Hey look, I updated for once! Apologies for the VERY late chapter, turns out life made me busier than I originally thought! Sadly it's probably going to stay that way at least until break...whether be Spring or Summer...
But on another note: YAY ANOTHER CHAPTER OF ARTISTIC LICENSE: BIOLOGY EDITION!
Many thanks to the favorites and story alerts, but also to Ptroxsora, Geast(Who left a LOT of reviews!), AliceCullen3, ZombieKillerLevi, Shara Raizel, TrulyMetaWings, Aria 657, kuhekabir, and lxaah11 for the reviews!
To answer lxaah11: Thanks for the insight, I really love all of characters but I always have trouble fitting them in! So I'll keep that in mind for future reference!
On to the chapter!
"So, you're saying that the virus has been prone to long periods of dormancy?"
The Doctor watched as Dr. Forester looked into the microscope, finding his declaration odd. The Avengers, along with the biologist and the Time Lord, were in the laboratory as this fact was made apparent. The biologist all the while kept his eyes on the microscope. "Yes, of course. Though it's technical term is Virus latency. It lies dormant in the cells for a while before, in this case, causing catastrophic results. We discovered this quite early on in our research."
"Is this normal for something like this then? Strange symptoms and all?" Clint asked with an eyebrow raised, crossing his arms. Dr. Forester looked up from the microscope and nodded. "Yes. There's a thing called a slow virus. It has a long incubation period before displaying symptoms. It's more common in life-threatening viruses though, and usually doesn't cause such odd symptoms."
"This virus is fatal then?" Natasha inquired as she kept her eyes pinned on the biologist. Dr. Forester sighed and shook his head. "I can't say for sure. It causes horrific symptoms, something like out of a science fiction novel…but it doesn't kill them, at least by itself it doesn't."
"But you had fifteen fatalities according to the report." Natasha pointed out. "I'm assuming violence driven?"
Dr. Forester nodded. "Mostly accidental due to hysteria though. We tried the best we could to save them…"
"By your tone it sounds like you haven't gotten very far." Clint said as Dr. Forester looked at the archer dejectedly. "Despite our best efforts… none of the patients recovered, regardless of what treatments we tried—"
A spout of ragged coughing cut off Dr. Forester, making the Doctor and the fellow Avengers uneasy. The Doctor shot a quick look towards Steve, who in turn looked back at the Doctor with a tinge of concern. At least I know I'm not the only one feeling funny about this.
"Are you okay?" Steve asked once the coughing fit died down. Dr. Forester nodded as he recovered. "I-It's nothing. Just something I've had since I was a kid."
"Need a glass of water?"
"N-No, it's gone now, thanks though." Dr. Forester said. He quickly steered towards a different topic, trying to ignore the previous. "Now I have a question to ask of you. Do you have a source of radiation I can use?"
"For what?" Natasha asked, raising one of her eyebrows.
"Well, on the island I discovered something rather interesting. My team and I brought standard portable medical equipment-heart monitors, x-ray, etc. Since this virus was something we've never seen before, we decided to run a few x rays…see if we could find a way to piece everything together. What I did discover though, is that most of the patients brought in were considerably healthier after taking the x-ray. Their symptoms lessened in potency, if that makes any sense."
"Which I'm pretty sure is screwing over standard science as we know it…" Tony muttered under his breath. Natasha shot a look at Tony, before turning back towards the biologist. "We'll take a look and make sure."
"And I'm just going to put it out that radiation and I don't mix all that well if you don't already know." Bruce stated. "It did wonders for my anger management."
"I'll make sure to be as careful as possible." Dr. Forester replied, giving a smile. He turned towards the rest of the Avengers. "Now I realize that you've all had quite a busy couple of weeks so you're all probably quite tired. I'd like to do some researching on my own if you don't mind and look into this."
"No issue at all." Steve said. With that, the team started towards the door and on their way out of the lab. As the Doctor started out towards the door, however, Dr. Forester spoke up;
"So Doctor…how is SHIELD handling the cosmic cube?"
What? The Doctor's eyes widened as he spun around, staring at the biologist. "How do you know what that is…?"
"I've been reading up…" Dr. Forester answered, crossing his arms. "I'm not entirely blind to SHIELD antics. I have the right sense to research."
"T-To be honest I'm not quite sure." The Doctor answered earnestly. "Why do you ask?"
