The Practice Of Killing God


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Scene Title The Practice of Killing God
Synopsis Interred scientists at PISEC continue their research to find a way to kill Adam Monroe.
Date June 18, 2019

God damnit.”

Everything on the lab table rattles when Mohinder smashes his hand into it. His sharp sigh that follows comes with the softer thud of both of his elbows slamming against the table top, head coming to rest in his hands. On the computer screen beside Doctor Suresh, the words Sample Non-Viable are displayed in red text in a pop-up notification. His outburst drops a pall of silence over the room, where Bruce Maddox sits at an adjacent table, looking through a stack of paper documentation, his eyes focused squarely on Mohinder, then swiveling languidly over to where Odessa Price is standing on the opposite side of the desk from Mohinder.

“It’s not a technological hurdle,” is the quiet response from Richard Schwenkman, a couple desks down. “After the last failure I ran a complete diagnostic of all of the laboratory equipment,” he motions around to the computers, “so… just for the record, I’m entirely off the hook on this.” As unhelpful as Rich is, his assertion does give Mohinder something else to think about.

“You’re not helping,” Mohinder says sharply, bolting up from his seat and turning around on his heels, brandishing a hand in Rich’s direction. To his credit, Rich doesn’t flinch so much as look up from his keyboard, then around to the others, then up to Mohinder.

“I’m sorry, were you going to reprogram the MRI to detect the electromagnetic variance of Expressive biology, because if so I’ll gladly go back to my bunk.” Rich jerks a thumb over his shoulder, the dark bags below his eyes evidence of too many long and sleepless nights with little to show for it. “The problem is in the biology.”

I wasn’t the one who burnt out our largest gene sequencer trying to expedite the procedure,” Mohinder says with a wild flailing of one hand in the air. “You cost us weeks with that stunt!” As soon as Mohinder raises his voice like that, Rich comes up out of his chair and jabs a finger in Mohinder’s direction.

“First of all,” Rich says sharply, “I fixed it. Second of all, it’s working twice as efficiently now that the data latency with the network is cut down. So you can thank me and get that finger out of my fucking face.”

Mohinder sucks in a sharp breath and starts to walk around the corner of Rich’s desk, one hand curled into a fist. “Go on,” Rich says, motioning toward his chin, “have a good go at it.”

Guys,” Maddox whines, shrinking back into his seat, cradling the stack of paper documents in his lap closer. “C’mon, guys…”

Plum Island SLC-Expressive Center

Plum Island, Long Island

June 18th


Watching the altercation begin to unfold before her, Odessa turns her face away if only to hide the annoyed expression on her face. They’re all tired. They’re all frustrated. Mohinder Suresh doesn’t have any more right to it than the rest of them.

Without thought, she waves a hand out in front of her toward the two men. It might be mistaken for a dismissive whatever sort of gesture, but it quickly becomes apparent that isn’t the case when the blonde turns back and looks confused.



Confusion is replaced with exasperation. “Boys, boys. You’re both pretty,” Odessa deadpans, head tilting to one side as she rests her palms flat on the table in front of her, leaning forward slightly.

That manages to get both of their attentions. Mohinder swivels around like a particularly angry desk lamp for his stiff his posture is, and Rich leans to the side so as to regard Odessa around the silhouette of Mohinder’s body. At first Mohinder is aggravated, but then as he considers the absurdity of his shouting he calms and exhales a defusing sigh, one hand coming up to his face.

“Rich is right,” Mohinder admits with a sweep of his palm down his face. “The biology is insufficient. We need better samples of Adam Monroe’s DNA. The chimera samples that they provided us with are too damaged to accurately represent his regenerative qualities. Each cell is so dramatically altered that the epigenetic memory is… is…” he struggles to find the right word.

“Scrambled like an egg?” Maddox chimes in, to which Mohinder snaps his fingers and points at him.

