2020-02-04 - Labhunters Part III - Recovery Begins


Following the disaster of Biogen, the much-changed Hank is taken to RESCUE for analysis and treatment. Friends come together. Too bad this isn't My Little Pony; they could use some magical power of friendship.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Feb 4 00:00:00 2020
Location: RESCUE Campus - NYC

Related Logs

2020-02-03 - Labhunters Part II

Theme Song



In the wake of the debacle at the old Biogen site, Hank was a -mess-. Once the site was evacuated and SHIELD on the way, Hank had to be tranquilized to get him back to RESCUE. Betty was quite useful, her scent and voice helped calm him a great deal, en route he dropped into a very deep sleep.

Roni would no doubt run a bunch of tests on him, she's get some interesting findings. First, there's no signs of any traces at all of Unity, which is a huge relief. What is also very interesting is seeing how the serum must have bonded to his DNA. Finally, the only thing keeping him alive at the moment is his healing factor, sure, he's not as fast a healer as some - he still heals a lot faster and better than humans tend to.

Betty stayed with him as long as she could but then had to get some sleep, presently she's curled up on a cot near by deeply asleep.

When Hank wakes, his nostrils flare and take in the scents all around him, eyes of blue taking in the environs. "Must…be…RESCUE…" He husks in a soft and harsh whisper. His diction is off, a bit slurred.

Drawn on his brow, heart and palms are some Norse runes. They were drawn in what Betty had - lipstick. On his right forearm there's another new thing, it wasn't obvious before due to the fur, but there's a tattoo there - a crow.

A tiny drone sits positioned nearby, a wee red light showing beneath its belly where its sensor pod is mounted. Elsewhere, an analytic program decides it is time to notify its mistress, and a text is sent to a phone. Elsewhere in the warrens of the Wellspring that message flitters across glasses worn over the eyes of an agitated woman in a wheelchair, as she stares through those glasses at the monitors before her. "No sign of the techno-organic in him. But … no idea how to reverse this. There are literally new entrons, and molecules bonded into his DNA that have never been documented on Earth." she murmurs angrily to herself.

"Drone sixteen, feed live." Veronica offers, and watches the feed. Well, he's awake, and actually trying words, rather than attempting dismemberment or worse. Roni sighs and sends a message to Toni to let her partner know their patient is awake. Then she saves her work and rolls backwards, heading for the hallway.

Indeed, there are few hospitals or labs that could smell as clean, and yet not be strongly antiseptic. The Wellspring is great like that, far more welcoming and human. Its doors are all extra wide, and there aren't a lot of people. Anything that can be done by remotes and little bots is. The beds even move themselves through the hallways with patients aboard or not.

Soon enough, the door hisses open and Veronica comes rolling in, slowing down immediately as she takes in the presence of Beastial Hank once again. She is visibly - and olfactorily - nervous.

Toni responds with an acknowledgement, setting down her analysis of the strange biotech plant, the Unity seed as she rubs her face. It's really not completely her forte, of course. Too much biology, which she's not terrible at, but it's certainly not her specialty. But the combination of tech and organic is..worrisome.

She heads out the door to her lab, heading to the shuttle between the Foundry and the Wellspring, ending up in a minute or so in the lower level as she takes an elevator up to join Veronica in walking into the room. She's….in her armor. Helmet off, mind. But she's wearing it. Just in case Hank is a bit teetchy when he wakes up.

His bio-signs are steady, even so they are also odd. He's a powerfully built man, a veritable mountain of muscle presently sheathed in sleek fur. The changes are hard to miss - his once smaller canines are significant, much larger than before and flanked each of them by two smaller fangs roughly the size of his old ones. His fur is /thick/, blue-black about a shade darker than before, and spiky, thick, coarser. What's possibly most startling is the fighting claws on both hands and feet, fully three inches long, they retract to only a bit longer than his old much smaller fixed claws.

