|Making You Better II|
|What: The X-men go to Investigate Horizons Medical Center|
After the first encounter in Vegas two mutants were hospitalized after being dropped off by Roberto aka Sunspot. Unfortunately what followed wasn't great news. After prodding into the patients were promptly transferred from Desert Springs Hospitals to Summerlin Hospitals, the hospital associated with Horizons Medical Center since the new ownership. The only thing that can be gathered by the X-men were copies of the medical reports. One patient was reported saying, "I'm not close. Not close to perfection. Not close to perfection," before passing into unconsciousness.
From Summerlin a Doctor Lian Ethan Saxton was the doctor that signed and approved of the transfers to both patients. Doctor Saxton was a well respected physician and the chief of medicine at Summerlin Hospital. He had been in the position for over a year. It was another six to seven months before his second year anniversary.
Obviously the man had nothing negative on his record given his position. Digging deeper he really had no involvement with Horizons Medical Center.
The X-men had options on the table as to how to handle vegas. 1. Investigate Summerlin Hospital to see if there was a connection with the horrible work at Horizon Medical Center. Possibly find the two injured mutants from last time in the process (as it has only been days since the last event happened). 2. Investigate Horizon since it has an obvious connection with mutant kidnappings. 3. Continue to investigate the area, like last time, and hope something happened again.
The Blackbird was primed and ready to go. All it needed was a group with a decision on where in the City of Sin it was going to go. Standing in the war room was Bobby Drake, Kitty Pryde and Logan.
Kilroy had found out the same info just through different means. Where the X-men had to act directly Kilroy knew who to talk to. People did the work for him and provided the same intelligence. If he wanted to press further the man could have. A man with money went a very long way in the back allies of Nevada. Plus he had good connections elsewhere. Chances were he had the means to contact the X-men too if the man wanted to.
It's bad news as far as Kitty's concerned to have those injured mutants Roberto found anywhere near Horizon. When the news comes in she knows what her stance is; "If they're kidnapping people, then the fact is right now we know where two of their victims or soon-to-be victims probably are. We've gotta make sure those two are alright, and go from there. Heck, maybe if they're doing better, they can give us a lead too."
Kilroy contacts Bobby when he arrivws. "My resources are at your disposal. If you can get ne an angle of inquiry, I can follow the money trail anywhere."
Bobby was there when berto found those mutants too. And it had taken berto to make sure he didn't cause trouble at the news of the transfer. And he's unhappy in the war room. Kilroy gets asked to see if anyone at Summerlin is getting paid by anyone connected to Horizon when he contacts Bobby. "yeah, we should get over there."
With everyone in agreement they went to Summerlin Hospital. Logan was with them in tow. Like last time every the Blackbird landed in Vegas within no time at a private hangar at McCaran International Airport. A rental car came with no hassle at all.
Summerlin Hopsital greeted everyone on this fine afternoon. Visiting hours were still going on so luck was on the team's side. Kilroy was easily there given his Vegas situation. The patients names were Larry Bagwell and Bruce Padilla. Padilla was the one that had to have his foot amputated according to the medsheet thanks to it apparently "Being crushed by a boulder." Bagwell was lucky to not loose any skin thanks to hypothermia.
Logan looked at everyone as he stood there dressed in jeans and a bomber jacket, "I'll scout the place out. You guys talk to the patients."
Kilroy wandered near Bobby as he spoke to patients while he tapped the Economy to ask if there were any dollars with one or two transactions separation between Horizon and anyone who worked at the hospital. He strongly suspected yes, and would examine those standouts in greater detail. While he was at it, he also paid attention to the financial records and the general operating portfolio fo the hospital in general. "Works for me."
Kitty Pryde heads towards the room the two are supposed to be in. She wonders to Bobby, "You figure they'll flip out if they see us? We could be more subtle."
Or Bobby, specifically, since he was involved in their capture. Though depending on if he was iced up, they might not recognize him in his civvy look.
Bobby Drake shook his head in reply to Kitty's question. "Naw, I was in ice form. They won't recognize me. Had my sunglasses on too," he remarks. "Still, I'll let you take the lead in case they recognize my voice."
Kitty Pryde nods in agreement, and then opens the door to see what exactly their two would-be kidnappers are up to in good old Summerlin.
