2020-02-07 - Labhunters IV - Race Against Time


A race against time to save the Beast before he is rendered utterly feral, truly a beast IC Date - 02-07-2020

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Feb 07 01:06:41 2020
Location: RESCUE Campus

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Theme Song



"Need…Jemma Simmons…SHIELD…" Hank growls out, once cultured voice raw as he forces words out of a maw with significantly altered dentition, and once hyper efficient brain barely working as he manages by dint of heroic effort and sheer stubborn to continue suppressing the urges and drives pounding at him from a hyper-engaged lizard brain. "…Cat…knows…she co-researcher with Serum…Project…knows…catalyst…reverbium, none…better."

Who knows - the lipstick graven runes from Betty Brant might have helped - runes of calm, and strength in ancient Norse. Her earlier efforts to calm him sure did, her presence soothing him enough to get him safely into the facility and restrained, and to sleep a bit before finally her own exhaustion sent her to a nearby cot to rest.

FInally, the fatigue and struggle are too much, and the purring of the purple lioness soothes away enough of his pounding terror that the Beast at last drops off.

His greatest, deepest fears - his worst of all possible nightmares has come to pass: Hank is a beast. His mind…almost unusable, driven by instinct and animal urges, a creation of passion yes but unbridled by reason, incapable of thought without such extreme effort that even the formidable stamina and recuperative power of the man can't keep up.

THINKING is exhausting.

Cat has the contact info, it is also in the visor, and in Hank's phone - it might amuse that Jemma's profile pic is her as Jemma-of-Nine.

Exhausted, uneasy slumber follows, the massively altered Beast in the RESCUE campus in their medical bay, no doubt an isolation ward, and in restraints surely designed to hold far beyond his known strength. Restraints he approves of! Thank God he didn't manage to hurt anyone. That might well have destroyed the man.

For her part, Dr. Toni Ho feels a bit out of her depth. She's aware of biological science and has a fair working knowledge of it, but she's hard an expert, and certainly not one on mutant biology.

But Hank is her friend, so she's at least monitoring things while she tries to figure out what the hell the Unity Seed (as she's dubbed it) was trying to do. Part of her is contemplating out to obliterate it as a threat; its infectious nature was fully on display with how it copied Hank, after all. And it's an AIM design, meaning it's likely not chock full of safety features to begin with.

But this Dr. Simmons might know more…and thus, she's willing to give her a call and see if she can get hold of her. Heck, she might already be at the site of the accident, if she's their expert on this sort of thing.

Jemma hadn't been at the scene. She'd been engaged in another mission at the time. SHIELD had sent a TAC team to secure it and the squints were only just being called in now - some of her team, but not the cyborg scientist herself.

When the call comes from Toni, she'd not long returned to the Tri. Hearing that Hank was having trouble, she'd left immediately - it's still a good twenty minutes or more before she arrives at the Facility.

"I'm Jemma Simmons…" The woman with the cybernetic right arm, left arm and neural implants visible on the left side of her face says as she's escorted in. "Doctor Ho said that Hank is poorly?" It's all so very British, the accent and the understatement.

"How can I help?" The worry is there for her friend. She can't hide it and ideed doesn't want to hide it.

Toni is waiting in the front room…looking pretty much like an intern, to be honest, dressed in jeans, a comfortable purple t-shirt with al little panda on it holding a wooden sword, the word 'NOOB' underneath, and sneakers. The lab coat does provide a bit of formality, at least as she taps away on her pad. When Jemma is directed over to her she saves whatever she's working on (it looks like…a mattress gun?) and stands, offering her hand to shake Jemma. "Dr. Toni Ho. Toni is fine." she notes, tucking the tablet under her arm.

"This way, we have to head over to the Wellspring Clinic, I'll explain on the way." And she does as the pair start heading over to the clinic building, past a series of art deco statues out front celebrating the human form. "Long story short, as we don't yet have a lot of details, an AIM bio project was stumbled over by myself, Dr. Kelsey and Dr. McCoy while we were touring an abandoned R&D building RESCUE owns that Hank was considering renting from us, or going in on a joint project with us on." She steps through the sliding doors at the front, flashing her badge to a security trooper who runs it through a reader, then provides a guest badge for Jemma, before they continue in.

