2019-11-03 - Second Mutation Speed Up


Isis gets Nick to Hank - and freaks out - Hank gets some horrifying information about the serum Nick was injected with.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Nov 3 02:37:57 2019
Location: Institute - Hank McCoy's Lab - Westchester

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Hank received a call from Isis not too long ago. It wasn't panicked but it definitely wasn't clear. Just that she was coming in with Nick and something had happened.

The slim feline-like mutant is now tugging his hand, directing them both to Hanks lab in the Institute. Getting through security had been challenging with Nick wanting to turn around and go back to the DZ.

Knock knock knock "Hank?" Knock knock knock "Hank?" Knock knock knock "Hank?" Isis calls out trying to get the Scientist to answer his door.

The door will be opened quickly, and then Hank frowns as he realizes his security got reset in the last software update, he'll have to re-key the people like Isis and Cat who have access any time into it. "Isis?" He's dressed in a lab coat and shorts, and it might be a surprise when the man who opens the door is not fuzzy! Still mostly smells right, but no fur, no claws - a brother perhaps? Still, the face is pretty much the same shape, the build is very much the same - the eyes and most importantly his emotional signature are all very much the same.

The scientist will help if there's any need for it, he hasn't any idea how grave things are.

Nick doesn't notice how different Hank is. His eyes are large and dull. His ears are laid back. He's unsteady on his feet and leaning on Isis to support himself which is unfortunate because he is MUCH bigger and heavier than the feline woman.

He doesn't even greet Hank which is very unlike him. His nose is dry. Yeah. There is something wrong with Nick. Very wrong.

"Where's Hank?" Is the first thing that Isis asks the man who answers the door, staggering a little under Nicks weight. Her nose twitches, ears tilting forward as she herself leans in and sniffs. "You smell like, Hank. I need Hank. Nick needs Hank. He's been … stuck by that formula the werewolves are using in the DZ."

"WHERE'S HANK!!" It's impossible to miss the mess of emotions coming from her. Worry preeminent but it's starting to be tinged with anger.

Still, she doesn't stop the man helping with Nick, guiding the big brown wolf to a chair. "Sit down, Nick. I'll get you a drink and hopefully Hank will be here soon."

Eyes of blue go very wide when he sees the state that Nick is in, and yes, helps him to chair in the medical section of the lab. Realizing that Isis is in no state to deal with his changed form, Hank doesn't hesitate, and stabs himself with the Morph Serum's antagonist. The transformation from smoothskin to Furry Hank is actually fairly rapid with this new formulation, it takes less than a minute in fact, a rather painful minute of course, but one well worth helping settle poor frazzled Isis. "Hank's right here, Isis." His voice is a little hoarse, and he smells of pain but…yeah…normal Hank, regular-right Hank is back.

And then he gets to work, checking Nick for any wounds, any signs of the delivery system used with the werewolf formula, his vitals, and so forth. He has to know what the heck is going on before he can take remedial action.

It's a very complex biological kind of formulation, that's clear. Amino acids, proteins, synthetic drugs and reverbium. It's a potent cocktail but the action is simple. It stimulates certain parts of the brain that are more developed in animal-like Mutants than human ones and at the same time targets the x-genome enhance protein production associated with animalistic secondary mutations. It looks like the reverbium particulate actually carries some manner of digital data that is then translated into biological terms using the protein hijacking.

It's fiendish. Whomever made this is on Hank's level.

Nick looks up at Isis and frowns. "You're really loud…"

"What …" Isis doesn't really understand what's happened to Hank and why he lost his fur. The cat-like woman just blinks, tears welling in her eyes that she blinks back furiously. "What…."

Then Nick speaks and she crouches at the floor by his side "Sorry Nick. Isis will be quiet." Slowly she hands over the syringe to Hank.

