Season 3, episode 13

Written by Gillian Horvath

Directed by Alan Simmonds

Guest stars:

Screed...............................Greg Kramer

Calvin...............................Bruce Hunter

Linda Wyatt..........................Sarah Orenstein

Dan Garrett..........................Christopher Kennedy

Preacher.............................John Blackwood

Gerald Archer........................Chris Britton

Woman in Flashback...................Catherine McGregor

Inside Howsen Pharmaceuticals, Calvin Tucker is receiving his twice-weekly injection. His T-Cell count is holding at 120. He calls Linda Wyatt a lifesaver and ears it's why she got into medical research.

Inside a different room, Dan Garrett is very nervously stuffing notes into his briefcase. Linda enters as he is holding a rat, startling him. He drops the rat, which escapes. He gives Linda an excuse and hurries out. She chases him, asking why he is taking her work.

At the stairs, they fight over the briefcase. She is pushed, falls down the stairs and dies. Dan freaks when he cannot find her pulse. He splits.

Outside, Screed's checking the dumpster for dinner and finds a mouse. He sees the lab rat and goes for it instead. He drains the rat, leaving two gaping holes in the belly. Pulsing blood in a blood vessel is briefly seen.

The Caddy arrives. Nick and Tracy head for the door. She complains about the hospital scent, asking why they always smell that way. Nick says he never noticed.

Nick finds the dead lab rat and pokes at it with a pen. Tracy comments a cat must have gotten it. Nick bags it as evidence, his thumb going into one of the holes. The cross section of a pulsing blood vessel is seen. Nick says it is fresh.

Inside, Nick questions Dan. In the background, Natalie is examining Linda's body and the surrounding area. Nick learns they are under funded, suffering from a lack of supplies, with a big demand for the equipment. Linda was dedicated to her work and worked days, nights, whatever necessary to succeed. Dan comments they are always over waxing the floors. Nick learns nothing's missing, and shows Dan the rat, asking if it is one theirs. The photographer snaps pictures before the body is moved, directed by Natalie. Dan tells Nick Linda's rats have a tattoo on the hind leg from the 700 series. They are very safe there as they work with stuff that could take down the entire city. Nick learns Linda was working on a benign virus that attacks HIV and thought she was getting close. She was going to save lives. Nick lets Dan go.

Tracy steps over the body, with Linda's appointment book in her hand. Nick joins Tracy and Natalie, and tells them Linda's assistant called it in and thinks it was an accident. Natalie tells them it is possible, as the landing was slippery. Tracy tells them Linda had three appointments after hours, Janet Dornhoff, Derek Swanson and Calvin Tucker. Natalie's surprised to hear Calvin's name, as she has known him since med school. He was on his way to being chief surgeon at Metro General, but got AIDS. She comments Howsen is not a Fortune 500 company. They are using second class grants and old equipment. She does not know why Cal would be there.

Inside the briefing room, Natalie questions Cal. Nick watches from the back wall. Cal looks seriously ill. He tells her he was looking for a miracle. Natalie tells him he knows better than to try First Trials. He tells her he's been sick for four years and has outlived dozens of friends diagnosed at the same time. He was desperate. New drug approval process takes two, four, ten years, more time than he has. Someone staring death in the face will try anything.

Nick flashes back to 1665 London, England. The plague is spreading. Most places are closed, and people hide in their homes. Nick and LaCroix enter a tavern. LaCroix says it is time to move on. Nick says he thought LaCroix thrived on human suffering. LaCroix replies no one notices an extra dead body or two, but there can be too much of a good thing.

A Holier-Than-Thou preacher stares at Nick and LaCroix then leaves. Outside he goes into a rant about how the sinners are being stricken down while the righteous are spared. LaCroix tells Nick the preacher is well spoken. A man tells the crowd the plague hits everyone, sinner or righteous. The priest is stunned someone spoke against him. LaCroix tells Nick not everyone is equal in the eyes of the plague.

In the bullpen, Tracy tells Natalie and Nick everyone she talked to thought Linda was a saint or a miracle worker. Nick asks if there could be something to Linda's cure. They comment if it worked, it would be worth millions and the Nobel Prize. Nick tells Natalie he is sorry about Cal. She says Cal's thirty-five but looks fifty-five. It's no wonder he'd latch onto any hope. Nick is concerned. Natalie says she's okay, just tired. She tells them to send samples to her lab and she will check them out tomorrow. She needs sleep and leaves. Tracy asks if Nat will be okay and hears Nick's reassurance. He says they should head home.