"It appears to be a techno-organic device we're calling the Unity Seed. It possesses a virtual intelligence and attacked Hank and the rest of us. Unfortunately he was the only one not in armor. It very painfully and intrusively sampled his genetic material to create smaller techno-organic duplicates. It caused him great pain and caused him to go berserk, as well as reverting to a more furry form. We're not sure yet exactly why, but we have him under mild sedation and restraint for the moment, as he's having a hard time controlling his impulses. Or instincts."

Toni pause at the door, sliding it open as she looks at Jemma soberly. "We're hoping between you, his assistant Sharon, and Dr. Kelsey we can undo the damage and restore him.'

Jemma still has the grime from her mission on her. Soot or similar streaks her cheeks and her hair is pulled back in a pony tail. She too is in jeans and a collared T-Shirt, along with a sturdy pair of combat boots. "Doctor Ho, Toni. Call me Jemma." She says, shaking the womans hand with her cybernetic one. The pressure might be just a little too much - not painful but indicative of the fact that she's still adjusting.

"Another abandoned AIM lab here?" That has the biochem frowning. "Those people…" she doesn't finish the thought as Toni continues. "Do you have samples of this Unity Seed? Of course I'll do what I can to help Hank. If it's AIM, it might be interacting with a bio-reactive component of the serum he used."

She does have a bag with her, of course but she looks to the other Scientist quite seriously. I'll need access to equipment to do some analysis and work on this. Is that going to be possible? Do you need to conduct a security clearance or such?"

"We have some samples, though Dr. Kelsey has them in her lab. SHIELD has the location under quarantine at the moment. Luckily we had a young woman who is a techopath working with us who was able to convince the Seed to shut down before it could expand. But we've been disinclined to poke at it since then." Toni notes wryly. "I'm sure we can get you fitted in with one of the Wellspring quarantine labs here."

"All very good then." Jemma nods, happy to let Toni guide her.

"A technopath hmm? Will I be able to speak to her?" If it were Jeriah with her, she'd just let the man connect to her mind and share information that way. Speaking of which, she sends a 'thought' to her meat shield letting him know where she is and that she might need some of his processing power.

"I also don't blame you for being disinclined to touch this thing. Hopefully we can get some containment in place that lets us work on it and help Hank."

"She's something of a part-time hire, we only just contracted her. But I can certainly find her to talk to you. She has a very unique gift."Toni says thoughtfully, then nods. "As for containment, I'm half tempted to suggest it be destroyed..it's an AIM system that's already acted in a dangerous manner, and they were never known for putting safeguards in their devices in the first place. The fact that it seems to be alive, if non-sentient, is the only reason I'm hesitant. I don't think it was acting in a hostile manner, so much as it was responding to its programming to sample genetic material and Hank just was unlucky enough to be targetable."

She pauses at the door to Hank's room, then says, more softly. "He's still restrained, as I said, but he's aware and cognizant. Just he's having a very hard time..thinking clearly.' she says, pausing for the right term. "The sedatives are only masking the underlying issue. I wish we could have him unrestrained, but honestly I'm afraid he might hurt someone accidentally without his control in place." She opens the door, letting Jemma step inside.

Jemma nods slowly as she considers Toni's words "Only if she's not busy. I'm always fascinated by abilities." She's thinking about the Unity Seed and Hank as her breath catches at the sight of her friend.

"Destroying it might not be possible but it's a good option. SHIELD has containment protocols and facilities for these type of things if we can't. Providing you're ok with handing it over." That the entity might not be hostile doesn't surprise Jemma however … "It was made by AIM from what you've said, unfortunately that means it's purpose isn't likely to be rainbows and light."

The biochem glances down at her arm ever so briefly. She's remembering what happened to her.

"Hank. It's Jemma …" the biochem moves to the bed and touches his furry shoulder with her meat hand, letting her fingers curl gently in the fur. "I'm not a hologram today so I hope you're not disappointed I'm not dressed as Starfleet." It's an attempt to keep things light. "We're going to make you better, ok? Just hold on and try to work with us …"

Glancing back to Toni, Jemma offers the smallest of smiles. "Restraining him is the best idea. He'll understand when this over."

