Explanations in the Blood

St. Luke's Hospital



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Phaedra Delany Robert Knight Kieran Collins

The night has been long. On interns sleep (approximately five minutes at a time, if she can find an empty on-call room to crash in), Dr. Delany has managed to study the blood samples. As dawn approached, she took an early breakfast break and slipped down to the Undercity in search of her grandmother. Over a cup of tea, they discussed the case. The blood samples were shared so that Grainne could work her magic over them and decipher what had been done. It matters little whether or not that blood had been ingested; fae magic can surpass things that medical science cannot.
Once she snuck back into the hospital, Phaedra immediately got pulled into an incoming trauma. It's just now that she's managed a little downtime. A page was made to Dr. Knight before she went to rest her head for another few minutes in a small conference room just down the hall from the patients in question.

Robert hasn't had much downtime himself. One of the perks of being in the position that he's in is that even if he isn't on call, if he's in the hospital, he's on call. He was pulled in on two consults and one routine appendectomy that quickly went south. After that came a three way vehicle accident in Midtown where he had his hands in the abdomen of a man being held together by a three foot rebar. He caught about an hour's sleep in one of the on call rooms before he had the head trauma nurse dragging him out for yet another trauma.
He finally pulled up two chairs in his daughter's room, propped up his feet and dozed off again beside her bed. He may wear his professionalism to shield himself against over-reacting, but Siobhan is still his little girl, and he is worried.
The sorcerer comes instantly awake when his pager goes off, automatically reaching to both check it and silence it. A quick glance and he sees that his daughter and her roommate are still sleeping. It's Phaedra's number, with a reference to her location. Unfolding himself from the chair, Robert stands to head in that direction.
He stops halfway there, glancing at the vampire slouched in the chair next to Brooke's bed. "You may as well come along. I'm sure you'll listen in anyway."

Kieran is still here. The blinds on the window have been drawn and as added protection, Brooke occupies the inside bed. That means that Kieran is able to draw the curtain between her bed and Siobhan's a bit and hide in the shade provided.
He's awake when the doctor comes in, but the man looks beat so Kieran doesn't question him. Brooke would be so proud. He hears the pager too, but thinks nothing of it. The man is a busy surgeon.
When he gets the invitation, he cocks a brow. "I could be offended by that accusation."
"I could be, but I'm not."

Just a few more hours before Dr. Delany can seek the comfort of her own bed. That is the only thing that's keeping her going at the moment, the promise of sleep.
It's no wonder many interns never make it past the phase of no sleep and plenty of work.
Head lifting from the top of her arms she pushes the chair back and stretches. Staying down in that position too long means sleep; sleep means potentially missing a page. Even if she's on Robert's service for the time being, it doesn't mean that she won't get called in on an incoming trauma while they let him sleep a little longer until they need a real consult. Hands gently slap either side of her face to pop her awake a little more before she stands to wait.

Robert leads the way to the conference room, glancing curiously at the vampire as they step into the hall. There's a large window part way down the hall between the patient room and the conference room, and they'll also pass a small, sunshine filled waiting room. He wasn't being cruel when he told Kieran to come along; Robert hadn't given it any thought when he said the words.
"Dr. Delaney," Robert greets as he steps into the conference room. He gives the young woman a professional once over and scratches at the light stubble on his chin. "Need a cuppa?"

Kieran knows why the doctor is sneaking looks at him. He gives the man a knowing smirk and easily skirts the patches of sunlight, all without looking as though he's doing anything more than walking down the hall.
Four centuries and he is good at this.
He follows Robert into the conference room, and gracefully steps into a shadowed area, pulling up a chair.

"Dr. Knight." Noting the second man entering the room, Dr. Delany stiffens just a little.
"Mr. Collins."
Moving toward the conference room windows, the young intern draws the curtains closed and then walks toward the door to close it as well.
"Perhaps a privacy spell, Dr. Knight?" That is just an added precaution. Most won't bother two doctors and a patient's loved one in a conference room because it generally denotes bad news.
"Just need a few hours of steady sleep. It's the first double I've had to pull. My body's not adjusted yet."~
Robert doesn't know her reaction to Kieran, but he's not that astute at this time. The adrenaline of an emergency will force him into the sort of alertness he needs, but right now his body is in a more lax state.
"Of course," Robert agrees and casts the privacy spell. He smiles at her sympathetically. "It's the thrill of the job. The scary part is when you get used to it."
"Why don't you go ahead and share what you found out?"

