The Door Was Open

A session with Annabell played on the OOC date of 7th June 2012.

«Scene Starts»

<Jaito> 1. It has been a very, very long day.

<Jaito> Some key points of interest are coming into focus.

<Jaito> Some of these points have greater precedence.

<Jaito> 3. Her door is open.

<Jaito> 2. Annabell can still smell blood.

<Jaito> 4. Danu is gone.

Annabell bit back an example of vocabulary not suitable for younger ears as she put these facts together, her hand coming up to her neck where she had been injured earlier, then looked into the room through the open door without yet entering. She should call security, but…

<Annabell> A single look wouldn't hurt, right?

<Jaito> One more key point comes into focus as she steps in. Her desk screen is on, a video file waiting for "Play"…just for her.

Annabell automatically looked for where the phone had gotten to even as she moved into the room, taking in the damage for now, then unthinkingly clicked to set it going.

<Jaito> Her phone's been untouched. Her desk is otherwise a mess - some sort of fight. There's even a rather nasty series of grooves in the adjacent wall - like part of it was just sheared OFF.

<Jaito> The message is simple: a digitized, feminine voice tells her the following:

<Jaito> "I have taken away a gift that you were given. For that, I am truly sorry. However, if I'm right…then you won't need it. Pray, with everything you have, that I am right. Some doors should never be allowed to open. Close your eyes and dream the real."

<Jaito> Then her desk screen flickers out, sparks, and…well…kind of starts smoking.

Annabell didn't restrain her vocabulary this time at this information, and the sight of the burning desk, and grabbed the phone as she tried to recall the number for security. It was only a few second later than the idea that the sprinkler might go off hit her.


Annabell dropped the phone and went for the door, cursing under her breath until she got out of the room, then called out, "Can someone call security!"

<Jaito> There is a great deal of noise and quite a bit of running, but soon the fire is out, the security personnel (who were already on the way) escort Annabell away from the mess, and she finds herself sitting in the smaller of two chairs.

<Jaito> In Director Chang's office.

<Jaito> The larger chair is occupied by Chang himself and for all the pointless cruelty in his usual demeanor, it could be a different man.

<Jaito> Now, he looks actually and honestly like he might just take his Mont Blanc fountain pen and jam it in Annabell's eye socket.

Annabell had, somewhere along the way, managed to find a little composure but was still unconsciously not -quite- rubbing her neck but otherwise sat up straight and was clear eyed. While Chang might be director, she seemed unwilling to just yield to accusation.

<Jaito> "I…do not…have time for your adorable, anime goofball antics, Dr. Nolan…."

<Jaito> "I don't care what you were doing. I don't care why. I don't care one tiny bit just what you happen to be thinking right now. I only need your considerable talents at the moment and not…your considerable flaws."

<Jaito> Every word is calm, clipped, and precise. Like he's been thinking this over. He slides a touchpad over to her. "Show me you still have a job."

Annabell took the pad and, keeping her tone as polite as practical she asked before beginning to look at the pads contents, "Sir, may I ask what 'antics' I am supposed to have performed which involved something happening to my office when I was called away?"

<Jaito> "Did you miss the portion in which I don't care?" His tone comes out a little sharper, then. On the pad is a familiar display - it's the same cardiac scans from before, but with tabs for more recent review.

Annabell frowned and focused on the issue at hand, paging through the additional tabs while ready to check back to the older information as need be.

<Jaito> Looks like a major cardiac episode occurred on the patient during her rather busy evening…as if the foreign muscle fibers had choken the native material down to collapse, if only briefly…now? The fibrous structures appear to be expanding.

<Jaito> Even so, they appear to be…well, malleable. Reacting and pulsing to a now abnormal and erratic heartbeat.

<Jaito> Like crystalline blockages along the arteries and veins were building up and lining the pathways. Some paths have traveled several inches, severely restricting bloodflow.

<Annabell> "Parasitic on the artery wall?" Dr Nolan, not Annabell for the moment, asked herself as she checked the progression and views then tried to find if any of the tests covered virological checks. "The speed is far too erratic."

<Jaito> All screens come out a negative. A biopsy of the material is still being examined.

<Jaito> Based on some of the growth…oh. Well…that's why it's originating here and why the episode occured, you think. The layers and placement of the fibers has changed. By your best estimate? Heart tissue is being split and re-spooled into…whatever this is.

<Jaito> Heavy cardiac activity might even be speeding this along. Destruction and creation - the natural result of exercise.

<Annabell> "It definitely has a shape it wants to assume." Dr Nolan said carefully while rereading the gritty details of the report, "It does look as though it's subverting the normal mechanisms for tissue replacement in order to hurry things along."

