2009-11-12: Cornered



Guest Starring:

Alpha Protocol Hunters

Date: November 12th, 2009


When Erin is backed into a corner… she does all she can to escape.


Afterlife Set

New York City

What is so god-damned important at quarter to eleven at night?

Granted, she doesn't have to be here. Erin's union, and she can refuse to work overtime like this. But if she doesn't come in, they'll let one of the interns at the set dressing, and that's a disaster waiting to happen. Mostly because anything not done by her is second-rate work.

Shouldering open the sliding door, she sees signs of people already starting to work on this empty sound stage. She knew it'd be utilised eventually, but it seems pretty stupid to pull people out of their beds at this hour. For that reason, she's already grumpy. Wasting no time near the door, she shrugs out of her jacket, drops her armful of supplies, and stalks onward to locate the idiot who called her. She's going to kill him, then she's going to ask about what needs to be done. In that order.

The idiot who called her here is nowhere to be seen. In fact, the sound stage seems to be empty, save now for Erin, so dead silent that the sound of her footsteps and the sound the supplies make when they're dropped almost cause echoes.

It's not long before more life emerges, however. The door Erin entered through slides open, but only a crack, and not long enough for someone to actually enter. Instead, a black-gloved hand appears long enough for a slim, metal canister to be thrown inside. It rattles on the floor, rolling swiftly to the center of the room where it starts to lose momentum.

Nothing happens, yet, but this is a TV set. If TV has taught anything, it's that mysterious metal canisters are never, ever foretelling of something good.

Nor are groups of men in black tactical gear. A click sounds from high above Erin, where two men wearing not only black military-esque clothes, including helmets, but gasmasks also (how are they to know how this target's ability works?) are poised in the rigging, long, rifle-like weapons pointed down.
Well, where the hell is everyone? "Hello!" she demands into the quiet.

For once, it very well could be her impatience that saves her. Instead of hanging around in the entryway, she stomps back toward the supply partition, never even seeing the canister as it's tossed in.

"I swear to god, if this is some sort of joke…" she shouts. She has no time for this, and she's going to make sure each and every person involved loses a night of sleep one way or another. Not hard for a person who can cause a bad cold just by thinking about it.

Erin isn't completely oblivious, though. In the almost silent sound stage, the click is all too obvious. The rattling of the canister on the floor causes a double-take. Leaning around a doorframe, she narrows her eyes.

After the click, the rattle, there's nothing. More silence. Then, the a mechanism in the canister releases with a quiet hiss. A fine mist slowly begins to spread up from it, growing cloudier, thicker as it rises.

But it might not work fast enough, not with Erin in the closet (hahaha). A faint murmur sounds from the ceiling — succinct whispered orders — and the sliding door to the stage promptly opens in full, admitting two more men (or women, who's to say; the gear is as unflattering as it is anonymous). Both have weapons levelled at the ready, hefty tasers, and with a few hand gestures to direct them and the other half of their team above, those on the ground advance. On Erin.

You paged Ivory with 'Are you still in claassssss?'
What the hell is going on?

Her eyes narrow even more as she tries to make sense of what's happening. It doesn't really occur to her at first that she is in danger, but everything is starting to come together. The text message from Micah, the talk with Tracy, the knowledge that there are people out there who know what she can do—

She would have gone on living her life carefully, learning control of her ability without hurting anyone. That wasn't good enough, though. And of course, Erin's mind leaps to the worst possible conclusions. They couldn't be that far off, considering there are weapons leveled at her.

So she ducks back behind the wall. She'll take a guess and assume that she knows the layout of these sound stages better than they do. There's a stairway up the back to the walkways above, used for the lighting crews. Maybe getting away would be a better idea, but she heads up, instead. If she can drop some ballast on these bastards, they might leave her alone.

Besides all that, though, she's terrified. She isn't even bothering to control her ability as her eyes start to glow. Nothing happens, though, not yet.

A few shouts erupt from the hunters, who spread out as Erin takes off for the staircase to the above walkways. Unfortunately for the actress-slash-crewmember, there are men lying in wait up there, hiding in the maze of lighting, laying on their bellies, waiting and watching… and poised, like snipers. One of them releases their weapon on Erin and a taser bolt fires through the air at her as she comes up the stairs. It misses by a hair's breadth, in fact touching her hair as it sails over her shoulder, landing down below with a faint zap.