"Thank you," Kieran says in response to the curtain being drawn. He's not above being courteous and polite when it suits him. The vampire has nothing to gain in this situation from being rude or contrary.
"Energy drinks," he suggests, although he wasn't asked. "Not those Red Bull types either. Natural ones with the right combination of fruits and vegetables if you like. Bananas, apples and mangoes are natural energy boosters. Use skim milk, or better yet, soy or almond for protein and to not be dragged down by the lactose."
He is more than a pretty face, and he does prepare food for a living.

"I'm sure after the first six months I'll be used to the lack of sleep." Dr. Delany cracks a hint of a smile at that. There are other ways she could get used to the lack of sleep too, ones her grandmother suggested. They are made with things a bit difficult to obtain; which means that she's not willing to try them yet.
"Thank you, Mr. Collins. I'll keep that in mind before my next double."
Frowning, she draws the two small vials of blood from the pocket of her lab coat. They're set on the table and slid forward.
"As we suspected, it is not a medical issue. The craving stems from a very old type of dark fae magic."

Robert shifts in his seat and stiffens. He doesn't like the sound of that. They knew that dark fae magic was involved with whatever was done with the women when they were held, but knowing that it might have gone deeper and been more than they accounted for doesn't make happy thoughts.
"What exactly did this magic do?"

Kieran frowns. He wants to ask how she knows that, but he'll hold his tongue for now. The vampire suspects that the doctor isn't entirely human because she doesn't smell entirely human. There's something else there beneath the surface. It tickles a familiarity in the deep, back recesses of his mind, but it's not something he's encountered often enough to place easily.
"How long is it going to last?"

Dr. Delany looks at the vampire first. "As far as we were able to ascertain, it will have temporary effects. The length is undetermined at the moment, but Grainne believes that it will last upwards of a year. Potentially shorter. The effects will taper off when the magic has run its course through their bodies. It may last longer in some, and some may not have all the issues."
Each vial of blood is given a tap.
"These two… will have prolonged effects. They have stronger magical natures, which is exacerbating the issue. Their magic is absorbing the dark fae magic."
With that, Phaedra turns to Robert and exhales a sigh.
"It is attempting to create a perfectly magical being, interspersed with vampiric genes, that will be able to wander in daylight."

"Because they're hybrids," Robert says. It's not a question. "Their magic is dual, working together the way witch and sorcerer magic is supposed to work. That makes them more reactive to and accepting of yet another type of magic." Given the theories and beliefs that witch and sorcerer magic might have sprung from fae magic or been an offshoot in some millinea past, it's not so surprising.
The doctor gives the intern a very slow blink.
"A vampire - witch - sorcerer hybrid?"
"What specifically is it doing to them? Could your contact figure that out?"

"Is that even possible?" Kieran leans forward, resting his arms on the table. The crease in his forehead deepens. It's more of a rhetorical question than anything else, because clearly some part of that is possible. At least so far as craving blood.
"The blood cravings are part of that, yeah? But that's all we've seen. I don't know about your daughter, Dr. Knight, but I know that there haven't been any other changes in Brooke." Granted, he didn't know about the blood but that was because they were sharing blood.

"Grainne believes that the dark fae are working with someone in an attempt to create a super-race of hybrids and-or vampires. Witches and sorcerers that are stronger and faster than the average. Do not fatigue quite as easily when casting. Vampires that can move about during the day, thusly keeping themselves hidden even better in plain sight."
Dr. Delany frowns, but nods.
"The cravings are part of it. Grainne suggested that they'll gain further attributes. Natural healing with blood intake. Better sight, hearing, and faster reaction times. None of the downsides from what she could manage to get out of the small amount of blood I brought to her."
"She did warn that there may be a possibility of the body adjusting during the temporary time. Making itself more… amenable to receiving the blood required via way of tooth elongation."