Padilla was the one that muttered that things were not perfect. He was awake and stared at the door as there were visitors. All he could do was stare at the visitors. It was unusual that anyone besides Doctor Saxton. "Can I help you two?" Padilla asked. His voice was civil.
The man winced as he tried to pick himself up a little. Clearly the previous encounter pained him. "Are you here for Bagwell? He has yet to come to. Doctor Saxton thinks he's comatose."
Upon entering the room Kilroy would get the feeling of Padilla's price. It was "Genetic perfection." A feint signal came from Bagwell and his price was the same thing. Plus everyone had the same sense off of someone that could see the price of people. They were completely different. Both came across as mutant, but barely. Something about them was just insanely off.
Padilla just watched the guests waiting for what they asked, "Why are you three here?" His gaze bounced between everyone.
Kilroy whispers to Bobby, "Yeah, these guys are in it neck deep." He looks at Padilla and smiles, "Well, I for one had always liked the idea of being a better me." He extends his hand, "Abnet Conneticut. Pleased to meet you. I saw the TV ad you guys put out a while ago. Very impressive stuff. About the service to the hospital and how good it is and stuff."
Kitty Pryde rolls with Kilroy's start, stepping next to him to say, "Yeah, and to think you'd end up using it's services? I guess what goes around comes around, huh?"
Bobby Drake nods to Kilroy. He recognizes the guys and feels a bit bad for actually hospitalizing them. He stays quiet as the other two speak for now. Mostly he's hoping the pretty girl will loosen lips. He just offers a smile and nods along to what Kitty says.
"What do you mean?" Padilla lied and was horrible at it. His eyes watched everyone. For a moment his hands started form up energy. Bobby would have recognized it, "I think you three need to leave!!" he practically snarled at the group.
Some of the sensors started to off and give weird readings thanks to the disruption. Alarms started to go off and before long a man of average height, maybe a couple inches bigger, Asian American decent, long hair slicked back and a clean face. The nametag said "Doctor Lian Ethan Saxton." His eyebrows were furrowed with concern.
The sight of Doctor Saxton caused Padilla to calm down the energy. Both Bobby and Kitty would have felt something familiar about the man. Although they never met the man before there was just something utterly familiar about his presence.
Kilroy would have felt something strange. The man's price was an odd yet simple one, "For the world to be like me." What that was illuded Kilroy, even his powers couldn't get him to understand wahwt that meant. Sometimes prices were not simple or easy to understand.
Doctor Saxton looked over everyone, "I think you three need to go. You're upsetting my patients. Please vacate the premises immediately," sliding out of the doorway Doctor Saxton watched them. His frame gave off the impression, even in light brown khakis, a button up light blue shirt and a long white doctor's coat showed off that the man kept in phenominal shape.
Kilroy wasn't one to intimidate easily but he simply nods. "Terribly sorry Doctor. I had just heard of the service of the hospital and thought it might be a good thing to check it out. But I understand that it is difficult to volunteer if we're upsetting the patients.
Kitty Pryde tilts her head, wondering why this stranger seems so very familiar somehow. "You're their doctor?" she wonders, glancing to the nametag. Quite a name, that. "Maybe we could talk to you instead, since they're recovering and all."
Bobby Drake frowns at that nagging feeling of familiarity too, studying the doctor. He nods to Kitty's suggestion, stopping himself from saying anything. No need to set the guy off again. He just hates having to keep quiet when he's got quips and jokes in mind.
When Kitty and the gang were pulled aside. Doctor Saxton looked at them, "I'm the chief of Medicine," he tried smiling but they could sense the man was still annoyed. "Everyone here is my patient. I am here to make sure they are in the best of care and getting the best of medicine. What questions do you have for me?" he was trying to attentative to everyone.
As the man stood there and waited for kitty to for answers to come in Logan came in over the headset, "Pickin' up a familiar scent. Got one source and yer ain't gonna like it," his voice was low as if trying not to be discovered. Logan chimed in with one final word, "Sinister."
Anyone that was a fan of puzzles and with the Doctor could look at the nametag something about it was familiar. Lian Ethan Saxton. Lian Ethan Saxton. How as it familiar though?