He tilts his head towards the door, scenting his benefactors—the wheelchair bound Roni, and the unhelmed Toni, thankfully he can scent them as well. A faint sigh as he takes in their nerves. "Hard…t'talk…" He nearly grunts, his words formed oddly. "…hard…to…think…"

Veronica nods. "That fits the new brain wave patterns." she murmurs softly as she rolls closer, even though she leaves the lights off, not wanting to assault his beastial eyes, nor risk yet disturbing Betty's sleep; the woman has been at this for quite a bit now and needs rest. "I am so sorry, Hank. So very sorry." Because Roni blames herself for this. She, and Toni, with their suits should have gone first, rather than Henry. Perhaps they would not have so enflamed Unity. But that place was their responsibility. And now their friend is paying the price.

"No one could have known." Toni says simply, shaking her head. "The organism wasn't doing anything until we moved too close to it." She sighs a bit. "At least it's inactive now. But…I don't know precisely what it did you, Hank. I'm guessing it sampled your genetic pattern, considering it was making technorganic mini-Hanks afterwards. I'm not sure why that caused you to..change."

One massive, beclawed hand reaches a few inches towards Roni, though…he's surely in restraints, as bonkers as he was, even considering Betty's efforts they would not risk him getting loose. "No." A shake of his head. "Not…yer…fault. /My/ choice." He fairly growls. Blue eyes are determined. "No…way…t'know." A nod to Toni's words.

It is almost heart wrenching to hear that rough voice, that mangled diction - Hank was always so well spoken, every syllable caressed, enunciated lovingly in that deep bass voice of his. Still, he's /speaking/. That's a huge step up from what he was after the crash-transition back to furry form.

A faintly bitter chuckle. "Neena…said..m'a'bigger beast than any…so right…"

There are in fact faint tears shining in the depths of Veronica's dark eyes, behind the lenses of those glasses. "I am so sorry, Hank. I've been studying this for hours and hours. I still can barely fathom what's become of you, let alone how or any theories to undo it." And it pains her beyond all words, seeing it, hearing it, witnessing that loss.

Toni sighs, folding her arms as she looks over to Toni. "You've only just started looking. You'll find something. Maybe if Hank is willing to share some of his data for his own genetic patterns it'll give us more of an idea of what to do?" She pauses. "Also, Betty was…here. She had to leave, but I've left a message with her that you're awake. The artwork on you was her doing."

"Scan…fer…molecule…one I…drew…b'fore." Hank shuts his eyes a moment, trying to force his thoughts into coherence by sheer stubborn.

He looks between his friends, and the sight of those tears in Roni's eyes is enough to silver his own with the same. "M'sorry…too." He nods then to Roni. "Data…visor…uplink…" And then he THUMPS his head into the pillow, fangs bared in a frustrated rictus. "…can'na remember…password…will…will have to /hack/…" His password? 64 characters long, so…not exactly an easy thing.

"…Jemma Simmons…Catseye…helped with…serum…"

Every single word paid for via anguished effort. And then he leans up, into the restraints. "Sharon…knows!" The password?

Veronica nods. She would assume Sharon, as Hank's lab assistant, might know such a thing. She's observant like that, and has an incredible memory. "I'll call her, Henry. Right away." she promises, and flicks of her eyes activate her phone. "We'll do all we can. I promise."

Toni frowns a bit in thought, nodding. "She'd be logical…and presumably if she's been helping you at the lab she would know where the data we'd need to help you is." She mms. "…and what sedatives might help, under the circumstances. I'm not sure how your mutant biochemistry would react, but I trust Roni's judgement on it." She sighs slightly, then walks a bit closer, an armored hand patting Hank's leg. "We won't stop until we figure it out Hank. You just have to endure it. I know you can."