"Bloody hell," Robert says. He nearly follows it up with slightly more harsh and censored words but catches himself in time. He might have broken from his Dynasty, but he was raised to be a proper gentleman, all other issues with the dynasty aside. He'll curb his language in front of the young woman.
"The Priory is going to need to know about this." If they don't already. There wouldn't have been a reason to keep Robert in the loop when they didn't know his family was directed affected beyond the kidnapping.
Robert frowns and rubs the space above his nose between his eyebrows. He follows that up with pinching the bridge of his nose. "Siobhan said her ankle felt better. Like it was fully healed. That she felt better."
"Why now? She's been ingesting extra animal blood. Eating her meat as close to raw as possible. What changed?"

Kieran isn't quite as restrained. He looses a colorful stream of cursing, but in his native tongue. As much as the initial thought is awe-inspiring, the follow up thoughts regarding the power and danger of such an individual is a reality check.
That someone chose his witch a guinea pig for their little experiment just pisses him the hell off.
He will be talking to Bryn. And doing his best to track down Gideon because he'll bet his undead existence that the ancient vampire had a real good idea of what was going on when they went in for the rescue.
"Human blood," Kieran says, looking to Phaedra for confirmation. He's portraying a good deal more calm than he feels at the moment. "Animal blood doesn't sustain us for long. It's a standby, like a cupcake, but it's not what our bodies need. We can't heal from it or recharge ourselves if we're worn down."

Phaedra waits for the vampire to explain, dipping her head in a slight nod of agreement.
"It will need to be human blood. Much less a quantity than a vampire would need to sustain itself, but the human blood will be necessary. They can go without ingesting it, Grainne said, but they'll feel weaker. Their magic will fizzle."
The frown hasn't yet left her face as she adds, "If we can get other blood samples to Grainne, we can figure out how far wide-spread this outbreak will be. There is a good possibility that it isn't very wide-spread, but there is also a good possibility that the dark fae did different things to others that were in Mrs. Donovan's and Miss Bishop's situation."

This time Robert doesn't restrain himself. "Fuck." He sighs and gives an apologetic look to Phaedra. "Excuse my language, please, Dr. Delaney." The one comfort is that it looks to be temporary, though knowing how emotional his daughter is, that's likely to be small comfort.
"Basically, you're saying that their receptivity to the magic means that they are going to temporarily be some sociopathic degenerates idea of the perfect vampire hybrid." Something tugs at the back of his mind, but Robert can't latch onto it at the moment. He does think it's a good thing that whoever these people were that they didn't get to add werewolf genes to the mix. Though that raises a point about the werewolves they rescued.
"I'll contact the Priory. They should be able to get you what you need," Robert says. "There were werewolves there as well." He's not even certain that werewolves would be adaptable to vampire genes; but he didn't think living humans were either.
"Fangs," Robert says after a beat. He didn't miss that point. "They might possibly develop fangs."
He's going to need to sedate his daughter before he tells her any of this, never mind telling his wife.

"It's still temporary," Kieran points out. Of course, to him a year or two is the blink of an eye. It's going to seem far longer and more stretched out to the humans, including the worried father. He's not even sure how Brooke will react to the news, but he'll be able to help her work through what she needs to work through.
"Eventually, it will wear off?" The vampire looks for verification. As amusing - and somewhat arousing - the image of Brooke with fangs is, she is human. Kieran recognizes that she'll likely wish to hang onto and get back to her humanity as soon as possible.

"No need for apologies, Dr. Knight." Phaedra offers the doctor a slightly comforting pat to his hand. Despite the man's occupation, he is still the father of one of the patients.
"Thank you. You should likely inform them as to what has been found out as well. Even if they're aware of some of it, they may not realize how deep fae magic can go. Especially when used for nefarious purposes."
"Eventually, yes. Grainne figures at least six to twelve months, closer to the year mark than anything else. There may be other effects than those I've mentioned as well, depending on what they were experimenting on exactly."

Robert rubs the bridge of his nose again and sighs heavily. He's worried about his daughter. He's worried about Brooke. He's worried about every single person that was pulled from that facility, because there's no way of knowing right now what was done to them all. As far as he knows, Siobhan and Brooke were the last two. Are they the worse case or best case scenarios.
"I'll tell them."
"Six to twelve months. Maybe a little more than a year at the most," Robert says mostly to himself. He's looking for the silver lining because the ladies will need one.
"Theoretically speaking, a pregnancy would be bad at this time?" Not that that's a problem for Brooke; the logistics don't work out. Siobhan on the other hand has a perfectly human and functioning husband (as far as Robert knows). The couple might not be planning on having a child, but accidents happen. His beautiful daughter is proof of that.

