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Five Years Gone
Date: Spring 2012 Characters: Lucy Vorena, Mohinder Suresh, Candice… 
2nd-Oct-2007 05:04 pm
Date: Spring 2012
Characters: Lucy Vorena, Mohinder Suresh, Candice Wilmer
Summary: The Company investigates a past test subject.
Warning(s): None
Status: In Progress

There was a cool breeze in the air around the courtyard of the school. The school day was just beginning and the crowds of students in maroon jackets had already dispersed to their various classes. Lucy was late, as she often was, she liked to drive to school and finding a suitable place to park her benz often took more time than the actual commute.

As she approached the building she debated on whether she should bother with home room, which was a waste of her hour anyway, or walk down the street to the library and study for calculus. Lucy didn't expect anyone to be loitering on the school steps as she approached, nor did she expect that they would look directly at her. It seemed like they were waiting, and even more unsettling, they seemed to be waiting for her.
Comments 
2nd-Oct-2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
She wasn't anyone's babysitter, no matter where they ranked in the food chain, or so Candice kept telling herself as sat on the cold concrete steps. Suresh's experiments were the stuff of rumors for people like her in the Company - everyone talked so everyone had something to say. He was salvation. He was a murderer.

He was just another guy, just another 'normal' and she couldn't quite believe she'd woken up so early to make sure he wasn't attacked by pre-schoolers.

"Is that the girl?" she nodded discretely, looking up at the good doctor without making a move to stand.
2nd-Oct-2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
Mohinder didn't have to look at the files in his shoulder bag to know the girl when he saw her; he'd spent plenty of time studying the data on her as it stood. He could be obsessive when he had new potential DNA to analyse, and really, he was chomping at the bit to get on with it, no matter how exhausted he felt, and he was. Weariness was a constant companion these days.

"So it seems," he agreed softly, glancing down at Candice from where he was leaning against the metal railing. "Here's hoping she agrees to come quietly. I've no stomach for theatrics this morning."
2nd-Oct-2007 10:54 pm (UTC)
Lucy shouldered her book bag, and intended to pass the other two without acknowledging she had seen them. It worked enough on the other adults she dealt with on a daily basis. Ignore them, and they usually ignored her.

If they really were waiting for her, there would be a problem.
2nd-Oct-2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
Candice would perhaps have liked to say something about teenage girls and theatrics going hand in hand, but it wasn't her place to fraternize with the enemy. Company policy could say all it wanted about cooperation and mutual goals, as long as people like him wanted people like her dead, he was the enemy. It didn't matter that she'd once, not so long before, been married to the enemy. He'd just worn a different face, then.

Shaking herself from such thoughts, she stood, digging her hands deeper into her pockets.

"Lucy Vorena? We'd like to talk to you for a moment, if that's alright," she called out to the girl, hoping it would be, hoping they wouldn't have to use force.

Enemy or not, Candice always followed orders.
2nd-Oct-2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
Mohinder nodded a little bit. He always wanted to flash a badge like they did on television, but that was ridiculous, he knew. Amazing what nonsense the brain amused itself with.

"Just a few questions," he reassuringly added, smiling kindly at the young woman. That was a lie, but he'd become adept at lying. Mohinder didn't know what that said about himself. So, as with so many other things, he just shoved it aside and refused to think about it.
2nd-Oct-2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
Lucy stopped on the stairs, while keeping appropriate distance, and stared petulantly at the both of them. Strangers who knew her name were never good, especially if one of the strangers looked like the man known for his research on meta-humans.

"I'm not dumb, I watch TV and I have a subscription to Scientific American, if you are who I think you are," Lucy paused and stared directly at the man, "you wouldn't waste your time just asking questions unless there was some legal issue involved that is forcing you to do it yourself. I'm late for class, what do you want?"

She rested a hand on her hip and pursed her lips as she continued to stare petulantly, knowing that sometimes not showing fear was intimidating enough to those who posed a threat. It was something she had plenty of practice with in dealing with her father.
2nd-Oct-2007 11:30 pm (UTC)
Candice stifled a smile that threatened to make its way to her lips. It wasn't so hard, considering what she could do, but it was habit for those days when Suresh finally figured out how to make them all normal.

