2007-09-03: A Time To Wake And A Time To Sleep


Cass_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif Jessica_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif

Summary: Cass and Ramon are trapped in a small room with Jessica. Hijinx ensue? Along with, oh, violence and the quandary of moral greyness.

Date It Happened: September 3rd, 2007

A Time To Wake And A Time To Sleep

Bat Country Labs, Seville Medical

Brooklyn, New York City

The mental struggle that goes on between Ramon and Jessica is one that Cass can only watch from the outside. The switching from Niki to Jessica was confusing enough, as was the warning that the two were given. Already on her guard, she quickly uncaps the needle. When Ramon doesn't answer her and she sees that Jessica is starting to break free, the lab head quickly drops the notebook and pen and lunges forward to try and inject the woman before she can get both hands free. Handcuffs? What was she thinking? Then again, she doubts anything could stop Jessica if she really wanted out.

Ramon has a direct solution. There's Cass trying to inject her in the arm—he'll just drop all this telepathy b.s. and deal with a threat the good old Mexican way. That is to say, he looks grimly regretful as he pulls back a fist and attempts to deck Jessica the Psycho right in the face.

On her feet in no time flat, Jessica comes within a couple of inches of being stabbed with the tranquilizer - but she has no trouble grabbing Cass's wrist to stop that from happening. Not so fast, missy. Ramon's onslaught is derailed like a stray thought; he comes at her, she gives a violent shove at his chest. She tugs fast and hard on that wrist of the other woman's she has in her deadly grip, spinning Cass around and thrusting her towards the ground. Instead of bolting for the door or, say, massacring the both of them (the more likely scenario), however… she just stands there, feet firmly planted to the ground, handcuffs dangling.

The attempt to get Jessica tranquilized, well, that doesn't exactly work quite as planned. As soon as she's grabbed in the vice like grip of Jessica, Cass attempts to pull away, however there's not much she can do. Not the strongest against people with regular strength, she's not going to have a better time against the superhuman variety. Almost easily spun and tossed to the ground, the book store owner's breath is knocked out of her and she immediately curls up into a sort of protective ball. Hands still gripping onto the needle, she needs a moment before she can fight back. "…Niki…" she gasps.

Ramon sort of flies back to slam into the wall. He didn't do nice things to his back during a fool battle over Man Points with Lachlan and now it's even worse. He lets out a cry of pain and sort of sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiides down to the wall like a piece of melted butter. Having proved in his last showdown that it seems to take a good long while for his awesome to warm up, the trend continues with this unimpressive display. He holds his head for a moment, taking the action 'be dazed and try to figure out which way is up' this round.

You know when you think you left the burner on at home? That sort of wavering confusion is stuck on Jessica's face as she momentarily ignores (so it would seem) the fallen persons around her, drawn inward, instead. And so it is, the three of them are at a standstill, each dazed. But the struggle passes in seconds, and clueing back into her surroundings in the small room of the lab, Jessica looks from Cass to Ramon, coldly calculating. "Eeenie meenie…" It's the latter she strides for, succinct, purposeful footsteps taking her to the wall he's slumped against. She reaches down and gathers the material at the front of his handsome suit with the intent to haul him up the wall with it. The woman's eyes flicker, sharp and cool as ice.

Hearing the footsteps walk away from her, Cass uncurls slightly, trying to catch her breath again. Slowly, trying to pace herself, she pushes her upper body into a leaning on her hands/sitting position. Wrapping the arm not holding the needle around her aching ribs, she slides a bit in the direction of Ramon and Jessica. That's going to take too long. Using the broken chair, she pulls herself up to a slumped standing position. Using the small room to her advantage, she doesn't so much lunge forward this time as quickly take the few steps needed to close the distance and stab. She's hoping that the distraction with Ramon will help her get to the target this time.

Up Ramon goes, up the wall. He tries to focus, his eyes blurring as he stares at Jessica. He struggles to figure out where Niki is in all of this, because it's her he wants to address. His head is ringing, telepathy is out, but he rasps, "Own your own mind, Niki. Jessica is dead. She did not merge with you, this is not some mystic thing. This is you being unable to accept your own anger and some genetic trick manifesting it as a person." He looks straight into her eyes. "Don't use the excuse. Don't panic. Don't be afraid. Just take control of your own body." He's struggling to stay calm which…is quite a trick, because he's actually rather afraid this woman is going to snap his neck like he's a rag doll and end his life.