The misty air only grows cloudier as the gas rises. Soon, it'll reach the ceiling. Not good enough for the hunters on the ground; one of them swaps their taser out for what amounts to a dart gun and aims, waiting for the right moment.

She's cornered.

There's no appreciation of the sheer tactical triumph here. She's terrified. And when that happens…

The nearest men to her will suddenly feel very ill. The effects will vary wildly; the virus is unstable, and it'll do whatever it wants, completely out of Erin's control.

The taser brushes past her hair, and she slams herself backward into the railing, nearly toppling over it. Unable to help a whimper, she quickly weighs her options - keep going up, or down, back to where the mist is still rising. She has good experience with not being able to see well, but that might not be the only problem. Who knows if that stuff will just kill her?

Up it is.

Seizing control of her power, she focuses on the first man she sees and lets him have it. She's not sure what it is, but she means to do some serious damage.

The men so near the ceiling feel the affects of Erin's ability to make them sick; their gasmasks clearly do nothing in this case, and short of taking her out, there's nothing they can do stop it. They both start to their feet only to stumble, reel, and crash against the walkway railings themselves. One of them ventures forth, though, aiming a taser on the woman coming up the stairs, but that's when Erin truly seizes her power.

The figure halts, body stiffening; steps become shaky, the taser falls with a clutter to the walkway. Gloved hands come up to tear the gasmask off, revealing a young, dark-haired woman fresh out of the military— she looks on Erin with horror, her eyes starting to redden as her nose starts to bleed. Retching, she spins to the walkway, suddenly very, very pale.

One of the men below moves beneath the walkway, weaving a little; the other, farthest away, jogs to the base of the stairs. Visibility is slightly marred by the gas that is now filling the space, but he fires that dart at Erin as clearly as possible.

For just a moment, Erin meets that young woman's eyes. Oh god, she didn't mean to do that.

"Hold still, I'll—" She's risking everything by stopping. Lying on hand on the woman's shoulder, she intends to reverse the effects of the virus - save her life - but that's about when that shot nails her right in the hip. Between the time it takes her to look at it and then look back at the very sick operative, her eyes grow dim, and she's left powerless. "I'm sorry!" she whispers frantically. If she were a better person, she'd stay. But she's kind of scared for her own life at the moment.

One last attempt is made to kill the virus, but she can't even feel it anymore. So she takes off running down the now semi-cleared upper platform. It runs out somewhere… But with the smoke, she can't see the end.

While the partner of the downed woman should take chase after Erin, he's not doing so well himself. The man at the base of the stairs bounds up the steps two at a time, however, military boots pounding on the metal. He's the best off of them all, and that immediately puts him in charge. "Take her down! Cut off the exits!"

The armed man below moves, slower than strictly ideal and coughing against some unknown assailing virus, toward the door.


There's always ballast on a set. Erin's used to working with it - using it as a weight to move sections of the set into place as necessary. There's not a whole lot of options she has left anymore; as she runs by the controls, she unlocks two of the cranks. Two of the heavy sandbags crash to the floor below, while another hits the walkway, jarring it and everyone on it.

After that, it's the end of the line. She's out of options - she knows the end of the walkway is fast coming up—

One toe reaches nothing, and with the feeling that there are people behind her, she decides that her only real option is to jump.

Launching herself into the air, closing her eyes, she experiences exactly what it's like to fall down a story and a half and crash into the floor, as well as god-knows what else. The noise is incredible; Erin's sure she must have just crushed a camera or something equally as expensive. But it puts her ahead of the people on the floor - she hopes - so she can start running. Adrenaline helps her ignore the fact that her arm is bent at a very strange angle and is now bleeding rather profusely. She's sure to notice that before too long.

If the man on the ground was as healthy as he was when he began this mission, if he didn't feel so sick thanks to the dangerous ability of the woman the team is targeting, he would have easily dodged the large and purposefully heavy object raining down from above. The mist is starting to clear. His reflexes are good. But not now. Thanks to Erin. By the time Erin jumps, he's under the sandbag. Guess it doesn't only happen in cartoons.

Above, the man next to the fallen team member calls in for backup through his earpiece, gasmask removed, pale himself. "Requesting backup, man down, the target is on the move and suppressed, the masks are unsuccessful… I repeat we need backup…"

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