Kilroy can't hear the com of course, but he knows that they seem to be liking him and the price of the guy is just creepy. Really creepy, but he isn't one easily cowed so he remains. He's going off the rails in his story though so he keeps his mouth shut.
Kitty Pryde pauses a moment at the chatter on the com, but just smiles sweetly at the doctor. "Oh, wow, so you're basically in charge here? Did you take these two into your care because you know them?"
Kitty Pryde can't help thinking Lian Ethan is especially odd.. but then what Logan said makes her realize it could be mixed up into Nathaniel.
Bobby tensed for a moment at the comm chatter. Yeah, that wasn't a name he wanted to hear. He bit his tongue for a moment before taking a breath. "Are they going to be okay?" he finally speaks up. "It looked bad for them both."
"I make sure everyone here is within the best of hands. Why do you ask Miss...?" Doctor Saxton's voice trailed as he tried to get Kitty's name. Then his gaze went to Bobby, "Yes. In the long run they will be. We cannot do much for Mister Padlila's foot. The damage is too extensive," there was regret in Doctor Saxton's voice.
"Why such concern for him? Are you two family? Friends?" he stepped a little closer to Kitty just trying to keep the friendly conversation going. "I have never seen you two visiting my patients in all their time here."
"And no one from Horizon's has told me anyone matching your descriptions have been looking for them," Doctor Saxton looked at the three of them. There was suspicion in his voice.
Kilroy's story might have been a bit more out there, but at least it gave them a reason to be there. He talks weird as it is, so he can see why the doctor just kind of crinkles his nose at him but he....begins to trace the financial history of the doctor...all the way back. At least within 10 miles.
Kitty Pryde abruptly takes Bobby by the arm, still smiling brightly as she wonders, "Horizons..? What's that?" she wonders, feigning ignorance. "I thought they transferred from Desert Springs?" she seems to just take the 'Miss..?' as a title rather than a question, for she leaves it unaddressed.
Bobby shakes his head slightly at the news about the foot. Yeah, he feels bad about that but he doesn't voice it. "We haven't been in town until recently or we would have visited," Bobby chimes, leacing it at that. He tugs Kitty slightly closer when she takes his arm and smiles again.
"They're regulars at Horizons. It's a walk in clinic, but people can go in there as a primary Doctor facility. Dessert Springs is not within their insurance provider network and given their association with Horizons a facility owned by Summerlin I insisted they were transferred here immediately.
Noting the lack of name Doctor Saxton turned his attention to Bobby, "Friends of theirs from out of town?" he asked softly. Both eyes focused on the group, "But if you were friends with him then why were you upsetting him? The Doctor waited to see the group's reaction. After a moment he reached for a phone on the wall, "Security. I've got three unwanted guests on the floor. They're accosting patients." Then he began to rattle off the descriptions of the three individuals standing near him.
They had minutes before security was going to be on them. He looked at the trio, "I insist you three don't move."
Kilroy toughens up at that. "Excuse me 'Doctor' but before you go committing Fraud and I have my lawyers sue this hospital, you, your practice, your patients, your security company, your holding company I'd like you to think long and hard about playing hardball with us. I insist that you call security and tell them to stand down so we can have a nice little chat. I am no one to be trifled with and your attempt at intimidation is sadly lacking. This is not a secure facility and as for 'accosting' patients I think my lawyers will have a field day at your attempts at Slander. Now shall we go to your office where we can discuss this in private or will you make me get really unpleasant?"
Kitty Pryde brushes back at her hair as she exclaims, "Wait, what?" and after Kilroy's little speech she adds in feigned affront, "We just wanted to see our friend since he's here! I mean I guess it's encouraging if you're so concerned for your patients, and with the chief of medicine checking in on every individual patient personally, but this is a little much! All he did was ask us why we were here, why wouldn't he be surprised when we flew so far??" though as she says the words 'he's here' and 'the chief of medicine', she squeezes Bobby's arm sharply, and also activates her com with her brushing hand so Logan will get those words.
"What, you never fight with a friend before?" Bobby asks, quirking a brow. "And you should know hospitals are stressful places," he rambles a little. "And they are acting a little weird so maybe something you gave them is making them more irritable," he says. Kilroy's sudden tough talk has Bobby's brows arching upwards and he fights the urge to laugh. As his arm is squeezed, Bobby activates his comm as well with a little fake scratching. He glances at Kitty and nods again. "That's right too. It's not like we called ahead to tell him we were coming. Surprises can get people worked up."
