle her, but it can hardly entertain for very long, and it is hours and hours before she has any company besides the intrusive presence of the camera. How long it is impossible to say, since there are no means by which to easily measure the time. Finally, after what feels like an eternity, there is a grinding sound, and a click at her door, and it swings open. Two tall men in medical scrubs, wearing filtration masks, stand at the doorway. One of them enters, and takes Noriko by the upper arm. He's not rough, not unless she forces him to be, but he has a clear intention: getting her up and out of the room.

Noriko is more than a little clueless as to what is happening to her. In the interim before she the two men walked in she had curled up to lay there, her breath coming in litle shallow gasps that are more often than night filled with coughing fits that leave her lips flecked with blood. Her eyes looking wanely at the security camera above her as she zones in and out, body shivering from the fever that is going through it. When the two man come in, she doesn't seem to make any move to get up, her eyes looking up at the men while she says in a breathy voice, "Please… I need a doctor. I can't feel my legs." Her body limp in the man's arms as the virus that had lain dormant in her system for over a month strikes with vengeance.

"Jesus," the man in the room says, and gestures to his companion, "Give me a hand here. She's not getting there on her own power." Soon Noriko is braced on either side by the masked men, lifted up out of her cot, and frog-marched out into the hallway. It becomes clear that wherever Noriko is, and whatever it has become, it once once a hospital. Florescent lights pass in searing bars overhead as her feet drag against linoleum. In her fever haze it's hard to tell how long the hallway is, how long before they finally turn and arrive at a door. Too long, is all she knows. One man takes her by the waist, supporting her fully, while the other swipes an access card and unlocks the door, holding it open.

Above the doorframe is a sign marked with the words: 'Operating Room #5'.

The hospital hall is rather colorless in its passing blurs of upward lights and downward flecked tiles; the men's shoes click on the shine of it, and the metal of the doorframe they unlock mirrors the vaguely human shapes as they make entrance. This particular operating room is not overly large; spacious enough for various equipment and the person-sized operating table. Truthfully, it seems more like something that they may have at a Psychiatric center. All the better to tie you down with, and so on and so forth.

And that is exactly what the two orderlies do with Noriko. They are fit enough to put her flat on the table, where she can feel a horrendously sore spot at her spine once the muscles of her back fidget to follow the suits of lying down. A dull, throbbing pain, almost in her bone.

They wind belts to her limbs and waist, and over her shoulders. They leave her head loose, though she cannot really see much from where they've bolted her. A ceiling light, the faint colors of buttons and screens of equipment. There is a large mirror across one wall. This is an operating room with a study window, though Noriko may or may not be able to make that discernment within her haze; if she does there is no real hint as to if there is anyone behind it. There is, however, someone in front of it, the side door having opened wide to admit someone that Noriko has no hope of remembering from the littlest parts of her time in New York.

Doctor Cong is the picture of the last person you want coming in when you are tied down; he's not as wide as he is tall, but close- and the white labcoat does not help matters. The sterling sheen of metal in his pockets and around his neck draw the eyes, and the silver glint of his spectacles divide the same attention. The florescence gleans off of them. She cannot see his eyes, only the faintly concentrated look upon the rest of his features. The Chinese man makes a single glance back towards the mirror before approaching the table where Noriko lies, one hand dipping into his coat's pocket.

Noriko's head lulls back and forth, first to the mirror and then to the arrival as he walks in. Her mouth thick as she says, "Water? Please?" She honestly looks like an absolute wreck her skin pale and blood still speckled over her lips as she tries to weakly fight at the bonds that hold her to the table straining to get up or to call on the power that has almost always been there for her except for now.

From behind the two-way mirror that has replaced the traditional clear glass of an observation window, a lab-coated Dr. Sheridan observes, her fingers lingering by the intercom button in agitated anticipation. She had fair warning about this, about the fact that Noriko was captured, was brought in, and was to be on of the first subjects for testing. Her first thought was: 'Is this city really /that/ small?' But there are reasons, very good ones from what's she's read, for bringing the hydrokenetic in.