It's time to make herself with the lab. Hopefully there's someone who can tell her where stuff is.

Hank's presently in a very restless sleep state, clearly there's a lot going on in his head, and it seems like little is any good. Catseye is present sprawled across his legs and is purring, which suggests how bad things might have been otherwise. Jemma's seen Hank's furry form…this is altered rather noticeably. His fur is darker and much coarser. His claws are much more formidable now, fighting claws, and by the look of them they can extend. His teeth…much more 'bitey', the fangs pronounced and flanked by smaller canines on both sides about the size of his old ones.

When Jemma enters, his nostrils flare, and he orients to his friend, and wakes a bit half sitting up (to Cat's likely displeasure!) until the restraints stop him. He blinks a few times, then settles back into his seat when she touches and speaks. "J'mma…" He growls out. "…ate…serum…can't…think…" She has to KNOW how awful that is for him. "…trust…so…many friends…trust…"

A painfully brave attempt at a smile. Everyone's worry and concern he can /smell/, hell, he can probably taste it. "Need…warp..speed…" He says gruffly, even in this he tries to react to the humour, despite his terror, despite the constant pain even with the meds.

Toni's lips twitch slightly at Hank's response. She murmurs. "RESCUE doesn't have any interest in the Seed; we'll happily help research it if SHIELD needs assistance, but we'd rather see something so dangerous neutralized. So no problem with handing it over."

She quiets as the two talk, hanging back a bit as she reaches up to touch the smartglasses she's wearing, tapping them to place a call over to Veronica's smartphone, leaving her a short voice message to the effect that Dr. Simmons is here and would like to talk about lab space to help with working on Hank and anything Veronica and Sharon have figured out so far about Beast's condition.

One thing very clearly evident throughout the brief trip through RESCUE facilities is that everything here is top-flight handicapped-accessible. The reason why comes rolling into the bio-quarantine lab now, as the doors beep, the glow over the door lights softly in green, and then Dr. Veronica Kelsey comes rolling through as the door hisses open and then shut again. (Yes, she was inspired by Star Trek. Does anyone know a geek who hasn't been to some degree?) Not fully realizing that Toni is back with their guest, she starts speaking somewhat absently, paying more attention to the pad in her lap.

"Sharon is checking in with Betty, at the moment. I thought I'd leave them to it rather than crowd them. Both have visitor's badges cleared expressly for this lab, so they'll be in when they are free."

Then Roni comes to a halt, looking up to spot a stranger in her lab. A stranger, however, whom fits - in a way - the profile picture of someone they were going to call. "Dr. Simmons, I presume?" she inquires, glancing at Toni before back to Jemma and rolling closer. "Dr. Veronica Kelsey. Henry's friend, and sadly the woman who has been a bit stumped getting started on the process of helping him revert."

Roni glances towards the computer banks around. "Cassandra, camera three, please. Unlock." A red dot appears over one of the cameras closest to Roni's chair, and then the screens stop showing screen savers and start showing molecular diagrams of Beast's serum, microscopic pictures of his blood, digital models that look like a curiously altered DNA helix, and several other things. "Our two biggest problems are a lack of one of the key elements of his original serum formulation, and the fact that an unusual element has been inserted into his RNA, activating a host of entrons and outright resisting all attempts at extraction or application of the serum." Veronica explains. "Worst of all, not only has this reverted Henry to his furred form, but it has vastly increased the beastial features, and seems to have vastly increased the bloodflow of his hindbrain, vastly restricting flow to his forebrain compared to his standard bioscans from his suit."

One thing that would be readily apparent to Jemma from her knowledge of the serum, and her knowledge of reverbium, and the work she and Hank have done on both is that whatever removed the serum from him did it so rapidly, so violently that it actually damaged most of the bonding points needed for the serum to work. Worse, his healing factor is working against him - the biological agent has bonded to many of the points that the serum did, and scarring is evident in those points unplugged.

Looking over the data from his visor's bio-monitors the entire reversion took just over eleven /seconds/. Normally if one lets the serum run out the process will revert him, still painfully, in about two to three hours once reversion starts. Even the antagonist serum they developed was designed to revert him in about ten minutes, and the pain of that transformation was enough to leave him aching for hours.