Darting a look to the Doctor, she kept otherwise silent, more interested in potential dangers and getting out of this as quickly as she could. It was never pleasant dealing with rookies and even more so if they were like her. She almost didn't want to tune out what Suresh needed with the girl. It was irrelevant.
2nd-Oct-2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
"Very astute," Mohinder said, arching one eyebrow. This was not going to be easy. It was never easy. If Mohinder had cause to believe in God, or various incarnations thereof, he'd be sure that the Divine existed solely to make his life difficult these days. "But class is, I should think, rather low on the priority list at the moment. You've come up as a person of interest to various organisations, and if you suppose you know who I am, then I suppose you can gather why that might be. We can discuss this here, or you can come with us and we can discuss this at a more secure facility. But we shall be discussing it all the same, Miss Vorena."
2nd-Oct-2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
"You're here because of my father, because of what he could do. He's dead and you can't perform your tests on him." Lucy rolled her eyes, getting straight to the point. "I'm his daughter and alive, so you'd want to do your tests on me instead. I've been there, done that. I was listed normal back then, I'm still the same I was six years ago. We'll just be wasting time."

Which was a lie, but they didn't need to know that.

2nd-Oct-2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
She was a tough kid, Candice had to give her that. No matter how many people were brought in, the experience couldn't be called mundane. It was scary and difficult and no one quite got over it.

People like Suresh couldn't understand that.
2nd-Oct-2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
Mohinder suppressed the urge to sigh. No-one ever wanted to be studied, he understood that. It just was such a bloody irritation! "Your DNA is abnormal, but the question is if said abnormalities have presented in any meaningful way. So no, miss, you were not listed as normal. You've been observed, and that's the long and short of the issue," he explained. "You need to come with us for further testing, and if you haven't manifested anything interesting, you will have my sincere apologies for interrupting your schooling."
2nd-Oct-2007 11:57 pm (UTC)
"There's no chance you're going to leave me alone until I go," Lucy sighed and rolled her eyes at him. "Fine. Do your tests, but when I say we're done, we're done. My father left me with a lot of money and friends in high places. Even you wouldn't risk pushing me too far, doctor."

For all of the tough talk and hard stare, Lucy was terrified. But she'd go to hell first before she'd show it.
3rd-Oct-2007 12:00 am (UTC)
Candice shuffled her feet, blowing out a sigh. This wasn't how things went for people who got picked up by the government, but self-deception was as good for survival as any gun.

"Whatever you say, sweetpea," she breathed, turning her attention to Suresh. He outranked her, he had the last word in mostly everything.
3rd-Oct-2007 12:06 am (UTC)
"I assure you, we're entirely aware of your familial connections and status, Miss Vorena. But thank you for your consent," Mohinder said, relaxing a little. She was going to be a trial, but at least she was coming along without much of a fight. Thank goodness for the small things, really.

He nodded a little at Candice, indicating that yes, it was time to go, they had enough consent to take her in. Her presence, as much as he was aware of the low level of hostility that lurked there beneath the surface, was reassuring. He wasn't allowed to do field work on his own, but given Vorena's connections and his own willingness to get out of the office, he'd decided he'd at least venture out for this. Candice did give him a sense of security, somehow. She might not have liked him, but she wasn't going to allow him to be killed, of that he was certain.
3rd-Oct-2007 01:59 am (UTC)
"We will take my car, I'll drive, you tell me where to go." Lucy stated as she began to walk back to where she had parked, showing no concern if they kept pace with her or not. "I'm sure you have people to retrieve your unmarked car or van later. When we're done I would prefer having means to go home without your assistance."

And you're less likely going to tranquilize me while I'm driving.
3rd-Oct-2007 02:05 am (UTC)
The kid was tough and bossy. Candice was liking her more and more. Unless of course she hoped to escape them in any way and then the gloves would, unfortunately, have to come off. She rather hoped not. Gloves made her feel elegant and, in this case, almost nice.

Following Lucy to the car, she didn't wait to be asked or checked with Suresh before taking the front seat. If there had to be any tranquilizing done, she'd rather they didn't all die because of it.
3rd-Oct-2007 02:24 am (UTC)
Mohinder muttered something under his breath in Tamil about 17 year old girls driving and taking all of their lives in their hands as he slid into the backseat. He wondered if they all died in a car crash, how anyone would explain that to President Petrelli, but really, he could also be struck by lightning and drop dead tomorrow, so it was a moot point. He just had a penchant for worse-case scenarios.

But Candice knew where to go, how to get there, how to handle the situation, he had very little to do but watch the girl, observe her, her stress reactions. What would be her ability, if she even had one at all? What could she do? Would she be useful? There was a rush to this, to a new mutant, to a new ability. That, he was sure, would always be a constant.
3rd-Oct-2007 02:37 am (UTC)
"Did anyone ever teach you it is rude to converse in other languages the people in your company don't know?" Lucy scolded as she started the car and steered it into the street. She kept glancing at the woman sitting next to her as she drove, waiting for directions.