"Tanku." A grimace. "-Thank- /you/." Hank grates out. No doubt Cat will both provide the password and be en route to the site in jig time. Should Roni or Toni scan for that synthetic molecule from before they get /zero/ hits. Which draws a nod. "Un'ty /ate/ serum…" A nod as he finally answers Toni's question from a bit before. "…/catalyst/…reversion serum…molecule." And truly, any serum capable of such a broad spectrum full body alteration would be complex, and carefully balanced. Without that key ingredient almost /anything/ could happen.

And clearly did.

"Need…suppress liz'rd brain, cer'bellum…maybe?" It is again heart wrenching he's not /sure/ about such, one of the world's foremost biochemists, renowned geneticist and expert on mutants…and he's unsure.

Veronica places the call. Once it is done, she can return her attention to the tortured figure of their friend before her. "We'll go over all of our scans with her when she arrives. And then we'll incorporate her data." And they will find a way. Some way.

Somehow, they will restore Dr. Henry McCoy to himself. There is no other acceptable alternative.

The purple-haired engineer frowns a bit, looking back at Roni, then back to Hank, as she steps back a little. "…nothing we can do until she gets here?" she questions of Roni. "I think we've got the Unity seed contained, for the moment. SHIELD should be setting up a quarantine around it at this point.

"Hungry…tired…" Hank sighs faintly, he can't think too well, but his /instincts/ are amped. He has absolute faith in his friends, in Cat, in Jemma if they reach out to her - they WILL find a way. He settles back into the bed, no longer straining at the restraints even a little. "…m'sorry..burden."

And then he smiles, it is the most Hank-like thing he had done since waking. "Trust you both." A firm nod. "Implicitly." The effort to get the words out is clear, but so were the words!

Security had been told to expect her and escort her in, so it doesn't take long for Sharon to arrive, her eyes are worried and her tail fluffed with alarm. "DoctorHank?" She looks worriedly between her mentor and the others. "What happened? Have his emergency medical files, but will have to hold drive while files are copied. Biometric lock." Well, more than just lock. It won't -unlock- if it thinks she's under duress from her vitals, and if she takes her finger off of it for too long while it is in the computer, not only will it shut off the flow of data, it will launch a computer worm attack to attempt to wipe the already copied data. Because it's not paranoia when people are out to get you.

Veronica welcomes Sharon quietly and a bit understatedly when she arrives, and listens to her needs. "What happened is a bit of a long story. Suffice it to say, we unexpectedly ran into a techno-organic something, we believe left behind by an AIM laboratory project. It attacked, and seems to have extracted all of Hank's serum from his system, as well as injecting him with an activator compound which augmented his return to his bestial state. He's resting, for now. But he was most distressed, earlier. It's interfering not only with his speech, but the actual clarity and acuity of his thoughts."

And Veronica's eyes are red-rimmed behind her smart glasses. Her voice rough-edged. She has been crying. This has really, really upset her.

Toni is less outwardly upset, but the way she's pacing a little when Sharon arrives out of nervous energy suggets she's not as serene as she seems about things. "It impaled Hank on several tenacles and removed the material….and presumably genetic material too, since it started making small techno-organic copies of him." She shakes her head. "That situation is currently under control, but it left him in a berserker state. We had to restrain him and sedate him for his own protection, with the help of is fiance. I've left her a message that he's awake, but she may be sleeping….she was here for some time when he was first brought back to the Wellspring, she may be pretty exhausted."

Half dozing, Hank's nostrils flare when Cat arrives, and then his blue eyes open wider. "Cat…/Sh'ron/…need…serum…data…" Yes, it is /awkward/ for him to speak, his words slurred, his -mouth- shaped differently and full of quite a few more canines, he looks…bestial. His spiky fur is thick, and coarse, deeper blue black and Cat can smell the rage he's fighting, barely, into submission.

His fingers and toes have massive claws, retracted at the moment, but clearly not the tiny fixed things he once had.

"Fiance?" He asks then of Toni. "M'girl…/girlfriend/…haven't…asked…" Which might be awkward for poor Sleeping Betty.