The sickness is something more of a surprise, something reported by the men who seized Noriko last night, but not something she was aware was /this/ severe. Dr. Sheridan frowns as she sees those flecks of blood, their red gleaming under the harsh institutional illumination. That nervous finger depresses the button, and when she leans forward and speaks into the microphone before her, her voice comes out of the speakers in the OR distorted by the transformer she insisted be installed.

«Dr. Cong, what's your assessment of the subject's condition? How advanced are her symptoms?»

"I am not the one that provides your upkeep." Bao-Wei's response is quite terse, and his voice is reverberating within the room. Out of his pocket he draws a facemask that he puts around his face. For now he examines her, putting one pair of fingers to her wrist to take her initial pulse. This seems to be an outright exam for now, or else he would likely have her hooked up to something else. Soon.

"Fever when she came was around the normal flu levels- heart rate is excited, but only slightly over her resting rate." The man draws a tiny light from his front pocket, prying open her eyelids one at a time without much warning to test the contractions of her pupils. "Lucidity is normal for fever state. Seems coherent enough, I would say that her case is moderately advanced from traces of blood from the lungs."

As Cong puts the light away, he pulls out a cordless razor. The buzz is a numbing sound in her ears, and it gets closer until she can feel it running along her dampened, inky hair. "Proceeding with electrodes and monitors."

Noriko's eyes are kinda unfocused as she looks up at Cong, flinching faintly as she hears the buzz of the razors. Her eyes going to the mirror as she watches her dark hair begin to fall to the floor strip by strip. "Please… water… I can't feel my legs," she struggles to say as she tries to left her head up a little to look at Bao, before it drops back down and her eyes close. When they open again she's no longer seeing Bao, and the room that she is in. Instead, she is seeing a dank dark cell her body shivering as she tries to figure out what is going on.

«Keep track of her condition, doctor,» Bella's reconfigured voice suggests, emanating from speakers set above the observation window, «I defer to your judgment as to her ability to perform whatever tests we had planned. Just keep in mind that she's an SI.» Meaning 'special interest'; meaning try not to kill her. Bella squints to try and see just how Noriko is holding up. Not well, from the looks of it. She's tempted to intervene, but she /just/ said she'd defer to her colleague's judgment.

Dr. Sheridan doesn't speak further. She watches, hands folding behind her back.

"I'm capable of multi-tasking, doctor. I have dealt with worse during experimentations." Bao-Wei's reassurance towards Bella is barely laced with honesty; he has done much of this before, though his well meaning towards Noriko is touch and go. He, on one hand, will not care if she is in danger. The more duress, as far as he can see, makes things all the more interesting to record. A patch of black covers the floor at the head of the table, and the air is cool to the paleness of the young woman's sheared pate.

The stickiness of electrodes finding placement on the skin of her head, neck and torso is obvious; there are smaller ones second, the warm, squishy gel of monitors being tacked in an arc around her skull. Cong leaves enough room to be able to bring up a strap to pin her forehead underneath. From the table next to Noriko, he unwraps the plastic from a thick foam mouthpiece.

"You will be sated once we are finished." But when will that even be?

Noriko shivers faintly as the elctrodes are now placed to her shaved head. Her eyes still looking at the mirror, even if they aren't seeing that and are merely looking at an image from her own mind, one that she doesn't even remember seeing. The Haitian saw to that. She lets out something of a little whimper that quickly becomes a cough as fresh blood begins to speckle against her lips. If she hears Bao when he speaks to her, she doesn't respond or give any real indication that she did.

The cotton of a swab can be felt in Noriko's mouth before the mouthpiece is set into her teeth, the clamp on her tongue. Doctor Cong gives the woman one more cursory look over before slinking outside of her vision. The hum of electricity comes from a machine to her far left now, beeps setting into the air. Tingling currents come alive on her skin underneath of the electrodes, while the lights dim and one paw-like palm lifts up to flick on a center lamp. Cong is there in the half-light, with shadowed limbs and features swimming in the figurative distance. His glasses still act as mirrors, reflecting moon-colored ovals.

Noriko blinks as she feels that tingley feeling, her eyes closing as her head lulls back into a straight position whle she whimpers. Her eyes opening slowly to look at Bao with something of a pleading look while that mouthpiece is in her mouth. Still seeing her cell in Moab instead of the hospital she is supposedly at.