Doctor Saxton grabbed the phone and spoke into it, "Belay that. False alarm. False alarm. We got the situation handled," his voice was all chipper. Looking to the company he smiled, "Let's go into my office," he guided them all down a hallway then into an elevator that had two people inside when opened. The foursome went to the top hospital floor. Both people in the elevator were part of administration.
Doctor Saxton took them down a hallway and it was apartment his office was a private place in the corner. Blinds were over the widnows. "Lian Ethan Saxton, M.D." with "Chief of Medicine" underneath it was labeled over the door. He opened it for them and watched them go inside before joining them. "You wanted to have a conversation with me, so talk."
Sitting down in his office chair he watched them. Two comfortable chairs sat in front of his oak wood desk. Off to the side there was a metal and plastic chair that could have easily been pulled up. "I am all ears for this conversation."
Kilroy hasn't heard the Com after all since he's not an X-man but he's a bit suprised at the doctor's quick turn around. He shrugs and is about to come up with a plasuable explanation for their friends when the name...on the tag and then the name plat hits him. Something kind of snaps in his brain and then he sees it. Nathaniel Essex. Ruthless experimenter. Horrific things in Genosha. The file was an inch thick. The file on his victims ten inches thick. It can't be. But the genetics stuff plus the name plate. Could it just be his mind playing tricks on him? They were in terrible danger. He had taken the lead on this, but he couldn't dispute what Kitty had said, "The truth is Doctor, we had some friends here earlier who were being treated, and they've gone missing. The names back there on the wall looked ....close. They looked close but I'm not sure if they're the ones we're looking for. But to be honest, I'm helping my friends here. I don't know them as well. When I was looking into their affairs, there were some unusual things that came up." How do you tell the others that they should leave...quickly? His power can do a lot but ...wait a sec...he makes some salt on a nearby desk on the other side of the name plate when the doctor sits so that it is out of his view. "Sinister." it says in Salt where Bobby can see it. "We should leave." It reforms and then vanishes before Captain Blueboy can see it.
Kitty Pryde is a little worried not to have heard back from Logan after she sent her message. When they go through the door, she catches Kilroy's arm too, so she can phase them all out if anything dangerous appears. Weather she is in a position to see Kilroy has the same concerns she does or not, she says, "Frankly, Doctor, you're starting to creep me out. We got to see our friends, and I can always talk to them when they're better." she nods to Kilroy. "I'm with him, I think it'd be just as well if we left."
Bobby Drake is wondering why they haven't heard from Logan too. Sticking close to Kitty, he gives the doctor an annoyed look when he tells them to talk. The comment he wants to make is held back on though. He listens as Kilroy speaks, making mental notes. Of course catching sight of the salty message has Bobby tensing up. He was already on edge but now he's ready for a fight if things go south. "Yeah, let's get out of here. We're probably cutting into time hitting on nurses," he says. "and on my time flirting with nurses," he adds as a joke.
Doctor Saxton watched the apprehnsion and he could sense the fear. The Doctor just watched them, "If that's what you wish. I have paperwork to do anyway," the Doctor exclaimed. Pulling out some files the people could see it was a patient's medical file. His gaze returned to the trio, "Just remember our slogan when you go. 'We Make You Better,' that's what we do here at Summerlin. For -every- patient," a smile formed on his face and he waved to them, "Ta. Ta."
Kilroy nods and stands, "I might just take you up on that offer at some point Doctor. Its an itneresting world we live in. Thank you for your time." He leaves with Bobby and Kitty.
Kitty Prydenods her farewell, and keeps hold of both of the guys as they all head out, not relaxing even if she is relieved not to have had an immediate confrontation. She doesn't say anything for now..with that guy, she doesn't want to take chances, just get out. And make sure Logan's alright..
Or even the possibility of that guy, really.
Bobby has to bite back comments again since he's pretty sure his jokes and quips would just start an arguement. He's going to be chatty on the way home. He just leaves with the others, keeping watch for anything that might try to ambush them on the way out or anyone that might try to follow them.