Another interesting tidbit - the bioagent seems to be aggressively trying to rewrite his DNA and RNA to make him far more bestial, perhaps something related or a precursor to AIM's living weapons project? A means to actively /make/ bestial mutants or in this case make an already bestial mutant far MORE bestial? One last little bit of information - his adrenal glands are operating at more than double their normal capacity, combined with the pain, the rage and hindbrain activity is /going/ to drive him mad if not suppressed or halted soon.

There is not a sign at all of the serum in his body anymore, and not even trace amounts of reverbium…the extraction process was very very effective and targeted.

Jemma offers Toni a slight smile "If that's the case, I'll have a SHIELD team come and collect it." Of course she might need it on hand for the next little while to help Hank, if she can, so she doesn't make the phone call immediately.

"Jemma." The smudge and tired cyborg woman says. "Jemma Simmons. I'd say it's a pleasure to meet you, Doctor Kelsey and it is, I just wish it had been under other circumstances." Touching Hanks shoulder again, the biochem offers a reassuring smile "I've got Jeriah on speed dial in case I need the extra computing power." She tells Hank, tapping her forehead. "That will be Warp 6 or 7 at least, won't it?"

She's listening as Veronica explains though, pulling up the results of previous tests she and Hank have done previously. "Do you have a wireless connection I can connect to, Doctor Kelsey, I can share our previous data." She can, can she?

It takes her a few moments to go through the data that Veronica is showing her, shaking her head as it does. "You won't have the component that Hank used, I'm afraid. It's so rare and the supply is limited. When I heard what happened, I bought a small amount with me but I have to say, I'm worried that it's just going to make things worse. Reverbium has a high bioreactive component - too much exposure and …. "

Yes, Hank had been experimenting with fringe science. It's no wonder that Sharon was so growly about it.

"OK. So what I'm seing here, is that there's no sign of the Reverbium in Hanks system at all and most of the DNA anchors he was using have been damaged." She points to the sections on the screen as she talks. "It's actually worse though. Where the Reverbium had been working to suppress certain characteristics, this new bioagent is exploiting that to enhance them."

She's thoughtful again, taking her own tablet out of her bag and crunching some formula's very quickly. "AIM were the creators of Reverbium, if my information is correct. What Hank, I and T'Challa have been working on is a variant. Our variant based on the information that we could find and our expertise. It doesn't make sense that a bioagent would strip it out…."

She's frowning as the formulas fly over her screen. "How long has Hank been like this, exactly?"

"At this point, several days." Toni pipes up, having stepped back to let the two experts talk. "So, AIM's variant…would it work better in this instance?" There's a definite glint in Toni's eyes now. Find AIM and mug them for one of their inventions? Sign her up.

Veronica considers carefully for a bit. "Cassandra, initiate airgap on this lab, please. Once complete, local Cassandra installation, please confirm isolation, and then initiate secure wireless protocol on the internal antennae only."

Yes. RESCUE takes their technological security very, very seriously. Once that is complete, Jemma should be able to connect to the local systems, at which point she will spot the wealth of their additional data, access to all of the local systems in this lab. Including all of the data from Hank's own visor, his suit, and his original research. Of course there are also other files of data derived from other scanners and systems that are not themselves documented anywhere here. They bear tags like 'Augmenta rev2.6 microphasic alignment scanner'.

At the present rate of progression it is very possible that Hank's ability to think will be almost completely eliminated in another few days. It is entirely possible that the serum he's been using is already going to be rendered completely non-viable if the damage and rewrites aren't reversed, and probable that the serum will be diminished in effect, duration and stability.

In short - it will become non-viable and at best will need extensive revision. At best.

Between Jemma's experience with the stuff, and the wealth of scan data available and technology available here it -may- be possible with some very finicky genetic and neuro surgery to halt the process. There'd need to be a blocking agent of some sort, and then a delivery system capable of controlled application of the blockers in proper sequence and the /timing/ is crucial. A single surgeon is not likely to be able to do it, not without expert help.

And there's no guarantees, none at all, that it will work.