"Tell him how you feel, Nick, please." Hank might not have seen Isis so … pliant. "We were ambushed by the werewolves in the DZ, they chased us. Nick was trying to help me and … they caught us. Stuck with that and if that's the same stuff they used on Miss Potts employee, it's going to change him."

What? What this about a Stark Industries employee?

Once he gets the syringe, Hank will carefully see if any traces linger in the needle, then disassemble the syringe and see what he can find, so he has a 'pure' sample of the serum used. Granted there's some raging through Nick's blood as well. Eyes fever-bright, Hank wastes no time at all in getting the analysis underway.

"I will strive not to be too loud, Nicholas, how do you feel? What are your instincts telling you to do?"

He continues running the tests, and frowns at the complexity of the cocktail. "Dear lord, this is insidious." He mutters.

"Isis, don't worry, we'll get this handled." And then he very calmly adds. "What happened to Miss Potts' employee then?"

"Go. I have to…" Nick trails off and shakes his head. "I need to go. Are we going to be done soon?" Go where? Isis had asked that and Nick hadn't been able to answer. But go somewhere. It's possible that information is encoded on the reverbium particles. Getting at it will be tricky but reading it will be even more difficult.

"She turned into a skunk." Nick says a little sing-song. His head lolls back. Isis is going to have to explain that one further.

"He wants to go back into the DZ, I don't know where…" Isis' nose twitches again and her eyes narrow at Hank. "You're in pain…." She can tell. Right on the edge of her feral nature though, her cognitive abilities are limited. She's not made the connection between the injection Hank took and all this.

"She went from a human to a Skunk. In days really. Miss Potts was trying to find out more about the woman but she was targetted by other werewolfs."

She frowns and adds "They were going to stick Miss Potts as well. What is it doing to him, Hank…"

Isis is very, very worried and strokes Nick arm, rubbing her ears against it as well. "Nick. Where do you have to go?"

"I am, yes." Hank admits to Isis asking about his being in pain. "It is of no moment, however." Hank is actually a little swamped at having his super senses back, but coping. They actually give him some important info about Nick's condition and Isis' emotional state. So there's that. He frowns at the mention of the Skunk transformation.

And then when it becomes clear that Nick's going through a forced secondary mutation…

"Right then. First thing we have to do is stop what the serum is doing, it is trying to make him mutate again, or rather…it is accelerating a change in him that was already ongoing, in addition the serum has information encoded in it. First I need to try and halt the transmog, then we need to find out where it wants him to go so we can stop them."

Hank takes the protein blocker formula he and Jemma concocted to slow the necro-toxin, and tries to adapt it to specifically stopping the changes to Nick. Or at least slow it down. He'll then see if he can't isolate which of the nano-particulates have the data embedded, once isolated he can try to to interface.

The protein blocker formula should do the trick, he just has to tailor it to these specific proteins and then inject Nick with it. The next step will be the agonist but assuming he can halt the protein production he has more time for that.

"Guys I… really need to go." Nick starts to rise and MIGHT have to be physically restrained. He's been pretty good about being talked down so far but it's clear that he's getting a bit agitated.

"Oh…" Isis says, studying the blue furred man carefully. Not knowing how to respond to that, she turns her attention to Nick. "What do you mean by mutate again?" She really doesn't understand. Nicks already mutated isn't he?

"Go where, Nick?" Isis is already moving, putting herself in Nicks lap to keep him there and rubbing her ears under his chin and stroking his fur. "We'll go as soon as Hank says we can go."

Hank takes all sorts of shortcuts to getting the tailored protein blocker ready for use. "Isis, would you please get me the box under the exam table?" Hank chin points to it as he works with both hands and a foot on the serum. And he normally would not take the shortcuts — but the risk if he DOESN'T do this is /far/ worse than if he does, so he does.

When Nick starts to rise, Hank turns and firmly pushes down, leaning his full weight on the also huge man in the chair, hopefully the leverage will give them the time for Isis to return. "Okay, those restraints, we need to fasten them around Nick, and attach them to the chair, please."

