2010-03-21: Being Nicer and Going Viral

Starring:

Cody_V4icon.png Erin_V4icon.png

Date: March 21, 2010

Summary:

Erin talks to Cody about being nicer, and also thinks Cody has a nice liver.


"Being Nicer and Going Viral"

SECRET APARTMENT… IN SPACE!

Erin never really came up with a mantra - besides 'Don't give her SARS,' and that's really not a very good one for meditation. So she just talks, kind of like she did while she was in Building 27. Reciting lines has always had a way of calming her, especially because it takes no brainpower to do some of the scenes. It's too quiet to make out any of the words, but it's clear that she's at least adopted something.

In the exercise room, she's leaning back against a wall, legs crossed, with her arms resting on her knees. It's comfortable enough, and with the mat under her, her back doesn't hurt, either.

It's never really worked how she expected it to. There's no out-of-body experience that she sees in movies. It's calming, but Erin doesn't think she's quite achieved what meditation is meant to achieve, and that bothers her. It's partially out of impatience, and partially because she can't help feeling she's doing something wrong.

—-

Cody's been gone all day. From the moment the sun peeked over the horizon until exactly 3 seconds ago when the elevator from the basement shudders to a stop and the grate is pulled away to reveal something quite black and rather grotesque.

The poor white carpet. Now it has black greasy footprints.

The footprints don't worry the woman in the least, they've got the world happiest would be homemaker living under the roof so she's quite sure that something can be done about them. If not, she'll find a way to replace the carpet when this is finally all over.

As the agent passes by the exercise room, she thinks she might be hearing a voice, so she pauses and peeks in. Her brow furrows ever so slightly as she tries to deceide whether or not to interrupt the soap star, then she steps inside. "I got the wagon to start."

—-

Everyone's power has a good and a bad side, right? Hers does. She can heal people and hurt people. Drive them insane or bring them comfort. But those are two extremes. What about the neutral area between those? The harmless area that does nothing, just like she was telling Tracy about Stan's power? Maybe the kid can do amazingly destructive things, or maybe he can change the world in a wonderful way… But right now, his power is nothing. Neutral. Harmless.

It has its uses.

And then, Cody.

One eye opens, then the other. Her neck cracks loudly as she bends it to one side. "Yeah?" Then, "Holy crap, you're a mess. What'd you do, go for a swim in the engine? Hey, c'mere for a moment. Tell me what I'm doin' wrong." Apparently, Erin's not much concerned about the decor, either. Hey, it's not really hers, right? Pyle can deal with it, along with the broken mirror and such!

—-

Looking down at herself, the agent shrugs and then steps a little further into the room. "Not so much took a swim in as actually got showered in it. I didn't think Volkswagons had this much oil and grease in them. But whatever, it gives me something to do… away from the rest of them."

The black face is tilted and one very thick greasy eyebrow is twitched upward. "What do you mean what are you doing wrong?" There's a dubious tone in her voice as she sits down on the mat across from Erin, of course in lotus. There's a few bits of greasy sawdust that falls to the floor as she does so, eventually they'll be cleaned up.

—-

"There should be more to it, right?" Erin closes her eyes again. "I mean, what am I trying to do? Just… calm my nerves or something? I feel like there should be more." Clearly, the path to enlightenment is pushing the envelope! Forcing God's hand! Overworking herself!

There's a smile on her face, though… Just a little grin. "Speaking of, Tracy found me," she says. "I told her she should take Stan with her. Least likely to squeal, and it gives one of the others a bit more space. Besides, he'll be with kids over there. She'll be back for him later." Erin still thinks they're all ungrateful, but what can they do? They wanted to rescue people, and that's what they're doing.

—-

"Yeah, she found me too… hence the spill." Cody's not above blaming someone who isn't there to defend herself for the mehcanical failure. Besides, it's likely that Tracy would just give an indifferent smile and take the comedic credit.

To the matter at hand though, Cody places her hands on her knees and shrugs, "You're not relaxing? I mean, you seem a lot better than when we first started. I never promised that you'd learn to float or anything, I think you'd have to be evolved to something a lot different to actually do that." The agent takes a deep breath and closes her eyes, moving her hands behind her. Then all of a sudden, her body lifts from the floor.

