2010-02-21: Cheating Death

Starring:

Erin_V4icon.pngJanet_V4icon.png

Date: February 21, 2010

Summary:

"Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do." — Miracle Max


"Cheating Death"

Morgue — Building 27, Governor's Island

White floors, metallic tables, and white walls reflect the eerie luminescence of the room throughout. The floors are well polished ? clinically so ? although have been doused with bleach from the many contaminants that get on them. The room itself is silent other than the hum of the fluorescent lights above.

The side wall contains all of the occupants. It's a refrigerator of sorts with drawers that act as tables on which the dead can lie.

Determined, and aware, Janet bites her bottom lip, Agent Morris lingers in the doorway, watching the hallway, causing the dark haired woman's lips to flicker into a smile, but only for a moment as she glances at each of the drawers in turn before tugging on the one of interest.

Erin was always pale, but now, she's almost white. Her eyes are closed, the dark circles still around them, as they will apparently be forever. Her hair is matted, dirty from any lack of hygiene for the past few days.
For the most part, she's prepped for autopsy to determine the cause of death. The prison clothes she was wearing have been discarded, and instead, she's draped with a thick white sheet.

To the touch, she's frozen. Not quite as cold as the others would be, but that might just be because she's only been dead for a comparably short time. Right? It couldn't be anything else.

Erin was always pale, but now, she's almost white. Her eyes are closed, the dark circles still around them, as they will apparently be forever. Her hair is matted, dirty from any lack of hygiene for the past few days.
For the most part, she's prepped for autopsy to determine the cause of death. The prison clothes she was wearing have been discarded, and instead, she's draped with a thick white sheet.

To the touch, she's frozen. Not quite as cold as the others would be, but that might just be because she's only been dead for a comparably short time. Right? It couldn't be anything else.

Her injuries are now bared for the world to see. Arms are atop the sheet, with ugly black bruises circling her wrist. The bandage has also been removed from her head. The bruise there seems too dark in comparison with her current ivory paleness, and the shallow split - almost blue now, thanks to the lack of blood - stands out sharply against it.

Janet looks away from her sister's body and then back to Morris who nods his head again. He steps out of the room, but she knows he won't be far — he'll be in the hall, watching for lingering agents. Janet reaches into her bag as Timothy exits the room and injects the syringe into Erin. This one the opposite of the last. She bites her bottom lip, hoping she hadn't lowered her sister's heart rate permanently.

Because Erin's heart rate is so slow, it takes a long time for the counteragent to work. Too long? Minutes go by with no response. Perhaps the drug that made her appear dead in the first place really did kill her. But ten minutes later, there's signs of life.

The first thing that happens is that she starts to breathe - the sound is raspy, slow and constant, like air being let out of a tire. Slowly, it picks up, and as it does, her skin becomes much less dead-looking.
It's at this point that conscious thought returns, though it takes the form of dreams. They're disconnected, colourful. Impossible. Her fingers twitch atop the sheet, as if she's reaching for something.

Within a quarter of an hour, her breathing is almost normal again. The dreams start to resolve into less confusing pictures, and thoughts sink into them - does one dream when they're dead? Am I dreaming? Her heart rate has been steadily increasing this whole time. In the dream, Erin searches for it. Finds it.

Quite abruptly, she's awake, eyes opening, fearful and very confused, on the table. She sits up, struggling against the cold slab. This isn't possible! She knows what happened, she felt herself die!

Hell looks like a morgue? "Wh— wha— " She starts, but the effort of single syllables is too much for her stomach to handle at the moment. Heaving, she throws up the contents of it. It's not much, but it's enough to make a decent mess.

The time it takes to work is painful to Janet. In fact, she finds herself frowning openly, but then Erin's breathing. Janet sighs with relief as she presses two fingers to Erin's neck to check pulse. "Excellent, you are going to make a full recovery," Janet's virtually beaming now.

"Erin, you need to stay laying down while your body wakes up. I brought you a change of clothes. We're taking you out in Agent Morris' hockey bag. I know it's not perfect, but…" She shrugs.

"I didn't give you drugs to kill you, but they think you're dead. I slowed your heart rate… Essentially you're leaving in a body bag as far as they're concerned…"

Being 'dead' has left her frozen. She's shivering like she's just been outside in the snow for an hour. Now that she's awake, though, her breath comes faster, until the panic dies down and she's only left with confusion. Janet, thankfully, takes care of that.

It'd be appropriate to say 'thank you,' or something. Perhaps something profound. But as she sits there in the cold, she realises something. "…Change— of clothes?" she stammers, pulling the sheet over herself. She does not lay back down. "That— That'd require— m—me to have anything to change out — out of." The shivering is helping her warm up, but being in the cold freezer without clothes on isn't helping.

The fear leaves her eyes after some time, and she meets Janet's. The smile she has for her sister isn't forced or difficult at all. "Did I ever tell you you're a genius?"