What does Ramon get for his well-meaning attempt to pry out Niki? Another shove against the wall a bit harder and Jessica's hand sliding up to his throat to pin him from there. How do you like that? "I don't care how much you raped our minds. Searching," she says, her voice mocking and harsh. Every second that ticks by, she's canting her head back further to keep her eyes on Ramon's - because he's going further and further up the wall. "You think you understand? You don't know. What we are. What she is." That look in her eye? It says Jessica is going to enjoy ripping the man's trachea out five seconds from now. Cue: Cass. Unfortunately (for Cass), it's not so cut-and-dry. The woman's unsteady approach catches her off-guard, she's so focused on Ramon; however, the needle's aim is slightly off the mark. It all happens so fast. Ramon is dropped unceremoniously and Jessica whirls around to face Cass and end her for being repeatedly in the way.

She never does.

Niki stares, wide-eyed and horrified, at her friend. Her hands clutch nothing but the air, frozen, as if she doesn't know what they've done — when she does, all too well. "Give it to me," comes a voice unlike the voice that was just accosting Ramon; it's higher-pitched and desperate, but maybe, just maybe, nearly as demanding. She reaches out for the tranquilizer in Cass's grasp, fumbling hurriedly, trying to steal it away. "This was a bad idea, I never should have let you be in a room alone with her, I'm sorry— give me the tranquilizer!"

Desperate, trying to make sure that Jessica doesn't do to Ramon what she did to Peter - especially since Ramon can't come back from that sort of thing - Cass stabs. But, of course, she misses. This is just that sort of day. At least Ramon is dropped and when Jessica wheels around on her, the bookstore owner stumbles backwards. That's about the best defense she has at the moment. Staring in both fear and confusion at the hand grasping at the air, the woman quickly looks back up at Niki. At Niki. Unsure of what to do, the woman allows Niki to take the tranquilizer. She's too stunned and too busy looking over to make sure that Ramon is none the worse for wear at the moment. "No, wait, Niki, it's fine. We're fine." She's unsure of whether Jessica is going to come back, if this is a momentary sort of relapse or not, but she doesn't care so much. "We'll figure something out."

"Risks are risks," Ramon rasps, seeming actually really not that ruffled for all he nearly got his neck snapped. "We're alive. I didn't expect us to come to a solution all in one session." He knows he /doesn't/ get it at all, he was only guessing to try to make Niki get back in her own driver's seat. "The thing is, she wants you to get frustrated and never try anything else. So. Don't."

Niki listens to Cass and Ramon, slowly inching off to her right - away, away. She's too close. It's not safe. "You— you might not be alive— for much longer, if I can't control her," she says very insistently, fighting to keep her voice even and calm like a sane person. Complete fail. This session has taken a lot out of her, and Ramon's reassurances, telepathic or otherwise… might not be enough, today. "Whatever you tried to do… inside my head — I didn't know that was gonna happen. I should have. It's my fault." She backpedals until she bumps lightly into a wall and squeezes her eyes shut, clenching her hands into fists, one around the tranq. She's reeling, but there's a look of determination on the woman's face. They're gonna have to figure out something later — because Niki isn't taking any chances. Taking in a sudden gasp of air between breaths that are already quick, with a stifled "unh!" she plunges the needle into her upper arm.

"It's not your fault, Niki." Cass keeps her hands up in the non-hostile manner. She means no harm, she will not take the tranq away. "We knew the risks when we stepped in here." Keeping her voice calm, trying to remain reassuring, she doesn't know what she can do. And whatever it is, it's already too late as Niki plunges the tranq into her arm. Quickly stepping forward, she moves to put an arm around Niki and gently lower her to the floor. Of course, she's not that strong and is already hurting from their brush with Jessica today, so it's more of a quick sit down than a gentle anything. Looking over at Ramon, she's a little lost at the moment. What do they do now?

Ramon considers this question very seriously. Then he gets one of those fire blankets that is kept in labs everywhere and tucks it around Niki like it's a real blanket. "Well," he rasps ruefully, sitting down on the floor with his back to the wall and his arms slung over his knees. "As my kids would say, that fucking sucked. Other than to put her in some sort of highly reinforced cage thing and stick her on a regimen where I yank Jessica out and make her shove Jessica back repeatedly till she can do it every time on demand without fail, I don't know what the hell to do about her."