—-

Erin chuckles. Tracy has a way of surprising people, though Erin doesn't further comment on that. Her eyes open again to watch Cody, and she's about to comment on the fact that she's not looking to float. That's physically impossible, unless you happen to be able to fly - and Erin can't. That's when Cody actually floats!

At first, Erin is stunned. Then she wonders if it's Cody's hair that's doing, it, then she realises … "You're just balancing on your hands," Erin says, almost disappointed. For a second, she was actually hoping that floating was possible. "I mean…" She shakes her head, closing her eyes. She starts to mumble lines again, thoughts drifting back to her previous internal monologue. Harmless… Huh.

Can viruses be harmless?

—-

With a little chuckle, Cody lowers herself to the floor and puts her hands on her knees again. "Gotcha." She says with a small semblance of a laugh. Then playtime is over. Her lips straighten to a thin line as she looks out of the room and wrinkle her nose a little. "I wish I could get rid of more of them… but I honestly don't want them to go unless I know for sure that we'd be safe. Who knows which one of them would sell the rest of us out to save their own skin, right?"

Turning back to Erin, she shrugs somewhat and lets loose a sigh. "I'm just feeling stalled. Before we brought them here, we were doing fine. I mean, I didn't have the constant reminder that I'm such a jackass all the time. But seriously, even if I hadn't been in on the captures, they'd have been done anyway. Every one of those people were marked."

—-

"Well, I'm not the one who's gonna tell you to trust people," Erin says. In fact, Erin is the least likely person to trust anyone! …almost "It'd be nice it it was quieter around here again." Sure, she was the one who woke up the whole place with her screaming when she broke her nose, and Cody and Erin were the ones playing with an airhorn, but besides that…

"So what, things were better for them 'cuz it was you who captured them?" Erin asks. "More humane?"

Even with her eyes closed, she can still sense Cody there. Maybe it's her voice bouncing back at her… Maybe it's something more.

"I know what you were tryin' to do. And you had to play the part. Still, that's hard for even me to accept. So…" She pauses again, centering in on that feeling that she can sense Cody in front of her, even if she can't see the other woman.

And then, she realises. harmless.

Creating a shell of a virus is easy. It has just enough RNA to multiply. She pushes it outward, can see it as a blue 'halo' in her mind. Since all this started, Erin's been able to sense them, see them, and now… "Oh my god. Oh my god, this is amazing. Uh… Make a— A number. Hold up some fingers behind your back. Something."

—-

There's a dubious look on the face of the former AP agent as Erin systematically derationalizes every point that Cody had made. "Maybe not better, but at least I noticed them. Do you think anyone else in that place gave a shit whether they were being fed, or how they were treated?" Well there were a few, but most of them are dead now, if not all of them.

"I did what I had to do to get in, I'm not making any apologies for that. What would have happened if I'd never gone in? Huh?" The aggrivation is beginning to cause a few stray hairs to drop from her head. Something that Cody doesn't like to deal with now that there's a full house of people. "If I'd never gone in, they would have still been caught. They'd probably be transferred to Theta and then to Zeta or Kappa… or both."

her eyebrows twitch together as Erin switches the topic again and with a small shake of her head, the grease monkey puts an arm behind her back and holds four fingers flat against it. "Okay, done."

—-

Erin's eyes are still closed as — Well, this is still an inexact science. She can find Cody with the thin layer of viruses, but finding her hand… That's difficult.

"No, you're right," Erin mutters. "I'm just saying, maybe if they got to know you like I have, things would be a little easier. I mean, if they only know you as a jackass, how d'you think they're gonna react to you?" It's just idle conversation. Do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do. "Don't apologise. I mean, hell, you never apologised to me. Then again, I did try to kill you, so…"

There.

"Four," Erin says, opening her eyes, smiling triumphantly. "Again."

—-

"I'm not." Cody emits stubbornly, "It's just… ugh… They made it too easy, you know? Maybe if they'd hidden better, or at least tried to hide. But they didn't." Parkman did, kind of. Man he had bad hair that day. Then with a small sigh, she just gives in. "Fine, I'll be nicer but if any of them get suspicious, I'm blaming it all on you."

As long as they don't mess up the place she keeps her food.

Or mess up her food.