Hank looks at the scans and growls, low and throaty when the data feeds mean — nothing to him. The monitors would see a spike on his adrenals, and /that/ also reveals an interesting effect - the bio-agent actually moves a bit faster!

"You're welcome to beat down on AIM if you like, Toni. The problem we've encountered is that the serum, the components or formula, isn't kept in one place. What we've created was through using what we could find of the agent and the information we could recover from raids. If you like, I'll put you in touch with the SHIELD task force designated to take out the facilities as we find them."

Because, you know, new ones keep popping up. Eventually AIM will have to run out of money, won't it?

"Several days." Veronica gets a notification that Jemma has connected to the network - certainly not through the tablet though, she didn't touch the network there. "Ah, you're very organised, Doctor Kelsey. I can see the progression of the de-mutation? Mutation… " there's an audible pause as Jemma controls the jemma-babble that's about to burst forth. "The effects are accelerating."

When Hank growls, Jemma looks at him and moves between him and the screen. "Just rest, Hank, you're friends are here and we'll fix this." Maybe he would like a bone to gnaw on something. That's a thought that goes out over her other connection.

On the screen, Veronica and Toni can see Jemma literally rifle through the files, finding the information she needs. It might make no sense how she makes the leaps of logic from one thing to another, but soon a picture starts to appear. "This is Hanks original DNA before he used the serum." the DNA results associated with that appear in one window. "This is the DNA results after we achieved a stable result." A second window appears, forming an overlay on the first. "And this is his DNA scan from … two days ago." A third window appears, that gets overlaid of the other two. The effect is not unlike an old fashioned text book with colour plate overlays. "Do you see it Doctor Kelsey? Toni?" Toni might not know what she's looking exactly, but there's a difference in the anchor points - even damaged, they've been changed more than they should.

"I don't think the reverbium has been stripped out. I think … the bio-agent changed it to work with Hanks system." Which is chilling.

"I think the first we need to do is create a blocking agent to slow the effects down. It will buy us a day, perhaps. Hours probably but it's something. Then, we need to reverse the changes that have been made. I can formulate a serum based on Hanks original work. "His brain scan is showing changes as well. It might be possible to halt that and fix it, but I'm not a neuro surgeon."

"And we need to keep Hank calm."

Toni frowns, stepping forward to take a look. "To work with his system…how, exactly?" she offers at a moment. "Is it programmed to react a certain way? Is it active, or following an existing modification?" Programmed, or controlled, basically. "Can it be reworked, if we had samples of the Unity Seed method it used to modify it?"

Catseye is in lioness form. Better for sitting on Hank and purring, and she doesn't need hands to -think-. "Need to reduce DoctorHank's sedative." Wait what?!? "High pain levels are making adrenal spike and other symptoms -worse-. Painkillers for accelerated healing factors have a strong sedative effect." That's putting it mildly. To keep a healing factor from 'burning' off pain meds takes levels of drugs that would trank an elephant, or drugs so powerful that they make morphine look like aspirin. But mixing super-sedatives and super-painkillers is not a good idea.

Still quite distressed by all of this, Veronica is doing her best. She has forced herself to eat, to sleep and to get her workouts, despite how pressing she finds all of this, knowing that failing to take care of herself only virtually assures she will less well at the very task she needs most: helping Hank.

"The brain patterns we are seeing confirm her hypothesis." Roni murmurs to the others. She sighs, and checks the restraints once more before then rolling over to key in her access codes and unlock the controls on the medication stations, dialing down the sedatives. She does not crash their levels, but works them down over the course of fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, she adjusts the neural dampeners to increase their pain blocking effects. Tension fairly radiates off of her as she does all of this, clearly concerned and hating having to act so quickly, yet desperate not to lose Henry for being too slow.

The reduced pain meds definitely wake Hank up, and yes, the adrenal levels come down markedly though his pain levels obviously increase. The sonics moderate that to an extent, but…the pain is still pretty high.

