(1937-11-23) Biohazardous Investigation
Details for Biohazardous Investigation
Summary: Even as a quarantine patient, Cooper works on trying to find out more about the disease outbreak only to find out that her one good lead has been tampered with.
Date: November 23, 1937
Location: Magical Bugs Ward, St Mungo's
Related: St. Mungo’s Mayhem – Vials Unleashed The Spy Who Wanted to Date Me
Characters
RanjaliCooper

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Magical Bugs London
Fri Nov 23, 1937 ((Mon Nov 05 05:04:00 2012)) (F,3 NE - MB)


It is a fall morning. The weather is cool and fair.


Like many of the other wards in St. Mungo's this ward is rectangular with the two long walls occupied by sets of adjustable beds accompanied by a nightstand and an armchair. Unlike the rest of the wards in the hospital there are no curtains here to provide privacy. Instead each bed, nightstand and armchair combo is separated from the rest of the ward by its own set of transparent walls since this ward is dedicated to the treatment of infectious diseases both magical and mundane. Instead of curtains the walls have been enchanted so that with a word from the patient or the doctor they will turn a smoky grey to provide privacy. Large signs at both ends of the room read, "Absolutely no visitation is allowed until a member of the St. Mungo's Healer staff has cast all necessary protection charms including but not limited to a Bubble-Head Charm. Under no circumstances will a guest visit a patient under self-cast charms". Large globes float along the ceiling filling the room with a gentle, relaxing light regardless of the weather outside or the time of day or night.
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There is a special room set a side for those who wish to visit quarantined patients, separated according to afflictions and ages. The said room is divided in half by a wall of glass which is further divided into booths for privacy. Something like prison visitation except instead of phones, the Spattergroit patients get a flat slate where they can magically write what they intend to say - after all their ability to speak is taken away. Anyone wishing to see a particular patient need only to request with the healer in the small room that comes before the visitation one. She's tucked away in a close off booth, equipped with a bubble face charm and covered in medical robes from head to toe. Even her hands are covered in gloves. At this time in the afternoon, visitation is rather quiet so the healer sits behind the glass of her booth scribbling away for anyone wishing to come by.

Sometime during the day, a fellow healer will have passed Ranjali a note requesting that she come visit the Magical Bug ward to visit Auror Cooper. According to the note, she's been a rather difficult patient and insists on talking to Ranjali. When they rejected her request (since after all she needs bed rest), Cooper apparently put up a fight and refused to take her medication unless she the healer would come to visit her.

For days, Ranjali has been putting this off. And of course, with each day, her fear of Cooper's anger has grown worse. But then the note arrived, and Ranjali knew that it could no longer be put off. After reading about the Auror's insistance, she is even more worried by the time she arrives at the ward. She removes her robe once inside, revealing the simple skirt and blouse of dark blue underneath, and with her head ducked (possibly out of fear, porribly to hide the dark circles under her eyes) she steps up to the Healer to speak to her about the visit, offering up the note for a reason for her visit.

The witch looks up from her works, bubble charm contracting and expanding slightly with every breath when she says, "Oh Healer Winterthorne! Thank Merlin you're here." She gets up from her seat to flip through a few papers and pull out Cooper's files. "Auror Cooper's been rather restless, which is strange because she's a regular patient here. She knows how essential her rest is for recovery. Anyhow, she doesn't sleep too well only passes out when she's exerted herself, and she's constantly asking for paper to write notes on. Only when we try to take it away from her so she can eat, she struggles." Oh! There's Cooper for you! Always doing some sort of work even when she's deathly ill. "And she keeps asking for you. We're hoping that you could talk some sense into her. Get her to cooperate." Gesturing to a shelf along the wall and the door that opens to the visitation room the healer adds, "Just put on those surgical robes and cap and seat yourself in a booth in the next room. We'll bring her to you. No need for a bubblehead charm, you'll be quite safe in there."

"I-I'll try." Ranjali offers, nodding a little. She quietly follows the directions, getting into yet another set of robes (and here she thought she could at least take a break from those lime green monstrosities) and the cap, allowing herself only the tiniest of grimaces when she's certain no one is looking. Once 'dressed' she heads into the booth, settling down into the seat and closing her eyes. "You're going to have to at least look at her," She mumbles to herself, "Or how can she even begin to tell you everything… "

Not too long after, the door opens on the other side of the glass and with the support of a completely covered healer, Cooper stumbles into the room. Repulsive is perhaps the best way to describe her appearance at the moment. The disease is certainly no joke, and the purple pustules give off a subtle blue-ish tinge that makes her look dead and somewhat decaying. Her lips are cracked and dry, while her teeth carry a yellowish hue as if she hasn't brushed in a few years. The only recognizable parts of her are her blue eyes, dulled with fatigue, and her hair which is still as messy as it always is. Though she does brighten upon seeing Ranjali and as she's seated she gives the woman a warm smile and wave while she mouths the words, "Hi! You're back!"

