2007-12-29: An Unexpected Trip

WARNING: contains Season 3 Material.

Starring:

Cass_icon.gif Mariska_icon.gif

Summary: An unexpected visitor brings Cass to a very unexpected location.

Date It Happened: December 29th, 2007

An Unexpected Trip


Bat Country Labs

Bat Country has seen it's own form of excitement lately, what with housing serial killers, attempting to solve a widespread virus, and well, lately just being open seems to bring excitement. While it'd be a lie to say that Cass wasn't expecting some craziness to happen, it would be just as big a lie to say she expected quite this much craziness. It's finally good to just be in the lab and not worry about life and death circumstances for now. Cleaning things up, putting things away, it's the little things she hasn't really been able to deal with since all the crazy stuff that she's finally getting done again.

Everything had been in the file — places of employment, hours of operation, home address, phone numbers, relatives, known associates, and personal habits of one Cassandra Madeline Aldric. Anything a potential kidnapper (and/or stalker) might need to know. Therefore, the woman now standing at the secured door that leads to the establishment known as the Bat Country Labs is well aware of the fact that her prospective prey is the only one inside and nearing the end of what might otherwise qualify as a typical day of not quite clandestine dealings in the scientific.

The buzzer on the intercom heralds the unexpected arrival of one last caller before the day is through.

The buzzer snaps Cass out of the cleaning reverie she had gotten herself into. It's just about time to head home, after all. Really, she should be packing up but she had a few things she just wanted to finish before putting everything away. The music on the radio (something with Nine Inch Nails?) is turned down as she runs a hand through her hair and slips on the pair of black rimmed frames she normally wears while other people are there. It's kind of like her Clark Kent disguise. Brushing down her lab coat from non-existent dust, she makes her way to the buzzer and pushes the button for two-way talk. "Bat Country Labs, may I help you?"

"I am looking for Cassandra Aldric," says the feminine voice on the other end of the intercom. While it may not be initially apparent, the mysterious stranger, swathed from head to toe in identity-obscuring winter garb, speaks with a somewhat familiar accent. Maybe.

There's a pause on the other end of the buzzer. Just being Cassandra Aldric has been enough to get her into trouble in the past, but the accent is enough that it jobs a bit of a memory for her. Not enough to place her, just enough to remind her that the woman sounds familiar. The identity obscuring garb is just enough to put her on the cautious side, but not enough to conceal who she is. "This is she. How may I help you?"

"I would like to speak with you for a moment…" Because, of course, a moment is all Mariska needs. "May I come in?" Because, of course, it's cold outside and though she may be possessed of Siberian blood that doesn't mean she relishes the opportunity to have it freeze in her veins.

"Um… suuure." There's certainly hesitation in her voice because, well, Cass doesn't know what to do in this case. The last time she let in a delivery guy, he was shot with a tranquilizer and she was nearly broken by thieves. This woman, though, doesn't seem as nervous as that guy was and really may just want to talk. "Just a second!" Deciding to play it safe, though, she lets go of the button and moves for a tranquilizing needle. This will, at least, give her some sort of control over the situation should the woman turn out to be a psycho wanting whatever it is psychos want from her lab. That accomplished, she slips it right into the pocket of her lab coat and unlocks the door for Mariska.

Nervous? No. Not even a little bit, even despite the apparent shivering as she steps into the building from out of the weather and begins to shake off the errant flakes of snow speckling her fur cap and the shoulders of her heavy wool coat. "Thank you," she says with a smile, lifting her pale and squinting eyes up to look at the young woman and offer her a measure of consideration that might even be considered kindness. Mariska pauses for a long moment before gambling on a long shot wagered question: "Do you… remember me?"

As Cass closes the door behind Mariska - quickly just in case there are other wanting in behind her - she doesn't see her take off her hood until after she turns around. "You're welcome." Then, at the question, she blinks and tilts her head slightly, staring at Mariska. The woman does look familiar, but it's hard to place her. The accent, the face…it's starting to come together but it takes her longer than she really would like. Finally, it hits her. The woman from the store. "I do! I'm sorry, I've been so… Did you ever find your little girl?" She's had the fliers up in the store for weeks. She makes sure they're still there when she manages to visit Enlightenment those few times she can these days.

"Almost." And, that's almost the truth, too. After a guarded moment of steeling herself to what she's about to do, Mariska extends a hand toward the other woman as if to seek a shake in salutation and she says, "I know someone who needs your help."

"Almost?" That's the kind of answer that Cass has to answer with another question. Because that's not really what she was expecting. Normally it's a yes or no question to that. "What do you mean?" When she extends her hand to shake, Cass takes it to shake again. Confused and now a little worried about whoever may need help, she adds "Someone needs my help? Who?"

The camera pushes in for a close up so as to focus entirely on the moment when Cassandra's feminine hand greets Mariska's gloved one. It comes complete with a punctuating KRAK!! and when the camera pulls out and the shot widens to reveal the scenery, it's more than just a little bit obvious that they're not in Bat Country anymore. The Russian relocator doesn't say a word… nor does she stick around. Cass is left to stumble and recover from the overwhelming vertigo of her teleportation, (seemingly) alone on a concrete walkway in the middle of a frozen garden that leads up to a rather large and substantially impressive building.

Welcome to Fort Lee, New Jersey. Welcome to Pinehearst.

So, maybe Cass should have expected this. Or something similar. Maybe not a sudden teleport to somewhere else, but some sort of mystery play. That doesn't make the sudden strangeness and vertigo go away easily. There's no time to stick Mariska with the tranquilizer, nor does it look like there is anyone else there that she can take out her frustration about finding herself somewhere totally different. Stumbling backwards a few steps, she whirls around one way and the other, the gravel off the sidewalk almost making her tumble. Oh God, where is she. Suddenly, her lab coat is certainly not warm enough for the cold December weather and she wraps it protectively around herself, one hand in her pocket and wrapped decisively around that tranquilizer.

Near a beautiful arrangement of flowers in the center of the walkway, the older man few have come to known as Linderman stands admiring the wonderful bouquet. He brings a hand up to touch the petals of one, gently, a small smile spreading across his lips as he does so. The beauty of flowers is truly compelling.

At the sound of teleportation, Linderman turns in that direction and offers Cassandra a smile. "Ah, Miss Aldric," he says in that crisp British accent, extending his hands out to either side in a gesture of welcome. "Come in, come in," he continues, stepping to the side and motioning towards the door. "Let's get you out of this cold."

CONTINUED...

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