Catseye inserts the USB drive, keeping one hand on it as she transfers the files. "Have health scans before and after final serum trials, and final formula," she assures Hank. Once the data is transferred she removes the tiny drive, slotting it back into what looks like a heart-shaped charm, hiding it's nature. Then she moves to the visor. "Message said needed visor password also, yes? Will have more recent data on health… data on what happened during if was recording." She enters the password quickly, having memorized it.

When Hank mentions Betty just being his girlfriend, Catseye just grins. "Want help shopping for ring?" Her tone is gently teasing. Then she strips down to her costume, and shifts into lion form. Putting her paws up on the table, she headbutts Hank and starts to purrrrr at him.

Veronica has not seen Sharon change before, and she gapes a bit at the transformation. Then smiles. "That is pretty awesome." she murmurs. "Thank you, for helping like this. I appreciate you dropping everything."

Now that all of the data they needed has been dumped into their systems Veronica starts poring over that data and analyzing what she can see and what they have already found with their own scans, to figure out the pieces: what is the new signature embedded in his DNA? Where did the new entrons come from? What would be an antithesis of the new molecule? What adjustments would they have to make to the old serum to overcome these latest changes?

As for romance? Nope, Roni doesn't touch that at all.

Toni raises a brow at the change, looking curious, but her skill and interest in mutant biology is more on the conservation of mass physics take a coffee break side of things that comes with turning into different shapes. "Thank you, Roni didn't want to proceed without more data, considering. "I seem to remember cat purrs being good for healing, if you'd like to remain." she says bemusedly at Catseye.

The visor does indeed have scans of what was going on with Hank as the thing drained and injected him. The readings show pain intense enough to kill, only his unnatural physiology enabled him to survive the crash from Non-Fuzzy to Fuzzy in a handful of seconds. Cat would know the current serum antagonist is designed to take about ten minutes to revert him, and even at that pace it is painful and leaves him sore for hours after.

The readings of the pain he felt would not be lost on Roni, not even a little. Madness is a very real risk after that level of trauma. The baselines do actually allow a fairly good mapping of the new entrons and the changes. It…seems to have HYPER stimulated his lizard brain, at the moment he's only barely staying rational, his existence fueled by emotion, governed by instincts. What is interesting is that it seems to have actually scarred his X-gene, somehow. It will definitely take some tinkering to fix the serum, and when Roni sees the formula — yeah, that's going to take some time to break it down safely. Still— they HAVE the data, and a restrained Hank, and oh look giant purple kitty headbutting and purring.

Bemused, Hank extends his claws — not aggressively, but so he can scritch despite the restraints. There's still HANK inside that mess, so that's something, right?

Catseye says simply, "Catseye stay." Even as the deep rumble of her purr goes on and on. Purring is healing, yes. It's also soothing, and on a level that speaks to the lizard brain, not the intellect. Unless hands are needed, she can still talk in fur-form, still think and study the data, still help brainstorm… so why stay in smoothskin form when there is a friend who could use being purred at?

Veronica studies what they have, and bounces some ideas off of Catseye and Toni as they consider alternatives. "This is going to take a good long while to work out. I think the most likely methodology to pursue is going to be the silver goo principle." She doesn't explain that. Toni will know what it means: RESCUE has some limited nanotech they have perfected, and she's saying they may have to use that to deploy her planned solutions.

"We're going to have to go in three stages, and each one is going to have to be slow, and careful. I really don't want to expose him to the level of agony required." And that means Roni is going to have to figure out how to tune her neuro-static tech to shut down his pain receptors. "It's likely to take us days, if not weeks, to get this planned, tested, and finally deployed."

"Better safe than sorry, though if we have a way to ease things temporarily in the meantime, I"m all for it."Toni points out, folding her armored arms across her chest. "Maybe we can reach out to SHIELD, see if they have something, or the Fantastic Four."

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