"If you have questions you need to ask, as long as I'm not lost you can ask now, save us all some time."
3rd-Oct-2007 02:47 am (UTC)
She could've let Candice drive but that wasn't the point. It wasn't just that the car was hers but that the car and, consequently she as their driver were somehow above common targets. It was smart thinking for a teenage girl.

"Take a left at the next light," she advised, suggesting the quickest route. There was no point in prolonging the inevitable.
3rd-Oct-2007 02:51 am (UTC)
Mohinder bit back a comment about young people not scolding people twice their age where he came from, but that wouldn't be productive. He pulled a small recorder from his shoulder bag and switched it on, just in case. "Most of the information I require will be best obtained at our facilities, as I will need samples as well as basic information. So I recommend you concentrate on driving, if you would, Miss Vorena."
3rd-Oct-2007 03:11 am (UTC)
"Suit yourself, doctor," Lucy murmured to herself as she turned the car where directed by Candice, even doing them a favor by cutting off a cab so they wouldn't be held up by the red light to save time. Driving aggressively was better than defensive, it was how she was taught. "What kind of samples? Blood, saliva, tissue? Strand of my hair? This should be fun."

She glanced over at the woman again. "Do you get samples taken of you too?"
3rd-Oct-2007 07:19 am (UTC)
Candice's smile was icy but so was her silence. It wouldn't suit her to lie and she didn't need to bond with the kid just yet, maybe if things turned ugly. As it was, she simply turned to look out the window, barking off directions as they became necessary.

Two streets, then one, away, she considered putting a bullet in Suresh and letting the blame fall on the girl. It wouldn't work and the sheer thought of it around Parkman could be a dangerous thing. Candice shook herself mentally.

"Don't worry, the good doctor has an excellent bedside manner," she muttered mostly to herself, voice low because it wasn't insubordination if the mission required it.
4th-Oct-2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
Mohinder rolled his eyes but didn't comment on Candice's comment. There were days he wished he could hole up in the lab and never deal with another living soul. This, apparently, was one of them.

"Mostly basics, we'll take a medical history, things of that nature. It is entirely useful to know baselines. You've nothing to be concerned about, it's all quite routine," he explained calmly. Really, he usually was calm. It was when that composure broke that all hell was about to break loose as well.
4th-Oct-2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
"Of course, so far everything has been perfectly normal," Lucy muttered sardonically, "I'm not so much concerned as I am annoyed."

She pulled the car up to the cluster of buildings that housed the Dept. of National Security, and parked in a reserved space between two government officials' vehicles. The other two shouldn't mind, since the space holder was seated in the backseat of her car.

"Okay, this is the part where you lead, and I follow." Lucy said as she shut off the car and contemplated speeding off the moment the other two got out of the vehicle. Wishful thinking, since Lucy doubted they'd be dumb enough to let her off that easily.
4th-Oct-2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
Once they were inside the building, they wouldn't need her services any longer - Lucy Vorena would be just another young, impressionable soul fed to the wonderful beast that was America - and Candice almost longed for the punching bag in the gym. She wasn't usually aggressive, but Suresh gave her the creeps. It was undeserved, she knew, but he looked like every other doctor who worked for the government and his every tight-lipped smile spelled 'your life is in my hands'.

She hesitated a brief second before prying the keys from the ignition, the act seemingly faster than it was in reality, thanks to one of her illusions. "You'll get them back," she promised, exiting the car without a glance over her shoulder. She wasn't going to take chances and wind up with a dead doctor on her hands.
4th-Oct-2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
Mohinder was entirely relieved when they came to the building, and Candice's quick thinking was an additional comfort. She was good at what she did, and he could appreciate that. Sometimes, with how quickly she moved, even though he knew how her abilities work, he remembered Sylar and it was disconcerting. There was, however, no time for being disconcerted now.

"Miss Vorena, you'll accompany me up to the research department, and my team will work on taking your readings as swiftly as possible, and we'll decide what to do from there," he explained, snapping off his recorder and stuffing it in his bag, then he slid out of the backseat gracefully.
4th-Oct-2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
The other woman's quick movements unnerved Lucy and for the first time since they had encountered her she was silent and fell into line as she was told. She carried herself with a near constant false sense of security, it didn't take much to rattle her and break the unflappable facade.

She followed after the doctor, showing less confidence with each step that brought her further into the building. It was too late for her to turn back.

"I'll get to go home when your done," the statement sounded more like a question than the insistence that everything went her way Lucy had intended it to sound.
4th-Oct-2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
"You should be able to, yes," Mohinder lied smoothly, flashing his identification card at the lift in the lobby and listening to it churn to life, dinging softly at every floor it passed.