Off in the containment area, the locked down Unity Seed, as it has been dubbed, begins to stir once more. The mass is quite large, roughly the size of an SUV, or perhaps even a full on APC or half track when one considers how much mass it gained when it withdrew all the tendrils that had infiltrated the utilities lines. Fortunately, it also burned a fair amount of mass in the process, so though it grew bigger the energy it needed forced it to partially cannibalize itself - for a gain, but not a full mass gain. At the moment the activity is very minor, at the core of the mass, but slowly and stealthily ramping up after nearly two days of inactivity from the shut down.

What is interesting in the brain scans is that Hank's higher brain functions SHOULD be fine, but with the additions the Seed grafted into his DNA and RNA - is in process OF grafting - his neurotransmitters are horribly out of kilter.

The good news is that once the adrenaline levels start to drop, so does the rate of the alterations being wrought.

Cat's purring? That also helps. Eyes of blue are starting to change hue, however, taking on a paler hue, currently visible in a ring of gold-amber around the irises.

"That's a very good question, Toni. What I *think* it's done is sampled Hanks DNA and found the trace elements of Reverbium in it. It's then taken that and made it mutate. A sample of the seed would indeed be helpful but I'm not an engineer - and my guru isn't able to be here to talk to it. If you're technopath is available, they might be able to help us determine that." Jemma answers as she analyses the results on her screen.

"Reverbium is highly bioreactive. We've seen bio-weapons created with it that target specific DNA. In room full of thousands, they could let the bio-agent off and only kill one person if they so desired. I'm not surprised you found something that does this."

Catseye gets a nod from Jemma. "I believe you are correct, Sharon. And I can see that Doctor Kelsey agrees. Would you help me, please, Sharon? We need a blocker and as you've worked on Hanks serum, I could use your eyes."

"Mmmm." Toni frowns a bit. "In this case, it created copies of him that spoke and seemed connected to the primary mass in some manner, that were responding to our intrusion. When Io shut the Seed down, the creatures seemed to go dormant as well." She wrinkles her nose, leaning against the wall by the door…she's moved to give those who are better equipped to deal with the issue with the room. "…would there be any way to tell if there is a connection between Hank and the Seed? There are no active…transmissions? It's techno-organic in nature, after all."

Despite the added security, someone else enters the room with so much a casual air that she might just as well be walking from the kitchen to her living room. The notion is added further credence by the fact her fingers are coated in an orange dust, and the Cheetos bag is crinkling with another hand-dive into the small bag of jalepeno Cheetos for another few crunchable sticks of crunch.

The image is further validated by Io's choice of dress today, which includes a white and black striped half-shirt, a bright neon blue skirt, one neon-green stocking, and a black calf-sock and a pair of gothic-styled mary janes on her feet.

The phone attached to her hip is scrolling and the screen is flashing and moving as if someone were manipulating it. As are the two notepads slung over her shoulder.

"Yo," the shock-blue haired girl greets the people in the room with an air of indifference. Speaking of the technopath … "No transmissions," Io answers Toni, pragmatically. "That's not what Unity was programmed to do." She frowns, briefly, "What's today, by the way?"

Catseye nods, "Catseye will help. Pull up molecular and genetic models, yes?" She is staying in feline form for now, eyes studying the models as she keeps purring at Hank. Yes, he could no doubt throw her with ease if he broke the restraints, but she's sure he won't. Because Lap Full Of Cat purring at him. She's seen Hank 'trapped' by a mere 8 pound feline before.

Catseye is a genius, though her mind works mostly on a non-verbal level. She sees the shape of math in her head, models things with incredible accuracy and manipulates them. She doesn't know how to use what she sees with this level of biochem, but that's always been Hank and Jemma's job. Instead she rattles off places where sites on molecules and genes match up and bind. Sure, you could program a computer to do this kind of matching… but by the time you were done writing the program, Catseye will have found all the matches for this and another half dozen projects. Jemma will have to decide which sites to block, which to speed bonding on, locate or make drugs to do so but Catseye is giving her a list of targets.