His head tilts, facemask puffing under his breath. Somewhere, his hand holds a small black remote, with a dial between the tips of his calloused fingers. The only watrning proceeding a short electric shock is that very same jaunt of his skull.

Noriko lets out a cry as the shock goes through her system, her back arching as much as it can while she lays there on the slab. Her eyes opened wide as she twists and turns in the bindings.

"Initial shock test successful. Proceeding with gradual increases at thirty second intervals. Suppression by five-ten is intact for the moment. Testing for power action under duress while infected." Bao-Wei recites this to the room; he knows that he is being recorded, and that Sheridan is intently listening in.

Noriko continues to cry out in pain as the shocks increase in intensity. Her back arching as much as it can while she lays there, "Please, stop," she cries, muffled by the mouthpiece.

Bella turns her eyes away from the actual test at work, instead glancing at the monitor that hangs to one side of her, showing the feedback the electrodes are picking up. That burst should elicit some kind of response, but…

«The readings show no notable reaction to the stimulus,» Bella comments from her watcher's perch, «Atypical for an Evolved.» At least from what she's gathered from previous research reports. «The virus seems to be suppressing thoroughly - even toxified suppression wouldn't cut out a electro-magnetic response entirely.» She pauses, considering. «If you deem it safe, Doctor, please increase the voltage. See if we just need to give her a little push.»

"Mmm." Bao-Wei confirms something, but not entirely being specific as to what. Inwardly, he was hoping for some sort of anomaly such as this very one. The H5N10 seems to entirely make them powerless. It iss supression at an intrinsic level. His fingers nudge the dial slowly upwards now. "Skipping interval at request, increasing voltage at a gradual incline."

Noriko's cries behind the mouthpiece grow louder as the voltage continues to climb. Her eyes widening as she struggles in the bonds, all of her muscles tensing up as her eyes roll in the back of her head her vision growing cloudy.

«Still nothing to write home about,» Bella states, finger depressing the button. She holds it down, letting the fine crackle of static hiss softly, competing with the buzz of the fluorescents. «Given, that's what we'll write home about. Suppression appears to be total.»

Which is cute, actually. They now know of a way to make an Evolved no longer Evolved. Exactly the opposite of what they're after. Bella makes a mental note: acquire a natural Evolved with the same sickness, perform the same test. The synthetic source of Noriko's power remains an unaccounted-for variable.

For a moment, Bao-Wei keeps the incline going. After the point where it seems little is being done, he stops to let Noriko lie there, likely sweat-covered and now suddenly tingling with numbness. "Supression is total." He confirms on his end. "Should the testing of power presence proceed?" The man finally turns slightly to look at the mirror from behind his glasses. She can see that sliver of his face- and for a second- he seems to have been enjoying this. But soon enough, his eyes relax into passiveness and the muscles of his jaw slacking under the mask.

Noriko lets out a whimper as the current is turned off and the hydrokinetic slumps on the table, breathing heavily and starting to cough again as she shakes on the table. Her muscles trembling as she still doesn't even have any kind of clue of what exactly is going on around here.

«Please, proceed,» Bella replies. The glimpse of Bao-Wei's pleasure is neatly filed away as 'useful information' within Bella's mental files, but there is no value judgment attached to it. It's good to take pleasure from your work, and nice that some good can come of a certain sadism. «But don't overtax her. S.I.» As if he needed the reminder.

"I am well aware. It is just that I have been out of touch with extracurricular electro-shock treatments for quite a while." If he were anyone but himself, this may constitute the sort of social notes that people are apt to only share when they want something to come of it. For him, it is simply honesty- even if somewhat uncalled for. The dial goes on again, and he begins that initial test of intervals of increased voltage. It is a slow and arduous process for Noriko- but for the doctors it is only taking a toll on patience with the experiment. An unfair trade.

Noriko cries out again as the shocks are put through her system. Her back arching as she whimpers and cries alternately between bouts of bloody coughing. She manages to go through her fair share of that torture, before her sick body just can't take any more, and the poor woman blacks out.

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