“Correct. Scrambled like an egg.” Pacing across the floor, Mohinder begins muttering to himself. “If we cannot unscramble the egg, and we cannot get the chicken,” he looks down at the floor, then takes a few long-legged strides over to Maddox’s seat. “Maybe we can find an old eggshell…”

Hand clapped on Maddox’s shoulder, Mohinder motions to the files. “Search the Hydra records for any known recipients of a blood transfusion from Monroe. If we can find a living recipient or the descendant thereof, we might be able to… if not find exactly what we’re looking for in his cells, find the negative space of its absence and infer from there.”

“On it,” Maddox says, pulling out the thick paper file for Project Hydra and slapping it on the table. “Once more into the nightmare fuel breach we go…”

“Odessa, do you remember when Volken had us working on the Shanti-Rage virus?” Mohinder quickly and casually brings that dark time up, gradually working himself into a groove. “There was the issue with the Advent being too small to contain the Shanti genes because it was an AAV. We had a… a…” he snaps his fingers in the air, “a work-around for that, because we switched to an adenovirus vector…”

Mohinder starts to trail off, dark eyes scanning left and right, but not really looking at the room. “But there was the issue with the cell toxicity. So you had this idea… to wrap the virus cell in a viral envelope to inhibit the toxicity so it could do its work.”

Mohinder turns to look back at Odessa. “If we can find a suitable… neighbor of Adam’s cells, we might be able to rebuild a replication of them. We might be able to hack an answer. Otherwise…” he glances back down to his desk, “I don't know how we’re going to do this. But once they get Doctor Allen here, maybe…”

Odessa raises an eyebrow, expression and casual posture challenging the two men to do something about her snarking comments, because she knows they won’t. Or that if they try, she’ll probably be sent to some sort of solitary and it will have been worth it, because they’ll be in the infirmary.

When they calm down, the defusing of the situation having worked as hoped for, those eyebrows come back down and Odessa straightens back up to stand. She watches Mohinder pace, eyes tracking his movement back and forth without moving her head. If she’s honest, which she is at least a little more often nowadays, she’s always enjoyed watching him work. He was a peer and a mentor in her Company days, and she misses that, although she’d never admit to it out loud. Not to him anyway.

Her posture stiffens when he mentions their previous work on the Shanti-Rage virus. A time in her life she certainly doesn’t enjoy revisiting, and finds herself surprised to hear him bring up. But evil as the work (The Work) was, it was equally fascinating. It takes a moment for her to get over her own knee-jerk revulsion before she figuratively slides onto the track in Mohinder’s wake.

“I know from my time with—” There’s a hitch in her voice and she pivots away from the larger explanation and whittles it down to the point: “I know people who have received a transfusion.” Odessa steps away from her station, looking Suresh in the eye as she makes her way forward, stopping just within arm’s reach. If he wants to lash out again, she won’t make an effort to stop him. He probably needs to blow off a little steam. She huffs out a quiet breath of laughter. “I think Doctor Allen was smart enough to cut a deal.” Considering they’ve not seen nor heard word of her.

Maddox looks up from the files when Odessa professes she knows living transfusion recipients, then angles his attention over to Mohinder. But that isn’t where Mohinder focuses. “Doctor Allen would have had to cut a deal with the devil himself to get out of the prison sentence someone of her record would have. I worked with her in San Francisco before…” he closes his eyes, even thinking about the psychic trauma he experienced under Sylar is stomach-twisting, “…before the end. Her hands may have been clean before the war, but I assure you they weren’t clean after.”

“You’re right about that,” comes from the doorway, where Deputy-Director Voss stands with his arms crossed over his chest. Maddox slides the documents out of his lap and onto the table when he sees Voss and Mohinder angles a smoldering look back at the deputy-director, stepping out of Odessa’s line of sight of him. “Allen’s hands weren’t clean, and you might be right on the deal with a devil part, too…”

Mohinder briefly looks to Odessa, then back to Voss. “What do you mean? What happened?”

“Doctor Allen’s transport was ambushed on May 10th,” Voss says. That was over a month ago. “The two men transporting her were killed and she was either abducted or escaped with the attackers. She’s been in the wind ever since, so whatever you’re planning on this project… you’re going to need to do it without Adrienne’s assistance.”

