|Dates run:||February 6, 2005 - March 6, 2005|
|Read the logs:||Infectia|
"...all this mess... over a girl? That's it, I'm never dating. Ever."
It's the cooties that'll kill you, every time - Hank nearly loses his intellect and his life when a date goes disastrously awry.
It all began when Hank met Erica, an attractive woman geneticist, at a medical conference. They clicked and went out on a date. However, things did not end well when at the end of the evening, the woman kissed Hank and reacted with disappointment and revulsion. Hank, believing she was disgusted by his mutation, took the incident badly and attempted to drink himself into a stupor. He was interrupted by Madelyn, who put him to bed. The nausea and headache the next day were considered part of the inevitable hangover. Shortly after the disastrous date, Hank went to Alaska on a rescue mission. He encountered a Mistra agent whose power was to emit neural blasts and was hit twice. It seemed to effect his ability to concentrate, but whatever effects appeared short-lived.
Over the next few weeks, however, Hank began having problems. His judgement became impaired, causing him to mishandle the situation involving Amanda's use of her magic to summon Jay's dead lover Kevin Cabot from the dead, and he began making mistakes. Small ones at first, but when a routine check up of Haroun's cybernetics came back gibberish, Madelyn became concerned. Tests revealed that Hank's DNA was re-writing itself, exhibiting in blockages of the neural pathways in his brain. Simply put, Hank was losing the ability to access particular brain functions. And the condition was particularly aggressive - at its rate of deterioration, Hank would lose the ability to coherently think within a month.
Moira MacTaggart was summoned back from Muir Island to assist in finding a cure for what was thought to be some kind of viral infection, but medical research yielded nothing and Hank continued to grow worse, his condition particularly distressing to the more intellectual students to whom he acted as mentor. The neural blasts were discounted as a cause, despite the fact his condition appeared to start after that mission. When the mansion was attacked by the Reavers, Hank suffered another degree of deterioration, related to the combat he engaged in to rescue Madelyn. Things looked bleak.
It was during a conversation with Catseye that Madelyn realised that perhaps they were going about things the wrong way. She decided to talk to Hank's mysterious date on the off-chance there was something that had happened that night. Her investigations reached a dead end, however, when it became clear the woman was not who she had claimed to be. Taking her pride in her hands, Madelyn sought the less-than-legal assistance of Remy LeBeau, Between them they tracked the woman down, only to discover she was a mutant, whose ability was to render ordinary humans into mindless golem creatures she called Anti-Bodies, by means of kissing them. This process was short-term, as the victims' cellular structure broke down over time and rendered the person into dust and goo. Her intent had been to do the same to Hank, only her power didn't work on him the way she'd intended, hence her disappointed reaction after they'd kissed.
Remy engaged the Anti-Body that was guarding the woman - who thought of herself as Infectia - whilst Madelyn prevented her escape. After a struggle, Remy was able to defeat the Anti-Body, which had been the bell-hop of the last hotel Infectia had stayed at. Madelyn then left the room as Remy threatened to torture Infectia until she agreed to reverse what she had done to Hank. She was brought back to the mansion and cured Hank, before being turned over to Fred Duncan in relation to a number of unsolved deaths. She was tried and imprisoned.
Trivia and Meta
During the course of his illness, Hank realised he had romantic feelings for Madelyn, an ill-kept secret at best.
Remy's dislike of Madelyn was increased by the fact she had pushed him to allow Gambit to resurface in order to get what they needed.
The villain of this plot was based on the comic canon Infectia