Logan was there waiting for them in the lobby. He had already sent a message out to SHIELD. The message was simple, "Need an agent for rundown of possible mass threat in Nevada. In Vegas. Meet at the Hard Rock on the strip," Logan looked at the trio when they arrived. He was fine, "C'mon," the mutant gestured to his friends in the lobby. Getting in their rental car Logan. Driving off he took them all to the Hard Rock cafe in the strip.
Inside the restaurant was filled with neon music note signs, music, television monitors behind the bar and on the walls. The place was a little noisy. Looking to the hostess that was a twenty four year old blonde female that had a runners body and was all smiles silenced before she could begin talking, "Table in the back where it ain't noisy. Somethin' that can seat five or six," just in case Logan extended his hand and slipped the woman a few franklins just to make it happen.
Sure enough the blonde began to work and said, "Right this way." Moving quickly the girl guided the three mutants toward a spot in the back. All the music knicknacks and memorably on the walls was truly astounding. The place even had gold records! The real deal gold records. Sure the acts were from long ago, but it was still a big deal.
When seated Logan blurted, "Beer. German if ya got it. In a glass," he gestured for them to order. After the drink orders were taken and the hostess left Logan looked at his friends. "Called in SHIELD. Not sure whose comin' with. Might be more than the X-men can handle alone," he said in a low voice to them. All of the noise provided the perfect cover to make sure no one was listening in.
Kitty Pryde is frowning in clear concern now that they're out of the hospital. She's scanning the room to see if anyone looks familiar, in case they were followed. She says, "So, Sinister." she glances to Logan and waps his shoulder lightly. "How come you didn't answer us, by the way? We were jumpy enough as it was." Kilroy slips into the booth with them, but for now just listens.
Kitty Pryde adds, feeling a little sick, "And in charge of a hospital, apparently."
"Yeah, a little can you hear me now would have been nice," Bobby adds to Kitty's statement. He perks a little at the mention of SHIELD, part of him hoping that means Sam. He shakes it off though, ordering a soda. he leaned back in his seat and sighed. "So how did Sinister get back this time? Last we checked, Cyke vaporized him..."
Janet van Dyne makes her way into the restaurant, looking around to see if she can find Logan. Not seeing them immediately, she walks through, waving off the greeter with a polite, "I'm just looking for my party." Eventually, she does find the group, and arrives at the booth just in time to hear Bobby's statement. "So that's the threat?" One plus of being a public figure is that she doesn't have to worry too much about registering as a threat when she approaches other heroes like this.
"'Roud bunch of med staff. Wasn't sure how deep his claws went into the place. Didn't want to give up my position," Logan said.
Now a waitress came with the three drinks. The waitress was a redhead in her thirties she looked at Janet, "What can I get you to drink?"
After the order Logan added, "Give us a good twenty minutes. We're family and friends. Haven't seen each other fer a few years. Twenty dollar tip in it fer ya just for that." The waitress nodded and went to get the drink.
"Tell Janet the fully story you two," Logan said and looked at the pair.
Kitty Pryde lets out a breath, catching the eye of the new woman. "Janet..? Like van Dyne? I didn't know you were with SHIELD, but. So I wasn't around for the first part, you'd have to ask Bobby for that, but there's a hospital not far from here, and barring a ridiculous coincidence and very cruel parents, Sinister is running the place and amusing himself by making up coded aliases for himself. And we have reason to believe he's cajoling coercing or just kidnapping people into being his experiments again." Kilroy has little to add at this point, so he leaves it to the X-men who know more of the story.
Bobby stares a moment when Janet arrives then whistles. "Better than a regular SHIELDy," he remarks with a slightly flirty wink. "And we caught three of his patients trying to kidnap a mutant girl," he explains. "Patients acting really weird."
Janet van Dyne gives Bobby a coy smile as she gets comfortable, fresh drink in hand. (Virgin; she wants to keep her wits about her for this conversation.) "If he's running a hospital as a front, that's going to give him access to as many test subjects as he could possibly want. ..Do you think you can go into further detail about 'acting weird'? Besides the attempted kidnapping, that is..?"
Kitty Pryde shrugs, glancing to Bobby. "I wouldn't mind hearing the whole rundown of what happened with you and Sunspot either." she admits.
"Well, brainwashed weird," Bobby shrugs. "And then mumbling about wanting to be perfect. I'm guessing Sinster screwed with their heads," he replies. "One got away but now it looks like they all did."