Inside Screed's lair, Tracy fills Vachon in on the rat and she thinks Screed chomped it. She is hoping he can give her some information. Screed jumps Tracy from the shadows. Vachon pins Screed to the wall. Screed rambles about Tracy's heavenly fruity scent. Vachon warns him to keep away from her. Screed rambles about a hungry man taking anything they can get their hands on. Tracy gets major information on First Hunger as she learns a new fledgling wakes so hungry they will do anything to get their first meal. They will kill friend, lover or enemy. If the first kill is not human, they do not hunger for humans. Screed says his first meal was a rat. He looks quite sick, shivering hunched in a chair, almost as if he's going through withdrawal.

Vachon's shocked to see Screed bite himself, saying he has to have something. Tracy inquires and learns it is not normal. Vachon notices Screed's fresh wounds are not bleeding. He tells her Screed's starving and offers his wrist. Screed hungrily sinks his fangs into Vachon's wrists. Screed is relieved, almost like a junkie getting a fix. Tracy's disgusted and shocked. She cannot look away. She asks if Screed is sick. Vachon tells her they can't get sick. He rubs his fingers across the blood sweat on Screed's face and says she may be right. Screed finally releases Vachon's wrist and sags limply into the chair. The same pulsing blood vessel is seen. Vachon looks at his wrist as if sensing something.

Vachon visits Nick at the loft, telling him Screed's sick and needs Natalie's help. Nick says she is not that kind of a doctor. Their kind does not get sick. Vachon says he knows sick and Screed is sick. He cannot take him to the ER. He has been feeding Screed all morning and he is still starving.

Nick flashes back to 1665 London. He and LaCroix are in a tavern when Dr. Gerald Archer asks Nick and LaCroix why they are not afraid of the plague. LaCroix says that maybe they are righteous men. Nick plays ignorant. Archer says that will not protect them. He tells them he will give anything for the same protection from the Black Death. LaCroix tells Nick it is free consent, freely given. LaCroix blocks the view as Nick drains Archer and brings him across.

Inside Natalie's office, she learns no disease has ever touched a vampire. Natalie comments about all the changes to the Earth over the last fifty years. How they have found new diseases and medicines. Nick says their only rules were avoid the sun and stakes. She tells him the rules have changed. He asks what if Linda made it. The lab rat infected Screed. Natalie is curious and concerned.

Inside Screed's place, he is lying in bed looking quite sick. Natalie finishes her exam and approaches Nick, holding a blood vial and her medical bag. She tells Nick Screed is very sick. In fact, he is dying from what appears to be a multiplying retrovirus. His lungs and abdomen are filling with fluid and soon his brain will. It is why he is so hungry. Screed cannot believe Natalie is a doctor. Vachon overhears and is worried and saddened. She will examine the sample, but she does not know what's she's looking for. She leaves. Nick watches Vachon comfort Screed as he struggles to breathe.

Nick enters the precinct looking ill and tells Tracy he was visiting a sick friend when asked where he was. Tracy tells Nick she discovered Calvin Tucker was in the control group. He was receiving saline instead of the drug. Maybe he found out and killed her for withholding the cure.

Inside Cal's apartment, they are questioning him. Cal's shocked to learn he was receiving a placebo. He had been doing better since the injections started. He realizes it was all because he wanted it so badly. He is depressed to learn he was not getting the real stuff. As a doctor, he knew better than to be a human lab rat. Nick apologizes for having to tell Cal.

Nick and Tracy get out of the Caddy in a full parking lot. Nick doubles over in pain but assures Tracy he is okay. They both believe Cal, but she thinks the theory might still be good. The killer could be another patient. Nick hears her heartbeat thundering in his ears and focuses on her neck. Tracy takes Nick's silence as disagreement. He tells her they will keep looking, when asked if he disagrees. He forces his eyes away from her.

Inside Screed's lair, he tells Vachon they had many good years together, which is the best thing you can say about a life. Vachon cradles Screed's head, agreeing with him, trying to keep his voice from cracking, sadness clearly showing. Screed asks Vachon to bury him deep in the sand by the water because he never felt right on land. Vachon agrees to, as he would do anything for his friend. Screed dies. Vachon silently, sadly holds Screed tightly.