He know it is a lot to ask of Isis, but it is necessary, and he's very calm seeming right now, raising his shields to ensure he's not leaking.

Nick isn't fighting. That's the good news. He's too confused to be fighting right now. And with Isis in his lap he's not seeming to - oh wait she's gone. He might be getting a bit more agitated no- oh wait. She's back. Very feline, that one.

The effects of the forced mutation are starting to be visible. His fur is now notably shaggier and Hank can HEAR his heart working overtime. This is dangerous. The effects of a serum like this could kill the subject if they're not sufficiently robust and it's a sure bet given who is using it that this HAS happened.

The serum is about ready. Nick is starting to come out of his daze but that's not good news. Isis can feel emotions of fear and anger start to build. Good thing those restraints are on yes?

"Stay here Nick, I'll be back …" Isis murmurs, sliding from his lap to retrieve the box that Hank indicates. It takes her a moment to drag the box out and return to the other mutant. "You want to tie him down. Are you going to hurt him?"

She looks sooooo unhappy at the moment and even more so when she sees the way Nicks fur is looking. What she's getting from his mind isn't reassuring either.

After helping Hank, Isis slides back on Nicks lap, resting her head against his chest. "His heart is beating so quickly." she murmurs. "Relax Nick, just breath. We're going to help you…." Almost without thinking, her mind brushes against his sending reassuring thoughts to try and calm him.

That is VERY good news, since Nick is stronger than Hank. Fortunately that daze might well save his life. And theirs — since a berserk Wolf Cub is /not/ something that bears thinking on. Hank helps with the restraints once they're set. "No, Isis, I will not hurt him - this is to help him, it is the only way to do this, thank you, dear one." He spares a moment to head butt her in a very feline gesture meant to reassure.

He too is unhappy at the look of the fur, turning, he checks the serum…waiting impatiently for it to stabilize, and then immediately takes some in an old school syringe, squirts a bit to make sure it flows, and then administers the blocker formula into Nick's jugular vein as the fastest path to the bloodstream. He wants it in NOW.

Sorry Isis!

Nick jerks when he's stuck and howls in pain. Yes that hurts. But in VERY short order the agonist serum begins to block the effects. His vitals stabilize. His accelerating mutation slows back to normal levels.

Now what they have is a thrashing Nick. Bucking Nick. He can't get out of the restraints but he is putting a great deal of strain on the CHAIR.

"What… who… where…" Oh yeah. He's confused.

Isis eyes the syringe that Hank has, blue eyes narrowing to slits as she sees it. She trembles but tries to hold see.

That is until Hank stabs Nick and the wolfman howls. Isis' cry joins Nicks as she clings to him. "Isis will be good, Isis promise. Isis will be a good kitten." She's back in that lab again.

Nicks thrashing brings her back just enough to hold him. "I'm here Nick. We're at Hanks. You're safe now."

But is he, really?

Hank eyes the thrashing, and the alarming creaking of a chair /not/ designed to restrain a being capable of juggling semi-trucks. Not at all. The reversion to the lab where Isis whimpers about being a good kitten almost breaks the big man's heart, and the decision he comes to as the only way to stop the thrashing is also an injection — yeah, that leaves it bleeding a bit.

And all that hurt and self-recrimination is locked behind Hank's actually fairly solid shields.

Another syringe, this one more modern, is fitted with an ampule of a mild paralytic, and and Isis is sure to enjoy it when it is pressed to the side of Nick's neck, and the injector sets of a fairly loud hiss as the agent is injected through the skin. "This should stop the thrashing, Isis, I promise I would never hurt Nick, not ever."

Nick's thrashing quiets. Of course it does. The panic in his eyes does not abate though. They dart around as the serum slowly is knocked out of his system. After what must be three or four minutes his breathing and heart rate has steadied. He's still not moving though. He's not going to be doing that for a bit.