Kieran leans back in his seat, folding his arms over his chest. He's more angry by the development than he is worried. He has no idea who Dr. Delaney's source is, though he suspects it's fae. He's only ever met one fae, and he's certain that she didn't show him her true face. It was also a short lived meeting and a one time deal. If it was more, Kieran has no recollection.
Still, while he doesn't precisely trust fae, he knows that their information is usually to be trusted and is truthful to the best of their abilities. Or the best of what they're willing to share. If Delaney's contact - and there's a moment when the name stick in the back of his mind, but he shakes it off - says it is temporary, he'll accept that for now. In the interim, he has a girlfriend to worry about.
"A year is a long time to a human," Kieran points out. He looks toward Phaedra, "Fangs. Increased speed and stamina. Healing. All supported by the ingestion of blood, but without the photosensitivity… "

"I don't know," Dr. Delany answers quite honestly. "We didn't discuss pregnancy." Mostly because she didn't think it was an option to consider, and that is her mistake, not her grandmother's. Knowing how the old woman works, Grainne likely only gave Phaedra the pertinent information. Nothing more, nothing less. Wanting additional information means asking for it, which she didn't do.
"I can find out? I need sleep first, but I can find out. As it stands, I don't know whether it would be a bad thing, and the child would take on some of the vampiric characteristics, or if it would be normal. I would say that until we have further information they should proceed with caution."
Phaedra's gaze shifts toward Kieran, and straight-facedly tells him, "My source is a fae, yes."
Tapping her fingers atop the table, she dips her head in a small nod.
"Precisely. Had they been able to strengthen what they were doing, make it permanent, they could have had a perfect race beyond any of those that actually still exist in this world."

"I don't anticipate that Siobhan and Harper would be attempting a pregnancy at this time," Robert says. His daughter loves dancing and Harper has just started his internship. "But, they're young and they're in love, and sometimes things happen." Even when birth control is in use.
"I mean to say that there's no hurry, but knowing sooner rather than later would be a good thing." Robert would like to know exactly what sort of cautions to give the couple.
Robert blinks at her when she speaks to the vampire, responding to something that Robert hasn't heard him say. His son-in-law is telepathic, so discovering another one isn't surprising. However, Robert didn't know they could hear or talk to vampires.

Kieran's reaction is more subtle. He lifts a brow and gives his head an almost birdlike tilt as he gazes over at the young resident. It's one of those curious anomalies to ask about later. From his experience, telepaths have some difficulty reading vampires. That's not to say that it's impossible, simply that it takes experience, patience, strength and a steep learning curve to manage such a thing.
There are other things that can do such, or so Kieran has heard. Still, she's human, at least partly so, and Kieran is discounting anything demonic in her heritage. He's never met a demon or anything partly demonic, outside of his own kind, and their demon parts are aware of one another. It's one of the reasons that vampires can recognize one another, even if hidden behind glamour magics.
"Depending on which side you're on, that could be a very good thing or hell on earth."

"I'll let you know as soon as I find out."
Dr. Delany doesn't want to go into the entirety of the explanation at the moment, but hearing some of what Robert is thinking causes her to drop her head into her hands momentarily. Rubbing her hands over her face, she looks to her mentor and tells him, "Telepaths can't hear a vampire mind. Vampires are generally blank spots to them. Their bodies are technically living corpses, their souls mixed with a demonic force. Their brain waves are entirely different from that of a normal human or supernatural."
Furrowing her brow as she swings her attention back to the vampire, she adds, "I'm not demonic, and you're right. Depending on what side you're on it could go either way. The way it was intended was to create hell on earth, as far as we can tell. If it were meant to be beneficial, no one would have been taken against their will."

Robert is curious but respectful enough to not push the overtired resident. She's provided them with a good bit of information that they wouldn't have otherwise, and he's thankful. Which he tells her. Followed by, "When your duty rotation is up, go home. As tempting as it may to find an on-call room or empty hospital bed, go home. Go home to your home and your bed, and sleep. You'll sleep better and be far more refreshed."
He needs to start thinking about delivering the news to his daughter and Brooke. Or at least his daughter if Kieran wishes to talk to Brooke.