Inside the Raven, LaCroix refuses to believe Nick's story about a virus that kills only vampires, even after Nick takes the glass out of his hand and drinks from it, more than once. LaCroix angrily, frustratedly tells Nick they are not easy to kill. People have tried with fire and lies, and failed. Nick again grabs LaCroix's glass and drinks from it.

Nick flashes back to 1665 London, England. He enters a tavern a tavern and is told by LaCroix that Father Leath is suspicious of them and of Dr. Gerald Archer's recent odd behavior. The sick are dying faster in the doctor's office than anywhere else. Nick cannot believe it, as Archer is not like that. Neither is happy that Archer is not being discreet. LaCroix tells Nick he's leaving town and suggests that Nick do so too, before the Father comes for them with holy water and stakes.

Nick searches out Archer and is not happy to find him hovering over a victim's throat. Nick tells Gerald he saved him so he could help people. Archer says mortals are an easily extinguished candle, while he is immune to disease. He is a vampire, so he will never die. He is the only one who truly knows life. Nick says it is a hollow life. The medicine he loved is now considered a plaything. Nick sadly comments he has destroyed Archer by bringing him across. Archer disagrees, saying he has been saved.

Tracy's in Vachon's church. He is sick. He's in the middle of a coughing fit and looks drugged. He says Screed was right as he hears her heartbeat and smells her unique scent. His words and tone seduce her to the point she forgets her fear and nervousness. He tells her every drop of blood has her life story in it. He vamps out and is about to sink his fangs into her neck when he forcefully shoves her away, telling her it is First Hunger and to run while she can. She starts towards him but he growls and looks like he is charging her. She gets it, and runs for the door. Once alone, Vachon has a drink from one of his bottles.

Natalie is working on the blood samples from Linda Wyatt's research. Tracy enters and asks if she has found anything. Natalie tells her she has only found fragments and dead samples, nothing worth stealing or killing for. Tracy sneaks one of the emergency blood supply bags from the small cooler on the autopsy table into her jacket as Natalie works. Natalie tells Tracy she is thinking of calling Cal because he is on the drug, so maybe she can get a good sample from him. That way she can see what effect it has on HIV. She is devastated when Tracy tells her Cal's not taking the drug because he is part of the control group. Natalie cannot believe it. She tells Tracy it is hard to watch him go. He is not the first. It makes her wonder who else she's going to lose. Tracy says everyone must feel that way when someone they care about is sick. Natalie tells Tracy how useless she feels. If she had graduated a few years later, she would be trying to find the cure for AIDS rather than being a coroner. Tracy tells Natalie that is important as well. Natalie calms down and tells her she knows, but would like to help someone before it was too late.

Nick appears in the doorway looking sick. He pulls himself together before Tracy sees him. Tracy leaves.

Nick staggers into the room. He tells Natalie he is hot and hungry. She feels his forehead, her concern growing as she sees blood on her fingertips. She's shocked, scared and hurt as well. He is worried too. He sits on the autopsy table and she examines him. The thermometer shows his temperature is ninety-eight degrees. He nearly doubles over due to a wave of pain. There is no dizziness, nausea, DT's, just hunger and fever. He staggers off the table, telling her he has to feed. He heads for the steel drawers. Natalie gets between him and the drawers, refusing to let him feed. She explains the virus can only live in blood and asks if he touched the rat, realizing it might be an important clue. He cannot remember if he did. They both realize if the virus is transmitted by contact; every vampire in Toronto is in danger. She tells Nick the virus binds to the vampire element in the blood. As she walks over to the autopsy table, he's mesmerized by her heartbeat and follows her. The more the vampire drinks, the faster the virus multiplies. He has not progressed as far or as fast because of his limited blood intake. Natalie nervously fingers her throat as she realizes what is going on, calling out his name. The progress he is made has saved him. He suddenly wraps his hand around the back of her neck, scaring her. She grabs his hand with hers, but does not struggle. A few seconds he releases her, and turns away from her saying he cannot. She puts her hand comfortingly on his back and tells him the blood will kill him. He asks if staying off it will save him. He learns that it will not, it will only slow it down and give him more time. His expression is sad and pleading. He asks what difference it makes, slow or fast, resigned to his fate. He comments it is nature's way of getting rid of vampires because it has had enough of them. Her expression grows less compassionate and angrier as she hears him giving up.