The agent tucks two fingers into her palm and takes a breath. "Okay, done." This time, she doesn't wait for Erin to actually get the answer. She flicks her fingers between two and three, see if she can clairvoyant her way through that one.

—-

Erin arches her eyebrows at Cody. "Gee. Thanks," she says. Erin was also too easy to find. She didn't even try to hide. "The way I see it, though, I mean… Who the hell knows the danger 'til it happens? Yeah, I was stupid. They came after me once, and I got away that time. I shoulda been more careful. I'm stubborn. And who wants to live their lives in hiding? Why should anyone expect that who they are… Makes them bad?"

Cody might think they made it too easy, but… Erin's looking at it from a different perspective.

It's mostly 'cuz she likes to be Devil's Advocate. Really, she's just as sick of their houseguests as Cody is. "And, I mean, apparently Cora didn't even know she had a power. Dumbass looked it up on the Internet. No wonder she was caught."

There's a pause as Erin refocuses. "Two. Three. Two— Stop that." Erin scowls, but the scowl vanishes a second later as she closes her eyes again. She can't quite extend the viruses to get a clear picture, but if she just— "Hnn. Hah. Hah, hah, I can see your liver."

—-

"I dunno, it's not that bad." Cody says in regards to being completely anonymous. "I mean, I've never had roots or anything. At least not until now…" Though they've only been together not even a month, the agent's life has changed quite drastically. She has a place she considers home, and a couple of real friends.

"So, about Cora… I'm kind of worried that she's going to get stupid again. So I bagged her before I took her away. At least when she does get caught again she won't be able to tell them where we are." There's a small pause as Cody stops moving her fingers and places them at two. Her eyes flit from side to side as she runs through a bunch of scenarios in her mind. "We need to get rid of everyone except Lambert, Ghallager, and Parkman. I think I can build us a pretty secure system with a little bit of help, that way if any of the Protocols ever get close, we can get away."

—-

Erin seems to gravitate toward people who are a lot like her. Tracy - aloof and distant. Beth - a rising starlet with a pain-in-the-ass mother. Cody - with only a couple real friends. Like attracts like, one would suppose. She's not sure where Taine fits into the equation, but she does love him… And misses him a lot.

"You think Cora will? She was so quiet. I mean, I was even nice to her and stuff."

LIES. LIES!!!

"Offered her food and everything. She didn't want to look at me, though. Well. 'cept when I showed off my awesome scar." Erin holds up her arm. She's acquiring quite a feww battle trophies lately. Speaking of… "Hope you don't mind. I told Tracy you hit me in the face with a stick. Sounded cooler than what really happened— And hey, you know, I'm having a moment here, and you're talkin' about security? Your brain must be fried or something." There's a beat, then, "Yeah, it is. I can tell. I can see it. Did you know you're missing half?"

Both eyes open again. "Ahem. So. Security," she says, almost sheepishly.

—-

"My brain's not fried, Erin. I'm worried that Alpha's going to come down hard on this place and I won't be able to protect you. Everyone we bring here is a risk, someone more I have to protect." Cody pauses for a moment before taking a deep breath and letting it out. Somewhere in there that deep puff of air was supposed to be cleansing. "They can't do it themselves, obviously, they were captured once." In Parkman's case twice, even with his extra sensory perception, he was still vulnerable. Probably because he's a nice guy.

"Anyway…" She stops, opens her eyes, and looks hard at Erin for a moment. "Missing half of my what? Liver? I'd better not be, I mean there was that time in Mexico when I woke up in a tub of ice with a note telling me to seek medical attention, but I thought that was just a joke. You know?"

—-

"I just discovered something neat about this stupid thing I can do. Lemme enjoy it," Erin says, still smiling. She's getting a little tired, though. New things always wear her out. The unstable virus dissipates into harmless bits and pieces inside Cody's brain. "Huh. Bet I could track people with this, if I got good enough at it. I dunno how far it'll go, though…"

She stretches, moving into a kneel from her cross-legged meditation stance. "Think you can train 'em all?" Erin asks. "If you can train me, you can probably at least teach them how to protect themselves. And us."

Standing, Erin stretches again, walking over to the window, and parting the blinds to look out. "Your brain. Half your brain." Before that can go too far, she adds, "That was a joke, too."

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