"It wouldn't have to, I think, Toni but that's a good question. If my conjecture is correct, it injected something into Hanks system that's working on his body." Jemma murmurs as she opens her bag and pulls out the small vial that holds some reverbium. That stuff is like gold. "But I'm not a telepath, so I couldn't say for certain"

When Io enters, Jemma looks up from the workbench and offers a smile. She can't hide the fact her left eye and right arm are cybernetic implants or that there are implants by her right cheekbone leading up to her ear. "I'm Jemma Simmons. You must be the technopath that worked with the Seed when it went active. What can you tell me about what you found?" She blushes as she realises how imperious she sounds. "Forgive me, I'm concerned about Hank …"

Good question though, what day is it?

With Catseye calling out targets, it makes Jemma work easier. "Catseye, I'm nearly done here. It will give us a blocker and then you and I can work on a new serum. Can you get Hank ready, please?"

The application of the blockers is a race, and it is a very nasty one, the stakes very very high. Hank's eyes are actually a bit clearer, and about half yellow now, veins of the same hue reaching towards the pupils. "Tank…" He swallows, grimacing. "-Thank- you…all…" He half growls. Even as he speaks his fangs are very visible indeed.

He does what he can to help with the preparations, the sheer pain he is in fairly obviously in the eight of ten range.

The blockers as they're applied almost set off a war with the biomass invading Hank's genetics and altering the serum nodes, further…the present formulation absolutely will not bond to the anchor points even after the blockers slowly, over the course of a good couple hours of work, halt the mutation…temporarily. The mass /must/ be removed, or it will get around the blockers and finish the task it is programmed for. At this point Hank's eyes are fully yellow threaded through with darker golds and some black.

There isn't much Toni can do, other than play support, making sure those working have what they need in terms of resources, but otherwise staying out of the surgical area and watching through the observation room nearby.

"A lot. Not enough." Io shrugs towards Jemma, eyeing the other woman with a measure of mild suspicion, now. "Depends why you want to know." Io doesn't seem all that concerned with the surgery going on, and in fact leans back up against the wall and crunches that handful of jalepeno cheetos. She licks off her fingers, "I suppose one thing I could tell you is that Unity is fucking awesome."

Yes. Io is being completely sincere.

She shrugs. "i would've had more time to learn about it, but everyone was screaming about getting out, and yelling at me to shut it down."

Catseye shifts to smooth-skin form to help prep Hank for surgery. "Catseye will be here, DoctorHank. Not ready to lose any more friends." She headbutts him, then returns to getting him ready.

Getting herself ready to assist, one would think the long tail would be a problem, but she actually has a solution for that, sealed and sterile in a pack similar to a surgeon's mask is a bag of similar material, one that she fits over her tail and fastens to the scrubs. She even has special sterile gloves with reinforced fingertips that her nails won't pierce. Nope, the biggest problem is getting her hair under a cap, even in human form it's a huge curly mane and a royal pain. But get it under she will… her senses might twig problems before scanners do, and her being there and purring will help soothe Hank during what is not going to be a fun experience.

"No need to thank us, Hank." Jemma says briskly. It's the scientist there at the moment, the compassionate woman pushed down to let her work efficiently and effectively.

If Io has a wireless connection, she'll detect Jemma's implants. Connecting to them isn't possible, but the woman is certainly wired for sound. "Everything, really. What was it trying to do? To start with. How and what were / are its other directives."

After watching the results of the blocker over several hours, Jemma shakes her head. "New plan …" she says to Toni, Sharon, Roni and Io. "Another serum isn't go to work. The Seed has destroyed the anchor points and there's nothing to anchor on." beat "We'll need to operate. I would have preferred to try and flush it from Hanks system but that's not possible."

Catseye is already suiting up and Jemma does too. She'll assist Doctor Kelsey during this phase. Jemma is good with lots of experience but she's not a neurosurgeon.

It's going to take several hours to do this …

"It was doing what all of us are doing, or, all of us do," Io states in a flat tone towards Jemma. It's not unfriendly, but there is mild suspicion there and perhaps an attitude as well that's been compiled and built up over years upon years of experience between her worldview … and, everyone else's. "It was doing what it was coded to do. Genetic code isn't any different than computer code."

Io's lips twist, and she states, "It's also, like most people, not doing what it was coded to do. And, going beyond it's limitations. It was never designed to become virtual intelligence. But it has evolved. So, just so we're clear? Nobody is hurting Unity. Period."