Nick flashes back to his confrontation with Gerald Archer in 1665. Nick's disgusted and tells Archer he never should have made him a vampire. The Holier-Than-Thou preacher asks what false medicine Archer has delivered hearing he has delivered none. He and his mob carry flaming torches. The Holier-Than-Thou preacher says Archer's false medicine goes against God and asks what sort of pact he made with the Devil since he's been going into the homes of the sick and is healthy. The Holier-Than-Thou preacher is healthy too, so did he make a pact with the Devil as well? Nick tells them it is no pact with the Devil to have medicines to survive. The Holier-Than-Thou preacher says only God should decide who lives and who dies. Only the righteous should live. The plague is killing the sinners while allowing the righteous to live. The Holier-Than-Thou priest shoves a cross in Archer's face, which repels Archer, who vamps out and grabs the priest. Nick escapes. Archer's set on fire by the Holier-Than-Thou preacher and watches him turn into vampire flambé as he is totally engulfed in flames, screaming as he dies. Nick watches from a distance than takes to the sky in self-preservation.

Nick snaps back to the present. He quietly tells her it is divine justice. She angrily tells him that God does not choose, and does not send sickness to punish the wicked and supernatural with death. She asks about Calvin and tells him she has lost too many of her good friends to AIDS, Cancer, Pneumonia. Nick tells her he does not know what God does because he turned his back on him too long ago. But the virus is doing Nature's work, it's killing vampires. She angrily asks him if it is the kind of mortality that he has been seeking, because it is killing him. He tells her it may be the only kind he is allowed, which only angers her further as she tells him to cut the crap. How can he not care if he dies, not thinking about how it makes her feel. He should explain it to people like Cal who would do or give anything to live a little longer.

Inside Vachon's church, he is in bed looking like a sick little boy. Tracy sits next to him, pulls a blood bag out of each outside jacket pocket, and offers them to him. He is no longer hungry. She tells him it is not fair. She knew there were disadvantages to getting involved with a vampire, but dying young was not supposed to be one of them. He playfully tells her that he is not actually young, if that is any comfort. She comments that they have not had a chance, for they have just met. He tells her he is usually the one left behind, and in five hundred years, he has buried a lot of mortal friends. She asks when it gets easier. He says he will let know when it does.

Nick enters the precinct and heads for his desk, trying to pretend nothing's wrong. Reese tells him Tracy took the day off to be with a sick friend, not really believing the excuse. Nick sags into his chair as Reese asks why no one has gone over the personnel records, checked alibis or brought Dan Garrett in for an interview. Nick's sitting there arms over his chest as if freezing, an angry/mean/leave me alone look on his face. Reese says he knows Nick has things on his mind, which is okay, as long as he stops neglecting the case.

LaCroix is broadcasting from his booth at the back of the Raven, looking out at the crowd. His monologue is about the young believing they are eternal while the middle-aged know they're not, and the old are prepared for death. How does one prepare for a premature death? He is still having trouble believing he is sick and Nick was right. He comments on how there is nothing harder than watching his children die, his people. How once they awoke they believed they would never have to fear death again, and now the impossible is happening. A dozen have died in one night, and others are dying. His tone's full of anger, frustration, sadness and denial. He says Death will not win. His people will survive. He is exhausted.

Inside Howsen Pharmaceuticals, Cal's studying a sample under the microscope and has Dan take a look as they both realize it doesn't work, even though Cal said it was. Cal tells Dan he thought it was, but it turns out he wasn't even on the drug. It only works in the test tube; HIV destroys it in the body. Cal tells Dan he's been a big idiot and is going home. Dan doesn't like this as it means he doesn't get his research grant, his job and is left to pick up mouse droppings, while Cal goes back to his nice job at Metro General. Dan killed Linda for nothing. Cal tries to leave, but Dan starts a physical fight with him. They destroy parts of the lab, creating toxic smoke and Dan accidentally winds up a human popsicle when Cal ands with his hand on the switch on the liquid nitrogen tank. Cal is upset when he realizes what has happened. Cal calls out to his friend as the alarm bells go off.

Nick drives up to the building and hears the alarms and Cal's shouts for help.

Inside the lab, Nick runs in as Cal is yelling for help, sees Dan's frozen body still leaning against the tank at an odd angle. Cal tells Nick they must leave because the room is full of poisonous gas. Dan tried to kill him. Dan killed Linda, they both did. Nick sees Cal is in no shape to walk to the door and helps support him.