Ranjali opens her eyes when she hears the door, and quickly schools her face into a mask of calm to hide the pain and guilt she feels for having placed Cooper in this mess with her slow reaction. Her eyes, though, are harder to mask, the worry plain in them. Until Cooper speaks. Blinking, she nods jerkily, her brain taking a moment to catch up to a reaction that is nearly the complete opposite of the one she'd expected. "Ah, yes, I… I'm sorry. I should have come sooner."

Cooper tilts her head curiously at the look of guilt, frowning lightly in concern over her poor friend. The other healers have left to tend to other patients. Her dried lips move to say something, but no words come out, and clasping her throat in realization, she looks at the blank chalkboard like slate that is embedded into the glass between them. Touching the corner of the slate, she mouths the words again and white words appear on the other side to face Ranjali: It's alright only, what's wrong? You look like you have something on your mind.

Ranjali's mask slipsd into a small grin. "I… didn't think you would want to see me, really. I… its my fault that you're in there. If I had been faster, guessed what was happening sooner… " She shakes her head. "You wouldn't be in there now."

Cooper gives the healer a dismissive sort of wave and the brightest smile she can muster, which is really fairly weak and yellow, before she slides a finger across the top of the frame. The words disappear into the blackness as it passes, giving her a blank slate. 'Oh is that all? Don't you worry about that. It was hardly your fault. I only hope that kid is alright,' the words appear when she mouths them again. Clearing it once more, the next words write themselves as she brings them silently into life, 'But I'm glad to see you. That you're back and safe. Thank you for the lovely shawl. Did you have a wonderful trip.'

"I did, yes. It was… " Ranjali glances to teh side, remembering, "Peaceful." And then she chuckles dryly. "Its been very different, being back. Busier by far than I would have imagined."

Cooper seems to smile warmly at the way Ranjali describes her trip. 'Could the presence of Audrey Tayler perhaps have helped in making it so enjoyable?' She tilts her head in that impish way, teasing perhaps but only in good humor. She erases the words again to bring up a new topic. One that was the very reason why she wanted to see Ranjali so desperately. 'I imagine this outbreak must have been a warm welcome back. Although I have a question, Ranjali. Before the trip, when I asked you on that date …' Cooper pauses thinking of how to word her question before cleaning the slate and adding, 'Do you remember having lunch with me? You were acting strange … did you ever find out what was wrong with you?'

Blushing, Ranjali looks down at her lap for a second. She glances up again quickly, mindful of the board, a small and immensely grateful smile now tugging at her lips. The smile fades to confusion as Cooper's words continue to appear, a frown replacing it. "Lunch? We've had lunch a few times, I don't recall one that was strange. Or anything being wrong with me besides… " The blush intensifies, "M-Mr. Troy."

Cooper presses her lips together when Magnus comes into the picture. She now knows she's treading on very shaky ground, and upon seeing Ranjali's uneasiness, she almost instinctually goes to reach out for the woman's hand. Only, its blocked by the glass between them. So instead she clears her throat and urges the healer. 'I know I'm asking a lot for you to remember back on that time, but it's EXTREMELY important.' Slate clears, more words appear. 'I'm talking about the lunch where I asked you on that date. Do you remember it? I walked with you past a room. A sample room. Were we anywhere near this ward at the time?'

"Sample room?" Ranjali starts to remember, hearing the mention of the date. But the rest of the question just confuses her more. "I don't remember passing a sample room with you. We were in the… " She tries to remember, pausing for a long moment, then slowly says, "The staff room… it might have been on this floor? But why would I have been… "

Cooper blinks for a moment at Ranjali's response, brow quirking in confusion. 'You don't remember? I brought over lunch and you had to stop by a room for about ten minutes. The door was labeled 'Samples' and I asked you about it later on.' It seems like the Auror is rather eager to talk about this subject for she's gained a faint bit of liveliness in her otherwise ill state. And she's even leaning forward into the glass every so slightly.

Ranjali bites her lower lip for a few seconds, shaking her head. "No, I-I really don't." She replies after a moment. "I'm sorry, I can't… I can't even imagine why I would have done that. Why whatever it was couldn't have waited until after lunch. I really don't understand, Cooper. Why is this so important?" She leans forward as well, looking her friend over with a worry that has less to do with the Auror's current state and more to do with her strange preocupation, "They told me you wouldn't eat, that you get angry when they take your board away, please, what is it?"

What is going on? Cooper seems frozen in her position, dried mouth slightly ajar in disbelief while she leans forward with a purple pustule ridden pressed against the glass. After a few seconds, she pulls her chair even more forward to the glass and her mouthing begins going crazy. It seems she's so flustered she's forgotten to even touch the slab that will communicate her thoughts. But by the general shape her lips are making it seems like she's asking: What do you mean you don't remember? Cooper tries to compose herself by rubbing her hands over her equally hideous face and she then touches the slate again. 'Nothing? You have no clue of it? We were talking about Miss Taylor? You remember everything else about that day?' She's so consumed by this topic, she doesn't even seem to acknowledge Ranjali's concern over her well-being. Though it doesn't seem intentional.