Once Ramon tucks the blanket around Niki, Cass stands up. "That I will agree with you on." As for it sucking. Frowning, she looks down at the sedated Niki and sighs. Running a hand through her hair, she looks over at Ramon. "I don't know if she'd be up for that. This already took a lot out of her. But I can't decide for her. Not to mention the fact that I don't know who she's going to wake up as when she wakes up." That could a problem. "I'm fine with keeping her here, but she's got a kid." And this is not exactly how she wants to bring a mother home to her son. Not to mention the fact that she's not about to let Jessica loose on a little boy. "I don't know what to do, Ramon. I mean, there's pills that people take for multiple personality disorders but…I don't think that's just what this is. This is something different."

"I need to practice…whatever skill it is that lets me mess with a person's head and make them do things," Ramon says grimly. "And I don't know how to do that without hurting other people." He pauses, his eyes going grimmer. O irony. "Unless we ask Ali to help. Because whatever I do to a willing-to-help subject, she can undo. We're the natural antithesis of one another's powers.'

There's a frown. "Well, I did tell Ali that I would help her with her ability." Cass' eyes don't leave Niki for awhile. It's half 'don't take your eyes off a sleeping predator' and half 'want to make sure she's okay'. "We could do a session with the two of you together. Kill two birds with one stone." Help two people with their abilities at once. "It's what this place is here for. Even if I have some reservations about helping people destroy free will. Since I started this whole thing up to give people a choice." A wry smile and finally, she does look over at Ramon. "But this is to help people." Like Niki.

"I would never," Ramon says, a little fiercer than he means, "use that on an innocent. But I would use it, Cass, to stop an Evolved killer without ever having to kill again." He looks up, single eye pleading. "We can't jail them, but if I perfect this…maybe…we're going to encounter them again. And again and again. And some, like the young lady here, it would be four times as abhorrent to kill them."

"I know you wouldn't." Cass meets Ramon's eye with her own, tone a tad defensive to match Ramon's fiercer tone. "Just…in general, you know? There's the horrible grey area I keep slogging into the middle of. I don't want to turn into the people I made this place to fight against. It makes me wonder, what was their turning point? I can't imagine they started out the way they are now. What happened that made them this way?" She sighs and looks back down at Niki. It's impossible to stop herself from returning her gaze there. "Of course I'll help you. I trust you."

"I don't know," Ramon admits softly. "I don't even know where my own lines are. I rely on the women in my life to help me know, you included. So if I am turning into a raging self-righteous facist asshole…kick my ass."

"Me neither." Cass shrugs and wraps her arms about herself. "They keep changing every day." Because they have to do things like drug Niki and talk about training friends in how to mind control people. She gives a short laugh. "I can't imagine that ever happening to you. But, it's a deal. Only if you promise to kick my ass if I turn into a morally grey mad scientist willing to sacrifice others for the 'greater good'." The world has enough of those.

"Deal," Ramon says, holding out his hand and smirking as he stands up. "So. I have no idea where to put her. Got a bed? Got giant burly orderlies? Got milk?" Well he had to attach got milk. He just had to.

The short laugh from before turns into a louder one. "Yeah. I've got a cot in the other room. However, not so much on the giant burly orderlies." Cass looks over to Ramon and then to Niki. "Between the two of us, I think we should be able to move her."

Ramon hesitates. His back is killing him. He's in /horrible/ headpain. He feels //old.

But if she can do it he can do it. He grunts and goes for Niki's feet. This…may not end well. If Cass is observant, she'll see the way he's moving. If she's in the know, she knows alllll about the Mancastle Affair.

Grabbing her shoulders and arms, Cass gets the other side. Really, she'd like to be able to let Ramon off the hook with dragging Niki to a bed, but there's no one else she can get to help out with. With a bit of a struggle, the two should manage to get Niki to the cot and toss a blanket over her to make it a bit more comfortable. She may know about the Mancastle Affair, but she's lady enough to not bring it up. Yet.

Ramon finishes and tries very hard not to groan. Everything is now /screaming in pain/ and he's too proud to ask for 900 miligrams of something very happy-making to cover it. "There," he mutters, closing his eye. AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH OW.

"I've got advil." Cass gives Ramon an apologetic look. Because that looked like it kind of hurt. And even if Ramon is trying not to groan, well, she can sort of tell. "Thank you for the help."

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