"But we'll have to see how the tests turn out. If there's any concern you're a carrier for the diseases that sometimes accompany the mutations, keeping you and treating you may also be on the table." It all sounded so reasonable. Maybe that's why subjects believed it. He was so sincere and it was all so reasonable. Lies were often easier to swallow than the truth, after all.
4th-Oct-2007 09:49 pm (UTC)
"I'm not sick." Lucy insisted and crossed her arms at her chest defensively. "Even if I did have a mutation or whatever, I'd know if I was sick."

She shifted impatiently in her loafers and watched the numbers change with each floor. "I don't need treatments, and you can't keep me here. I'm only here now because I'm volunteering myself."

Lucy didn't believe it any more than the man would. She didn't have much of a choice in the matter, the money and connections she held were meaningless. It didn't stop her from pretending otherwise, just because she felt helpless didn't mean she had to act like it.
4th-Oct-2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
"Being a carrier and being infected are two different things. To be infected is to show symptoms and endure the progression of the disease. To be a carrier is to merely host the biological agents and spread them easily without being prey to the disease yourself. The classic example is Typhoid Mary, I believe. Mary Mallon infected 47 people over her career as a cook, and vehemently denied ever being responsible. She was a perfectly healthy carrier of a deadly disease. Fascinating how those things work," Mohinder explained, perpetually the professor, and when the lift door opened, he ushered her in ahead of him before getting in himself and hitting the button for the floor where his department was located. "Carriers, when they are infectious, need to be quarantined for their own safety until the disease can be addressed. I'm not saying that will happen to you, only that it is a possibility."
4th-Oct-2007 10:12 pm (UTC)
"You would have already known if I was carrying some disease," Lucy pointed out as she watched the other man sullenly. "There would have been patterns of people getting sick around where I go to school or where I live. You wouldn't be around me if you thought I'd had something dangerous."

She did have something dangerous about her, but it wasn't a disease. Surely he had to have been around enough meta-humans to know that looks where deceiving. Her father worked for these people, they probably knew more than they let on.
4th-Oct-2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
"I don't have the genetic abnormalities that would be impacted, so yes, I would be around you," Mohinder replied. "And everyone has the possibility to be dangerous, Miss Vorena. It's simply a matter of what triggers that moment of no return. It's different in every case, and believe me, no matter how dangerous you may well fancy yourself, I've been in the presence of worse. That doesn't change the fact that you're here, you will be tested, and your co-operation at this point is expected."
4th-Oct-2007 10:28 pm (UTC)
"I am cooperating," Lucy reminded him with a roll of her eyes. "I've been cooperating. I don't have to be here, but I went with you anyway. I'm letting you do your tests. It doesn't mean I have to like it."
4th-Oct-2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
"That I do realise. I'm merely reminding you of the expectations," Mohinder replied, still perfectly calm, even if he was beginning to wonder if all teenagers were by nature sullen, or if this was a special case. He was hoping for a special case; he didn't want to think of Molly ever being this difficult!

"As for your requirements to be here, let me enlighten you to a salient point: there were two ways to accomplish your testing. This was the easy way. You would not have enjoyed the difficult one. And before you have a chance to tell me you do not respond to threats, I assure you, that is not a threat, merely a statement of fact."
4th-Oct-2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
"Just because it is fact it doesn't mean I have to play nice. You're getting what you want, doctor." Lucy responded snottily, resolved with being difficult just for the sake of it. She was being nicer to the doctor than she could have from the beginning, once he found out what she could have easily done instead he might even be grateful.

"Tests, questions, I go home. End of story." She could only hope it would end so simply.
4th-Oct-2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
There was a ding and the door opened, letting Mohinder usher her out and down to one of the exam rooms in the research department without responding to her assertion. This, he was convinced, was for the best.

The small room was cold, sterile and almost empty, save for some basic medical equipment, a counter with a sink and some drawers, and a sterile, imposing metal table. On the table was a folded, faded hospital gown. Mohinder, however, remained in the doorway, his hand on the door handle as he looked at her. "Get changed, stay put. Either I'll be in, or one of my assistants. There's an intercom here by the door if you need anything," he told her simply.
4th-Oct-2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
"Fine." Lucy crossed her arms again and stared pointedly at the man and then to the door. "You can go."

She waited until the man had left the room and closed the door to pick up the gown with a look of distaste. She would approach this as if it was a regular check-up, even if it was far from it.

Lucy traded her posh school uniform with the gown and sat on the table, not bothering to attempt at making herself the least bit comfortable.
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