<Jaito> "I suppose I should make myself more clear - what I /do/ care about? Is how to stop it." Chang leans forward, glancing over his glasses with that same cold, clinical focus that lets a man open another man's chest. "Suggestions?"

<Annabell> "Excising the tissue isn't a viable option for the obvious reasons." Dr Nolan replied as she sat up a little straighter and began covering them, "In the short term retarding of its growth will buy us more time. The chemical options are likely the best place to start although the patient will need close care due to the more general effects on their system."

<Annabell> She frowned, "Oncology should provide inspiration for longer term treatments, but no 'instant cure' would be possible due to the invasive situation and that it is in the cardiac tissue. Without some way of checking less obvious infection sources you couldn't even do a transplant."

<Jaito> "Any idiot could tell me that. So far, treating this like a malignant cancer has been both ineffective and greatly harmful to patient. I need something BETTER." His eyes harden.

Annabell took a deep breath then checked the records again, trying to find the patient's general health with particular reference to the working of their cardiovascular system when there wasn't an active 'incident'.

<Jaito> The treatment may have done the worst damage. The fibers might be…adaptive, or even conducive, to health.

<Jaito> That is, if his heart isn't eaten out from under it by radioactive chemicals. No way they would've known in time.

<Jaito> That's kind of funny. Use of common cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, has been effective. Only on healthy tissues, however. Your earlier notice of that extreme health (dying aside?) …well, it makes no sense…but maybe?

Annabell nodded to herself then fiddled with the pad, trying to highlight the sections on how matters progressed without 'radical treatment' and compare then to when such were tried. And to pull up the sections on how far the 'fibres' have spread at most as well as the tissues effected.

<Jaito> That's when it hits her. She's seen this before - in action.

<Jaito> When a little boy almost crushed her throat one-handed.

<Annabell> "…sir, there's another patient record which we might wish to compare to this." She looked up at him and her expression was purely professional, "I think that I've seen something which relates to this and recently."

<Jaito> He…takes a deep breath. Like he's holding back a scream. "You have…another example of an as-of-now unique condition?"

Annabell nodded once, "I have seen, recently, anomalous fibrous tissue in muscle which may be comparable to this. Abdominal in that case rather than cardiac."

<Jaito> Even now, Danu could be getting farther away…

<Jaito> "How recently? Can we bring them in for testing?" He goes over to his computer and it looks like he's already typing away. Which is odd. When it comes to money, he is slow to act. Patients? Glacial.

Annabell offers Chang the pad then winced, rubbing her head, "I should have thought of this immediately, but I'm passing twenty hours here."

Annabell flipped from these records and onto the hospital network, pulling up the recent patient files and seeking out the scans of the boy she had treated earlier, then set the pad to display the highest resolution one which was of fibres rather than wound.

<Jaito> He blinks. And then he blinks again. "…A shame the boy lived. We could have gathered useful materials in an autopsy that will now fall into wasted time on consents and unnecessary reviews."

<Annabell> "Sir, I suspect that I should leave now." Annabell said with her voice very much controlled in a way which would raise warning flags, "I think that I misheard you there."

<Jaito> "You, in fact, did not. Some unruly child who manages to get himself stabbed is a resource to be used, not worth lamenting." He looks her right in the eye. "This condition must be cured, at all costs."

<Jaito> …this is personal to him.

<Annabell> "Doctor Chang," Annabell said quietly, wanting nothing more than to be home, "Even if I were to use that dispassionate 'logic' then it would be obviously false. A dead patient provides you evidence _once_. A living patient shows ongoing state and allows trials of treatments."

<Jaito> "I don't have TIME for trials of treat-" He bites back his words. "…that is all, Dr. Nolan. I can investigate further on my own. Go home. Take a few days off. Please."

<Jaito> …that child is in real, immediate danger.

Annabell took the pad back, flipped it to the information she had first been shown on it, then asked bluntly as she gestured to the scan of the heart, "Doctor Chang, are you trying to kill this patient? Because if you do not have time for trials, time for tests, time to ensure you're doing the right thing then the wrong mistake will be likely fatal."

<Jaito> He shakes his head. "There's no time at all. I need real answers and you seem in no position to provide them. You have been excused, Dr. Nolan."

<Annabell> "If anything happens to my patient, who is stable, then I will know where to begin by looking." Annabell stated, her voice calm and empty, "You are looking for a solution, not a snapshot of the dead, and if you don't want a dead but cured patient you can't work purely from the dead.

<Annabell> "I have tried to be helpful, I have attempted to give you my professional analaysis," She continued even as she rose, "The fibres seem to only periodically causing episodic difficulties. If seeking answers remember the lesson of the golden goose."

