Donatello headed straight for his computer when they returned to the lair.
"What happened?" Splinter asked. "Where is Veronica?"
"They took her away, Master," Michaelangelo said.
"Yeah, she's back in the land of white coats now," Raphael added.
Splinter frowned. "I sent you to get her."
Raphael shrugged. "They got to her first."
Angel walked into the room. "I thought I heard you guys. Where's Donatello?"
Michaelangelo hiked his thumb towards the lab. "He's doing something in there. Is Vincent okay?"
"Yeah," Angel told him. "He went back to sleep soon after you left, and so did Leonardo." She went into Donatello's lab and saw him in front of the computer, typing.
"What're you doing?"
Donatello looked up surprised, then turned back to the screen. "I'm doing a search on Doctor Hube. He's the one who took Veronica away, and I didn't like what he was implying."
Angel frowned. "Perhaps you should tell me what happened."
"I've found it!"
Donatello had gone to bed, letting his computer search overnight, and went to check the results in the morning. He walked into the kitchen with a stack of papers.
Michaelangelo poured cornflakes over his pizza. "Found what?"
"Doctor Hube, the man who took Veronica. He works at Bleeding Heart."
"Duh," Raphael interrupted. "That's where she escaped from."
"Yeah, but he doesn't work as a psychologist. At least, not one who would help Veronica. He doesn't work with any of the patients."
"And this matters, how?"
Donatello turned to see Leonardo and his jaw dropped. His brother looked horrible. It looked like he hadn't gotten a wink of sleep all night. "Uhh…he runs a department that's top secret. I couldn't even find out what they do. I'll have to hack in do find out."
Leonardo narrowed his eyes. "Do it."
Donatello gulped, a bit frightened by the tone in Leonardo's voice.
Veronica sat in a chair in the corner of the room. She had been given a set of powder blue clothes, and her nails had been trimmed. She curled her legs up under her and waited.
She didn't have to wait long, for a minute later, Doctor Hube stood in front of her.
"Welcome back, Veronica. You had us worried."
She stared at the floor in front of her chair.
"According to your physical," Hube continued. "You were pregnant recently."
"I lost it," Veronica lied.
Hube shook his head. "Poor thing, how horrible for you. If you had returned, we could have helped you."
Veronica remained silent.
"Everything else seems fine. Your perfect physicals always amaze me. Shall we go?"
Veronica stood up, her eyes distant, unfocused.
"Good girl. We'll have you back into the routine in no time."
Leonardo held his son in his arms. The little turtle's ice blue eyes were looking at everything except his father, and Leonardo's attention was on nothing but his son. He thought things had been going so well. Master Splinter had even let her go around the lair alone. She had been doing better. Why had she tried to do that?
Leonardo sighed as Vincent started to cry. He stood up and went into the kitchen to feed him. Raphael and Angel were there, playing War. By the look on Raphael's face, and the pile of cards in front of Angel, Angel was winning.
"Hey, Leonardo," Angel greeted him, slapping down a seven of hearts. Raphael said nothing as he placed a three of clubs on the table.
"Hi, guys. Anything?"
Angel shook her head as she picked up the cards and tossed down a five of diamonds. "Donatello and Michaelangelo decided to go see if April could do any better with her press access."
Raphael smiled, then growled as he turned over a four of hearts. "Waste of time if you ask me."
Leonardo sat Vincent in the highchair Donatello had made, and Angel had safety-proofed, and glared at his brother. "What is your problem?"
Raphael smiled as he set down a king of clubs. "Well, the other night, you practically kicked her out. Now you want her back."
Angel placed down a six of diamonds and watched Raphael take the cards. "She's the mother of his child, Raphael."
"A child she tried to kill," he snapped back, the game now forgotten. "Look, she belongs at that hospital. If they can help her, I'll be happy for her, but if they can't, it's best she be kept locked up."
Leonardo sat down with a bowl of pizza flavored baby food. "I miss her."
Raphael rolled his eyes. "Okay, Mister lovesick leader, whatever. At least stop whining about it."
"What have you got for us April?"
April showed Donatello the computer screen. "Doctor Hube does work at Bleeding Heart, but he does most of his work in the pharmaceutical department."
Michaelangelo gave a blank look. "Farma-what?"
"Pharmaceutical," Donatello explained. "Drugs and medicines. So, why would he have an interest in Veronica?"
April clicked the mouse and another screen popped up. "He's done several papers and runs a program whose purpose is finding more effective medications."
"So?" Michaelangelo asked.
Donatello snapped his fingers. "I get it." His face fell and he paled. "Oh, no."
April nodded solemnly. "Veronica comes from a low income family. Hell, no income, by the records. Her mother couldn't afford treatment, so she compromised with the hospital, and agreed for Veronica to be used in studies to help pay."
Donatello shook his head. "And we were always afraid of what would happen if some doctor got ahold of us."
Doctor Hube smiled as the latest dose took effect. Most of the test subjects were reacting just as predicted. The only one who wasn't was Veronica. She seemed to not change. It wouldn't be so bad if she had been one of the ones who had been given the placebo. But, upon checking his notes, she'd been given the real drug.
He scratched his chin and straightened his glasses. She always was an odd one.
Hube turned around to face Debra Thorn, the new intern. A lovely young lady, even if she was a bit absent-minded. "Yes, Miss Thorn?"
"There seems to be something we overlooked in the Matthews' physical." She handed him a clipboard with papers on which several lines were highlighted.
Hube looked them over with mild interest, at least on the outside. Inside, his mind burned with the implications of this. "Take her off the study. Put her in Iso until I decide what to do about this."
Debra nodded and left with the clipboard. Doctor Hube turned back to the window and watched Veronica scratch at the padding. This would be very interesting.