Inside the interview room, Nick's questioning Cal. Cal says he thought Linda had truly found a cure, an anti-virus that protected the host by binding with the HIV. It worked in the test tube, but was overwhelmed by HIV in the body. Howsen Pharmaceuticals is a small time operation without a full-time patent lawyer and it would have taken ten years for her treatment to reach the market. He and a lot of others do not have ten years. He has the connections, a good lawyer and a good lab, and could have had it available nationwide in a year and a half to two years. Nick comments Cal had promised Dan a split of the money and credit if he stole it. Cal says it has nothing to do with money or credit. He just wanted people to live. Nick reminds him of the two deaths. He and others would do or pay anything for a cure.

Natalie and Reese watch from the observation room. She asks him if they have to press charges, and is reminded that Cal was involved in crime that resulted in a woman's death, which is murder. They cannot let it slide, but since he is cooperating and does not seem to be a flight risk, he will be released on his own recognizance. Reese comments that with the business of the courts, Cal might not live to see his trial, trying to reassure Natalie, but it has the opposite effect. Reese leaves and Nick enters. She comments the case is solved, but where does it leave them. Both are saddened by the reminder that both Cal and Nick are dying. He is also a little angry.

LaCroix angrily confronts Cal in Cal's living room about how he is one of Cal's damned. The harmless virus is killing his people, ones who can not say what they are, and can not turn to medicine for help. He asks Cal how many deaths will be on his conscience, possibly a entire race. It has brought his people to their knees. They die silently and invisibly. LaCroix is nose to nose with Cal as he grabs him, pulling him closer, telling Cal his people cry out for justice. He sinks his fangs into Cal's neck and drains him.

Natalie enters her lab, Nick behind her, carrying a lab cage containing lab rats, telling him she will be able to get a larger sample from them. It will give her a better look at what is happening. Nick sees LaCroix and asks what he is doing there. LaCroix is menacing and angry. He tells them that the good doctor might like to see the results of her false claim that modern medicine cannot fail, and that her admirable principals and beliefs have failed her. He uncovers the body on the table. She is horrified to see it is Cal, and he is dead. He tells her she cannot save anyone. She fights back her tears. Nick looks pretty bad, his physical and emotional pain shows, especially in his eyes. He's confused and asks what happened as LaCroix was sick, but no longer is. Nick tells them he refused to let Death take him. She accuses LaCroix of killing Cal and drinking his blood. He tells her he did, with pleasure, it was his reward for the plague Cal caused his people. Natalie realizes Cal was right. HIV overwhelms the virus in the blood. LaCroix follows her train of thought and comments the cure is also the killer, asking if she finds it as fascinating as he does. Her expression shows she is thinking what a monster LaCroix is. LaCroix comments that Cal's blood will save the Community.

Inside Vachon's church, Tracy is watching him sleep. He wakes and tells her he will not live to see another sunset. He turns down her offer to stay with him, telling her it will not be pretty. She reminds him of the story about how his maker went to join the sun. He comments he has always wondered what that would feel like. Vachon senses another vampire and insists Tracy leave. She kisses him on the lips, hearing Vachon thank her for trying. A healthy Nick comes out from the drapes he ducked behind as Tracy passed by. He shows Vachon a syringe partially filled with blood. Vachon looks like a little boy afraid to get a shot. Nick injects Vachon with the blood, curing him.

Nick and Natalie are at Cal's grave, and are planting a tree. Nick asks why she saved the Community. Her sadness shows as she tells him there are people who still believe AIDS is not worth curing, and those infected are not worth saving. Who is she to decide who lives and who dies. It is not her job.

Down by the shore of Lake Ontario, Vachon stomps the dirt down over Screed's grave, having fulfilled his promise to his friend. He sings the sea shanty Screed sang earlier as he takes a drink from the bottle. He comments he told Screed he would dance on his grave. He drinks a toast to his friend, saying he will see him in hell, calling him sailor.

Black Buddha Part 1 | Black Buddha Part 2 | Outside the Lines | Blackwing
Blind Faith | My Boyfriend is a Vampire | Hearts of Darkness | Trophy Girl
Let No Man Tear Asunder | Night in Question | Sons of Belial | Strings
Fever | Dead of Night | The Games Vampires Play | The Human Factor
Avenging Angel | Fallen Idol | Jane Doe | Francesca
Ashes to Ashes | Last Knight


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