Dr. Forester shrugged nonchalantly. "Just curious."
The Doctor nodded slowly, his eyebrows furrowing. "Right…."
"Nothing to get antsy over at least." Dr. Forester replied, giving another smile. The Doctor smiled back, however with not with as much cheer, and quickly exited the laboratory. That sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach that he's felt before had come up again, and he decided on one thing. Who is this Dr. Forester, and just what happened on his trip anyhow?
Meanwhile in an London bookstore Loki was sitting on one of the couches, still reminiscing and brooding about his past. Strange to think of how oddly close I was to Thor all those years ago...strange to think of how much we've changed paths since then.
Loki found this thought to be surprisingly civil for a change, it was rather strange. However thoughts like this made Loki ponder, until something shook him out of it. It was quite simple really, just a small voice;
"Hey mister, are you okay?"
Loki's thought process quickly halted as he turned towards the voice. To his brief surprise, he found a small child looking at him with large brown eyes. The child looked to be around seven, had her dark hair pulled up into a messy ponytail, and seemed to be dressed head to toe in pink. The young girl reiterated her question.
"Sorry if I spooked you, mister, but you looked like you were quite sad."
"I…I'm fine." Loki stuttered, trying to make sense of the small child before him. Usually socializing doesn't quite work like this for me. Before she could make another comment, another voice cried out the child's name. "Jamie!"
Both Loki and the child watched as a woman, looking to be of similar features as the child and in her thirties, became to rush up towards them. Loki asked the girl the question in mind. "Your mother?"
'Older cousin. She and her husband are baby sitting me."
"I see." Loki nodded in understanding as the older cousin reached up to them. She was not in the best of moods, and quickly took the hand of the small child and began to question her.
"Jamie, what are you doing!?" The cousin demanded as the girl spoke up plainly. "This man here was sad, Martha, I was asking him if he was okay."
The child speaks as bluntly as I. It seems like common knowledge to her that if you see someone sad you immediately try to fix it. Loki noted to himself. Martha sighed as looked at Loki. She began to apologize. "Sorry about this, Jamie likes to run off and cheer people up. I hope she didn't disturb you."
"I was just…reading. It's no trouble." Loki said, quickly resuming his habit of lying. Jamie looked up at Martha. "See, Martha?"
"So I'm guessing Martha's your name then?" Loki asked as Martha nodded.
"You guessed it. I'm baby sitting as you can see."
"Your ward here told me." Loki stated nonchalantly. Martha began smiling, and decided to put her hand out to shake. "Then here's a proper greeting. My name's Martha Jones Smith, I'm a doctor. What about you?"
Loki was unsure of whether he should shake her hand or not. It was the typical way to greet a person from where he's from. However, being polite, he shook her hand and answered. "I'm Lo….Tom. Tom Laurie. I'm…sort of in-between jobs right now."
It was then when Loki noticed a rather familiar insignia, on the sleeve of her coat. The globe of Midguard, with wings at it's sides. "Oh, are you part of the UN or something?"
Martha gave a shrug. "Well… you can say something like that…"
Loki briefly rose an eyebrow at the slight change in tone. She gave a smile and began to shake his hand again. "Anyway, Tom Laurie…it was nice to make your quick acquaintance." She motioned towards the small child next to her. "I got to get this little one back home."
"Aw Martha…" Jamie protested, before Martha furrowed her eyebrows and cut her off. "Don't "Aw Martha" me sweetie. You're lucky I ain't telling your mother."
"Have a fine day." Loki said. Martha nodded. "You too."
Loki watched as the two walked out of the library and into the street. Martha turned back once more and gave Loki a strange, almost concerned look. Loki fought the urge furrow his eyebrows and merely looked back at her, giving a forced smile. She went back to looking at the child and the two disappeared around the corner. But Loki knew that she'd been lying through her teeth.
The insignia was more than just the UN. They were something else completely.
"UNIT, also known as United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, a military organization and Intelligence agency. They focus primarily on extraterrestrial threats so it seems. My good friend the Brigadier, who you've met previously, is on it. They can be rather nosy, just like those SHIELD blokes, but that's for another day…"
Loki rose an eyebrow. Fascinating tidbit, hm? Maybe I should investigate this more…in fact…
Loki looked towards the computers and smiled. He knew what to do. Loki quickly walked over to a computer, opened a browser, and typed in one phrase.
Doctor John Smith, UNIT.