<Jaito> "Not that he will acknowledge this fact. He takes after his mother in this regard."

<Jaito> Chang stops typing. "…he's my son."

<Annabell> "Given how my family went, I can only think about that in theory." Annabell said, her voice a little softer, "The other patient was having problems, and still is, with the wound. Has a condition which isn't in the books. Test to ensure he isn't in danger, or infectious. Obviously labs need to rush the tests due to dealing with a live patient than a dead one."

<Jaito> He leans back, running a hand through his once-slicked mess of hair. "Dr. Nolan…thank you. I'll be making use of you on this, so get what rest you can."

<Jaito> There's a faint BEEP.

<Jaito> "Director-" "I'm busy!." "There's a….disturbance on the pediatric floor. Something is…something's going on. Security isn't responding."

Annabell definitely didn't swear this time, having exhausted her supply of such words earlier, but moved for the door in a definite hurry.

<Jaito> Chang is right after her.

<Jaito> A short elevator ride later…the pediatric floor is mostly quiet. There's the occasional laugh or sob of a child. A pair of shoes protrude from a closet down the main hallway. Attached to feet going into said closet.

<Annabell> "Closet." Annabell snapped, keeping her voice low but trying to give Chang warning of what she had spotted.

<Jaito> Chang nods, pulling a concealed taser from his belt. He creeps over. "…he's unconscious. Nasty head wound."

<Jaito> The doors to the PICU are slightly open. Being automated keycard doors, both SLIGHTLY and OPEN are not natural states for them.

<Annabell> "The doors really shouldn't be like that." Annabell said to the direct before she tried to move forward enough to get a peep through the door. She'd been fairly sure that the things were set to automatically swing shut so she could only assume something had jammed them.

<Jaito> As she looks closer? The mechanism had been forced to the point of warping the door.

<Jaito> Inside, she hears a soft voice. "…beautiful child. But I am not here for you, not today. You have brothers and sisters, already. Even a mother…and she is /so beautiful/."

<Jaito> "So go ahead and sleep, little demon. When you start to dream? Well, your dreams will not be lonely long. Now excuse me. I have a woman I need to kill."

<Jaito> The tone is just as gently helpful as before.

<Jaito> Suddenly, an eye is just an inch away from her - sharp, violet, and slitted. While it follows the same general idea, it's not a human eye at all. "You aren't the woman I'm here to kill. Unless you want to be."

<Annabell> Well, keeping the killer talking might be a viable approach?

<Annabell> When faced with a potential killer it probably wasn't the best idea to be cryptic, or do much other than run or hide, but Annabell replied as her hand went to her neck to where a certain key could have hung, "I know which woman I am. Do you know who you are?"

<Jaito> The eye slowly slides down…and settles there. "I don't think you know which woman you are at all."

<Jaito> It's at this point that the doors smash outward - the exact opposite direction they're meant for…and Annabell is in the arc. Under that kind of strength and speed? Evasion might've been an option a second ago. Not now.

<Jaito> Annabell goes flying into the hallway and strikes her head on the linoleum. Her right arm hangs at an unnatural angle. Step. Step. Step. Her vision's starting to fade…no, no, no. There's a shout, a buzzing of electricity, and then a smell like the air just scorched itself…and she hears what sounds like Chang slumping to the floor. "Lightning…amusing."

<Jaito> "Oh, NO YOU DON'T!" And then every electrical fixture in the hallway explodes as an arc of electricity bursts from one of the patient room windows.

<Jaito> (Alertness. You'll be at -2 from me tagging the aspect.)

<Jaito> …Danu…suddenly, Danu is hovering over her like a guardian angel. As a set of footsteps runs down a turn in the hallway, away from them. Slower footsteps follow.

<Jaito> After that? Well…shock is starting to fade. A nap might just be lovely.

<Annabell> "…hey." Annabell murmured, worried and her head swimming but trying to hold on a little longer, "There's… bad thing. I messed up. Bad doctor. Did I make you go?"

Jaito> Danu flits down. "I think someone tried to kidnap me, but I'm okay. Annabell, are you okay? Tell me you're okay!!!"

<Annabell> "Got a message about things." Annabell blinked and tried to focus on the pixie, but was sure that she wasn't seeing six sets of wings on the blurred figure, "…I may have a multiple fracture of a limb. And I can't remember the right words for the head hit."

<Jaito> A nurse comes outto see what all the noise is about and SCREAMS. Things get very busy, very quickly after that.

«Scene Ends»

Scene Notes: Delayed again and I've problems with the log prior to this one.