Chapter 5

Bell sat on the edge of the roof of the hospital as she tried to take everything in. A person was dead and she knew it was deliberate. What she didn't know if this person was the intended target, or just an innocent bystander. What made this worse was there were other people dying and she had no clue what was killing them. Just then House enters through the doorway and stands next to her.

"How'd you know I'd be here?" Bell knew the answer, but wanted to hear it from him. She loved talking to her brother. Even if it was about ridiculous things, each time they talked they got to know each other better.

"I do the same thing to think. Of course New Jersey has a better view." House said as he looked out over the city as he spotted the el train driving through the city. He never really liked the sound of the city, which is why he moved his family to the suburbs of Princeton

"Yeah well, I can see the river from here and that suits me just fine." Bell had to take in a breath, she didn't know what was going on and that frustrated the hell out of her. House could tell. He always had that same look on his face. "I hate not knowing the answer, Greg. It's right there in front of me and I just can't see it."

"Have you ever notice that the more frustrated a person becomes in finding something, the harder it is to actually find it?" Bell looked at House like he was crazy and then looks back at the river. "You need to stand back and look at the bigger picture; right now you're treating the symptoms without knowing the underlining cause."

"Yeah well, right now, it's all I can do at the moment. I have Masters and Prichard running test for toxins and poisons. This was deliberate, one of these people was an intended target and the rest are just collateral damage to cover the bases." Bell jumps down off the ledge and stands to lean on the wall next to House. "What if we get a better history, I mean if we knew which one was the intended target…" House cut her off.

"You really think that would make a difference?" House knew that it might not, but he wasn't getting to know his sister a little better and there was some things he might not ever understand about her.

"If we know who's being poisoned, we would know who did it, and we would have a better chance at figuring out what the hell they were being poisoned with." She knew it was hopeless, but at this point she was desperate. She was about to speak again when Cameron opened the door and stepped out on the roof.

"Hey we have a problem." Both House and Bell waited for Cameron to continue. "The investigator here from the medical examiner's office and he wants to talk to you, Jenn." Cameron looked at them. They both were wearing the dame facial expression as Bell pushed herself off the wall and headed towards the door. House took a moment longer to get off the wall and followed Bell and Cameron inside.

Bell, House and Cameron entered the room to deal with the M.E. investigator that was in the main conference room. Nick Wells was an investigator for the Chicago's medical examiner's office for the last three years. Bell has dealt with him before when she was working in the ER. He always had questions for her about certain patients that ended up on the ME's table. "Hello, Jen. It's been a while." Wells spoke with a smirk on his face. Bell hated that smirk, she wanted to smack that smirk off his face.

"What do you want, Nick. I don't have all day. I've have patents that are still breathing that I have to deal with." Wells walks up to her and hands her four other case files that he had in his hand. Bell, along with Cameron, House, and Chase, who had just entered the room, was confused as to what he just handed her. "What is this, Nick?

"Those are four other patients that have died in the last two weeks under the same unusual circumstances. This is a lot bigger than you think." Wells stands back as he lets the group read through the files. Bell closes her eyes briefly in a silent plea, almost praying that this was a dream. She knew it was a lost cause, as did everyone else in the room.

"Biological warfare?" Cameron was the first to speak, she knew it was on everyone else's mind, but she was the only one who dared to say it out loud. "I mean, that's what the ME's office is thinking right? Otherwise you wouldn't be here." House went to sit down in a chair on the other side o f the room.

"Well, that's just great. Now this really is an epidemic. You think this will get me out of that speech at the conference?" He was trying to ease the tension in the room, which wasn't really working at the moment. "Too soon?" It was another failed attempt.

Wells continued. "As far as we know we still haven't found a connection between all of the victims. And we're still working the toxicology reports but that'll take a while since we don't know what we're looking for." At that moment both Prichard and Masters rush into the room. Both out of breath and with huge smiles on their faces. Masters was the first to catch her breath.

"Sodium Nitrite. They all tested positive for it. Explains everything." Masters was quite proud of herself at that moment. Actually, she was proud of both herself and Prichard. The two of them had worked through the night through a list of possible poisonings that they had come up with on the DDX the night before.

Bell turns to look at Wells, "Don't feel bad, I have a genius working for me. But you might want to have your people to test for that ASAP. Now all we have to do is treat the rest for Sodium Nitrite Poisoning and figure out where the source is."

Both House and Chase looked at Bell, both thinking the same thing and voicing it the same time. "What the point?" Cameron looked towards them as did Bell as House continued to speak. "You have the answer, what else do you need?"

"We still have to find the source if the victims have a common area then this is accidental, but if they have a common person this is deliberate." Wells stated as he sat down with Bell's current case load. "These patients will be fine, but if we can't find the cause there is going to be a lot more sick people. And if I'm not mistaken, Dr House, you frown upon that." Wells smirked in House's direction. House just stared at him. Chase grabbed a bag of chips out of House's bag and started eating them. Bell looked back at the two of them.

"Looks like you were right, Greg. This is an epidemic, just not typhoid. We have three weeks of personal history as well as the medical thanks to Masters. We need to start treatment on the surviving patients, get the background information on the fatalities. We need to know where they were and when. If we don't, all hell is going to break loose."