Another handful of cheetos is obtained, "Once I'm sure we're all on the same page, I'll get you some of the other information I obtained. Still decrypting a lot more. Lot of errors, lot of fake folders and files. Going to take time to sort through it all. But, I've come up with a few things worthwhile."

The surgery is actually two simultaneous procedures - the delicate part being the neurosurgery, arguably his brain /being/ the most essentially 'Hank' part of the man. Good thing that Doctor Kelsey is one of the most gifted neurosurgeons in the world. The second procedure will be the removal of the Unity spawned invasive mass. That will take cracker-jack timing and a lot of nanobots. Fortunately with Cat there to assist Jemma, and Toni ensuring they get the right bots and other resources, the processes - probably impossible for anything less than the present surgical team to deal with, go at a steady pace. It is several more hours of work even with the bevy of geniuses at work.

The worst part in a lot of ways is that Hank's not able to be fully sedated for quite a bit of it, the biomass once it realizes it is under attack retaliates - by boosting Hank's healing factor, that's some SERIOUSLY malicious coding in that stuff. Vicious even.

And then, finally, it is done. Hank finally knocked out, everyone else likely /worn/ out, the man's furry form set…and swathed in bandages as his healing factor works to laboriously rebuild damaged tissue.

Careful monitoring will show promising results, the brainstem and cerebellum returning to elevated, but far closer to normal levels, his neurotransmitter production also approaching his old levels, but…the changes to the body are unmistakable, and apparently - immutable.

Toni watches from the room, saying absently to Io. "WE, as in RESCUE, aren't going to mess with it more than we have to. Something like that could be dangerous until we know more about what it does or doesn't do, and if you're saying it is evolving and going beyond its original paramters, it's best to be careful. Chaos theory and all that. Life finds a way, and that way lies T-Rexs and hungry Utah raptors." The purple-haired engineer tilts her head. "SHIELD is handling the quarantene for the lab at the moment, so they might more information in the basement the Seed was in, though obviously you already know a lot from linking up with it."

Catseye says nothing on the subject of Unity. From her point of view… it tried to do worse than kill Hank, it tried to un-make him. Protecting those she cares about is her first priority. And right now that means focusing on Hank's surgery, not the cybernetic organism that did this to him.
The surgery is long and exhausting, and once Hank is settled in recovery, the second thing she does is chug about a half galloon of water.

The first is vanish into a restroom.

Rather than trying to clean up in human form, she shifts into furform, and curls up next to Hank's bed. One might be forgiven for thinking she's napping, but anyone who has owned a cat might notice the ears remain up and perked, swivelling at the smallest of sounds.

Jemma just smiles at Io. "I'm a Scientist and I work for SHIELD. SHIELD will contain it somewhere safe so our teams can study it. My interest is in understanding what it was trying to do to Hank to help him."

She looks tired after that effort. She hasn't stopped since not long after she got here. "You're going to be alright Hank, we've stopped the biomass. When we've all rested, we'll regroup and see how you are. Now, Doctors orders, get some sleep. Sharon is going to stay with you. She's got my number if anything goes wrong."

"Toni, thank you for calling me. With your permission, I'd like to go now, get a shower and try to sleep for a bit."

Sharon gets a reassuring touch on her shoulder. "Thankyou for your help, Sharon, I couldn't have done without you. And Doctor Kelsey, hopefully we'll meet under better circumstances next time."

For now though, Jemma just wants to sleep.

Even after that Ordeal, Hank's eyes, one of them anyway, shudders open - the yellow iris a little /off/. A LOT off. "Thank you…all." He is actually weak as a kitten for him, so probably would have trouble tying a crowbar into a knot! The horror! His voice? ROUGH…but…the diction is close to what folks remember (those that knew him of course), and his smile, though much more fangy is /his/.

"I need…sleep." He does move a hand to grip Jemma's hand, either one will do, still Jemma…and one of Roni's as well, exquisite care not to hurt anyone. Only then does one long arm dip to rest against Catseye's flank, just a casual touch, but there, reassuring him, probably her too.

Miles away, in the sewers blocks away from the old Biogen LLC facility, a tiny fragment of the Unity mass sparks…and then slithers into the darkness in ominous silence.

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