Her eyes aren't teary at all. Really. Except for the fact that they are.

"Right. Cold freezer," Janet says as she presses a finger to her nose and pulls out the drawer in its entirety. She offers Erin a hand to help her up off the table and walks towards the door to retrieve Morris' hockey bag. It contains sweats among everything else Erin will need.

"Look, I promised I wouldn't euthanize you, so I didn't — I came up with another plan when I knew you were in custody. Erin… I…" She shakes her head, these emotions can be talked about here. They will be discussed once Erin is out. "Agent Morris is going to carry you out in the bag. I'm sorry, I couldn't think of any other way. There are cameras everywhere…."

"Bet— Bet those bastards were surprised," she says. As pain returns, she rubs at her wrists. It feels a lot better than being held in shackles, though. Erin's a bit unsteady her feet as Janet helps her up, but she regains her balance after a little time. Hopefully no one walks in here, though just in case, Erin hurries to pull on the clothes. Better already.

"Wha— Agent? Jan, he's gonna take me right back to that room!" Thankfully, her voice is still nearly gone. Her ability isn't back yet, so she can't use it to kill the virus in her system. In any case, were she able to, she'd be shouting, and she's definitely panicked. Backing away from her sister, she looks for another way out of here, but there's only one way in. Or out. "I can't— You can't let him take me back there. Do you know what they put me through? Sixteen hours of just… noise. Noise, and flashinglightsandthesoundjust… Just… Janny, you have to get me out of here!"

How's that for broken? It's not likely that anyone's ever seen Erin like this, nor will they again.

"Timmy wouldn't do that. The hockey bag was his idea. And… he doesn't like what they're doing either. We're… kind of in cahoots now." Janet's face flushes a pale pink. She has had a small crush on the agent since he became her escort and now he's starting to talk to her about stuff. Although never on camera. And never at work.

"I promise you won't go back. I swear. You're getting out of here. I wouldn't have gone to all of that trouble and put my career on the line if I was going to let them take you again…"

"You're going to Agent Morris' house for now. I'll be there in a few hours after work. Trust me. He's good people."

Realisation dawns on Erin's face. "Oh— oh. He's the guy that was in the room with you!" she says. "Ha— ha. I get it now." She can trust her sister. She's absolutely sure of it now, after all of this. It does cross her mind that maybe - MAYBE this is some sort of trick, because for some reason, Erin can't wholly seem to believe in anyone anymore. Then again, it makes sense. This all started with a simple handshake. Something that should have been innocent.

At the same time, she feels this whole love thing, which she can't even begin to understand. It's never been this overpowering. She loves Taine, sure. She loves Beth. But what Janet did for her… "After we fought, I thought…" she starts, looking down at the bag that's to be her freedom. No, not yet.

She throws her arms around Janet, burying her face in her sister's shoulder. "I'd say we should never fight like that again. But you know me…"

"Yes. Timmy was in the room with me. Annnnd he let me see you even though I wasn't supposed to. And he's like my escort everywhere around here. I promise he's one of the good guys." Janet beams at Erin.

The hug catches Janet off-guard, but she returns the hug, giving Erin a tight squeeze. "We won't. Not like that. I promise years won't go by where we don't talk to each other."

"But, we can talk more in a couple of hours when you're out of here. I need you to get out and then we can figure out what to do." Janet points to the bag. "I'm sorry, I really couldn't think of any other way…"
Erin looks at the bag again. Not ideal, but not really much of a choice, either. "Yeah, well."

She's scared of leaving this room again, because… Because what if they catch her? It could happen. If she moves or coughs or sneezes while she's in the bag, the game is up, and she's sunk. And right back in a cell. And she will have dragged her sister and this kindly Agent Morris right down with her. Eventually, Erin has to nod. "All right. I… guess I'll see you later."

Figuring out how to get into the bag is pretty awkward. The good news is, Erin is short, so it's not too difficult to finally find a position. "You know. I can't really believe you got what I was saying…" she says before the bag is closed. "It's almost as if you watch the show."

Janet's cheeks flush as Erin climbs into the bag and she zips it up. "I do watch the show. I've been keeping an eye on you. Even if we weren't speaking it didn't mean that I didn't want to be part of your life. With Afterlife I got to see you almost every day without having to ever apologize."

That said, Janet pads to the door and gives it a small rap, drawing Morris in. He glances at the bag and then back at Janet. "Time for hockey practice I guess, huh Dr. McCarty?" A small flicker of a smile lingers for a second on the dark skinned man's lips.

"I'll see you later, Agent Morris," she answers with a smile of her own as the dark skinned man picks up the hockey bag and exits the room. Following which Janet wipes down the drawer, the doors, everything, really. No fingerprint will be left behind. But then, she's not even supposed to know Erin died, or, at least no one's told her yet. With a smirk she closes the drawer (taking care not to leave a single fingerprint) before padding out the door.

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