“Ms. Dunlap is going to be— ” Maddox starts to say.

“Let me worry about Ms. Dunlap,” Voss says with a sharp look to Maddox, who slouches back down into his seat. “I came here to check on your progress.”

Mohinder slides a look over to Odessa. “We’ll need names.” Don’t they always?

“Adam.” Odessa shakes her head slowly. That’s not a name she’s providing for Mohinder, but a declaration of her suspicion. “There’s no way he’d let an asset like her go.” Whether or not Dr. Allen went willingly is uncertain even to Odessa. She knows from experience how persuasive the man can be.

Shoulders slouching in tandem with a heavy sigh, Odessa looks up at Mohinder again. “I’m all but certain Huruma Dunsimi had a transfusion at one point…” Whether or not the member of Wolfhound will want to cooperate, given her past affiliations… “And—”

Guilt twists a knife in Odessa’s gut. She doesn’t like what she’s about to do, but it’s for the greater good, isn’t it? “Eve Mas.” Her eyes close heavily for a moment, only opening enough to let her stare down at her decidedly practical shoes.

“Eve Mas is out of the question,” Voss states with a wave of his hand, “given her current… condition we don’t even know if that’s really her or an accurate-looking facsimile.” That statement from Voss elicits a side-long look from Mohinder, but he holds his curiosity well.

“As for Dunsimi, I’m reluctant to call her in.” Voss says with a shake of his head, “She’s a known confederate of Monroe’s and the only reason we haven’t arrested her is because she’s been out of contact with him since around 2009. But the last thing I want is for her to have a change of heart about her old cellmate and inform him of what it is we’re doing here.”

Exhaling a sigh through his nose, Mohinder glances over at Maddox, who starts going back through the files again. Then another look over to Odessa. “What are your thoughts on Dunsimi?”

That Eve is considered right out is something of a relief. Odessa lifts her head again and draws in a deep breath. “Well… I think she was fanatically loyal to him when I first met her…” Her head tips to one side as she considers. “I also think she’s almost certainly a different person than she was then.” She’d have to be, wouldn’t she?

“I think it’s possible to convince her we’re doing something entirely unrelated.” She shrugs, sort of helplessly. “I don’t know what the answer is. I think… I think if you want a willing subject, Mas is our best shot. She knows things only Eve should know. I believe it’s her.” How she knows this, she doesn’t expound upon. “But I understand her… volatile nature. We can certainly comb through the Hydra files, but this is the fastest way to get a jump on something.”

Volatile is a way to describe it,” Voss says with a dismissive wave of one hand. “Monroe self-styles himself like some sort of fucking Expressive god, but Eve Mas expresses herself like a fucking living hurricane of bullshit. I’ll send someone on the Dunsimi lead and see where it goes,” but he doesn’t sound convinced. “In the meantime— ”

“Wait a minute,” Maddox says, looking at one of the old files in his lap. Voss and Mohinder both turn to eye Maddox as he just sets the files aside, more distracted by them than anything. “Wait, no, I know someone who had a transfusion from Monroe, he told me about it.” Maddox’s brows rise, and Voss looks at Mohinder and shares a momentary expression of incredulity, and then looks back to Maddox.

Who?” Voss asks, taking a step closer to Maddox’s seat.

“Well, it’s complicated but…” Maddox scoots his chair back just a little bit, “…see, I was involved with a lot of the Institute’s internal projects. I heard things, people told me things. I guess— I just have one of those faces, right? Even though I was more of a prisoner than— ”

Spit it out, Bruce.” Voss wags a hand at him.

Cardinal.” Maddox splutters. “Richard— Ray. Richard Ray.” Maddox pulls his hand into his sleeve, “He lost his hand to Arthur Petrelli, got a blood transfusion to get it back. That’s the story anyway.”

Voss’ eyes widen, his attention flicks to Odessa, then back to Maddox.

“I guess it’s time to pay Mr. Ray a visit.”

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