"You might want to stay out of here." Kieran taps his forehead. "You really might not like some of the things you'll hear."
"You make us sound so … icky." Never let it be said that Kieran doesn't have a sense of humor or know when to laugh at himself.
He studies the resident, furrowing his brow a bit. She's an enigma and a puzzle, but Brooke is the priority right now. He'll come back to examine this bit of curiosity later on.

"You got it, Dr. Knight. I plan on getting some good sound sleep in my own bed. I won't be able to reach Grainne until the morning anyhow. She tends to other business in the evenings." Phaedra still isn't quite sure where her grandmother goes at night. 'Here and there.' has always been the answer.
"From a technical point of view, you are icky," Dr. Delany tells the vampire. "You are Karneros. I would hardly be surprised by anything I might pick up from inside your mind. I've met worse."
A hand comes up to stop Kieran from saying anything else.
"Unless it pertains to me, or your thoughts on this particular issue, I won't delve in there again."

"Thank you for contacting Grainne and retrieving this information, Dr. Delaney." Robert doesn't take anything for granted and wants the young resident to know her work is appreciated.
"When you learn more, don't hesitate to call. Even if it's on my personal number at home." He gives her a wry smile. "I'm somewhat personally invested in these patients." Not just his daughter, but Dawna has always been fond of Brooke, and Siobhan considers the woman something of a surrogate older sister.

"Be careful," Kieran warns. "I might take that as a challenge."
"Feel free," Kieran responds with a deliberate smirk and a slow roll of his shoulders. "I'm not ashamed and I have nothing to hide. I was merely assessing my concern for your mental well being."
"If that's all? I'd like to get back to Brooke and I'm sure you want to get back to your daughter, Dr. Knight."

"You're welcome," Phaedra tells the man simply. As soon as she learned that it was fae magic, she knew she had to contact her grandmother. Even if it was a quick visit for the information.
"I'll definitely let you know, Dr. Knight. I should have it by tomorrow, and if you think of any more questions, just let me know."
A sound, something like a half-chuckle is made in Kieran's direction. "I appreciate that. I just have a decent capacity for dealing with twisted minds."
Leaning back in her chair, the intern checks her pager again. It hasn't gone off while they've been in the room, and for that she's quite thankful.
"That is all the information I have at the moment. I would say that if you provide them with a half-pint of blood a day, they should be fine. They may require less than that, but they should have at least that available. Their bodies have been modified to handle that intake."

Robert's brows rise and eyes widen at that. It's a larger amount of blood than he was expecting the women to need. Siobhan didn't get nearly that much at Kieran's, so far as he is aware.
"Did Siobhan get that much?" Robert wants to confirm with the vampire.

"That won't be a problem," Kieran says. He doesn't bat an eye at that. It's less than he requires for sustenance, and the blood is readily available around his penthouse. He doesn't ask the question but figures that Brooke will need 'proper' nourishment as opposed to what he can provide.
He looks to the doctor. "No. What Sera mixed for her would have been less than a third cup mixed in with the wine."
"I can supply her with blood."

"As I said, they may need less. It depends on how much they're casting, and how active they are. I would assume with Mrs. Donovan's dancing that she'll require more than a third of a cup. It can be mixed with something to adjust the taste of it."
Dr. Delany glances between the two men before her eyes settle on Robert. "She won't need to drink it all at once either. If she's taking in enough to the point where she feels fine, and is no longer having the cravings, she should be alright."

Robert nods to Phaedra, and then looks over at the vampire. He's still adjusting to the idea that his daughter is going to have vampiric traits for a while and need blood. The doctor in him is trying to find the best words to explain this to his patient and look out for her well being. The father in him is just worried about his overly emotional daughter is going to react to this news on top of all the other stressors from this summer.
"One thing at a time, eh?" He's not directly saying 'no' to the vampire, but in the end, it will be Siobhan's choice of how she handles receiving what she needs. Whether she wants to utilize the Priory or Brooke's vampire. "I think first and foremost, I need to explain this to my patients."
Pushing back from the table, Robert stands. "Get some rest, Delaney, as soon as your shift is over."

Kieran can read between the lines and hears what the sorcerer isn't saying. The man doesn't trust the vampire or his sources. Kieran can't fault him and doesn't blame him for that. It's to be expected.
He shrugs his shoulder. "The offer stands, since I'll be supplying Brooke anyway." And the two might be spending more time together since they have something else in common now.

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