"Um. Wha ith mah ton nhum?"

"Nick…." Isis nearly sobs and buries her face in his shoulder at the sound of the injector. "Isis is a good kitten. Isis does what she's told." She's trembling but she hasn't quite lost it - almost though. "Nick…"

At least he settles though and the feline-like mutant is petting him. "Thank you Hank. I'm sorry…" She says. His shields might be up but she knows how she behaved.

"We had to give you something, Nick, to calm you down. What do you remember?"

Those blue eyes look up at Hank. "What … was happening to him? And will it change back?" Or is Isis going to have to buy a better brush?

Sadly, Hank has too much to do - other than a brief moment to reassure Nick, a massive furry mitt gripping his shoulder. "You're fine, working on a cure for what was done, but it will take a bit. I had to hit you with a paralytic…you'll be able to move and feel your tongue within a half hour or less."

And with that he attacks the other issue - isolating and interfacing with the Reverbium enhanced proteins in the 'clean' sample to try and get the destination and other programming. Yeah…he'll be at it a bit.

Hank is a little surprised by the petting, and pauses to scritch Isis. "Don't be sorry, Isis. It had to be done, but /I/ am sorry I frightened you."

Hank looks to Isis as she queries him, and he sighs. "The serum was speeding up a process…an already /existing/ part of Nick that was going to change the nature of his powers, it vastly sped it up, and it was not done in a good way. It might have killed him. I'm afraid it is very likely his fur will remain as is, but I can't be sure as I don't know what the 'blueprint' was for the changes it was causing."

Nick doesn't move a whole lot. Or talk now. Mostly because he can't feel his tongue. But he does calm and Isis can feel his emotions stabilize which will probably help her.

The information is going to be a pain to get but already Hank can discern what looks like 'homing' behavior probably culled from pigeons or similar birds. Or maybe trout. An instinctive desire to return to a specific place. Where is that place? That he's going to probably be working on for many hours but he can tell one thing for certain.

It is IN this city. Isis was probably right when she said it was in the Disaster Zone. And if it was done to Nick, it has probably already been successfully done to others.

As Hank starts to analyse the serum he might notice there's some similar traits in the blood work he's done for Isis. Isis' is different *enough* that he might wonder if it is the same but he'll remember that her file had said she'd had a latent mutancy activated.

The feline-like mutant lets Hank scritch her ears before asking "Can I release the restraints now?" She's still petting Nick and settling a little.

"We'll buy you a new brush, Nick. And better shampoo." She says. She's thinking though "It made him want to go somewhere, Hank. Can we … Do we need to tether him somehow?"

Hank's fine with the info being a pain, and he is very thankful that Isis is there to keep Nick calm and care for him while he works - because the work /has/ to be done. "Mm? Oh, yes, Isis, you can release the restraints." Hank takes a moment to get Nick situated on the exam table. "He'll be able to move in a few more minutes, will you keep him company please?" A toothy smile, and then he cheek rubs the side of her head in thanks. Not because it is HIS nature, but because it is hers - Catseye gets similar physical gestures.

Over his shoulder he adds. "I have several that I make, shampoos, that are very easy on those with super senses, so I'll be sure to synthesize more each week, mm? Enough for both of you."

And then he gets back to work on the serum analysis, his voice a little distracted as he works. "Tether? Only if he tries to leave, though…perhaps just an ankle for now, the straps are quite strong."

He is appalled at the information as it comes in, and will carefully document every step taken, and the results - because: SCIENCE! "Fascinating, homing instinct…probably in the city…" As he gets closer to the destination, he updates the location on a map on one of the overhead monitors.

Hank is going to be a while. Fortunately Nick isn't going anywhere. Not for the next few hours anyway. He slips down, tongue numb and head fuzzy while Hank does his work and Isis keeps him calm.

His mouth has a rubber taste in it. Maybe he can get Hank to fix that later.

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