Waiting a few moments to think, Cooper bites her lip hard and then makes the text fade, instead replacing it with other words. 'Ranjali, are you safe? Are you living on your own? Please just do me a favor and keep an eye on what you eat and drink. Be mindful of anything you put into your body.' She looks rather unnerved and paranoid over the woman's safety. Coupled with her diseased skin, and the yellow that tinges her teeth and the whites of her eyes, Cooper looks absolutely crazed. More like a mental patient than a spattergroit one for sure.

Ranjali shakes her head, her face full of confusion and worry that grows steadily with Cooper's every word. "W..what? Cooper, I'm perfectly safe. Though I don't at all remember what you are talking about, save that we had lunch in one of the staff rooms and y-you asked me to hae dinner with you. But I… " She glances away, "I've… been staying with Audrey. And we, ah, we don't cook, we order everything in… but please, what does this have to do with lunch?"

Cooper bites her lip, brows twisting upward in deep concern. 'Ranji…I don't know how you couldn't recognize it. How odd you were that day. It's like you were a completely different person.' She lets those words sit against the black for a while, hoping it'll sink into the healer's mind. 'I'm just concerned. Worried that someone's trying to get into your head. But I don't know for sure, and I don't know who would and why.' Another pause. 'Miss Taylor. Is she treating you properly? Is she being good to you?'

"My head?" Ranjali lifts a hand to touch her temple, for hte first time starting to look worried for herself. "Audrey's been lovely, really." She insists, blush renewing itself. "She… she even puts up with my little jealousies. Do… do you really think someone is trying to get into my head?"

Cooper's mouth forms a flat line when Ranjali explains Audrey. Her face is mostly laced with concern, but there's a tinge of something else. Envy? Distrust? It's ambiguous. 'I'm really not sure.' She admits it plainly. 'I only ask about Miss Taylor because anyone could be a suspect. Only, she did ask you to take a magical influences test. So it's highly unlikely.' Looking to the floor guiltily, Cooper adds: 'I'm sorry. I don't want to worry you, only I've just been getting an ominous feeling in my gut lately. That something terrible was going to happen. And then there was this outbreak. I'm only worried that it doesn't stop there. That there are other things to come.' With a sigh, Cooper runs a pussy hand through her hair (ew). 'Maybe I'm just paranoid.'

"What?" Quite suddenly, Ranjali look angry. "Audrey had /nothing/ to do with this. She was terrifed the entire time. I don't know what you're talking about, still, I only took a magical influence test as part of my training /years/ ago, but I can tell you that this is /not/ because of Audrey." She lets the anger fade a little, in the face of Cooper's own worry, sighing and taking a moment to close her eyes and compose herself. "Listen. You need to rest, whatever you are working out will remain a muddle to you as long as you refuse to eat or sleep. They're brewing the antidote, I've done what I can to help every day, but you /must/ take care of yourself while you are here. The next full moon should be soon. And… and if you like I'll come back every day and you can ask me whatever you like. But you /must/ follow the healers' recommendations."

Cooper is rather taken aback by the healer's sudden outburst. Too most people, that was hardly a storm, but considering it was Ranjali, the tone alone spoke volumes. Still, Cooper can't help, but scowl back at her friend. How can she be so trusting? 'Don't be foolish, Ranjali. The woman runs in the same circle as criminals.' Even in plain text, the words seem to have a certain sharpness to them, coupled with the auror's stern star back at the woman. But after a moment, she questions whether she should have even said that, and her finger slides to fade the words away. After a sigh, she looks guiltily down at the floor again. 'It's fine. I appreciate you coming by today. Sorry to worry you. I'll try and be cooperative from now on.'

Ranjali listens with a stubborn set to her face, nodding stiffly as Cooper agrees to cooperate. When she speaks again, her tone is quiet, but there is a hard edge left over from her outburst. "I know that Mr. Montague is… likely to be dealing in less than legal matters. But just because Audrey sings for him is no reason to believe that she is untrustworthy as well. And besides, she has broken off her… other ties with the man." She takes a deep breath, and tries once more to speak of something easier. "Shall I come back tomorrow? I can… keep you updated on things, if you like."

Cooper says nothing more on Audrey or Wolfgang. Not only is that a topic inappropriate for magical slates and visitation rooms, but she is quite frankly too fatigued to try and convince Ranjali any further for now. Her offer to come back though makes Cooper turns her eyes hopefully upward and she nods vigorously. A look in her eye indicates that she's going crazy in quarantine and could so desperately use some human interaction.

The guilty look returns, though its less overwhelming this time, to Ranjali's face. "I'm sorry, truly. I let my worry keep me away, it shouldn't have mattered if you were angry with me. I'll… I'll see if they'll let me bring you anything tomorrow. And I'll come back on both of my breaks, if you like. I'll check on the baby, too, so I can tell you how he is."

Nodding vigorously, Cooper manages a bit of a tired smile and leans with both hands on the glass like a puppy at a pet store looking rather excited to see humans. 'I'd like that.' The words appear on the slate followed underneath with a 'Thank you.'

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