Janet van Dyne folds her hands and rests her chin on them, looking pensive. "I know he's obsessed with finding - or creating - the perfect mutant... That certainly sounds like he's trying to make some recruits to the cause." She glances between the others at the table. If she remembers correctly, they're all mutants. "Any plans so far to take him down?"
Kitty Pryde says, "That's..kinda why Logan contacted SHIELD, I think. We only just found out he was involved and got out to talk about it." she glances to Bobby. "Do the police know those two were involved in a kidnap attempt? They could still get arrested."
"Buncha of them are. Not sure if all are. Kitty did the groundwork there. He's the top of Summerlin hopsital. No one's higher than him. Been there almost two years. All that time n' people at his finger tips," Logan said firmly giving a rundown. His eyes watched Janet. Thinking of the mutants then he looked at Kitty as a valid question was raised.
"Pretty sure they do. I think Sunspot called while I was helpin' to get them into the hospital when we dropped 'em off," Bobby replies. "I know we sent the cops to the van they were using."
Janet van Dyne says, "I'll need to contact HQ and see if they have any suggestions for taking him down. They can probaly coordinate with the local police as well." She fishes out her smartphone and starts typing on it. "Where specifically is the hospital? Can you point it out on a map?"
Summerlin Hospital can be located on any online map. It had a website and everything. The place wasn't hiding. As the personal website loaded up an intro ad started up. The ad was typical like most hopsitals. Staff were friendly and full of smiles. Everything about the surroundings was new and cutting edge. Then a man of asian-american decent smiled at everyone. "Hi. I'm Doctor Saxton, chief medical office here at Summerlin. I can tell you that it is our job to 'Make You Better' no matter what brings you to our hospital. So let us, help you." The man was all smiles with his long hair tied back into a ponytail. He looked like a man that visited the gym religiously and well groomed with his white pants and black button up shirt with a doctor's jacket.
Kitty Pryde cranes around to look when she hears the add start playing and jabs a finger at the screen. "Him. That's the guy that's gotta be Sinister. He must have 'made better' his awful looks while he was at it."
"Sinster's a shapeshifter, isn't he? He pretended to be a senator or something awhile too," Bobby remarks, scowling at the ad. "We're gonna need more than just us for sure."
Janet van Dyne ticks off on her fingers, "Shapeshifting, telekineses, telepathy, fast healing... He took to stealing powers from mutants to improve himself. That's assumedly why he has the obsession with finding mutants in the first place. We're going to need some real resources to chase him out. Some telekill if we can find any would be real handy, but Magneto has the only known piece large enough to really work."
"We may need SHIELDS help. He's got a hopsital with staffa nd patients," Logan said firmly. This wasn't going to be an easy fight. The X-men needed some helpa nd it was an obvious safety issue for Vegas given thep otential reach of a hospital. His eyes watched Janet firmly as he looked at her then the others, "Gonna be a hell of a fight."
Kitty Pryde spreads her hands, "I mean we're basically talking about laying siege to a hospital here?" she shakes her head, not liking the sound of that any way they cut it. "Maybe we can lure him out.. if we get him, the rest'll be easy by comparison."
"Yeah but remember the whole creepy thing he said about all his patients being better? I'm guessing that means he's got an army of modified and brainwashed patients in there," Bobby remarks. "So he probably won't come out to play unless we go in and get him."
Janet van Dyne holds up her arm, showing the bracelet tightly clasped around her wrist. "As long as they aren't extra-resistant, I can take care of the lackeys. Without doing lasting damage to them. Don't worry too much about that. What we need is either a way to ambush him, or overwhelm him with enough firepower to take him down. Or, at least, get him to run off with his tail between his legs."
"We need a plan. You dig up stuff with SHIELD. Maybe it can give us an edge. I ain't goin' into this fight blind but I don't wanna think about what he has up his sleeve even if we do lure him out. Imagine what'd come with him," Logan said as warning. The Waitress came back to take orders. Logan gave off an order of ribs and fries. His gaze went to the group. Things were going to be very complicated.
Kitty Pryde taps the table with one finger. "But look; if we -can- get him out, whoever he takes with him he'd have at the hospital anyways, and any actual innocents wouldn't be there."